Hirooki Goto vs Kota Ibushi
G1 Climax Block A Match
Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo, Japan
(reviewed 08/11/2017) As Goto proceeded to have underwhelming match after underwhelming match in this tournament, in the back of my head I was always thinking “well, he’s got the Ibushi match coming up, surely that will be good”. Mostly I was wrong. Not entirely, because it’s still these two beating each other up a bunch for 11 minutes, which has a fairly high floor of quality for me, but mostly. There’s not a lot in the way of botching or obvious mistakes outside of one spot late in the match, but what this match lacks in botches it also lacks in heart or narrative. It’s just a whole bunch of spots back and forth. That can certainly work in some situations but doesn’t make for much of a match here, especially not with some of Ibushi’s most annoying facials and goofy body language in recent memory. The Kamigoye reversal leading into the finish is neat and easily the highlight of the match; I just wish there was something half as interesting in the ten minutes preceding it.