June 27, 2017

G1 Climax 27 Cribsheet & Doodlefest

Blue skies, sweaty beer, lawn clippings, and working extra hours to cover for vacationing co-workers.  Lady and Gentlemen, it's Summer in America.  Time to cast off the extra layer of clothes that disguise your lovehandles during the other 9 months of the year.  Time to get sunburned while idly daydreaming what it would be like to not exist anymore.  Time to start drinking as soon as you get off work (not to be confused with Winter--same deal, different beverage).  Time to watch a hundred pro wrestling matches between twenty men while other men are screaming about it in a language you can't understand, while you take dictation from it in the form of an esoteric scribbling shorthand that looks like the work of an autistic kindergartner who has an obsession with thighs.  Are we still on the same page?  My friends, it's time for the G1 Climax!

Today, the competitors were assigned to their two blocks of competition.  I've compiled some notes about each wrestler, and have ordered them below without bias (order is from the block listing on my favorite pro-wrestling site, Wikipedia).


Bad Luck Fale (Bullet Club)  A very traditional heel.  In the sense that he is always a credible threat who almost always loses.

Hirooki Goto (Chaos)  After winning his block last year, and having a run with the Never title, Goto could either keep sailing on in the upper-mid, or slip further into his slump.  I think it has something to do with his character.  Either way, he does great moves and will not win.

Kota Ibushi (Team Tiger Awesome)  Back from his long hiatus (kayfaaaabe!) Kota returns to much hype and excitement.  His not being in the same block as Kenny is my 2nd biggest disappointment about the way the blocks are booked.

Tomohiro Ishii (Chaos)  Coincidentally, Ishii and Okada being in different blocks is my number 1 biggest disappointment.  I know that Omega and Ibushi will hook up in singles again before too long, but it's only in G1 that we get Okada-Ishii.  Still, this takes nothing away from the Marshall-approved "Mr. G1", who has been arguably the greatest performer in the tournament for the past 3 years.

Togi Makabe (Last Lone GBH)  Togi hungry!

Yuji Nagata (Blue Justice League)  With a higher percentage of big bruiser-types being in Block A, I'll be rooting extra hard for Yuji to make some choice upsets.  I don't know for how many more years the Charismatic Enigma De Japon can do this grueling tournament, but I'll enjoy it for as long as it lasts.  (Just looked it up, this will be his final Climax.)

Tetsuya Naito (Los Ingobernables)  A standout performer on every card he's on, but on a similar platform as Goto in terms of likelihood of a slump versus treading water.  I'll be looking for Naito to make some waves in A Block, possible including a revenge win over Tanahashi.

Zack Sabre Jr (Suzuki-Gun)  For me, the most exciting competitor who is new to the tournament this year (there are 2).  He could easily have been in the Junior-Heavyweight tournament instead, as was his arch-nemesis/best friend (depending on what you're watching) Marty Scurll.  It will be amazing to see him trying make a pretzel out of the fireplug-built Ishii, barrel-built Goto, and Godzilla-built Fale.  Or maybe he'll just lose those matches.

Hiroshi Tanahashi (Ace)  Current, fresh-as-a-daisy IC Champ.  Something tells me this tournament is not his, but it could serve to provide him with some fresh match-ups.  Wins over Fale, Goto, and Naito would solidify his return to grace, but losses to Sabre, Ibushi, and Ishii could be blood in the water for possible title defenses.

Yoshi-Hashi (Chaos kid brother)  Personifies the spirit of the G1, because he shows off how even the least utilized NJPW talents know how to have a great match.  On an unrelated note, why isn't Yujiro Takahashi in the G1 anymore?


Michael Elgin (Peripheral Ace Squad)  I wasn't super excited about his inclusion last year, but he put on quite the performance.  This year I'll be looking to be pleasantly surprised again, though I'll be less surprised.  He's bringing a lot of power and strength to Block B.

"King of Darkness" Evil (Los Ingobernables)  Apparently Laser-Discs used to be a thing.  I remember seeing one, once.  Will the next generation believe there used to be a goatee-stroking, cosplay-scythe-toting, purple-ponytail-bouncing bad guy called Evil?  It's been a couple years, I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.

Satoshi Kojima (Tencozy good cop)  "I took a bus yesterday and took a drive for 7hours. A journey is an important job of a wrestler. I ate a lot of bread."

Kazuchika Okada (Chaos)  I have heaps of praise for so many of the G1 competitors, not to mention my favorites outside New Japan.  Still, Okada is my favorite wrestler working today.  I could do a whole post about it, but it would be embarrassing.  The main thing is just that his style of storytelling always manages to hook me.

Kenny Omega (Bullet Club/Elite)  The biggest match going into the G1 is Kenny's 3rd match vs Kazuchika.  A 1-1-1 record between them would be a great story, and epic ground for a 4th match that (already) has ridiculous expectations.  King's road, baby.

 Juice Robinson (Peripheral Ace Squad)  What is that, a goddamn gummy bear?  And why am I staring at a grown man's muscular tuchus to see if that is or isn't a goddamn gummy bear?

Sanada (Los Ingobernables)  His dragon sleeper got over last year with some high-profile wins.  He hasn't had much singles attention lately, so maybe he'll be like a little viper-ish Fale in G1, picking dudes off randomly.  It goes to show how great NJPW is at booking when you believe a guy might beat anybody in G1 despite not having had a singles run since last year's tournament.

Minoru Suzuki (Suzuki-Gun)  Hasn't been in the G1 since 2014, when he and Suzuki-Gun tore the house down with AJ Styles and Bullet Club.  I'm looking forward to Suzuki's matches more than any other single competitor.

Tama Tonga (Bullet Club/GOD)  I really enjoy watching Tonga's matches, but I really really hope he isn't wearing yoga pajamas this year.

Toru Yano (Chaos)  The ultimate wildcard.  Can make G1 as thrilling as he can make it frustrating, depending on who your favorites and least favorites are.

The tournament will begin on July 17th, a couple days after our SCW reunion.  Stay tuned for more pointless fanposts just for us.  It's going to be a good Wrestling Summer.