NJPW and AXS bring us the A Block finals! Will it be Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi or Jay White who qualifies for THE G1 Climax 28 Finals?!
This coverage of the G1 Climax 28 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Jay White VS EVIL; EVIL wins.
- Kazuchika Okada VS Hiroshi Tanahashi; Time Limit Draw.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this final night of A Block action!
This is the end of round robin competition for the block as NJPW returns to Budokan! Hiroshi Tanahashi leads with 14 points, and is just one win away from the goal. However, his career rival in the Rainmaker stands in his way. Kazuchika Okada defeated The Ace to also break his record of consecutive successful defenses for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. But since then, the Once in a Century Talent has revived while Okada has fallen on hard times, including losing the title to Kenny Omega. Now these two will battle once again to take another step towards getting the title back.
However, Jay White has wins over both men, and could usurp the throne should he win tonight. The Switchblade could take the block in his first ever G1 Climax if both he and Okada win. Of course, White is up against the King of Darkness, EVIL, who would love to spoil things for the young star. Who will enter the G1 Finals as A Block’s champion?
Jay White VS EVIL!
One wants everyone to #BreatheWithTheSwitchblade, but the other hopes to make Darkness Fall. Can White qualify for the G1 Finals his first time trying? Or is it just too soon for a talent so young?
The bell rings and we begin. Fans are on Evil’s side as he circles with White. White knows it, too, but he doesn’t care. He says this is his G1, his block to win, so he’s not letting Evil take it from him. White SLAPS Evil,so Evil grabs him by the throat. White gets loose and chops away, then throws many forearms. He whips but Evil reverses, only to miss in the corner. White chops and forearms again, then whips again. Evil blasts right out to run White over! White gets to ropes but Evil toys with him. Evil chops White, then chops again. Evil whips but White holds ropes. White elbows Evil back then chops him again. White runs, but into Evil’s forearm!
Evil fires up but White saido suplexes Evil right out of the ring! Evil hits apron and then the floor, and writhes while White comes out to fetch him. White whips Evil at the barriers hard, then drags him up to half hatch Evil into the barriers. White taunts commentary before leaving Evil on the outside. He wants this win by count out, so Red Shoes begins the count. Evil gets up at 12 but fumbles at the apron. The count climbs past 15 but Evil’s in at 17. White is right on him again with stomps, then a pumphandle backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Fans rally for Evil but White keeps his cool. White steps on Evil, toying with him. White brings Evil up and chops him again.
Fans rally but Evil gets another chop. White sits Evil up for another chop and Evil falls right to the mat. White brings Evil up in the fireman’s but Evil slips out. Evil blocks the kick, gives it to Red Shoes, then mule kicks White in the ribs. Both men are down now as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS and both men slowly stand. Evil clotheslines White right out, then roars. Fans fire up with him as he goes out to fetch White. Evil whips White at barriers now as payback for earlier. He whips again, but White reverses, only for Evil to reverse back and still send White into more barriers. Evil drags White up and into the ring, then aims at White in the corner. He runs in corner to corner, hits the clothesline, then hits the fisherman suplex. Cover, TWO, but fans rally up for Evil. Evil drags White up and goes for a fireman’s carry but White fights against it. White tries a waistlock but Evil fights out. Evil runs, White follows, but Evil redirects himself, only to run into a complete shot! White deadlifts and German Suplexes! Both men are down again, as White couldn’t bridge.
White gets himself to ropes and then brings Evil back up. White suplexes and slams, then floats to a cover, TWO! He drags Evil up for the Blade Runner but Evil rakes his eyes! White staggers into Red Shoes, but then dodges as Evil runs in. Evil stops himself from crashing into Red Shoes, so White gets away with a low blow! White’s done this practically every match, and he does it again. Evil staggers but fights out of Blade Runner, to hit Darkness Falls! But Evil can’t cover, he’s hurting too much. Fans rally up for Evil as both men slowly stir. White drags himself up with the ropes but Evil follows. Evil reels him in for a waistlock but White fights back with elbows. Evil refuses to let go, and gets a Half ‘n’ Half suplex! Then the BIG lariat! Cover, TWO!!
Evil feels how close he was, so he prepares to end this. He slashes the throat, sits White up and brings him around. White resists the STO, then ducks the lariat, to hit a half nelson suplex! White drags Evil up again, cross fisherman buster, the Kiwi Krusher! Cover, TWO!? Evil shocks White by surviving, but the fans are loving it. White slips out of the ring and finds himself some chairs. This is another standard of White’s during the G1, and Red Shoes knows it. Red Shoes tries to get White to stop, but White still swings on Evil. Evil ducks the chair, then uses Red Shoes as a shield! White has to move him aside, Evil decks White with a clothesline!
Evil has the chair, but Red Shoes doesn’t want him to use it, either. White gets up, for another half nelson suplex! Red Shoes gets rid of the chairs while White brings Evil up. Blade Runner denied, but so is the STO! White shoves Evil into Red Shoes, and fans boo as White has the chair. Evil ducks that, STO hits! Red Shoes returns to count, Evil wins!
Winner: Evil, by pinfall; Evil earns 2 points, White earns 0
And there’s the spoiler! Even if Okada wins over Tanahashi, White no longer has a way into the G1 finals. White wants to be the leader of Chaos, but how can he control the stable with a loss like this?
Kazuchika Okada VS Hiroshi Tanahashi!
The Switchblade is no longer an obstacle, so now the fate of the block is in these men’s hands. It’s “win and you’re in”, but will it be the Rainmaker or the Ace going to the finals to face B Block’s champion?
The fans are already thunderous for this newest rematch of these two mega stars. The bell rings, and we begin. Tanahashi and Okada hear the fans chanting at the top of their lungs as they circle. They slowly approach and feel out the grapple. Okada backs off to then fire in with a dropkick! Tanahashi dodges, whips but Okada reverses. Tanahashi holds ropes to deny the dropkick again, but then Okada dodges his dropkick. Okada leaps but Tanahashi avoids the back senton, but then he avoids Tanahashi’s elbow. They both swing clotheslines but evade, and it’s a stand-off. Fans applaud as the two modern greats back off. Fans chant “Go Ace!” as Tanahashi and Okada circle again.
They tie up and Okada gets a waistlock. Tanahashi gets a standing switch and shifts to a full nelson. Okada pries his way out but Tanahashi wristlocks and snapmares to a facelock. Okada slips out of that to get a hammerlock. He shifts to a headlock, but Tanahashi works his way out to put a headlock on Okada. Okada works his way out, but Tanahashi brings him back in. Okada powers Tanahashi to ropes, and fakes the chop to pat the shoulders. Tanahashi gives Okada forearms! Tanahashi backs Okada down but Okada comes back with forearms of his own. Okada whips but Tanahashi reverses to then hip toss, and strum his air guitar. Tanahashi goes after Okada’s leg with stomps and knees, and even elbows. Tanahashi has the shinlock and he wrenches the ankle and knee. He even digs his knuckles into the knee.
Red Shoes reprimands him so Tanahashi stops that. Okada drags himself around but Tanahashi gets up to go after the knee again. Tanahashi grabs both legs and starts tying them together. Okada resists, but Tanahashi just ties them up deeper to trap the legs! Then Tanahashi turns Okada by that other ankle, and has the Queen Angelito. Okada reaches for ropes and gets the break. Tanahashi frees Okada, but then comes back to put him in a corner. Tanahashi stomps the knees, then throws forearms. He puts Okada’s leg through the ropes for another shinlock. Tanahashi lets go at 4, then backs off while Okada frees himself. Tanahashi comes in, ducks the boots and then drags Okada down. He slings the leg against the post! Twice!
Tanahashi takes a moment to catch his breath while fans cheer him on. He stomps away on Okada as Okada crawls out of the corner. Tanahashi brings Okada up but Okada wants the gut wrench! Okada’s legs keep him from getting the whole lift, so Tanahashi fights free and kicks those legs again. Tanahashi runs in but misses, and Okada puts him on the top rope. Tanahashi knows the dropkick follows so he kicks Okada away. He runs out now but into the gut wrench! Okada can’t hold Tanahashi up, but he blocks the kick to dragon screw Tanahashi! Both men are down with bad knees while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns and Okada rolls over to Tanahashi. Okada drags Tanahashi to the apron and then over to railings, for a shin breaker! Okada keeps hold of the leg to then smash it on the floor! Tanahashi clutches his leg while Okada walks off his own pain. Okada comes back around and grabs the leg again for a toe hold and knee smash! Red Shoes comes out to check on Tanahashi while getting Okada to go back inside. Okada does, and a ring count begins. Tanahashi makes sure his legs are working, but he gets in before 15. Okada is right on that knee with another smash, this time to the mat. Okada brings Tanahashi up and over to a corner. He puts Tanahashi’s legs through the ropes to return the favor from earlier.
Okada backs off at 4, but runs in to dropkick the leg against the ropes. Tanahashi winces while he pulls himself out of the corner. Okada clubs him on the back but Tanahashi seems to feed off it. Okada throws forearms but Tanahashi throws many forearms back. Tanahashi kicks but Okada catches it. Tanahashi fights free, catches Okada’s leg, and gives him the dragons crew! Both men are down again, but Tanahashi fires up with the fans. Tanahashi hobbles over to fire off more strikes. He repeats it a couple more times, then whips. Okada reverses but Tanahashi leaps for flying forearms. Tanahashi brings Okada up, scoops and slams, then hops up. Tanahashi flips for the senton! Cover, TWO! Fans rally again behind “Go Ace! Go Ace!” Tanahashi runs, but Okada dodges and runs to then hit a big back elbow.
Okada hobbles over now and brings Tanahashi up. He whips Tanahashi to the corner, then runs in for another back elbow. Okada kicks and DDTs Tanahashi down stiffly. Cover, TWO! Okada waits for Tanahashi to stand now, and scoops for the Alabama Slam. Tanahashi fights out, wants the leg, but Okada fights back, so Tanahashi dropkicks the other leg. But Okada runs and dropkicks Tanahashi! Tanahashi ends up in a corner, but Okada brings him back up and out. Okada climbs up while Tanahashi is down. Okada aims, and hits the missile dropkick! The fans fire up with Okada as he grits his teeth with a wild-eyed look. Okada drags Tanahashi up, gut wrenches, but Tanahashi reverses to have Okada up, TOMBSTONE! But Tanahashi can’t cover, he’s too tired. Fans rally up and duel as both men slowly stir. Tanahashi stands up first, but Okada follows.
Tanahashi throws a forearm, and Okada staggers. Okada gives the forearm back, but so does Tanahashi. Okada forearms, Tanahashi forearms, and repeat. They go back and forth, faster and faster, but then Okada staggers down to his knees. Tanahashi brings him up but Okada fires back again. Tanahashi gives body shots and a European Uppercut, but Okada gives his own EuroUpper. Okada gives more EuroUppers, then runs at Tanahashi, but ends up on the apron. He forearms Tanahashi away, but Tanahashi dropkicks Okada off! Okada hits barriers on the way down, but Tanahashi isn’t done there. Tanahashi climbs up and aim at Okada. High Fly Flow crossbody! It’s a direct hit, but Tanahashi takes some damage from the landing.
Red Shoes checks on both of them, but they’re okay to continue. Tanahashi gets back in the ring, so it’s Okada who is at the mercy of the count. The count reaches 10 just as Okada stirs. Okada hops and hobbles and staggers, but he gets in at 17. Tanahashi has the leg! Dragon screw through the ropes! Then a dropkick and another dragon screw! Okada’s leg is hurting even worse now as Tanahashi goes for another leg hold. Tanahashi has the Cloverleaf! And he sits on it deep! Okada endures, reaches, flails, and manages to power his way up, only for Tanahashi to sit on it even deeper. Okada refuses to give up, and Tanahashi’s own legs and arms are getting exhausted.
Tanahashi shifts to a Boston Crab, then a Styles Clash! Tanahashi hurries up top, High Fly Flow FLOPS as Okada dodges! Both men stir as the fans hit a fever pitch. Tanahashi stands but Okada follows. Okada dropkicks Tanahashi down! Okada hobbles over and brings Tanahashi back up to whip. Tanahashi holds ropes to deny the dropkick, but then runs into another one! Okada hurries to waistlock and wristlock, but into a slingblade! Both men are down again as we go to break!
NJPW on AXS returns and both men brawl as they get to their knees. Tanahashi hits first, but Okada responds. Tanahashi hits again, but so does Okada. Fans fire up with Tanahashi, and the brawl moves to standing up. Tanahashi hits and eggs Okada on. Okada hits and rocks Tanahashi to the mat. Okada drags Tanahashi up, gut wrench, but Tanahashi fights out. They struggle for control as Okada gets Tanahashi up but can’t turn him all the way. Tanahashi tries but can’t get Okada up all the way. Okada tries again, and gets Tanahashi up, but not long enough to execute! Tanahashi shifts and hits a swinging neckbreaker! Tanahashi grits his teeth as he drags Okada back up, and hits a second swinging neckbreaker! But he won’t stop here, he brings Okada up again, and gets the hat trick!
Fans fire up with Tanahashi as he runs. He slingblades Okada down, then covers, TWO! But that was so close! Tanahashi won’t stop, he goes right up top, and watches Okada stand. High Fly Flow crossbody, gets a dropkick! Tanahashi writhes with pain from his ribs and chest while Okada fires himself up. Okada drags Tanahashi up, gut wrench scoop, TOMBSTONE! But that’s not the end, as he brings Tanahashi back up. Okada wristlocks and swings out, but gets caught into a full nelson. Okada denies the dragon suplex to swing Tanahashi out again, but Tanahashi dodges the lariat only to get another dropkick. For the third time, Okada brings Tanahashi up, swings him out, but Tanahashi dodges again. Tanahashi runs into the discus lariat!
Okada shouts as he brings Tanahashi up again. Fans are again at that fever pitch as he swings Tanahashi out, but Tanahashi cradles! TWO!! Okada won’t let Tanahashi get away this time, wristlock but DRAGON SUPLEX! With a bridge! TWO!? Okada escapes by the skin of his teeth! Tanahashi, Okada and the fans know time is running out, it adds to the intensity of the moment! Both men slowly stir, and Okada drags Tanahashi up. Okada wants it but Tanahashi denies the wristlock. Tanahashi runs but Okada reels him in, wristlock ripcord but Tanahashi counters with a left hand! Both men fall, and Tanahashi hurries up top! HIGH FLY FLOW!! Cover, TWO?! The bell rings, TIME IS UP!!
Time Limit Draw; both Okada and Tanahashi earn 1 point
Thirty minutes has gone by, so there’s nothing they can do about it. Neither man wins but neither man loses, yet the one moving on is The Ace on points! Tanahashi will compete in his sixth G1 Climax finals, can he make it his third win? Or will his opponent to come out of the B Block be too much for even the Once in a Century Talent?
Hiroshi Tanahashi speaks.
“Thank you all for supporting me to the end.” Fans continue to cheer “Go Ace!” for him as he catches his breath. “But I’ve still only made it through A Block.” Tanahashi knows there’s still one last match in the tournament. But he’ll take care of business and win it all!
Tanahashi notes this is his 17th G1 Climax tournament. But he feels even more fulfilled here than ever before. He tried the Triangle Scorpion but it was double-edged. Tanahshi knows so many fans are coming to watch, and it’s great to see their excitement. He wishes they’d stop underestimating him, like “Good job for making it this far!” He’s following his dream, but will it lead him all the way to that Wrestle Kingdom main event contract?
An incredible hour for NJPW here. Naturally the focus is on the matches that determine the fate of the finals, with no filler anywhere. There was great drama with whether White would keep himself alive in the running, though he didn’t seem that much more desperate than usual. He used his usual tactics, sure, but he should’ve tried to pull out something new to cheat. In the end, White doesn’t do enough, and he misses out on being one if not the youngest finalist in G1 Climax history. But of course, he is too young to do it so easily, but having another year of experience works in his favor for next year.
Then Okada VS Tanahashi was amazing, an instant classic even with the time limit draw. For those who forgot or just didn’t know at all, NJPW always uses time limits on their matches, and they used that brilliantly for the sake of storytelling here. Okada and Tanahashi pushed themselves to their limits, all the way to the end, and in the end, tying is just fine for Tanahashi’s standings, he still advances with 15 points rather than 16. Tanahashi is truly NJPW’s Iron Man, always making it to a G1 Climax these last 17 years, no matter how banged up he is going in. B Block will be the last part, and those matches are going to be amazing, giving us a G1 Climax Finals that will somehow be even more amazing.
My Score: 8.8/10