NJPW G1 Climax 28 Day 1 (14/7/18) Review

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Here it is once again, one of wrestling’s most highly regarded tournaments and like last year I am gonna try to review it all except for all the undercard tags of course. So lets get right to day 1 featuring Suzuki/Tanahashi and Okada/White!

A Block Match – Togi Makabe vs. YOSHI-HASHI

Really solid match to start the G1. YOSHI-HASHI has some new tights and seemed more determined than ever putting up a good fight with Makabe and even getting some control. He busts out some big moves and comes close to win, even pops up from a german suplex at the end, but despite his efforts a spider german and king kong kneedrop end up putting him away. Was really rooting for HASHI he really put in a a spirited effort, good work from Makabe too though.
Winner: Makabe [2] (via King Kong kneedrop) ***1/2

A Block Match – Bad Luck Fale vs. Hangman Page

This match was going really well up until the finish, they had a nice back and forth dynamic going on with Fale’s power against Page’s agility. Page was really busting out some good stuff and Fale also seemed the smoothest he’s ever been. But then at the end just as Page looked like he was close to winning GoD get involved and attack Page leading to a very rare DQ Finish. I understand we’ve got the whole bullet club split but seems a bit odd that Fale would willingly lose out on points just so they could beat up Page. So yeah its a little bullshit but match was decent other than that.
Winner: Page [2] (via DQ) ***

A Block Match – EVIL vs. Michael Elgin

Really good match between these two big guys, got some nice clashing going on in the beginning before EVIL takes control going after Elgin’s arm which he does an effective job of targeting throughout. Elgin isn’t bad with his selling but it doesn’t affect him a super amount as he still manages to ‘fight through the pain’ and hit his big moves and strikes which may annoy quite a few people but it’s a typical trait of japanese wrestling so I wasn’t bothered that much. All that aside they pulled off some fun action and had an exciting finishing sequence that could have gone either way but in the end Elgin hits the big Elgin bomb to get the victory.
Winner: Elgin [2] (via Big Elgin Bomb) ****

A Block Match – Minoru Suzuki vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi

This was great. Just like their IC Title match earlier this year Suzuki when relentlessly after Tanahashi’s leg early on and trapped him in various leg holds for a good number of minutes until Tana was finally able to reach the ropes. From there Tana’s really struggles to get out of the gate as Suzuki continually has the advantage and there some good slaps dished out. But at the end there’s a big turnaround as Suzuki Blocks Tana’s dragon screw with a slap but Tana falls into an inverted dragon screw which really tweaks Suzuki’s knee allowing Tanahashi to the hit the sling blade followed by two high fly flows to narrowly escape with the victory. Just the exact kind of excellent storytelling you’d expect from these two, not as good as their IC title match but sure close.
Winner: Tanahashi [2] (via high fly flow) ****1/4

A Block Main Event – Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White

This was really good but I wasn’t super hooked into it and the crowd appeared to a be a little mild too. I still really enjoyed what they did though there was fair amount of solid back and forth action and White got some control too which I think he did well with. I feel like White is good with his character still having trouble fully connecting with the japanese audience, though he definitely gets a good reaction with his really heel stuff just like in the finish where he knocks out the ref whilst taking a rainmaker, stopping Okada from getting the win. Jay then proceeds to hit a low blow, smashes Okada with a chair and finally lands the bladerunner to win the match much tot he dismay of the crowd who boo him during his post-match promo. So yeah still a very enjoyable match and I’m glad Jay got the win and I like what he’s doing, but I think the drama may have been a little weak aside from ending which stopped me getting fully invested throughout.
Winner: Jay White [2] (via Bladerunner) ****

Solid first day for the G1 Suzuki/Tanahashi was definitely the best match but Elgin/EVIL and White/Okada were all very good too, certainly a couple of interesting outcomes, lets hope the rest of the tournament stays consistent, just no more interference DQ’s please.

Thanks for reading.

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