Kota Ibushi vs Togi Makabe
G1 Climax Block A Match
Sendai Sun Plaza, Sendai, Japan
(reviewed 07/30/2017) Was very much looking forward to this match, considering how much I enjoyed their previous encounter in September or so of 2015. All in all, they live up to my expectations, though there’s the usual problems. They sort of meander a bit towards the beginning before finding their groove, and there’s the regular G1 tropes we’ve already seen dozens of times by this point in the tournament, and Ibushi is taking dumb bumps off the smallest moves (forearms, for one). But still, when this match gets going, it really gets going. Ibushi is a great striker and Makabe can hold his own when he wants to, and clearly he wants to do so here. They lay into each other with some delightful shots, the highlight of which is a fairly gruesome knee off the top from Makabe late in the game. Fun match all around, a welcome respite.