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[2017-07-23-NJPW-G1 Climax] Tetsuya Naito vs Bad Luck Fale

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This was kind of a base level Fale match. He works over the back of Naito and like usual, the underneath person is trying to find an opening to gain an advantage. I thought Fale’s execution looked pretty sloppy tonight and Naito was unable to generate much offense leading to a bit of a disconnect in the match overall. The teases of the Destino were well done. The first spike slam was a good nearfall and it was smart for Fale to come right back with the Bad Luck Fall to put the match away. With Naito at 2-0 a loss for him was coming and it happened to be tonight. ***

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Naito launched a couple of spitwads early on, which resulted in Fale flooring him with a shoulder block and ramming him into the guardrail. Naito returned to the ring at 18, but was stood on by Fale, who began targeting the lower back of his opponent. Seated sentons, clubbing elbows and a t-shirt choke kept him on top, but Naito countered into an over-the-knee drop and dropkick, before utilising back elbows in the corner and hitting the slingshot dropkick. A missile dropkick merely rattled the big man, and a corner charge enabled the splash from Fale for two. Naito avoided the bearhug, however, and the reverse STO set up the little-seen Pluma Blanca submission, though Fale soon made the ropes. Naito failed in his attempts at a German suplex, but the jumping forearm landed, then Destino… was blocked. Fale flattened Naito with a lariat for two, then went for the Grenade, but Naito countered to a DDT! Another Destino was attempt, but this time it countered to the Grenade! Two-count only! Bad Luck Fall! One, two, three.

I kept waiting for the intervention of Hiromu Takahashi, given the Fale’s heinous actions in yesterday’s tag match, but it never came. This was a surprisingly straighforward and shenanigan-free match, almost all of which took place between the ropes, and they worked the underdog (pseudo) babyface vs. monster heel formula to a tee, but it was undoubtedly lacking in energy and aggression. **1/2

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