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[2017-10-09-NJPW] Tetsuya Naito vs Tomohiro Ishii


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These two have good matches together, sometimes great matches, and this was no exception -- however, it's getting harder for me to distinguish the matches as they follow a similar blueprint. Naito coolly works the leg, Ishii sells and bumps well, Naito goes back to the leg to escape shitty situations, and Ishii fights through to pain to punish Naito. This time, however, Ishii says "okay, lemme work that leg" and cuts off Naito with a big dropkick to the knee. He doesn't put in a whole lot of work but Naito's selling is terrific throughout, including his knee buckling on a German suplex hold. Even though I knew Naito had about a 0.00001% chance of losing, I still bit on the brainbuster counter to the Tranquilo attempt. Some of the transition work to set up the finish looked sloppy but this was a good match, the best of the show, and had some neat new moments.

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Definitely their best match this year, and the best since last year's Dontaku. As much as Ishii's known for his bullmoose strong-style, his best matches are always when he's playing the unsinkable underdog who, despite having no chance of winning, makes you believe for just one second he can pull it off. Some cool learned psychology as Ishii interrupts Naito's lay down pose and counters Naito's leg work with some of his own. Great selling and a great finishing sequence.



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  • GSR changed the title to [2017-10-09-NJPW] Tetsuya Naito vs Tomohiro Ishii

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