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NJPW G1 Climax 31.


The Natural
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My MOTNs: Naito/ZSJ, Tanahashi/Okada, Shingo/ZSJ, Sanada/Taichi, Ibushi/ZSJ, Tanahashi/Tama, O-Khan/ZSJ, Taichi/Yoshi, Shingo/Ibushi, Taichi/Cobb, O-Khan/Ishii, Okada/Taichi, O-Khan/Ibushi, Okada/Chase, Shingo/O-Khan, Okada/Tama.

6 months ago if someone said that I'd really like 2 Tama Tonga G1 matches then I likely would have just rolled my eyes, but here we are. Tama busting his ass and showing that he belongs. Mayba a rematch against Tanahashi for USA title at some point? Tanahashi beating Chase and Tama asking for a rematch after that G1 fluke win makes sense from faction and storytelling perspective.

Cobb's victory over Evil would definitely not be so enjoyable if Evil wasn't an absolute shit the entire tournament and had a legit chance of advancing to the finals. Does it justify his bullshit? To me it is similar situation to Okada last year who had bad G1 (bad by his standards) only to have a hot match against Ospreay at WK where he finally finished the match with Rainmaker instead of his stupid submission. I guess I'm glad that I didn't have to wait till WK for Evil to get smashed in the face.

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Who can win, and how, per NJPW1972

Spoiler

B Block comes down to the main event on the 20th. A win or a tie means Cobb advances. Okada needs to win to take the block.

A block is more complicated, of course:

Ibushi vs KENTA seems to be on last. If Ibushi wins and ZSJ loses, Ibushi takes it.

KENTA must win and have Shingo Takagi lose, or for Zack Sabre Jr and Takagi to both win

Zack Sabre Jr. must win, and have Ibushi win

Shingo Takagi must win and have Sabre and Ibushi both lose

 

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21 minutes ago, Gordberg said:

Who can win, and how, per NJPW1972

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B Block comes down to the main event on the 20th. A win or a tie means Cobb advances. Okada needs to win to take the block.

A block is more complicated, of course:

Ibushi vs KENTA seems to be on last. If Ibushi wins and ZSJ loses, Ibushi takes it.

KENTA must win and have Shingo Takagi lose, or for Zack Sabre Jr and Takagi to both win

Zack Sabre Jr. must win, and have Ibushi win

Shingo Takagi must win and have Sabre and Ibushi both lose

 

Cheers, @Gordberg. Thoughts:

Spoiler

C'mon Zack Sabre Jr! Sabre Jr tapped out Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi and Kota Ibushi in succession! Please let it be ZSJ. Don't want Kota Ibushi to be in a 4th successive G1 Climax Final. I'd rather have Shingo Takagi, the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion there. That would be something. Kensuke Sasaki was the last IWGP Heavyweight Champion to do that way back in 2000 and he actually won it. Be nice to have a surprise winner, not had one in a while. ZSJ fits the bill.

 

Edited by The Natural
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Spoiler

Unfortunately I don't want ZSJ winning since Okada/ZSJ in the past has been a mediocre match for me and I can't see them doing ZSJ/Cobb. KENTA/Cobb had a match or two in Strong and it wasn't great either.
To me in order of preference: Shingo/Cobb, Shingo/Okada, Ibushi/Okada, Ibushi/Cobb, KENTA/Okada.

From storyline perspective I think Shingo winning would be the coolest option so lets do Shingo/Cobb with Cobb going to the finals undefeated and mirroring Shingo's BotSJ run.

 

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Spoiler

Four gaijin have made the G1 Climax Final:

1992: Rick Rude.

2012: Karl Anderson.

2016: Kenny Omega (winner).

2017: Kenny Omega.

2019: Jay White.

I think we'll get the fifth either with Zack Sabre Jr/Jeff Cobb or less likely the sixth if ZSJ/Cobb is the final.

 

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My MOTNs: Naito/ZSJ, Tanahashi/Okada, Shingo/ZSJ, Sanada/Taichi, Ibushi/ZSJ, Tanahashi/Tama, O-Khan/ZSJ, Taichi/Yoshi, Shingo/Ibushi, Taichi/Cobb, O-Khan/Ishii, Okada/Taichi, O-Khan/Ibushi, Okada/Chase, Shingo/O-Khan, Okada/Tama, ZSJ/Tanga.

ZSJ/Tanga wasn't amazing, but it was solid wrestling match on a show that was full of bizzare decisions. Ibushi/KENTA had lots of cool things in it, but I can't seriously say that it was a good match when it had 3 (I think) obvious countouts with Red Shoes waiting 4 seconds before counting 20. Makes me think that original plan might have been for Naito/O-Khan to main event because this just didn't work for me.

So yeah, Ibushi is again in G1 finals. 4 in a row has to be some kind of a record?

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Aaaarrrrrrgggghhhh!  It was inevitable, but arrrrgghhh nonetheless. 

Just because I knew the dagger to the heart was coming, doesn't make it any less painful.  

Seriously, fuck it, give it to Cobb.  (Or, in other words, the second dagger still awaits!)

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22 minutes ago, Archibald said:

My MOTNs: Naito/ZSJ, Tanahashi/Okada, Shingo/ZSJ, Sanada/Taichi, Ibushi/ZSJ, Tanahashi/Tama, O-Khan/ZSJ, Taichi/Yoshi, Shingo/Ibushi, Taichi/Cobb, O-Khan/Ishii, Okada/Taichi, O-Khan/Ibushi, Okada/Chase, Shingo/O-Khan, Okada/Tama, ZSJ/Tanga.

ZSJ/Tanga wasn't amazing, but it was solid wrestling match on a show that was full of bizzare decisions. Ibushi/KENTA had lots of cool things in it, but I can't seriously say that it was a good match when it had 3 (I think) obvious countouts with Red Shoes waiting 4 seconds before counting 20. Makes me think that original plan might have been for Naito/O-Khan to main event because this just didn't work for me.

So yeah, Ibushi is again in G1 finals. 4 in a row has to be some kind of a record?

 

20 minutes ago, Jimbo_Tsuruta said:

Boooooooooooooooooo

 

15 minutes ago, Evil Otto said:

Aaaarrrrrrgggghhhh!  It was inevitable, but arrrrgghhh nonetheless. 

Just because I knew the dagger to the heart was coming, doesn't make it any less painful.  

Seriously, fuck it, give it to Cobb.  (Or, in other words, the second dagger still awaits!)

Really didn't want Kota Ibushi to make a fourth successive G1 Climax Final. Zack Sabre Jr was my first choice by far followed by Shingo Takagi. This sucks.

Edited by The Natural
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8 minutes ago, killsteve said:

Is this promotion just running through a constant Groundhog day? That's how it looks just following results

 

Anyone got any shouts for the best 3-5 matches from this thing worth watching?

Well, Naito got hurt after first show so I'd write it down to that and NJPW not valuing ZSJ high enough for finals or maybe they just have pencilled him in for tag titles matches till WK and don't want to adjust those plans.

As for top 5, in my opinion:

O-Khan/Ibushi, Naito/ZSJ, Tanahashi/Okada, O-Khan/ZSJ, O-Khan/Ishii.

If nothing surprising happens on next two shows then O-Khan is likely going to end up as my MVP.

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8 minutes ago, killsteve said:

Is this promotion just running through a constant Groundhog day? That's how it looks just following results

 

Anyone got any shouts for the best 3-5 matches from this thing worth watching?

ZSJ v Shingo, ZSJ v Naito and ZSJ v O-Khan would probably be my top three with O-Khan v Ibushi in the mix.

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1 hour ago, killsteve said:

Is this promotion just running through a constant Groundhog day? That's how it looks just following results

 

Anyone got any shouts for the best 3-5 matches from this thing worth watching?

Okada/Tanahashi, Takagi/Ishii, ZSJ/Naito and ZSJ/Takagi.

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Spoiler

Could be the sake, but really enjoyed the last night of Block B more than the last night of Block A. Tama/Goto really delivered, I am happy to say that I was really wrong about Tama in the G1 - he's delivered!

Taichi somehow has become a super bizarro babyface and I love it.  Turning Okada's home crowd against him and rallying Budokan to his side...brilliant! I'd love to see a Taichi world heavyweight title challenge in 2023

EVIL/SANADA was probably the best EVIL recent match even with the usual shit. I was a huge EVIL guy pre-Bullet Club, so I was happy to enjoy an EVIL match in 2021.

Awesome main event! Despite the result,  Cobb is a star now.  Go watch it!

Again apologies, first night drinking in weeks so I may seem overly positive.

 

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My MOTNs: Naito/ZSJ, Tanahashi/Okada, Shingo/ZSJ, Sanada/Taichi, Ibushi/ZSJ, Tanahashi/Tama, O-Khan/ZSJ, Taichi/Yoshi, Shingo/Ibushi, Taichi/Cobb, O-Khan/Ishii, Okada/Taichi, O-Khan/Ibushi, Okada/Chase, Shingo/O-Khan, Okada/Tama, ZSJ/Tanga, Okada/Cobb.

This was pretty good show, I think that every single match delivered.

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B Block finals was a really good show but I'm not very hyped for the finals of the G1 this year. There is just such a lack of excitement to the booking during the pandemic era of NJPW. The start of the tournament felt exciting and fresh with ZSJ and Cobb being booked so strong but then ZSJ fell off and Cobb while he was a made star in the tournament doesn't reach the finals. EVILs matches being all the same formula didn't work most of the time because his act needs crowds booing like hell, I think if he was doing the same shit to huge heat his matches would come off way better but his cheating heel act dies without reactions to it. 

Taichi feels like a guy ready to breakthrough now too, I love how the crowd has gotten behind him in the tournament. I hope they do more with him and ZSJ than just run Tekkers/GoD a bunch of times but that is certainly looking likely for WK though I think O-Khan/Cobb could make some noise in the Tag League but now the tag titles feel like they are too low for ZSJ, Taichi, Cobb and even O-Khan almost, after the tournament they all had. And are they going to have any follow-up with Tama pinning Okada, that should be a big deal for him but idk what they can do with it, outside of Okada possibly having to defend the title shot against him which would be such a forgone conclusion match that it would be pointless. 

I don't know what they are going to do to stretch WK out to three nights and make them all seem important because there booking has been dire and they need to cycle the upper card around a bit. Ibushi is feeling tired to me now and Naito, whom I love so much, seems to be breaking down physically. 

One thing I forgot to point out earlier when it happened is that after Hiromu/Ishii I am so ready for heavyweight Hiromu, I just want him to beat Eagles pass the torch to Despy and mix it up with the big boys. 

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34 minutes ago, Sublime said:

B Block finals was a really good show but I'm not very hyped for the finals of the G1 this year. There is just such a lack of excitement to the booking during the pandemic era of NJPW. The start of the tournament felt exciting and fresh with ZSJ and Cobb being booked so strong but then ZSJ fell off and Cobb while he was a made star in the tournament doesn't reach the finals. EVILs matches being all the same formula didn't work most of the time because his act needs crowds booing like hell, I think if he was doing the same shit to huge heat his matches would come off way better but his cheating heel act dies without reactions to it. 

Taichi feels like a guy ready to breakthrough now too, I love how the crowd has gotten behind him in the tournament. I hope they do more with him and ZSJ than just run Tekkers/GoD a bunch of times but that is certainly looking likely for WK though I think O-Khan/Cobb could make some noise in the Tag League but now the tag titles feel like they are too low for ZSJ, Taichi, Cobb and even O-Khan almost, after the tournament they all had. And are they going to have any follow-up with Tama pinning Okada, that should be a big deal for him but idk what they can do with it, outside of Okada possibly having to defend the title shot against him which would be such a forgone conclusion match that it would be pointless. 

I don't know what they are going to do to stretch WK out to three nights and make them all seem important because there booking has been dire and they need to cycle the upper card around a bit. Ibushi is feeling tired to me now and Naito, whom I love so much, seems to be breaking down physically. 

One thing I forgot to point out earlier when it happened is that after Hiromu/Ishii I am so ready for heavyweight Hiromu, I just want him to beat Eagles pass the torch to Despy and mix it up with the big boys. 

Concur with all you say.

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2 hours ago, Sublime said:

Taichi feels like a guy ready to breakthrough now too, I love how the crowd has gotten behind him in the tournament. I hope they do more with him and ZSJ than just run Tekkers/GoD a bunch of times but that is certainly looking likely for WK though I think O-Khan/Cobb could make some noise in the Tag League but now the tag titles feel like they are too low for ZSJ, Taichi, Cobb and even O-Khan almost, after the tournament they all had.

Well heavyweight tag teams being shit was one of the common complaints before pandemic. Maybe its good that now tag title holders and challengers are actual stars and not "guys not good enough for singles"?

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