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July 13, 2011 / TJ Hawke

Hiroshi Tanahashi & Hirooki Goto vs. Bad Intentions (Giant Bernard & Karl Anderson) from NJPW 2011


Recap from David Arthur:

“Machine Gun,” Karl Anderson and Giant Bernard (known to most fans as WWE’s colossal blunder and recently repackaged dancing fool, Tensai), the team of “Bad Intentions,” take on Hirooki Goto and IWGP Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi. At this time Bad Intentions held both New Japan Pro Wrestling’s IWGP (International Wrestling Grand Prix) Tag Team Championship, and Pro Wrestling NOAH’s GHC (Global Honored Crown) Tag Team Championship. They are the only team to ever hold both championships simultaneously, and they are also the longest reigning IWGP Tag Team Champions in the company’s history (564 days). I am unaware as to whether or not either championship was being defended in this match (Editor’s note: this was non-title).


Tanahashi and Bernard begin. The fans are behind the team of Goto & Tanahashi as he regales them with his air guitar schtick, much to their delight. But it appears the fans are also behind Bad Intentions as Bernard mocks Tanahashi’s air guitar schtick, much to my delight. Bernard does a quick roll-up attempt on Tanahashi, then they trade holds on the mat. Yes, you read that correctly – Bernard and Tanahashi do indeed trade holds on the mat. Tanahashi out manuvers Bernard repeatedly, which frustrates him. Bernard then uses his size and power advantage to toss Tanahashi around a bit. Both men tag in their partners.


Goto and Anderson are in. They trade takedowns, strikes, and attempted shoulder tackles to a stalemate, but Goto ultimately gets the better of it. Goto tags Tanahashi back in and they execute the first double team move of the match. Anderson quickly tosses Tanahashi out to the floor however, and distracts the referee while Bernard ties Tanahashi’s leg up in the security railing and smashes his knee with a chair. Tanahashi narrowly avoids getting counted out, only to be stopped by Anderson who begins the attack on Tanahashi’s wounded knee.


Bad Intentions tag in and out, taking turns punishing Tanahashi. Goto tries to help, but gets mauled by Bernard. Bernard begins to taunt Tanahashi, apparently he has an shot at the IWGP Championship coming up and has no problem reminding the champion of this while he beats on him some more. Bernard tags Anderson back in. Tanahashi manages to catch Anderson with an elbow when he charged the corner,  hits a quick springboard cross-body, and makes the much needed tag to Goto.


Goto attacks both members of Bad Intentions, but gets cut off quickly. Bernard tosses Goto around a bit, but he fights back and tags Tanahashi back in, who manages to take Bernard off his feet with a couple of flying forearms. Tanahashi attempts a submission hold on Bernard but gets stopped by Anderson, who Tanahashi tosses outside. Bernard goes for a slam on Tanahashi but gets stopped by Goto. Tanahashi & Goto then hit a double sole-butt, follwed by a double lariat on Bernard. Anderson charges them and recieves the same.


Bernard is up and tosses both men into the same corner, he runs in for a splash but Tanahashi moves out of the way (Goto however wasn’t so lucky), hits the ropes and nails a sling blade on Bernard. Tanahashi climbs to top turnbuckle, but gets held up by Anderson. Bernard climbs up after him but gets knocked off. Tanahashi goes for the High Fly Flow (Frog Splash) but gets caught on the way down by Anderson in an Ace Crusher.


Bad Intentions hit an assisted Neckbreaker Drop on Tanahashi but Goto breaks up the attempted pin. Goto then catches an Ace Crusher of his own from Anderson. Bernard picks Tanahashi up, hits an elevated powerbomb (Undertaker’s Last Ride powerbomb), and gets the victory.


I am an avid fan of Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hiroki Goto, and Karl Anderson. I wasn’t even close to being a fan of Giant Bernard/Tensai/Prince Albert/A-Train/whatever, until this match. I saw the man do something I’ve never seen him do before: WRESTLE! I’ve gained a new respect for him after this and I think if WWE would let him do something other than just boring, slow power moves/hits he’d be a more valuable player to them. Anyone who choose to watch this match (and hopefully read this review) will be treated to a good tag team match and a pleasent surprise.


Thoughts from TJ Hawke:

Much like Dave said, if you only know Giant Bernard from his WWE runs, you have no idea what you’re missing out on (and what the WWE is missing out on). I don’t have much else to say about this match, but you should definitely check it out. I found it to be quite fun.

Match Rating: ***1/2


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