Wrestling Review: NJPW G1 Climax 27 (Day 6) (2017)

After a one day break (for us to watch WWE Battleground, and then wish we hadn’t) New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) returns for day 6 of the G1 Climax 27 tournament. Five more matches from the B Block are coming at you, including a main event of Kazuchika Okada, the current IWGP Heavyweight Champion, going one on one with SANADA, arguably the biggest soon-to-be breakout star in NJPW. Toru Yano and Kenny Omega will do battle, and Juice Robinson will have to deal with the dangerous Minoru Suzuki. Tama Tonga will face EVIL, and Satoshi Kojima will face off with Michael Elgin to round out the B Block matches, and as always there will be various tag team contests before the tournament continues with the A Block matches.

+ Toru Yano vs Kenny Omega (G1 Climax 27 B Block Match): the beginning of this match had me smiling ear to ear, and the comedy never let up. I find Yano’s comedy sometimes gets too unbearable, but Omega is always able to keep up. Once the comedy slowed, this was still a great match, but your enjoyment will solely depend on how much comedy you like in your wrestling
+ Juice Robinson vs Minoru Suzuki (G1 Climax 27 B Block Match): Suzuki is a good bad-guy, and Juice is a really good good-guy so this had a great reaction from the crowd all throughout. Juice’s already injured leg was the target spot for Suzuki, but Suzuki will beat you up no matter what, really. Juice has trained the crowd well to cheer for his main moves, but the crowd went crazy in support of Suzuki as he attempted his Piledriver, which was a bit strange. In the end, this was a really solid match. I would not want to ever have to fight Suzuki
+ Satoshi Kojima vs Michael Elgin (G1 Climax 27 B Block Match): the soundtrack to this match could just be someone throwing slabs of meat at a wet mud wall. This was probably just slightly longer than it needed to be, but the crowd was into it, both Elgin and Kojima were going as hard as they could and in the end it was a very good battle
+ Taguchi Japan (David Finlay & Hiroshi Tanahashi) vs CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & Jado): it is a little bit saddening that no matter the outcome in this tag team match, I just know in my hear that Goto won’t beat Tanahashi in the tournament. Some Jado comedy was actually pretty funny here, and I’ll admit that Finlay is growing on me, albeit slowly, especially since he is not dragging down War Machine anymore. I liked this match
+ Hirai Kawato & Yuji Nagata vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (Hiromu Takahashi & Tetsuya Naito): aww man, Naito and Takahashi are still acting as if Daryl is around. It literally almost brought a tear to my eye. This was a really good match, thanks in large part ot just how much Kawato has progressed as of late. The match also did a good job of building to the upcoming Nagata/Naito
+ Katsuya Kitamura & Tomoyuki Oka vs CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI): oh lordy Oka vs Ishii, and the team of Kitamura/Oka in general. I’m not entirely convinced that Oka is not just a still-developing clone of Ishii. Oka was on fire a few times, and I expect big things from him in the coming years. This was a better match than the opening tag

Kenny Omega and Toru Yano had such a good comedy match, even the referee wanted to get in on the action.

– Kazuchika Okada vs SANADA (G1 Climax 27 B Block Match): it is an unfortunate by-product of an every-second-day-for-two-weeks tournament that eventually it will feel as if you’ve seen it all. This was a perfectly sound wrestling match, but by this point I have seen all of Okada’s big moves, and I’ve already been impressed by SANADA’s athleticism. This was good, but it felt so by-the-numbers that I was still let down, and the highlight was that, in the future, this feud will be golden
– Tama Tonga vs EVIL (G1 Climax 27 B Block Match): the first half of this was essentially a no disqualification brawl, which I admit was a bit disappointing, because EVIL has had a great few matches so far, and Tama is an incredible athlete. The brawl was average, the main chunk of the match was average, and the final few moments above average, which meant this was only a slightly above verage match. I expected more
– Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.) vs Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi): gosh I hope Fale just demolishes Sabre tomorrow, like in under five minutes. Some Taichi/Fale comedy were the highlights of an otherwise unnecessary match that didn’t add much to anything. My boy Desperado didn’t get much of a chance to shine
– Ryusuke Taguchi & Togi Makabe vs Kota Ibushi & Syota Umino: I feel like I haven’t seen Taguchi for far too long, and it was good tos ee his ass in action again. This was mostly to build to Ibushi/Makabe, and in that regard it was great. The match was forgettable

> the way the commentators hype up a young lion doing a big move on an opponent, or kicking out of a pinfall, or escaping a submission is so helpful in getting them over as big stars. The commentary for NJPW shows is so good in so many ways

Should you watch this event: After three days each for the A Block and B Block wrestlers to perform, I am starting to feel like I’ve seen all their moves, all the counters and all of the things to expect. In this egard, no real fault of the wrestlers, this is getting less important to watch, until the big matches (Okada/Omega is probably the major one). Omega/Yano was comedy gold, but as mentioned, calling these “can’t miss” is not quite accurate anymore.


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