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#MustWatchMonday (7/16/18): The New Toru Yano


Let's get right to it: it's G1 Climax season right now and pretty much all of my #MWM suggestions this month will involve the tournament. If you haven't started yet, there's still time to catch up as the first nights of each block just concluded over the weekend. (If you don't know what the hell is going on, there's also time for you to get acquainted.)

Anyway, for #MWM this week, I give you Toru Yano vs. Tomohiro Ishii from the second day.


I know what some of you are thinking: this is a YTR match, so it can't possibly be serious, right? Apparently, the answer to that question can possibly be "yes, it can."

A quick story before we go into this. Jack Gallagher and Drew Gulak met each other in the first round of this year's United Kingdom Championship Tournament. These guys are both heels on 205 Live right now, so normally you'd expect some heelery to go down from either man. But when two bad guys who respect each other—as actual associates—go to war with one another, something interesting happens. They both become babyfaces for the whole match, and you would never guess that they could be mean to other people.

That's kind of what happened with Yano and Ishii here. Being teammates in CHAOS (and never really facing each other in the G1 until this year, when they were both put in Block B), Yano's apparently turned over a new leaf. The guy known for goofy antics and trying to cheat his way to victory suddenly turned serious, wrestling like the amateur wrestler he once was and the strong style warrior he's supposed to be. The match heads right into a zone of intensity you're not really used to.

People don't really like Yano because, like Scottish Impact Wrestling star Grado, they think his comedy wrestling's way too goofy to take seriously. While it isn't wrong that Yano's goofy AF, most fans usually don't notice an admirable smoothness to his work, with the way he could string together a bunch of comedy and cheating spots flawlessly. Yano's like the closest thing we have to lying, cheating, and stealing Eddie Guerrero (yeah, even more so than Chavo), and by showing that he could turn up the intensity on a friend, I daresay the comparison isn't far-fetched at all.

Anyway, Ishii manages to beat his friend after Yano annoys the fuck out of him—interestingly, with a low blow that Yano's been teasing all match. While Yano tried his best to wrestle clean, he just could not resist the urge to cheat, and it bit him back in the ass. Maybe this is the beginning of a clean-as-a-whistle Toru Yano after all?

Photo from BackBodyDrop.com

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