NJPW G1 Special in USA 1





NJPW G1 Special in USA 1

By GARZA
From July 01, 2017

NJPW G1 Special in USA 1
Jim Ross and Josh Barnett on commentary live!

Bullet Club (The Young Bucks, "The Villain" Marty Scurll, Bad Luck Fale, and Yujiro Takahashi) vs CHAOS (Roppongi Vice and Will Ospreay) & The Briscoes - 6.5/10


First thing they did was a close up of Matt Jackson saying "They put us in the opening match, are you kidding me!?" and I kinda agree, they're probably in the top 5 guys more over tonight.

Match starts with a little bit of Ospreay vs Scurll, then everyone gets in enough to leave RPG and the Bucks to do their stuff. And then, the Rip Rogers Special (why isn't this a move already?) a bunch of dives and everyone doing their spots. They did some spots between Fale and RPG that were pretty cool, but the thing that caught my attention is that Beretta is as tall as Fale, just not as big. Finish saw Ospreay cut off the Bucks while prepping the Meltzer Driver, Rocky Romero then rolls up Matt Jackson for the win. Tomorrow they fight for the tag titles. Perfectly good opener to get the gears going.

Los Ingobernables de Japon vs Jyushin "Thunder" Liger, Volador Jr, Titan, and Dragon Lee - 6.5/10


Ross confused all the LIJ guys and kept asking what's up with the cat, Barnett tried to give reason to it just to get over it, but Ross kept bringing it up. This was all LIJ, they got the heat on Liger for a while and later on dominated Titan up to the pin by Takahashi after a Time Bomb Driver. Dragon Lee and Takahashi got a chance to do their thing, and everyone at one point got their stuff in.

Post- match - SANADA tied up the ref and delivered the dropkick.

Sugabayashi Presents the new Championship - It's beautiful.

IWGP US Heavyweight Championship Tournament First Round Match
Jay Lethal vs Hangman Page - 6/10


Lethal is coming in injured after the attacks of Beer City Bruiser a week ago, so as you can imagine, Page focused all his attacks on the rib/torso area. So the biggest story here is that Lethal has a lot of control of the match, he keeps hitting the big moves, but he can never follow up with a pin. After a while he eventually does pin him and wins. Nothing match really, which sucks because it was the only one that had been built prior to the show.

My only complain about this match is that as great as Lethal is, I don't hurt ribs allows you to do the Lethal Injection's rope flip over and over again.

IWGP US Heavyweight Championship Tournament First Round Match
Zack Sabre Jr vs Juice Robinson - 8/10


Sabre's NJPW couldn't be any less un-Sabre-y, yet it kinda works on a heel Sabre. Holy shit, Sabre just pushed Juice to have one of the better matches he's ever had. Story of the match is that Sabre is just way better than Robinson and so his submission technique is destroying Juice's arms, but Juice himself is strong enough that every now and then, he could get out of the submission and just drop Sabre one way or another. At one point, Sabre mocking Robinson, he had him under control so much, that he locked in a cravat on Robinson's hair. The finish was awesome with Sabre locking in the Octopus submission lock, everything that Juice tries to do to get closer to the ropes, Sabre just turns it around, bending the joins, grabbing both arms, locking them in a handlebar position, Juice has no other way out than to verbally give up. If this is an indictment of Sabre's position in NJPW, he's in for a good run.

Tempura Boyz, Yoshitatsu, and Billy Gunn vs Hiroshi Tanahashi, KUSHIDA, Jay White, and David Finlay - 4/10


Yoshitatus changed his hair back, hopefully he finally realized how bad he looks, sooo, anyway, are the Bullet Club Hunters still a thing? Talk about this being a mismatch, the ACE of NJPW, the ACE of the Juniors Division, and two of the best rookies that NJPW has, and on the other side, the worst wrestler in NJPW, old timer Gunn, and two guys that haven't been in NJPW for months nor I can't think they're wrestling as often since ROH hasn't done shit with them. Billy Gunn also worth noting, was booed out of the building.

This match terribly exposed how bad Tatsu is and how bad Gunn vs Tanahashi will be, don't get me wrong, i'm interested in seeing Tanahashi-senpai destroy Mr. Ass, but that match is gonna suck bad. Tempura Boyz were awesome, they were the only redeeming parts of the this match. Finish saw White and Finlay team up on Tanaka on the pin.

Okada vs Cody Build Up Video - AWESOME! The words Okada said really resonated. Cody was awesome too, just in a heelish way, Okada felt more real. I don't know if they did it, but they really should have shown this package all week.

IWGP Tag Team Championship No DQs Match
Guerrillas of War (C) vs War Machine - 7/10


Ray Rowe starts with the mic, says that in Osaka, Guerrillas brought weapons to the match while they brought honor, so now, why not make it a No DQs and get it over with. The match was pretty great, not that many weapons really, trashcans, chairs, and tables. Chase Owens came out and interfered at one point, but nothing to really hurt the match, he did however, introduce the table in which War Machine drove Roa through to get the pin and regain the titles. Not their best match, but good nonetheless.

IWGP US Heavyweight Championship Tournament First Round Match
Tetsuya Naito vs Tomohiro Ishii - 8.5/10


Awesome match with both Naito and Ishii working each other's necks and heads. Pretty similar to their previous bouts, Ishii wins after the brainbuster.

IWGP US Heavyweight Championship Tournament First Round Match
Kenny Omega vs "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin - 9/10


Omega super over tonight as expected. There was definitely a weird shift here as Omega's work came out more bayface and Elgin was, while a babyface himself, doing things here and there that could pass as part of a heel's doing. Yet, at the end, Kenny is still Bullet Club and thus he still needs to antagonize the ref and thus stay heel.

Story of the match was that on Elgin's side, he wasn't fully focused because the Bucks were out there, but he kept the upper hand most of the match; however, it was all because on Kenny's side, Kenny kept wasting time when it came to following up with more moves or pins, and would always give Elgin enough time to get back on it, but otherwise, we have to believe that Omega would had controlled this match more. Eventually, I think Elgin woke Omega up with a serious of clotheslines and at this point Omega's comeback started.

Biggest spot of the match was a German suplex that Elgin hit on Omega on the apron, which he followed with a Cruxifix Bomb from the top rope which was a huge near fall. And when it felt like Elgin had the clear path to victory, Kenny went V-Trigger crazy and must have hit about 6 in a row. Finish saw Kenny win the One Winged Angel. With Naito and Elgin out, I find it hard to believe that Omega doesn't win the title now.

IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
"The Rainmaker" Kazuchika Okada (C) vs "The American Nightmare" Cody - 9/10


Cody's entrance was coming out with Presidents, huge cigar, Brandi and Cody wearing all red, white, and blue.

Cody started with a little bit of offense over Okada, and it got to his head way to fast, he got cocky, he started showboating, he started pissing off Okada. At one point, Okada gets tired of Cody's antics and he finally decides to get serious, because it really felt like Cody wasn't pushing Okada until he got pissed, not because Okada was in trouble.

Half way the match, Omega and the Bucks came out with the same deal to throw in the towel. Same thing as with Omega, this kinda lit a fire under Cody, but it wasn't as strong as the Dominion show. Cody starts to talk shit with Omega a lot, Omega laughting it off because in a way, he is seeing how Cody is a hot head cocky kid that is not taking Okada seriously, and it's starting to cost him. Among Cody's desperation, he steals the Rainmaker for a near fall (Okada would eventually return the favor with a Cross-Rhodes), and biggest part of this, Cody tries to steal the One Winged Angel right in front of Omega, but Okada blocks it. Finish sees Okada hit a Tombstone Piledriver on Cody, followed by ONE (and only) Rainmaker for the 1-2-3.

Post-match - Kenny addresses match III with Okada, but I think it was mostly because the fans pushed for something. Gedo and Okada cut a promo in English and Japanese. He's bringing Rainmaker Strong Style to the world.

There is an interesting story coming out of this not just for NJPW, but for ROH too I think. We don't only have this now obvious rift between Kenny and Cody, which most likely leads to Cody vs Kenny for the IWGP US title at one point (if Kenny wins tomorrow), but this could easily lead to The Elite branching out of Bullet Club as babyfaces as Cody takes over the stable. Cody couldn't last 60 minutes as he Omega did, Cody couldn't take more than ONE Rainmaker as Omega has before. Cody feels he is the leader of the Bullet Club, he is the champion of Ring of Honor, but he surely doesn't have anything on Omega, who takes his matches seriously.

Furthermore, we now have the situation that Cody (representing ROH) really didn't even come close to defeating Okada, he got too cocky for his own good, and in his first fight post-championship win, he lost, Cody's cockyness hurts ROH and the image that the ROH Champ is the top champ in the US. This could be the PERFECT excuse for anyone to start a program with Cody in ROH.

OVERALL THOUGHTS


Awesome show wrestling wise, but I have to mention that the production botched tons of entrances and music. Ross was a bit off with some wrestlers and moves, but Barnett was on point always. Tournament and main event were for the most part great, the show really picked up in the second part. The last 3 matches are definitely worth checking out. Tomorrow we're getting Sabre vs Ishii and Omega vs Lethal as parts of the tournament, plus the already announced matches.

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