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!
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- 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