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Raziel

NJPW G1 Climax 28, LIVE AT THE BUDOKAN! 7/14-8/12

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G1 Climax 28 Standings:

Block A:

Jay White (CHAOS) - 6

Michael Elgin - 4

Togi Makabe (GBH) - 4

Hiroshi Tanahashi - 4

EVIL (LIJ) - 4

Hangman Page (Bullet Club) - 2

Bad Luck Fale (Bullet Club OG) - 2

Kazuchika Okada (CHAOS) - 2

Minoru Suzuki (Suzuki-gun) - 2

YOSHI-HASHI (CHAOS) - 0

 

Block B:

 

Kenny Omega (Bullet Club) - 6

Kota Ibushi (Golden Elite) - 4

Tetsuya Naito (LIJ) - 4

SANADA (LIJ) - 4

Tomohiro Ishii (CHAOS) - 4

Hirooki Goto (CHAOS) - 2

Tama Tonga (Bullet Club OG) - 2

Zack Sabre Jr (Suzuki-gun) - 2

Toru Yano (CHAOS) - 2

Juice Robinson - 0

 

 

G1 Climax 28 FINALS - 8/12 Nippon Budokan - Tokyo

MAIN EVENT: G1 Climax 28 Final

Winner Block A vs. Winner Block B

 

(*As of 7/21)

 

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Going out on a limb: Bucks in, Jericho out.  Naito or Okada win it all.  Dark Horse is Ibushi if there's a big time Main Event to slot Okada in to justify the Title going on 2nd from the top.

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Don't think Cody does it.  I mean, he could.  But it's odd, I did a 20 man list but there's a solid argument for dropping a lot of old hats to make a fresher lineup this year.  I think they might roll it to 12 a block just to squeeze in 4 more guys as there are going to be some glaring omissions this year.  That is if they actually put the Bucks in.  They usually roll solid tags but historically the Tag Champs are in the tourny.

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Having the IC champ out is interesting, and maybe a bit disappointing, since the crowd always gets into the possibility that a title holder will lose. But, that's a vacancy they could fill with... someone cool? But they could also... not. So.

37 minutes ago, Raziel said:

Dark Horse is Ibushi if there's a big time Main Event to slot Okada in to justify the Title going on 2nd from the top.

It's weird. Kota/Kenny for the title, if it happens, has to go last. Right? How do you follow what they would do? Okada versus... Naito, Jericho, anyone plausible (so not, like, Punk, Bryan, Hogan, etc.)... probably doesn't top it, IC belt or no. And yet, Okada has to go last. These things can't all be true.

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37 minutes ago, West Newbury Bad Boy said:

Any chance Cody is in it this year?

Not that it'll make much of a difference. It's Yano's time. 

 

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That's the thing.  The likelyhood of Okada not going on last is < 1%, so that would rule out Omega/Ibushi maining.  You'd need something with the heat through the roof, near Onita '99 level of heat for Okada to use his "Ace" status to take out to supplant the Title as the main, but I can't think of anyone that would get that much heat.  

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37 minutes ago, Raziel said:

That's the thing.  The likelyhood of Okada not going on last is < 1%, so that would rule out Omega/Ibushi maining.  You'd need something with the heat through the roof, near Onita '99 level of heat for Okada to use his "Ace" status to take out to supplant the Title as the main, but I can't think of anyone that would get that much heat.  

I (paradoxically) agree with all of that, which is why I just don’t know where we’re headed. (Which makes this G1 fascinating.) I don’t rate Jericho THAT high; Naito would need the title; there aren’t any superstar freelancers anymore. Maybe... uh... Kawada or Mutoh come back for a real retirement match, on the biggest stage, or something similarly insane like Shibata returning from death. (Like, none of those things are happening.)

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Okada/Jericho for the IC belt really is the only match big enough to keep him out of the World title match right now.

But Jericho pulling a Lensar with the IC belt is just...yuck.

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10 hours ago, Raziel said:

That is if they actually put the Bucks in.  They usually roll solid tags but historically the Tag Champs are in the tourny.

Last year War Machine (I think?) were the champs and weren't in it, but Bucks are likely to drop back the belts to Evil/Sanada at Cow Palace anyway. And considering that IC title will be out, maybe more meaning will be given to someone defeating Evil or Sanada? Thats one way to improve the standing of tag belts.

I'm not sure if NJPW really wants to do another main event that doesn't feature heavyweight title. Road to WK8 and WK8 itself was a mess that they managed to salvage only due to Naito's new character being able to turn whole thing into a storyline. Doing that again would be risky. I'm also unsure how big Okada/Jericho would really be. Sure, big, but bigger than potential combination of Naito/Omega/Ibushi? I doubt. After all, lets not forget that Okada is less popular than Tanahashi, Naito and Omega (if we look at it in terms of world wide popularity). It is also possible that if Ibushi would be given a G1 victory then he'd soar past Okada as well since now, in my opinion, he is somewhat cold due to people being unsure about his status and G1 win would clarify that.

And Jericho should at least have a match with Evil before WK so novelty of Jericho in NJPW will be worn out even further. In other words, I don't see it. To me what keeps Okada in the main event is heavyweight title and his status as the ACE. Remove one and I have problems seeing him in main event. Maybe a loss to Omega will lead to some new places and he'll manage to grow and I'll be proven wrong, but as of now I'm sceptical.

As of now to me most obvious scenario is Okada winning G1. Which, taken in mind what I wrote before, is probably a bad call since Okada, in terms of growth, has kinda hit a ceiling with this routine of being the champ or being the challenger. People often respond by saying that business is growing so it is all fine, but realistically speaking most of the growth can probably be attribute to Omega and Naito. Both are generating way more excitement and money than AJ or Nakamura were.

Okada's journey to become the ace probably should have ended at WK9, but it was extended to WK10. Yet looking back now, following G1 he got a draw with Tanahashi and it looks like his journey has truly ended only this year in Wrestling Dontaku. He needs a new journey to grow as the wrestler, but winning G1 or main eventing WK just because is not likely to provide that. Yet his status as the ace pushes him into those two scenarios.

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I can't see Jericho or the Bucks in this, to be honest. I think Jericho might turn up on finals night though. And I think Suzuki may as well step aside. It's not worth the 1 good match to endure the 8 ringside brawls he has to do to protect his body.

Perhaps Kota Ibushi, Hangman Page, Taichi, and Jeff Cobb in for Tama Tonga, Minoru Suzuki, Yuji Nagata and Satoshi Kojima.

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Just read the Cobb booked elsewhere thing in another thread, talking out me arse here lads. 

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Ibushi was also in the G1 last year I think, and you forgot Jay White.  Also is Baretta out due to injury- wasn't he in the G1 last year as well?

 

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Baretta wasn't in it, he moved to heavyweights like 2 weeks after G1 blocks were announced so it was kind of a missed opportunity.

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I think Omega becomes the champ who actually loses between G1 and the Dome. I'm gonna say it's to Naito.

 

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Cody needed this to prove he could hang in NJPW singles matches. He had the most to gain. I think this is a very bad look for a guy who may not realize how much leeway he gets for his lackluster in-ring work. If Cody's not in than who knows what's up with the Bucks, they should have never won the tag titles in the first place. I think loading up the gaijin with belts for San Fran is going to keep a lot of title holders out of the G1 and the announced field is going to be resented.

Who knows what's gonna be up with the bottom rung. Kitamura should have been a factor in this. Honma should not be working a G1 schedule. I have nothing to say about YOSHI-HASHI other than he should be fired in January. Thank God for Taichi, who's going to be very important as a fall-or-fluke guy. Maybe David Finlay and Chuckie can get in there and eat some pins. KUSHIDA would be great.

As far as the potential winners it's the same as it always is + a bit more emphasis on Kota. Jay White needs a big run with a finish near the top of his block. There' no point in exposing Jericho with a run and he probably wouldn't come cheap. NJPW could use an out-of-towner pretty bad this year, a Marufuji/Nakajima/Rush/Whatever, but I guess they're keeping with the isolationist thing.

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21 minutes ago, John E. Dynamite said:

As far as the potential winners it's the same as it always is + a bit more emphasis on Kota. Jay White needs a big run with a finish near the top of his block. There' no point in exposing Jericho with a run and he probably wouldn't come cheap. NJPW could use an out-of-towner pretty bad this year, a Marufuji/Nakajima/Rush/Whatever, but I guess they're keeping with the isolationist thing.

Sekimoto could be a fun outsider if they go that route. He worked the last Lion's Gate Project show so one presumes he's on their radar.

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Were I to guess or hope:

Omega
White
Ibushi
Okada
Naito
Goto
Ishii
Fale
EVIL
Sanada
Tanahashi
Yano
Suzuki
ZSJ
Taichi
Juice
Elgin
Makabe
Sekimoto
Yujiro
 

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I don't think there are even going to be that many open slots for new faces this year.  Only Nagata and Kojima are certain not to return to the field  (I mean, I guess Kojima won't be fit for it).  No one would miss Makabe if he wasn't in (and he hasn't done much this year outside of the mini-program with Suzuki), but he is too much of a respected vet to be dropped unceremoniously.  Tama Tonga could also be dropped without much fuss, but he had a decent finish with 8 points last year and it would kinda go against the kayfabe of the tournament to drop him after a respectable showing.

The only other guy who really stunk it up last year was Yoshi-Hashi, and yeah, he's probably out.  

So that's 3 spots.  One is certainly reserved for Jay White.  Which leaves us with 2 whole spots to play with.

Taichi would make a lot of sense for one of them, but he's also kind of a redundancy with Yano.  Watch them fuck with us and put Iizuka in.

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I get why they put Yano in but I could do without him.  I wouldn't mind someone like Scurl in but I don't see it happening.  Makabe having one more year I am ok with. Yoshi needs to be out. He is just bland at this point and unmotivated.  Cobb is booked working IWC in Pittsburgh. I saw him work David Starr  Saturday and it was incredible. He is working Shane Taylor in July.  I would have loved seeing Cobb in with some of the other hosses like Ishii, Elgin, and Fale.     I don't think the Bucks will be in. Maybe we get KES back in the tournament but again I could do without them too.  NJPW rarely lets me down and I am sure the G1 will be as good as always. Hopefully we get all nights with English commentary this year.

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I personally would miss Yano were he not in the tournament proper, but I understand the argument against him. His surprise wins are always a thing of beauty to me, and the matches where he's paired with someone new and foreign and they just have to deal with this frog-faced lunatic are brilliant. Platitudes about health aside, I just don't think it's good for the long-term goals of the style if every match is a hard-hitting 12-15 minutes of work rate.

Also I don't think Taichi is the same, he seems to actually be a motivated worker as a heavyweight. I've been impressed by him, though I expect his ceiling is a 5-4 record with perhaps a shock pin on an upper-midcarder.

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Shouldn't ZSJ be in this?  He had a huge run in the NJ Cup and a solid match with Okada.  He's well known and a legitimate treat to anyone in the field. 

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I think that Taichi can do both. Nobody will be shocked if he low blows and roll ups someone 3 minutes into the match nor will they be surprised if he will go for full match like he did against Naito and Tanahashi. In that way I think he is superior to Yano since his longer matches tend to drag .

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3 hours ago, sevendaughters said:

I personally would miss Yano were he not in the tournament proper, but I understand the argument against him. His surprise wins are always a thing of beauty to me, and the matches where he's paired with someone new and foreign and they just have to deal with this frog-faced lunatic are brilliant. Platitudes about health aside, I just don't think it's good for the long-term goals of the style if every match is a hard-hitting 12-15 minutes of work rate.

Exactly. Yano is the perfect palate cleanser from the fan's standpoint, and from the wrestlers' standpoint it's like getting the night off. 5 minutes of shtick, gimmick, rollup, drive home safely. And he has brilliant timing on those finishes. Honestly, in a lot of ways he's the most entertaining guy in the company.

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