Wrestling Review: NJPW G1 Climax 28 (Day 9) (2018)

[Please note: By the time I post this, and indeed you read it, the tournament is over, and a winner has been crowned. I have no idea who that may be, and to save myself some time, I am only going to review the G1 tournament matches themselves. If there is a really good undercard match, and I get the time to watch it, I will make a note of it eventually. There are potential spoilers for every previous day of action.]

New Japan Pro Wrestling’s (NJPW) annual heavyweight tournament begins, where for the next few weeks, two blocks of ten competitors will compete in a round-robin format in the G1 Climax 28. The two winners – one from the A Block, and one from the B Block – will then face off in the final, with the winner receiving the main event title match at the annual January 4th show, Wrestle Kingdom. Day 9 is a return to action for the A Block, with CHAOS brother YOSHI-HASHI and Kazuchika Okada fighting the main event. Mike Elgin, Togi Makabe, Switchblade Jay White and Hangman Page are all also each in action.

+ YOSHI-HASHI vs Kazuchika Okada (G1 Climax A Block Match): YOSHI-HASHI has had a strong tournament (though not in terms of winning…), so this was actually one of the matches I was looking forward to, because there was a real possibility of a HASHI upset. Okada busted out a few interesting variations of his classic moves, some of which I would have liked to be a bit more ‘deadly’ in the future, almost like ‘super’ versions. YOSHI-HASHI looked really smooth (perhaps a testament more to Okada, considering the sloppy fight with Suzuki a few days ago). This was a good match, and in the end i enjoyed it
+ Minoru Suzuki vs Mike Elgin (G1 Climax A Block Match): this one was always going to be a physical affair, and in that regard I did enjoy this. I do think it went on a bit too long, however. These two have good chemistry, and I am always keen to see more between them

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Togi Makabe (G1 Climax A Block Match): gee whiz I don’t care for this. Makabe is best against other hosses he can trade bombs with, and Tana is best against the younger guys, so he can do that whole ‘I’ve still got it’ shtick. This did nothing for me; I have just not enjoyed Tanahashi in this tornament
Bad Luck Fale vs Jay White (G1 Climax A Block Match): there are two moulds for Fale in this tournament, and your enjoyment of this match will depend entirely on which one you like. It is interesting how not special White feels going into this match, after just the one loss to Suzuki. This was alright, but felt far too simple
Hangman Page vs EVIL (G1 Climac A Block Match): I can’t help but feel this was underwhelming. Page is strong, and EVIL is one of my boys, but I didn’t feel like these two meshed the way I would have liked

Should you watch this event: The opening match of this day’s action, Suzuki versus Elgin, was my favourite, and unfortunately nothing else really managed to be worth suggesting.

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