As one very long corridor closes, another opens. It feels like just yesterday we were rounding off this year’s Best of the Super Juniors but here starts the 28th G1 Climax, think more of the same but with big bois instead of flippy bois. Two blocks, ten men per block, each of them will fight each other and the best at the end will fight for the opportunity to main event the Tokyo Dome at Wrestle Kingdom 13. We’ve got a lot of stuff to cover without further ado, I’m Jozef and this, is Day One of the G1 Climax:

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CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & Jado) def. Toa Henare & Ren Narita

CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Sho) def. CHAOS (Toru Yano & Yoh)

Guerillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) def. Taguchi Japan (Juice Robinson & David Finlay)

Suzuki-Gun (Zack Sabre Jr. & TAKA Michinoku) def. Kota Ibushi & Yujiro Takahashi

Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito & SANADA) def. Bullet Club (Kenny Omega & Chase Owens)

G1 Block A Tournament Match: Togi Makabe vs YOSHI-HASHI

First note from this match, Kevin Kelly, not all lariats are Western Lariats. It is only a Western Lariat if it is done by Stan Hansen or Satoshi Kojima. As it is neither of these men, stop it, Kevin. Now I’ve got that out of the way, this was actually pretty good. I’m not a noted fan of either man but considering no one expects HASHI or Makabe to be pushing the top of the G1 leaderboard, this was a well-fought and surprisingly tense encounter as both men wanted to get the upper hand with HASHI managing to engage Makabe, a feat that sometimes many better wrestlers than him have failed to do. If there’s one problem with this match it’s that neither men seemed to be settled on who was the de facto hero or villain in this particular story and as neither is particularly a compelling personality, it couldn’t quite be sold as a battle of wills. That said, a nicely fought opening encounter, especially considering the low expectations I had. Makabe got the pin off a spider German suplex into a King Kong Knee Drop for the pinfall.

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Winner: Togi Makabe

Togi Makabe: 2 Points