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Sphinx

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I haven't been watching whilst I've been away, plan on catching up in the next few days though. Have been keeping up with the standings and results though.

I think Okada drops defeats to both KENTA and Ibushi, and draws with SANADA (playing up the whole story of SANADA coming closer and closer to beating Okada that's been underlying throughout their matches) which keeps him out of the finals and sets up two big main events for King of Pro Wrestling and Power Struggle respectively. If they want to maintain the tradition of Power Struggle being headlined by the Intercontinental, perhaps even one of those two takes the main event of Royal Quest instead. Then again, I can see them working in a defence against White before Wrestle Kingdom as well. 

It looks like my prediction of a Naito/ZSJ final is down the shitter. Haven't heard many good things about Naito's performances so far either. Him and Ishii are always tremendous value though, hopefully that'll give him the kick up the arse he's after.

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Watched this twice now. Loved this match so much. It was everything I imagined it would be, plus extra bits of goodness like Ishii doing a splash and a beautiful Moxley knee into a pinfall combo. They've done a great job presenting Moxley like a star and it's increasingly fucking obvious that pushing him as a legit, dangerous, psychopath was the way to go with him. It sure beats Being A Goof, which is what everyone in WWE seems to be sunken with. I'm guessing Juice will hand Moxley his first defeat which will be a nice way to round this out. I'm looking forward to everything Moxley does in his block, every match has intrigue. But you know what I really wanna see? Moxley vs Archer. They've been my favourite part of this thing so far and I'd love to see them collide.

Night 7 was fantastic by the way. Tanahashi/Archer would've been match of the night on any other show, what a ton of fun. Classic Babyface Ace vs Monster of the month match with a sweet finish that kept both looking strong. 

Osprey/Okada blew me away. I've been weary of New Japan's ring style, it can look like co-operative dancing rather than blokes beating the shit out of each other. But nah. This was incredible. I'd be lying if I said I didn't love it, I was proper bouncing out of my seat and cheer-leading some of these exchanges. Okada popping off that dropkick was electric. I love the sense of hierarchy in a junior vs heavy match like this as well - Okada took a beating, but he always brought the big hits whenever things got critical. Bloody awesome finish too, Okada looked like a God.

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I don‚Äôt ‚Äúget‚ÄĚ Naito. He‚Äôs not shown me anything all tournament and his match today was good but the worst one Iishi has had so far. Is he style over substance?

Moxley is fantastic, and Yano might just be my new favourite.

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Fucking hell, Ishii, you glorious adorable mad round bastard. Is there a truer embodiment of fighting spirit in the world today? I doubt it. He's pulling stonkers out of everyone. You could see in Naito's eyes in the entrances, he wasn't going to get away with mucking about. It's no surprise this was his best match of the tourney. When he's allowed to dictate the pace, and pass lazy off as tranquilo, I can see how a lot of people would turn on Naito, but get him in there with someone who won't play along with that shit, and you see the main eventer in him.

Moxley had another cracker too with I-wish-he-had-a-singlet Shingo. Not only has his ring work been a breath of fresh air not only in terms of his WWE run but also within the G1 itself, but the simple character presentation of the crowd entrance and adoption of a young lion has made him a more compelling charismatic presence than ever. A violent wrestling sadist with a tongue in cheek take on the gaijin experience. Funnily enough, his weakest bouts have been against the other Americans, where everything has seemed so much more tentative and paced. It wouldn't surprise me if Cobb and Juice are a bit in awe of the ex WWE guy whereas the rest of the roster couldn't care less. Which Mox clearly prefers.

Juice, I don't get. He's clearly earned a lot of goodwill with the Japanese crowd and has paid his dues, but he feels like a performer acting out the gaijin role. There's a deliberacy and insincerity I get off him. Osprey too, who wrecks his matches hamming up everything instead of playing things for real.

But yeah, Ishii for life.

Edited by CavemanLynn

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I will always say Ishii is one of the all time greats that hasn't got half the recognition he deserves. Every match he has seems to be important for him and he never half-arses it.

Shingo is bloody brilliant isn't he? I haven't been all that taken by Moxley since his NJPW run started but I liked this and Shingo's selling of the knee was class. I think Shingo is one of the greatest in the world right now. He has the aura of a Nakamura, the stiffness of Ishii and the selling of someone who sells great! 

As Caveman said I don't 'get' Juice at all. I HATE his stomping punches, they look phoney as fuck. I don't buy him as a threat and nothing he does makes me care. Also Ospreay is wonderfully athletic but his facial expressions and that fuckin backflip into a pose spot are irritating. Just act normally! Like its a fight not a gymnastics display. Ospreay CAN wrestle and when he doesn't do all that hammy shit he can be great. 

Edited by Michael_3165

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Ishii has me emotionally connected during every G1 as I want him to win so bad. I think if he loses the next match he'll be out of contention but I'll let someone smarter check that for me. 

He pulled Naito out of his funk with ease, so hopefully he can keep that motivation going and put on some decent performances going forward. There's a fine line between the Tranquilo gimmick and straight-up lethargy, and he's steadily looking like he actually doesn't give a fuck.

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It feels like someone high up promised the ace spot to Naito a while ago and he's waiting for them to pull the trigger instead of giving them no choice. To be honest, I don't think he's been the same since that Wrestle Kingdom vs Okada where he HAD to win, but for some reason they stuck with the Rainmaker. Especially because his first run with the big belt was such a dud, to work that hard and get that over just to be passed up again must've stung, even if that is a couple of years ago now.

His next match is with Moxley which should be fascinating. An Ishii style Brawl but with Mox's added pace.

Not much that jumps out at me for the next show of the other block, but Tana vs Sanada will be interesting considering SANADA has been mentioned as a future ace.

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CurrentÔĽŅ¬†Standings After Night 13

ÔĽŅA BlockÔĽŅÔĽŅÔĽŅÔĽŅ

Kazuchika Okada 12

Kota Ibushi 10

Kenta 8

Hiroshi Tanahashi 8

Evil 8

Zack Sabre Jr 6 - Eliminated 

Lance Archer 4 - Eliminated

Will Ospreay 4 - Eliminated 

Sanada 4 - Eliminated 

Bad Luck Fale 4 - Eliminated

B Block

Jon Moxley 10

Tomohiro Ishii 6

Jeff Cobb 6

Juice Robinson 6

Toru Yano 6

Tetsuya Naito 6

Hirooki Goto 6

Jay White 6

Shingo Takagi 4

Taichi 4

Edited by TildeGuy~!

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Moxley going over so many established NJPW guys doesn't make sense for me. He isn't going to be around for the long haul so unsure why they would put him over so many of their top guys. 

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There's my Naito! That's proper tranquilo. I absolutely loved the opening of the main, Naito being as frustrating and chilled as he can while Mox is utterly doing his bollocks. That's the prowling animal Mox I don't think I've really seen since the Wyatt Shield feud yonks ago. Those ridiculous marching steps to the ring. Have a look up there, Jon. Chill out, Jon. That turnbuckle needs a hat.

Excellent bout too, of course. Loved the two mirroring each other during the strike offs. Red Shoes standing up to Mox with the chair spot. A fucking ramp run from Naito! Loads of stank from both sides. Naito bumping like a maniac for the Death Rider and OLD SCHOOL Dirty Deeds. A brilliant spinning Regal Knee. Surprised at the result though. But that's probably just my excitement at seeing Naito shine.

Shingo White was also great, Shingo continuing his run of form. Gedo's hotshotting of young talent into high profile heel roles took longer to pay dividends with Jay, but this G1 has been a good reintroduction of him to me. The rice and fish have kicked in, with Jay shedding his puppy fat giving him a meaner look, and a couple more years wear in his face and he'll be a decent new Jake Roberts for NJPW.

The only other bout I had time for was Juice Ishii, which sadly didn't surprise me. Ishii's fire felt more comedic than usual, and Juice's no-selling felt really undeserved against the MVP. I've realised Juice is just someone I'll never like for no good reason. I find his whole act a mess. I don't know what he is. He's a popping candy Undertaker on his entrance, even down to the removal of his hat. Then he's a bland gaijin with a mix of other people's signatures as moves. He tries for fighting spirit while still in second gear, then he's spaghetti leg selling like he's on the All Star undercard. Meh.

B block is definitely the one this year. I think I'll be sticking to the highlights for A. There's a much better mix of styles and characters in B. It feels foregone that Okada's topping A because of their determination to make him the best ever. B's more open even now, knowing the way blocks have been booked in previous years. It'd be unusual but different to have Mox sweep his first G1 on his first tour. Ishii for the emotes. Naito because I always hold out hope for my boy.

Edited by CavemanLynn

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Christ, Okada vs KENTA was super boring. KENTA in general has been incredibly underwhelming, and the main reason is his demand of going 15 minutes + every single time. Give him 9 minutes where he can work snug, be a bully and take a beating at the end.

Shingo vs White, Ishii vs Juice, Ibushi vs Archer and Mox vs Naito all get a thumbs up from me.

I still have hopes in an Ishii vs Ibushi final. My prediction: Okada succumbs to SANADA or EVIL (both very virable options with an in-built histroy) with Ibushi beating him on the last A-Block day to advance (keeps both guys strong with the same score). As for Ishii, I think he racks up the wins whilst Mox loses to Juice and White/Yano.

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I've loved every single Ishii match. He's just going out there and doing his shit and never feels like he's holding back. Doesn't matter who his opponent is.

Have to say that Archer is doing a great job too.

Was nice to finally feel invested in a Naito match. Him and Moxley told a good story.

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Caught up with all of the tournament matches (except this mornings A Block show) and the quality has been totally insane.

For anyone who fancies checking out some of the best matches without following along, I would say my personal highlights have been -

  • Ishii vs White
  • Ospreay vs Okada
  • Ospreay vs Ibushi
  • Tanahashi vs Sabre
  • Moxley vs Ishii
  • Shingo vs Juice

Loved all of the above but Archer, Sanada, Evil, KENTA etc have had mostly good to great matches too.

A block was always going to be the better of the 2 with that line up but Ishii and Shingo have been bringing it in the B block. I cannot wait for their match.

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Just me that's been really underwhelmed by both the performances of EVIL and SANADA? Feel like people have been saying the G1 is going to be their launching pad for a singles run for the past 2/3 tournaments, but on the basis of this year especially I'd rather just keep them as a tag team. One of them is absolutely going over Okada as well at this point.

Lance Archer on the other hand has exceeded any expectation I'd set for him going in. Nobody with a tramp stamp that shit should be delivering matches as good as he has been doing. Stick the NEVER Championship on him for a good few months if DBS has properly fucked off.

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