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NJPW ‘G1 Climax 29’ Night 9 Preview & Predictions

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Every day leading up to the G1 Climax I’ll be making predictions and today we’re onto the A Block’s fifth night of the tournament, set to take place on July 27th in Aichi. Like all block nights of the G1, there will be five tournament matches. Let’s get started!

Kota Ibushi (3-1) vs Lance Archer (1-3)
A first time match up and another upset I see going Archer’s way. Coming off his win over Tanahashi, Archer is going to need to look as strong as possible coming into his match with Okada the following night. Ibushi suffered his first loss the night before, I can see him stumbling again here to give fans pause about his chances at catching Okada on top of the block.
Prediction: Lance Archer

Will Ospreay (2-2) vs Bad Luck Fale (1-3)
A rematch from the New Japan Cup where Ospreay scored a surprise win over Fale via a roll up. After starting his tournament strong with two wins, Ospreay dropped matches in back-to-back main events against Okada and Ibushi respectively. Fale has already had his big match of the tournament when he faced Okada, he doesn’t need to continue looking like a threat. I can see him beating Ospreay to further establish this heavyweight > junior dichotomy but it’d be silly at this point in the tournament. Ospreay gets back on a roll after his main event stumbles.
Prediction: Will Ospreay

Zack Sabre Jr. (2-2) vs EVIL (2-2)
The feud between these two started late last year and bled into the first quarter of this year where they each scored a win over the other. EVIL’s next match is a main event so conventional wisdom says he wins this to look strong for that match but I have Sabre going on a run after his slow start. I don’t think Sabre can afford another loss this early if he’s going to go as far in the tournament as I have him pegged to go.
Prediction: Zack Sabre Jr.

SANADA (2-2) vs Hiroshi Tanahahi (1-3)
Their fourth meeting, SANADA currently holds the lead at 2-1. I feel I have Tanahashi’s tournament going in a different direction than most. We’re all seeing the decline, it’s no longer something that anyone can deny. New Japan have played this story a lot over the last few years but this time it’s bleeding more into reality. He has a main event against EVIL the following night and he’ll be completely wiped out, having to fight his damnedest to not drop another main event. I think SANADA pulls this one off and leaves the fans shook that the ace’s era really may be over this time.
Prediction: SANADA

Kazuchika Okada (4-0) vs KENTA (2-2)
Big time match in the scope of Japanese wrestling. The last time KENTA was a full time roster member of NOAH he was the GHC Heavyweight Champion and he was on a similar reign as Okada at the time. Both spent 2013 holding the top title of their respective company for 300+ days and over half a dozen defenses. After his reign, KENTA left Japan with plans of becoming a worldwide star. Meanwhile, Okada stayed local and helped grow NJPW into becoming worldwide. KENTA has a lot of pride. He’s publicly said he has no good memories of his time wrestling overseas. He will want to make a statement against the top star of New Japan. This is going to be an awesome match.
Prediction: KENTA

Standings
Kazuchika Okada (4-1)
KENTA (3-2)
SANADA (3-2)
Zack Sabre Jr. (3-2)
Kota Ibushi (3-2)
Will Ospreay (3-2)
EVIL (2-3)
Lance Archer (2-3)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (1-4)
Bad Luck Fale (1-4)

Robert McCauley hasn't missed an NJPW show since the launch of NJPW World. Always be on the look out for his reviews where he shares results and gives his honest opinions on the goings-on of New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

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