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Kevin’s NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night Sixteen Review

August 9, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
Tomohiro Ishii NJPW G1 Climax 27 Wrestle Kingdom 13
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Kevin’s NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night Sixteen Review  

NJPW G1 Climax Night Sixteen
August 8th, 2019 | Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium in Yokohama, Kanagawa | Attendance: 4,983

It’s the penultimate B Block show. This is way more crowded than the A Block and should lead to more intrigue on the final night. Scratch all of that because regardless of what this show meant in the grand scheme of things, I am pumped for the main event. Shingo vs. Ishii. Oh, baby.

I’ve been having a bunch of internet issues over the past few days, so it has taken a few attempts to watch these past two shows.

B Block: Taichi [6] vs. Toru Yano [6]
A Toru Yano win keeps him alive. Taichi is already out. He stalled early and angered Yano, who threatened to walk out. Yano got stopped by Yoshinobu Kanemaru, which was odd because you’d think Taichi would want to steal a countout victory. Especially since he still tried for a countout win right after Yano got back to the ring. Yano survived his antics and then turned the tables by wrapping him up in the ring skirt (along with Kanemaru) for a countout win in 5:04. The sublime master thief lives to fight another day! Other than Taichi’s stupidity early, this was the fun I’ve come to expect from Yano. Do it, Gedo. Book Yano to win the G1, you coward. [**¼]

B Block: Jeff Cobb [6] vs. IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito [8]
Cobb is eliminated, while Naito needs a win to remain alive. Naito didn’t take Cobb seriously and acted like he was beneath him. It’s exactly what you’d expect Naito to think coming into this. That meant this should have been Cobb proving him wrong by kicking his ass. It’s what Cobb is best at. Yet a lot of his G1 hasn’t been that. Instead, Naito worked him over and we got Cobb selling the neck. It wasn’t the best choice for how to handle this match. This had flashes when Cobb got going on offense. Naito eventually won with Destino in 12:47. It was solid, but suffered from something a lot of G1 matches do. It lacked drama because Gedo’s booking is so predictable that you just knew Naito had to win to make sure him against Jay White mattered on the final B Block show. [***]

B Block: Hirooki Goto [8] vs. IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion Jon Moxley [10]
Moxley has dropped two straight after his 5-0 start. A win for Goto keeps him alive and he could pull a 2016 with a surprise block victory. This was an aggressive Moxley who slammed away Goto’s fist bump offer. Usually, I’m all for a ten or so minute G1 sprint. I love those. But this one had little to no energy. It was the least enthused I’ve seen Moxley since leaving WWE and was the Goto I’ve come to know over the past few years. It was like they slept walked through this one. It had a few hard hitting moments and I dug Moxley throwing knees like a wild man. Goto won with the GTR in a flat 8:38. Just a lackluster match that felt like Moxley reverting back to WWE house show style and Goto not giving a damn. [**½]

B Block: Jay White [8] vs. Juice Robinson [6]
Juice beat Jay to win the United States Title last year (****¼) in what was the best match for either guy to that point. Their styles work because White is a great smarmy villain and Robinson is a stellar underdog babyface. It’s like they’re meant for one another. White needs to win to stay alive. Early on, they didn’t go into the overbooking that White has suffered from in this tournament. His run has been reminiscent of Prince Devitt in 2013. Anyway, he put the focus on Juice’s leg and that allowed our underdog to sell. He did that pretty well, even with a few consistency issues. His sympathy plays so well. Regardless of how tough he is, his body hasn’t agreed with him in two straight G1s. Despite Juice’s best efforts, the leg work paid off as White won with the TTO in 23:01. A bit long for what they were going for and it lacked drama because again, the outcome was obvious. But their chemistry is strong and it made for an entertaining contest. [***½]

B Block: Shingo Takagi [4] vs. NEVER Openweight Champion Tomohiro Ishii [8]
My most anticipated match of the entire G1. Two tough dudes who can just go to war. That’s just what I got. These guys are strong enough that what they do clearly is impactful, yet they’re also quick and fluid enough to do things like dodge each other’s attacks. A lot of this was just them wailing on each other with strikes and chops and that ruled. It’s right up their alley and the way this match needed to be played. Ishii seemed to even get so caught up in proving who was tougher than he forgot two points were on the line. He only saw the man in front of him. Ishii did his no sell gimmick, only for Shingo to wreck him with a lariat. At one point, Ishii got his ear busted open on eon of the strikes and just shouted that he wanted to get hit harder. The final few minutes were ridiculously intense. From the vicious strikes to the close calls on the big spots to the late drama. Yes, this had the drama that a lot of other recent G1 stuff lacked because the winner wasn’t obvious. Ishii kicked out of every big Shingo move except for Last of the Dragon, ending this war in 22:41. Outstanding. That was the best match of the tournament and was everything I wanted. It went a bit into overkill on the no selling/fighting spirit spots, but other than this, this ruled. I’m down for the rematch for the NEVER Openweight Title. [****¾]

Kazuchika Okada 14 (7-1) Jay White 10 (5-3)
Kota Ibushi 12 (6-2) Jon Moxley 10 (5-3)
EVIL 8 (4-4) Tetsuya Naito 10 (5-3)
KENTA 8 (4-4) Hirooki Goto 10 (5-3)
Hiroshi Tanahashi 8 (4-4) Tomohiro Ishii 8 (4-4)
SANADA 8 (4-4) Toru Yano 8 (4-4)
Zack Sabre Jr. 6 (3-5) Juice Robinson 6 (3-5)
Will Ospreay 6 (3-5) Shingo Takagi 6 (3-5)
Bad Luck Fale 6 (3-5) Taichi 6 (3-5)
Lance Archer 4 (2-6) Jeff Cobb 6 (3-5)
The final score: review Good
The 411
Yano/Taichi was a fun way to start the show. Then you got two matches were way lackluster and disappointing in Naito/Cobb and Moxley/Goto. However, the show picked up late with Juice/Jay and then the match of the tournament in Shingo/Ishii. That was enough to put it over into “good” territory. I appreciate that the B Block is open on the last night.

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G1 Climax 29, NJPW, Kevin Pantoja