AXS gives us ANOTHER double dose of NJPW! It’s Days 14 and 15 as we get Naito VS Ibushi, Omega VS Ishii, Okada VS EVIL and Tanahashi VS Elgin!
This coverage of the G1 Climax 28 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- B Block: Kenny Omega VS Tomohiro Ishii; Ishii wins.
- B Block: Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi; Ibushi wins.
- A Block: Jay White VS Togi Makabe; White wins.
- A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Michael Elgin; Tanahashi wins.
- A Block: Kazuchika Okada VS EVIL; Okada wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene for B Block!
The IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kenny Omega, is on a win streak with his 12 points, keeping even his opponent, Tomohiro Ishii, out of the running. However, the Stone Pitbull won’t just roll over, because he could be a spoiler for Omega’s chances while also earning himself a title match down the line. Omega won their last battle at the 2017 G1 Special, where Omega was crowned the inaugural IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion. Will Ishii fare better in this round robin format? Or will the Best Bout Machine win his way into his third G1 Climax finals appearance in a row?
In the main event, it’s the G1 Climax 27 Champion, Tetsuya Naito, and the Golden Star, Kota Ibushi. They’re the other contenders for B Block’s spot in the finals, but Naito needs this win if he’s to overcome the loss to Omega early on. As for Ibushi, he’s been on a hot streak of his own since reuniting with the other Golden Lover. Will Ibushi spoil Naito’s chance to repeat while also seizing his own future? Or is it just Destino that Naito will Tranquilo in the finals again?
Kenny Omega VS Tomohiro Ishii!
No time to waste as this rematch of the IWGP US Championship Tournament begins. The bell rings and fans already cheer for Omega as he stares Ishii down. The two tie up, and Omega puts Ishii on the ropes. He plays around with Ishii’s bald head, but Ishii swats his hands away. Omega backs up as Ishii stares him down, then they tie up again. Ishii puts Omega against the ropes, but Omega ducks the chop to give more playful head pats. Omega gives some playful slaps, but Ishii isn’t amused. Omega chops and kicks but it doesn’t back Ishii down. He keeps trying, but nothing works. Ishii dares him to keep going, so Omega gives a forearm. Omega gets a headbutt and staggers to the ropes. Ishii runs but Omega sees him coming. Things speed up but there’s a slight miscalculation. The two back off and reset.
They tie up and Omega puts Ishii in a corner. Omega chops but Ishii barely flinches. Omega chops again then gives elbows, but Ishii only bends over. They whip corner to corner but Ishii blasts out with a shoulder. Omega narrowly avoids the silding lariat and just misses hitting V-Trigger. He pushes Ishii, then gives head slaps. Ishii swings on him but Omega gets under to then get a facelock, but it’s Ishii who suplexes Omega! Fans applaud while Omega gets to ropes. Ishii slaps Omega around now, messing up that hair. Then he chops Omega in a corner hard, and follows Omega to another. Ishii chops again, and again, dangerously close to the throat. He toys with Omega now, then bumps him off the buckle pad. Ishii gives another blunt chop, but Omega rakes his face.
Omega puts Ishii in the corner but Ishii roars out. So Omega gives him a DDT! Cover, TWO, but Omega has wrist control. Omega fireman’s carry, “You Can’t Escape!” Rolling senton and moonsault hit! Cover, TWO! Omega keeps on Ishii with a camel clutch. He grinds it side to side but Ishii endures. Ishii dares Omega to try harder, so Omega pulls back. Fans rally up for Ishii as he further endures. Ishii pries his way out of Omega’s grip, then dares Omega to go after him. Omega kicks Ishii in the back, but Ishii wants more. Omega stomps an dkicks, but Ishii just shakes his head. More kicks and stomps but it just amuses Ishii now. Ishii gets up and chops Omega! Omega chops back and it finally gets through. Omega whips but Ishii reverses, to a powerslam! It was more of a throw, but it did the job.
Ishii chops and forearms Omega in the corner again and again. He whips corner to corner but Omega reverses, only for Ishii to fire out and get a back suplex! Cover, TWO! Omega barely got out of that cover, but Ishii is on him again. Ishii powerbomb lifts, but they teeter back. Omega slips off but Ishii hits, only to run into a huricanrana! Ishii goes out while fans fire up with Omega. The Terminator drums echo and Omega rises. Omega runs and FLIES! Direct hit at the ramp! Omega gets up and puts Ishii in the ring. Fans fire up again as Omega runs and hits the Kotaro Krusher! Cover, TWO! But Omega keeps going as he drags Ishii up. But Ishii powers Omega to a corner! Ishii chops and chops, so Omega gives a sharp chop back! Ishii roars, Omega spits!
Omega gives forearms but Ishii barely flinches. Omega keeps trying but his arm is the thing getting hurt. Ishii blasts Omega with one big forearm, then finally feels some of that pain. Ishii drags Omega up and whips him corner to corner, but Omega boots him away. Omega runs out but into a waistlock, and a German Suplex into the buckles! Both men drag themselves out of the corner, but Ishii is on Omega. Ishii hoists Omega up top, then climbs up to join him. SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO! Ishii takes aim and runs, but Omega dodges to run, running DDT hits! Omega stands and vows to end this. He grabs Ishii in a full nelson, but Ishii breaks free to backwards headbutt Omega! But Omega comes back with a V-Trigger!
Omega wants the Kotaro Krusher again but Ishii slips out to German Suplex! Ishii runs, but Omega boots, only to get a discus lariat! Omega sits down and Ishii runs for the sliding lariat! Cover, TWO!! Ishii was so close and the fans can feel it. The fans are thunderous as Ishii drags Omega back up. Ishii suplexes but Omega fights out. Omega forearms Ishii, but Ishii standing switches to copy the Electric Chair! He wants to steal the One Winged Angel! Omega slips down to heel kick Ishii in the back of the head, and Ishii stumbles to a corner. Omega takes aim and runs in, V-Trigger! He hits Ishii in the back, but drags him out for bomb position. Omega lifts, Dr. Wily Bomb! Cover, TWO!! The Pitbull shocks the champion while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns and Omega drags Ishii back up. Omega gives him a close-range V-Trigger! But Omega isn’t done there, he gives Ishii another V-Trigger! Ishii falls over and Red Shoes checks on him. Ishii isn’t giving in, so Omega sits him up again, for a third V-Trigger! But Ishii stands up! Omega is shocked, but he gives Ishii a fourth V-Trigger. Omega runs, but Ishii follows, to clothesline him at the ropes. Ishii runs, but Omega V-Triggers! Omega runs, ducks the clothesline and gives another V-Trigger, right into the Snap Dragon Suplex! But Ishii’s right up, only for Omega to clothesline him down! Cover, TWO!! Ishii does not die easy, but Omega won’t give up.
Omega lifts Ishii for the Electric Chair, but Ishii slips down to headbutt Omega in the back! Ishii throws Omega with his own Dragon Suplex, but Omega returns with a huricanrana, that Ishii just makes a powerbomb! Both men are down and fans are thunderous again. Red Shoes checks on them both, but doesn’t start a count as he sees them both stirring. Omega and Ishii slowly sit up, and stare each other down. Ishii headbutts but Omega forearms. Ishii headbutts again, and Omega forearms again. Omega drags Ishii up for a standing forearm, then another. Ishii staggers and wobbles, but stays on his feet. Omega chops Ishii, but Ishii suddenly fires off forearms from both sides! Omega throws haymakers then the Reverse-Rana! They’re both down again, but Omega is up first.
Omega loads up and takes aim, “BANG!” He runs, for a V-Trigger! Ishii ends up on the apron, but Omega keeps on him with slingshot double stomps! Omega rests against the railings while fans build to a rally. He drags Ishii up and in, then climbs up top. Omega aims, for more double stomps! He keeps going, Aoi Shoudou! Cover, TWO!! Omega is shocked and furious as he brings Ishii up in the Electric Chair. Ishii slips out again, to an inverted suplex. Omega slips out to backslide and V-Trig– No, Ishii blocks! Omega forearms, goes for the Trigger, but Ishii throws him with a German Suplex! But Omega lands on his feet, to V-Trigger again! Cover, TWO!! Butterfly Driver!! Cover, TWO!? Ishii refuses to let even this stop him!
Omega grits his teeth while fans rally up again. He brings his knee pad down, and backs off. Omega runs back in, for an even more dangerous V-Trigger! Cover, TWO!! Omega can’t stand it as he has to drag Ishii back up. Electric Chair again, but Ishii fights out to a crucifix takedown! Cover, TWO!? Ishii can’t believe that didn’t end this. Both men crawl as fans hit a fever pitch. Ishii gets to a corner and stands. He fires himself up, but Omega covers up as Ishii throws heavy hands. Omega blocks to V-Trigger one more time, but then runs into a pop-up headbutt! Ishii gives another headbutt, then a HUGE clothesline! Cover, TWO?! Omega also refuses to go down. Ishii drags Omega up in a facelock, but Omega suplexes Ishii! Cover, ONE!!
Ishii gets to ropes again, but Omega runs, into another clothesline! Omega stands by instinct, wrenches the arm but gets a headbutt. He still gives a V-Trigger but gets an enziguri for it. Omega swings, but Ishii turns him around into a brainbuster! Cover, ISHII WINS!!
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii, by pinfall; Ishii earns 2 points, Omega earns 0
Both men bleed from the lips, but it’s Ishii who gets a win over THE IWGP Heavyweight Champion! Ishii may not be in the G1 Climax Finals, but he now has a legitimate claim to a title match. But if it took this much for Ishii to win here, how much will it take to take that title away from Omega? As for Omega, he’ll likely need stitches for that busted lip, but are his chances of getting into the finals busted now, too?
Backstage interview with Kenny Omega.
“There it is. You guys love your underdog stories, huh? There you go. Hope your happy.” Clearly Omega isn’t happy about this blemish on his record, but there’s still time. Can he turn it around? Will he be ready for another rough rematch with the Pitbull in the future?
Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi!
Los Ingobernables de Japon’s charismatic leader defeated the Golden Star in last year’s G1 Climax round robin on his way to the finals. He looks to repeat that here, but not if Ibushi has anything to say about it. Will both Golden Lovers lose on the same day? Or will Ibushi shine bright to move up the ranks?
The bell rings and fans duel between these two mega stars. Naito and Ibushi slowly circle. They tie up quickly, and Ibushi gets a waistlock. Naito reverses to an arm wrench and a wristlock. Ibushi rolls and works to wrench it back but Naito kicks low then rakes the eyes. Naito throws forearms then whips Ibushi corner to corner. Ibushi goes up and over then speeds up. Naito dodges the clothesline and the kick to Tranquilo already. Ibushi isn’t amused, but Naito wants him to fist bump. Ibushi doesn’t so Naito bails out. Naito walks around the ring while Ibushi keeps an eye on him. Naito teases returning, but then wants Ibushi to give him space. Ibushi does while Red Shoes starts a count. Naito waits until 8 and then fires off on Ibushi. He whips Ibushi but Ibushi reverses.
Things speed up again and Ibushi dropkicks Naito down! Naito rolls out again but Ibushi slingshots out. Naito gets on the apron but Ibushi adjusts to join him. Ibushi elbows Naito, then takes aim at the apron. Naito resists the German Suplex by holding ropes then fighting with elbows. Ibushi kicks but Naito blocks to put it in the ropes, then Naito dropkicks Ibushi’s other leg out! Ibushi tumbles to the floor while Naito rests on the apron. Naito fetches Ibushi and has camera men move aside. He puts Ibushi’s leg on the railing to kick it! Fans boo but Naito doesn’t care. He stomps Ibushi, then opens the gate. Naito brings Ibushi around to the announce tables and throws him into the English table! Naito practically bowls Ibushi over Kevin Kelly!
Red Shoes counts and Naito leaves Ibushi outside. Ibushi drags himself up and hobbles his way back to the ring. He gets in at 11 but Naito is on him with stomps. Naito takes that bad leg and stomps right on the knee while smashing it on the mat. Naito repeats the knee smash stomp and Ibushi writhes in pain. Red Shoes checks on Ibushi but Naito stomps Ibushi to ropes. Naito puts Ibushi in the corner for back elbows. Naito stomps a mudhole into that bad knee, then drags Ibushi back up for more elbows. He stomps the knee again, then backs off. He drags Ibushi back up and out, turns him around, for the backbreaker and dropkick! Cover, TWO and we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Naito toys with Ibushi. Red Shoes reprimands him and fans boo him, but Naito only spits and taunts at them. Naito drags Ibushi up but Ibushi fires forearms. Naito fakes a punch to give a kick, then goes back to the leg. He spits on Ibushi before elbowing the knee. He runs and aims for the leg, but Ibushi manages to hop over his slide. Ibushi still gets a kick, but manages to double stomp Naito on the run! Both men are down as Naito writhes and Ibushi catches his breath. Fans rally up and Ibushi sits up slowly. Ibushi brings Naito up and they start brawling with forearms. Naito hits, Ibushi hits, Naito hits, Ibushi spin kicks. Ibushi whips but Naito reverses, only for Ibushi to running roundhouse Naito down! Ibushi standing moonsaults, covers, TWO!
But Ibushi keeps focus as he drags Naito back up in a waistlock. Naito resists the German Suplex and fights out, then runs at Ibushi in the corner. Ibushi puts up boots but Naito blocks them. Naito turns Ibushi around and gives him a draping neckbreaker! He keeps on Ibushi but Ibushi fights out to huricanrana! Naito rolls back out of the ring but fans rally for Ibushi. Ibushi fires up and takes aim, for the Golden Triangle Moonsault! He hits Naito down but he’s down from exhaustion. Fans cheer while Red Shoes starts a count. Ibushi gets up and hobbles after Naito. The count hits 13 as Ibushi brings Naito up, and he puts him in at 14. Ibushi climbs up, but Naito stops him! Naito positions Ibushi and elbows away at that knee. Naito climbs up to join Ibushi but Ibushi grabs Naito’s leg.
They fight each other, and Ibushi dumps Naito down. Naito stays on his feet, but Ibushi drags him back up and around. Ibushi has Naito but Naito fights out! Naito trips Ibushi and he hits the mat! Naito hops right up top, aims, and leaps for the missile dropkick! Then the jump kick, sweep and swinging dropkick! Naito drags Ibushi out for a modified Figure Four! Ibushi endures the unique kneebar, but then Naito slaps him. Ibushi slaps back and it’s a figure four slap fight. They slap back and forth but Ibushi fires off with both hands from both sides. Naito puts more torque into the hold then spits on Ibushi. Ibushi drags himself to the ropes, but Naito holds on until 3.
Naito smirks as he brings Ibushi back up. He grabs the leg but Ibushi denies the shinbreaker. Naito elbows Ibushi back, then goes for the rope-assisted tornado, but Ibushi powers out. Ibushi runs but into the atomic drop. Naito whips but Ibushi reverses, only for Naito to leap with forearms! Naito drags Ibushi back up, hammerlock and GLOR– No, Ibushi escapes Gloria to give Naito a BIG Half Nelson Suplex! The Golden Star evens things as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Ibushi crawls over to Naito. He gives a forearm, and Naito gives one back. Ibushi goes again, but Naito elbows back. Ibushi gives yet another forearm, but so does Naito. They both stand now, and Ibushi gives another forearm. Naito hits Ibushi but Ibushi quickly kicks back. Naito forearms again, but Ibushi quickly kicks agian. Another forearm for another kick, then Ibushi fires off more kicks. Naito kicks Ibushi’s bad leg, then grabs it. Ibushi fires back with forearms but Naito spits right in his face! Fans boo and jeer but Naito just gives another forearm. Ibushi suddenly fires off a strike fest! Ibushi runs but into Naito’s wheelbarrow. But Ibushi blocks it! Naito still rolls it through and has Ibushi in the package, for the driver! But he doesn’t cover?
Naito smirks as he brings Ibushi back up for for the hammerlock and GLORIA! He still smirks as he still doesn’t cover. He drags Ibushi up again, and suplexes him to the ropes! For a draping neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!? Even Naito is surprised, but he won’t let that stop him. He drags Ibushi up but Red Shoes has him back off. Red Shoes checks on Ibushi, but somehow Ibushi is still good. Naito drags Ibushi up by his hair, wrenches the arm but Ibushi roundhouses! They both fall, and fans rally up. Ibushi drags himself to his feet as he grits his teet. Naito also stands in the opposite corner. Ibushi runs but into an alley-oop! Ibushi hits buckles and Naito enziguris him down! Naito drags Ibushi up, turns him around, but Ibushi fights off the inverted tornado to PELE!
Naito is dazed on the top rope while Ibushi fires himself up. Ibushi climbs up and positions Naito on the top rope. He tucks Naito in but Naito holds on for dear life! Ibushi gives Naito a forearm then tries again, but Naito just saves himself. They brawl now, returning to slapping strikes, then Naito goes after that bad leg. Naito stands and gets around Ibushi, for a SUPER Reverse-Rana, that Ibushi lands on his feet out of!! Ibushi clobbers Naito with a clothesline! Both men fall but fans fire up again. Ibushi crawls, blood in his mouth like Omega. He kicks Naito while he’s down in the corner. Ibushi then drags Naito up, in a waistlock, FOR A SUPER GERMAN!! Cover, TWO!!
Ibushi can’t believe it! But that just makes him more determined. He lifts Naito, for the Last Ride Sit-Out! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi is shocked again, but he stands back up. He drags Naito up as fans duel. Ibushi has the hands, but Naito dodges to DESTIN– No! Ibushi blocked the DDT and has hand control again. But Naito dodges Kamigoye a second time to tilt-o-whirl, DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!? Now Naito is shocked, but he just wants it more. He wrenches, tilt-o-whirl, but into Ibushi’s brainbuster! Fans fire up as Ibushi copies the King of Strong Style for a KINSHASA!! Cover, TWO!? Ibushi is all fired up, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, IBUSHI WINS!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; Ibushi earns 2 points, Naito earns 0
The Golden Star overcomes and gets himself a total of 10 points! He’s up near the top, and just needs another win to earn his spot in the finals. Naito is taken away and Ibushi takes up a mic.
Fans chant “Ibushi! Ibushi!” as he catches his breath. “This is my first time on the mic in Osaka.” He makes a promise to everyone right now. He vows to win the G1 and return here as champion. Ibushi thanks the fans for his support as he has only two matches left in the round robin. However, one of those is going to be his best friend and fellow Golden Lover, Kenny Omega! That one match could determine the entire course of the Finals, who will seize their future with their own two hands?!
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene for A Block!
The race is one to determine A Block’s G1 Climax 28 finalist! Kazuchika Okada finds himself in a complete 180 from last year, as the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion is now coming back from a shocking losing streak. The King of Darkness defeated Okada last year to deny him a spot in the finals, but will history repeat itself? Or is the Rainmaker’s Redemption going to continue?
But before that, The Ace and the Unbreakable battle in an all Taguchi Japan match. Will Big Mike spoil the chances of another finals for Tanahashi? Or will the Once in a Century Talent prove that name right and overcome?
And what of the other contender, The Switchblade, Jay White? Will he lose to leave it between Okada and Tanahashi? Or will the Unchained Togi Makabe spoil the upstart’s uprising within Chaos? We jump into that important match, right now!
Jay White VS Togi Makabe!
NJPW on AXS takes us to a point where Makabe has White down but not out. Makabe runs but White counters and ducks to chop and saido suplex! Both men are down now but White is up first. White drags Makabe up and suplexes into the twisting brainbuster. Cover, TWO, and fans applaud for Makabe’s toughness. White grows frustrated, but he keeps on Makabe with forearms. Makabe dares him to give more, so White rocks him with another. Makabe eggs White on, and now White chops Makabe. White fires off forearms, but Makabe keeps egging him on. White keeps going, then runs, but his clothesline barely makes Makabe budge. Another try but still nothing. White goes a third time, but Makabe gives a clothesline back. Makabe runs but White ducks to chop and chop and chop. White runs but Makabe knocks him over!
Fans fire up as Makabe runs, but into a complete shot! White keeps going, deadlift German Suplex! But Makabe stands with White to run him over! Both men are down again, but Makabe roars his way up. Makabe puts White in the corner and up onto the top rope. Makabe climbs up to join him, but White holds on! White fights Makabe off with elbows, and Makabe falls into the Tree of Woe. But Makabe sits up for the Spider Belly2Belly! Makabe turns around but White uses Red Shoes as a shield. White then gets Makabe with strikes and prepares the Blade Runner, but Makabe counters with a German Suplex! Makabe clotheslines White again, then covers, TWO!
Makabe drags White up and scoops to slam. He goes back to a corner, climbs up top, and leaps! His knee drop misses! White rolls all the way out, and starts searching under the ring. He brings out chairs, and puts them in the ring. Red Shoes reprimands him, but White doesn’t care. Makabe ducks the swing to give lariats, one through the chair! Makabe then threatens White with the chair, Red Shoes stops him. White shoves Makabe into Red Shoes! White scurries away while those two fall over, and gets himself that second chair. SMACK in the face! White gets the chairs out of the ring and then has Red Shoes get back in. Blade Runner! Red Shoes counts, White wins!
Winner: Jay White, by pinfall; White earns 2 points, Makabe earns 0
The Switchblade uses another sneaky tactic to keep himself spotless in the round robin. He has one more match to go, can he make it to the goal?
Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Michael Elgin!
The Ace has won two G1 Climaxes before, and looks for his third. The Unbreakable “Big Mike” is out of the running but doesn’t mind being spoiler, even to a fellow main unit member. Will Elgin keep Tanahashi back? Or will Tanahashi keep his chances of a finals appearance going?
The bell rings and the fans chant for Tanahashi. He and Elgin circle then tie up. Elgin powers Tanahashi back, but lets his friend out respectfully. They go again, and Tanahashi calls for a test of strength. Elgin accepts and they tie up. They go shoulder to shoulder, but even with a bad shoulder, Elgin has power enough to put Tanahashi on his knees. Tanahashi comes back and puts both arms against Elgin’s bad one, but Elgin still has such strength! Elgin backs Tanahashi to the ropes, then they break. Tanahashi puts Elgin on the ropes, and they break. Elgin lunges for a headlock and takeover but Tanahashi rolls it to his own. They stand and Elgin lifts Tanahashi to the ropes.
Elgin powers out of the headlock then runs Tanahashi over, but Tanahashi’s right back up! Elgin runs him over again and Tanahashi still springs back up, but then staggers back. Tanahashi reverses Elgin’s whip and hip tosses Elgin down, then plays the air guitar. Both men stand and Tanahashi body shots Elgin to a corner. He whips corner to corner but Elgin reverses. Elgin runs into an elbow but catches Tanahashi as he goes up and over. Tanahashi fights his way out and goes to reverse-rana, but Elgin holds on with power! Elgin swings Tanahashi for an inverted Alabama Slam! Elgin walks around Tanahashi before bringing him back up. He lifts Tanahashi for a backbreaker. Cover, TWO, but Elgin keeps on Tanahashi.
Elgin brings Tanahashi up for the scoop slam, then he goes outside to slingshot splash! Cover, TWO but barely. Elgin keeps his cool and drags Tanahashi up again. Tanahashi gives body shots but Elgin chops him back. Elgin runs but into boots. Tanahashi fires forearms but Elgin gives another chop. Elgin whips but Tanahashi hits back with flying forearms. Tanahashi drops an elbow then a sommersault senton, cover, TWO! Tanahashi chops, but Elgin is too big for the scoop. Elgin scoops, Tanahahsi slips out, and they both kick. They both catch the kicks, then argue who lets go first. They decide to do it together, and then start again. Tanahashi ducks and chops, then forearms Elgin to a corner. He whips but Elgin reverses, to then dodge the dropkick on the rebound.
Elgin deadlifts but Tanahashi counters with a dragon screw! Elgin’s leg is also taped up so it’s another target for Tanahashi. Both men slowly sit up, and Tanahashi goes after the leg again. Elgin shoves him away then catches the kick, to give Tanahashi a dragon screw! Tanahashi has his own leg problems, so that was a good move from Elgin. Elgin drags Tanahashi up but they start brawling. Elgin hits, Tanahashi hits, repeat. Tanahashi kicks then runs, but into an overhead belly2belly! Both men slowly stand but Elgin runs in for a big corner clothesline. Elgin suplexes to a Falcon Arrow, cover, TWO! The battle of tag team partners continues as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Elgin brings Tanahashi back up. Elgin chops Tanahashi then lifts him to the top rope. Elgin climbs up but Tanahashi slips under! Tanahashi wants a high-angle German Suplex but Elgin holds on. Elgin fights Tanahashi off, then turns around. Tanahashi runs in, catches the foot, SUPER Dragon Screw! Elgin clutches his leg but Tanahashi isn’t done there. Tanahashi grabs the legs to Cloverleaf! He gets Elgin on his belly and pulls back. Elgin endures and uses his arms to drag himself forward. Tanahashi wrenches back and sits down into it, but Elgin powers back up! Elgin pushes himself off the mat and then pops Tanahashi off the hold! Tanahashi goes to the apron but skins the cat into headscissors! He drags Elgin over and down!
Tanahashi skins the cat again to return into the ring. Fans fire up as Tanahashi gets to a corner and the top rope. Elgin hurries in to stop him from jumping. Tanahashi fights Elgin off, but Elgin swing kicks Tanahashi back. Elgin climbs up and brings Tanahashi with him, for the SUPERPLEX! Tanahashi writhes from the impact, Elgin covers, TWO! Elgin feels hwo close he is, and fires himself up. Fans rally with him as he drags Tanahashi back up. Elgin prepares a powerbomb but Tanahashi grabs a leg. Elgin pries Tanahashi’s arms back for a double underhook, but Tanahashi back drops! Big Mike rolls through to high stack then deadlift, for the powerbomb! Cover, TWO! Elgin is surprised, but he grits his teeth as he works on what to do next.
Elgin drags Tanahashi back up, powerbomb lifts again, for a buckle bomb! But Tanahashi fires out for a slingblade! Cover, TWO! Crucifix! TWO! Both men are down, but they’re not done yet. Tanahashi is up first and goes after Elgin’s legs. Elgin forearms, but Tanahashi holds on, until the enziguri! German Suplex! Elgin holds on but Tanahashi fights with elbows. Elgin grabs thsoe arms, so Tanahashi blocks with a leg. He can’t tiger suplex, so Elgin swings Tanahashi out for a forearm! Elgin then powerbomb lifts, only for Tanahashi to slip out and hit the swinging neckbreaker! Slingblade!
Tanahashi is all fired up as he climbs to the top. He aims, Elgin stands, High Fly Flow crossbody! But Elgin rolls through and scoops! Tanahashi slips out and wants a full nelson. Elgin breaks free so Tanahashi changes to trapping the arms. Elgin breaks out of that, too! Tanahashi hits him with a palm strike, but Elgin comes back with a back hand! Elgin clobbers Tanahashi with a clothesline! Elgin takes off his elbow pad and prepares that wrapped but powerful arm. He has Tanahashi stand, then runs, for another big clothesline! Then a powerbomb lift, crucifix sit-out!! Cover, TWO!! Elgin can’t believe it, but Tanahashi survives. Elgin fires up again and drags Tanahashi back up. He goes for and hits another buckle bomb! Then a spin, but Tanahsahi drops off and rolls him up! Tanahashi wins!!
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by pinfall; Tanahashi earns 2 points, Elgin earns 0
It was by the skin of his teeth and the seat of his pants, but Tanahashi gets the win! He keeps ahead of Jay White, but there’s still one last round in the round robin. Can The Ace get through to get back to the finals? Or will he leave room for the Switchblade to slide in?
Kazuchika Okada VS EVIL!
The Rainmaker has gone through a dry spell since losing his IWGP Heavyweight Championship, but he still has hope. However, he faces the man who denied him passage to the finals last year, right at the home stretch. Will Okada continue to climb back from defeat? Or will he find out Everything is Evil?
The bell rings and fans are behind Okada already. Okada and Evil circle then approach, and Evil kicks low. Evil puts on a headlock, but Okada works against the hold. Evil drags him back in, but Okada fights with body shots. Okada powers out, but Evil runs him over with a shoulder. Evil runs and things speed up, but Evil still gets Okada with the lariat. Cover, TWO and already a close one. Evil brings Okada up just so he can clothesline him back down. He drags Okada up again, but Okada escapes the STO. Okada European Uppercuts and catches Evil into the Air Raid neckbreaker! Both men are down but fans are rallying. Evil and Okada roll out of the ring, but Evil is the one who whips Okada. Okada reverses only for Evil to reverse back, and Okada gets the railings!
Evil drags a chair out from under the ring, then puts it around Okada’s head. He throws Okada and chair into the post! Okada falls and Red Shoes reprimands Evil for that. Red Shoes checks Okada but Okada’s okay somehow. Evil waits in the ring while Okada slowly stirs. Red Shoes holds off on the count a moment, but starts it as he sees Okada is moving. The climb counts to 10 but Okada gets in at about 13. Evil drags Okada up and wrenches the arm a couple times. He wrenches a third time, then grabs the other arm for a half surfboard. Evil pushes and Okada’s face hits the mat. Cover, TWO! Evil grows frustrated with Red Shoes, but that was the count.
Evil drags Okada up and around for a chop. Okada staggers to a corner, and Evil chops him again. Evil chops a third time, and Okada falls to the floor. Cover, TWO! Evil brings Okada into a chinlock, bending him back with a knee. Evil pulls back as hard as he can but Okada endures. Okada stands up and fights out again, then runs, but into a sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO! Fans rally for Okada while Evil keeps his cool. Evil drags Okada up and turns him around, but Okada fights out. Evil kicks low then whips but Okada reverses into a DDT! Both men are down again, but Okada suddenly kips up!
Okada runs at Evil for a forearm smash, then elbow. He rallies with a whip but Evil reverses, only for Okada to come back with another elbow. Okada brings Evil up but Evil fights back. Evil runs but into the flapjack! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps his cool now, and goes to gut wrench. Evil blocks so Okada clubs and kicks him. Okada EuroUppers Evil to a corner, then gives Evil a back elbow. Okada lifts Evil but Evil kicks him first. Evil dodges a dropkick to drop the senton! LIJ’s King of Darkness is in control while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns and Evil joins Okada on the apron. Evil drags Okada up, but Okada fights back with body shots. Evil rakes Okada’s eyes, then gives him a leaping facebuster to the railings! It was double-edged as Evil hit just as hard. Red Shoes checks on both men but they’re both okay somehow. Evil sits up first, and drags Okada up and around the corner. They go to the ramp now, and Evil fireman’s carry. Okada slips out to kick and DDT Evil on the ramp! Fans fire up as Okada rolls to his feet and gets a running start, for the John Woo dropkick! Evil is sent rolling all the way back to the ring! Okada catches his breath while Evil clutches his ribs.
Okada heads back and fetches Evil at the count of 13 to put him in the ring at 16. He aims at Evil from a corner, then runs out for another dropkick. Evil ends up in the other corner, but Okada keeps on him. Okada puts Evil in the middle to then climb up top. He aims, for a missile dropkick! But Okada isn’t done with Evil yet, he gets the fans fired up! Okada brings Evil up but Evil again blocks the gut wrench. Okada clubs Evi’s back and completes the lift, but Evil slips down. Evil shoves Okada then uses Red Shoes as a shield. He mule kicks Okada then suplex lifts him onto Red Shoe’s shoulder! Magic Killer! Everyone is down, including Red Shoes. Red Shoes rolls out to recover while Okada and Evil slowly stand.
Evil runs in at Okada, but into Okada’s boot. He tries again but gets more boots, yet still hits a corner clothesline! Evil lifts Okada for Darkness Falls! Cover, TWO!! It was close but not enough. Evil sits Okada up to slash the throat, and bring him up. Okada denies the STO but Evil kicks and roaring elbows. Okada reverses the whip but Evil holds ropes to evade the dropkick. Evil runs, but into Okada’s waistlock and wristlock ripcord! Evil ducks the Rainmaker to STEAL the Rainmaker! Cover, TWO!! Okada’s own move doesn’t do it!! Fans fire up while Evil roars. Evil drags Okada up, half ‘n’ half suplex! Then with elbow pad off, Clothesline from Hell! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives again and it infuriates Evil.
Evil calls for the end, brings Okada up, and goes for STO again. Okada reverses and swings Evil out but Evil reverses to try another steal. Okada reverses, to STEAL the STO!! Cover, TWO!! Evil won’t lose to his own move, either! Both men are down again but Okada stands first. He dropkicks Evil in the back of the head, then gut wrenches to the Tombstone! But he’s not done, he swings Evil out again. Evil blocks but Okada stops the STO, only to get a left-hand lariat! Evil drags Okada up again, ST– Discus lariat from Okada! And, THE Rainmaker!! Cover, OKADA WINS!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; Okada earns 2 points, Evil earns 0
The redemption continues! Okada redeems himself for last year’s loss, as well as for the losses earlier in the tournament. With just round left, can Okada pull off the comeback of the century? Or will Tanahashi stand in his way?
“I can’t believe it. It’s unbelievable.” After a brutal match like that, the fans won’t go home. What’s up with that, Osaka? Does it look like he won that easily? Is he that strong? Is he just that amazing? Well then he’ll go ahead and say it. “Win number six!!” And he’s a bit dizzy now. But Okada’s sure this is going smoothly. He’s so smooth. The Okada they expected has returned. But he won’t be as strong or amazing as he was before. He’ll be even more than that! He will bring NJPW with him.
“One more G1 qualifier match.” Fans know it’s against Tanahashi, and are already dueling. Okada takes note of it. Rocky Romero says Okada, too, right? But he feels bad for Tanahashi now. But too bad for Tanahashi, because Okada vows to win it all! “Are you satisfied now? Because I’d really like to sit down.” Thank you very… much! Okada takes his leave and hopes to take the G1 Climax, but what will it take just to win the block?
Another great selection for two hours of NJPW on TV. They didn’t use time to review the other matches, but that’s because they couldn’t spare time given the matches advertised. At the same time, the only matches that matter at this point are those vying for the top spots in each block. B Block was another Golden Lovers night as Omega surprisingly loses to Ishii in a great gritty match, while Ibushi toughs it out to win against Naito. I liked that Ibushi got to speak, and he was aware he doesn’t get to do it often. So in character, he keeps his speech to the point. Ibushi has Tama Tonga then Omega, those are going to be great. Naito will soon face fellow LIJ member Sanada, that should also make for great story, no matter who wins.
I was a bit surprised they fit White VS Makabe for A Block, but that match was important to see to know that White was keeping pace. Tanahashi VS Elgin and Okada VS Evil were great, and very clean compared to White’s. It was great for story that Okada and Evil each stole the other’s finisher once but couldn’t win with them. Okada wins and gets to speak, confident that even with thought it’s Tanahashi he has left, he can win. The only way White gets in over either of them is if he and Okada win, given White’s early win over Okada is the tiebreaker. Anything else and Tanahashi’s in.
My Score: 8.8/10; 8.8/10; Overall = 8.8/10
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