NJPW G1 Climax 29: Day 19
By Big Red Machine
From August 12, 2019
CLARK CONNORS & KARL FREDERICKS vs. REN NARITA & YOTA TSUJI - 3/10
The LA Dojo students dominated the match and got the win when Connors made Tsuji tap out to the Boston Crab after Tsuji made three or four attempts to get the ropes before being forced to tap out. It was a hell of a finish. They brawled afterwards. They're all Young Lions, though, so I don't expect any sort of concrete story to develop.
JEFF COBB, TIGER MASK IV, & JUSHIN "THUNDER" LIGER vs. SUZUKI-GUN (Lance Archer, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, & Taichi) (w/Miho Abe) - 3/10
Suzuki-Gun jump the bell on their opponents. They also go for the babyfaces' masks because cheap heat. Archer and Cobb had a segment that was very good aside from Archer's rope-walk spot, which has now reached El Phantasmo levels of unbelievability as to why the babyface doesn't just yank or shove him off the ropes.
BULLET CLUB (Chase Owens, Yujiro Takahashi, & Taiji Ishimori) vs. CHAOS (Will Ospreay & Roppongi 3K) - 6.5/10
JON MOXLEY & SHOTA UMINO vs. JUICE ROBINSON & TOA HENARE - 6/10
Moxley jumps the bell on the babyfaces and stomps the sh*t out of Juice in the corner. Juice's knee gets worked over but he is able to make the hot tag to Henare, who has great final segment with Shota. This was phenomenal for the time it got.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Great. Juice and Moxley had a stare-down, and the moment Juice let his guard down, Moxley laid him out with the belt. Moxley then hit Henare with the Death Rider, then put Juice through a table on the outside.
LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON vs. RYUSUKE TAGUCHI, TOMOAKI HONMA, TOGI MAKABE, HIROOKI GOTO, & TORU YANO - 6/10
KENTA & CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale, & the Guerrillas of Destiny) (w/Jado) - no rating, MUST-SEE SEGMENT!
Seriously. If you haven't seen this yet, GO WATCH IT RIGHT NOW!
I was shocked that they actually did this right and had KENTA refuse to tag in all match. Of course, that gave away that he was going to join Bullet Club... which is why they had to throw in something even more unexpected with Shibata getting physical. And holy sh*t did the crowd go nuts for this. I would definitely put this down on a list of the best heel turns I've ever seen.
HIROSHI TANAHASHI & KAZUCHIKA OKADA vs. SUZUKI-GUN (Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr.) - 7.75/10
There was a lot of great stuff in here, but also one or two spots that really annoyed me, such as Suzuki putting his arms behind his back and letting Okada hit him in the face a bunch of times. Remember when Bethe Correia did that and Holly Holm made her look like a moron by using that free shot to knock her out with a kick? That's why you shouldn't do that sh*t in pro wrestling, either. Because it's supposed to be real.
The big news coming out of this was Suzuki pinning Okada to set up a title shot. Okada does need some more challengers over the next few months other than just Sanada, so I'm more than fine with this.
G1 CLIMAX 29 FINALS: Kota Ibushi vs. Jay White (w/Gedo) - 9.75/10
All of Bullet Club came out with Jay White, and after nine f*cking matches with Gedo interfering to give White an advantage, Red Shoes finally grows a brain and ejects them all from ringside. Then again, if Red Shoes won't call for a DQ because this match is "too important to end in a DQ" or whatever stupid bullsh*t I'm certain Kevin Kelly is spouting over on the English feed, then what incentive do they actually have to obey Red Shoes' order to vacate the ringside area?
Wait... scratch what I said about Red Shoes growing a brain, as he allows Gedo to convince him that he should be allowed to stay, even though Gedo has interfered in every single match White has had this tournament. A mere few minutes later, Red Shoes catches Gedo trying to interfere and ejects him from ringside, too.
They were on the outside forever. During this time, White worked over Ibushi's injured ankle using the barricade and the ringpost and so forth. The whole time Red Shoes is demanding White stop beating Ibushi up on the outside and get back into the ring. Well if you're not going to count him out then what incentive does he have to do so?
They were having an awesome match telling the story of Ibushi fighting through his injured knee. Then we got a ref bump, White cut Ibushi off with a low blow... and here comes Gedo strutting right back out to the ring, and not one single person tried to stop him. He got a chair out from under the ring and held Ibushi in place while White worked over his ankle with the chair. Gedo then rolled Red Shoes back into the ring as White locked in the TTO...
And what should have been a big dramatic moment was ruined for me by f*cking Red Shoes sucking at his job. Here's Ibushi trying to crawl towards the ropes... and G-d damn Red Shoes is sitting right in his way. We later got another frustrating distraction for a Gedo run-in. I know there are people who are going to tell me that Gedo's interference getting foiled here is a payoff to a tournament-long storyline, but while that is technically true, it overlooks the fact that it took New Japan an entire month's worth of Gedo interfering to come up with the most obvious solution in the world makes the promotion look f*cking stupid, and doubly so when they had a similar storyline last year where they actually did come up with a solution (the "zero tolerance policy" they instituted for the Tongans). A storyline that makes the promotion look stupid is not a storyline that you should be doing.
Other than the stuff with Gedo and Red Shoes' other lack of rules enforcement, this match was perfect. It was an epic battle. A true test of wills, with amazing twists and turns and an excellent story of each wrestler targeting a body part with the fantastic selling to make the story work perfectly. This match was high drama. This is pro wrestling at its best... and then brought down by annoying refereeing shenanigans.
This was a great show from New Japan. We got a pre-show that was at worst inoffensive and often good, one great semi-main event, an all-time great angle, and a main event that exceeded even the high expectations that we have for the second biggest match of the year in the company with the best work-rate in the world.