Thursday, 9 June 2011
Looking Forward To Tanahashi vs. GOTO in NJPW on June 18th With Alan Counihan
When Hirooki Goto headbutted Hiroshi Tanahashi on May 3rd in Fukuoka,
it marked the end of a simmering tension between the two and the
beginning of all out war for the right to hold the most prized belt in
Professional Wrestling – The IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.
Goto will get his shot at the title on June 18th in Osaka. He’s had
chances before, twice against Tanahashi (in 2007 and 2009), but never
before has he been positioned so strongly going into his title
challenge. The feeling is that this is HIS time, this match will mark
the beginning of the Hirooki Goto title reign. He’s more than ready
Tanahashi won the belt on the January Tokyo Dome show from Satoshi
Kojima. He’s gone on to make four successful defenses against Kojima,
Shinsuke Nakamura, Charlie Haas and in a Match Of The Year contender,
Yuji Nagata. Some have predicted that with the big “All Together”
co-promotion show in August, New Japan will still want the marketable
and charismatic Tanahashi as their champion and thus he will retain
here. Goto just cannot suffer another failed attempt though. He has to
break through here.
The match has all the makings of a classic. These two always tear the
house down and have great chemistry. Tanahashi brings cleverness,
skill, technique and even some high flying. Goto relies more on a hard
hitting, power style. Since his brief trip to Mexico in March, he’s
exhibited a much more intense attitude and even a mean streak. However
the crowd have taken to this side of him and loud calls of GOTO-O are
very likely in Osaka. Tanahashi always gets a huge reaction himself,
so the atmosphere for this could be electric.
To me, this is THE match of the summer. No match anywhere in the world
has been built to this well. You could make a case that this has been
building since their first title match in November 2007. That night
Goto was inexperienced and perhaps didn’t have the killer instinct
needed. Come Osaka that won’t be the case.
About the author: Host of the DKP show at http://www.wrestlingobserver.com/ Happy young lad full of ProWresLove!!!
Follow Alan on twitter @Alan4L
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