G1 Climax Night 6 Recommended Viewing
HERE COMES OKADA here we go money talks HERE COMES OKADA. KADAKADAKADAKADA
After the, shall we say, mixed bag that was WWE Battleground 2017, the G1 Climax now seems even better by comparison. We are six nights into this thing and I am running out of compliments. It’s going to seem pretty silly by Day 18 when I have to gush about Okada/Omega III and I start bleeding from the nose. It’s completely shattered my desire to see WWE, where time is seemingly killed on every show. There are 0 time killing segments, ever, in NJPW. Like a good novel, every word is written for a reason.
Another solid show, top to bottom, 5 matches I absolutely do not regret watching/waking up at 6:30am EST to write some fuckin’ blog about. Gotta blog what you love.
G1 DAY 6 — Fast and Furious 六
Michael Elgin v. Satoshi Kojima
In hockey, and in football, they talk about runners/skaters who go East-West, and those who go North-South. North/South runners refer to the ones who charge headfirst into traffic, using very little finesse, instead opting for power and aggression. Much in that image, this was a North/South wrestling match. Two guys smashing into each other real mean-like. One awesome spot: Elgin delivers a pretty harsh elbow to Kojima’s right arm. Elgin then steps up to the middle rope to hit a … thing, and when he jumps, Kojima *kills that fool DEAD* with a left-handed lariat. Just too slick.
A match between two guys nearing crunch-time, needing a W. Both wrestlers came in at 0–2 and in a big hole. Not that either guy has a chance to win Block B anyway really, but if you look at the standings, this was very much a Loser Leaves Town match. It’s almost a mathematical impossibility that the loser here could go from 0 points after 3 days to win the Block.
Kojima is a proud fighter and a former champion, and will never go down lightly. Elgin is a minivan on feet who powerbombs people for breakfast. Or something. Really enjoyed this one, one of the better “openers” (which it isn’t really, since the G1 matches start halfway through the show) to this point. Great desperation shown by both guys throughout, knowing that the loser is essentially eliminated really helped this one along. That’s why the G1 rules.
WINNER: Michael Elgin- 4*
EVIL v. Tama Tonga
I can listen to the NJPW ring announcer say “KING OF DARKNESS…. EEEEEE — VILLLLLLLLLLLL” every single moment of every single day and I would only go partially insane.
If you’ve been following NJPW or these articles, you may remember that Tonga and EVIL are two bad men who do bad bad things. Tonga is a cocky heel who plays by nobody’s rules, not even his own team’s. EVIL, we have confirmed through exclusive HTCWrestling sources, is indeed EEEEEE- VILLLLLL~!~!
So the bell rings, and Tonga says “you wanna go outside?” in English to EVIL. He agrees, and they casually leave the ring together to start brawling. Best first 5 seconds of a match ever.
Tonga beats EVIL up through the crowd, sends him halfway across the arena, and drags the ref back into the ring to count the count-out. Somehow, Tonga is the heel in a match against a man named EEEEEE-VILLLLLLLLLLL.
I certainly wouldn’t argue if you wanted to give this match 4*. To me it was a shade under — the match did slow down a fair bit in the middle — but the opening was very unique and the finishing stretch was highly entertaining, the kind of fast, intense reversal sequence that we have come to expect from NJPW. This is the perfect “watch it if you like these guys” match. I actually suggest watching it if you don’t like them either. You may become a fan.
Good little match and a smart way to get a heel v heel match out of two guys who aren’t known for being A+ technical workers.
WINNER: EVIL- 3.5*
Minoru Suzuki v. Juice Robinson
This was the Minoru Suzuki “fuck you, fuck the fans, I’m winning” match. You either like it or you don’t. I love it.
Juice Robinson’s character is HEART AND HONOR: JUICE ROBINSON~! Suzuki’s character is:
So this was a clear heel v babyface dynamic:
Suzuki jumps Juice during his entrance, before Juice can even get on the top rope to pose.
Suzuki beats the piss out of Juice in and outside of the ring, using the guardrail, his lackeys, and the general malice that comes with killing people for 49 straight years.
Suzuki locks Juice in some god awful, torturous submissions.
Juicey tries to fire back,
but Suzuki kills him dead with a piledriver.
Suzuki elbows and kicks him after, just because people like Juice and Suzuki is a grumpy old prick. Fuck people.
Sorry, I generally don’t like to spoil the result in these, but you knew who was winning this one. Essentially a squash, and in many ways one of the “weakest” matches of the tournament, but easily one of my favorites to watch since it featured two of my favorite characters. Your mileage may vary on that one. It was still absolutely an above average pro wrestling match.
WINNER: Minoru Suzuki- 3*
Kenny Omega v. Toru Yano
This match answers an (not at all) important question: how do you personally rate an A+ comedy match?
For the uninitiated, here’s the basic premise behind a comedy match: professional wrestling is predetermined, or “fake”, as we all well know in 2017. However, it has to pretend it’s actually real, and you have to pretend too. It’s part of the deal. I’ve seen it compared to how everybody gets all dressed up for the Rocky Horror Picture Show. You watch this show, fully understanding what’s up, and wanting to be part of the fun. It’s about suspension of disbelief. But part of the deal is, this is supposed to be a fight and an athletic contest, and it’s “real” and serious.
Comedy matches basically stretch that concept and flip it around. Playing off old wrestling tropes, and with a massive wink and a nod, these matches provide a different kind of entertainment than the typical straight forward 1v1 RASSLIN match. Older wrestlers and wrestling fans pretty much universally hate comedy matches. When done poorly, they can be pretty painful to watch and a waste of time. When done skillfully, they can be a really nice palate cleanser in a sometimes monotonous sea of guys whose only motivations are “RARR I AM MEAN, I WANT TO WIN THE TITLE”.
Full disclosure: I’m a comedy guy, I used to host a show in the outskirts of Toronto and am currently looking for a location to start it back up again. I do stand-up and all that jazz, and therefore am very biased. You should know that going in.
Having said that, this match was awesome. Awesome. A fabulous screwball, goofball comedy match, one of the absolute best I’ve ever seen. This was honestly vaudevillian theatre. Y’know after all that Jim Cornette talk, turns out Kenny’s experience in DDT really payed off.
To sit here and list all of the goings on would not do this match justice, but one thing I loved was the Hair Pull BATTLE~! Like a classic mean guy wrestling strike exchange, but two dudes pulling each other’s hair instead. That’s not even getting into the tape, or the potato sack Irish whip, or the scissors, or the DVD. Not a death valley driver, a digital video disc. There was a lot going on here.
After the V-trigger into a Yano cradle into a 2.999999999 kickout from Kenny, I am certain Omega is the best wrestler on earth today at this moment. That might change the next time Okada wrestles, and don’t get me wrong, Okada was awesome today. But Yano and Omega put together a gem, here. I think Omega getting 4* and one of the great comedy matches of all time out of Yano, is more impressive than Okada getting an awesome 4.25* main event out of SANADA who is a really good wrestler. We’re splitting hairs at this point though, both of those guys are incredible. Okada is 1B and Omega is 1A. Right now. In the day-to-day power rankings.
Unique and hilarious match, one of the best comedy matches you will ever see, one with stakes, funny spots, good wrestling, and a satisfying, definitive finish. Also, a good count-out! Love me a nice count-out. The G1 is the only place that you will see satisfying count-outs ever in wrestling.
WINNER: Kenny Omega- 4*
SANADA v. Kazuchika Okada
Absolutely the match of the night objectively, though the Yano/Omega match may end up being more memorable. If Yano/Omega was a classic screwball comedy, this was a solid movie that may get slight Oscar buzz and left nobody disappointed. Okada is at a level now where something almost has to go wrong for him not to have a really good match. Being in the main event against awesome opponents has a lot to do with it, but then, Okada got a good match out of Bad Luck Fale recently.
Really liked the fake injury spot, it was sold well enough that you questioned what was going on for a split second. This match built to a nice crescendo, went a good amount of time without feeling too long, and kept the mighty Rainmaker strong. Good showing from the handsome young Seiya Sanada here.
On any given night, Okada is at the absolute worst, 1B wrestler in the world.
WINNER: Kazuchika Okada- 4.25*
B Block Standings:
Kazuchika Okada, Kenny Omega: 6 points
Evil, Minoru Suzuki: 4 points
Juice Robinson, Sanada, Michael Elgin, Tama Tonga, Toru Yano: 2 points
Satoshi Kojima: 0 points
DEFINITELY WATCH RIGHT NOW
Ibushi/Naito — Day 1–4.75*
Elgin/Okada — Day 4–4.5*
ZSJ/Ibushi — Day 3–4.5*
PROBABLY WATCH AT SOME POINT IN YOUR LIFE
SANADA/Okada — Day 6–4.25*
Ishii/Ibushi — Day 5–4.25*
Juice/EVIL — Day 4–4.25*
Ishii/Makabe — Day 3–4.25*
Nagata/Tanahashi — Day 5–4.25*
Omega/Suzuki — Day 2–4.25*
Tanahashi/ZSJ — Day 1–4*
Ishii/Goto — Day 1–4*
Tanahashi/Fale — Day 3–4*
Kojima/Elgin — Day 6–4*
EVIL/Sanada — Day 2–4*
Goto/Nagata — Day 3–4*
Omega/Yano — Day 6–4*
WATCH IT IF YOU LOVE THESE GUYS
Naito/YOSHI-HASHI — 4*
Omega/Tama Tonga — Day 4–4*
Goto/Makabe — Day 5–3.75*
Juice/Kojima — Day 2–3.5*
YOSHI-HASHI/Nagata — Day 1–3.5*
EVIL/Tonga — Day 6–3.5*
ZSJ/YOSHI-HASHI — Day 5–3.25*
Suzuki/Juice — Day 6–3*
Tama Tonga/ Michael Elgin — 3*
Naito/Fale — Day 5–3*
Suzuki/SANADA — Day 4–3*
Okada/Yano — Day 2–2*
Day 4 Undercard — The Death of Darryl Takahashi 😦
Makabe/Fale — Day 1–1*
Yano/Kojima — Day 4–1*