AXS returns with just a single dose of NJPW as the G1 Climax 28 reaches Day 16! Witness LIJ VS LIJ in Tetsuya Naito VS Sanada, and Kenny Omega VS Toru Yano!
This coverage of the G1 Climax 28 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Kota Ibushi VS Tama Tonga; Tama wins.
- Kenny Omega VS Toru Yano; Yano wins.
- Tetsuya Naito VS Sanada; Naito wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene for B Block!
The race is one to determine B Block’s G1 Climax 28 finalist! The Golden Lovers are headed for a collision course as they both lead the way. Kenny Omega suffered his first loss of the round robin battling Tomohiro Ishii as the Stone Pitbull busts the Best Bout Machine’s lip. And while the Clown Prince is 1-6, he’s been a spoiler before. Will Toru Yano get a major upset on the IWGP Heavyweight Champion this close to the finish? Will it allow Kota Ibushi to move up and tie with him? Or will Tama Tonga also be spoiler when he takes out Omega’s best friend as payback for before?
Meanwhile, the G1 Climax 27 champion is still in the running to try a repeat. However, Los Ingobernables de Japon must face itself as Tetsuya Naito goes up against the Cold Skull, Sanada. Will this first ever singles encounter help or hinder LIJ’s charismatic leader in more ways than one?
Kota Ibushi VS Tama Tonga!
NJPW and AXS jump into this match as the Golden Star and the Firing Squad’s de facto leader are fighting in the crowd. They’re like a Where’s Waldo puzzle, but Ibushi appears on the upper deck! He goes to the railing, takes aim at Tama, and like the golden mad man he is, SUPER MOONSAULTS!! He wipes out Tama and the Young Lions around him! But Ibushi gets up like it’s just another move! Fans are thunderous for Ibushi as he drags Tama back up. They head back to the ring, and Ibushi puts Tama in the ring. Fans fire up as Ibushi climbs up top. But here comes Tonga Loa! He goes after Ibushi but Ibushi fights him off. Tama springs up to forearm Ibushi back!
Tama climbs up to join Ibushi, and goes for a fireman’s carry. Ibushi resists and knocks Tama down. Ibushi leaps but Tama gets under. Tama runs back, blocks the kick, and hits a jumping neckbreaker! Tama keeps on Ibushi for a jumping butterfly DDT! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi flounders but survives, which frustrates Tama. The fans rally up but Tama stalks Ibushi. Ibushi denies the Gun Stun and grabs hair, to ram his knee into Tama’s face! Ibushi calls for another knee, and drags Tama up by his wrists. He reels back but Loa grabs his feet! Ibushi has to fight Loa off again, but he turns around into Tama’s leap! Ibushi again denies the Gun Stun, but Tama crashes into the referee! The referee goes down as Ibushi roundhouses Tama! Ibushi still calls for a finish, but now Bad Luck Fale appears!
Fale body shots Ibushi to save Tama, then throws Ibushi down by his hair. But here comes Kenny Omega! Omega saves his best friend with a V-Trigger to Fale! But Loa is lurking, SPEAR! Ibushi roundhouses Loa, but Tama is up again. Ibushi still denies the Gun Stun, to clobber Tama with a clothesline! He uncovers the knee and fans are thunderous as he drags Tama back up. Kamigoye misses, into a pop-up Gun Stun!! Cover, Tama wins?!
Winner: Tama Tonga, by pinfall; Tama earns 2 points, Ibushi earns 0
The Firing Squad’s screw job succeeds! They also clobber the Cleaner on the outside. Things spill into the ring and Loa wants to coordinate with his brother. Fale helps out, for a powerbomb! Omega is down with a match up next, but here come Chase Owens and Hangman Page with chairs! They run the Firing Squad off to save the Golden Lovers, but the damage was done. Will Omega be okay to compete tonight? What consequences will there be for the Firing Squad’s actions?
Kenny Omega VS Toru Yano!
NJPW on AXS returns, but Omega is still down from that powerbomb. However, the show must go on, and Yano heads out to the ring. He’s a bit unsure of this, but he can’t help what happened moments ago. Yano scrambles to take his jacket and shirt off so he can take advantage. Red Shoes quickly checks him, the introduction is made, and the bell rings. Yano covers, Hangman and Chase are panicking, TWO!? Omega still lives!
Yano decides to go for the buckle pad! He unties one, then unties another! Red Shoes doesn’t like this, but Yano keeps going. That’s three pads down, but Chase stops him from completing the set. Omega clubs Yano, then whips him corner to corner. Yano counters and Omega hits bare buckles! Yano whips Omega to another bare buckle! Then the third! Omega writhes while Yano wants the fourth! Yano has all the pads off, and whips Omega at that final corner. But Chase becomes the pad! Omega is safe, and he dodges Yano. Yano stops himself from running into Chase, to then kick Chase down and out. Yano back elbows Omega, then whips him at the corner. Chase puts the pad in for him, so Omega is safe again. Omega dodges Yano, and Chase removes the pad, so Yano hits bare buckle!
Chase and Hangman play innocent, and point out Yano cheated first. Omega whips Yano and Yano hits more bare buckles. Yano wants mercy, but he still goes for a low blow! Omega stops that, then grinds his foot on that bad hand. Omega runs, but into an atomic drop! Yano grabs one pad, then another, and then the final two. He sets them all side-by-side, to scoop Omega. Omega slips out, and aims for a buckle! Yano resists the lethal suplex, to then suplex Omega onto the buckle pads! Wait, that didn’t hurt at all, because they’re buckle pads… Hangman and Chase are relieved, but Yano just shrugs. Omega grins and wags his finger, “No no.” Omega swings on Yano, but Yano ducks and arms himself with the blue pad. So Omega takes the red one!
Fans rally behind this buckle pad warriors, and Yano hits first. Omega stays standing, and hits Yano back. Yano stays standing as Omega grits his teeth. Yano hits back and Omega walks it off. Omega hits Yano back, then they both clash with pads! Yano is disarmed, so Omega kicks and whips. Yano ducks the pad attack, rolls Omega up, TWO! Omega swings, but Yano blocks! Yano dragon screws and the pad flings Omega out! Hangman and Chase check on Omega, but Yano comes out to fetch him. Yano whips Omega at barriers, then finds something under the ring. He uses tape to tie Omega to the railing?! A Young Lion tries to stop him, but Yano ends up tying him to Omega instead! Yano tosses the Young Lion over the top and Omega is trapped with dead weight!
The ring count begins and Yano grins in the ring. Hangman helps with the Young Lion, but the cuont passes 13! Omega carries the deadweight with him and gets in at 19! Yano goes after Omega, and the Young Lion! Red Shoes reminds Yano he only has one opponent, and that’s Omega! Omega wakes up the Young Lion, and they double clothesline Yano together! The Young Lion gets to celebrate with Omega, which includes a hug, but Yano lurks. He shoves Omega into the Young Lion, rolls Omega, TWO!! Omega misses the V-Trigger, and Yano throws him with a belly2belly! Then fireman’s carry takedown into a cover, but Omega reverses that back, TWO! V-Trigger! Cover, but Yano uses hair to pull Omega over, TWO, Snap Dragon Suplex!
Omega fires up, as do the fans. He aims at Yano, BANG, and runs, for another V-Trigger! Omega drags Yano up but Yano grabs Red Shoes! Omega can’t German Suplex them both at once! Yano shoves Red Shoes then standing switches with Omega. Yano shoves Omega into Red Shoes and Omega ends up grabbing Red Shoes in a waistlock. Red Shoes doesn’t see Yano low blow Omega! But it also hits Red Shoes! Yano chop blocks the leg! But the Firing Squad return! Gun Stun for Yano while the others mug Hangman and Chase. Tama gives Omega a Gun Stun, too! Fans boo and jeer, but Tama drags Yano onto Omega. Red Shoes recovers as the Firing Squad escapes. Red Shoes counts, Yano wins!!
Winner: Toru Yano, by pinfall; Yano earns 2 points, Omega earns 0
That’s twice, in a row, that the screw-job succeeds! If they aren’t facing major consequences before, the Firing Squad surely will now! What will NJPW administration have to say about all this controversy?
Backstage interview with Omega and Bullet Club.
Not enough people give Tama Tonga credit. Tama’s been getting himself into a lot of trouble, because he doesn’t know when to stop. Omega thought he set an obvious skill gap between The Elite and the rest. Tama must take offense to that and had to lash out “like the child that you are.” But now Tama has cost Omega quite a bit in those two points. Now Omega is put in a must-win situation against his best friend and tag team partner in Kota Ibushi.
But Tama is mistaken, forcing this showdown won’t change the relationship. It will only make them stronger in the end. It’s a shame, but in the end, the fans are the real winners. Until then, good-bye, that bottom lip still hurts, and good night, bang. Whether he wins or loses against Ibushi, will Omega get his revenge on the Firing Squad with his own two hands?
Tetsuya Naito VS Sanada!
Bullet Club is fighting itself on a grand scale while Chaos has a question of leadership between the Rainmaker and the Switchblade. And now that the Uncontrollable Charisma faces the Cold Skull, will even Los Ingobernables de Japon fall victim to the civil war bug?
Naito takes off his cape and suit, but Sanada is not at all bothered by it. Sanada almost meditates in his corner while his leader in LIJ finishes changing. Red Shoes does his check then rings the bell, and we begin. Fans duel already as the two stare down. Naito wants this to be a respectful match, and puts up the LIJ fist. Sanada takes a moment to consider things, and does return the gesture. But Naito uses that to whip Sanada to a corner! Sanada reverses but Naito dodges, so Sanada tumbles to the apron. Naito blasts him out, then builds speed, but Sanada trips him up! Sanada builds speed now, to tumble to the apron and slingshot back in. Fans applaud this show of agility and familiarity between the LIJ members. Sanada waits while Naito gathers himself.
Naito returns, and circles with Sanada. They tie up and Naito gets a hammerlock. Sanada reverses to a drop toehold then a headlock, but Naito gets the hammerlock back. Naito wrenches the arm but Sanada stands and reverses it. Sanada shifts to a headlock but Naito pries his way out. They battle for the wristlock, and Naito gets Sanada down. Naito makes it a double wristlock but Sanada rolls around. Naito wrenches the arm, but Sanada rolls and handsprings and even cartwheels! Sanada gets a hammerlock to headlock to hammerlock to headlock takedown! Naito headscissors and Sanada pops out. Naito tranquilos but Sanada dropkicks him! Fans applaud while Naito rolls to a corner.
Sanada stomps his leader, then drags him up for an elbow. Naito kicks back, but Sanada htis him with a forearm. Sanada wrenches the arm but Naito forearms back. Sanada grinds his forearm into Naito’s face, then whips him corner to corner. Naito reverses but runs into a back elbow. Sanada hops up but Naito clubs him, and brings him out for the draping neckbreaker! Sanada bails out while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns and Naito fetches Sanada on the outside. He clubs Sanada on the back, then whips him at barriers! Sanada clutches his back while Red Shoes wants them to return into the ring. Naito ignores that as he whips Sanada into more railings. Naito brings Sanada to the ramp and they brawl back and forth with forearms! A rake to the eyes, and Naito drops Sanada with another backbreaker. Naito backs up, to dropkick Sanada in the back! Sanada writhes while Naito laves him for the ring. The ring count begins while Naito rests. Sanada gets up and makes his way back. The count passes 13, Sanada gets in at 16. Naito is on him with another neckbreaker! Cover, ONE, but Sanada is still hurting.
Naito toys with Sanada, and that starts to anger Sanada. Sanada stands up to fire off forearms. Naito SPITS on Sanada, so Sanada spits back! Naito whips but Sanada dodges to give a big back suplex! Both men are down and fans are dueling. They both sit up, but Sanada stands first. He fires forearms on Naito, then whips. Naito reverses to back elbow, then things speed up as Sanada jumps up, up and dropkick! Naito bails out and Sanada slingshots out onto him! Fans fire up for the Cold Skull as he walks it off and catches his breath. Sanada drags Naito up and puts him in the ring. He climbs up and springboards, but Naito dodges. Naito gives him an atomic drop then the jump kick. Naito sweeps the legs then hits the swinging dropkick! Fans duel while Naito drags Sanada back up.
Naito hammerlocks but Sanada resists. Naito clubs Sanada then tries again, but Sanada lands out of Gloria on his feet. Sanada whips and Naito reverses, but Sanada tumbles and springboards to missile dropkick Naito down! Both men are down again, but Sanada is up first. He drags Naito up and fireman’s carry, but Naito fights out. Naito’s enziguri misses, and Sanada deadlifts. Naito standing switches to German Suplex but Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada swings, but into a tornado DDT! Naito drags Sanada back up and to a corner. He puts Sanada on the top rope, then climbs up to join him. SUPER Steiner! Naito isn’t done, as he drags Sanada up again. Hammerlock and lift, for Gloria! Cover, TWO! Sanada survives, but Naito has plenty left.
Naito tilt-o-whirls, but into the dragon sleeper! He slips around and out of Sanada’s suplex to enziguri! Sanada staggers, and Naito runs in, but Sanada blocks Destino into the draping, swinging neckbreaker! Both men are down again, but fans continue to duel. Fans rally and both men stir. Sanada goes to the apron while Naito crawls away. Sanada springboards for a missile dropkick to Naito’s back! Then, double chicken wing for a Tiger Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!! That was so close, but Sanada is as cool as ever. Sanada drags Naito up in the dragon sleeper but Naito arm-drags out.
Naito boots Sanada away, but has to catch his breath. He boots Sanada away again, then runs out with furious clubbing forearms. He whips but Sanada reverses and dodges, into dragon sleeper! Then drop down for the body scissors, but Naito rolls through! Naito drags Sanada up, tilt-o-whirls, but Sanada blocks Destino again! Sanada pops Naito up for a fireman’s carry, then pops him up again, but Naito turns that into Destino! Cover, TWO!? Sanada shocks Naito but the fans are thunderous. Naito drags Sanada up for another try, but Sanada counters to STEAL Destino!! Cover, TWO!! This LIJ battle of wills continues after the break!
NJPW on AXS returns, and Sanada grits his teeth. He drags Naito up in the dragon sleeper, then drops down for Skull End! Naito flails and reaches, unable to see how far he is. Sanada squeezes and pulls but Naito slips out for a moment! Sanada gets Naito’s head again, but Naito pries free another time. Naito reaches for ropes but Sanada drags him back in! Naito starts to fade, so Red Shoes starts a check. Red Shoes lifts Naito’s arm, but it drops. He does it again, but the arm starts to come back. Sanada ditches the hold, climbs up, and moonsaults! But it misses as Naito manages to roll away! Both men are down again as fans duel. They both slowly stir and stand.
Sanada throws a forearm, and Naito answers. Sanada hits Naito again, but Naito hits Sanada again. Another forearm from Sanada, another from Naito, and they pick up speed! Sanada gets an edge but Naito SLAPS him. Naito whips but Sanada reverses, only to get leaping forearms! Naito drags Sanada up, wrenches and tilt-o-whirls, but another block of Destino. Sanada wants something but Naito slips out and shoves him to a corner. Sanada hops up and quebradas, into the dragon sleeper! But Naito reverses, lifts, but Sanada slips out. Sanada rolls up and bridges, TWO!?!? That was by the narrowest of margins!
Sanada forearms Naito more, hitting a roaring elbow on top. He runs but into an alley-oop! Sanda crashes and burns in a corner, and Naito German Suplexes him! But Sanada’s right back up! Sanada spins, flips but Naito blocks the steal to hit DESTINO! Cover, Naito wins!!
Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall; Naito earns 2 points, Sanada earns 0
Such intensity and grit! Naito manages to come away with the win and the points he needed to stay alive in the race for the finals! The rest of LIJ appears, Evil carrying Hiromu Takahashi’s jacket so that he can be here in spirit while he recovers. Naito stands and speaks.
“Buenos Noches, Yokohama!” He thanks them all for coming to the Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium despite the bad weather. Naito wants to know what the fans thought of this LIJ VS LIJ match just now. Did it move them to their very core? Yokohama says yes. Naito knows they’re down a man right now. Evil holds up Hiromu’s jacket, and fans chant for the Ticking Time-Bomb. Hiromu is surely home watching this on NJPW World. Will he come back right away? Or take some time? No one knows for sure. But Naito wishes Hiromu a speedy recovery.
Naito again thanks Yokohama for supporting LIJ. They only have one event here a year, so let’s end with a role call! “Evil, Bushi, Sanada, Hiromu and Naito, we are! Los Ingoberrrrrrnables… de Japon!” Sanada finally stands up, and Naito hopes he joins in the fist bump. Sanada does, as do Evil and Bushi. Naito also makes sure to fist bump Hiromu’s jacket so that he isn’t left out. The team is united even when missing a member. Will Naito make the last step back into the G1 Climax Finals?
Backstage interview with Naito.
Just a few years ago, Sanada wouldn’t have been able to push Naito that far. Naito would’ve won easily. But Sanada is now a super tough opponent, “as expected from a member of Los Ingobernables de Japon.” Naito knows there’s only a few days left in the G1, so see you at Nippon Budokan. Will something happen between the Golden Lovers to help Naito jump over both of them and into the finals? Or will his fate be in their hands?
Another solid hour right here. The opening half was practically one giant match, with Tama keeping Ibushi and Omega down. The Firing Squad are quickly becoming the top Heels of NJPW with all the disruption they’ve caused. Omega’s right that he and Ibushi must now battle to determine everyone’s fate, not just their own. For them it’s win and you’re in. Both have a win over Naito, so even if Naito beats Zack Sabre Jr, the tiebreaker goes to the winning Golden Lover. Naito needs to win while the Golden Lovers tie if he wants to get back to the finals. Naito VS Sanada was great, as it continues to establish Sanada’s strength. Sanada could easily go after a singles title outside of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, but those belts are also busy with other stories. Sanada will find himself at the top one day, just not right now.
My Score: 8.5/10