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NJPW 2017 G1 Climax 27


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10 minutes ago, The Natural said:

I haven't watched any G1 Climax 27 matches this year. Which are the must see matches? The best of the best only. I ask as the tournament has so many matches/days. Thank you.

Dave Meltzer's ratings through Day 11 or 12 are in this thread somewhere. Here's all the matches I have rated 4 or above personally. Obviously you don't know my taste so buyer beware and all. Eagle-eyed readers will note I originally gave Elgin-Omega 4.75.

5 Suzuki-Okada

4.5 Ishii-Nagata, Elgin-Omega, Naito-Ishii, Ishii-Tanahashi

4.25 Kojima-Juice, Ibushi-Naito, Ishii-Ibushi, Ibushi-Tanahashi, EVIL-Okada

4 EVIL-Sanada, Goto-Nagata, Nagata-Tanahashi, Okada-Elgin, Okada-SANADA, Tanahashi-Fale, Nagata-Naito, Goto-Tanahashi, Makabe-Nagata, Ishii-Fale, Naito-Sabre, Kojima-SANADA, YOSHIHASHI-Ibushi

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I wasn't as high on the February Suzuki title defence as Dave and others were. Today's match blew that one out of the water and if it isn't the best of the tournament so far it's right there. Them going back and forth until the last 5-7 minutes when Okada's cumulative damage from previous matches in the tournament and through his title run caught up to him was a way more engaging story in my mind than Suzuki stretching Okada for 30 minutes. Suzuki, comparatively, has had a light schedule and hasn't committed 100% every night like Okada has, so he had more in his tank to outlast Okada. Incredible stuff. When the crowd turned on Okada after he landed the Gotch style tombstone and he laughed? Holy fuck, this guy gets it (sorry Bayley). 

I thought the Juice match may have been Yano's best of the tournament so far. Loved the dreads and under the ring spots. 

Omega/SANADA was really good but,  as Beech mentioned, Kenny was trying to end it ASAP and avoid taking damage so it was never going to be a classic with that in mind. I hope Omega learns from tonight and cuts the guardrail moonsault out of his arsenal. Not worth the risk.  

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One more thing, the main reason I don't think Gedo books Omega over Okada in a short match is that's pretty much the only meaningful match on the show. Running Sumo Hall three consecutive nights is a big deal for the company, so I don't know if they want to potentially hurt business by doing that. It would be historical, but I just don't see New Japan doing that. But as I've said before, who knows? That's part of the intrigue and charm of the tournament. So many avenues opened in both of the remaining two deciding matches.

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23 minutes ago, Oyaji said:

One more thing, the main reason I don't think Gedo books Omega over Okada in a short match is that's pretty much the only meaningful match on the show. Running Sumo Hall three consecutive nights is a big deal for the company, so I don't know if they want to potentially hurt business by doing that. It would be historical, but I just don't see New Japan doing that. But as I've said before, who knows? That's part of the intrigue and charm of the tournament. So many avenues opened in both of the remaining two deciding matches.

Not only are they not hurting business with that finish, they're paying it forward.

Remember the J-CROWN tournament in 1996? They ran Liger vs Ultimo Dragon, title-vs-title. It went 2:38. And everyone lost their GD minds for the finish. Didn't hurt business one bit.

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it'd be a neat idea. Omega's big stuff targets the lats/neck/delts so it could work. One problem is that I don't see where the time-fillers are on the lower card. Outside of the permutations for the block it is still a one match show. remember with these guys 15 minutes is considered breezy so you could get the best of both worlds there.

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37 minutes ago, sevendaughters said:

One problem is that I don't see where the time-fillers are on the lower card.

Yano should tap out the second Suzuki so much as looks at him, so that's one option down. 

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1 hour ago, Pete said:

Not only are they not hurting business with that finish, they're paying it forward.

Remember the J-CROWN tournament in 1996? They ran Liger vs Ultimo Dragon, title-vs-title. It went 2:38. And everyone lost their GD minds for the finish. Didn't hurt business one bit.

That was an undercard match in the first round of a junior tournament that was running concurrently with the G1 Climax. This is the third match in the promotion's biggest feud headlining the last stage of the G1 group stage in Sumo Hall, and it's a show full of dead rubber matches barring this. I don't think it's really comparable. I'm not saying it couldn't work, I'm saying I'm not sure it will and it's a big risk. Gedo doesn't seem risk averse though. 

I don't remember Ogawa's flash pinfall over Akiyama for the GHC title doing great business, but that's probably more on it being Ogawa than the flash finish. Akiyama was never the same, but Okada has a a litany of reasons for such a match happening that Akiyama did not. Fuck, I hated the way they booked Akiyama in NOAH. He needed to be the guy to take the torch from Kobashi and Misawa and they botched it all to hell.

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Exactly. The flash finishes can work really well in a semi-main or undercard spot, but I don't love the idea of it happening in the main event. Maybe on a house show in the middle of the G1. That way you can continually refer back to it afterwards getting the rewards for doing such a finish.

Plus, Hiromu got his shit in on that match and so did KUSHIDA. That was one of the best sub-5 minute matches I've seen.

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2 minutes ago, Oyaji said:

Exactly. The flash finishes can work really well in a semi-main or undercard spot, but I don't love the idea of it happening in the main event. Maybe on a house show in the middle of the G1. That way you can continually refer back to it afterwards getting the rewards for doing such a finish.

I think you're minimizing the impact of that finish if you run it mid-series. You run it at Sumo Hall, you put Kenny over Okada with the OWA in a quick sprint, you're strapping the rocket to his back and lighting the fuse while the world is watching. You're re-educating everyone to the idea that a finish can come from anywhere, at any time.

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If you do that, he has to win the tournament or it devalues the win over Okada. I'm excited to see what they do. It doesn't happen often in wrestling, but New Japan is great at setting up many GOOD possibilities. 

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27 minutes ago, Oyaji said:

If you do that, he has to win the tournament or it devalues the win over Okada. I'm excited to see what they do. It doesn't happen often in wrestling, but New Japan is great at setting up many GOOD possibilities. 

Precisely. Your 2-time, 2-time G1 champion.

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2 hours ago, sevendaughters said:

when they did Masakatsu Funaki over Akiyama (poor fucking guy) for the Triple Crown in 5 mins, same idea, didn't quite boom business.

Poor guy indeed, but he was the one who booked it. Same with the losses to Ratboy and Marufuji, I think I read that he just never liked being the champ.

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7 hours ago, The Natural said:

I haven't watched any G1 Climax 27 matches this year. Which are the must see matches? The best of the best only. I ask as the tournament has so many matches/days. Thank you.

I definitely haven't watched every match, but there has been a lot of high quality stuff - favs so far in rough order:

Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Kota Ibushi, Day 3
Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr., Day 13
Minoru Suzuki vs. Kazuchika Okada, Day 16
Tetsuya Naito vs. Kota Ibushi, Day 1
Kota Ibushi vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Day 5
Yuji Nagata vs. Hirooki Goto, Day 3
Juice Robinson vs. SANADA, Day 12
Yuji Nagata vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Day 5
Kota Ibushi vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Day 11
Kazuchika Okada vs. EVIL, Day 14
Yuji Nagata vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Day 1

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I thought Okada/Suzuki was a lot better than their February match, too.  Building a match around Okada's knee is a losing proposition, because he's gonna get all his dropkicks in, no matter what.  So changing up to his neck improved things from the get go.  He crowd rallying behind Suzuki was...unexpected.

On he downside, though, I thought they clearly ran out of ideas to fill time late in the match.  It was like they had planned spots synced to the timekeeper announcements, but then had nothing in between, so they just slapped and slapped and slapped each other.  Slapped forever.  There really was quite a lot of slapping.

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Side note:  it's getting easy to spot the guys who've been going the hardest and are super beat-up, because they're starting to carry some extra weight from skipping workouts to rest their bodies.

Okada, in particular, is looking like he's gonna need a size up in tights for Sumo Hall.

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It was in Yokohama, Suzuki's hometown, so I think Okada was waiting for the crowd to really turn on him instead of going 50/50. It took until the cheeky tombstone but he finally got them. I kind of felt like the slaps went a bit long too but then Okada's selling and timing with them were top notch. Like he'd build up enough steam to get one good one and then Suzuki would fire back with a good one and a flurry to follow up and he'd sell and sell. Okada selling fatigue, accumulation of damage, and head/neck injuries is probably second to none. His leg selling... VERY hit or miss.

I noticed Tanahashi's abs weren't as prominently on display since the biceps injury. NOT THAT I'M LOOKING AT TANAHASHI'S FIGURE. O_O Stupid sexy Tanahashi. Meltz said Naito injured his shoulder in the Sabre match. Nobody's feeling great right now. Do they travel on chartered buses? I went 100% nerd and looked up trip times from city to city and there were a lot of 4-5 hour drives early on. Once they started going south, particularly to Shikoku and Kyushu the past week and a bit, the drives would be over 10 hours frequently. Not being able to sleep on beds after those grueling matches would be dreadful. 

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The arm injury must limit the training Tana can do, so he almost certainly is a little less jacked. I think Omega, Ibushi, and SANADA have all said at least somewhat recently that they're still trying to bulk up a bit to be ~true heavyweights~. Speaking of Suzuki, he's the one guy who looks leaner than usual. Like, thinner than he did 15 years ago. The gaunt face exposes his cheekbones, an excellent defense against slaps. Kayfabe!

Regarding the busses: Omega was on the Squared Circle Pit Podcast on Metal Injection (which is a thing that exists, I guess), and he actually goes into the specifics of G1 travel a bit. They're split up by faction, which is great.

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agree on the bod slippage. Goto looks doughy and tired. I wouldn't go to the gym if I were them.

I think I'd like to see some kind of jr. tag/young lions tournament on the early card to be honest (or spread throughout the night). It'd make me watch it for a start. I think it is slightly ridiculous that they get the in-competition guys to come out and work a match.

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