Five takeaways from ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard

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first_imgBoth Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro-Wrestling knew there were huge expectations with the G1 Supercard event at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.And they delivered. MORE: Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearAs a result, a few matches didn’t get as much time as they deserved. (Case in point: the three-way match between Bandido, Dragon Lee, and Taiji Ishimori which was nine minutes of non-stop fun, but should have gone another 5-10 minutes.)Plus, it was match after match with little to no downtime between them and sometimes you need to catch your breath a little and relax before amping it back up with another match. MORE: Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearThe two companies joined forces with what turned out to be an excellent pay-per-view event by showcasing their strength of in-ring wrestling action on a big stage.Here are five takeaways from the ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard:The “Rainmaker” is back on top where he belongsAfter his record 720-day reign as the IWGP heavyweight champion came to an end last year, It was time for Okada to get back on the top. That meant unseating Jay White who captured the title earlier this year from Hiroshi Tanahashi earlier this year after beating Okada at Wrestle Kingdom.When Okada won the New Japan Cup, the rematch was set and, as expected, the two delivered a fantastic match worthy of closing out the show with Okada hitting his signature Rainmaker to score the victory to the delight of fans.‘G1 SUPERCARD’ (April 6th) is now available on #NJPWWorld!!10TH MATCH: IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @JayWhiteNZ(c) vs. @rainmakerXokada!!Don’t miss this amazing night of action on #ROH #g1supercard— njpwworld (@njpwworld) April 7, 2019Okada — now a 5-time IWGP heavyweight champion — felt out of place so far removed from the championship picture. While White is the future of NJPW, Okada is still the now; an incredible performer in his prime who continues to build a legacy as an all-time great.Naito and Ibushi steal the showLeading up to the event, this match stood out on an already crowded card with the possibilities of what these two Japanese stars could do.And they absolutely tore the house down.Tetsuya Naito and Kota Ibushi put on an athletic display, weaving together an incredible story of strong-style wrestling as they fought for the IWGP Intercontinental championship.Their chemistry was incredible as they traded hard-hitting moves — maybe too hard in some cases as both took hard falls on their heads. When Ibushi kicked out of Naito’s trademark Destino, the building came unglued with the “Golden Star” delivering a knee to the head to finally finish off Naito and take the title.This was NJPW pro wrestling at its finest and a perfect example of why the promotion’s popularity continues to grow around the world.Taven finally gets his signature winWhile Matt Taven has been claiming to be the “real” ROH world champion for nearly a year, he finally has the real deal after winning a brutally physical ladder match against Jay Lethal and Marty Scurll.YES!!!! @MattTaven gets his Bret Hart moment at @TheGarden. And your NEW @ringofhonor WORLD CHAMPION!!! #G1SuperCard— Kyle Stevens (@thekylestevens) April 7, 2019Taven has become the most polarizing figure in the company as a snarky heel and leader of The Kingdom. There are those who don’t believe he is championship material and is still lacking that certain something to make him a top star.But Taven has been putting in the hard work to get himself attention and become a standout figure. With the recent Ring of Honor defections, the company needs fresh faces in the main event picture more than ever and Taven fits the need and can easily grow into the role.Stilll, he’s going to have to win over a tough fan base with what he does over the next few months to prove he’s a rightful champion in a company where being a great wrestler is a must.ROH and NJPW are stronger togetherNo one can predict the wrestling landscape as it changes in ways that couldn’t have been predicted. That being said, it makes more sense than ever that ROH and NJPW continue what has become a very fruitful partnership.While the NJPW talent outshined their ROH counterparts at G1 Supercard, the company still benefits from working with ROH and putting on joint events as they look to expand in the U.S.And there’s no harm from ROH in taking a close second to NJPW when it comes to the in-ring action as they still put on fantastic work and get more eyeballs on their product in these joint events.These two companies are each stronger because they do work so well together. And let’s be honest — ROH, in particular, should protect this relationship and not let anyone else (AEW) get in the way.Too much of a good thingAs good as the G1 Supercard turned out, ROH and NJPW should take a page from NXT TakeOver events and scale back a little.Despite the main show going four and a half hours, it still felt rushed at times with 10 matches crammed onto the card. The show would have benefited from cutting back a match or two and better utilizing its time.last_img

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