It’s time for lucky number Day 13 as New Japan Pro Wrestling’s (NJPW) annual heavyweight tournament continues. Five more matches in the A Block of the G1 Climax 27 are on the cards, headlined once again by The Ace, Hiroshi Tanahashi against the Unchained Gorilla, Togi Makabe. Zack Sabre Jr. will face off against the leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon, Tetsuya Naito, and Hirooki Goto will face off against YOSHI-HASHI. Tomohiro Ishii has the unenviable task of doing battle with the Bullet Club’s Bad Luck Fale, and Yuji Nagata will attempt to win the battle of experience versus youth as he gets in the ring with Kota Ibushi. And as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, various tag team matches will showcase upcoming opponents as well as letting the young lions of New Japan hone their craft.
+ Hirooki Goto vs YOSHI-HASHI (G1 Climax 27 A Block Match): a battle between two of the best entrance themes on the card, this started off to be pretty average, but it got better as it went on. The crowd was stilld ead for this, despite some good action from both men, and a final stretch that anyone would be proud of. This was above average, but perhaps not either mans’ best
+ Kota Ibushi vs Yuji Nagata (G1 Climax 27 A Block Match): this was fantastic. Ibushi seemed to hold back out of either respect or pity at first, before deciding enough was enough and just kicking Nagata’s shit in. Nagata responded in kind with some brutal chops and slaps, at which point the crowd finally made some real noise. The ending stretch was really good, and this match was really good overall
+ CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Toru Yano) vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL & Hiromu Takahashi): I’m surprised EVIL was even in this match, considering he was knocked loopy by Omega yesterday. This started fast before slowing down into a really good tag match. I particularly enjoed the Yano/Hiromu moments; the two worked well together, including the more comedy oriented spots. I am so hyped for EVIL/Okada
+ Hirai Kawato, Michael Elgin & Tiger Mask vs Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki & Taichi): I feel bad for any young lion when they have a match with Minoru Suzuki. Taichi continued his assault on masked wrestlers, going for Tiger Mask often. Desperado and Kawato had a good few minutes together, and I am really impressed with Kawato lately. But who cares, because lordy, Elgin/Suzuki is tomorrow and it could be amazing
– Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Togi Makabe (G1 Climax 27 A Block Match): after the rest of the show I just sat through, this was another in the ‘I just can’t wait for it to be over’ pile. Tanahashi was doing the bare minimum, and Makabe was hitting hard but getting no reaction from the crowd. I can’t really blame them if they decided to take it easy from th ehalf way point. The commentators were trying so hard to make it sound important, but it just wasn’t
– Zack Sabre Jr. vs Tetsuya Naito (G1 Climax 27 A Block Match): nothing Sabre did in this match looked good; he is just too skinny. Naito appeared to be better than Sabre in every way – which meant the longer the match went, the worse Naito looked. But consideirng how bad Sabre looked, Sabre never looked good either. This was so frustrating to watch, I was glad when it ended
– Tomohiro Ishii vs Bad Luck Fale (G1 Climax 27 A Block Match): as a huge Ishii fan it pains me to say that this was a very boring match. It felt like it went for an hour, and it felt like nothing happened in that time. Neither man looked good coming out of the match. This was probably the worst match of each mans’ tournament so far
– Taguchi Japan (David Finlay & Juice Robinson) vs Bullet Club (Chase Owens & Kenny Omega): I’m not sure why they have not made Omega/Tama Tonga have any interactions since their G1 match, mostly because I am sick of Omega/Owens as a team. Juice/Omega should be a good match, but forgive me if I’m not sold on someone being a threat because they can beat up Chase Owens or David Finlay. This was nothing special
– Tencozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI & SANADA): Tenzan had a good tribute to Honma, who was doing commentary for the show, and the crowd did some mild hissing for him.The crowd finally made some noise when Kojima hit his machine gun chops. Nobody was particularly impressive in this match, and I think the only big move was BUSHI’s regular dropkick
– Katsuya Kitamaura & Tomoyuki Oka vs Bullet Club (Tama Tonga & Yujiro Takahashi): I love this young lion team of Oka/Kitamura. This was very short, but it made both the Bullet Club guys look like massive jerks, which I suppose was the plan
– this crowd was really quiet for the whole show. They were mostly silent for Minoru Suzuki’s entrance, which was horrible to hear
> Honma was on commentary, and he obviously had a bit of a sore throat because he sounded so raspy it was hard to pay attention to the match
Should you watch this event: While the match lineup was admittedly relatively weak, there is no excuse for the crowd to be as dead as they were. What should have been another “good at worst, great at best” show just felt so unimportant as nothing any of the wrestlers did would get a response. I feel bad saying it was bad, but if I was bored then I’ll call it boring. It’s a shame.