G1 Climax 29 Thread

Contents

3 Rated Matches:

Night 5 – Kota Ibushi v Will Ospreay – 3+

Night 6 – Jon Moxley v Tomohiro Ishii – 3

Night 7 – Kazuchika Okada v Will Ospreay – 3+

Night 10 – Tomohiro Ishii v Juice Robinson – 3

Night 14 – Tetsuya Naito v Shingo Takagi – 3

Night 16 – Shingo Takagi v Tomohiro Ishii – 3

Night 17 – Kota Ibushi v Kazuchika Okada – 3+

Night 18 – Taichi v Tomohiro Ishii – 3

Final – Kota Ibushi v Jay White – 3

2+ Rated Matches:

  • Night 1 – Lance Archer v Will Ospreay
  • Night 1 – SANADA v Zack Sabre Jr.
  • Night 1 – Kazuchika Okada v Hiroshi Tanahashi
  • Night 2 – Juice Robinson v Shingo Takagi
  • Night 3 – Will Ospreay v SANADA
  • Night 3 – EVIL v Kota Ibushi
  • Night 4 – Tomohiro Ishii v Jay White
  • Night 8 – Tetsuya Naito v Tomohiro Ishii
  • Night 9 – Kazuchika Okada v KENTA
  • Night 10 – Jon Moxley v Tetsuya Naito
  • Night 11 – Zack Sabre Jr. v Will Ospreay
  • Night 12 – Hirooki Goto v Tomohiro Ishii
  • Night 13 – SANADA v Kazuchika Okada
  • Night 15 – Will Ospreay v KENTA
  • Night 15 – Kota Ibushi v Zack Sabre Jr.
  • Night 17 – Zack Sabre Jr. v KENTA
  • Night 17 – Will Ospreay v Hiroshi Tanahashi
  • Night 18 – Shingo Takagi v Hirooki Goto

Complete Ratings:

NightWinnerLoserRating
Night 1Lance ArcherWill Ospreay2+
Bad Luck FaleEVIL1+
SANADAZack Sabre Jr.2+
KENTAKota Ibushi2
Kazuchika OkadaHiroshi Tanahashi2+
Night 2Juice RobinsonShingo Takagi2+
TaichiJon Moxley1+
Toru YanoTetsuya Naito1+
Tomohiro IshiiJeff Cobb1
Hirooki GotoJay White1+
Night 3Lance ArcherBad Luck Fale2
Will OspreaySANADA2+
Kazuchika OkadaZack Sabre Jr2
EVILKota Ibushi2+
KENTAHiroshi Tanahashi2
Night 4Shingo TakagiToru Yano1
Juice RobinsonHirooki Goto1+
Jon MoxleyJeff Cobb1
Tomohiro IshiiJay White2+
TaichiTetsuya Naito2
Night 5KENTALance Archer1+
EVILSANADA2
Kazuchika OkadaBad Luck Fale1
Hiroshi TanahashiZack Sabre Jr.2
Kota IbushiWill Ospreay3+
Night 6Shingo TakagiTaichi2
Jeff CobbJuice Robinson1+
Toru YanoJay White0+
Tetsuya NaitoHirooki Goto1+
Jon MoxleyTomohiro Ishii3
Night 7Zack Sabre Jr.Bad Luck Fale2
Hiroshi TanahashiLance Archer1+
KENTAEVIL1+
Kota IbushiSANADA1+
Kazuchika OkadaWill Ospreay3+
Night 8Juice RobinsonToru Yano1
TaichiHirooki Goto1+
Jon MoxleyShingo Takagi2
Jay WhiteJeff Cobb1
Tetsuya NaitoTomohiro Ishii2+
Night 9Kota IbushiLance Archer2
Will OspreayBad Luck Fale0+
EVILZack Sabre Jr.1
Hiroshi TanahashiSANADA1+
Kazuchika OkadaKENTA2+
Night 10Hirooki GotoToru Yano0+
Tomohiro IshiiJuice Robinson3
Jeff CobbTaichi1+
Jay WhiteShingo Takagi2
Jon MoxelyTetsuya Naito2+
Night 11Kota IbushiBad Luck Fale0
Zack Sabre Jr.Will Ospreay2+
Kazuchika OkadaLance Archer2
SANADAKENTA2
Hiroshi TanahashiEVIL1+
Night 12Jeff CobbShingo Takagi1+
Toru YanoJon Moxley2
Tetsuya NaitoJuice Robinson1+
Jay WhiteTaichi1+
Hirooki GotoTomohiro Ishii2+
Night 13Bad Luck FaleKENTA1
Zack Sabre Jr.Lance Archer1+
EVILWill Ospreay2
Kota IbushiHiroshi Tanahashi2
SANADAKazuchika Okada2+
Night 14Tomohiro IshiiToru Yano2
TaichiJuice Robinson1
Hirooki GotoJeff Cobb1
Jay WhiteJon Moxley1
Tetsuya NaitoShingo Takagi2+
Night 15SANADALance Archer1
Bad Luck FaleHiroshi Tanahashi0+
Will OspreayKENTA2+
Kota IbushiZack Sabre Jr.2+
Kazuchika OkadaEVIL2
Night 16Toru YanoTaichi1+
Tetsuya NaitoJeff Cobb2
Hirooki GotoJon Moxley2
Jay WhiteJuice Robinson2
Shingo TakagiTomohiro Ishii3
Night 17Lance ArcherEVIL2
Bad Luck FaleSANADA1+
Zack Sabre Jr.KENTA2+
Will OspreayHiroshi Tanahashi2+
Kota IbushiKazuchika Okada3+
Night 18Jeff CobbToru Yano1+
TaichiTomohiro Ishii3
Juice RobinsonJon Moxley2
Shingo TakagiHirooki Goto2+
Jay WhiteTetsuya Naito2
FinalKota IbushiJay White3

Blessed Content

Complete Stats

A Block Average Score: 1.94

B Block Average Score: 1.79

Best Nights:

  1. Night 17, A Block, Tokyo
  2. Night 1, A Block, Dallas
  3. Night 18, B Block, Tokyo
  4. Night 3, A Block, Tokyo
  5. Night 16, B Block, Yokohama

Worst Nights:

  1. Night 9, A Block, Nagoya
  2. Night 14, B Block, Osaka
  3. Night 4, B Block, Sapporo
  4. Night 11, A Block, Takamatsu
  5. Night 8, B Block, Hiroshima

MVP: Tomohiro Ishii (2.5 avg)

LVP: Bad Luck Fale (1.11 avg)

Final Match Quality Rankings:

  1. Tomohiro Ishii
  2. Will Ospreay
  3. Kazuchika Okada
  4. Shingo Takagi
  5. Kota Ibushi
  6. Zack Sabre Jr.
  7. Tetsuya Naito
  8. KENTA
  9. Jon Moxley
  10. Juice Robinson
  11. Taichi
  12. SANADA
  13. Lance Archer
  14. EVIL
  15. Hiroshi Tanahashi
  16. Jay White
  17. Hirooki Goto
  18. Toru Yano
  19. Jeff Cobb
  20. Bad Luck Fale

10 Best Matches:

  1. Kazuchika Okada v Will Ospreay
  2. Kota Ibushi v Will Ospreay
  3. Kota Ibushi v Kazuchika Okada
  4. Kota Ibushi v Jay White
  5. Tomohiro Ishii v Juice Robinson
  6. Jon Moxley v Tomohiro Ishii
  7. Shingo Takagi v Tomohiro Ishii
  8. Taichi v Tomohiro Ishii
  9. Tetsuya Naito v Shingo Takagi

5 Worst Matches:

  1. Kota Ibushi v Bad Luck Fale
  2. Hirooki Goto v Toru Yano
  3. Jon Moxley v Jeff Cobb
  4. Jay White v Jon Moxley
  5. EVIL v Zack Sabre Jr.

Best Matches of the G1 Climax 28

New Japan Pro Wrestling’s annual G1 Climax tournament has come to a close with the Ace, Hiroshi Tanahashi, raising the trophy after one of the most epic battles of his career versus Kota Ibushi. If you’re not quite at the level of personal fanaticism required to watch every night of the G1, you may at least want to know the can’t-miss matches you should go back and catch up on. This is every match I had rated 4.75 or higher on my G1 tracking spreadsheet.

12. Zack Sabre Jr v Tomohiro Ishii – Night 8

Photo credit: NJPW

Of course ZSJ is the ultimate opponent when it comes to showcasing mat work skills but the fact is that Ishii is highly underrated technically. Despite the general expectation of ZSJ attempting bullfighting against a power opponent, Ishii maintains a level head, conservative approach, brilliant psychology, and gives Zack everything he can stand on the mat. This is a huge disadvantage to Sabre because surely it’s not possible to submit Ishii.

11. Kazuchika Okada v Minoru Suzuki – Night 13

Photo credit: NJPW

Despite Okada’s and Suzuki’s poor starts, both have since stabilized into strong runs but both are in must-win scenarios chasing Tanahashi. Suzuki is taking no chances and immediately brutalizes Okada all around the stadium. Of course putting Okada down is never as simple as that. He struggles back into the match, but can he find the offense he’s been missing since he’s lost the IWGP Heavyweight Belt? Suzuki had a solid performance in the G1 (including redeeming the worst feature match of 2017 by putting in a near-classic against Mike Elgin) but if you needed a definitive match for him, this is it.

10. Tomohiro Ishii v Hirooki Goto – Night 6

Photo credit: NJPW

If you wanted this to be a ridiculous anime-level slugfest, mount up.

9. SANADA v Kota Ibushi – Night 8

Photo credit: NJPW

An initial flurry of otherworldly athleticism from two of New Japan’s most impressive bodies gives way to the realization that someone is going to have to actually outwrestle the other. Ibushi is faster than everyone he wrestles, but he does not seem to be able to speed past SANADA. Failure to do so leads to Ibushi’s potent offense being weakened. Can Ibushi still win when he’s not the better athlete?

8. Kenny Omega v Hirooki Goto – Night 4

Photo credit: NJPW

The 2016 G1 Climax final began the true ascent of Kenny Omega into the top ranks of New Japan. Kenny has since dethroned the top wrestler in the promotion while Goto has simply maintained his place in the upper midcard. Is there any possibility that Goto can still compete with this version of Omega?

7. Kota Ibushi v Zack Sabre Jr. – Night 2

Photo credit: NJPW

Zack Sabre Jr. is the hottest wrestler in New Japan in 2018. He comes off a dominating win in the New Japan Cup and a very recent victory against Kazuchika Okada. Both men come in at full strength–does Sabre still hold the hot hand or is momentum even a consideration when facing a wrestler the quality of Ibushi?

6. Hiroshi Tanahashi v Kazuchika Okada – Night 17

Photo credit: NJPW

Little Kazu rode a shaky start and a flourishing identity crisis into a stable run. He’s starting to put it all back together, but has he solved enough of his problems in a win-to-get-in situation to pin the Ace in 30 minutes? On the other side, can Tanahashi overcome the man who has stolen his mantle as New Japan’s shuyaku or will he be content to point his way into yet another G1 final?

5. Kota Ibushi v Kenny Omega – Night 18

Photo credit: NJPW

With Naito’s loss to Zack Sabre, it comes down to Lover v. Lover to face the A block winner in the final. Ibushi seems unstoppable but Kenny is the top wrestler in the promotion now. Will Kenny be able to reach a third straight G1 final? This match significantly plays off the psychology of what these two insane people might do, constantly edging toward a terrifying spot.

4. Tomohiro Ishii v Kota Ibushi – Night 10

Photo credit: NJPW

Ibushi came into the tournament as one of the block favorites but seems to be unfocused and ineffective at times. He’s lost two coming in that he should have won and that weak mess is not gonna fly against this Ishii. Kota needs to wake up and understand the level at which he will have to perform to make it through this G1 and Ishii might just be the person to awaken him.

3. Kenny Omega v Tetsuya Naito – Night 2

Photo credit: NJPW

Naito and Kenny spent most of 2016-2018 jockeying for an opportunity to dethrone Okada including their classic G1 final in 2017. Naito kicked off the G1 last year with one of the best matches of the tournament on the first day with Ibushi and they again give him the job of establishing the tournament’s tone on the first night of the block. Naito has suffered some losses lately but his win over Omega last year has to be fresh in both their minds. Can the tranquilo one get his career back on track with a statement win in his opener?

2. Tomohiro Ishii v Kenny Omega – Night 14

Photo credit: NJPW

Kenny is at the time of this match undefeated and looks particularly indestructible. Something has felt special about Ishii this year though, he’s putting up the best matches of his career. Ishii is gonna bring the juice but enough to beat an on-fire Omega? Well let me tell you, buddy, you have no idea how much juice Ishii has in that tank and he empties it completely in this.

1. Hiroshi Tanahashi v Kota Ibushi – G1 Final

Photo credit: NJPW

I’m going to say the potentially controversial part up front: I think this is Hiroshi Tanahashi’s best match ever. It’s hard to ever give that sort of definitive statement on a guy who has had as many classics as Tanahashi, but even if you don’t think it’s the best, you’ll think it’s one of the top few.

The core of this match is all about Ibushi’s unstoppable offense. Even when Tana gains the upper hand, Ibushi is firing off some of the most brutal strikes we’ve ever seen from him. Tanahashi has to dig to a place he hasn’t been able to reach in a few years to compete. He had a great tournament in a weaker block but does he have enough to repel Ibushi’s newfound power? It’s a fitting and intense end to the best G1 in history from top to bottom.


Summary

  • Kota Ibushi – 5 matches (2 of the top 5)
  • Kenny Omega – 4 matches (3 of the top 5)
  • Tomohiro Ishii – 4 matches (2 of the top 5)
  • Kazuchika Okada – 2 matches
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi – 2 matches (1 of the top 5)
  • Zack Sabre Jr – 2 matches
  • Hirooki Goto – 2 matches
  • Tetsuya Naito – 1 match (1 of the top 5)
  • SANADA –  1 match
  • Minoru Suzuki – 1 match

Total Quality Rankings

  1. Ibushi – 4.60
  2. Omega – 4.36
  3. Ishii – 4.31
  4. Sabre Jr. – 4.19
  5. Naito – 4.19
  6. Okada – 4.17
  7. SANADA – 4.00
  8. Goto – 3.92
  9. Tanahashi – 3.90
  10. Elgin – 3.83
  11. Suzuki – 3.81
  12. EVIL – 3.81
  13. Robinson – 3.78
  14. White – 3.75
  15. Page – 3.72
  16. YOSHI-HASHI – 3.56
  17. Yano – 3.50
  18. Makabe – 3.20
  19. Tonga – 3.03
  20. Fale – 2.78