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Kevin’s NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night Seven Review

July 20, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
NJPW Will Ospreay, Raw RevPro
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Kevin’s NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night Seven Review  

NJPW G1 Climax Night Seven
July 20th, 2019 | Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan | Attendance: 1,722

It’s the final stop on a three night run in Korakuen Hall for the G1 Climax. The main event pits the Heavyweight Champion against the Jr. Heavyweight Champion in a match that I’m sure everyone is already dubbing a MOTYC. We’ll see. We also have to see if Zack Sabre Jr. gets his first win and if KENTA will move to 4-0.

A Block: Bad Luck Fale [2] vs. RevPro British Heavyweight Champion Zack Sabre Jr. [0]
Sabre beat Fale in their previous G1 meeting (***¼). His struggles so far in the tournament have led him to freak out in post-show comments. He showed confidence as he walked to the ring but came out by leaping into a guillotine. His desperation was evident and he was out to knock out Fale instantly. Fale fought him off and then got help from Gedo and Chase Owens at ringside. Fale made a crucial mistake by taking the fight to the crowd. Sabre trapped him in a triangle and when he started to fade, Zack ran back to the ring. Fale couldn’t beat the count, giving Sabre a countout victory in 6:30. I love a countout finish like this. It was needed in the tournament and was done in a way that felt genuine. [**¾]

A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi [2] vs. Lance Archer [4]
Tanahashi bested Archer during the G1 23 (***¼). Tanahashi started 0-2 and only won his third match on a flash pin. It hasn’t been a dominant start for the “Ace.” He came out with some dropkicks to the knee to chop Archer down to size. Similar to what KENTA did on night five. Though he started hot, Archer quickly used his size and strength to put him on the ropes. He dominated at points and the crowd liked it. Archer has done so well in this tournament that fans are getting behind him. Even against Tanahashi. I liked him going for Tanahashi’s Texas Cloverleaf and shouting, “I’M FROM TEXAS!” Tanahashi weathered the storm and survived a fair amount. When Archer hoisted him up for Blackout, Tanahashi wriggled free and countered into a victory roll at 11:58. I’m loving this story of Tanahashi being a broken down underdog who barely squeaks out a win. Archer was a great bully, too. [***½]

A Block: EVIL [4] vs. KENTA [6]
Another of the most interesting matches of the tournament. They came out firing and gave me the hard hitting match I was hoping for. I liked KENTA wiping EVIL’s eye shadow off. He’s such a prick and it’s wonderful. He knows the crowd isn’t feeling him and he’s using it to his advantage. The early stuff where they brawled in the crowd didn’t really work for me. A bit much of that in Korakuen in this tournament. Once they made it back to the ring, things picked up. They brought the bigger strikes and counter wrestling for the action down the stretch. KENTA survived Darkness Falls and countered Everything is EVIL. From there, he hit two Busaiku Knees and a Go to Sleep to move to 4-0 in 15:03. This is the rating that EVIL seems to get most often from me. It’s almost always something very good and this pretty much did what I wanted it to. [***¾]

A Block: Kota Ibushi [2] vs. SANADA [2]
THE HANDSOME BATTLE! It was won by SANADA in last year’s G1 (****). This turned out to be much different than that contest. That’s probably due to Ibushi’s bad ankle. It was more grounded and a bit slower. Everything they did in the first ten or so minutes came off smoothly. It makes sense given who these guys are. In last year’s match, they had a really awkward sequence on the ramp. Here, they had another but it was smaller. Ibushi went for Kamigoye and SANADA forgot to move out of the way. Ibushi had to adapt and instead awkwardly missed to the side in obvious fashion. SANADA hit his own Kamigoye and Ibushi had to come back with Boma Ye. He eventually won with Kamigoye after 19:14. This didn’t’ click the way their last meeting did. It was a match that felt somewhat hollow and dragged towards the end. Still, it had a fair amount to like. [***¼]

A Block: IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada [6] vs. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay [2]
These two met at Global Wars UK in 2015 (***½), last year’s Anniversary Event (***), and this year’s New Japan Cup (***¼), with Okada winning all three. My least favorite wrestler in the world (Willy) against a guy who also ranks towards the bottom (Okada). I expected more of the same from them in that it would be good but not sniff greatness. I was right. The early stages had some decent moments where Ospreay tried to show he was on Okada’s level in some areas. He even caused Okada to take a breather at one point. Okada targeted the neck because that’s been a focal point against Ospreay in this tournament. Nothing he did felt as impactful or notable on the neck as what Ibushi did on night five. In some ways that’s good because Ospreay’s neck might be hanging on by a thread. Ospreay started in with his stuff as he made the comeback, but Okada always felt a step ahead. As usual, the finishing stretch was Okada doing what he does best. If the first two-thirds of his matches were half as good, he’d be one of the best ever. Some of the closing exchanges were crisp but felt fake, if that makes sense. Like, no matter how much I know wrestling is predetermined, if a match makes me feel that way it isn’t good and it takes you out of the element. That’s what some of their closing stuff did to me. Okada won with a spinning lariat and then the Rainmaker in 21:56. I’m glad they didn’t tease going 30. This was a good match with some great ideas in there. Just some stuff didn’t work the way they wanted and it left this capping at very good and not great. [***½] 

KENTA 8 (4-0) Jon Moxey 6 (3-0)
Kazuchika Okada 8 (4-0) Tomohiro Ishii 4 (2-1)
EVIL 4 (2-2) Juice Robinson 4 (2-1)
Hiroshi Tanahashi 4 (2-2) Shingo Takagi 4 (2-1)
Lance Archer 4 (2-2) Toru Yano 4 (2-1)
Kota Ibushi 4 (2-2) Taichi 2 (1-2)
Will Ospreay 2 (1-3) Tetsuya Naito 2 (1-2)
SANADA 2 (1-3) Jeff Cobb 2 (1-2)
Zack Sabre Jr. 2 (1-3) Hirooki Goto 2 (1-2)
Bad Luck Fale 2 (1-3) Jay White 0 (0-3)
The final score: review Good
The 411
Though nothing on this show cracked four stars or was a MOTYC, it was a good night of wrestling from start to finish. Fale/Sabre was solid and everything else is worth a look. Nothing goes for too long either, making it an easy watch.

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G1 Climax 29, NJPW, Kevin Pantoja