NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING
G1 CLIMAX 29: NIGHT 9
JULY 27, 2019
AICHI PREFECTURAL GYM
NAGOYA, JAPAN

Watch: NJPW World

G1 Climax 29 A Block
KOTA IBUSHI (6) DEF. LANCE ARCHER (4)

As every Lance Archer match in G1 Climax 29, this felt fresh, hard-hitting and very easy to watch; Lance has been a breath of fresh air, delivering fantastic performances every single night. 

Archer dominated this bout and managed to keep Ibushi at bay during long periods; he stomped his head, blocked the Golden Triangle Moonsault attempt and helped big time getting the crowd invested. Ibushi had some bursts of cool offense here and there, but in the dying minutes of the match, he had to use his knees to stop Archer: Boma Ye to the back of Archer’s head was followed by a Kami Goye attempt… however, Archer struck first, giving Ibushi a brutal knee to the head. Next, the big man tried a moonsault, Ibushi rolled out of his way and hit a Bome Ye for a nearfall. Ibushi hit a Kami Goye… but Archer didn’t go down! The crowd erupted and Kevin Kelly added the perfect amount of emotion to the moment. It was an absolutely badass moment. It took a split second for the gobsmacked Ibushi to react, and quickly took the kneepad of his other knee to hit another Kami Goye for the three count.

Everything Archer did here was badass: a huge Chokeslam, powerful lariats, a flipping senton from the ropes, a moonsault attempt, the knee counter and the absorption of Ibushi’s first Kami Goye strike. After the G1, I want a gigantic push for this man. Also, huge props to Ibushi whose selling allowed Archer to look even more special. ***¾

G1 Climax 29 A Block
WILL OSPREAY (4) DEF. BAD LUCK FALE (2) (DQ.)

Fale’s matches in this G1 have been all about Jado and Chase Owens’ interference covering up the fact that the Tongan can barely wrestle now. This was no different. Owens attacked Ospreay before he could complete his entrance and from then on, the junior heavyweight champion had to endure pain from all sides. After a bunch of cheating and boring Fale moves, Ospreay kicked his way to a Hidden Blade and an OsCutter. However, Owens took out the referee Marty Asami, and a minute later, entered the ring to hit Ospreay with a kendo stick and the Package Piledriver. Fale covered the destroyed body of Ospreay and Red Shoes came running from the back to make the count… but he suddenly stopped, gave Fale the finger and disqualified him. This was a very bad, dumb finish but It really made me laugh. The prospect of Red Shoes running all the way to the ring just to say F&%K YOU to Fale was hilarious. First time I go under 3 stars for a Will Ospreay match this year. Damn you, Bad Luck Fale. **¾

G1 Climax 29 A Block
EVIL (6) DEF. ZACK SABRE JR. (2)

This was all about EVIL using his power to overcome Zack’s technical prowess but there’s not much else to say about it. Some highlights include ZSJ applying a cool modified Scorpion Death Lock, a pinning sequence that ended in a great nearfall and the finishing stretch that saw EVIL overpowering Zack’s Octopus Hold to hit Darkness Falls. Shortly after, Zack countered Everything is Evil with a fantastic pin attempt for a two count. Both men immediately stood up, EVIL countered Zack’s uppercut and lariat attempts into Everything is Evil for the win. Unless you have lots of time on your hands, no need to watch this one. ***

G1 Climax 29 A Block
HIROSHI TANAHASHI (6) DEF. SANADA (2)

A chant battle started things off in this match, and the first five minutes flew by thanks to the charisma of these men. SANADA worked over the leg of Tanahashi for a bit, but nothing came out of it. Instead, we got a tight yet forgettable encounter that never reached any dramatic high point; the last 5 minutes were composed of good pinning attempts by Tana and the standard SANADA Skull-End attempts, including some very sloppy ones that didn’t add too much to the match. Finally, Tanahashi hit a dragon suplex, followed by Aces High and High Fly Flow for the win. We knew Tanahashi was winning this one but I gotta say I’m completely surprised at the low score SANADA has in this G1; I thought he was going to have a killer tournament all the way to the final night, but instead, he’s about to be mathematically eliminated. ***¼

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G1 Climax 29 A Block
KAZUCHIKA OKADA (10) DEF. KENTA (8)

Given this was Okada’s home turf, it was great to see KENTA being extra arrogant: he slapped, mocked and disrespected the Rainmaker more than once, adding a feeling of importance to the match and heating the crowd. This was definitely a weird watch for me: the bout lasted almost 27 minutes but was never boring, and I felt like it was an absolute breeze to watch; I was fascinated by KENTA’s psychology and the way he worked the match, never giving Okada room to breathe and kicking him as hard as possible. However, I was never fully engaged by the action and was left disappointed by the lack of drama throughout the performance. 

The last five minutes were great but very sloppy: KENTA had trouble positioning Okada for the GTS, horribly botched a kick and looked clumsy while trying to counter Okada’s moves, fortunately in the middle of all that, he made up for it with an outstanding palm strike sequence where it seemed as if he wanted to murder Okada. For the finish, KENTA applied the sleeper hold, went for the Penalty Kick but ate a dropkick instead. KENTA tried GTS, Okada escaped and hit a spinning Tombstone and the Rainmaker for the win.

This was great, brutal fun but, despite how good KENTA’s psychology was, I guess it didn’t reach the dramatic peak I was expecting. ***¾

FINAL THOUGHTS

This was easily the weaker night of G1 action so far. But that doesn’t mean you should completely skip it: everything except the Fale/Ospreay match is completely watchable and I would recommend checking out KENTA/Okada and the Archer/Ibushi match that ended up being my Match of the Night.

Okada winning here means SANADA has a bigger chance of beating him on August 3rd; given that Okada has defeated him in two big matches in 2019, it would make sense for SANADA to finally beat him and in the process, make up for all the bad results he’s had in the tournament. Besides that, it seems that we’re heading straight to the Ibushi-Okada Block deciding match that we were all expecting.

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

For audio reviews of each G1 Climax 29 Night, subscribe to us on Patreon at patreon.com/voicesofwrestling

Stay up to date on VOW’s G1 Climax 29 Pick’Em standings and scores at voicesofwrestling.com/forums

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.