Wrestling Review: NJPW G1 Climax 29 (Day 2) (2019)

[Please note: 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 may be spoilers for previous days.]

New Japan Pro Wrestling’s (NJPW) annual heavyweight tournament continues, as Day 2 of the G1 Climax 29 will see the first round of action for the B Block competitors. With three competitors making their G1 debuts, the B Block is a clean slate, and this first show will be headlined by Hirooki Goto looking to repeat his G1 win after 12 years by first defeating former IWGP Heavyweight Champion “Switchblade” Jay White. Tetsuya Naito will face off against perennial spoiler Toru Yano, and Tomohiro Ishii and Jeff Cobb will be involved in a big boy battle. Jon Moxley, on his debut, faces another debutant in Taichi, and Juice Robinson stands in the way of junior heavyweight Shingo Takagi.

+ Jay White vs Hirooki Goto (G1 Climax B Block Match): really good main event style match. I’ve always said Goto was underrated, especially when you throw him alongside Shibata, Ishii, Honma, Makabe and the like, but this match showed he can go like a mofo. White is so scummy that he makes every opponent look great, but the fact that White is so damn good in the ring makes it that much more easy to hate him. I really liked this match, despite not being overly sold on it on paper, and I predict both guys having really good tournaments
+ Tetsuya Naito vs Toru Yano (G1 Climax B Block Match): this was good comedy, and I did enjoy it, but I’m glad it’s out of the way as early as possible. Yano/Moxley is going to be something special, and I just can’t wait for any and all other Naito matches. Naito has to be the favourite to win, right?
+ Taichi vs Jon Moxley (G1 Climax B Block Match): stupid Taichi has once again been part of a really good match with someone I wouldn’t have picked it. Moxley’s style doesn’t really fit with the G1, but in that regard it makes him stand out even more. This was different, and therefore stood out nicely, but truthfully I am pessimistically interested in how the rest of Moxley’s matches will go
+ Shingo Takagi vs Juice Robinson (G1 Climax B Block Match): even though Takagi has had the Kojima match before this, this was his first real run into the heavyweight division, and it was pretty good in that regard. Shingo looked likehe could realistically hang with the heavies, and Juice despite being significantly larger, Juice never looked like it should be impossible for him to lose. This new Juice persona post-Moxley really suits him, and however this tournament ends up for him I hope to see big things in his future

Jeff Cobb vs Tomohiro Ishii (G1 Climax B Block Match): I was looking forward to this, but for one reason or another id just never clicked for me. Ishii was his stone pitbull self, but Cobb seemed a bit off. Perhaps unrelated, Cobb seemed to have gained some weight, though thankfully it didn’t stop his big boy agility. When this was over, all I could think was that I want to see these guys fight other people

Should you watch this event: I am disappointed that I didn’t enjoy Ishii/Cobb, but Goto/White and Naito/Yano made up for that.


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