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Kevin’s NJPW G1 Climax 29 Finals Review

August 12, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
Kota Ibushi NJPW G1 Climax 29 Final
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Kevin’s NJPW G1 Climax 29 Finals Review  

NJPW G1 Climax 29 Finals
August 12th, 2019 | Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan | Attendance: 12,014

Another year, another G1 Climax wrapping up. This time around, last year’s finalist Kota Ibushi takes on former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Jay White to determine our winner. The undercard doesn’t sound interesting but there are a few potential angles they could run with.

Clark Connors and Karl Fredericks vs. Ren Narita and Yota Tsuji
The LA Dojo against the New Japan Dojo. Should be rather cool. I’ve seen Narita and Tsuji a lot but haven’t seen much of the LA boys. I avoid the G1 undercards like the plague. When you watch Young Lions, you know you’re going to get a lot of effort. That’s what these boys brought. There was an extra sense of pride in what they did because they were fighting for their respective dojos. I like that. It added an extra something to matches that already had high energy. The LA Dojo guys were better positioned and looked really good. I felt like Fredericks was the smoother wrestler, while Connors feels like a guy who would do well in the NEVER Openweight division. He can brawl. He was the one to make a fired up Tsuji tap to the Young Lion Crab in 9:53. Energetic, hard hitting, and filled with animosity. This is what I want from my Young Lion matches. A blast. [***¼]

Jeff Cobb, Jushin Thunder Liger and Tiger Mask IV vs. Lance Archer, Taichi and Yoshinobu Kanemaru
It’s Liger’s final match in Budokan. I wish we would’ve gotten him against Minoru Suzuki. Their interactions earlier this year were a highlight for New Japan and it went nowhere. Suzuki-Gun attacked before the bell because they’re a bunch of jerks. Taichi went after the masks of his opponents also because he’s a jerk. The babyfaces made the comeback and it didn’t do anything for me. Other than seeing Liger, which is always a treat, I didn’t care much for what happened here. Although Cobb impressed with the finish as he lifted Kanemaru off the mat to hit Tour of the Islands at 7:36. A fine little undercard match that was exactly what you’d expect from New Japan. [**¼]

Chase Owens, IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Taiji Ishimori and Yujiro Takahashi vs. Roppongi 3K and IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay
Bullet Club vs. CHAOS. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Although this had PIETER, who is the best member of the Bullet Club ever. I totally forgot that Ishimori is a tag champion. That division means nothing. SHO is a tanned boy now. It was pretty clear that Ospreay was the biggest star of the match. That meant he would probably be involved in the finish and everything else was about Roppongi 3K getting some revenge on Ishimori. Owens and Takahashi was kind of just hanging around. They did stuff but none of it mattered. What did matter was Ospreay pinning Yujiro with Storm Breaker to win in 7:57. Not super impressive, but Willy beat another heavyweight. [**½]

IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion Jon Moxley and Shota Umino vs. Juice Robinson and Toa Henare
I love Moxley dressing up Shota like him. Frustrated after four straight losses, Moxley jumped Juice before the bell. This match was mostly kept short and focused on building the third Juice/Moxley meeting. Toa Henare and Shota Umino brought some energy to their interactions but you know what the important bits were. A few spots didn’t come off great and it felt like Moxley wasn’t sure how to work with Henare. However, it was Henare who scored the win by hitting a uranage on Umino in 6:19. Like I said, it did the job of building things and was entertaining at points. [**½]

Post-match, Jon Moxley attacked with the title and put Juice through a table with his own uranage.

BUSHI, EVIL, SANADA, Shingo Takagi & IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito vs. Hirooki Goto, NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions The Most Violent Players & Tomoaki Honma
LIJ against a bunch of geeks. The outcry over Naito not winning the G1 is wild. Like, why did people think he’d win? This was the reaction we should’ve had at WK 12. Gedo missed the boat BIG TIME on Naito. Complaining about it now is a far too late. Just as funny are those people desperately reaching to try and defend Gedo’s booking of Naito because they have to shine the brightest light on this company as possible. With that out of the way, we were able to enjoy some good old fashioned LIJ multi-man tag action. They’re so good at this. There’s not much to write about it. This was solid, with most of the LIJ guys doing their thing. Naito took the night off, though Togi Makabe somehow managed to do absolutely nothing. Get that payday, baby. SANADA pinned Honma with the moonsault in 8:56. Solid match. [***]

Post-match, SANADA led the LIJ fist bump and not Naito.

Bad Luck Fale and IWGP Tag Team Champions The Guerrillas of Destiny vs. KENTA, NEVER Openweight Champion Tomohiro Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI
That last match got three stars, better known as the level the Guerrillas of Destiny wish they competed on consistently. They’re that bad. Pair them with Fale and it is a recipe for disaster. Thankfully, KENTA and Ishii were in there to save things. Watching the Bullet Club guys wrestle is a drag but Ishii can make anything work and KENTA did his thing. But this wans’t about the match> Instead, it was about the angle. KENTA refused to tag Ishii in and chose to walk away from him. Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI fought hard but were outnumbered. They still might have had it won until KENTA laid out Ishii with the Busaiku Knee. He added the Go to Sleep and Tama Tonga covered to win in 8:35. The match was nothing but the angle was everything. [**¼]

LA Dojo guys hit the ring but were thrown to the side. KENTA called for a microphone to a chorus of boos. Before he could talk, Katsuyori Shibata ran down and laid KENTA out. THE FANS WERE NUTS! SO DID I! THE WRESTLER!. Shibata hit him in the corner and fought off the Bullet Club. Shibata hit the other corner and took out KENTA with his corner dropkick. The zoom in on Shibata’s face was exceptional. Shibata put him in the sleeper to a huge ovation. Jado hit him with the kendo stick before he could nail the PK. KENTA put him in the sleeper and hit a PK of his own. KENTA sat cross legged on Shibata’s chest as he was officially brought into the Bullet Club. Look, the Bullet Club is tired and should have died in like, 2014. But this angle ruled and KENTA is at his best when he’s a prick, so I’m cool with it. The idea of Shibata/KENTA in the Tokyo Dome is insane.

Hiroshi Tanahashi and IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki and RevPro British Heavyweight Champion Zack Sabre Jr.
With two straight wins over Zack Sabre Jr. (one in a tag), Hiroshi Tanahashi is next in line for a shot at the RevPro Title. That will most likely go down at Royal Quest. The pairing of Okada and Tanahashi is something we see often now and that’s a wild notion. With these four guys, you just know what you’re going to get. It’s going to be good and feature quality interactions. The Tanahashi/Sabre stuff was smooth. I loved their G1 meeting and am looking forward to the title match. But the real focus was Minoru Suzuki. He was left out of the G1 Climax and wasn’t happy about it. Everything Suzuki did had a little something extra behind it. He hit the Gotch Piledriver and pinned Okada with relative ease at the 15:27 mark. A very good match that set things up for the future. Suzuki looked energized. [***½]

After the bell, Suzuki chastised Okada for losing to a guy who wasn’t allowed in the G1. He wants the IWGP Heavyweight Title. It’s not a match I’m excited for. Suzuki and Okada can be good together like in the G1 27 or really bad like in their title match a couple of years ago. But it kills time during New Japan’s most boring few months of the year.

G1 Climax Finals: Jay White vs. Kota Ibushi
First time ever meeting here. White was out with the whole Bullet Club, including KENTA. They were kicked out and Gedo was allowed to stay until he tripped Ibushi and got kicked out. These two made for an interesting pairing. Ibushi is so high octane, while White loves the methodical pace. With no help from his friends, White opted for a smart game plan. He went after Ibushi’s leg. It was smart on a few levels. It has bothered Ibushi for a few weeks, it sets up the TTO, and it takes away Ibushi’s vicious kicks. With no shenanigans, White showed that he’s a very good wrestler. He draws immense heat and that added a lot here. The crowd hated him and grew more sympathetic for Ibushi. The match was on pace to be something special but then we got a ref bump and Gedo returned with a chair. I don’t mind something like this usually. The problem here was that it wasn’t needed. The heat was always crazy high with White just being himself and Ibushi as the fiery babyface. This run-in didn’t add anything. Ibushi survived it and I loved how the match changed. White slapped Kota and we saw just how outmatched he was. Kota beat the shit out of him. White was out of his element. After more Gedo interference was thwarted, it should’ve gone into the finishing stretch. Instead, it stuck around a bit longer because New Japan main events have to hit that 30 minute mark. It took two Kamigoye knee strikes before Ibushi became the first man to win the New Japan Cup, BOSJ, and G1 after 31:01. This is why Jay White is so valuable. He draws heat and when he’s in a big match like this, you’re emotionally invested because you desperately don’t want him to win. This was a great dramatic match but a flawed one. It absolutely didn’t need to be 30 minutes long and the ref bump stuff wasn’t needed because the match was going along fine without it. [****]

The final score: review Good
The 411
After a good opener, the show hit something of a lull until the Shibata/KENTA angle. It wasn’t bad, but it was all easy to skip. As soon as the big angle happened, everything was a step up. The angle was awesome, the tag match worked well, and the main event delivered.

article topics :

G1 Climax 29, NJPW, Kevin Pantoja