After last night’s pizza and ice cream binge, I figured it’s time to try and be healthy again. So I loaded up Night 10 of the G1 Climax, jumped on the exercise bike and got pedaling…
Zack Sabre Jr vs Tama Tonga was the usual infuriating Firiong Squad stuff (2.5/5) The interference again played part in the finish, a DQ in favour of Sabre Jr and I’m getting bored of it to be honest. Interference, used sparingly and creatively, can be a good thing, but Tama Tonga and Bad Luck Fale’s matches are all the same – interference to start, wrestle a bit of a match, ref bump, second man interferes only to be thwarted so third man sneaks in and interferes…Again, it’s a shame as the wrestling we got was decent, but it was ruined by the shenanigans that come with the Firing Squad.
Juice Robinson vs Toru Yano was an OK comedy match, but nothing more (2.5/5) I’m sad to see that Yano has abandoned his attempts at fair play, as his actual wrestling has been decent and a breath of fresh air. There was nothing wrong with this and I did chuckle at a few points (Robinson’s aeroplane spin and it’s aftermath stick in my in mind) but I’ve seen better and more creative matches with Yano. Not awful, but no need to worry if you miss it.
In contrast, Tomohiro Ishii vs Kota Ibushi was a rocket fueled strong style war. Chop battles, headbutts, kickng out of big moves at 1, an incredible near fall from an Ishii lariat, stealing each other’s finisher…all of this was done at 100mph with a Ibushi balcony moonsault thrown in for good measure. This match was fantastic and I debated if this was the first match in this year’s G1 to get 5/5…and decided it was. I don’t think this match is on the level of Okada vs Omega or Golden Lovers vs Young Bucks, but it’s a brilliant match all the same. Maybe being on the exercise bike helped my enjoyment of this match, I could focus on the match and the hard strikes got my adrenaline racing!
After grabbing a quick shower and settling down on the couch, Tetsuya Naito vs Hirooki Goto was up next and was what I expected from both men – a solid match with all the big spots, but a decisive Naito win (3.5/5) This match probably suffered from following the previous match as it lacked the intensity and pace of Ishii vs Ibushi and could never live up to it. Don’t get me wrong, there were some nifty counters and a nice near fall from Naito’s first Destino, but this match was not one I’ll remember after the G1 ends.
Kenny Omega vs Sanada was a strange one for me…maybe it was tiredness from the exercise bike, maybe I’m getting jaded on wrestling, but I wasn’t blown away with this match and I had some high expectations here. I like both Omega and Sanada a great deal and thought this could be a 5/5, but the action felt fairly routine here. In short, it wasn’t a big main event match, just a decisive Omega victory, much like Naito vs Goto. I’ll go 3.5/5 again – while I preferred this match to Naito vs Goto, I can’t go to 4/5. There wasn’t enough drama here for me. I wanted a back and forth epic and maybe even a shock Sanada win. Truthfully, I would have swapped this with Ishii vs Ibushi, let that have the main event slot, I think I would have enjoyed this match more if it didn’t have the expectation of a main event hanging over it.
Overall – a strange night, really up and down. One 5/5 match,two average matches and two good, but could have been great matches. The overall score is 3.40/5.00 which is a good score, but I can only really recommend Ishii vs Ibushi…I think Omega vs Sanada and Naito vs Goto were good, but each man has had better matches in this tournament and I dare say they’ll have better matches in the remaining tournament matches. A decent night of wrestling, but I expected more from this night of the G1…