We are back with Night 2 of the G1. Now it's the time for Block B to shine.
Block B Match - Satoshi Kojima vs Juice Robinson
One of the many, many things I like about New Japan is the tough old bastards that still put everything into their matches. This one had a great teacher vs student vibe to it. Juice may well be the most improved wrestler of 2017 as he has developed into a reliable babyface. This was a great way to kick off the show, with the crowd behind Kojima in what could be one of his last G1 appearances and Juice overcoming nerves in his first G1 appearance. ****
Block B Match - Michael Elgin vs Tama Tonga
Tama Tonga is one of the coolest looking wrestlers on the planet, he looks Dothraki as fuck. This was a fun match with Tama using his speed and Elgin using his power. The top rope reversal into the Gun Stun was a particularly nice move. Both men will have better matches than this as the tournament progresses. ***
Block B Match - SANADA vs EVIL
Both men are members of LIJ but tournaments like this throw up matches that you wouldn't otherwise see. SANADA is a wrestler with tremendous upside and EVIL is more than up to the challenge. You might think that two stablemates would have a respectful wrestling match, but you'd be wrong. EVIL wraps a chair around SANADA's neck, hits it with another chair and it flies of and drills a cameraman. They transition to a more traditional match after that and it is a very good one indeed. This tournament can throw up great matches anywhere. ****
Block B Match - Kazuchika Okada vs Toru Yano
Yano's matches consist of mostly low blows and roll ups so he is never going to have truly memorable matches. He will pick up some really quick wins in this tournament though and he is inexplicably popular. By Yano standards this match was pretty good. **
Block B Match - Minoru Suzuki vs Kenny Omega
Suzuki might very well be the most terrifying man in wrestling. Forget Braun, Suzuki would eat him for breakfast. At the start of the match Omega looks genuinely terrified. The match begins well with them brawling into the crowd and Suzuki trying to rip Omega's leg off. Unfortunately there is a ref bump followed by some typical Suzuki-gun bullshit. It broke the flow of the match and turned what could have been an excellent main event into bit of a disappointment. It wasn't bad by any stretch, in fact it was pretty good, but it could, and possibly should, have been better. I had high hopes. ***1/2
Overall Grade - B-
I have no idea how to rate this show. Two of the matches performed above my expectations and the main event performed below them. It's nowhere near on par with night 1 but if I start using that as a benchmark I'm in for a bad time. It was good but I expect more from the B Block in future shows. I shall return with my review for night 3 tomorrow as we return to the A Block with Ibushi vs Sabre Jr and Ishii vs Makabe among it's offerings.