Wrestling Review: NJPW G1 Climax 27 (Day 5) (2017)

It’s day five, and time for another round of action from the A Block of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s (NJPW) annual G1 Climax, now in it’s 27th year. Headlined by Hirooki Goto versus Togi Makabe, the show will also feature the huge match of Kota Ibushi versus Tomohiro Ishii as well as Tetsuya Naito seeking some revenge on Bad Luck Fale. Hiroshi Tanahashi versus Yuji Nagata and Zack Sabre Jr faces off with YOSHI-HASHI to round out the B Block matches, with tag matches between Los Ingobernables de Japon, Bullet Club, Suzuki-gun and Taguchi Japan all on the card as well.

+ Kota Ibushi vs Tomohiro Ishii (G1 Climax 27 A Block Match): I am very surprised this was not the final match. Noone kicks harder than Ibushi, and I don’t think anyone gets me as hype for walking through hard kicks or chops as Ishii does. Another fantastic match for both men
+ Hirooki Goto vs Togi Makabe (G1 Climax 27 A Block Match): much like many others today, I wasn’t entirely sold on this match until the ending sequence, or maybe the final five minutes. There was a bit of oneupmanship early, which soon gave way to a physical brawl (as is more or less standard for tese matches). It never quite matched Ishii/Ibushi, until the final few moments, but it was a hell of a match nonetheless
+ Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Yuji Nagata (G1 Climax 27 A Block Match): some of Tanahashi’s more flamboyant showboating got him booed a few times, and the look on his face implied he wasn’t expecting it (or wanted it to be heavier boos). Mr Blue Justice, Nagata, was a huge fan favourite for the whole night, and once the two started trading open palm slaps they got my absolute attention. A huge top rope exploder suplex cemented this as a fantastic match, and on any other show maybe even match of the night
+ Bad Luck Fale vs Tetsuya Naito (G1 Climax 27 A Block Match): he’s too cool to admit it, but you just know Naito was looking to get revenge on Fale for Hiromu and Daryl. It is interesting that Fale is only 6’4″ (“only”) but he towers over the rest of the NJPW roster. This was relatively short, but an unexpected(ish) ending made it a good match. And for once, Naito was actually the good guy, not just a heavily cheered douchebag
+ CHAOS (Gedo & Kazuchika Okada) vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI & SANADA): there was some fantastic back and forth action between Okada and SANADA to start the match off, and I can see that being a PPV main event in the future. My boy BUSHI had his time to shine against Gedo, who I find myself liking less and less as in in-ring performer all the time. Either way, this was a fun match, a step above all the other tag matches on the show

Fun fact: it started pouring outside just as Okada hit The Rainmaker on one of the other days. The man’s a magician, from Japan to Australia.

– Zack Sabre Jr. vs YOSHI-HASHI (G1 Climax 27 A Block Match): Sabre’s limb work here was not great, and YOSHI-HASHI’s selling was not good, either, since he kept using the limbs that Sabre was working on. This was about as you’d expect, with Sabre still trying to act like a heavyweight when he is so visually different to everyone else here
– Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL & Hiromu Takahashi) vs Bullet Club (Chase Owens & Tama Tonga): poor Takahashi. I don’t think he has come to terms with Daryl’s obliteration yet. This was slightly sloppy, compared to the laste few days, and might be tiredness creeping in. Owens and EVIL had a few awkward pauses, and Tama Tonga knocked Owens down at one point. This was relatively short, too
– Bullet Club (Kenny Omega & Yujiro Takahashi) vs CHAOS (Jado & Toru Yano): just as Omega said to the camera, this was mostly comedy. I didn’t like it
– Hirai Kawato and Taguchi Japan (David Finlay & Juice Robinson) vs Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki & Taichi): a vicious chop battle between Suzuki and Juice was the highlight for me, along with my other boy Desperado being the bad guy he is. The main problem with these tag team matches, is that with one person being significantly lower on the totem pole, it is usually too obvious who is taking the loss, and therefore which team is losing
– Michael Elgin & Katsuya Kitamura vs Tencozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima): Elgin and Kitamura, damn what a team. I like my wrestlers like I like my women, like I like my steaks: EXTRA THICK. This was little more than a preview of each of Tencozy vs Elgin, but once again I can’t help but have nothing but high hopes for Kitamura in the future

> I miss Shibata. 😦

Should you watch this event: Although four of the five G1 matches were worth watching, I don’t think any of them had the outcome I personally wanted. You’ll see stiff clotheslines, sweat flying off in incredible volume and chops like gunshots, but as with all New Japan tournaments, I am running out of steam after five days in a row of the same competitors. Hopefully a day or two off will do me good.


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