Anyone that read along with my BOSJ reviews knows I wasn’t that high on the tournament and felt it showed off many of NJPW’s negative traits. G1 is set to be a different case as it’s packed with some talent I enjoy and has been off to a good start. Let’s be honest none of you are here for the undercard tags so let’s get straight into the block action:
Block A: Lance Archer vs KENTA
A simple story of KENTA trying to hit and move and avoid getting caught by the big man. Once he did get caught, Archer mauled him with some vicious lariats, tackles and a sick powerbomb. Archer failed to put his opponent away though and got caught in Game Over which gave KENTA the win.
Winner: KENTA Rating: 7 out of 10
Block A: EVIL vs SANADA
Partner vs Partner and they played into that story a lot. They knew each others movesets inside out and the match was filled with counters. Some of the early stuff with paradise locks was kind of silly and dragged down the early parts of the match. EVIL put away SANADA with EVIL for the win.
Winner: EVIL Rating: 5 out of 10
Block A: Kazuchika Okada vs Bad Luck Fale
Bad Luck Fale attacked long before the bell because Bullet Club is just a shitty WWE heel stable. Alright, this is bad, Bad Luck Fale is bad, Bullet Club is bad, Okada won with a roll-up. Do yourself a favor and don’t watch this.
Winner: Kazuchika Okada Rating: 0 out of 10
Block A: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Zack Sabre Jr
This was a very technical match, as you’d expect based on the two competitors, but it very rarely got exciting. Tanahashi rolled up ZSG to get the “suprise” win
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi Rating: 3 out of 10
Block A: Kota Ibushi vs Will Ospreay
So both men are supposedly injured coming into this one. A collar and elbow lock up in a match between Ibushi and Ospreay? Ospreay worked over Ibushi’s hurt ankle, not how I expected this match to go. Eventually, we got to the point where both of them got bored with storytelling and proceeded to almost kill each other. As someone that hasn’t been too hot on Ospreay’s stuff this year, I feel he abandoned a lot of his negative traits and was on point with his strikes. Ibushi is Ibushi and is fantastic so he was taking punishment and doling it out. A slow start brings it down in my book but I enjoyed this much more than I’ve enjoyed an Ospreay match in a long time. Ibushi won with the Kamigoye in about 27 minutes!
Winner: Kota Ibushi Rating: 8 out of 10
Bookended by two very good matches this was a solid show. The middle definitely pulled it down a bit but I can’t complain about what I got.
KENTA- 6 Points
Okada- 6 Points
Archer- 4 Points
EVIL- 4 Points
SANADA- 2 Points
Bad Luck Fale- 2 Points
Hiroshi Tanahashi- 2 Points
Will Ospreay- 2 Points
Kota Ibushi- 2 Points
Zack Sabre Jr- 0 Points