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NJPW G1 Climax 28

Mathew’s G1 Climax 28 B Block Results & Review: Day 6

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Welcome back to B Block! The last time we were here, we had some great matches, except for one of them, but still a great night nonetheless and we got another stacked show today since B Block has been killing it now compared to A Block. Who unfortunately had a rather disappointing night except for Kazuchika Okada and Adam Page, who more than delivered.

For some of these guys, it’s crucial to get a win here in the early stages, but let’s see if they can pull it off and…dive right in.

 

G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Kota Ibushi vs. Toru Yano

Review: Kota is undefeated so far in this block right next to his Golden Lover, Kenny Omega and another win here would give him better odds with a strong start to get a little bit closer to the final round. Toru already has two losses in his record with zero wins and he would need to win here to at least try to stay alive, so he could be the first spoiler for Ibushi if he can pull an upset.

There’s the Toru we all know and love since he’s deciding not to be like how he was in his two previous matches and tries to end hin very quickly with rolling him up every time he kicked out of it to try and throw him off guard and he would eventually fail to do so and decides to untie all the turnbuckle posts as Ibushi hits a Corkscrew Moonsault when Toru wasn’t paying attention. This match was more entertaining with a little bit of comedic humor involved but it was enough to not make it over the top like when Toru and Omega fought last year. Toru would start taping up Ibushi’s hand together thinking he took out most of his arsenal and had the advantage but Ibushi still has his kicks and can still Moonsault perfectly without the need of his hands. Ibushi attempted to choke Toru with his taped hands around his neck and Toru was able to grab the referee to take his place and roll them up to make the referee knocked out before he would hit a low blow and chop blocked his knee so he could roll Ibushi up and Yano would get the surprise victory over Ibushi!

This was honestly the only way you can see Toru defeating someone like Ibushi since you’ll never see him get a clean victory over him and now Toru can spoil Ibushi’s chances first and now you never know when he’s going to do it again.

Recommended: Very entertaining, worth watching

 

G! Climax 2018 Block B Match
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. SANADA

Review: Both of these men have one win and one loss in their name and right now taking a second loss here with only one win can not really hurt them, but it would put them in a bad spot. Last time they fought, it was at the New Japan Cup Tournament semi-final round as the two would put on an amazing match with Zack getting the victory over him and SANADA showing he can actually outsmart the technical wizard if he’s not careful. Can Zack make him tap out twice or will SANADA get revenge?

Gonna be honest, my favorite style of wrestling has always been technical wrestling ever since I was a kid.  My all time favorite was Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart and some consider it a dying art nowadays since people prefer the high flying style or any of the other stuff, but the United Kingdom still does it beautifully and then you have these two guys that pretty much give you a technical orgasm right here. I loved how SANADA has pretty much done his homework on Zack and was able to outsmart him a lot more than just about anyone else has done in New Japan, he would put him in a Full Nelson and every time Zack would try to counter it, SANADA would just get him back in the hold quite a few times up to the point where you see Zack getting frustrated with the situation since he’s supposed to be this technical genius and this person is just making him look like an idiot compared to him in the ring and it’s just a piece of art to see this. For about eleven minutes, these two would put on a clinic with excellent storytelling and the more I see SANADA wrestle, he’s just moving up the ladder with me and right now my favorite Freelancer right next to Kota Ibushi, this guy is just a work of art and this is the best time to get into him if you haven’t yet. Zack deserves as much credit here with his ability and his emotions into the match with how he’s being frustrated with his opponent and mostly shocked by how well SANADA was dealing with him. SANADA would get Zack into the Skull end and Zack tries to reverse it into a European Clutch like how he won the last time and SANADA reversed it into the same clutch and actually picks up the win here! What a surprise right here and a very pleasant one for sure.

Recommended: Yes, like right now.

 

G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Tetsuya Naito vs. Juice Robinson

Review: Last time they fought was April of last year when Naito was the IWGP Intercontinental Champion and the two had a surprisingly great match together and that was where you could see how well Juice would do on a bigger level against top talent and it showed since he’s the IWGP United States Champion. Naito stated that he aims to win the remaining seven matches he has left in a row so he could guarantee himself a spot in the final and to hopefully get a rematch against Omega for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Juice right now has two losses with zero wins and he would need to win here to at least have some sort of chance but if he loses, then he’s gonna have to win the next round or he will be close to being mathematically eliminated from the tournament, so a win here for both of them is crucial.

I love how Naito is actually doing more heel tactics with this match and is just focusing on Juice’s broken hand for the majority of the match and it’s the smart thing to do because that’s what you would want to do try and help you secure that much-needed win in this type of match. Juice once again showing he’s a great underdog with the fans getting behind him while Naito is still working on his injured hand and he eventually finds a way to get the shine back into the match. While the match had a rather slow start mixed with the nice storytelling with Naito being the cool heel over Juice, it started to slowly get better as time went on and while I still much prefer their first encounter last year but still a good match. Around the last five minutes is when things would kick up into high gear with Naito hitting a Hurricanrana off the top rope as Juice rolled through to kick out and would even hit his Dusty Punches along with a Jackhammer to try and at least stun Naito and goes for the Pulp Friction only for Naito to counter it with a German Suplex. Naito would then get the upper hand with hitting a flying elbow and attempts to go for the Destino, but Juice catches him to go for the Gutbuster and before he could hit it, Naito would catch him with the Destino for the two count and Naito would quickly get back up to hit one more Destino to get the win while Juice now has three losses in his name.

Things aren’t looking good here for Juice since he has zero wins and three losses, and he also has six more matches left to go and he would need to win the rest of them if he has any chance of making it to the final, but right now his odds are very slim.

Recommended: Solid match, worth at least a viewing.

 

G1 Climax 2018 B Block Match
Tama Tonga vs. Kenny Omega

Review: I’m a little bit surprised that this is happening early on in the tournament, but we got our Bullet Club Civil War continuing on with Kenny Omega taking on Tama Tonga where Tama wants to show Kenny what the Bullet Club is really all about while Kenny just wants to knock Tonga of his pedestal early to give him zero momentum. Is it a day for the Golden Elite or will the OG show what Bullet Club is really all about? Kenny Omega is the only one undefeated and a win here would help out Tama Tonga be put on the spotlight and in Kenny’s radar for a future title opportunity.

Before the match would even begin, Loa and Fale would get the jump on Kenny the second he walked into the ring and Tama would get into the fray for all three of them to start beating him down until Adam Page and Chase Owens run into the ring and start to attack Loa and Fale so they could even the odds and chase them out the ring, but Kenny would dive to the outside to knock them down for good measure and gets back into the ring as Tama would attack him from behind. The two fighting each other feels more like a fight than a wrestling match since Tama just wants to hurt Omega and would control most of the match even when Kenny keeps trying to fight back on him.  Omega would go for a Snap Dragon as Tama grabbed the referee so that Loa would attack Kenny while the referee wasn’t looking but Kenny would hit a Hurricanrana to knock him back down before going back in to attack Tama and go for a V-Trigger which Tama catches him and Kenny rolls him for a two count and gets hit with a chair by Loa when the referee wasn’t looking again. Omega started to go for the One-Winged Angel but Tama gets off his shoulders to go for the Gun Stun as Kenny reversed it again but Tama catches him to get him in the Styles Clash position and would slowly make his way over to the chair that’s in the ring as the referee kicks it out of the way, and Tama lets go of Kenny to argue with the referee and hits him with the Gun Stun causing Kenny to win by Disqualification.

After the match, Loa and Fale would get back into the ring to attack Kenny once more and Tama would have the chair around his neck as he attempts to go for the Gun Stun, but Ibushi, Page, and Chase got back into the ring to chase them away. With these recent DQ losses between Tama and Fale, it seems pretty clear that they have no desire to win the G1 Climax and want to cause some mayhem and to make sure that Kenny doesn’t win either since they did do some damage to him which could cause him to potentially lose a match or two.

Recommended: For story progression between Bullet Club, definitely. But decent match.

 

G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Hirooki Goto

Review: These two fought each other last year at the G1 Climax and in the A Block where Goto would defeat Ishii and he would actually defeat him in the G1 since around 2015 and it looks like Goto would mostly defeat Ishii whenever they’re in the ring with each other, so it looks like Goto has higher odds when it comes to fighting Ishii and Ishii wants to try and break that curse here by trying to defeat him in singles competition which is something he can rarely do. Both men have one win and loss as they would both need a victory here while the loser would have to try and keep up. Will Goto defeat Ishii once again or will Ishii finally knock him down a peg?

Wow…that is really all I can say about this match since it left me speechless, this very well might be my favorite match in this G1 Climax so far and we’re only on day six! This is the type of match that you see for the NEVER Openweight belt from years ago with guys involving Goto, Ishii, Makabe, Honma, and Shibata, it was just that good. It was fast, hard hitting, almost going blow for blow during the entire match while they would block their strikes with strikes of their own while hitting each other harder just to try and get an opening from hitting them so hard and keep on the attack. Ishii still shows that he gives us fantastic matches with just about anybody he fights in the ring and makes it all the more memorable while Goto has been doing fantastic this year so far and him being the NEVER Openweight Champion is the best thing for that belt right now since Goto represents that division well like how his friend, Shibata does. This was just an all-out war that goes on for about eighteen minutes and it just flows so fast that it feels like you’ve been watching it for about ten minutes and it leaves you a bit with wanting more, but they had the perfect amount of match length with each other. The two started pulling out all the stops wish Ishii first hitting an Avalanche Brainbuster for a two count, even Goto hitting a reverse GTR to get a two count as well and these two just won’t quit against each other and it looked like they were gonna go for a double Lariat, but it looked like Ishii would hit all of it while still taking the damage and collapses on the ground, what a fight. Goto would hit the Shouten Kai for another two count and it looks like he would get ready to put him away with another GTR but Ishii would hit him with a Headbutt as the two hit each other with another Headbutt as Ishii switches it up with an Enziguri and a Sliding Lariat for the two count and he would lift Goto up for the Vertical Drop Brainbuster for the three count and he finally beats Goto!

I believe the last time Ishii has defeated Goto was about four years ago when they fought for the NEVER Openweight Championship, but I very may well be wrong though and if I am, please let me know so I can correct it, but still it’s very refreshing to see Ishii get the win over him after so long. Since Ishii does have that win over Goto, he could go for the championship after the tournament if he wanted to, but I don’t think that’ll happen since people in the same faction don’t really fight each other for the titles, unless something changes since Jay White has been causing a bit of buzz in CHAOS right now, so never say never in wrestling as they say.

Recommended: Watch it, now.

 

Overall: B Block has killed it for the third time in a row compared to A Block and this is the third time that I had a strong start in these types of tournaments. Just like I have in Champion Carnival and King of Gate while the ending felt okay and Andrew had the stronger endings and even with his block winners won those tournaments, so it very may well happen again.

Favorite Match: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Hirooki Goto

Least Favorite Match: Tama Tonga vs. Kenny Omega

Score: 8.5/10

 

B Block Standings:
Kenny Omega 3-0 (6 Points)
Kota Ibushi: 2-1 (4 Points)
Tomohiro Ishii: 2-1 (4 Points)
Tetsuya Naito: 2-1 (4 Points)
SANADA: 2-1 (4 Points)
Zack Sabre Jr: 1-2 (2 Points)
Hirooki Goto: 1-2 (2 Points)
Tama Tonga: 1-2 (2 Points)
Toru Yano: 1-2 (2 Points)
Juice Robinson: 0-3 (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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