Day 12 of the G1 and let’s get down to business, shall we?
Sanada defeated Juice Robinson
Both of these men have had star making tournaments. For Juice, it’s all been about selling that knee, and he’s done a tremendous job at doing exactly that as Sanada was the latest man to go after it. Sanada, meanwhile, is showing that he’s getting closer and closer to being ready for the top as he beats everyone outside of the best two or three. This was a fun match between the two of them with a combination of Sanada being just a step ahead and Juice’s dodgy knee seeing the LIJ man get the win. It didn’t have the time or the extra sparkle to make it truly special, and if you’re in a rush you can probably give it a miss, but it’s a solid next chapter in these two’s rise.
Verdict: Three Stars
Toru Yano defeated Michael Elgin
Fuck me this was stupid. There is nothing about this I like. Michael Elgin deserves better than this bullshit particularly after the way he’s worked his arse off over the last few weeks. I’m not even going to go into all the kayfabe issues with it because it’s not worth the time. Boo to this.
Verdict: No Stars
Minoru Suzuki defeated Satoshi Kojima
Minutes after a ref took ‘The Master Thief’s’ word about a low-blow Suzuki-gun came out and did all the shit that Suzuki-gun does. I’m so over it. If there has been one disappointment in this tournament, it’s been the fact that every Suzuki match has included this bollocks. There was so much of it here that it turned me off completely which is a damn shame because Kojima has been working his arse off. Maybe there are people out here who enjoy this, but it ain’t me.
Verdict: One And A Half Stars
Kazuchika Okada defeated Tama Tonga
At no point in this match did I believe that Tama Tonga was going to pin Okada. It might be the stage of the tournament and the fact that they seem to be setting up Okada to go into the match against Omega unbeaten or it might just be that Tonga isn’t at that level yet, but I didn’t buy it, and I’d be surprised if anyone else did. The match was okay, but when you take away that excitement, it’s harder to get into the action. I want to like Tonga more than I do but he’s missing something. He has the look and the attitude, but in the ring, he’s not quite up to the level of those that surround him, and if he’s unable to hit that level with Okada, then you wonder if he ever will.
Verdict: Three Stars
Kenny Omega defeated Evil
This was a wonderfully fun brawl right up until Evil was knocked silly in the final minutes. It was uncomfortable watching him struggle to even stand and fair play to Kenny for pulling off the safest looking One Wing Angel I’ve ever seen. If you cut that out, though, this is the clear match of the day. Evil and Omega went out there and had a good old fashioned barny as they tried to knock lumps out of each other and came a bit too close to actually doing so on that table spot. A Block might have had the better matches but B Block is making more new stars and Evil is a step ahead of even Sanada and Juice in that sense. The guy has a believable style, and while I’d ditch the silly gimmick, it appears likely that we’ll be seeing a lot more of the embodiment of all things evil in the future. So let’s just hope he isn’t too badly hurt.
Verdict: Four Stars
This was the worst show of the tournament by a clear distance. Even without the absolute tragedy that was Elgin vs. Yano, it would have been an average show at best. Thankfully, Omega did what Omega does and stood up at the end to steal the show. Sadly, even that was hurt by the final minutes and Evil’s injury. All things said if you’re going to miss one G1 show, make it this one.