NJPW G1 CLIMAX 29 [B Block Preview]: Mox of The Dragon.

If you missed Dan’s A Block primer for New Japan Pro Wrestling’s G1 Climax 29, click here! If not, away we go…

The B Block

Tetsuya Naito 

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Age: 36

G1 Climax experience: 10th year. Winner in 2013 and 2017.

Could it be a swerve that Tetsuya Naito won back the IWGP Intercontinental championship just to challenge Okada at the biggest show of the year in 2020, title vs title? It may very well be because Naito must be sick of being number two when he could be number one. There is a certain distain Naito has in foreigners so don’t expect Naito to take it easy on Jeff Cobb, Jon Moxley or Juice Robinson. The win-loss record of Naito every Summer is exceptional; he’s so well-rounded that he nearly makes it to the Finals every year. The style of Naito will go from brawling with Moxley and Ishii to facing fellow top heel Jay White for the first time and that’s going to make Naito perhaps the MVP.

Juice Robinson

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Age: 30

G1 Climax experience: 3rd year.

Juice Robinson lost the IWGP United States title to Jon Moxley at the Best Of The Super Juniors Finals and that put Juice into full-gear. Promos don’t get more heartfelt than the promo Robinson cut after that loss, CJ Parker is dead and the only letters that matter to him are IWGP. “The Flamboyant One” never makes it very far but maybe this year is different. Goto has brought the absolute best from Juice in the past with the NEVER Openweight title on the line, so there’s no doubt he has some serious fights headed his way this year.

Jeff Cobb

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Age: 36

G1 Climax experience: Debut

This Ring of Honor Wrestling (ROH) star makes his debut in the tournament after holding the NEVER Openweight title and the ROH TV title simultaneously earlier this year. The future couldn’t be any more bright for the Hawaiian, it’s power combined with agility against all-comers. Cobb will have his hands full with Ishii, now that’s a match where any man could win.

Hirooki Goto

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Age: 39

G1 Climax experience: 12th year.

Hirooki Goto has won this tournament before, yet the past few years have settled Goto into the mid-card position. Goto constantly reinvents his offense, adding the GTR, so he should receive more credit and big matches than he gets. Goto has taken some big losses in 2019 to TAICHI and Jay White, and doesn’t want to lose too many matches this year in fear of being pushed down the pecking order. Some of the greatest matches will come from Goto and a rematch from last year’s tournament with CHAOS member Tomohiro Ishii should add serious heat to these events.

TAICHI

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Age: 39

G1 Climax experience: Debut.

It’s another debut, TAICHI has earned his spot after becoming the NEVER Openweight champion twice this year. With Miho Abe by his side and plenty of charisma, it’s sure to throw off the hard-hitters. Ishii had TAICHI’s number when the title was on the line but a rematch may have plenty of brutal kicks from TAICHI. It shouldn’t be a high number of wins for this Suzuki-Gun member.

Shingo Takagi 

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Age: 36

G1 Climax experience: Debut.

“The Dragon” has had a great career until this point; it really seems this is where Shingo should have been all along, against men like Tomohiro Ishii. The Juniors division was an interesting route for Takagi, he dominated the division by becoming an IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag champion and by making it to the Finals of the Best of the Super Juniors tournament. Now it’s time for the Heavyweight division wars. Satoshi Kojima went down to Shingo at NJPW Dominion, so who’s next to take The Last Of The Dragon?

Toru Yano

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Age: 41

G1 Climax experience: 14th year.

It’s quite amazing how many G1 Climax tournaments Toru Yano has competed in, but he’s just the mix that the tournament needs to change up all of the devastating action. Kota Ibushi has previously had a roll of wrist tape tied around his ankles and been forced to compete for the rest of the match like that against Yano. Nobody knows what to expect because Yano may just pin a top-level competitor with goofy trickery and a rollup.

Tomohiro Ishii

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NEVER Openweight Champion

Age: 43
G1 Climax experience: 7th year.

The Brainbuster has been the end of so many at the hands of “The Stone Pitbull” and now Ishii is even more dangerous as the five-time NEVER Openweight champion. It’s going to be a long night for Jay White and Jon Moxley because wrestlers like that think they have the confidence to stop Ishii in his tracks but it’s not that easy. Ishii has never made it to the Finals of the G1 Climax, with this year being the most stacked G1 in history maybe Ishii will never get his rightful main event.

Jay White

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Age: 26

G1 Climax experience: 3rd year.

The Kiwi Bullet Club leader is already a former IWGP Heavyweight champion after leaving from his excursion just four years ago to the UK and ROH. White has proved he can handle himself in a lengthy main event and a big run making it to the Finals isn’t out of the question. It wouldn’t be a bad thing if Goto, Ishii, and Naito cooled White’s momentum but there’s something about “Switchblade” and the way that he improves with every match. If it has to come down to a steel chair or a low blow to get past his block, he has no problem doing so.

Jon Moxley 

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IWGP United States Champion

Age: 33
G1 Climax experience: Debut.

All of the fire that Jon Moxley lost in his career has been refueled and a big match with tables and blood involved against Juice Robinson made Moxley the new sensation to put eyes on. A new Impaler version of Dirty Deeds is now employed by Moxley along with an even more dangerous edge than ever before. If the wins keep coming to Mox, than it’s clear that NJPW has a top Gaijin wild man champion with serious drawing potential at the top that they have faith in for the future.

-Dan Niles

The Ringside Apostles want to shout a loud “arigatō!” to our friends at Last Word On Pro Wrestling for the lending hand!

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