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Every match after the first two went at least five minutes too long, but that is pandemic-era NJPW for you. The main event was, nonetheless, a masterpiece. It's hard to believe that Shingo and Ishii will be ready to go hard again in just a couple of days. I feel like they should get a month off to recover. Naito's selling was unreal. KENTA's entrance was a genuinely good inside joke. Yujiro's entrance is another reason to watch every night of A Block now. Some crazy-in-a-good-way night 1 upsets.

 

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The bad thing about Ishii vs Takagi, is that no one will be able to follow it during this G1. No one. No idea why anyone would want this one to go shorter. If there was ever a time to chant "Fight forever", that was it. 

On 9/18/2021 at 6:33 PM, gordi said:
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Yujiro's entrance is another reason to watch every night of A Block now. 

 

It will also the mere high point of his matches. I mean, Gedo ain't an idiot, if we're gonna have to suffer through Yujiro's matches, at least gave us something, anything to look forward too. 

Pretty cool that spoilers have been avoided, too, thus far. ;) 

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Yeah, Okada vs Tanahashi is the greatest rivalry in the history of our sport. Tanahashi is the GOAT. That said, Okada is only 33, the next years will be fascinating to watch.

Taichi vs Goto was kinda rough at first (but you know they gotta kill those first minutes) but when it got good, it got really good. Also, Taichi hopefully has Miho with him everyday too.

YOSHI-HASHI vs EVIL was a lot more fun that I thought it would. I want more of that YOSHI-HASHI.

Chase Owens & Tama Tonga were involved in pro-wrestling matches too, they absolutely were.

You know, like everybody else I bitched when I saw the line-up, but after these first too days and two awesome matches already (granted, it was pretty much two of the greatest on paper) and Kevin Kelly in G1 mode, I can't lie, it's still the fucking G1 ! 

And we get Danielson vs Omega next week ? So lucky, overall.

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Okada-Tanahashi was great although probably still on the lower end of their series. A bit too slow but the long-term selling was good and the finishing stretch was excellent as expected. Surprisingly really strong card. I expect there to be some largely skippable shows, but perhaps this tournament will exceed my expectations.

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The stuff that we expected to be great this weekend was really great, like remembering how good the G1 is great. The 30 minute time limit helps a lot, as the top level stuff didn't have 10 minutes of stalling to start (Okada-Tana was slow at first, but they always start slow to milk the crowd energy, so I don't think it was stretching there). 

Also, it's amazing how much better Yano is in these settings, where his opponents are equally desperate to win - it really allows a heightening of the energy when the other guy plays the game, because they have to, because they need the 2 points.

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Cursed.

Which is why you gotta enjoy whatever good happens when it does (and no, I'm not referring to crappy carpe diem bullshit positive thinking).

They have to stuck someone else, after only one match it's still doable. Is Bad Luck Fale available ? :ph34r:

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No one's slotting in for the tournament, they are doing special singles matches each night. (The most interesting one by far being Ishii vs Hiromu.)

This also can't be great for whatever Gedo was going for, as Naito had O-Khan on the last night, which was likely a relevant match, given what happened in the NJ Cup.

But I mean, who knows how much any of it will matter, with the way Japan's rules keep swinging and with New Japan's luck they could be taping Wrestle Kingdom at the dojo.

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Two more very good matches tonight. Unsurprisingly: Ishii and Ibushi beat the snot out of each other, and ZSJ v Shingo was exactly the mix of technique speed power and counter-wrestling you'd expect.

Pretty good day of wrestling (Dynamite Grand Slam was Thursday morning for me). Pretty damned good week, really.

G1 is exceeding expectations thus far.

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13 hours ago, gordi said:

Two more very good matches tonight. Unsurprisingly: Ishii and Ibushi beat the snot out of each other, and ZSJ v Shingo was exactly the mix of technique speed power and counter-wrestling you'd expect.

Pretty good day of wrestling (Dynamite Grand Slam was Thursday morning for me). Pretty damned good week, really.

G1 is exceeding expectations thus far.

Hoo boy was ZSJ-Shingo great. And Ishii-Ibushi is one of my favorite match ups - always really like the way their personalities clash, in particular what Ishii brings out of Ibushi.

On the exceeding expectations... I do feel like I didn't realize how front loaded the A block was - after ZSJ-Ibushi on Sunday, we'll have burned through most of the best matchups of the top 4 guys (Ibushi-Shingo and Ishii-ZSJ are the last two top level matchups). Barring a really good Kenta evening, things could get rough.

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Ishii vs Ibushi almost looked like two guys on the verge of breaking down having a BDSM session. It's the first year where I can really see how Ishii's body is wearing its age and damage. He looks different. No idea how he can still go like that, but he sure looks ready to fall apart. 

ZSJ vs Shingo was a thing of beauty.

11 hours ago, Migs said:

On the exceeding expectations... I do feel like I didn't realize how front loaded the A block was - after ZSJ-Ibushi on Sunday, we'll have burned through most of the best matchups of the top 4 guys (Ibushi-Shingo and Ishii-ZSJ are the last two top level matchups). Barring a really good Kenta evening, things could get rough.

Yep. There will be some rough days ahead, but that's what fast forward is made for. I already feeling the threat of burn-out !

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I hadn't looked too far ahead and realized next Sunday (10/3) is both ZSJ-Ishii and Shingo-Ibushi. So there's some real rough A block nights ahead.

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Watching the second day of B-Block, it strikes me that it's much more balanced. The highs won't be as high for the most part, but Tama/Owens is infinitely better/less offensive than Tanga/Takahashi/Yano/O-Khan. They actually had a decent little match together. 

On the other hand, that building was fucking EMPTY. From the two days available, it's pretty obvious people choose to go see Ishii vs Ibushi & ZSJ vs Shingo and not the EVIL bullshit. There's a lesson somewhere. Hopefully someone pays attention, because this evil EVIL experiment has been and continues to be an epic failure.

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Yup, 1.2k people for A Block (Ishii-Ibushi & Shingo-ZSJ) and 800 people for Okada-EVIL.

The card for the first night at Budokan looks fucking rough too. How much are they limiting attendance though? not sure how many people they'll be able to fill in for the final day either, that's gonna be the real test tbh.

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24 minutes ago, Jmare007 said:

The card for the first night at Budokan looks fucking rough too.

Tanahashi vs Taichi & Okada vs Cobb actually are two of the most interesting matches on the Block to me, but don't tell me that SANADA vs EVIL actually gets to be the main event. Which would also imply that EVIL would be in contention until the end. Holy fuck, spare me the pain already.

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14 minutes ago, El-P said:

Tanahashi vs Taichi & Okada vs Cobb actually are two of the most interesting matches on the Block to me, but don't tell me that SANADA vs EVIL actually gets to be the main event. Which would also imply that EVIL would be in contention until the end. Holy fuck, spare me the pain already.

I meant drawing wise.

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As damning an indictment as the empty building was for EVIL, night four was still pretty solid. I only watched the last three matches, but they were all pretty good with Taichi-SANADA being the best (which was a bit surprising to me).

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ZSJ is trying his best to steal the MVP status from Ishii. Terrific match with Ibushi, who looked better than he has in the last few matches.

Ishii gave one of his selling masterclass in an excellent outing against KENTA.
Nagata vs Takagi was also excellent and a mighty fine replacement for Naito. Nagata is what, 53 ? He's way into that "greatest post 50 years old workers ever" conversation.

The lesser be said about the other two matches the better. Next day for A Block is gonna be super rough (plus Nagata won't be there, instead we get... Bushi... yikes) apart from the main event, as there will be a curiosity as whether the usually waste-of-time guys can be carried to something good or at least not offensive (Great O-Khan has the best chance), so less easy fast-forward.

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