G1 Climax Night 9 Recommended Viewing
By: Matt Ederer
It has come to my attention that New Japan Pro Wrestling is amazing.
This is a reddit thread, via u/standingdropkick, talking about some pretty cool translated interviews from the G1 participants up on NJPW1972.com (NJPW1972.com is New Japan’s English website, the equivalent to WWE.com).
It would be nice if these were videos, and on YouTube or even NJPWworld, but hey, we here at The Spoiler Role respect the written word in all its charm and glory. I think the next step to really hooking fans outside of Japan would be live-translating the interviews that happen after matches and at the press conferences. Regardless, this stuff is a nice touch. For example, here is Kazuchika Okada on wrestling the older guys in the tournament:
What’s it like wrestling the third generation stars?
Okada: ‘It’s boring. Dead boring.’
–What’s boring about it?
Okada: ‘Well, is there anybody who really thinks a third generation guy in there with today’s guys can win? They’re still active, but it’s really just like them being in some veteran’s reunion card every night. Honestly, they just aren’t G1 caliber.’
— That’s quite harsh.
Okada: ‘To be honest, me personally? I want there to be stricter requirements to get into the G1 in the first place.’
Holy shit! A) heel Okada is peeking his head around the corner. B) sort of adds another layer to that amazing Kojima/Okada match from Day 8, doesn’t it?
Good show here, while not a blow away show, this one had a main event that many people on the dark recesses of the wrestling nerdweb are calling match of the tournament.
I don’t think it was quite the best of the tourney, but a really great match to cap off a solid show of wrestling. If you‘re coming in to the tournament late, you could watch Day 8 and Day 9 and be pretty well caught up with everybody’s personality and story. Two very watchable shows with some great main events and some nice variety. The G1 has yet to hit a real lull.
To the bluffs!
Togi Makabe vs. Yugi Nagata
Here’s where we get sportsy. If Nagata were to lose, coupled with a Tanahashi win later in the night (who is facing Yoshi-Hashi, so like, ring that one up) Nagata would be mathematically eliminated. Even if he were to win all of his remaining matches, ol’ Yugi could only hit a maximum of 8 points, and Tana would already have 8 with a W over Yoshi-Hashi. Since Tana has beaten Nagata head to head, he gets the tiebreaker, and it would be impossible for Nagata to win the G1 Climax.
So we know coming in that the old veteran Nagata *probably* needs a win here to stave off elimination. Enter Okada being a big jock-y jerk to say we all knew Yugi had no chance anyway.
Nagata, at 49 years old, was able to bring the one-dimensional Makabe to a really watchable match here. Nice touch to have Tenzan on commentary, I wish I understood what he was saying. This old man still has some fight in his bones, god bless him.
Bad Luck Fale vs. Kota Ibushi
Shocking good Fale match. Ibushi busted some insane bumps and dives for the big man, including an ECW-style balcony moonsault. Solid example of how to get a good big man vs little man match out of a limited wrestler.
It has come to my attention that Ibushi’s next match is in front of his home crowd, in the main event, vs Hiroshi Tanahashi. Plz correct me if I am wrong, but I think that’s the case. So y’know, that could easily be match of the tourney.
Surprisingly good one here.
Hirooki Goto vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Another really solid match, this one a style clash, the wrestler v brawler match. Actually, I don’t know if Goto is a brawler. Is he a wrestler? A brawler? A main eventer? A midcarder? What is Hirooki Goto? Does Hirooki Goto even know?
ZSJ and the walking existential crisis Goto have had a few matches so far in NJPW that have been solid. They had one for the NEVER title a few months back that was in the 4* range. Given a bit more time and a bigger stage, I think they have an even better one in them.
Again, solid match here, nothing to sneeze at, nothing you need to stop your day to see immediately. Check it out if you’re a person who loves ZSJ or the person who loves Hirooki Goto.
YOSHI-HASHI vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
The more I see of Yoshi-Hashi, the less I have time for him. I would like for this blog to stay mostly positive, so let me just say that Yoshi-Hashi works hard and that’s good and…that’s all. The way people describe Cody Rhodes as a wrestler these days is pretty much exactly how I feel about Yoshi-Hashi. The more I see, the less I need.
I didn’t feel like these guys clicked. This was kind of a clunky affair, Hashi still doesn’t quite feel like he belongs in the main event. Tanahashi could have a good wrestling match with a piece of unbuttered toast though.
Tetsuya Naito vs. Tomohiro Ishii
High quality G1 main event match.
As much as the crowd loves him, and chants his name when the theme hits, Naito is still very much a heel and a smarmy, greasy dickhead. He spits, he slaps, he poses, and just generally doesn’t care about you or what you believe in.
Awesome match with a super hot, white hot, Hot Hot Heat finishing stretch. This was heel Naito being a general arrogant prick, being really good and knowing he’s really good. Naito‘s constant hubris, almost laughably consistent arrogance, is not gonna fly with the Stone Pitbull Ishii though. You can be really good, but nobody is so good that they can run through a brick wall.
I do not want to use the word inferior because that suggests this match is in some way bad, which it isn’t, so let’s just say Naito and Ishii have maybe had superior matches to this in the past? They had one near the start of last year that was just a powerhouse, and near the top of many people’s Match of the Year lists.
In any event, this too was a powerhouse, a barnburner, a humdinger, an insert your 1990’s Vince McMahon cliche here.
Mild spoilers if you don’t know today’s winners yet, but courtesy of @Thauros_ , here are the updated G1 Standings:
Also, not that anybody is paying super close attention, but I’m going to rewatch Suzuki/Omega and Tanahashi/Nagata back over the weekend. We here at The Spoiler Role/HTCwrestling/of the planet earth reserve our right to change our mind.
DEFINITELY WATCH RIGHT NOW
Ibushi/Naito — Day 1–4.75*
Kojima/Okada — Day 8–4.75*
Elgin/Okada — Day 4–4.5*
ZSJ/Ibushi — Day 3–4.5*
Elgin/Omega — Day 8–4.5*
PROBABLY WATCH AT SOME POINT IN YOUR LIFE
Ishii/Ibushi — Day 5–4.25*
Ishii/Makabe — Day 3–4.25*
Nagata/Tanahashi — Day 5–4.25*
Omega/Suzuki — Day 2–4.25*
Juice/EVIL — Day 4–4.25*
Naito/Ishii — Day 9–4.25*
SANADA/Okada — Day 6–4.25*
Tanahashi/ZSJ — Day 1–4*
Ishii/Goto — Day 1–4*
Tanahashi/Fale — Day 3–4*
Kojima/Elgin — Day 6–4*
EVIL/Sanada — Day 2–4*
Omega/Yano — Day 6–4*
WATCH IT IF YOU LOVE THESE GUYS
Goto/Nagata — Day 3–4*
EVIL/Suzuki — Day 8–4*
Goto/Tanahashi — Day 7–4*
Nagata /Naito — Day 7–4*
Naito/YOSHI-HASHI — 4*
Omega/Tama Tonga — Day 4–4*
Goto/Makabe — Day 5–3.75*
Nagata/Makabe — Day 9–3.5*
Juice/Kojima — Day 2–3.5*
ZSJ/Goto — Day 9–3.5*
YOSHI-HASHI/Nagata — Day 1–3.5*
EVIL/Tonga — Day 6–3.5*
Makabe/Ibushi — Day 7–3.5*
Ishii/YOSHI-HASHI — Day 7–3.5*
Fale/Ibushi — Day 9–3.5*
ZSJ/YOSHI-HASHI — Day 5–3.25*
Tanahashi/YOSHI-HASHI — Day 9–3*
SANADA/Yano — Day 8–3*
Tonga/Juice — Day 8–3*
Suzuki/Juice — Day 6–3*
Tama Tonga/ Michael Elgin — Day 1 — 3*
Fale/ZSJ — Day 7–3*
Suzuki/SANADA — Day 4–3*
Naito/Fale — Day 5–3*
Okada/Yano — Day 2–2.5*
Day 4 Undercard — The Death of Darryl Takahashi :(
Makabe/Fale — Day 1–1*
Yano/Kojima — Day 4–1*