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I totally agree and despite the fact that Okada is my favorite wrestler, he absolutely should not have won at WK. There's very little ground left for Okada to cover so now would absolutely be the time to go with Ibushi.

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They just did a big angle at the Finals where KENTA turned on Ishii and Yoshi-Hashi in a six man match and joined Bullet Club. Shibata came out to confront him and they beat him up in his first physicality since his retirement. Crowd was red hot at the turn and the attack, and it set up KENTA as a top  heel instantly.

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Wow, didn't expect Ibushi winning. First time someone in the same block as the world champ wins the G1 in I don't remember how many years.

I guess Okada/Ibushi will main event one night at the Tokyo Dome, and Naito/White (or maybe Naito/Moxley?) will main event the other one.

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Shibata coming back would be huge, and perfect for a massive event like 2 back to back Dome shows.

Ibushi was too logical and safe as a pick not to end up winning, not even Gedo could throw a swerve there. Even more so when the other finalist was White.

 

And not that it really matters in the grand scheme of things, but it still interesting that today did a couple of hundred less people than last year's final night.

 

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That was quite the run from the KENTA angle through the main event. The Dream Team-Suzuki-gun tag match was terrific stuff, and a great way to set up another fall challenger given that Ibushi had one of the wins over Okada.

I think Ibushi winning from the champ's block makes sense when you add the other caveat that they wanted to get White to the final - they couldn't run White vs. Okada and Tana again. One of the better things about this G1 was the abundance of fresh matchups, even if they didn't all deliver.

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4 hours ago, NintendoLogic said:

Tama Tonga trying to rip up Shibata's shirt and being unable to do so made him look like a huge dork.

He is a huge dork, so makes sense.

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Ibushi-Jay ****1/2 They seriously just need to run with the gimmick that Ibushi has robot legs. Lots of neat leg work by Jay, but Ibushi really didn't sell at all during his comebacks. That being said...everything else about this match was pretty damn great. The first half was a bit more minimalist and more physical while the second half was your typical NJPW epic but with some of the best drama you'll see in any reversal sequence. They really milked the audience's dread in Jay defeating another one of their beloved heroes but Ibushi just wouldn't be denied. From Red Shoes immediately tossing Bullet Club from ringside, to Ibushi beating down Jay with slaps, to Gedo getting disposed by Rocky, all the way to the finish, this was a true feel-good match.

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G1 truly is the absolute masterpiece of pro-wrestling. Just an awesome month. Minor quibles aside (Jeff Cobb not being up to expectations to me, and mostly the baffling booking of Bad Luck Fale), it's just on another level. Awesome last three days at Budokan, awesome final, what else can you say. That sustained heat in the big main events were something. The KENTA angle was great and the crowd was losing it for Shibata (damn, if he can work even one more match, that would be something special). Great tag match too with Suzuki, rested from not doing the G1, finally making a move and beating Okada, setting up some great title match on the way to the Dome. And something has to be said about the terrific work of Kevin Kelly (yeah, he got mixed up at some point, but I can get the exhaustion), Rocky Romero & Chris Charlton. For the first two, calling 19 shows of almost 3 hours over a months and telling the story of the G1 comes off as really special (and it must suck your energy away too). I love the fact there's a beginning and an end. Bow down to Master Gedo. Despite his flaws (nobody's perfect), he's just the best, because after losing Omega at the beginning of the year, things didn't look that hot for NJ. Now, however... Probably gonna take a break until All Out, because I've had my share of awesome pro-wrestling.

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Lance Archer was the best guy in the tournament. Not just the most surprising, although certainly was that, but if I had to watch one guy's matches straight through, I'd pick him. He got over, too - there were dueling chants when he was wrestling Tanahashi! NJPW didn't know what they had going in, but they figured it out - Archer getting up from a kamigoye before going down to Ibushi must have been an audible.

It's nice to have a few guys (like Archer) who don't work the house style. Tomohiro Ishii is my favorite wrestler, but when you see dudes doing his routine a couple times a night for a month, the effect weakens. I always like ZSJ, but he's invaluable in this context because he does something different. This is also the argument for Yano, but he's never done anything for me.

Kenta was lousy. I haven't seen much of his work in NOAH or WWE - maybe it worked better if you knew the guy. But they positioned him as the new Shibata, a super intense super dangerous ass-kicker, and he didn't have the ability, demeanor, or physical presence to pull it off. We wound up with this bored-looking dad bod midget. The Bullet Club angle was not only great, it was necessary if they're going to continue to use him.

Sanada's super popular all of a sudden, and he's actually learned to respond to it. It's time to do something with him. Jeff Cobb turns out not to be a very good wrestler. I don't watch WWE so Moxley was an unknown, but goddamn that guy's a star.

The G1 was great, and I'm glad I managed to stick with it all the way through (I only had one match spoiled!). Ibushi winning really was a wholesome, feel-good moment.

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The Bullet Club/Shibata angle was gold. From KENTA refusing a tag and Ishii correctly anticipating an attack as he re-entered the ring to KENTA's motivation ("By rejecting me, you did this, not me") to the Shibata's vengeance to the final beatdown/posing. They pretty much nailed it.

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