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NJPW G1 Climax 30.


The Natural
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Nights 13 and 14 probably mark the first time that Block A put on a show that was clearly better than its Block B counterpart. With that said, Night 14 was also pretty fun.

ZSJ v. Yoshi-Hashi was really good. Brutal arm submissions here, and YH brought some brutal strikes that ZSJ sold really well. YH could have been a bit more consistent with selling his arm, but that's just nitpicking. ZSJ was great post-match.

KENTA v. Yano was one of KENTA's more enjoyable G1 matches but a bit down on the list of Yano's best. Fun stuff, more dueling heelish tactics, and a wacky ending. (Briefcase contents revealed!)

SANADA v. Juice was decent. Oddly, the only thing I can really remember (other than the interminable dragon sleeper counters) is Juice's interaction with a young fan as he walked to the ring. The air "high five" choked me up a bit. Really sweet. Wasn't really expecting the finish we got.

Tanahashi v. Goto. Now this one takes me back. I'm sure they've wrestled many, many times, but I'm recalling their feud from . . . 2007? Really enjoyed that. Crowd loved this, and I did too. WAY shorter than I expected, but since I have long match fatigue that didn't bother me one bit. Pretty bonkers top rope avalanche spot near the end, which did its part (in a way) to set up the finish.

Wasn't really all that into Naito v. EVIL. Others might dig this more than I did, since I don't really have the storyline investment (having missed their unfolding feud throughout the year). Seems at this point Naito shouldn't be as fooled by Togo's antics but . . . alas. Getting a bit tired of the low blow, but then again we're also 70 matches in (not counting the excellent preliminary matches), so I guess I shouldn't be too harsh on the booking / match layout. Wanted a bit more aggressiveness between the two. Crowd didn't seem as into this match as Tanahashi v. Goto, but they were far from bored.

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Just watched ZSJ vs Yoshi-Hashi. Good stuff - G1 is just like nothing else. Yoshi-Hashi is 1-6 yet still having a 'good' G1. Imagine WWE trying to pull something like that off lol.

Right now, the stables obviously mean something different than they used to, they don't have the camaraderie of tags, and I like the intrigue that's creating.....ZSJ/Taichi are more interested in eachother than Suzuki, Bullet Club doesn't feel big enough for two kings, Okada is having an on/off 'mid-life crisis' and increasingly finds CHAOS members in his way (Yano KOPW lol, soon Ospreay last night of the block, maybe Hashi soon enough lolol).

It's all slow-burn as hell, but hella fun.

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Oof. Night 15 was, overall, not good. Boring matches and/or deflating finishes. Hopefully others like it more.

Cobb v. Ospreay felt underwhelming. Not sure if I can put my finger on why. Felt like they were both just going through the motions, even if they were working pretty hard. Surprised by the ending.

Ibushi v. Takahashi was not good at all. Ibushi should have steamrolled him. Watching Ibushi fight up from underneath against a guy who hasn't won a match (and whom White beat easily)? Oof.

Crowd liked Taichi v. Takagi, but it didn't keep my attention. Both guys have grown on me over the course of the tournament, but I just didn't like this.

The end of White v. Suzuki was really a letdown. Match was fun all the way through, but the finish annoyed me. The only time I've really liked heel-ish antics in this tournament was in Yano matches and in heel v. heel matches. Otherwise, it's all just so paint-by-the-numbers. White was in Suzuki's submissions here a little too long for my liking, and the fact that he could just keep slipping out of holds into a position to hit his finish felt pretty business-exposing (I know, sorry) rather than exciting.

(Is it possible they'll go with a White v. EVIL final?)

Okada v. Ishii. Sigh. I should have liked Ishii killing Okada in the corner with neck chops and cutting off comebacks with a diving headbutt . . . I just didn't. More complaints: Okada literally couldn't apply the Cobra Clutch to Ishii. The first application was awful. Ishii was clearly just palming the back of his own head (with Okada's fingers barely resting on top of them). The second application might have been worse. The third was depressing. And the fourth . . . FFS. Anyway, the diving knee drop was pretty great.

Edited by doctorhbomb
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Man... I HATE the Money Clip. It's so damned anticlimactic. It's destroying my ability to fully enjoy Okada's matches in this tournament.

I guess the positive thing is, I finally appreciate just how exciting a short-arm clothesline can be!

I'll mark out like a little kid the first time that Okada transitions from his crappy little Cobra clutch into a savage Rainmaker.

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Night 16 was much better than Night 15.

KENTA v. Yoshi-Hashi was more entertaining than I thought it would be. Found myself pulling for Yoshi-Hashi. That hasn't happened very often during this tournament. Felt like KENTA was in the double shoulder/butterfly lock (whatever it's called) a bit too long, but his vocal and facial selling while in the hold was really good.

ZSJ v. Juice was great. Lots of fun wrestling/striking. Less trash talking than usual? My MOTN.

Yano v. Naito was a delight. Naito's stalling was a nice touch; I enjoy the willingness of the aces to mix it up with Yano's silliness, and I laughed out loud when Naito was hiding from Yano only to try to sneakily remove the turnbuckle pad.

EVIL v. Goto was pretty good, but the heel-ish antics that felt new to me against Tanahashi have already grown stale. I've enjoyed Goto in this tournament quite a bit, though I wish there had been a bit more nuance with his selling from match to match.

Wanted to like Tanahashi v. SANADA more than I did. I don't really have any complaints; it just couldn't keep my attention. Crowd loved it, and I did catch some really fun segments. I'm just not into "main events" these days.

Btw, the preliminary matches continue to be consistently great matches. No DDTs. No leg slaps. No super kicks. No standing flip splashes. No apron spots. No X-on-the-knee.

Edited by doctorhbomb
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Just struck me how many Japanese wrestlers in this aren't NJ true born. KENTA, SANADA, and Taichi are all AJPW, Okada and Shingo are Toryumon/Dragongate, Ibushi is DDT, and Ishii is WAR. Might be missing someone. That can't have been the case in earlier G1s, right?

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30 minutes ago, Control said:

Just struck me how many Japanese wrestlers in this aren't NJ true born. KENTA, SANADA, and Taichi are all AJPW, Okada and Shingo are Toryumon/Dragongate, Ibushi is DDT, and Ishii is WAR. Might be missing someone. That can't have been the case in earlier G1s, right?

Taking a quick glance at participants for each one yeah it was usually just one or two for around a decade or so, then 3-5 once Okada moved up. The past two years has seen the highest numbers with 7 last year and 8 this year.

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"I hope everyone eats undercooked chicken and gets diarrhea" 🤣🤣🤣

ZSJ is the best heel in the world right now*. And not even HE can figure out the damn blocks! 

EDIT: * Except for Suzuki-san. Because he'll kill me if I don't add that.

Edited by Curt McGirt
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