After a few days off, it’s time for the G1 Climax to start again. I’ve had a long day…my house move has fallen through and I’m going to have to start the process again. Let’s see if the G1 can cheer me up…
Hirooki Goto vs Toru Yano was almost too short to rate, a very quick match that can’t have been more than five minutes. A bit of Yano comedy, some roll ups then a Goto GTR for the win…nothing more to say here. A 2.5/5 match, but not really long enough to skip!
Tetsuya Naito vs Tama Tonga was just there really (3/5) There was nothing wrong with the wrestling on offer, but I kinda switch off from Tama Tonga matches now as I know there will be interference involved in the finish. Also, for a wrestler with a new stable who uses constant interference, Tama Tonga hardly ever wins and rarely looks impressive. It’s like New Japan have little faith in Tama Tonga and have given up on him already, which is a shame as he’s decent in ring and one of the quickest wrestlers I’ve seen. They need to give Tonga a win over a big name or frankly, I’d consider his G1 Climax a disappointment.
Tomohiro Ishii vs Zack Sabre Jr was fantastic, an absolute war of submissions and vicious strikes. I thought Sabre Jr was great here, all evil submissions and cocky swagger and Ishii does not have bad matches, period. Ishii was actually one of the reasons I got into New Japan a few years ago, during the 2014 G1 Climax – I thought he looked like the worst wrestler ever, then watched his match and was blown away. Ever since then, I go out of my way to watch his matches and I’m never let down. This match was another great one, I’ll go 4/5 and it could have been a higher score given more time.
Kenny Omega vs Juice Robinson was pretty solid , but not amazing. I like Juice, but I don’t think he’s at that elite level of great in ring work…yet. Given his reinvention from NXT jobber to IWGP US Champion, I wouldn’t be shocked if Juice improved even more, he’s proof that hard work and risks pay off. This match was a good one, but definitely a step down from Omega’s matches with Naito and Goto in terms of intensity. That said I appreciate that you have pace yourself during the G1, it’s a long, long tournament….I’m going 3.5/5 for this one.
Sanada vs Kota Ibushi was the definition of a slow burn match. It started slowly and I have to admit I wasn’t too into it at first. However, once the action stepped up a few gears, I was hooked. I really like Sanada’s matches – I love the transitions into the Skull End (Dragon Sleeper) and his and Kota’s work around that move was superb. I was surprised by the finish too, with Sanada winning via moonsault…I predicted an Ibushi vs Okada final, with Ibushi winning, so this was a big set back to my predictions. I’m glad Sanada won though – I see him being a big star in New Japan over the next ten years and the crowd reaction to his win was great. A very satisfying match and a 4/5 from me.
Overall – a very good night of wrestling and I’ve forgotten about my house issues completely. I would definitely advise going out your way to watch Ishii vs Sabre Jr and Sanada vs Ibushi. Overall score for Night 8 is 3.40/5.00, not the best night so far, but a pretty solid evening of wrestling.