NJPW G1 Climax 29, 7.20

NJPW G1 Climax 29, 7.20

From July 20, 2019

NJPW G1 Climax 29, 7.20

Jon Moxley & Shota Umino vs. Juice Robinson & Yota Tsuji - 5.5/10

Another hot match for Moxley since these guys are carrying their BOSJ Finals heat with them, and their rematch is highly anticipated, at least for me, because I expect this will be Moxley's first loss in NJPW. They at one point brawled to the outside and into the back while Umino and Tsuji fought in the ring, and I could had been perfectly happy with that being all we saw of them that night, but they ended up coming back to see Umino tap out Tsuji.

CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & Toru Yano) & Yuya Uemura vs. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki, Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) - 5/10

The worst thing about having Suzuki do the undercard of the G1 is that in most cases, his work excites me more for him than the guy in the G1. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited for Goto vs Taichi, but Goto vs Suzuki was something I was down to watch again. Kanemaru won with Deep Impact on Uemura.

BULLET CLUB (Chase Owens, Jay White & Yujiro Takahashi) vs. Jeff Cobb, Toa Henare & Tomoaki Honma - 5/10

Only thing worth about this match was teasing Cobb vs White, and there is something here that I just know i'm going to love. White has that 'escape' style for everything, he runs away, he plays dead, he counters and reverses, except Cobb has a style that if he has the slightest hand on you, you can't run away from him that easily, he pulls you in and tosses you around, and I think this may end up being one of Cobb's better pairings in the tournament. Owens pinned Henare, so whatever.

CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI) & Ren Narita vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito) - 6/10

Ishii vs everyone was great. Narita vs anyone was great. YOSHI was a geek. Ishii vs Naito have a history, so there wasn't much to build here. Naito was at points more serious that usual, but at the end he was still the same old Naito, being tranquilo and all. BUSHI, who came out with a Black Panther mask?, defeated Narita with MX. This also worked as a pre-teaser for Ishii vs Shingo, but they didn't really mix it up.

G1 Climax 2019 Block A Match
Bad Luck Fale [2] w/Chase Owens and Jado vs. Zack Sabre Jr. [0] - 8/10

Alas, keeping the teases alive. Sabre beautifully defeated Fale via countout. I loved how they set everything up. First, they spent about 5 minutes working a normal match in the ring with Sabre trying to hang himself from any of Fale's limbs, while Fale kept overpowering him, and to make things worse, Chase and Jado kept interfering, it seemed like Sabre was a goner. They brawled into the crowd as it is the tradition in any of BC or Suzuki-Gun matches, except as they brawled in the hall up in the crowd, Sabre locked in an armbar, and once the count reached 14, he released and ran like a gazelle, while Fale ran, but didn't make it.

The beautiful thing was not only the build to it, but how the showed the countout. Fale is a big enough dude that we can see him from the hardcam running to the ring, we can tell he is legit trying to hurry in, not just playing the "I'm hurt" gimmick, so when he can't make it, we know he wasn't throwing the points away.

G1 Climax 2019 Block A Match
Hiroshi Tanahashi [2] vs. Lance Archer [4] - 8.5/10

This was mostly the basic match that these two have been doing this tournament, it was a great combination of Archer being huge and on a destruction path, and Tanahashi being older, but working smart. Tanahashi went for Archer's leg straight from the start (he actually jumped Archer before the bell). Archer in return, was a wrecking ball, working Tanahashi with power. There was a great spot with Tanahashi blocking and fighting away the EBD Claw, that only someone like Tanahashi can make look legit. Finish saw Tana roll up Archer out of the Blackout.

G1 Climax 2019 Block A Match
EVIL [4] vs. KENTA [6] - 8/10

This was the Strong Style match of the night, a lot of brawling in and out of the ring. It was mostly the two of them exchanging strikes left and right. Early on they brawled into the crowd and hit each other with chairs, and while i'm kinda accustomed seeing that with some people, I wasn't a fan of that with KENTA.

Match got better back in the ring when they started chasing their finishers. The last few minutes with counters and kick outs was pretty good. KENTA ended up winning with the GTS.

G1 Climax 2019 Block A Match
Kota Ibushi [2] vs. SANADA [2] - 9/10

Beautiful match. Super competitive, back and forward, and full of athleticism. I didn't think it was better than either man's match with Ospreay, but close to it. There was a lot of Ibushi and SANADA pushing each other to 'bring it' and 'show me what you got', it was competitive in both wrestling, in showing off, and even in popularity. SANADA worked Ibushi's knee, while Ibushi mostly went for the upper body, be it torso or head, chasing the Kamigoye or Bomaye. Finish saw Ibushi just kinda knee SANADA from every corner until he couldn't kick out anymore. Points-wise, Ibushi had to win this one.

Side story according to commentary is that Ibushi has been inviting SANADA to come into the home team and fight for NJPW. Moreover, SANADA has said before that he praises Ibushi as one of the true masterminds of wrestling next to Mutoh, Marufuji, and Styles. More and more teases that SANADA could be making the big jump soon out of Naito's shadow.

Watching this match, something dawn on me about the current state of NJPW and most of their top guys. This match was between the two guys that are (in my opinion, in real life) fighting to be the inevitable replacement of Tanahashi's legacy. Okada is by all means the real Ace, but he's the Rainmaker, he's CHAOS. Ibushi and SANADA are the two guys that I see fighting for that co-star spot, leading the home team, the NJPW army. This had both men stopping mid match to fighting each other on who had the backing of the people, psyching each other out.

I could go further in analyzing how Ospreay is doing his best to become the top guy too, not only gaijin. Kayfabe, White thinks he deserves the spot, Naito doesn't care about that spot, Tanahashi is fighting to not let go of the spot. There is a huge race right now to stand on top on a throne that is now painted Rainmaker gold.

G1 Climax 2019 Block A Match
Kazuchika Okada [6] vs. Will Ospreay [2] - 10/10

Amazing match. This was masterfully crafted pace and sequence of events. Everything built to the next thing, with throwbacks and teases. The usual story between these two is that Okada never takes Ospreay seriously until Ospreay starts beating him up, but not this time, Okada was serious from the get go, and while he was still cocky, he never stopped imposing himself on Ospreay.

On Ospreay's side, he is not the kid from the RevPro match, he's not the junior of the Anniversary match, he's not even the same guy from the New Japan Cup. He was here to make a statement and go toe-to-toe with the champ. The match mostly back and forward, a lot of counters and big moves. Okada worked Ospreay's injured neck, which it's a bit of a dick move, but as commentary said, in the G1, there is no 'taking it easy' on each other.

There was a great chase to the finish towards the end with Ospreay managing to counter some Rainmakers, but Okada going all OP and hitting about 4 Rainmakers from different positions. Ospreay was never able to hit the Stormbreaker tho, as Okada kept escaping the attempt. Good set up there if they ever want to to something more here with Okada having to hit so many Rainmakers, and not having experienced the Stormbreaker from this Ospreay.

I can't say that I'm not disappointed that Ospreay couldn't pick up a win here, but seeing the bigger picture between KENTA and Okada, it's understandable. It also means that Okada can afford another loss down the line, hopefully to SANADA. KENTA vs Okada will be really interesting, both men are undefeated, the ace if NOAH vs the 'ace' of NJPW. My body is ready.

Post-match - Okada cut his winner's promo saying that the next time they're back in Tokyo, it's Budokan, and he'll make sure he has secured his spot at the finals.


Another great G1 show. Undercard was solid, but the tournament matches were all great and different from each other. Okada vs Ospreay is a MOTYC.

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