New Beginning has caused some discussions amongst the IWC. Let’s read Valentin’s assessment of the fallout!
New Japan’s New Beginning tour just came to an end as these lines are written, and it is safe to say that the ending of the tour, which saw Jay White becoming the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, is making people discuss and wonder what is now next in New Japan’s new era. With that said, let’s discuss the perspective of a very exciting year, for New Japan Pro Wrestling.
If you still were not convinced, there is indeed a new era in New Japan, starting fittingly during the New Beginning tour. In a similar, yet quite different fashion than how Kazuchika Okada began his rise as New Japan’s newest top star, Jay White has done just that. It was only a matter of time for White, whom looking at his first year since coming back, was being built as a potential threat around the company’s main event scene. Now that he is New Japan’s top champion, we can only wonder what the Switchblade’s reign will bring to the table, what impact it will have. None can say for sure, but to at least try to get an idea of what’s to come, we need to take a more global view of New Japan’s landscape. Some recent events can help us figuring things out.
One other big event to occur during this last New Beginning show was Kota Ibushi’s return, which saw him announce to the crowd that he would be staying in New Japan. Ibushi also announced he would be taking part in the New Japan Cup. The big news here being that Ibushi seems to now be fully committed to New Japan, so we can now expect him to get to the level he seemed destined to reach, which is being an established main eventer. As much as everyone knows how good Ibushi is, can we really say he’s an established Heavyweight star so far ?
Sure, Ibushi won the New Japan Cup once, had great outings for the Heavyweight and IC championships over the years, as well as managing to claim the NEVER Openweight championship in December, but I think most people expect more at this point. Hiroshi Tanahashi has said himself that Ibushi has everything to be the future of New Japan, and with no storm inside of Bullet Club to be unwillingly apart of, there is nothing stopping Ibushi from getting to the spot he possibly should already be in. With the early ending to Tanahashi’s potential last reign as Heavyweight champion, there will be a spot to fill when the Ace starts stepping out of what we tend to call “New Japan’s big four”. This year should give us some answers if whether or not Ibushi will be the man to eventually take that spot.
Speaking of members of that “big four”, let’s now look at another big topic concerning New Japan’s main event scene. Since recapturing the Intercontinental championship, Tetsuya Naito has made his intentions clear. The leader of L.I.J wants to hold both the Heavyweight and Intercontinental championships, at the same time. As it surely looks like 2019 will be another big year for Naito’s group, it’s quite easy to expect the faction’s leader to get something more than a third IC championship run, as this chapter of his own story is reaching its end. Let’s not forget that this summer, Naito will not have been Heavyweight champion in three years, which is quite long even in New Japan standards, when you are one of the company’s top stars.
Making history has been a recent trend with New Japan, and another opportunity to do just that is presenting itself with Naito.
The point now is that New Japan needs to build up wrestlers for years to come, and it is not just be about Jay White becoming the Ace’s main foe. It is also about re-establishing guys who have been waiting for their opportunity to rise, which are long overdue by now. New era tends to mean new faces, and while I’ve been focusing on the main event scene so far, it doesn’t stop there.
Without even mentioning the constant waves of Young Lions coming in, New Japan has started establishing new faces throughout the divisions in the last few years. Hiromu Takahashi and Taiji Ishimori in the Jr division, Roppongi 3K in the Jr tag team division, EVIL & SANADA both as a team and as singles competitors. Let’s not forget about Zack Sabre Jr, Juice Robinson and Will Ospreay as Gaijins on the rise. The most recent example being Shingo Takagi, who will likely look further than being Jr Heavyweight Tag Team champion.
To make it short, New Japan has entered a reshaping process. The company is making a bet for the future, and if recent history has taught us one thing, it is that the last time such a bet has been taken, it worked out.
With that in mind, how do you envision New Japan’s future ?
Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 31 Results & Report! (9/19/21)
Now for B Block!
The G1 Climax’s opening weekend wraps up!
After the thrills of A Block’s first round, B Block has its first turn! Who among some of NJPW’s best begins their journey to the 31st G1 Climax finals?
NOTE: NJPW no longer wants to feed AXS TV now that it is with Anthem and Impact Wrestling. But never fear, I will cover NJPW in the spirit of AXS in providing the most important matches of the show.
- YOSHI-HASHI VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo; Evil wins.
- Jeff Cobb VS Chase Owens; Cobb wins.
- SANADA VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado; Sanada wins.
- Hirooki Goto VS Taichi w/ Miho Abe; Taichi wins.
- Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Kazuchika Okada; Okada wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
YOSHI-HASHI VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo!
The Head Hunter is still part of the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions, but he doesn’t want to just #StayGold, he’s going for more! But the King of Darkness wants another shot at the throne! Will Hashi still #GetBackUp when Everything is Evil?
Evil and Dick Low Sweet, then the bell rings and fans rally up already. Evil and Hashi slowly circle, approach, and then Evil kicks low. Evil headlocks, Hashi endures the grind then powers up to power out, and Hashi reels Evil into a headlock of his own! Fans cheer as Hashi grinds Evil down now. Evil powers up, pulls hair, but Hashi grinds the headlock harder. Evil powers out, he and Hashi ram shoulders, but neither falls. Fans cheer as Hashi eggs Evil on. Evil steps to run, kicks Hashi low then runs anyway! But Hashi runs Evil over! Fans fire up for Hashi as he stands tall! Evil gets to ropes and drags himself up, but Hashi runs over to CHOP!
Hashi suplexes to hang Evil out to dry then runs, but Dick trips him up! Hashi points him out and the ref tells him to stay back, but then Hashi bails out to chase Dick. But Evil is waiting and he ambushes Hashi around the corner! Dick plays innocent as Evil stalks Hashi up the ramp. Evil stomps Hashi, the ref checks on Hashi but Evil undoes the blue corner’s buckle pad! The Bullet Club’s favorite strategy comes into play already. Evil brings Hashi around and RAMS him into the timekeeper’s table! Poor Abe-san suffers from Evil’s bullying again! Evil and Dick Too Sweet over being jerks and Evil leaves Hashi behind as he goes into the ring.
Fans rally for Hashi but a ring count can’t start with Abe down, too. Young Lions help Abe reset, a count begins, and Hashi gets up at 8 of 20 to get in at 9. Evil stands on Hashi’s head and digs his heel in, but the ref counts as they’re at the ropes. Evil lets off at 3, drags Hashi up and CHOPS him to a corner! Evil stands Hashi up straight to CHOP him again! And again! And again! Hashi CHOPS back, so Evil rakes Hashi’s eyes! The ref counts, Evil stops and throws Hashi out, and then Dick whips Hashi into railing! Evil keeps the ref busy as Dick throws Hashi into the ring. Evil covers, TWO! Fans cheer Hashi but Evil looms over him.
Fans clap for “GET BACK UP! GET BACK UP!” but Evil hits a FISHERMAN BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Evil argues the count but it is fair. Evil kicks Hashi toyingly, then slap shim around. Hashi gets up and stares Evil down, even as Evil throws more slaps. Hashi fires off forearms so Evil knees low. Evil runs, Hashi runs, HEADHUNTER BLOCKBUSTER! Fans fire up while Hashi and Evil are down. Hashi and Evil slowly rise and go to opposite corners. Evil and Hashi run at each other but Hashi shoulders Evil down! Hashi CHOPS, whips and runs in to CHOP Evil again! Hashi whips to CHOP, mule kick and NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!
Hashi keeps his cool as he brings Evil back up. Hashi reels Evil in, but Evil pulls hair again! The ref reprimands but Hashi CHOPS Evil! Hashi whips, Evil holds ropes and bails out but Hashi goes out after him. Evil gets back in and now he dares Hashi to do the same. Hashi gets on the apron and he shoulders into Evil. But Evil plays it up and the ref misses Dick tripping Hashi! Evil goes out to drag Hashi up and RAMS him back into the timekeeper! Abe-san suffers again! Evil brings Hashi around for a BACKBREAKER! Hashi writhes but Evil gets his legs for a SHARPSHOOTER! Hashi endures but the ring count is climbing!
Evil pushes it to 13 of 20 before he RAMS Hashi into more railing! Evil gets in the ring at 17, Hashi springs up at 18 and in at 19.5! Evil is annoyed but he drags Hashi around. Fans rally up but Evil reels Hashi in for a fireman’s carry, DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Hashi survives and Evil is beside himself. Dick coaches Evil up while fans still rally for Hashi. Evil slashes his throat, drags Hashi back up and spins him around, but Hashi fights the STO! Evil still tries, Hashi standing switches but Evil elbows free. Evil whips, Hashi reverses but Evil reverses back! Hashi hits the bare buckles! But then Hashi keeps moving!? And he LARIATS Evil down!!
Fans are fired up as both Hashi and Evil are down and stirring! Hashi rises, Evil follows, and Hashi runs, but Evil blocks the clothesline! Hashi CHOPS, Evil comes back to LARIAT! But Hashi stays up to fire off strikes, and a CHOP! Evil roars and spins, into a SUPERKICK! Hashi powers up and fans rally behind him as he brings Evil back up. Hashi reels Evil in, fisherman but Evil wrenches, EVERYTHING- NO! Hashi wrenches to a takedown! Hashi wants the Fujiwara, Evil resists, so Hashi shifts sides to get the BUTTERFLY LOCK! Evil endures, Hashi leans on the hold, but Evil reaches out with a foot! Hashi shifts position again to a SLEEPER!
Evil is already red but he stands up, into a BACKSTABBER! BUTTERFLY LOCK!! Evil kicks and flails but Hashi has him caught! Evil grabs at the ref, Dick gets in but Hashi is ready and SUPERKICKS him down! Evil is free but he keeps the ref down like a hostage! The ref sits up and realizes he’s being used as a meat shield! Evil shoves the ref at Hashi, Hashi pushes the ref aside and is ready for Evil’s ambush! Hashi catches Evil to a full nelson, spin to pump handle, but Evil pops out of Karma! EVERY- No, Hashi holds off the STO again and still wants the pump handle! Evil fights that so Hashi LARIATS point blank! Hashi changes up the grip, KARMA BACKBREAKER!!
Fans are thunderous now as Hashi gets Evil up in a waistlock. Hashi full nelsons, Evil grabs the ref! The ref SLAPS Evil away and Hashi hits a DRAGON SUPLEX! Evil staggers up, into a LARIAT!! Hashi gets Evil back up, fisherman to KUMAGOROSHI!! Cover, TWO!?! Evil survives all that and fans are almost electric! Hashi tries the full nelson again, spins to KARM- No, Evil shoves Hashi at the ref! Hashi blocks the low blow! But Evil rakes eyes to then LARIAT! Both men are down and fans rally up again! Evil slowly rises, he runs as Hashi stands, LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!! Hashi survives and shocks Evil but the fans are fired up!
Evil slashes his throat, vows to end this, and he gets Hashi up. EVERY- NO! Armbar takedown to a cover, but Dick is distracting the ref again! The ref tells Dick to go away but Evil LOW BLOWS Hashi!! Evil drags Hashi back up, reels him in, EVERYTHING IS EVIL!!! Cover, Evil wins!
Winner: EVIL, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Yoshi-Hashi earns 0)
The finger gun to Hashi’s throat says it all! The Bullet Club’s most devious duo found a way to shoot down the Head Hunter and now have that all important first win! With Yujiro Takahashi winning to start the A Block, will the House of Torture own the G1 Climax this year?
Jeff Cobb VS Chase Owens!
Great-O-Khan won yesterday for the glory of the United Empire, but now it is up to the Hawaiian Hulk! Will the Crown Jewel break under the pressure? Or will he skip the Tour of the Islands to get a huge first round win?
The bell rings and Chase rushes in, only to get run over! Cobb runs Chase over again and then Chase bails out. Fans cheer while Chase paces around the outside. Cobb waits but Chase dares him to go out after him. Cobb refuses so Chase goes looking under the ring. The ref reprimands, Chase slides in but slides out as Cobb storms over. Chase goes around the way, rolls into the ring, and then uses the ropes as defense as Cobb storms over again. Cobb backs off, Chase circles with him, but then uses the ropes as defense again. Cobb gets annoyed and pushes the ref aside but Chase dropkicks his leg out! Chase CLUBS away on Cobb’s back, then throws elbows.
Cobb shoves Chase away, Chase knees low and throws more clubbing elbows. Chase clamps on a cravat for a neck wrench but Cobb throws a heavy body shot! Chase headlocks, Cobb powers out and runs Chase over! Fans cheer as Cobb stands tall, then things speed up. Chase hurdles, Cobb clotheslines, repeat, then Chase SHOTGUN BOOTS! Cobb staggers and falls out of the ring, and Chase builds speed! But Cobb moves aside so Chase slides out instead. Cobb clinches Chase for an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Chase writhes and Cobb catches his breath while getting in the ring. A ring count starts on Chase as he drags himself up the railing.
Chase gets in at 8 of 20, but Cobb stomps him right on the back. Cobb stalks Chase, drags him up and whips him hard to a corner! Chase falls to his knees but Cobb stomps him down. Cobb stomps Chase more, then double stomps. Cobb drags Chase up to HEADBUTT him down. Fans rally while Cobb steps on Chase. Chase flounders to a corner, he kicks Cobb in the stomach, but Cobb stomps him into the corner. Cobb throws clothesline after clothesline and Chase falls. Cover, ONE! Chase sits up but Cobb snapmares him for a knee to the back! And then another! And then an uppercut to the back! Cover, TWO! Cover again, TWO!
Cobb snarls then mocks Chase’s finger gun. Cobb drags Chase up, lifts him and runs to RAM him into a corner! Then goes corner to corner to RAM him in again, then back the other way! And then one more RAM into the blue corner! Fans fire up, Cobb says bang and he hoists Chase up for a RUNNING BACK SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! Cobb is annoyed but fans rally again. Cobb kicks at Chase but Chase throws body shots. Cobb isn’t even bothered and he throws a forearm. Chase stands, Cobb slaps him so Chase throws body shots. Cobb knees low and starts taunting Chase. Cobb scoops, Chase slips out and waistlocks but Cobb bucks the roll up.
Chase dodges, throws forearms, but Cobb swings a haymaker. Chase slides under to ENZIGURI! Cobb falls out of the ring, Chase builds speed again! Chase WRECKS Cobb with the dropkick! Chase puts Cobb in the ring, climbs up top and leaps to missile dropkick Cobb down! Chase kips up and fires up with the fans! Chase aims from a corner, Cobb slowly rises, and Chase runs corner to corner to forearm smash! Then he reels Cobb in for a clothesline! Cover, TWO! Chase gets Cobb up, tries to fireman’s carry but Cobb CLUBS him with elbows. Cobb swings but Chase boots him! HANGMAN’S NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Cobb is still in this but Chase goes back to the corner.
Chase takes aim and says bang, then gets Cobb up and reels him in. Chase tucks the arms but Cobb powers up to get free! Cobb kicks low, EuroUppers then DROPKICKS! Fans cheer Cobb’s athleticism as he and Chase go to opposite corners. Cobb runs in but Chase catches him for a BUCKLE SHOT! Chase runs to JEWEL TRIGGER! Chase gets Cobb up, wrenches and hammerlocks, but Cobb blocks the lariat for a Belly2Belly! Pop-up and OKLAHOMA STAMPEDE! Cover, TWO! GACHIMUCHI MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! Chase survives being crushed but Cobb isn’t done with him yet! Fans rally and Cobb grins as he gets back up.
Cobb slaps Chase around, throws hands, but Chase just fires up. Cobb gives toying kicks, Chase eggs him on. Cobb throws hands, Chase gives them back! Cobb fires off several forearms, then “reloads” to DECK him! Chase staggers back to his feet and puts some stank on his SLAP! Cobb CHOPS Chase to a corner! Cobb runs corner to corner but Chase dodges the back elbow! Cobb hits buckles, Chase goes up but Cobb trips him up! Chase hits buckles on the way down, Cobb whips but Chase JEWEL TRIGGERS! Hammerlock, JEWEL HEIST!! Cover, TWO!! Cobb survives but Chase aims from the corner again. Chase runs in but Cobb blocks the knee!
Chase elbows Cobb, goes to run but Cobb reels him in for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Cobb whips Chase to ropes, TOUR OF- No, Chase slips out to a waistlock! Cobb switches but Chase breaks free to PELE! Cobb staggers, Chase hits a CYCLONE BOOT! But Cobb ROCKS him with a right! Chase rebounds, into a SUPERKICK! Chase rebounds again into a TOUR OF THE ISLANDS! Cover, Cobb wins!
Winner: Jeff Cobb, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Chase earns 0)
The United Empire is 2-0 between Khan and Cobb! Will they be the ones to conquer the G1 this year?
SANADA VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!
The Cold Skull and the Good Bad Guy are familiar foes from the tag team division, but they’re both after a higher prize this time. Sanada’s been a finalist before, will he make it to the end of the G1 Climax this year? Or will Tama trip him up right out of the gate?
Tama and Jado Low Sweet and Sanada takes off his space vampire duster jacket. The bell rings and fans cheer as the two stare down. Fans rally up, “SA-NA-DA! SA-NA-DA!” and Tama acknowledges that. Tama offers a handshake but Sanada is wary. Sanada reaches out, Tama finishes the handshake for him, and then of course reels Sanada into a headlock! Tama laughs as he grinds the hold but Sanada throws body shots. Sanada powers out but reels Tama in for a headlock of his own. Tama powers up but can’t power out as Sanada holds tight. Tama pulls hair, throws body shots and shoves Sanada. Sanada jumps over the drop down, ducks the elbow and whips to reverse roles.
Sanada again hurdles and ducks and even handsprings through Tama’s hip toss to arm-drag Tama away! Fans cheer while Tama bails out. Sanada builds speed, but he tumbles up and out as Tama slides in. And Jado grabs at Sanada’s feet! Tama runs but Sanada gets free to slingshot up and over! Tama’s baseball slide takes out Jado! Fans cheer for Tama’s misfortune but he gets in to arm-drag Sanada. Sanada arm-drags back and then dropkicks cancel out! Fans cheer as the two stand off, and Tama takes off his padded shirt! The Good Bad Guy is jacked and Sanada takes a moment to show his respect. The two circle and Tama says he respects Sanada, by showing another handshake.
Sanada is of course wary of it, he just fell for the trick last time. But fans still cheer, and Tama gets on the corner to encourage them to get louder. The fans do get louder, and Tama now offers Sanada a turn on the corner. “Dozo, dozo!” Sanada considers it, and then he goes up on a corner! Fans cheer, especially because he shows off the dancing pecs. But then Tama yanks Sanada off the corner to roll him up! TWO, and Tama clotheslines Sanada out of the ring! Fans rally for “SA-NA-DA!” as the ring count starts, but it’s 10 of 20 before Sanada stirs. Tama paces, willing to take a count out, but Sanada gets up at 15! Sanada takes a moment, and then gets in at 19. But Tama stomps him down!
Tama throws Sanada back out, then goes out after him to RAM him into the apron! Tama CLUBS Sanada against the apron, then follows him around the way as Sanada staggers. Tama brings Sanada around to POST him! Sanada falls back, Tama takes a moment to catch his breath and walk around. A ring count starts again and Tama considers his options. The count is 10 of 20 but Tama snap suplexes Sanada to the floor! Tama goes into the ring at 14, Sanada writhes and pounds his fist. Sanada drags himself up and in at 19! Tama drags Sanada up, then suplexes high and hard! Cover, TWO! Tama keeps focus as he drags Sanada back up for crossface forearms!
Tama paces around and even kicks Sanada around. Tama throws down fists but the ref reprimands the closed fists. Tama drops to the cover, TWO! Fans cheer but Tama wraps on a chinlock. Tama grinds Sanada but fans continue to rally. Sanada endures, even as Tama leans on him. Tama thrashes Sanada around, Sanada kicks and fights the hold. Sanada gets to his feet, throws body shots, but Tama throws a forearm. Tama shoves Sanada, runs in but into a boot! Tama comes back, blocks the boot and throws body shots! Tama whips corner to corner but Sanada comes back to dropkick the legs out! Both men are down and fans cheer.
Sanada and Tama slowly stir, then Sanada kips up! Sanada runs in at Tama and rallies with big forearms! Sanada arm-drags, then back suplex BACKBREAKERS! Tama bails out but Sanada PLANCHAS! Direct hit but Sanada gets back in! Sanada aims at Jado and PLANCHAS again! Down goes the Master Heater! Fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get louder. They get louder but Sanada needs more! The fans give him more and now Sanada is satisfied. Sanada fetches Tama and brings him up to put him in the ring. Tama rushes Sanada but Sanada shoulders into him! Sanada slingshots up and over to sunset flip, but Tama rolls through!
Sanada boots Tama away, trips him up and puts him in Paradise! Fans are fired up for this one as Sanada powers up. Double thumbs up to Milano and he gives them back! Sanada lets Tama suffer a little longer before aiming from the corner. Fans rally up, “PA-RA-DISE! PA-RA-DISE!” but Sanada dropkicks Tama out! Cover, TWO! Sanada keeps on Tama with a fireman’s carry, but Tama flails to get free! Dragon sleeper, but Sanada slips around to suplex! Tama slips out of that to get the TONGAN TWIST! Both men are down but fans fire up! Tama drags himself up the ropes while Sanada goes to a corner. Tama runs in to SPLASH!
Tama brings Sanada around to fireman’s carry but Sanada fights out to waistlock. Tama switches to GERMAN SUPLEX, but Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada runs, ducks and dodges, but Tama POWERSLAMS! Cover, TWO! Sanada survives that fast one but Tama drags him back up. Tama underhooks, lifts, but Sanada fights that off to fireman’s carry! Tama fights that, dragon sleeper, but Sanada powers his way out to arm-drag Tama to a corner. Sanada runs in but into a boot! Tama swings on Sanada but he dodges to QUEBRADA! Sanada gets the dragon sleeper! Tama fights through, suplexes, but Sanada slips through to dragon sleeper again!
Tama drops to then jump up and over to get the dragon sleeper for himself! TONGAN TW- NO! Sanada pommels through to ROCK Tama with a right! Sanada spins but Tama counters to a suplex! Sanada fights that, to get Tama on the ropes, MAGIC SCREW! Both men are down again but fans fire back up! Fans rally as the two stir, and Sanada encourages the fans again. The fans get louder as Sanada and Tama slowly stand. Sanada stalks Tama to a corner, and throws a heavy EuroUpper! Tama stays up but Sanada EuroUppers again! Tama still stays up so Sanada EuroUppers him off his feet! Tama staggers up into a fireman’s carry, TKO! Cover, TWO!!
Tama survives but Sanada vows to end this! Sanada drags Tama up into the dragon sleeper but Tama throws hands to fight it. Sanada holds on, cranks back, SKULL SWING! But Tama spins through to inside cradle, TWO!! Sanada escapes, swings but into Tama’s spin and underhooks! JAY DRILLER!! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives and Tama is shocked! The ref checks on Sanada but somehow he’s okay. Tama hears voices in his head like The Viper as he pounds the mat. Fans clap along as Sanada slowly rises. GUN STUN- NO! Sanada catches Tama and drops back to SKULL END!! Tama is caught in the body scissors and in the center of the ring!
Fans rally as Tama endures and pops free! Sanada hurries to get the dragon sleeper again, then he drops back down, SKULL END!! Tama endures again but Sanada’s grip is tighter this time! The ref checks on Tama, the arm drops once. The arm drops twice and Sanada hurries to a corner! ROUNDING BODY PRESS onto knees! Cover, TWO!!! Sanada survives his own bad call but Tama takes aim again. GUN- NO! DRAGON- NO! Tama spins through but then Sanada suplexes. Tama twists to GUN- NO!! Sanada blocks the Gun Stun to the dragon sleeper. Sanada shoves, waistlocks, O’Conner BRIDGE! Sanada wins!!
Winner: Sanada, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Tama Tonga earns 0)
The Cold Skull snatches victory from the jaws of defeat! Will he be able to repeat history and take the block again this year? As for the Guerrillas of Destiny, will either Tanga Loa or Tama Tonga be able to turn things around in round two?
Hirooki Goto VS Taichi w/ Miho Abe!
The third of the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions takes on the other half of the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, both aiming for the top of NJPW! Hashi and Ishii both lost, will the Fierce Warrior break the pattern? Or will the Sliest Wrestler in the World make sure the Dangerous Tekkers are 2-0?
Taichi finishes up his lip syncing and Miho helps with his elaborate entrance attire. Taichi shows off his dancing pecs but Goto is not impressed. Taichi taunts Goto with the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team belt, which the Tekkers retained at MetLife. Goto kicks Taichi low and grabs the belt, to give it to Red Shoes. The bell rings and Goto fires off hands on Taichi in the corner! Goto whips corner to corner, runs in and clotheslines! Goto whips to ropes, Taichi reverses but Goto runs him over with a shoulder! Fans cheer as Goto follows Taichi out of the ring. Taichi kicks back, then brings Goto around the way to POST him!
Goto flounders to railing, Taichi heads over and grabs camera wire. Goto blocks the choke and kicks Taichi low! Then Goto chokes Taichi with the cord! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Goto lets off fast and apologizes. Taichi sputters but Goto sits him up to choke him again! Red Shoes again reprimands and counts, and Goto lets go at 4. Goto says, “Okay,” he’ll stop. Goto brings Taichi up to put him in the ring and fans cheer as this continues properly. Goto stomps Taichi then clamps on claws to the shoulders. Taichi claims choke but Goto whips him to ropes. Goto elbows Taichi down, covers, TWO! Goto clamps back on with a chinlock and even digs a knee into Taichi’s back.
Taichi grabs at Goto, throws hands from below, but Goto drives an elbow into Taichi’s forehead! Goto stalks Taichi but Taichi bails out again. Taichi gasps and sputters at the railing but Goto waits for him to return. The ring count begins and Miho checks on Taichi. Goto goes out to kick Taichi and whip. Taichi reverses to send Goto into railing! Taichi scowls as he drags Goto back up. Taichi has cameras clear out and he whips Goto into more railing! Taichi grabs more camera cord and he uses a lot of it to choke Goto! Red Shoes reprimands, Taichi lets go with one hand. Red Shoes wants Taichi to let go completely but Taichi defies him with a shove.
Taichi drags Goto with the cord and then drops him. Red Shoes reprimands more but Taichi drags Goto up by his hair. Taichi digs Goto’s head into the railing to choke him! Red Shoes starts a ring count, Taichi lets off on Goto at 4 of 20. Taichi takes his time, bringing Goto up at 11 and putting him in the ring at 14. Taichi stands on Goto’s neck but Red Shoes reprimands again. Taichi steps off, fans rally up but Taichi bumps Goto off buckles. Taichi stomps away on Goto’s leg then digs his boots into Goto’s neck again. Red Shoes shakes his head and counts, so Taichi puts his hands up. Taichi’s cleverness is only annoying Red Shoes and he keeps counting.
Taichi stands on Goto with both feet, Red Shoes counts and Taichi lets off. Red Shoes tells Taichi to watch himself and Taichi thanks Red Shoes for the advice. Taichi drags Goto up and brings him around for Kowata Kicks, then tops it off with a hard kick. Goto glares at Taichi so Taichi KICKS him in the chest! Goto eggs him on so Taichi KICKS him down! Taichi smirks then chokes in the cover! Red Shoes notices and has him stop. Taichi does it again and again Red Shoes has to tell him to stop. Taichi says that’s not a choke, THIS is a choke! Red Shoes counts but Taichi lets off, and fans cheer Taichi’s wry wit.
Taichi drags Goto back up, but Goto CHOPS and CHOPS! Taichi choke grips but Goto breaks free to kick low! Taichi two-hand chokes Goto! But Goto two-hand chokes Taichi back! Red Shoes reprimands them both but both men drop to their knees as they keep going! Goto gets the edge and has Taichi on the mat! Red Shoes counts, Goto lets off at 4, and then he argues with Red Shoes that Taichi’s done far more than that. Taichi goes to roundhouse but Goto blocks and pump handles Taichi to then give him a Charlie Horse! Taichi staggers to a corner, Goto runs in to MURAMASA! And BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Goto drags Taichi back up.
Goto fireman’s carries but Taichi chokes his way out of it! Goto knees low, whips Taichi to ropes, but Taichi reverses to wrench and HOOK KICK! Both men are down and fans fire up! Taichi and Goto stir, fans build to a rally, and Goto gets to a corner. Taichi runs in to clothesline! Taichi runs Goto corner to corner to clothesline him again, then snapmare to a KICK to the back! Goto sits up and Taichi wraps him up for SEITEIJYUJIRYOU! Goto endures, pries free and arm-drags Taichi away! Taichi comes back, Goto blocks the boot to DISCUS LARIAT! Both men are down again and fans fire back up! Taichi is at the ropes but Goto goes to the opposite end.
Taichi is in the corner, Goto runs in but Taichi dodges to GAMANGIRI! Taichi runs but Goto fireman’s carries to USHIGOROSHI! Both men are down again and fans fire back up! Miho grows worried for Taichi as he checks his arm. Taichi rolls away to ropes as he gets feeling back in left arm. Goto rises as Taichi drags himself up the ropes. Taichi BOOTS but Goto stays up and growls. Goto throws a forearm, but Taichi rebounds to BOOT again! Goto throws another forearm, Taichi comes back to BOOT again! Taichi eggs Goto on now, and Goto throws another forearm! Goto eggs Taichi on so Taichi KICKS Goto’s leg! Forearm, KICK, repeat!
Fans rally up as they pick up speed! Taichi gets the edge with KICKS to Goto’s leg, but Goto blocks the chest kick to CLUB the leg! Taichi sobats, but DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Neither man falls, sot hey DOUBLE LARIAT again! Taichi roars, runs in and DOUBLE LARIAT! Goto staggers but he dodges the next try to LARIAT Taichi down! Goto eggs Taichi on, runs, but into a choke grip! Taichi puts Goto in the corner then ROUNDHOUSES! Choke grip, CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO!! Goto survives but OFF COME THE PANTS! Taichi aims from the corner, but Goto blocks the superkick! Goto hoists Taichi to the fireman’s carry, Taichi slips out, but Goto evades the saido!
Goto suplexes and stalls for SHOUTEN KAI! Both men are down and fans are thunderous! Miho and the fans rally up as Goto crawls to a cover, TWO!! Taichi is still in this and Miho is relieved. Fans rally up as Goto slowly sits up. Goto roars, gets to his feet and drags Taichi back up. But Taichi hits DANGEROUS SAIDO outta nowhere! Goto flounders around, roars as he stands back up, but Taichi GAMANGIRIS again! Both men are down but Miho leads the rally now. Taichi stands up first and he BUZZSAWS Goto back down! Taichi slashes his throat and Alabama lifts, but Goto sunset flips to get the dragon sleeper! Taichi fights that, but Goto tries again!
Taichi again fights off the dragon sleeper so Goto HEADBUTTS! Taichi falls and fans are thunderous again! Goto drags himself up the ropes, powers up as Taichi rises, BUZZSAW! Goto drags Taichi back up, dragon sleeper but Taichi CHOKES from that position! Goto blocks the lift, throws elbows, but Taichi back suplex CHOKE SLAMS! Cover, TWO!?! Goto survives but Taichi is too tired to be frustrated. Fans rally up hard as ever and Taichi gets himself to a corner. Taichi fires himself up, takes aim as Goto rises, TENSHOU- NO! Goto blocks to SLAP Taichi! Goto fires up, but Taichi comes back with the three point stance and FOREARM SMASH!
Taichi gets Goto up fast, Alabama lift to BLACK MEPHISTO!! Cover, Taichi wins!!
Winner: Taichi, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Goto earns 0)
In the blink of an eye, the Holy Emperor turns the tables and takes the win! With all three NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions losing, are they in danger of losing those belts after the G1? As for Taichi, will he and ZSJ take their blocks and make it a Dangerous Tekkers Climax?
Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Kazuchika Okada!
The Ace VS the Rainmaker is definitely main event material, so how fitting that they close out the G1 Climax’s opening weekend! But with Tanahashi still holding onto the IWGP United States Championship, can Okada earn himself a title opportunity on top of two points? Or will Osaka rock ‘n’ roll with love and energy?
Okada is very quick to put aside his newest jacket aside to show off his newest ring gear. Tanahashi takes off his jacket to show off the classic muscles, and of course the IWGP US belt. The belt is put aside, the bell rings and Osaka already fires up for this one. The claps are either “LET’S GO, ACE!” or “O-KA-DA!” but either way, everyone’s clapping along. Okada and Tanahashi circle then approach. They feel out the grapple, then back away to circle more. They tie up collar ‘n’ elbow, Tanahashi waistlocks but Okada pries it open to wrench and wristlock. Tanahashi wrenches and slips through to headlock in return. Fans cheer as Tanahashi grinds Okada down.
Okada fights up, pushes free and gets Tanahashi down for a grounded waistlock. Tanahashi pushes up to slip around and switch with Okada. Okada pushes up but Tanahashi holds on as Okada tries to throw him off. Okada stands up, wrenches to get a hammerlock but Tanahashi drop toeholds and floats to a headlock! Fans cheer this technical exchange as it continues with Okada rolling Tanahashi over. Okada gets free of the headlock to had Tanahashi in one and fans cheer again. Tanahashi fights and rolls Okada to put the headlock back on him! Okada fights up to his feet as fans rally, and he puts Tanahashi on ropes. Red Shoes counts the break, and Okada lets off slowly.
Okada fakes the chop to pat Tanahashi on the shoulder, a classic move. Tanahashi runs in but Okada kicks and headlocks. Tanahashi powers out but Okada runs him over! Things speed up, Tanahashi hurdles but Okada stops to waistlock! Ripcord and RAIN- No, Tanahashi gets under to full nelson! Okada breaks free and comes back, into an arm-drag! But Okada headscissors and Tanahashi kips free! The two fire up as fans cheer for this stand-off! Tanahashi and Okada cool off to reset and the fans rally back up. The two circle again, they tie up, and are in a deadlock. Okada’s height gives him leverage but Tanahashi shifts to get a headlock.
Tanahashi grinds Okada down again but Okada fights back up. Okada powers up but Tanahashi holds tight. Okada throws body shots, powers up but still can’t power out as Tanahashi holds on tighter. Tanahashi hits a takeover and holds off Okada’s headscissors to then trap an arm. Okada endures and moves around. Okada knees Tanahashi in the back, gets his arm free, but Tanahashi pulls back on the headlock. Okada fights back up to his feet all the same, and he pries at the headlock. Tanahashi powers up to keep the headlock on! Okada still endures and powers up yet again. Okada pries the hold open but Tanahashi again uses power to keep it on!
Tanahashi grinds Okada’s head more but Okada keeps fighting. Okada hooks a leg for some leverage as he pries the headlock open again! Okada turns it around and finally puts the headlock back on Tanahashi! Okada hits a takeover and he fights off Tanahashi’s headscissors this time. Tanahashi now endures and fans rally up again. Tanahashi fights to his feet, Okada grinds and grinds the headlock, all in return for what he endured. Tanahashi pries at the headlock now, but now Okada powers it back on tight! Okada shifts to a cravat to snapmare Tanahashi into a chinlock. Okada digs his knee into Tanahashi’s back but Tanahashi still endures.
Tanahashi stomps the mat and fans rally up behind him. Tanahashi fights up, throws body shots and is free! He runs but into Okada’s elbow! Okada takes a moment to catch his breath and pace around. Fans still rally, Okada stands Tanahashi back up and turns him for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Okada clamps right back onto the chinlock! Tanahashi fights back up, throws body shots and runs, but then ducks an elbow! Okada blocks the kick to BOOT Tanahashi, then Okada snapmares and runs for the basement dropkick! Okada stands on Tanahashi with the Rainmaker pose for a cover, ONE! Fans rally but Okada clamps on another chinlock.
Tanahashi pries the hold but Okada pulls back on it. Tanahashi fights to his feet again, throws more body shots, then runs, ducks and kicks. Okada blocks again, but Tanahashi blocks the boot to DRAGON SCREW! Fans cheer as both men are down. Tanahashi pounds the mat as fans rally up, and he fires forearms off on Okada. Tanahashi whips, Okada reverses but Tanahashi comes back with flying forearms! Okada sits up but Tanahashi is on him with a scoop and SLAM! Tanahashi goes to the corner and the second rope, SUNSET SENTON! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps his cool as Okada sits up again.
Tanahashi runs, but then he turns around to dropkick a leg! Tanahashi runs, blocks Okada’s boot and DRAGON SCREWS again! Tanahashi gets both legs and ties them up, but Okada gets the ropebreak before the Cloverleaf. Tanahashi lets Okada go to stomp the legs. Okada bails out, Tanahashi follows after and puts him back in. Fans cheer as Tanahashi runs and dropkicks Okada’s leg out again! Okada bails out again but Tanahashi follows after. Tanahashi CLUBS Okada, but Okada hits back and bumps Tanahashi off apron. DDT to the floor! The Ace just got spiked! Fans rally and clap, “LET’S GO, ACE!” “O-KA-DA!” again as Okada grits his teeth.
Okada gets up and hobbles over to Tanahashi. Okada puts Tanahashi in the ring and fans cheer. Tanahashi slowly rises but Okada brings him up. Tanahashi fires off forearms, then runs, but into a FLAPJACK! Okada stalks Tanahashi, Alabama lift and REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Fans keep rallying as Okada watches Tanahashi go to the corner. Okada runs corner to corner but Tanahashi dodges the back elbow! Tanahashi runs in but Okada puts him up top! Okada then dropkicks Tanahashi down to the floor! Fans rally hard as ever as a ring count starts. Tanahashi stirs at 6 of 20 but Okada goes out at 7. Okada has cameras move aside and he brings Tanahashi up.
Okada whips Tanahashi into railing! And then runs in to BOOT, but Tanahashi blocks! DRAGON SCREW! Okada clutches his leg while Tanahashi crawls away. Tanahashi gets up to the apron, and then climbs up the corner! But Okada intercepts him with haymakers and clubbing forearms! Okada drags Tanahashi onto his shoulder, but Tanahashi fights free! Tanahashi ROCKS Okada with a forearm, brings the bad leg through the ropes, and DRAPING DRAGON SCREWS! Okada falls, Tanahashi climbs back up, ACES HIGH CROSSBODY!! Both men are down on the outside but fans are thunderous! Red Shoes checks on both men, but they’re both okay to continue.
A ring count begins as Tanahashi slowly rises at 4 of 20. Tanahashi drags himself in at 10, but Okada is still down. Okada sits up at 13 but he’s pretty dazed. The count is 15 of 20, Okada stands at 17, and Okada slowly gets in at 18! Fans cheer as this continues but Tanahashi runs in corner to corner. Okada pops Tanahashi up to the Alabama, but Tanahashi fights that to TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! And then TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT again! Then a third TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! The Ace has a hat trick but he’s not done there! SLINGBLADE! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but Tanahashi fires up as he goes back to the corner. Tanahashi climbs again, Okada stands, HIGH FLY FLOW CROSSBODY!
But Okada rolls through to get the arm! MONEY CLIP!! Tanahashi endures, Okada holds on tight and fans rally up as hard as they can! Tanahashi fights up to his feet, reaches for ropes, but Okada brings him around with a BACK2BACKBREAKER! And back to the MONEY CLIP! Tanahashi endures all over as Okada leans on the hold. Fans are thunderous as they rally but Tanahashi is turning red! Red Shoes checks, Okada puts on more pressure, but Tanahashi gets a second wind! Tanahashi kicks forward to get the ROPEBREAK! Okada lets go and fans cheer Tanahashi’s resolve. Okada keeps his cool as he hobbles over.
Okada gut wrenches but Tanahashi blocks! Tanahashi throws body shots and gut wrenches Okada! Okada blocks that and it is a battle of gut wrenching! Okada CLUBS Tanahashi’s lower back, then ROCKS him with a forearm! Tanahashi still blocks the gut wrench! Tanahashi throws elbows, fast hands, and then gut wrenches through! But Okada slips off, so Tanahashi tries again. Okada gets Tanahashi up, SPINNING TOMBSTONE! But Okada isn’t done there, he drags Tanahashi back up and wristlocks! Ripcord, Tanahashi ducks the Rainmaker to sunset flip! But Okada sits on it for his own cover, TWO!!! Tanahashi barely escapes!
Okada aims from a corner, runs and SHOTUGN DROPKICKS! Both men are down again, with Tanahashi in a corner from that shot. Fans rally up hard as ever and Okada stands again. Okada drags Tanahashi up, scoops and SLAMS, and standard formula, he goes to the corner. Okada climbs, leaps, MACHO ELBOW! But he doesn’t cover here, he gives us THE Rainmaker Pose! Fans are thunderous again as Okada wristlocks and ripcords, but Tanahashi gets around to waistlock back! Tanahashi ripcords but Okada won’t let him steal the Rainmaker! Okada ripcords and spins, but into a SLINGBLADE!! Fans are electric as Tanahashi runs, to SLINGBLADE AGAIN!
Tanahashi fires up as Okada is in a drop zone! Tanahashi goes to a corner, climbs up top, HIGH FLY FLOW onto knees!! Okada saves himself at the last second, but is too tired to capitalize! Fans are electric again as both men are down! Okada crawls to the cover as the time limit is drawing ever closer. Okada gets Tanahashi up with wristlock, short arm LARIAT! Okada holds on, gets Tanahashi back up and LARIATS again! Okada roars and fans fire up again as he brings Tanahashi around. Okada drags Tanahashi back up, wristlock and ripcord, but Tanahashi inside cradles! TWO!!! Okada narrowly escapes, but he runs right into a GERMAN SUPLEX!
Tanahashi hurries to get Okada in the full nelson, for a DRAGON SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Time is running out as both men roar! They fire off forearms back and forth and fans are rallying with them! No guard, no hesitation, but Okada and Tanahashi do wobble. But then they fire up and DOUBLE FOREARM again and again! And again and again! Okada gets the edge and he roars, but Tanahashi SHOTEIS! Tanahashi runs into the DROPKICK! Okada hurries, gut wrench to SIT-OUT TOMBSTONE!! Okada hurries to get Tanahashi up again, ripcord to RAINMAKER!!! Cover, Okada wins!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Tanahashi earns 0)
With literal seconds to spare, the Rainmaker closes the deal! Okada may have just gotten the most important win of the block! Will the Once in a Century Talent be able to get past this loss and still make a run for the top?
Okada once again closes out the show by getting the mic. “OSAKA!” Fans cheer for the cheap pop. “This match against Tanahashi might count the same as any other league match, but facing him here in Osaka means a lot more than that to me.” And also, “this wasn’t the same Kazuchika Okada you’ve seen recently. The Rainmaker is BACK!” Fans cheer that! Okada continues by saying that the fans shouldn’t worry. He knows “the world isn’t in the best state right now. But now that the Rainmaker is back, NJPW will be firing on all cylinders, and the world will be better for it!” But were the fans satisfied with Blocks A and B over this weekend? The fans cheer, because they sure were!
Well you can’t be satisfied yet, ya bums! Things are just beginning! Whether it’s the fire of pro-wrestling or the G1 itself, the Rainmaker is ready to scorch the Autumn! Okada thanks the fans, and promises to make it rain all over this G1 Climax! With a shot at the US Championship in his back pocket, will Okada make it back to the top of NJPW?
Here are the current B Block standings!
Kazuchika Okada: 1-0, 2 points
EVIL: 1-0, 2 points
Jeff Cobb: 1-0, 2 points
SANADA: 1-0, 2 points
Taichi: 1-0, 2 points
Hiroshi Tanahashi: 0-1, 0 points
Hirooki Goto: 0-1, 0 points
Tama Tonga: 0-1, 0 points
Chase Owens: 0-1, 0 points
YOSHI-HASHI: 0-1, 0 points
The G1 Climax is off to an awesome start with this opening weekend. A Block perhaps had the stronger start just on Yujiro Takahashi getting the upset over Kota Ibushi, but B Block came really close. For a moment, I thought Yoshi-Hashi was going to get a shocker over Evil, but Evil of course has Dick there to help him cheat and win. At the same time, I’m sensing that House of Torture is going to be built up during the G1. Sho’s getting wins over new Young Lions in the matches I’ve been skipping, and Yujiro and Evil have strong starts to their G1 runs. Meanwhile, the rest of Bullet Club is struggling as Chase and both Guerrillas of Destiny lose, further sewing seeds for a new civil war.
The United Empire is definitely looking strong through the G1, and I’d love if this at least gave them license to challenge the Dangerous Tekkers in the late Fall to early Winter. The singles titles are either spoken for, or absent in the case of Jay White and the NEVER Openweight singles title being in the States for New Japan Strong and Impact Wrestling. But Khan & Cobb taking on the Dangerous Tekkers seems like a lot of fun just thinking about it. Taichi and Goto have a great match but Taichi wins to stay strong alongside ZSJ, so the Tekkers will definitely come out of the G1 looking strong, as well, and they might be eager to freshen things up after defeating Chaos AND LIJ.
Sanada gets a great win off Tama Tonga, and I really hope we get to see more from him as a singles guy. As I’ve said before, he seems to be stuck in the Heavyweight Tag Division right now, but he could make a good run of things this year. At the same time, maybe he is one of the ones to check off a win from Tanahashi? Tanahashi VS Okada was as great as we all expected, and I like that they pushed it close to the time limit to tease a draw. A draw would’ve really made things interesting, and I almost wish NJPW had done that, but I suppose they can’t just outright handicap they’re top two entries in B Block from the start. Okada winning and proclaiming THE Rainmaker is back is all logical moves, but just as easily as he could get to the finals, he could just miss it by someone being a spoiler.
My Score: 9.2/10
Andrew’s G1 Climax 31 Day 2 Results & Match Ratings: 9.19.2021
First night of B Block for the G1! Can the Ace of the Universe brave the rain? Don’t honorable warriors bow to Holy Emperors? Let’s find out who gets those early points!
First night of B Block for the G1! Can the Ace of the Universe brave the rain? Don’t honorable warriors bow to Holy Emperors? Let’s find out who gets those early points!
We get the worst possible match up of the block out of the way early! YOSHI-HASHI vs EVIL – the battle of who will suck the least! Aside from that we also get Tama Tonga vs SANADA which should be really fun given both men’s ability for technical wrestling.
On paper this is really solid, aside from the first match. Let’s see what happens!
- EVIL w/Dick Togo vs YOSHI-HASHI: EVIL wins via Everything is Evil @17:15 – ** ¼
- Jeff Cobb vs Chase Owens: Cobb wins via Tour of the Islands @12:11 – ***
- Tama Tonga vs SANADA: SANADA wins via Japanese Leg Clutch @19:04 – *** ½
- Taichi vs Hirooki Goto: Taichi wins via Black Mephisto @18:30 – ****
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kazuchika Okada: Okada wins via Rainmaker @29:36 – **** ¼
EVIL w/Dick Togo vs YOSHI-HASHI
You know, the last time I really enjoyed EVIL’s work was in the New Japan Cup last year when he just dismantled YOSHI-HASHI. Hopefully we get more of that, because I’m never gonna understand the fascination people have with YOSHI-HASHI beyond just that underdog sad puppy kind of pity. If YOSHI-HASHI finds a way to win, it will give him a ton of momentum since the Japanese crowd seem to Kayfabe hate EVIL while the Western fans just hate EVIL. If EVIL wins, well then, it is YOSHI-HASHI, so no one is shocked.
EVIL dominates early with a little bit of a misleading tactic from Dick Togo and going after the ring bell guy multiple times, as is tradition. YOSHI-HASHI makes his comeback and the crowd is behind him. EVIL and Togo have to cheat a bit more, Darkness Scorpion on the outside, but the crowd is still supporting YOSHI-HASHI well. YOSHI unveils a new move, like a Pumphandle Backbreaker, he even transitions from the Butterfly Lock to a Sleeper Hold.
HASHI fights off Togo a few times, blocks a low blow, blocks the Everything is Evil, but EVIL counters Karma. HASHI does pull off a Flying Armbar that he transitions into a Cradle, but Togo is in the ring distracting the referee. HASHI gets basically a 6 count, then he goes to complain and EVIL finally gets the Low Blow. HASHI then succumbs to Everything is Evil.
Speaking of as is tradition, HASHI gave it a shot, had his hope moments, and failed. I am not surprised nor upset because HASHI is a waste of roster space to me.
Jeff Cobb vs Chase Owens
Chase tries to go right after Cobb at the bell, which was the wrong answer. So Chase starts using his head and he manages to navigate himself into a position to focus on Cobb’s legs and even a little bit of neck work. But given the power difference, going after the legs is smarter.
There was definitely a strategy from Owens, but for a good chunk of the match, Chase was just used like a sandbag. Chase had some great flashes, catching Cobb with V Triggers, Low Dropkicks and even using the ropes more than usual. Chase hit a Missile Dropkick followed by a Kip Up, which I don’t think we’ve ever really seen him do either. Cobb goes for Tour of the Islands but Chase counters it twice. Has a nice flurry, even hits a great Corkscrew Pump Kick, but Cobb is just too much. He shrugs things off a little, hits a Super Kick and knocks Chase into the ropes he stumbles back into Cobb’s arms and takes a tour.
Much better match than expected if we’re being honest.
Tama Tonga vs SANADA
Tama starts with the gamesmanship early, with offering a handshake, then going through a lengthy spot which ended in a Dueling Dropkick where no one had the advantage. In a turn we don’t usually see, Tama takes off his vest and the fans and SANADA are even impressed. So Tama smiles and takes the time to pander and preen, offer SANADA a handshake again, but SANADA is pensive. Tama then goes to the corner to play to the crowd, allows SANADA to go to the other corner (as SANADA is want to do), then after a little showing off, Tama attacks before SANADA turns off the corner.
SANADA is on the outside, beats the count, then Tama takes him back out and they brawl a little. We see a Paradise Lock, Tongan Twist, TKO, Stinger Splash and Magic Screw! The Magic Screw usage from SANADA is interesting since Tama has a billowing feud with The Good Brothers, so any Magic Killer/Gun Stun references are obvious shots. Speaking of that, Tama tries the Gun Stun and SANADA just catches him, falls back and goes into the Skull End.
Tana fights, SANADA reapplies, Moonsault attempt gets countered and Tama pulls out a Butterfly Piledriver which I have never seen him use before. Gun Stun attempt again, backfires, O’Connor Roll into the Japanese Leg Clutch and SANADA barely steals the two points!
Taichi vs Hirooki Goto
Taichi is doesn’t a great job at being a walking AJPW reference. Not only does he take from his mentor Toshiaki Kawada, he’s started transitioning his Choke Hold into a Nodo Otoshi Chokeslam ala Akira Taue. As clean as Taichi has wrestled lately, we still see those Suzuki-Gun tendencies where he uses the guardrail and the camera cables to gain a few advantages.
Goto however doesn’t know how to quit. Goto fires back with a choke of his own, then we get a small comedy spot where both are choking one another simultaneously. There are plenty of signature moves that get traded, Taichi with the Gamen Giri and Axe Bomber; Goto pulls off many of his cooler moves. Ushigoroshi, Shouten Kai, most of the high impact moves not named GTR.
This really came down to who could hit their homerun move first. Goto blocked the Superkicks often, even after Taichi took his pants off. Goto breaks out of the Black Mephisto, lands a headbutt, Taichi reels back with a Rolling Elbow and finally hits Black Mephisto! Holy Emperor wins!
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kazuchika Okada
Fight number 15 between the face of the last generation and the current generation! Okada is leading the count at 6-5-3. Can Tanahashi even things up again?
The early goings are very much a chess match. Simple moves like Arm Drags, Headlocks and Head Scissors. Okada’s arrogance does spark Tanahashi a little, so that’s when we start seeing the Dragon Screws even the bad knee game. As the action goes to the outside, Okada feigns Tombstoning Tanahashi off the apron, but Tanahashi slips out and Dragon Screw again! Then we see the Flying Crossbody on the outside (I do like Kevin Kelly calling the non-Finisher version Aces High).
Tana goes for a High Fly Flow in the ring, Okada gets his knees up and turns it into a Money Clip. Tana gets out of the Money Clip, then we start seeing Okada pick up the pace. Commentary really starts reminding everyone that the 3 draws all came in the G1, so they have a history of drawing in the G1. Okada hits the Elbow Drop, does the classic Rainmaker pose with the zoom out, but Tana ducks the Rainmaker. Sling Blade, the off the ropes Sling Blade…and now we get to the desperation spots. They both have a waistlock in and jockey for Tombstone control. Okada gets the best of it, Jumping Tombstone but Tana refuses to quit.
Okada almost steals the win with that craft Double Leg Cradle, but not quite. Classic Million Dollar Dropkick, leads to a Rainmaker Tana can’t dodge and we see The Rainmaker start strong!
Overall Score: 8/10
All in all, a better tournament day than Day 1. Hell, YOSHI-HASHI vs EVIL wasn’t complete crap and the fact the fans were really into does once again remind us why EVIL is a thing. None of the matches were really bad, unlike Day 1 (here’s looking at you KENTA vs Yano).
Tama looked great, Chase looked surprisingly good, Tana and Okada showed up while Taichi is still doing the Lord’s work.
- Taichi / 1-0 / 2 Points
- Kazuchika Okada / 1-0 / 2 Points
- Jeff Cobb / 1-0 / 2 Points
- EVIL / 1-0 / 2 Points
- SANADA / 1-0 / 2 Points
- Tama Tonga / 0-1/ 0 Points
- Hiroshi Tanahashi / 0-1/ 0 Points
- Chase Owens / 0-1/ 0 Points
- Hirooki Goto / 0-1/ 0 Points
- YOSHI-HASHI / 0-1/ 0 Points
Cook’s 2021 NFL Gambling Picks: Week 2
Cook brings the rest of the Week 2 Gambling picks! Have you been making out better than he has with...
Cook’s TNF Week 2 Gambling Pick
Thursday Night Football kicks off Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season! Steve Cook's got the gambling line, I wonder...
3 Man Weave: Join The CrAmber Compound
#ChairshotRadioNetwork presents 3 Man Weave. Join Rey Cash @itsreycash PC Tunney @PCTunney and Christopher Platt @therealcplatt as they give their...
Down The Wire: Week 1 NFL Recap & Week 2 Preview
Tom and Dave talk about the opening weekend in the NFL and give their insights on the games upcoming in...
3 Man Weave: NFL Betting Picks Week 1
What time is it? It's Tunney Time!!! Prognosticating PC picks the winners and o/u against the spread for the NFL...
Chairshot Radio: Musical Chairs #6- Florence + The Machine & Iron Maiden 
Musical Chairs returns and, as is often the case, Patrick & Dave are at opposite ends of the musical spectrum...
Bandwagon Nerds #97- Random Acts Of Genocide
The Bandwagon continues its unstoppable march to Episode 100, but makes a pit stop at Exit 97 this week. On...
Talk the Kēki #13: Demon Slayer Season 2 Update, Duke of Death & More!
Back to our regularly scheduled hosting crew! Ethan and Mathew are back at it again talking about the Demon Slayer...
Andrew’s Judgmental Album Reviews: Alien Weaponry – Tangaroa (2021)
The JAR has been in mostly western cabinets so far, now it’s time to make like my wrestling tastes and...
BWN Nerds’ Movie Review: Malignant (2021)
The Nerds tackle some topical horror! James Wan's new thriller Malignant! Do they love it? Do they hate it? Is...
Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (9/21/21)
Is Kushida's time up?
Mitchell’s AEW Dark Results & Report! (9/21/21)
Never was a cloudy day~!
Five Rounds Fight Night: Smith v Spann
After a two week break, UFC is back with a bang! Headlining an exciting main card, full of finishes...
A Change In Attitude #17: In Your House: Mind Games
Mark Henry debuts, Goldust takes on The Undertaker and Jose Lothario locks horns with Jim Cornette. Mind Games, headlined...
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (9/20/21)
Will Raw ACKNOWLEDGE the Tribal Chief?
Mitchell’s AEW Dark: Elevation Results & Report! (9/20/21)
It's a Dark Order Civil War!
News From Cook’s Corner 9.20.21: The Column From Hell
Plane rides aren't the only thing on the docket! Cook's News corner is definitely unique this week!
Rob: End the Brand Split?
Rob was inspired by some of the current IWC clamoring for an end to the brand split. How does he...
Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 31 Results & Report! (9/19/21)
Now for B Block!
Women’s Wrestling Talk; PWI 500 Women’s Edition
Co-owner of Bell To Belles and Contributor for PWI Kristen Ashly brings down the women who made the PWI 500 with hosts Emily...