In honor of the 28th G1 Climax, AXS gives a double dose of NJPW with the finals from both the 26th & 27th G1 Climax tournaments, both starring Kenny Omega!
Gifs can be found courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- G1 Climax 26 Finals: Hirooki Goto VS Kenny Omega; Omega wins.
- G1 Climax 27 Finals: Tetsuya Naito VS Kenny Omega; Naito wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS review what led to this G1 Climax 26 finals!
First, in Block A, the Fierce Warrior of Chaos defeated the likes of Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Tomohiro Ishii, but losing to Hiroshi Tanahashi, Sanada and Kazuchika Okada. It was by only one point that he advanced over The Rainmaker, who had a draw against The Ace, and thereby costing him in the end. Meanwhile, in Block B, it would be The Cleaner, Kenny Omega! Omega was tied with Tetsuya Naito at 12 points each, but because Omega beat Naito in their own encounter, that gave the Bullet Club leader the edge. Goto won the 2008 G1 Climax, and wants to achieve it again. Omega has yet to do the same, but he aims for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship held by Okada. Whose determination will be what carries them through to victory?
G1 Climax 26 Finals: Hirooki Goto VS Kenny Omega!
Who will win the right to hold the Tokyo Dome IWGP Heavyweight Championship challenge rights certificate for Wrestle Kingdom?
The official introductions are made, and referee Red Shoes checks that both men have nothing illegal on their person. Fans are already thunderous for both men wtih the bell. Omega embraces it, and even encourages them. He and Goto tie up, and he gets a waistlock. Goto pries his way out with a wristlock, but Omega pulls hair. Omega puts Goto on the ropes but backs off with mocking pats on the shoulder, and even one on the cheek. Goto keeps his cool and circles with Omega again. They tie up again, and Goto gets a waistlock. Omega pries his way out with a wristlock, but Goto rolls and gets the takedown. Goto goes for a foot but Omega turns that to an armbar. Goto rolls to a cover, TWO, but Goto keeps on Omega. Omega slips out of the facelock, and the two back off.
They circle again, then approach. Goto kicks then gets a hammerlock. He shifts to a headlock, but Omega grabs hair again. Omega powers out but Goto runs him over with a shoulder. Goto runs and tricks Omega into jumping up, but Omega still gets Goto with a huricanrana! Goto bails out and Omega starts up the Terminator drums. Omega builds speed but Goto returns to kick him in the bad leg! Fans boo the shrewd strategy but Goto ignores them to kick at the leg more. Omega gets to a corner but Goto sweeps his legs. Goto drags Omega over to then wrench Omega’s foot with a standing toehold. Omega endures as Goto turns it into a Figure Four! Fans rally for Omega as he reaches for ropes. Omega manages the ropebreak, and Goto lets him go. Goto keeps on Omega in the corner, kicking the leg against the ropes.
Fans boo more as Goto tortures Omega. Omega hits back with forearms, but Goto kicks Omega low. Omega goes after the eyes! Then he runs, but into Goto’s clothesline! Goto sends Omega out hard, then follows to stomp Omega out. Goto drives in elbows and follows Omega as he staggers around. He brings Omega up to whip him at the barriers. Omega stops himself, mule kicks Goto back, then uses the railings for the moonsault! Omega wipes Goto out but his legs pay the cost in the landing. The 20 count begins but reaches 10 as Omega scoop slams Goto into the barriers! Omega gets in at 13, but Goto is barely stirring. Omega decides to keep this going, as he powerbombs Goto on the apron! Goto crumples to the floor while Omega takes time to catch his breath and stretch his legs.
Omega goes in the ring at the count of 7, and leaves Goto to the count’s mercy. Goto sits up at 11, drags himself up, and manages to beat it at 18. Omega is right on him, and turns him over for a Rude Awakening neckbreaker, complete with hip swivels. Cover, TWO! Fans are still thunderous as Omega puts Goto in a half camel clutch. Omega pulls back and thrashes Goto around. Goto powers towards ropes but Omega holds on. Omega pulls back, then traps an arm for a half straitjacket addition. Goto still fights with the other arm to get the ropebreak. Omega lets go, to stomp away on Goto. He sits Goto up for a stiff chop, then covers. TWO, but Omega keeps on him with a neck wrench. Goto endures while fans duel. Goto drags himself around, and gets another ropebreak.
Omega lets him go, but goes right back at him for a buckle bump. He chops Goto again, and again. Omega whips Goto corner to corner, then runs in, but misses teh back elbow. Goto fires off forearms, then whips Omega. Goto runs into boots, then Omega adds the Kotaro Krusher leap-frog bulldog! Cover, TWO! Omega grows frustrated, but the fans are still with him. Omega stands and drags Goto up, but Goto fires back. Goto chops and chops, but Omega just eggs him on. Goto chops again, then Omega chops back. They trade chops, then Omega kicks and elbows Goto’s neck. Omega whips but Goto reverses. Omega slips around and runs again, but Goto follows to clobber him with a clothesline!
Both men are down but Goto stands up first. Omega follows, but Goto throws forearms. Goto whips Omega corner to corner for the heel kick! Then a big saido suplex! Omega flounders to his feet but Goto runs back in for a big corner clothesline. Goto throws Omega down and climbs up while fans boo. Goto takes aim, and hits the elbow drop. High stack cover, but Omega uses that for a ropebreak. Goto grabs Omega again, fireman’s carry, but Omega slips out and spits! Omega lifts Got, “You Can’t Escape!” rolling senton and moonsault! Cover, TWO! Omega won’t stop, he grinds his forearm into Goto’s face. Fans don’t really like that, but Omega backs off to bring Goto up. Omega clubs Goto in the back but Goto feeds off it.
Goto feeds off the kick and the forearm and eggs Omega on. Omega gives him more, but it makes Goto stronger. Omega goes after the eyes again, then blows a kiss. He runs but Goto follows, but Goto ends up into a Snap Dragon Suplex! Omega knows he’s the smarter wrestler, and as Goto gets out, the Terminator drums start again. Omega rises, builds speed, and FLIES! Both men crash and burn, but Omega gets up first to soak in the cheers. He makes sure his leg is still good while the 20 count begins again. Omega drags Goto up at 11, then puts him in the ring at 15.
Omega takes aim from the apron, then climbs up top, for a missile dropkick to the back! He won’t cover there, he brings Goto up in another full nelson. Goto breaks free but Omega rocks him with haymakers and forearms. Omega runs, but into a fireman’s carry, and Ushigoroshi! Both men are down from exhaustion and soreness, but the fans are fired up again. Omega drags himself to the apron, but Goto pursues with the clothesline! He clobbers Omega again, and onto the apron, but he’s not done yet. Goto drags Omega up to hoist him to the top rope. Goto climbs up to throw hands but Omega throws them back. They brawl, but Goto gets the edge with a headbutt. Goto fireman’s carry, SUPER USHIGOROSHI!! Cover, TWO!! Somehow Omega survives, and fans are fired up from shock alone.
Goto stands up and stalks Omega. He grabs Omega around the neck for the sleeper, and Omega fades. Goto doesn’t let it end there, but Omega fights out of the GTR, then shoves Goto away. Omega grabs Goto in a sleeper, but Goto turns it back around into his own. Omega reaches for ropes but can’t get away. Goto pushes Omega into a buckle, then German Suplexes on the rebound! But Omega lands on his feet! V-Trigger! Then from there, cross-leg brainbuster, Aoi Shoudou! Omega fights through the pain in his knees to target Goto again. BANG, he runs, another V-Trigger! Omega keeps going, but Goto escapes the electric chair to put on the sleeper!
Omega powers Goto to a corner, but Goto holds on. Another bump and Goto lets go, but then hops back on for a backpack sleeper. Omega turns around and decides to climb the corner! From the top rope, Omega just FALLS BACK! The hold is broken, but that was a double-edged move for Omega. Both men slowly stir as a 10 count begins. Omega stands at 9, while Goto manages to follow. Omega turns back to Goto, and he throws big forearms. Goto gives them back and now it’s a brawl. Fans duel as these two go back and forth. Omega runs to boot, then tries again, but Goto dodges. Omega sees the elbow coming and counters with another V-Trigger. He lifts Goto for a powerbomb, LAST RIDE SIT-OUT! Cover, TWO!! Goto survives a move borrowed from Kota Ibushi, and Omega can’t believe it.
Fans are at a fever pitch as Omega positions Goto before climbing up. Phoenix Splash FLOPS as Goto rolls away! Omega fails to use Ibushi’s golden combination, and Goto rises. Goto prepares his own finish, and buzzsaw kicks Omega down. Cover, TWO!! Goto won’t stop, he suplexes Omega, but Omega slips out. The knee buckles and Goto headbutts Omega. Goto scoops and spins Omega for the Ura Shouten facebuster slam! Cover, TWO!! This match is still not over, despite all both men have done to each other! Both men slowly stand as the fans continue to be thunderous.
Goto grabs Omega, but Omega knees out. Omega tries but Goto blocks the V-Trigger. Goto swings but Omega boots that away to then hit the V-Trigger! Full nelson to Snap Dragon Suplex! Cover, TWO!! Omega looks desperate, but he does have something left to give. He aims, BANG, but Goto blocks the V-Trigger! Goto holds onto the leg but Omega fights out. Omega gives muay thai knees, but runs into a lariat! Goto fires up, drags Omega up, SHOUTEN KAI! Cover, TWO!? The move that won in 2008 fails to win in 2016!
Goto is not deterred, as he drags Omega up. Omega turns it around but Goto resists the suplex. Goto tries but Omega resists. Omega suplexes, Bloody Sunday! He borrows Prince Devitt’s move! Omega drags Goto up, and uses the Styles Clash!! Cover, TWO!? Goto survives yet another Bullet Club move, but now Omega uses HIS move, the One Winged Angel!! Cover, Omega wins!!
Winner: Kenny Omega
History is made! Omega is the first foreigner to win the G1 Climax, and did it in his first try! And Bullet Club appears to celebrate with him! The Guerrillas of Destiny, Fale, Tokyo Pimp, and Hangman Page are out to wave the Bullet Club banner and hold up their triumphant leader. They only let him down so he can official receive the G1 Climax 26 trophy. Omega is handed the G1 Climax banner to place in the stand, but he decides to drop that flag in place of the Bullet Club’s! Tama Tonga places that for him while he takes a moment to speak.
“Before the G1, oh heck, during the G1, a lot of people said the Bullet Club is over! The Bullet Club should disband!” But nope, the Bullet Club isn’t over, it’s 4 Life! People wonder if The Elite is over, since The Young Bucks aren’t present. They’re not over, because without The Elite, “wrestling is boring and it sucks.” But Omega must say this, “Days like this, they happen maybe once in a lifetime.” Don’t be afraid to dream and reach for the stars. But be warned, just as you’re about to reach your dreams, someone like Omega might swoop in and take them. Omega is the best, more talented, more determined, he is not like one of us. But he wrestles for us so count yourselves lucky.
This goes to all the other wrestlers in the world, especially those in Orlando. Today’s our lucky day, because this is a lot of study material to make your Omega Lite, but it won’t happen. Then to Okada, “you are the IWGP Heavyweight Champion” but has yet to meet Omega, so that is what we will get.
But Omega knows no one here understands, so he translates to Japanese. But just this once. “Are you surprised? I hate to say it, up until now I didn’t want to speak Japanese. I am the Heel after all.” As a Heel, he’s not supposed to speak Japanese, he’s supposed to hate your favorite wrestlers, because you’re not supposed to cheer a Heel. Do the fans hate him? Whether they do or not, Omega vows that Japan is his home, as is NJPW, so he’s not going “over there.” So good bye, MWAH, and good night, BANG! The streamers fall, and the true celebration begins!
NJPW and AXS review what led to this G1 Climax 27 finals!
In Block A, Tetsuya Naito has an amazing run as he earns 14 points with seven wins and only one loss to the bigger Bad Luck Fale and Tomohiro Ishii. He would beat out Hiroshi Tanahashi who had 12 points, as The Ace lost to Naito in their encounter, as well as to Zack Sabre Jr. The leader of Los Ingobernables won back in 2013 and looks to repeat. Speaking of repeating, Kenny Omega returns as he not only beats The Rainmaker in points but in their own G1 encounter! The Cleaner could not defeat Kazuchika Okada at Wrestle Kingdom, but his quest for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship has not ended. Which man will be a repeat G1 Climax champion after the match?
G1 Climax 27 Finals: Tetsuya Naito VS Kenny Omega!
The Uncontrollable Charisma has held many titles in NJPW, but was IWGP Heavyweight Champion just a year before this. Meanwhile, The Cleaner is the inaugural IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion, but he wants another chance at the world title. Who will become a repeat G1 Climax winner and the man aimed at The Rainmaker’s reign?
The official introductions are made, the entrance gear is removed and Red Shoes does his check. The bell rings and we begin!
Fans are already thunderous but Omega and Naito are calm as they circle. Naito and Omega approach, but Naito side steps Omega. Omega is annoyed for falling for Naito’s classic games, but they approach again. Naito does it again, wanting everyone to take it easy. Omega and Naito circle again, but now Omega uses Naito’s trick against him. Omega and Naito approach, and they both use the feint. Naito turns around to kick Omega then whip. Omega reverses but Naito holds rope to spit at Omega! Fans boo Naito, but Omega chops him several times. Omega whips Naito, but Naito ducks and counters the back drop by throwing Omega out. Naito builds speed, to Tranquilo! Fans cheer Naito’s ego, but Omega does his best to keep his cool.
Omega returns but Naito is ready. Naito throws Omega out again, then attacks him at the railings. They go around the corner, and Naito whips Omega at the barrier. Omega stops himself, mule kicks Naito, then opens the gate. He thinks better of disturbing the fans, so he moonsaults off the railing! Omega takes out Naito and fans fire up. Omega brings Naito up to ram him into the railings, then do it again before putting him in the ring. He runs, Kotaro Krusher! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up for Naito as he rolls away to ropes. Omega puts him in a corner to club his back and chop his chest. Omega whips Naito corner to corner, but Naito puts him on the apron. Naito sweeps the legs then drags Omega up, for an apron neckbreaker! Omega clutches his head but Naito just adds a draping neckbreaker to the floor!
Red Shoes comes out to check on Omega, but Naito won’t leave The Cleaner alone. Naito rams Omega into railings now, then puts Omega in the ring. Fans rally while Naito stomps Omega in the neck and shoulders. Naito elbows away on Omega in a corner, but Omega comes back with forearms of his own. Naito fires off more, then runs. Omega scoops Naito but Naito slips out for the inverted backbreaker and basement dropkick. Omega rolls out of the ring, so Naito runs. Naito looks to Tranquilo, but then he still DIVES!
The tope suicida is double-edged as Naito’s legs don’t get cleanly through ropes. Omega is prone on the commentary table while Naito catches his breath. Naito joins Omega out there, makes room for himself and Omega, then brings Omega up for a piledriver! It goes off the edge and perhaps to the railing and floor! The Young Bucks are concerned for Omega, but he’s still moving. Naito gets up and leaves Omega behind while he goes back to the ring. The 20 count reaches 10 as Omega stands back up. Omega gets back in at 15, but Naito is ready for him. Naito German Suplexes and bridges! TWO, but Naito keeps his cool. Naito stalks Omega, and puts on a full nelson. Omega breaks out and elbows back, but Naito dropkicks the knee. Naito runs in for a jump kick, sweeps the leg, but Omega boots the swinging dropkick away!
Fans start the Terminator drums for Omega as he drags Naito up. Omega chops Naito, then chops him again. Naito staggers, but Omega keeps on him with a running backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up for Naito, but Omega gives him another chop. Cover, TWO! Omega puts Naito on his stomach to bring him into the half camel clutch. Omega pulls back on Naito, but Naito endures. Naito moves around and gets the ropebreak with his feet. Omega stomps him out for it, then drags Naito up for clubbing forearms. Omega whips Naito corner to corner hard, and Naito bounces off buckles to hit the mat. Naito writhes but Omega drags him back up. Omega whips him again, and harder still. Omega’s not done, he brings Naito up for a saido suplex. Cover, TWO!
Fans are thunderous again while Omega works on new ideas. Omega drags Naito up but Naito hits back with forearms. Naito clubs away on Omega, then whips him to ropes. Omega reverses, fireman’s carry, “You Can’t Escape!” rolling senton, but the impact messes with Omega’s own neck. Omega is slow to doing the moonsault, and Naito catches him on the top rope. Naito climbs up to join Omega, for a flying neckbreaker! Both men are down from exhaustion and pain, but fans rally up again. Omega slowly stands, then Naito follows. They both run in but Naito is the one rallying. Naito hip tosses to basement dropkick! Omega gets to a corner, and elbows back at Naito. Omega runs, but into an atomic drop. Naito repeats the jump kick, leg sweep and this time hits the swinging dropkick!
Fans applaud while Naito poses. Naito gets up and goes for a neckbreaker, but Omega elbows out. Naito kicks Omega back, but runs into Omega’s huricanrana! The Terminator drums begin again as Naito rolls out. Omega rises, builds speed, and FLIES! Direct hit, and the Young Bucks are there to coach Omega up. Fans duel between the two as Omega stands up. He brings Naito up and into the ring, then fires himself up. Omega climbs up top, for the missile dropkick to the back! Cover, TWO, but Omega says he’s going to end this. Omega stands and stalks Naito. He brings Naito up in the full nelson, but Naito breaks free and fights back. Naito runs but is reeled into a back chop. Omega tries again but Naito breaks free of the full nelson to then rock Omega with a right.
Naito kicks but misses the enziguri, and ends up in a deadlift German Suplex! Omega doesn’t cover, but Naito is still dazed. Omega drags Naito up, cross leg lift, for the Aoi Shoudo! Fans and the Young Bucks are all fired up while Omega loads up. Omega aims, BANG, but misses the V-Trigger. Naito German Suplexes but Omega lands on his feet. Omega runs into a tornado DDT! Both men are down but the Bucks coach Omega up. Fans duel while Naito and Omega slowly stand. Naito runs in and hoists Omega up. Naito climbs, but Omega makes it a SUPER Snake Eyes! Omega keeps going, Snap Dragon! Then from the corner, V-Trigger! Cover, TWO!! Omega can’t believe it, but Naito does survive.
Omega wants to steal the Jay Driller but Naito fights out. He gets clubbed on the back, and Omega tries again. Naito takes that powerbomb lift and turns it into a DDT! Both men are down, but Omega crawls to a corner. Fans continue to be thunderous for both men. Naito slowly sits up, but Omega takes aim again. Naito runs in, blocks the boots, and gives Omega the draping backbreaker! Then hammerlock and half nelson, but Omega fights out. Enziguri hits! Naito whips but Omega reverses, only to take a leaping forearm smash from Naito! Naito lifts Omega for the hammerlock and lift, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!! Omega survives, even with all the damage to his neck! Naito drags Omega up, wrenches, tilt-o-whirls, but Destino is countered into the crunchy roll driver! Cover, TWO!!
Omega grows frustrated with Naito but the fans are loving this. Omega goes to a corner, but Naito is on him. They brawl while Naito climbs up. Naito prepares a superplex, but Omega DDTs Naito into the post! Omega keeps on Naito, adjusting their positions. Omega brings Naito up, SUPER STEINER counter!! Both men are down again, but the fans are still fired up. Naito puts Omega up on the top rope in another corner, then climbs up. Naito gives Omega a SUPER Reverse-Rana! Cover, TWO!! Omega continues to endure so much damage to the neck. Naito scoops and slams Omega, then climbs up top. Stardust Press FLOPS as Omega evades! They’re both down again, but Omega drags himself up first. Omega hobbles over to Naito, then drags him up.
Fans are dueling while Omega prepares the Driller. Omega lifts, and hits it! Cover, TWO!? Omega still can’t believe this. He gets up again, drags Naito up, and gives him a point-blank V-Trigger! Omega sits Naito up again, for another V-trigger! He won’t stop, he wants to break Naito. He brings Naito up again, but Naito falls before the V-Trigger can hit. Omega drags his dead weight up, runs, but Naito blocks the V-Trigger. Omega pries himself free to hit it again, then gut-wrench for the Dr. Wily Bomb! Cover, TWO!? Naito will not die! Fans are at a fever pitch now, but Omega takes aim again. BANG, for another V-Trigger! Omega lifts Naito up in the electric chair, but Naito revives to hit another Reverse-Rana! They’re both at the ropes so this won’t even be a cover.
Both men slowly get up. DESTINO OUTTA NOWHERE! TWO!?! But that doesn’t stop Naito, Destino countered into the electric chair, CROYT’S WRATH! TWO!! Omega keeps going, Rain-Trigger! The Cleaner shows no mercy as he once again takes aim. BANG, and another V-Trigger! Then, electric chair, but wait, DESTINO!! Fans are about to lose their voices they’re shouting that much. Both men are down, so a 10 count begins. The count reaches 7 before Omega and Naito sit up. Omega stalks Naito, but Naito hits first. Omega chops back, but Naito comes back with a forearm.
They both stagger but come back, and Omega chops again. Naito forearms Omega, but Omega slaps. Now it’s a slap fight! Naito gets the edge, then makes it forearms again. Omega hits a V-Trigger! Then runs for another! Omega runs again, but Naito denies the next one with his rolling kick! Naito uses the Snap Dragon! Cover, TWO, but barely as Omega only rolls off. Naito comes back, Destino denied, but not with the tilt-o-whirl! Cover, TWO!?!? But Naito feels it, he’s close. He brings Omega up, another Destino! Cover, Naito wins!!
Winner: Tetsuya Naito
And there it is! Naito becomes a two-time G1 Climax winner with 2013 and now 2017! Omega, who fails to be the first foreigner to go back-to-back, leaves with the help of The Bucks. Meanwhile, LIJ joins their victorious leader in the ring. EVIL, Bushi, Sanada and Hiromu wait on the outside while Naito is presented the G1 Climax trophy. He goes to throw it!? Just kidding! He wants everyone to relax, he’s not that crass. Masahiro Chono presents Naito with the banner, and even fist bumps Naito before Red Shoes places the banner in the stand. Naito takes up the mic to speak.
“Buenas noches, Ryogoku! For everyone here and in the world, who support LIJ… did you enjoy the G1 and pro-wrestling more than previous years? The winner is Naito from LIJ. I want to say thank you to you guys who gave me the greatest stage. Gracias, amigos!” Fans applaud his gratitude, but he has more to say. Naito won the G1 Climax four years ago, “but at that time, I set myself up, so I couldn’t say what I really felt. But me now, I can say what I want to say with confidence. I’m the main player of New Japan!” A bold claim, but fans respect it. Now to finish, please shout as loud as you can, for the roll call! EVIL! Bushi! Sanada! Hiromu! And Naito! We are Los Ingobernables~~~ de Japon! And the streamers are released!
Two great matches in two hours, and clearly it is all in honor of the 28th G1 Climax that’s currently underway. The previous two G1 Climax finals are also fitting because they help tell the story of current IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kenny Omega. Omega was amazing in both these matches, and logically he gets better from 26 to 27, and this also speaks to the greatness of both Goto and Naito. Omega winning G1 Climax 26 was proof of how popular he was around the world, but especially with the Japan home base. It was a great element in his promo to get meta about Heels being hated, and in Japan that means speaking anything other than Japanese. But Omega got over because he knows Japanese fluently, and that with his ring skill is why he made it to the top, with a natural feeling build.
My Score(s): G1 26: 8/10; G1 27: 8.5/10; Overall: 8.5/10
(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.44 ~ 21ST JULY 2019
The Global Junior League is wrapping up, and Marine Day is celebrated by all! Hisame gives the overview on the NOAH course of action!
The Global Junior League is wrapping up, and Marine Day is celebrated by all! Hisame gives the overview on the NOAH course of action!
CURRENT TOUR RECAP
NOAH started the long trek to the finals (and the GHC Heavyweight Tag match championship) at Korakuen Hall on 15th July on Japan’s “Marine Day” National Holiday. By the 16th they had moved up to Japan’s North to the Shin Yuri Twenty-One Hall, with the dreaded “Demon Staircase from Hell”. 19th July in Morioka, 20th in Akita and the 21st in Aomori.
Kenoh debuted his new ring wear (its all red) and Kongoh got their first win over The Sugiura Army (who all came out wearing the “Company Dog T-shirts”)
Kenoh has vowed to enter the N-1, win it, win the GHC Heavyweight at Sumo Hall, and then return to the provinces with the belt.
Naomichi Marufuji also debuted new ring wear. He said he changed it from red as red was Kongoh’s colors, and he has gone with a black and metallic silver. Black and silver are LIDET’S colors, but Kenoh seems not to have picked up on that yet.
RATELS continued with their periodic squabble (which happens in leagues, and when one of them has a belt which another one challenges for) in a match that one fan termed “speed vs power” with Tadasuke taking on YO-HEY, and defeating him within ten minutes. Elsewhere for RATELS that evening, Daisuke Harada was bloodied by Yoshinari Ogawa, who in turn was bloodied by Harada when he threw him into a table. As YO-HEY said about the match (which he watched on the monitor), that Harada is known for bleeding, but for Ogawa, its very rare.
There was blood everywhere by the end of the match, all over the mat, the mats outside (in pools), and senior Referee Nishinaga’s shirt was smeared with it. Yoshinari Ogawa won with a sneak roll up (see “Rat Boy” in dictionary), and Harada threw one of his famous tantrums and had to be pulled off Ogawa. Ogawa said afterwards that if you think what he did to Harada was bad then he was going to do worse to YO-HEY (who is “not on Harada’s level”). YO-HEY gave a nonsensical confused and rambling promo (please DO NOT GET ME STARTED on it) about hitting Ogawa’s nose on the right side. However, in the event of things, neither bled and it was YO-HEY who took the victory.
The bloodshed resolved nothing between Harada & Ogawa as on the 16th when Harada came out to second RATELS, friction once again rose between them, with a fight breaking out at the end of the match as Harada got into the ring to attack Ogawa.
In the main event at Korakuen when AXIZ clashed with the challengers to their GHC Heavyweight tag titles, Kaito Kiyomiya aimed a missile dropkick to Go Shiozaki’s knee (despite promising that he wouldn’t as he felt that a champion should be “emphatic” at times). Also in the match sparks flew between Chris Ridgeway and Naomichi Marufuji, who had a kick\chop war. After the match they both made the “single match” signal to each other, which is something that fans very much want to see.
After the match (and Go Shiozaki tapping out to Taniguchi), NOAH announced that Shiozaki would be missing time due to a shoulder dislocation. During this time, which was a time of worry for fans and Nakajima, Nakajima came out holding both the tag belts and to AXIZ theme music. Taniguchi made him tap out on the 16th to his modified camel clutch.
Kaito Kiyomiya has now turned 23 (17th July) and fans have started detecting a change of vibe him in, he seemingly has gone from the nice young (slightly naive) boy of 22, to more steely and less sympathetic person. This was seen when talking about Shiozaki’s injury he said something to the effect of, “yeah, we all get injured, and while I sympathize, we are trying to have a title match here”, and in the title match he attacked Shiozaki’s damaged neck and shoulder. In Morioka, he was seen to have slight smirk on his lips (as opposed to his usual worried expression) when he held the belt up to Kenoh at the end of the main event, and Kenoh stalked off.
Go Shiozaki returned to action on the 20th July. He doesn’t seem to have had any further problems, and he says he is fine, but fans think that he is probably a lot worse than he is making it out to be.
The afternoon at Korakuen belonged to the juniors with HAYATA vs Kotaro Suzuki putting on a stellar match, with HAYATA wearing Kotaro Suzuki down by letting him wear himself out. HAYATA wouldn’t quit, he took everything that Suzuki threw at him, and likewise with Suzuki taking everything that HAYATA threw at him. The audience were firmly on the side of HAYATA (as opposed to NOAH’s first born son), and just as Suzuki hit the Tiger Driver, the time ran out.
Hajime Ohara, it must be said, was not in a good way during the closing stages of Global Junior League as the problem with his neck and shoulder flared up again (it had plagued him during Global Tag League 2018 too), so while fans wanted to see him win, it was probably better that he didn’t, especially as he is responsible pretty much for the planning of NOAH’s Kawasaki event. During the match on the 16th, the referee was concerned and asked him if he was fit to continue.
The semi final night of Global Junior League 2019 and the GHC Heavyweight title match came on the 21st July 2019 in the Mutsu Grand Hotel in Aomori. It is a small venue, a hotel, which NOAH created a “big match” atmosphere at.
Takashi Sugiura & NOSAWA Rongai teamed up to take on Minoru Tanaka & Kinya Okada. After the match, which Sugiura naturally won, he said that he wanted Kinya Okada to enter The Sugiura Army. Kinya Okada did (and how could he refuse after being commanded by Takashi Sugiura), and he will have his first match as one of them on the 27th July at Kawasaki when they fight Kongoh. His joining The Sugiura Army is a good move as not only does it mean that he has the chance to be mentored by Takashi Sugiura, it also brings him into conflict with Yoshiki Inamura, who is in Kongoh, and calls him “my rival”.
Global Junior League 2019 came down to HAYATA vs Tadasuke, following their wins over Hajime Ohara & Kotaro Suzuki (HAYATA, who was seconded by YO-HEY) and Tadasuke (who defeated Daisuke Harada earlier in the evening). When they met in the ring later, Tadasuke gave HAYATA the finger.
Daisuke Harada commented, “RATEL’S showdown in the final, I have nothing but jealousy.”
AXIZ defended the GHC Heavyweight tag titles successfully against Kaito Kiyomiya & Shuhei Taniguchi, with Go Shiozaki getting the win with the lariat on Shuhei Taniguchi. They were challenged for the titles by The Return of The Dark Agents (Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue).
Title match will take place at NOAH’s anniversary show on the 4th August.
All Japan announced this week that the memorial for Atsushi Aoki will take place on the 11th August at Korakuen Hall. NOAH wrestlers have been announced to be participating in the event (although he was an All Japan wrestler, Aoki was NOAH born) with Naomichi Marufuji, Takashi Sugiura, Shuhei Taniguchi and Hitoshi Kumano in attendance.
The main event will see Naomichi Marufuji team with Kento Miyahara and Yuma Aoyogi against Shuji Ishikawa, Shuhei Taniguchi and Suwama. Suwama has wanted a singles match with Marufuji since the Tokyo Sports Award in January, and says that he doesn’t care about the other opponents, he wants Marufuji.
In the semi, Jun Akiyama will tag with Takashi Sugiura against Naoya Nomura and Hitoshu Kumano.
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
- GHC Junior Champion: Minoru Tanaka
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: AXIZ (Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Stinger (Kotaro Suzuki & Yoshinari Ogawa)
~ NOAH have released a Sugiura Army “Company Dog” towel, which features both of Takashi Sugiura’s dogs with his little toy poodle at one end and his beloved Shiba Inu at the other, both barking “Yip! Yip!”
~ HAYATA gave Kotaro Suzuki a slight black eye
~ Kenoh has said that HE will enter the N-1, and if LIDET don’t let him, he will go ahead and do it anyway.
~ Yoshiki Inamura turned on Junta Miyawaki when Miyawaki came in to try and help him after the match in Morioka
~ Minoru Tanaka stole Rocky Kawamura’s apples and ate one in the ring, and posted that the other one was for his lunch. When asked how they were by Rocky, he said they were tasty.
~ Kenoh’s latest bout of paranoia is to claim that LIDET turned the microphone down on him during a promo.
~ Naomichi Marufuji scooped up the white and black feathers left in the ring from Kaito Kiyomiya and AXIZ’S jackets, and putting them in the palm of his hand, blew them into the crowd.
~ Mohammed Yone and Atsushi Kotoge did the Disco Fever vs Revolutionary Pose stand off. This hasn’t happened for a while.
~ RATELS went on a wander while in Akita, and came across a fenced off area because Bears were in the forest. YO-HEY joked that it was Hitoshi Kumano (who’s surname means “Bear”, and also incorporates bears into his persona\merchandise), doing a private autograph session. In one picture, in the background, HAYATA had his back to the camera while he stood by some bushes…
~ Minoru Suzuki vs Naomichi Marufuji will be their first match since the Suzuki Gun invasion of NOAH in summer 2016, although the match at TAKAYAMANIA 2 when this takes place, will not be a singles match.
~ Kaito Kiyomiya turned 23 on the 17th July
~ “The Tadasuke Women” were seen again in force at the Shin-Yuri Twenty One Hall. These middle aged to elderly women I believe are family and friends of Mohammed Yone, but they were given the name “The Tadasuke Women” after he played up to them last year. Minoru Tanaka, who sprained his ankle during the match, said that he had been distracted by them, hence the reason for his injury. Tadasuke behaved himself this year.
~ Masao Inoue suffered the usual sneak videos from Naomichi Marufuji on NOAH’s long bus journey (they have a twelve hour trip on the 22nd back to Tokyo), and then Marufuji bought out his new toy, “FaceApp” and made him into a woman (who looked a little like Betty Boop) and an old man. Marufuji also made himself into an old man, and then into woman. A photograph of himself and Takashi Sugiura as old grey men (looking like they where hosts of a daytime or direct to video art series) made Sugiura remark that they should challenge for the tag titles.
~ Referee Ben, who was kneeling at ringside, was knocked over by a dueling Chris Ridgeway and Tadasuke
NOAH’s big Kawasaki Kultz event (and the GHC Heavyweight title, plus the final night of Global Junior League 2019) will air on the 2nd August on G+ at 8.30PM JST
NOAH will be broadcast live on Sunday 4th August at 11.30am JST on G+
PICTURE CREDITS: Noah.co.jp, Daisuke Harada, Naomichi Marufuji, Battle Sports
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: G1 Climax 29, Part 3!
The G1 rages on in the summer heat!
AXS TV brings us NJPW G1 Climax 29, Night 7!
A week into the annual summer blockbuster, and the standings are coming into focus. Who in A Block gets some much needed momentum? And who SPOILS it for the rest of them?
Coverage of the G1 Climax 29 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs to come courtesy of https://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Bad Luck Fale VS Zack Sabre Jr; Zack Sabre Jr wins.
- Lance Archer VS Hiroshi Tanahashi; Tanahashi wins.
- EVIL VS KENTA; KENTA wins.
- Kota Ibushi VS SANADA; Ibushi wins.
- Kazuchika Okada VS Will Ospreay; Okada wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this critical night of action!
The A Block enters its fourth round, and only newcomer Kenta and the IWGP Heavyweight Champion himself, Kazuchika Okada, have perfect scores! But the Aerial Assassin is still in the running. The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion lost to the Killer Elite, Lance Archer, and the Golden Star, Kota Ibushi, but there is still time for a comeback! However, he’ll have to do it against the Rainmaker! Okada has had Ospreay’s number every time, but the clash of champions may prove who is truly the BEST in NJPW!
But then there are the highly anticipated match-ups of the fastest rising stars! Ibushi was a finalist of G1 Climax 28 while the Cold Skull was a New Japan Cup 2019 finalist! Each has come close to the title, but their standings are at a make-or-break point with tonight! Sanada got the best of Ibushi last time, but that doesn’t mean it’s over for the former IWGP Intercontinental Champion. With only so much time left, who survives and who is out of the running as the G1 reaches its climax?!
Bad Luck Fale w/ Jado & Chase Owens VS Zack Sabre Jr!
But even before all of that, the Bullet Club’s Rogue General enters #ZackSabreTime! Will bad luck fall on the Submission Master? Or will Fale #JustTapOut?
The bell rings and ZSJ jumps right at Fale! He has a guillotine and body scissors but his weight is not enough to drag Fale all the way down. Fale endures and powers out, but ZSJ slips around to a sleeper! ZSJ squeezes tight and uses his own shoulder as a way to keep the lock. But Fale just powers out and throws him down! Fale catches his breath but ZSJ dodges to wheelbarrow to a kneebar! But again, ZSJ is just not enough weight to make Fale fall. Fale pries at the leg scissors, and drags ZSJ over as he heads for ropes. ZSJ bends and twists the leg but the ropebreak makes him let go. After the ref counts to 4, that is.
ZSJ unties himself and avoids Fale’s angry stomp. He wrenches the arm and again, but Fale blocks the whip. Fale whips ZSJ to a corner hard, then runs in to squash him! ZSJ flops over and Fale drops an elbow. Into an armbar! ZSJ has Fale down but Fale has a tight grip. Fale shifts his weight, and deadlifts ZSJ up! ZSJ lets Fale go, but gets run over with a clothesline! Fale goes to the writhing ZSJ and brings him in for a Canadian rack. ZSJ fights out of Bad Luck Fall to get the sleeper, to the Iron Octopus! Fale endures as ZSJ twists the arm and pulls on fingers! ZSJ twists that arm all sorts of ways, but Fale backs into a ropebreak. And Jado SMACKS ZSJ with his kendo stick! Fale “falls” into the ref, so that he doesn’t see ZSJ get mugged by Chase Owens!
The Crown Jewel is becoming an ace in the hole as he gets away with beating down ZSJ. Sadly, Taka Michinoku can’t watch ZSJ’s back with his own injury keeping him out. Fale fetches ZSJ to then whip him into railing. Fale throws body shots as he brings ZSJ out into the crowd. Chase keeps the ref back as Fale dumps ZSJ onto chairs. Fans back out of the way as Fale throws things onto ZSJ. Fale brings ZSJ deeper into the crowd to throw him into more chairs. They go into the bleachers! Fale shoves the ref away and Chase helps back people off. Fale drags ZSJ up for the crucifix, but ZSJ escapes! ZSJ standing switches with Chase, Fale runs in, Fale only gets Chase! Fale grabs ZSJ for the Grenade! But ZSJ traps him in a hanging armbar!
The ring count finally begins as ZSJ manages to drag Fale down! Fale has to work with ZSJ’s dead weight, but the count is past 10! ZSJ lets go at 14 to scramble to the ring! He gets in at 17, Fale is still outside! The count hits 20!! ZSJ gets his first win of the tournament!!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by count-out; earns 2 points
The Undisputed British Heavyweight Champion wins by the seat of his pants, but a win is a win for the G1! Will ZSJ be able to use this for a comeback? Or is even this count-out victory just not in time?
Lance Archer VS Hiroshi Tanahashi!
#EverybodyDies, but The Ace won’t do so without a fight! Tanahashi wants to make this his strongest comeback yet, but he’s up against another strong and returning heavyweight. Will Tanahashi survive the Killer Elite? Or will it be #GoAce as A Block keeps rocking?
Just like on night one, and every night, Archer DECKS Young Lions on his way out to the ring! It seems nothing can put out the raging fire inside of him. But then Tanahashi makes his entrance, and this fight begins as he dropkicks Archer’s legs before the bell! The bell does ring as Tanahashi keeps going at those legs with dropkicks and chop blocks! Archer bails out while Tanahashi takes off his jacket. Tanahashi then slingshots and topples Archer over! Tanahashi kicks Archer but Archer shoves him back. Archer reverses a whip but then Tanahashi reverses it back to send Archer into railing! Tanahashi catches his breath before pursuing Archer around the corner. Archer choke slams Tanahashi onto the apron!
Tanahashi crumbles to the floor while Archer grits his teeth. Archer shouts at the fans cheering for Tanahashi to shut up, then he glares as he goes back to the ring. Tanahashi anchors Archer’s feet on the apron! Archer kicks him away with ease, then apron CANNONBALLS to bowl Tanahashi over! Fans have to cheer for that, but then he tells them to shut up anyway. Archer drags Tanahashi up to ram him into the railing, then into the apron. Archer CHOPS Tanahashi while the count climbs. He puts Tanahashi in at 15 to finish this in the ring. Fans rally while Archer grinds his knee into Tanahashi’s face. Archer lets up as the ref counts, and fans actually start to duel!
Tanahashi throws forearms but they do nothing. Archer CLUBS Tanahashi ones, but then Tanahashi is up again. So Archer CHOPS Tanahashi off his feet! But Tanahashi is back again! He kicks the leg then whips, but Archer reverses for a scrapbuster! Cover, TWO! Archer is furious with the ref and scares him out of the ring. The referee reprimands Archer for a bad attitude, but then Archer intimidates Young Lions. Fans duel as Archer drags Tanahashi up. He reels Tanahashi in for a BIG lariat! He stands on Tanahashi for a cover, TWO! Archer is on Tanahashi with an armlock and chinbar. Fans duel as Tanahashi endures.
Tanahashi fights his way up but Archer throws him down by his hair. Archer tells Tanahashi, “This is MY house now! I’m the Ace now!” He then grabs the legs to tie them up, and the Texan wants to give Tanahashi a Texas Cloverleaf! But Tanahashi resists and fights free! Tanahashi blocks the boot to spin Archer, but he can’t get Archer up for a German Suplex. Archer elbows free and then runs at Tanahashi, big back elbow and again. He gets a third, then goes again, but gets a Slingblade! Both men are down and the fans are thunderous! Tanahashi and Archer slowly stir, but Tanahashi gets up to get the legs, for a grounded dragon screw! And then he laces them up, for the Cloverleaf! Archer resists, grabs some of Tanahashi’s hair, but then Tanahashi stops him with another dragon screw!
Fans continue to duel as Tanahashi is up first. Tanahashi runs but into a choke grip! He breaks free to palm strike! Tanahashi runs again, but Archer goes sideways to POUNCE! Archer has a wild look in his eyes as he looms over Tanahashi. He drags Tanahashi up into a corner, then to the top rope. Tanahashi fights back and has an arm, only for Archer to yank him down with it. Archer won’t let Tanahashi steal something from him. Archer has Tanahashi’s arm now, and climbs up the corner. Fans cheer as Archer goes Old School! And then extends it to another corner, for the ax handle, into TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Tanahashi fires up, runs and Slingblades again! Cover, TWO! But Tanahshi doesn’t slow down, he goes up top! High Fly Flow-body! But is deflected into a CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO!!
Archer doesn’t care Tanahashi survived, he’ll just add on! Twisting Vader SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! But Archer still has that wild look in his eyes. He prepares the claw, drags Tanahashi up, but the #EBD is blocked! Tanahashi tries his hardest to hold off that claw, but he and Archer go back and forth! The claw clamps on!! Archer powers Tanahashi back to the ropes, but holds on until the ref pulls him off! Archer drags Tanahashi back up and up top again to CHOP! Fans reach a fever pitch as they duel. Archer has Tanahashi’s legs and drags him off top for an Electric Chair. VICTORY ROLL! Tanahashi wins!!
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by pinfall; earns 2 points
The Ace had something up his sleeve and he pulls this win out of nowhere! Archer is furious because he was just moments away! And he takes it out on the ref with a toss! Is Tanahashi going to make it back to the top? Is Archer’s next opponent going to pay for what Tanahashi did?
EVIL VS KENTA!
The King of Darkness wants to prove #EverythingIsEvil, but he has to end the winstreak of the man who wants to #Takeover NJPW! Will Evil spoil Kenta’s perfect debut run? Or does the “return to the original Kenta” only end with the G1 Climax 29 Finals?
The bell rings and the two stare down while fans cheer already. Evil and Kenta approach, and then Kenta runs into Evil’s kick. Evil headlocks and holds on as Kenta tries to power out. Kenta tries again but Evil holds on tight. Evil brings Kenta down to the mat but Kenta powers up and fights back. Kenta finally powers out but Evil runs him over with a shoulder! But Kenta is up quick to boot and whip Evil back. Kenta boots Evil again, but Evil’s right up! The two grind foreheads, but Evil pushes Kenta to the ropes. Kenta turns that around and lets up, but with a cold stare. Kenta rubs Evil’s eye shadow! He dare smudges the King of Darkness’ warpaint!? Evil grabs Kenta by the face, but Kenta kicks free and snapmares him down for a SWIFT kick!
Kenta circles Evil while he writhes. He positions Evil and jumps, only to scuff Evil’s face. Fans are divided by Kenta’s attitude as he smirks at Evil. Evil sits up but Kenta kicks him. Evil shakes his head, that doesn’t seem enough. So Kenta kicks him harder! Still not enough, and then Evil catches the kick, to give to Red Shoes, to mule kick Kenta down! Fans cheer as Evil throws Kenta out and follows after. Evil whips Kenta to railing, and then follows him around the way. Evil whips Kenta back into railing, then starts looking under the ring. He brings out chairs and jabs one into Kenta’s ribs. That chair’s not in good shape for what Evil wants, so he grabs another. Evil puts that chair around Kenta’s head! However, that broken chair still works for the HOMERUN!
Kenta falls from that chair shot, but fans fire up. Red Shoes reprimands Evil and tells him to get this back in the ring. Evil mostly ignores him to drag Kenta to the crowd! Anything Fale can do, Evil can do better, by throwing Kenta into the hallway! They brawl as they head backstage! Red Shoes follows to insist they go back to the ring. Evil brings Kenta around behind commentary and to the front row! The special VIP section clears out as Evil throws Kenta down! Evil clears some space by stacking chairs. Evil then drags Kenta over for a suplex, but Kenta resists! Kenta turns things around, but now Evil resists the suplex! Evil fights with body shots, and then suplexes Kenta again. Kenta fights back, too, and switches again, to suplex Evil onto the chair pile!
Evil writhes again while Kenta rises. Fans have a mixed reaction to the Pro-Wrestling NOAH and WWE alumni, but Kenta doesn’t care. He drags Evil back up and back to ringside as the ring count climbs to 10. Kenta gets Evil in at 13, then climbs up top. Kenta leaps to clothesline Evil down! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up for Evil but Kenta is on him again with stiff kicks in the corner. Then he scrapes his boot on Evil’s face over and over. Kenta wants to hear the fans so they boo. He runs, but Evil follows to clothesline him in the corner. But then Kenta returns the favor with a hell of a kick! But then Evil gets the clothesline again! And then baits Kenta into another clothesline! Evil drags Kenta up, fisherman buster! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally up for Evil again as he stalks Kenta to the ropes. Evil kicks and scrapes Kenta back for just a moment ago. But Kenta grabs the foot and stands, to put the foot down. But Evil intercepts the slap with a forearm! Evil runs, but into a powerslam! Kenta catches his breath then heads for a corner. Kenta springboards to missile dropkick Evil to a corner! Then runs in to flying BOOT! Evil sits down, and Kenta gives him the hesitation dropkick! Kenta fires up and fans have to give him credit where credit is due. Kenta climbs up top again, leaps, double stomps! Cover, TWO!! Evil survives Kenta’s coup de grace but Kenta slashes the throat. He drags Evil up but Evil resists the fireman’s carry. Evil spins Kenta but Kenta slips to a sleeper, then the fireman’s!
But Evil escapes, to German Suplex Kenta down! Both men are down but stirring as fans rally and duel. The two grind foreheads to start throwing forearms. Evil hits first then Kenta hits back, and repeat! They do not stop, they only speed up! Evil gets an edge but Kenta counter punches! Then clotheslines, but Evil stays up! Kenta pins but is blocked, Evil headbutts Kenta down! Evil grits his teeth while fans are thunderous. Evil fireman’s carries, DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Kenta just manages to survive, but Evil keeps his cool. Evil slashes his throat now, and drags Kenta up. He spins, but Kenta slips out to a backslide! TWO, and now a small package, TWO! Kenta runs but into a LARIAT! Cover, TWO!!
Evil falls back, exhausted and frustrated from Kenta’s resilience. But the fans do not give up, so neither does he. Evil stands, and pulls off the armbands. Evil watches Kenta stand, then runs, but Kenta dodges to PSYCHO KNEE! Cover, TWO!! Evil survives but Kenta keeps his cool. Kenta runs to hit a second Psycho Knee! Cover, TWO!? Evil survives twice, but Kenta won’t let there be another. Kenta gets himself up then watches Evil sit up. Kenta runs but the Penalty Kick is blocked! He tries fighting free of Evil’s grip, but Evil holds on through many, many forearms! But then Kenta kicks the headbutt away! PENALTY KICK! Kenta slashes his throat again, drags Evil up, and fireman’s carry, to GO TO SLEEP!! Cover, Kenta wins!!
Winner: Kenta, by pinfall; earns 2 points
The one true #GTS does it again! Kenta is undefeated, 4-0, in both a NJPW and G1 Climax debut! Kenta has 8 points, and for the moment, he leads A Block! Will he remain the one and only block leader? Or does The Rainmaker keep pace with the newcomer?
Kota Ibushi VS SANADA!
The Golden Star and the Cold Skull are not dead in the block yet! However, one man could end up in dire straits if they drop to 1-3. Which rising star rises above the other as we go deeper into the G1?
The bell rings and fans are already thunderous for these fan favorites. Sanada and Ibushi stare down then circle. They approach with caution, then tie up. Ibushi gets an arm but Sanada the waistlock. Ibushi wristlocks free, but Sanada spins through to wrench Ibushi back. They go around as Ibushi rolls and trips Sanada to a toehold. Sanada works to counter with a chinlock, but Ibushi keeps him off while wrenching the foot. Sanada uses a leg to bring Ibushi down, but Ibushi sits back up before an armbar can be applied. Ibushi works his way out to get Sanada’s legs and lace them, and then he shifts to a chinlock. Sanada stands up but Ibushi just shifts to a cravat. Sanada still endures, and handsprings through the snapmare!
Things speed up right away as they each hurdle the other. Sanada dodges to throw Ibushi but Ibushi sweeps the legs. Sanada kicks out to sweep Ibushi back, but Ibushi kicks out just as fast. The two go again, Sanada headlock takeovers but Ibushi headscissors back. Sanada pops out and ducks under a roundhouse! Ibushi ducks the rolling sabat and then just leaves Sanada hanging on the dropkick. Fans cheer as Ibushi smirks at Sanada. Sanada has to smirk at that, too, while Ibushi catches his breath in the corner. Fans cheer and duel as the two men reset.
Sanada points out the crowd is rather even between them. So each man goes to a corner to get the fans cheering. The fans are so thunderous, it really is hard to tell which way it’s going. The two climb back down, and they circle again. They tie up and are deadlocked for a moment. Ibushi powers Sanada back to the ropes but he lets up with a pat of the shoulders. Sanada rushes with a kick but is blocked, and Ibushi looks to steal Paradise!? Sanada powers out of that, and then baits Ibushi into going out of the ring. He fakes Ibushi out to then tumble back in with his insane agility! But Ibushi missile dropkicks Sanada down for that! Fans still duel as Ibushi watches Sanada. Ibushi also makes sure his legs are okay before bringing Sanada up in a mounted chinlock. He grabs the arm and make sit a half camel clutch.
Sanada endures and reaches for ropes, but Ibushi pulls him away. They roll away from the ropes and Ibushi body scissors Sanada. Sanada works against the hold while fans continue to cheer, and he gets a ropebreak. Ibushi lets go but doesn’t lose his cool. Ibushi wants to see Sanada fight, so he gives him stomps. He eggs Sanada on, and Sanada sits up. Sanada gives Ibushi what he wants, with a CHOP! Ibushi eggs him on more, so Sanada CHOPS more. Ibushi KICKS Sanada down, then moonsaults, but onto knees! The fans continue their own duel while Ibushi winces. Ibushi stands first to kick Sanada more. He whips but Sanada reverses, and we see those infamous hurdles and dropkick! Sanada slingshots to splash down on Ibushi!
Sanada leaves Ibushi behind to check on some Los Ingobernables de Japon fans. They have a Sanada bear, so he holds it up proudly! Then he goes back to Ibushi while encouraging fans to get loud. Sanada drags Ibushi up and into the ring, then slowly follows after. He drags Ibushi up and wants a saido, but Ibushi blocks with a headlock and elbows. Sanada knees Ibushi to a corner, then whips Ibushi corner to corner. Ibushi reverses but Sanada tumbles and springboards. Ibushi gets under and Sanada rolls through, and Sanada runs into Ibushi’s powerslam! Then a roll and moonsault! Cover, TWO! The fans are thunderous all over again while both men are down. Ibushi sits up with a smirk while Sanada slowly sits up.
Ibushi fires off a strike fest on Sanada, topping it off with that back kick. Sanada ducks the Penalty Kick but Ibushi counters the roll-up by sitting down! Cover, TWO and Sanada has Ibushi upside-down! TWO, Sanada blocks the kick to dropkick the other leg! Ibushi staggers while Sanada runs, but then Ibushi gets clear of the dropkick to double stomp Sanada down! Both men are writhing from stinging pain in their limbs but the fans rally again. Sanada sits up but Ibushi follows, and the two go forehead to forehead. Ibushi throws the first forearm but Sanada throws one back. Ibushi hits Sanada again, but Sanada still gives it back. Now they stand as they throw forearms back and forth! And they pick up speed! Ibushi wobbles! But he comes back with a kick!
Sanada catches his breath from that impact, to come back with a stiff European Uppercut. Ibushi shakes it off to kick again. So Sanada gives another EuroUpper. Another kick, another EuroUpper! Kick, upper, kick, upper, and then Sanada gives more forearms. He boots Ibushi’s away to rolling elbow, but Ibushi LARIATS on the return! Ibushi is up first as fans still duel. Powerbomb, LAST RIDE! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives and both men are exhausted. Yet Ibushi sits up again, and wants those wrists. Ibushi drags Sanada up, but narrowly misses Kamigoye. He still has hold of Sanada to try again, but Sanada again dodges, back slide. Sanada rolls and pump handles Ibushi, to steal Kamigoye!! Cover, TWO!!
Ibushi survives his own move but Sanada keeps moving. Sanada goes up top, MOONSAULT but he FLOPS! BOMAYE! The King of Strong Style would be proud! But Ibushi clutches his knee and can’t make a cover! Fans are thunderous again as Ibushi slowly sits up. Ibushi forces himself to stand and then drags Sanada up again. He scoops but Sanada escapes, to dragon sleeper! But Ibushi slips around to suplex, only for Sanada to get him again! Ibushi steals the dragon sleeper, but Sanada blocks that stolen Skull End, only for Ibushi to escape the stolen long dart! Ibushi again lifts Sanada to LONG DART! Both men are down in the corner and Red Shoes checks on Sanada. Somehow both men are okay to continue, and fans still rally.
Sanada clutches his shoulder while Ibushi holds his knee. Ibushi still rises first and brings Sanada up in a waistlock. He wants the full nelson but Sanada resists. Sanada breaks free of the nelson, but Ibushi German Suplexes! Only for Sanada to land on his feet! Ibushi ducks the clothesline to PELE, but Sanad still hits a sabat! Sanada whips but Ibushi reverses, only to get caught into the dragon sleeper! Sanada takes Ibushi for a swing! Then he drops down, but Ibushi rolls out! Double wrist control, but Sanada dodges Kamigoye again, to spin and Sliced Bread for his dragon sleeper, only for Ibushi to slip out and ROUNDHOUSE him down! Sanada is down but Ibushi wants to end this like a rockstar! BOMAYE!! Cover, TWO!?!
Ibushi won’t stop just because Sanada lives. He brings a knee pad down and drags Sanada up in the wristlocks. Kamigoye!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; earns 2 points
After missing it time and again, the Golden Star finally hits his best move to end this match! Ibushi keeps himself alive in this tournament while Sanada stagnates. But Ibushi does go over to Sanada, to show that he still respects the Cold Skull. Sanada leaves without a word. Will either of these men make it to the end of A Block?
Kazuchika Okada VS Will Ospreay!
Once again, it is Chaos VS Chaos, Champion VS Champion, Mentor VS Student! The number 4 is considered bad luck in Japan, but will it be the Aerial Assassin’s lucky number? Or will the Rainmaker’s run remain unstained towards a collision course with Kenta?
The bell rings and the fans are already thunderous, with a lot of fans going for Ospreay! Okada and Ospreay circle and tie up. Okada waistlocks but Ospreay standing switches. Ospreay floats to a facelock but Okada switches that around. Ospreay switches it back, but Okada powers his way up to a wristlock. Okada wrenches but Ospreay spins through, reverses and snapmares to get a chinlock. Okada endures and works his way out the back. He hammerlocks Ospreay and snaps back to tweak it. Ospreay endures and works his way back up, to then hook and reverse the hammerlock onto Okada. Okada drop toeholds back to then waistlock to headlock. Okada throws Ospreay with a takeover, but Ospreay headscissors, only for Okada to pop out. Fans cheer as Ospreay and Okada stand off.
Heavyweight and Junior Heavyweight champions back away to corners while fans duel. They come back and tie up again. Okada and Ospreay have a test of strength and go shoulder to shoulder. Okada rolls back to put the pressure on Ospreay’s knuckles. He then spins Ospreay to a hammerlock then the headlock. Ospreay powers out but Okada runs him over with a shoulder. Fans cheer as Okada poses, but then things speed up, and Ospreay monkey flips Okada down! Okada bails out and Ospreay builds speed, but when Okada moves, Ospreay adjusts to handspring and superhero land! Fans are fired up behind the Aerial Assassin while he stares Okada down. Ospreay even offers Okada an easy entry. Okada politely refuses and Ospreay gives him space. Until Okada gets back in!
Ospreay is on Okada with big forearms in the corner, and a CHOP! Okada staggers to another corner, but Ospreay kicks him to CHOP him. Ospreay wrenches and whips corner to corner but Okada reverses. Okada runs into an elbow, but dropkicks Ospreay off the top! Ospreay is down on the outside and Okada is willing to wait. The ring count begins, but Okada offers that easy entry back. Ospreay also declines, so Okada gives him space to get in. Okada brings the sore Ospreay up for a big elbow to that bad shoulder! Ospreay winces as he goes to the ropes, but Okada keeps on him. Okada elbows the shoulder more, then scoop slams Ospreay fast, for an even faster slingshot senton!
Okada goes back to Ospreay and stands him back up. He bumps Ospreay off buckles hard, then throws a big back elbow. Ospreay winces but Okada just gives him another. Okada backs off for Red Shoes to check on Ospreay. Ospreay comes back with a CHOP! But Okada doesn’t flinch. Ospreay gives more CHOPS, but they still do nothing. Okada DECKS Ospreay with that forearm! Okada whips Ospreay corner to corner but Ospreay reverses, only to miss and get Okada’s elbow again. But then Ospreay scoops Okada for a sudden suplex! Okada looks both shocked and in pain while fans rally up. Ospreay grits his teeth as he gets to his feet. Okada walks into forearms, then a whip. But he dodges only to miss his elbow. He avoids the handspring once, but not on the return! Ospreay takes Okada down with the flipping enziguri!
Fans return to a thunderous rally as Ospreay fires himself up. Okada gets to a corner and Ospreay runs in, but Okada puts him on the apron. Ospreay forearms back, then Pip Pip Cheerio, flying forearm! Cover, TWO! Okada is dazed but he does survive. Ospreay drags Okada up and into the underhooks, but Okada resists the Stormbreaker. Ospreay throws forearms and another CHOP, and that one gets through to Okada. Fans rally up again as Ospreay stalks Okada in the corner. Ospreay brings Okada up and whips him corner to corner, only for Okada to reverse. Okada blocks the boot but not the enziguri! Tiger feint caught, into Alabama position, Air Raid Crash! Now things are even again as both men are down.
Fans cheer as Okada kips right up! Then shotgun dropkick! Ospreay hits buckles then hits the mat! Okada drags Ospreay back up and scoops for another slam. Then he heads up top, and fans cheer as Okada takes aim. Okada leaps, Macho Elbow hits! Fans fire up as Okada gives us the Rainmaker Pose! Okada reels Ospreay in but Ospreay backs him to a corner. Okada boots Ospreay then runs, but into Ospreay’s dropkick-flip! But Okada ducks the enziguri that follows, to reel Ospreay into a German Suplex! But Ospreay lands on his feet! ROUNDHOUSE! Ospreay whips but Okada still reverses, only for his dropkick to be left hanging! Ospreay’s shooting star gets knees! Okada whips and the dropkick hits this time!
Fans are thunderous once more as Okada gut wrenches, Tombstone Piledriver! Okada gives another pose, then reels Ospreay in, but Ospreay wheelbarrows and victory rolls! TWO, ROBINSON SPECIAL! The falling spin kick hits, and now Ospreay calls for his own. Ospreay springboards but the dropkick clips him enough to send him out! Okada has time to catch his breath now. He goes to the apron and drags Ospreay up. Okada fireman’s carries but Ospreay resists. Ospreay fights back with elbows and forearms. Okada hits back, and the two teeter on the apron’s edge. They keep hitting each other with forearms and they pick up speed. Ospreay gets the edge and sits Okada down! Fans fire up as Ospreay stands Okada up, only for Okada to uppercut! Fireman’s carry but Ospreay slips out to ROUNDHOUSE!
Okada staggers to the floor and Ospreay climbs, but Okada yanks him down! Ospreay is in a Tree of Woe on the outside, and Okada hauls him off for a Tombstone position, only for Ospreay to shove out. HOOK KICK! OSCUTTER!! Ospreay uses railing for a springboard to drop Okada to the floor! Fans rally again while Red Shoes checks on both champions. They’re still okay so a ring count begins. Ospreay sits up at 8 and stands at 11 to get in at 12. But Okada is still outside as the count passes 15! Okada staggers at 18 and hops in at 19.5! Ospreay flies in with a Coast 2 Coast missile dropkick!! Cover, TWO!! Okada lives and Ospreay can’t believe it. Ospreay keeps moving, springboard to OSCUTTER! Cover, TWO!?
The fans are back at a thunderous level as Ospreay can’t believe Okada survives! Ospreay refocuses with a wild look in his eyes. He drags Okada over to a corner, and he uses said corner to leap, but into a GERMAN SUPLEX! Okada holds on and wristlocks, but Ospreay escapes only to run into another dropkick! Okada fires up, stands Ospreay up for the wristlock, Rain-SPANISH FLY!? Cover, TWO!! Ospreay scrambles to a corner and the top rope, SHOOTING STAR!! Cover, TWO!?! Okada survives by the skin of his teeth and the fans are at that fever pitch! Ospreay still has one thing left to try and he vows to do it! He drags Okada up, underhooks, and lifts… STORM- Gut wrench, but Ospreay turns that around! Ospreay throws in knees before stealing the TOMBSTONE!!
But Ospreay won’t end it with Okada’s move! He stands Okada up, spins him around, HOOK KICK! Underhooks, lift, but Okada slips out to point-blank RAINMAKER! But Okada holds onto the wrist, too! Ospreay and Okada both have looks in their eyes like they’re in another space, as Okada drags Ospreay up for another RAINMAKER! Okada isn’t done there, either! He drags Ospreay up, wristlocks, but Ospreay slips through! Underhooks, lift, but Okada still escapes Stormbreaker! Ospreay tries to steal Rainmaker at the last second, but Okada ducks and spins Ospreay for a DISCUS RAINMAKER!! And as Okada himself reaches a fever pitch, TRUE RAINMAKER!!!! Cover, Okada wins!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; earns 2 points
4-0 is a magic number! Okada is 4-0 against Ospreay all-time, and is 4-0 in G1 Climax 29! The Rainmaker will stay even with Kenta, and now it comes down to them! When these two top A Block contenders meet, there can only be one!
NJPW returns as Okada has the mic.
He counts his wins, and says he has “Number four~!” The G1 Climax isn’t even halfway over though, huh? But clearly, Okada still has life yet. Okada vows that the next time he’s in Tokyo, it will be for the Budokan three-day event. And he looks forward to closing out this tournament with another win here. Fans like the sound of that! Okada continues to say, “Let’s keep this thing rolling, folks!” When the G1 Climax returns to Tokyo, NJPW and Okada will #MakeItRain! A short but sweet statement by THE IWGP Heavyweight Champion!
NJPW Media Backstage Interviews
Okada admits “Ospreay was really strong.” And that’s all there is to that, “because it’s already in the past.” But now on to Nagoya, and Kenta. “As the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, the top of the food chain in the pro-wrestling world,” he’ll make sure Kenta will get “a taste of my power.” Another short and sweet statement for the champion. With plenty of Climax left, who will be the very top of A Block after the next round? And who else will start the hard climb up to join them at this whole ‘nother level?
Another great, great night for AXS’s coverage of NJPW. There’s just so much of the G1 Climax going on, it is all AXS can do to cover Night 7 the same day as it happened in Japan. But it doesn’t matter what night, all the action is great! Nobody lets up just because they’re down, since they can also spoil things for their opponents. And that’s clear with ZSJ and Fale. A similar strategy used against Fale last year, ZSJ strands him outside and lets the ring count take care of him. Tanahashi winning with a victory roll on Archer was great, because it really frames how dangerous Archer has become. This will be great for Archer coming out of the tournament as he looks for targets for feuds. His first feud might even be Tanahashi so we get a decisive finish between them.
Both of A Block’s LIJ members did great tonight, even in defeat. Evil and Kenta was a great match, with Evil slowly but surely proving he can be a singles contender like Sanada. But obviously given Kenta and Okada are next, it just makes sense to have Kenta be undefeated to hype that match. Sanada VS Ibushi was a great match, and it felt like it could’ve gone either way. But it is a great choice to have Ibushi win because it will force Sanada to rethink things just a bit, while Ibushi grows stronger as a reward for his dedication to NJPW. Ospreay’s story was incredible for being twofold: he wants to get wins in the tournament, but he also wants to show he finally can beat Okada. And him losing is a double-down on his long journey of rising up. And again, Okada staying undefeated to go against undefeated Kenta, that just makes the next round even more critical to watch.
My Score: 9.1/10
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