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[2017-07-25-NJPW-G1 Climax] SANADA vs Kazuchika Okada


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A strong main event. These two still feel like they could have a MOTYC within them and havent hit that mark yet, but all of their matches have been enjoyable. SANADA was smart to fake the knee injury in the early going of this one and then pounce onto the attack. Okada was strong underneath and it led to a compelling finishing stretch where SANADA did feel like he had received a reputation bump even in defeat. The sequence of reversals and SANADA going for the Skull Crush only to lay into a final flurry of Rainmakers was particularly intriguing.. ***3/4

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Really good main event, with some interesting twists in the closing stretch - particularly SANADA reversing a second tombstone attempt into his own, which is a great lead into the dragon sleeper. I was convinced that was the finish, and we still had the moonsault and then one last tease with Okada not holding the wrist and SANADA ducking the third Rainmaker. Just ticks to **** for me.


Ioan review at PTBN:



Okada went Full Condescension on a rope-break, then was smart enough to avoid the leapfrog dropkick, but Sanada faked a knee injury off a turnbuckle jump and attacked Okada when his back was turned. After whipping him into the guardrail, Sanada choked Okada with his vest, and a back elbow and suplex earned two. He cinched in a chinlock, but Okada powered out, and after Sanada missed a standing moonsault, Okada scored a neckbreaker to kickstart a comeback. Back elbows, a DDT, and the kip up into a leaping European uppercut brought a two-count. Sanada pushed Okada to the floor, but was himself sent into the crowd, where Okada scored with a running crossbody over the guardrail.

Back in, Sanada snuck a rope-assisted low blow and applied the Paradise Lock at the third time of asking, with a low dropkick getting two, then Okada caught him with a flapjack to put both men down. Main Event Elbow Battle time, after which Okada blocked the springboard dropkick attempt and countered into the reverse neckbreaker. The diving elbow hit the mark and the Rainmaker was signalled. Sanada ducked and this time connected with the springboard dropkick before hitting a backdrop for two. The Tiger Suplex was blocked with back elbows, but Sanada flipped out of the corner to apply the Dragon Sleeper. Okada made the ropes, but was floored by the double-leapfrog dropkick and Sanada hit the TKO for a near-fall! The moonsault missed, with Sanada landing on his feet and grabbing a Dragon Sleeper out of the corner, but Okada countered to a tombstone and again both men were down. The Dropkick from Okada! Rainmaker ducked and countered to a tombstone by Sanada! Dragon Sleeper applied! Okada struggled, then faded, but was able to stretch a foot to the bottom-rope. Moonsault from Sanada! Back into the Dragon Sleeper, but Okada rolled-through and hit the Rainmaker, keeping hold of the wrist, then smashing Sanada with a second! A final Rainmaker was initially avoided, but Okada blocked what looked like Sanada’s attempted Destino(!) and planted him to mat with the definitive third for the three-count.
A good match with a great closing stretch. Shame Sanada didn’t carry much of the aggression over from the Suzuki match, but he looked comfortable in there with Okada, pushing the champ further than in their previous two encounters, but again coming up short. Okada, despite apparently losing all faith in the Rainmaker as a one-and-done finisher is rolling right now. ****
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  • GSR changed the title to [2017-07-25-NJPW-G1 Climax] SANADA vs Kazuchika Okada

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