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[2017-07-20-NJPW-G1 Climax] Kenny Omega vs Minoru Suzuki

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This may be construed as nitpicky and it isn’t his general style but I was hoping for less animated selling from Omega being in there with Suzuki than what we got in the early going. The leg work was really well done with Suzuki going after it with ferocity and Omega selling it well. One legged moonsault was a nice touch. Then we get the ref bump and the Suzuki Gun and Bullet Club clear out. This will set up faction wars I suppose in the future but I can’t be bothered to care about that in the slightest and it disrupted the flow of the match greatly for me. When the match restarts 1 vs 1, it is very engaging from the leg lock submissions to the V-Triggers that Kenny lands in. There was some pretty glaring execution spots where at two moments, Red Shoes seemed to count three on clearly designed two counts. In addition, the reverse rana in the finishing run was ugly with Suzuki not being able to take that bump properly. A little ambitious overall for those type of spots here and unnecessary to boot. Kenny does win which helps prove his dominance and he gives his grandstanding speech afterwards. I enjoyed this but didn’t think it every reached that next gear into great territory. ***1/2

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This was the tournament match I was most looking forward to seeing. I was hoping it would be like Suzuki's match with A.J. Styles from a few years ago which I thought was fantastic. Instead they went in a different direction with it. I still liked it a lot but it did not live up to my very, very high expectations. I hope Suzuki goes on a rampage from here and scores a ton of points because that Omega/Okada match in August is casting a pretty big shadow on the rest of B Block. I will never say no to Bad Luck Fale being a monster and tearing little guys up though.

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Minoru Suzuki once again gave an amazing big match performance - loved all the leg work he did to Kenny, always a pleasure to watch MiSu work the shit out of a limb. The thing that prevents this from being ****+ in my eyes though is that I thought Kenny's V-Trigger fury in the end was a bit too much considering all the damage Suzuki had done to his leg. Oh & also, BAD LUCK FALE. Loved watching him throw Suzuki-gun juniors around. Overall a very good match that could've been great had Kenny committed to selling the leg more. ***3/4

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I actually thought Kenny sold *fine* here - yes, he'd have some flurries with the knees (adrenaline, mentally pushing himself through it), but he never stopped going back to selling (and a good cover with the botched reverse rana late). And given some of his selling performances of late, i thought this could have been really bad going in and expected the worst. Enjoyed Fale coming out and dragging out Taka and despy in a headlock. That stuff is always in the middle of the match so it doesn't bother me. Same with the early ref bumps and the chair stuff. Liked how the early knee stuff was off the guardrail moonsault. Slug-outs were good here, Kenny even blocked a couple strikes but Suzuki turned it up a notch later in a good callback. Fight over the piledriver (with Kenny raising his hurt leg to shake it out too) I liked this on par with Okada's Suzuki match this year - ****

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I thought Omega's knee selling was excellent. Yes, he hit a lot of knee strikes but he regularly acknowledged the pain so it worked for the most part. I liked him hobbling around and smartly adjusting his offense to account for the bad leg (one legged moonsault, maintaining the bridge with one leg etc.) Plus the blown rana cover bradhindsight mentioned was actually brilliant (another example of a botch adding to a match).

 

Anyways, this was my #2 match of the G-1 Climax (behind Omega/Okada). An excellent clash of styles match with the high impact style, flamboyant Omega vs. the no nonsense shooter Suzuki. Minoru Suzuki in 2017 is as great as ever. Excellent offense with neat body punches and ultrastiff elbows, badass aura and great selling. My favorite spot was him pretending to hold on to the referee for support and staggering around wildly only to casually grab a kneebar in midair as Omega came off the top rope. The interference spots fit the flow of the match for me and the ref stuff was smartly done. *** 3/4

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