On today’s episode of The Taz Show, Taz will discuss the classic match between Nakamura and Ibushi from Wrestle Kingdom 9.
Taz mentions that NJPW’s production is unbelievable, and they’re basically the only company in the world that can compete with WWE production-wise. They pull out all the stops here for Wrestle Kingdom, with pyro and multiple video walls to ensure a jam-packed arena full of people are satisfied. Taz points out that this is Japan’s WrestleMania.
Taz says he’s a big fan of Nakamura’s work, and he doesn’t mean to disrespect him today because he’s never met him, but this is when Nakamura was booked “Cool”. He urges his fans to check out the video of this entrance from Wrestle Kingdom 9, because this is when Nakamura truly was a “rockstar”.
He points out that we’ve seen this plenty of times before, and Taz has actually been through this himself. As a Superstar in the business you feel like your career is going great and then you finally make it to WWE and things change drastically. For whatever reason, WWE seems to struggle with capitalizing on momentum that incoming performers have.
Taz likes that Nakamura and Ibushi are wearing opposite colour ring gear during this match. He informs that this is an unwritten rule in the business, and in some cases it actually is written in the Gorilla Position in WWE. Ibushi wore white and Nakamura wore black for this bout.
The match starts off slow as both men begin telling a physical story. Taz informs that sometimes you need to start a match hot, but other times it’s better to start slow and feel each other out. This allows the audience to build anticipation, making the finish of the match even more satisfying.
Taz points out that these two guys called this match in the ring – he can tell that just from watching it. He thinks it’s great that these guys could put together quality matches like this by calling it in the ring, and it’s obvious that they didn’t sit down with a Producer for hours before the match, scripting every single spot in the ring.
Although the match started slow, Taz knew it was only a matter of time before they picked things up. He points out that wrestling like sex. You start slow with foreplay before finally picking things up, and then eventually you reach the climax, or the finish of the match.
Taz says that Ibushi is the real deal and although he’s been around for a while, Taz isn’t sure that his style would translate to WWE. You can argue that Nakamura’s style hasn’t translated well to WWE either over the last couple of years, but at least Nakamura has shown a willingness to change and adapt to his new surroundings.
As the match passes the halfway point the action picks up dramatically. Both men exchange lightning quick offence and Nakamura catches Ibushi with a brutal kick to the back of the head. Ibushi begins to “no-sell” Nakamura’s offence and both men start trading vicious shots without selling a thing. Taz points out that you just don’t see this type of thing in WWE because Vince McMahon and other officials would be furious.
Taz is very impressed by the work rate of these guys in this match. He laughs as he points out that Ibushi certainly outdid him in this match in terms of creative suplexes, but a lot of them were very dangerous moves. There was one suplex from the outside of the ring by Ibushi that could have easily broke Nakamura’s neck, and Taz would never throw, or take that type of suplex. Nonetheless, he knows that these men are professionals who have mastered these types of bumps.
Nakamura won the match with a kick to the head, and Taz initially thought this was going to be a false finish spot, especially after all the other offence we saw in this match. Nonetheless, he thought the finish worked, pointing out that strong style relies on the effectiveness of striking and kicks. Overall, he really enjoyed the match and he wishes we could see this version of Nakamura in WWE.
That sums up today’s episode of The Taz Show. You can listen to the show yourself anytime here, and I’ll catch ya next week for another recap!