Wrestling Review: NJPW G1 Climax 29 (Day 5 & Day 6) (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, the G1 Climax 29, continues. Day 5 is once again headlined by the A Block, as Kota Ibushi and Will Ospreay face off, whilst the main event of Day 6 will be Jon Moxley and Tomohiro Ishii doing battle for the B Block. The A Block will also see matches between Bad Luck Fale and Kauzchika Okada and Zack Sabre Jr and Hiroshi Tanahashi, while the B Block will play host to a war between Jeff Cobb and Juice Robinson, as well as an intra-Los Ingobernales de Japon fight when SANADA faces EVIL.

+ Jon Moxley vs Tomohiro Ishii (G1 Climax B Block Match): this was absolutely incredible. I can admit this was a win-win match for me, because with no preference on a winner I was hooked on every moment, but they still surprised me in many ways, including but not limited to a rare top rope adventure for the Stone Pitbull. Moxley had a rare air about him in the G1, and it seems he’ll be damned if that’s going to disappear anytime soon
+ Hirooki Goto vs Tetsuya Naito (G1 Climax B Block Match): the match these two had last year was a very one sided affair, so thankfully this one was much more my style. Goto has had a few good matches so far (against Jay White in particular), and I am glad that carried over into this match. Naito was particular ‘on’ against Taichi, and I’m glad that carried over as well, because it meant the two were both going really hard, and it made for a great match to watch
+ Jay White vs Toru Yano (G1 Climax B Block Match): this was the exact opposite of the Yano/Shingo match from Day 4. White was the perfect opponent for Yano’s comedy/sneaky style shenanigans due to White’s unrelenting asshole-ness. Still, Yano is a bit of a wildcard in these tournaments, and intentionally so, so I enjoyed the action in the ring, but it wasn’t a “good match”. It’s a positive for me
+ Jeff Cobb vs Juice Robinson (G1 Climax B Block Match): it’s two strikes and not out for Cobb, who was finally equally part of a match I enjoyed. Cobb finally looked to be himself against eternal fan-favourite Juice, with real strength on display against the more flamboyant offence from Robinson. In the end i enjoyed this, and it made both men feel like bigger deals than they have otherwise lately
+ Will Ospreay vs Kota Ibushi (G1 Climax A Block Match): this was a match of two halves, and I really preferred the first half. These two started off going toe to toe, countering all the major moves and generally trying to feel each other out. Once this turned into the ‘kill each other for amusement’ style match these two are known for, I lost a lot of interest. Of course it was fun to watch, but I wish it was more a counter-for-counter fight until that one big move ended it
+ Lance Archer vs KENTA (G1 Climax A Block Match): pretty good, great intensity from KENTA, nice big power moves from Archer and a really good ending. I’d happily see these two fight again

Taichi vs Shingo Takagi (G1 Climax B Block Match): this was nothing special. It’s hard to even remember anything that happened outside of the winner. Taichi does throw some nice kicks, though
Zack Sabre Jr. vs Hiroshi Tanahashi (G1 Climax A Block Match): the crowd seemed to enjoy this, but I just do not care for Tanahashi. Sabre was good, and Tanahashi was there as well, but I’ve basically given up on Tanahashi by now. All of his matches are the same, and that same match is just not enjoyable to me
Bad Luck Fale vs Kazuchika Okada (G1 Climax A Block Match): simply put, this was not very good at all. Despite am interesting way to get the match started – a way I don’t think I’ve seen before, or at least for a while now – was not enough to keep the interest going past those first few minutes
SANADA vs EVIL (G1 Climax A Block Match): another pretty good match, but I admit I did want a bit more. This never really felt like the “brother versus brother” thing it is, and the two seemed to treat it like any other match

Should you watch this event: The two main events – Ospreay/Ibushi and especially Moxley/Ishii – are well worth going out of your way to see. Goto/Naito and Cobb/Juice were both good, too, and I’d give a special shout out to Archer/KENTA as well. Ignore the rest.


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