NJPW G1 Climax Day 16 (8th August) Review

The blood, the sweat, the tears. Credit: NJPW

I both can’t want for this G1 to be over and hope it never ends. Having wonderful wrestling to watch every day has been brilliant, but, I used to have a lot more free time. In the days before this tournament, I was able to think about things that had nothing to do with New Japan! That’s now like a distant dream.

Tama Tonga defeated Satoshi Kojima

Someone buy that man a coat. Credit: NJPW

Tama Tonga’s new gimmick seems to be a sneaky bugger who is desperate to get himself a new coat. Maybe that Bullet Club merch money is drying up because he seems determined to knick it from his opponents. That strange development aside, this was a fine match. Tonga has everything apart from the great matches. He’s good but he’s just not there and that rang true here as well. Whenever I want him to hit that extra gear and do something special the matches seem to end. This continued the story that Kojima has been telling all tournament. His heart is there but his body isn’t and Tonga eventually put him away with the Gun Stun.

Verdict: Three Stars

Juice Robinson defeated Toru Yano

Well, the result didn’t embarrass him. Credit: NJPW

They didn’t embarrass Juice. Job done.

Verdict: Two Stars

Michael Elgin defeated Evil

‘I’ll hit you hard, then you hit me hard and we’ll take it from there.’ Credit: NJPW

Two big fuckers throwing each other around the ring and hitting each other really hard. How can that not be fun? Evil is having an incredible tournament, and outside of the top two, I don’t think there’s a guy better at putting together finishing sequences. I’ve got to assume he’s a part of it because the series of counters and movements that end his matches are always fantastic. That was once again the case here as Big Michael beat the guy who beat the guy. Elgin has to be the most underappreciated wrestler on the planet right now. His booking throughout this tournament has been downright bizarre. He beats Omega, he beats Suzuki and now he beats Evil, yet they chose to put him in that total embarrassment against Yano. It seems clear that the future is bright (or maybe dark) for Evil, I just hope the same goes for Elgin.

Verdict: Four Stars

Kenny Omega defeated Sanada

I love pictures of Omega kneeing people in the face. Credit: NJPW

Sanada’s story of being good but not quite good enough continues. I love watching this guy in the ring. He moves like a dancer and yet it never feels choreographed. He just happens to be one step ahead of the likes of you and me. However, he still has that youthful arrogance that means he is susceptible to making that one mistake which sees him take the fall. Here he was inches from getting Omega to tap out, but the Cold Skull just wasn’t on quite tight enough to get the game done, and Kenny was able to escape and get the win. It’s also interesting to note that for the second time in a row I’m talking about Omega’s opponent rather than him. You could see that as a slight to The Cleaner, or you could appreciate that the guy is also a master at making others look good. I’ll let you guess which side I sit on.

Verdict: Four Stars

Minoru Suzuki and Kazuchika Okada Fought To A Draw

Inches are sometimes miles. Credit: NJPW

Now that is the Suzuki that I wanted! God damn. A man who doesn’t need a legion of trolls to do his bidding because he’s a fucking demon who will smack you senseless for the fun of it and then laugh at you when you try and do it back. Argh, it was so good. This was smart. It was really fucking smart and I don’t think many saw it coming. It not only gives Suzuki a genuine claim for a Heavyweight Title match but it adds an extra dynamic to Okada vs. Omega. Omega now has to win, a draw is not enough for him, but it is for Okada. Considering that their last two matches have gone well over half an hour that is a big deal and I can’t be the only one who is already stupidly excited. Finish aside, this was a fantastic match. Okada got rid of the minions and he went head to head with Suzuki and he seemed determined to prove he could beat him at his own game. As the two of them traded slaps in the centre of the ring with the sweat flying off them in clouds you could feel his wish to put down the demon. Yet, as close as he got, he couldn’t do it. Suzuki was too tough and the time ran out. This is professional wrestling my friends. Don’t miss this match.

Verdict: Four And A Half Stars

Overall Show

Sanada chilling. Credit: NJPW

I was going to write that it feels like every match involving Evil, Omega, Sanada, Okada, Elgin and Juice is worth watching. However, then I realised that is over half the block and therefore nearly every match would be worth watching. On this show, you can skip the first two, but the last three are all fantastic.


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