Hiroshi Tanahashi Remembers G1 Climax Match Against Shelton Benjamin


The Ace of New Japan, Hiroshi Tanahashi, recalled what it was like to face off with Shelton Benjamin in the 2012 G1 Climax. Tanahashi gave an interview with NJPW1972.com recently, and he shared his thoughts on Naomichi Marufuji, being one of the few to face all of Team Angle one-on-one, and how athletically gifted Shelton Benjamin is.

You can check out some highlights from the interview below:


His thoughts on Marufuji: “We’re about the same age, so I always had him in the back of my mind. They always called him a genius- I was the ‘genius of the sun’ for a brief time, but when I saw Marufuji’s matches it was clear he deserved the ‘genius’ label more than me. It was really a poise thing with him. Whether on offense or if he’s bumping around, there’s no wasted motion. He had a clear idea of the kind of wrestling that he wanted to do, and was able to enjoy himself doing it. And even though he was a smaller guy, he crafted his offense around that so you didn’t notice a big difference in size with him and his opponents.”

Wrestling Shelton Benjamin in the 2012 G1 Climax: “I’d known of Benjamin since his Team Angle days in WWE, but it really struck me wrestling him how he was actually the biggest guy of that group. So put together, especially those shoulders of his. And just an incredible pure athlete.”

Facing off with all of Team Angle one-on-one: “That’s a good point. Man, I’m special – at least to a very specific demographic of wresting fans. Benjamin is the very model of something I’ve spoken about before: I feel so jealous of guys that have such unbelievable athletic DNA, just blessed to have incredible athletic ability, like Okada as well. But then again, it’s probably my shortcomings that made me a success. I could never fly around, but I had to focus my efforts on developing from a psychological perspective instead.”

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