Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis

Error: Contact form not found.

Subscribe elementum semper nisi. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus. Aenean leo ligula, porttitor eu, consequat vitae eleifend ac, enim. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus.

Error: Contact form not found.

Subscribe elementum semper nisi. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus. Aenean leo ligula, porttitor eu, consequat vitae eleifend ac, enim. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus.

Error: Contact form not found.

Top 5 Matches of Hiroshi Tanahashi

1 year ago

Top 5 Matches of Hiroshi Tanahashi

By: Damian Gibson

If the world of Puroresu is new to you, one of the names you will want to familiarise yourself with is Hiroshi Tanahashi. Regarded as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, you don’t get the nickname The Ace by jobbing for a couple of years in the Indies. Tanahashi is an eight-time IWGP Heavyweight champion in New Japan Pro Wrestling and has 22 championships. The Ace has also won the G1 Climax three times and the New Japan Cup twice.

Inducted into the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame in 2013, only 14 years after his debut. During New Japan’s re-emergence to prominence throughout the noughties and early teens, he was the leading light, and he’s not done yet.

If you are familiar with his work, this list of his top five matches will be pleasant, if not somewhat controversial, stroll down wrestlings memory lane. Here are Hiroshi Tanahashi’s top matches ranked from five to one. Get those air guitars ready!

Number 5 – Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, G1 Climax 25 Final 2015

Two of the most charismatic men in wrestling squared off in the final of the 2015 G1 Climax. Hiroshi Tanahashi looked to be in some of the best shape of his career. The match started slowly, with a lot of mat work before Shinsuke Nakamura started targeting Tanahashi’s legs with his kicks to try and disable the Ace’s aerial superiority.

Tanahashi refused to give up and was determined to win the match traditionally. He managed to beat a 20-count after a dropkick from Nakamura. As someone who has watched Nakamura in WWE, I was amazed at how much that company had wasted him, as he is an electric presence in and out of the ring. The match was already 20 minutes in, and both men had delivered an incredible performance.

Nakamura hit the Bomaye, followed by another from the middle rope, and somehow Tanahashi managed to get up. The champion kept luring Tanahashi into his striking game, but Tanahashi managed to hit a sling blade, and two frog splash cross bodies from the top rope. Nakamura kicked out, and both men were exhausted as they struggled to return to their feet, retreating to their respective corners.

Nakamura hit another Bomaye, but Tanahashi kicked out again. Tanahashi finally managed to get to the top rope and hit a high fly flow, followed by a dragon suplex and then two more high fly flows to get the 1,2,3 finally. It was an incredible match that showcased the talents of both men. Even though Nakamura had another eight or so months in New Japan, this match with the Ace of Japanese wrestling will forever be his main event swan song before heading stateside.

Number 4 – Hiroshi Tanahashi & Will Ospreay vs. The Golden Lovers, Road to Tokyo Dome 2018

The Road to Tokyo Dome 2018 event saw a phenomenal matchup between the newly reformed Golden Lovers -Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi – and the Hiroshi Tanahashi and Will Ospreay team. As the match began, Osprey kept the ropes open for Tanahashi as a mark of respect to the Ace, and the crowd showed their support for both teams, though the Tokyo audience had a soft spot for Tanahashi. Osprey and Kota Ibushi started the match with a dream matchup that left fans on the edge of their seats. However, Kenny Omega soon got involved, using a t-shirt to choke Osprey and work him over.

Despite the early advantage for the Golden Lovers, Tanahashi and Osprey fought back, with Tanahashi hitting a sling blade after jumping up from a wicked snapdragon. Ospreay and Ibushi continued to trade kicks, and soon after, the Golden Lovers attempted their signature Golden Shower move. However, Ospreay and Tanahashi countered with a shooting star press each before Omega took back control and hit his devastating V-Trigger on Ospreay.

Ospreay was not out of the match yet, as he reversed Omega’s One Winged Angel finisher, and Omega and Ibishi finally got on top and smashed Ospreay with the Golden Trigger, securing the win. A breathtaking match that showcased the incredible talent of all four wrestlers involved, Tanahashi did an incredible job of essentially putting over three young stars who were seen as the company’s future.

Number 3 – Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada, Wrestling Dontaku 2018 Night 2

At the Fukuoka Convention Centre, fans witnessed a match between two legends of the New Japan Pro Wrestling scene, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada. By the time these two faced off, they already had a deep history with each other and the IWGP belt. Tanahashi came out of the blue corner, and the crowd was firmly on his side from the start. Okada had held the belt for 700 days, successfully defending it 11 times since winning it in 2016.

The fans’ support for Tanahashi seemed to rattle Okada, who inflicted damage on the banged-up Tanahashi on the outside before posing to a wave of boos. Tanahashi was desperate for his 8th title and would not back down. Okada hit Tanahashi with a neck breaker and a flying elbow, which looked to have taken the challenger out. But Tanahashi got up, posing with a Rainmaker.

Tanahashi hit a Frog Splash and Tombstone on Okada, and it was a close twenty-count. The match reached a gold standard when Tanahashi hit a Rainmaker, and Okada kicked out at one. Okada finally hit a Rainmaker and got all of it, securing the 3, 2, 1 count. This win legitimised Okada’s title reign, and Tanahashi was the only person who could do that for him. Overall, it was a spectacular match that showcased both wrestlers’ incredible talent and passion.

Number 2 – Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi 2018, G1 Climax 28 Final

The matchup between Kota Ibushi and Hiroshi Tanahashi at a New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 28 Climax Final in Japan was a thrilling encounter that had the crowd on their feet. With Katsuyori Shibata in Tanahashi’s corner and Kenny Omega in Ibushi’s, the connection between these two wrestlers and the audience was palpable. Tanahashi made his intentions clear early on, going after Ibushi’s injured knee. However, the resilient Ibushi fought back, reversing a dropkick and hitting a double stomp to turn the tables.

Tanahashi hit back with a devastating dragon screw that left Ibushi reeling. But Ibushi found more inner resolve as he hit a cross body from the top rope to regain the upper hand. Omega also got involved, hitting a 180 moonsault to the outside and then helping Okada into a vicious V-Trigger.

Despite the impressive high-flying maneuvers, the most memorable aspect of the match was the ten minutes of striking exchanges in the middle of the ring. Both men traded blows back and forth, with neither willing to back down. The intensity of the strikes was unparalleled, and the crowd was on the edge of their seats as they witnessed the sheer physicality of the contest. Ibushi looked to have the advantage after hitting a standing moonsault bringing the total weight of both his feet down on the Ace’s chest. Tanahashi jumped up from this devastating move as if it did no damage.

This led to a swift and decisive comeback with three cross bodies in a row, leading to Tanahashi winning his third G1 Climax final. Overall, this match was a must-see for any wrestling fan, showcasing the incredible athleticism, skill, and storytelling ability that makes New Japan Pro Wrestling one of the most exciting promotions in the world.

Number 1 – Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kenny Omega, Wrestle Kingdom 13

This is a dream match, right? Tanahashi, the face, Kenny Omega, the one-winged angel with a Young Buck on each shoulder. The tension between the two was palpable; the two men do not like each other. Early on, it was Kenny dominating the match. He threw Tanahashi into the announce table and hit a moonsault off the barrier, followed by a running swanton over the top rope. He rolled Tanahashi back into the ring and hit him with two snapdragons and a V-Trigger, but somehow the Ace managed to get up.

Tanahashi hit a Twist and Shout, leading to a momentum shift. He then hit a Styles Clash as a message to Kenny as Omega had dethroned AJ Styles as the leader of Bullet Club, a move that had propelled him to the main event of Wrestle Kingdom. Tanahashi then flew from the top rope into Kenny’s knees, which set up Chekhov’s table. Tanahashi put Kenny on the table and flew from the top rope into a clean tabletop; this led the Ace to be in immense pain.

Despite this, Kenny had the momentum again at the 30-minute mark, but Tanahashi managed to kick out of a High Fly Flow, which Omeaga had tauntingly hit. At the 35-minute mark, there was a beautiful lull in the match where everyone seemed to be in a flow state, just admiring a fantastic display of pro wrestling. Kenny tried to hit a V-trigger and One Winged Angel, but Tanahashi reversed it and hit a High Fly Flow to get the three count and his eighth IWGP heavyweight title. An intense match filled with twists and turns, and it was clear that both men had left it all in the ring.

So there you have the best five Ace of New Japan Pro Wrestling Hiroshi Tanahashi matches. All five matches are available on the New Japan World streaming service. Let us know if you agree or not with these rankings. Ultimately though, if you haven’t, you should go and watch at least one of these matches; you will walk away a fan of Tanahashi and Puroresu.