Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Tetsuya Naito from 2011


You can watch this match here.

Post by TJ Hawke:

This was the finals of the 2011 G1.

This was interesting because it had a structure you do not normally see (or at least I don’t). Nakamura was the clear heel and spent more time on top, but he did not have a clear strategy at all. While he was working hard and taking the match seriously, he did not seem to take Naito all that seriously. (Does that make sense? I don’t care. I’m sticking with it.) When Naito (the babyface) came back, he went right for Nakamura’s left knee. It was a clear and focused attack that opened up the possibility for him to win. Smart wrestling on his part. Unfortunately, Nakamura did not want to sell it when he was back on offense at all.

“Selling a leg” is a concept in pro wrestling that there is clearly no consensus on what is considered an effective way of going about it. When work on your leg clearly causes you agony though, it seems pretty logical that you should be selling it when you are back on offense. That absolutely took away from what was otherwise a good match.

Down the stretch, Naito threw everything he had at Nakamura. He came up empty on the Stardust Press though, and that made him easy prey for Nakamura. Naito did not go down easily, but Nakamura eventually finished him with the Boma Ye. A fine match that should have been much better. (***)



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