Wednesday, April 10, 2019

NJPW/ROH: G1 Supercard 2019 Review (Partial)

So, I missed the first half of the card which just so happened to mainly be ROH garbage. I went back and re-watched Cobb/Ospreay, but other than that I don't have the energy to sift through anything Ring of Honor related, especially after the clusterfuck they delivered as a whole on this night.

Jeff Cobb (c) vs. Will Ospreay (c) - ROH Television and NEVER Openweight Championship Match

This opened the card and was super high stakes with two titles being on the line. It was the perfect match to kick off the show. Short, sweet and played to both Cobb & Ospreay's strengths. Both men got their shit in and got the crowd rowdy. Cobb hit an avalanche tour of the islands off the second rope followed by a normal one for the victory. Good stuff.

Match rating - ***1/2

Flip Gordon, Mark Haskins, & Juice Robinson vs. Bully Ray, Silas Young, & Shane Taylor - New York City Street Fight

Tuned in just in time for this mess. It's a decent mess though. Bully Ray attacks the rapper who came out to perform before the match which leads to everybody else involved in this running to the ring and the match starting off. It was a good basic brawl with kendo sticks, tables, and an array of different weapons. Flip Gordon got FUKT up by a kendo stick early on. Felt like this got way too much time as a whole, but the faces win and onward we go.

Match rating - ***

Taiji Ishimori (c) vs. Dragon Lee vs. Bandido - IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match

This is one of the matches that I was most excited for and although it ended before it could turn into the MOTY contender that I feel like it could've been, it still ruled. And on top of that, I'm sure everyone left satisfied. Bandido had a real coming out party here, getting the best reaction from his spots of the three. Dragon Lee gets the pin on him, though, to take the belt and set up a match between himself and the champion that never got pinned at Wrestling Dontaku in May.

Match rating - ***3/4

GOD (Tama Tonga & Tonga Loa) (c) vs. Brody King & PCO (c) vs. The Briscoes vs. EVIL & Sanada - ROH/IWGP Tag Title Match (Winners Take All)

This was absolutely nuts. From PCO getting powerbombed over the top rope to the damn floor to the post match ringside ~worked shoot?~ attack from Enzo & Big Cass. This was just chaos all around and whether you think the booking was dumb or not, this was super fun to watch. Hated seeing the Tongans retain AND gain a new title, but so it goes. Crazy match.

Match rating - ***3/4

Zack Sabre Jr (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi - RevPro British Heavyweight Title Match

Re-match from the quarter-finals of the NJ Cup. Tana took that victory which earned him a shot at Zack's RevPro title here. These two had a match different from anything else in the night. Tana worked the leg of Zack and Zack was working over Tanahashi in general in prep for what would be the finish as he locked in Napalm Death and Tana had nowhere at all to go. Sabre retains in a good match because these two can't have a bad one.

Match rating - ***1/4

Tetsuya Naito (c) vs. Kota Ibushi - IWGP Intercontinental Championship Match

Fucking hell. These two can't not have an amazing, breathtaking match. Up front I will go ahead and say these two outright stole the show. They are known for bringing out the best in each other and they told that story with another war over the IWGP Intercontinental Title. It's hard to say whether or not they topped their match from the Cup a few weeks ago, but with this ending up being Ibushi's first big heavyweight division title win, I tend to say it did because as a massive fan of his, it was a special moment to witness following an absolute bonkers match that had me screaming from the couch.

Match rating - ****1/2

Jay Lethal (c) vs. Marty Scurll vs. Matt Taven - Ladder Match for the ROH World Championship 

A lot of people shit on this because fuck ROH (a sentiment I agree with) however I thought this was an awesome ladder match, booking decision aside. Jay Lethal is fantastic in his role and Taven & Scurll can do spots, plus the crowd was hot and the outcome was pretty up in the air which made for a lot of anticipation throughout. A number of crazy spots that I will undoubtedly want to look back on at some point. Taven takes the W which I don't fuck with, but it was a sick ride to that outcome.

Match rating - ****

Jay White (c) vs. Kazuchika Okada - IWGP Heavyweight Title Match

I wanted this to be a classic. To the short, it wasn't. The crowd wasn't completely invested in White and frankly, I wasn't either, I never fully have been. So this made the first half sort of dreadful, esp since Okada matches tend to be somewhat repetitive in that regard. If they could've trimmed some off this, it could've been up there as one of the best matches of the weekend. None the less, the final half rocked and Okada saved this thing in a fashion that only the Rainmaker can and THUS we have a new IWGP Heavyweight Champion. All hail the Rainmaker.

Match rating - ****

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