Top 10 Matches At G1 Climax 2017

top 10 matches at g1

Check out the FGB list of the top 10 matches at G1 Climax 2017.

This was my first year watching all of the G1 tournament matches. I guess I picked a good year to start. Though, on the flip side, how can any year top this one?

I asked Alan Counihan, John LaRocca, and David Rubio to send me their top 20 matches. We combined our lists, averaged them out, and came up with the ten best matches of the tournament. We also added our thoughts on the matches and included video. Thanks Daily Motion.

(But really, you should just subscribe to New Japan World. I got more value out of the G1 these last two months than I’ve gotten out of the WWE Network all year.)

10. Hiroshi Tanahashi Vs. Kota Ibushi (8/1)

GG:
Kota Ibushi was my tournament MVP for right up until the finals of both blocks and the tournament. Like Alan will talk about below, he helped kick off the tournament in exciting fashion with Naito. And while that match was his best showing, this one was close. The best part was the finish. Ibushi nearly knocked out Tanahashi with a kick to the head, hit his Last Ride sit-out powerbomb and got one of the closest 2 counts you’ll ever see. He then grabbed both of Tanahashi’s arms and threw a right knee to his face and it was over.


Kota Ibushi vs Hiroshi Tanahashi NJPW G1 Climax… by alessandrogiord05

9. Zack Sabre Jr. Vs. Kota Ibushi (7/21)

Rubio:
In a tournament where the narrative was that Kota Ibushi could adapt (and in most cases winningly) to his opponent’s style, this match spoke to that the most. Ibushi survived the sustained mat attack from ZSJ by defending and counter-attacking on the mat. No dives. No highflying. In a year where his former partner has risen above, this match reminded us of the versatility and evolving maturity of the Golden Star.


G1 Climax 27: Zack Sabre Jr. vs Kota Ibushi by therealrocknrolla

8. Hiroshi Tanahashi Vs. Tomohiro Ishii (8/6)

Alan:
Most of the G1’s best matches could be shown to any fan, new or old, and they’d love everything about it. What made this special was that whilst it could of course be enjoyed by anyone, it had some extra nods to the hardcore, old school fans. Ishii channeling his mentor Riki Choshu with the Sasorigatame (Scorpion Deathlock if you will) and other subtleties that a keen eye would catch was the cherry on top of the best example of a “classical” Pro Wrestling bout in this year’s G1.


G1 Climax 27: Tomohiro Ishii vs Hiroshi Tanahashi by therealrocknrolla

7. Minoru Suzuki Vs. Kazuchika Okada (8/8)

LaRocca:
Okada was cruising in this tournament until he ran into EVIL on August 5th. In that match, Okada took tremendous punishment and EVIL scored the biggest win of his career that also secured a future IWGP Heavyweight Championship opportunity. When Okada stepped into the ring with Minoru Suzuki on August 8th, he was already beat up from his war with EVIL. Suzuki put a beating on Okada, but the champion kept fighting back and would never give up. This match was probably the most dramatic of the tournament until the final three matches. At one point, Okada and Suzuki kept trading hard slaps to the head. This went way too long and after awhile it got uncomfortable to watch. The match ended in a time limit draw and it was a fitting end to this war.


Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki (NJPW G1 27… by VanishingWalker

6. Michael Elgin vs. Kenny Omega (7/27)

GG:
One of the things I was worried about when ranking matches from this tournament was recency bias. Would a match on day 15 be scored better than a match on day 1 because I remember it more recently. One of the things I think we all did was rank matches after every night so that we wouldn’t be hurt by that. I was worried that this match, and the match below it, would possibly be hurt because it came so early in the tournament. Thankfully, it wasn’t. The fact that Big Mike came out the victor in this match made it even more special because it was a bit of a surprise and it cemented Big Mike as a player in the B Block.


Kenny Omega vs. Michael Elgin (NJPW G1 27: Day 8) by VanishingWalker

5. Kazuchika Okada vs. Michael Elgin (7/22)

GG:
One of the fun things to do in this tournament was compare Okada’s matches with Omega’s matches. It was a true comparison because they were all facing the same guys and I felt like there was a competition between both in who was having the better matches. Of course, it’s all subjective, like this entire list, but it was cool to watch because both guys are already two of the very best wrestlers in the world, but they were still finding ways to raise their game. In this case, we all had this match slightly ahead of Omega’s match with Elgin. The story here again is Big Mike stepping up his game and becoming a big player in the B Block. Big Mike wasn’t always excellent in this tournament, but he was excellent when he was supposed to be.


G1 Climax 27: Michael Elgin vs Kazuchika Okada by therealrocknrolla

4. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito (8/11)

LaRocca:
Tanahashi versus Naito must be required viewing for every wrestling student across the world. It was pro wrestling storytelling at its very best. Even with his torn bicep, Hiroshi Tanahashi continues to prove why he is one of the greatest pro wrestlers of all-time. One of my favorite parts of the match was when Naito did his usual spot of teasing his tope dive and then he rolls and poses in the middle of the ring. Tanahashi quickly jumped back into the ring and attacked Naito who was leaving himself defenseless. That is what anyone would have done in a real competitive match. I highly recommend this match to any true pro wrestling fan to take time and watch.


Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito (NJPW G1 27… by VanishingWalker

3. Tetsuya Naito vs. Kota Ibushi (7/17)

Alan:
The match that lit the G1 on fire on the first day! This was worked like a major Tokyo Dome main event with some insane spots such as Ibushi’s top rope piledriver which didn’t appear again in the tournament. Naito looked incredible in victory, starting much like he would end. Ibushi wouldn’t hit these heights again in the tournament but he did more than enough here to have us drooling for what lies around the corner with him.


G1 Climax 27: Kota Ibushi vs Tetsuya Naito by therealrocknrolla

2. Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada (8/12)

Rubio:
As close to perfection as you’ll get in a sub-25 minute match. The crispness of every move. The psychology behind every intention. The callbacks to their matches earlier this year. The perfect finish at the perfect match length. The rightful culmination of their year-long story. Until next year…when the roles may be reversed.


G1 Climax 27: Kenny Omega vs Kazuchika Okada by therealrocknrolla

1. Tetsuya Naito vs. Kenny Omega (8/13)

In my mind, this is comfortably the greatest G1 Final of all-time, topping Tanahashi versus Tenzan from 2004. The drama, the intensity and the jaw dropping nature of some of the assaults these two launched on each other, combined to create an unforgettable 34 minute thrill ride. Omega dished out all the crazy offense that he needed to put away Kazuchika Okada but Naito withstood it all and with his trusty Destino, he prevailed. Watch Omega’s bump on the finish. It might legitimately be the greatest bump in wrestling history.


Omega vs naito by 21dexter

Alan’s Top 20

Tetsuya Naito vs. Kenny Omega (8/13)
Tetsuya Naito vs. Kota Ibushi (7/17)
Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada (8/12)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii (8/6)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito (8/11)
Kazuchika Okada vs. EVIL (8/5)
Kazuchika Okada vs. Michael Elgin (7/22)
Yuji Nagata vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (8/6)
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (8/11)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Yuji Nagata (7/23)
Michael Elgin vs. Kenny Omega (7/27)
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (7/17)
Minoru Suzuki vs. Kazuchika Okada (8/8)
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Kota Ibushi (7/21)
Tetsuya Naito vs. YOSHI-HASHI (7/21)
Kota Ibushi vs. Tomohiro Ishii (7/23)
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. YOSHI-HASHI (7/23)
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Yuji Nagata (8/1)
Togi Makabe vs. Tetsuya Naito (8/6)
SANADA vs. EVIL (7/20)

LaRocca’s Top 20

Tetsuya Naito vs. Kenny Omega (8/13)
Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada (8/12)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito (8/11)
Kazuchika Okada vs. Michael Elgin (7/22)
Tetsuya Naito vs. Kota Ibushi (7/17)
Michael Elgin vs. Kenny Omega (7/27)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii (8/6)
Minoru Suzuki vs. Kazuchika Okada (8/8)
Tetsuya Naito vs. Tomohiro Ishii (7/9)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi (8/1)
Kota Ibushi vs. Tomohiro Ishii (7/23)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Yuji Nagata (7/23)
Kazuchika Okada vs. EVIL (8/5)
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (8/11)
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (7/17)
Kota Ibushi vs. Hirooki Goto (8/11)
Kazuchika Okada vs. Satoshi Kojima (7/27)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Hirooki Goto (7/26)
Kazuchika Okada vs. SANADA (7/25)
Hirooki Goto vs. Tomohiro Ishii (8/6)

Rubio’s Top 20

Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada (8/12)
Tetsuya Naito vs. Kenny Omega (8/13)
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Kota Ibushi (7/21)
Tetsuya Naito vs. Kota Ibushi (7/17)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito (8/11)
Kazuchika Okada vs. Michael Elgin (7/22)
Michael Elgin vs. Kenny Omega (7/27)
Minoru Suzuki vs. Kazuchika Okada (8/8)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi (8/1)
Hirooki Goto vs. Tomohiro Ishii (8/6)
Kazuchika Okada vs. Satoshi Kojima (7/27)
Kazuchika Okada vs. EVIL (8/5)
Kota Ibushi vs. Tomohiro Ishii (7/23)
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (8/11)
SANADA vs. Satoshi Kojima (8/5)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii (8/6)
Yuji Nagata vs. Bad Luck Fale (8/11)
Kazuchika Okada vs. SANADA (7/25)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Yuji Nagata (7/23)
Yuji Nagata vs. Kota Ibushi (8/4)

GG’s Top 20

Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada (8/12)
Tetsuya Naito vs. Kenny Omega (8/13)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito (8/11)
Kazuchika Okada vs. Michael Elgin (7/22)
Tetsuya Naito vs. Kota Ibushi (7/17)
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Kota Ibushi (7/21)
Minoru Suzuki vs. Kazuchika Okada (8/8)
Michael Elgin vs. Kenny Omega (7/27)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi (8/1)
Kota Ibushi vs. Tomohiro Ishii (7/23)
Kazuchika Okada vs. SANADA (7/25)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii (8/6)
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (7/17)
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Yuji Nagata (8/1)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Yuji Nagata (7/23)
Tetsuya Naito vs. Tomohiro Ishii (7/9)
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (8/11)
Kenny Omega vs. Minoru Suzuki (7/20)
Kazuchika Okada vs. EVIL (8/5)
Hirooki Goto vs. Tomohiro Ishii (8/6)

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