Well, interesting move ending on a strangely flat note.
Opening two matches were just what the doctor ordered. Mox squashes Umino, who gets a little heat and some huge respect, Mox gets his character over (ass-kicking violento babyface) and enters G1. BAM. Shingo has a mirror mode match with Kojima, who sells generously. Shingo enters G1. BAM. This is how to start a card. Wrestling. Story. Future plans. I'm in.
The next two matches are kind of just there, good undercard tag stuff, very pleasant, but I was on two monitors and spent a bit of time organising some citations in a document. No shame. Hyped for Liger-Suzuki whenever it happens.
Taichi faked like it was going to be a Taichi fuckbrawl (no offence Oyaji but this is not my favourite thing in the world) but we got a NEVER-style smash'em-up and by the end of this my hands are behind my head and I'm laughing at how good New Japan is compared to other established companies. Great match, also gives Ishii that booking protection he needs to get people over in the G1. With all the new names he might go losing record this time.
Tag team title wasn't brilliant but totally fine, humorous and the BUSHI/Jado bit gave it some levity. But the match was forgotten with the post-match - SHIBATA! KENTA!!!!!!!!! AND HE'S IN THE G1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 WHY DID I HAVE TO WRITE MY THESIS SO SLOWLY AND THUS MEAN I CAN'T WATCH WHAT COULD BE THE BEST G1 YET!!!!!!1
Not the world's hugest fan of Ospreay or Dragon Lee but by golly I was into their match and would probably say MOTN by a short head. That wipeout topé was absolutely sick as hell but well scouted for safety. Strange that there was no Hiromu or Ospreay G1 announcement, but word is Ospreay announced he would enter backstage. BAM.
A few people on Twitter are up in arms about the rough spots in Naito-Ibushi. I'm not one of them but this was probably the hardest to stay on board with. The replay of that German on the apron...I thought I saw a man die there. Biggest cringe since Sid's leg break. Good match but maybe I was taken out a little.
The main event was doubly disappointing inasmuch as it was a fine if forgettable match with a politicsed ending - no way is Jericho going to take a proper 'you got bossed' ending. I get that, but the post-match schmoz was uninspiring too and left Okada looking like a schmoe, Tana like a joe, and Jericho like he should just go.
But I did really enjoy the show. Strange what the ending can do for you.