By Big Red Machine
From July 30, 2017
KATSUYA KITAMURA, TETSUHIRO YAGI, & DAVID FINLAY JR. vs. BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi) - 4.5/10
TOGI MAKABE & SHOTA UMINO vs. SUZUKI-GUN (El Desperado & Zack Sabre Jr.) - 4.25/10
Zack and Makabe brawled after the match to set up their G1 match on the next show.
TOMOYUKI OKA & YUJI NAGATA vs. CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI) - 4.25/10
Wow! Look at Nagata taking it to Ishii there! The match was pretty good for the time it got.
HIROSHI TANAHASHI & RYUSUKE TAGUCHI vs. KOTA IBUSHI & HIRAI KAWATO - 7/10
This match was quite great, especially when you consider that it didn't even go nine minutes. They actually had me buying Kawato's roll-ups on Taguchi at the end, but by far the biggest complement I can give this match is that when Tanaashi and Ibushi were in there, they made me forget that this wasn't an actual G1 match.
CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & Gedo) vs. LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON (Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi)/- 6.5/10
BLOCK B MATCH: Toru Yano vs. EVIL - DUD!
EVIL jumped Yano, the Yano tried some Yano stuff and eventually hit EVIL with a low blow, but EVIL did fighting spirit to hit his finisher and get the pin, then sold it. That was really stupid. Also, why don't these idiots just wear a cup whenever they have to face Yano?
BLOCK B MATCH: Tama Tonga vs. Minoru Suzuki (w/El Desperado) - DUD!
Tonga silently jumped Desperado from behind during Suzuki's entrance, but then instead of use this advantage to now also attack Suzuki from behind, he just tip-toed along behind him holding his banner and trying to fool Suzuki into thinking he was El Desperado, so once Suzuki turned around the gig was up. What an idiot.
Anyway, they spend the first eight minutes of the match brawling in the crowd, using weapons all willy-nilly, with absolutely no attempt made to count them out. Then we finally got one count-out tease but they both made it in. Now that they're finally in the ring, we almost immediately got a ref bump, and they just went right back to brawling around and using weapons. This was done so that Tama Tonga could a visual pinfall on Minoru f*cking Suzuki, because apparently that is something that needed to happen. Suzuki picked up the win. This sucked. The whole thing was completely devoid of logic, and was yet another waste of Suzuki. He's Minoru Suzuki. I don't want to see him brawl and use weapons. I want to see him made punks tap. Instead I've got to settle for him having boring, repetitive matches and then beating up ring attendants afterwards for no reason.
BLOCK B MATCH: Michael Elgin vs. Sanada - 7.75/10
Finally! Something that doesn't suck! This match was great, but it felt like it ended right when it seemed like it was about to get awesome. Five more minutes would have elevated this match to the next level (which would have been quite the boon for Sanada's standing in the company).
BLOCK B MATCH: Kenny Omega vs. Satoshi Kojima (w/Hiroyoshi Tenzan) - 8.25/10
Lots of work on the head from both guys, but this match was a lot of slow-paced big moves rather than the slugfests we've been seeing all tournament. We also got Omega being a dick to both Kojima and Tenzan. They really need to book Omega vs. Tenzan and Okada vs. Tenzan on the Destruction Tour to at least give this some sort of payoff.
BLOCK B MATCH: Juice Robinson vs. Kazuchika Okada (w/Gedo) - 8.5/10
They built everything really well, leading to an excellent finishing sequence. Juice got to look tough, here, and definitely feels like this loss could still elevate him a bit, but it was definitely lacking the feel the Sanada match had where you could actually see Sanada picking up the win (I thought it was possible in the back of my mind, but that's because I know Gedo likes to book big upsets in the G1 rather than because it "felt right").
A decent from New Japan. The stronger than usual undercard helps to make up for the two duds, but not fully.