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Katsuyori Shibata vs. Tomohiro Ishii (NJPW New Japan Cup 03/19/17)

katsuyori shibata tomohiro ishii

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#1 ShittyLittleBoots

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 07:15 AM

The first half is your usual Shibata vs. Ishii action, just them slugging it out - and it's great, but what made this match reach ****+ levels to me is that in the 2nd half, they started out busting out all kinds of super awesome moments such as Shibata looking like the goddamn Grim Reaper while he is walking towards Ishii after not going down for his lariats (only for Ishii to lariat him one more time), Ishii busting out a FUCKING ARMBREAKER TO THE TAPED UP SHOULDER OF SHIBATA. Popped so hard for that. Ishii trying to break up the deadly Sleeper of Shibata w/ going after the arm was fantastic. Then the finishing sequence with Shibata just murdering Ishii was so damn good. And as a cherry on top of the cake, the post-match with Ishii trying to reach out to fight Shibata even more was so damn epic. ****1/2


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Posted 19 March 2017 - 01:30 PM

This is exactly what you’d expect it to be. Two of the toughest men in New Japan going to battle in an absolute war of a match. This is very well paced & the match escalates nicely from hard-hitting, testosterone-fueled, slugfest into an all-out war with both competitors showing a great sense of urgency and desperation. Ishii leaves Shibata's taped up shoulder mostly untouched (there's much bigger things at stake here than winning the match ... like who can take the most elbows!), but once he senses that outgunning Shibata wasn't going to work, he goes right after the shoulder. Shibata is trying desperately to crank in the rear naked choke. Both guys are at their breaking point & just trying to end the match. The finishing sequence is pretty heated & fts. a blaze of adrenaline-fueled no-selling. Shibata comes out the victor as he hits the Penalty Kick & chokes out Ishii for good measure. Referee stoppage was a good touch. The post-match visual with Ishii crawling towards Shibata to continue the fight & getting dragged away by the young lions was absolutely amazing. Great match. Snowflakes: ****¼

#3 bradhindsight

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 08:47 PM

I didn't find this particularly compelling at all - at least until the last couple minutes, and especially compared to Ishii's other matches in the Cup. Lot of forearms, as expected, and the selling after the 15th or so is good for a moment, until they take turns shooting each other off into the corner running full speed. Don't get me wrong, it's hard hitting, with Shibata (maybe its the lack of elbow pad) really laying it in, but segueing right into running and kicking each other in the corner after a very extended strike exchange was glaring. We then take a detour to guys grabbing a random arm despite no work going into it, which seems like filler. More macho slapping and forearms, and finally some escalation into suplexes. Could certainly weave a story that Shibata's defense shut down what worked for Ishii in previous rounds. They one-count each other (Ishii did this twice) and Shibata goes to the sleeper, PK, wisely back into the sleeper, which finishes Ishii off. I also liked the visual of Ishii post match crawling and continuing the fight. ***1/2

#4 superkix

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 02:41 PM

I thought this was on par with their matches last year. I probably liked it a little better than their WK match. With these two, you know what to expect going into it: lots of strikes, bouts of no selling, pissing contests, and suplexes. The first few minutes are forgettable but once Shibata starts testing the patience of Ishii, it really picks up. Loved the pop-up lariat spot from Shibata and Ishii confusing Shibata with surprise offense was a lot of fun to watch. Ishii's definitely the MVP of the tournament. His selling in this match was fantastic, especially at the end and post-match. Shibata heads into the final looking unfuckablewith. 

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