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[2019-03-10-NJPW-New Japan Cup: Day Three] Tetsuya Naito vs Kota Ibushi

paul sosnowski

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A hot start and a hot finish and some good bumps in the middle. Naito's weaknesses as a worker have become more and more apparent to me now that Omega's not around to work with him anymore. He doesn't have very good heat segments at all and his strikes are some of the weakest on the roster, heavily relying on thigh slapping to make his kicks look good. I don't mind thigh slapping as much as others here but when Ibushi is laying those kicks in, it makes a difference. Otherwise, mostly fun, and very much aided by not going past the 30 minute mark.


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Not as good as a few of their previous singles matches, but still one of the better matches of the tournament. Naito's work on top was uninteresting, but him countering a lot of Ibushi's big spots was really good stuff. He gave off the vibe that the only way he was beating Ibushi is if he actually tried to kill the guy. Ibushi's comebacks didn't feel as formulaic as they usually do either because he wasn't able to just get his spots in. It was a great character vs character battle that really made this match-up feel fresh, ****1/2.

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Didn't quite reach the level of their last two G1 matches but it was going to be pretty hard to screw this one up. Lots of big bombs and awesome, fast-paced sequences. Thought some of the neck bumps were a bit much even for a Kota Ibushi match, but he did a great job working his selling into his comebacks. Unfortunately another big match loss for Naito but he still looked really good as well. 


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  • paul sosnowski changed the title to [2019-03-10-NJPW-New Japan Cup: Day Three] Tetsuya Naito vs Kota Ibushi

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