NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING
G1 CLIMAX 29: NIGHT 3
JULY 14, 2019
OTA CITY GENERAL GYMNASIUM
TOKYO, JAPAN

Watch: NJPW World

G1 Climax 29 – A Block
LANCE ARCHER (4) DEF. BAD LUCK FALE (2)

Another tremendous performance by Lance Archer, who once again looked like a killer, got big support from the Ota crowd and even got a fun little match out of Bad Luck Fale. Despite working a slow-paced match (understandably so), these two were very intelligent in the way they built their big spots, always managing to get huge pops for their efforts: from Archer quickly climbing the corner in junior-esque fashion to Fale teasing a walk on the ropes, they managed to get the crowd invested in the last couple of minutes where we saw Archer repelling Jado and his kendo stick, then lifting Fale to hit a fantastic Chokeslam and finally pinning him with his EBD Claw. I know this is just getting started, but Archer has been very good and I am happy he’s getting this little push. Hopefully, this will lead to bigger opportunities in New Japan. Also, props to Fale who worked hard in this match. ***½

G1 Climax 29 – A Block
WILL OSPREAY (2) DEF. SANADA (2)

I can’t put into words how much it angers me that New Japan is dubbing Ospreay’s theme. They should face the law for that crime.

While I enjoy SANADA’s look and presence, I’ve never been a fan of his in-ring style, but that hasn’t been the case so far in the G1: I feel that he has shined through his technical skills and athletic prowess, displaying confidence and showing big amounts of charisma. In this match, I felt I was watching two top-notch athletes working with telepathic powers to give us a highly entertaining bout. The technical sequence at the beginning was great at it got the crowd immediately going, however the Paradise Lock spots – that I usually enjoy – didn’t feel appropriate for the pace they were working.

The match was a breeze to watch as both guys leaped, countered and kicked their way to the 15-minute mark. SANADA applied the Skull End in various creative ways, often in the middle of a sweet sequence of fast moves, but that never stopped Ospreay who kept finding new ways to connect with impressive kicks. The chemistry on display was phenomenal. In the finishing stretch, Ospreay moved out of a moonsault and hit a Spanish Fly for a nearfall. SANADA received the Robinson Special, but countered a couple of OsCutter attempts, then tried an OsCutter himself but Ospreay blocked, kicked and applied an OsCutter + Storm Breaker for the victory. I was completely surprised by Ospreay’s win as I thought SANADA would score many points early on the tournament. The match was very fun, but I also felt they have another bigger, better showing in them. ****

G1 Climax 29 – A Block
KAZUCHIKA OKADA (4) DEF. ZACK SABRE JR. (0)

Zack Sabre Jr. is such a joy to watch for me. In this match, it seemed like he had a painful counter waiting for every Okada move but he also had trouble defending his own neck against the Rainmaker’s offense, which proved decisive at the end. ZSJ twisted Okada’s arms like a pretzel more than once and supplied some of the more dramatic moments of the match by applying spectacular flash pinning combinations. Okada kicked out of everything and survived Orienteering with Napalm Death as well as some painful-looking Octopus hold variations to come back and hit a couple of Rainmakers for the win. Another great showing of chemistry between these two, although I felt some moments were rushed and overall the match fell short of my expectations. ***¾

G1 Climax 29 – A Block
EVIL (2) DEF. KOTA IBUSHI (0)

In a kayfabe world, Kota Ibushi is the dumbest wrestler alive: he tweeted photos of his awful ankle injury and now that will be a big target for the rest of the G1; in this case, EVIL took advantage of that ankle and worked around it.

The match was very weird: at the beginning, I thought we were in route to getting another EVIL stink bomb, but after 10 minutes, things started getting very interesting. EVIL wasn’t here to show power or match Ibushi’s striking… his focus was to destroy the injured ankle of his opponent. And so, this became a highly psychological contest in which Ibushi had to find a way to win without his usual mobility while constantly having to endure EVIL’s smart counters. One of the coolest moments was when Ibushi started slapping and punching EVIL as if trying to dare him to reply in force… but the Ingobernable simply kicked him in the ankle, completely shattering his will. It was such a simple yet effective move that made me fall in love with the match. It’s also worth noting that maybe this wouldn’t have worked without Ibushi’s outstanding selling and dramatic facial expressions. And after the irregular paced work, we needed a bang for the match to land: and we got precisely that in the form of a fiery finishing stretch that featured a hot invested crowd. Ibushi hit a couple of Bome Ye knee strikes, then went for Kami Goye, EVIL countered and tried Everything is Evil but Ibushi blocked. We got a fantastic lariat and headbutt exchange followed by EVIL connecting with Darkness Falls and Everything is Evil for the win. The match was completely different from everything we’ve seen in past matches of this tournament, and I loved it because of that. Ibushi has lost two in a row and pick’em contest competitors everywhere must be losing their minds. ****





G1 Climax 29 – A Block
KENTA (2) DEF. HIROSHI TANAHASHI (0)

KENTA might not have the speed of his legendary NOAH run, but he’s trying his damndest to bring the same intensity. Here, KENTA slowly took apart Tanahashi with violent kicks and focused aggression, but – just like in the Ibushi match – wasn’t able to get the crowd completely invested in him. Tanahashi’s superb selling allowed KENTA to shine and really land the fact that he can still destroy human beings. The slap exchanges, a DDT on the floor and the Shibata-esque kicks were perfect to exemplify the fact that KENTA is not fooling around, and if given the chance he will burn everything in his path. The finishing stretch was very good: Tanahashi landed a High Fly Flow to a standing KENTA, but couldn’t finish the job. KENTA uses the knees to stop the impact of another HFF, then put Tanahashi on a sleeper hold, and after a second attempt, hit the Penalty Kick, followed by Go 2 Sleep. Despite never being completely captivated by this match, I did find myself fascinated by KENTA’s passion as if every move was an agonizing scream to convince us that his old self was back. The fact is, it’s impossible to get back the old KENTA, but his 2019 version is more than enough to quench our thirst for violence. ***¾

FINAL THOUGHTS

Yet another fantastic night of G1 action with five very different matches. We got a big man brawl, a spectacular athletic display, a short but sweet technical tale, an enthralling psychological affair and a violent showing between two puro legends. I really can’t recommend one specific match as each one showcased different skills and virtues, but if you want to know what G1 is all about, Night 3 was a high quality, easy to watch show with a little bit of everything.

VOW G1 Climax Audio Reviews &  Pick’Em Standings/Scores

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A reminder that everyone is playing for a chance to win one of our three prizes: 

First Place

A free copy of Puroresu Travel: Vacation in Japan to Watch Pro Wrestling by Craig Mann (https://amzn.to/2Zvkzr6) as well as a collection of vintage puro magazines from http://ViolentMiracle.com.

  • Note: International winners responsible for postage.

Second Place

A free “Switchblade” Jay White iron-on patch from Cheap Shot Party & Angry Lemonade. Cheap Shop Party is also offering all VOW G1 Climax 29 Pick’Em Participants 10% off with promo code “G1CLIMAX”

Third Place

10 free Inspire Pro Wrestling Blu-Rays! 

  • Inspire Pro Wrestling (http://inspireprowrestling.com) was founded in 2013 by Justin Bissonnette & Max Meehan and is based out of Austin, Texas. For six years, Inspire Pro has been Austin’s premier promotion, featuring the future stars the Lone Star state has been producing as well as some of the best from around the globe. Running bi-monthly events, Inspire Pro has featured many stars to have graced a NJPW ring like ACH, Ray Rowe, Ricochet & EVIL.