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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 10/18/2020

Welcome back to the Japanese tournament Top 5! Or well..okay Top 5 matches but full disclosure, it’s all G1. Take your pick!

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Okay so with the G1 Climax now over, this is probably the last totally dominated week by Japan. Mostly since I have no intention of following BOSJ or Tag League as closely, but if we get a slow week…you never know.

Last week, the best match did actually win, Champion Carnival Finals: Kento vs Zeus, had the most votes at the end of the day. So it’s nice to see it be in contention, even if All Japan isn’t the powerhouse it used to be.

Now let’s get on to this week’s G1 list!

Quick Top 5:

  1. G1 Climax Day 17: Jay White vs. Tomohiro Ishii
    Rating: **** 1/2
  2. G1 Climax Day 18: EVIL vs SANADA
    Rating: **** 1/4
  3. G1 Climax Day 15: Jay White vs. Minoru Suzuki
    Rating: **** 1/4
  4. G1 Climax Day 17: Kota Ibushi vs. Taichi
    Rating: **** 1/4
  5. G1 Climax Final Day: G1 Climax 30 Finals: SANADA vs Kota Ibushi
    Rating: ****
  6. G1 Climax Day 15: Kazuchika Okada vs. Tomohiro Ishii
    Rating: ****
  7. G1 Climax Day 16: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs SANADA
    Rating: ****

Honorable Mentions:

  1. G1 Climax Day 15: Shingo Takagi vs. Taichi
    Rating: *** 3/4
  2. AJPW Raising an Army: Triple Crown Championship SUWAMA (c) vs Zeus
    Rating: *** 3/4
  3. G1 Climax Day 18: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Zack Sabre Jr
    Rating: *** 3/4
  4. G1 Climax Day 17: Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay
    Rating: *** 3/4
  5. G1 Climax Day 18: Tetsuya Naito vs KENTA
    Rating: *** 3/4
  6. G1 Climax Day 16: EVIL vs Hirooki Goto
    Rating: *** 1/2
  7. G1 Climax Day 17: Minoru Suzuki vs. Shingo Takagi
    Rating: *** 1/2
  8. G1 Climax Final Day: Great-O-Khan & Will Ospreay w/Bea Priestley vs Kazuchika Okada & SHO
    Rating: *** 1/2
  9. NJPW Strong Ep. 11: PJ Black vs Alex Zayne
    Rating: *** 1/4
  10. G1 Climax Day 16: KENTA vs YOSHI-HASHI
    Rating: *** 1/4
  11. G1 Climax Day 15: Kota Ibushi vs. Yujiro Takahashi
    Rating: *** 1/4
  12. AJPW Raising an Army: Izanagi, Shigehiro Irie & Bodyguard vs Kento Miyahara, Rising HAYATO & Yuma Aoyagi
    Rating: *** 1/4
  13. G1 Climax Final Day: LIJ (Hiromu Takahashi & Shingo Takagi) vs Suzuki-Gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Minoru Suzuki)
    Rating: *** 1/4
  14. NJPW Strong Ep. 11: Hikuleo vs TJP
    Rating: *** 1/4
  15. G1 Climax Day 18: Hirooki Goto vs Juice Robinson
    Rating: *** 1/4
  16. IMPACT!: Kimber Lee w/Deonna Purrazzo vs Kylie Rae
    Rating: *** 1/4
  17. G1 Climax Final Day: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Jeff Cobb, Juice Robinson & Master Wato w/Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori, Gedo, KENTA & Jay White)
    Rating: ***
  18. G1 Climax Day 16: Juice Robinson vs Zack Sabre Jr
    Rating: ***
  19. G1 Climax Day 18: Toru Yano vs YOSHI-HASHI
    Rating: ***
  20. G1 Climax Day 17: Jeff Cobb vs. Yujiro Takahashi
    Rating: ***
  21. IMPACT!: NoDQ Match: Madman Fulton w/Ace Austin vs Doc Gallows w/Karl Anderson
    Rating: ***
  22. G1 Climax Day 15: Will Ospreay vs. Jeff Cobb
    Rating: ***
  23. G1 Climax Day 16: Toru Yano vs Tetsuya Naito
    Rating: ***
  24. G1 Climax Final Day: Darkness Club (EVIL w/Dick Togo & Yujiro Takahashi) vs LIJ (Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI)
    Rating: ***

 

5t. G1 Climax Day 16: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs SANADA

From My Results:

Tanahashi hits the desperation Aces High, and then catches SANADA on his way back into the ring with a few Dragon Screws and we start ramping up the match. Great pacing allowed each moment to mean something even if it wasn’t overly flashy. Tanahashi fighting through age and injuries, against someone trained from the same school as him (Muto instead of Fujinami, but still Dragon), they had a lot of mirrored moments. Tanahashi goes for the High Fly Flow, SANADA gets his knees up. SANADA had Skull End in for a while, then goes for the Moonsault Press, but Tanahashi gets his knees up. Dragon Screws, Dragon Sleepers, lots of counter moves and attempting to take sudden advantage of moments. Locomotion counters, SANADA rolls through a Dragon Sleeper, Tana backflips out of it, then when SANADA tries to backflip, Tana just plants him with a slam, and follows that with Sling Blade. Tana goes to the top rope, SANADA stands, Aces High, but SANADA goes full Randy Orton and catches him with the Ace Crusher!

Moonsault on the back, then the Moonsault hits flush and SANADA beats The Ace! SANADA is still very much alive in the tournament!

Winner: SANADA via Moonsault

 

5t. G1 Climax Day 15: Kazuchika Okada vs. Tomohiro Ishii

From Mathew’s Review:

Okada gets off the turnbuckle and hits Ishii with the Reverse Neckbreaker. Okada tries to hit a Dropkick as Ishii pushed his legs out of the way to forearm him as Okada replies with a kick before running the ropes, Ishii catching him with a Powerslam. Okada quickly got up and hits Ishii with a forearm, leading them both to hit each other as Ishii hits a German Suplex into the corner. Okada hits the Tombstone and applies the Money Clip, trying to choke Ishii out but Ishii gets to the ropes to break the hold. Okada tries to hit a Tombstone again but Ishii gets over Okada to hit a German Suplex. Okada attempts a Rolling Lariat as Ishii hits his arm and attempts a Lariat but Okada ducks, trying to hit a Dropkick as he missed and Ishii goes for a Sliding Lariat but Okada dodges to apply the Money Clip again! Ishii fights out of the hold to get a Reverse Armbar in before turning it into an Armbreaker as Okada’s foot was on the ropes. Ishii hits a Sliding Lariat as Okada kicked out at two and he picks him up to go for the Vertical Drop as Okada reversed it into a Spinning Tombstone and the two go down! Okada hits the Dropkick but Ishii gets back up to charge at Okada, being caught with an Uppercut and a Rolling Lariat. Okada gets the Money Clip in again and the ref goes to check up on him but Ishii stands up, Okada trying to go for that Orton Backbreaker as Ishii landed on his feet, hitting Okada with a headbutt! Ishii hits Okada with a Lariat and gets him up for the Vertical Drop but Okada hits his head with his knee to land on his feet, applying for the Money Clip but Ishii hits a Codebreaker. Okada attempts a short arm Lariat but Ishii would get behind him to go for a Backslide but Okada lands on his feet to hit the short arm Lariat! Okada hits the Dropkick again and quickly goes to the Money Clip once more. Ishii stands on his feet but Okada hits the Orton Backbreaker this time to get him down, still holding onto the Money Clip as Ishii is knocked out, giving Okada the victory to stay alive!

Winner: Okada via Money Clip

 

5t. G1 Climax Final Day: G1 Climax 30 Finals: SANADA vs Kota Ibushi

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Ibushi sits Sanada up with the wristlocks, KAMIGO- NO! POP-UP CUTTER!! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi survives but Sanada is after him! Sanada has Ibushi in a drop zone, MOONSAULT to the back! Sanada keeps going, MOONSAULT to KNEES! Ibushi saves himself from Sanada’s Ace trumping combo! Fans are thunderous again as both men are down! Sanada goes to a corner and Ibushi stands. Ibushi fires up, hobbles but runs, into an elbow! Sanada QUEBRADA, but Ibushi blocks and goes up the ropes to get the dragon sleeper on Sanada! Then gut wrench, but Sanada slips out to dragon sleeper again! Fans fire up as Sanada drops back, but Ibushi rolls back to gut wrench again! Ibushi shifts Sanada around and tucks him in, BASTARD DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!?!? Sanada survives and Ibushi is shocked!

Fans are thunderous again, maybe even electric! Ibushi gets up, gets the wrists, and roars as he sits Sanada up. Sanada dodges Kamigoye to backslide! TWO!! Ibushi still has wrists, Sanada resists the pull, and they’re in a deadlock until Sanada gets a leg! Victory roll, TWO! Sanada O’Conner rolls Ibushi to a JAPAN CLUTCH! TWO!?!?! That was 2.999!! Fans are now passing electric as Ibushi manages to stand! Sanada runs in, tilt-o-whirls a la Destino to get the dragon sleeper! Ibushi drops but Sanada drags him up. Ibushi shifts, scoops but Sanada slips out, Ibushi ROUNDHOUSES him again! Sanada stays up, Ibushi V-TRIGGERS! KENNY!! Ibushi has the wrists, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, TWO?!?!?! Sanada pushes it to 2.999999!! Ibushi shakes that off to sit Sanada back up, KAMIGOYE!!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!!

Winner: Ibushi via Kamigoye

 

2t. G1 Climax Day 17: Kota Ibushi vs. Taichi

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Fans are fired up as both men are down again, clutching their battered legs! Red Shoes starts a standing count as the two writhe. The count is at 7 of 20, Ibushi and Taichi flounder up. Taichi and Ibushi talk smack, head for the same corner, and it’s Ibushi who kicks first. Taichi kicks again, but Ibushi eggs him on! Taichi kicks more and more, but Ibushi kicks back. They clinch while trading kicks! Ibushi kicks harder but Taichi kicks back! The kicking continues, and fans rally up as both men stay up. Taichi KICKS and KICKS, and KICKS! Ibushi drops to his knees and fans fire up with Taichi! Taichi aims, but Ibushi blocks the buzzsaw! Ibushi KICKS the leg again!

Ibushi fires up as Taichi writhes! Fans rally with “I-BU-SHI!” claps as Ibushi aims, to BUZZSAW! But that’s not all! Ibushi sits Taichi up with the wristlocks, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!

Winner: Ibushi via Kamigoye

 

2t. G1 Climax Day 15: Jay White vs. Minoru Suzuki

From Mathew’s Review:

The two slap each other until Jay would kick him in the gut and hits a DDT. Jay attempts the Sleeper Suplex but Suzuki grabs his arm to wring it, Jay trying to fight him off as Suzuki slaps and hits his body until Jay fell down, rolling to the outside of the ring again. It looked like Jay was walking away but Suzuki makes him go back into the ring and once Suzuki came back in, Jay attempts the Blade Runner but Suzuki reversed it into the Rear-Naked Choke. He attempts the Gotch Style Piledriver but Jay sweeps his legs to make him lay on his back and hits a Dragon Screw on one of his legs. Gedo tries to crawl into the ring but Suzuki was focused on him, leading to Jay to hit a chop block on his bad leg again. Jay goes for the Blade Runner but Suzuki wraps his legs around his neck, bringing him down for a Cross Armbreaker! Jay was struggling but he would stand up but Suzuki held on, bringing him down to the mat again. Gedo was distracting the ref again and Suzuki had enough as he would walk up to Gedo to punch him in the face after pulling him down by his beard. Suzuki was going for the Gotch Style Piledriver but Jay tries to reverse it into the Blade Runner as Suzuki pulled his hair, making him let go as he hits Jay with a forearm. Suzuki choked Jay out again as he tries the Gotch Style Piledriver on more time but Gedo grabbed the referee’s leg to distract him, leading to Jay hitting a low blow to Suzuki! Jay finally hits the Blade Runner to get the victory!

Winner: Jay via Blade Runner

 

2t. G1 Climax Day 18: EVIL vs SANADA

From My Results:

After the double paradise, the familiarity of the two starts coming through more in the match. Each has counters for counters, when EVIL tries his misdirection; SANADA anticipates it and does his own misdirection leading to his Springboard Missile Dropkick. SANADA hits the Magic Screw, a Tiger Suplex Hold, and it’s all only for 2. But once SANADA goes for the Moonsault, EVIL moves out of the way, and starts to mount his comeback.

EVIL utilizes the exposed turnbuckles from earlier to weaken SANADA, hits a big Superplex and locks in the Scorpion Deathlock, dead in the center it looks grim for SANADA but he barely gets to the ropes and receives a Darkness Falls for his trouble. SANADA fights all the way back to hitting consecutive Moonsaults, and we all know that means victory; BUT FUCKING DICK TOGO!

Togo pulls out Red Shoes, slides in the ring, and then Hiromu has had enough and tries to help. The Darkness Club duo dispatch of Hiromu and try to set up the perfect spot for EVIL, but SANADA manages a Roll-Up, and EVIL kicks out. Togo interferes with the garrote again, and Hiromu this time hits a nice Superkick, stunning Togo, EVIL charges SANADA, SANADA moves so Togo is sent flying and then Japanese Leg Clutch on EVIL for the WIN!

Winner: SANADA wins via Japanese Leg Clutch

 

1. G1 Climax Day 17: Jay White vs. Tomohiro Ishii

From Mathew’s Results:

Ishii would get Jay up Fisherman style and makes him land on his knee, hurting himself in the process. Ishii would now apply a submission of his own as he goes for the Ankle Lock to try and make Jay tap out but Jay tries his best to crawl away, causing Ishii to drag him in the middle and locks it in tight when he repositioned himself. Jay grabbed the referee to keep him busy as Gedo gets in the ring to break it up but Ishii grabbed him as Gedo dragged the ref between them, Jay pushing Ishii into them to make Red Shoes go down. Gedo kicks Ishii in the leg and goes for another but Ishii grabs his leg, hitting him with a forearm before going for the Vertical Drop but Jay kicked his leg. Gedo pushed Ishii into Jay as he goes for the Blade Runner but Ishii reversed it, pushing him into Gedo and hits a German Suplex right after! Ishii hits a Sliding Lariat to Jay but he kicked out at two. Ishii goes for the Vertical Drop but Jay gets behind him to hit a low blow, and hits a Regalplex but Ishii kicked out at two also. Jay goes to pick Ishii up but Ishii hits a headbutt to Jay to knock him down! Ishii tries to go for the Lariat again but Jay ducked and hits a Half Nelson Suplex before going for the Blade Runner as Ishii reversed it to attempt the Vertical Drop as Jay got behind him, both turning it around back and forth until Ishii gets him up for the Vertical Drop but turned it into a Stunner instead! Gedo comes in the ring to try and help but Ishii hits a Lariat onto Gedo, turning around to hit a Lariat to Jay as well! Ishii is fired up and hits the Vertical Drop Brainbuster onto Jay and he gets the victory over Jay! Because Ishii has defeated Jay, that means Kota Ibushi is the winner of A Block and will advance to the finals this Sunday! There goes my pick to win it all but still a great match.

Winner: Ishii via Vertical Drop Brainbuster

 

Thoughts:

Another week where I definitely have no qualms with any match on the list, though admittedly the G1 Finals was the weakest of the three major round robin tournaments; it’s not like it was offensive.

I’m torn between the Jay/Ishii match and the Ibushi/Taichi match. My love for the Holy Emperor is a bit higher than that of the Switchblade. But I do enjoy the fact that Jay White still has a very good chance at ruining Ibushi’s life by taking the briefcase from him. So, I think my excitement for Jay possibly making history by being the first to take the briefcase, puts the Ishii match over a little in my mind.

There we go, thought process in tow, Tomohiro Ishii versus Jay White is my pick for the week. They’re all solid choices though. Which is your favorite?

 


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