If you’re new to NJPW, think of New Year Dash as a bit like the Raw after WrestleMania. With the big show out of the way, it’s time to set-up the year ahead with recent years featuring the return of Suzuki-gun and Jay White turning down Kenny Omega and Bullet Club. With the Dome seeing a changing of the guard, it’s an interesting time for New Japan fans, and this show will give us an insight as to what we should expect.Continue reading
After an underwhelming Destruction tour (the G1 hangover is significant in New Japan), NJPW returns to the feud that built the modern day direction of the company. Okada vs Tanahashi. It doesn’t matter how many times these two do it, it never fails to get the blood pumping. Will Tana keep his spot in the Tokyo Dome? Or will Okada finally extinguish those post-title blues and get back to where he belongs? Time to find out!
Destruction rolls into Beppu with, at least on paper, the weakest main event of the tour. The last time Suzuki and Naito faced off, it wasn’t great, but two guys that talented can’t muck it up again, can they?
Destruction in Hiroshima, an event name that will always make me cringe. I assume NJPW know what they’re doing with it, but from the outside looking in? Yea, I might change that one. Anyway, that’s not the important part. The important part is that it’s headlined by Kenny Omega vs Tomohiro Ishii. That is never going to be a bad thing. Go murder him, Wide Tom!
You thought I was finished? Of course not. It’s time for the G1 round-up. I am going to do report cards for each wrestler involved, a rundown of my favourite matches and links to all my reviews. The idea is that if you’ve missed the G1 and are looking for hints as to what to watch and what to avoid, this might serve as a helpful guide. Also, if anyone has enjoyed my G1 coverage and would like to give back a little, please consider donating to my Ko-Fi. Right, let’s get on with it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.