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NJPW 2017 G1 Climax 27


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When all is said and done with the G1 are-

Naito/Okada

Ibushi/Omega

Tanahashi vs ZSJ/Ishii/Juice(?!?!) 

- the top 3 matches for Wrestle Kingdom?

Naito and Okada are surely pulling some sort of a double turn somewhere down the line even if it isn't at WK.

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you'd figure that Naito, Okada, Ibushi, Omega, and Tanahashi are, in some combination, working the top 3 matches, but I wouldn't put money on any particular combination right now. I would have expected Shibata in a big spot somehow but right now I couldn't guess who gets in. Have to think Cody and Elgin have a chance. Maybe they run with SANADA or EVIL? Or bring in an outsider? It's tantalising.

If pressed to guess I'd say something like

IWGP: Okada (c) vs. Naito (G1)
IC: Tanahashi (c) vs. SANADA
Kenny vs. Ibushi
NEVER: Suzuki (c) vs. EVIL
ROH vs. US: Elgin (US) vs. Cody (ROH)
Jr. KUSHIDA (c) vs. Hiromu
Tag: War Machine (c) vs. Goto & Ishii
Jr. Tag: Young Bucks (c) vs. Rocky & Will Ospreay
NEVER 6: Taguchi Japan vs. Bullet Club B-team
NJ Rumble

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Figuring out what Shibata was going to do really is, apart from seeing how the G1 plays out, something like a skeleton key here. It's possible--though for various reasons, I think rather unlikely--Ibushi wasn't going to be in the G1 at all, or maybe EVIL is simply getting the push Shibata would have. It's impossible to say, though. I was pretty certain Shibata was beating Okada, then dropping the belt to Omega, who would defend against G1-winner Okada. So I'm... not exactly omniscient. 

Which is what you'd need to be, in order to predict who, if anyone, gets hurt, whether in random fashion or succumbing to something chronic. (Would anyone be that shocked if Tanahashi's arm finally demanded surgery?) Cody wasn't announced until December, so there's also the possibility a big name is added, rather than subtracted from the roster. 

And maybe, however the stars seem aligned right now, someone other than Naito wins the G1. (Astronomy metaphors ultimately weren't that kind to him, after all.)

That said... I think he is winning it, giving us Okada/Naito to close the show. The next question, to me, is do they hold off Ibushi/Tanahashi until the Dome, or is it Ibushi/Omega? If the former, I'd guess Omega gets Cody in an implicit battle for Bullet Club. (I think/hope it's the latter, though. Even putting aside my long-lost DDT fandom, I'm just not that impressed with Cody.) Other than that... Juice will still be under 30 at the time, so he should win the NEVER title, finally bringing it near its original purpose.  

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I really hope Tanahashi gets surgery, even if it means he misses Wrestle Kingdom. Meltz was saying he'd have 90% power in that arm permanently without surgery, and even that sounded like best case scenario. I remember him letting loose a guttural yell of agony after hitting the high fly flow to the outside on Ibushi and just thinking, "why?". I know he's still a core guy for the company but they can survive six months without him, particularly now that he's taken a secondary role to Okada.

After Ibushi was eliminated, it became pretty clear to me that Naito is winning. Naito didn't have to beat Makabe and they could've stretched out the drama of a 3 or 4 man race for Block A, but it's now just the one meaningful match come Friday. Tanahashi couldn't even stand after his last match with Makabe. He has a built in excuse for losing to Naito. And if Naito can get a relatively easier win over a banged up Tanahashi, he'll have the advantage over whomever survives Okada/Omega. It's logical booking but not exactly the most surprising.

I do hope Ibushi sticks around on a more permanent basis, or at least as much as that's possible with Kota's need for freedom. The contract agreement he had with DDT and NJPW was so great. I get that he wants to work elsewhere these days but I hope they can come to some agreement that he's there for more than just big shows and a tournament. Fuck Tiger Mask W btw. 

Cody vs. Kenny should happen in autumn with Kenny going babyface after realizing the errors of his ways (he's been incredibly egocentric even for a heel, saying it's all about me me me me me, etc.). Have Omega and Ibushi take years off each their careers in January and it can serve as a full reconciliation and babyface turn. That's how I'd do it, but I'm no Gedo. Babyface Omega can then finally triumph over Okada in a singles match whether it's for the title or not. I would like Okada's desire to be the best of all time to get to his head even more so than it already has and for him to show more outward contempt and disrespect of his opponents like with what we saw in the Kojima match. He was fascinating to watch in that, he just seemed so naturally detestable.

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It's kinda fascinating to me that, as hot as NJPW has been this year, the top 2 programs have stayed pretty much the same: Okada/Omega and Naito/Tanahashi.  Those matches headlined WK, Dominion, and now the final nights of the G1 block rounds.  Both could easily stretch into the fall or early next year, depending on how this tournament shakes out, too.

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They could, though it's also interesting to me that we could see each feud (at least temporarily) blown off this week, with the "winner" in each case paradoxically being the guy without the belt. 

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13 hours ago, EVA said:

Yoshi-Hashi is easily the least intimidating person called "Headhunter" in the history of wrestling.  Maybe all of human history.

I don't understand this whole Yoshi-Hashi gimmick at all.  I always laugh when he comes down to the ring and instead of touching hands with the fans he just kind of let's his staff dangle out there for them to touch.  Seems like such a heel thing to do, like he's too good to touch fans.  I don't know why any fans would be interested in that, I keep waiting for someone to just flip him off instead.  And I always laugh when he ends up getting carried to the back and someone else has to carry his monkey staff for him.  I think he's walked off and carried his staff himself only once after a G1 match so far this tournament, though I much prefer seeing him being carried off to the back by some young boys.

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His gimmick, as I understand it, is based on the Monkey King character from Journey to the West. Not that Chinese mythology is the most current, but Dragonball used some of it--the tail and staff--which is why, I assume, Yoshihashi has the spiked blonde hair also; his finisher being called Karma reflects the Buddhist roots of the original work. I think trickster-God-made-flesh could work, but he doesn't really wrestle that way--Yano, basically--or commit to a kinda silly gimmick as totally as someone like EVIL does. As is, it's really just an aesthetic. Still, he's an underdog the crowd always gets behind. There are less useful people to have on a roster. (Even if his primary appeal to me is in losing.)

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He's a total serviceable lower midcard babyface that can lose 95% of the time and the crowd still kind of sort of get behind him. It's fine. I would be totally cool if this is his last G1 and they find somebody with more upside for next year, like Jay White or even one of the Tempura Boyzzz. He's improved a great deal but still isn't all that great when not paired with the right opponent (somebody that can carry the heavy load in a match and whoop his ass for extended periods). 

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I watched his retirement ceremony two days ago and cried too much. Seeing Hayabusa with that smile, standing there just did me in. Holy shit. I wasn't watching wrestling at the time, so I didn't know he retired until way after the fact. He and CIMA were my favourite Toryumon/early DG acts back in the day. 

He's the man on commentary too. Random "OH SHIT!" here. "HE LOVES ME SOOOOO MUCH!" for Sanada during the Paradise Lock shoutout. 

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day 16 from Yokohama insta-reactions

Kojima-Tonga house show singles match, Tonga dicked around and acted the prick, Kojima got mad and did a comeback, finish not long after. **3/4

Juice-Yano short and sweet comedy match with a couple of inventive spots. **1/2

Elgin-EVIL solid big lads match that ended in the right place for its spot on the card. Aside from one early spot, EVIL wrestles like a babyface even against Elgin. Curiously I don't think if you turned him face he'd get the same response. ***3/4

Omega-SANADA started out going for the big bombs, Kenny trying to get that OWA, SANADA going for the Mutasault, once they realised they had to work a match they did a short rebuild back to where they where. Flew past, good match. ***3/4

Suzuki-Okada for me this topped their main event from earlier in the year (which I loved). the real Minoru Suzuki stands up to be counted with a brutal affair against an incredibly fiery Okada. my favourite rare Suzuki move was unfurled and from there to the finish you couldn't have torn me away if you'd have put a rope around me and attached to an Amtrak. MOTT so far. *****

 

 

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Pretty inspiring bit of booking/complementary work on display.

Omega gets SANADA, a guy with a reputation for giving half his best, even when it matters. When it doesn't? Eh. So, Omega seemed pretty intent on winning quickly. And why wouldn't he? SANADA was game enough, and the match was... pretty good. Crowd never really got behind SANADA as an underdog, and Omega never really seemed in too much danger. Which works when you watch the match that follows. Cool finish, though, and adds a dimension of "outtanowhere" to the OWA. (Note: the fans doing the "rise of the Terminator" clapping for the v-trigger is relatively new, isn't it? I like it.)

Okada, on the other hand, is cursed to face Suzuki, treated as the most dangerous--if not the best--man in the tournament since the opening press conference, whose only speed is kill. Even petulant, unmotivated Suzuki, who can't be bothered to really commit to a match, will stiff the hell out of you to amuse himself. But oh, was he motivated today. My favorite match of the tournament, and it will take some doing to replace it. The finish also contrasts nicely with Omega's match. Okada's increasingly having trouble putting people away with the Rainmaker, even when he hits it, and now Omega can hit his death move (only kicked out of by Ibushi in 2012, but never in New Japan) without an elaborate setup? Spells trouble. 

Okada had to work twice as long, and four times as hard. Still, a draw will be enough to see him through. But can he last the half hour it will take to get it? 

 

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people have been doing the T2 clapping and they've also started chanting along with Yano's BREAK BREAK BREAK bit. it's great.

forgot to mention Kenny's self-own botch outside the ring. could have ended badly. always feel something could go wrong with those guard rail flips.

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1 hour ago, Beech27 said:

Okada had to work twice as long, and four times as hard. Still, a draw will be enough to see him through. But can he last the half hour it will take to get it? 

Nope. The fact that they've established these super-long matches makes me think they go hard in the opposite direction. I really feel like Omega hits the OWA and wins in under 10 minutes. Maybe even 5.

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28 minutes ago, Pete said:

Nope. The fact that they've established these super-long matches makes me think they go hard in the opposite direction. I really feel like Omega hits the OWA and wins in under 10 minutes. Maybe even 5.

Omega was in a similar situation last year, as Naito only needed a draw to advance. That match, of course, nearly went the distance, and it took a lot of risks and bombs for Omega to break the tape in time. So if Omega/Okada is indeed that short, it will be something of a dual subversion. Which would be interesting, and you could do it, having established--whether it was entirely intended or not--the v-trigger as a move with flash knockout ability. I can imagine Okada coming out of the corner casually, expecting a staredown, lockup, etc., but Omega just sprints across the ring and drills him. However, I can also see another epic, where Omega digs deep into his moveset--and maybe, like against Goto last year, digs into that of others too--against a defensive Okada who uses his dropkicks and a Rainmaker or three to buy space and time. 

I'm intrigued, though, and confident it will be different from their previous bouts, while remaining excellent. 

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1 minute ago, Beech27 said:

Omega was in a similar situation last year, as Naito only needed a draw to advance. That match, of course, nearly went the distance, and it took a lot of risks and bombs for Omega to break the tape in time. So if Omega/Okada is indeed that short, it will be something of a dual subversion. Which would be interesting, and you could do it, having established--whether it was entirely intended or not--the v-trigger as move with flash knockout ability. I can imagine Okada coming out of the corner casually, expecting a staredown, lockup, etc., but Omega just sprints across the ring and drills him. However, I can also see another epic, where Omega digs deep into his moveset--and maybe, as against Goto last year, digs into that of others too. 

I'm intrigued, though, and confident it will be different from their previous bouts, while remaining excellent. 

How can they out-epic a 60-minute draw in half the time? So why even try here? Kenny's in the ascendancy and a loss won't hurt Okada at all while adding intrigue to his title picture, so this should be quick and merciless. Guarantee you that will blow the roof off the hall.

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9 minutes ago, Pete said:

How can they out-epic a 60-minute draw in half the time? So why even try here? Kenny's in the ascendancy and a loss won't hurt Okada at all while adding intrigue to his title picture, so this should be quick and merciless. Guarantee you that will blow the roof off the hall.

They probably can't, and you're right about all the rest. Truthfully, it's what I'd like to see, if only for the pure holy shit factor. It would be the sort of moment you dig up on youtube in bored moments to remind yourself how cool this whole endeavor can be. But I'm just not gonna be shocked if they find a way to fill 29 minutes. 

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3 minutes ago, Beech27 said:

They probably can't, and you're right about all the rest. Truthfully, it's what I'd like to see, if only for the pure holy shit factor. It would be the sort of moment you dig up on youtube in bored moments to remind yourself how cool this whole endeavor can be. But I'm just not gonna be shocked if they find a way to fill 29 minutes. 

Kayfabe POV: Okada advances with a draw so he can go into victory formation and run out the clock, but realistically both guys need to keep things short and sweet since the final is the following night. So I see them throwing bombs from the opening bell. Oh the humanity.

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I've heard three possible scenarios, but I don't know which is correct.

1) Sudden death. Pretty clear.

2) Break the tie using most pinfall wins. In this case, Naito advances, because Tanahashi beat Fale on a countout. 

3) Break the tie using record against whoever ends up third in the block. This could be Ibushi or Fale. If the former, Naito would advance, since he beat Ibushi and Tanahashi did not. If the latter, Tanahashi would advance, since he beat Fale and Naito did not. Fwiw, this scenario favors Naito, since Ibushi has a tough test against Goto, whereas Fale faces Nagata and already beat Ibushi. So, for Ibushi to take third, he needs to beat Goto, and Nagata must upset Fale. It's a tad complicated, maybe, but does put some import on matches other than the main. 

There will be english commentary for this show, so it should be made clear during the broadcast what the criteria is.

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