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August 7, 2007 / TJ Hawke

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Milano Collection A.T. from NJPW 2007

Pre-Match Thoughts from Bryan Rose:

Since the G1 is upon us and is easily looking to be on the best G1 tournaments of all time, I thought I would go back and look at the extensive list of “Greatest Moments” that New Japan Pro Wrestling has on its Youtube channel, and I came across one that piqued my interest- Hiroshi Tanahashi taking on Milano Collection A.T. I’ve heard about Milano, who retired a few years ago, but never have seen one of his matches. Tanahashi, as we all should know by now is one of the top wrestlers in the world, if not THE top wrestler in the world and is simply phenomenal. So let’s take a look at what these two had back in 2007- this is from the G1 tournament from that year.

Match Recap:

Milano immediately jumps Tanahashi as he makes his way to the ring apron and up on on the outside, kicking one of his legs at one point. Milano goes for the quick victory by, of all things, wrapping up Tanahashi into the mat outside and running into the ring, hoping the referee counts to twenty before Tanahashi can escape the evil ring mat. That is pretty darn clever, actually. However, it fails as Tanahashi makes it back to the ring around the sixteen second mark. Tanahashi gains control and stomps on Milano a bit, softening him up, followed by a dropkick. After a few punches in the corner, Milano counters by hitting a dropkick, and after a few back and forth exchanges starts working on Tanahashi’s leg- the one he attacked before the bell rang. He takes Tanahashi’s legs, wraps them around the bottom ropes, and hits a running dropkick into his legs. Ouch. Milano continues to work on the leg, but Tanahashi regains control and they end up on the outside, with Tanahashi jumping to the middle rope and hitting the high fly low to the floor, connecting with Milano. The referee starts to count…and Milano JUST BARELY makes it by 19. Tanahashi goes to the top rope, but Milano clips him and hits a diamond cutter off the top rop. He hits a German suplex then goes for a superkick but Tanahashi kicks out at two. Milano with a bridging back suplex but Tanahashi holds a foot on the rope. Tanahashi goes to attack Milano, but Milano does a bridging like matrix move (think Trish Stratus) only for Tanahashi to hit a standing senton. Tanahashi with a sling blade for two. He then goes for the dragon suplex but Milano counters with a a unique rollup. Tanahashi gets back to his feet and hits the high fly low for the three count.

Match Thoughts:

This wasn’t much at all. Nothing terrible, but it was too short and the crowd was completely dead for this, nothing like crowds in New Japan right now that are hot for everything. I think this was more of a sign of the times than anything- New Japan was just starting to get it’s act together after Antonio Inoki completely went off the rails and it was going to take time before their promotion was considered hot. It hasn’t completely recovered as business is no way is as hot as it was in the nineties, but safe to say New Japan is doing well right now, at least in terms in ticket sales and definitely in terms of match quality and fan reactions.

Star Rating: *1/2

 

Recap from TJ Hawke:

This match was not all that interesting. NJPW matches on small house shows do not translate well, as the crowds are usually completely dead for them (see some of the other NJPW posts on here if you want the proof). The action here was technically fine, but there was zero emotion.

Match Rating: **

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