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Thread: G1 Climax 2019

  1. #41
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    I'll tell you what I AM excited for - Cobb vs Ishii. Their interactions in that tag match were hot.

  2. #42
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    The entire B Block is utter violence.

    Matchups between guys like Ishii, Goto, Cobb, Mox & Shingo are enough to make my own neck hurt.
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  3. #43
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    I read actual attendance was under 5,000, which is (hopefully) more a reflection of their poor promotion of the event than a waning interest in New Japan, because they do seem to be putting on some great stuff right now.

  4. #44
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    I loved the show itself, but I was wondering why there were large swaths of visibly empty seats. The show was announced for months, and although the card wasn't announced until fairly recent I thought that it would do relatively well. A 20,000-seat arena might have been too much of a stretch. Thankfully their next shows are booked in smaller places that they should have no problem selling.

  5. #45
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    it is entirely possible that the lack of a north American star on the show was an issue. Big Omega chant apparently when he was mentioned in the video. I do think some Elite fans weren't necessarily New Japan fans. Its a more popular here than 10 years ago and probably needs no help running shows here but running 10,000 seat buildings is likely too ambitious.

  6. #46
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    I do think the loss of the Elite has hurt them in that respect, or more accurately the start of AEW has hurt them because traveling fans only have the funds to take so many trips to big shows per year. Whatever else you may think about them, AEW has done a good job making their big events feel like important destinations, whereas New Japan shows in the US haven't always had the same level of promotion.

  7. #47
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    I think doing G1 shows is a step in right direction. Now they have to find that buzz that AEW has and try to grab that.. I don't know how they do that. The problem for New Japan is before AEW, WWE was the only company in America worth working for if you wanted your name out there and you got paid really well. Creating that North American star won't be as easy as bringing in an AJ Styles type in. Before AEW, Moxley would be able to work NJPW American shows.

  8. #48
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    Go away for a few days, come back and I'm already several shows behind. Yep. Relentless pace!

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  9. #49
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    For those watching the tourney in real time, how's it going? Heard great things about Jay White vs. Tomohiro Ishii from yesterday. If I get a chance to check it out, maybe White will finally click for me!

  10. #50
    Yano is such an asset to these shows. Great change of pace entertainment guy, the match against Naito especially. Archer/Ospreay was shockingly good. Moxley/Cobb was a bit odd, though the Shota gimmick alone has been worth Moxley's entry.

  11. #51
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    I've been passively watching all the matches, mostly by just having them play on my iPad while I do other work. I haven't paid a whole lot of attention but based on what I've seen there's a lot of good stuff to write down:

    - Lance Archer has been doing a kick-ass job so far, and is probably the most pleasant surprise of the tournament thus far.
    - Tanahashi is still putting out stellar matches. The man is not human.
    - Guys like Ibushi, Ishii, Juice and Jay White are really putting in great work.
    - All the G1 newcomers (Ospreay, KENTA, Cobb, Takagi, Taichi and Moxley) have been doing pretty well. At times it feels like it's mostly because of the novelty of seeing them here, though.
    - It's odd to see most of the people who were picked as favorites (Naito, White, Ibushi) with no wins in the tournament so far.

  12. #52
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    I feel like the early G1 shows often have surprising results so they can build up the will-he won't-he make a comeback story going into the final stretch.

  13. #53
    Yeah, I saw the Naito opening loss coming and wasn't too surprised by the second loss. Archer winning his first two caught me slightly off guard though.

  14. #54
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    I've been trying to keep up and have seen most main and semi-main matches thus far.

    I highly recommend Jon Moxley's last two matches (vs. Ishii and vs. Takagi). They're so damn good. Mox has a fire lit under his ass and something to prove. It looks like he's pretty damn motivated to show that his in-ring work was being held back in the WWE.

    KENTA pretty much looks to be doing the same himself. He's been having some solid outings, I've enjoyed them a lot even if they're not show-stealers on most nights.

    I don't know if it's how I was thinking, but Okada is quietly racking up the wins without drawing a whole lot of attention to himself. It shouldn't be a surprise considering he's the top guy, but it's been interesting that the talk about him has been rather minimal at this point.

    It's been a fun tournament and it still has me guessing about who's going to be winning this. The field is still wide-open for both blocks.

  15. #55
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    Just dropping by to say how much I love Ishii and what a pleasure it is to watch him wrestle.

    Also, Juice is killing it this G1.

  16. #56
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    I agree Oli, Juice is using this G1 to truly set himself up in the heavyweight upper midcard. His match with Ishii was incredibly good, probably my third fav match of the tournament so far after Mox v Ishii and Ospreay v Okada.

    Mox has brought something incredible to this tournament too, he just oozes charisma and even just his tag matches have been must see.

    Really all the new guys have brought something extra along and have really justified their places. For mine Shingo has been the most underrated, not that anyone has been actively discounting him but I feel like he has had nothing but absolute bangers and is getting slightly overlooked for some of the guys higher up the card.

    Also how do we all feel about Naito? Is he still a chance to win it?
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  17. #57
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    Naito still has a really good chance of winning his block. Right now the B Block has Mox in the lead with 10 points, and seven of the remaining nine wrestlers are tied for second with 6 points. If Mox loses tomorrow it'll put a couple of people closer to contention for the B Block finals.

    I just got back from the show and it was a fun one. The Osaka crowd was alive for this event, one of the loudest shows I've been to here.

  18. #58
    Feeling like Ibushi vs Naito right now (as hard as it is to think they would go to that well again so soon). Some big storylines they laid out today...Ibushi with an almost passing of the torch moment with Tanahashi, complete with Tanahashi giving him words after the match and Ibushi doing the Tana walk down the aisle, wiping sweat off on everyone's towel. Then Sanada finally getting the win over Okada that has eluded him for his whole run in NJPW.
    Last edited by ZeroTolerance; 08-03-2019 at 05:29 PM.

  19. #59
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    I've been feeling all this G1 that they're priming Sanada for a split from Los Ingobernables after some of the things that have taken place, like how Ibushi extended his hand to him after defeat (even though he didn't accept the offer) and yesterday's speech after his big win. It would probably be a good idea to test that out. I don't know if the rest of Japan is as crazy about LoJ as Osaka is but the pop he got when he pinned Okada was definitely one of the loudest pops I've experienced in any show.

  20. #60
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    Moxley dropping his undefeated streak to Yano is weird, although obviously necessary in the context of the block. Really enjoyed Mox and Yano interacting, though. Him buying the DVD from Yano in the tag match only to then roll him up was excellent.

    Block A looks like a run off between Okada and Ibushi now - as Sam has said above, it seems like Ibushi had a bit of a 'passing of the torch' moment with Tana, and I do wonder if they might take him all the way to the final this year. Given that the two still have to face each other (I think on the final night?) I think the winner of that is key.

    Block B is incredible, a four way tie for second place. Super close. White and Naito in must win mode for the rest of their matches, Mox probably a win away from qualifying for the final.

    Is Moxley/Juice and White/Naito the final night of the block? Looking at a situation where you might have four guys on 10 (Moxley, White, Naito, Goto) going in, and any of them coming out topping the group. Would get very interesting if Juice beats White, because you're then at a point where if Juice and White both win, the tiebreaker situation is a mess:

    Moxley has beaten Naito but lost to Juice and White.
    Juice has beaten Moxley and White, but lost to Naito.
    Naito has beaten Juice but lost to White and Moxley.
    White has beaten Naito and Moxley, but lost to Juice.

    How does that tiebreaker get decided? Would Juice progress, because a mini-league would eliminate Moxley and Naito (two losses) and then a second tiebreaker has Juice winning over White?

    Seems most realistic that NJPW doesn't get themselves into that situation, and has Naito win his next two while Moxley loses to Goto and Juice - Naito then progressing.

  21. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    Moxley dropping his undefeated streak to Yano is weird, although obviously necessary in the context of the block.
    That is one of Yano's biggest purposes in the G1 though. Since Yano wins matches with dirty tricks like using tape/low blows/whatever, it allows guys like Naito, Moxley, and last year Omega to take a loss without feeling like they lost.

  22. #62
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    Pretty sure that this is the night that Block A woke up from what I've personally felt has been a bit of a sleepwalk through the last 3/4 shows they've done for the block where very little has really leapt out and grabbed me. Ospreay vs KENTA, Ibushi vs Sabre, and Okada vs Evil are all out there popping off like crazy.

    Down now to a decider between Ibushi and Okada on the final night. Ibushi wins and he progresses, Okada avoids defeat and he gets to the final.

  23. #63
    Looking like Ibushi/White or Ibushi/Naito. Of the three of them, I can't see them rehashing Okada/White at WK after the MSG blowoff, and I'm not sold on NJPW putting Ibushi in that spot already, but I quite certainly can be wrong.

  24. #64
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    I mean, Naito's redemption has been a pretty big story, so I did feel originally like he'd end up getting to the main event. Thing is, I feel like the redemption of Naito has been going on for something like four years, ever since the 2015 G1 when he returned from Mexico and had his gimmick change following his time in the original Los Ingobernables, on the back of the crowd turning against him in the run up to the 2014 Dome show following the 2013 G1 win.

    So in 2015, he killed off the Stardust Genius gimmick and forced the crowd to hate him, then in 2016 started to get the crowd on side, then in 2017 basically had turned the crowd completely in his favour.

    And then, he lost. And the story began again, because although he'd worked to redeem himself against the fans now he needed to validate himself and his own character - because, after all, Okada didn't beat him in 2018. Naito lost, by not being Tranquillo and reverting to the Stardust Genius.

    He basically abandoned everything that had got him to the main event in the face of fan affection, and it cost him - just like how in 2014 the Stardust Genius was not good enough to win in the Dome, it also wasn't good enough to win in 2018.

    So then it became a case where Naito needed to redeem himself again, and also prove that the Ingobernable/Tranquillo gimmick could do it, at the Dome, against Okada. In 2018 during the G1 he found that it wasn't quite enough, because Ibushi was just better on one night.

    So in 2019, if he gets the chance, he has to first show that he can beat Ibushi - where he failed in 2018. And then, finally, he has to show that he's better than Okada, in the Dome, in 2020. And that all ties into him proving that this gimmick, the Ingobernable, is able to get him there.

    It's been a very long road to get there, but this is where NJPW always succeeds. They did it with Okada becoming The Ace, by beating Tanahashi a year after he failed, but also four years (I think) since their feud really started.

  25. #65
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    I don't know if it's because I haven't been a long-time NJPW fan or I'm just not used to the long play, but I don't feel too strongly about the whole Naito redemption arc. I think they had a good chance to do that at Wrestle Kingdom a year and a half ago and when he failed to beat Okada, that ship sailed.

    It's been a solid last week of the G1. I tried to keep up as best as I could. Damn, there were so many awesome matches in the past seven days, and we still have two nights left with some more. Insanity.

    Tonight is going to be super-interesting, with a 4-way tie at the top. The last three matches of the night will be must-watch bouts. I still think Jay White is winning the B Block tonight but I'm still pulling for Ibushi winning the whole tournament and facing Okada at Wrestle Kingdom. The seeds have been planted last night and will end with Ibushi getting his due after sticking around.

    Also, just wanted to remind everyone to never forget how Ishii continues to put on MOTY contenders. His match against Takagi was incredible. Give this man at least an Intercontinental title run.
    Last edited by Degenerate; 08-10-2019 at 11:58 PM.

  26. #66
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    I'm out on this being Naito's year myself. For one, Ibushi (now that he's signed full time at least) is a much more interesting challenger given how he came so close to getting the shot last year, plus the fact that he's never won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship before while Naito has. On top of that, Naito vs. Okada has never produced the standout type of match most people want and, quite frankly, I don't think Naito has been all that good this year when not paired with Ibushi, Ishii or Shingo Takagi. So while I would take Naito as the challenger over Jay White, if push comes to shove, Ibushi should be the guy to get the shot. I've seen what Okada and Naito can do together at Wrestle Kingdom. I haven't seen what Ibushi and Okada can do on that stage, and I reckon it'll be better than the former.


  27. #67
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    Well, I'm kind of shocked. I had this down as being between White and Naito, but I was sure on the direction that was going in.

    I can't work out if this is a good surprise or a bad surprise. I do, however, think Ibushi has to take this now. Okada/Ibushi at the Dome will be killer.

    I'm assuming we're going to get another Okada/Sanada bout between now and then, given the latter defeated the former in the G1.

    EDIT: OK, so I've not watched the finals yet, which makes that post oddly timed.

    Also, I'm hearing that my motherfucker, Shibata, is back. Could somebody please confirm if my motherfucker, Shibata, is back? Because if my motherfucker, Shibata, is back, I will weep tears of pure joy.
    Last edited by Oliver; 08-12-2019 at 05:58 AM.

  28. #68
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    Your motherfucker, Shibata, is back. Praise be to our lord and savior Shibata!


  29. #69
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    * Back is debatable...considering he eidnt take one back bump...but it was awesome

  30. #70
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    I think Ollie was referring to last night and last night alone, in which case Shibata is definitely back. Unless I decided to put on my Shibata mask and fly to Japan again, though you'd think I would remember that!


  31. #71
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    I also think thry could milk it and get a match out of it without Shibata taking a hard bump. Not sure they would do that but it would be a big draw for the Tokyo Dome

  32. #72
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    You know those mark videos of Izzy when Bayley won the title?

    That's me when Shibata throws a basement dropkick.

    Don't take this away from me, LK! My motherfucker has returned and he will be fucking mothers in the Tokyo Dome!

  33. #73
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    When the LK tries to take Ollie's hope away about his motherfucker, Shibata.



  34. #74
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    That was one nice way to wrap up this G1. Lots of great stuff leading up to the next four months.

    I'm pretty hyped about the potential Okada vs. Ibushi match at Wrestle Kingdom. Really looking forward to that, assuming that things don't change between now and then. My guess is that Okada will have one more title defense against Minoru Suzuki, maybe one against SANADA. I'm irrationally hyped for Suzuki getting one more title shot, although I doubt he'll pull off the win.

    Speaking of SANADA, I'm still waiting on what the plans are for him. My feeling is that there's going to be a shakeup within Los Ingobernables de Japon soon. Takagi is officially going to be competing in the heavyweight division now. Hiromu is scheduled to be back, I think. Naito has pretty much nothing going for him. A lot of stuff going on within that group that I can't see it remain the same, something's gotta give eventually.

    KENTA joining the Bullet Club has me scratching my head, but I'm more interested in that faction now than I have been in years. It was awesome to see Shibata back in a more physical capacity but I don't think that he's going to come back for a match. I'd love to eat my words on that one, though.

    Looking forward to seeing what's in store for the next three big events (Destruction shows, King of Pro Wrestling, and Power Struggle).

  35. #75
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    I think this every year after the G1, but the fact that Tomohiro Ishii isn't a regular IWGP Heavyweight Championship challenger makes me sad. I don't know what more that guy has to do to get that opportunity, because he absolutely kills it time and time again in the ring, is a different (fun) style to what they often have in the main event (and that probably answers my question, in a way), and has had great matches with champs and former champs regularly in these tournaments.

    Yet to my knowledge he's only had two shots at the title - against Naito in 2016 and Omega last year.

    What more does the Stone Pitbull have to do to be considered regularly in the title picture?

    One of these years he's going to win G1 and headline the Dome. Mark my words.

  36. #76
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    Poor Naito, they really may have missed his chance for good when Okada beat him. He may well have already fallen into Nakamura's old role in the company. Very happy for Ibushi though, I'm still not quite sure I can believe he'll get the belt but then again I'm not quite sure I can say he won't get it either.

  37. #77
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    I have to say that I'm really annoyed by the reaction from Naito fans following the loss to Jay White. I get being a fan of someone and being unhappy when they don't win but holy hell, the way some people reacted it was like the only way they'd be satisfied is if Naito won. This happened a few times now and I just don't get it, especially since both times New Japan had Naito lose in key situations it turned out to be the right call. Kenny Omega should've been the guy to unseat Okada given how epic their feud was to most while Naito's feud with Okada wasn't on the same level. Kota Ibushi is just as deserving as Naito to get the shot and only didn't get it because until this year he didn't commit; now that he has there's no reason to hold back. And yet by some of the reaction you think it was Togi Makabe was getting the spot Naito wasn't getting.

    I don't know why it's suddenly bothering me now but it really hit home after the reaction to Naito's loss to White. Like I said, I get wanting your favorite to win. I don't get why it's him winning or the promotion sucks. Just seems really close minded.


  38. #78
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    I agree, I don't understand why people have been extremely salty over it most places online. It's just the whole thing of him being so over with the fans yet not being placed in the top slot or even competing for it. People have been wanting it for a long time now, so they lash out every time they think "now it has to be his time" and it turns out it's not.

    I still think they lost a lot of momentum with him after losing at Wrestle Kingdom 12 and he hasn't recovered from that, and any chance of a meaningful redemption arc has passed by, in my opinion. He'll get his chance again, eventually. But now there's a lot of other pieces they can and should build up. Ibushi winning the G1 is part of that. White is still going to be figured as a major player. SANADA and Takagi having solid runs in the tournament will probably come into play sooner rather than later. The more people they have moving up those spots, the better it'll be for the company as a whole.

  39. #79
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    I also think non Japanese fans are a bit selfish with their views. I mean, New Japan even though its expanding, does have to cater to its native audience and as such, Naito can headline one of the Dome shows and you'll see who those fans support in clear terms. Plus Ibushi would have been IWGP champ a long time ago if he just committed to the company so Naito fans should be thankful that didn't happen.

  40. #80
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    I do think it is a missed opportunity at one hell of a story and I don't blame them for being frustrated when they have been forced to wait and wait despite their guy being a more popular wrestler than the guy who is getting long reign after long reign.

    Having been in that position as a Dean Ambrose fan in the WWE I guess I can sympathise with how they are feeling.

    That said if they weren't going to go with Naito I think Ibushi was the blindingly obvious choice. As LK said if he had committed to New Japan this would probably have happened a few years ago. I am intrigued that they did give the Wreslte Kingdom match away in the A Block final so there is a small part of me that wonders if this is going to be a slightly rocky run into January compared to the last couple of years where things have felt pretty predictable once the G1 Final finished.
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