Hiroshi Tanahashi praises Shelton Benjamin, states that he's jealous of his "unbelievable athletic DNA"

Originally published at Hiroshi Tanahashi praises Shelton Benjamin, states that he's jealous of his "unbelievable athletic DNA"

Tanahashi looks back at his 2012 G1 matches.

The field for the 2012 NJPW G1 Climax consisted of Hiroshi Tanahashi, Shelton Benjamin, Naomichi Marufuji, Kazuchika Okada, MVP, Tetsuya Naito, Shinsuke Nakamura and RUSH among other competitors.

The year of 2012 and specifically that G1 tournament was highlighted in edition #99 of Tanahashi’s Ace’s HIGH series on NJPW1972.com. Tanahashi was in the same block as Benjamin and Marufuji and he spoke highly of them respectively.

Tanahashi had known of Shelton since his days with Team Angle in WWE. He said Benjamin is well put together and a pure athlete. He went on to state that Shelton is the model of something he spoke about before in reference to being envious of his athleticism.

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.

That’s a good point . Man, I’m special- at least to a very specific demographic of wresting fans (laughs). 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.

On the Marufuji front, Tanahashi stated that there was a period of time when they both were called a ‘genius’ within the squared circle but he feels Marufuji deserved it more at the time. He went on to praise Marufuji’s in-ring prowess and how he crafted his offense.

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.

The ongoing NJPW ‘Burning Spirit’ tour wraps up on 9/25 in Kobe, Japan. On that show, Hiroshi Tanahashi will be challenging Karl Anderson for the NEVER Openweight Championship.

Nice to see Shelton getting his flowers. Such an incredible talent who should’ve went father in his WWE run.

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