Wrestling Review: NJPW G1 Climax 27 (Day 16) (2017)

The second last day of matches for the B Block is here, as New Japan Pro Wrestling’s (NJPW) G1 Climax 27 tournament begins to wrap up. Five more mathces from the B Block are on the cards, with only four competitors – Kazuchika Okada, EVIL, Kenny Omega and SANADA – still in the race, each will look to cement their spot at the top of the B Block in their matches with Minoru Suzuki, Michael Elgin, and each other, respectively. Juice Robinson will face Toru Yano, and Satoshi Kojima will face Tama Tonga to round out the card, where even those who can’t win the block are looking for momentum building wins. There are the same tag matches between some A Block competitors to build hype for tomorrow’s show, and in the first match on the card, Yomoyuki Oka will take on Chase Owens in a singles match, where the young lion Oka looks to avenge his tag partner, Katsuya Kitamura’s loss to Owens a few days ago.

+ Kazuchika Okada vs Minoru Suzuki (G1 Climax 27 B Block Match): Taichi and Gedo lurking around ringside added some small dramas to this match, but the main excitement came from the fact that the last time these two fought it was a ~40 minute, violent affair. The specifics of this match became clear early on, including the ending and winner, but damn if it wasn’t an exciting ride. A slap fest towards the end of the fight left me eyes wide and mouth agape. This will probably be divisive, but I think it was a great match with a good ending
+ Kenny Omega vs SANADA (G1 Climax 27 B Block Match): some very impressive athleticism from Omega almost ended horribly near the beginning of the match, but the two recovered to put on a fantastic outing. Both of these two are so athletic that everything always looks so easy and smooth, and the final few moments were enough to ensure this was a fantastic match
+ Michael Elgin vs EVIL (G1 Climax 27 B Block Match): Big Mike and EVIL just walloped each other for a lot of the match, including a lariat from EVIL I was sure would send Elgin out of the arena. Elgin’s various suplexes and monstrous powerbombs were incredible, and the live audience seemed more impressed with them than many other big moves on the show. This was a good BIG BOI match
+ Juice Robinson vs Toru Yano (G1 Climax 27 B Block Match): I had faith Juice could hang with the comedy stylings of Yano, and dammit, this was hilarious. Close call countouts, some clever tactics from Yano and a solid ending made this so much better than it should have been
+ Taguchi Japan (David Finlay, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Ryusuke Taguchi) vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi & Tetsuya Naito): this was entirely built around the idea of Tanahashi/Naito rigniting their five-star rivalry, and in that regard I am hyped. Taguchi was great, as were both my boy BUSHI and Hiromu. Unfortunately, that meant it was FInlay who once again felt out of place with the bigger and/or better stars around him. Still, this was good, and served its purpose well
+ Hirai Kawato, Kota Ibushi & Togi Makabe vs CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI): firgive me if I’m not convinced Kawato could do anything to hurt Ishii, but damn if he didn’t try his hardest. YOSHI-HASHI and Makabe just wailed on each other for most of the match. Frankly, Ibushi was a bit under utilised, as was Goto, but once again, guys are obviously completely spent by this point in the tour. This was a good match, nonetheless
+ Katsuya Kitamura & Yuji Nagata vs Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi): my newest boy, Kitamura, was on fire tonight, as he continued his mini-feud with Takahashi. Fale was wearing a particularly interesting shirt, but who cares about that, becaue the model with Yujrio wasn’t wearing much of a shirt at all. Kitamura is going to be a huge star one day

I’m pretty sure those teeth are a mouthguard, but honestly, Kitamura is a legit monster so who knows.

– Satoshi Kojima vs Tama Tonga (G1 Climax 27 B Block Match): Tama has used much more comedy in his matches lately (or maybe I just don’t notice it in tag team matches), that he almost comes across “crazy” rather than viscous, as I imagined. It worked well with the more serious Kojima, but this was only about average overall. Tama needs to get back in the tag division
– Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Syota Umino vs Suzuki-gun (El Desperado & Zack Sabre Jr.): the crowd lvoed Umino here, or perhaps they just really didn’t like my boy El Desperado. Either way, the bad guys were bad, the good guys were good, this was everything you’ve seen before, including the same ending to a few other matches these last few weeks
– Tomoyuki Oka vs Chase Owens: this was a better match than Owens/Kitamura from Day 14, but still not particularly impressive. Owens makes the most sense for these battles, as he is (arguably) the lowest rung of the Bullet Club ladder, but not a huge threat in his own right

Should you watch this event: The penultimate show for the B Block was great, but it is very clear that everyone is wrecked and needs a few days (if not more) off to recover. Okada/Suzuki was great, Omega/SANADA was really good and Juice/Yano was comedy gold, so you’ll get your worth from them. The rest are only for the fans of the competitors.


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