Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Zack Sabre Jr – NJPW G1 Climax 27 Day 1

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Zack Sabre Jr

G1 Climax Block A Match

07/17/2017

Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center, Sapporo, Japan

(reviewed 07/19/2017) Tanahashi looks like a million bucks here, but maybe not in the way you think. His gear and his hair are awesome. His wrestling not so much. Can’t really blame the guy when he’s been wrestling on a serious injury or three for several years as he transitions into his 40’s, but it’s become very noticeable and is actively detrimental to his slew of high-profile singles matches. Zack, on the other hand, is really, really good here, giving one of the better performances I’ve seen from him. He’s smart and vindictive and effective on both offense and defense. His bumping is tremendous, whereas it’s usually one of my biggest complaints about him. It’s a shame that he’s giving this great performance in this huge landmark match when his opponent is so clearly off his game. It’s still worth a watch, considering how good ZSJ is here and how an injured Tanahashi is still pretty damn entertaining, but it’s a far cry from what you’d think it would be with these two names next to each other on the card.

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