Hirooki Goto vs Zack Gibson
York Hall, Bethnal Green, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
(reviewed 10/30/2017) Was quite happy to see this booked back in April and I’m quite happy to learn that it delivered. Sure, it wasn’t any blow-away great match, but that’s not what was required of this match and these aren’t quite the people you expect all-timers from. I’m vaguely a fan of Goto just as a solid, simple heavyweight bruiser that has become rarer and rarer in NJPW over the years, and with how much I’m loving Gibson at the moment I was sure that they could put together a midcard match that I liked a lot. Most of it’s based around York Hall relentlessly booing Gibson and Gibson occasionally stooging for Goto, whether purposefully or out of serendipity. Seeing him slip on the turnbuckle pad going for one of his Nigel McGuinness-esque strikes, only to get blasted by Goto’s corner kick as he stares at the heckling crowd, mouth agape, is just priceless. By the end things become a little much with the introduction of a literal car stereo, playing off of a popular chant directed at Gibson, but even then it’s not so bad compared to what you’d see from the likes of other people on this card.