Wrestling Review: NJPW G1 Climax 28 (Day 13) (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. It’s lucky number day 13 for the competitors in the A Block, as Kazuchika Okada and Minor Suzuki go to war in the main event, as Hiroshi Tanahashi, Jay White, EVIL, Mike Elgin and Hangman Page also feature in tournament matches.

+ Kazuchika Okada vs Minoru Suzuki (G1 Climax A Block Match): even I, the most cynical among us at this stage, was looking forward to this one. These two had a hell of a match at the end of last year’s tournament, a 30-minute draw, and the chance was real for that to happen again here (especially if you do some calculations, and see just who is left as a potential winner) These two were sweating so much in the heat that it made for an incredible visual, as stiff strikes sent sweat flying. A fantastic final few minutes made this one of the best matches in the A Block so far
+ Hiroshi Tanahashi vs EVIL (G1 Climax A Block Match): I have a horrible feeling that Tanahashi will be in the A Block final, depending on the final match between he and Okada. EVIL has had another underrated big boi run, and overall this was good, with an interesting ending that frankly made the loser look even worse

YOSHI-HASHI vs Jay White (G1 Climax A Block Match): the CHAOS infighting continues, and I’m starting to wonder why Jay White has not been kicked out of the faction yet. YOSHI-HASHI versus Tanahashi two nights ago was good, and this was okay, but certainly not either man’s best match this tournament
Hangman Page vs Togi Makabe (G1 Climax A Block Match): with both men not being able to win the tournament at this point, it was hard to care too much about this. Hangman showed off some crazy strength, and the crowd still loves Makabe, but this was still just an exhibition match in the closing days of a tournament
Bad Luck Fale vs Mike Elgin (G1 Climax A Block Match): it’s a Fale match; either he cheated to win or he got DQ’d. What else do you want from me?

Should you watch this event: The A Block certainly has picked up since I ragged on it at the beginning, but even now it is the weaker of the two. Tanahashi, Okada and Suzuki had to be the favourites going in, and I think at the start of this day, only they, EVIL and Makabe were in with a shot of winning. Whether that has changed or not is to know once you’ve watched this day, but this was one of the weaker days, with only the main event of Okada/Suzuki being must-see wrestling.


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