TOA HENARE & REN NARITA vs. CHAOS (Toru Yano & Gedo) - 0.25/10
Goofiness happened, including Henare doing a People's Forearm for no reason other than to make himself look like a dork playing wrestler rather than an actual professional. The finish came when Yano just... tripped Narita and pinned him. I was tempted to give this a dud but thought this rating was more fair.
THE GUERRILLAS OF DESTINY vs. CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & Yoh) - 4/10
The Tongans jumped the bell on CHAOS. The match was fine. Tama Tonga came off as vicious, but the match was... exactly what you'd expect from these guys in six minutes of a G1 undercard tag. Tanga Loa got the pin again. For those keeping track, Tanga Loa is on a sixteen-match winning streak, having not lost a match since May 3rd, and he has gotten the pin in every one of the last thirteen. Shouldn't he get a title shot or something?
JUICE ROBINSON & DAVID FINLAY JR. vs. SUZUKI-GUN (Zack Sabre Jr. & TAKA Michinoku) - 5/10
Very good for the time it got. Zack attacked the babyfaces from behind after the match but Finlay chased him off before he could lock Juice in some undoubtedly painful submission hold.
CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Sho) vs. BULLET CLUB (Kenny Omega & Chase Owens) - 4.5/10
KOTA IBUSHI & YUJIRO TAKAHASHI vs. LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON (Tetsuya Naito & Sanada) - 5/10
Yujiro's... employee... was giggling when Naito was beating up Ibushi in front of her. Did someone forget to smarten this chick up? Sanada won with the Skull End on Yujiro while Naito had Kota locked in his leg submission and didn't break the hold after the bell.
BLOCK A MATCH:
Michael Elgin(4) vs. Bad Luck Fale(6) (w/Tanga Loa) - 7/10
They were having what was shaping up to be a pretty great match, with the story being that the damage to Elgin's arm from previous matches made it hard for him to hit Fale with all of his power moves, and it was getting exciting... and then the ref bump and associated bullsh*t happened, resulting in Tama Tonga hitting Elgin with a chair right in front of the referee for the DQ. I'd so sick and tired of everything about this, and that includes the commentators sitting there and going "Oh no! This is so terrible," so I am hereby declaring a new rule: If you are a commentator who is also a wrestler, you no longer get to complain about Firing Squad interference. Instead, you have to GET UP OFF YOUR LAZY ASS AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
The beating continued after the match, with Rocky still sitting there complaining instead of trying to help. In fact, the only people who tried to help were the young-boys. You'd figure that Elgin would have some friends or something, like his old partner Tanahashi, who might be willing to help, or that previous victims of Firing Squad beat-downs would come out because they're tired of the Firing Squad running roughshod over everyone, or the Firing Squad's mortal enemies in the other half of Bullet Club... but apparently not. Come on, guys! If the Horsemen figured out they had to team up with Sting and Luger to fight the n.W.o then surely some of these New Japan factions can come together, right?
BLOCK A MATCH:
Adam Page(2) vs. Togi Makabe(4)- 7/10
This match was just these guys doing their signature stuff interspersed with some very good clubberin' segments, but it was fun to watch and Page's win felt like a step forward for him. That being said, Page still has just four points now, with only one win not by DQ more than two thirds of the way through, so to say that "this G1 can't be considered anything but a success for hangman Page" makes Kevin Kelly sound like a bit of an idiot.
BLOCK A MATCH:
Jay White(8) vs. YOSHI-HASHI(2)- 6/10
White jumped the bell on YOSHI-HASHI to start things off. He worked him over on the outside, ramming his back into the guardrail like he usually does... and Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero decided that the best way to handle this would be to make it about themselves and claim that in addition to trying to injure YOSHI-HASHI's back, White had purposely thrown him into the barricade right in front of the English commentary table in an attempt to ruin their equipment and knock them off the air again. A few things here:
1. If this has happened before then either get sturdier equipment or move the announcers' position farther away from the guardrail.
2. That doesn't excuse taking the focus off of the match and making it about yourself.
3. Jay White obviously wouldn't be trying to do that because Jay White is a heel, and sparing me from having to listen to Rocky Romero run his mouth is a complete and total babyface move. Even when TNA doesn't suck it still finds a way to frustrate me: forcing Don Callis to stay in Canada so I have to deal with Rocky Romero.
Jay White got a chair. The referee tried to stop him from using it. Good. Jay White gave the referee the gentlest shove in human history (it looked like he just directed Red Shoes and Red Shoes walked most of the distance on his own) and Rocky Romero immediately and loudly demanded that Jay White be disqualified for this. I'm not saying that Rocky is wrong, but I do think it's ridiculous that this, the gentlest shove in history, results in much more of an uproar from the announcers than many other harder shoves of the referee, or various weapons shots, low blows, and interferences we've seen over the years.
Stuff happened and it was good for a bit but then we got the standard ref bump in the corner so Jay White can hit a low blow, which happens the exact same way in basically every match. YOSHI-HASHI kicked out, so it didn't even wind up mattering. Then they they did some more nearfalls before White got the win with Blade Runner. I'm sick and tired of these f*cking ref bumps. It's G-d damn YOSHI-HASHI! Can the young guy we're trying to push really not just get a clean win?
BLOCK A MATCH:
Hiroshi Tanahashi(10) vs. EVIL(8) - 8/10
BLOCK A MATCH:
Minoru Suzuki(8) (w/El Desperado) vs. Kazuchika Okada(8) (w/Gedo) - 6.75/10
Suzuki jumped Okada before the bell. Red Shoes called for the bell, and Suzuki proceeded to beat Okada up on the outside, with weapons, for at least the next five minutes. During this, Red Shoes- the same referee who had attempted to get the chair away from Jay White earlier- didn't do sh*t when Suzuki actually did hit Okada with a chair. Or a guardrail. Or anything else he could find on the outside. So the lesson of New Japan seems to be "the more you beat up the referees, the less likely they'll be to try to enforce the rules on you (unless you're in the Firing Squad and have no main eventer in your stable, in which case it's 'f*ck you, midcarder! DQ!')".
Suzuki started working over Okada's arms... and then they just stopped telling that story in favor of a million forearm/slap battles which I just could not bring myself to care about after the first one. I don't care if Suzuki did the Rainmaker pose. If he wants to win the f*cking match why doesn't he follow up on his weakened opponent? It's one thing to do something like that if it flows naturally from the situation, but this just seemed like something they did so that Okada could throw a bunch of strikes with Suzuki not blocking because he thinks it's more important to keep up the Rainmaker pose than to defend himself in the G1. It was a spot that was done for no other reason than "oh boy, wouldn't it be cool if Suzuki did Okada's pose?" which is not a good enough reason to do something.
They then proceeded to do about a million more forearm exchanges, going WAY past the point of diminishing returns. Spending three minutes on "I can take the most forearms to the face without going down!" over and over and over again means that you're story isn't actually going anywhere- and especially if you don't sell the damage incurred by these forearms afterwards.
They continued from there with some work on the heads and a decent sequence of reversals. This culminated in Suzuki trying to avoid a Rainmaker by just moving sideways but Okada just held on and swung again and hit him a second time, and that was it. Yes, they told a story about both guys working on the other's head, but I found this match to be pretty darn dull for what Suzuki vs. Okada should be. It's day thirteen of the G1. Forearming each other in the head for ten straight minutes doesn't impress me anymore. I've seen it so often that I'm basically numb to it.
This was an otherwise decent G1 show brought down by a disappointing main event. Something in this G1 needs to change. We need something different. I'm timed of ref bumps and matches that are 80% guys hitting each other with forearms to the face. Can we get, like, a wrestling match or something?