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NJPW / ROH G1 Supercard match recommendations: About half a cup

NJPW World

For a full liveblog of G1 Supercard, you can click here, but otherwise, on with the show!

As always, I’ve got a very simple five point scale laid out where a 1 is total skip, 2 you can probably skip unless you love one of the folks in it, 3 is a match that’s worth watching but not necessarily worth making time for, a 4 is a solid recommendation to make time for if you can, and a 5 is a must-watch.

Mind you, these are not star ratings. They’re not meant to be absolute ratings in any sense, but rather a simple (and hopefully sensible) way to determine if a match is worth your time. A one is not necessarily a bad match, but rather just one I feel like you’re best off skipping. I have my biases, of course, but hopefully I can make it easy for you to adjust for them.

Honor Rumble (3): I mean, this is a pre-show Rumble. It’s not the most essential thing, most of the ROH guys are second stringers and the ending is a bit deflating, but it’s a hoot and we get a couple of really cool surprises, including the GREAT FRIGGIN’ MUTA!

Jeff Cobb (ROH) vs. Will Ospreay (NEVER) (NEVER Openweight Championship / ROH World Television Championship) (4): I’m gonna be honest, I wasn’t sure about this one-- Cobb is a little hit-or-miss for me sometimes-- but it delivered and it delivered BIG. Full-speed out the gates, they told a story of Cobb’s strength against Ospreay’s speed and tenacity and it turned out to be a really, really good match, if just shy of a must-watch.

Dalton Castle vs. Rush (1): I love it as a booking decision, but this match is literally three moves long. Pass.

Kelly Klein vs. Mayu Iwatani (c) (ROH Women of Honor Championship) (2): This had some solid action and a couple high spots, but felt very “your move, my move” without much of a through-line and just wasn’t very compelling to me. Superfans only.

Bully Ray, Shane Taylor, & Silas Young vs. Flip Gordon & LifeBlood (Juice Robinson & Mark Haskins) (New York City Street Fight Open Challenge) (1): This is the kind of overlong garbage match that gives hardcore wrestling a bad name. Worth watching if you really like to hear Bully yell “My balls!” repeatedly, otherwise this is a pass.

Bandido vs. Dragon Lee vs. Taiji Ishimori (c) (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship) (5): This 100% without a doubt rules and was everything you were hoping it was going to be. Violent, fast-paced, visceral, just a tour-de-force of junior heavyweight wrestling from three incredibly talented men. Fantastic stuff, watch it!

Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) vs. Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) (IWGP) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL & SANADA) vs. Villain Enterprises (Brody King & Pierre Carl Ouellet) (ROH) (IWGP Tag Team Championship / ROH World Tag Team Championship) (4): This is a car crash in absolutely the best way, folks. Everybody does wacky stuff, the action doesn’t stop, PCO is middle-aged and crazy, it rules. The freeform nature of it takes it down a notch, especially after a triple threat that hit a lot of similar territory and was a bit tighter in the execution, but this is still really good and you should definitely put it on your list unless you’re super-pressed for time.

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Zack Sabre, Jr. (c) (RPW British Heavyweight Championship) (4): This was an excellent match that didn’t QUITE find the escalations I’d have liked, hence the four. But the story here ruled, with Sabre going hard after the arm and Tanahashi desperately trying to enact his leg strategy only to find ZSJ out-wrestling him at nearly every turn. Nothing new from these guys, but really well-executed and fun.

Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito (c) (IWGP Intercontinental Championship) (5): This was absolutely incredible. Everything they held back from their New Japan Cup match was here in spades, two dudes just laying everything on the line in grand fashion. I could quibble— there was neck work early that I’d liked to have mattered more— but the emotion of this match resonated so deep and it hit on almost every level. Great stuff. Watch it!

Jay Lethal (c) vs. Marty Scurll vs. Matt Taven (ROH World Championship Ladder Match) (3): This was... long. And slow. It wasn’t bad! Marty Scurll in particular did the lord’s work, selling the hell out of a leg injury and keeping the match together in a big bad way, but it was too slow to be a car wreck and too boring to be worth much drama. I’m going middle of the road here because I suspect this is a match that will connect with enough people in a way it didn’t connect for me that I don’t want to just full-on pan it, but I was not into this at all.

“Switchblade” Jay White (c) vs. Kazuchika Okada (IWGP Heavyweight Championship) (5): This was everything you’d expect New Japan’s first-ever Madison Square Garden main event would be— an epic length confrontation that built on both men’s past encounters and raged to a glorious climax. I don’t think it was either man’s best match of the trilogy, but it was a lot of fun even at the end of a show that was about an hour longer than is ideal. So, if you’re watching the next morning and fast-forwarding around, it should be even better! Check it out!

There you have it, folks

Agree? Disagree? Feel free to toss in your two cents below, Cagesiders.

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