Yuji Nagata vs Togi Makabe
G1 Climax Block A Match
Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, Nagoya, Japan
(reviewed 08/01/2017) I wish I liked this more than I did, but despite elements that I enjoyed thoroughly, it’s weighed down by poor execution. Which is to be expected, I suppose. Neither of these men are spring chickens, and Nagata is notably sporting those gross cup marks on his back, which are never a good sign. Still, running off the fumes of their great 2007 bout, I was excited for this, and mostly they supply that same sort of gritty, surly old man striking that I really enjoy. There’s even some blood! But there’s also a lot of ghosting and weird bumps and poorly thrown strikes. The match shows the age of its competitors, perhaps not so bad as in Tanahashi/Goto, but approaching a similar level. It’s more enjoyable than that match, to be sure, as Tanahashi/Goto even at their best weren’t able to match the sort of fire I often get from these two, but still, it leaves a lot to be desired.