NJPW star Tetusya Naito booked his place in the G1 Climax Final this morning, but suffered an injury that could cause him to miss the bout.
He booked his place in the final match against Kazuchika Okada for tomorrow, following his impressive victory over Will Ospreay that has been rated as a 5-star match.
Tetsuya Naito vs Will Ospreay was one of the most highly-anticipated matches in the entire tournament, with many predicting it could be the match-up in the tournament final.
However, they met in the semi-final in an incredible match that earned a five-star rating from many different sources, including here at Atletifo.
Tetusya Naito vs Will Ospreay
Will Ospreay vs Tetsuya Naito in the G1 Climax 33 went just under thirty-minutes, and saw both men pull out all the stops to try and book their place in the final.
Naito controlled the pace early on, using his Tranquilo style to slow the pace down and frustrate the British star.
He locked Ospreay in a series of submission to apply torque to his shoulder, trying to nulifiy his variety of finishing moves that rely on it.
Naito even tried to hit the Stardust Press, after feeling the admiration coming from the crowd. Of course, he did not hit it, but this did set up the chance that he could use the move to beat Okada in the final.
The final stretch of the match was incredible, but saw Ospreay accidentally knock Naito out with a kick that Naito failed to dodge.
Instead of avoiding the kick, a miscommunication lead to Testuya Naito leaning into the kick. Ospreay’s boot hit Naito’s head with a clunk, and he collapsed three times trying to continue with the match.
Every the professional, Will Ospreay took control of the match and loudly handed instructions to Naito on how to finish the match.
In the end, he ended up doing various versions of the Destino to himself, with the dead weight of Naito not knowing where he was while perched on Ospreay’s shoulders.
It was a scary ending to a wonderful match, that is already gaining plaudits as one of the best matches in this year’s G11 Climax.
It is currently unknown whether Tetsuya Naito will be fit to wrestle in tommorows G1 Climax 22 Final. We can only hope that he is able to wrestle Okada, and finish his story by winning the G1 Climax and beat SANADA at Wrestle Kingdom 18 for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.
If Tetsuya Naito cannot wrestle in the final, then something unique will have to happen. As there is no precedent as to what happens if a finalist could not compete (although Ibushi was injured during the final match in 2021), it is likely that runner-up Will Ospreay would replace Naito in the match.
Dave Meltzer’s star ratings for Will Ospreay vs Testuya Naito will be made available with Frida’s release of the Wrestling Observer, while the Atletifo and Cagematch ratings can be seen below:
Will Ospreay vs Tetsuya Naito Star Ratings
- Dave Meltzer Star Ratings – 6 Stars
- Cagematch Rating – 9.59
- Atletifo – 5 Stars
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.