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    Monday, July 31, 2017

    The Smark Henry G1 2017 Weekly Roundup—Weeks 1 and 2

    The G1 Climax Tournament is off to an interesting start, and for every week up until the conclusion of the summer tradition, Smark Henry has you covered with out G1 Weekly Roundup!

    This is a regular column where we look at the current standings and important happenings per block, and the Top 10 matches to watch for. Because let's face it, for the working man and woman, we only have so much time to give in a generous world such as pro wrestling on a weekly basis.

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    And what better way to start than with A Block?


    Standings (as of 07/30/2017)

    Tanahashi—8 points
    ZSJ, Naito, Fale, Makabe, Goto, Ishii—6 points
    Ibushi—4 points
    YOSHI-HASHI—2 points
    Nagata—0 points

    Talking Points

    Tana on Top

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    As it stands, we have a clear frontrunner with Hiroshi Tanahashi at eight points, though this can change in the next few weeks. However, note that despite the lead, Mr. V11 has a target in the form of his injured arm, which may be the deciding factor on whether or not he retains his spot.

    Zacky Three Belts On The Rise

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    A year ago, Zack Sabre, Jr. competed in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic but failed to make it to the Finals after ZSJ expressed his non-interest in joining WWE full time. Now, he made Hiroshi fucking Tanahashi submit.

    What a difference a year makes.

    In just a few matches so far in the G1, ZSJ’s stock has risen in spades, with significant victories against the future hall of famer as well as YOSHI-HASHI and Bad Luck Fale. Despite the loss to Ibushi, all eyes are still on ZSJ's impressive showing, and if we were betting men, expect Zacky Three Belts to make a bid for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship post-G1.

    Winless Injustice

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    Extremely noticeable is Yuji Nagata's winless record, mirroring Jushin “Thunder” Liger's performance in the recent BoSJ.

    Being that this is his final G1, it makes sense for Blue Justice to take the falls for the younger generation, a significant passing of the torch to today's wrestlers. This is pretty much mirroring Hugh Jackman's last Wolverine movie, Logan, in a “riding off into the sunset” kind of way. Appreciate Nagata's work in his last showing, especially the younger guys, and see why at one point, he was dubbed “Mr. IWGP” (even if he is already eliminated by this point).


    Standings (as of 07/30/2017)

    Okada—8 points
    Omega, EVIL—6 points
    Suzuki, SANADA, Tonga, Elgin—4 points
    Robinson, Yano—2 points
    Kojima—0 points

    Talking Points

    Champion's Advantage

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    Okada remains undefeated in this year's G1, a continued indicator of his current spot as company Ace, followed by Omega (who recently suffered his first loss against Michael Elgin) and EVIL.

    If Okada can maintain his current trajectory, he will follow Shinsuke Nakamura as the only other man in history to run up an undefeated G1 block streak. That is a big if, of course, but nonetheless possible.

    Bullet Club, Not 4-Life?

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    One of the biggest talking points during (and even before) the G1 is Tama Tonga's outspoken criticism towards Kenny Omega's spot in the Bullet Club and the whole idea of Omega's exclusivity in the form of the Elite. And given how Tonga was one of the original founders of Bullet Club, it ain't like there was no basis to his animosity.

    Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see where BC goes post-G1, and if the gaijin faction can maintain their internal composure.

    Juice on the Loose

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    Juice Robinson is in the middle of what may be the defining run of his singles career thus far. Despite only having 2 points on his first G1, he's been doing fine selling work all tournament with his injured leg. And this may very well be the Achilles Heel that would lead to his downfall of the run.

    But after this tournament, rest assured he will come out as the true biggest beneficiary of the G1 as the biggest gaijin face since Prince Devitt. Just look at Michael Elgin’s career after his first G1.

    Matches To Watch

    Instead of giving a list of top 10 matches to watch based on rankings, we are instead suggesting to you 10 matches that we highly recommend you check out. And let's face it, there's just way too many matches to check out for our busy schedules.

    1. Tanahashi vs ZSJ

    2. Ibushi vs Naito

    3. Elgin vs Omega

    4. Elgin vs Okada

    5. Omega vs. Yano

    6. Ishii vs Ibushi

    7. Ibushi vs ZSJ

    8. Elgin vs. Kojima

    9. Robinson vs. Suzuki

    10. EVIL vs. SANADA


    What do you think about the first weeks of the G1? Who do you think has a chance of winning? Sound off in the comments!

    Photos c/o NJPW
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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry G1 2017 Weekly Roundup—Weeks 1 and 2 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Lance Tan Ong
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