Hiroshi Tanahashi

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The Fonz
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Hiroshi Tanahashi

Post by The Fonz » Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:08 pm

Considering his name has been floating around these boards for almost a year I decided to put some time into watching the guy. Before tonight I had only seen two matches of his, albeit two FANTASTIC matches. Those which I am referring are a famous bout with Yuji Nagata in '07 and what's now being considered in '08 a MOTYC with Suwama. If I'm going to try to become a consistent fan of Tanahashi's though I definitely need to find some of his earlier stuff, so that's where I'm beginning now. Keep in mind, I'm not very resourceful at knowing where to find this stuff. I only have access to what I've been able to dig up, so this is by no means a definitive list.

In everything I've seen Tanahashi has had enough resilience to make Shawn Michaels look helpless. This, and a ton of heart, I'm assuming are his main assets. At any single point in a match Tanahashi is a legit threat. He doesn't have superhuman recovery powers or anything, but he's very tenacious.

06-01-04: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Shibata
http://www.megadownload.net/file/mu/0f3 ... hibata.asx

Wow, I don't think 15 minutes have ever flown past me so quickly as they did when I was watching this match. The action here doesn't relent for one second and in the midst of one of the most cringe-worthy matches I've ever seen so much character work is on display anyone, seriously anyone, can get into this match.

Shibata is just pure awesome. Imagine Tajiri's kicks but triple as fast and triple as painful, now add to that the most brutal slaps you can picture and you might find yourself in the right ballpark. Everything this guys does looks like it would make a normal person cry.

Unfortunately for Tanahashi within the first minute of the match he already finds himself on the receiving end of nearly probably a dozen super stiff kicks. This is the beginning of a very fun formula that is worked for the majority of this bout. Basically what keeps happening is Shibata beats the living crap out of Tanahashi, Tanahashi eventually gets in a few tiny but ineffective shots but the only thing they ever end up doing is making his opponent angrier.

Things continue along this path for a while and you really start to rally behind Tanahashi. He's been taking such a brutal beating, and just for the fact he can stand you can't help but cheer for the guy.

Eventually Tanahashi actually catches one of Shibata's kicks which is absolutely huge since he previously had taken the last hundred or so straight to the head and chest. After nailing a German suplex, his first significantly offensive move of the match, anyone who isn't impressed by Tanahashi's resilience just doesn't have a pulse.

After getting up Shibata instigates a slapping duel and we get one of the best exchanges of the match. Shibata's slaps are like dynamite and Tanahashi's aren't in the same league. For a little while Tanahashi actually stands his ground and you really get a 'little engine that could' vibe from the whole thing, it's really fun to watch but Shibata is just too overwhelming for it to last.

The match doesn't last much longer and after a big knock out kick to the head Shibata picks up the win.

Although he was dominated for the majority of the match Tanahashi looks like a million bucks here. He takes a licking, but he's gutsy enough to fight back, resilient enough to learn from his mistakes and even builds up some great momentum that really gets you physced for a potential upset. Fantastic showing by both men and I'd recommend this to any wrestling fan. ***1/2

8-15-04: Genirchiro Tenryu vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
http://www.megadownload.net/file/mu/u85 ... i-tan..wmv

I really wish this match would have taken a few more subtleties. The story is easy enough to figure out, but I can't help but think it's a bit overdone. Tanahashi is the young kid with a ton of heart and his opponent is an impenetrable brick wall. To sum it up, Tanahashi is overwhelmed, outmatched and utterly destroyed for this entire bout.

Tanahashi hits a few forearms and chops to start the match out but saying they had no effect would be an understatement. Genirchiro takes the blows without so much as a flinch. With a couple of rights to the face that would make Terry Funk blush the big man begins a beating that you can tell already won't be pretty.

Very early on when Tanahashi(feet dangling on the top rope) is dropped on his head with one of the most sickening DDTs I've ever seen. A variety of stiff punches, short kicks to the face, a brutal abdominal stretch and a few suplexes thrown in for good measure and it doesn't look like Tanahashi is going to live through the night, let alone stand any sort of fighting chance.

But remember, Tanahashi's resilience is his trump card and even though he hasn't hit any offense since 30 seconds into the match doesn't mean he's finished quite yet. Reversing an Irish whip Tanashashi takes to the air and attempts a momentum changing dropkick. Unfortunately for him his opponent proves not only to be stronger than him, but more experience too. Tenryu hold onto the ropes and Tanahashi misses the drop kick.

Tenryu actually cracks a smile at his opponents feeble attempts before crushing his sternum with a standing senton followed by a devastating brainbuster. Shockingly Tanahashi kicks out at two. Tenryu goes for a second brainbuster, it's countered and after two quick roll ups, a kick to the head and a third roll up Tanahashi somehow pulls the shocking win out of his a$$.

So obviously the goal here was to show that despite being overwhelmed in every possible sense and literally beaten half to death Tanahashi still serves as a threat thanks to his ungodly sense of determination. Overall this one comes up at barely 7 minutes and it's an entirely one sided bout the whole way. Tenryu's offense is brutally great and the decision to keep this short was a good one since it kept the action from getting repetitive. I'm gonna go **'s. The match is knocked down a peg or two only because I felt the odds were a little too stacked against Tanahashi.

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Re: Hiroshi Tanahashi

Post by towney007 » Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:28 pm

Here's a good sampling of his stuff IMO...

v. Togi Makabe, U-30 Tournament Final, 4/23/03

Makabe is making his way up the heavyweight ranks after being a plump junior. Tanahashi's back in the fold recieving the first real sort of push of his career.


v. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, #1 Contender's Match, 5/2/03

Let's see if Tanahashi's learned enough to hang with the big boys..


v. Jun Akiyama, G1 Climax Tournament, 8/14/03

Real cool match here. Former Phenom v. Current Phenom

v. Kensuke Sasaki, G1 Climax Tournament 8-14-04

Tanahashi pinned Sasaki with a fluke cradle in the previous year's tournament. He's on a roll in the G1 here as well at a 5-1 Record. Time for a reality check?
http://www.theditch.us/SasakiVsTanahas ... -14-04.avi

v. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, G1 Climax Tournament Final 8-15-04

Tenzan has more or less fended off two of the "New Three Muskateers" and Tanahashi is the third on deck. A match a little more about Tenzan, but certainly the first real trip to the BIG stage for Tanahashi.


v. Manabu Nakanishi, G1 Climax Tournament 8/13/05

Fantastic underdog against the powerhouse match. Fun stuff here..


v. Hirooki Goto 12/25/08

Christmas fun from these two... Honestly though, Goto's totally outmatched here but he gives it a pretty good go. Tanahashi in a totally different role than you're used to seeing him in to this point... will make a match i'm going to post later in this thread THAT much more rewarding..


v. Yuji Nagata, New Japan Cup, 4/29/06

Really, just an awesome combo. These two just have killer chemistry. This is their first major match together..


v. The Giant Bernard, 6/18/06

So story is pretty cool here at least for us American-os... Tanahashi is slated to face Lesnar in a month for the belt. This is a big gaijin test for him before the title match... which of course never happened as Lesnar bolted the company months later.. Anyways, this is still a HELL of a match..


v. Shinsuke Nakamura, IWGP Heavyweight Championship, 12/10/06

THIS is the best encounter between two generational rivals. Nakamura is definately the Austin to Tanahashi's Rock or whatever... not quite, but they're the two top guns. This is an awesome title match.

http://lenny.theditch.biz/20061210-NJPW ... kamura.wmv

v. Yuji Nagata, IWGP Heavyweight Championship 4/13/07

Don't even have to go over this one I don't think. This finished super high on our MOTY list last year. Just an awesome match.


v. Yuji Nagata, G1 Climax Final, 8/7/07

This is the rematch.. a little unplanned for sure (Nakamura was scheduled to win the tournament, but dislocated his shoulder early in the night), but still a goodie.


v. Hirooki Goto, IWGP Hvt. Championship

Just an indication of how far these two have come. The first match between the two and this are like night and day. Goto's breakout match, but pretty great stuff from Tanahashi.


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