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NJPW G1 Climax 28

Mathew’s G1 Climax 28 B Block Results & Review: Day 4

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Welcome back to the G1 Climax and if you’ve been catching up with me and Andrew, Jay White has secured another big win in the main event of A Block by defeating Hiroshi Tanahashi while Kazuchika Okada has suffered another loss at the hands of Bad Luck Fale.

On our first day of B Block, we’ve seen a more serious side of Toru Yano, an amazing bout between Goto and SANADA, and Kenny Omega defeating Tetsuya Naito in a fantastic match and now can the people that lost in the first day try to pick up their wins? Will Goto be able to finally defeat Kenny in a one on one match?

Well, we’ll get the answers to these questions and more as we…dive right in.

 

G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
SANADA vs. Tama Tonga

Review: Tama Tonga is looking to pick up another win under his belt when he defeated Juice Robinson on the first night of B Block and wants to prove to Kenny Omega that he is now on a different level, but first, he has to defeat SANADA to solidify his point since his next match will be against Kenny Omega. SANADA has proven over time that he can be a big player in the company but he, unfortunately, doesn’t have a contract with him much like Kota Ibushi which holds him back from elevating much higher than he should be. That still doesn’t stop him from showing his intelligence in the ring and would need a win here to put himself back on track.

The match would be rather slow compared to the matches they had previous since we watched SANADA gave a great match against Goto and this one feeling a little bit of a downgrade and with a Tama Tonga match compared to the one he had with Juice, it felt about the same with in-ring quality. Tama’s brother Loa would try to interfere in the match by attacking SANADA when the referee wasn’t looking, but eventually, the referee would catch him in the act and has him banned from ringside, leaving Tama to fend for himself. Tama early on would fail to put SANADA in the Paradise Lock correctly and I love how they treat it like nobody could do it right except for SANADA as he did it to Tama later on in the match to show him how it’s done. SANADA would counter the Apeshit to get him into the Skull End, but Tama would accidentally knock out the referee before SANADA hit the Gun Stun on him but the referee is knocked out as Loa and Fale come in now to attack SANADA and Loa hits him with a Sitout Powerbomb before leaving the ring, but he still kicked out at two. Tama would go for the Gun Stun one more time but SANADA reverses it into the European Clutch and rolls him up for the three count as SANADA gets his first win.

Recommended: The match was average, so this one is all up to you.

 

G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Toru Yano vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

Review: Both of these men have lost their first matches and both were incredibly entertaining too might I add and unfortunately one of them is gonna have to suffer a second loss on their record and would really need to try and catch up before being mathematically eliminated from the tournament. Will Toru make his mark and spoil Zack’s chances early or will Zack make him just tap out?

I know I said it before in the last article, but I’ll never get tired of TAKA and Zack pairing up together because they just work amazingly with each other with TAKA pretty much being his Gedo like how he is with Okada, it’s a little something to give Zack that little extra elevation and it just works. We also get Toru doing the whole ‘back to basics’ ordeal while still pulling off his antics and he did say that we were gonna see a more serious Toru Yano and it appears to be the case with the slight change in his wrestling. He’s pretty much being how Ryo Saito is acting like in Dragon Gate with how he’s a comedic wrestler and is now going back to the basics, but the only difference here is that Toru isn’t wearing Young Lion gear like Saito does in Dragon Gate.  So far these two back to back G1 matches with Toru have been very entertaining and probably the best I’ve seen him in a long time too, but that’s a good thing because now I wanna see how his next match is gonna go after this. Zack also does a good job meshing it up with Toru here as they had pretty impressive chemistry together in the ring and seeing him in Japan is making me warm up to him a little more each time. Toru would rely on his tricks near the end as he untied the turnbuckle pads to try and hit him with him with them but that backfires despite Toru being able to throw him into the exposed turnbuckle and roll him up for a two count, but Zack would roll him up with the European Clutch like how SANADA did in the previous match and gets his first win on the board while Toru still has zero wins in his name.

Recommended: Definitely give it a watch, very entertaining.

 

G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Juice Robinson vs. Kota Ibushi

Review: Our IWGP United States Champion is off to a bad start as he’s the only champion in the tournament to have suffered a loss in the tournament when he fought Tama Tonga and now his next match is against Kota Ibushi and I believe this is the first time the two are fighting each other one on one also, so this should be a rather interesting bout. Can the United States Champion pick up an upset win over the Golden Star or will he suffer a second loss and be tied with Toru Yano?

Juice had a much better match here than when he fought Tama Tonga on the first day and this is the type of Juice Robinson that people need to see because he has been on a different level this year with having great matches against people like Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto, Michael Elgin, and even Jay White and is building up quite the resume here in New Japan since his NXT days a few years ago and it definitely has paid off for him here. Kota Ibushi has been another level lately and I like to credit the Golden Lovers reunion a few months ago mixed with we know how good Ibushi is in the ring and would be a top star in any company he chose if he ever did settle down sign a full-time contract with anyone but he still wants to be known as the greatest Freelancer in Japan and he does have a legit case for that as of right now. The both of them had good interactions together and had nice sequences when Kota would go for the Triangle Moonsault and Juice rolled out of the way to hit a Frontflip off the apron and on top of him to give him that nice little opening over the vet. Juice still selling his hand in the match works since because, well, it’s injured and need to still sell like it’s still broken and he knows that, but it doesn’t appear to have affected him as much compared to his last match since it’s probably taped up better. Juice was having a strong offense to Ibushi to make the fans believe that he had a chance, even when he was dodging his Kamigoye and was able to get out of his Capture Suplex so he wouldn’t give him a chance to grab his arms to set up the finisher, but eventually Ibushi would hit the Capture Suplex and once Juice kicked out of it, Ibushi rolled up to get him in position as he hits the Kamigoye Knee this time and Ibushi remains undefeated while Juice has zero wins like Toru Yano. The two hugged it out after the match as a sign of respect and it’s a great way to end the match.

Recommended: This was a solid match, I would give it a watch.

 

G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Tetsuya Naito vs. Tomohiro Ishii

Review: One of the big matches for this days block as we have a rematch from last year with Tetsuya Naito taking on Tomohiro Ishii. I’m gonna be honest here, they made it to my Top 25 Matches of 2017 with their G1 encounter out of the trilogy they had with this, the G1 Special, and Kings of Pro Wrestling and they were all great but their G1 Climax match was slightly better for me and surprised we’re gonna get this match a bit early. Ishii got his first win when he defeated Toru Yano and Naito wouldn’t be so lucky as he had a bad start of the G1 when he was defeated by the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kenny Omega and he looks to bounce back by defeating Ishii to at least keep his name on the scoreboard, but can he do it?

Once again, these two men killed it in the ring together and while I still enjoyed their encounter from the G1 last year a bit better, this was still pretty damn close and still a great match. I don’t know what exactly makes them so good in the ring together, it could be their styles of wrestling the carry each other over to that next level, or even just their personalities in the ring..but it could very well most likely be a mix of all three and more since they actually do bring out the best in one another or should I say Ishii knows how to put people into that next level. Naito just has the best charisma in New Japan and originally it was Shinsuke Nakamura who had that title and I thought it was gonna be hard for someone to top that and I was proven wrong with how Naito is now and how the crowd just cheers for him and loudly might I add as you can tell who they really believe is their top guy and it’s not Okada or Omega, but the fans think it’s Naito to them and that’s the guy they would want as their IWGP Heavyweight Champion. One thing you shouldn’t do to Ishii and that’s slapping him on the top of his bald head because that will very well most likely lead you to write your own will while he barrages you with stiff slaps and punches, and maybe a Lariat on the side of that as you have that dazed confused on your face asking yourself ‘what just happened?’ as your life flashes before your eyes. Ishii would give him more stiff Lariats to give him enough force to have Naito land on his neck with each hit down to him and he looks to try and put him away, but Naito would hit an Enziguri and would go for a Destino as Ishii would counter it with an Enziguri of his own as they’re both down. Ishii went to go for his Vertical Brainbuster and Naito would shake it off to try and go for another Destino, but Ishii would try to do it one more time as Naito would knee his head once pulled up and used that opening to hit a Destino for a two count. Naito would get Ishii up for one more Destino as the crowd is behind him and he gets his first win on the board.

Recommended: Fantastic match, highly recommended.

 

G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Hirooki Goto vs. Kenny Omega

Review: Our main event is a champion vs champion match as we have our NEVER Openweight Champion, Hirooki Goto taking on IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kenny Omega. Two years ago, the two fought in the G1 Climax finals where Kenny would defeat him to become the first gaijin to win the G1 Climax Tournament and a couple of months later, the two would fight again in a rematch where Omega would defeat him a second time. It appears as though Goto would always become close to defeating Omega in a match, but the opportunity to finish the job always slips his fingers and would come up short with Omega coming out on top. Two years later, we get this match again and Goto has been on a roll lately ever since he won the Openweight Championship and this new focus could be enough to finally get the win over Kenny or will the Heavyweight Champion find a way to win because both men have a win in their name and one of them is gonna have to lose that undefeated streak, so a win here could be huge for the both of them.

One thing I wanted to point out in the match happened around the beginning of it actually and pretty sure that it’s just speculation and nothing more, but before Kenny would do his little Terminator dive off the ropes, Goto would throw a chair at him to make him fall down and that was quite a bit of a surprise since you have Goto who is like this samurai wrestler that lives by honor and fights as the Openweight Champion like how Shibata would’ve wanted it and just throws a chair at him like something Jay White would do if he was in the ring with Omega. I don’t know if I’m just looking into it too much but I think Jay White is slowly starting to influence his fellow CHAOS members since he’s the one undefeated in A Block while Okada is in this downward spiral and could make them think maybe Jay White is onto something during his matches, it’s either that or Goto is just a dick and wanted to throw a chair at him, but that’s still a bit out of his character regardless and something to keep an eye on as G1 progresses. Aside from the rather odd pacing at the beginning of the bout, this was extremely fun and while not better than their day one matches, still something to see for yourself. They would fight all over the place and even had a moment where Omega did a Moonsault off the bleachers onto Goto and would deliver a lot of V-Triggers like more than a Superkick Party sometimes in his matches (even though Kento does them better 😉 ). Omega went for the Avalanche Aoi Shoudou but Goto fights out of it and hits a Kaiten from the top rope for two count, and then he would keep attempting to hit the GTR on Omega as he would attempt the One-Winged Angel to see who could hit it first since that could be the deciding factor in the match, but Omega would hit another V-Trigger for good measure and then hits the One-Winged Angel to get the pinfall as Goto still fails to beat him.

This one is just another speculation but think it could mean something, but has anyone else felt like Kenny’s personality has changed a little bit? Like, you seem him be a bit more heelish with his attitude and how he has been lately in his press conferences and how he feels like the Japanese wrestlers in the company hasn’t stepped up at all. I think it has something to do with beating Okada and getting the IWGP Heavyweight Championship since that gave him a gigantic chip on his shoulder and it could very well possibly have it that having the belt might slowly consume him due to his change in attitude and another example would be Okada since he changed completely ever since he lost the belt also. This is probably nothing, but I think it could be an interesting story if they do decide to run with it.

Recommended: Great match, worth viewing.

 

Overall: I would say that the second night of B Block was a success despite the first match being bad, the other four matches were very solid and curious to see how the next night plays out for them since we got Kenny Omega taking on Tama Tonga which could be very interesting.

Favorite Match: Tetsuya Naito vs. Tomohiro Ishii

Least Favorite Match: SANADA vs. Tama Tonga

Score: 8/10

 

B Block Standings:
Kenny Omega 2-0 (4 Points)
Kota Ibushi: 2-0 (4 Points)
Tama Tonga 1-1 (2 Points)
Hirooki Goto: 1-1 (2 Points)
Tomohiro Ishii: 1-1 (2 Points)
Tetsuya Naito: 1-1 (2 Points)
Zack Sabre Jr: 1-1 (2 Points)
SANADA: 1-1 (2 Points)
Juice Robinson: 0-2 (0 Points)
Toru Yano: 0-2 (0 Points)


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G1 Climax 28 Ratings and Joint Review

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Well we have reached the end of the road. G1 Climax 28, Grand Finals night.

Hiroshi Tanahashi won the A-ce Block and Kota Ibushi won our hearts…and…well…the B Block. Both have some history facing each other, and both are known to be more than competent wrestlers, so we’re looking at a great match.

Now it should be noted that Mathew and I will do this article jointly, similarly to how we did the Finals of the Champion Carnival.Also in an amusing turn of events, we both predicted this finals, but we’re rooting for the other’s block winner.

So if Tanahashi wins that would make me a perfect 3-0 in the tournaments we’ve covered, for the eventual winner coming from my block ( Marufuji won Champion Carnival, Masato Yoshino won King of Gate).

With that, I’m okay being wrong if Tanahashi wins. So let’s get to the show.

 

Togi Makabe, Michael Elgin & Tomoaki Honma vs Yuji Nagata,  Ayato Yoshida & Shota Umino

Average match, glad to see Honma again, but nothing special – Mathew

Yeah, basically what Mathew said, basic match, nothing super impressive. It is nice to see Honma back for his technically third match since returning from injury. But this was just a standard Young Lion opening match.

Winner: Makabe via King Kong Knee Drop

Rating: **

 

Toa Henare vs Bad Luck Fale

This was a glorified squash match. Henare got in a good headbutt, but this just went quick.

Henare dead – Mathew

Winner: Fale via Bad Luck Fall

Rating: *

 

Taichi & Iizuka vs Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI

Taichi got introduced and they kept cutting off his music with Iizuka’s music, so that messed up his singing idol gimmick.  Iizuka doesn’t come out with Taichi, and instead jumps the CHAOS members form behind.

The match was fine, if anything it proves that Taichi would’ve been a better addition to the G1 than YOSHI-HASHI, since HASHI eats the pin.

Decent match, Miho Abe is gorgeous, HASHI needs to go away, and what does this all mean for Taichi? – Mathew

Winner: Taichi via Last Ride Powerbomb

Rating: ** 1/4

 

Cody & Hangman Page vs Juice Robinson & David Finlay

Cody’s first match since San Francisco, so he can’t really lose, can he?

Juice took the hand wrapping off before the match started, and wasn’t shy about throwing hands. Finlay did his usual thing, where it’s never quit enough to get the job done. Page blind sided Juice with a Buckshot Lariat, before everyone started wiping each other out with signatures. Cody finishes the match, countering the Pulp Friction into a Vertebreaker.

Solid match, everyone pulled their weight, except for Finlay. Cody decided to cut in line for the US Title, rude. – Mathew

Winner: Cody via Vertebreaker

Rating: ** 1/2

 

NEVER 6 Man Tag Team Championships: Tanga Loa, Tama Tonga & Taiji Ishimori vs Marty Scurll & The Young Bucks

Decent match, felt more like an ROH match than New Japan. Not really sure how I feel about Taiji’s first belt being this one, but the blatant disregard for the belts at the end was fantastic. – Mathew

This wasn’t supposed to be a title match, but Tama talked some smack and Matt Jackson asked the President to make it official. So even though the Tongans are one wrong move away being suspended, now they get a title shot.

When we get down to the match, it was paced out like most ROH Trios matches, and never really got out of that gear. We saw a few more Super Kicks than usual, but a bunch each man’s signature moves. Double Sharpshooter into Chicken Wing spot popped the crowd pretty hard.

Tama makes the blind tag, so when the Bucks go for the Meltzer Driver on Taiji, the giant cluster happens. Tama slinks off into the corner to draw less attention, but eventually lands the Gun Stun for the win.

Winner: Tama via Gun Stun

Rating: ***

 

Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Zack Sabre Jr vs Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA & Bushi

Well the drama between these clubs goes back a few months when Suzuki and Naito had their match for the Intercontinental belt.  This is just being furthered along by Zack Sabre ruining Naito’s chances to win the G1 Climax. So this should be entertaining.

Before the bell rings, Suzuki-Gun jumps Los Ingobernables de Japon and they spill to the outside. Naito and Suzuki have a chair based stand off and from there on we get the usual multi-man match. Each person comes in, does their thing, but with the tempers flaring.

The match ends with SANADA dodging Kanemaru’s Whiskey Mist and slapping on the Skull End while the rest of the members are on the outside going crazy.

Bit of a cluster, sloppy at points but it told a story and did what it needed to. Young Lion Lives Matter – Mathew

Winner: SANADA via Skull End

Rating: *** 1/4

 

Jay White, Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano vs Kenny Omega, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi

Jay hasn’t played well with SHO and YOH, but how will he fair with Ishii and Yano? On the flip side, Omega could use a little momentum after 3 straight singles losses, included a singles loss to Ishii.

Entertaining, Pieter’s dance was the best part, but did a good job at what it was supposed to do. – Mathew

Like Mathew said, at one point in the match all six men are in and the Bullet Club members do the Row Boat spot, but Yujiro asks Pieter to come in an help. So she decides to get in the middle of all six men and urge them along by spinning and dancing all sexy. Yujiro gets infatuated first which allows Ishii to roll of the ring, and the rest of the men just stop and stare at Pieter. Kenny decides to be the party pooper and slap sense into his teammates and escort Pieter out of the ring.

Aside from that, we had a few good spots with Omega/Owens doing a Superkick/Pump Kick combo on Ishii, and good team work on both ends. Eventually Owens and Ishii are alone in the ring, Owens goes for the Package Piledriver, fails and gets a Vertical Drop Brainbuster for his troubles.

Winner: Ishii via Vertical Drop Brainbuster

Rating: *** 1/2

 

Kushida, Rey Mysterio & Pro Wrestler Sengokuenbu vs Kazuchika Okada, SHO & YOH

We have the debut of an unknown samurai wrestler from the Sengoku (Warring States) period of Japan. Time traveler, or just a big fan, he makes his appearance to help out Rey Mysterio and Kushida against the CHAOS members.

Best tag match on the show, everyone delivered, very entertaining. Sengokuenbu was the highlight, now we just need to figure out who he could be. Give us Mysterio vs Liger already, dammit! – Mathew

The match saw a lot of all three guys getting in good offense, a tease for a Double 619, that Okada stopped with his picture perfect Dropkick. But stereo Tope con Hilos at the end, set up Mysterio to get YOH into position for the 619 and West Coast Pop, to pick up the pinfall.

Nothing crazy happened during or after, just a good ole fashioned fun match with no storyline implications, just entertainment.

Winner: Mysterio via 619

Rating: *** 3/4

 

G1 Climax 28 Finals: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi

So these two have put on some great matches in the past. Does Ibushi avenge his loss at Power Struggle 2017? Does the Ace have one more run left in him? Enough hyperbole, time to find out.

I thought the match was just simply incredible. The story of the match, the intensity and emotion of it all really delivered to give us the perfect way to end the G1 Climax overall. It showed Ibushi is on another level compared to his previous runs in New Japan and can be everything they look for if he ever signs a fucking contract! Tanahashi winning is the right call in my opinion and I really hope he’ll be the one that breaks the WK curse and beats Omega for the championship, he definitely deserves that one final run.- Mathew

Mathew’s sentiment is right on the level with mine. But we also saw some fantastic spots in this match. Ibushi countered a Sliding Dropkick from Tanahashi on the apron, and Double Footstomped perfectly on his chest, a quickly snapped off Avalanche Frankensteiner as well as his new Double Knees Moonsault. Tanahashi was in usual form also, with a couple Short Arm Slingblades mixed in with two Twist and Shout Neckbreakers.

Throughout the match, the story and struggle was painted plainly on both men’s faces. Ibushi kept trying to hold back his emotions, until the spirit of Shinsuke Nakamura overcame him. A few antagonistic kicks to the head, mixed with two or three Bomaye Knees from different angles. Hell Ibushi even hit his Outside-In Deadlift German Suplex on Tanahashi, but only for 2 counts.

Tanahashi had a hauntingly similar sequence to the Power Struggle match, but instead of 2 High Fly Flows, this time it took 3 for Tanahashi to finish the job. A momentous occasion of course, but it should be noted that Kota never hit the KamiGoye. For those who don’t know, KameGoye means “Beyond God”, and he named it such because of Tanahashi. It was the move he was going to use to finally surpass God, and God, to Kota Ibushi, is Tanahashi.

Not quite there yet for Kota, but words can’t adequately describe how amazing this match was.

Winner: Tanahashi via High Fly Flow

Rating: ******

Thoughts:

Tanahashi wins his third G1 Climax, and the winner comes from my block for the third time this year! Yes I know I picked Ibushi, but being wrong there, still kinda paid off. The match was tremendous, the undercard built like a normal New Japan show. So now we get to see when and where Jay White will challenge Tanahashi for the contract, and if Kazuchika Okada might make a challenge.

Even though all previous contract winners have lost at Wrestle Kingdom, we might finally see something change. Maybe Tanahashi wins, maybe he loses it before the big show. Guess we’ll just have to sit back and find out.


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NJPW G1 Climax 28

Mathew’s G1 Climax 28 B Block Results & Review: Day 18

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Welcome to the final day of B Block and for those that aren’t aware, Hiroshi Tanahashi has won A Block after him and Kazuchika Okada had a thirty-minute draw.

I know I picked Okada to win A Block, but I’m very happy to see Tanahashi advance as he’s still my favorite in the New Japan roster and how can you not be a fan of him? If you’re not, then I’m not sure if I can trust you.

Anyway, now that A Block is all done, it is now time to see who moves on to fight Tanahashi tomorrow as our only options at this point are Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi, and Tetsuya Naito. Yesterday, NJPW posted a ruling for today that if Tama Tonga or any of the OG Bullet Club members interfere in any of the B Block matches tonight, they would be fined and suspended for three months. Let’s be honest, do you really think they care? Are they going to cooperate or keep doing what they’re doing? Who will move on to B Block? Let’s not waste any more time and…dive right in.

 

G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Toru Yano vs. Tama Tonga

Review: Looks like Tama is gonna have to do this one solo due to the ruling and I’m sure he doesn’t need it since he’s fighting Toru Yano, he even helped him at the last show with defeating Kenny Omega so Toru should be thanking him. But yes, Toru does have a win over Kenny Omega thanks to Tama despite him not being able to beat him in the tournament either and maybe Toru can rack up one final win. Since OG’s are banned from ringside, what will Tonga’s strategy be to defeat him? Is he gonna cheat and play along with Toru’s games or is he going to actually play fair? I doubt it but let’s see.

I wonder, could you really call it a match? I mean there kinda was one for a couple of minutes and it looked like Tama did have it under control for a while until Toru started getting the upper hand. It got to the point where Fale and Loa started to come out to try and come in ignoring the rule about being suspended. Tonga has choking Toru and the referee would try to break it up but gets ignored, which the referee pulls his hair Kento style. Tama didn’t like that ine bit and goes ape shit hitting the Gun Stun to get disqualified as OG’s are now kicked out of the building and Toru wins. Good job, Toru.

Recommended: It was more story driven than anything and guess they wanted to have them gone early. Still worth checking for 5 minutes.

 

G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Juice Robinson vs. Hirooki Goto

Review: These two are no strangers to each other as both men have fought for the NEVER Openweight Championship twice and Goto would always come out on top of those matches. Juice would always somehow get the lucky pinfall victory over him when it comes to tag matches to earn these opportunities, but when it comes to just fighting him one on one, he comes up short every time. However, Juice could maybe get that singles victory over Goto this time and potentially another Openweight Championship match or Goto could just knock Juice down again. Will this be the time for Juice to get the victory or does Goto stand tall once again?

Before the match starts, Juice decides to take off the wrist tape and I guess it’s to show how serious he is about the match. Both of them appesr to have an injury with Juice and his hand while Goto has his arm taped up a little thanks to Zack. Juice looked like he had the upper hand for the beginning of it and wanted to keep it that way until Goto would stop his momentum. I like wheh they fight because ir shows a good story with Goto seeing potential in him and wants him to unleash that ‘samurai spirit’ and you see that in their matches. The last few minutes of the match were very back and forth with them trying to hit the GTR or Pulp Friction. Goto eventually hits an inverted GTR and looks like he was gonna get it this time but Juice shows his fire and hits a stiff left hook before hitting the Pulp Friction as Juice finally defeats Goto! Now that Juice pinned Goto one on one for the first time, will that lead to a NEVER Openweight Championship match? Right now, I’m gonna say no due to them having a lot of contenders lined up and just have Juice mark it up as I got a win over him and that’s good enough right now.

Recommended: Great match, worth viewing.

 

G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Tomohiro Ishii vs. SANADA

Review: The two of them fought each other twice in a singles competition where SANADA defeated Ishii in 2016 during the G1 Climax and last year at the New Japan Cup where Ishii defeated SANADA. So this would technically be the rubber match between these two here to see who would come out on top. Ishii has been stocking up some pretty impressive victories lately and wouldn’t be surprised if he wants to stock up one more to end it, but SANADA has also lost a few big ones and wants to fix that by getting that one more win as well. Who needs the win more?

I’m just gonna come out and say it, these two are the MVP’s of not only B Block, but throughout the G1 Climax in general. Whether they have the best match on the show or just had a great performance, these two would always deliver to give us something memorable to watch with how they perform. For having them fight last on the final day, I thought the match was tremendous from beginning to end and gave us a fantastic story and plenty of nice sequences from their reversals and trying to do their moves like Ishii attempting the Skull End and SANADA countering it with Ishii’s Sliding Lariat and just how they flowed together was beautiful.

There was also a nice little callback to Great Muta with SANADA attempting the Diving Moonsault and missing as Ishii catches him with a Shining Wizard as the crowd goes crazy. These two went to war together, but there had to be a winner as Ishii defeats SANADA with the Vertical Suplex Drop. Despite them having a pretty decent record, both of them did a fantastic job with all of their opponents whether they won or loss and nothing to be ashamed of. Ishii showed that he’s still at the top of his game and SANADA has shown that he can be a key player in New Japan.

Recommended: Fantastic match, please watch.

 

G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

Review: The only way for Naito to advance now is that he has to defeat Zack Sabre Jr. Last time they fought, it was the first round of the New Japan Cup and Zack would shock the audience when he made Naito tap out, but Naito did defeat Zack last year in the G1 Climax so it was them saying they’re even now. This is another tiebreaker that needs to be taken care of since they both got a victory over each other and all Naito has to do is win and he will advance to fight Tanahashi. Can Naito meet Tanahashi in the finals one more time or will Zack ruin it for Naito to make Kenny or Kota advance?

It appears Naito has gotten into Zack’s head pretty early with his little Tranquilo tactics since you can see Zack throwing a little temper tantrum outside with TAKA trying to calm him down until he got back in the ring. It appears to have worked because once Naito was about to do his little taunt, Zack would waste no time putting him in an Armbar and the body manipulations begin. Something about these two working together makes it feel rather unique at times and it’s with the popularity of Naito from the fans and Zack showing his personality a little bit more with him compared to the other guys he fights in New Japan and it shows here.

I’m not exactly sure which match I like better out of the three but this one was still great and maybe a little weaker than their NJ Cup match, so still not really bad. Zack has been trying everything to get Naito to tap out because he knows Naito will be out if he can defeat him and wants to do that here but Naito kept on getting to the ropes to show that he won’t quit at all. Zack would even come close with the European Clutches and he still kicks out of them and you can tell Naito wants this bad. Naito hits the Destino and Zack was sitting up, so he calls for another Destino but Zack caught him for the Zack Driver and Naito is….out…wait what?

No, it wasn’t a typo there, Zack Sabre won the match meaning Naito is now eliminated from the G1 Climax. I know I picked Ibushi to advance from my predictions in the first day, but I did want Naito to win and finally get his WK win for the belt, but it appears to be once again put on hold. What’s next for Naito? I’m not sure and I’ll get to that at a later date, but I can’t be mad and he did well at least.

Recommended: Great match and a rather heartbreaking ending. So yes

 

G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Kenny Omega vs. Kota Ibushi

Review: Six years ago, these two would fight each other in the very same arena in Nippon Budokan where they fought in DDT for the KO-D Openweight Championship where Ibushi defeated Kenny to retain the title and these two almost killed each other, and check the match out for yourself if you haven’t. Now six years later, both of these men have matured completely compared to their DDT days and now it’s time to see who’s the better man out of these two. The outcome of this match will decide how things turn out for the final because Kenny will move on if he wins this match and Ibushi has a chance to advance if he defeats Kenny here. With OG being banned from ringside, should be safe to say there will be no interference to cause a no contest and risking them both to not advance at all. Which of the two Golden Lovers comes out on top?

Aside from Kenny having a bit of a serious face, Ibushi’s face just tells it all with the story of this match and all the years they’ve known each other. They had the perfect pacing from beginning to end with them starting off with chain wrestling and doing the same move to each other whether they hit or block it. They knew when to hit the big moves or when to hype it up for a reversal and again, it was a very special match if you’ve been following the Golden Lovers and how their careers have played out, it shows their maturity and progression since they last time they fought together and it’s quite amazing to see how far they’ve come whether you’re a fan of them or not.

They did say they might kill each other the next time they fought in this arena and they weren’t kidding here since some of the moves they do to each other or when Kenny dropped him on his head when he tried to do a Reverserana. Ibushi would hit the Kamigoye and Kenny would surprisingly kick out of that one, leaving Ibushi emotionally frustrated since he wants it over. Kenny had Ibushi on the top rope and Ibushi fights it off by delivering a Double Stomp right on the back of his head to knock him out and does an amazing Tiger Bomb off the top rope only to top it off with the Kamigoye for the victory over Kenny!

After the match, Ibushi would hug his unconscious body sharing an emotion moment together. Definitely a fantastic match with a great story to top it off and in my opinion might be my favorite match from the both of them this year. Since Ibushi defeated Kenny, that means he moves on to the finals to fight Hiroshi Tanahashi tomorrow. It looks like I got both my predictions right since I said these two would be in the finals, but I’m gonna have to go with Tanahashi winning it all.

Recommended: Fantastic match, worth watching.

 

Overall: B Block ended on a high note with some great stories along with excellent in-ring quality from top to bottom. An unexpected victor made it to the final and it’s gonna leave a bunch of questions after tomorrow pretty much asking, what’s next for everyone that didn’t make it?

Favorite Match: Kota Ibushi vs Kenny Omega

Least Favorite Match: Tama Tonga vs Toru Yano

Score: 9/10

 

B Block Standings:
Kota Ibushi: 6-3 (12 Points) – Winner
Kenny Omega 6-3 (12 Points) – Eliminated
Tetsuya Naito: 6-3 (12 Points) – Eliminated
Zack Sabre Jr: 6-3 (12 Points) – Eliminated
Tomohiro Ishii: 5-4 (10 Points) – Eliminated
SANADA: 4-5 (8 Points) – Eliminated
Juice Robinson: 3-6 (6 Points) – Eliminated
Toru Yano: 3-6 (6 Points) – Eliminated
Hirooki Goto: 3-6 (6 Points) – Eliminated
Tama Tonga: 3-6 (6 Points) – Eliminated


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NJPW G1 Climax 28

Andrew’s G1 Climax 28 A Block Ratings & Review: Day 17

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We’ve made it to the G1 Climax A Block Finals boys and girls!

It’s been a three horse race for a few days, but someone has to win today. Let’s go over the iterations before the show starts:

  • With a win and Tanahashi loss, Jay White wins the block.
  • With a win and Jay White loss, Kazuchika Okada wins the block.
  • With a win or draw, Hiroshi Tanahashi wins the block.

Now that we’ve gone over that, let’s see how this finishes up.

 

Michael Elgin vs Togi Makabe

This isn’t the match that people are tuning in today to watch, but it should be a hell of a brawl. Even though neither guy has had an impressive tournament, this is a first time G1 matchup. The last couple years, Elgin and Makabe have been in opposite blocks.

We got what we expected in this match. Both men are tough guys and power wrestlers, so we saw numerous strike exchanges and power moves. Makabe went for his Spider German Suplex, it got stopped. Then he went for the rebound Spider Belly to Belly, but Elgin blocked that and lit up Makabe in the tree of woe. A Splash Mountain Powerbomb from the corner, only gets Elgin a 2 count.

However, we finally get something different. Usually when Makabe doesn’t hit the Spider German Suplex, he loses the match. But manages to counter a Discus Lariat into a Death Valley Driver, which set up for the King Kong Knee Drop.

So missed Spider German or not, Makabe ends on a high note, with 6 points.

Winner: Makabe via King Kong Knee Drop

Rating: *** 1/2

 

YOSHI-HASHI vs Hangman Page

This is the first time these two have faced off in singles action. Page being the young guy and HASHI being the disappointment, this isn’t exactly a hot match. Does Hangman end on a 3 match win streak, or does HASHI get a slightly meaningful win?

Naps and cookies were had during this match. Page dominated most of this match, hitting the Shooting Star Shoulder Tackle and Buckshot Lariat without much struggle. It isn’t until Page starts taunting YOSHI that the tone shifts a little.

HASHI pulls off his Head Hunter (Block Buster), a Superkick and then we have a few standing switches to get out of finishing moves. Page goes for Rite of Passage about 3 times in a row, before HASHI counters with a Canadian Destroyer.

Thanks to the Destroyer, it gives HASHI the opening to hit Karma, for the pinfall. So we have another match that ends with both men at 6 points.

Winner: YOSHI-HASHI via Karma

Rating: ** 3/4

 

Minoru Suzuki vs Bad Luck Fale

Well after the last few years, it’s odd to think that a Suzuki-Gun match would have interference that wasn’t started by Suzuki-Gun. But hey, let’s assume we get a 10 minute match, and then Tama Tonga shows up.

Well damn, my opening statement came true. Roughly 10 minutes of a decent, but nothing special match and we get Tama Tonga showing up hitting a Gun Stun on Suzuki in front of the referee.

Bad Luck Fale gets DQ’d and has an odd distinction of not winning the block, but also going through the entire tournament without being pinned or submitted. Go figure, right?

Winner: Suzuki via DQ

Rating: ** 1/4

 

EVIL vs Jay White

EVIL got the top 3 guys for his last 3 matches. Can EVIL finally get a statement victory against one of the leaders, or continue to come up short?

A lot of outside barricade usage, but no high intensity moments. EVIL hits Darkness Falls, Jay even pulls out his old finishing move the Kiwi Crusher, all for near falls.

Jay brings in two chairs, as per usual. Red Shoes takes one away, gets bumped, but EVIL manages to dodge a chairshot, countering easily with Everything is Evil.

So Jay’s under handed tactics finally stop working, and he is now eliminated from winning. So Okada versus Tanahashi is a winner takes all match now.

Winner: EVIL via Everything is Evil

Rating: *** 3/4

 

Kazuchika Okada vs Hiroshi Tanahashi

This is a historic rivalry. A couple draws, nearly even in their overall records against each other, we just know it’ll be good. The weight increases with White’s loss, but lets just see what happens.

The match starts with a flurry of missed shots. Okada misses a Shotgun Dropkick and Standing Dropkick, Tanahashi misses the Basement Dropkick, as each try Sentons and Lariats, all avoided for a quick stand off and applause.

From that point forward, this was another classic Okada and Tanahashi match. Both men took a move from each other, Okada hitting a Dragon Screw Leg Whip and Tanahashi landing a Tombstone Piledriver. Tanahashi even surprised everyone by using a Styles Clash, for a near fall.

Words can’t really describe the layers and emotion in this match. It was deliberately paced early on, but building to the last 5 minute rush of signature moves, near falls and hearing the crowd stomping their feet so loudly, this was special.

Tanahashi with a nice call back to the Wrestle Kingdom match when Okada kept wrist control, by keeping neck control and hitting 3 Twist and Shout neckbreakers. Fending off the Rainmaker just long enough to hit one High Fly Flow for a 2 count, but then time was called as Tanahashi went to the top for another.

Winner: Time Limit Draw

Rating: *****

 

A Block Standings:

Hiroshi Tanahashi: 7-1-1 (15 Points) – Winner
Kazuchika Okada: 6-2-1 ( 13 Points) – Eliminated
Jay White: 6-3 (12 Points) – Eliminated
Minoru Suzuki: 5-4 (10 Points) – Eliminated
EVIL: 5-4 (10 Points) – Eliminated
Hangman Page: 3-6 (6 Points) – Eliminated
Bad Luck Fale: 3-6 (6 Points) – Eliminated
Michael Elgin: 3-6 (6 Points) – Eliminated
Togi Makabe: 3-6 (6 Points) – Eliminated
YOSHI-HASHI: 3-6 (6 Points) – Eliminated

 

Thoughts:

Well the A Block, is the Ace Block, and that was one hell of a way to finish this block. I did pick Tanahashi to win the block, so that makes me happy. Now if Ibushi can capture the B Block, that would be great.

Even for those who were saying the A Block was the least impressive, you have to enjoy the way stories were paid off, and the epic clash between Tanahashi and Okada. Damn impressive.

 


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