Another night, another G1 Climax card…I’ve got myself a big pizza and some ice cream, ready for the next stage of the tournament.
Minoru Suzuki vs Michael Elgin was a logical match, if not a terribly exciting one (3/5). It would make sense for submission specialist Suzuki to go after Elgin’s arm, but taking away Elgin’s power moves takes away the most exciting part of his offence. I also don’t think Suzuki mixes well with wrestlers who have more modern styles, styles that involve big moves – he’s better at exchanging strikes and submissions with other hard hitting wrestlers like Goto and Ishii. A dodgy looking Tiger Bomb was the only real miscue though and I thought the commentary team covered well, explaining that Elgin couldn’t lift Suzuki due to his injured arm. In this match’s defence, I was distracted by a Chicago Town Pepperoni pizza so maybe I couldn’t fully appreciate it, but I have a feeling I saw all there was to see.
Hangman Page and Evil’s match dragged for me (2.5/5). I have a theory that some wrestlers are too similar to produce a good match together and I think that’s why this one failed to grab me. Both men are stoic, stocky brawlers and as a result there was nothing flashy or quick here, with the match wrestled at a steady pace. Not sure how long this match went but it felt like half an hour to me…also, I hope Hangman gets some wins at some point. I feel like he’s just making up the numbers in this G1 Climax, which seems like a missed opportunity.
Jay White’s match with Bad Luck Fale was a decent brawl with some interesting quirks, but let down by the standard Firing Squad interference. I liked the fighting into the crowd and into the crowd as well as White taking out the commentary by throwing Fale into the guard rail by the announce desk which led to silence for the rest of this match. These actions gave the match a chaotic feel and the lack of commentary made this match feel more like chaos had broken out. Those interference endings are getting predictable now though, it’s getting to the point that I groan whenever I see Tanga Loa. A 3/5, but could have been more with a clean finish.
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Togi Makabe was pretty much what you would expect from a Makabe match at this point, lots of clotheslines, clobbering and tackles. Tanahashi looked good here and I’m glad he won here as he is definately the better wrestler here. Nothing spectacular or worth going out of my way for, but a good effort at least. I’d say 3/5 here….
Kazuchika Okada vs Yoshi-Hashi was a slow building match that delivered a good ending but took a while to get going (3.5/5) The story of Okada underestimating Yosi-Hashi and nearly losing was a good one, but after Yoshi-Hashi’s win over Michael Elgin on Night 7, I felt the story lost something. You can’t really try the underdog story when the underdog won his last match! I never felt Okada was going to lose to be honest, the gulf between the two in terms of quality and placement on the card was simply too big. Still, a good match – the action around Okada’s Rainmaker finisher was good and easily the best sequence of the the night.
Overall – Probably the weakest night of the 2018 G1 Climax so far. The numbers give an overall rating of 3.00/5.00 which seems a fair rating for a solid if unspectacular night of wrestling. I can only really recommend Okada vs Yoshi-Hashi and I think you could live without watching it. Hoping tomorrow night’s card with the B Block is better…