NJPW G1 Climax 28: Day 7





NJPW G1 Climax 28: Day 7

By Big Red Machine
From July 22, 2018

NJPW G1 Climax 28: Day 7

THE GUERRILLAS OF DESTINY vs. SHOTA UMINO & TOA HENARE - 2.5/10



CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & Yoh) vs. CHAOS (Toru Yano & Gedo) - 4/10


A decent short match.

CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Sho) vs. SUZUKI-GUN (Zack Sabre Jr. & TAKA Michinoku) - 3/10


Sho make TAKA tap. Ishii got in Zack's face for no real reason after the match. Then something happened that we couldn't see because the camera decided to be elsewhere, and when we cut back Zack was close to getting Ishii in an armbar and people pulled them apart.

DAVID FINLAY JR. & JUICE ROBINSON vs. BULLET CLUB (Kenny Omega & Chase Owens) - 5/10


Good for the time it got. Juice won with the Death By Roderick, which he apparently calls the "Juice Box."

KOTA IBUSHI & YUJIRO TAKAHASHI vs. LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON (Tetsuya Naito & Sanada) - 5.5/10



BLOCK A MATCH:
Michael Elgin(4) vs. YOSHI-HASHI(0) - 8/10


YOSHI-HASHI put on an excellent "never say die" babyface performance and was rewarded for his heart and persistence with his first win of the tournament.

BLOCK A MATCH:
EVIL(4) vs. Bad Luck Fale(2) (w/Tanga Loa) - 4.5/10


Fale was taking overly-long to Too Sweet Tanga Loa while Loa was standing on the apron so EVIL ran over and shoved Fale into Tanga Loa, knocking Tanga Loa off the apron and obviously getting Fale's attention. Fale turned around angrily and EVIL gave him the "COME ON! COME GET ME!" motion. I don't think I've ever popped so hard for anything EVIL has done.

They then did the standard stuff you always see with these guys: they fight on the outside forever. Someone uses a chair or a guardrail on someone else deep in the crowd to set up a count-out tease but the other guys just manages to get back, etc. etc. At least Fale working over EVIL's arm was something different. Then we got the ref bump and a series of interferences that at least showed LIJ acting like an actual stable. EVIL got a visual pinfall on Fale but the ref wouldn't count it because of all of the other bodies in the ring... and then Tama Tonga just hit EVIL with the Gun Stun for the DQ for no f*cking reason.

BLOCK A MATCH:
Jay White(6) vs. Minoru Suzuki(2) (w/El Desperado)- 6.75/10


Dude... if the move is illegal enough that you're going to refuse to count a pinfall after it, then you should be DQing the guy for performing it. Whether or not you count the pinfall, he still gains some benefit by performing the illegal move, which is what you're trying to prevent.
They had a match that was, all things considered, rather disappointing. They worked well together, but they only got ten and a half minutes so they didn't really have time to develop things into the classic they could probably have had in twice that time. Suzuki winning feels like a big mistake to me. Getting wins over the three huge names in his block and being undefeated almost half way through the tournament would make it clear that White is now a main event player. Suzuki winning here feels like your standard Gedo "keep everyone even" tournament booking that makes for dull tournaments with no personality, no stories coming out of them that you actually remember, and very little to give anyone but the winner any sort of creative momentum coming out of the tournament.

BLOCK A MATCH:
Adam Page(2) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi(4) - 6.5/10


They started off with some good technical wrestling... then took a break to engage in stupid comedy here during the prestigious G1 Climax tournament. After letting Page have something of a breakout performance two nights ago against Okada, Page was now booked like a total midcarder, losing to Tanahashi in twelve minutes with the standard story of "Tanahashi's knees get worked over a bit but he wins with the High Fly Flow." Because G-d forbid Tanahashi not be near the tippy-top of the block in the end. He's forty-one, he's banged up, his matches have become painfully formulaic (especially his offense), and their overprotection of him is exactly the sort of thing that stifles a guy like Adam Page. Adam Page is a guy who gains something from being in the mix on the final day of the G1; Hiroshi Tanahashi is not. And yet Tanahashi will be and Page won't be, which we know because Gedo pretty much always books his tournaments to come down to two major names who just happened to be scheduled to face off on the final night of block competition, and the final Block A show just happens to be Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi f*cking Tanahashi.

BLOCK A MATCH:
Togi Makabe(4) vs. Kazuchika Okada(2) (w/Gedo) - 7/10


I am hereby officially christening Okada's crossbody the "Scooby Dooby Dive." The match was disappointing, considering the names involved and my enjoyment of both of them. A sadly appropriate cap to a very disappointing show.

Final Thoughts
A very disappointing show from New Japan. Not all of them are going to be winners in the ring, but the real problem here was the booking. White and Page losing did nothing for anyone, and only giving them midcard time just exacerbated the problem. In fact, the longest match on this show- the main event- only got fifteen minutes, which is extremely disappointing for a G1 show.

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