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Re: G1 CLIMAX 28

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:53 am
by Frank Olson
I was really glad to see Suzuki and Elgin have a good match together after their disappointing outings last year. Elgin did a much better job selling the arm here than he did in the match against EVIL.

I was expecting EVIL vs. Page to be more of a wild brawl than it wound up being, since EVIL often wrestles that style and Page tends to excel in that type of match. For the first 5-10 minutes I thought that this felt like a lesser version of the match that immediately preceded it, but they really built up steam nicely and produced a very satisfying closing stretch. I thought this was EVIL's best match of the tournament so far, and a nice rebound for Page after a couple of disappointing performances against the A Block's top stars.

Fale vs. White had a little more wrestling and a little less bullshit than most of the BC OG matches so far, but it still ultimately felt like pretty much the same match we've been getting from Fale all tournament long. At first when White rolled out of the ring to deal with Tonga Loa I thought “oh cool, they're actually going to do something a little different with this match,” but then of course Loa came back 30 seconds later and did the usual beatdown spot on White. At least we got to see the Bad Luck Fall.

I always kind of dread the annual Tanahashi vs. Makabe G1 match, because it's just kind of a boring combination and they are always in the same block every year, but I have to admit that the matches always turn out to be pretty good. Today's match was no exception. They actually did manage to suck me in by the time Tanahashi was struggling to escape from Makabe's spider German.

Okada vs. YOSHI-HASHI was really good, and definitely one of the highlights of the A Block so far. This was the closest we've gotten so far in this G1 to a really high-level Okada performance (I might have liked the Okada/White match a little better than this one, but that was really all about the Switchblade character). The spot where YOSHI-HASHI countered the Rainmaker with his own big clothesline was awesome. Okada did a good job being a dick in this match, which I think really helped the crowd get behind YOSHI-HASHI, which is the essential ingredient that takes YOSHI-HASHI's matches from being merely solid to actually being memorable. There was also a moment in this match where I actually thought that the underdog was going to win, when YOSHI-HASHI hit Karma, and I credit a lot of that drama to Okada's amazing ability to kick out at 2.99999.

Re: G1 CLIMAX 28

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:57 pm
by Frank Olson
Sabre vs. Tonga didn't do much for me. I did think that Tonga Loa's introductory speech was pretty funny, but the match itself was just more of the same for the Bullet Club OGs.

Juice vs. Yano was entertaining enough, though probably my least favorite of the Yano matches so far in this tournament. We really didn't get any of the amateur wrestling stuff from Yano in this one. I don't have a problem with the standard Yano formula, but it was a little disappointing to see him rely on that when he's been mixing it up so much throughout the rest of the tournament.

Ibushi vs. Ishii was definitely the best of the matches today. It was a really vicious strike battle but a much more interesting one than Ishii and Goto had earlier in the tournament, because Ibushi's style is so different than that of the wrestlers we associate with the NEVER Title. The balcony moonsault did feel a little random in this context, but overall it was a very good match.

Naito vs. Goto was also very good, with lots of good counters and a nice fast pace. It seemed like it was missing some sort of element that would really make it memorable and make it stand out among all the other great B Block matches we've already seen, but it was a very well wrestled match.

Omega vs. SANADA was really good, but I think I went into it with the wrong expectations. After the events of the rest of the B Block I really thought that SANADA was going to win this one and have a breakout performance and big upset similar to EVIL's victory over Okada last year. We didn't get that, but now that Omega won I also see that that isn't what the match was designed to do. So while this wasn't any kind of Match of the Year like I was hoping for I still thought that these two showed really good chemistry together. The smoothness of their transitions into and out of each others' finishing moves was really impressive.

Re: G1 CLIMAX 28

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:10 pm
by OptionZero
ibushi - Ishii was fuckin insane. Kevin Kelly said it best - after that match, you should get more than 2 points. I mean we got a Balcony Moonsault, Ibushi hitting a fuckin brainbuster on Ishii, ishii kicking out of a Bomaye AT ONE, throat chops countered by THROAT PUNCHES

I think Ibushi heads into Budokan 2 pts behind Omega, beats him to tie in points and take it via tie breaker

Re: G1 CLIMAX 28

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:31 pm
by greenmanRD
Okada's run in here down the stretch is going to be super interesting. He's got EVIL, Suzuki and Tanahashi, and I don't think he's going to win all 3. It is looking more and more likely to me that Okada is going to need to win out to win this block just because of that Jay White tiebreaker.

Re: G1 CLIMAX 28

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:21 pm
by Frank Olson
Fale vs. Makabe sucked. Please stop putting these guys in the same G1 block every year.

It's interesting to compare today's White vs. Page match to the one they had in Long Beach. The crowd reaction for both guys was a lot better here than it was then. They didn't need to rely so heavily on just stiffing the hell out of each other this time, although the one bump that Page took when White shoved him off the top rope and head first onto the apron looked pretty crazy.

There was nothing wrong with Suzuki vs. EVIL, but Ibushi and Ishii really raised the bar for hard-hitting strike exchanges in this tournament and this felt more like a regular NEVER Title style of match. After you've seen someone get punched full force in the throat the usual forearm exchanges and chair shots don't really have the same impact.

I was surprised by how much I liked Tanahashi vs. YOSHI-HASHI. Their match last year was thoroughly mediocre, and Tanahashi seemed to be taking it easy in his last few G1 matches, so I wasn't expecting much here. But I thought that YOSHI-HASHI brought a lot of fire to this match and gave his best performance of the tournament so far. I never truly believed that YOSHI-HASHI would win, but these two did their best to make a lot of the near falls convincing and it was ultimately a pretty exciting match. Some of the exchanges were a little bit clunky but I thought that actually helped the match in a way by giving it more of the feel of an aggressive fight.

Okada and Elgin had my favorite match of the 2017 G1. Today's rematch lacked the “big match in an intimate setting” feel of last year's match (which I suppose was inevitable since they weren't in Korakuen this time) but it was still a damn good match, and the best of the A Block so far. Elgin's power offense just meshes really well with Okada's talent for kicking out at the last possible second. It felt like they were both pulling out moves that you don't see from them often, which is always cool.

Re: G1 CLIMAX 28

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:01 am
by JamieOD
I wonder if there is anything more to Tanahashi offering to help the wrestlers he’s beaten in the G1 so far. He said stuff like that after the Hangman and YOSHI-HASHI matches. That there is an opportunity to make a new babyface unit. It would be something new for Tanahashi, Hangman is getting over enough that I think New Japan is high on him and YOSHI as always needs to try something to improve. CHAOS is long past needing changes anyway so they can stand to lose a few guys or remodel themselves entirely.

Re: G1 CLIMAX 28

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:50 am
by BlizzardAcolyte
Trying to keep up with today's show now, I greatly enjoy the idea that Ishii is so bull-headed and one-track-minded that he can be thrown more off his game than most by the Firing Squad's antics...

Re: G1 CLIMAX 28

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:23 pm
by greenmanRD
With Sabre now eliminated, B Block is going to come down to Ibushi/Naito/Omega. I have to think Kenny is losing or drawing a match before Ibushi because if he doesn't the block will be wrapped up by the final night. If Omega is losing it almost has to be Tomohiro Ishii at this point because I don't see Yano ever getting an IWGP Title shot.

Re: G1 CLIMAX 28

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:00 pm
by rollup
looks like 14 points is the magic number for B block .... i guess Ishii is winning Kenny for the KOPW or usa show defence

Re: G1 CLIMAX 28

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:41 pm
by Heather
For today, I hate Kenny. My pick ems are toast. I hope Switchblade tinkles in his morning cornflakes.

I admit it, I'm irrationally cranky.

Re: G1 CLIMAX 28

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:29 pm
by OptionZero
Completely shocked that ZSJ lost.

It was a great match - it was too short, imo, but it had fantastic exchanges. I will never get tired of ZSJ countering everyone's best shit with an out of nowhere submission. His transitions are fantastic, and his subs always look savage. Had this gone another 5-10 minutes I think we would be talking a bout one of the best matches of the G1, best of the year even. For now, we got a sprint that showed how good a full blown match could be.

The booking here is odd. Kenny now HAS to lose to Ishii before Budokan, because if he goes into the final block night 2 points up over Naito with the tie breaker and 4 points up over Ibushi, then the block is done. There's no way they make the Ibushi-Omega match meaningless, right?

ZSj winning would have provided the requisite drama for the final block night AND created a viable title challenger for the 9/30 long beach show. ZSj v Omega headlining that would guarantee a sell out and quality main event.

Now, it'll have to be Ishii because . .. well, it can't be Toru yano, right? So Ishii will again get a KOPW title challenge and lose.

unless

unless

Does Gedo have the balls to do it? Make Ibushi/Omega meaningless from a points perspective, so its PURELY a battle for pride, love, ego, etc? That would be a twist, with Omega shooting for an undefeated G1 Climax run, with only his lover in the way, and Ibushi having no chance to win but still needing to show out.

Also - I don't see how Kenny could possibly win the block and go to the Finals again. Who's he gonna face? Tanahashi? Okada? White? Would they really burn that matchup at a G1 finals thats already sold out? And if Kenny LOSES to that A block winner, then the Tokyo Dome main event will just be . . . a rematch? That makes no sense

I am still pretty sure we have to get to Tanahashi winning A block and Ibushi winning B block witH Tanahashi winning the briefcase. Gets us a Tokyo Dome main event with Kenny and a fresh matchup that's still credible and over enough to sell tickets

Re: G1 CLIMAX 28

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:00 pm
by Heather
OptionZero wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:29 pm

Does Gedo have the balls to do it? Make Ibushi/Omega meaningless from a points perspective, so it's PURELY a battle for pride, love, ego, etc? That would be a twist, with Omega shooting for an undefeated G1 Climax run, with only his lover in the way, and Ibushi having no chance to win but still needing to show out.

Also - I don't see how Kenny could possibly win the block and go to the Finals again. Who's he gonna face? Tanahashi? Okada? White? Would they really burn that matchup at a G1 final that's already sold out? And if Kenny LOSES to that A block winner, then the Tokyo Dome main event will just be . . . a rematch? That makes no sense

I am still pretty sure we have to get to Tanahashi winning A block and Ibushi winning B block with Tanahashi winning the briefcase. Gets us a Tokyo Dome main event with Kenny and a fresh matchup that's still credible and over enough to sell tickets
I think Gedo does have the balls to do it... now I'm convinced Omega is going to finals (and SUPER pissed Zack lost). I'm still not convinced it's against Tanahashi though, only because this could be Kenny getting his win back over an irrationally overconfident White. Kenny then picks his opponent. Who knows, he might pick Naito.

Re: G1 CLIMAX 28

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:52 pm
by mrjoshdude
There's no way Kenny is winning every match, I'm like 100% that's not gonna happen. It legit wouldn't shock me to see him get rolled up by Yano but my money is on Ishii upsetting him. Ishii is perfect for getting upsets on big names and it's all set up too perfectly to not play out that way. To be honest I'm half expecting Kenny to lose to both Yano and Ishii on the way to Budokan. I guess we'll see, Gedo's a weird dude.

Re: G1 CLIMAX 28

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:21 am
by Frank Olson
Ishii did his best to make the Firing Squad antics tolerable in his match against Tama Tonga. I thought that Tonga looked a little better here than he has throughout the tournament too. I do enjoy his thing where he runs the ropes in a haphazard and convoluted way, which I don't think we've seen him do in this G1 until now. But the matches can only reach a certain level if they're going to feature constant Tonga Loa interference. I really think if they just did one or two interference spots per match that these Bullet Club OG matches would be a lot more palatable, but as it is there's never more than like 2 minutes of wrestling at a time before Tonga Loa is doing a beatdown or the referee is getting bumped, and it just makes it impossible for the matches to establish any sort of a flow.

Juice and SANADA had an enjoyable “anything you can do I can do better” style of match, which come to think of it has been the story of most of SANADA's matches in this tournament. The fact that he's told that story with a bunch of very different opponents really shows SANADA's versatility.

Naito vs. Yano was fine for what it was. I like Yano's regular antics, but I'm a little disappointed that he seems to have abandoned the “Fair Play” story that he had going for his first few tournament matches. That really gave his matches another dimension, and now it seems like he's regressed. I did laugh when Yano did his shoulder shrug pose over Naito's lounging pose, and when Yano had to pull the railing in with him to avoid being counted out, so I still enjoyed the match even though I thought it could have been better.

Omega vs. ZSJ was a really interesting clash of styles, with Sabre again showing off his amazing ability to counter seemingly any move from any position. I wasn't sure how a match between these two would even look, since Omega really doesn't do any technical wrestling whatsoever, but they played off of the stylistic contrast really well. There was one V-Trigger that didn't look great (the camera caught it missing Sabre's head although he still sold for it), and I do think these guys could have a better match if they had a little more time in a main event slot, but overall I thought this was a really fun and unique match. Like everyone else here I am a little surprised that Omega won and is still undefeated. I think we all knew that the B Block would ultimately come down to Omega, Naito and Ibushi, but it's a bit surprising that they are already the only 3 mathematically alive with 3 B Block shows left.

Ibushi vs. Goto was very good. After this match, their 2015 New Japan Cup final, and their G1 match last year, I think it's fair to say that these two have really underappreciated chemistry. There was one spot that came off a little clunky when Ibushi was supposed to flip out of Goto's top rope Code Red and the timing wasn't quite right, but other than that I thought this was a really impressive match.

Re: G1 CLIMAX 28

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:42 pm
by greenmanRD
14 points appears to be the magic number for both the A and B blocks. Okada needs to end ahead of White, will be interesting to see how they book these final two shows.