Kazuchika Okada and Tomohiro Ishii are two of my favourite wrestlers of all time, so it’s kind of a crime that I haven’t seen this match before. It also means that I am almost guaranteed to like it. As I write this Kazu is making his entrance and I’m smiling away well aware that I’m about to see something I’ll love. See you in twenty minutes.
Yea, I loved it. It feels daft to talk about Tomohiro Ishii being brilliant because he always is, but fucking hell. What a performance. Early on, Okada almost seems to be taking him lightly, patting him condescendingly on the chest after a break. Ishii was having none of that shit, though, responding with a thunderous Lariat to set the tone of the action.
What followed was a brilliant back and forth in which Ishii just keeps coming forward, selling his ass off while refusing to die. Okada throws everything he can think of at his stablemate, but Ishii won’t stop, at one point leaping to his feet to cut off the Rainmaker pose with a vicious chop to the throat.
By the final minutes, the fans, the commentators (including Liger) and everyone watching at home are screaming for every near fall. As they battle over a Tombstone, Ishii somehow wins, leaping into the air to come down with a seated version of the move and leading to a 2.99 count that is incredible even on the Okada scale. It’s a reprieve for the Rainmaker rather than a save, though, as not long later he’s dropped on his with the Brainbuster for a heroic win from the Stone Pitbull.
Both these men are incredible, so it should be no surprise to see them produce magic in the ring together. It also means that you probably don’t need me to tell you to watch this match, it’s everything you’d expect it to be and more, stop reading my bullshit and get to it.