Kazuchika Okada vs. Shinsuke Nakamura from 2014

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You can watch this match here.

Post by TJ Hawke:

This was the finals of the 2014 G1. I actually reviewed this show live which was quite the unpleasant experience.

This match does not age as well as I would have guessed. It had a lot of things going for it and against it at the time. It was the first time these two had met since the rise of Okada in 2012. So, there was a freshness to this matchup that just made everything in the match compelling at the time. Seemingly going against the match was that it was the main event of a very long and bad show that had just done a Jeff Jarrett-joins-the-Bullet Club angle. It seemed hard to believe anyone in the building would care after the slog of a show they had just sat through. However, they managed to easily overcome that, and they sucked the crowd in almost immediately.

The real issue that holds this match back is that it relies on the freshness of the match to make it interesting instead of having much substance. At the time (even as I was recovering from the Jeff Jarrett angle), I could not help but be compelled by everything in the match because it was two wrestlers that I love going up against one another for essentially the first time. A year later, and I find there is not much else going on. It’s still fun to watch mind you, and a couple of sequences stand out as being excellent for sure (Nakamura reversing a Rainmaker into a cross-armbreaker clearly being the highlight). It is a great effort (Nakamura only turns it up stadium shows after all); it is just not the great match that I remember. (***3/4)

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