Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Minoru Suzuki: A 5 Star Classic 4005

Revisiting WON’s 2012 Match of the Year between Hiroshi Tanahashi defending his IWGP Heavyweight Title against challenger and Puro legend Minoru Suzuk, New Japan Pro Wrestling 40th Anniversary event, 2012. Catch Wrestling U Patrons have access to the entire gif archive downloadable here.

This was a good match that was quite the mixed bag of style and content. There were nods to classic Antonio Inoki era NJPW which I loved, there were some shoot style nods to Suzuki’s past and there was generally great story telling. However the American Wrasslin’ elements were often quite jarring and illusion breaking – anyone that is more savvy when it comes to legitimate submission holds know they are not something that can be merely ‘toughed out’. The point of a submission after all is either a snapped bone or ligament, or in the case of chokes and strangles unconsciousness.Submitting is conceding defeat before that can happen.

Still there is plenty here to enjoy and study from.

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