Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito: A History
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Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito: A History

June 8, 2019
By: Lou Pickney

New Japan's second-largest domestic show of the year, Dominion, begins in a few hours. It includes a match between Kota Ibushi and Tetsuya Naito in the semi-main event for the IWGP Intercontinental Title, renewing a series that has been nothing short of spectacular.

Here's a look back, complete with associated star ratings from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and the cagematch.net match rating at the time of this writing.

Having to follow Will Ospreay vs. Dragon Lee is a tall order, but so was having to follow Omega vs. Ishii in a *****1/2 match last year's G1 Climax tournament.

In that case, they had a ****3/4 match.

IMPORTANT: A subscription to New Japan World is required to watch these matches. This helpful tutorial video has details on how to subscribe. The price is 999 per month, which is about $9 American per month depending on the exchange rate.

August 2, 2013
G1 Tournament -- Tokyo (Korakuen Hall)
****1/4 7.22

March 15, 2015
New Japan Cup Semifinal match -- Hiroshima
****1/2 8.18

August 5, 2015
G1 Tournament -- Iwate
No star rating or cagematch.net score
"Great main event as Ibushi remains the tournament MVP." -Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer

July 17, 2017
G1 Tournament -- Sapporo
****3/4 9.58
JP: https://njpwworld.com/p/s_series_00447_1_09
EN: https://njpwworld.com/p/s_series_00447_2_09 (Great solo call by Kevin Kelly when Don Callis lost his voice on color commentary.)

August 4, 2018
G1 Tournament -- Osaka
****3/4 9.74
JP: https://njpwworld.com/p/s_series_00490_28_10
EN: https://njpwworld.com/p/s_series_00490_29_10

March 10, 2019
New Japan Cup First Round -- Amagasaki
****1/2 8.65
JP: https://njpwworld.com/p/s_series_00511_5_09
EN: https://njpwworld.com/p/s_series_00511_6_09

April 6, 2019
IWGP Intercontinental match -- New York City (Madison Square Garden)
****1/2 8.90
JP: https://njpwworld.com/p/s_series_00513_1_08
EN: https://njpwworld.com/p/s_series_00513_2_08

Not an easy standard to replicate, to be sure.

But whether you watch live or on delay, here's hoping you enjoy Dominion! On paper it looks like should be a great show. Can't wait to see what happens between Kazuchika Okada and Chris Jericho in the main event.

See any mistakes, omissions, or needed corrections? Please let me know: @LouPickney

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