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[1st Rd] TOMOHIRO ISHII vs. SAMI ZAYN

TOMOHIRO ISHII vs. SAMI ZAYN  

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TOMOHIRO ISHII

vs. Okada (G1)

vs. Shibata (New Beginning)

See Also: vs. Chris Hero, tag matches, all the other threads, etc.. etc...

 

SAMI ZAYN

The KO feud, the Nakamura match. You have either watched them or know where to find them

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Went with my heart. Zayn had his down moments, but Nak, Owens and Braun matches were among my favorite in the time period.

Ishii is awesome, though, and if he wins it won't break me.

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Fuck this Sophie's Choice shit.

ANYWAY.

Both of these guys are probably in my top 2-4 workers in their respective promotions.

Sami was in my top WWE/NXT/North American MOTY in the Takeover: Dallas match vs Nakamura, and some of my other absolute favorite stuff from the WWE over the past year (vs Owens at Payback, the Extreme Rules fatal four way, vs Owens again at Battleground).

Ishii, however, had my overall MOTY vs Okada in Block A of the G1, an overall stellar run throughout the tourney, and a great title bout with Naito last May (note: the New Beginning Osaka match with Shibata actually falls just out of this period, happening in mid-February of last year).

Looking it all over, it's even closer than I would have initially thought, and each guy kind of mirrors the other in having a super hot start to the year before being left to drift or get shunted into tag team filler hell.  Sami might actually have more matches total that really stuck with me, but Ishii goes over the top on the strength of the Okada bout.

Ishii.

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I love me some Ishii, but Zayn v. Strowman was a miracle match and really started the streak of "Hey, Strowman's pretty darn good".

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Ishii has never connected with me. He's not bad by any means, but I just don't look forward to him like other guys.

Zayn, for instance. Everything he's been in has been great, even if he's looked like an afterthought on Raw. He had Nakamura's best match of the year. Until the Big Show match, he had Strowman's as well. He definitely had Owens' best, unsurprising as that is.

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Okay - I need help here (and I am asking this as an honest question)

What Zayn/Braun match?

The only one I remember was the Sami needs to last 10 minutes - and the last like 4 minutes was horse shit (neither's fault - it was the booking)

There is another one I am forgetting, right?

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Just now, RIPPA said:

Okay - I need help here (and I am asking this as an honest question)

What Zayn/Braun match?

The only one I remember was the Sami needs to last 10 minutes - and the last like 4 minutes was horse shit (neither's fault - it was the booking)

There is another one I am forgetting, right?

They had a last man standing match on Raw in early January (I think it was early January...?).

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Between that impossibly long run of ROH TV featuring New Japan wrestlers, to watching NJPW on AXS (Even though it was outside the time period), I saw A LOT of Ishii this year.  He's all right.  I dunno.  He's kind of the textbook answer to someone asking you "What is NJPW all about?", just show him headbutting and being headbutted and punching and being punched and grunting in Japanese and go "That's basically it, right there."

I like Sami Zayn.  He's a fun dude to watch.

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Zayn spent a good chunk of the year wrestling the Jinder Mahals of the WWE.  I like Zayn more than Ishii but he spent most of the year aimlessly buried so deep in the midcard that GPS couldn't find him. Ishii was consistently good all year.  In a different year, Zayn wins this in a walk.  This year, I'm voting Ishii.

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Yeah, it seems like an early theme with the WWE guys I'm evaluating is that they have 1 or 2 phenomenal matches or a great run for a couple of months surrounded by a an ocean of "creative has nothing for you"-type meandering where they're putting nothing of note on tape.

Like, you can't fuck with Zayn/Nakamura or the blowoff with Owens, but what to make of the rest of Sami's year?  The Strowman feud had moments where it looked like it was about to get good, usually followed up by stupidity or creative forgetting about it completely.

And, yeah, Ishii might be the most NJPW dude there is...but I think he's also the most NJPW guy there is in a good way.  Nobody is better at building strike exchanges or knowing exactly when a no-sell will be the most effective.  

I think the inherent flaw in his game is that he really needs someone who can plausibly trade blows with him for his formula to peak.  Or at the very least, an opponent who doesn't mind looking weak and like they're fighting for their lives in there with him.  Unfortunately, there's this middle ground with guys who can't trade believably with him but still want to, and that's when shit get ridiculous.  Take the G1 match against Okada:  That is a phenomenal performance by Ishii completely undermined by the need to have Okada look equal with him, but all he brings to the table are a bunch of different versions of his weak dropkicks.

Still, I'd say Ishii had the way more consistent year.

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Now I get why these NJPW dudes are losing all these matches. Y'all watched them in ROH.  Don't do that.  ROH is terrible.  Their work in NJPW vs. ROH is night and day.

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I find Zayn the most consistently sympathetic face in the world, and I think the Nakamura match was as good as the "two dudes with no history dream match" style can produce.

I think it does a disservice to Ishii to think of him as, like, Generic Strong Style Man #6. He's too good against everyone, in any any setting, for that. And New Japan is full of much more flamboyant characters now; a black trunks wearing, ass kicking cinder block is actually pretty unique. And shit, if that does exemplify New Japan... well, New Japan has been really good for a while now.

I'll watch both guys do anything.

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Going for Sami Zayn mainly for his match with Shinsuke Nakamura, one of the best matches in 2016 and the Kevin Owens series.

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Nakamura worked a glorified NJPW spot show match against Zayn in my views since I've seen far far better matches from both guys, but Ishii has had a ton of great matches per the usual the last few years, so I went with my bias and chose him. And I like Zaynerico a lot as a wrestler. Same with Nakamura, but I just think that match is insanely overrated. Might just be the debut hype and Zayn working hard and Nakamura mostly going on charisma and his normal stuff. I'd like to see them now on a bigger stage, it would probably be insanely good.

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11 hours ago, Niners Fan in CT said:

Now I get why these NJPW dudes are losing all these matches. Y'all watched them in ROH.  Don't do that.  ROH is terrible.  Their work in NJPW vs. ROH is night and day.

I think it might also be cuz a lot of us think they're not that good.

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2 hours ago, maciej said:

I think it might also be cuz a lot of us think they're not that good.

We all have our opinions cuz.

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Nah, it's not an opinion, it's objectively true Nakamura is better than Zayn. That's how my opinions work, they immediately become fact! I'm so alone.

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