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NJPW G1 Climax 32 dates/schedule announced.


The Natural
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I think I have already hit G1 burnout!

I'm working through the second Osaka show, the one with the Okada vs Jonah main... For the first time, I skipped most of the prelims. I didn't laugh at all at ELP vs Juice (even though I appreciate them doing a mini Ebessan vs Kuishinbo tribute in Osaka), I got mad about Ishii vs Owens, I got mad about Kevin Kelly mispronouncing "Ehime" and now I don't even feel like watching the main - even though I know it's "my kind of match."

I didn't even get all that into Shingo vs Ospreay ? Obviously both those guys are great and they have great chemistry, but I am kind of over the million near falls and finisher kick-outs great match formula. It's definitely a "me" thing.

Not sure why I am burning out so early this year. I have a ton of free time this week. It's not the wrestling or the booking, both of which are just fine in my opinion...

it's a bad sign, I think, that I feel like I'm "working through" the Osaka shows, rather than "enjoying the hell out of them" and I'm like "So much more to get through to catch up" rather than "oh boy! So much more to see!" 

 

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22 minutes ago, Gordlow said:

I think I have already hit G1 burnout!

I'm working through the second Osaka show, the one with the Okada vs Jonah main... For the first time, I skipped most of the prelims. I didn't laugh at all at ELP vs Juice (even though I appreciate them doing a mini Ebessan vs Kuishinbo tribute in Osaka), I got mad about Ishii vs Owens, I got mad about Kevin Kelly mispronouncing "Ehime" and now I don't even feel like watching the main - even though I know it's "my kind of match."

I didn't even get all that into Shingo vs Ospreay ? Obviously both those guys are great and they have great chemistry, but I am kind of over the million near falls and finisher kick-outs great match formula. It's definitely a "me" thing.

Not sure why I am burning out so early this year. I have a ton of free time this week. It's not the wrestling or the booking, both of which are just fine in my opinion...

it's a bad sign, I think, that I feel like I'm "working through" the Osaka shows, rather than "enjoying the hell out of them" and I'm like "So much more to get through to catch up" rather than "oh boy! So much more to see!" 

 

I am actually the opposite, New Japan's involvement with AEW got me to give them a fresh look for the first time since the first two nights of Wrestle Kingdom this year (and still have not watched Okada-Ospreay from 1-5). While this is not at the level of the 2017 or 2019 G1's, and there is no story quite as interesting as Jay White cementing himself as a main event level player in the 2018 G1, it has felt like a serious attempt to freshen the product (the pushes of guys like Tama and Finlay, and having cool outside influences like Tom Lawlor, Lance Archer's return, and Jonah). The House of Torture still royally sucks (and what a shame of wasting some of Evil's prime years), but I've been cool with most everything else. Hoping that Shota Umino comes back this fall to give some more young life to the company, but it's definitely the best I have about New Japan since the end of the 2020 G1.

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If you can, try to watch ZSJ vs. Evil, then Okada vs. Lawlor.  It’s a satisfying palate cleanser for those feeling worn out. You won’t be wasting your time, I assure you!
 

Okada vs. Lawlor was pretty much exactly what it needed to be due to recent block activity. It’s a truly great match in that sense. There’s more to this story I’m sure, as alluded to at the end, and as there should be.  Lawlor has been one of the highlights of the G1, no question.  

Edited by Evil Otto
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Has anybody done the math on what happens if D Block ends in a 7-way tie at 6 points? I mean, I’m certain Shingo will beat ELP (and pretty sure Juice is beating Ospreay) but I’d love it if Gedo got crazy with this format.

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I have zero interest in NJPW these days but I heard Dave yesterday saying how it looks like Okada, White, Naito and Ospreay will be topping their respective blocks? If that or some similar combination of guys is in fact the case then this company is at WCW levels of needing to start pushing different (not even necessarily younger) guys. 

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From Meltzer:

  • These are Tuesday's G-1 matches at Budokan Hall
  • A block: Kazuchika Okada (4-1) vs. Lance Archer (3-2)
  • B block: Tama Tonga (4-1) vs Jay White (5-0)
  • A block: Jonah (3-2) vs. Bad Luck Fale (2-3)
  • B block: Tomohiro Ishii (1-4) vs. Sanada (3-2)
  • C block: Hirooki Goto (3-2) vs. Evil (2-3)
  • C block: Tetsuya Naito (3-2) vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (4-1)
  • D block: Shingo Takagi (3-2) vs. El Phantasmo (2-3)
  • D block: Will Ospreay (3-2) vs. Juice Robinson (2-3)
  • If Okada wins, he wins A block. If Archer beats Okada, he wins A block. If Okada and Archer do a no contest and Jonah beats Fale, Jonah wins A block.
  • White vs. Tonga winner wins B block. If there is a draw, White advances
  • If Sabre wins, he wins C block. If Naito wins, he wins C block.
  • If Robinson and Phantasmo win, there is a seven-say tie at 3-3 in D block. If Takagi and Ospreay win, Takagi wins the block. If Ospreay wins and Takagi loses, Ospreay wins the block.
  • On Wednesday, the A vs. B and C vs. D winners face and the winners face off on Thursday for the championship.
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Hoping Zack Sabre Jr takes it all but don't think he will. I guessed Tetsuya Naito at the start of the tournament.

Be interesting to see if the bigger field/format of this year will stick around for the next iteration or not. This year needed more AEW representation besides Lance Archer.

The 50th Anniversary has been mostly good thanks to Wrestle Kingdom 16 and AEW X NJPW Forbidden Door. Not a patch on the 40th Anniversary though.

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23 hours ago, Belgian_Waffle said:

I have zero interest in NJPW these days but I heard Dave yesterday saying how it looks like Okada, White, Naito and Ospreay will be topping their respective blocks? If that or some similar combination of guys is in fact the case then this company is at WCW levels of needing to start pushing different (not even necessarily younger) guys. 

I was thinking about this, initially my reaction was that Ospreay & Takagi are new guys pushed to top level in the past 18 months. However, looking at how this G1 has played out, 3 of the 4 groups are going to be topped by guys who have been topping groups/in G1 finals for the last 5 or 6 years (Okada, Naito, White) and only D Block is giving us someone somewhat new (Ospreay or Takagi but both have been in the main picture for nearly 18 months now so not exactly new, but New Japan new).

They have a massive log jam  of guys in that position just under the main 3 that they could slot up and have top a group (i.e. Zack, Goto, Jonah, Taichi, KENTA, EVIL, SANADA, Tama, Ishii, Cobb) so I am hugely disappointed in this G1 that no one new has been put in a prominent position (yes, Finlay got some big wins, Jonah beat Okada, Goto even feels fresh with his wins but none of them are topping the group and advancing). I did get a chuckle at over half the crowd walking out after Jay beat Taichi, an example of the bookers just being out of touch with the fanbase - not for pushing Jay, I think it was more a case of the fanbase wanting someone like Taichi to get a big win instead of just looking strong and falling at the last hurdle. 

I don't think we will see anyone new in a major featured position until Umino or Uemura come back and who knows how long that'll be and if they take the traditional route with either of them, even on return it'll take a few years before they are up there. 

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Spoiler

Semi Finals:

Okada vs Tama & Naito vs Ospreay 

A surprise finalist and a first time match up, not bad all things considering. Still think Okada vs Naito final (3rd or 4th time this year...so New Japan) but secretly hope for Tama/Naito

 

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Naito and Ospreay are the only guys that would realistically main event the Dome right now, so they're the likely ones.

 

Man this company has gotten boring and stale.

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2 hours ago, Raziel said:

Naito and Ospreay are the only guys that would realistically main event the Dome right now, so they're the likely ones.

 

Man this company has gotten boring and stale.

This.

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Posted (edited)

Gutted Zack Sabre Jr didn't win even knowing he wouldn't. Fuck. I really get annoyed that ZSJ has never won NJPW singles gold, falls at the final hurdle and Will fucking Ospreay is pushed ahead of him when ZSJ is that much better.

Edited by The Natural
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I realize I’ve said this before, so I’ll try not to belabor the point, but the Dojo has really failed at producing The Guy After Okada, and they’re going to be in a bad way once he’s gone. I know he’s only 34, but dude has those Lebron James miles on him after the last 10 years on top of the promotion. I think his run in New Japan is ending sooner than people think, either because his body falls apart or he goes the way of Shinsuke to America to work a lighter schedule for more money.

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The dojo produced Jay White who is amazing and could be the guy after Okada if NJPW is willing to have some on who isn’t Japanese as the guy at least until Shota is ready for the top slot. 
It’s sad that the booking has been so stale feeling. I was planning on renewing my subscription to World for the G1 but have just been following the results and have not missed it like I thought I would. The G1 has been the highlight of my wrestling year since I could watch it in real-time with World and now my feelings are just sounds alright but I don’t think I’m missing much 

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Also meant to add that I think Okada’s run is closing sooner than most think. I wouldn’t be surprised if TK and HHH get into a bidding war for him that NJPW won’t be able to compete in.

Edited by Sublime
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I think I've made similar posts before also, but I think there's a good chance that the system that NJPW has been running upon fails completely within a few years.

Here's what I mean: there is a non-zero chance that the change in the house style in the mid/late 2010s is going to result in guys having to retire outright and suddenly. No more "NJPW dads." On top of that, they've had a roster of guys who reached such astronomical heights (in kayfabe), that it's also going to be hard to believe that they can be shuffled down the card so drastically. Now...the counter argument there is that if Jushin Liger could have "dad" status, then nobody should be exempt. But, is your all-time record-setting champ in Okada going to drop falls on match 1 of cards? Tanahashi may be willing to in sprit, but his body may have other ideas. Naito, same thing. One of the most immensely popular puroresu stars of the last 20 years who is already showing a lot of wear and tear. Dad status is an awfully long way to fall for him (potentially a very tragic arc, given the whole "shuyaku" thing...) and his body straight up may not allow for it.

Without them (especially if they all stop wrestling or leave NJPW at the same time), New Japan's most capable wrestlers are currently all foreigners besides Shingo, who himself is going to be 40 this year. EVIL and SANADA are not top guys. As plucky has YOSHI-HASHI has become, he's not selling out the Tokyo Dome.

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Separate post for spoilered thoughts on the semi finals:

Spoiler

In hindsight, it seems like NJPW really messed up on their block rosters and how they're handling the semis. Naito/Ospreay is a match they've held back on for years. Wouldn't it make far more sense to have that as your G1 final instead of spending a match that has been protected for years on a semi-final?! All they'd have had to do would be something like block A vs. C/B vs. D for a berth in the finals to get that match to its arguably "proper" standing.

 

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3 hours ago, Sublime said:

The dojo produced Jay White who is amazing and could be the guy after Okada if NJPW is willing to have some on who isn’t Japanese as the guy at least until Shota is ready for the top slot. 
 

I think they’re sitting on a huge Jay babyface run, which would go a long way toward freshening him up, at the very least. But I also think he’s going to be Stateside sooner than later, too.

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My contentious opinion on an online msg board is that Jay White is like the hollow 4th gen copy of a copy of a copy they've been running through from Devitt to AJ to Omega to White to now the 5th gen copy which is Ospreay or 6th gen if you count Hangman as the prodigal 5th in between White and Ospreay. I would love for them to build up four or five more bruisers in the Takagi/Ishii vein rather than continue to build around US Indie-style gaijin aces. As boring as I find Jay White, the idea of him eventually "passing the torch" to someone even less charismatic like Juice or Finlay is even boringerer. My big play on words here is that Jay White puts the "aussie" in "aussiesterity"

 

Spoiler

Hoping Tama wins the whole thing just to disrupt the godawful tedious cycle, and because he's awesome.

 

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