SHOTA UMINO & REN NARITA vs. SUZUKI-GUN (Zack Sabre Jr. & El Desperado) - 4.5/10
Suzuki-Gun won, then beat up the young-boys for no reason. Why do no babyfaces ever come out to help the defenseless people Suzuki-Gun attacks?
TOGI MAKABE & RYUSUKE TAGUCHI vs. YUJI NAGATA & HIRAI KAWATO - 5/10
KOTA IBUSHI, TOMOYUKI OKA, & KATSUYA KITAMURA vs. BULLET CLUB (Chase Owens, Bad Luck Fale, & Yujiro Takahashi) - 4.5/10
Bullet Club isolated the young-boys from Kota and Owens got the win with a package piledriver.
LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON (Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI) vs. CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Gedo) - 4.75/10
After the match, LIJ beat up the referee for absolutely no reason (they even won the match!). What was the purpose of this?
HIROSHI TANAHASHI & DAVID FINLAY JR. vs. CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI) - 5/10
BLOCK B MATCH: Juice Robinson vs. Tama Tonga - 8/10
Poor Juice is limping on his way down to the ring due to the damage done to his knee over the past few shows, but he knows how big of an opportunity his first G1 is, so there is no way in hell that he won't compete. We start off with Tonga going after that knee right away and Juice fighting to keep that knee out of reach. Tonga eventually got to the knee, though. Juice eventually made a comeback, and they had some really exciting sequences towards the end based around finisher reversals. This was the type of awesome match that both of these guys needed to keep their spots in the G1 for next year.
BLOCK B MATCH: Toru Yano vs. Sanada - 4.75/10
Sanada jumps Yano to start off the match, looking to make up for last night's humiliation. The whole story of this match was Sanada being determined to not get humiliated like he did last night, and to pay Yano back in kind. He was mostly successful at avoiding Yano's antics, and the few times Yano did get the best of him just made him even more angry. He eventually got the win by count-out by tying Yano the nuto on the stage, aided by one of Yano's own favorite weapons for a count-out victory: athletic tape. Sanada then casually strolled back into the ring to collect the victory by count-out, then equally casually strolled to the back, walking right past the tied-up Yano. A fun five minutes.
BLOCK B MATCH: EVIL vs. Minoru Suzuki (w/El Desperado) - DUD!
After finally doing something new last night, these two went right back to the standard Suzuki-Gun formula here in the match that people actually care about, but it's a bigger match, so they did more chairshots. All of them, of course, were right in front of the referee, who didn't disqualify Suzuki because... um... I guess he's just incompetent. These guys have now been on the outside for all but the first few seconds of the two and a half minutes that have elapsed so far, and only now does the referee begin the count-out count. Why now? Because the referee is incompetent, I guess.
Those aforementioned chairshots were all to EVIL's back, so of course Suzuki would instead work over his arm when he got back to the ring, and would later be going after EVIL's head, so these stupid chairshots didn't even matter. EVIL got to use a chair in front of the referee with no DQ as well. I guess this means there are no DQs, right? Then why did we need a ref bump before the series of run-ins began?
BUSHI, Hiromu, Desperado, and Taichi brawl away. Suzuki grabs a chair as the referee begins to recover. He hits EVIL with the chair right in front of the now-conscious referee, who once again does not call for a DQ, so Suzuki goes hit EVIL with the chair again... and the referee tries to yank it away from him. WHAT THE F*CK?! Is there some sort of rule that each guy only gets to hit his opponent with a chair seven times and any further chairshots are a DQ or something? Because that's the only way this makes any sense, and even that would be extremely stupid. They do a bunch of reversals of attempted finishers until EVIL, who really hasn't had much offense this match, beats Suzuki after a freakin' STO.
New Japan would be SOOOOOO much better if they just cut this stupid f*cking pointless overbooked bullsh*t out of their matches. They know it's bad- hence why they don't do it in main events- so why do they do it at all? This idiotic arbitrary enforcement of the rules if stupid, lazy bullsh*t. Lazy on the part of the wrestlers for not having the referee distracted while these things are happening so that their match makes sense, and lazy on Gedo's part for not putting his foot down and telling the wrestlers and referees to knock this sh*t off. The small amount of actual professional wrestling that Suzuki and EVIL did here was pretty great, but the bullsh*t they surrounded it with utterly destroyed this match.
BLOCK B MATCH: Satoshi Kojima (w/Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Kazuchika Okada (w/Gedo) - 8/10
This was a real slugfest of a match. I think about 95% of the moves they did were strikes to the head or neck, about the remaining 5% were almost all maneuvers that target the head and neck. They got the crowd really behind Kojima, which was nice for a change of pace in an Okada match, but I really think they went too far with Okada being a dick and attacking Tenzan. The fans went nuts for Tenzan and Okada wanting to fight, but unfortunately, I don't think we'll ever get it in a singles match again (which is a shame because I'm assuming New Japan is planning on splitting big matches on the Destruction Tour up over two or three shows like they did last year, so there is no reason you can't have Okada vs. Tenzan non-title third from the top on one of them.
The first half of the match, while intense and hard-hitting, felt a little off to me (the aforementioned Okada over the top heelishness was probably a part of that) but the second half of this was awesome, filled with great strikes, reversal, nearfalls and Kojima's various efforts to avoid a sure to be match-ending Rainmaker.
BLOCK B MATCH: Kenny Omega vs. Michael Elgin - 9.5/10
The story were was both guys working over the other's head and neck, but they also worked in some big sequences of each one countering the other's signature stuff (often teasing crazy stuff like moves off of the apron, after Omega pulled up the floor mats!), which allowed them to transition into the next phase of the story, which was that they had to pull out some new moves to try to win. Omega hit a double underhook piledriver, but it was Elgin who really took it to the extreme with two SICK backdrop drivers... and when Kenny still kicked out, Elgin did what any sensible wrestler in Japan would do when you're focusing on your opponent's head and neck, but the bastard just won't stay down: he hit a Burning Hammer.
A very up-and-down show from New Japan, but the ups were high enough to make the downs worth sitting through- especially the major up in the main event.