After watching a pretty average Extreme Rules show, it was time to catch with Night 3 of the G1. I’ve had to spread out my viewing throughout the day, but I’m now caught up and ready for Night 4 on Thursday. Let’s just go over Night 3 first before I have a wrestling free Wednesday!
Michael Elgin vs Hangman Page was a cracking little match, a fast, even, mini epic that was a pleasant surprise to start Night 3 (3.5/5). I liked this match a lot more than I thought I would. I was expecting more of a clunky brawl, so to see something this smooth was great.
EVIL vs YOSHI-HASHI was a decent encounter (3/5) but what made it for me is the story that they are trying to tell with Yoshi-Hashi. He’s being portrayed as someone who is trying to prove he belongs in the tournament, giving everything in his first two matches but coming up short. I can see this story continuing through the tournament, which is great from New Japan – it’s giving us a reason to watch Yoshi-Hashi’s matches, to see if he can get a few wins and prove himself, without him having to win the tournament or even be a featured player. It’s one of the benefits of the G1, there are so many ways to tell stories and everyone, even the minor players, can still be interesting. Kudos to Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero on commentary too, they offered some great insight into Yoshi-Hashi that fleshed out the story more. To have announcers like them in WWE…
Togi Makabe’s win over Minoru Suzuki was a a good brawl, albeit I enjoyed their match at New Japan’s Anniversary Show more. (3/5) As to be expected, there was some great brawling, both in and out of the ring but I felt the match was a bit directionless at times. I expected Makabe to win here to avenge his previous loss, but I’m surprised to see Suzuki on zero points…it’ll be interesting to see where he goes from here.
Bad Luck Fale vs Kazuchika Okada was another match I enjoyed more than I thought I would (3/5) Whenever, Okada is in a post title loss slump, he loses to Fale, so I was fairly sure this match would be very familiar.However, this match picked up a lot after Fale’s initial dominance and the ending was pretty good. I’m not a fan of outside interference in the G1, but I thought Tama Tonga’s Gun Stun (RKO) to Okada was excellent as it was quick and I could believe that the referee would have missed it. Fale’s finishing Bad Luck Fall (Border Toss) looked immense too – when you haven’t seen it for a while, you forget how painful it looks!
Jay White vs Hiroshi Tanahashi was another really good main event (4/5) I’m really enjoying the conniving, malicious White’s offence and treatment of the crowd/officials and I thought Tana showed a lot of fire too. I’m not sure how much further White can logically bend the rules without the referees looking silly, but maybe that’s part of the story. I feel like White is going to struggle from here on in as he has to face fellow rulebreakers Fale and Suzuki at some point, but with wins over Tana and Okada, I think White is set for the next six months or so in terms of feuds.
Overall – Night 3 of the G1 Climax scores 3.30/5.00. That’s a pretty solid score overall. I’d say all the card is worth watching, but definitely Elgin vs Page and White vs Tanahashi if you’re struggling for time.