Cero Reviews NJPW G1 Climax 31, 9.19

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Cero Reviews NJPW G1 Climax 31, 9.19

Post by cero2k » Sep 20th, '21, 19:05

NJPW G1 Climax 31, Day 2
September 19, 2021
EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Japan

SHO vs. Kosei Fujita - 6/10
Good match, I really like Fujita's energy, he seems a bit more energetic than Oiwa, but it may had been the nature of the match, since SHO wasn't being showcased as much as yesterday. SHO won with his new Gogoplata that I think is called Snake Bite.

G1 Climax 2021 Block B Match
YOSHI-HASHI vs. EVIL - 7.5/10
This was great! It had a deflating finish, but what EVIL win hasn't, right? This is a weird analogy, but this felt like any Piccolo match in Dragon Ball Z, where you know for a fact he is bound to lose, but he still delivers a hell of a fight to the villain and gives him enough trouble right up until the big EVIL, yes pun intended, and his cronies get the better of YH, who just can't deal with everyone going on and loses. I don't know what it was exactly, but having YH be a valiant babyface against someone like EVIL gave him a ton of positive energy, that made all his comebacks look great.

G1 Climax 2021 Block B Match
Chase Owens vs. Jeff Cobb - 7/10
Owens has stated that he wants to wrestle the whole G1 without the aid of anyone in the Bullet Club, he's not someone that usually comes out with seconds, so I can foresee this staying true until the very end. That doesn't mean he won't cheat, he just won't have people helping him cheat.

This was a great little pair up. Owens knew exactly how to bump for Cobb, and Cobb knew what to sell for Owens and what not to. Cobb was for sure the dominant wrestler here, but Owens did get a couple of good shots in here and there. Cobb won with the Tour of the Islands.

This was the shortest of the tournament matches, and it was the right thing to do, I think Cobb should be a guy so explosive in the tournament, that he should have a couple of short matches where he just has the power to put people down sooner. Owens however, I do think could benefit from a couple of longer matches, him against Goto or YH for instance, should be great chances to have Owens showcase his potential in a strong style match.

G1 Climax 2021 Block B Match
SANADA vs. Tama Tonga (w/Jado) - 8.5/10
I've heard a lot of people say that SANADA was great in this match, but all I was thinking was that it is great to see Tama Tonga when he gives a shit about the match, especially in a singles match, that don't happen as often anymore. This was a pair up that I would love to see explored further, I think Tonga's speed can bring out something from SANADA that not many in the roster can, something that can make SANADA look different from everyone else in the roster.

The detriments of the match were for sure Jado's involvement and a couple of spots in the middle where Tonga slowed down things with some headlocks, but I can't complain much about the latter, Tonga was indeed working the neck. SANADA's game was pretty much the usual work the body and neck towards the Skull End and moonsault, which he failed, forcing him to rely on his trusty O'Connor roll for the win.

G1 Climax 2021 Block B Match
Taichi vs. Hirooki Goto - 8.5/10
This was the strong style match of the night, and it was everything that I expected, two dudes clobbering at each other with every lariat possible. Goto and Taichi have feuded for most of the summer and in a way, this didn't feel new or anything, but being able to see them in a singles match does allow us to view the whole thing uninterrupted.

In terms of the match, not much to say, if you've seen a Goto match, you've seen them all, and this was no different, a lot of back and fourth, a lot of clobbering, some great sequences towards the end as both men start to chase their finisher, and at the end, Taichi hit Black Mephisto for the win. It's just great fighting.

G1 Climax 2021 Block B Match
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada - 9/10
Man, I felt like I was back in 2015 watching Okada and Tanahashi go at it, not only did Tanahashi's haircut made him look younger, but the match itself had the build up and climax of the days of old. Okada paced himself perfectly, so that he hit all the spots at the right time, the Rainmaker pose (which I can't remember the last time I saw it), the corner dropkick, the dropkick counter, the piledriver, and finally, the one proper Rainmaker to end it all.

This match teased the 30 minute draw as many previous Okada and Tanahashi matches had (2013, 2016, & 2018), except they actually gave us the finish with only 24 seconds left on the clock, cutting it short since the action hadn't really slowed down, they perfectly placed the Rainmaker at the right time.

Not much else to say about the match, it was in many ways a Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kazuchika Okada match, of which we've seen many throughout the years, and it was as good as many of those.

Post-match - Okada cut a promo saying that the real Rainmaker is back and he will win the G1. After this match, I can totally believe this will be the case.

Really good show and a great way to start off Block B. I feel like some people expected little from Block B since there is no Ishii, Shingo, Ibushi, Naito, or Taichi, and instead has Owens and EVIL, but I di believe that this show outdid Block A in their first night.

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