The final night of A Block is upon us, and there’s only really two matches that mean anything. Fortunately, one of those is Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kazuchika Okada and fuck me, that’s never going to be bad. It’s the feud that modern-day New Japan was built upon, and you’d be mental to bet against them delivering another classic.
Golly gosh we’re close to the end. With only four shows left (including the final), the G1 is coming to a head. I could try to do the maths and tell you what the various results on this show would mean, but I studied English, and it’s easier to figure it out at the end. Let’s watch the graps and then worry about the equations.
For all my whining at the start of the tournament about how long the G1 is, we’re now approaching the end, and it hasn’t once felt like a grind. We’ve had loads of great wrestling, some fun storylines and, well, The Firing Squad the less said about which, the better. I’ve even quite enjoyed the A Block, which a lot of people have been down on. Let’s see if that continues to be the case with night fifteen of the G1.
We are in the business end of the G1, folks. New Japan is back in Osaka, and you can bet that the wrestlers are kicking off that mid-tour lethargy. B Block has been the holy grail of wrestling in the last few weeks, and this show looked set to be no different. Juice Robinson vs Zack Sabre Jr, Tomohiro Ishii vs Kenny Omega and Tetsuya Naito vs Kota Ibushi? Damn, sign me up.
While G1’s B Block has seen most of the field eliminated, A Block went into night thirteen with half the wrestlers still active. Would that be the case at the end of the show? Well, no, of course not. Don’t be daft.
Ignoring all the maths, it’s time for Okada vs Suzuki, and you can guarantee that will be good because it always is. So, let’s stop blathering and get to it.
We are deep into this tournament, and in many ways, these are the toughest days of the G1. The wrestlers are all banged up, and I can only imagine how hard it is to motivate yourself to go out and give 100%. It’s no surprise that we begin to see a few matches not quite hit the level they might have a couple of weeks ago. Still, this is B Block which is rammed with some of the greatest wrestlers on the planet. If they work at 80%, they’re still going to be pretty damn good.
I feel I should pre-warn you all that I won’t be reviewing the main event of this show. If you have read any of my A Block write-ups, you’ll know that I don’t talk about Michael Elgin because he’s a piece of shit. Being in the main event doesn’t change that. That aside, this is, well, not a particularly sexy show. Still, we must occasionally suffer for our art. I’m sure someone will pull a good match out of their arse.
It’s Ishii vs Ibushi day! This is one of the matches that I circled with my sparkly gold pen when the blocks were announced. They are perhaps my two favourite wrestlers and are a perfect in-ring fit. You could take out the rest of the card, only give me that, and I’d still be heading home satisfied. The fact there are a few other tasty treats on offer is merely a bonus.
There is no getting past the fact that A Block is the ugly stepchild of the 28th G1. While B delivers high-quality matches, A appears to be focused on telling stories, and some people are very against that. However, with Jay White doing his thing and sad Okada providing some intrigue, I’m still enjoying it. It makes up for the lack of stars by having Rocky getting beat around the head with a balloon.
We’re back! You know what? I’ve genuinely missed the G1, and I’m bloody delighted to have it return. What’s life if one does not have the wrestling to watch and then write overly complicated reviews about which no-one reads? It’s not a life I want to lead I’ll tell you that. There’s also the small matter that it’s a B Block night which means we’re guaranteed at least one classic. All together now, WRESTLING!