Well, everyone, this is it, this will be Io Shirai’s final appearance with Stardom before she departs to the WWE.
Io has been with the company in 2011 around when Stardom wasn’t even a year old yet and has been with them ever since. She has won every title Stardom has and also set a bunch of records for the company with lengthy reigns and title defenses. Only accolade that evaded her grasp was the Cinderella Tournament (she really wanted to wear that dress too).
— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) June 18, 2018
There might be a huge gap open once Io is gone, but the past few months have shown that the company can still shine bright and still have a promising future even without their ace. It’s a stacked show and has a special match for her final day which I’ll get to when the match comes up, and we got Momo defending her belt in the main event. So let us close this chapter together and…dive right in.
Tag Team Match
Kaori Yoneyama & Ruaka vs. Leo Onozaki & Natsuko Tora
Review: It looks like all members of JAN except Kyona are fighting off in a tag team match with one of the champions teaming up with one of the rookies and looks like Natsuko got Leo and Kaori has Ruaka, let’s see who picks it up in this friendly competition. All four of them shook hands and soon as Kaori and Ruaka turned their backs, Natsuko and Leo would attack them from behind and would hold Kaori’s arms so that Ruaka could jump on her own partners back to do the jungle pose, but Natsuko see’s her and pushes her off. The match itself was incredibly sloppy with poor and unbelievable strikes from all of them except for Kaori who was surprisingly the best part out of this whole match. Leo, you used to do like four to five cutters a match and now you’re here doing one or two the minute I made a counter for you, the hell girl? The last part of it was Leo and Ruaka in the ring together to see who can get the win out of these two while Natsuko and Kaori are fighting outside, but Ruaka would win it with a Fisherman Suplex.
Recommended: Not really.
Leo’s Cutter Count: 1 (Gotta up your game)
Hanan vs. Natsu Sumire
Review: Been a while since I saw Sumire in a singles match and makes sense since Nao is still technically not medically cleared, Kagetsu and Hazuki are booked, and Hana is still in Mexico…I hope she’s doing well. So with Oedo Tai all busy, she has to do this match solo against one of the younger talent, Hanan. Sumire pointed out that she’s fighting a middle schooler tonight and she’s not wrong there, but since she’s in charge of the declining birth rate, she must give the kids a bright future.
Hanan would offer her hand for Sumire to shake and once she does, Hanan would kick her in the midsection and would start to get the early advantage with the Dropkick and now Sumire would turn it around to make Hanan lose any momentum she had. The majority of the match is Sumire beating her down, not giving her any chances to have a comeback at all and I like the idea of that since it builds sympathy for the babyface and Sumire is a good heel to do it with. It was only a matter of time when Sumire would pull out the flogger out and start whipping Hanan with it and I have faith in her call since she is the Counselor for the Declining Birth Rate and I trust her judgment. The would still use the flogger for a good couple of minutes until the referee tried to play tug-o-war with Sumire to try and grab it as Hanan used this opportunity to Dropkick the flogger and would start to take Sumire down to finally get her shine in. Hanan started to take her down with an STO and quickly applies the Armbar until Sumire would grab the ropes and hits a few more STO’s for good measure just in case, but Sumire would turn it around on her to attempt a Reverse DDT and gets reversed into a roll up. Hanan had another close call with a roll up and Sumire would barely kick out of it and before she attempts to finish Sumire off, she would reverse it into a Reverse DDT and hold her in that position for a while before actually hitting it but she surprisingly kicks out of it! Sumire looked a bit annoyed and hits a Suplex with a bridge for the win..a bit anti-climatic to a fairly good match.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) June 30, 2018
Recommended: Not gonna lie, I was fairly surprised. Give it a watch.
Tag Team Match
AZM & Konami vs. Shiki Shibusawa & Starlight Kid
Review: Next up is a tag match with Queen’s Quest taking on STARS members and since AZM and Konami are the only two active members right now, they’ll be paired up to take in Shiki and Starlight Kid for this bout. AZM and Starlight, of course, start us off and that is fine by me because I will gladly watch these two fight each other any time since they have such great chemistry together and always do something different in their matches whether it’s tag team or singles to make the rivalry much more interesting and I cannot wait for the payoff once it finally happens. Konami, not gonna lie has some pretty deadly kicks and apparently, she made Starlight bleed in the last match they were in together and even hits a Dropkick right on her forehead when AZM had her in a Camel Clutch, that had to hurt. Starlight would hit a Running Crossbody onto AZM and she kicked out of the move by bridging out it only to be Dropkicked by Shiki and Starlight would hit another Dropkick for good measure before hitting a Standing Moonsault for a two count. Shiki and Konami would get in the ring now as Konami would attempt to make Shiki tap with the Fujiwara Armbar and wouldn’t work just yet as Starlight would come in to help Shiki out as Shiki hits Konami with a Bulldog onto the ropes to Starlight can hit a 619 and tops it off with a Slice Bread #2 before throwing her over to Shiki for a Missle Dropkick and it looked like she had it, but AZM breaks up the pin. Konami would get Shiki into the Armbar once again only for Starlight to break it up and AZM pushes her out of the ring before Konami would hit a modified Armbar to make her tap out, giving Queen’s Quest the win.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) July 1, 2018
Recommended: Very solid match, worth watching.
Tag Team Match
Deonna Purrazzo & Zoe Lucas vs. Saki Kashima & Tam Nakano
Review: We got another tag match with the remaining members of STARS, Tam Nakano and Saki Kashima taking on Zoe Lucas and Deonna Purrazzo. Saki and Deonna are starting off the match as they both lock up and Saki would be thrown into the ropes and springboards off it for an arm drag and Deonna would do an arm drag in return and both Dropkick their feet before quickly standing up to tag Tam and Zoe into the ring.
The two are known for their kicks and they try to kick each other but either dodge or hit their own legs to deflect the kick and Deonna got tagged back in and hit a Double Flapjack on Tam to knock her down and once picked back up, Tam would have Deonna in a Reverse DDT while Zoe tries to break it up, but Tam would kick her in the midsection and hits the DDT on both of them and once Saki came in, they both would hit the Stunner on both Deonna and Zoe to knock them down. Deonna would hit the Three Amigos for a two count and would try to make her tap with an Armbar and fails to do so and the two would start to kick each other a few times until they both fall down to make the tag to Zoe and Saki. Zoe looked to get the early advantage until Saki would turn it around for a moment and even knocked her down for Tam to do a Senton off the second rope and gets a two count. Deonna would come in to hit a forearm Saki in the chest to daze her enough for Zoe to try and get the win, but Saki would hit the Killswitch to give STARS the win here.
Recommended: Average match, so really up to you if you wanna watch it.
Tag Team Match
Hazuki & Kagetsu vs. Io Shirai & Mayu Iwatani
Review: So Io Shirai’s final match is a tag team match where he partner is Mayu Iwatani and they actually have teamed up before when they were called Thunder Rock in their early Stardom careers before Io formed Queen’s Quest and the two became rivals with some fantastic matches together. Now they will team up one last time as they take on Hazuki and current World of Stardom Champion, Prime Minister Kagetsu. Will Kagetsu be able to pin Io again like she did last time or will Io end her Stardom career on a high note?
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) June 18, 2018
Oedo Tai didn’t have a pre-match interview it looks like and that made me sad because I wanted to see what our Prime Minister had to say about the match. Mayu talked about saying she thinks they’ll still have that Thunder Rock chemistry after not being partnered for about two years and wants to go do their best together in the match. Io and Hazuki will be the ones that will start us off as they lock up and would have Hazuki by the ropes to tap her chest, shades of Okada since she’s just been toying with her during their time together, not even taking Hazuki seriously before she goes to the corner to tag in Mayu. Kagetsu would get tagged in as well and would start to kick her down and Mayu would jump onto the ropes to roll Kagetsu up and Dropkick her right away and once she ran to the ropes, Sumire would drag her to the outside so that Kagetsu and Hazuki would attack Io to send her outside as well. Sumire would be working on Mayu and having a chair on her throat to choke her out while Hazuki would slam Io by a sign in the crowd to make her get knocked out before Hazuki made her way back to the ring with Mayu back into the ring as well as Oedo Tai would do their pose on Mayu and Kagetsu would spray water on both Mayu and the referee, and I’m sure she had a good reason to spit at the ref since she’s the Prime Minister after all. Hazuki would get tagged back in as she had Mayu on the turnbuckle and would run the ropes until Io grabbed Hazuki to hold her still, which made Kagetsu run in to attack Io and drag her to another turnbuckle so the two would kick their faces to knock them out and Hazuki pins Mayu for a two count and applies the Crossface on Mayu until she grabbed the rope only for Kagetsu to step on her arm. Mayu would hit her Slingblade to give herself time to tag in Io as she would have Hazuki by the turnbuckle and hits her knees onto her chest and as she ran to the opposite turnbuckle, Hazuki would charge at her with an elbow and Kagetsu would come in for both of them to throw her into the ropes as Io would do her cartwheel and backflip before Dropkicking both of them to the outside and before she would attempt a Suicide Dive, Kagetsu would throw their sign at her.
Hazuki would fight Io outside of the ring while Kagetsu would the same with Mayu, but you won’t see what they do since they’re too focused on Io’s end since it’s her last match and all, Hazuki would fight with Io as they go up the stairs into the crowd and it looked like Kagetsu had the same idea since all four of them were in the middle section of the crowd and they would attempt to throw Io and Mayu at each other and they would switch it around so Hazuki and Kagetsu would fight each other and now Io would go to the bleachers as she would hit her Diving Moonsault on the both of them to knock them down as she made her way back to the ring with Mayu dragging Hazuki back in as well. Io doesn’t give Hazuki any time to rest as she would hit a 619 and then a Springboard Dropkick before she attempts to put her away with her Diving Moonsault Press, but Hazuki would push her down and held her up for a Tombstone until Io flipped it around and Hazuki would roll her up for a two count and quickly gives her a Codebreaker to make them both go down. Hazuki would make her way back to her feet to hit her own Springboard Dropkick and tagged Kagetsu in as she kicked Io around and even hits Mayu just in case as Kagetsu now uses her sign to hit both Io and Mayu with it to get that heel heat from the crowd and hits her Michinoku Driver on top of the sign and the referee would refuse to count due to her using a weapon and Kagetsu would push the referee down and use the weapon some more as both Konami and AZM have had enough and started to attack Kagetsu to the turnbuckle before Io would get thrown into Kagetsu just to miss as everyone lines up. Much like the last retirement match we had in March, the roster would line up to hit a move onto Io while she was on the turnbuckle and would mostly take Dropkicks except for Konami who would just hug her tight and then Sumire would take a selfie with Io until it was Mayu’s turn as she hits a Running Dropkick and a Standing Moonsault and tells Kagetsu to pin her so she could break it up as we get back to the match. Kagetsu would attempt a Brainbuster as Io would roll her up only for Kagetsu to pick her back up as she hits the Brainbuster this time for a two count and would pick her up for a Chokeslam, but Io hits a Frankensteiner for a one count and Mayu gets tagged in now as she hits a Super Kick to Kagetsu and then her and Io would hit their Uppercut/Thrust Kick combo before Mayu hits the Dragon Suplex Hold and it looks like she’s got it until Hazuki hits a Senton on top of Mayu to break the count. Kagetsu would have Mayu on the turnbuckle for a Shattered Dreams position and Hazuki would hit a Codebreaker while she was in that position and it looked awesome as Kagetsu would top it off with an Oedo Coaster for Io to break up the pin and Kagetsu would throw Io to the outside but she makes herself do a Suicide Dive to the outside landing on Hazuki and Mayu would attempt a dive of her own but trips by accident as she saves herself by just stomping on her from off the apron, but Thunder Rock would go to the top rope to hit their Double Dropkick for a two count. Hazuki would make her way back to the ring until Io turned her around to hit her Uppercuts and Mayu has her set up for a Tombstone as Io jumped off the top rope looking like their own version of the Metlzer Driver but without the flip and they would do it to Kagetsu before Io would hit her final Diving Moonsault Press and then Mayu hits her Dragon Suplex Hold to get the win.
After the match, Mayu would grab the mic to cut a promo saying teaming up with Io one last time was a lot of fun and turned her attention to Kagetsu saying she pinned her in the match and how the World of Stardom Championship belongs to her and she may not know when she’ll get it back, but it will come back to her. Kagetsu would reply saying that Mayu is worse on the mic as usual and told her that the red belt doesn’t belong to her as she earned this belt and told her that she is the Prime Minister and don’t you forget it. She also told Io what no matter where she goes, she told her not to forget that they fought in this ring and told her to rise to the top while she makes Stardom bigger than how she created it, now she thanks her as they both hug it out. Io would start to thank the fans for making her not feel alone until Mayu would give her a bouquet of flowers and would pull her in for a kiss on the lips to even make her go weak in the knees, but they hug it out laughing after. The President of Stardom would give her a second set of flowers followed by Io’s family as she told the crowd that she wouldn’t cry in this ring, but would fly around the world with everyone’s smiles in her heart as she thanked everyone one last time.
Recommended: Great match, worth a watch.
Wonder Of Stardom Title Match
Momo Watanabe (c) vs. Jungle Kyona
Review: This will be Momo’s first title defense after defeated Io for the title a few weeks ago and was challenged by Jungle Kyona who is a good first test to prove herself since Kyona is a highly underrated worker and can go in a big match when she wants to. Momo is shaping up to be one of Stardom’s futures and has a long mountain to climb and defeated Io was the first step, and now she has to keep proving her worth. The two wouldn’t waste any time as they start charging in at each other with Kyona tackling her down and the two would just have this intensity with Dropkicks, stiff kicks, and shoulder tackles back and forth to each other as you can tell how badly they both want to win this match here since, for Kyona, it’s her first singles main event for a title and wants to win it to be taken seriously as a competitor and for Momo, it’s to prove she’s Stardoms future after defeating Io Shirai for that very same belt and wants to show that she has earned her way to this level. It appears Kyona has found an opening since it looks like Momo has tweaked her knee a little bit as Kyona would use this as her advantage as she begins to do some more damage to her leg if she wanted to go for a submission victory and would even Splash herself on top of her leg for good measure before grabbing it to wrap around her neck to crank her leg more until Momo grabbed the ropes to save herself. Momo would try to get a shine in and would attempt a kick only to have her foot caught in the rope and Kyona kicks her knee out to do more damage and Kyona throws Momo to the turnbuckle only for Momo to find a way to get onto the ropes to hit her with a Dropkick to make Kyona go outside and would go to the ring apron to kick Kyona in the face and goes to do it one more time until Kyona sweeps her leg to make her go down and roll to the outside so she could attempt for Jungle Bomb only for Momo to flip it around to hit her Package Cradle to the outside and hurts her knee in the process.
The referee would begin to count Kyona out due to her being knocked out for so long and once they got to the fifteen mark, Momo would go out the ring since she didn’t wanna win like this and would bring her back inside and do another Cradle until Kyona would flip it around to try and get the pin, but Momo kicks out of it. Momo would eventually get Kyona to the corner as she would hit two Running Dropkicks and Kyona kicked out of it and I’m loving the determination between these two with every sequence they do together in the ring and Jungle would hit Momo with a Powerbomb and instead of going for the pin, she would pick her up to do a Sitout Powerbomb and gets a two count. Kyone would hit a Lariat onto Momo once she was able to sit up and Momo would find a way to roll her around and hits a running Somato for a two count as Momo would get Kyona up to attempt another Somato, but Kyona would catch her before she could land it but it wouldn’t last long as Kyona falls down to take the move and still kicks out of it. Momo would lock in the Crossface Chickenwing to try and make her tap out and once Kyona was on her feet, Momo would attempt to hit the Tequila Sunrise but Kyona would turn it around to try and go for a German and once she saw she wasn’t going to hit it, she would hit a Lariat to get her down and after Momo would attempt a kick, Jungle would get behind her to hit the German Suplex and would hit her with two Lariats with the last one hitting her in the back of her head for a two count. Kyona goes to the top rope and Momo would go up with her to try to hit a Superplex as she fails and falls to the ground and Kyona hits her Jungle Splash and instead of covering her, she goes for a Gutwrench Powerbomb only for Momo to flip her over for a pin and Kyona would flip her over too as Momo would kick out. Momo would hit the Uranagi and would hit a Package Cradle on top of that for a two count, but she picked her up real quick to try and do it again from the second rope as Kyona would attempt a Sunset Flip Powerbomb as Momo would hold onto the ropes and kicks her off so she could hit the Somato off the second rope the another two count. Momo had her in the Chickenwing one more time and she would just keep the submission hold in this time until Kyona would stand up on her own and tries to grab the rope, but Momo kicked her arm and used this opportunity to hit the Tequila Sunrise and retains the championship.
After the match, Momo would grab the mic and say she was successful in her very first title defense with this belt and said she loved how fired up Kyona was during the match, but told her she just wasn’t good enough and the belt is far out of her reach, but tells her to do her best if they were to fight again and the two shook hands before Kyona left the ring. Momo would say she wants to nominate her next challenger who she wants to fight former Queen’s Quest member, Hazuki but before that happens, Deonna Purrazzo came out and said she doesn’t know if this will be her last tour in Japan but wants to end it on a high note and challenge Momo for the championship first before she fights Hazuki, which Momo accepts as Hazuki comes out and tells her that even if Momo somehow loses the belt, she still wants to fight her one on one and slaps her face before leaving. Momo would stop talking as she says this is Io’s moment due to it being her farewell and Io comes out saying it should with Stardom’s past and future in the ring together as the roster would come out to the ring as they say their motto together. “Believe now, shine tomorrow. We are Stardom.” Io would then take the Wonder of Stardom Championship and would wrap it around Momo’s waist to make it the official passing of the torch as Io has chosen her successor once she’s gone.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) July 3, 2018
Recommended: Great match, worth watching.
Overall: Aside from the opening contest being a dud, this was a pretty solid show since the rest of the matches were very well executed. While I am sad to see Io Shirai leave Japan, I do wish her nothing but love and support for her next chapter in her wrestling career and I know she’s gonna show the world who Io Shirai is. Thank you for seven amazing years in Stardom and good luck, Io Shirai.
Favorite Match: Thunder Rock vs. Oedo Tai or Momo Watanabe vs. Jungle Kyona
Least Favorite Match: Kaori Yoneyama & Ruaka vs. Leo Onozaki & Natsuko Tora
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Wrestle-1 Tour 2018 Outbreak Part 2 Results & Review (6/22/2018)
Welcome back to Wrestle-1 and last time we covered them, a lot has happened with CIMA and OWE invading Wrestle-1 to shake the company up, as they will be fighting each other in a series of matches during the show and Manabu would also retain his championship in the process.
Our main event tonight is for the W-1 Tag Team Championships since Jiro and Masato would defeat Ashino at the previous show as they look to have the match tonight. Will W-1 be able to drive OWE away on their first night or will they show that they’re here to stay? Let us…dive right in.
Takanori Ito vs. Takumi Baba
Review: We open up the show with a regular exhibition match between Takanori Ito as he takes on Takumi Baba. This one was really nothing to write home about because this was more of an average squash type match with one guy controlling the majority of the match in a short amount of time and eventually Takumi would get some offense in the match for about a brief moment and ended after he would hit a Dropkick off the top rope and Ito would turn it around with a few kicks to the chest and would call for the German Suplex Hold for the win after about five minutes. Ito reminds me a bit of Kevin Owens and I think I said that before since he pretty much has the same attire as him, same body type and is quick, but doesn’t have the full intensity like Kevin does, but he does have potential to be a top guy in W-1.
Six Man Tag Team Match
Ganseki Tanaka, Koji Doi & Tsugutaka Sato vs. Masayuki Kono, MAZADA & NOSAWA Rongai
Review: Time for a six-man tag match involving someone that is responsible for the invasion of CIMA and OWE, NOSAWA and he got exactly what he wanted so let’s see if he’s right later on tonight, but now he has to focus on his match against Ganseki, Koji, and Tsugutaka. With another old vs new style tag team match, it’s what you expect with Koji getting the early shine in the match and would lose it once Ganseki came in to take in the heat of everything from NOSAWA, MAZADA, and Kono as all three of them would just give him a beating without giving him any chance to tag in anyone else, which is how it should be when it comes to tag team matches. Eventually, Koji would get back in the ring for the hot tag and would clean house with his powerhouse style and would tag in Sato to try and put it away, but NOSAWA would hit a Shining Wizard on Sato, followed by a Lariat from MAZADA and Kono would hit a Chokeslam to try and win it, but Koji would break the pin just in time. NOSAWA and MAZADA would fight the illegal guys on the outside of the ring as Kono would hit a Chokebomb for a two count and then would hit his Running Knee as the young guys would lose once again.
Recommended: It was an average match, so this one is up to you
Tag Team Match
Alejandro & El Hijo del Pantera vs. Kenichiro Arai & Yusuke Kodama
Review: On our last show, Kodama would defeat Seiki to become the new Cruiserweight Champion and was then challenged by Pantera to be the next contender for the belt as we have no match date for it just yet, we got a tag match with Pantera partnering up with Alejandro while Kodama would team up with Kenichiro Arai. We get our preview early as Pantera and Kodama would start the match off with Pantera being all quick in the ring and even ran the middle ropes for a bit before the two locked up and Pantera is just too quick for him with his cat-like reflexes, no pun intended. Kodama would throw Pantera to the ropes and he just flips outside on his own as he landed on the entrance ramp before going in to do a Springboard Dropkick to make him go outside of the ring as Kenichiro would run in only to be tripped down as Alejandro would hit him with a Crossbody to make him go outside now and it looks like they’re both about to do a Suicide Dive, but they psyche them out as they are still in the ring taunting them.
Alejandro gets tagged in now and looks to do a Splash to the corner as Kodama would move out of the way and kick Pantera down before going back to the ring to tag in Kenichiro as he now begins to work on Alejandro’s arm and that seems to be the key focus for Kenichiro and Kodama when they kept tagging each other back and forth while still working on his arm to injure it more until Kenichiro came back in the ring to do more damage as Alejandro would hit a Hurricanrana to get him down as he makes the hot tag to Pantera. Pantera would hit the both of them with a Tilt-a-Whirl Backbreaker and would go to the ropes to do a Springboard Frontflip onto Kenichiro and before he could do anything, Kenichiro would tag in Kodoma when he wasn’t looking and hits Pantera with an elbow while Kodoma hits a Diving Crossbody for a two count. The two start punching each other back and forth until Kodoma would rake his eyes and went to throw him into the ropes, Pantera would hit a Springboard Headbutt and top it off with a Dropkick before he made his way to tag in Alejandro who hits a Dropkick off the ropes and Pantera would hit a Drop Toehold to make Kodoma land between the ropes so they would hit a Double 619 and a Double Dropkick as Alejandro goes for the pin, Kenichiro would break the count. Alejandro and Pantera would hit the ropes again but Kenichiro would pull Pantera out of the ring, giving Kodama an opening to attack Alejandro with a Fisherman Buster and then he hits his Mad Splash to get the victory.
Recommended: Solid match, worth watching.
CIMA vs. Jun Tonsho
Review: It is now time for Strong Hearts vs. Wrestle-1 to begin as we have our first match with the leader, CIMA to take on Jun Tonsho, who has been pretty impressive during the last couple of times that I’ve seen him wrestle and should be an interesting bout. Soon as CIMA got into the ring, Jun would start to Dropkick him right away and start going after him so CIMA doesn’t get a chance to fight back and it’s a smart move on his part to try and take him down quickly and does with a few more Dropkicks and once he attempted to go for the Dragon Suplex, CIMA would fight it off and hits a Dropkick of his own. CIMA would first hit a Fisherman Buster for a two count and he quickly picks him up for a DDT and then goes to the ropes to hit his Meteora for the quick victory as he defeats Jun in less than two minutes. Strong Hearts has one point on the scoreboard while W-1 has zero.
Recommended: For a match being two minutes, it was pretty entertaining. Worth a viewing I say, especially if you’re interested in this feud.
Tag Team Match
Kaz Hayashi & Seiki Yoshioka vs. Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz
Review: After pretty much CIMA getting the quick work done on Jun, our next match is a tag team match as we have Kaz Hayashi leading this one with former Cruiserweight Champion, Seiki Yoshioka as they take on two of Strong Hearts members, Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz and I’m excited for Zachary as he’s been one of the breakout stars for me in 2018 and I can’t wait to see him shine more tonight. Zachary and Seiki start the match off with first some basic chain wrestling as Zach would turn it around into an Armbar to try and make him tap, but Seiki would have his foot on the rope to break the hold. Seiki would start ducking Zach’s strikes and attempts to go for a Baseball Slide as Zach jumped over him and ran to the ropes to do a Springboard Corkscrew to knock the former champion down and once Saiki got back up, Zach would tag in his partner Dezmond. as Seiki backed up to tag in Kaz.
Dezmond would outsmart Kaz with his strikes and jabs whenever Kaz would try to throw or hit him as Dezmond kept on turning it around and threw him into the corner only to be thrown over, which Zach would tag himself in the second Dezmond hits the apron and would kick Kaz in the back of the head and jump over the ropes to kick his chest in and soon as Dezmond rolled off him, Zach would jump over Dezmond to hit the Bronco Buster and impressive teamwork right here. Seiki would attack Zach for a bit and Kaz would Dropkick his leg to knock him down as he now begins to work the leg a bit until he went for a Handspring Enziguri only for Zach to duck and hit the same move but with a Dropkick as he connected and hurts his knee in the process before tagging in Dezmond.
Dezmond would Dropkick Kaz on the back of his head to make him roll out of the ring and went to go for a dive, but gets punched in the face instead as Zach would jump over the ropes to land on top of Kaz. Seiki would try to attack Dezmond and gets thrown to the ropes and he does an Asai Moonsault to the outside only for Dezmond to do a cartwheel into a Moonsault to the outside as well as the place goes crazy. Dezmond get Kaz back in the ring and goes for a 450 Splash to only land on his feet since Kaz moved and would hit Kaz with a jab to the midsection as both him and Zach would hit a combination of strikes where Zach ends it with a Double Stomp while Dezmond goes for the cover and Kaz kicks out. Seiki and Zach get tagged in and Seiki would look like to put it away as he hits the Headscirssor Slam and tops it off with a Roundhouse Kick to go for the cover but Dezmond breaks the count and gets Kaz out of the ring. Seiki went to go for the victory as Zach had him in a short-arm hold as Dezmond hits Seiki would a Superkick and Zach turns him around for a knee strike as Zach went to go for his Standing Moonsault by Seiki’s feet, Dezmond would push him mid-air to make him land on Seiki for the win. Strong Hearts now has the lead 2-0.
Recommended: Great match and I’ll even post the video of the match on here so you can see it for yourselves.
Six Man Tag Team Match
Andy Wu, Manabu Soya & Shuji Kondo vs. El Lindaman, Gao Jingjia & T-Hawk
Review: This will be the last match in the Strong Hearts vs W-1 matches for the evening as it is not a six-man tag match with our Wrestle-1 Champion, Manabu Soya leading the team with Andy Wu and Shuji Kondo as they take on T-Hawk who leads the team with El Lindaman and Chinese star, Gao Jinjia. Can Strong Hearts get a clean sweep or will Wrestle-1 finally get a victory here?
This is my first time seeing Gao in action here and I gotta admit that while he’s a little bit green and needs more work, he’s very athletic and can definitely move in the ring here, I hope to see more growth from him in these matches. Lindaman is someone I wasn’t fully sold on in Dragon Gate and I still cannot get into the guy here since he’s just mediocre at best in my opinion. T-Hawk is someone I felt like he wasn’t ready for the big spotlight when he won the King of Gate last year and once he teamed up with Eita, he started to slowly get better in the ring and with his character work, and now seeing him here made me think that it would be a good place to start if he does get involved with major storylines with W-1 depending on how long the feud will go on for, but I do believe that Manabu will eventually fight at least CIMA or T-Hawk for the championship depending on the direction they go with it. The match was solid with mostly Kondo and Wu doing the work in the matches while Strong Hearts relied heavily on the heel tactics and greater numbers against one person. When Manabu was in the ring, he really played his strengths into the match to show that the company was his house and he’s not going to let another promotion come in here and try to take it from him or the others in Wrestle-1. One move I did love was that Gao jumped onto Lindaman’s back and hits a 450 Splash off his back and onto Andy Wu, I don’t think I really see that happening and thought it looked awesome. T-Hawk and Andy are in the ring now and it looked like Wu would get the one win Wrestle-1 needed over Strong Hearts, but Hawk would hit his Black Tiger Bomb and get the three count.
That’s right, Strong Hearts was able to get a clean sweep over Wrestle-1 by winning all three of their matches tonight. The two teams would continue to brawl in the ring after the match while T-Hawk was getting confrontational with Manabu hinting that they would eventually fight each other again soon. W-1 would eventually leave the ring during the brawl and T-Hawk declared that they will all return for the Korakuen Hall show on July 18th. Though he stated that this time around that STRONG HEARTS will announce their matches/teams with W-1 being given the chance to follow.
Recommended: Solid six-man tag match, worth a viewing.
WRESTLE-1 Tag Team Title Match
Kumaarashi & Shotaro Ashino (c) vs. Jiro “Ikeman” Kuroshio & Masato Tanaka
Review: At the last show, Jiro would get the surprise victory over Ashino with the Ikeman Flash and Jiro stated that he and Masato would challenge for the belts at the next show with his partner this time since Kuma was busy that night taking on Manabu for the Wrestle-1 Championship and then lost. Both Ashino and Kuma would need to win this match here to redeem their losses or will Jiro pull the upset once again with Masato and have a second belt in his collection since he’s still the Wrestle-1 Result Champion?
Yes, Masato is still rocking Jiro’s jacket and wearing it while he wrestles in this match, I just love how he can be a heel in a few places while being the babyface in other companies like this one. I love whenever Jiro and Ashino work together in the ring since they have such great chemistry together with Ashino’s ability mixed up with Jiro’s charisma gives us unique matches together. I liked how Ashino would tackle Jiro down and would just kip-up right away and do it a couple of times even when Ashino would rake his eyes and throw him down to the ground and Jiro would just find a way to mess with Ashino, it’s the small types of interactions mixed with their chemistry that I just enjoy. Kudos to Kuma for showing off his power and throwing Jiro around like a rag doll and he sold that once he hits the turnbuckle post on the outside, even when Kuma tried to throw him into the ring, Jiro would bounce off the ropes to fall back down to the outside and it made Kuma look great here. Masato getting the hot tag and in the match and starts exploding in the ring and he continues to show that he can still be at the top of his game for a man his age, it must be that ancient Japanese secret that I don’t know about and need to figure out. Ashino would lock the Ankle Lock on Jiro and would make sure he wouldn’t let go of the hold so he could make him tap out this time instead of giving him any type of advantage to escape and pull another upset like he did at the previous show and while Jiro was able to escape, Kuma would be ready to do a Diving Senton onto him off the second rope to add more damage to his body and Masato would hit Ashino with a Brainbuster off the top rope as Jiro hits his Moonsault Press to go for the win, but Kuma broke the count. Ashino isn’t done yet with Jiro as he worked him more with some stiff European Uppercuts and a T-Bone Suplex to go for a two count and would reapply the Ankle Lock once more to see if he could get him to tap out once more and he still fails to do so, and Masato would catch Ashino off guard with a running knee to the face and Jiro would hit not one, but two Moonsault Presses to double tap him and pins him for the win as we have new Tag Team Champions!
Seeing the title change hands rather quickly did throw me off guard, but at the same time, I think it made sense since Ashino is too good for the tag titles and needs to focus on getting his Wrestle-1 Championship back, maybe Kuma can find a different partner from his faction to go for the belts. But congrats to Jiro for now holding two championships in the promotion and if he can win the Grand Prix, he’ll have a chance to win three belts if he can also defeat Manabu, but again he has to win the Grand Prix first.
Recommended: Very fun match and all four of these men delivered for a great main event. Give it a watch.
Overall: I was amazed that Wrestle-1 was able to pull off two great shows back to back and they added new elements to their storylines and rivalries to make me wanna watch more of them frequently if they were able to upload shows in time instead of almost a month in between. Next up is the Wrestle-1 Grand Prix which takes place on the July 1st show and will have the semi-final and finals taking place on July 18th (my birthday), and the winner of that match will fight for the Wrestle-1 Championship on their big show in September 2nd. The entrants to this match are Jiro “Ikemen” Kuroshio, Masayuki Kono, Kaz Hayashi, Shotaro Ashino, Shuji Kondo, Koji Doi, Takanori Ito, and Kumaarashi. I’m gonna go with Jiro making lightning strike twice and win it back to back, but don’t be surprised if Ashino wins the match to set up the rematch between him and Manabu.
Favorite Match: Kaz Hayashi & Seiki Yoshioka vs. Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz
Least Favorite Match: Takanori Ito vs. Takumi Baba
See you all next time!
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Andrew’s G1 Climax 28 A Block Ratings & Review: Day 3
So a few surprising results from the first day of the G1. Shattered Okada lost his first match, Minoru Suzuki is down early and Bad Luck Fale cares about statements more than points.
It will be interesting to see how the second day shakes out. Break point is usually around 3 losses. So if anyone starts 0-2, that doesn’t give a lot of room for error.
Let’s find out who takes the early lead this year.
Michael Elgin vs Hangman Page
Starting off nicely with two men who already have a victory, so the winner here will take an early lead in the tournament. Since it’s Page’s first G1, they don’t have any previous matches to pull from beyond stuff in ROH. But let’s be honest, Page has really come into his own the last year or so. Thusly, their previous matches are a little moot.
This match really helped Page get over more with the Japanese crowd. Elgin’s power was on full display in this match, while Page tried to use his agility and even show heart by striking back and forth with him.
As the match went on, the crowd was more and more behind Hangman, which was nice to see them come around. Elgin ends up countering the Buckshot Lariat with a Lariat of his own, followed by a Tiger Suplex and Splash Mountain, but Hangman kicks out.
Alas, the kick out only delayed the inevitable where Elgin hits Buck Bomb, into Tiger Driver into Elgin Bomb to get the pinfall, and be the first competitor to 4 points.
As a match this was fine. A few higher risk spots looked a little clunky and they didn’t always seem to be on the same page, but it wasn’t a bad match at all.
Winner: Elgin via Elgin Bomb
Rating: *** 1/4
EVIL vs Yoshi-Hashi
This is an odd pairing. Both men lost their opening match, but aren’t perceived as equals. EVIL is up and coming, upper mid card, while Yoshi-Hashi is the bottom of the barrel. However, Yoshi-Hashi holds the victory in their only ever run in the 2016 G1. So can Yoshi-Hashi run it back, or will EVIL get his win back?
Well now, this was a somewhat unsurprising match, and even the crowd seemed to just be waiting for the end. Yoshi-Hashi showed some early aggression, but he came off as over anxious. So much so, he nearly killed EVIL when he put too much torque in a Powerbomb attempt, and also too damn close to the ropes, so they both spilled out to the outside.
Thankfully, no one seemed badly injured, but still, Hashi repeated the Powerbomb attempt when they went back in the ring, which proves it was a botch.
Yoshi went for Karma a couple times, but EVIL fights it off and lands a hard hitting lariat to set up nicely for Everything is Evil. Which ties up their G1 records at 1 a piece, but more importantly, it puts EVIL on the scoreboard.
Winner: EVIL via Everything is Evil
Rating: ** 3/4
Togi Makabe vs Minoru Suzuki
So there’s a lot of history behind both of these men. Most recently we had Suzuki beating Makabe at the Anniversary show this year. The bad blood runs deep with these guys, so let’s just see how it plays out.
Umm…okay, my first reaction is that this match is the wrestling equivalent of watching a hate fuck. Words don’t exactly do it justice, nor can I find a better reaction.
This match is a fight, nothing pretty, nothing flashy, just a masterfully savage brawl. Both men goad the other for more strikes, they have a chair duel, numerous strong style moments and just a plethora of sadistic desire.
Suzuki looks like he might win with the Sleeper Hold, but of course, he goes for the Gotch Piledriver and Makabe continuously blocks the move. Makabe hits a few lariats, his ten count head punches with signature Makabe laugh and Spider German Suplex.
Minoru stands up after the spider so Makabe hits him with a Flying Knee, and then his signature finish, King Kong Knee Drop. Makabe goes to 4 points while Suzuki sits at zero.
This match was leaps and bounds better than their Anniversary show, and will be hard to top for this day.
Winner: Makabe via King Kong Knee Drop
Rating: **** 1/4
Bad Luck Fale vs Kazuchika Okada
From Rainmaker to Rainman, Okada remains shattered with his red hair, balloons and awful remix theme. Not really sure how hard Fale is trying since he gave the 2 points to Hangman Page last A Block Day, just to send a message.
Well okay, so the Tongans are back in old school Bullet Club form. Tanga Loa came out with Fale, but Okada handled both of them relatively easily. Okada was able to slam Fale, slip out of the Bad Luck Fall twice and hit two Rainmakers.
But Tama Tonga slides in out of nowhere, to land a devastating Gun Stun while Fale had the referee distracted, and that was all that was necessary. Fale picks up the pieces, hits a Bad Luck Fall and gets himself 2 points.
Rainman Okada needs to figure this out, definitely, definitely, needs to figure this out.
Winner: Fale via Bad Luck Fall
Jay White vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
Well Tanahashi put Jay in his place at Wrestle Kingdom 12, but this is a new Switchblade. White has a new confidence about him since beating Okada and Tanahashi has a chip on his shoulder since some people think he’s reaching the end. Will the Ace of a Century get his second win, or will Jay get his win back as well as join the 4 pointers at the top?
Jay continues to turn up the intensity in his matches. Going after Tanahashi’s banged up knee early and coming back to it to make a few points. However, Jay also lands a bevy of snap suplexes, which gives him the idea to focus on the neck also.
Watching White systematically carve up the ace was different, since this growth in his character has come fairly quickly. Tanahashi got in plenty of offense in this match though, so at least it wasn’t a one sided ordeal like his last one.
Jay introduces a steel chair directly in front of Red Shoes, and the referee lets him know that he’ll get disqualified. Jay swings any, but misses and then we get some shenanigans with the referee not paying attention.
Red Shoes cowers in the corner the same as he did during the G1 Special in San Francisco, and Jay hits Hiroshi with a low blow. As Jay goes for the chairshot, Tanahashi hits Jay with a straight right, below the belt.
The finish saw Tanahashi have a lot of momentum, but Jay managed to use Red Shoes as a shield to protect him from High Fly Flow and crotch Tanahashi on the top turnbuckle. We then see Jay throw the chair in the face of the ace, much like he did to Okada, land Blade Runner and pick up his second win.
Winner: White via Blade Runner
Rating: *** 3/4
A Block Standings:
Togi Makabe: 2-0 (4 Points)
Jay White: 2-0 (4 Points)
Michael Elgin: 2-0 (4 Points)
Hangman Page: 1-1 (2 Points)
Hiroshi Tanahashi: 1-1 (2 Points)
EVIL: 1-1 (2 Points)
Bad Luck Fale: 1-1 (2 Points)
Kazuchika Okada: 0-2 ( 0 Points)
Yoshi-Hashi: 0-2 (0 Points)
Minoru Suzuki: 0-2 (0 Points)
Much like I said after Day 1, the match quality is still solid so far, but the stories are really pushing the A Block forward. Makabe and Suzuki continue their blood feud, Yoshi-Hashi can’t seem to catch a break, Rainman Okada is too shattered to really compete, Firing Squad bringing the old school Bullet Club antics and Jay White…is just on a different level.
That’s not to mean like Okada was as an in ring performer, it’s just Jay is doing anything necessary to win. Plus this persona of he will claim everything, including the air, is his while imploring people to “open their lungs, and breathe with him”, is just…well…different.
Even if this isn’t 4+ star classics on every match, the storylines are still quite compelling and the ring work isn’t awful. Damn good night.
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Mathew’s G1 Climax 28 B Block Results & Review: Day 2
If you have followed me and Andrew’s collaborations before, we both covered the AJPW Champion Carnival and Dragon Gate’s King of Gate a few months ago into doing separate blocks to make it easier since one person covering the whole thing. That would be a lot of time and work, plus I couldn’t ask for a better partner in this. So with this going on, Stardom, Dragon Gate, AJPW, and other stuff I cover will have to either be put on hold or limited for the time being until G1 is over with unless a really big show happens and I’ll try to squeeze it in.
Anyway, it is time for New Japan’s biggest tournament of the year, the G1 Climax where ten wrestlers with each block will fight each other in a round robin style tournament and the winner of those blocks will face off in the final and the winner of that will challenge the IWGP Heavyweight Champion in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom in January. Last year, Tetsuya Naito won the G1 Climax by defeating Kenny Omega and this year has both blocks surely stacked as I cover B Block and got a solid opening. For predictions, I want Naito to win the G1 again to finally reclaim that title, but I somehow can see Tanahashi vs. Ibushi in there. Let’s not waste any more time and just…dive right in.
G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Toru Yano
Review: Our first match in B Block contains both members of CHAOS as we have the companies gatekeeper, Tomohiro Ishii taking on Toru Yano who is someone that isn’t somebody that you would expect to win the whole thing but can be known to be a thorn on peoples sides by costing people a chance to win if he surprisingly defeats them. Can Yano get the victory in the first night and ruin Ishii’s chances or will the Stone Pitbull stomp on those thorns?
I think I’m missing something here because this is clearly not Toru Yano, did him and Ryo Saito share the same sake and became completely different people since this Toru seems to be a bit more serious than I’ve seen him in years, keep it up. The match was surprisingly very solid with this new side of Toru getting into the mix with even going toe to toe with Ishii a few times during the match. Another thing about Toru in this is that he wasn’t over the top with his little antics since it wasn’t one after another, he would do them in different sequences far in between to throw his opponent off a little bit more since they’ll be expecting them frequently from him and the fact that he’s not can throw them off more than he usually does. Ishii also does very well as usual by working with a bunch of people to give us quality matches and I feel like that’s what the remainder of his career is going to be in New Japan with just being the gatekeeper of the company and give us memorable matches outside of winning the IWGP Heavyweight Championship since I don’t think he really needs it this stage in the game and you can even have a great career without the need of winning the big gold and he’s a great example. Toru near the end would try to do more of his antics with attempting to low blow him or use the referee and Ishii would just counter all of that and even pull a page out of Yano’s book with a low blow when the referee wasn’t looking and rolls him up with the La Magistral for the win and Ishii gets two points.
Recommended: Surprisingly entertaining, give it a watch.
G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Juice Robinson vs. Tama Tonga
Review: At the last show they had at the United States, a lot has happened with first being that Juice Robinson would defeat Jay White to become the new IWGP United States Champion in a solid bout with Juice finally winning his first big title and he has definitely earned it and has come a long way since his NXT days and now looks to have a more impressive record for this G1. Tama Tonga would pull the trigger with Bad Luck Fale and his family to assault Kenny Omega and the rest of the Bullet Club as he looks to bring the Club back to where it was originally supposed to be. With both having newfound chapters in their career, a win here would help solidify them a bit more as they both need it.
Tama normally doesn’t care about being in the G1 Climax, but with the Bullet Club Civil War going on and the fact that Kenny Omega is actually in the same block as time, it seems to have given him some motivation to give a damn about it just so he could defeat Kenny in the tournament a try to win the whole thing so he could defeat him again on the big stage. Juice’s hand still seems to be a bit injured since you can see him selling it more and not normally using it for when he does his little punch combo. The two seemed to hit it off pretty well with Tama being the cool type of heel with his brother helping him once or twice in the match and Juice, of course, being the underdog that is he despite being a champion now. Juice would seem to get the upper hand as he went for his Pulp Friction until Loa would distract him and get thrown in for Juice to hit him with his combo of punches to take him out and before he could try to hit the move again on Tama, he turned it around for a Gun Stun and gets the win. With Tama getting the win here against Juice, he could potentially have a future title match with him if he does indeed fail to win the G1, could be a fun match,
Recommended: Solid bout, worth watching.
G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Hirooki Goto vs. SANADA
Review: SANADA will always be my dark horse in any type of tournament he’s in since he has the potential to be one of the biggest stars in the company and he has shown a lot of that this year with his matches against Okada, Toru, Zack, and various others and maybe this tournament could be his break, never count him out because he could surprise you. The NEVER Openweight Champion, Hirooki Goto is his opponent and normally seems to do well in these types of tournaments and represents Shibata every time he comes out with the Openweight title since Shibata made that belt feel important and Goto hopes to do it for his good friend. Excited to see how this one goes since I think this is the first time they fight one on one.
After seeing this match, SANADA moved up the ladder a bit for me for favorites in the promotion for me since matches like these show you how excellent he is in the ring and how his character is also intelligent since he can calculate what to do in the match to better his chances of winning a match and knowing how to dodge or reverse his opponents moves without really having to reverse it into submission holds, almost as if he has a counter for everything if it plays out in his favor. Goto deserves as much credit as SANADA since while Goto is someone that really screams a main eventer or IWGP Heavyweight Champion material, he’s exactly where he needs to be with this title and representing his own vision of strong style and bring out the best of his opponents whenever he’s in the ring with them. I love the GTR reversals into the Dragon Sleeper between the two and most of these little sequences made me believe that he could’ve had Goto tap out and unfortunately couldn’t but it was still great storytelling with the both of them. Goto would attempt a GTR and SANADA would counter with a roll-up and would almost get the win by a millisecond as Goto kicked out just in time. Goto would have SANDA’s feet on the ropes and looked like he was going for that DDT Randy Orton does, but he hits a GTR instead before picking him up to double tap with one more GTR as Goto picks up the win. I need to see a rematch with these two as soon as possible.
Recommended: Great match, definitely worth watching.
G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Kota Ibushi vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Review: These two are no strangers to each other as they fought each other at last years G1 Climax on A Block with Ibushi getting the win over Zack and the two would fight again this year at the New Japan Cup Quarter Final Round with Zack making Ibushi tap out. The two would fight again to get the rubber match to see who would come out on top since a win here is important to get the early advantage. Will Zack be able to make him JUST TAP OUT for the second time in a row or will the Golden Star shine bright?
TAKA needs to be Zack’s manager permanently going forward just by how he hypes him up like how Gedo hypes Okada. With Zack Sabre Jr, I love his technical ability and I will never deny his talent as a wrestler, but my big problem with him normally that he hardly ever shows character or even sell outside of Japan like he would just be a generic guy that just knows a lot of technical moves, but whenever I see him in Japan with Suzuki Gun, he shows all of the things to show he can be a better overall wrestler instead of just moves and I wish I saw this side of him everywhere else since it’s great of him. This match was incredibly stiff from beginning to end with all of the strikes they do to each other whether it’s chops, kicks, or just slapping each other in the face enough to see the sweat leaving their body. Zack is just incredible with his submissions since he just knows body manipulation and can just make you tap out with just about any combination of his holds since he’s just so creative with them. Ibushi is a great talent with a glass ceiling hanging over his head and he could break that anytime he wants to move up to the next level and be a top player along with winning more gold, but the fact that he is a Freelancers with no decision to sign a full-time contract with the company is what holds him back to go to the next level to be the IWGP Heavyweight Champion. The last seven minutes of the match elevated their high intensity with Zack kept locking his arms and legs in to try and make Ibushi tap out while Ibushi would do his best to knee his face in to knock him out with both of them not giving each other the edge to make it happen, but Zack would give in as Ibushi finally hits the Kamigoye to pick up the win over Zack.
Recommended: Fantastic match, worth watching.
G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Kenny Omega vs. Tetsuya Naito
Review: We’re not at our main event of the night with our IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kenny Omega taking on NJPW’s most charismatic superstar and leader of Los Ignorables de Japon, Tetsuya Naito and these two are no strangers to each other since this is the third year in a row where they fought each other in the G1 Climax and actually the only time these two ever fought each other in singles competition also.
Two years ago, Kenny Omega would defeat Tetsuya Naito in the B Block final show to determine who would move on where Kenny has one the G1 Climax, also making him the first Gaijin to win the tournament and also be the first Gaijin to main event a Wrestle Kingdom show despite losing the match. Last year, Tetsuya would defeat Kenny Omega in the G1 Climax final to win his second G1 and finally got what he wanted and that was to main event Wrestle Kingdom and the Tokyo Dome and he would also fail to win the belt from Okada at the show and he stated that he mostly cared about main eventing the show to show that he could get to that level and now that he has that goal crossed off his list, he can now set his sights on a new goal and that’s to win the championship once again but as a main eventer. A win here could be huge for both of them at the start of this tournament since they’re also both considered to be the favorites to win the tournament and them fighting first could possibly change the course of how things will play out.
This might be a bit of an unpopular opinion, but I like the Naito/Omega matches slightly a bit more than Okada/Omega and it’s mostly due to that while Okada/Omega has the better story and rivalry, Naito/Omega also have unique elements to their stories and also really good match quality since I’ve enjoyed all of their matches together and just feels more organic compared to the other feud, but the only thing holding me back for saying that it’s fully better is that they haven’t had a match outside of G1 together yet and these are just tournament matches instead of having a regular match without the constraints of being in G1 and I hope they get that soon if they win G1 or maybe at a different big event since I feel like we’re long overdue for one and doing it for the title would be a great way to do it. Despite that little nitpick, the match was fantastic and probably their best match together in these series of G1 matches as they are again more organic and natural with their wrestling and story with each other and loved the little taunts to each other in the beginning of the match with Omega mocking Naito and Naito doing it back to him a little bit after, it’s just great mind games to each other. Naito would hit a Destino twice on Omega and it was still not enough and when he went to go for it again, Omega caught him with a Fire Thunder and an Underhook Piledriver to do more damage onto Naito’s neck and he would eventually hit the One-Winged Angel to get the win. I was hoping for Naito to win this match to set up a future title match at Kings of Pro Wrestling or something, but I think it would be more beneficial for Omega to get a big win under his name while being the new IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Despite the loss, Naito was still super over with the crowd and they were even chanting for Naito over their own champion once that bell would ring, so I don’t know what that tells you.
Recommended: Best match of the night in my opinion, definitely check it out.
Overall: This is only the second day of the G1 Climax and they already raised the bar to hopefully have the following days step up their game until the very end of the tournament. I like to think B Block won the first day compared to A Block, but it was still really good and should definitely check out Andrew’s coverage also and follow us on this journey together.
Favorite Match: Kenny Omega vs. Tetsuya Naito
Least Favorite Match: Juice Robinson vs. Tama Tonga (If I really had to pick)