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On 9/25/2021 at 12:52 AM, 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.

Usually the kayfabe explanation is that the match order for the final nights is only preliminary and will be rearranged if necessary based on who is still in contention and how. (The idea being in both kayfabe and reality that you try to have the winner decided as late as possible.)

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Yeah ZSJ has had a terrific tournament so far, that Shingo match was fantastic. Also rewatched Shingo vs Ishii and I was slightly harsh on it, definitely a top-tier match.

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Shingo v KENTA, ZSJ vs Great OK, Ishii vs Loa, Ibushi vs Yano. Definitely interesting. No guaranteed great matches, but any one of those four could potentially steal the show. Tokyo Pimp vs Bushi? Well... i mean, we'll get to see Pieter. 

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1 hour ago, gordi said:

ZSJ v O'Khan was really very good. 

I think I preferred Ishii vs Loa, thought Loa did a surprisingly good job matching Ishii's intensity. But I might need a rewatch of ZSJ-OK, was doing some morning prep stuff while it was on.

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I may revisit those. I pretty much just watched the ME (which was very good) and Ibushi-Yano which is the type of Yano match I like to see.

Standouts from yesterday were definitely Goto-Cobb and Okada-YOSHI-HASHI. Tonga-Tanahashi was also pretty good but not must-see.

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YOSHI-HASHI had the match of his life against Okada. Agree Tama vs Tanahashi was a pretty cool match, and the difference to me is striking in term of what Tama brought to the game compared to Tanga Loa vs Ishii, in which I thought Loa really didn't measure up at all and in the end it was Ishii just forcing a more meaty match than it had any right to be (I would not have minded this to be a semi-squash, but it would not have made sense in this context, and less so when the shows are way shorter because of the pandemic).

ZSJ is the MVP, that's official. That Great O-Khan match was the most enjoyable I've seen. He's much better when he's rolling around than when's he's doing claws and shit. I guess Ibushi vs Yano was the "best" (as in, less offensive) Yano you'll get. KENTA vs Takagi was a worthwhile main event, as KENTA really is putting himself on his opponent's level (well, as much as he can), so you'll get this match against Takagi and you'll get jackshit against Yano or Yujiro.

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One thing I believe we have all learned already during this tournament:

 

Spoiler

You got a Max the Max

Hopefully we can all agree on that. 

Perhaps more controversial, though: 

Spoiler

Fighting with a real sword

Speaking of which, unsurprisingly, Ishii, ZSJ, Ibushi, and Shingo all maxed the MAX today, in my opinion. 

It's a good time to be a pro wrestling fan.

Spoiler

Real muscle live!

 

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11 hours ago, gordi said:

Speaking of which, unsurprisingly, Ishii, ZSJ, Ibushi, and Shingo all maxed the MAX today, in my opinion. 

To say the least. 

That being said, Block A has peaked with these two matches. And it's kinda scary looking at the up coming line-up, because every great combination has been done already and apart from KENTA vs Ibushi and ZSJ, I look forward to exactly nothing. I'm sure Great O-Khan's ass is gonna be dragged around by Ishii, Ibushi and Takagi to matches he has no right to have on his own device, but that's still a pretty weak prospect. It's not like B Block has many bangers left either, but on average what's coming looks much more digestible and fun. Yeah, the peaks have been awesome, but the second half before we get to the final (ZSJ vs Okada or Takagi vs Cobb, yeah I've said it) is really were the weakness of this year's G1 will show. Usually it's when I kinda feel the burn out coming too, so maybe I need to adapt my watching pace... 

11 hours ago, gordi said:

It's a good time to be a pro wrestling fan.

The best ! B)

(ya all know that Danielson wants to do that shit next year, right ?)

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2 hours ago, El-P said:

 

(ya all know that Danielson wants to do that shit next year, right ?)

I can't stop fantasy booking next year's G1 (and also a hypothetical E1 tournament).

Bryan and Kingston are the two main guys I hope come over in 2022... But also everyone from Miro to JD Drake, and guys who have been here before like Kenny, Mox, Archer...

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1 hour ago, Tenese Sarwieh said:

Miro/Ishii in next year's G1 means God loves us all.

Next year's could be an insane with Danielson, Miro and probably Punk + Kenny.

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I've seen it mentioned that Miro was likely to be in this tournament had it not been for the pandemic. Brodie would have as well...RIP.

The best stuff has pretty much delivered as expected but I agree that the best is likely behind us. I've still been cherry-picking but the tournament hasn't been as dire as I expected (it also helps when Big Match YOSHI-HASHI steps up). ZSJ seems like a lock to win the A Block and my new prediction is that Okada and Cobb go into the final day of the B Block undefeated.

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12 hours ago, Boss Rock said:

I've seen it mentioned that Miro was likely to be in this tournament had it not been for the pandemic. Brodie would have as well...RIP.

The best stuff has pretty much delivered as expected but I agree that the best is likely behind us. I've still been cherry-picking but the tournament hasn't been as dire as I expected (it also helps when Big Match YOSHI-HASHI steps up). ZSJ seems like a lock to win the A Block and my new prediction is that Okada and Cobb go into the final day of the B Block undefeated.

I've been thinking about this with Cobb and Okada too. They've basically run through the guys I'd consider putting over Okada (except Taichi) and it seems like him vs Cobb is the clear block decider. May as well go all in on that match, I'd think.

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I checked out Sabre/Ishii. Good match, but Marty Asami is complete dogshit. He's as bad as Earl Hebner when it comes to telegraphing kickouts. He killed every single near fall by blatantly holding up after the two count.

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Marty Asami is the dirt worst at it. You basically gotta block him out of your mind and train your brain to deflect what he's doing.

Taichi vs Jeff Cobb was AWESOME. Taichi is easily the best fourth guy in his block and a top tier worker of this G1.

Okada vs SANADA was kinda slow at first (for obvious reasons), but the ending stretch was incredible and a reminder of how brillant Okada is.

Ishii, although he begins to show his age (and damaged body) a bit physically, just showed again why he's one of the GOAT. Great O-Khan won't have another match like this before long (although he was indeed game and has shown through this G1 that he could be a better worker if he wasn't doing the goofy mongolian gimmick).

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I feel like this G-1 has been pretty damning for GOK. I'm enjoying Tanga Loa's matches in the same block more, and I'm not exactly a big Tanga Loa fan.

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The only GOK matches I've watched have been ZSJ and Ishii, both of which were good and the former shows the guy knows what he's doing on the mat. But I haven't heard much praise for anything else he's done.

And Okada continuing to bounce back from last year to show how good he still is has been a very welcome development. He and Taichi had a great one today.

Kevin Kelly apparently said folks might cancel their World subscriptions if EVIL wins, which is both hilarious and likely.

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I don't think Kota Ibushi is demonstrably the lesser of his contemporaries D-Bry and Kenny, and may even have a deeper toolkit. Not that anyone is expressing that sentiment, but he's absent from the conversation, it seems.

I enjoyed tonight's show, first I've caught in a while. Nothing you'd sell your firstborn to see, but nothing you'd take a corkscrew to your eyeballs over, either. Young Lions looked good, I swear they'll still be doing Boston Crabs in little black boots in the year 2121. Tanga Loa shouldn't be going more than eight minutes versus Shingo but I get it and he didn't offend. I picked the winner of the perfectly fine KENTA/ZSJ match (DM me if you want to send me a trophy). No predictions for the final, but Sabre versus Cobb would be an interesting match-up.

Of all of New Japan's problems, perceived or otherwise, does the lack of an "ace" hurt them? I may be wrong but they feel "aceless" with Tana winding down, Okada just....floating around, Naito never made it, nor has Kota, EVIL was insipid rather than evil, and Shingo's the Champ/Man....
Am I reading it wrong? Is it Takagi? Still Okada? Or is the brand more important now than any of the independent contractors wink emoji?

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Ishii vs Hiromu was witheringly stiff but it wasn't to the point where it was hard to watch (as I'd feared it might be).

Then Zach and KENTA hit each other like they were having a "who can take the most punishment and keep going" contest with Ishii and Hiromu.

Then my daughters wanted to play, and by the time I got back to the G1 it looked like Ibushi had maybe legit broken O'Khan's nose.

So it feels to me like guys were really laying it in tonight. Not sure how the Yano match went, though.

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2 hours ago, Dav'oh said:

Of all of New Japan's problems, perceived or otherwise, does the lack of an "ace" hurt them? I may be wrong but they feel "aceless" with Tana winding down, Okada just....floating around, Naito never made it, nor has Kota, EVIL was insipid rather than evil, and Shingo's the Champ/Man....
Am I reading it wrong? Is it Takagi? Still Okada? Or is the brand more important now than any of the independent contractors wink emoji?

 

Spoiler

I feel like this G1 has been all about building Okada back up to be the ace. Both Cobb and Okada are unbeaten so far. I can see Cobb going unbeaten until the final day, and Okada losing in a surprise to either Chase or Tonga, setting up a scenario where Okada has to beat Cobb win. Of course there's always the possibility that EVIL wins the block...

 

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Ishii-Hiromu was very good though I think their NJ Cup match last year was better. Loa had an impressive showing against Shingo even if the match was too long. KENTA-ZSJ was good, but it also seemed to go on forever. And O-Khan looked really good against Ibushi. Granted, Ibushi is one of the best in the world, but O-Khan continues to impress me with his ground game. He seems to be putting the pieces together.

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13 hours ago, Dav'oh said:

I don't think Kota Ibushi is demonstrably the lesser of his contemporaries D-Bry and Kenny, and may even have a deeper toolkit. Not that anyone is expressing that sentiment, but he's absent from the conversation, it seems.

Ibushi and Kenny have always struck me as being very similar yet Kenny has always been more polarizing.

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