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Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito (NJPW G1 Climax 07/17/17)

kota ibushi tetsuya naito

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#1 ShittyLittleBoots

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 05:35 AM

Absolute madmen, that's what these two are. This was an absolutely spectacular match w/ them going all out - loved Naito's performance, he was terrific working over the neck of Ibushi & then later selling the damage Ibushi did to him with those goddamn crazy big moves & kicks. Just a total spectacle with these 2 lads destroying each other. ****1/2

#2 soup23

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:37 AM

This had a huge match feel when they entered the ring. The early portions with Naito focusing on the neck set a good ground structure for the match at hand that was reliable for him to go back too and allowed Ibushi to still do all of his spectacular stuff while still selling the damage of the body part that has been worked over. The fact that the bad neck plays into the Destino is an added bonus. Ibushi comes back and runs through his stuff including springboard moonsaults to the outside but then cagey Naito goes back to the neck and regains the advantage. This did a great job in showing how resourceful Naito is overall. The hangman neckbreaker looked great and he filled in his offense with tons of exciting stuff. Ibushi is all about th sizzle and he regains the advantage with a half suplex and then lights Naito up with some great kicks. Naito tries his parlor tricks by shoving down red shoes and charging in but he eats a wind up lariat. The crowd is now in chant mode. Naito nicely goes back to the neck with some strikes and a release German. He works for the reverse rana on the top and hits in. Naito senses he is one move away so now he goes for the Destino, in a great spot of desperation Ibushi catches him and lawn darts him into the turnbuckle. Ibushi then does his deadlift German from the outside into the ring which looks amazing every time as a feat of strength. That gets 2.999. We then get a struggle over the big move of the match which is the top rope piledriver from Ibushi. You can argue that this certainly should have been the finish because where do you go from there. Naito's neck is now as broken as Ibushi's. Naito musters up all strength to send Ibushi into the corner and then locks in the Destino off of a punch attempt for another 2.999 count. A second Destino puts Ibushi right on his dome and that is enough for the 3. Did they do too much? Probably Was this an exhilarating ride? Absolutely. ****1/2 

#3 superkix

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:56 AM

This was one of my most anticipated match-ups of the tournament and for the most part, it delivered. I will say that Naito's selling blew Ibushi's out of the water, especially considering how focused and belligerent Naito's neckwork was, but then again, Ibushi bumped like hell for Naito's offense and both sold the exhaustion well enough down the home stretch. This was more about the spectacle of these two coming together and in that sense, this was a blast. I mean, Naito put in a fantastic performance (as usual), really putting the hurt on Ibushi's elastic neck with all variations of neckbreakers and some dang nasty German suplexes. Ibushi was classic Ibushi here, getting in some of his classic Ibushi spots while, for the most part, being grounded by Naito's work on top. I loved him kicking the shit out of Naito on the ropes and Naito's face afterwards. Ibushi countering the first Destino attempt with that corner torpedo was awesome and of course, that insane top rope piledriver, which Naito sold like death. I can't remember seeing that spot before. The nearfalls toward the end were really believable and not overdone, and the fact that this was kept under 25:00 was perfect. Pretty much exactly what I was expecting from these two.

#4 bradhindsight

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 06:19 AM

This was tremendous. Really liked that this was just centered on the neck, so they could just show organic fatigue vs. having to come back to a limb, while still hitting tremendous high spots. And this wasn't egregious either - like an Omega/Ishii for example. Once we got the top rope piledriver, the finish came pretty quick  - no 1-count kickout or multiple more finishers. Everything I wanted out of these two, really hard-hitting too. One of my top matches this year. ****3/4 

#5 bradhindsight

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 06:20 AM

From Ioan at PTBN:



Ibushi quickly tired of Naito’s cockiness and leapfrogged into a double stomp, but Naito hit back with a rope-hung over-the-knee drop and seated dropkick. Naito landed a neckbreaker out on the apron, then took control in the ring with back elbows and stomps. A modified surfboard stretched Ibushi, then another neckbreaker earned two, before Naito’s spitwad preceded a huge dropkick from his opponent. A strike flurry and ‘rana sent Naito to the floor where Ibushi flattened him with the triangle moonsault! A springboard missed, but Ibushi blocked Naito’s corner dropkick and looked for a middle-rope German. That too was blocked, and Naito’s slingshot landed this time. Rope-hung neckbreaker and a high-angle German suplex from Naito for two. Gloria was reversed, however, and Ibushi dumped Naito with a German suplex of his own!

A series of hard kicks rattled Naito, with Ibushi not stopping for the rope-break, then a huge lariat landed for two. The powerbomb was blocked and Naito dumped Ibushi on his head with a German suplex, then nailed Gloria for a two-count. He set Ibushi up top and landed a reverse super frankensteiner! Two-count only! Destino blocked and Ibushi lawn-darted Naito into the turnbuckle! Good lord. With Naito on the apron, Ibushi went up to the middle-rope and spiked him with a German suplex back into the ring! Holy shit! One, two, NO! Powerbomb blocked again, and Naito hit the tornado DDT to put both men down. Naito recovered to set Ibushi up top, but Ibushi slipped out and landed the overhead kick, then followed with a super piledriver!!! 2.999! Holy fuck! Naito pushed Ibushi into the corner, Ibushi fired back with strikes, but then Naito hit Destino! 2.9! A second Destino spiked Ibushi right on top of his head! One, two, three!

Fuck me, this is what they did on the opening night?! The crazy bastards. Honestly, I think I’m a little disturbed by some of the stuff they did here. That closing stretch was nothing less than career-shortening. I mean, it was an amazing match that just built and built to an insane climax, but as far as I’m concerned both men can take the rest of the tournament off. ****3/4

#6 Maciej

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 07:45 PM

So, I did like this match quite a bit, but most of the reasons why are already outlined here, so at the risk of seeming more negative than I am, I'm going to focus on the main disconnect between what I saw in this match and what a lot of other folks seem to see, which is this great Naito selling performance. I kinda don't see it. I'm not saying he's doing anything wrong by any means, but his selling "[blowing] Ibushi's out of the water", I just don't know. Cuz he grabs his neck once after the piledriver before going for a (bad, I think?) rolling kick? Cuz he makes solid exhausted facial expressions? I hope y'all don't read this as facetious, cuz I really do promise I am earnestly interested in what I'm missing, but this seemed like a totally solid selling performance that was worthy of this match but didn't do all that much to connect with me in a way that elevated it.


Like I said tho, I did like it, largely because these two are great athletes and do a good job of making that athleticism serve the flow of the match and its transitions rather than just showing off. Ibushi is one of the few people in the world who even when he's doing the same moves other people do just makes them look stunning (that rana, good god). His bumps for the Destinos, too, really made that move seem that much more deadly than it usually does and, not that Tetsuya Naito's finisher needs to look stronger, but after that massive piledriver it sure didn't hurt. ****1/4

#7 KawadaSmile

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 11:06 PM

This match was scary to watch. Pretty much every single bump in this involved someone landing on their neck.


One underrated aspect of Ibushi's game is how much of a cunt he can be. He was just mercilessly kicking Naito to the point where he felt like the underdog babyface selling on the mat.


Thankfully the match didn't go long after that RIDICULOUS super piledriver. That 2nd Destino made me wince.



**** 1/4

#8 BigVanCrush

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 10:02 AM

They really outdid themselves in this one with their commitment to insane bumps and no real downtime. This was, to me, as good as the modern New Japan main event style is going to get. I felt it blew all of the highly praised Okada matches out of the water with the lone exception being the Shibata match. This felt like two guys trying to hurt each other and win the match. Ibushi's swandive German is one of my favorite 'that's not going to end well' spots in wrestling and the middle rope piledriver was nasty as well. The finish, or rather Ibushi's bump for it, was both great and terrifying at the same time. That little bastard does not give a fuck and I love him for it. Probably my New Japan MOTY and I think it's probably my pick for the best match in New Japan since at least the 2014 G1. *****

#9 SmartMark15

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 03:10 AM

Nuts, absolutely nuts. Does Ibushi realize he doesn't need to die just to entertain us? What a crazy match. Both guys just wailing on each other's necks in this much. For me, this match was pretty much mostly Naito. Him on offense and even selling was just completely compelling. Ibushi's offense looks great but the guy enjoys his comebacks a little too much. Him counting along with the ref got annoying after a while. Spot of the match for me was Ibushi countering a Destino into a lawndart throw right into the turnbuckles. I thought this was absolutely amazing and it really got me wincing a couple of times throughout. A lack of a 5 star moment and Ibushi's overzealous comebacks keep this shy of a full five snowflakes though.



#10 fxnj

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 11:14 AM

This match really makes me want to watch more NJPW beyond the 6 star shit. This felt like the apex of the dream match style. Not much story besides it being two big names going at it, but they played it absolutely perfectly. Great selling both guys, no downtime, and plenty of breathtaking sequences. I haven't seen much Ibushi since he was pretty much just an amazing athlete who always did the same high flying spots every match, but he really seems to have become a complete worker as he just did a couple flying spots that were sold like a big deal. Spot of the match for me was when he unloaded on Naito on the ropes with vicious kicks, and when he got Naito down the camera shifted to showing Naito looking on at Ibushi in absolute horror. Pro wrestling as fuck right there. Also loved the spot when Ibushi hit a springboard german suplex on Naito. Didn't even know that was possible. The struggle over Naito's Destino and whatever double underhook move Ibushi was looking for was tremendous stuff. I jumped out of my chair at some of those nearfalls late in the match, but when Naito hit that second Destino I knew that was the end. Maybe the best match I've seen from 2017, even beyond the more pimped Omega/Okada G1 match. ****5/8

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