The 28th NJPW G1 Climax moves to more B Block action as AXS TV brings us Kenny Omega VS Hirooki Goto, and Tomohiro Ishii VS Tetsuya Naito!
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- Tomohiro Ishii VS Tetsuya Naito; Naito wins.
- Kenny Omega VS Hirooki Goto; Omega wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene for this second round!
The now reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kenny Omega, is among the first winners in B Block as he takes back his loss against last year’s G1 Climax champion, Tetsuya Naito! However, he must now face current NEVER Openweight Champion, Hirooki Goto, in another G1 Climax finals rematch! Who will jump to four points in this round robin after this epic champion vs champion showdown?
Meanwhile, the Unstoppable Charisma that is Tetsuya Naito must try to make his way on the board against familiar foe, Tomohiro Ishii! They’re tied 4-4, with Ishii being one of Naito’s losses in last year’s G1, but Naito tying it back up at King of Pro-Wrestling. Will G1 history repeat itself? Or will Naito find a way around the Stone Pitbull?
NJPW and AXS give a quick rundown of the rest of B Block Round 2!
The Firing Squad leader, Tama Tonga, and the Cold Skull of Los Ingobernables de Japon, Sanada, was yet another match that the rest of the Tongan triad got involved. But just as it looked like Tonga Loa and Bad Luck Fale had served Sanada up on a silver platter, Sanada turned the tables to get the win! Then the Submission Master, Zack Sabre Jr, and Chaos’ comedy Producer, Toru Yano, would clash with their contrast of styles. Yano’s amateur wrestling background only got him so far, as ZSJ would lock in the European Clutch pin and win.
Lastly, the Golden Star, Kota Ibushi, battled the IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion, Juice Robinson. It would be a tough fight, but in the end, Kamigoye scores another win for Ibushi. Robinson has no points two matches in, but at least he has his title. Who else will join Ibushi, Sanada and ZSJ in the 4-points win column?
Tomohiro Ishii VS Tetsuya Naito!
The Stone Pitbull of Chaos ans the Tranquilo leader of LIJ are no strangers to each other. This is the ninth time these two have met in singles competition, who will win two points along with this tiebreaker?
As always, Naito takes his time taking off the entrance gear, but Ishii is a rather patient man himself. Both men are finally dressed to compete and Red Shoes does his check. The bell rings and we begin!
The fans are already hot for Naito as he slowly circles with Ishii. Naito keeps his distance from the anxious Ishii, then ties up. Ishii powers Naito back to the ropes, then breaks. He goes to chop but Naito dodges. Naito honors a break, then fakes a sucker punch to then turn around and fire off strikes. He whips but Ishii reverses, only for Naito to hold ropes. Naiot puts Ishii on the apron but Ishii returns. Naito sends him at a corner, then runs in, but Ishii puts him on the apron. Ishii swings but misses, Naito sweeps the legs. Naito brings Ishii out to whip him into barriers! Naito backs off to go into the ring, leaving Ishii to the mercy of the count. Ishii slowly stirs then stands up. He takes a moment to catch is breath, but Naito is ready for him.
Naito fires off more strikes, namely elbows to the neck. He has Ishii on his knees, then brings him up for more clubbing forearms and elbows. Ishii eggs Naito on, he wants more. Naito gives more, and Ishii rests on the ropes. Naito whips Ishii, then hip tosses him, but misses the basement dropkick. Ishii hits his, and stalks Naito to ropes. He stands Naito up for a blunt backhand chop, but Naito comes back with a swift overhand chop. Ishii isn’t affected much, so he gives Naito another chop. Naito chops, Ishii chops. Ishii chops and chops and chops, but Naito spits on him! Ishii chops more, and harder! Naito is reeling but Ishii still chops him against ropes.
Ishii keeps chopping, then chops Naito’s back. Naito manages to grin, until he’s chopped off his feet. Fans fire up for this already tough match. Ishii eggs Naito on, and Naito does his best to hit back. Ishii still shrugs it all off, so Naito changes to forearms. The Stone Pitbull still eggs Naito on, because the forearms aren’t strong enough. Naito gives on more, but it only takes one chop from Ishii for him to stagger back again. Ishii runs into the corner, but Naito boots him back. Ishii keeps going, but gets another boot. Naito runs out and whips Ishii, then gives him an atomic drop on the rebound, and then a neckbreaker. Both men are down while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and Naito sits up first. Ishii follows but Naito stands first. Naito brings Ishii up, and throws forearms. He whips Ishii but Ishii reverses. Naito reverses back to hit the inverted backbreaker then a basement dropkick. Ishii staggers but Naito whips him to a corner. Naito hits the jump kick, leg sweep and swinging dropkick. He poses while fans fire up. Naito yanks Red Shoes out of the way to stomp a mudhole into Ishii. He scrapes his boot on Ishii’s face but Red Shoes comes back to reprimand Naito. Naito keeps toying with Ishii the entire time, then spits on him again. Ishii keeps his cool as he socks Naito right in the mouth! Fans duel while Ishii looms over Naito. Ishii toys with him now, but Naito shrugs it off as he gets to the ropes.
Ishii keeps kicking Naito around while Red Shoes reprimands him now. Naito just takes it, not reacting in the slightest. Ishii tries to get a rise out of him, but Naito simpy stands up. Naito gives Ishii forearms, but Ishii endures, so Naito slaps him on the head! And slaps him again. IShii gives big elbows and chops to Naito in the corner, and Naito gasps for air each time. Red Shoes warns Ishii, but Ishii keeps rocking Naito with the back of his forearm. Naito drops down but Ishii brings him up for a corner to corner whip. Naito stops himself, comes back, but into a back suplex. Fans duel hotter while Ishii gets up. Ishii brings Naito up for a standard suplex.
Naito gets out of it and runs the ropes, but Ishii denies the tornado DDT with a push. Ishii ducks the enziguri, but misses his sliding lariat. Naito boots Ishii down, but falls back himself. Both men are down again while fans rally up. Naito stands first, and enziguris Ishii again. He hurries to the top rope, and leaps for a missile dropkick. But Ishii stays standing! Then he blasts Naito into a corner! Ishii drags Naito up, then hoists him to the top rope. Ishii climbs up to join Naito, but Naito resists the superplex. They’re on the very top, but Naito still holds on. Naito fights back, and hits a SUPER sunset flip powerbomb! High stack cover, TWO!! Both men are down again, but fans keep dueling.
Naito slowly sits up, then stands. He staggers over and brings Ishii up. He hammerlocks Ishii but Ishii resists. Ishii misses an enziguri, but reverses the whip. Naito leaps but Ishii gets around him for a waistlock, and a German Suplex! They both stand, and Ishii clotheslines Naito against ropes. He whips Naito, but Naito leaps back with forearms! Naito hurries to get Ishii up, wrenches the arm, but ducks Ishii’s counter lariat. Naito gets a full nelson but Ishii gets out. Ishii elbows Naito, then gives a short headbutt, but Naito comes back with a slapping palm strike! Both men drop to a knee, but Naito is up first. Naito tries but it’s Ishii who suplexes, only for Naito to DDT! Naito takes aim, but runs into a big lariat! Ishii drops, too, and fans are thunderous.
Both men are catching their breath while Red Shoes checks on them. Ishii’s up first, and brings Naito up. Naito fires off a forearm, then another. Ishii wobbles, but then grits his teeth. Naito hits him again, but Ishii is growing stronger. Naito gives another, then ducks Ishii’s to give a third. Ishii headbutts Naito down! Ishii powerbomb lifts, for the Last Ride! High stack cover, TWO!! Naito surprises Ishii, but Ishii keeps going. He sits Naito up, then runs, for a big sliding lariat. Cover, TWO! Fans rally up for Naito but Ishii still has him. They stand up again, and Ishii suplexes. Naito slips out, tilt-o-whirls, but Ishii pops him off to then club him down with a clothesline! Ishii runs again, and hits another! Cover, TWO! Ishii is furious but he has one more idea left. He drags Naito up while fans keep cheering.
Ishii lifts, but Naito escapes again. Naito blocks the clothesline, then enziguris Ishii down! Both men are down again, but Naito is up first. Fans keep cheering as he aims at Ishii. Naito runs, tilt-o-whirl denied again, and Ishii enziguris! But Naito comes back with a rolling kick! Ishii staggers, but still gets Naito up in a suplex. Naito turns that into Destino! Cover, TWO!? Ishii survives, and fans are at a fever pitch. Naito gets up, wrenches and tilt-o-whirls, for a true Destino! Cover, Naito wins!
Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall; Naito earns 2 points, Ishii earns 0
Naito’s on the board for B Block as he snaps back from his loss to Kenny Omega. But Naito is still frustrated, and he takes it out on Red Shoes with a rake to the eyes! Naito may be a sore winner, but he’s still a winner. Will he manage to go on a tear and make it back to the G1 Climax finals? Or is it already too late?
Kenny Omega VS Hirooki Goto!
This is not only a rematch of the G1 Climax 26 Finals, but it is now Champion VS Champion as the Best Bout Machine is finally IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Omega made history at the expense of the Fierce Warrior once, will he do it again? Or will the perennial NEVER Openweight Champion prove he can beat THE champion on his way to this year’s finals?
Red Shoes does his check, rings the bell, and we begin. The fans seem divided as the two champions circle. Goto and Omega tie up, and Goto gets a waistlock. Omega gets the wristlock, but Goto reverses to his own. Omega pulls hair and brings Goto to the ropes. Red Shoes calls for a break, and Omega gives it, with a playful pat of the cheek. The two circle again, then tie up. Omega gets the arm, wrenches then slaps Goto’s head all over. Goto kicks low then puts Omega in a hammerlock. Omega works his way to a reversal then a headlock. He grinds Goto to one knee, but Goto powers out. They collide shoulders, Goto goes back, then they collide again. Omega goes down, and Goto runs. Goto holds the ropes but Omega runs at him for a boot. Omega fires up, but turns around into a roundhouse!
Goto lifts in fireman’s carry but Omega slips out. Omega lifts Goto in electric chair, but Goto slips out. Goto has the dragon sleeper, but Omega slips out before the GTR to kick Goto away. Omega runs but ducks the clothesline. He gets a waistlock but Goto elbows out. Goto runs, but into Omega’s huricanrana! Fans fire up with Omega while Goto rolls out of the ring. The Terminator drums begin, and Omega builds speed. Goto returns in time to deny Omega’s flight. Omega boots Goto back out, then the drums start again. Omega baseball slide dropkicks, and Goto ends up in the crowd. The Young Lions help fans move aside while Terminator Drums start up again. Omega takes aim, not caring what Red Shoes says. He jumps up to springboard, but Goto throws a chair at him! Omega stumbles down while fans boo Goto.
Goto returns, and drags Omega out on the apron for a draping reverse GTR! He keeps on Omega by shoving him over into the front row. Young Lions again clear the area as Goto comes after Omega. Goto brings Omega up to the wood bleachers, and the Young Lions clear out more fans as the two brawl. Omega fights back but Goto rocks him with a forearm. Goto prepares a suplex, but Omega resists. Omega fights back, chops Goto, then scoop slams Goto on the wood! Goto clutches his right leg from thigh to knee, where the wood got him most. Omega drags Goto back up as Red Shoes asks they bring this back to the ring. They don’t, as Omega climbs hand railing. Fans fire up, and Omega MOONSAULTS onto Goto, and some Young Lions. Things are hectic while we go to break!
NJPW on AXS returns, and Omega has gotten back up. Fans are thunderous for him as he drags Goto back up. The Young Lions take care of themselves while the two champions head back to ringside. Omega moves that chair Goto threw aside, before putting Goto back in the ring at Red Shoes’ count of 12. Fans applaud and fire up for Omega as he stalks Goto. Omega brings Goto up, and gives him a swift chop. Goto staggers, but Omega gives him another. Goto chops back, and now it’s a brawl. Omega chops and elbows Goto, then runs, for Kotaro Krusher bulldog! Cover, TWO! Omega fires up and he stomps away on Goto. He brings Goto back up and into a corner. Omega grinds a boot into Goto’s throat, and stops at 4. He toys with Goto a bit, then brings Goto back up for a clubbing forearm.
Goto fires up from the double ax handle, then chops Omega back. Omega dares him to chop again, so Goto does. Omega chops and Goto staggers. Now Omega runs, for a running chop! Cover, TWO! Omega keeps his cool while fans rally up again. He drops elbows into Goto’s shoulder, then wraps on a chinlock. Omega traps an arm, but Goto reaches for ropes with his legs. Goto gets the ropebreak, and Omega lets him go to kick him in the back. Omega brings Goto up for a forearm, but Goto gives on back. Omega fires off more, but Goto comes back with his own. Goto whips but Omega reverses, and reels Goto in for a fireman’s carry. “You Can’t Escape!” Rolling senton, moonsault! Cover, TWO! Omega brings Goto up again, but Goto gives him a suplex! Both men are down while fans duel.
Goto stands and fires forearms on Omega. They go to a corner, Goto whips Omega corner to corner. Omega goes up and over and chops Goto on the run. Things speed up, and Goto clobbers Omega with a clothesline! But Goto is too tired to cover, so both he and Omega get to opposite corners. Goto runs in and hits a flying heel kick, aka the Muramasa! Then he throws Omega with a saido suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up while Goto grits his teeth. He brings Omega up in a fireamn’s cary but Omega fights out. Omega gets on the apron, counter punches Goto, then slingshots, but into the fireman’s carry! Ushigoroshi! Goto still can’t cover, but he fires up for something else. He drags Omega up in a sleeper, but Omega gets out to put on his own sleeper.
Goto powers out, Omega hits buckles, Goto German Suplexes Omega on the rebound! But Omega lands on his feet! Omega boots away the punch, V-Trigger outta nowhere! Omega drags Goto up and onto the top rope. He climbs up to join Goto, but Goto resists the superplex. Goto throws body shots but Omega throws them back. Goto pushes Omega off, but Omega comes back with another V-Trigger! Omega sits Goto up on the top rope, climbs up to join him, but Goto again resists. Goto clubs away on Omega, but Omega clubs Goto back. Goto headbutts Omega, then hops onto Omega’s back, for a SUPER SUNSET POWERBOMB!! Cover, TWO! Goto cannot believe this match continues, but we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns and both men are slowly stirring. Goto stands first, and fires himself up. He prepares his kick, but Omega blocks it! Omega forearms back, so Goto returns the favor. They brawl, forearm for forearm. Omega feeds off the fans’ energy as he keeps going blow for blow with Goto. He then gets around Goto for a Snap Dragon Suplex! Omega loads up, BANG, and he runs but Goto clotheslines him down! Fans rally up as both men slowly stir all over again. Goto is on Omega first with a facelock, and hits the reverse GTR! He drags Omega back up, turns him around, but Omega slips out to suplex. Goto denies that and suplexes Omega up, for the side slam! Cover, TWO!! It was that close, and Goto is shocked!
Fans are thunderous while Omega flounders on the mat. Goto fires up, drags Omega up in the dragon sleeper, but Omega pops out again to victory roll. TWO, and Goto clutches his leg while Omega catches his breath. The two crawl around, and Goto pursues Omega into a corner. He brings Omega out but Omega hits a forearm and chop. Omega palm strikes and chops, then gives another forearm. He backs up but Goto blocks the boot. Goto fires off forearms, but runs into a V-Trigger! Omega comes back, double underhook, but Goto swings out to a headbutt! Goto runs, but Omega V-Triggers him at the ropes! Omega cross-fisherman, Aoi Shoudou! Cover, TWO!! Goto is dazed but Omega reloads. BANG, and he runs, V-Trigger! Omega keeps going, Electric Chair, to One Winged Angel!! Cover, Omega wins!
Winner: Kenny Omega, by pinfall; Omega earns 2 points, Goto earns 0
The rematch from the G1 Climax 26 Finals repeat themselves as the Best Bout Machine wins again! Omega stays near the top of the B Block, is he again on his way to making history?
Kenny Omega speaks.
A fan shouts praises to him, and he responds, “What? Nice to meet you.” But to what he means to say, and in Japanese, “Man, the G1’s B Block is one good match after another, huh?” The fans definitely agree. Omega isn’t sure about Block A, but he knows all the Block B wrestlers are great. He’s currently Heel and even he thinks so. However, those other guys aren’t the best, they aren’t THE champion. “Only one man holds the top belt,” and that’s Omega. “And so, I will keep on winning through B Block, and go to the finals for the third consecutive year.” Fans love the sound of that. Omega says he won’t do it because he’s “Bullet Club or The Elite, or Golden Lovers,” but because he is THE best in the world. Fans also like the sound of that.
Omega knows the fans want to see the best matches, right? Yes! Well, then, sorry to everyone else in the B Block, including “Ibutan”, but Omega’s going to the finals, to win it again. And now to English for the sign-off, “Good Bye, MWAH, and Good Night, BANG!” The Best Bout Machine has everything it takes to be IWGP Heavyweight Champion, but he also has butterfingers as he drops the belt… He apologizes profusely, he’s not Naito. He holds onto that belt and pets it, because it is his most prized possession.
Omega explains that the only reason he dropped his 45 pound belt was because he was so beat up, bloody and covered in scratches from his match with Goto. But while the belt was too heavy to hold at the end of the night, the responsibility on his shoulders of being IWGP Heavyweight Champion is just right. And he’ll do it his way. Is Omega Heel? Face? He doesn’t care about that, he just knows that he’s the best! Tama Tonga thinks his Bullet Club is better than Omega’s? “Prove it.” They’ll see each other soon enough, so until then, good bye, mwah, and good night, pew pew pew pew. Yes, it’s a ray gun this time. Don’t worry, it’s set to stun. The Golden Lovers are the top two in B Block with their 4 points each, but what will happen when they eventually meet in this round robin?
What an amazing pair of matches again. We have Naito and Omega again, in separate matches, as they’re practically the highlights of B Block so far. Naito VS Ishii was really stiff, and you could feel the history between them. Naito wins so that he isn’t dead last, and it’s fine because Ishii already won points before. They’re now tied, but it’ll take a lot for either one of them to be the B Block finalist. Of course, now that Naito has the win, if they end up tied at the end, Naito gets the nod.
Meanwhile, The Golden Lovers are two for two, and I can’t wait until they face each other. Omega VS Goto is even better than their G1 Climax 26 Finals match, because there were even small references to that match. Namely, Omega preparing to springboard at Goto in the crowd, and how Goto stopped that with the chair toss. That spot scared me at first, but it was also rather smart of Goto to do that. Omega wins again, and continues to make a strong argument for why he should be the newest champion to win the whole thing. It’s also great that he gets meta about the Face-Heel dynamic to say he doesn’t care about that dynamic. And honestly, even if he did or said Heel things, fans love him so much that they wouldn’t boo. The entire world of professional wrestling could learn a thing from that.
My Score: 8.5/10