NJPW G1 Climax Day 7 (27th July) Review

He’s winning hearts if not points. Credit: NJPW

Let’s be honest, I’m running out of things to say in these introductions. The G1 is still stupendous, it’s still hard to keep up and Jim Cornette is still an arsehole (okay, that’s a new one, but it’s always worth saying). Day seven had a decent card, but we’re hitting the period of the tournament where wrestlers have to begin conserving their energy. If they keep going at a million miles per an hour they might keel over. With that said, there was still plenty of puro action to keep you going.

Tomohiro Ishii defeated YOSHI-HASHI

Who thinks kicking Ishii in the head is a good idea? Credit: NJPW

Ishii can do no wrong at this point. The man is a machine and every match he puts on is at least good, while most are incredible. On the other hand, YOSHI-HASHI is a guy I struggle to get excited about. Which is strange because he’s been putting on some great matches. This one was no exception as he attempted to go toe to toe with the Stone Pitbull. Okay, so it maybe wasn’t the smartest move, but it made for a fun match up. Ishii’s chops to the throat are some of the most brutal looking moves in wrestling, and while HASHI’s strikes had about half as much impact as Ishii’s, it didn’t take away from this fight. Essential viewing? Probably not, but I can’t see anyone not enjoying it.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Bad Luck Fale

That one is for Daryl. Credit: NJPW

This match was never going to be a classic. However, there was intrigue in how Sabre would go about taking down the big man. It turns out that he can twist you up no matter your size. Which made it a bit of a disappointment that he didn’t force the cat murderer to tap out. Fale has been this tournament’s weak link in-ring. He has been decent but compared to the excellence around him he looks downright average. This match did nothing to change that. It was okay, but it never got going, and the sloppy finish means it’s an easy one to miss if you don’t have the time.

Verdict: Two Stars

Togi Makabe defeated Kota Ibushi

It’s a shooting star! Credit: NJPW

This might sound crazy, but I reckon there’s a chance that Togi Makabe could be going to the finals of this G1. I had Naito pegged as the winner, but if they decided not to go down that route and the winner is coming from Block B, then Makabe would be a good finalist. It wouldn’t be burning a big match, and no one can miss how fired up he is. Not quite as fired up as Ibushi (who is putting on a stormer on every show) but fired up all the same. Of course, that result would be a bit of a disappointment because as this showed Makabe has his ceiling. It was alright, but it wasn’t special. Ibushi being caught out by trying to go too high risk to put the big man away was a nice story, though, and the King Kong Knee Drop looked vicious.

Verdict: Three Stars

Tetsuya Naito defeated Yuji Nagata

When are people going to learn that this is a bad idea? Credit: NJPW

Much like with Jushin Liger during the Super Juniors, everyone is now debating whether this is the best way to use Nagata. Personally, I think it’s great. There’s a real emotion to his matches as he gives his all but just can’t hang in there. The way he fires up when these young bucks disrespect him is awesome. I understand that a miracle run could be exciting, but if every old guy gets a miracle run, it stops being a miracle. Save that, and when it happens, it will be a story. This was great, much like all Nagata matches have been great this tournament. In many ways, Naito is the perfect opponent for him. His total lack of fucks ties in perfectly with Nagata’s last run. It’s a shame the finish didn’t go quite to plan, but they improvised well and pulled off another great Nagata match.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Hirooki Goto

These two make a lot of funny faces. Credit: NJPW

I wanted this match to be so much more than it was but it never got going. I don’t know if it’s Tanahashi’s arm or purely down to two guys who are nearer the end of their careers than the beginning taking it a bit easier in the middle of a long tournament, but it felt like it never kicked up into the highest gears. Sadly, this is becoming a bit of a habit for Tanahashi. Don’t get me wrong, the guy can still go. It was only a few days ago that he and Nagata put on a classic, but it’s more and more common for him to take it easy in some of his less important matches. It might just be the injury but if he’s never going to take time off to get that fixed, what does that mean for the rest of his career? Despite all that, this match was nowhere near bad, but it was just good. Sadly, we expect better than good from these two.

Verdict: Three Stars

Overall Show

See what I mean? Credit: NJPW

This is probably the weakest show so far. Despite that, most of this card is worth watching, so taking this out of the context of the G1 and into the wider world, it was a great wrestling show. It just wasn’t New Japan great.


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