Tetsuya Naito vs Tomohiro Ishii
G1 Climax Block A Match
Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, Nagoya, Japan
(reviewed 08/01/2017) I can’t help but compare this match to the Omega/Elgin match that happened the day before, as I think it shares some similarities. Both are sort of empty matches that make use of big spots late as a means to infuse drama into the underdog story. Both accomplish those meager goals well enough, I suppose, but leave me wanting more in the end. If anything, I should have liked this match more. I like Naito and Ishii way more than I like Omega and Elgin. These two are far more subdued and grounded with their big silly spots and tend to find ways to incorporate their characters into said spots without making me roll my eyes too much. The story of Naito historically being someone Ishii could stand toe to toe with before he went and won the dang IWGP title is an interesting one that makes for an interesting struggle. But in the end, I sort of like Omega/Elgin more. Maybe it’s because the dumb honesty of big, stupid spots is more straightforward than what we get here. Maybe it’s the Destino spots in this match that leave me rewinding to figure out what the fuck just happened that leave a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe it’s just been a long day and I should stop watching matches. Whatever the case, I’m again let down by these two in this tournament and I’m left wanting more or maybe just something else.