Potential Fresh G1 Matches
June 12, 2019
By: Lou Pickney
The subject of fresh potential matchups for New Japan Pro-Wrestling's 2019 G1 Climax came up in a discussion on the Wrestling Observer Newsletter subscriber message board today. Here are ten I came up with offhand, and I know there are plenty of others, especially with Ospreay and Shingo and KENTA in the mix.
Hit me up on Twitter @LouPickney and let me know of other potential fresh matchups that you might like to see with the projected field. Kind of strange to not have Tanahashi on here, and this isn't a slight at anyone not represented. And I didn't include anyone more than twice.
Also, this intentionally doesn't have Kazuchika Okada vs. Kota Ibushi listed, as I think that match is being saved for Wrestle Kingdom. We'll see.
1. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Will Ospreay
They've never had a singles match. I could see this in a key supporting role at one of the Budokan end-of-the-block shows, though it really deserves a main event slot. How many times has a main event had to follow a spectacular semi-main involving one of these two? Put them both in the same semi-main G1 match and good luck to the guys having to follow that.
2. Kota Ibushi vs. Shingo Takagi
First-time matchup that could headline or semi-main at Budokan. Ibushi is exactly six months older than Shingo, with both in their mid-late 30s prime.
3. Jon Moxley vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Just imagine the brawl these two could have. Moxley has been completely revitalized after escaping from WWE, and if Moxley vs. Juice was any indication, we're in for some great fun if this match happens.
4. Sanada vs. Shingo Takagi
They've been on opposite sides in 28 tag team matches in NJPW, but they've never had a singles match. Put them in a main event at Korakuen and set the Observer star rating over/under at ****1/2.
5. Jon Moxley vs. Kazuchika Okada
Moxley beating Okada on night one of the G1 in Dallas would be something, and if they're going to have Moxley beat Okada, that's the time and place to do it. Anywhere else and it's likely Okada going over, at least in theory.
6. Minoru Suzuki vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
One of the few highlights from the 2018 World Tag League was Minoru and Sabre being on opposite sides for the first time in a New Japan ring. They've never had a singles match before, and Minoru turns 51 just days from now.
7. Jay White vs. Tetsuya Naito
This would be a first-time match between two top-level stars.
8. Jeff Cobb vs. Togi Makabe
This would be a first-time match that would seem to play to the strengths of both Cobb and Makabe. They've been in tag matches together, but never a singles match.
9. Sanada vs. Tetsuya Naito
They went ****1/4 in their lone previous singles match in last year's G1. I'm not sure how much to read into Sanada quickly leaving ringside on his own after he and EVIL lost to the Guerrillas at Dominion. Gedo does like his short-term faction dissension storylines in the G1, where usually it's like a sitcom plot where there are problems and drama but everything is back to good by the end of the episode.
10. KENTA vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
They've only had one singles match, on a 2011 NOAH show during a tour of the UK. Sabre can finally get his win back eight years later.
See any mistakes, omissions, or needed corrections? Please let me know: @LouPickney