Cero Reviews NJPW G1 Climax 31, 10.18

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Cero Reviews NJPW G1 Climax 31, 10.18

Post by cero2k » Oct 19th, '21, 13:57

NJPW G1 Climax 31, Day 17
October 18, 2021
Yokohama Budokan, Yokohama, Japan

Satoshi Kojima vs. Great-O-Khan [6] - 7/10
Good match, but nothing special. Kojima got his things in during a comeback. O-Khan won with the Eliminator.

G1 Climax 2021 Block A Match
Tomohiro Ishii [10] vs. Toru Yano [8] - 6.5/10
Good match, maybe not the best ending to Ishii's tournament, but a good one for Yano. Match saw Yano try to get Ishii with his tricks early on, but Ishii fought them all and started beating Yano's ass, forcing Yano to fight back with his amateur background and push his weight in to get the better of Ishii. At the end, Ishii made a comeback and once again Yano relied on his trickery, but this time around, after many attempts, he low blowed Ishii and got a backslide pin for the win.

G1 Climax 2021 Block A Match
Yujiro Takahashi [4] vs. Shingo Takagi [12] - 7.5/10
Yujiro caught Shingo with a dive while Shingo made his entrance, and I only mention this because the camera angle made it seem like Yujiro had either fallen from the third rope, or botched the dive, it wasn't scary, but combined with the surprise of not knowing it was coming, made me yell WTF!

This match kinda had to eliminate Shingo to avoid later tie breakers with the winner of the block, and the way they did was with the first draw of the tournament, they kept it until now. The match would spill out to the floor, and similar to some of Stardom's matches during this year's GP, the trick turned into Yujiro taking one for the team and making sure that Shingo wouldn't make 14 points, he knew he wasn't going to win in the ring and so he held Shingo outside, even hit Pimp Juice at one point, but when Shingo recovered, hit Last of the Dragons and went back to the ring, Yujiro grabbed him and held on enough for the DCO.

The match itself wasn't all that amazing, mostly some back and forth in the ring and a lot of brawling outside of it. It really worked towards that Yujiro desperation at the end for the draw.

I don't think we'll get Shingo vs Yujiro title match since it was a draw, but Yujiro ended up surviving both Ibushi and Shingo.

G1 Climax 2021 Block A Match
Zack Sabre Jr. [12] vs. Tanga Loa [4] - 7.5/10
This was somewhat similar to the Wrestling Dontaku match, but Loa got his win. Similar to Shingo, it was necessary to eliminate Sabre, and they did a good job here too, with Loa's win being a snap pin reverse and the 1-2-3. These two have really good chemistry together, but part of it is definitely Sabre's unique style that can play nicely against any other style. Their matches are a good combo of Sabre dissecting limbs, but Loa being too strong to fight through the pain, so it takes Sabre way more work and way more convoluted submissions to keep Loa locked.

Loa was great at keeping up with Sabre's pace. Loa really had a great tournament, and I do hope to see him and Tama Tonga get into singles matches down the road in-between their tag team feuds.

G1 Climax 2021 Block A Match
KENTA [12] vs. Kota Ibushi [12] - 9/10
I think this match may end up being somewhat polarizing. There are many things done in this match that make sense in the scope of the story, but that if you're only focusing on the action itself, it's not that good. KENTA had said that he went into this match to win, not to have a good match, and that means that he's going to do what it takes to win, be it go for many countout attempts, cheat, stall, play with Ibushi's head, and if everything fails, well just get in there and get in a fight.

At the end of the day, they had a really good action packed match, where Ibushi had to deal with everything KENTA threw at him, and after all the drama, he manage to put him down with to Kamigoyes. I even thought the referee bump was as good as it could had been, with Ibushi not really selling the chair shot and then refusing to use it.

The one spot that I do want to bring up was the table spot, Ibushi hit a 'plancha' from the top rope to the floor, where KENTA laid on a table, the problem was that the table's legs gave way before the spot, so KENTA was diagonally with his head to the floor. Ibushi was already headed to the top turnbuckle, so he just went ahead with the spot instead of setting things back up, it would had been too awkward to do so, but because of that, we got a really scary spot, diagonal is just not a good position to either hit or take a top rope plancha.

Ibushi, for the fourth time in a row (1st ever to do so), wins his block and is not in contention to be a back-to-back-to-back G1 winner.

I thought this was a good show. I think the results of the matches may put people off, and surely how some of those decisions were reached, but every year, there is always one block with a big race and we get the same thing. I didn't think the matches were bad at all, some of them were crafty.

Block A
Great-O-Khan - 4-0-5 -- 8
KENTA - 6-0-3 -- 12
Kota Ibushi - 7-0-2 -- 14 -- WINNER
Shingo Takagi - 6-1-2 -- 13
Tanga Loa - 3-0-6 -- 6
Tetsuya Naito - 0-0-9 -- 0
Tomohiro Ishii - 5-0-4 -- 10
Toru Yano - 5-0-4 -- 10
Yujiro Takahashi - 2-1-6 -- 5
Zack Sabre Jr. - 6-0-3 -- 12

Block B
Chase Owens - 2-0-6 -- 4
EVIL - 6-0-2 -- 12
Hirooki Goto - 2-0-6 -- 4
Hiroshi Tanahashi - 4-0-4 -- 8
Jeff Cobb - 8-0-0 -- 16
Kazuchika Okada - 7-0-1 -- 14
SANADA - 4-0-4 -- 8
Taichi - 2-0-6 -- 4
Tama Tonga - 3-0-5 -- 6
YOSHI-HASHI - 2-0-6 -- 4

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