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NJPW G1 Climax 30.


The Natural
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I think I'm in love with retired Liger having the time of his life commentating without having to worry about any of his angles.  He's approaching Dusty enjoying what he's watching levels.

Edited by Raziel
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Man, it's really nice to see these NJPW shows with live fans in attendance. Drawing decent crowds all things considered. 

I don't know about anyone else, but I really like the G1 Climax cards without the alternating tag matches. Just seems like the shows are a lot leaner and paced better this way. 

Loved seeing Juice Robinson back in Japan and the Blues Brothers entrance was great. I especially liked Liger and the Japanese commentary team going a long with his stomping. 

Zack Sabre Jr. and EVIL I think probably had my favorite match on Night 2. Really good finish as well.

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Finally got around to watching night 2. I thought night 1 was better, but even stuff from night 1 bugged me, like with Okada vs Ibushi. The finish to Yano/Sanada was a highlight. Any time something goes wrong, I'm always going to think of Sanada's face while he's just standing there. He's a living meme.

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31 minutes ago, Craig H said:

Finally got around to watching night 2. I thought night 1 was better, but even stuff from night 1 bugged me, like with Okada vs Ibushi. The finish to Yano/Sanada was a highlight. Any time something goes wrong, I'm always going to think of Sanada's face while he's just standing there. He's a living meme.

And of course Dave pissed and moaned about that because God forbid we have matches without guys killing themselves doing stuff that will end up leaving them crippled drooling vegetables.

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9 minutes ago, sabremike said:

And of course Dave pissed and moaned about that because God forbid we have matches without guys killing themselves doing stuff that will end up leaving them crippled drooling vegetables.

Yeah, I know. I already heard Dave whine about it and I figured, like most things, it wasn't remotely that bad. It wasn't It was silly Yano shit.

Dave's always going to be annoyed by Yano, too many ref bumps in NJPW, and NJPW refs ignoring heel tactics.

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Especially in a marathon tournament like this, you can’t have every single G1 match be a Suzuki Ishii slugfest or Tana Naito epic, it needs variety and layers. Not to say I want a shitty worker to add the ‘variety’ of a sub par match, but Yano’s schtick is creative, well executed and it’s fun to see the more ‘serious business’ wrestlers work as a foil to him. Plus, there’s nothing wrong with bringing more light-hearted stuff to 2020.

I forgot to mention in my earlier post, SANADA is the quintessential straight man to Yano’s antics, his low-key pissed-off expressions are just perfect.

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2 hours ago, Custos said:

Especially in a marathon tournament like this, you can’t have every single G1 match be a Suzuki Ishii slugfest or Tana Naito epic, it needs variety and layers. Not to say I want a shitty worker to add the ‘variety’ of a sub par match, but Yano’s schtick is creative, well executed and it’s fun to see the more ‘serious business’ wrestlers work as a foil to him. Plus, there’s nothing wrong with bringing more light-hearted stuff to 2020.

I forgot to mention in my earlier post, SANADA is the quintessential straight man to Yano’s antics, his low-key pissed-off expressions are just perfect.

But he's not a shitty worker, and in fact I'd say he's among the best workers in the company if you think about it: He has matches that are incredibly safe for both him and his opponent, are highly entertaining, almost always get over big and because of his safe style he'll be able to keep going forever.

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16 minutes ago, sabremike said:

But he's not a shitty worker, and in fact I'd say he's among the best workers in the company if you think about it: He has matches that are incredibly safe for both him and his opponent, are highly entertaining, almost always get over big and because of his safe style he'll be able to keep going forever.

Yes I absolutely agree, I was saying the hypothetical shitty worker in contrast to what we actually have, which is a very smart and safe worker who with any luck will be shrugging at us and shilling his shit into his 60’s.

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1 hour ago, Custos said:

Yes I absolutely agree, I was saying the hypothetical shitty worker in contrast to what we actually have, which is a very smart and safe worker who with any luck will be shrugging at us and shilling his shit into his 60’s.

 

1 minute ago, Archibald said:

I'll take Yano over Yujiro any day.

This.

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11 hours ago, sabremike said:

And of course Dave pissed and moaned about that because God forbid we have matches without guys killing themselves doing stuff that will end up leaving them crippled drooling vegetables.

Stuff like Yano is a good reason why I'm not so obsessed with snowflake ratings anymore. I think my problem is that I find star ratings so arbitrary. I loved Yano's match match with Sanada over the weekend. It did what it's supposed to do, and it worked perfectly for Yano's character. I don't need something to hit some sort of imaginary or proverbial scale to be considered classic or good or iconic.

Yano's match with Moxley in last year's tournament was another one of my favorites. Yano is going to do everything in his power to avoid a straight-up brawl with Moxley. It makes perfect sense. And Moxley was tearing through guys in the tournament at that point.

Not only that, a Yano match in this tournament is like a perfect little palette cleanser and gives us something a little different in between the grueling, emotional power struggles. 

Edited by TheVileOne
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I have no idea what other people think of NJPW, or Yano specifically, but we can't be the only people out there that "get" Yano, right? He's not that hard of a wrestler to understand or even like or appreciate.

I'm also in the same boat for star ratings. For Dave, I get that they're just a measure of how much he liked a match. If I throw out a star rating, that's pretty much me just showing how much I liked something. I mean, I thought the AEW street fight should have had something like 8 stars and I don't think that's anywhere close to being the greatest match of all time. I just thought it delivered everything I wanted to see and it was damn near perfect in my eyes. I loved it. It's just hard to get wrapped up in "well, how could this match get 5 stars and this other match only get 3." Who cares? How much did you like it? That's all that matters even if it may be hard for others to understand that.

Another example - Okada vs Shibata. If I were to give that any sort of star rating, it would be something like 2 stars because it's fucking depressing. It ended Shibata's career. Was it awesome as fuck for about 90% of that match? Yeah, it was, but the 10% of Shibata just being complete GONE and later stumbling to the back because he was dying erases any enjoyment of that match for me and makes it very uncomfortable to watch.

Yano's matches don't have to be about workrate or star ratings or any of that shit. Was it good, was it enjoyable, was it clever? To me, that's what I care about.

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18 hours ago, TheVileOne said:

Not only that, a Yano match in this tournament is like a perfect little palette cleanser and gives us something a little different in between the grueling, emotional power struggles. 

Exactly. It shouldn't really make sense for what Yano does to exist in the traditionally serious, typically pure sport, strong style world that is NJPW. I love NJPW, but one really needs something to act as a break or counterpoint to all of the bloody forearm exchanges. Yano is perfect for that.

Another way I like to think about what he does (and wrestlers everywhere who occupy a similar position, I suppose): there can be lot of fun in someone who has picked out a character and wrestles to it. Doesn't need to be just moves - body language, facial expressions, whole thing. What do you do that sets you apart from the rest of the wrestlers on the roster and explains who you are at the same time? As the rest of you have pointed out in a variety of ways, Yano is fantastic at this aspect of pro-wrestling. He's not just another "guy who is athletic enough to do cool stuff in there" like we've seen plenty of in 21st century wrestling.

 

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Some thoughts on the last show:

Cobb is looking way better this year, I thought both his matches were solid so far. Okada adds more wood to the "is he hurt or is this a storyline?" fire, either way it looks really bad.

Taichi/Suzuki was great and had very surprising finish. Whats next? Taichi talking to the iron fingers at the end was also a bit interesting.

Ishii/Ospreay was... disappointing? Definitely not a bad match, really good one in fact, BUT. I think till they got outside match was really going nowhere and when you think about Ishii and Ospreay having a singles match... I think most of us think about a potential MOTY yet I'd argue that it wasn't even a match of the night and I'll be surprised if it ends up being in Top 10 of this G1. And its not like they have a reason to hold back since they are unlikely to have some big program in the future.

White/Ibushi for me was fantastic and match of the tournament so far. I usually don't like Ibushi going into terminator mode, but here it worked perfectly since it allowed Ibushi to sell his leg very well and at the same give him an out for why he just starts murdering Jay. Gedo was there because Gedo has to be there, but it was relatively short and didn't detract from the match at all.

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I haven't followed NJPW for years. I've had a basic sense of who was main eventing the January Tokyo Dome shows year-to-year, but I rarely watched them. Decided to subscribe to NJPW World and watch the whole tournament. Never watched a whole G1C, and who knows when I'll get a chance again.

Favorite matches thus far:

1. Suzuki v. Ishii (Night 1) [by a wide, wide margin]
2. ZSJ v. EVIL (Night 2) [really enjoyed the style contrast; fun ending]
3. Yano v. Sanada (Night 2) [super fun ending; goofy change-of-pace]

I enjoyed other matches too, but I haven't been into any of the main events from the first three nights. I found Night 3 pretty boring overall (not quite as much enthusiasm or energy) and felt some of the finishes were a bit of a letdown. (In hindsight, I may enjoy the matches of Night 3 more on a rewatch, depending how the rest of the tournament goes; maybe the novelty of watching wrestling live at 4:30am has already worn off.)

Edited by doctorhbomb
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This is going to sound completely fucking random, but I had a dream last night that Taichi was IWGP champion. How or why I dreamed about Taichi, I don't know. I just know he was champion and I was completely meh about it.

If he winds up winning the G1, I don't think I'm going to sleep again.

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2 hours ago, Archibald said:

White/Ibushi for me was fantastic and match of the tournament so far. I usually don't like Ibushi going into terminator mode, but here it worked perfectly since it allowed Ibushi to sell his leg very well and at the same give him an out for why he just starts murdering Jay. Gedo was there because Gedo has to be there, but it was relatively short and didn't detract from the match at all.

Yeah, as someone who loves terminator mode Ibushi, this was easy MOTT (so far) to me. Ibushi's best limb selling in... a while, and a great (non-Ishii) example of how "no selling" can be selling, when done right. 

And the Taichi push continues, and feels totally earned.  

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I mean, we know the office at NJPW likes Yano or he wouldn't be sticking around. And he always gets reactions during matches and he's featured in a lot of their outside stuff so I'd say Yano is appreciated by most. And I'm a guy that like a little bit of goofy stuff in my wrestling. It's inherently goofy so embrace it to a point.

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Taichi on a tear and Cobb looking more explosive and less sluggish than he did last year based on the two matches so far. Yujiro is such a channel changer though I spend most of my time skipping hammering the arrow key skipping forward even in an Okada match. Ospreay's ragdoll crumple on the Ishii forearm was the highlight of that match. Lastly, world-class dickhead Jay has been sorely missed.

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