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[2017-07-26-NJPW-G1 Climax] Yuji Nagata vs Tetsuya Naito


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Talk about it here.



A nice exchange of counters culminated in Naito’s reclining pose with added Nagata-style salute. The cheek of him. He landed a low dropkick, then whipped Nagata into the guardrail outside before applying a headscissors back in the ring. Neckbreaker for two. Naito used back elbows in the corner, but a slap to the head fired Nagata up, and he hit back with a knee to the gut and a series of kicks. Exploder suplex for two. Naito stopped the rot with the slingshot dropkick in the corner and the rope-assisted tornado DDT for a two-count of his own, but Nagata blocked Gloria and used Naito’s spitwad as motivation to fire up again and land more kicks. Slaps from Nagata, followed by a chest kick, then he pummelled Naito with mounted elbows.

The backdrop was blocked by Naito, but Nagata ran him into the ropes and spiked him with a German suplex. Ouch. High-angle backdrop – two-count only. Three hard knees to the chest from Nagata, then a Koppu kick from Naito followed by a German and both men were down. They slapped the hell out of each other, with Nagata refusing to yield, and despite Naito flooring him with a leaping elbow, Nagata was able to lock in the Shirome armbar! Naito fought up to his feet, then countered an attempted brainbuster into Destino! Two-count only! Destino! One, two, three.
Poor Nagata is still yet to win, despite an amazing effort in his four matches so far. He was the driving force in this match, with more heart and fire than his opponent, and yet Naito was again able to escape with the victory. The contrast in personalities was a strong thread and I got into this quite a bit as it went on. A bit more from the crowd almost certainly would’ve lifted it further. ***3/4


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A really good match but one that at times aspired to be great and never quite reached that mark. The opening with Naito making fun of Nagata’s salute was fun. The match really went into a stretch of big bombs and an extended finishing stretch with most of the transitions and execution compelling. I am saddened by the way the Destino has been treated as one never gets the victory for Naito anymore. Overall, another good Nagata performance and Naito seems to be back on track for the tourney. ***1/2

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  • GSR changed the title to [2017-07-26-NJPW-G1 Climax] Yuji Nagata vs Tetsuya Naito

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