Yuji Nagata vs Bad Luck Fale
G1 Climax Block A Match
Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo, Japan
(reviewed 08/11/2017) A whole section of Sumo Hall holding up Blue Justice signs for Nagata’s final G1 Climax match is pretty touching. They play with that emotion a lot here, with people screaming about the possibility of Nagata losing by countout early on. It makes for a solid little match, but one that displays its weaknesses plain to see. Fale, I think, is the sort of guy who responds to how his opponent is performing most of the time. If his opponent is bringing the heat, he’ll try and bring the heat too. Sadly, a 49 year old Nagata heading into his ninth singles match of an exhausting tour isn’t quite going to bring the heat he needs. Still, regardless of his relative lack of energy, Fale is pretty good here, doing some quality big man selling and a moment that is either a great recovery on a minor botch or some deeper selling that directly impacts how he goes about doing moves. Nagata’s mostly relying on the emotion of the moment but does the best that he can, and we all appreciate him for it. There’s some sloppiness and some blatant feeding for submissions later on, but for the most part you get lost in the situation and it’s alright. Wish Nagata could have had one last semi-big G1 win, but what can you do. Shinpei Nogami cry-commentating while Nagata tearfully bows to a crowd chanting his name is just as good.