Previously on NJPW: Zack Sabre Jr. decided to start building his British Heavyweight Champion legacy against a guy with a New Japan legacy and a half, Sanada basically got us to forgive him for the beard, and Juice Robinson survived the dreaded Pocket Sand.
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And now, the best and worst of Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling’s co-promoted G1 Supercard event from April 6, 2019, at Madison Square Garden. If you haven’t watched this show yet and are not sure how to do that, I laid out your options in the show preview here.
Best: New Era, Same As The Old Era
The IWGP Heavyweight Championship match between Jay White and Kazuchika Okada showed the contrast between a tired crowd that really wants to get into a match and a tired crowd that just doesn’t care anymore and decides to shit on it. The main thing that made NJPW look so good on this show was their quality of matches, especially compared to some of the ROH ones, but I think this is worth pointing out! After the tension with the New Beginning in USA tour, this made the relationship between New Japan and their American fans look really strong.
The match itself was a real by-the-numbers New Japan main event. After the ladder match put everyone to sleep, this was not the easiest time to sit through White slowly breaking down the Rainmaker. The match was about thirty-two minutes long and I felt all of those minutes.
But despite the less than advantageous circumstances, every one of Okada’s comebacks delivered. He’s a great wrestler and the audience really, really wanted to him to win! And now he’s brought the People’s Babyface version of himself to America after that splash over the barricade and honestly heartwarming pose amongst the audience.