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NJPW G1 Climax 31.


The Natural
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Wasn't so high on night 1 with the A Block but Naito and Zack ruled, not too comfortable with picking winners since I've been pretty bad at it the last few years but out of the entire field Naito vs. Shingo at Wrestlekingdom seems like the most enticing option. Really hoping KENTA mercs Yano for that down the line.....

Really enjoyed Night 2 for B Block though, Taichi and Goto was outstanding and was really surprised by how good Sanada and Tama was. If anyone deserves "fight forever" it's Okada and Tanahashi, every time they get together it feels like magic.

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So far my MOTNs: Naito/ZSJ, Tanahashi/Okada. Overall strong start for the tournament and feels like certain guys like GoD, Chase and Yujiro want to show that they really belong and weren't picked just because NJPW was short on guys.

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Thought night 2 was better than night 1. Solid undercard and two really good matches to finish. My best 3 matches of first two nights: 

1. Okada v Tanahashi 

2. Takagi v Ishii

3. Taichi v Goto

Pumped for the 23rd, can't wait for Shingo v Zack and Ishii v Ibushi should be a war. 

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Naito is out of the G1 due to knee injury. No replacement, instead all competitors will receive 2 points for the forfeit and compete in a special singles match instead.

The special single matches: Tanga Loa and Shingo Takagi will face Yuji Nagata in theirs, Yujiro Takahashi and Toru Yano take on BUSHI, KENTA and Tomohiro Ishii get Hiromu Takahashi, and lastly Kota Ibushi and Great O-Khan face Satoshi Kojima

Edited by Horangi
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The  first two nights were really fun. Naito/ZSJ, Ishii/Shingo, Okada/Tana and Goto/Taichi were all outstanding and there weren't any matches that weren't enjoyable, even Yujiro brought it. 

The news about Naito is really disappointing, was really looking forward to him vs Shingo and was curious as to what his match against Tanga Loa was going to be like. 

ZSJ is always so good when in there against the main event guys I wish he'd get pushed more as a singles despite how much I love the Tekkers. 

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20 hours ago, EVA said:

What a cursed year for New Japan.

 

16 hours ago, Archibald said:

Feels like we got more injuries and health problems this year than in last 5 combined.

What a horrible 2021 for New Japan Pro-Wrestling:

  • Hiromu Takahashi tears his pectoral muscle and has to give up the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship m
  • Will Ospreay vacates the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship due to a neck injury.
  • Tetsuya Naito missed some dates with a knee injury.
  • Kota Ibushi gets aspirational pneumonia and missed two months
  • Tetsuya Naito injured his knee in the opening match of G1 Climax 31 and is out of the tournament.

I'm probably missing something.

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1 hour ago, The Natural said:

Will Ospreay vacates the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship due to a neck injury.

That actually might have been bullshit in retrospect. 

I don’t know if he has another year on his contract, but New Japan will have a bitch of a time getting that belt from him.

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Spoiler

Go straight to the main event for tonight's show, folks.  Definitely the best match of the tournament so far for me.  

Outrageous Tekkers!

For all the negativity or ambivalence surrounding New Japan these days, I have to give it up to them for booking like this.  ZSJ is undoubtedly one of the best in the world, and it seems like they're at least acknowledging that fact, and it matters little if they did on the fly or not due to Naito's circumstances.  Tonight's result leads to some intriguing options going forward, and that's something NJPW definitely needs.  

The roster is banged up these days, but the Windy Man is strong.  

Oh, and Bryan Danielson and ZSJ willing a match into existence is a glorious thing.  In other words, don't skip on Zack's parting words from the back.

 

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Yet to see anything from the G1 Climax 31. I'll certainly be seeking Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi as I've seen every singles match from one of the greatest rivalries in the sports history.

Onto today:

Spoiler

Thrilled Zack Sabre Jr submitted the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Shingo Takagi to go with making Tetsuya Naito quit in his opening match. Sabre Jr is long overdue a singles push. I'd have liked him to have won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship or the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Give me Zack Sabre Jr as IWGP Heavyweight Champion over the Brit who won it, Will Ospreay. Dangerous Tekkers is so much better than the Aerial Assassin. British Dragon vs. American Dragon please and thank you.

 

Edited by The Natural
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I thought Ishii/Ibushi was really good but Shingo/ZSJ was on another level. Zach might have the two best matches of the tournament so far. Really interested in seeing how things continue to play out.

Also looks like they are planting seeds for issues between BC and House of Torture.

Loved ZSJ quoting Dizzee Rascal as well. "sweet like a nut sweet like Tropicana" 

Edited by Sublime
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6 hours ago, Sublime said:

Loved ZSJ quoting Dizzee Rascal as well. "sweet like a nut sweet like Tropicana" 

Lmao this is tremendous. Does Dizzee have a any kind of a Japanese following? I suspect the Japanese and American fans will both be equally dumbfounded by this reference. 

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On 9/23/2021 at 3:44 PM, Evil Otto said:
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Oh, and Bryan Danielson and ZSJ willing a match into existence is a glorious thing.  In other words, don't skip on Zack's parting words from the back.

 

I hope that all the Covid and Brexit bullshit is sorted out by then, because I want to be there whenever that match happens.

Edited by The Z
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Spoiler

Binged both the last two shows back to back. As expected, Shingo/Zack was a hell of a match. There is never such thing as a good injury, but there is potential for both Naito and Zack to benefit - Zack hopefully gets a title shot at Power Struggle and Naito has a blood feud on his return, giving him some relevance and direction. Ibushi and Ishii was good as expected, and big match Yuj delivered again. 

Night 2 was a lot better than I expected. Tana/Goto was a fun opener, Chase/Tama over-delivered...another no BS Bullet Club match and it was good (take note Gedo). I really like Cobb/YH too and do recommend this of the 3 undercard matches if you had to pick 1

Taichi/SANADA was my match of the night, Taichi continues to deliver. A few AJPW/Royal Road call backs and really dug the finishing stretch. I was hoping the lack of BC-BS would stretch to the main....nope. Not as bad as their match earlier in the year, but certainly can be skipped. 

 

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On 9/23/2021 at 4:00 PM, The Natural said:

Yet to see anything from the G1 Climax 31. I'll certainly be seeking Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi as I've seen every singles match from one of the greatest rivalries in the sports history.

Onto today:

  Reveal hidden contents

Thrilled Zack Sabre Jr submitted the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Shingo Takagi to go with making Tetsuya Naito quit in his opening match. Sabre Jr is long overdue a singles push. I'd have liked him to have won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship or the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Give me Zack Sabre Jr as IWGP Heavyweight Champion over the Brit who won it, Will Ospreay. Dangerous Tekkers is so much better than the Aerial Assassin. British Dragon vs. American Dragon please and thank you.

 

Spoilers for today:

Spoiler

Zack Sabre Jr made Kota Ibushi tap out! That's three of the biggest NJPW wrestlers submitted in a row: Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi and Kota Ibushi. A long overdue singles push for ZSJ.

 

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Dug ZSJ and Ibushi and Yujiro/O'Kahn. And Yano's stuff will always get me going.

This isn't really G1 related, but I had hoped the US shows in Dallas would be on NJPW World but they might be cutting those up for Strong episodes.

I tried to search for the 2 Nagata/Shibata NEVER matches but the search function isn't great on World (duh). They have the rematch available (with Kevin Kelly doing commentary and mentioning the LA Dojo so its fairly recent) Guess I'd have to find the whole 2016 Dontaku show?

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ZSJ/Ibushi on Day 5 was excellent obviously, but don't skip past Takagi vs. Nagata. Shingo brought out the absolute best in Nagata.

The middle stretch was rough, though. Great O'Khan vs. Yujiro directly followed by Toru Yano vs. Tanga Loa, do they want their fans to fall asleep?

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I am so here for this ZSJ push. I am loving it I want him to run the table now (well maybe get caught by Yano cause Yano). It's gonna be so sweet when Naito comes back for ZSJ. 

It seems like all participants have a light under them to be putting on they best show they can cause so far this has been a really entertaining tournament.

Give me an all Dangerous Tekkers final you cowards. 

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I really don’t see ZSJ winning enough from here on out to get out of his block. I’ve seen this pattern before enough times to know where this goes. Who knows, maybe Naito’s injury changed the course of the outcome for this tournament? But it cannot be denied that he’s having the best performances so far in the G1. If anybody deserves to be in the finals it’s him. He still works like the crowd isn’t mute. It also helps that Zack is one of only two wrestlers(The other Tanahashi) that benefits from the ridiculous times given to these COVID G1 matches. The longer a submission is teased on his holds, the better the drama.

Submissions are probably why he’s working so much better than everybody else. He doesn’t have too many near fall spots, where you need a crowd to act shocked that an opponent kicked out from them. This is where somebody like Suzuki would’ve been good for this tournament if he was available. He literally goes for one pin fall a match, and that’s after he hits his finish.

The rest of the tournament so far I’m not crazy about. I actually just started watching the New Japan Cup 2018 because it was the last time ZSJ got a major push, and I missed it the first time around. What a difference a crowd can do to almost exact same roster.

Edited by LoneWolf&Subs
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Don't take my ZSJ hope from me. Though really I know it's probably not to be but I can dream, I can have hope. 

Todays B Block show has been the first show that could be considered skippable, nothing outstanding, nothing offensive. 

EVIL/Okada is still the worst match so far, that shit was awful. EVIL is the only guy who could have a bad G1 match with Okada. I really hope EVIL doesn't make the finals or *shudder* win the whole thing.

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