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  1. Katsuyori Shibata vs Kota Ibushi - NJPW G-1 Climax 7/29/15 HOLY SHIT! DAT SLAP! WOW! That was wicked. I really enjoyed this for what it was your stiff, strike-heavy modern New Japan sprint. Kota Ibushi needs as many of these as he can get. He really ought to have won this match, but that's neither here nor there. This was the inverse of the Nakamura match, I really enjoyed the beginning, but then it devolved into a slap-happy, move-trading spotfest. That's enjoyable, but just not the best. I really liked Shibata kicking Ibushi's ass in the beginning. Ibushi is best coming from underneath. Shibata went for the penalty kick early and Ibushi avoided. He tries something cute and Shibata swats him out of the air with a European Uppercut. Tremendous opening sequence. Ibushi is clearly a much better Naito in terms of charisma and strikes. However, he does have the problem of no selling. I like that he is standing up to these badasses, but he needs to sell too. Shibata working on top was excellent. The exact intensity and urgency you want. I thought he oversold that dropkick that Ibushi used to get on offense. Ibushi should have had to string more moves than that to really take command. The back half was lots of MOVEZ~! The finish sequence was incredible. WICKED SLAP! Sleeper and then PENALTY KICK~! Overall, very entertaining match, but the only thing I will probably remember is that slap. It is great that Ibushi is competitive in these matches, but he needs wins too. ****
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