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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 7/21/2019

The G1 Climax is in full swing, along with some other shows and matches. How much of the Top 5 does New Japan dominate?

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The G1 Climax is in full swing, along with some other shows and matches. How much of the Top 5 does New Japan dominate?

Well in a very close vote last week, NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 3: Block A: Kazuchika Okada vs Zack Sabre Jr, edges out the competition by 1 vote.

This now makes for another interesting week. ROH had a free match that barely missed the cut, 205 Live had a great match, and to make sure that the week wasn’t filled with only Japanese matches, we’ll break out to 7 matches this week.

So let’s see what we’re working with!

 

5t. NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 5: A Block: SANADA vs EVIL

From My Analysis:
EVIL and SANADA have this brotherly rivalry in LIJ. Being former 2 time IWGP Heavyweight Tag Champions, familiarity is obvious. SANADA starts off the match quickly and this is definitely a match of quick bursts when the one gets an advantage. I guess they are transitioning SANADA away from the Paradise Lock since this is the second match where he had it mostly on, but “something happened” and the opponent gets out of the move. We get a bunch of great back and forth, but something that continues to plague SANADA is his limited moveset when it gets down to crunch time. EVIL pulled out a plethora of tricks, including using the referee as an anchor for the Magic Killer. Whereas, SANADA sticks to Dragon Sleeper variants, into Skull End attempt or a Moonsault. With how over SANADA is, I really expect him to start getting more crunch time maneuvers. EVIL wins and quickly wants to bury the hatchet by extending the LIJ fist bump. SANADA bumps fists, and all is fine in our ungovernable world.

Winner: EVIL via Everything is Evil

Rating: **** 1/4

 

5t. 205 Live: Chad Gable vs Jack Gallagher

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
Gable throat chops and rolling kicks! But Gallagher uses the ropes to rebound, for the Extraordinary Headbutt!! He falls to the cover, TWO!? Gable survives and Gallagher can’t believe it! Both men slowly stir and head for each other. Gallagher grimaces as he SLAPS Gable. Gable SLAPS back and now it’s a brawl! They throw forearms and elbows, then Gallagher fires off body shots and windmill fists! The ref counts and Gallagher stops. Gallagher whips Gable corner to corner, then runs in, but misses his dropkick! Gable catches Gallagher into the Canadian Rack! Dominator DDT! Cover, TWO!! Gallagher still lives and Gable is in shock!

Fans fire up as Gable drags Gallagher to a drop zone. Gable climbs up and moonsaults, to get boots to the gut! Gallagher hits his Extraordinary Dropkick!! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Gallagher is the one in shock now! Gallagher drags Gable up and hoists him to the top rope. He clubs Gable over and over before climbing up top. Gable fights back with elbows, but Gallagher clubs him more. Gallagher still staggers down, but clubs Gable into the post. Gallagher climbs up again, stands up with Gable, SUPER BACK SUPLEX, becomes Gable’s crossbody! Gable glares, rolls Gallagher, CHAOS THEORY!! Bridging cover, Gable wins!!

Winner: Gable via Chaos Theory German Suplex

Rating: **** 1/4

 

3t. NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 4: Block B: Tomohiro Ishii vs Jay White

From My Analysis:
Jay White starts off against two of the heavier hitters from Chaos, his former stable. After taking Goto lightly, Ishii comes into this match after a big win over Jeff Cobb. White came into the match less relaxed, but still playing up his smarmy character. Ishii laid into Jay the whole match, where Jay tried to outsmart the Stone Pitbull, but Jay isn’t as clever as he thinks he is. A great match with well placed false finishes and a lot of tension. Fantastic back and forth, plus Ishii picking up the win is something special.

Winner: Ishii via Vertical Drop Brainbuster

Rating: **** 1/2

 

3t. NJPW G1 Climax Night 6: B Block: Jon Moxley vs Tomohiro Ishii

From My Analysis:
Moxley versus Ishii was the insane hard hitting match we expected. Ishii even flew. He hit a splash on Moxley through a table. The Stone Pitbull flew. Yes I realize there is a callback to Masato Tanaka in that move, but you don’t understand, Ishii flew. Anyway, the beauty of Red Shoes as a referee is he understands each wrestlers personality, so he gives them a little more leash to do what they like to do. Moxley used weapons, Ishii egged it on, there were huge strikes, Ishii’s torpedo style rising headbutts and just good violence. This was a bar fight and no one was upset. Moxley getting the win was a little surprising since most of us assume he won’t be available for many if any later dates once AEW TV starts up. This was just a nice change of pace for the usual New Japan and/or Strong Style match.

Winner: Moxley via Death Rider

Rating: **** 1/2

 

3t. NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 7: A Block: Will Ospreay vs Kazuchika Okada

From My Analysis:
Okada and Ospreay were expected to blow the roof off, and well I’d say this was a damn good shot. Ospreay is obviously dinged up, but he fought through the pain and pulled off numerous flipping counters and found a few different ways to hit the Os-Cutter. They both let their personalities fly and this was a lot of fun to watch. Okada always has this older brother aura since he’s the one that brought Ospreay to New Japan and Chaos, so whenever they get together, it’s very much like two siblings trying to outdo the other. Ospreay had a great flurry at the end, flipping through a Rainmaker attempt, to try his Stormbreaker, but Okada flipped through that and hit a short arm lariat. Rolling Rainmaker and a normal Rainmaker later, Okada edges out the little brother. Great match.

Winner: Okada via Rainmaker

Rating: **** 1/2

 

Honorable Mentions:

Dragon Gate Kobe World Festival: Open the Dream Gate Championship: PAC (c) vs Ben-K
Winner: Ben-K via Ben-K Bomb
Rating: ****
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 6: B Block: Shingo Takagi vs Taichi
Winner: Takagi via Last of the Dragon
Rating: ****
ROH: The Briscoes vs RUSH & Dragon Lee
Winner: RUSH via Horns of the Bull
Rating: ****
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 7: A Block: Kota Ibushi vs SANADA
Winner: Ibushi via Kamigoye
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 4: Block B: Taichi vs Tetsuya Naito
Winner: Taichi via Last Ride
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 6: B Block: Tetsuya Naito vs Hirooki Goto
Winner: Naito via Destino
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 5: A Block: Zack Sabre Jr vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
Winner: Tanahashi via Triangle Counter Pin
Rating: *** 3/4
Dragon Gate Kobe World Festival: Ultimo Dragon, Dragon Kid & Masato Yoshino vs Shuji Kondo, Masaaki Mochizuki & Takuya Sugawara
Winner: Ultimo via La Magistral
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW Climax 29 Night 6: B Block: Jeff Cobb vs Juice Robinson
Winner: Cobb via Tour of the Islands
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 4: Block B: Juice Robinson vs Hirooki Goto
Winner: Juice via Pulp Friction
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 7: A Block: KENTA vs EVIL
Winner: KENTA via Go 2 Sleep
Rating: *** 1/2
IMPACT!: Mash-Up Finals Elimination Match: Eddie Edwards & Moose vs Willie Mack & Michael Elgin vs Jake Crist & Wentz vs Sami Callihan & Tessa Blanchard
Winner: Sami & Tessa
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 4: Block B: Jon Moxley vs Jeff Cobb
Winner: Moxley via Draping Death Rider
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night: A Block: KENTA vs Lance Archer
Winner: KENTA via Game Over
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 5: Shota Umino & Jon Moxley vs Tomohiro Ishii & Yuya Uemura
Winner: Shooter via Fisherman Suplex Hold
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 4: Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Zack Sabre Jr & Lance Archer vs KENTA, Clark Connors, Karl Fredricks & Hiroshi Tanahashi
Winner: Kanemaru via Deep Impact
Rating: ***
IMPACT!: Trey & Dave Crist vs Sami Callihan & Tessa Blanchard
Winner: Callihan via Piledriver
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 7: Taichi, Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Toru Yano, Hirooki Goto & Yuya Uemura
Winner: Kanemaru via Deep Impact
Rating: ***
WWE SmackDown Live: The New Day vs Randy Orton, Elias & Samoa Joe
Winner: Orton via RKO
Rating: ***

 

2. Dragon Gate Kobe World Festival: Open the Twin Gate Championship Triple Threat: KAI & YAMATO (c) vs Eita & Big R Shimizu vs Naruki Doi & Kaito Ishida

Well we bring ourselves back to Dragon Gate. This show featured the return of Ultimo Dragon after quitting 15 years ago and an Open the Dream Gate match where PAC finally lost. So I was interested in the show for those two reasons, and then decided to watch this as well.

From what I could gather, the story was the Doi and Ishida were the scheduled opponents, but Shimizu and Eita shoehorned themselves into the match in typical heel fashion. It added an interesting dynamic since Doi and YAMATO’s teams are fan favorites, so it gave everyone an easy focal point for hatred.

The match started with one man from each team in, but broke down a little bit when the dives and tandem attacks began. The beauty in this match was watching how perfectly YAMATO and Doi work together. Even though they weren’t on the same team, there were numerous times the 4 faces ganged up on the heels. Doi would pull off a move and YAMATO would fly in at the perfect time from off camera for nice tandem strikes.

However, the heel team doesn’t respect Ishida and took every opportunity to separate him from Doi and pick at the weak link. Eventually Ishida gets pinned, and it comes down to the champions against the heels. Some decent back and forth, more chairs than an Applebees and one very cocky Salamander later, and we have new champions!

The beauty in this match was really how buttery smooth the transitions and strikes were with Naruki, YAMATO and either of the heel wrestlers. Just a damn entertaining match…but Shimizu needs a new finish. The Shot Put Gummy Bear Bouncing Chokeslam needs to get retired.

Winner: Eita wins via Salamander

Ratings: **** 1/2

 

1. NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 5: A Block: Kota Ibushi vs Will Ospreay

From My Analysis:
There have been well known injuries for both of these men, and they played into the story of the match well. Focusing on each other’s injuries, calling back to their Wrestle Kingdom match and just a generally high energy and high impact match. Watching this match, you have to assume one of them will die with their style, but it is damn entertaining. Everyone expected this to be a great match and it delivered.

Winner: Ibushi via Kamigoye

Rating: **** 3/4

 

Thoughts:

Hey, there’s been a lot of wrestling this week and most of what I’ve seen is from New Japan. Yes, primarily because I’m covering it for the site, but it’s also the G1. I’m just happy that 205 Live and Dragon Gate managed to make a big enough splash to get in the Top 7…5…numbers.

I guess I have to pick one, but that’s not really easy. Umm…ya know, I did find myself enjoying the Twin Gate match quite a bit, save for Shimizu’s Gummy Bear bouncing slam. So I’ll give my vote for, Dragon Gate: Open the Twin Gate Championship Triple Threat: KAI & YAMATO (c) vs Eita & Big R Shimizu vs Naruki Doi & Kaito Ishida.


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