And just like that, the first of three straight G1 shows at famed Korakuen Hall in Tokyo is complete. Night two featured its fair share of great matches, especially in the latter half of the show.
Omega wins in wild main event
I had high hopes for this match-up between Kenny Omega and Minoru Suzuki, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. As expected, it had no shortage of wild moments and just about everything you’d expect in a Suzuki-gun/Bullet Club showdown. It featured Suzuki inflicting pain, one-legged moonsaults, chair shots, and more shenanigans.
It had interference from both sides, mostly Suzuki-gun. Even Red Shoes took a V-Trigger! Poor Red Shoes!
— The Tag Rope (@tagropemag) July 20, 2017
In the end, Omega won with a series of V-Triggers to Suzuki and his finisher, the One-Winged Angel. Solid ending to a wild match.
It’s fun to watch these kind of bouts, as it’s rare when guys like Omega and Suzuki face off. When they do, you want it to be entertaining. These are the kind of unusual pairings that make the G1 so special.
A lot has already been said about Omega on this site, obviously. He’s far and away one of the best in pro wrestling.
As for Suzuki, the guy is about as legit tough as you’ll see in pro wrestling. If you don’t believe me, go search his Pancrase highlights on YouTube.
Where these two go in B-Block remains to be seen. Both obviously have a roadblock in IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada.
— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) July 20, 2017
EVIL and SANADA bring it in their match
I mentioned earlier in the week how excited I was to see EVIL and SANADA wrestle in the G1 Climax, and this might have been my favorite match of the show.
Both guys went at it. Nobody else from Los Ingobernables de Japon was at ringside. It was just SANADA and EVIL, as it should be.
The match did feature the use of a chair early on, but once things settled down, it got really good. In the end, Sanada won the match with a moonsault.
The reality is, one of these two will break out of the pack in this G1. With SANADA getting the win, it seems likely SANADA can be that breakout star of the G1 Climax.
I don’t know that he could be the B-Block winner, especially with Okada and Omega in the group. It would be fun to see him be a contender, though.
Okada gets his victory over Yano
You’re a fool if you think you’ll see Toru Yano in a five-star match. It’s not his style to put on classics, but that’s not what he’s there to do.
Yano entertains the crowd. And he’s great at it! You need guys like him to break up the monotony of serious matches.
Of course, the entertainment value in Yano’s matches go up when he faces a fellow member of CHAOS…in this instance Okada!
This match was obviously never going to be a classic on the mat. However, we did get to see Yano do a handshake sportsmanship trick.
We also got to see Yano layout Okada with the turnbuckle padding.
— LARIATOOOO!!! (@MrLARIATO) July 20, 2017
There was also a double low blow spot where Yano inexplicably gave a low blow to Jado, who also happened to be his corner man. This also led to Gedo low blowing Yano and gave us a unique countout teaser.
In the end, Okada won — of course. This wasn’t going to be a match that Yano won. It was still pretty fun to watch.
Bread Club Watch: D’OH!
Things looked like it would go well for noted Bread Club enthusiast Satoshi Kojima. However, it didn’t work out in the end as his opponent for the match, Juice Robinson, got the victory.
Don’t worry, though! It’s just one match. Losses will happen in the G1 Climax; NJPW ace Hiroshi Tanahashi nearly made a run to the finals last year after a sluggish start. It’s hard to go undefeated.
Put your trust in Kojima and Bread Club and it will all work out, just a few weeks from now.
Tonga gets victory over Elgin
Tama Tonga got a key win early in this G1 Climax as he scored a win over Michael Elgin. It was a pretty good match, though difficult to call it best on the show. Omega/Suzuki and EVIL/SANADA were always going to overshadow it.
However, Elgin is a solid wrestler with some G1 experience, having appeared the previous couple years. With him in this B-Block, it sets him up for some really good matches.
Tonga winning adds some intrigue to the block, but I don’t know how much. It would be surprising to see him win the block, especially with the competition.
Tanahashi continues to get his bicep attacked
It’s a rule of thumb in pro wrestling to always attack an injured limb, or at least I think it is. It’s probably a rule. Let’s just run with it!
That certainly was the case for Hiroshi Tanahashi, who once again got his bicep worked over during a tag match against Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens.
Fale and Owens got the win, with Fale pinning David Finlay.
There are two certainties in the Tanahasi-Fale match; 1: Fale is going to focus on Tanahashi’s arm. 2. Fale is probably going to knock out the ring announcer.
— The Tag Rope (@tagropemag) July 20, 2017
Other tag match notes (I couldn’t think of anything better):
The only six-man tag match of the night featured Yuji Nagata, Togi Makabe and Tiger Mask IV against Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto and Gedo.
Tiger Mask IV got the win. I wonder whatever happened to that Tiger Mask W guy, though.
Tetsuya Naito and Bushi defeated Yoshi-Hashi and Jado. Naito and Yoshi-Hashi will face off Friday. That could be a pretty good match.
Finally, we had Kota Ibushi and Hirai Kawato against Zach Sabre Jr. and El Desperado. The match mostly focused on ZSJ and Desperado taking apart Kawato, who is one of the new, young wrestlers in New Japan. While the esteemed Suzukigun team won, we did get a teaser with ZSJ and Ibushi.
The next night of G1 Climax action is set for Friday in Korakuen Hall.
The A-Block match-ups feature Nagata versus Goto, Makabe versus Ishii, Ibushi versus Sabre Jr., Tanahashi against Bad Luck Fale and Naito versus Yoshi-Hashi.