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NJPW G1 Climax 32 dates/schedule announced.


The Natural
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2 hours ago, Jiji said:

Why was nobody in the upper deck of the Budokan? It looked empty from the few minutes I watched. 

Budokan may be restricting crowds still, the number claimed is in line with Super Juniors final and NOAH's show last month. I didn't watch the NOAH show so I don't know if they had people in the upper deck, but Super Juniors was definitely the same. Though with how hard Kevin Kelly & Chris Charlton have been pushing tickets I doubt they'd be even close to getting enough sold to open the upper deck even if they could. 

@Sublimesummed up my feelings perfectly I think, the G1 used to be my most anticipated time in wrestling and I would be watching every show live (being either in Melbourne or Seoul helps with the convenient time differences)...but this year (actually it may have started last year) has seen me have no problem not watching some live or skipping all together. Maybe Super Juniors is now my most anticipated event as that was a blast. I wont say the G1 has been bad, but it hasn't been that unmissable event and has real late 00s vibes of lethargy once again. 

I will say I am not as much on the doom & gloom as many are, I do think there is a future where we have great tourneys with Umino, Uemura, Tsuji, Oiwa & co, its just getting there that feels like a slog at this point & whether or not any of them will be megastars like Okada or Tanahashi.

 

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More than anything, I hope those next generation kids bring with them a style more reminiscent of the '90s wild unpredictability. It's not just the wrestlers that are stale it's the style. It needs to go away with Tanahashi when he retires.

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2 minutes ago, matwarz said:

Whilst both G1 semi’s were terrific, Naito and Ospreay was an absolute war and MOTYC. Absolutely stellar hour of live pro-wrestling.

Fucking hell Naito and Ospreay brought it tonight, first time against each other and it did not disappoint

Spoiler

Probably an unpopular opinion here, but I hope Ospreay goes all the way. I don't see Jay/Ospreay as a Dome match, but Ospreay could easily cash in at Royal Quest and they can build something else for January 4th.

 

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Spoiler

If Kazuchika Okada wins the G1 Climax, he'll be on four and in second place behind Masahiro Chono. Rooting for the Rainmaker as Will Ospreay has never done anything for me. Much rather see Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, Zack Sabre Jr, Tomohiro Ishii and Jay White than Will.

 

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4 hours ago, matwarz said:

Whilst both G1 semi’s were terrific, Naito and Ospreay was an absolute war and MOTYC. Absolutely stellar hour of live pro-wrestling.

That was good.  I was going to comment that Naito is the Orange Cassidy of New Japan, but he never actually works from underneath.,

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That. Fucking. Match.

The drama, the selling, the ebb and flow. Both guys laid it in and delivered.

But, the wrong guy won and I think everyone in Budokan knew that. 
 

To be positive, almost magical to hear the crowd find it’s voice. WK back to one night, just the way it should be.

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Posted (edited)
Spoiler

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Punched the air reading the result just now. Happy Kazuchika Okada won the G1 Climax for the fourth time, his first a decade ago in 2012, second in 2014. Okada sits behind Masahiro Chono and is only the fourth wrestler to win two in a row: Chono in 1991-1992, Hiroyoshi Tenzan (2003-2004), Kota Ibushi (2019-2020) and Okada in 2021-2022.

 

Edited by The Natural
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Great match, and I guess they succeeded in convincing me that someone other than Okada might win with all the harping on his 6-1 record vs Ospreay, but terrible result. Okada is like Cena (and I guess Tanahashi) for me, he's a great wrestler but I will always hate that level of dominance in any sport, real or otherwise. If it was a book, nobody would read it, narrative development goes out the window for years at a time when one guy wins that often.

Ironically, when Okada came back and beat Tanahashi I remember thinking it was a huge breath of fresh air, heralding a brave new future where someone could get rocket boosted to the top of the card if they were good enough. Maybe they try that again with Tsuji or Umino early next year? Then before I know it I'll be pushing 50, bitching about how I'm sick of Shota's decade of the whole company revolving around him.

Either way, my interest in Okada vs Jay or Naito for the millionth time at Wrestle Kingdom is very, very low. Have Jay lose the title to Danielson or some other AEW name between now and then, then we're talking.

 

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Spoiler

If it was anyone else against him in the final I would say this was the wrong result but Ospreay losing is always the correct option. That said --jeeeeeeeeeeez is Okada vs White an uninspiring WK main event.

 

Edit: fwiw I think Okada is one of the all time best, they just need to be cycling more new guys. Hell I would be fine with him winning the next 5 G1s to cement his legacy as long as his opponent in each final is Umino or someone.

 

Edit X2: or hell, even old guys like Ishii and Goto. Just not White, Ibushi or Ospreay. Naito and Takagi I can handle. 

 

Edited by Belgian_Waffle
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Spoiler

What I liked:
- The match itself, an absolute wild ride, maybe a little gimmicky with Ospreay trying to use finishers of people who have beaten Okada in the past, but I was hooked all the way through. 
- Crowd once again being drawn in to the point of breaking noise rules, they badly wanted Ospreay to win (as did I).
- Okada's post match promo - you can tell how much this meant to him. Also ditching the briefcase idea...thank god! 

What I didn't like:
- It absolutely was the wrong result, another Okada win does not feel like the start of a new era as Kidani was talking about, and another Okada/White match does not interest me at all. I really hope they pivot somehow (i.e. Jay lose the belt in the UK or Power Struggle or something). 
- Will has a bunch of US title programs lined up which made me think he wouldn't win, but I can't help but feel he is above these programs. Get him to drop the US belt ASAP and get back in the World Heavyweight Title picture. 
- Jay/Tama is fine for either the New York show or Power Struggle, but is one of those matches you know nothing is going to change (the normal problem post-G1). I guess we'll get a Okada/Jonah rematch somewhere down the line too...everything is predictable. Naito is the other issue - if they are still going to play the 'Naito wants his WK moment proper' angle, then either we get Naito/Okada IV this year or White/Naito which is still not exciting...

Ultimately great match I had a blast watching, but after the high of the match settled I just feel everything is still the same and needs to change. In saying that, I have been watching along with someone who has never watched a G1 or much New Japan before and he has had a blast but yeah, he hasn't sat through 5-7 years of the same old story. 

 

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There been some changes these past few years

KOPW

IC belt gone

Reintegration of old NJPW stuff

G1 certification gone.

Other stuff I'm too lazy to list.

 

Think we need some units to disband for good. 

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2 hours ago, Belgian_Waffle said:

It would be a trip to finally disband Bullet Club and Chaos in the same year Voodoo Murders reunited.

I think Bullet Club and Chaos are here to stay. Next May marks ten years of the Bullet Club.

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We have all touched on this a bit in this thread, but much of what has been written about this G1 has been us repeating ourselves. Fitting given what the consensus opinion of NJPW has been these last few years. Much of what I have to say about the final, I feel I've written before. I still want to type it all out because the final was an amazing match, overall. Spoilers to come, but that is probably my MOTY so far and it has been a while since I've been able to say that about a G1 final. I'm probably forgetting something and need to rewatch a bunch of stuff, but gut reaction is that.

A non-spoiler thought first: I've seen a few comments in the AEW subforum lately about their production. Stale as NJPW's booking might be, they are still hands down the best produced, directed, and photographed/shot pro-wrestling on the planet. I don't know if this is a contentious statement or not, but even in the pandemic they have not lost that crown.

On to the final:

Spoiler

I have written before about how I am in the middle on Will Ospreay. I do not have the hate for him that others have, but feel I understand the criticisms of his work and find many of them to be mostly valid. While I'm not his biggest fan either, a big part of my pro-wrestling enjoyment is seeing insanely athletic humans doing superheroic stuff in the ring. Ospreay provides that in spades, and he has shown he is capable of changing his game over the years. He has come a very long way from being the guy who ruined every match he was in by screaming bloody murder.

Also - am I to believe that every single fan in that Budokan audience was wrong for losing their minds (as much as was permissible) during that match? Do all of us know something about Will's work that those fans do not? I do not think so. It takes two to tango, and I am with the other posters here who felt the crowd was ready for an Ospreay win. NJPW has pulled this "guy gets to the finals for the first time, comes within a hair of winning, but he'll get it next time!" trick a few times now. Ospreay winning would've been the more interesting option.

As for the match itself: as New Japan finishing sequences go, that's as good a final stretch in a match that they've done. Okada and Ospreay were throwing absolutely everything at each other through most of the match, and they both succeeded at drawing the crowd in. I will say that Ospreay doing the callbacks to people who have beaten Okada was perhaps not the most effective. While the fans in attendance live reacted strongly to both the Styles Clash and V-Trigger, El Phantasmo has done something very similar in recent history by pulling out moves from former Bullet Club leaders (but also not hitting the One-Winged Angel). Now...what makes sense in context was Will not being able to hit the OWA. It stands to reason that no wrestler has had to scout that move as carefully as Okada - simply changing the person who is doing the move is not going to throw him off. That Ospreay was not able to perform the OWA and that this was a turning point in the match - which the commentary desk touched on - fits the overall story.

One more thought not requiring spoilers: Kevin Kelly and Chris Charlton did a fantastic job on commentary during that final. They sounded as involved as the fans were, and that is probably the closest the two of them have come to losing their minds in the same way the Japanese commentary desk will often do, with it feeling as equally convincing. I feel Chris especially has made a ton of progress. I really look forward to how he sets up main events during the wrestler entrances. His "[Ospreay] drives it like he stole it" call during the main event was spot on. Again I feel compelled to draw an AEW comparison: Taz and Excalibur is a really fun two-man booth, but if you like your commentary a little less loosey-goosey, Charlton and Kelly are the best commentary team in wrestling.

Edited by Teflon Turtle
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