Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Friday, January 20, 2017

2016 Ongoing MOTY List: Ishii v. Shibata

75. Tomohiro Ishii v. Katsuyori Shibata NJPW 2/11/16

ER: I don't typically go out for Ishii stuff, but this one kind of ended up entrancing me. It was this weirdly worked, cooperative match, professional match...but with both guys agreeing to do every "worked" move as hard as they possibly could. So the match started almost immediately with the two just standing in front of each other, taking turns elbowing each other. It's stupid at first, but then it keeps going, and it keeps going, and it seems stuck on an endless loop of shots that keep getting harder and more ill-intentioned. Ishii is taking shots to the throat, Shibata is taking shots in the neck and trap. The shots look crippling. And they keep happening. And the whole match is essentially move trading, and dick swinging...and it kind of takes you over. It's like Bad Lieutenant: Harvey Keitel's cop starts the movie at rock bottom. And new, rockier rock bottoms keep presenting themselves. This match starts with men hitting each other as hard as they can, and moves into clotheslining each other as hard as possible, kicking each other as hard as possible. The shots to the neck and throat keep happening, every Ishii clothesline looks like it should cave in Shibata's chest. Even the missed moves missed with meanness. A Shibata soccer kick, a low cutting Ishii lariat, these moves are dodged and ducked, but if they somehow weren't they would have been devastating. So the whole match has this vibe of one-upsmanship and "I'm tougher than you", except it's never unprofessional. It's an almost surreal vibe, and I dug it. Maybe the first "Ishii stiff fest" I've enjoyed.

PAS: I though the first part of this match was pretty terrible. Both guys hitting each other and making goofy faces, the worst of this kind of lame-o New Japan dick swinging. Lots of the shots weren't even that nasty, some of the shots to the throat were, but the elbows weren't that nasty, and the chops weren't Tenryu or Wahoo level or anything. The spot where each guy invites the other dude to suplex him was some dump ass Chikara shit, I almost excpected Ishii to hypnotize Shibabta or throw an invisible grenade. The second part of the match was an actually wrestling match with selling and transitions and everything and was pretty good. I liked Shibata going for the triangle choke and how he kept adjusting it, and the Ishii lariats were super nasty and were actually sold. I also loved the headbutts, it got a little Futenish near the end which I am into. I do think the PK is a weak finisher especially compared to some of the stuff which didn't finish the match from both guys. Liked the end enough to stick this on the bottom of the list, but it isn't going any higher.


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