NJPW G1 Climax 27 Part 1
Hirooki Goto vs Tomohiro Ishii
This will probably have to be the absurdly stiff match of this year's G1 now that Shibata is dead. But of course, having learned nothing, Ishii is out here throwing headbutts all willy nilly. Weirdly, it's not all that stiff, but there is a solid 4 minutes of nothing by dueling lariats, which is lol. That's followed up with a few minutes of forearms. And more headbutts. Ishii pls. Goto won with the GTR.
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Zack Sabre Jr
Shout out to Tanahashi's blue gear. A guy with a torn bicep going against a guy known for twisty arm submissions. Writes itself. Surprisingly, ZSJ goes for the legs first. SWERVE! Then the arm stuff comes. It's some rude shit, too. Tanahashi goes after the leg, and it's just as rude. Lots of dicky submissions in this. ZSJ wins after countering the High Fly Flow into some wacky double trapped arm submission wrist lock thingy. Big win for him.
Testsuya Naito vs Kota Ibushi
This is the first time Ibushi has wrestled as Ibushi in NJPW since October of 2015. Curious how he qualified, really. Also, he's so weird. Dude out there acting like he's on Ecstasy. He's also looking jacked. Naito out here just being an asshole until Ibushi can't take it anymore. I love cunty Ibushi. I also love cunty Naito, who is literally trying to break Ibushi's neck. Ibushi gets sick of this shit and just starts kicking the piss out of Naito, crumpling him up on the ropes multiple times and having to be pulled off by Red Shoes. There's some crazy dangerous stuff in this, like avalanche reverse ranas and avalanche PILEDRIVERS, the lawn dart, the super deadlift German suplex. The heck? This is night one, dudes. Naito won with an ABSURD Destino that Ibushi took right on his head. Surely if Kenny/Okada is 6 stars for having a crazy spotfest, this should get 6 as well for being just as crazy but doing it with 30 minutes of downtime cut out.
EVIL vs SANADA
LIJ EXPLODES. Fans are clearly much more into Sanada and his absurd anime hair, plus EVIL is working full heel against his bro. Imagine curb stomping your bro on the apron and then having a team meeting at the end of the night. YO AVALANCHE ACE CRUSHER TO THE FLOOR. WTF. Night 1 had an avalanche piledriver, so night 2 needed an avalanche cutter to the FLOOR. Seems like they had some problems that needed to be worked out. Sanada eventually won with a moonsault, calling back to his Muta rip off days in TNA, but these guys definitely did not hold back on each other at all.
Kenny Omega vs Minoru Suzuki
A first time ever match. Too bad Suzuki is now almost 50 and age has finally hit him. Even 2 years ago, that Minoru vs this Kenny would have been baller level. Suzuki starts the match trying to intimidate Kenny, who isn't playing that shit, so he goes to pounding on him and trying to destroy his leg out on the floor. Kenny actually selling and being unable to hit his spots is something new for him. Doing a one legged moonsault. SHADES OF GOWEN! Why couldn't have have sold like that in the Okada matches? Suzuki pulls Red Shoes in the way of a V Trigger knee. RUDE! Also, let the fuckery begin. Various members of Suzukigun and the Bullet Club hit the ring and a brawl breaks out. When the match finally resumes, it's Suzuki doing leg locks, much like that completely unnecessary run in in Suzuki vs Okada earlier in the year. At one point, Kenny spits on Minoru and gets the ass beating you'd expect. Eventually, Kenny wins with the One Winged Angel and then was checked by doctors after the match. Seems like a set up for a tourney long knee issue.
Zack Sabre Jr vs Kota Ibushi
Lmao at the wanted final to the CWC being done on the 3rd day of the G1. Nippondoes what WWEwon't. After a couple of minutes of mat wrestling, Ibushi catches a kick and nearly knocks ZSJ out with a chop to the throat/neck/jaw. ZSJ then does some absurd submissions and alternates work between the ankle and famously injured neck of Ibushi. Most of Ibushi's offense comes from heavy strikes that that scrawny fuck can't handle on account of having zero muscles to absorb impact. Ibushi won with a Rampage bomb last ride OUTTA NOWHERE. Had this been the actual final of the CWC, there's no telling how different the cruiserweight division would have been instead of being built around a shitbird like TJP. Hard to say both of these guys didn't make the right decision to not sign with WWE.
Sanada vs Minoru Suzuki
At this point, I have more faith in MiSu to have a dope match with a guy well below him than a top level guy. That's okay, that's just the stage of his career that he's in. Sanada sure LOOKS like he's going to be a huge deal for NJ in the next couple of years. If it happens is up for debate. Coming from AJPW and not going through the NJ Dojo will probably hurt him. But that hair. This is a lot like what you'd expect: Suzuki beating the shit out of a younger star, and the crowd getting behind the younger guy to get an upset win. Sanada tries to get Suzuki in what I think is called the Magic Lock multiple times, which is always countered into some kind of submission, but then he finally applies the hold and the crowd pops huge. They're 100% on his side, chanting for him constantly. Suzuki eventually gets sick of bullshitting and hits a Gotch-style piledriver for the win. I enjoyed this more than Suzuki vs Okada and Suzuki vs Omega.
Kenny Omega vs Tama Tonga
BULLET CLUB...EXPLODES! Tama attacks Kenny, the assumed leader of the BC, before introductions are over. He particularly didn't seem to care for THE ELITE shirt. Man, by this point, no way Tama shouldn't be the leader of the BC. Breh has been there since day one. It's either him or Fale. And he's obviously better than Fale. In fact, Tama gets on the mic, saying FUCK THE ELITE, and that to be the leader of the BC, you need to prove yourself as a leader. "You want to be a Bullet Club? Then you be one of us." Considering how much shit Tama is talking, this seems like an issue that has been building for a while and won't be quickly looked over. I do like that they're both going for and hitting various BC members' moves. Tonga controlled most of the match, but Kenny won with the One Winged Angel. Kenny was a real dick to Tama after the match, but in the end, Tama too sweeted him.
Michael Elgin vs Kazuchika Okada
I imagine Elgin is going to beat the shit out of Okada in this. I can't believe Elgin was able to turn me around on him. Really says a lot about how dogshit ROH has been in the past few years where every guy I saw there I thought sucked has gone on to do something great in either PWG, WWE, or NJPW. I remember a time seeing Ciampa in ROH and thinking he was boring as shit, then he got to NXT and put on some of the best tag matches in years with Johnny Gargano. And indeed, Elgin controls most of this match. At one point, he hits the GOAT Rainmaker counter by just hitting a lariat when pulled into Okada. That seems like the most basic and logical counter beyond ducking. This crowd is super hot for Elgin to get a win. There are some PRIMO Okada reversal sequences in this, especially considering Elgin hasn't been even an IC contender in a year at this point. At this point, my biggest complaint about Elgin is his leg slapping for strikes, which is pretty crazy considering in in 2014-2015 my biggest complaint was literally everything about him. Okada eventually wins with a Rainmaker rush.
Yuji Nagata vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
This is Nagata's last G1, as it is for many of the the 3rd generation guys. Nataga is really the only one left of those that can still bring it, though. Fans here are very much supporting Nagata, which allows Tanahashi to tap into dick head mode. He spends most of the match working Yuji's leg. His dickiness gets the better of him, and Yuji beats his ass for it. Lots of slaps, to see who can be the bigger asshole. Tanahashi won with the HFF combo. A much hotter and better match than you'd be expecting out of 49 year old Nagata and still injured Tanahashi, especially on the middle of the show.