Hiroshi Tanahashi has plenty of respect for Karl Anderson.
From 2008 to 2016, Tanahashi and Anderson shared the ring many times as opponents, usually in tag team matches. The two had a handful of singles matches as well, including Tanahashi defending the IWGP Heavyweight Title against Anderson at The New Beginning 2013.
As part of his Ace's HIGH series, Tanahashi gave props to Anderson for his style and work ethic.
"This was Anderson emerging somewhat. I guess I was the litmus test for that, and Anderson passed with a win over me," Tanahashi said about his 2010 G1 match with Anderson. "He was my type of wrestler. Very finessed in every little thing he did, a good rhythm to his matches. And at that point he wasn’t involved in any heel faction so I had more of a chance to interact with him outside of the ring and find out what a nice easy going guy he was. When he first came into New Japan, he would be on the receiving end of these losses from me and the rest of hontai, but kept his head up and kept working. he truly became a wrestler’s wrestler. He was someone for the boys to aspire to. ‘I want to be a pro like Karl Anderson’ kinda thing."
Tanahashi and Anderson last shared the ring at NJPW The New Beginning In Osaka 2016 when Anderson teamed with Doc Gallows & Kenny Omega to defeat Tanahashi and Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma).
Anderson is currently one half of the IMPACT World Tag Team Champions with Gallows while Tanahashi is the reigning IWGP US Champion.