NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING
G1 CLIMAX 27 – NIGHT 16
AUGUST 8, 2017
YOKOHAMA CULTURAL GYMNASIUM
KANAGAWA, JAPAN

Watch: NJPW World / VOW G1 Climax 27 Pick’Em Standings: voicesofwrestling.com/forums

The results of the undercard tags, feel free to skip the bunch:

  • Chase Owens def. Tomoyuki Oka
  • El Desperado & Zack Sabre Jr def. Syota Umino & Hiroyoshi Tenzan  
  • Yujiro Takahashi & Bad Luck Fale def. Yuji Nagata & Katsuya Kitamura
  • Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto, & YOSHI-HASHI def. Kota Ibushi, Togi Makabe, & Hirai Kawato
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi, David Finlay, & Ryusuke Taguchi def. Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI, & Hiromu Takahashi  

TAMA TONGA (6) DEF. SATOSHI KOJIMA (2)

I almost feel too highbrow and deep explaining the story of this match, which in essence was Tama Tonga trying to put the old man down with the Gun Stun as quickly as he could. Kojima continued to avoid the Gun Stun for a big portion of the match, in a way, signaling that he wasn’t ready to hang up the boots just yet. He still had more fight in him, he still had more lariats to throw, and he still had hope. All of those things are great, but Tonga is part of a newer, quicker, and arguably smarter generation, and because of that, he was able to wear Kojima down and flatten him with the Gun Stun for the victory.

This wasn’t a great match, but I really enjoyed watching it to see whether or not Kojima was going to pull off another victory. He has continued to capture my emotional investment throughout the tournament. ***1/4

JUICE ROBINSON (6) DEF. TORU YANO (6)

Juice outsmarted Yano in another one of his spectacles. Tying his dreadlocks in the barrier, trapping him under the ring, and kicking him downstairs weren’t enough to stop Juice from nailing Pulp Friction. They kept it short, and for Yano standards, this was really harmless. Of course I’d rather see Juice wrestle someone better, but whatever, this was fine. **3/4

MICHAEL ELGIN (8) DEF. EVIL (10)

When these two wrestled last year in the G1, EVIL was a step below where he’s at now, and thus, they had just a match. This year, as EVIL continues to turn heads and Elgin continues to deliver gems, these two put together an outstanding display of power and strength. As much as I enjoy Elgin throwing people around, I enjoy seeing him get thrown around even more, and that’s what happened here.

The finishing stretch was a thing of beauty, just like most of EVIL’s others so far in this G1. After kicking out of a High Cross Elgin Bomb, EVIL had a glimpse of hope, but Elgin was able to counter the STO. That was the last chance EVIL had at attaining victory, as he soon ate a giant lariat and the Elgin Bomb for the pin. Well worth watching. These two worked really well together. ****

EVIL has officially been eliminated from this year’s G1. I don’t know if anyone expected him to be as good as he was this year. He broke out in a major way, and now when you consider the dynamic factors that LiJ has, you can’t just mention SANADA, Hiromu, and Naito. EVIL is on the brink of being a major player, and do not forget, he beat Okada three nights prior. Big things are on the horizon for EVIL.

Keep up with all our NJPW G1 Climax 27 Reviews at voicesofwrestling.com/category/vow-latest/reviews/njpw/njpw-g1/

KENNY OMEGA (12) DEF. SANADA (8)

While I enjoyed this match, I can’t help but feel like SANADA totally outclassed Omega in this contest. I’ve enjoyed more Omega bouts in this year’s G1 (I have five matches of his registered at **** stars or more, compared to only one for SANADA), Omega has not been the guy that has stood out for me in any of his matches. Against EVIL, Tama Tonga, Elgin, and Juice Robinson, Omega’s opponent has been far more impressive than him. This was the same deal in this bout, as SANADA’s incredible athleticism was on full display, making Omega feel almost second rate.

Again, this was not a bad match, but when I think about everything that happened – SANADA flying around the ring, SANADA nearly getting Omega to tap via Skull End, and the finishing stretch that featured counter after counter, SANADA is the one that stuck out as the better man.

For a year in which Omega has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue, both for his antics in the ring and out, I wanted him to have a better G1. Granted, his last block match is against Okada, and I have no doubt in my mind that those two will blow the roof off of Sumo Hall, but this has not been the summer of Omega that I was hoping for. It’s completely unfair to call someone that’s had five great matches in a tournament a disappointment, but that’s the first word that comes to mind when I think of Kenny Omega’s G1. He hasn’t been bad, but never has he been the best. ***3/4

KAZUCHIKA OKADA (13) VS. MINORU SUZUKI (9)

This capped off NJPW’s annual August 8th event, and just like the match that made this date such a monumental one on the New Japan calendar, this ended in a draw.

Okada has had many matches that you can point to as turning points in his career. His match against Tenryu cemented him as an ace, his victory at the Tokyo Dome put him atop the wrestling world, and this match proved that he’s as tough as it gets. He’s outlasted the likes of sluggers such as Naomichi Marufuji, Michael Elgin, and Togi Makabe in the past, and he’s even beaten Suzuki on multiple occasions, but the beating he took in this match was unlike any of those prior poundings. Okada, in a sense, welcomed Suzuki’s onslaught of slaps. He wanted Suzuki at his worst, and that’s what he got.

This was not my style of match, and I still loved it. Okada can seemingly do no wrong this year. He heads into Sumo Hall with a one point lead over Kenny Omega. Okada’s outlasted the best this year. He’s survived the power of Big Mike, he’s outclassed Satoshi Kojima, and he’s now taken a vicious beating from Minoru Suzuki. It is hard to be more excited about a match than I am for Omega vs. Okada III. ****1/4

Final Thoughts:

A very good showing for the B Block. Yano was harmless, two matches clocked in at four stars or above, and everything else ranged from good-very good. I highly recommend checking out Okada vs. Suzuki and Elgin vs. EVIL no matter what, and Kojima vs. Tonga and Omega vs. SANADA if you have time. Thumbs up for Night 16 of the G1 Climax.