Hello. Today, I will be talking about the Ace vs Ace match between Hiroshi Tanahashi and HARASHIMA which took place at DDT’s Peter Pan 2015. (I really didn’t know how to open this piece up)
Hiroshi Tanahashi would make an appearance on a DDT show, saying that he would be wrestling at Peter Pan 2015. He wanted to face the best wrestler in DDT, that being HARASHIMA. The match was made for Peter Pan; DDT’s biggest show of the year.
Even though there might have been little build-up, this was an ace vs ace match. Sometimes the people in a match speak for themselves. Not everything needs a convoluted build up.
On Wrestle Universe, the entrances are cut short.
HARASHIMA looks laser-focused on Tanahashi.
Before the bell, HARASHIMA offers a handshake to Tanahashi. Tanahashi comes in, looking like he is going to accept; but he swerves, leading to some boos.
Bell rings and the crowd is behind both men here. Both men lock up. a stalemate until Tanahashi powers HARASHIMA into the ropes. Not a clean break. Tanahashi goes for a slap but HARASHIMA ducks. HARASHIMA gets the go behind before Tanahashi reverses.
Both men exchange some holds before Tanahashi powers HARASHIMA to the ground.
HARASHIMA gets his legs around Tanahashi’s head, before Tanahashi gets out and plays some air guitar to some boos from the fans.
The crowd is still seemingly split, however.
Tanahashi takes control of the arm before HARASHIMA reverses but gets a forearm and some uppercuts while he’s against the rope for his troubles. Tanahashi shoots him off into the ropes. HARASHIMA ducks under the forearm attempt and levels Tanahashi with a shoulder block.
HARASHIMA starts to light up Tanahashi with some chest kicks. As HARASHIMA goes for the 3rd one Tanahashi catches the leg hits an elbow on it.
He follows it up with a chop block sending HARASHIMA to the ground in pain.
Tanahashi continues to the work the leg. Raining in kicks and an elbow. he locks in a leg lock before the prison lock.
HARASHIMA chops at the chest of Tanahashi, but that makes him apply more pressure. HARASHIMA manages to get to the ropes.
Tanahashi refuses to break the hold. The ref has to remove Tanahashi from the hold. The boos reign from the DDT fans.
Tanahashi hits a body slam. He climbs to the middle rope. hitting a pose; which gains more boos from the crowd. Tanahashi goes for a flipping senton but HARASHIMA moves.
This gives HARASHIMA a little time to try to fix his leg. He charges but that pause allows Tanahashi to recover and hit a back elbow levelling Tanahashi
Tanahashi goes back to the leg. Raining in kicks. Even standing on HARASHIMA’s leg playing air guitar, drawing more boos.
Tanahashi continues the leg assault, draping his leg on the middle rope and wrenching it. HARASHIMA tries to fight back with forearms to the face; but a kick to the leg from Tanahashi drops him to his knees.
Tanahashi hits another uppercut before sending a hobbling HARASHIMA into the corner. Tanahashi charges but HARASHIMA gets his good leg up before hitting a John Woo dropkick sending Tanahashi to the other side of the ring.
Tanahashi gets up and is in the corner. HARASHIMA nails a big boot with his good leg. He then wedges Tanahashi between the top and middle and double stomps him. HARASHIMA puts him on the top rope and nails a massive superplex, before floating over into a pair of double knees.
HARASHIMA goes for a suplex but Tanahashi slips out and gains back control. Tanahashi goes for a German suplex. HARASHIMA slips out.
He hits the ropes but Tanahashi hits a massive dropkick to the bad leg sending him flying and rolling to the outside.
Tanahashi jumps to the top rope and hits a standing high fly flow to the outside.
As HARASHIMA tries to climb in, Tanahashi catches the leg and hits a dragon screw in the ropes; before following it up with a dropkick. He hits another dragon screw onto the ropes, before locking in the Texas Cloverleaf. HARASHIMA manages to scramble to the ropes.
Tanahashi continues the leg assault with a kick, before going for another Dragon Screw. HARASHIMA reverses with an enzuigiri.
HARASHIMA slowly gets to his feet, but is met with a Tanahashi combination.
Tanahashi hits the ropes goes for a sling blade. HARASHIMA ducks and nails a massive head kick into a reverse Rana.
Tanahashi gets up in the corner before HARASHIMA comes flying in with big two knees big knees to the chest. As HARASHIMA charges back in, Tanahashi catches him with a sling blade.
Both men are down in the middle of the ring. They both beat the count of the ref at 8. A forearm battle commences, with both men going back and forth.
HARASHIMA gains the upper hand and continues to hit forearms. Tanahashi answers with an open hand slap.
A boot combo from HARASHIMA sends Tanahashi down to his knees.
HARASHIMA hoists Tanahashi above his head, before Tanahashi slips out and hits the Twist and Shout.
Tanahashi nails another sling blade for a two count. He goes for a High Fly Flow, but gets countered with a Somato. HARASHIMA would then hit a Somato to a seated Tanahashi, but Tanahashi would get his hand on the ropes at 2.
HARASHIMA would hoist Tanahashi onto his shoulder. he was going for something but it seems like Tanahashi just slides off HARASHIMA.
HARASHIMA kicks Tanahashi in the face twice leaving him down.
HARASHIMA goes for a springboard Somato, but Tanahashi moves.
Tanahashi goes back to the leg and hits a ground dragon screw, before catching HARASHIMAs leg again. HARASHIMA slaps Tanahashi 3 times; which would cause Tanahashi to drop his leg and slap HARASHIMA
This descends into a slap battle.
Tanahashi gets the upper hand. Then HARASHIMA hits a closed fist punch right on the jaw of Tanahashi.
HARASHIMA would go for another one but Tanahashi would counter with a Straightjacket suplex for a 2.
Tanahashi would hit a high fly flow on the back of HARASHIMA.
He rolls him over and hits another High Fly Flow for the 1….2…..3.
After The Match
Tanahashi would ask HARASHIMA to come forward after the match. It looked like he would go for the handshake, only to walk right past HARASHIMA.
He then went back to talk to HARASHIMA, before walking away. Still no handshake.
Honestly, this is probably in my top 20 favourite matches of all time. The Aces (at the time) of their respective companies going out and putting on a hell of a match. Cocky and arrogant Tanashashi is great, and HARASHIMA’s performance was a great foil. At the end hitting the closed fist punch so he wanted to win so much.
This match is often forgotten about, and I am not sure why. Maybe because it happened in DDT, or maybe because it was before the big western puro boom. I’m not sure if hidden gem is the phrase to describe it. I think it should be talked about more than it is.
I don’t think my writing has done it justice. Go out of your way to watch it if your a fan of either wrestler; if you haven’t seen it before I would highly recommend watching.
You can watch the match here