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[2016-08-06-NJPW] Kazuchika Okada vs Tomohiro Ishii


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Really fun underpitbull tale with a hot crowd and a super hot Liger on commentary. Ishii's such a maestro in the ring, making the ace champ's offense look like a million bucks. There's something satisfying about watching him bully Okada with chops, boot scrapes, and headbutts. Okada quickly realizes he can't hang with Ishii in the striking department and taps into his resource pool of spots to try and cool him down. Okada was good here but Ishii really elevated this to another level. The little things like the chop during the Rainmaker pose and stomping on Okada's foot to get out of the tombstone attempt. That finishing stretch was something else, too, with Ishii ducking and dodging the Rainmaker attempts before landing the big headbutt. Highly entertaining.

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A lot of hype around this one and it absolutely delivered for me. I really got a sense of how Okada works as an ace and how Ishii was able to buck that trend. Okada starts off with his patting on the chest and Ishii demolishes him. They then go into a really stiff exchange showing that in a lot of ways, this match is going to drift from the narrative of the NJPW heavyweight G-1 style. Okada senses this but is still the man so he is able to weather the storm and go back on the offensive. Everything seems to be going to plan but again Ishii is not going to roll over and die hence the Rainmaker attempt. This segues into the final stanza with both really feel like this match is there for the taking and neither competitor backing down. I thought this was an incredible performance and an excellent way to make an upper mid carder like Ishii look on par with anyone in the company. MOTYC ****3/4

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  • 11 months later...

One of the things I loved about this match is that there were 3 stages:


1. Ishii blitzes Okada and nearly finishes him early.

2. Okada weathers the storm and gets back into his groove.

3. Battle to see who can hit their finisher first but constant countering because they know each other so well. Ishii avoided the tombstone like the plague because he knew that sets up the Rainmaker. Okada in turn did everything in his power to avoid the brainbuster. In the end, Ishii is just to powerful and overcomes.


Terrific performance by both men and a reminder that Ishii may be the best worker in all of NJPW.



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  • GSR changed the title to [2016-08-06-NJPW] Kazuchika Okada vs Tomohiro Ishii
  • 1 year later...

Kazuchika Okada vs Tomohiro Ishii - NJPW 8/6/16

The Legend of The Tombstone continues! I won’t spoil the finish because it popped me so huge.

Okada remains me a lot of Bret Hart. Everything is tight & logical BUT he is going to hit all his spots (not in the same order) and therefore it can feel a little mechanical and too rote at times.

Ishii does a great job jarring Okada and therefore the fans by taking the fight to Okada. At the beginning when Okada does his customary pat on the clean break...Ishii damn near takes head off with a couple lariats including a sliding Lariat which is the prelude to the Brainbuster. He went for the Brainbuster within 2 minutes of the opening bell. That’s hot and that’s getting someone out of their comfort zone. It also felt like he was not letting Okada show him up. Okada wriggles free of the Brainbuster goes for the Rainmaker but is thwarted. He hits that White Noise move and Ishii is left selling. Trading finisher teases at the beginning of a match will ALWAYS get over in my house. It means you are in it to win it.

Ishii hit some vicious chops to Okada. He just pounded. Out cane the Flapjack, Ishii took it like a champ. This is just Okada in his wheel house hitting his spots. Ishii sold well and got a hope spot but Okada was just clicking. Top rope Elbow, Rainmaker pose.::ISHI CHOPS HIM IN THE THROAT! Now that’s what I’m talking about. Break Okada’s rhythm. From there, they just have a banger of a finish run. Tons of great counters and near falls. I loved Ishii hitting a dropkick before Okada did. The Ishii Powerbomb after he chopped Okada in the throat on the Rainmaker pose was a good capper. Ishii’s superplex was hot. I loved how hard each man worked for their setup move or their finish. Okada was trying to get the Tombstone or Rainmaker so hard. Ishii it was all about that Brainbuster. I’ll leave it like this he who wins the Tombstone battle wins the match. I LOVE THAT PSYCHOLOGY! ****3/4


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  • 10 months later...

Ishii forces Okada to work his style of match after he gets two very convincing nearfalls seconds into the match. Okada trying to land his moves of doom and set Ishii up for a Rainmaker in an Ishii bombfest made for compelling viewing. I think I'm starting to reach a point in my fandom that I'm done with these big NJPW main event counterfests as they do not hold up on rewatches, but these guys made this style work for me by having a great narrative of the midcarder Ishii trying to hang with the IWGP champion and with the sheer emotion involved. 


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