NJPW: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada (January 4, 2013)

I want to try to review all the Wrestle Kingdom main events while they’re free on New Japan World.

Nothing really happens until Okada plants Tanahashi with a draping DDT. He takes him outside sort of reverse chokes him on the guardrail in front of the many commentators. Okada kicks his of back in the ring. Tanahashi eventually turns things around and hits the High Fly Flow onto a standing Okada outside the ring. It wouldn’t be the Dome show without one of those. They struggle with each other back in the ring, and they end up back on the floor again when Okada dropkicks Tanahashi off the top rope. Tanahashi escapes a tombstone attempt and hits a Sling Blade on the rampway. They get back in the ring, and Okada gets the knees up on a High Fly Flow (payback for Tanahashi getting his knees up on an Okada elbow drop earlier).

Okada hits that Kryptonite Krunch on his knee that I wish had a name so I could stop having to describe it. He also does a modified DVD. Tanahashi avoids the Rainmaker. Dragon suplex. Sling Blade and a High Fly Flow, but Okada kicks out. I should’ve expected that, but he really squashed him, so I kind of thought that was it. Wouldn’t be the dome show without the HFF getting kicked out of, though. Tanahashi works Okada’s knee with Dragon Screws and puts him in the cloverleaf. Okada won’t tap, though he seems to consider it at points. Tanahashi goes for something, but Okada catches him with his beautiful dropkick.

Okada and Tanahashi hold onto each other as they get to their feet, looking almost like friends, but Okada goes for the Rainmaker. Tanahashi avoids it and a dropkick, but gets a dropkick to the back and a tombstone. He counters another Rainmaker with a Sling Blade. They both struggle up again and fight for a tombstone. Tanahashi eventually gets it. Then, much like the year before with Suzuki, Tanahashi crawls to the top as a glassy-eyed Okada reaches for him. Okada makes it to his feet in time to get a High Fly Flow crossbody. Tanahashi follows it up with a more traditional one to get the pin and retain.

Winner – Hiroshi Tanahashi

Rating – Good

The legend begins. Well, as far as the Tokyo Dome show goes, at least.


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