Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Zack Sabre Jr
September 16, 2017
Hiroshima Sun Plaza Arena in Hiroshima, Japan
NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima
The cool-looking rock star guy (Hiroshi Tanahashi) vs the geeky dweeb who looks like the complete opposite of what a pro wrestler should look like (Zack Sabre Jr). It’s not that Sabre isn’t a great wrestler; he most definitely is. It’s that his look is so unbelievably lame that it makes it difficult to get into his matches.
With that said, he did his usual excellent technical matwork in the beginning. Tanahashi, known for being a high flier and well rounded heavyweight wrestler, looked very adept at doing the technical style with Sabre and he’s quite underrated in that regard. They turned up the pace later in the match and it turned into an excellent one with great back and forth action. Sabre too is underrated in that regard, and these two proved you can have a great match without all the flips and dives.
The only negative was the outside interference and ref bump, which looks so out of place and New Japan and booker Gedo really needs to do away with it. The crowd always boos it, and it’s not “good heat” boos but rather “this is so lame” boos. It’s standard stuff for wrestling fans to see, but when non-fans are flipping channels and see ref bumps, it’s just another thing for them to roll their eyes at because you never see that in real sports. We need to not give non-fans more reasons to say how fake pro wrestling looks, so let’s ditch the interference and ref bumps and leave that garbage for the indies.