It feels only right to start this review with a shout out to those in Japan who were affected by the typhoon over the weekend, and I hope everyone looks after themselves. It feels a bit cheap to go from that to talk of card changes, as in the grand scheme of things it’s not that big a deal, but it did leave Jon Moxley and Zack Sabre Jr unable to travel. Mox was the bigger loss of the two as his absence forced New Japan to strip the US Title from him and give the match to Lance Archer instead. Amazingly, that’s caused some conspiracy chat, which seems oblivious to the actual typhoon which makes cancelled flights seem perfectly reasonable. Anyway, that silliness aside, this was a hella stacked card, so let’s see what went down.Continue reading
New Japan’s trip to the Hammerstein Ballroom led to an interesting old night for the Japanese company. Apparently, someone had called earlier in the day, cancelling the ambulance that is required to be on hand for wrestling shows. That led to a delay that stretched over an hour and whispers online about sabotage. Whether that was the case or not, New Japan needed to deliver a show worthy of the time the fans spent sitting around waiting for it to start.Continue reading
Destruction is a long old tour that generally delivers a shitload of mediocrity elevated by the occasional great match, and that is exactly what we’ve received in 2019. The final night is in Kobe and let’s hope we finish up with more of the great than the mediocre.Continue reading
New Japan took the scenic route to their first Destruction show, but they’ve finally rocked up in Beppu with a solid card. There are a lot of tags on here, but the Young Lion Cup and a brace of title matches make sure that proceedings shouldn’t be too dragged down by the splitting of this tour into multiple dates. Any show with Tanahashi vs Sabre is alright by me.Continue reading
Having put on two successful shows with RevPro’s assistance last year, New Japan came back to the UK to do it all by themselves. Royal Quest came from the Copper Box in London, and it’s worth pointing out that I was there live. That means this review is conducted purely by the memory of what I could see from my floor seats after the visual aid of many a pint of beer and while being overwhelmed with the excitement of my first New Japan show proper. That means that it will all be getting the famous live bump, making matches that might have appeared merely fine at home, a lot more exciting to witness in person. Understood? Great, on with the show.Continue reading
Our final night in the A Block is one of those weird G1 shows with five singles matches, only one of which means anything. This has all come down to the main event of Ibushi vs Okada, and it’s a pretty simple scenario too. If Ibushi wins, he goes through while any other result sends Okada to the final.
My must-see spoiler-free recommendations are Zack Sabre Jr vs KENTA, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Will Ospreay and Kota Ibushi vs Kazuchika Okada.Continue reading
We’re onto the penultimate block shows and you can smell the end of the G1. A Block is the simpler of the two, as the only people left alive are Okada, Ibushi, KENTA and EVIL. Of them, Okada’s route to the final is the easiest. If he keeps winning, he’s there. Ibushi has to match Okada’s result on this show before beating him in Budokan. KENTA requires Okada to lose both his matches while Ibushi loses to ZSJ and, finally, EVIL needs to win out while Okada loses out and KENTA loses to Ospreay. I think that’s all right, but I’m sure I’ve missed something. Either way, we all know it is coming down to Ibushi vs Okada on the final night, so quite frankly, that was a bit of a waste of time.
My spoiler-free must-see recommendations KENTA vs Will Ospreay, Kota Ibushi vs Zack Sabre Jr and Kazuchika Okada vs EVIL.Continue reading
The G1’s final big stop before Budokan saw them stroll into Osaka for a couple of nights. These two shows will give us a huge indication of exactly where Gedo is going with this unpredictable tournament, and we start with SANADA getting a chance to pick up his first win over Kazuchika Okada.
My spoiler-free must-see recommendations are EVIL vs Will Ospreay, Kota Ibushi vs Hiroshi Tanahashi and SANADA vs Kazuchika Okada.Continue reading
In a surprising twist, I caught a bit of the undercard on this show. Amazingly, it got me quite excited for Moxley vs Yano. It was easy to forget when he was filtered through the lens of Vince McMahon, but Mox is a funny guy, and there is every chance he and The Master Thief will create some magic. Anyway, that’s tomorrow’s show. Today we’re in the A Block and have plenty of fun to look forward to.
My spoiler-free must-see recommendations are Will Ospreay vs Zack Sabre Jr, Kazuchika Okada vs Lance Archer, SANADA vs KENTA and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs EVIL.Continue reading
Let’s throw it out there, this G1 schedule is a bit too relaxed for my taste. I’m usually drowning in wrestling by this point, desperately trying to keep afloat. This year? It’s all been quite relaxing, as I’m even managing to keep on top of my Stardom reviews. Give me more!
My spoiler-free must-see recommendations are Kazuchika Okada vs KENTA.Continue reading