Wrestling Review: NJPW G1 Climax 28 (Day 12) (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. 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. As we go one dozen days in, Hirooki Goto faces Kota Ibushi in the main event, while Kenny Omega looks to continue his unbeaten run against first-time opponent in NJPW, pro-wrestling master Zack Sabre Jr.

+ Kota Ibushi vs Hirooki Goto (G1 Climax B Block Match): thankfully, after the two previous matches fell flat, this one picked me right back up. Although it was a match of two halves, the second half was so good that it makes up for the slow build from the former. This was a really good match from two really good workers
+ SANADA vs Juice Robinson (G1 Climax B Block Match): I really enjoyed this, and the ending surprised me. Juice has had an interesting run, and while he mathematically can’t win the tournament, this was another good showing from him. SANADA has been good in this, too, though I admit it is surprising how neither of these two were given those big, signature wins

Kenny Omega vs Zack Sabre Jr. (G1 Climax B Block Match): I’m quite disappointed to say that this match did nothing for me. I never felt like Sabre was on the same level as Omega, despite the way the finish went, and this felt like little more than a holding pattern until we (finally) get Omega/Ibushi in a few more days’ time
Tetsuya Naito vs Toru Yano (G1 Climax B Block Match): I really didn’t care for this match, because no matter what the outcome may have been, Naito will never not be a star, and Yano will never not be the joke guy
Tama Tonga vs Tomohiro Ishii (G1 Climax B Block Match): you should know what to expect from a Tama Tonga match by now. Not even my love of Ishii was enough to give this a positive rating

> As I said on a previous day’s review, now that we are at the stage where mathematical impossibilities come into play, some of the matches just feel almost pointless. I don’t have a good suggestion about what could be done about that, other than everybody always be equal, but that is absolutely not the correct answer

Should you watch this event: Shockingly, as my love for the B Block so far as made this never need to be said, this was probably not worth watching. Only the main event was anything super special, but frankly each guy already had a better match against Ishii earlier in the tournament.


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