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Csonka’s G1 Climax 27 (Night 1) Review 7.17.17

July 17, 2017 | Posted by Larry Csonka
NJPW G1 Climax 27 Tetsuya Naito
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Csonka’s G1 Climax 27 (Night 1) Review 7.17.17  

Csonka’s G1 Climax (Night 1) Review 7.17.17

– Jushin “Thunder” Liger, Satoshi Kojima, and Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated David Finlay, Michael Elgin, and Juice Robinson @ 7:48 via pin
– Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado, Taichi, and Minoru Suzuki) defeated Bullet Club (Kenny Omega, Chase Owens, and Tama Tonga) @ 7:04 via pin
– Hiromu Takahashi and EVIL defeated BUSHI & SANADA @ 6:52 via submission
– Toru Yano and Jado defeated Kazuchika Okada and Gedo @ 7:49 via pin
Block A Match: YOSHI-HASHI defeated Yuji Nagata @ 16:33 via pin [***¾]
Block A Match: Bad Luck Fale defeated Togi Makabe @ 9:39 via pin [**¾]
Block A Match: Hirooki Goto defeated Tomohiro Ishii @ 15:40 via pin [****¼]
Block A Match: Zack Sabre Jr defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi @ 17:35 via submission [****¼]
Block A Match: Tetsuya Naito defeated Kota Ibushi @ 24:53 via pin [****¾]

* NOTE: Like in past G1s and the BOTSJ, I will be focusing on the tournament matches only.

Yuji Nagata vs. YOSHI-HASHI: They work a solid opening stretch with Nagata looking to ground HASHI, targeting the arm early. HASHI fired up, looking to strike with Nagata, but Nagata takes control back with a series of kicks. HASHI trips ups Nagata, taking him to the floor and whipping Nagata to the barricade and then taking Nagata back in. HASHI hangs Nagata in the ropes and hits the dropkick. HASHI works the heat, but then starts to slap Nagata around, showing no respect. HASHI had enough of that bullshit and started to kick the shit out of HASHI. Nagata hits the running corner boot and then the draping neck breaker and XPLODER for a near fall. HASHI picks the pace back up, hitting the running blockbuster, but then running right into an overhead belly to belly. They battled up top, with HASHI sliding out into a powerbomb and jackknife cover for 2. The swanton follows for 2; HASHI locks in the butterfly lock, but Blue Justice is alive and makes the ropes. Nagata drops into the arm bar, the eyes roll back and he tries to tip off HASHI’s arm. Great fight spot from HASHI, who makes the ropes. Nagata keeps attacking the arm, hits the running knee and Saito suplex for a good near fall. HASHI counters the Saito suplex into a guillotine and then into a cradle for a good near fall. Nagata hits a running boot, but HASHI cuts him off with a great lariat for the near fall. HASHI keeps battling back, hitting a knee out of the corner and again covering for a near fall. Nagata fights off karma, but HASHI hits a backstabber and hits karma for the win. YOSHI-HASHI defeated Yuji Nagata @ 16:33 via pin [***¾] This was a very good (leaning towards great) match to open up the tournament; Nagata fought with everything he had, but at the end of the day fell to the younger, faster HASHI. It was a really good showing for Nagata in loss, and HASHI continues to have a strong and consistent 2017.

Togi Makabe vs. Bad Luck Fale: This is a certified hoss fight out of the gate, just two big dudes beating on each other. Things quickly spilled to the floor, where Fale took control and used Makabe’s chain to drag him into the crowd. Fale just tosses around Makabe with ease, Fale made it back to the ring as they did a countout tease on Makabe. Back in the ring, Fale took the heat and controlled with ease. Makabe would keep battling back, escaped the bad luck fall and then fired up with corner lariats. Makabe finally took down Fale with a running lariat, covering for 2. Fale cuts him off with a shoulder block, and follows with the running splash for 2. Makabe again fights off Fale, avoiding the grenade and hitting a lariat for the double down. Fale fires up, hits the corner splash but Makabe escapes the bad luck fall again and takes him down with the lariat, covering for 2. Makabe hits a knee strike off the ropes, but Fale counters the king kong knee drop, goozling Makabe and hitting the grenade for the win. Bad Luck Fale defeated Togi Makabe @ 9:39 via pin [**¾] The finish was a really good idea in theory, but Makabe came up so short that it didn’t look that good. The match was pretty good overall, with Makabe being more motivated than usual. Quality hoss fighting here.

Hirooki Goto vs. Tomohiro Ishii: Oh we are not fucking around tonight, CHAOS EXPLODES as they attack right away like a couple of bulls looking to prove that they are the alpha. They light each other up with chops, Ishii talks some shit and follows with head butts. Ishii hits a suplex, but Goto pulls a road warrior Hawk no sell and pops right up and the battle continues. Goto is fired up, lays in kicks, and follows with the Saito suplex. Ishii cuts off Goto as they battle up top, they trade head butts and Ishii finally hits the superplex for 2. They work into a series of counters, with Goto cutting off Ishii with a neck breaker variation. Goto starts hitting lariats, but is only pissing off Ishii. Ishii is rocked, but refuses to go down and fires back with a lariat of his own. Goto finally connects again and takes him down; Ushigoroshi follows and Goto covers for 2. Ishii catches the kick, hits an enziguri and powerbomb for 2. Ishii keeps on the attack, hitting the sliding lariat for another near fall. Goto counters the brainbuster into a sleeper and then transitions to a guillotine. Ishii escapes the GTR, and they start to kill each other with lariats again! Both men are down. Ishii struggles to the ropes and pulls himself up, and they trade strikes center ring. Ishii challenges Goto to fire up and hit him more, the just light into each other here for big forearm strikes. NO FUCKS ARE GIVEN! Ishii hits a head butt, Goto levels him with a lariat and he pops back up so Goto levels him again! Goto connects with the kick to the chest, and follows with two GTRs, and Ishii is finally done. Hirooki Goto defeated Tomohiro Ishii @ 15:40 via pin [****¼] This as an absolutely great back and forth match between two evenly matches opponents. The presentation was great, because while both are members of CHAOS, there was no weird booking bullshit, just two dudes fighting to see who the alpha was as they both looked to gain their first points of the G1. It was nothing more, nothing less and didn’t have to be anything else to get across the story that they were fighting for pride and points. Great stuff here.

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Zack Sabre Jr: Desperado is out with Sabre. Tanahashi is very tentative early here, looking to stay away from Sabre’s grappling and also making it a point to keep his injured arm out of the grasp of Sabre. It’s a really small move, but an appreciated one from Tanahashi. The action goes to the mat for a bit, but Tanahashi doesn’t allow it to stay there for long. Tanahashi picks up the pace, takes Sabre down and l9ooks for a senton but Sabre captures him in an arm bar and that allows Sabre to attack the injured arm of Tanahashi. Sabre now locks in on the arm, breaking down Tanahashi and being a dick about it. This isn’t flashy “look at my cool grapples” Sabre, this is proper little dick Sabre, punishing with a purpose and being really cocky as he punishes Tanahashi. Sabre with great focus on his work here, locking in the octopus and cranking on the bad arm of Tanahashi. Tanahashi manages to power out and hit a dragon screw leg whip. He starts to target the knee of Sabre now, dropkicking the knee. Tanahashi is slowly breaking down Sabre as he looks for the cloverleaf, but Sabre counters by attacking the fingers and wrist before making the ropes. Sabre immediately goes back on the attack on the bad arm. He follows with uppercuts, but Tanahashi goes back to the dragon screw leg whip to take him back down. Sabre locks in a hanging guillotine, and transitions to a hanging arm bar. Tanahashi escapes with a neck breaker, but Sabre hits the European clutch for 2. Tanahashi hits sling blade, heads up top and hits a high cross. Desperado distracts Tanahashi, but Tanahashi knocks him to the floor and the high fly flow eats knees; Sabre immediately goes for the submission, ripping off the arm wrap of Tanahashi. Sabre starts to manipulate the hand and wrist, and Tanahashi has to submit! Zack Sabre Jr defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi @ 17:35 via submission [****¼] This was the perfect match to book as Sabre’s G1 debut, with the established injury to Tanahashi’s arm, it allowed Sabre to play his game and not only establish his style but also pick up a HUGE win out of the gate. Tanahashi loses nothing in loss, because he’s Tanahashi and also injured. It also allows you to book the two in a rematch post G1 for the IC Title. This was the best possible way to kick off Sabre’s G1 run, filled with smart, clean and crisp work from both. This was on the level of Ishii vs. Goto, but was a completely different match.

Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito: Ibushi looked to control right away, but Naito quickly tossed him to the floor, teased a dive and posed. LOS! Naito fucks around a bit, pissing Ibushi off. After a series of counters, Ibushi hits a double stomp to put an end to Naito’s fun and games. Naito quickly fought back, taking Ibushi to the apron and hitting a nasty looking neck breaker. That allowed Naito to take control back in the ring, working over Ibushi in the corner, where he started to target the neck. Good focus by Naito here, hitting another neck breaker and maintaining the focus on the neck with clubbing strikes. Ibushi managed to connect with a dropkick to cut him off and get some rest from the attack. Ibushi fired up with rapid-fire strikes and a RANA, sending Naito to the floor. Ibushi followed with the golden triangle moonsault to the floor as he puts together his first extended offense of the match. Back in and Naito hits an atomic drop, but Ibushi cuts off the corner dropkick combo. Ibushi looks to pull Naito back in with a German, but Naito counters, fights him off and trips him up and hits the corner dropkick. Naito then hits the bridging German, scoring a near fall as Ibushi favors the previously worked on neck. Ibushi counters Gloria, hitting a German suplex. Ibushi now lights up Naito with a series of kicks, just beating him down in the ropes and not giving a fuck. The ref check on Naito, he then tries to sneak attack Ibushi but runs into a sick lariat for a good near fall. Naito battles back, hitting a German and dropping Ibushi on his head and following with Gloria for a good near fall. Naito now sets Ibushi up top, REVERSE RANA connects for a great near fall! Ibushi counters destino and fucking lawn darts Naito into the corner! Ibushi now grabs Naito from the apron and hits a SICK German suplex for an awesome near fall!

Ibushi looks for the last ride, but Naito escapes and hits the tornado DDT for the double down. They struggle to the corner, and now Naito sets Ibushi up top. Ibushi slips out and Naito fights him off. Ibushi hits a double PELE kick to cut off Naito, AND FUCKING PILEDRIVES HIM OFF THE ROPES for an insane near fall.

Ibushi looks for a possible pedigree, but Naito fights him off and rushes him to the corner. Naito hits the rolling kick, but Ibushi fights off Destino and they trade strikes. Naito hits a running destino but Ibushi SOMEHOW kicks out! Naito hits another destino and finally puts Ibushi away. Tetsuya Naito defeated Kota Ibushi @ 24:53 via pin [****¾]

Sweet baby Jesus, that was amazing. Naito welcomes Ibushi back with a more than fitting main event, and if Ibushi has to lose his first match that was the way to do it. They had the crowd locked in to everything they did from the opening bell, and were never in fear of losing them. This was a hugely pro-Naito crowd, no matter what was happening, they were with him and it added to the overall atmosphere of the match. This was absolutely everything you want from a G1 level main event, great action, great drama, great work and a molten hot crowd that is into everything the guys are doing. The best part about Ibushi taking time away is that he feels super fresh and like Sabre, is bringing something new to the NJPW table and its coming at the best time of the year.

Zack Sabre Jr: 1-0 (2pts.)
YOSHI-HASHI: 1-0 (2pts.)
Tetsuya Naito: 1-0 (2pts.)
Bad Luck Fale: 1-0 (2pts.)
Hirooki Goto: 1-0 (2pts.)
Tomohiro Ishii: 0-1 (0pts.)
Yuji Nagata: 0-1 (0pts.)
Togi Makabe: 0-1 (0pts.)
Hiroshi Tanahashi: 0-1 (0pts.)
Kota Ibushi: 0-1 (0pts.)

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Night one of the 2017 G1 Climax was a smashing success, Fale & Makabe was “the worst match” of the group, but was far from bad. Make sure to catch the final three matches, and if you have time, Nagata vs. HASHI is also worth the watch. If night one is any indicator, we’re in for a hell of a tournament this year.