NJPW: G1 Climax Day 11-14 Recap

Hi, and welcome back to our coverage of the 28th G1 Climax. You know the deal, I’ll tell you what happened and quickly highlight what you should’ve watched and also, for you semi-completists, what to avoid. Once again, unless Dave Meltzer himself has decided to both rate all these matches and go into this article and add his stars, I will not be including his ratings plus anyway, I’m better than him. You heard it here first. Still, let’s get into it:

Credit © njpw1972.com & tdewrestling.com

Day 11 Results (30/07/18)

Bad Luck Fale (2-4-0) def. Togi Makabe (2-4-0)

Jay White (4-2-0) def. Hangman Page (1-5-0)

Minoru Suzuki (4-2-0) def. EVIL (4-2-0)

Hiroshi Tanahashi (5-1-0) def. YOSHI-HASHI (1-5-0):

Now, this wasn’t incredible but it did make me believe briefly that HASHI might pull off the upset which means something.

Kazuchika Okada (4-2-0) def. Fuck Michael Elgin (2-4-0):

This was a very well-put-together match if a little on the long side for what it was doing. Okada and Elgin are at the top of their game at the moment and that’s one of the things holding A Block together. The other is some exceptional tournament-spanning storytelling by Jay White but that doesn’t always result in great matches. This was, however, one of the best of A Block thus far.

Day 12 Results (01/08/18)

Tama Tonga (2-4-0) def. Tomohiro Ishii (2-4-0)

Juice Robinson (2-4-0) def. SANADA (3-3-0)

Tetsuya Naito (5-1-0) def. Toru Yano (1-5-0)

Kenny Omega (6-0-0) def. Zack Sabre Jr. (3-3-0):

Like his beloved Megaman, having defeated Juice Robinson, Omega gained his power of Roll-Up. Zack was great here, manipulating that injured heel for all its worth, Omega did, however, struggle to match him, occasionally showing wonky selling when on the offensive. Still, exemplary stuff for the most part.

Kota Ibushi (4-2-0) def. Hirooki Goto (2-4-0):

Interesting that they’re playing Juice as the underdog/loser champion when Goto is now equal to him in wins-losses. This definitely isn’t intentional with the two facing off on the final night, is it? Oh, this was really good but I thought that probably went without saying by this point in the tournament.

credit: njpw1972.com

Day 13 Results (02/08/18)

Fuck Michael Elgin (3-3-0) def. Bad Luck Fale (3-3-0) via DQ

Hangman Page (2-5-0) def. Togi Makabe (2-5-0)

Jay White (5-2-0) def. YOSHI-HASHI (1-6-0)

Hiroshi Tanahashi (6-1-0) def. EVIL (4-3-0)

Kazuchika Okada (5-2-0) def. Minoru Suzuki (4-3-0):

This is another one of those match-ups that never fails to deliver with Okada playing the gutsy underdog with maximum fire to his comebacks but Suzuki still is unmatched when it comes to playing a sadistic bastard. The finish felt quite inevitable but the action up to it was superb.

Day 14 Results (04/08/18)

SANADA (4-3-0) def. Toru Yano (1-6-0):

The final images of this match as SANADA succeeded in Out Yano-ing Yano and tied up both Yano and Romero in Paradise Locks, around a guardrail, with tape, for the countout were beautiful. Especially as for an added touch, SANADA gave Rocky his headset back.

Hirooki Goto (3-4-0) def. Tama Tonga (2-5-0) via DQ

Zack Sabre Jr. (4-3-0) def. Juice Robinson (2-5-0) via Ref. Stoppage:

As haunting as the final minutes of SANADA-Yano was, they had nothing on ZSJ busting out a new submission or more exactly, somehow applying a package version of all the submissions at the same time. He probably has over 1,000 holds, ZSJ vs Jericho at WK 13 please.

Tomohiro Ishii (3-4-0) def. Kenny Omega (6-1-0):

Oh darn, I guess this means we’ll have to have another Ishii-Omega match. That’s a shame. It’s not like every match they have is somehow better than the last…

Kota Ibushi (5-2-0) def. Tetsuya Naito (5-2-0):

Another great sprint style main event but even more importantly opens up the storytelling of Naito vs SANADA as Ibushi beat the LIJ head honcho but not his crony.

Matches to See:

Ibushi vs Naito
Ishii vs Omega
Ibushi vs Goto
Omega vs ZSJ
ZSJ vs Juice
Okada vs Elgin
Okada vs Suzuki
SANADA vs Yano
Juice vs SANADA
Naito vs Yano

Matches to Avoid:

Minoru Suzuki vs EVIL: I didn’t want to stick this in here as it’s two of my favourite currents but it was just a bit fine. Nothing more. And it should have been.

Hangman Page vs Togi Makabe: Another edition of Sleepwalk with Me by Togi Makabe.

Fuck Michael Elgin vs Bad Luck Fale: More Firing Squad bullshit. The interference is working for me but at least try to put on a good match first.

Bad Luck Fale vs Togi Makabe: Yet more Firing Squad bullshit.

Hirooki Goto vs Tama Tonga: And that’s thirds of FSB.

credit: njpw1972.com

Block Standings:

A Block:

Hiroshi Tanahashi: 12 Points

Jay White: 10 Points

Kazuchika Okada: 10 Points

——————————————————-(NOW UNABLE TO WIN)——————————————————–

EVIL: 8 Points

Minoru Suzuki: 8 Points

Bad Luck Fale: 6 Points

Michael Elgin: 6 Points

Hangman Page: 4 Points

Togi Makabe: 4 Points

YOSHI-HASHI: 2 Points

B Block:

Kenny Omega: 12 Points

Kota Ibushi: 10 Points

Tetsuya Naito: 10 Points

——————————————————-(NOW UNABLE TO WIN)——————————————————–

SANADA: 8 Points

Zack Sabre Jr: 8 Points

Hirooki Goto: 6 Points

Tomohiro Ishii: 6 Points

Tama Tonga: 4 Points

Juice Robinson: 4 Points

Toru Yano: 2 Points

credit: njpw1972.com

Even if the almost over-stacked B Block has overshadowed A in terms of overall match quality, it’s hard not find certain little delights everywhere, even in the Firing Squad matches which I’ve found sometimes entertaining in a ridiculous sort-of way. With only four block shows left and six men still in contention, who knows where this is going next? If where it’s going isn’t Ibushi vs Yano in the main event of Madison Square Garden, then what was the point of any of this anyway?