Tomohiro Ishii vs Zack Sabre Jr
July 2, 2017
Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, CA
NJPW G1 Special in USA (Day 1)
IWGP US Championship Tournament
This was pretty short, which it had to be considering Tomohiro Ishii had a long main event ahead of him in the finals. These two worked surprisingly well together (actually, it’s not that surprising), playing to the strengths of both; Ishii’s hard hitting slaps and chops, and Zack Sabre Jr’s scientific mat wrestling.
It also featured one of the all-time great sell jobs by Ishii when he tried to reach for the ropes during a submission lock. It was so good that when he finally got the ropes, the fans stood up and applauded. Thankfully Ishii won this match, and it was a small taste of what was to come later that night.