Tetsuya Naito Earns First 6-Star Match vs Will Ospreay

Hamish Woodward

Tetsuya Naito capped off an incredible G1 Climax performance by having two 5-star matches in just two days – Including one six-star classic!

The Stardust Genius won the G1 Climax 33, defeating Kazuchika Okada in an incredible final match that harkens back to their many classic matches over the years.

Avoiding all attempts to end him with The Rainmaker, Naito hit Okada with a series of Destinos to win the match, and earn a title shot against SANADA at Wrestle Kingdom 18.

This match was a fantastic bout, and rightfully earned a five-star rating from us here at Atletifo, and from Dave Meltzer at the Wrestling Observer.

However, this was not even the best match he had that week.

One day prior, Tetsuay Naito did battle with Will Ospreay in the semi-final of the G1 Climax. This was to book a place in the final against Okada, and was the biggest match in the tournament so far.

While Naito (obviously) came out on top, it was the work of Ospreay at the end that was truly impressive.

The match itself was brilliant, but a mistimed dodge by Naito led to him leaning into a kick by Ospreay, knocking him out briefly.

He stumbled around the ring, unable to stay on his feet and looked totally out of it.

Ever the professional, Will Ospreay managed to command the ring and put Naito into position to defeat him.

Ospreay even managed to perform Naito’s finisher, while he was a deadweight, multiple times in increasingly impressive fashion, helping Naito win the match after the gruesome kick.

This was arguably more impressive than if Ospreay had won the match, although I’m sure he’d have preferred the main event of Wrestle Kingdom instead.

This match also received our coveted five-star awarded, as well as being one of the highest rated matches on Cagematch of the year.

Will Ospreay vs Tetsuya Naito is also one of the best NJPW matches of 2023 – click below to read about their other fantastic bouts.

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