NJPW G1 Climax 27 Night Three review (7.21.17)

NJPW G1 Climax 27 Night Three review (7.21.17)

NJPW G1 Climax 27 Night 3

 

July 21 2017

 

We’re in Korakuen Hall, Tokyo for tonight’s third G1 show. This is the second round of matches in Block A. Hosts on English commentary are Kevin Kelly and Don Callis.

 

EVIL & Hiromu Takahashi vs. Juice Robinson & David Finlay

EVIL vs. Juice is on tap for Block B tomorrow. Juice picked up a surprise win in his first match, while EVIL was edged out by teammate SANADA. Hiromu continues to shine. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was in G1 next year. Adding a stuffed cat called Daryl shows that he’s capable with props. His personality, his motivations and his insanity all work together. It’s one of the best blended characters in pro-wrestling. Everyone in this looks super fucking motivated. Juice in particular. He’s keen to shine even when he’s not in tournament action. Finlay has the look of someone who’s interviewing for a spot in next year’s tournament. YOSHI-HASHI used to do that and he’s in now. Finlay falls afoul of the Banshee Muzzle after some outstanding double teaming and has to tap out. Very solid opening match. The gaijin looked eager. Post match EVIL straps Juice in the Banshee Muzzle to soften him up for tomorrow.
Final Rating: **3/4

G13daryl

 

SANADA & BUSHI vs. Minoru Suzuki & Taichi

MiSu has SANADA tomorrow night.

G13sanada

Chances are Suzuki will be highly unimpressed with SANADA’s silly mask. Suzuki-gun tags are my least favourite thing about G1 this year. Lots of crowd brawling and bullshit. SANADA makes a point of going after Suzuki and showing no fear. Not that he shows any other emotions either. SANADA tries, stupidly, to put Suzuki in the Paradise Lock and oh boy does that not go well for him. Why would you even attempt such foolishness? Another notable occurrence is Suzuki messing up SANADA’s perfectly coiffed barnet. He’s in your head! My normal contempt for Suzuki-gun matches slowly fades during the match as the combined dickishness of everyone involved results in lots of cheating and mega heat. Unfortunately this also results in Taichi blasting BUSHI with the microphone stand for the pin. After Taichi messed with BUSHI’s mask he should have misted him for the pin. That would have made this pretty awesome. Instead douchebag Taichi pulls BUSHI’s mask off. What a prick.

Final Rating: **1/2

 

Kenny Omega & Yujiro Takahashi vs. Tama Tonga & Chase Owens

I stand corrected; this is my least favourite thing about G1 this year. Bullet Club collide. Oh the horror. Saturday sees Omega vs. Tama and seeing as they’re buddies that could be stellar. Chase, Omega’s opponent, applauding him into the ring is good stuff. Tama and Yujiro hug to open proceedings. Then it’s a criss-cross until Yujiro gets blown up. Chase accidentally gets a leglock on Omega and Kenny orders him to tag out. It’s good comedy. But Tama wants to win tomorrow so he works Kenny’s bad leg. Chase can’t win as he’s ordered by Tama to attack Omega’s leg. “He’ll be tagging with Yoshitatsu tomorrow” quips Callis. Tama Tonga has a good match, drawing laughs constantly and looking like a real star. I know I’m not keen on him but this match shows his range. Yujiro picks off Chase with the short DDT and Bullet Club proved they were incapable of being nice to each other. Post match Tama rants about Omega not being about Bullet Club and chasing his own personal glory. Tama is showing marked improvement. I may have to reconsider my stance on him.

Final Rating: **3/4

 

Michael Elgin, Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano & Gedo)

Elgin vs. Okada is Saturday’s main event. Meanwhile Kojima battles Yano. Only Okada won in his opening match so the pressure is on for the rest. Well, apart from Yano. Does he really care if he wins or loses? He just wants to have a laugh and sell some merch. If he upsets some belt mark in the process all the better. An absolute troll. Elgin’s overpowering of the champ suggests we’ll be in for an exciting match tomorrow night. Okada looks shaken by Elgin’s sheer power advantage. It makes for a good story as Okada generally has ice blood. He’s very rarely bothered. Usually only by a mountain of a challenge. It’s a great way to sell Elgin’s threat. Anaconda Vice puts Gedo away and no G1 participants are anywhere to be seen. Elgin looked good here, which he needed to. Okada might end tonight looking like a chump but he’s got 2 points and the title so who cares? Not him. He’s too busy goofing around with a camcorder.

G13Okada

Final Rating: **1/4

 

G1 Climax 27 Block A

Hirooki Goto [2] vs. Yuji Nagata [0]

Nagata’s farewell to G1 tour continues. Goto is likely to get a good points haul and could sit atop the block near the conclusion due to his finals appearance in 2016. Nagata is likely to finish dead last.

G13Nagata

He has huge crowd support and both guys hit really hard. Goto is nice to Nagata and gives him plenty of breaks, going for chinlocks, which act as a rest and make Yuji look tough when he powers out. Goto’s mockery of Nagata is superb. I wish he showed that more frequently. His disrespectful taps to Nagata’s dome cause the veteran to erupt with punishing kicks. They’re brutal. Nagata looks tired as Goto beats him up. He looks like an old man but he’s an old man who doesn’t give a shit about any of that. He’s going to carry on fighting as hard as he possibly can until he’s exhausted and can’t do it anymore. He puts a beating on Goto, making the young punk earn everything through punishment. The crowd is highly receptive to the concept of Nagata beating Goto clean in the middle of the ring. The sound of Nagata’s kicks landing is savage. When you have a strike that makes that noise, you’ve got my support. No thighs are being slapped here. Nagata looks as if he’s enjoying himself and he leaves it all in the ring. But Goto doesn’t. He leaves something in the tank and all the crowd support in the world won’t help Nagata when he’s eating GTR. Great fucking match though. Nagata was on fire.

Final Rating: ****1/4

 

G1 Climax 27 Block A

Togi Makabe [0] vs. Tomohiro Ishii [0]

Both these lads were blanked in their openers. They also have a history together, which usually involves Togi Makabe winning after they’ve kicked the crap out of each other for fifteen minutes or so. This match is like sumo mixed with two bulls charging at each other. When they’re not running into each other, they’re running headlong, full tilt into the rails. Togi does his stupid punches in the corner so Ishii chops him in the throat three times. Makabe is such a weird guy. He’s a tough guy but his punches absolutely suck. They look like they don’t belong. The match is at its best when Ishii beats the shit out of Makabe and Togi tries desperately hard to not sell it. These two hit each other so fucking hard. Togi’s lariat, after Ishii has smashed up his other arm, is so vicious. Makabe’s lariats get so stiff I find myself popping them. It’s uncontrollable pop. Which is impressive seeing as I’ve seen them do this match many times over. It’s as if Makabe feels the need to give that little bit more to make this one that bit more memorable. As they continue to batter each other I’m left wondering why on earth this wasn’t the main event. How can you follow this? Ishii gets the win with the brainbuster but both guys hit so, so hard in this. I don’t think there’s an actual winner, per se.

Final Rating: ****1/4

 

G1 Climax 27 Block A

Zack Sabre Jr [2] vs. Kota Ibushi [0]

So WWE won’t book these two against each other because they won’t sign contracts? No bother, get to see it in NJPW instead. The intrigue comes from seeing Sabre’s British style collide with Kota’s mixture of flipz and Strong Style. Ibushi’s strikes are hugely underrated. His kicks and slaps are devastating. Meanwhile Zack is inventing submissions to capitalise on Ibushi’s various injuries.

G13stretch

He focuses on the leg to keep Kota grounded and also the neck, which is surgically repaired. Kota takes this match slowly, aiming to not make rushed mistakes. If he flips, Sabre will probably take advantage. The first flip he does results in Kota getting trapped in a triangle. Sabre’s technical work is so good here that he’s popping Tokyoites left, right and centre. They love it! The match revolves around Sabre’s technical dominance and both guys insistence at kicking the shit out each other. Ibushi, were he less flexible, would be forced to tap out multiple times. Sabre is a torturer. The fans want Ibushi to win though, despite Sabre’s skill. Kota is the returning hero. He gets the win by powering out of a choke, right into the Last Ride. This was a marvellous clash of styles. Sabre looked fantastic in losing and Ibushi stayed grounded and looked great too.

Final Rating: ****

 

G1 Climax 27 Block A

Bad Luck Fale [2] vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi [0]

G13fale

Tana got off to a bad start because of his injured bicep. Now he’s in with the gigantic Fale. This is a totally different match to the rest of the G1 contests tonight. It relies heavily on Tanahashi having sympathy with the ladies in the audience and Fale picking on him, like a big bully. Tana gets to mount some serious comebacks, like hitting German suplexes. Tana tries a few daft spots, like trying to skin the cat with one arm. I’m not one to say “you can’t do that” but you can’t do that. Also he said he was going to stop doing High Fly Flow to the floor to prevent injuries and he does that again here. Tana, mate, you don’t have to kill yourself wrestling Bad Luck Fale. We would understand if the match was mediocre as fuck. Tanahashi hits a Slingblade on the apron here, which looks awesome, and Fale gets counted out because of it. This was pretty good! Fale isn’t the big sack of useless he was a few years ago and Tanahashi is a fucking legend, lads.

Final Rating: ***1/4

 

G1 Climax 27 Block A

Tetsuya Naito [2] vs. YOSHI-HASHI [2]

I guess this main events because they’re both on two points? So whoever wins is into a share of the lead with Goto.

G13Naito

This is sluggish compared to every other G1 match on this show and it takes Tacos a while to get warmed up. Both guys have a somewhat indolent style, also marked by sudden shifts in speed. It honestly doesn’t feel like a main event match up though. Despite Naito’s star power. Maybe they were a little reluctant to put one of the other matches on after the red-hot Naito. Don’t get me wrong, the match is fine but several other bouts tonight went all-out. The match improves when YOSHI-HASHI fucking mans up and smacks Naito right in the face with a high kick. Instead of capitalising he’s worried he’s hurt Naito though and doesn’t follow up at all. He’s just too nice. You’ll never be a champion by being nice. The match contains many teases that YOSHI-HASHI will win. I do not believe them. Naito promptly mounts a comeback and hits Destino for the win. This didn’t click with me, for whatever reason. Maybe I felt better things had already happened on this card or maybe I just didn’t buy into Tacos being a threat to Naito. They tried hard but I wasn’t feeling it.

Final Rating: ***1/2

 

BLOCK A Standings

Hirooki Goto 4

Tetsuya Naito 4

YOSHI-HASHI 2

Bad Luck Fale 2

Zack Sabre Jr 2

Tomohiro Ishii 2

Kota Ibushi 2

Hiroshi Tanahashi 2

Yuji Nagata 0

Togi Makabe 0

 

Summary:

A very consistent evening of wrestling. The tags were all fine. The G1 matches were all good, at the very least. The three match run of Goto/Nagata, Ishii/Makabe and Ibushi/Sabre was great. I seem to be the high man on Ishii/Makabe but they beat the shit out of each other in that match. How can you not love it?

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