NJPW G1 Climax 29, 8.1

NJPW G1 Climax 29, 8.1

From August 01, 2019

NJPW G1 Climax 29, 8.1

BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi) vs. Clark Connors, Karl Fredericks & KENTA - 5/10

While watching this match, I thought "Fredericks is going to be a superstar, but not in Japan". It's hard to explain how, but he has all the tools, the looks, the ability for sure, but I just can't see him going far as a gaijin. I'll hold my final judgement until he finishes whatever will constitute his excursion, but with a good gimmick, he and Connors could take over ROH and give it the proper shot of life it needs.

The match was ok at most, Fale vs KENTA was a lot of Fale working KENTA's back, but the true meat of the match was Connors and Fredericks looking great against Yujiro and Owens. Finish saw Owens pin Fredericks with the PP.

Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr.) vs. Suzuki-gun (Lance Archer & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) - 5.5/10

Fun stuff. Suzuki and Sabre jumped Archer and Kanemaru, everyone for themselves here. Sabre and Suzuki antagonizing Archer was awesome, because they really couldn't harm him with strikes, but they found ways to lock in some submission here and there. Archer just kept going for the Claw on all of them. It's positive that we seem to be getting a competitive match between them. Sabre pinned Kanemaru for the win.

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ren Narita & Shota Umino vs. Kota Ibushi, Toa Henare & Tomoaki Honma - 6/10

Ibushi and Tanahashi worked over their rivalry that kinda goes back to last year's G1 finals, it felt kinda intense in a way, Ibushi wasn't taking shit from Tana. They hinted working on each other's now injured legs. The rest were just kinda there, the young lions are great as always. Henare pinned Narita for the finish.

CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL & SANADA) - 6.5/10

The two preview pair-ups here were great, I was surprised by how well EVIL and Ospreay worked together, it's a match-up I never really thought about before until today. Okada and SANADA have had, in my opinion, one of the better rivalries this year in all wrestling, and I think that this is the turning point of that story, this is where SANADA MUST defeat Okada in order to take SANADA to the next step. BUSHI and YOSHI were there for the finish pretty much, the latter submitting the former with the ButterGeek Lock.

G1 Climax 2019 Block B Match
Jeff Cobb [4] vs. Shingo Takagi [4] - 8.5/10

This was great, super intense action, but not exactly a lot of drama. This was more of the type of match that I was hoping Cobb whould have this tournament. They traded a lot of power moves as they escalated from strikes and shoulder tackles to the finisher race. Shingo worked over Cobb's leg, which he sold nicely, but given that the's a powerhouse, he wasn't exactly handicapped when it came to him hitting german's or the Tour of the Island, which ended up earning him the win. Last few minutes of this match were really good as Shingo crept in for the Last Dragon, only to end up failing.

G1 Climax 2019 Block B Match
Jon Moxley [10] vs. Toru Yano [4] - Dub, but fun

As always with Yano, this isn't exactly something you'd call a full on match, but it's still fun as hell to watch. Story was mostly that Yano tried to trick Moxley, tried to run away from him, and Moxley didn't exactly take him lightly, the shots he got in were as hard as he would hit Ishii or Goto with. Through trickery, and in a way, playing into Moxley always brawling outside, Yano tied up Shota's leg to his and thus, Mox failed to make the count.

I really don't see eye to eye with the criticism that Moxley's first loss in NJPW was to a comedy act, I actually think it's brilliant and it makes Moxley stay strong, at least stronger than losing to someone in a normal wrestling match. Yano is a mastermind trickster, he has victories over all the top names, and it's not like we know that Mox wouldn't kick the living shit out of him in a match without rules, so it doesn't hurt Moxley AT ALL. Trickery is a legit wrestling style, people need to watch the Tiger Mask cartoon to understand that Strong Style is not everything in the world.

This victory is also great because it slows down Moxley from eliminating everyone and it actually gives Yano a dreamer's chance to win the G1, which we all know it's not happening, but my god, that could yield some great near falls at the finals.

G1 Climax 2019 Block B Match
Juice Robinson [6] vs. Tetsuya Naito [4] - 8.5/10

Naito and Juice actually had some nice chemistry, and I think that Naito's IC title would be a good next step for Juice to go with if not for the feud that NEEDS to happened with Moxley for the US title.

The match consisted of a lot of mind games and trying to one-up each other, but not in the competitive way, rather the "I trying to humiliate you" way. From the undressing before the match, to stealing taunts and signature moves. As the match went on and Naito started to take Juice more seriously, the action got really good, they started to chase Destino and Pulp Friction, and that resulted in some great near falls, given that I had no idea who was winning (more about this in a bit). Naito at one point cut his ear wide open, I wasn't sure that spot it was, but it looked nasty at the end of the match. Finish saw Naito win with a Brainbuster and Destino after reversing a Pulp Friction attempt. I could see these guys having a good run together later on.

The one thing about this match that I wasn't sure about was the chances of Naito winning. Naito at this point is mathematically eliminated because Moxley is at 10, Naito can at most get 10, but he lost to Moxley already. Juice however, with a win here, and not having fought Mox yet, would make him a contender to a points race with Mox, but with the loss, he's more constricted. HOWEVER, I also expect Juice to defeat Mox in their match, and thus you can't really let Juice tie Mox and have the tie breaker with him, so there was also a chance that this had to be won by Naito to keep Juice at bay. At the end of the day, what I'm trying to say, is that I wasn't sure who was winning here.

G1 Climax 2019 Block B Match
Jay White [4] (w/Gedo) vs. Taichi [4] (Miho Abe & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) - 7.5/10

Leave it to Jay White and Gedo to make Taichi and Kanemaru look like valiant heroes defending the innocent maiden in peril. This was as chaotic as expected in terms of outside interference and weapon use. I get that White is the most despicable and vicious man in the roster, but I think that given the totem pole hierarchy, they should've (Blade)-switched Gedo and Kanemaru's participation here and show that White didn't really need Gedo to win, or use Gedo to kidnap Miho, take her to the back, and have Taichi send Kanemaru after her. I don't need Taichi to be less of a hero, but just that White should be able to defeat Taichi with less help, regardless of the competitiveness of the match. Or even just have the ref send both Gedo and Kanemaru to the back.

Aside all of that, the action wasn't bad, it was entertaining, I kept me watching until the end when White kept escaping Black Mephisto and landing the Blade Runner for the win. The one negative of this G1 is that I don't get to enjoy as many competitive White and Taichi matches.

Sorry for that Blade-switched joke. I know it was bad.

G1 Climax 2019 Block B Match
Hirooki Goto [4] vs. Tomohiro Ishii [6] - 9/10

This was great. It was hard-hitting and intense. Story for the most part was Ishii telling Goto to knock this 'sportsmanship' shit off and let's beat each other up and let the better man win. This was a great brawl, but not either man's best performance this tournament. Action-wise, it was a lot of striking until they built for the Brainbuster and GTR. A lot of good Fighting Spirit spots here too. Goto ended up winning with the GTR.

Post-match - Goto cut the winner's promo saying that the G in G1 stands for Goto.


This was one of the weaker shows of the tournament I thought, solid action throughout, but when the Mox/Yano match is the talking point coming out, it's an indication that the rest wasn't particularly outstanding. If anything else, they're making me follow and analyze points way earlier than usual, as now I have to be following who Mox/Okada haven't eliminated.

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