NJPW G1 Climax Day 11 (August 1st) Review

Hometown boy done good. Credit: NJPW

Wednesday is playlist day, but I’m away Friday, and if I’m going to keep up with this damn G1, I can’t be slacking. We’re onto day eleven where the action certainly wasn’t lacking. See what I did there?

YOSHI-HASHI defeated Bad Luck Fale

YOSHI diving into his bag of tricks to put down Fale. Credit: NJPW

We kicked off night eleven with a big old upset as YOSHI-HASHI slayed the giant of a man that is Bad Luck Fale. It may have been a significant result, but it wasn’t a great match. It takes someone special to get something out of Fale, and while HASHI is good, he isn’t special. However, there was some enjoyment to be had in watching the smaller man use his fast paced offence to take down The Underboss, so it wasn’t a total dud.

Verdict: Two Stars

Zack Sabre Jr defeated Togi Makabe

Break his damn ankle. Credit: NJPW

Wow, there is no settling in period for Zack Sabre Jr in New Japan as he becomes the first person to make Makabe tap out in over eleven years. He’s been fantastic all tournament, and while this won’t be up there with his best matches, it was perfectly fine. It was a technical wrestler taking on someone who wants to beat the shit out of them and that kind of thing is always going to be at least a bit entertaining. I also like that Zack won with a different submission move. If he’s to be credible, you need to believe all his holds can tap you out.

Verdict: Three Stars

Tomohiro Ishii defeated Yuji Nagata

You are going to need to calm down Yuji. Credit: NJPW

These two mad old bastards have a combined age of 90, so you’d really think they shouldn’t be beating the shit out of each other. However, that’s what they did in a quite frankly brilliant match. These two threw everything at each other, and despite all logic telling you otherwise, there were one or two moments where it felt like Nagata was going to finally pick up a win. I feel like we’ve thrown every piece of hyperbole at Nagata and Ishii already in this tournament so I’m not going to blabber on for too long but trust me when I say you need to see this match. Two of the very best giving it everything they’ve got. Magnificent.

Verdict: Four And A Half Stars

Tetsuya Naito defeated Hirooki Goto

It’s your Destino. Credit: NJPW

Coming out after Ishii and Nagata tore the house down can’t have been easy, but this match was still a disappointment. They never seemed to get going or at least not going to the extent that we know these wrestlers can. In all honesty, I think it can be chalked up to tournament fatigue. This is all despite the match setting up a nice little story. Both men went after the other’s neck which makes a lot of sense considering how they both like to finish matches. Something just didn’t click, though, and it felt like the crowd were maybe knackered from the golden oldies tearing down the house beforehand. This wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t great and considering what came both before and after that didn’t feel good enough.

Verdict: Three Stars

Kota Ibushi defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi

Two of the best. Credit: NJPW

Damn, do I love professional wrestling. What a match, what a fucking match. I was talking about Tanahashi evolving his heel character in one of my other reviews, and this was a perfect example of it. The cocky legend who thinks he’s still the man going up against the hometown boy. Of course, when that hometown boy is Kota Ibushi it adds an extra element of special to the whole thing. Ibushi’s style during this G1 has been fascinating to watch. He still works a frantic pace with big spots, but he’s spacing them out. Things like the Golden Triangle Moonsault are being saved rather than being worked into every match. It’s a more mature and considered Ibushi than we have seen elsewhere. There’s also an element of realism to what he does. That knee which he appears to be adopting as a finisher is brutal looking, and this is an Ibushi who could easily main event in New Japan. In fact, his win here suggests we might just see that happen.

Verdict: Four And A Half Stars

Overall Show

49-years-old. Credit: NJPW

This show had two absolutely fantastic matches and a few decent ones which has become the norm for the G1 at this stage. It kind of feels like the wrestlers are taking it in turns to pull out all the stops, and I am perfectly fine with that. The G1 continues to be the best thing going right now.


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