Wrestling Review: NJPW G1 Climax 27 (Day 14) (2017)

Day 14 means it is two straight weeks of some of the best wrestling New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) has to offer. Five more matches in the B Block of the G1 Climax 27 tournament are planned for the night, with three huge main event matches as Kazuchika Okada faces EVIL, Kenny Omega contends with Juice Robinson and Michael Elgin goes up against Minoru Suzuki. Tama Tonga has to deal with the comedy antics of Toru Yano, and Satoshi Kojima has to attempt to use experience to take out the hugely athletic SANADA to round out the tournament matches. The standard tag team matches between competitors from the A Block are also on the card, as well as, for the first time this tournament, a single match for a young lion of the New Japan Dojo, as Katsuya Kitamura gets in the ring with the Bullet Club’s Chase Owens.

+ Kazuchika Okada vs EVIL (G1 Climax 27 B Block Match): this was great. Back and forth action leading to a huge would-be finishing moment, which was only the half way point. This escalated further and further until a climax that will leave you speechless. One small moment near the middle of the match was a bit awkward, but both men covered it nicely enough. EVIL took some huge shots, considering his certain consussion against Omega not two days ago, but it made for an absolutely fantastic match up
+ Juice Robinson vs Kenny Omega (G1 Climax 27 B Block Match): as much as the crowd loves Kenny, it was clear they wanted the Juice to be let loose. Juice still has the knee injured by Suzuki some days back, so that was the main focus, even though Omega has such a huge array of offense anyway. This match was great, and the ending only solidified it as a must see
+ Michael Elgin vs Minoru Suzuki (G1 Climax 27 B Block Match): Taichi got in Elgin’s face before the match, and damn I’d like to see Elgin throw him over the arena. Suzuki doesn’t often sell big for strikes, but damn if Elgin didn’t make him one way or another. The standard Suzuki-gun interference had some nice twists, so for once I didn’t mind it as much. Big Mike showed off his freaky strength as Minoru used his dirty tactics which made for another really good match for this show. The final few minutes were absolutely phenomenal
+ Satoshi Kojima vs SANADA (G1 Climax 27 B Block Match): the crowd was loud from the beginning, following the Yano/Tama match, and when Kojima did his “Icchauzo Bakayaro!” shout in the corner I thought the roof may have exploded. SANADA had the big moves, whilst Kojima did the classic spots his fans love, before busting out some new stuff of his own. This was a really, really good match, and I’d go as far as to say Kojima’s best in this tournament, and perhaps even SANADA’s best
+ Toru Yano vs Tama Tonga (G1 Climax 27 B Block Match): Tama had the facepaint on, so you know this was going to be good. This started off at a blistering (comedy) pace and never let up, and though it was mostly Yano comedy, Tama is one of the few who can keep up. I loved this
+ Kota Ibushi & Taguchi Japan (Hiroshi Tanahashi & David Finlay) vs CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI): all of the CHAOS side seemed to want a piece of Tanahashi, as they all, Ishii especially, wailed on im with chops, stomps and slams all match. The audience went bonkers for Ibushi, and even Finlay managed to get some good reactions, despite being the only one not in the G1 tournament. This was a really good match which was only helped by the raucous crowd response
+ Tagi Makabe, Tiger Mask & Hirai Kawato vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi): the disparancy between the juniors and the heavyweights has always intrigued me; Makabe has to sell the offense of Hiromu, but realistically there is no way Hiromu would or should beat Makabe. But Naito is not a whole lot bigger than BUSHI, and BUSHI is a junior, too. Don’t let my rambling fool you: this was a good match, but it simply involved a lot of offense from the smaller guys on the bigger ones. Kawato looked great in his few moments, especially against BUSHI. SOme post match shenanigans made Naito/Makabe out to be something huge, and I am looking forward to it
+ Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Tomoyuki Oka vs Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi & Bad Luck Fale): This was mostly Fale manhandling Oka as Yujiro played the spoiler to the comebacks. Tenzan got some good reactions for his mongolian chops, and in the end this was a good match with INCREDIBLE camera work for the Bullet Club bunny

Big Mike versus Minoru Suzuki would have been match of the night, were it not for Juice/Omega, and then EVIL/Okada.

– Yuji Nagata, Shota Umino & Tetsuhiro Yagi vs Suzuki-gun (Taichi, El Desperado & Zack Sabre Jr.): it was hardly fair to have the yet-to-win Nagata lead two rookies against the team most likely to cheat, but hey, I’m not the booker. The young lions did okay, but to build hype for Nagata/Sabre this was what it needed to be. Not a great match, but like Kitamura before it, a good learning experience perhaps
– Katsuya Kitamura vs Chase Owens: as much fun as it was to see Kitamura in a singles match, it did unfortunately highlight just how inexperienced he is. I am not an Owens fan, but it was clear who was calling most of the action, and it meant this was an impressive milestone for Kitamura, but not an overly good match

> YUJIRO TAKAHASHI HAD PIETER WITH HIM. Save me from myself. God bless the NJPW cameramen

Should you watch this event: Absolutely. With only two matches listed above as negatives, both of which were primarily rookies (and they were the first two, so skip them if you don’t like any of the competitors) this was a huge turn around following yesterday’s outing. Every G1 match was something special, whether it was the ending, the winner, the crowd, or the commentators losing their minds and you should go out of your way to watch Suzuki/Elgin, Omega/Juice and Okada/EVIL.


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