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Kevin’s NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night Eleven Review

July 30, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Kevin’s NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night Eleven Review  

NJPW G1 Climax Night Eleven
July 30th, 2019 | Takamatsu City Gymnasium in Takamatsu, Kanagawa | Attendance: 2,820

Both blocks are currently led by undefeated guys. Can Kazuchika Okada keep it up against the impressive Lance Archer? Will anybody be able to catch him? There are some interesting rematches booked for this show, so let’s see how it goes.

A Block: Bad Luck Fale [2] vs. Kota Ibushi [6]
Fale is 2-0 against Ibushi in G1 history, winning in 2015 (***) and 2017 (**¾). He needs a win to stay alive. He beat on Ibushi from the start with his plodding offense. I liked the countout tease where Ibushi had to rush in the ring past Jado swinging the kendo stick at him. It was different and made for a cool sight. Ibushi fought from behind, weathered the storm of Jado and Chase Owens interference, and began his rally. He used a Boma Ye and the Kamigoye to get his first victory over Bad Luck Fale in 9:27. I’m not really seeing the point of Fale being in this tournament. He was serviceable in terms of match quality and booking but he’s kind of useless now. This wasn’t good. [*½]

A Block: IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay [4] vs. RevPro British Heavyweight Champion Zack Sabre Jr. [2]
Sabre beat Ospreay at EVOLVE 58 (****½), while Ospreay won at BOLA later that year (***¾). Sabre won again at Global Wars UK 2017 (****¼). These guys know each other and understand how to play to their strengths. Sabre’s frustrations continued. When he couldn’t outwrestle Ospreay, he’d throw a fit at ringside. Seeing that he wasn’t going to dominate on the mat, Sabre moved to focus on Ospreay’s bad neck. I appreciate that target because it means Will doesn’t have to sell the leg, which he’s bad at. He’s not very good at selling the neck often (he still does plenty of moves where he lands on it, just look at the bad match with Scurll at Sakura Genesis last year), but he did well here. Sabre was in control, but Ospreay would stay alive whenever he got a small opening. Sabre countered Storm Breaker into an Octopus Hold to get his first submission win in 20:02. One hell of a match. They did a great job blending British wrestling, hard hitting stuff, and some aerial spots in a way that felt fluid. [****¼]

A Block: IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada [10] vs. Lance Archer [4]
Okada is 3-0 against Archer in the G1, winning in 2012, 2013 (***¼), and 2014 (***½). Archer jumped Okada before the bell. Maybe losing three straight matches has the big man frustrated. From there, we got to see why Archer has been the breakout star of this G1 so far. He worked over Okada but it was never boring. He busted out a goddamn rope walk moonsault like he’s not seven feet tall or something. I popped when he blocked the Rainmaker pose by applying the Claw. However, it was super telegraphed because Okada tried doing his pose at a weird angle. That’s some WWE hard cam awkwardness. There wasn’t really any drama to this, as everyone knew Okada was winning. He used the Rainmaker to do so, as expected, taking this in 14:19. Another good G1 outing for Archer. Okada was his usual self. [***½]

Okada’s win eliminated Sabre Jr., Fale, and SANADA.

A Block: KENTA [8] vs. SANADA [2]
Though I really like both guys, I didn’t have the highest of hopes for this. KENTA has had some issues getting back to form and SANADA has been underwhelming throughout the G1. KENTA nailed the hard hitting stuff and being a jerk, but is off on some timing. That’s his whole G1 run in a nutshell. The problem is that timing is SANADA”s bread and butter. Watch him against Sabre Jr. He thrives on it and doesn’t usually adapt well. That was the case here. Their timing issues led to plenty of awkward moments on their bigger spots. KENTA would try to save it by just resorting to slaps and kicks. SANADA eventually used the Skull End and moonsault to gain victory in 16:10. The little things they did worked well, but the important stuff missed the mark. It lacked drama and was one of those G1 matches I talked about recently. Solid, but unspectacular. [***]

A Block: EVIL [6] vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi [6]
EVIL beat Tanahashi in the New Japan Cup 2017 (***¾), with Tanahashi evening the score at Wrestling Toyonokuni (***¼) and then taking a 2-1 lead in last year’s G1 (***). So quality has dipped over time. I love our “Ace” but he’s looked more vulnerable than ever in this G1. He still had the bangers with KENTA and Sabre Jr., yet you can tell something is off. His body isn’t holding up the way it used to. Father Time is undefeated. He can still be an enigma, though. Like, one minute he’s doing High Fly Flow to the outside and the next he can barely skin the cat. EVIL’s offense was solid and Tanahashi did his best to bump for it. The problem was that this was another match lacking that extra something. It was 100% a “middle of the G1 main event.” The one where guys are taking it easy and nobody remembers it. High Fly Flow and Tanahashi won his fourth in a row after 23:02. I wanted more from these two. It marked another performance of theirs that didn’t click all that great. Think of it as a house show main event. [***]

Kazuchika Okada 12 (6-0) Jon Moxley 10 (5-0)
KENTA 8 (4-2) Tomohiro Ishii 6 (3-2)
Hiroshi Tanahashi 8 (4-2) Juice Robinson 6 (3-2)
Kota Ibushi 8 (4-2) Toru Yano 4 (2-3)
EVIL 6 (3-3) Taichi 4 (2-3)
Lance Archer 4 (2-4) Tetsuya Naito 4 (2-3)
Will Ospreay 4 (2-4) Shingo Takagi 4 (2-3)
SANADA 4 (2-4) Hirooki Goto 4 (2-3)
Zack Sabre Jr. 4 (2-4) Jay White 4 (2-3)
Bad Luck Fale 2 (1-5) Jeff Cobb 4 (2-3)
The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
Another middle of the road G1 show in what is literally around the middle of the G1. Ospreay/Sabre was great and I enjoyed Archer/Okada. But Ibushi/Fale was the pits and the other two matches were underwhelming as hell.

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G1 Climax 29, NJPW, Kevin Pantoja