Tomohiro Ishii vs Jon Moxley (NJPW, 7-19-2019)

NJPW G1 Climax, Tokyo, Japan

This is a request via Ko-fi. I have not watched any of the G1 this year and have no great desire to try to catch up. I’m sure it’s good and all, I usually enjoy it, but I no longer have the time to stay up late and watch live, and I don’t like trying to stay current with a long tournament if I’m not watching live. I also have a hard time picking out matches and not just watching all of it. But if you pay me, sure, my shit stops mattering so much. So here we are.

“I’m scared because of how violent it could get,” Kevin Kelly says with all the emotion of a guy reading lines for a video game.

Moxley enters in the crowd, spitting water, chucking chairs around, a sorta Brody tribute thing which I can get into. I mean, MOX here isn’t always for me, kinda dorky sometimes, but he commits to the bit, whatever the bit is.

Ishii has the gait of an older guy who’s starting to break down, but once he enters the ring, he spins quickly and runs RIGHT the fuck up in Moxley’s grill.

Once the bell sounds, they’re just throwing shots at each other right away. No one gets the advantage, so they shove and start throwing the forearms.

Moxley takes the first advantage with a shoulder tackle and a body slam. Look at the body language on him here — to think WWE fucked this guy up as much as they did. Holy cow.

The fight goes up into the stands and Ishii gets his head slammed into the wall a few times, then they walk and brawl with Moxley fully in control. Once they get back into the ring, Moxley throws a bunch of kicks and Ishii starts getting mad about this all, but Moxley stays on him with forearms and keeps the momentum rolling.

Moxley with an STF, telling Ishii to quit, then he straitjackets Ishii, who gets the bottom rope with his foot to break the hold. Moxley just dominating Ishii here, fully establishing himself early, imposing his will. Sometimes people think of Ishii as a big guy or a hoss, but he is really a small man. Tougher than fuckin nails and an ATG in-ring guy, in my view, but he’s a small guy. Thick, yes, but 5’7″ and all his weight seems to be in his torso and chest. This is not a criticism, but when you match him with Moxley, who is WWE sized, it’s clear how small he really is.

But Ishii gets back in it by just bulling his whole body through Moxley, which is believable because of the vigor with which he’ll throw himself into everything. Moxley doesn’t stay on the defensive long, turning things around outside. He goes for a uranage through a table from the apron, that fails, he tries a piledriver or something, but that fails, too. Ishii tries to suplex Mox through the table, but that doesn’t go.

Moxley with a hard forearm and a shotgun dropkick. Holy shit — the miracle of miracles. Moxley hits a pretty decent tope suicida. Moxley gets a chair going. His facial expressions say it all in an interaction with Red Shoes. Then Ishii forearms a chair into Moxley’s skull. It hurts both, but it’s all Ishii could do.

And it gives Ishii the chance to rally, and he goes up top and fucking flies, splashing through Moxley on the ringside table. Superplex in the ring follows and Ishii gets a two count.

A couple counter bits and then Ishii hits a release German, and Moxley comes back with one of his own. Moxley with a big ol’ lariat! Motherfucker. Jon Moxley might in fact be my favorite wrestler going right now if this match is any indication.

Moxley’s Regal knee is blocked and Ishii hits a sliding lariat. And now the headbutting on the knees. And now the headbutting standing up. These aren’t, thankfully, Ishii-Shibata headbutts, but headbutts all the same. Ishii eats the lariat from Moxley a second time and fires back with forearms, but Moxley drops him with a single shot.

Regal knee blocked again, but Moxley hits the uranage off of it. Mox goes for the Death Rider/Paradigm Shift, Ishii gets out. He tries it again, Ishii lariats him down. Then a bigger, running lariat gets two.

More headbutts, Ishii winning that war. This match is making Moxley look tough as fuck to a new audience, without sacrificing how tough Ishii has always been to them. Death Rider hits, and Ishii kicks out!

Moxley drops the kneepads and hits the Regal knee. Death Rider again, and that’ll do ‘er. Hot damn, y’all.

Rating: 4.5/5. This was outstanding wrestling violence. Not crazy over the top violence that Moxley is known for, just a fucking fight, all-out from opening bell until the three count. There have been so many people who leave WWE under whatever circumstances in the last decade, and a lot of them do promos about how they were held back and NOW we’ll see what they really are, but Moxley is really, seriously doing it. There’s a chip on his shoulder and he’s killing it. And Ishii here is, well, Ishii.

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