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August 7, 2009 / TJ Hawke

Hirooki Goto vs. Shinsuke Nakamura from NJPW’s G1 Climax 2009


Recap from Lee Goodfellow:

This took place a few months after their New Japan Cup match, which I reviewed here. It was part of the most prestigious league in all of pro wrestling, the G1 Climax. Unlike the last match, Nakamura comes out in the attire I’m accustomed to seeing him in, which I assume came along with the formation of the CHAOS stable. Goto still hasn’t discovered his dress though. They are both given flowers before the match starts, that’s nice. The bell rings! Crowd sound mostly behind Goto, but heel Shinskay still has his fans. Standard trading of wrestling holds and rope breaks to begin with. A flashy “we can’t get the better of each other” mat exchange reminiscent of their New Japan Cup battle. Goto is the first to get a real advantage, taking Nakamura down by the leg and locking the ankle. Nakamura tries to choke him a couple of times during this, is unsuccessful, but escapes by making it to the ropes. Another lock up and it Goto to have the advantage. Nakamura lands a couple of boots, but Goto gets him in a headlock again. Goto headbutts him! The action spills outside, where Nakamura turns the tables by throwing Goto into the railing and booting him in the face. The advantage doesn’t last long though, as Goto throws him into a railing then kicks him in the chest. Goto almost decapitates Nakamura with a lariat, knocking him from the apron, then dives over the rope at him, but Nakamura catches him with a knee to the face! Not quite his Boma Ye finisher, but possibly even more devastating since Goto was flying.


Back in the ring, Nakamura kicks his downed opponent repeatedly in the chest and back. A knee drop to the face scores him a two count. Goto retreats to the corner, where Nakamura continues to work on him. He locks in a half boston crab, but Goto makes it to the ropes. Back on his feet, Goto tries to make a comeback with chops, but gets downed with kicks, then Nakamura makes a very cocky two count, only resting on Goto with his knee. They trade forearm strikes then run at each other, Goto connects with a lariat. Nakamura surprisingly gets up first, and goes back to kicking Goto. Goto dodges a running kick and nails Nakamura with a German suplex. They run, which ends in Goto hitting a spinning heel kick in the corner. They battle for control on the middle rope, Goto gets knocked off, but runs back again, more struggling, superplex to Nakamura!


Back on their feet, they trade forearm strikes with increasing speed. It breaks down and Nakamura wipes Goto out with a right hook. Goto gets back up, they trade strikes, Goto lands a back suplex, then a saito suplex! Decapitating lariat from Goto, the same one that ended the New Japan Cup match! One…two…Nakamura kicks out! Goto goes for Shouten but gets knee’d in the chest, then booted in the face. Nakamura runs at Goto, and Goto does Nakamura’s signature armbar counter, into a wrist lock! He drags Nakamura into the centre of the ring. Shinskay rolls out of it and locks in an armbar! Almost at least, Goto manages to clasp his hands. Goto rolls Shinskay into a two count! He catches a kick, then does the fireman’s carry into a neckbreaker that I should know the name of! Nakamura escapes Shouten again, then hits that back suplex facebuster move! Goto unleashes his fighting spirit and gets straight back up, but gets knee’d in the chest! Shinskay lines him up, then BOMA YE!!! He doesn’t go for a cover, and Goto gets to his knees! He probably should have stayed down, as Nakamura hits another Boma Ye for one, two, three!


Lee’s thoughts: This was great, which should be no surprise. I really liked the parts that harked back to their New Japan Cup match, most notably Nakamura’s survival of the lariat that put him away in the previous bout. They worked a different dynamic here, with Goto, the winner of the last match, looking decisively better in the early going, until Nakamura caught him with that awesome tide turning knee to the face while he was airborne. Nakamura’s new found heel swagger added to this, and helped differentiate it from the Cup match. It’s a tough call between which I liked better, I’d say I liked the first half of the Cup match more, but they managed to eclipse the electricity in the closing stretch here. The finish was awesome. Goto looked like a warrior in his refusal to stay down after Boma Ye number one, but no way is anyone surviving a second. Goto and Nakamura have such great chemistry, and I’ve heard they’ve had even better matches than the ones I have reviewed for this site.

Match rating: ****


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