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Kevin’s NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night Two Review

July 13, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
Jon Moxley NJPW, Kota Ibushi
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Kevin’s NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night Two Review  

NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night Two
July 13th, 2019 | Ota City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan | Attendance: 4,074

After about a week, the G1 Climax is back! NJPW returned from the United States to present us with the first B Block show. To be honest, this is one of the weakest opening shows in recent tournament history. They usually like to start with a bang, but this card doesn’t stand out on paper. Let’s see how it worked in practice.

A lot of my NJPW reviews this year will be exclusive to patreon.com/the_kevstaaa so head on over for more content like this, as well as predictions, weekly top 10 lists, and more.

B Block: Juice Robinson [0] vs. Shingo Takagi [0]
Shingo dominated the junior heavyweights en route to a perfect BOSJ until losing in the finals. A match I came in excited for. Shingo was out to prove he’d have similar success against heavyweights and Juice wanted to rebound from a slow start last year. I liked how Shingo didn’t try for a countout win after hitting a DDT on the floor. He wanted a pinfall victory. Both guys brought it with stiff shots to give us a harder hitting match than I expected. The spot where Shingo stopped Juice’s trademark punches with a lariat was great. The pace and intensity, while already high, picked up down the stretch. I loved the callback to Juice using the pin that beat Jay White for the US Title. He hit Pulp Friction shortly after to become the second man to beat Shingo in NJPW at 14:41. A hell of an opener. This was better than the A Block opener. It had a hot crowd, was filled with intensity, and stayed within that beautiful 15 minute range. This escalated in the right way and both men looked great. [****]

B Block: IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion Jon Moxley [0] vs. Taichi [0]
Moxley came out with Shota Umino, who carried the title for him. I love that random pairing. Taichi jumped Moxley during his entrance in the crowd. He used weapons and really gained the upper hand. When they hit the ring, he remained in control. Moxley fought back after avoiding a powerbomb through a table. We got a ref bump but I didn’t mind it much here. These are two dirty fighters so it made sense. Moxley threw a chair into his face and should’ve won with the Death Rider immediately. However, Gedo MUST have guys counter each other for cheap drama in almost every match. Moxley did win with the Death Rider eventually, finishing at 7:36. Good, wacky fun. It fit the style of both guys and acme off as something different from the rest of the show. [***]

B Block: IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito [0] vs. Toru Yano [0]
Naito is 5-1 against Yano in the G1, winning in 2018 (***), 2016 (**¼), 2015 (**½), 2014 (***), and 2012. His only came in 2013 (***) and Naito went on to win the tournament. Naito also beat Yano in the New Japan Cup in 2016 (**). Naito didn’t take Yano seriously, despite Yano’s history of playing spoiler. Yano got annoyed by how long Naito took to get ready before the bell. When he noticed he was facing “T-Shirt Naito,” Yano put on a shirt of his own. Naito played some of Yano’s games, leading to an entertaining little match. I loved the use of shirts as Yano put the referee’s over his head as he hit a low blow and then put Naito’s over his head as he hit a weak looking spear to steal it in 3:42. I love the Sublime Master Thief. If you don’t like G1 Yano for whatever reason, this won’t work as well for you. [**½]

B Block: Jeff Cobb [0] vs. NEVER Openweight Champion Tomohiro Ishii [0]
Oh, baby. I love a good HOSS FIGHT. This was the Tomohiro Ishii G1 special. He always has a few of these. Two guys just going in and beating the hell out of each other for 15 or so minutes. It happened with Goto last year. Cobb was more than up to the task of battling one of the toughest wrestlers in the world. Things really got going when Cobb started throwing Ishii around with the greatest of ease. He’s kind of a freak of nature. Not to be outdone, Ishii busted out an impressive superplex. As usual, they went nuts in the final few minutes, with close calls and big offense. Somehow, the strikes seemed to get stiffer as the match progressed. It’s like they gained more energy with each hit they took. Eventually, the Vertical Drop Brainbuster was enough to keep Cobb down after 18:33. An absolute slugfest. Hard hitting, physical, and just what I wanted from these two. And it never felt like it went too long. [****¼]

B Block: Hirooki Goto [0] vs. Jay White [0]
Possibly the weakest main event for a Block’s opening night since I started watching NJPW. White beat Goto at Wrestling Hi No Kuni (***). This was kind of the match I expected from them. It was technically fine, but this just isn’t a feud I care about. That may be unfair to them, but it hurt that I wasn’t invested and they didn’t do anything to wrangle me in. White did all his typical heel stuff, including getting Gedo involved. Goto fought it all off as the fiery babyface. They went into the finisher counter stuff late, with Goto using GTR to pick up the win in 21:06. It was a fine match that underwhelmed as a main event. [***]

Kazuchika Okada 2 (1-0) Hirooki Goto 2 (1-0)
KENTA 2 (1-0) Tomohiro Ishii 2 (1-0)
SANADA 2 (1-0) Toru Yano 2 (1-0)
Bad Luck Fale 2 (1-0) Jon Moxley 2 (1-0)
Lance Archer 2 (1-0) Juice Robinson 2 (1-0)
Hiroshi Tanahashi 0 (0-1) Jay White 0 (0-1)
Kota Ibushi 0 (0-1) Jeff Cobb 0 (0-1)
Zack Sabre Jr. 0 (0-1) Tetsuya Naito 0 (0-1)
EVIL 0 (0-1) Taichi 0 (0-1)
Will Ospreay 0 (0-1) Shingo Takagi 0 (0-1)
The final score: review Good
The 411
I’d put this about on par with night one. Though that show had the worst match of the bunch and this one had two matches at ****, the other stuff on the card was stronger. Either way, we’re two for two in enjoyable G1 shows with only one bad match. I like it.

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G1 Climax 29, NJPW, Kevin Pantoja