New Japan Pro Wrestling
G1 Climax 27 Night 12
August 2nd, 2017

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Due to time constraints, being three shows behind, and just not caring very much, the undercard matches will not be reviewed. But if you like sub-10 minute matches at half speed, I’m sure they will scratch that itch.

  • Syota Umino & Tomoyuki Oka def Ren Narita & Katsuya Kitamura
  • Tiger Mask & Kota Ibushi def Hirai Kawato & Yuji Nagata
  • YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii, & Hirooki Goto def Chase Owens, Yujiro Takahashi, & Bad Luck Fale
  • El Desperado, Taichi, & Zack Sabre Jr def Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI, & Tetsuya Naito
  • Jushin Thunder Liger & Hiroshi Tanahashi def David Finlay & Togi Makabe

SANADA (8) def Juice Robinson (2)

Juice has been a real surprise of this tournament. He might have a lot of losses, but he’s shown an energy and spirit that has only been hinted at before. His match against Suzuki may not have been as highly rated as other matches, but it is one of the most memorable matches of the tournament. SANADA meanwhile has been good but not great. The best thing he’s done so far is tie Yano in a knot and win by countout.

Juice is still selling the leg from the Suzuki attack, and SANADA smartly attacks it. Juice will hit a move, then back to the leg. Juice has added a reverse DDT to his arsenal, and I always like seeing guys add to their repertoire. SANADA locks in a Figure Four and almost gets a countout win after they roll out onto the floor and he won’t let go. Inside the ring they flip between Pulp Friction and Skull’s End before SANADA chop blocks Juice’s injured leg, chokes him out with Skull’s End, and finishes him with the moonsault.

This was fine. Juice continues to show heart and spirit. SANADA continues to be good but not great. ***1/2

Toru Yano (4) def Michael Elgin (4)

Okay, let’s get this out of the way real quick. Yano won with the Eddie Guerrero special, faking being hit by the low blow and getting Elgin disqualified, mathematically eliminating Big Mike. New Japan almost never gives a DQ even when blatantly deserved, so to give one on this might rub people the wrong way. I look at it as just another example of Yano’s brilliance. Yano never gets disqualified because he has perfected the low blow to an art. He immediately goes for a cover after a dick punch, so the ref counts instead of examining how he got there in the first place. This finish shows that he could be disqualified if caught, but he’s just too sublime. Or the ref is a moron. I choose to look at the positive side.

I don’t know where Elgin goes from here. Losing in such ignominious fashion doesn’t speak well for his future. In fact, some devilishly handsome writer for this very site may have written about just this very thing last week. In short, something needs to change, and I think it’s time for Big Mike to embrace his inner Evil Foreigner, powerbomb some expendable wrestlers through the mat, and challenge Tanahashi at the Dome. Book it Gedo!

The match was too short for a real rating, but I laughed twice and chuckled once, so **1/2

Michael Elgin: Unbreakably Forgotten

Minoru Suzuki (8) def Satoshi Kojima (0)

There’s some history here, but since it all happened well before I started watching New Japan, you’re going to need to find another source. Needless to say there’s some bad blood though. I’m surprised Kojima is winless so far. It makes me wonder if Nagata isn’t the only one retiring from the G1 after this year.

Tenzan tries to run interference against Taichi and El Desperado, but is outnumbered and can only do so much. After the opening brawl outside the ring, they have a fine brawl inside the ring, but Suzuki-gun does what it does best and interfered before Tenzan cleared house. Suzuki wins with the Gotch piledriver though.

This match was just kind of there. Not bad, but nothing special. ***

Kazuchika Okada (12) def Tama Tonga (4)

Okada is on the title run of a lifetime. Tama Tonga is a tag wrestler who wouldn’t be here if Shibata hadn’t been injured. The outcome of this match is never in doubt. Tama could bring a literal gun and shoot Okada, and I still wouldn’t be convinced he could win.

The match opens with Tama stealing Okada’s jacket and posing, which is kind of funny. It’s hard to pay too much attention to what’s going to because Okada could have a heart attack in the middle of the ring and still win this match. Tama does hit the Headhunter DDT, which has won him matches before, but not tonight. Tama tries some moves from former Bullet Club members, but Okada German Suplexes him out of a Gun Stun and Rainmakers him for the win.

This was fine, but again, Tama was in no way shape or form winning this match. Would have preferred Okada just squash him, but oh well. ***

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Kenny Omega (10) def EVIL (8)

Omega’s only loss so far as come to Michael Elgin, it seems like he’s on a collision course with the zero loss Okada on the last night. EVIL meanwhile is well on his way to being something special. He’s almost certainly going to finish this tournament with a winning record. Once he tunes down the gimmick a little, he’s going to be a major player in the upper mid card for years.

The match falls into a pattern with brawling outside, then back inside, then out, then in, etc etc. EVIL does his chair thing. Kenny stomps a table through EVIL, then EVIL makes said table explode by dropping Omega and himself through it. EVIL gets busted open, making him look even more badass. They stick inside the ring for the rest of the fight. This feels more like a preview than anything else, but is still going really well until the end. EVIL gets knocked the eff out by a V-Trigger and just collapses. Omega can’t get him up so tries to cover him but he’s dead weight and won’t roll over. EVIL is dead weight as Omega pulls him to his feet for another V-Trigger and the One Winged Angel for the win.

There were almost two different matches here. There was the brawling outside bits, then the actual between the ropes stuff. This was the best thing on the show, but the outside plunder, save for the last table spot, didn’t do a lot for me. The in ring work was excellent though, even with an awkward ending, and it’s definitely worth watching. ****

Final Thoughts:

This was one of the weaker shows of the tournament. Only the main event is worth going out of your way to watch, but you can spare a few minutes for Elgin/Yano no matter how far behind you are.