Tanahashi's formula is awesome - work a "normal" back-and-forth match, and if your opponent gets carried away, just attack his fucking legs, it'll slow him down significantly, and then... enter High Fly Flow! I love Tanahashi.
Elgin deserves some credt, especially for fucking awesome finishing combos.
Agreed with everything here. Tanahashi may have a formula but he is a really fucking smart worker. I do love his style. Elgin rocks.
Anyway my thoughts on Cena/Punk number infinity:
John Cena vs CM Punk (WWE 2/25)
This match was not perfect by any means. The beginning sections of the match did not have any correlation to the rest of the match and was at times sloppy, particularly from Cena. However after the 1st commercial break that's when the match really started getting into gear. This had a very HBK/Taker feel to it in the fact they both traded their biggest guns back and forth whilst also pulling out a few surprises. Basically Cena and Punk told a story that they both do best whilst working with each other since MITB 2011: both of them knowing each other so well as past adversaries that they ended up pulling out counter after counter on each other which meant that they had to both pull out surprises in order to try and gain the victory. There were a lot of great great moments in this match that have typically been accustomed to Cena/Punk matches, in particular Punk's counter to the spin out powerbomb into the vice, the sit out powerbomb from Cena and pulling out the piledriver near the end which was a nice surprise. Cena should really stop trying to the hurricanrana though, that was a really embarrassing attempt and took away from the ending. Really good match however, 2nd best match of the year for WWE so far despite the flaws. This had a lot of tension and drama and big fight feel which really helped this match deliver. It felt hugely important which WWE tends to fail at delivering unless its a big PPV. But then again, it is close to mania.
"I'm a tired arachnid, spinning loose in my threads, building lifetimes of gossamer beds. And the filigree waterdrops around my head, they absorb every word that I said."
Here's to mud in your eye, here's to you and the rest of your life.
John Cena vs CM Punk - WWE Raw 02/25/2013 - ****1/2
Absolutely tremendous. These guys know each other so well at this point, so it makes sense that we got a match filled with counters and reversals of all their usual big moves. Particularly loved Punk diving to the mat to avoid Cena's shoulder tackle, leaving Cena to throw himself on the floor. Gotta give credit to Cena...that was a pretty sexy Liger Bomb. A genius move for them to bust out some new stuff bearing in mind all the counters - great touch for Punk to use the piledriver; a classic 'finishing' move, and his subsequent look of shock when Cena kicked out really sold it. It's for that same reason I was fine with the 'ugly' hurracanrana; in the context of the match, Cena was trying something new, something he's not used to doing, not to mention the fact that at this point he's taken a Go 2 Sleep and a piledriver and therefore isn't performing at his best. His almost reflex-like AA was the exclamation point and enough to put Punk away for the 3.
Top notch wrestling from these two; my current MOTY.
Main event was really great I thought. Was pretty average until they started trading submission finishes and from that point on it was really awesome. Watching unspoiled helped. Really dug them throwing new stuff out to play off their long history and the high stakes. Cena's sit down powerbomb looked great. Punk's piledriver looked alright but it was a bossy spot to pull out. Better than flopping a moonsault out. Cena's hurracanranas and monkey flips always look abysmal but I dug the idea behind him pulling it out after all else failed to set the finish up. First AA kickout was great. On PPV with these two it's a given but I at least had some doubt with it being TV. GTS kickout was a given after though. Loved the teased count out finish too. Extremely believable and I thought for sure the lights were going out at 9. I guess next week Punk moans again and Taker comes out. This finishing stretch smoked NOC last year though because they want more for a frantic pace with reversals galore rather than 2.9's galore and long downtimes between spots. Crowd was super hot for it too which only made it better. ****, maybe even ****1/4. Might just edge ADR/Show out as TV MOTY but they're so different it's hard to compare.
John Cena vs CM Punk (WWE RAW 25/2)
Well shit, I absolutely loved this. Starts out like all the other Punk/Cena matches have done with chain wrestling and each guy struggling for the advantage. Cena gets the advantage, but Punk has his number, and that's the story of the first half of the match. Punk cutting Cena off every time was great, the shoulder block dodge, the kick during the 5 Knuckle Shuffle, the DDT etc. All great counter spots from Punk, and a story that these guys have absolutely mastered imo. Then they go into the submission exchange and from that point on it's just brilliant. The counters are superbly done, and the story continues with both guys having the others number, and Punk being Cena's ultimate opponent. Cena busting out the Liger Bomb was an awesome spot, not only did it look fucking great, but it was so perfect for the story these guys tell in the ring. He's never hit that before, never even attempted it, and it showed Cenas wrestling smarts as well as desperation to go for a move he knew would catch Punk off guard and that he wouldn't have a counter for. Same for Punk and the Piledriver which absolutely ruled, and seemed like the ultimate death blow. This is a move we haven't seen in WWE for years and Punk busts it out and the commentators and crowd react accordingly. Awesome. Seabs mentioned the countout tease, and yeah that was really good too despite me knowing the result beforehand. The Rana from Cena concluded the story of the match absolutely perfectly, and yeah it didn't look very good, but it was a brilliant idea and a brilliant way to show Cena thinking on his feet and that on this night, it was him that eventually had Punk's number. The finishing run was just so much fun and this was their best match since Summerslam in 2011. Loved it, great stuff. ****1/4
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Karl Anderson
Karl Anderson, where you been all my life? Has Anderson also been capable of churning out a performance like this? Great seller and was awesome at handing out the desperation flying big boots. Tanahashi was also good; he looks to of found his niche in playing the seasoned veteran. His performance here was reminiscent of his first match with Okada. Let's hope Tanahashi continues to work in this position and maybe we can start seeing some great matches like this on a more consistent basis that don't fall victim to your typical Tanahashi flaws.
WWE Raw 02/25/2013
John Cena vs CM Punk
Only a slight step behind their MITB classic, this match is one of the few matches from this year that I think will give Nakamura/Sakuraba a run for their money. Basically, this felt quite similar to their Night of Champions match but executed much better and without the pointless finisher trading and crappy anti-climatic finish. The narrative remains the same; both men are equals and can see each others' signature spots coming from a mile a way and eventually they have to start pulling out some new moves out the bag in an attempt to confuse the other man. Cena really shined in this particularly; his bumping and selling was top notch. An excellent match with believable near-falls in front of an appreciative super-hot crowd.
Started off slow and it sucks they had 2 commercial breaks during it, but the last 10 minutes were great. Powerbomb? Piledriver? The back and forth was awesome. I don't even care that Cena won. That was way better than their Night of Champions match and both Rock/Punk matches (even though I liked them more than most people).
Punk/Cena was good... and that's it. Not even close to greatness. The crowd was awesome. Punk was awesome too, he really sold the importance of the match, you could feel he wrestled for the WM main event spot. Cena, on the other hand, fuck him. The worst seller in the industry, worse than fucking Teddy Hart. It's sad, because Cena is a guy capable of having five star matches. When he's motivated. Too bad he's motivated only once-twice every year. He no-sold Punk's few signature moves, including the Running Knee, and not once, but TWICE! Same people who bash indy wrestling for "no sell bitch" doctrine, they praise Cena. Nice. Because, Cena's much worse. And the finishing stretch was just a collection of moves and kickouts. I repeat, Punk was great in the match, but Cena was awful.
Originally Posted by ryanbrian
TV shows are the best entertainment programmes like wrestling. My favourite TV show is RAW and SMACK DOWN. I specially like fight of Rey mysterio and Randy Ortan. It was very amazing fight with lots of stunt.
How can Cena be capable of a 5 star match and be the 'The worst seller in the industry'? Cena's selling in the match was great and was more comparable to Kenta Kobashi than Davey Richards. He'd no-sell the move for a split second in a short burst of adrenaline, hit his move and then feel the effect of Punk's offense shortly after.
I totally disagree with the finishing stretch being 'just a collection of moves and kickouts'. The finisher attempts were all logically and made it feel like they needed to bust out newer moves to try and put each other away.