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TastefulChain4

TastefulChain4's G1 Climax 28 Reviews

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Day One (A Block):

Yoshi-Hashi (Chaos) vs Togi Makabe (New Japan): This was an average match which provided an easy start to the G1 Climax this year. The commentators were on point during this match about how Yoshi-Hashi needs to be more aggressive and he did try.

Bad Luck Fale (Bullet Club OG) vs Hangman Page (Bullet Club Elite): This match showed new sides of both Bullet Club members with Fale reigniting his vicious side and Hangman Page showing signs of a potential top babyface. Even though one of the things that gets me to watch the G1 Climax I see its prestige, the ending was perfect. Fale knew that it was more important to make a statement than to get the two points against Page, the involvement & attack from the Guerrillas Of Destiny reminded me of the old Bullet Club days when they used to ruin matches WWE style by causing disqualifications and illegal interferences.

Evil (Los Ingobernables De Japon) vs Michael Elgin (New Japan): This match was my favourite match of the night because of how equally matched the two competitors were, also Evil's unique ways of targeting Elgin's arm were pretty cool, I couldn't choose who should've won the match but I had a small instinct that Evil would win. Regardless of the result, both competitors have definitely made a solid first impression in this year's G1 Climax.

Minoru Suzuki (Suzuki-Gun) vs Hiroshi Tanahashi (New Japan): The booking behind this match was pretty weird overall. The start of the match with Suzuki locking in multiple submission holds to break Tanahashi's right leg for five minutes was awesome but then the match became less interesting with Suzuki dominating the entire match and then Tanahashi getting the win out of nowhere.

Jay White (Chaos) vs Kazuchika Okada (Chaos): In terms of an overall match, I preferred Evil vs Elgin however the last five minutes of this match were the best five minutes of the night. It's really interesting how Cody dwindled down to a face at the G1 Special and Jay White immediately shot to the top as New Japan's top heel on the same night, now he is also getting booed by the modest Japanese crowd. In addition to that Rocky Romero's commentary made White look 50 times better by displaying some hatred to the way White deals with his stable and his stablemates.

Overall, this was a solid first night of the G1 Climax 28. I can see Jay White coming out of the tournament a bigger star than when he entered because there are multiple ways he can progress. My main idea is that White could continue proclaiming himself as the leader of Chaos and could even make his own Chaos with Roppongi 3K (Young Lions connection) and Yoshi-Hashi could be his right-hand man. White & Yoshi-Hashi could win the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship (imagine the Switchblade & the Headhunter as the Tag Team Champions) and then White could win the Intercontinental or even the IWGP Heavyweight Championship down the line.

Rankings (Points):

Makabe - 2, Page - 2, Elgin - 2, Tanahashi - 2, White - 2

Yoshi-Hashi - 0, Fale - 0, Evil - 0, Suzuki - 0, Okada - 0

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Day Two: (B Block)

Toru Yano (Chaos) vs Tomohiro Ishii (Chaos): This longer this match was going the more interesting it became. It was a bit surprising to see Yano do actual wrestling moves rather than constantly go for roll-ups or lowblows (even though he gave up on the new attitude near the end of the match) but he managed to stand toe to toe with one of New Japan Pro Wrestling hardest hitters. Also, Ishii took a page out of Yano's book (or old book) to win the match was pretty weird for someone like Ishii.

Tama Tonga (Bullet Club OG) vs Juice Robinson (IWGP US Heavyweight Champion - New Japan): It seems like Bullet Club OG are now the type of faction that sticks together at all times as shown by Tanga Loa supporting both Tonga & Bad Luck Fale in their matches. This match managed to make both competitors look better as it made Robinson look like a bigger face by having to fight off the odds and of course Tonga by making him look dominant.

Sanada (Los Ingobernables De Japon) vs Hirooki Goto (NEVER Openweight Chmpion - Chaos): This match was better than the last, I didn't realize how easy it was to reverse the GTR into the Skull End and vice versa. Those counters made the competitors look more even and it made the final GTR look more devastating.

Zack Sabre Jr (Suzuki-Gun) vs Kota Ibushi (New Japan): This match was even better than the last, it seems like the deeper we go in the card, the better the matches get. This was another war between these two rivals (I believe that Kota Ibushi is Zack Sabre Jr's rival in NJPW) and it would've been better if they were given more time. Hopefully one day they will be able to fight over an IWGP Championship.

Tetsuya Naito (Los Ingobernables De Japon) vs Kenny Omega (IWGP Heavyweight Champion - Bullet Club Elite): Of course, this match was also better than the previous match which makes this my Match Of The Night. I finally figured out the way NJPW book these types of matches as I had a feeling that Omega would get revenge for his loss at last year's G1 Finals. It seems like once there is a winner in the first major encounter, the second match tends to be the loser getting his win back. Regardless of that, this was a great match (obviously they need more time in order to make an epic match) and the promos from Omega after the match were hilarious.

One thing which we should remember is that Tama Tonga defeated the US Champion and Tonga may get a title shot at somebody point. I personally think that he will challenge Kenny Omega for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship pretty soon but will unfortunately lose the match, then he will use his title opportunity and perhaps even beat Juice Robinson to win the US Championship which will kickstart the Bullet Club's momentum after the civil war is over.

Rankings (Points):

Ishii - 2, Tonga - 2, Goto - 2, Ibushi - 2, Omega - 2

Yano - 0, Robinson - 0, Sanada - 0, Sabre - 0, Naito - 0

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Day Three (A Block):

Hangman Page vs Michael Elgin: This match was pretty average in the beginning however the pace really increased in the last ten minutes and I would've accepted any winner even though Page needed the win more.

Evil vs Yoshi-Hashi: This match was generally average, but I did notice Yoshi-Hashi busting out a couple of new moves and a more resilient attitude against Evil. It seems like Yoshi-Hashi is trying out a couple of different attitudes as I noticed in his last two matches, I could see that Yoshi-Hashi wants to come out of the G1 Climax 28 as a new man rather than being the weak link.

Minoru Suzuki vs Togi Makabe: This match was one of the matches in which you could call it the definition of Strong Style. There were some serious strikes there and I was surprised that none of them were bleeding. I could see both Suzuki and Makabe fitting into Chaos (even though Suzuki is the leader of Suzuki-Gun).

Bad Luck Fale vs Kazuchika Okada: This was my Match Of The Night as the performance from Fale in addition to Tanga Loa interference attempts and Tama Tonga's cheap shot made the match a classic Bullet Club match. 

Jay White vs Hiroshi Tanahashi: This match was not what I expected, after the disappointing Wrestle Kingdom 12 match between these two competitors I expected a rematch that would outdo the first. Instead, the pace was really slow with the focus of the match (post the five-minute mark) was White's attack on Tanahashi's right knee. Again, White is going overboard with heel tactics but I'm not against as it suits his character even more until he builds his moveset into a superstar's moveset.

This was a slower show in comparison to Day One, other than Page vs Elgin and Fale vs Okada I did not see much excitement within this show. As usual, the commentary was exceptional with Kevin Kelly always bringing out little factoids that only increase your wrestling knowledge and with Rocky Romero being the cool commentator with random stories & experiences (until Jay White is seen or mentioned).

Points:

Elgin - 4, Makabe - 4, White - 4

Evil - 2, Fale - 2, Page - 2, Tanahashi - 2

Yoshi-Hashi - 0, Suzuki - 0, Okada - 0

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Day Four (B Block):

Tama Tonga vs Sanada: This match showed how similar Sanada and Tama Tonga are in terms of in-ring psychology and movement. The last five minutes of the match were awesome when Bad Luck Fale interfered and then Sanada pulled out a miraculous victory as I actually though that this match would be another two points for the Bullet Club OG.

Zack Sabre Jr vs Toru Yano: This was going to be an interesting encounter in my opinion due to their recent Tag Team matches against each other. I must say that Toru Yano perhaps put in the best performance I have seen from him in this match (I've only been watching NJPW regularly since Wrestle Kingdom 12 so I am not very familiar with Yano's past in-ring style). It was weird to see Sabre locked up in one of his own submission moves by Yano but the best part about Yano's performance was his perseverance to not lose by count out. With all of this emotion put into Yano's performance, I was hoping that he would pull this win out of the bag (as much as I am a Zack Sabre Jr fan).

Kota Ibushi vs Juice Robinson: This match was just a showcase of two very talented workers amongst the NJPW roster. Both of them deserved the win, however by losing twice in a row, it kind of makes the new IWGP US Champion seem like a bit of a weak champion which doesn't help when trying to make an impact, actually I am sensing similar mid-card type booking for Robinson this year as well.

Tetsuya Naito vs Tomohiro Ishii: This match was the most fun match of the night with Naito looking like a joke compared to the serious Ishii. I actually wanted Tomohiro Ishii to win but I guess Naito needed a win to kickoff his G1 run.

Hirooki Goto vs Kenny Omega: I have to admit, this was not my favourite match of the night as I really only like the first and last five minutes of the match. I thought that Omega body slamming Goto onto one of the benches in the crowd was devastating and Goto bringing back his old finisher showed how much he wanted to beat the IWGP Heavyweight Champion. My NJPW logic predicted Goto as the winner in order to take back his loss from Omega in the G1 Climax 26 Finals but obviously the face of NJPW will not lose to the NEVER Openweight Champion.

You perhaps noticed that I did not pick a Match Of The Night as I thought the matches in this event were very diverse in their formats and it would be unfair to pick one over the others. My choices come down to Sabre vs Yano and Naito vs Ishii with Ibushi vs Robinson coming in close behind them but I thought the first two mentioned matches were Matches Of The Night. I can say that after four days of G1 Climax events, the B Block is better than the A Block in terms of match quality, character work, and starpower whereas the only things I am intrigued by in the A Block are Bad Luck Fale and Jay White.

Points:

Ibushi - 4, Omega - 4

Ishii - 2, Tonga - 2, Goto - 2, Sanada - 2, Sabre - 2, Naito - 2

Yano - 0, Robinson - 0

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Day Five (A Block):

Michael Elgin vs Jay White: This match was my Match Of The Night and definitely the best opener in this year's G1 Climax. In addition to White's usual heel tactics that keep developing with every match, I am becoming a bigger fan of Michael Elgin because of his strikes (more specifically, his non-padded elbow shots) and he is now one of my favourites in the A Block.

Yoshi-Hashi vs Minoru Suzuki: The commentary did not make Yoshi-Hashi look good at all, they kept emphasizing on whether he can survive with Suzuki as if he's a Young Lion. I have to admit, I did laugh at the part where Suzuki offered Kevin Kelly an elbow shot.

Togi Makabe vs Evil: This match really displayed the raw brutality between these two competitors and in my opinion, this was both of their best matches so far in this year's G1 Climax.

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Bad Luck Fale: This match's ending was perhaps the best ending in pro wrestling history. With Tanga Loa's attempt to help Fale miserably failing to Tama Tonga fixing his club's mistakes, but the very best part was the way the referee called for the disqualification which made me realize that New Japan Pro Wrestling's referees are currently the best in the world.

Kazuchika Okada vs Hangman Page: In my opinion, this should've been Page's biggest victory in his career however it went the opposite way. I definitely respect Page's performance and the comparison between fan reactions for Hangman Page now and the reactions four months ago is amazing. The most annoying part was how Okada indirectly buried Hangman Page and his attempts at beating Okada, Okada didn't even bother mentioning his name in his promo or his post-match interview.

In this block, where competitors like Jay White and Michael Elgin are standing out, the booking makes Hangman Page look weak and non-existent in the tournament. Especially when commentators mention Page and White together, White is currently dominating the A Block with six points whereas Page has two points which he got by disqualification. I hope that NJPW booking can pull it together and make Hangman Page look better forward, especially against Hiroshi Tanahashi.

Points:

White - 6

Elgin - 4, Makabe - 4, Evil - 4, Tanahashi - 4

Fale - 2, Page - 2, Suzuki - 2, Okada - 2

Yoshi-Hashi - 0

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Day Six (B Block):

Toru Yano vs Kota Ibushi: This match was hilarious especially with the way that Kota Ibushi tried to match Yano with foul play, this match reminded me of Yano vs Kenny Omega from last year (that was one of my favourite G1 Climax 27 matches) which now makes me excited for Yano vs Omega 2.

Sanada vs Zack Sabre Jr: This is the best G1 Climax 28 match that I have seen so far (in my opinion), I did not get bored for one single second. I was entertained all the way from when the bell rung until Sabre left the arena. The commentators alluded to Sanada capturing a victory the same way he did against Tama Tonga and emphasized on how that would NOT work against Zack Sabre Jr but the result was the complete opposite and the way Sanada kept up with Sabre was awesome and impressive because Sanada is considered to have a better arsenal of impact moves and high flying moves rather than being a technical master like Zack Sabre Jr.

Juice Robinson vs Tetsuya Naito: I just feel bad for Juice Robinson now, not only can he not win a single G1 Climax match as a champion but his hand just keeps getting worse. That was some smart play by Naito to change the target to Robinson's hand with almost every move but I was hoping that Juice would get this big win.

Kenny Omega vs Tama Tonga: I wasn't too pleased when I heard that this match was not the main event however it made sense in the finish (even though the night could've just ended with a Tama Tonga promo). A new subplot in this whole Bullet Club Civil War has come up in the form of Red Shoes the referee which is different to say the least. Bullet Club OG matches have become more chaotic which puts Bullet Club OG as a serious new threat on the map however for two guys that have an above average of points in G1 Climax tournaments (especially with Bad Luck Fale as we are constantly reminded that he averages 11 points) they should start to accumulate points in order to have a shot at the Finals.

Hirooki Goto vs Tomohiro Ishii: For a new viewer, they would not be able to tell that these two guys are in the same faction with the way they went all out. It was one collision after another, after another, etc. where the competitor standing in the end would be considered the tougher. I was hoping that Goto would win as a way of bouncing back from his loss to Kenny Omega but the champion lost again. I know that the NEVER Openweight Title is not necessarily the most prestigious title in NJPW however New Japan has a story behind Goto being the only Japanese champion in the field this year and losing too many times will not make him look as credible as he should be.

Going back to the point about Juice Robinson losing, normally the G1 competitor wins lots of easy/medium matches while they lose the big matches to champions or some competitors are upsetters where they lose quite a bit but gain key victories over important people like the IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Juice is neither and it hurts his credibility as a champion and as a new star in the G1 Climax which makes him look like he does not deserves to be there with the rest of the field. Robinson could've lost almost all of his matches but at least get key victories over the likes of Tetsuya Naito, Kenny Omega, and Hirooki Goto but instead he lost to Naito as well which makes supporting him to win very difficult.

Points:

Omega - 6

Ibushi - 4, Ishii - 4, Sanada - 4, Naito - 4

Tonga - 2, Goto - 2, Sabre - 2, Yano - 2

Robinson - 0

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Day Seven (A Block):

Michael Elgin vs Yoshi-Hashi: This was a star-making performance from Yoshi-Hashi against a confident Elgin who definitely pegged this match as the easiest one in the tournament (just like everyone probably did) this making this an obvious Match Of The Night. This was Yoshi-Hashi's night and hopefully the first one of many nights.

Evil vs Bad Luck Fale: I thought this match should've been used to kickstart Fale on a winning streak to keep up his average 11 points in G1 Climax tournaments but this was another massacre by Bullet Club OG. I really liked how Evil pre-planned for Fale's tactics but looking in the long-term this could be Fale's worst G1 Climax in terms of final performance via accumulated points.

Jay White vs Minoru Suzuki: This was the ultimate heel battle of the A Block and it was nice in some aspects but I wanted more out of it. I probably shouldn't have had high expectations considering it is only the first encounter and it is in the middle of a G1 Climax tournament but at least it sets up the minimum tone for a possible future rematch.

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Hangman Page: It was nice to see Page chill and have fun at the beginning of the match considering he is usually an aggressive character, after watching White vs Suzuki it became clear who will win in another first ever encounter.

Togi Makabe vs Kazuchika Okada: This was a pretty good match, nothing special about it although I thought Okada hitting Rocky Romero with the balloons during his entrance and his post-match backstage comments were hilarious, so there's that.

Before the event started I would've put White vs Suzuki or Tanahashi vs Page as the main event but after the event Elgin vs Yoshi-Hashi was definitely the main event, their match showed me that Yoshi-Hashi doesn't need to turn heel in order to improve, it turns out that he can play a really good underdog and NJPW need to capitalise on that.

Points:

White - 6, Evil - 6, Tanahashi - 6

Elgin - 4, Makabe - 4, Suzuki - 4, Okada - 4

Fale - 2, Page - 2, Yoshi-Hashi - 2

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Day Eight (B Block):

Hirooki Goto vs Toru Yano: One of my favourite things in Yano matches is the difference of the pace to the rest of the matches. It can get exhausting to watch battles that go on for at least ten minutes at the top of the card with the mid card going at least 15 minutes and with the main event going at least 20 minutes, so it isn't nice to have a Yano style match where it doesn't even reach the five minute mark.

Tetsuya Naito vs Tama Tonga: Why did Naito have to win this one? I understand that he is the reigning G1 Champion and that he should be one of the top two threats in the B Block but at the same time it wouldn't harm him to give a victory to perhaps the highlight of the B Block (other than Kenny Omega) to make Tonga look like a threat.

Tomohiro Ishii vs Zack Sabre Jr: This match was a close Match Of The Night of it weren't for the main event. The strikes in this match looked painful and it showed the toughness of Ishii as well as Sabre which is important because he is seen as the "smallest" competitor in this year's G1 Climax, this match showed that not only he can hang with the toughest but he can even make them Just Tap Out!

Kenny Omega vs Juice Robinson: I really liked the sportsmanship in this match which made Robinson's loss less impactful. When Juice lost to Naito it was annoying because it looked like just another loss in order to make Robinson look weak but this time not only did he lose a hard fought battle but he also lost to the IWGP Heavyweight Champion which is not rare.

Sanada vs Kota Ibushi: Now this was my Match Of The Night. For a first time encounter, Sanada and Ibushi had such chemistry that would make you think they already faced each other a couple of times. If Ibushi wins the G1 Climax tournament this year (which I predict he will) then I really look forward to a potential rematch with Sanada for the certificate.

The ranking of matches in this card were a little bit all over the place considering the unofficial hierarchy of the competitors in the B Block but obviously the matches get arranged in order to have the longest matches go last rather than who is in the match. I would've switched Ishii vs Sabre with Goto vs Yano, then Ibushi vs Sanada, then Naito vs Tonga, and then the Champion vs Champion match of Omega vs Robinson. This would've given the card a variety of match times and finishes in an unpredictable order which would keep the viewer's attention for longer.

Points:

Omega - 8

Sanada - 6, Naito - 6

Ibushi - 4, Ishii - 4, Goto - 4, Sabre - 4

Tonga - 2, Yano - 2

Robinson - 0

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Day Nine (A Block):

Michael Elgin vs Minoru Suzuki: Suzuki's loud strikes made a comeback in this match which also gave Elgin an opportunity to show off his striking skills. As Elgin tends to usually be more of a power grappler where he uses high impact moves to his advantage, strikes are surprisingly not used often to win his matches.

Evil vs Hangman Page: This was my Match Of The Night, I can see that Hangman Page is now starting to settle in with the rest of the field and get rid of that "new guy" vibe as he had perhaps his best match of this year's G1 Climax (his match with Elgin is a close second).

Jay White vs Bad Luck Fale: The commentary in this match (for as long as it lasted) made this match even more meaningful with their stories of how White and Fale both share a commonality in their previous relationships with Prince Devitt (now known as Finn Balor). Also one more thing: FINALLY!!! Bullet Club OG have FINALLY found the perfect balance of interfering and winning and hopefully it stays like that for Fale & Tama Tonga for the rest of the tournament.

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Togi Makabe: This match was average, I realized that Makabe isn't really in the prime of his career and that he probably can't put on a consistently above than average level of performance like the younger competitors in the A Block such as Hangman Page, Evil, or Michael Elgin therefore there shouldn't be any high expectations of him at this point in time.

Kazuchika Okada vs Yoshi-Hashi: Another awesome performance by Yoshi-Hashi in this match although I have one question: What the hell is Okada's problem? I thought he would be more fair with his stablemate rather than attack him as if Yoshi-Hashi is a piece of garbage especially after the commentators talked about the history between Okada and Yoshi-Hashi. Also, judging by the comments from the post-match backstage comments from Okada, he seems like a worse leader than Kenny Omega was with Bullet Club before it split.

As a final random point to throw out there, Hangman Page's match against Evil was on his 27th birthday (Happy Birthday Page 🤘) which was only two days after Finn Balor's 37th birthday (Happy Birthday Finn 🤘🤘) which made me shocked at the age gap of the two Bullet Club members also how Balor is considered to be the better wrestler than Hangman Page.

Points:

Evil - 8, Tanahashi - 8

White - 6, Suzuki - 6, Okada - 6

Elgin - 4, Makabe - 4, Fale - 4

Page - 2, Yoshi-Hashi - 2

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Day Ten (B Block):

Tama Tonga vs Zack Sabre Jr: Tanga Loa is a sick hype man! I'm sure at the beginning it was a joke to mock Taka Michinoku but I have a feeling that Loa will stick to it, at least for the rest of the G1 Climax. As for the match, it wasn't anything too special, it was pretty even and even though I would be annoyed that Bullet Club OG have thrown away another two points it was a better decision than letting Tama Tonga tap out.

Juice Robinson vs Toru Yano: Finally Juice Robinson wins a match! Also I think I've heard the words "Fair Play" like 15 times in the match with Yano trying to compose himself at the beginning. There was some character development in this match for Juice as Kevin Kelly mentioned that if Juice Robinson didn't win a single G1 Climax match then he would relinquish the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship and would quit wrestling which shows that he has a need to win especially as a champion rather than just keep losing and getting pay checks.

Tomohiro Ishii vs Kota Ibushi: This was my Match Of The Night. When Kevin Kelly talked about an aggressive encounter between Ishii and Ibushi in 2014, I did not take into account that it could be replicated into their G1 Climax 28 match but that was another match which defines Strong Style. So many carefully planted strikes with different power levels from Ishii which also brought out the tough striker in Ibushi thus having to play a different game to his usual matches.

Hirooki Goto vs Tetsuya Naito: That is another win for Naito and this time it's over the NEVER Openweight Champion. One thing to point out was Kevin Kelly saying that no one has kicked out of Destino in this year's tournament which is completely wrong, I definitely recall Kenny Omega as well as Naito failing to put away most of his opponents with one Destino therefore having to use two.

Kenny Omega vs Sanada: This was a great showing by Sanada proving that one day he should be a main singles champion and if the time is right, the IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Leading up to this match, all the factors were set up to have Sanada as the victor and a win over Omega would've made things a lot more interesting. There would've been a three-way tie at eight points between Omega, Naito, and Sanada with Omega holding the tie breaker over Naito and Sanada holding the tie breaker over Omega as well as a shot at Omega's Championship but it seems like NJPW are set on making Omega look like a dominant & unstoppable champion.

Points:

Omega - 10

Naito - 8

Sanada - 6, Ibushi - 6, Sabre - 6

Ishii - 4, Goto - 4

Tonga - 2, Yano - 2, Robinson - 2

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Day Eleven (A Block):

Togi Makabe vs Bad Luck Fale: Another great example of how Bullet Club should be using their numbers advantage in matches like the G1 Climax matches. And again, Tanga Loa's exceptional ring announcing skills have returned. The match was actually pretty equal, even after Loa started interfering I thought that Makabe had a good chance to pull out his first two points since his match with Minoru Suzuki but I can't say that I am not happy that Fale got the win.

Jay White vs Hangman Page: I really thought that Hangman Page would win here. This was a similar situation to Sanada's situation against Kenny Omega on Day Ten, Jay White and Hangman Page have only faced once to my knowledge with White getting the victory therefore by "NJPW logic" Page should've gotten his revenge here but I think NJPW may be looking to have Jay White win the A Block.

Evil vs Minoru Suzuki: Great match by these two competitors which surprisingly match each other very well in brutality. Kevin Kelly said "Do not count Suzuki out just yet" and he was right, I remember after Suzuki lost to Togi Makabe on Day Four that it is surprising that Suzuki is having such a bad G1 Climax but since then he has beaten White, Yoshi-Hashi, Michael Elgin, and now Evil giving Suzuki a winning streak of 4!

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Yoshi-Hashi: Yoshi-Hashi continued his string of great performances here against one of NJPW's big four in Tanahashi and I actually thought that he would pull off the biggest victory of his career but Tanahashi eventually managed to get another two points. Great performance by both competitors (especially Yoshi-Hashi) in what was my second favourite match of the night.

Michael Elgin vs Kazuchika Okada: This was my Match Of The Night but not by much. Michael Elgin put up a really good fight and Okada will probably deny it as much as he wants but this was not an easy match for Okada.

There was one problem which I had with the commentary throughout the night which was them counting out people already. I know that statistically guys like Hangman Page and Yoshi-Hashi will not even make it to the top half of the A Block from here but by stating that their G1 Climax is already over it removes any interest the viewer would have in them or their matches for the rest of the tournament.

Points:

Tanahashi - 10

Evil - 8, White - 8, Suzuki - 8, Okada - 8

Fale - 6

Elgin - 4, Makabe - 4

Page - 2, Yoshi-Hashi - 2

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Day Twelve (B Block):

Tomohiro Ishii vs Tama Tonga: Even though the commentators made it clear on Day Eleven that Tama Tonga is "out", it's good that Bullet Club OG have implemented their new balance of interfering in Tama Tonga's matches. As for the match, I actually thought that Ishii would win at many points in the match regardless of Bullet Club's attempts at stopping Ishii so even though the commentator also classed Tomohiro Ishii as "out", he is definitely not going down without a fight.

Juice Robinson vs Sanada: This was my Match Of The Night, it exhibited equally great performances by Sanada and Juice. Also what made this standout more than the main event was Juice Robinson's story with his hand not only throughout the match but throughout the whole tournament. The fact that Juice secured the win with Pulp Friction only after he used his left hand showed the importance of Juice Robinson's left hand.

Toru Yano vs Tetsuya Naito: Interesting change of pace by Yano in this match from his entrance all the way to the end. I think Toru Yano finally nailed the perfect combination (if not then a great combination) of "fair play", sneaky style, and his amateur wrestling background.

Kenny Omega vs Zack Sabre Jr: I'm sure if this match didn't take place in Kota Ibushi's hometown with Ibushi also on the card then it would've been the main event. Great showing by ZSJ against the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, this should've proved that Zack Sabre Jr is not another nobody that Omega thought he was going to run through but instead his most painful match yet. If he doesn't think that then his not-100% ankle will remind him.

So now this seems to be the point where the competitors realise that their time in the G1 Climax this year is coming to an end without winning it and it is being severely highlighted by the commentators. Personally I will still invest the same interest in every single competitor as if their next win will be the biggest but for those only paying attention to points, anyone under four points at this stage seems to Ben unofficially eliminated.

Points:

Omega - 12

Naito - 10

Ibushi - 8

Sanada - 6, Sabre - 6

Ishii - 4, Goto - 4, Tonga - 4, Robinson - 4

Yano - 2

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Day 13 (A Block):

Michael Elgin vs Bad Luck Fale: And we're back to Bullet Club OG losing by disqualification. I understand that Bullet Club OG are trying to make a statement however it wouldn't hurt to pick up points from a bottom half competitor or two such as Michael Elgin. Statistically speaking, winning over Elgin would've kept Fale in the tournament but his loss means that he is the second & last Bullet Club OG member to be unofficially eliminated.

Togi Makabe vs Hangman Page: This was a good match which served its purpose and showed that a young up and comer in Hangman Page can hang with one of NJPW's top hard hitters and as emphasized by Rocky Romero, Page pinned a former G1 Climax winner and a former IWGP Heavyweight Champion which could make this Hangman Page's biggest win of his career in New Japan.

Jay White vs Yoshi-Hashi: Wherever Jay White goes he brings a special dynamic with him and he did that again with another Chaos stablemate in Yoshi-Hashi. Admittedly, this was basically White vs Kazuchika Okada from Day 1 but in a smaller scale however it did enhance both White's and Yoshi-Hashi's characters going out of the G1 Climax.

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Evil: Great performance by both competitors, I could not have chosen a clear winner out of the two which makes me wonder: how do the NJPW creative team manage to pick the winners of big matches that can go either way?

Kazuchika Okada vs Minoru Suzuki: Another example of a big match as mentioned with the Tanahashi vs Evil match is this match (which is also my Match Of The Night). This match was just a fight, Okada made it clear that he hates Suzuki and he hates facing Suzuki, Suzuki knows about that and he made sure to turn the match into exactly what Okada hates about Suzuki and facing him. Personally I would've liked to see Minoru Suzuki stop Okada's streak of four wins just to make it interesting but at least the match was cool.

One of my favourite side topics from this tournament is Rocky Romero's commentary when it comes to Jay White, it's easy to tell that he is passionate about the hatred that he has for White but he wouldn't make it obvious to Jay White for the sake of Chaos. Even if Jay White is not winning the G1 Climax this year, we will still have an interesting story to keep up with after the tournament.

Points:

Tanahashi - 12

White - 10, Okada - 10

Evil - 8, Suzuki - 8

Fale - 6, Elgin - 6

Makabe - 4, Page - 4

Yoshi-Hashi - 2

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Day 14 (B Block):

Toru Yano vs Sanada: This was the most fun match that I have seen in this year's G1 Climax. It was silly but it was refreshing (as I previously mentioned with Yano matches) in comparison to almost all other matches. Also does Kevin Kelly not know to push someone to their side when they are stuck in the Paradise Lock? 😂 

Hirooki Goto vs Tama Tonga: Bullet Club OG were the furthest thing from subtle in this match with Bad Luck Fale literally throwing the referee of the match into the barricade like he was a Young Lion or something. For BC OG it is just another statement, but for everyone else it is just two free points in every match a member of Bullet Club OG.

Juice Robinson vs Zack Sabre Jr: This is where the matches picked up, at the beginning of the match I wasn't very fond of how Juice Robinson and Zack Sabre Jr were just having a normal match where there was a clear target being Juice's hand and Sabre was not capitalizing on it, but as the match got longer it became more to my liking and to what I was expecting which is nothing wrong, in my opinion that was the way the match should've went.

Kenny Omega vs Tomohiro Ishii: As soon as the match hit the five minute mark I knew that it was going to be Match Of The Night but it was not (it was really close though). The energy from the crowd was electric, you couldn't zone out or get bored while watching the match and that was partially because of the war happening in the ring but also because of the crowd's energy being maintained throughout the entire match. Generally the competitors that end up at the top of their block tend to have a maximum of two loses on their records so with Omega's matches being against Ishii, Yano, and Kota Ibushi, Omega would have to lose to Ibushi to make my prediction of Ibushi at least advancing to the finals come true thus leaving Ishii and Yano. Obviously Ishii is more  suitable to defeat the IWGP Heavyweight Champion and this win re-establishes Ishii as a dominant force regardless of him being in the lower tier of the B Block.

Tetsuya Naito vs Kota Ibushi: This was my Match Of The Night and definitely one of my top three matches of G1 Climax 28. In addition to their already stacked movesets, Naito and Ibushi brought out even more moves to put away each other with my highlights being Ibushi reversing the Destino into an Emerald Flowsion and Ibushi also hitting Bomaye before hitting Komagoye. Both guys left it out there in front of a pretty hostile crowd in terms of supporting Tetsuya Naito and they have definitely reminded everyone why they are two of NJPW's top stars.

After taking a brief look back at a couple of previous reviews, I realized that I left the main event of Day 12 which was Hirooki Goto vs Kota Ibushi out (sorry) and thought that it was a very even match, also like Ibushi's match with Tomohiro Ishii from Day 10, Ibushi and Goto have really good chemistry in order to put out a match with well placed strikes and a well kept pace.

Points:

Omega - 12

Naito - 10, Ibushi - 10

Sanada - 8, Sabre - 8

Ishii - 6, Goto - 6

Tonga - 4, Robinson - 4

Yano - 2

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Day 15 (A Block):

Yoshi-Hashi vs Bad Luck Fale: This is where the Bullet Club OG interfering has become excessive as this should've been Bad Luck Fale's easiest match (in terms of points) in this year's G1 Climax but even though it was by DQ, he still lost to Yoshi-Hashi so now Yoshi-Hashi has an official win over Bad Luck Fale.

Hangman Page vs Minoru Suzuki: While most people would say that Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Michael Elgin or Kazuchika Okada vs Evil were the Match Of The Night, I say that this was my Match Of The Night because it did more for the two competitors than any other recent A Block matches did (Okada's match against Evil being in second place) with Hangman Page getting an even larger win than the one against Makabe by pinning The King of NJPW and the leader of Suzuki-Gun. This win and the way he won has now turned Hangman Page into a bigger star and when we look back in his career this will be one of the few matches that launched his career.

Togi Makabe vs Jay White: This was a match that deserved its purpose with Jay White winning however he didn't need to resort to cheap heel tactics in order to do that. At this point it feels like he is forcing it because statistically, Togi Makabe is the second weakest competitor in the A Block therefore for someone who is currently (statistically) the second strongest competitor in the block, it shouldn't have needed those kind of tactics.

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Michael Elgin: I wasn't aware of the history between these two competitors prior to the match but thanks to the great commentary by Kevin Kelly & Rocky Romero, the history between these two made this match better and the way the match ended showed that Tanahashi did not win without a fight. This match was essential in making Elgin look like he is on Tanahashi's level which makes Elgin a more legitimate star.

Kazuchika Okada vs Evil: On another night this match would've definitely been Match Of The Night. As many people have mentioned, this match brought out some glimpses of the "old" Okada, The Rainmaker that was an unstoppable IWGP Heavyweight Champion and I agree. I have previously shown annoyance with the way Okada makes his opponents look post-match and now while many people would only look at the results and ignore any side comments, these can be essentia from time to time in order to determine where the character lands on the heel-face spectrum and the magnitude of a rivalry between two wrestlers so by saying that his matches were "easy" it kind of buries his opponent unless the opponent won but they generally don't, we'll see how Okada will go ahead character-wise after this match.

Points:

Tanahashi - 14

White - 12, Okada 12

Evil - 8, Suzuki - 8

Fale - 6, Elgin - 6, Page - 6

Makabe - 4, Yoshi-Hashi - 4

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Day 16 (B Block):

Juice Robinson vs Tomohiro Ishii: In my opinion, this was a pretty average match, unlike pretty much every other competitor in the B Block Ishii did not directly go for Juice's injured left hand. Also, I considered Juice Robinson's left hand a secret weapon after he used it against Sanada to get the win on Day 12 but now by overusing it, it has become easier to prepare for it as Tomohiro Ishii showed.

Hirooki Goto vs Zack Sabre Jr: This match was also pretty average in terms of the moves displayed by both competitors, however the pace was interesting with Sabre being the dominant one in the match and of course displaying some fancy moves. The win was really surprising as I expected Goto to go out of the G1 Climax with a couple of wins but Sabre pinned the NEVER Openweight Champion and this got himself another title shot with another champion.

Kota Ibushi vs Tama Tonga: This was Tama Tonga's best performance in G1 Climax 28 from the very beginning where he attacked Ibushi from behind through the match itself where he didn't even bring out Tanga Loa with him & where he taunted NJPW's attempt at "disciplining" Tonga and to the way he won the match. As I was starting to get bored out Bullet Club OG's routine, Tama Tonga creates shockwaves within The Golden Lovers and their G1 Climax journeys.

Kenny Omega vs Toru Yano: The action did not stop from when Tama Tonga ambushed Kota Ibushi until this match between Omega and Yano ended. Regardless of Bullet Club OG's role in the match, the match itself was an awesome sequel to their match from one year ago (which was one of the best matches of the tournament in my opinion). Every single spot made me laugh especially the body slam o. The turnbuckle pads and Kenny Omega teaming up with a Young Lion to outsmart Yano.

Tetsuya Naito vs Sanada: NJPW really hyped this match up as soon as it was announced and if you compare it to the hype it was pretty average. As for the match itself, in my opinion it was another display of movesets from Naito and Sanada with some Los Ingobernables De Japon theatrics, but the promo afterwards proved why Naito is the leader of LIJ (in addition to beating in my opinion the second-top member of LIJ) and why he is one of NJPW's Big Four.

You may have noticed that I have not chosen a Match Of The Night, that is because I am choosing Co-Matches Of The Night with them being Kota Ibushi vs Tama Tonga and Kenny Omega vs Toru Yano. Both matches were individually entertaining and would've individually stole the show if they were on different days but with Bullet Club OG being the glue from before Tonga's match with Ibushi until Tonga placed Yano on Omega for the three count I had to put these matches together as Co-Matches Of The Night.

Points:

Omega - 12, Naito - 12

Ibushi - 10, Sabre - 10

Sanada - 8, Ishii - 8

Goto - 6, Tonga - 6

Robinson - 4, Yano - 4

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Day 17 (A Block Finals):

Togi Makabe vs Michael Elgin: This was a good match, nothing special here but it was a nice opener to the final A Block card for this year's G1 Climax. I think that both Makabe and Elgin did as best as they could in this year's G1 Climax and they will most likely be in next year's G1 Climax, hopefully Elgin could get at least eight points because he was really impressive in almost all of his matches this year and I can only see him getting better by this time next year.

Yoshi-Hashi vs Hangman Page: I don't know how but both competitors in this match have great chemistry and I know that if they were given at least ten more minutes then I would have chose this match as Match Of The Night. Both guys were deserving of a win but the way Yoshi-Hashi won was perfect with him reversing the Rite Of Passage into a Canadian Destroyer. For my evaluation of both wrestlers, Yoshi-Hashi was obviously the weak link of the A Block and while he could make for a great underdog, underdogs win not lose almost all the time. This tournament showed that Yoshi-Hashi does NOT have a dull moveset but rather has so much hidden talent and NJPW need to book him a little bit more seriously. As for Page, I thought his G1 Climax was pretty disappointing up until his wins over Makabe and Minoru Suzuki. It is understandable if he was a sole newcomer because similar to Young Lions, he would have to lose in order to develop & improve but because he made his debut in the same year as Jay White and in the same block as well, it does not help when comparisons are being drawn and White is way ahead of Page whereas Page barely managed to get half of White's points by the end. One interesting takeaway for me is Hiroshi Tanahashi's comments on wanting to work with both Page and Yoshi-Hashi which presents both guys with more opportunities in the future (which they deserve).

Bad Luck Fale vs Minoru Suzuki: Of course we needed to have one more disqualification loss for Bullet Club OG before this year's G1 Climax ended but I like this one specifically because of who was the victim, I am hoping for an awesome rivalry between Bullet Club OG and Suzuki-Gun. I can't say that I am not disappointed at Fale's run this year because I am disappointed, while I understand that the BC OG were proving a statement, Fale could've picked up a few more points along the way as well. As for Suzuki, great run, I doubted him at the beginning after losing to Tanahashi and then to Makabe but he just roared after that with a win after win after win, even at 50 years old, Suzuki's still got it.

Jay White vs Evil: I did not see the ending coming, at the beginning I thought that Jay White will probably end in the middle of the block by getting easy wins over the likes of Yoshi-Hashi and Togi Makabe and lose to bigger stars like Minoru Suzuki and Bad Luck Fale but instead White won almost every match in the block including defeating Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada therefore I thought he could go all the way but Evil really came out of nowhere with the surprise win. For a character like Jay White in his debut G1 Climax, this was a prefect run, Evil's run wasn't bad either, granted he didn't do as well as last year but he wasn't too far off.

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kazuchika Okada: This was my Match Of The Night but not by far, this was basically a trimmed version of their Wrestling Dontaku encounter but with the drama of a time limit. The ending was great and I am happy that Tanahashi won instead of Okada because he is still too fresh from the IWGP Heavyweight Championship title picture and putting him back there so quickly would most likely hold him back from evolving into this new character. Generally, Okada's G1 Climax was good although it was filled with a few lackluster matches in my opinion which questioned if he deserved to be in the main event of those matchcards.

Final A Block Placements:

Hiroshi Tanahashi = 15

Kazuchika Okada = 13

Jay White = 12

Minoru Suzuki = 10

Evil = 10

Yoshi-Hashi = 6

Togi Makabe = 6

Hangman Page = 6

Michael Elgin = 6

Bad Luck Fale = 6

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Day 18 (B Block Finals):

Toru Yano vs Tama Tonga: There are simply no words to describe the chaos in this match and especially post-match. Even though statistically Bullet Club OG are not anywhere near the top, they have definitely left a mark on everyone in NJPW & New Japan itself, they even provoked the President of NJPW himself to come out and sort the situation. As for Toru Yano, while he kind of kept on his promise of sticking to "Fair Play", if Yano can create a combination of his most famous style which is his sneaky style and his most infamous style which is his amateur wrestling background then he could be unstoppable in next year's G1 Climax.

Juice Robinson vs Hirooki Goto: This was a good match with an interesting psychological experiment from Juice Robinson. By removing his cast at the beginning of the match, it did not present itself as a target for Goto and as the match went one, Goto did not even try to specifically go after the left hand which gave Juice a perfect opening to capitalize and score the win. While I was complaining about the way Juice Robinson was being booked in this year's G1 Climax, I can sense that after this victory to finish his G1 Climax 28 he will rise above others as soon as his hand is healed and will show that he can be an awesome IWGP US Heavyweight Champion. However, I have to say that this was a pretty forgettable G1 Climax for the 2008 winner Hirooki Goto. His losses to Kenny Omega and a single-handed Juice Robinson proved that he is currently the weakest singles heavyweight champion which is a shame because NJPW had something special when they started bringing up the fact that Hirooki Goto is now the only Japanese heavyweight champion thus making him look like an actual warrior that will make his country proud, but we still have next year.

Tomohiro Ishii vs Sanada: This was a pretty good match, nothing special in terms of moves or storylines other than Sanada holding a victory over Ishii from two years ago and all the reversals between the Skull End and Brainbuster attempts. I have to admit, there wasn't anything overly spectacular about Sanada's G1 Climax 28 run other than a couple of awesome match performances. Everyone was too focused on the idea of LIJ members Sanada and Tetsuya Naito colliding for the first time which made all of his matches seem like filler, nonetheless he still came out with a great performance. Tomohiro Ishii reminded us in this tournament why he is the Stone Pitbull, why he is very respected, and why he is in the top tier of New Japan's roster with performances against Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi, and Zack Sabre Jr, I am looking forward to Ishii's battles in next year's G1 Climax.

Tetsuya Naito vs Zack Sabre Jr: I did not see the ending coming at all, I knew that the winner of the B Block was going to get a sneaky win at the end but just the way Sabre decided to go for the Zack Driver and hit it for the first time in one of his singles matches was sudden. Naito obviously had the best run possible that is closest to winning that does not involve winning which is understandable considering he is the defending G1 Champion, however he could've spared a couple of loses because in combination with the commentary, Naito is being put over too much and while he deserves to be within the top ranks, there were definitely a handful of people that in my opinion are the highlights over Naito like Zack Sabre Jr. None of the commentators decided to acknowledge that Sabre has a legit chance at winning, everyone was too busy talking about Omega (deservedly), Naito (because they "need to build him up"), and Ibushi (who literally was tied with Sabre in second place before the event). The commentators were too busy talking about how Naito needed help with him winning one more match and Omega losing or drawing against Ibushi but not a single time did they mention that Sabre could win and he would need Ibushi to beat Omega (even if both Ibushi and Omega had tiebreakers over Sabre). I'm going to say that Zack Sabre Jr is now one of my favourite wrestlers in NJPW and my favourite member of Suzuki-Gun because of his G1 Climax 28 run, this makes me feel bad for not watching the New Japan Cup earlier this year to see his dominance, with wins over the IWGP US Heavyweight Champion and the NEVER Openweight Champion I am really looking forward to Sabre's next half year which I predict will be busy.

Kenny Omega vs Kota Ibushi: This was my Match Of The Night (as if I didn't predict that happening), I have to admit that it was a bit tough to watch The Golden Lovers destroy each other thus making their fears come true but it made for a great match and they will still support each other which makes me happy. For most of G1 Climax 28, Kenny Omega's run was an epic one and potentially history-making but looking back at his points, it was a classic IWGP Heavyweight Champion run but still awesome thanks to the quality of matches that Omega provides against a variety of opponents from main eventers like Tetsuya Naito to wild cards like Zack Sabre Jr to upset winners like Toru Yano. I am glad that Kota Ibushi won because he is my pick to win the whole thing so hopefully he defeats Hiroshi Tanahashi and we can get an IWGP Heavyweight Championship Wrestle Kingdom Main Event between The Golden Lovers.

Final B Block Placements:

Kota Ibushi = 12

Kenny Omega = 12

Zack Sabre Jr = 12

Tetsuya Naito = 12

Tomohiro Ishii = 10

Sanada = 8

Juice Robinson = 6

Hirooki Goto = 6

Toru Yano = 6

Tama Tonga = 6

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Day 19 (G1 Climax 28 Finals)

Hiroshi Tanahashi (A Block) vs Kota Ibushi (B Block): What a match, I feel like it could've continued for another ten minutes in order to cement itself as a match of the year candidate. Talking from a booking perspective, Tanahashi winning was a bad decision because The Golden Lovers deserve an IWGP Heavyweight Championship match in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom with Ibushi winning the title as a send off for Kenny Omega (if he goes to WWE), or have Omega finally defeat Ibushi (if Omega stays). On the other hand, Tanahashi is a more established star and it is safer to go with established stars like Tanahashi who has main evented Wrestle Kingdom before in order to guarantee a sellout crowd.

Out of the two, I would say that Ibushi had the better road in terms of match quality, storyline, and difficulty with awesome matches against Tomohiro Ishii, Tetsuya Naito, Tama Tonga, and of course Kenny Omega. All I have left to say is congratulations to Hiroshi Tanahashi and thank you all for reading my reviews.

Tanahashi's Road To Glory:

Day One: Defeated Minoru Suzuki

Day Three: Lost To Jay White

Day Five: Defeated Bad Luck Fale

Day Seven: Defeated Hangman Page

Day Nine: Defeated Togi Makabe

Day Eleven: Defeated Yoshi-Hashi

Day 13: Defeated Evil

Day 15: Defeated Michael Elgin

Day 17: Draw Against Kazuchika Okada 

Day 19: Defeated Kota Ibushi

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