New Japan Pro Wrestlings G1 Climax 27 – Conclusion

Its finally over. 19 shows in 27 days. G1 Climax 27 is over. Its my third time watching the whole thing, fourth time following. It was pretty damn amazing. Not going to try comparing the ones I’ve seen all the way through.

So I’m going to run down the blocks and wrestlers, do my Top 10 matches, then final star ratings for the four shows. Also, nice surprise seeing Katsuyroi Shibata show up at the finals and bow to the fans after his life threatening injury. Women cried. I’m sure some men did too.


Individual wrestling average was higher in Block A. Just saying…

The IWGP Intercontinental Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi (Stable: Taguchi Japan)-The Ace came through with a strong tournament despite the injury to his arm. Should be no surprise as it seems the Ace works every G1 of the last few years while injured. Tanahashi was top echelon of A block, with his floor generally being **** matches. How many wrestlers can say that. One of the reasons Tanahashi is so good is his adaptability. Playing underdog one match, playing a dick heel in another, and in others trying to hang with his opponents in their specialty whether its mat work or striking game. I actually was pulling for Tanahashi to win the block against Naito to be honest.
Best Matches: vs Tetsuya Naito 8.11.17, vs Tomohiro Ishii 8.6.17, vs Kota Ibushi 8.1.17
Match Average: 4.16 out of 5
Tournament Placing: Block A Runner Up, 12 points

Togi Makabe-Not really a Makabe fan but I liked him through this tournament more than the last two. I don’t know if I just have come around on him or he was working extra hard. He does not really switch up his style, he wrestles pretty much the same through out but that’s not a bad thing. Overall, I’ll give Makabe the thumbs up for keeping me entertained.
Best Matches: vs Zack Sabre Jr on 8.1.17, vs Hiroshi Tanahashi on 8.14.17, Hirooki Goto 7.23.17
Match Average: 3.80 out of 5
Tournament Placing: 8 points

Yuji Nataga-The final G1 for Blue Justice, Nagata was great through out. It seemed like there was more pep in his step. His first two matches and last two matches were so good and the ones in the middle were all strong. I’ve only seen three tournaments all the way through and this was my favorite of his. (There was a match with Shinsuke Nakamura from 2014 that also stands out). Thank you Nakamura for kicking ass. Also thank you for training he next generation of NJPW wrestlers.
Best Matches: vs Tomohiro Ishii 8.1.17, vs YOSHI-HASHI 7.17.17, vs Zack Sabre Jr. 8.6.17
Match Average: 4.05 out of 5
Tournament Placing: 2 points

Kota Ibushi-The Golden Star returned to New Japan and while he didn’t win, he still shined. Ibushi strikes hard and flies high. While not an MVP he was top echelon talent. Usually delivering at least **** matches every night. It is always a delight watching this man work and I can’t wait to see him back.
Best Matches: vs Tetsuya Naito on 7.17.17, vs Hiroshi Tanahashi 8.1.17, vs Zack Sabre Jr 7.21.17
Match Average: 4.16
Tournament Placing: 10 points

Hirooki Goto (Stable: CHAOS)-On one hand, Goto who was last years finalist under delivered. Very few matches I would say stood out. On the other hand, he hovered between ***3/4 and **** pretty consistently. When I think about it more, that’s really how Goto is. He has one or two stand out matches and then flies under for most. He delievered two great matches in his first two nights and another strong one his last night. He ranged from good to great. Hoping NJPW hooks him back up with Ishii for the tag league tournament and they win that.
Best Matches: vs Tomohiro Ishii 7.17.17, vs Yuji Nagata 7.21.17, vs Tetsuya Naito 8.1.17
Match Average: 4.05 out of 5
Tournament Placing: 10 points

Tomohiro Ishii (Stable: CHAOS)-The MVP of A block based on match quality. Ishii is always in the conversation for both Best of the Year and Underrated of the Year. He generally delivers at least **** but never gets the big win or the top spot. He lost in the semis of New Japan Cup, lost in the finals of the US title tournament, and is middle of the pack again for G1. Sometimes you just have to have those guys. Ishii and Goto are gatekeepers. Upper midcard guys tasked with delivering in top spots but never going to get the keys to the kingdom. Ishii was great through out this tournament and delivered several great and memorable matches.
Best Matches: vs Hiroshi Tanahashi 8.6.17, vs Hirooki Goto 7.17.17, vs Yuji Nagata 8.1.17
Match Average: 4.27
Tournament Placing: 8 points

YOSHI-HASHI (Stable: CHAOS)-When it comes to match quality, YOSHIHASHI was close to the bottom. He hovered between ***1/2 and **** generally, sometimes breaking a little higher. To be honest, he was the biggest disappointment of A block. He also got one less victory in his second tournament. YOSHIHASHI has some cool moves and occasionally underdog babyface fire but he’s just not a guy you can really count on.
Best Matches: vs Yuji Nagata 7.17.17, vs Kota Ibushi 8.6.17, vs Tomohiro Ishii 7.26.17
Match Average: 3.80 out of 5
Tournament Placing: 4 points

Bad Luck Fale (Stable: Bullet Club)-On match average, Fale is ***1/2 but you don’t watch a Fale match expecting the best. He’s a monster. Throws forearms, runs into opponent, and slams them down hard. The point of a Fale match is to question how his opponent is going to beat him. So while YOSHI-HASHI rates a bit higher, Fale plays an important part and has the aura of a serious threat. This actually might have been my favorite Fale run through G1.
Best Matches: vs Yuji Nagata 8.11.17, vs Kota Ibushi 7.29.17, vs Tomohiro Ishii 8.4.17
Match Average: 3.61 out of 5
Tournament Placing: 10 points

Zack Sabre Jr. (Stable: Suzuki-Gun)-What a debut. He beats the Ace on his first night, tapped out a former champion in Makabe, had the ref stopped his Ishii match because Ishii passed out, and won half his matches overall. ZSJ brought a uniqueness to the tournament. His technical acumen and counter wrestling technique have no equal I know of. ZSJ is being groomed to be a threat in New Japan. Too bad he’s with Suzuki-Gun.
Best Matches: vs Yuji Nagata 8.6.17, vs Tomohiro Ishii 8.11.17, vs Togi Makabe 8.1.17
Match Average: 4.05 out of 5
Tournament Placing: 10 points

Tetsuya Naito (Stable: Los Ingobernables de Japon)-Naito won it all which was not a big surprise. In fact, it was more of a surprise that he lost last year. Naito delivered mostly **** matches and in big spots brought the goods. Naito is known as a “genius” for how he lays out matches and while I don’t actually agree as I think Okada is better overall, I can’t knock Naito at all. His first match with Ibushi set the bar for the tournament on night one. His main event with Tanahashi for Block A winner will probably be overshadowed by Omega/Okada 3 but personally I liked it better. His main event with Omega may have fallen slightly in comparison to their match last year but definitely top 5 of the tournament overall. Naito is one of the best in the world and even on an off night, he’s better than most.
Best Matches: vs Kenny Omega Finals 8.13.17, vs Hiroshi Tanahashi 8.11.17, vs Kota Ibushi 7.17.17
Match Average: 4.175 out of 5 with Finals
Tournament Placing: G1 Winner, Block A Winner, 14 points


Due to Toru Yano bringing match averages down, I listed an average without a Yano match since many times his was the worst of each wrestlers tournament. Despite mroe quality matches in Block A, Block B had more of my fave matches.

Satoshi Kojima (Stable: Taguchi Japan, TenKoji)-Kojima delivered matches ranging between good to great. Sadly, he came in at the bottom of his block. It felt like this was his last G1 but no official word. I don’t have much to say about his run through the tournament except that I like Kojima and enjoyed his matches.
Best Matches: vs Kazuchika Okada 7,27.17, vs Juice Robinson 7.20.17, vs Kenny Omega 7.30.17
Match Average: 3.5 out of 5 / 3.68 without Yano match
Tournament Placing: 2 points

Michael Elgin (Stable: Taguchi Japan)-Elgins booking was absolutely frustrating. In fact, he’s one of the reasons I decided to show match averages without including Yano. That loss was the worst of the tournament and when you remove it his average shoots up more than a quarter making him a top echelon of block B. Which he should be having two of my absolute favorite matches of the tournament. Elgin ended up in the middle of the pack and I hope New Japan figures out what to do with him since he generally delivers around **** matches most times out.
Best Matches: vs Kazuchika Okada 7.22.17, vs Kenny Omega 7.27.17, vs SANADA 7.30.17
Match Average: 3.75 out of 5 / 4.09 without Yano match
Tournament Placing: 8 points

Juice Robinson (Stable: Taguchi Japan)-One of the breakout stars of the tournament. Definitely the breakout babyface. Juice’s first G1 gave a glimpse of the future. He has great emotion and brings great drama. While not delivering the best match of any night, you can count on Juice to perform at his best.
Best Matches: vs Kenny Omega 8.5.17, vs EVIL 7.22.17, vs Satoshi Kojima 7.20.17
Match Average: 3.72 out of 5 / 3.93 without Yano match
Tournament Placing: 8 points

IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada (Stable: CHAOS)-The MVP of the block B. I think I only rated two of his matches under **** and one was a Yano match. In fact, that Yano match was one of Yano’s best! Okada is having the best damn year of any wrestlers I’ve seen since Daniel Bryan in Ring of Honor when he was champion. He’s been absolutely amazing. His tournament has been amazing, better than the the last two I’ve seen and he was incredible in both of those. I seriously would not have had a problem with him winning the whole thing. Okada is a lock for best wrestler of 2017 as far as I’m concerned.
Best Matches: vs Michael Elgin 7.22.17, vs EVIL 8.5.17, vs Kenny Omega 8.12.17
Match Average: 4.25 out of 5 / 4.40 without Yano match
Tournament Placing: Block B Runner Up, 13 points

Toru Yano (Stable: CHAOS)-Whatever… I don’t hate comedy wrestling, I like Ryusuke Taguchi quite a bit. But not Yano. He had the worst match of the tournament, and most were forgettable.
Best Matches: vs Kenny Omega 7.25.17 (That’s all I’m listing)
Match Average: 2.33 out of 5
Tournament Placing: 8 points

IWGP United States Champion Kenny Omega (Stable: Bullet Club, The Elite)-Last years winner fell in the finals. Not too much of a surprise, at least he beat Okada in their third match. Bringing the record to 1 win, 1 loss, 1 draw. Omega was great but I have to be honest, I like Okada better this year. Comparing these two I put Okada half a * ahead in most of their matches through out the G1. But enough about Okada, Omega was great. One of the best in the world and was amazing through out.
Best Matches: vs Kazuchika Okada, vs Michael Elgin 7.27.17, vs EVIL 8.2.17
Match Average: 4.2 out of 5 with Finals / 4.3 with Finals and without Yano match
Tournament Placing: Block B Winner, 14 points

Tama Tonga (Stable: Bullet Club, Guerillas of Destiny)-Tama has the look, the attitude, the mannerisms. Yet, he can rarely go above a ***3/4 with me and thats disappointing. Tonga has all the tools but he needs to work on his control spots. He’s been called a defensive wrestler which is a great tag to describe how he works but as a heel, being defensive is not the best offense because most times heels control the match. I like Tonga but I think he’s better as a tag wrestler. Until maybe a babyface turn.
Best Matches: vs Juice Robinson 7.27.17, vs Kenny Omega 7.22.17, vs Michael Elgin 7.20.17
Match Average: 3.41 out of 5 / 3.53 without Yano match
Tournament Placing: 8 points

IWGP NEVER Openweight Champion Minoru Suzuki (Stable: Suzuki-Gun)-Suzuki was another disappointment. Yano’s a comedy wrestler, Tonga’s in ring is lack luster, but Suzuki… He should be doing so much better. He is a legit guy. Great technique, look, persona, everything. Yet his matches were filled with so much shenanigans. Removing the Yano match only raised his average by .03. It might be because he’s knocking on 50 years of age so he could not handle this type of grueling schedule. Despite this, that match with Okada was better than their February match. As good as that was (and a couple others), might be time for him to step aside from G1 as well.
Best Matches: vs Kazuchika Okada 8.8.17, vs Kenny Omega 7.20.17, EVIL 7.27.17
Match Average: 3.47 out of 5 / 3.5 without Yano match
Tournament Placing: 9 points

IWGP NEVER 6 Man Champion SANADA (Stable: Los Ingobernables de Japon)-I bought into the hype. I like SANADA. He has the look and the talent. People thought he’d go far in his second G1. Instead, once again with 8 points. His match quality ranged from good to great. The thing is, SANADA did not deliver on the level myself and others expected. He’s got all the tools but until he switches gimmicks from the cold attitude he won’t go very far. Maybe its just a matter of time, but its hard to say.
Best Matches: vs EVIL 7.20.17, vs Kazuchika Okada 7.25.17, vs Kenny Omega 8.8.17
Match Average: 3.77 out of 5 / 3.93 without Yano match
Tournament Placing: 8 points

IWGP NEVER 6 Man Champion EVIL (Stable: Los Ingobernables de Japon)-On the first night of B block action, when SANADA put LIJ stablemate EVIL down people thought it was a sign of the groups pecking order within the heavyweights. By the end of the tournament, it was clear EVIL was the second man after leader Naito. EVIL defeated two champions, including delivering Okada his first singles loss in almost a year. He earned six wins, up from last year where he won four. Juice was the breakout face, Zack Sabre Jr was the breakout heel, then EVIL is the breakout tweener.
Best Matches: vs Kazuchika Okada 8.5.17, vs Kenny Omega 8.2.17, vs SANADA 7.20.17
Match Average: 3.91 out of 5 / 4.1 without Yano match
Tournament Placing: Third Place, 12 points

1. Kazuchika Okada vs Michael Elgin Day 4 7.22.17
3. Kenny Omega vs Tetsuya Naito Finals 8.13.17
3. Kazuchika Okada vs EVIL Day 14 8.5.17
4. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Tetsuya Naito Day 17 8.11.17
5. Kazuchika Okada vs Kenny Omega Day 18 8.12.17
6. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Tomohiro Ishii Day 15 8.6.17
7. Tetsuya Naito vs Kota Ibushi Day 1 7.17.17
8. Kenny Omega vs Michael Elgin Day 8 7.27.17
9. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi Day 11 8.1.17
10. SANADA vs EVIL Day 2 7.20.17
11. Tomohiro Ishii vs Hirooki Goto Day 1 7.17.17
12. EVIL vs Kenny Omega Day 12 8.5.17
13. Tomohiro Ishii vs Yuji Nagata Day 11 8.1.17
14. Juice Robinson vs Kenny Omega Day 14 8.5.17
15. Kazuchika Okada vs Minoru Suzuki Day 16 8.8.17

Final Star Ratings

Day 16 8.8.17
Tama Tonga vs Satoshi Kojima ***1/2
Toru Yano vs Juice Robinson **
EVIL vs Michael Elgin ****1/4
SANADA vs Kenny Omega ****1/4
Minoru Suzuki vs Kazuchika Okada ****1/2

Day 17 8.11.17
Yuji Nagata vs Bad Luck Fale ****
YOSHI-HASHI vs Togi Makabe ***
Tomohiro Ishii vs Zack Sabre Jr ****1/2
Hirooki Goto vs Kota Ibushi ****1/2
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Tetsuya Naito ****3/4

Day 18 8.12.17
Michael Elgin vs Juice Robinson ***3/4
Tama Tonga vs SANADA ***1/2
Minoru Suzuki vs Toru Yano ***
Satoshi Kojima vs EVIL ***3/4
Kazuchika Okada vs Kenny Omega ****3/4

Day 19 8.13.17
KUSHIDA, Tiger Mask IV, Jushin Liger, Hirai Kawato vs Suzuki-Gun **3/4 – All Suzuki-Gun juniors showed up for this. Build to KUSHIDA/El Desperado match.
Guerrillas of Destiny vs Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi **3/4 – GOD bow to Nagata after match, showing respect. Nagata (I believe) helped train Nagate.
Togi Makabe & David Finley vs CHAOS **1/2
Juice Robinso & TenCozy vs Bullet Club **3/4
Funky Future (Ryusuke Taguchi & Ricochet) vs Young Bucks JR. Tag Titles ****
War Machine vs Bullet Club (Cody & Hangman Page) **** – GOD challenge after match is over, K.E.S. return and attack everyone.
Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, Michael Elgin vs Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr, Takashi IIzuka) ***3/4
Los Ingobernables vs CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, Gedo) ***1/2
Kenny Omega vs Tetsuya Naito G1 Finals ****3/4

Links To Previous Star Ratings
Week 1, Week 2, Week 3


About CM Towns

I like comics, wrestling, and other junk.
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