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ShittyLittleBoots

[2017-07-02-NJPW-G1 Special in USA: Day Two] Tomohiro Ishii vs Zack Sabre Jr

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My favorite match of the weekend. My goodness Zack & Ishii killed it - fantastic dynamic & storytelling with Zack trying to match Ishii's striking & toughness, but failing to do that, so he goes back to what he does best - torturing his opponent w/ those submissions. Ishii's selling was perfect. Can't wait for the re-match in the G1. ****1/4

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I really liked this but I thought the finish was on the weaker side and Zack has some of the worst stomps I've seen. He at least sold his own strikes against Ishii because Ishii's made of stone and the best word to describe Zack is "lithe". I liked that Zack was persistent with the armwork, staying on it like a mosquito that Ishii keeps swatting away. The Minoru Special II was a cool spot and the submission sequence with Zack grabbing all of Ishii's escaping limbs. Fun stuff.

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I think ZSJ was probably my favorite performer from the weekend. I enjoyed both of his matches the most for the two nights. I'd say this was my favorite match from the weekend as well. Ishii's selling of ZSJ's nasty looking submissions was spot on.

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This is a terrific match. ZSJ un-wisely opts to have a slug-off to start and takes the worst of it. But his escape and transition is good - he finally grabs the arm and does his flip kick, which is a nice segue taking over on a bigger guy. Some real nice counters back into the arm work, everything made a lot of sense - even the lighter head taps by Ishii - playing off the earlier heavier strikes there. ZSJ was real creative too with a couple of his grabs - out of the shining wizard for sure. Loved the sequence near the ropes with ishii rolling them both over to use his legs to break. His selling was top notch - on offense, everywhere. I liked the toughness check late with ZSJ throwing kicks at his arm while Ishii bats them away holding his injured limb. Much better than returning to a strike/chop content. PK connects but Ishii stones him out of the corner with what looks like a shoot clothesline/shoulder block. Brainbuster finish - I liked that finish a good bit with the pacing. Tremendous stuff ****1/4

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Great story here. Sabre foolishly tries to step up to Ishii and fails with hilarious results. Eventually turns the tide with his subs and does some vicious work to the arms, which Ishii sells beautifully. And the spot where he's grabbing hold of both of Ishii's arms and one of his legs to prevent him from getting to the ropes is one of the most dramatic moments I've seen this year. But like the wonderfully badass babyface he is, Ishii finds a way to overcome and win. Fantastic match and a hell of a spring.

 

****1/2.

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