It’s only been week one, but we’re giving out weekly G1 Climax awards. Check them out.
Thanks to the greatness that is NJPW World, I’m able to watch the G1 this year. As you can expect, it’s the first time I’ve decided to run the gauntlet and try to watch the shows on the same day they happen.
In order to save time, I’m only watching the G1 singles matches and am skipping over the tags. It’s definitely been tough to find the time, but it’s been well worth it.
Tip: The website works perfectly fine on a mobile device. Eating breakfast? Throw on a match. Having coffee? Throw on a match. Need a 10 minute rest on the couch? Throw on a match. I’m rarely able to get through all the matches in one sitting, but in times that I might listen to a podcast or scroll through Twitter, I’m throwing on a match instead.
I’m caught up through night five and will be ready come Tuesday for the sixth show.
Here are some thoughts/awards so far:
Week One MVP
One thing to note is that the guys in the A block have had three matches while the guys in the B block have only had two. Thus, I’m going to go with a guy on the A block because he’s had three tremendous matches already.
Kazuchika Okada has had one great match and one really fun match to start the tournament. His match with Michael Elgin will be discussed more below, but his match with Toru Yano solidified in many folks’ eyes that he’s the best wrestler going today as many wondered if he’d be able to have as good of a match as he did with him.
Kenny Omega had a really good match with Minoru Suzuki, though I found it to be slightly overrated. He had a solid match with fellow Bullet Club member Tama Tonga, but it wasn’t anything super special.
Tomohiro Ishii has had three absolute slobber knockers thus far. Hiroshi Tanahashi is working with one arm and we’ll get to him a bit more below. Zack Sabre Jr. has been even better than expected. Tetsuya Naito’s best days are to come as his opponents, save for my MVP, haven’t been the most stellar yet when it comes to having great matches.
But my MVP of week one is Kota Ibushi.
Ibushi had a 4 1/2 star match with Naito on night one, a 4 1/4 star match with Sabre Jr. on night three, and a 4 1/2 star match with Ishii on night five. He probably won’t have three straight like this again for the rest of the tournament, but still has a match with Tanahashi on August 1st that could be his best so far.
Week One Best Match
I’ll give you my top three matches of the tourney so far.
Kota Ibushi vs Zack Sabre Jr. – July 21st at Korakuen Hall
This match also featured my favorite spot of the tournament so far. Ibushi went for a standing moonsault and Sabre Jr. caught him in a triangle. Ibushi is amazing offensively, but had to spend most of this match getting caught in holds and selling. He was just as excellent.
— LARIATOOOO!!! (@MrLARIATO) July 21, 2017
Tetsuya Naito vs Kota Ibushi – July 17th at Hokkaido
This was the main event of night one. It was an amazing back and forth match of oneupmanship. Naito had to hit the Destino twice to put away Ibushi.
Kazuchika Okada vs Michael Elgin – July 22nd at Korakuen Hall
Elgin was a step ahead of the champ for a lot of the match and Okada fought from behind. Elgin hit a beautiful superplex that was my second favorite spot/move of the week. Okada has a way of making the last five minutes of a match special.
Week One Best Show
In looking back at my favorite matches so far, three of them are on night one, so I’ll have to choose night one as my favorite so far.
The first two singles matches were hot, with Yoshi-Hashi beating Yuji Nagata and Bad Luck Fale beating Togi Makabe. Then, Ishii and Hirooki Goto just beat the breaks off each other. Then, Sabre Jr. and Tanahashi had a classic if you love matches that showcase working a specific body part. It was also a bit of a surprise to some who didn’t think Tanahashi would lose so quickly, but it made perfect sense as Sabre Jr. showed the blueprint in one way to beat Tanahashi. And the night was capped off with Naito beating Ibushi.
Some of the matches I’m looking forward to most in week two include Tanahashi vs Goto, Elgin vs Omega, and Naito vs Ishii.
We’ll be back this weekend with thoughts on week two. We’ll also have a top 10 matches column after the conclusion of the tournament with picks from Alan4L, John LaRocca, and the Heartbreak Kid, David Rubio.
Here are the standings so far:
Tetsuya Naito – 4
Hirooki Goto – 4
Zack Sabre Jr. – 4
Kota Ibushi – 4
Bad Luck Fale – 4
Hiroshi Tanahashi – 4
Togi Makabe – 2
Yoshi-Hashi – 2
Tomohiro Ishii – 2
Yuji Nagata – 0
Kenny Omega – 4
Kazuchika Okada – 4
Tama Tonga – 2
SANADA – 2
Juice Robinson – 2
EVIL – 2
Toru Yano – 2
Minoru Suzuki – 2
Michael Elgin – 0
Satoshi Kojima – 0