NJPW G1 Special in USA Night 2


Jushin Liger/David Finlay/Kushida vs Tempura Boyz/Yoshitatsu

Fucking Yoshi. Frick! Is Tempura Boyz supposed to be some kind of pun or joke? I like them, though. They're fresh out of the young lion phase, so now they get to show some personality and get some offense. The face team wins with triple submissions.

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Kenny Omega vs Jay Lethal IWGP US Championship Round 2

Lmao at Kenny starting the match by teep kicking Jay out of the ring. Kenny focuses on the injured ribs, only for Jay to hit the Lethal Injection OUTTA NOWHERE. Kenny rolled to the floor and the rest of the match is Jay going after Kenny's leg  and, Kenny going after Jay's ribs. It's fine, but Jay Lethal is so uncharismatic and boring to me that I don't give a shit. Kenny won with the One Winged Angel to advance to the finals.

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Tomohiro Ishii vs Zack Sabre Jr IWGP US Championship Round 2

Ishii beating the shit out of ZSJ seems pretty fun on paper. For some reason, Zack tries to start the match with a strike battle. It works exactly as well as you'd think. Weirdly, they kept doing headbutts, as if no one has learned shit from Shibata ruining his life. Zack works the arm, Ishii punishes Zack. That's the match. Ishii wins with brainbuster to advance to the finals.

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Dragon Lee/Jay White/Juice Robinson/Titan/Volador Jr vs Los Ingobernables de Japon

Lucha fuckery on this Japanese promotion show in America. Jay White pinned Bushi with Sister Abigail. Terrible weekend for LIJ. 

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Bullet Club vs War Machine/Michael Elgin

OH SHIT KING HAKU UP IN THIS MUG. I really, really wish Haku was in this match instead of Adam Page. A whole lot of power spots, a nice contrast to the lucha fuckery of the previous match. Adam Page is so out of place. Page pinned bald Machine with a reverse tombstone.


Young Bucks vs Roppongi Vice IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championships

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I can't watch the Bucks and Romero again. This was similar to their Dominion match, but this time, Trent was the one who had his back worked on. The Bucks hit a PAPA MELTZER DRIVER from the top rope to the floor on Rocky, paying tribute to Dave Meltzer's recently deceased father. And because wrestling is stupid, the match kept going after that. Another Meltzer Driver, followed by stereo sharpshooters ended the match. Young Bucks win. Titles retained. After the match, Ricochet hit the ring and cut a promo, shitting on Lucha Underground for not letting him work the shows and that he's coming after the tag titles. After that, RPG mutually broke up, with Trent going to the heavyweights, and Rocky maybe retiring all together.


Bullet Club vs Chaos

Oh my god, this might be the worst possible BC combination: Yujiro, Marty, Fale, CODY. Christ. When Fale is the best dude on the team...Actually, fans chant they want him when Cody is in the ring and he gets a big pop. Lmao. BC spend about 5 minutes just tagging each other and stalling. Fucking YUJIRO got chants over Cody. Bullet Club comedy match with the crowd doing Marty's bird whoop every 30 seconds. Fuck everything. Cody pinned Ospreay.  


Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Billy Gunn IWGP Intercontinental Championship

53 year old Billy Gunn on a headlining match for a NJPW show. In 2017. What the heck. Tanahashi has restored the IC title after Naito destroyed it. I'm not sure it's going to get that high prestige back defending it against Billy Gunn, though. Billy dwarfs Tanahashi. They work a half speed WWE house show match, complete with ass exposing comedy spots. Tanahashi won with the high fly flow. Title retained. Tanahashi literally didn't even break a sweat for this match.


Kenny Omega vs Tomohiro Ishii IWGP US Championship

Whatever leg and arm injuries from their previous matches are not a factor early on. Instead, they open up testing out each other's toughness, which seems pointless since they've had plenty of matches this year and know how tough the other is. Things briefly take a turn into the crowd. It feels like there's about 15 minutes of stuff that goes nowhere as they wait to go to the crazy spots. That's how a lot of big time NJPW matches have been in 2017, and the pretenses just drag shit out longer than it needs to be. A dive at what feels like 20 minutes in is the first time it seems like they've done anything but trade strikes and tests of will. A table gets set up, with various kinds of suplexes being teased off the apron. Ishii tries to get a rope break by BITING THE TOP ROPE. It doesn't work, and someone actually finally does that spot, with Kenny doing a dragon suplex off the apron through the table. Of course, much like the ultra deluxe super Meltzer Driver, that didn't end the match. It didn't even lead to a near fall. In fact, Ishii takes even more punishment back in the ring and goes back on offense for a while right after. After plenty of spots and strikes to make the crowd say OOOOOOOHHHHHH, Kenny wins with the One Winged Angel to become the first ever IWGP United States Champion. After the match, as the Bullet Club was celebrating with Omega, Cody Rhodes appeared to ruin the party, only to SWERVE everyone and hug Kenny. 
 


I got worn out during this show. Due to the card scheduling and importance of the events, I didn't skip the multi-man tags I normally would, so by the time I got to the main event it was like a 3 1/2 hour show already. And then they went longer than they had in any of their previous matches and it FELT it. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more had I not watched 2 hours of nonsense tags before hand. It felt like to me about 80% of the Kenny/Ishii match was trading chops/knees/elbows and then a really big spot and then...trading chops/knees/elbows, big spot...repeat a few times.  

Over all, they were a pretty solid 2 nights of wrestling, especially for a foreign company doing their own production in the States. Outside of a few more American style things in some of the bigger matches (finisher theft being the main one) and some production differences, they felt like NJPW shows in America instead of American NJPW shows. 

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