Monday, April 22, 2019

G1 Supercard Review

Image result for g1 supercard
Matches:
1.ROH TV/NEVER OW Titles: Ospreay(never) vs Cobb(tv) ***3/4
2.Rush vs Castle NR
3.WOH Title: Mayu(c) vs Klein *3/4
4.NY Street Fight: Bully, Taylor, Silas vs Lifeblood, Flip **
5.IWGP Jr Title: Ishimori(c) vs Dragon Lee vs Bandido ***3/4
6.ROH Tag/IWGP Tag Titles: GOD(iwgp) vs VE(roh) vs Briscoes vs LIJ ***1/4
7.British Heavyweight Title: Sabre(c) vs Tanahashi ***1/2
8.IWGP IC Title: Naito(c) vs Kota ****1/4
9.ROH World Title,Ladder: Lethal(c) vs Taven vs Scurll ***1/2
10.IWGP Heavyweight Title: White(c) vs Okada ****

Thoughts:
Man, this was like watching two shows at once. One was an enjoyable New Japan show in the Garden. The other was a largely underwhelming Ring of Honor event on a big stage.

The opener was great, with Cobb and Ospreay setting the tone nicely for the entire show. I was actually surprised to see Cobb take the win here, but he is a perfect fit for the NEVER Openweight Championship. Ospreay's short experiment in the division as he continues to tease a move up to heavyweight was a success, too. I'll expect to see him finish up as a junior by the end of the year.

The follow up was basically Rush going over huge by beating a former champ in 20 seconds. Dalton hasn't been the same since that injury that set him back, so this was actually an ok move. Him turning heel after could be interesting. Either way, this put over Rush as a big star on a big stage so I'm ok with it.

Juice has apparently been attacked backstage....sigh...

The Women of Honor match was a complete waste of talent and exposed ROH badly. They keep taking one step forward before falling two back. They had made some progress early in the year with the smart signing moves, but they erased so much of the good and positive feedback that they had picked up by allowing Bully to basically jerk off in the Garden. Mayu deserved better. Kelly looked bad here, which is strange. I mean, she's never been great, but she's a decent worker most of the time.  Here, she was basically Nia Jax.

Truly, one of the worst wrestling matches I've seen this year.

The attack after the match is the start of a Bully endorsed shit-show that I eluded to a moment ago.

Angelena and Velvet in ROH? In 2019? No thank you. I typically hate promotions that start storylines that end up going nowhere, but Allure is DOA and needs to be dropped immediately.

Mega Ran performs now, for some reason. Having Bully interrupt, starting a 20 minute section of his bs is another example of ROH not understanding their audience. Find one person who liked this shit, and I'll show you someone who also liked Hogan's run in TNA. I'll show you someone who thinks Raw is the best show ever. Heck, I'll show you someone who thinks Jinder was a good champ. Terrible, terrible move.

At least the match wasn't total garbage, though it was still largely forgettable. The only truly good thing to come out of this? Flip and Lifeblood going over, which is something that they kept putting off last year.

My biggest message to Delirious is this: Remember what ROH is supposed to be, and remember what the fans of the brand want. It's not hard, and there are far too many contemporaries to keep fucking up like this.

The three-way for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship was the exact type of chaos that I was hoping for and the perfect way to get this show back on track. Only two things could have made this better, and that's more time and Hiromu coming out to stand face to face with Dragon Lee after. Great stuff, either way.

Dragon Lee will be working NJPW full-time for a few months now, which is fantastic news.

It's funny to me that it seems that every show that sees Bullet Club win gold, they also drop some. Ishimori drops the Junior strap, and GOD add the Ring of Honor belts to their collection. Of course, Jay White falls later, too. The cluster tag was good, keeping the show going well enough. It didn't overstay it's welcome, either. Yano stealing the belts after was entertaining. Of course, they had to cap this with Enzo and Cass...for some reason.

The sole positive takeaway from the Enzo and Cass shit is that I'm hearing they were testing waters to see if it was worth pursuing. It's not, and I think they have gotten the message. If they do continue to use them, than they are truly more lost than I thought. I don't see that happening, though.

Villain Enterprises are one of the funnest things ROH is doing right now. Just wanted to give them some credit real quick.

Time for some RevPro love. Tech Wizard versus Ace of the Universe. Reports claim that Tana is hurt and taking some time off. Knowing him, it could be a short break seeing as he tends to refuse to stay home for too long. I mean, he's worked a G1 before despite being a broken mess. To his credit, he still was fantastic during that run. This title match was a perfect example of New Japan's superior booking. Using the top belt of a partner fed to elevate a rising star like Sabre, and having him face AND defeat Tanahashi in the Garden is simply fantastic writing. The match was pretty good, of course, even if it was weaker than a lot of their past encounters. Check that one out.

Next up was a fantastic contest that everyone knew would be a fantastic contest. Naito and Kota once again murdered each other and gave us a beautiful match for one of the best championships in the game. Tetsuya dropping the belt here actually sucked for me, as I still want to see a long reign from him soon, but it is what it is.  The Shinsuke reference was fun.

Time for the ladder match that no one asked for.

Do you know what ROH fans really wanted? How about Gresham versus Lethal for the title, best of three falls? Having Taven versus Volador for the NWA Historic Welterweight belt would have been a good way of getting Taven on the cards and using him better. Scurll could have won the pre-show rumble. They still have Marty a few more months and that would have been a better use for him on this event. Oh well.

It sucked that a ladder match for the freaking ROH belt of all things had so little real anticipation behind it, but here we are. The good news on this one was that it was still a pretty fun contest, in spite of the obvious problems. If they had trimmed off some of the fat, it could have been great. Seeing Taven as the top dog of Ring of Honor in 2019 is interesting, if nothing else. Are they trying to keep him from splitting or something? They've invested a lot in him lately, and he can be pretty good at times. I just know this means Jay goes back to being a background character. They could fix that by keeping him and Gresham together and giving us great tag matches, but who knows what they have planned, if anything. I suppose this means Taven and Starr for the strap now in Israel? Wait, nevermind.

Time for the true main event. Jay White has won over most of the naysayers with his run, but Okada is...Okada. The experiment was a success, either way, and gave Jay a taste of the top. That was a smart move considering what they seem to be planning for the Bullet Club leader going forward. The match was fantastic, too. A perfect way to end G1 Supercard. This makes number 5 for Kazuchika, and I have a feeling it might last until WK.

This show has issues, largely due to the very uneven Ring of Honor sections, but remains a good show overall and one of the more important events in recent history. If you missed it, fix that now. If you don't want to, or simply can't, make time for the full event just check out anything rated ***1/2 and above.

Overall Rating: 75/100%

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