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Kevin’s NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night Fourteen Review

August 4, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
Tetsuya Naito NJPW
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Kevin’s NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night Fourteen Review  

NJPW G1 Climax Night Fourteen
August 4th, 2019 | EDION Arena in Osaka, Japan | Attendance: 5,555

For the second straight night, the G1 emanates from Osaka. The A Block show was big on paper but didn’t deliver something great. Instead, we had a few notable things and good action. B Block has a chance to best it thanks to a pretty loaded lineup with a few rematches I like and some intriguing first ever meetings.

B Block: NEVER Openweight Champion Tomohiro Ishii [6] vs. Toru Yano [6]
Ishii beat Yano in last year’s G1 (***½). Both men need a win to stay alive. Yano does hold the tiebreaker over Jon Moxley. Yano had three turnbuckles exposed before the bell even rang. When his flash win attempt failed, he sat in the aisle and begged Ishii to come to him. When that didn’t happen, he had to scurry inside to beat the countout. That kind of pissed off Yano, who got more serious than usual. He still tried to rollups but would get fired up in between. He’d yell at Ishii, throw forearms, and try for lariats. Yano is fantastic. After some really fast exchanges, Ishii won with the Brainbuster in 9:38. This was awesome. I love Ishii and Yano. Tremendous stuff that once again felt different from the tired formula we get in the G1. This was better than yesterday’s main event.[***¾]

B Block: Juice Robinson [6] vs. Taichi [4]
On paper, these guys are kind of perfect for each other. Taichi is a smarmy heel while Juice is at his best when he gets to play the fiery underdog babyface. They’re meant for each other. That’s especially true when Juice politely asked Miho Abe to move out of harm’s way. He’s such a good boy. Unfortunately, Taichi wasn’t having one of his rare interesting offensive nights. It was a lot of dull stuff with some of his usual shenanigans. Juice did well to fight from behind but when the work being done to him isn’t interesting, it’s hard to get into it. Juice took out Kanemaru but then Taichi spit the whiskey in his face. In a spot that looked cheap and contrived. Taichi nailed Black Mephisto for the win at the 12:28 mark. Kind of boring. [**]

B Block: Hirooki Goto [6] vs. Jeff Cobb [6]
Goto beat Cobb at the San Francisco show last year (***¼), but Cobb evened the score at Honor Rising earlier this year (***½). The loser of this is mathematically eliminated. Though they haven’t wrestled each other a lot, you kind of know what you’re getting from them. Two hard hitting guys who are a safe bet for something solid. That’s about where this capped. The stuff they did was mostly good. They tested the toughness of one another and Cobb got to hit some of his more powerful offensive spots. However, it lacked any kind of drama or intensity. When you’re fighting for your G1 life, there needs to be a little something extra. Whether it’s desperation or drama. This had neither. Archer/Sabre Jr. had more and both of those guys were eliminated. Goto won with the GTR in 11:20. This was fine wrestling and nothing more. [***]

B Block: Jay White [6] vs. IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion Jon Moxley [10]
BATTLE OF THE KNIFE PERVERTS! A Moxley win eliminates a vast majority of the block, including Jay White. A lot of brawling in the opening minutes. They battle outside and Gedo helps play spoiler in terms of stopping the stuff Moxley usually does out there. A lot of that early stuff didn’t quite click. It’s like they had five minutes of a match planned and had to come up with an extra ten. That meant the slow burn didn’t quite work. Once they made it to the final third, everything picked up. Their spots were smooth and the fans bit into the drama. I didn’t because White had to win here. There’s no way White vs. Naito on the final night had nothing on the line, so White need to win and Moxley had to lose. Still, when he hit the Blade Runner and did the deed at 15:15, the crowd seemed surprised. It was a good match, but felt underwhelming. [***¼]

B Block: Shingo Takagi [4] vs. IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito [6]
LIDJ explodes. Naito is 2-0 against LIDJ guys in tournament history, beating EVIL in 2016 (***¾) and SANADA in 2018 (****). Naito must win to remain alive. It’s also one of my most anticipated matches of the tournament. Mind games were afoot to start. Naito was all about his tranquilo stuff, while Shingo scouted and countered a lot of his signature offense. From there, they build to a match that was filled with great spots. Naito came out and said that he wanted to see a more aggressive Shingo and that’s what he got. Shingo would just level him with something stiff whenever it seemed like things got going too far in Naito’s favor. Naito was far better than he has been in this tournament so far. He threw himself into every bump, making sure Shingo came out looking great. He also hit most of his own stuff smoothly. The crowd was way into this. They badly wanted to see Shingo win and were behind each of his near falls. They went into the typical New Japan counter sequence late. Naito won out with a Destroyer and two Destinos in 27:15. Finally a great Naito G1 match this year. They played well off of being in the same stable, threw in some massive spots, and put on one hell of a show in front of a hot crowd. [****¼]

Kazuchika Okada 12 (6-1) Jon Moxley 10 (5-2)
Kota Ibushi 10 (5-2) Tetsuya Naito 8 (4-3)
EVIL 8 (4-3) Hirooki Goto 8 (4-3)
KENTA 8 (4-3) Tomohiro Ishii 8 (4-3)
Hiroshi Tanahashi 8 (4-3) Jay White 8 (4-3)
SANADA 6 (3-4) Juice Robinson 6 (3-4)
Zack Sabre Jr. 6 (3-4) Toru Yano 6 (3-4)
Lance Archer 4 (2-5) Jeff Cobb 6 (3-4)
Will Ospreay 4 (2-5) Taichi 6 (3-4)
Bad Luck Fale 4 (2-5) Shingo Takagi 4 (2-5)
The final score: review Good
The 411
About on par with the A Block show (which was dragged down by Fale/KENTA). I didn’t care much for Taichi/Juice but everything else was at least good. Goto/Cobb was solid and Moxley/White had really good moments. Ishii/Yano was one of the most fun matches all year, while the main event rocked.

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G1 Climax 29, NJPW, Kevin Pantoja