Kazuchika Okada vs Minoru Suzuki
August 8, 2017
Yokohama Bunka Gym in Yokohama, Japan
NJPW G1 Climax (Day 16)
This went to a 30-minute draw, although you’d never know it by watching because they worked a completely different pace than you’d expect. They started right from the get-go, trading some big moves and then doing all sorts of different styles meshed into one. There was strong psychology with the facial expressions and minute details, submissions, stiff blows, and a never-ending bitch-slap fight that got the biggest reaction out of anything they did.
Okada and Suzuki have had epic battles this year, and this was one of them. They worked it like two pro’s and it’s a match that should be studied in wrestling schools for how much of a reaction they got in spots while doing relatively little (Okada did take a lot of hard head shots, but the spots would’ve worked even without them). One of the better matches of the year, though it’s been such a crazy year that it will unfortunately get overlooked.
Nobody in recent history has had a year in the ring quite like Okada has in 2017.