For Day 12, five more matches from the B Block of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s (NJPW) annual G1 Climax 27 are on offer, headlined by “The Cleaner” Kenny Omega versus “The King of Darkness” EVIL. Other matches will include Juice Robinson facing off against SANADA, Big Mike MIchael Elgin going against Toru Yano and two veteran doing battle when Satoshi Kojima and Minoru Suzuki get in the ring. The final of the four tournament matches will see the current IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kazuchika Okada, in action against Tama Tonga. As always, the first half of the show will feature tag team contests between many of the competitors from the upcoming tournament matches. For the first time in this year’s series of shows, a tag team ebtween four young lions – the trainees of New Japan – will begin the show.
+ Kenny Omega vs EVIL (G1 Climax 27 B Block Match): a seemingly legitimate injury at the end of this did taint the great match before hand, but even still this was everything you could expect. EVIL has had a hell of a tournament so far (I know I say it every day) and Omega is just so quick and explosive that even though he overuses his bicycle knee I still get hyped for it. There were tables, chairs, concussions and incredible moments in this match, and were it not for said concussion, this may have been one of the matches of the tournament
+ Kazuchika Okada vs Tama Tonga (G1 Climax 27 B Block Match): the crowd was very quiet to start, but both guys managed to get them into the match by the end. Tama Tonga’s blatant disrespect, such as copying the Rainmaker pose and stealing Okada’s jacket again, got huge boos, and the crowd was hanging on every near pin and every time a finisher was almost hit. This was really good
+ Juice Robinson vs SANADA (G1 Climax 27 B Block Match): Juice’s leg was still the focus here, and for the most part the crowd knew it. SANADA is just so quick for a relatively big guy, and I am always impressed when he does his “over the top to springboard dropkick” move. The final sequence was the best part of the match, but it did help cement this as very good overall
+ Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.) vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito): I’m not excited for Sabre/Naito, because I have a horrible feeling Sabre will win. This was a fun, but very short match
+ CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto) vs Bullet Club (Chase Owens, Yujiro Takahashi & Bad Luck Fale): oh lordy Yujiro had another girl with him. The Ishii/Goto/YOSHI-HASHI team is one I could get behind properly, especially as they took turns beating the crap out of Yujiro and Owens. I’m not sure who’s next for Fale, Ishii, Goto or YOSHI-HASHI, but all of those matche sound promising, if they are just brawls. This match felt like it went for a long time (it was only about 10 minutes), but I enjoyed it
+ Hirai Kawato & Yuji Nagata vs Tiger Mask & Kota Ibushi: it was good to see Tiger Mask again, but damn if the kick trading between Nagata and Ibushi wasn’t the highlight. Kawato has a really good ‘out of it’ face, when he gets hit with a big move. The kid’s gonna go far, I think. Nagata/Ibushi should be damn good
+ Shota Umino & Tomoyuki Oka vs Ren Narita & Katsuya Kitamura: this battle between two teams of young lions was surprisingly brutal, as perhaps they all wanted to leave an impression on anyone watching. Kitamura was monstrous as always, but it was a slap battle between the two smaller men, Oka and Narita, which impressed me. I really enjoyed this, more than I thought I would
– Satoshi Kojima vs Minoru Suzuki (G1 Climax 27 B Block Match): this was good, but I am getting a bit sick of the Suzuki-gun interference every match Minoru has (I know, that’s the point, but still). The interference did rile the crowd up, and they were already fanatically behind Kojima (and the hissing for Tenzan was great, too). If you don’t mind the interference, this was great, but if you are a bit sick of it, then this was lacking
– Michael Elgin vs Toru Yano (G1 Climax 27 B Block Match): Elgin is not one to play for comedy, so this could have gone either way beforehand. I was surprised at this match, and I certainly was left smiling, but I can’t say it was any good
– Jushin Thunder Liger & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs David Finlay & Togi Makabe: this was over too quickly for anything noteworthy to happen. Tanahashi/Makabe is on tomorrow’s card, but to be honest I don’t really care for it. Finlay was severely outclassed by Liger (but let’s be honest, who doesn’t Liger STILL outclass?)
> I still get the feeling there is a LIJ/Suzuki-gun match coming soon, and I get the feeling it will be a mask/hair/title wager for all involved. Taichi and BUSHI are at least seemingly doing their own mini story here, each time they wrestle
Should you watch this event: Although the legitimate concussion in the main event left a dark mark on the show, this was an otherwise very good day of wrestling. There are some parts of the tournament that are overstaying their welcome, and it is obvious that fatigue is setting in. There can’t be much more we have not seen from the tournament competitors, so as long as you don’t expect too much new stuff, this was still a good show.