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NJPW G1 Climax 32 dates/schedule announced.


The Natural
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I signed up for an account on New Japan World since the first two nights are free to watch. Finished the prelim tags on Night 1 so far and they were fun. My favorite of those was the Bushi/Naito/Shingo vs Yoshi-Hashi/Ishii/Goto match. I’m going to pick up at the Tanahashi vs Henare match later on. I’m enjoying this so far!

 

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Taichi/Ishii was my favourite match of the opening 2 nights, it may not be the freshest pairing but it never disappoints. If there was a random/shock semi finalist, why not Taichi? Cobb/Okada and Zack/KENTA round out my top 3 for the weekend. Also put me in the category that enjoyed Ospreay/ELP, especially the finish

Spoiler

Hidden Blade should be the new Diamond Cutter/RKO

Overall a really good, fun start in Sapporo for the opening 2 nights. Crowd was much more engaged than they were back in February and having both TMDK & Team FIlthy (and actually being represented as actual groups instead of being lumped in with Hontai or another faction) has really helped make the shows feel fresher. A good start, but it is a long tour so I hope they can sustain the momentum. 

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GIVE US YANO WINNING EVRY MATCH BY COUNTOUT TO WIN THE G1 YOU COWARDS!!!

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I think we know what a "Zack Sabre Jr. match" looks like, but that one was different. Liked it a lot. Two contrasting styles, but both guys were willing to dabble in the other's wheelhouse. Also I shrieked at some of those KENTA strikes in the stretch run, like where Zack is delivering slaps and KENTA just straight PUNCHES HIM IN THE FACE.

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Posted (edited)

I have a question for you but you can only give one answer.

What is the best match in NJPW G1 Climax history?

For me it's easy, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi in the G1 Climax 28 Final. A ***** match. It's in my top five NJPW Matches of all Time. Katsuyori Shibata coming out with Hiroshi Tanahashi, the moonsault double knee drop, Tanahashi powering through Murder Ibushi and winning his third G1 Climax.

Thanks in advance.

Edited by The Natural
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I haven't participated in the "best of the half-year" discussions elsewhere on the board, but if ZSJ continues at this rate, I think he has wrestler of the year locked up easily. I really liked that KENTA match. Speaking of...is there any non-deathmatch wrestler wearing the accumulation of his style more than KENTA? The scars he's got from that Tanahashi match alone are massive.

I am too indecisive to pick a best G1 match. I am also quite grateful that NJPW has given us so much to choose from over the years. I was out of breath from that Naito/Omega match from...2017, I think? Whichever one was so massively dangerous, or at least looked it. My answer will change tomorrow, and the day after that...

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11 hours ago, The Natural said:

I have a question for you but you can only give one answer.

What is the best match in NJPW G1 Climax history?

For me it's easy, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi in the G1 Climax 28 Final. A ***** match. It's in my top five NJPW Matches of all Time. Katsuyori Shibata coming out with Hiroshi Tanahashi, the moonsault double knee drop, Tanahashi powering through Murder Ibushi and winning his third G1 Climax.

Thanks in advance.

How can you justify anything over Omega vs Yano??????????????????????????????

(Seriously, it was the Okada-Omega III of comedy matches. Absolutely brilliant.)

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11 hours ago, The Natural said:

I have a question for you but you can only give one answer.

What is the best match in NJPW G1 Climax history?

For me it's easy, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi in the G1 Climax 28 Final. A ***** match. It's in my top five NJPW Matches of all Time. Katsuyori Shibata coming out with Hiroshi Tanahashi, the moonsault double knee drop, Tanahashi powering through Murder Ibushi and winning his third G1 Climax.

Thanks in advance.

Minoru Suzuki vs Tomohiro Ishii, night one of G1 30. One of the hardest-hitting matches of all time and (therefore) one of my absolute favourite matches. My 2020 MOTY. 

Every time these two warriors face off it is great, but in my opinion this one really stands out as something special. Almost 100% pure clubbering!

If you don't mind bilibili, you can enjoy it here:

https://m.bilibili.com/video/BV1RV411m7PH

 

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After last year's final disaster, I went through and re-watched every G1 finals to see if it really would be the worst final of all time (its not, the 00s had some stinkers). Tanahashi/Ibushi & Naito/Omega may very well be the best matches, but my 3 all time favourite finals would be:

1991 - Chono vs Mutoh: Manic crowd, awesome back and forth match, a real rollercoaster ride and definitely holds up still. I think some of the older G1 finals to get overlooked/lost due to some of the epics of the 2010s. 1991 was the first and set the standard for final matches. 
2003 - Tenzan vs Akiyama: This was the first G1 I really followed (I was only just starting getting into Japanese stuff when 2002 was happening), so could just be nostalgia, but this is a bloody good match, maybe Tenzan's best? Akiyama was also one of the first Japanese wrestlers I had gravitated towards as one of my favourites. Crowd was so hot for Tenzan, he really came off as the guy here. IMO the best G1 final of the 00s without a doubt
2015 - Nakamura vs Tanahashi: If there is a challenge to the aforementioned G1 27 & 28 finals as the best G1 final, this is it. I think this one really doesn't get talked about much, probably because of the 3 that followed it (Omega/Goto being the other). Tanahashi & Nakamura generally did have good matches with each other, but nothing exceptionally great so I don't know if it was just a compatibility thing or what. This match bucked that trend, truly felt epic and just everything connected. That stretch of G1 finals (2014 - 18) is so good, but I think this is my favourite one. 

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After those first few shows, it's been a lukewarm tournament so far. Even marquee matchups like Goto-Naito and Tanahashi-Naito have just been good, not great. I did really enjoy YOSHI-HASHI vs. Shingo.

Making my way through today's show (July 26th) and it's been a fun one, but definitely don't take that to mean "packed with great matches".

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Definitely does feel like the foot has come off the pedal after that great start in Sapporo. It doesn't feel like it has the momentum that BoSJ had but still early days. I thought Sendai would be a nothing show, but was surprised that the Ota shows weren't as good as they looked on paper. But as the flog that watches all things NJPW, I did make some quick notes:

Sendai 20/7
- As above, a nothing show. Naito vs Goto was good, but nothing really worth going out of the way for unless you really like Goto

Ota 23/7
- Nothing bad, but nothing overly exceptional either which is a shame as generally the White/Ishii matches are great. I think maybe I set my expectations too high on this one, remembering G1 30 in particular. 
- Zack/Henare probably my match of the night, really liked Zack going after Henare's Achilles after his injury history. 

Ota 24/7
- Tanahashi vs Naito I actually thought was very good (better than Naito vs Goto), but when you see this combination, you'd expect great, not very good so in that context it was a little disappointing. 

Spoiler

Naito is obviously taking this block right?

- SANADA vs Taichi was just as good as the main event, both guys are having good G1s so far. I still hope one of them wins the block over White as a surprise. ELP vs Yujiro might be my worst match of the tournament (at least Fale/Cobb was short)...the comedy, HoT stuff, Pieter pimping...it was a mess. 

Korakuen 26/7
- Best show since Sapporo (take that for what its worth), 2 fun G1 matches (Chase/O-Khan & Filthy/Archer). Crowd loves Filthy Tom, its great! Tito seems to be over-shadowing Jonah in these tags which is a surprise. Hopefully Jonah will get his chance to shine in his non-Yano/Fale G1 matches. 
- I disagree with S.K.o.S., I thought the main event was bloody great! Lots of call backs to their history together, with Finlay in particular looking to prove himself in his first G1. I'm not normally high on either Finlay or Juice (and hated their team), but really dug this and may be my match of the tournament so far. 

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I've finally caught up on the G1 once again, I do want to retcon my match of the night for the first Ota show - Shingo/YOSHI-HASHI is a very good wrestling match and well worth a look (and I think my match of the tournament so far over FinJuice explodes & Taichi/Ishii). And my worst G1 match comment about ELP/Yujiro was, of course, not including Fale matches. Seems to be a trend in the G1 so far that you'll get 1 or 2 really good matches a show, then the other 2 are kind of just there which is not good for re-sparking interest with lapsed fans. Hoping the final August stretch will turn things around though. 

Korakuen 27/7
- Ishii/Tama was very good, I'm onboard with babyface Tama. Goto/Henare was fun, I am turning around on Henare who prior to the G1 was probably near the bottom of the list of NJPW guys I cared about. Ospreay/Yujiro was fine too. No MOTYCs but 2 matches I really enjoyed, a decent Yujiro match and whatever the hell Fale/Yano was.

Aichi 30/7
- I am probably biased, but as I love both Zach & Tanahashi I really enjoyed this and the finish builds to something. Again probably not a MOTYC, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. 
- Shingo & Finlay had a decent, fun match but the other two matches were just there, especially SANADA/O-Khan that just dragged on. 

Aichi 31/7
- Chris Charlton tweeted that this may have been the best night so far...whatever he is smoking I want some of it! This is probably rivaling Sendai for most uninteresting night so far. Okada/Fale is probably the best we'll get out of Fale, it was okay. White & Owens was blah, and the other 3 were fun but nothing noteworthy. Naito/EVIL was probably their best match though (maybe Power Struggle 2020 was better) but that isn't saying much. 
- If I had to give a match of the night, it'd be Juice/YOSHI-HASHI but this is a very skippable show. 

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I'll echo a lot of stuff mentioned before.  I really enjoyed Finlay vs. Juice as well, they had a great built-in storyline and they never wavered from it from beginning to end in terms of intensity.  Smart booking of Finlay, because one of the things missing from his overall game is the fact that no one thinks he can really win, and now that has completely changed. What's more, his extra effort in his matches so far justify it.  

ZSJ and Tanahashi was one of the best matches of the tournament, but still not quite reaching the level where their matches can obviously go with a little more time and higher stakes.  Ishii vs. Great O-Khan was a lot of fun, but I wouldn't call it a must-see.  

However, if you're the type whose mind is open to watching Toru Yano G1 matches, then I must implore you to watch Yano vs. Tom Lawlor.  Perhaps the best Yano match I've ever seen, almost all due to Lawlor and his terrific sidekick, Royce Isaacs.  It was an extravaganza of gaga, with actual layers of ridiculousness.  Lawlor is getting seriously over, and now I'm really looking forward to his match with Okada.  Very intriguing.  

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I acknowledge that ZSJ vs. Tanahashi was good, but overall the July 30th and 31st shows got me to the point where I was thinking about giving up on the tournament. However, they bounced back on August 2nd with a show that I enjoyed, particularly Yano vs. Lawlor and the main event of Ospreay vs. Finlay.

In both of Tanahashi's wins so far, he has sat down next to his opponent after the match and smiled at them. I'm just waiting for him to try that with the wrong guy and get popped in the mouth.

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The trend continues of G1 shows with some good, fun matches but still missing those matches that draw you in and make you say wow. Looking at the schedule, I don't know where those matches are going to come from...Ospreay/Takagi is still to happen (tonight in Osaka so crowd will be as hot as a clap crowd can be), Jay still has some interesting matches to come (O-Khan, Taichi, Tama), Okada still has Lance & Lawlor and C Block has some big KENTA matches left (Tanahashi, Naito) as well as Naito/Zack but that window is getting smaller and smaller. Based on his G1 so far, surprisingly YOSHI-HASHI vs Ospreay I am really excited for. 

Hamamatsu 2/8/22
- O-Khan/Ishii, Goto/KENTA & Tama/SANADA were all fine, nothing to get overly excited about. Fun finish to Tama/SANADA though
- I agree about Yano/Lawlor, fucking loved it! Best Yano match probably since the infamous Kenny G1 match. It had everything from Sister Act, Sister Act II & wigs! Brilliant. Main event was a lot of fun, but still not really pushing into that must see envelope. Finlay is really starting to come into his own.

Ehime 5/8/22
- Yujiro/Juice was fine until the normal BC/HoT mess. I could really do without the Chase being a creeper on Miho Abe stuff, made me super uncomfortable and took me out of the match. Naito/Henare was there, probably went a bit too long but not bad. 
- Cobb/Jonah was a good, hard hitting big boy match and I really enjoyed it! More big beef matches please. Jonah could be that big monster that can go if he has more of this, so it does make the upcoming match with Okada interesting. Tanahashi/EVIL, like the Naito match, is probably the best we will get from EVIL with all the shenanigans which is a shame as they've had some really good if not great G1 matches together in the past. Ah well...

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Well, if you ask me, the first truly great match of the G1 occurred tonight, Ospreay vs. Takagi.  Shocker, I know.  One of the best long-standing rivalries in wrestling, period.  The bar has now been set.  

Sleeper match goes to Yoshi-Hashi vs. El Phantasmo.  El Phantasmo's ascension to the heavyweight ranks can already be considered a success, in my opinion.  Zack vs. Goto was also pretty great if you're looking for a third match to check out.  

Perhaps the best night so far, or at least top 2 or 3, surely helped by an enthusiastic Osaka crowd.  

 

Edited by Evil Otto
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I'm not exactly the most coherent right now but...

Spoiler

Jonah...bloody hell, that was great! Simple, effective story telling and Pro wrestling. A star has been made...what a moment! 

 

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, Horangi said:

I'm not exactly the most coherent right now but...

  Hide contents

Jonah...bloody hell, that was great! Simple, effective story telling and Pro wrestling. A star has been made...what a moment! 

 

 

Spoiler

FZi59zFaUAAG_4N?format=jpg&name=900x900

The finish. The crowd reaction. Upsets happen in the G1 Climax but I didn't see JONAH beating Kazuchika Okada clean like that.

 

Edited by The Natural
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Besides a couple of really stellar bouts, I haven't felt a connection to NJPW (outside of the Forbidden door build and show) since the 2019 G1. It's been incredibly stale and for good and obvious reasons. It's nice to see some fresh faces in this G1. Especially the big ol bad boy JONAH!

Spoiler

Been in love with Big Jonah since first seeing him debut in Impact. His entire run there was fantastic. So happy to see him get the big win in a terrific bout with Okada. The post match promo(s) were also excellent. Love the one year to this day bit. I'm further thrilled to see he fought Cobb a couple nights earlier, that's up next.
 

Edited by HarryArchieGus
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Jonah vs Cob is an absolute walrus fight. Probably not the best match of the tournament, but easily my favourite.

I love that it took place in Ehime. My family has ties to the island of Shikoku. We used to regularly go to Ehime during family vacations before plague times. It's orange-growing country. Lots of shrines. Seeing a wrestling show there is on my bucket list. 

Loved Kevin Kelly talking about visiting a temple, and him and Lawlor discussing French Catch!!

Didn't go to the Osaka shows because sitting quiet and sober watching live wrestling is too weird for me. Looking forward to catching up on those shows soon, though.

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Poor Dave is going to have a massive coronary after watching Juice-El Phantasmo.

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Alrighty, proper catch up of Osaka & Hiroshima. I do think this G1 has been a let down...is the messy 4 blocks? Or the lack of fresh pairings? I do think more, smaller groups in the long run will fix the latter but past years of having more matches per night had higher chances of great matches. While Super Juniors delivered, I don't think the G1 is having the same impact which is a shame. This certainly has not been the reboot that Kidani was hyping it to be and wont do much to change the image of stale NJPW. 

Osaka 6/8
- I think others have said it, probably the first true great G1 night. 3 matches I really enjoyed in Ospreay/Takagi, Jay/O-Khan & Goto/ZSJ (all great, but Ospreay/Takagi is the pick of the bunch).
- ELP/YOSHI-HASHI was fun, and the Yano/Archer match was entertaining though as much as Yano/Lawlor. 

Osaka 7/8
- Overall a weaker show, but boosted by a huge main event that had me heavily invested (as my previous post indicated). As I had watched Jonah come up through the Aussie indies, seeing him in a match with arguably the best wrestler in the world with a hot Osaka crowd breaking the rules was incredible
- Juice/ELP was a match you'll either love or hate, no inbetween. Once they finished the ha-ha the action was pretty great though. Ishii/Owens was quite good too, definitely best match Chase has had all tournament. 

Hiroshima 9/8
- And we're back to the okay but nothing to go out of the way for tourney shows. Lance & Jonah was fun with a screwy finish, Naito & KENTA had a really good match but that is really it. Was hoping for more from Tama & Taichi as Taichi is great and they seem to be pushing Tama but these two just do not have chemistry together. 

Hiroshima 10/8
- A step up from the previous show! And one of the better shows of the tournament all-around. Tanahashi vs Goto definitely worth a watch, lots of fire and felt like a war. And hey, there's blood (though definitely accidental)! Okada/Lawlor was great too, but felt more like a teaser for something more further down the line. 
- Undercard was fun, best EVIL match since his turn in 2020! I wont spoil why but go check it out. Finlay/ELP & Tama/O-Khan were fun too, so I'd say this show is up there with the Sapporo openers & Osaka double-header as one to check out for sure. 

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