G1 Climax kicks off in Dallas! For the first time on American soil, we get a G1 Climax show! Did it live up to expectations?
This first Night is Block A, and the stories are pretty straight forward.
Will Ospreay is trying to prove himself as more than a Junior. KENTA is trying to re-establish himself as who the hell he used to be. Then we’ve got the ever continuing saga of Tanahashi trying to regain former glories and Okada cementing himself as the best damn thing since Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged, or something wrestling related.
Anyway! Let’s get to the first American G1 show in history!
- Guerrillas of Destiny vs Roppongi 3k: G.o.D. wins via Super Powerbomb @ 6:45 – ** 3/4
- Ren Narita & Jeff Cobb vs Tomohiro Ishii & Shota Umino: Cobb wins via Tour of the Islands @7:30 – ***
- Jay White & Chase Owens vs Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI: Goto wins via GTR @8:40 – ** 1/2
- Toru Yano, Juice Robinson & Jyushin Thunder Liger vs Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI: Yano wins via Roll-Up @8:20 – ** 1/4
- Block A: Lance Archer vs Will Ospreay: Archer wins via Iron Claw Hold @18:15 – *** 3/4
- Block A: EVIL vs Bad Luck Fale: Fale wins via Bad Luck Fall @11:35 – ** 1/2
- Block A: Zack Sabre Jr vs SANADA: SANADA wins via Japanese Leg Clutch @21:25 – **** 1/4
- Block A: Kota Ibushi vs KENTA: KENTA wins via Go 2 Sleep @20:50 – **** 1/2
- Block A: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kazuchika Okada: Okada wins via Rainmaker @22:10 – ****
The match started off quick with RPG 3k going at the Guerrillas before the bell, but it got turned around shortly after. SHO was on the receiving end of the majority of the offense, but YOH got the good hot tag for a big crowd pop. The match wasn’t that long so it was a lot of “get your shit in” spots, but it made enough sense. Tama hitting a desperation Gun Stun to break up the 3k attempt was the opening that Loa needed to set up YOH for the Super Powerbomb.
Well this was a slightly more intense Young Lion tag match. Cobb and Ishii face off on Night 2 for the B Block and they’re starting off hot. This would be a great way to lead up to Cobb beating Ishii in the G1, setting up a NEVER Openweight title match. Cobb may have pinned Umino for the win, but they scuffle afterwards and Ishii draws first blood. So definitely adds a layer to their round 1 match.
Jay White tries to be tactical in his way he handles this match. Avoiding the initial contact with Goto and trying to get the two non-G1 participants to do most of the heavy lifting. Goto does manage to work over White a little bit, but then Chase gets a hell of a run in this match. Stringing together a few moves including Jewel Heist, just for YOSHI-HASHI to interrupt his Package Piledriver attempt. Goto pins Owens, which leaves the question of who’s winning next week up for grabs. White is protected, but Goto looks to be rebounding from his awful G1 last year.
This was definitely more of a basic preview match. Shingo and Juice had some back and forth, Naito didn’t do a heck of a lot of work, BUSHI ate the pin and put in most of the time. The crowd gets to celebrate with Liger on his retirement tour, Juice and Yano get a little bit of momentum, so all in all, it did what it was supposed to.
Ospreay is many people’s favorite for the G1 as well as wrestler of the year. But Archer has a nice story of this being his first G1 in 5 years, it’s in his hometown and he started using an Iron Claw ala the Von Erichs. So everything really seemed to be leaning Texas, but this was still a hell of a match. Ospreay hit a Spanish Fly out the gates and tried to stay on Archer. But Archer’s size and new moves managed to help him edge out the Junior Heavyweight champion.
Well we had a match between two guys known more for power than style. There was a lot of slugging, EVIL introduced chairs, as is his way, and they bit him. A few decent exchanges but a rather lackluster match is capped off with a referee bump and EVIL trying to use chairs, but it blows up in his face and Fale takes advantage of it. EVIL’s disappointment continues, from the Tag Title loss, that was on him…to now losing his first match, because he brought in chairs.
SANADA and Sabre Jr never disappoint. We saw the early story of SANADA trying to get the Paradise Lock on Sabre, while Sabre continued to do a multitude of submissions that I even had no clue what they were. After Sabre counters the Moonsault, you could think it was all but over for SANADA, but he managed to fight out of the Triangle Choke. A nice submission counter sequence saw SANADA defeat Sabre Jr the same way he did last year, with the Japanese Leg Clutch.
KENTA and Ibushi might have been the biggest attraction to this show, even beyond the main event. KENTA’s return to Japan in an attempt to prove himself might overshadow Ibushi’s own desires. This match was insanely even. They traded strikes, high impact moves and impressive transitions. Thankfully for KENTA, he countered Ibushi’s Outside-In German Suplex, and rocked the Golden Star with a hanging Double Footstomp, normal Double Footstomp and went for the G2S, but Kota countered it. A nice strike exchange happened, Ibushi went for a Palm Strike, but KENTA hit a high kick that seemed to do in Ibushi. One Go 2 Sleep later, KENTA wins his first G1 match ever! Amazing match.
Tanahashi and Okada have great history. 5-5-3 in singles matches, the 3 draws all coming in the G1. The pace started off very deliberately since the previous two matches were the type of match where you need to let the crowd recover a little bit. Tanahashi worked over Okada’s legs and tried a myriad of veteran tactics with leg picks and small packages, but to no avail. Tanahashi showed how important all this was by breaking out the High Fly Flow, a move which he’s reduced the usage of since returning from his latest injury. Okada managed to prevail by catching Tanahashi in his Jumping Tombstone, followed by the Rainmaker. So Tanahashi trying to work over a limb on top of this being the first actual G1 victory for either man added a lot of story weight to something people already knew was big. Damn good.
Overall Score: 8/10
Nearly all of the Block A matches delivered on quality and story, along with the undercard matches setting up Block B nicely. This was the most New Japan show we’ve had in the United States, and it’s about time it wasn’t littered with random plugins and awkward main events. Great way to kick off G1 Climax 29.
Also very cool that they announced 3 East Coast Dates in September for Boston, New York and Philadelphia.
Block A Standings:
- Kazuchika Okada: 1-0 (2 Points)
- KENTA: 1-0 (2 Points)
- SANADA: 1-0 (2 Points)
- Lance Archer: 1-0 (2 Points)
- Bad Luck Fale: 1-0 (2 Points)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi: 0-1 (0 Points)
- Kota Ibushi: 0-1 (0 Points)
- Will Ospreay: 0-1 (0 Points)
- EVIL: 0-1 (0 Points)
- Zack Sabre Jr: 0-1 (0 Points)
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: G1 Climax 29, Part 2!
Time for B Block to begin the Climax!
NJPW returns home!
After the G1 Climax made it’s United States debut, the action returns to Japan for B Block to begin the round robin! More big names in NJPW will battle, who takes crucial points in this summer blockbuster?
Coverage of the G1 Climax 29 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs to come courtesy of https://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Shingo Takagi VS Juice Robinson; Robinson wins.
- Jon Moxley VS Taichi; Moxley wins.
- Testuya Naito VS Toru Yano; Yano wins.
- Tomohiro Ishii VS Jeff Cobb; Ishii wins.
- Hirooki Goto VS Jay White; Goto wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this first round finale!
The classic tournament kicked off deep in the heart of Texas, spreading Strong Style to the world! The A Block has had their turn, now B Block steps up! Their ten wrestlers will wage war to take their first steps towards the Tokyo Dome!
Tetsuya Naito is once again IWGP Intercontinental Champion, but his destino of becoming a dual champion is still very possible. Jon Moxley has become the Death Rider, and even IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion, and vows to prove he is THE purveyor of violence. The Stone Pitbull is always a force to be reckoned with, but being NEVER Openweight Champion might give him that edge to finally take the top spot! The Flamboyant Juice Robinson lost his title but has gained a new fire. Toru Yano may be a trickster, but he promises to fight fair and be serious threat to everyone’s run!
The Fierce Warrior is ready to prove his training with Shibata and the LA Dojo will help him return to prominence. The Switchblade, Jay White, won’t have anyone else saying they’re the best in the world before him. Jeff Cobb is a Hawaiian Juggernaut and a suplex machine planning to give the entire Block a Tour of the Islands. The Raging Dragon all but dominated the Super Juniors, and now he’ll prove he can dominate bigger competition! Suzuki-Gun’s Sliest and slickest wrestler relaxes with his pals, but he’ll fight when it matters most. This year’s G1 is packed more than ever, who from these ten take a critical first win to lead the pack?
Shingo Takagi VS Juice Robinson!
It is muscle versus machismo as the Dragon’s G1 debut already brings him up against some strong competition. Can Shingo hang with the big boys? Or is he going to bite of more than he can chew right out the gate?
The bell rings and these two circle. Fans duel as the two tie up and push each other around. Shingo backs Juice up but Juice turns it around to put Shingo on the ropes. Juice lets up but Shingo swings on him. Juice gets back, and the two circle again. Shingo and Juice tie up again, and Shingo knees low. Shingo headlocks but Juice powers out. They collide shoulders but neither falls. Shingo dares Juice to try again, and he does. They collide, and still neither man budges. Juice dares Shingo to try, but Shingo forearms Juice instead. Juice gives one back, and it’s a back and forth of forearms. Shingo kicks low then whips, but Juice reverses, and speeds things up, only to leap into the fireman’s carry! Juice slips out but Shingo elbows him back, to run, into Juice’s elbow!
Juice runs but into Shingo’s elbow. Shingo runs but into Juice’s leg lariat! Shingo bails out and fans cheer. Juice hears his fans cheering as he aims. Juice slingshots but Shingo dodges to yank him down for a DDT to the floor! The ref checks but Juice is okay to continue. Shingo drags Juice up and puts him back in. Shingo slingshots to drop a knee and then grinds it in. The ref counts and Shingo backs off. Shingo comes back to stand Juice up and whip for a low knee. Then he runs to run Juice over! Fans cheer this super strength and Juice is dazed. Shingo drags Juice back up to a suplex, high and fast! Cover, ONE! Juice is tougher than that, but Shingo keeps on him with a neck wrench. Juice endures as Shingo shifts to an armlock. Shingo drives in elbows then drags Juice back down to a chinlock.
Fans cheer as Juice fights up and out of the hold. Juice headbutts but Shingo gives a forearm back. Juice forearms Shingo, so Shingo CHOPS. That was a blunt one, but Juice gives one right back. Shingo CHOPS, Juice grits his teeth. Juice puts some stank on his CHOP, but Shingo double hand CHOPS Juice off his feet! Juice is reeling again as Shingo runs over to clothesline him right out! Shingo aims as Juice rises, the Dragon runs but into the slingshot spear! Juice fires himself up now as the crowd rallies behind him. Shingo gets to a corner but Juice runs him over with an elbow. Juice starts rallying and whips Shingo to a SPINEBUSTER!
Fans fire up with Juice as he goes up top. Juice leaps, and hits the crossbody! Cover, TWO! Juice keeps his cool while fans duel. Shingo sits up but Juice is on him. Shingo resists the lift and clubs away. Juice headbutts back then fireman’s carries, but Shingo denies Juice Box to run and slide! Juice dodges that and full nelson slams Shingo down! Cover, TWO! Fans duel again as Juice thinks of what he has to do. Juice walks over to Shingo and blocks the punch to jab away! Fans echo “JUICE! JUICE!” but the Left Hand is denied by Shingo’s right! And then Shingo’s left lariat! Both men are down but the fans are fired up for them both!
Juice finds his way to ropes in a daze while Shingo aims from the corner. Shingo runs in and blocks the boot to clothesline! Then he runs, only for Juice to return the clothesline! Shingo sits down and Juice run in, CANNONBALL only gets buckles! Shingo avoids the impact and both men are down again! Fans rally up as Shingo rises. Shingo drags Juice up in a wheelbarrow, for a suplex! Cover, TWO!! Juice still lives and Shingo is frustrated. Shingo grits his teeth as he stands back up. He drags Juice back up, chicken wings, but Juice slips out. Juice ducks the lariat and chicken wings Shingo. Shingo resists the turn but Juice turns him around to a fireman’s carry. Juice Box hits! Shingo flies off from the gutbuster!
Juice crawls to one corner while Shingo stands in the other. Shingo flops down, so Juice tries again. CANNONBALL hits! Juice is feeling it now as he drags Shingo up to the top rope. He headbutts Shingo again, then climbs up to join him. SUPERPLEX! But Juice holds on, for a JACKHAMMER! Cover, TWO!! Shingo survives and Juice is beside himself! Fans are thunderous as both men slowly stand. Juice calls for it, and stalks Shingo. Juice grabs the arms and turns Shingo around, Pulp Friction denied! Shingo runs to slide and lariat! Both men are down again and fans rally again. Shingo gets to a corner and drags himself up. Juice goes to the opposite end, but the two meet with clothesline!
Neither falls, so they try again. Still neither falls, so Shingo throws elbows from both sides. Juice staggers, but comes back with a CHOP! Juice fires up, runs, but Shingo follows to clothesline and SAIDO! But Juice is right back up!? His and Shingo’s lariats collide, but Juice comes around for a discus left! Fans are thunderous again as Juice drags Shingo up again. Juice chicken wings, turns, but pops out into NOSHIGAMI! But Shingo has to crawl after Juice. He runs, AX BOMBER! Cover, TWO!? Juice survives and Shingo is stunned! But the fans are reaching that fever pitch as Shingo fires up again. Shingo drags Juice back up, pump handle, but Juice resists. So Shingo gives point blank clotheslines again and again.
Shingo tries the pump handle again, but Juice rolls him up! TWO!! Shingo blocks the boot, but gets the Left Hand of God! And a second! Chicken wings, PULP FRICTION!! Cover, Juice wins!!
Winner: Juice Robinson, by pinfall; earns 2 points
The Flamboyant One is only the second man to pin Shingo Takagi in NJPW! But this is just the beginning, will Juice and/or Shingo make it to the end of the Block?
Jon Moxley w/ Shota Umino VS Taichi w/ Miho Abe!
The Lunatic has truly freed himself, and has already put his mark on NJPW by becoming their IWGP United States Champion in his debut. Now in his G1 Climax debut, he looks to keep things rolling through the summer. Will the Death Rider leave the Holy Emperor behind in the dust? Or will there be one too many tricks up Taichi’s sleeve for even Mox to survive?
But speaking of, as Moxley makes his way down from the crowd, Taichi attacks from behind! Taichi stomps Moxley down right in front of the fans, then uses Mox’s own jacket to choke him! Security keeps fans clear as Taichi brings Moxley around to ram into railing! Taichi takes someone’s umbrella to SMACK Moxley down! Then he chokes Moxley on the railing. Moxley fights back and starts throwing CHOPS! Moxley CHOPS Taichi and then stomps him to ringside. The bell finally rings the bell to incentivize these two back to the ring.
Moxley drags Taichi over in a headlock but Taichi shoves him into a post! Taichi looks under the ring and brings out a chair. The referee is shoved aside so that Taichi can jam the chair into Moxley’s ribs! And then SMACK him on the back! Moxley writhes from that chair shot while fans duel. Taichi wants Moxley to stand, and he does, for Taichi to clothesline him down! Taichi goes into the ring and lets the ring count begin. Moxley drags himself up at 6 of 20, stands at 10, but hobbles. Moxley clutches that bad back as we get to 15, but still gets in at 19! To get Taichi’s buzzsaw! Cover, TWO!
Taichi decides to get serious already, so off come the pants! He aims at Moxley, but Moxley gets clear of the kick. Moxley forearms, Taichi kicks, Moxley headbutts, and Taichi enziguris! Fans duel more as Moxley is dazed. Taichi vows to end this, and Alabama lifts. Moxley sunset flips and covers, TWO! Moxley blocks a kick to give more forearms. He CHOPS and forearms in the corner, the classic combination! Then he gives knees before he whips Taichi corner to corner. Taichi reverses, but Moxley comes out to clothesline Taichi down! Moxley clutches his back while Taichi gets to the apron. Moxley dropkicks Taichi down, then builds speed, to DIVE! Direct hit sends Taichi into railing and Moxley into commentary!
Fans rally as Moxley gets back up. “You went and pissed me off,” he growls as he goes looking under the ring. He finds a table! Moxley sets this up, hearkening back to the US title match. He shoos Miho and drags Taichi over, fireman’s carry, but Taichi flails and escapes. Taichi back kicks, powerbomb position, but Moxley resists! Taichi kicks away on Moxley’s face, but Moxley forearm back! URENAGE THROUGH THE TABLE! Fans are loving Moxley as he flips off Taichi. Miho panics as Moxley drags Taichi up and in. He mocks Miho and blows a kiss before taking off his knee pads. Moxley runs to give a bare-knee shining wizard! Cover, TWO!! Taichi survives and surprises Moxley, but Moxley loves having to hurt Taihci more.
Moxleyd rags Taichi up but Taichi slips out of the butterfly. Moxley resists the suplex, but Taichi shoves him into the ref! BIG enziguri! Both men are down and fans duel between the two. Taichi crawls to the ropes and has Miho bring him a chair. Taichi encourages the heat to rise, but Moxley kicks him low! Moxley has the chair, and Taichi begs for mercy. Moxley throws the chair into Taichi’s face! Fans are thunderous for Moxley as the referee returns. Moxley moves the chair aside then drags Taichi up in the underhooks. Taichi slips out, waistlock to Gedo Clutch! TWO!! Moxley blocks the superkick to throw Taichi down! Underhooks, lift, DEATH RIDER! Cover, Moxley wins!
Winner: Jon Moxley, by pinfall; earns 2 points
A debut befitting the Lunatic! Moxley thrives in the chaos, and his G1 debut is a success! He says one down, eight more to go, but how far can the Death Rider go in the Climax?
Testuya Naito VS Toru Yano!
The Uncontrollable Charisma’s goal is within reach now that he has the IWGP Intercontinental Championship back. But the Clown Prince of NJPW loves to play spoiler. Will #YTR be the first to deny Naito his Destino? Or is Naito taking over all but inevitable?
Yano insists Naito hurry with his wardrobe, but Naito goes at his own leisurely pace no matter what. If anything, he takes longer just to annoy Yano. Yano is pacing as Naito finally takes off his button-up shirt only to reveal a T-shirt. Yano sees Naito’s shirt is Los Ingobernables de Japon merch, so he gets his YTR merch shirt back. The bell rings and both men circle with shirts on.
Yano taunts Naito as they go around the ring, but then Naito backs off. Naito seems to not hear Yano’s taunts at all, but he does fake Yano out again. And a third time. Yano says to hell with this, and goes for the buckle pads! Naito stops him with clubbing forearms and a whip. Yano reverses and then goes back to freeing “Steve” the buckle pad! Naito kicks low then whips Yano at the corner, but runs into Yano’s elbow. And Yano decides to free “Tom,” Steve’s twin brother. But Naito attacks Yano again. Naito whips but Yano holds ropes. Yano taunts Naito, but Naito steals Yano’s ideas by going back to Tom! Yano has to stop Naito this time, then whips Naito to ropes. Naito again steals an idea, by holding ropes and hollering!
Yano is not amused, and certainly not after Naito SPITS on him! Yano wipes himself with his shirt, but Naito pulls it over Yano’s head! And rolls him up! TWO!! Yano survives but runs into an atomic drop. Naito hits the kick, sweep and slingshots in. Yano covers up, so Naito waits. Yano lets his guard down, Combinacion Cabron! Fans cheer as Naito walks to the other corner. Naito fetches Steve but Red Shoes grabs the buckle pad. Red Shoes won’t let Naito use Steve as a weapon, but Naito shoves Red Shoes down using Steve! Naito then tests his swing, and like a baseball batter, he chokes up on the grip. But Red Shoes snatches Steve away! And Yano rolls Naito up! TWO!!
Naito kicks low but Yano pulls hair. So Naito pulls hair. Yano swings but Naito ducks, wheelbarrow victory roll but Yano sits on it, TWO! Yano swings, Naito waistlocks but Yano elbows out. And then Yano puts Red Shoes’ shirt over his head?! So that he doesn’t see the low blow uppercut! Yano then yanks Naito’s shirt over his head, runs, and SPEARS Naito down! Red Shoes gets free of his own shirt as Yano rolls Naito, and WINS!?
Winner: Toru Yano, by pinfall; earns 2 points
Was that the spoiler right there?! Has Toru Yano just put the curse of the Clown Prince on Naito!? Needless to say, Naito is not happy about this. Is there any coming back from losing to Yano?
Tomohiro Ishii VS Jeff Cobb!
If their tag team encounter in Dallas wasn’t clear enough, these two big bad behemoths want to battle it out the baddest way possible! The Stone Pitbull will test the G1-debuting Hawaiian Juggernaut, will Cobb pass the test?
The bell rings and the two stare down. Then they tie up and are in a deadlock in the middle of the ring. Ishii shifts to a headlock, but Cobb lifts him with one arm! And brings him to the ropes for the break. Ishii lets go and Cobb dares him to bring it. Ishii shoves so Cobb shoves back. Now they throw forearms! Ishii gets the edge and runs, but he only nudges Cobb with that shoulder. Cobb wants Ishii to try again, so Ishii does. Again, Cobb only takes a step back. Cobb swings on Ishii but Ishii gets under to waistlock. Cobb elbows free and bounces Ishii off the shoulder, but Ishii rebounds to hit back. But Cobb does the same, and the two collide solid in the middle. Fans are loving these two rams, but Ishii goes back to forearms.
Ishii runs and collides but Cobb stays up. Ishii keeps ramming into him again and again, then dodges Cobb, only for Cobb to run him over! Cobb drags Ishii up for a headbutt, then clubbing forearms at the ropes. He CHOPS Ishii against ropes, and again! But Ishii seems to like it!? Ishii stays up to take another CHOP, and eggs Cobb on. Cobb throws a forearm and Ishii goes to a corner. Cobb drags Ishii up to CHOP and forearm over and over. Ishii barely flinches as Cobb keeps throwing the hands. Ishii turns it around to show Cobb how it’s done! Forearm, CHOP, repeat! Ishii rocks Cobb over and over, refusing to let Cobb up or down! Ishii stops when he tires out, and Cobb can finally flop over.
Fans fire up for Ishii as he stalks Cobb. Ishii drags Cobb up for one more CHOP, then dares Cobb to get up. Ishii CHOPS more, but Cobb CHOPS back. Again, Ishii eggs Cobb on. Cobb tries forearms but Ishii CHOPS again. Cobb grits his teeth as he takes another, and another, and another! He staggers back to a knee, Ishii CHOPS him to the corner. Ishii wants Cobb to show him what he’s got and starts slapping him around. Cobb gets those forearms and CHOPS going again, but Ishii headbutts back. Ishii whips but Cobb blocks with strength! Cobb whips Ishii to a corner, catches Ishii, and overhead belly2belly suplexes him! Ishii ends up in a corner and Cobb hits a corner clothesline, and back elbow!
Cobb scoops Ishii but Ishii slides out to whip. Cobb reverses, reels Ishii in, Athletic Plex! Cover, TWO! Cobb toys with Ishii now, then throws more forearms. Ishii gives them back and we have another back and forth. They pick up steam and the fans are loving it! Ishii hits Cobb as soon as Cobb hits him, and Cobb starts to stagger. Ishii piles on the forearms, but Cobb gets a JAB! The Pitbull goes reeling backwards while Cobb catches his breath. Cobb is on Ishii in the corner with more forearms, then whips corner to corner. Ishii comes back to run Cobb over! Fans cheer as Ishii has new life! Ishii goes to suplex Cobb, and gets him up and over! Cover, TWO and Cobb rolls through to deadlift Ishii! For a pop-up to the suplex, but Ishii slips out.
Ishii runs and things speed up as Cobb hurdles. But Ishii fakes out the dropkick! Ishii runs in, but Cobb scoops and pops up for the suplex! Standing moonsault! The Gachimuchi covers, TWO! Cobb can’t believe he didn’t put Ishii away! But he dares Ishii to come back now with toying slaps. Ishii stands and Cobb aims a fist, but Ishii flops down. Fans rally as Cobb eggs Ishii on. Cobb throws down hands, then elbows. Ishii fires himself up by headbutting the mat! Cobb throws more elbows, but Ishii just gets mad. Ishii leans into the elbows! Ishii backs Cobb down in this way, then gives his own forearm! And corner clothesline! Ishii hauls Cobb up to the top rope and climbs up to join him. Ishii brings Cobb up, SUPERPELX!
Fans fire up with Ishii as he aims at Cobb. Ishii runs and clotheslines, but Cobb stays up to LARIAT Ishii! Cobb drags Ishii up top now, and then he climbs up to join him. Roles are reversed as Cobb SUPERPLEXES Ishii! Cobb crawls to a cover, TWO! Ishii still lives but Cobb has more to give. Cobb drags Ishii up from behind in a waistlock, but Ishii fights out with elbows. Cobb blocks and counter elbows, but Ishii blocks the kick to give elbows back. HEADBUTT from Cobb! Cobb drags Ishii up, PILEDRIVER! Cover, TWO!? Cobb doesn’t lose his cool, he whips but Ishii holds ropes. Ishii boots back, but runs into a scoop. He escapes and suplexes but Cobb resists. Cobb swings but Ishii blocks, then waistlocks to a BIG back suplex!
Both bulky men are down as fans are rallying up. Cobb is in the corner and Ishii runs in, only for Cobb to catch him and slam him down! Ishii rises, to powerslam Cobb! But now Cobb rises, only to run into Ishii’s German Suplex! Cobb rises again, grabs Ishii for an EXPLODER! But Ishii’s right up again, only for Cobb to dropkick him! Ishii rebounds to LARIAT! Ishii sits Cobb up, runs, sliding D caught!? Cobb lifts but Ishii standing switches, to hit a Dragon Suplex! Ishii runs again, LARIAT flips Cobb over! Cover, ONE!? And with power! SUPERKICK! German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Fans rally as Cobb pulls down the straps! Cobb drags Ishii up again, whips him, but has to duck the lariat. Cobb throws a forearm and a boot, then scoops, only for the back to give out. Enziguri from Ishii! Ishii sits Cobb up, he runs, SLIDING D! Cover, TWO!! These men are proving to be titans as Ishii just gets up again. Ishii drags Cobb up, but it’s COBB who suplexes! Ishii escapes, and tanks the lariat to headbutt. Cobb forearms, Ishii headbutts harder! Cobb swings, but into Ishii’s facelock, and BRAIN BUSTER! Ishii crawls to the cover, Ishii wins!
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii, by pinfall; earns 2 points
And the Stone Pitbull truly earned those points! He took a bite out of Cobb, but will either man have anything left to make it to the finals?
Hirooki Goto VS Jay White w/ Gedo!
“What a difference a year makes,” as Kevin Kelly puts it on commentary. From betraying Bullet Club’s Elite to joining Chaos to betraying Chaos to join the new #Cutthroat Bullet Club, the Switchblade has had a meteoric rise, but also an equally surprising fall. White was IWGP Heavyweight Champion but then lost it in Madison Square Garden. Will White be able to reclaim everything he lost? Or will the Fierce Warrior of Chaos refuse to Breathe with the Switchblade?
The bell rings and fans are on Goto’s side. White doesn’t care, but he does bail out to take his time with Goto. White already brings out a chair, goes to the other side of eh railing, and he lets Gedo have a seat. Gedo accepts and cheers White as a fan. This is White’s way of saying he won’t need Gedo’s tricks to beat Goto. But White says it’s up to him when he gets in. Goto rushes out to get at White, but White slips inside the ring. White taunts Goto into getting back in, then ducks the clothesline to headlock. Goto powers out and the two collide with shoulders. Goto fires off forearms and then whips White. White reverses but Goto comes back with more forearms!
Goto whips again but White bails out. But Goto gives chase to kick and whip White into railing! White is down and Goto stomps him. Goto puts White in and runs to run White over. White gets up but Goto clotheslines White right out! Fans fire up with Goto as he goes out to club White down. Goto stomps and clubs White around the corner, then he chases Gedo off. White goes back to the ring and Goto heads back. Goto gets in but Gedo grabs a foot! White uppercuts Goto down! So much for not having Gedo help. White drags Goto to the apron to elbow and club away on. White rams Goto’s chest into the edge, and Gedo is all smiles. But White isn’t done, he suplexes to gourd buster Goto on the apron!
Goto is down and White rolls into the ring. Red Shoes waits before starting the count. Goto stirs and slowly gets up at 10. But the climb reaches 15 before he stands, and is in at 17. White stomps Goto out of the ring and then rams him into railing! And the apron! And the railing again! Then the apron again, before whipping Goto into railing on the far side! Fans boo but White soaks up the heat. White refreshes the count and fetches Goto again. He puts White in and covers, but Red Shoes refuses. White is annoyed, but he toys with Goto. Goto CHOPS White back! And again and again and again! But he runs into White’s elbow! White drops Goto with a neckbreaker then covers, TWO! Fans rally up for Goto while White catches his breath.
White drags Goto up to CHOP him now. And again, and again! White eggs Goto on so Goto hits back. White rakes Goto’s eyes and wrenches the neck in a cravat. Goto endures as fans rally up. Goto fights up and out but White clubs him back down. White cravats again but Goto fights back. White elbows Goto down to a knee, then suplexes. Goto resists, then suplexes back! But White lands on his feet to throw Goto down by his hair! White kicks and slaps Goto around but Goto only gets mad. Goto CHOPS but White forearms. Goto chops more and more and more! White kicks a leg out and then looms over Goto. White stomps Goto but Goto catches the foot. Now they throw forearms, and then Goto spins through to lariat!
Both men are down but fans fire up. Goto and White crawl to opposite ends of the ring and Gedo is worried. White is in a corner and Goto runs in to clothesline. White resists the saido but Goto shoves to fireman’s carry! But White flails and gets free, only to get a kick! Goto runs in again, windmill kick in the corner! Saido suplex! Cover, TWO! Goto doesn’t stop, he brings White up again. White resists the lift and clubs away. Goto clubs White away but misses in the corner. Goto dodges a chop but runs into a boot, only to clothesline through it! White sits down and Goto rains down rights. Goto whips corner to corner but White slides, spins Goto around and DDT’s! Both men are down again but fans still rally.
White sits up first and drags Goto up. Half hatch suplex but White holds on to rotate, for a second. White drags Goto up again, but Goto denies the third. Goto powers White to a corner and rams his shoulder in, but White uses the third half hatch to throw Goto into buckles! White drags Goto up again, twisting suplex! Cover, TWO!! Goto survives the #BladeBuster and Gedo argues with Red Shoes. White still grins as he chinlocks Goto and hauls him up. Goto resists the half nelson suplex, but White CHOPS him. White whips but Goto reverses, only for White to reverse. But then Goto reverses again, for the neckbreaker across his knee! Both men are down again but stirring as fans continue to rally.
White forearms Goto but Goto gives it back. Goto eggs White on and White returns to forearm Goto. Goto forearms White again and White goes staggering. White comes back for more forearms, knees and elbows. White uppercuts Goto then again. He whips but Goto reverses to follow, and then denies the complete shot. Goto shoves but White dodges. They each follow the other, dodge for dodge, and Goto runs into the SAIDO! Gedo wants White to finish this, and White looks to do just that. White fires off strikes and then a point-blank LARIAT! White grins and applauds himself as he catches his breath. Fans rally for Goto as White drags Goto up by his hair. Goto breaks free but White SLAPS him back down!
White keeps slapping Goto but Goto just gets angry. Goto feeds off those slaps, but runs into the URENAGE! White uses the cocky standing pin, but Red Shoes refuses to count that. White mockingly shakes Goto’s hand before dragging Goto back up. But Goto is dead weight, so White has to work extra hard to get him up. Red Shoes wants to check on Goto but White shoves him down! Goto revives and LARIATS White! Goto and White are both slowly stirring, but White signals to Gedo. Gedo fetches something as White hauls Goto up. But Goto gets White with the USHIGOROSHI! Goto has new life and the fans are fired up with him! Goto waits for White to stand, but White stays down. So Goto drags White up, but White is also limp. Goto stomps White but it’s all White’s plan.
White grins as he crawls, and even as Goto stomps him. Goto has White at the ropes but Red Shoes reprimands Goto. Gedo protests while Goto eggs White on. White revives, but Blade Runner denied! So White suplexes, only for Goto to spin through. White forearms but Goto headbutts! Goto drags White up, Inverted GTR! Cover, TWO!! Goto drags White back up and turns him around, but White fights out! White snapmares Goto and catches him but Goto slips out. White slips out again, but then Goto snapmares him off the full nelson. Goto dragon sleepers but White slips out, and the two pull hair to deny the other. Goto has White, and headbutts him over and over! Final Cut!
The fans are thunderous, but here comes Gedo! Goto scares Gedo off, but White escapes the fireman’s carry. Goto again denies Blade Runner, SHOTEN KAI!! Cover, TWO!! But Goto doesn’t let that deter him! He drags White back up, fireman’s carry again, USHIGOROSHI TO FINAL CUT! Cover, TWO!? But Goto won’t stop until he’s one! BUZZSAW! TRUE G, T, R!! Cover, Goto wins!!
Winner: Hirooki Goto, by pinfall; earns 2 points
The Fierce Warrior is finally victorious! NJPW goes to break while both men recover.
NJPW returns once again…
And the victorious Goto finally stands to have his hand raised. His training with Shibata has truly paid off. Fans cheer as the Fierce Warrior takes to the mic.
“It’s been awhile. To be able to perform for all of you, and even better, to get the victory, it makes me so happy!” Fans are also glad as they continue to cheer. The G1 Climax has only just begun, and Goto knows even tougher challenges lie ahead. But Goto will say this: “The G in G1 stands for GOTO!” Goto says his piece and fans cheer again. Will Goto make good on this critical first victory to rise back towards the top?
NJPW Media Backstage Interview
Hirooki Goto thanks Shibata for help in his training. He also thanks all the young guys at the LA Dojo. This wouldn’t be possible without any of them. “However, I can’t really say that I’ve made a complete comeback.” Goto knows this is just one step up the ladder. All his training partners, Shibata, and everyone at LA Dojo may not be in the G1, but he will carry their emotions with him into the ring. He will use them as motivation to win. The G1 begins and a single lose could cost him. That is how he sees it, that is how he will fight. Can Goto again rise to the finals and take the entire tournament?
Another great block of wrestling from NJPW! Obviously this is just the portion of night 2 that had to do with the G1 Climax, but that’s because these were the five matches that mattered. And what great surprises in some of these, like Yano and Naito! That was definitely an entertaining match, and if anything, this only makes it more likely Naito will fight his way to the finals. He wants to make history, and he’ll rip whoever he has to apart. Moxley VS Taichi was great, and of course Moxley wins because he’s Moxley, and Taichi can definitely be sacrificed to him and Naito for their respective builds. Shingo VS Juice was a great opener for tonight, and it is great for Shingo to have a competitive match like this. He and Ospreay aren’t exactly in the running as I see it, but strong showings are more than enough for them.
Cobb and Ishii was so great, both these guys just love to hit hard and move fast. If they aren’t getting a NEVER Openweight Championship match at a later event, that will be a real letdown. Then Goto VS White was a real good main event, and as commentary was putting over, probably Goto’s best in a long time. Goto’s win serves to spark his own story of the veteran comeback like Hiroshi Tanahashi in the A Block. Plus, White got plenty of great accomplishments over this last year, from being the top champion and being the NJPW main event of G1 Supercard, so he can give up these hard fought matches for the sake of the others. He’ll give everyone else in the B Block great matches, and maybe a new story for him can spark from this tournament.
My Score: 8.8/10
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: G1 Climax 29, Part 1!
The G1 Climax comes to America!
NJPW brings the Summer to a Climax!
The most grueling tournament in all of NJPW, the G1 Climax, begins again! Which world-class heavyweights take the critical first wins in this round robin’s opening night?
Coverage of the G1 Climax 29 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs to come courtesy of https://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Roppongi 3K VS Guerrillas of Destiny; Guerrillas of Destiny win.
- Tomohiro Ishii & Shota Umino VS Jeff Cobb & Ren Narita; Cobb & Narita win.
- Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI VS Jay White & Chase Owens; Goto & YOSHI-HASHI win.
- Six Man Tag: Taguchi Japan VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; Taguchi Japan wins.
- G1 Climax, A Block: Will Ospreay VS Lance Archer; Archer wins.
- G1 Climax, A Block: EVIL VS Bad Luck Fale; Fale wins.
- G1 Climax, A Block: SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr; SANADA wins.
- G1 Climax, A Block: Kota Ibushi VS KENTA; KENTA wins.
- G1 Climax, A Block: Kazuchika Okada VS Hiroshi Tanahashi; Okada wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this now state-side summer blockbuster!
For the first time, NJPW brings this incredible tournament to America! And live we will see the first part of the round robin tournament, which will lead to a tournament finals to grant one man a match with THE IWGP Heavyweight Champion for the title! Of course, that champion is also in this tournament! This midsummer battle will determine who is the toughest in the world!
A Block once again has two of the biggest stars in NJPW! Hiroshi Tanahashi looks to once again be a back-to-back G1 winner! But the Rainmaker, Kazuchika Okada, looks to completely deny the field by winning his third G1! Zack Sabre Jr has won New Japan Cups, but he wants to be the first Brit to conquer the Climax. Of course, so does his fellow countryman, Will Ospreay, who looks to take over both weight classes! Kota Ibushi wants to rebound from losing his IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Evil wants to make Darkness Fall on the Heavyweight Division while his Cold Skull ally wants to bring it all to a Skull End. To show his true style, THE Kenta makes his G1 debut in Dallas! Who of A Block takes the opening night for their own?
Roppongi 3K VS Guerrillas of Destiny!
Sho and Yoh are making the move up the weight classes as they take on the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions in non-title competition! Will RPG3K take down Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa in the states? Or will GoD return to Japan victorious?
Tonga Loa rushes RPG3K the second he gets in the ring, but they send him right out! RPG3K then get Tama in a drop toehold and dropkick! Tama bails out and Loa returns, but gets double dropkicks! The bell rings and this match truly begins! Fans rally with RPG3K as Yoh and Sho FLY onto GoD! Double direct hits, and RPG3K are fired up. They kick Tama then put him in the ring. Fans duel as Tama and Yoh brawl. Sho kicks Tama down then regroups with Yoh. RPG3K whip but Tama slips out. Tama says F U and Loa runs both RPG3K over! Tama whips Yoh into railings hard, then Loa scoops Sho for a powerslam!
Fans duel as Sho writhes. Loa drags Sho up and brings him over, tag to Tama. They whip Sho and throw hands, then a neckbreaker to leg drop! Fans cheer as Tama swaggers about. Tama drags Sho up for fast hands and a dropkick! Sho is down in a corner but Tama drags him up. Tag to Loa, scoop slam to slingshot senton! Loa grins as he makes Sho look into the camera. Loa tries to make Sho Too Sweet but Sho refuses, so Loa clubs him down. Tama taunts the fans then tags in. Loa drags Sho up for a scoop and slam. Tama slingshots for a senton of his own! Fans rally and duel as Tama stands on Sho’s hands. Sho grits his teeth ash e heads for his corner, but Tama drags him up for a suplex. Sho slips out to German, but Loa saves Tama.
Loa scoops but Sho escapes! Sho dodges Loa to SPEAR Tama! Fans rally up as Sho crawls, hot tag to Yoh! Yoh rallies with dropkicks and forearms! Yoh whips Tama but Tama reverses. But Yoh keeps dodging to hit flying forearms! Yoh kips up and Dallas fires up with him! He runs in corner to corner for a big back elbow. Then a half hatch with bridge! TWO, but Yoh keeps his cool. Yoh waits for Tama to stand as fans cheer “Roppongi!” Tama blocks the kick to hit a big back suplex! Tama drags Yoh up but Yoh fights out of the fireman’s carry. But Tama reels him back in, only for Yoh to fight out. Yoh denies Gun Stun to SUPERKICK! Fans fire up as both RPG3K give Tama knees! They do the same to Loa!
Sho backstabs Tama into Yoh’s Yakuza Kick! RPG3K fire up and Dallas follows. They watch Tama stand, but GUN STUN! Loa tackles Yoh to a corner, and Tama hits a BIG splash! GoD coordinate, suplex to SUPER powerbomb! Cover, GoD wins!
Winners: Guerrillas of Destiny, Tama Tonga pinning
And that’s why they’re both IWGP Heavyweight and ROH World Tag Team Champions! Can anyone outdo these brothers’ teamwork and hustle?
Tomohiro Ishii & Shota Umino VS Jeff Cobb & Ren Narita!
It’s a sampling of B Block as the Stone Pitbull and the Hawaiian Juggernaut each get themselves a Young Lion for this 2v2 showdown! Which side gets some momentum before the B Block gets its opener?
The Young Lions stare down but so do the heavyweight veterans. Ishii dares Cobb to start and the two start shoving. Their Young Lions keep them apart, but they do let them star. Dallas likes that! The bell rings and Ishii ties up with Cobb. Ishii headlocks but Cobb powers out. They collide but neither falls. Cobb dares Ishii to go so Ishii does. They collide again and still neither falls. Ishii throws forearms but Cobb gives it back! Cobb runs but Ishii shoulders him back. Ishii runs and things speed up. Cobb hits a dropkick! But Ishii stays up to run Cobb over! Cobb gets right back up and they tie up. Narita tags in to kick at Ishii.
The ref keeps Cobb from getting at Ishii again. Ishii tags Umino in and now the Young Lions tie up! Narita goes for a leg but Umino waistlocks. Narita switches but Umino escapes and fans love the technical trade. They tie up and Narita headlocks. Umino powers out but Narita runs Umino over! Narita stomps Umino then whips. Umino reverses and he elbows Narita down, to hit a big basement dropkick! Fans cheer as Umino keeps on Narita. Umino gives European uppercuts then tags in Ishii. Ishii CHOPS Narita over and over! Umino holds Narita up just so Ishii can CHOP more! Ishii toys with Narita but Narita gives up to forearm back. They do nothing! Ishii swings but Narita ducks, and that one gets Ishii! But Ishii runs Narita over for it!
Ishii drags Narita up for a suplex, but Narita powers Ishii up and over!? Incredible! Narita crawls to tag in Cobb! Cobb suplexes Ishii overhead! Then he throws Umino! Ishii kicks and whips but Cobb reverses to scoop Ishii for a pop-up into a suplex! Fans are fired up as Cobb runs corner to corner and hits a BIG back elbow! Cobb whips Ishii but Ishii reverses. Cobb reverses back, cradle plex! Cover, TWO! Cobb keeps his focus as he drags Ishii up in a waistlock. Ishii fights out but Cobb ducks to forearm. Ishii doesn’t even flinch. He eggs Cobb on so Cobb throws more forearms. Ishii hits Cobb back and now it’s a brawl! They don’t slow down at all and fans fire up again!
Cobb runs but misses, Ishii German Suplexes him down! Fans rally as both men slowly get up. Hot tag to Umino! Umino leaps for a missile dropkick! Umino makes sure Narita can’t tag in, and he runs corner to corner for an elbow! He tries but can’t suplex Cobb, so he throws more forearms. He tries again but Cobb is still too strong. Umino tries a third time, but still nothing. Perhaps the fourth time? YES! Umino covers, TWO! Umino stays fired up as he waistlocks and drags Cobb up. Cobb elbows free to then uppercut him to a corner! Cobb kicks at Ishii but gets a BIG forearm! Narita dropkicks Ishii, then dodges Umino for a belly2belly! Cobb moonsaults onto Umino! Cover, TWO!? Umino survives! So Cobb whips Umino, and gives him Tour of the Islands! Cover, Cobb and Narita win!
Winners: Jeff Cobb and Ren Narita, Cobb pinning
The Hawaiian Juggernaut takes care of the Young Lion, but he stares down Ishii with a grin. Ishii gets in the ring to stare back, and the forearms start flying! Narita and the referee aren’t enough to keep these two away, and Dallas wants to “Let Them Fight!” Security comes in but even they can’t hold these behemoths back! Eventually, Cobb and Ishii cool off and will wait for their B Block match. Will Cobb be victorious over the NEVER Openweight Champion in this round robin? Or will the Pitbull take a bite out of the Olympian?
Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI VS Jay White & Chase Owens!
It’s not just Chaos VS Bullet Club, but another preview of B Block action! The Fierce Warrior has the Head Hunter while the Switchblade has the Crown Jewel, which partner proves to be the key to momentum?
The teams sort out and Goto starts against White. Fans rally behind Goto so White tags out to Chase. Goto circles with Chase and they tie up. but White attacks from behind! Chase hits Hashi down and then Bullet Club mugs and stomps Goto down. White drags Goto up but Goto fights back! Goto throws forearms at both White and Chase, then focuses on White in the corner. Chase comes in but gets a CHOP! Goto goes after White on the outside but Gedo is there to protect White. Chase wrecks Goto with a dropkick! Chase puts Goto back in the ring and White returns to the corner. Goto blocks Chase’s boot to give him a spinning clothesline!
Tag to Hashi and Hashi fires off on Chase, topping it off with a CHOP! Hashi whips but Chase reverses. Hashi dodges and CHOPS Chase again! He hangs Chase out to dry, then runs to dropkick Chase down. Cover, ONE, but Hashi keeps his cool. Hashi stomps Chase then drags him up> Chase powers Hashi to the corner and White pulls on Hashi’s hair. Gedo also wipes at Hashi, and Chase YANKS Hashi into ropes! Chase hits Goto down while White CHOPS Hashi! White rams Hashi into the apron, then again! And a third time! White puts Hashi in for Chase to cover, TWO! Chase keeps on Hashi with a headlock and punches.
Chase drags Hashi up but Dallas rallies. Hashi CHOPS Chase again! Chase kicks low then drags Hashi up, but it’s Hashi who suplexes Chase into a neckbreaker! Fans rally, White tags in and stomps Hashi out. Fans boo White but he insults them back. White CHOPS Hashi then whips but Hashi dodges. Hashi hits a blockbuster! Fans rally up, hot tag to Goto! Goto rallies on White then whips, hip toss! Fans fire up as Goto fires forearms off on White in the corner. Goto whips corner to corner but White boots back. Goto still clotheslines White, then hits a big back suplex! He drags White up but White gets away. Chase comes in but gets tripped up to a Half Crab! White steps to Goto but Goto scares him off!
Goto throws Chase out but White CHOPS Goto. White whips but Goto reverses and follows. White dodges but Goto fireman’s carries, only for White to slip out. Goto elbows White away but misses, SAIDO from White! White tags Chase and Chase toys with Goto. Dallas rallies up for Goto and GOto just gets angry from Chase’s slaps. Chase throws forearms but Goto doesn’t budge. Chase fires off a strike fest then says “Suck It!” He runs, but Goto follows, but Chase enziguris! Chase backslides Goto, TWO, knee trigger! Chase drags Goto up, hammerlock lariat, the Jewel Heist! Cover, TWO!! Chase hits Hashi out just for good measure, and White gives Goto the twisting suplex! Shining wizard! Cover, but Hashi breaks it!
White hits Hashi and throws him out. Chase takes aim at Goto and says BANG! Powerbomb position, tucking him in for the package, but Goto fights out! Goto spins but gets Chase’s elbow! Chase runs but into Hashi’s LARIAT! White runs in but he gets the spin kick! Goto clotheslines White out! Goto fires up, grabs Chase, USHIGOROSHI! But he’s not done there, he and fans fire up! Chase sits up to get swift kicks! Goto stands Chase up, GTR! Cover, Goto and Hashi win!
Winners: Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI, Goto pinning
Chaos is victorious in Dallas! Can Goto do that to Jay White when these two meet in the B Block? Or will Goto Breathe with the Switchblade?
Six Man Tag: Taguchi Japan VS Los Ingobernables de Japon!
Specifically, it is Toru Yano, Juice Robinson, and Jushin Thunder Liger against Shingo Takagi, BUSHI and Tetsuya Naito! We get two B Block previews in one, who earns major momentum before #YTR and the Flamboyant One eventually meet the Muscle Dragon and Uncontrollable Charisma?
The teams sort out, and Naito takes his time with his jacket as he would with his suits. Jushin starts with Bushi after LIJ fist-bump salute. The bell rings and fans are fired up for this match already! Dallas roars for Liger as he ties up with Bushi. Liger powers Bushi to ropes but lets up with a swift pat on the shoulder. Bushi and Liger circle again and Bushi goes after Liger’s mask! Fans boo but Bushi soaks it all up. Bushi kicks low then clubs away. HE runs but into Liger’s tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! Liger dumps Bushi down for the surfboard, Romero Special! But LIJ saves Bushi while taking out Liger’s team!
Shingo drags Liger up and ducks Shotei to feed to Bushi’s drop toehold. Naito dropkicks Liger down then he and Shingo go after Yano and Juice on the outside. Bushi drags Liger up for another attack on his mask! Yano and Juice are sent into railing while Bushi hammers away on Liger. Tag to Naito and Naito pulls on the mask’s hair. Naito throws big hands then whips Liger to get him in a sleeper hold. Liger reaches but Naito drags that arm into an armbar. Naito uplls on the mask’s horns and fans boo. THe ref reprimands Naito but Naito keeps moving around as he pulls. Tag to Bushi and Bushi stomps Liger with Naito. Bushi eggs Yano and Juice on while Naito keeps stomping. Tag to Shingo as fans rally for Linger.
Shingo drags Liger up but Liger CHOPS! And CHOPS! Shingo eggs Liger on then forearms him back. He takes his time picking Liger up to whip corner to corner. Liger boots back but Shingo still clotheslines. Shingo runs into a SHOTEI! Fans rally, hot tag to Juice! Juice hits Bushi and Naito before going after Shingo! Big corner clothesline, but Shingo follows for his own! Shingo drags Juice out but Juice shoves him! Juice and Shingo stare down and start throwing forearms. Juice runs but into an uppercut. Shingo runs into a heel kick! Dallas fires up as Juice drags Shingo up to a fireman’s carry. Juice Box denied, but so is the sliding D. Juice gets Shingo with a full nelson bomb! Cover, TWO!
Juice pumps it up and fans chant his name. Shingo slowly stands and Juice aims those jabs. Then he powers up, but gets Shingo’s JAB! Shingo runs but into a clothesline! Neither man falls so they go again. They still stay up, and Shingo blocks one, but gets the Left Hand of God! Juice reels Shingo in, but Pulp Friction is countered into Noshigami! The Gory Bomb variant hits but both men are down. Dallas is thunderous as they rally for both men, hot tags to Naito and Yano! Yano goes to low blow but Naito spits on him! Naito clubs away then whips Yano, but Yano holds ropes. Yano goes to the corner!
Naito stops him from taking the buckle pads, but Yano whips him away. Yano gets the pads! Naiot dodges and gives Yano an atomic drop. Naito hits the jump kick, the sweep, and the combination, cabron! Then he spits on Yano a LOT! Naito stomps Yano then picks up the buckle pad for his own. Yano rolls Naito up, TWO!! Naito kicks but Yano pulls hair. Naito pulls hair, then spins Yano for a neckbreaker! Bushi tags in and climbs up for a missile dropkick! He hits a Bushirooni while Shingo blasts Liger and Juice! Bushi hits Yano then Shingo adds on. Naito and Bushi double dropkick Yano, Bushi covers, but Liger breaks it!
Naito throws Liger out and Shingo tosses Juice into railing! But Yano throws Bushi down! Bushi comes back for a neckbreaker, only for Yano to shove him at the ref! Yano Low Blow! Roll up, Yano and team win!!
Winners: Taguchi Japan, Toru Yano pinning
The Clown Prince of NJPW pulls it out for his team! Will Yano use the same tactics to spoil things for everyone else in B Block?
NJPW has a huge announcement!
They’re headed to the East Coast of America now, with Fighting Spirit Unleashed 2019! Boston, New York AND Philadelphia, prepare for a hot September weekend! Referee Tiger Hitori is retiring in Hammerstein Ballroom! And speaking of, he’s calling the next match!
G1 Climax, A Block: Will Ospreay VS Lance Archer!
The round robin truly begins as the Aerial Assassin takes on an even meaner Killer Elite! Archer returns to the G1 after being out for several years, but will he be able to start hot against the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion?
Archer rushes Ospreay before the bell, but gets caught into a Spanish Fly! The bell does ring as Ospreay climbs, to CORKSCREW ASAI Archer down!! Ospreay puts Archer in fast, springboards to a 450 splash! Cover, TWO! Dallas is already fired up as Archer gets to a corner. Ospreay kicks away then stands Archer up to CHOP. But Acher doesn’t flinch, he just laughs! “You done f*cked up now!” Ospreay keeps throwing forearms but Archer DECKS Ospreay with that right! Archer runs in again but Ospreay dumps him out. Ospreay throws forearms but Archer again rocks him with one. Ospreay swing kicks then springboards to dropkick Archer down! Fans fire up as Ospreay builds speed, SASUKE SPECIAL, is caught! Choke Slam through commentary!
Archer roars and Dallas is thunderous while losing their minds! Archer drags Ospreay out of the wreckage, then tosses him over the railing. The 20 count reaches 10 while Archer taunts commentary. Archer tosses Ospreay in at 13 then stalks him in the ring. Ospreay stands and Archer takes aim, and runs Ospreay over with a shoulder! Archer stands up on the corner while fans boo and jeer. Archer goes back to Ospreay and pulls back on his hair. Tiger Hitori counts but Archer lets up. Archer stands Ospreay in a corner for a CHOP! Fans rally as Ospreay has a bloody nose. Archer says, “Ospreay ain’t doing sh*t!” And then he CLOBBERS Ospreay with that clothesline! Archer covers, TWO!
Archer likes the fight in Ospreay as Ospreay throws weak forearms. Fans rally up as Archer drags Opsreay up. Archer clubs Ospreay and then knuckle locks to climb the corner. Archer shows us some Old School, and even does an extended version, before clubbing Ospreay down! Then he drags Ospreay into a mounted armlock. Archer digs Ospreay into the mat but Tiger Hitori counts. Archer lets up to intimidate him, then runs at Ospreay corner to corner for a big back elbow. And then another! And another! Archer stares down the camera while fans boo and jeer. He drags Ospreay up but Ospreay throws forearms. They don’t back Archer down, but Archer dares Ospreay to keep trying. Ospreay boots Archer instead! Archer gives Ospreay a back elbow for that, and Ospreay ends up in a corner.
Archer hits another back elbow then whips, but Ospreay handsprings for the enziguri! Both men are down and Dallas fires up! Archer and Ospreay get to opposite corners, and Archer grimaces. Archer runs in but into a boot! Ospreay rolls to top-rope 619 Archer back! Ospreay springboards for the flying lariat! Cover, TWO! Ospreay keeps his focus as he finally has Archer reeling. Fans rally behind Ospreay as he fires up. Ospreay underhooks but Archer forearms back. Archer reels Osprey in but gets the dropkick-flip and enziguri! Ospreay runs but Archer goes perpendicular, but Ospreay leaps over the Pounce! ROUNDHOUSE! They keep going, Archer goes to the corner to POUNCE! Ospreay hits the opposite corner and ends up folded up!
Archer drags Ospreay up and into powerbomb position, buckle bomb! Ospreay rebounds back into another, Last Ride! Archer follows Ospreay out of the ring and drags him up into another powerbomb, to the apron! Ospreay is down while Archer grins. Archer drags Ospreay up to the ramp! The 20 count is climbing but Archer powerbomb lifts! Ospreay slips out, DESTROYER! Archer is down but so is Ospreay. The count hits 10 and Ospreay hurries! Archer is up, too, and he shoves Ospreay down! Archer is in but Ospreay springboards to dropkick him down! SHOOTING STAR! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay can’t believe it, but he won’t let up. Robinson Special! Then the springboard, but Archer catches him!
Archer back suplexes but Osperay slips out, springboard to OSCUTTER! Cover, TWO?! Ospreay can’t believe that Archer still lives! Fans are thunderous as Ospreay gets back up. Ospreay goes to underhook, but Archer is too big for the lift! Ospreay kicks away on Archer’s face, then takes off the elbow pad. But Archer scoops Ospreay, but Ospreay escapes and boots back. Ospreay hops up but gets an uppercut! Archer hoists Ospreay up, MUSCLE BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay survives! Archer puts him in a corner and on the top rope, inverted crucifix lift. BLACK OUT BOMB! Cover, TWO?!? #EverybodyDies but Ospreay still lives! But Archer uses the Iron Claw on Ospreay’s head! He squeezes tight and Ospreay fades. Fans rally and Ospreay powers back up, to a ropebreak!
Archer holds onto Ospreay’s head until 4. He intimidates Tiger Hitori again then goes back to Ospreay. He drags Ospreay up from the opposite side of the corner and they go to the top rope. Ospreay fights back but Archer still has a choke grip. Ospreay changes it into a SUPER SPANISH FLY!! Cover, TWO!?! Now Archer shockingly survives! Dallas knows “This is Awesome!” but it’s not over yet. Ospreay drags Archer up with underhooks, but he still can’t get Archer up. He gives more of those fast kicks then fires himself up. Ospreay underhooks, and lifts Archer up! STORM- CHOKE- ROUNDHOUSE! HOOK! Wristlock, reeling hook kick! Ospreay hurries to a corner, hops up top, but Archer trips him up!
Archer climbs up behind Ospreay, grabs at hair and then puts on a full nelson. Ospreay works against the hold and elbows Archer back. Ospreay adjusts to headbutt Archer down. Archer is back with a step-up knee! Archer sits Ospreay up and climbs, lifting Ospreay in the inverted crucifix, SUPER BLACK OUT! Fans are still thunderous, even with the mixed reaction. Archer has the claw and clamps it on tight! Ospreay fades as it becomes a cover, Archer wins!
Winner: Lance Archer, by pinfall; earns 2 points
Archer keeps the claw on past the bell and it takes Young Lions to pull him off. Archer takes his first two points in five years while Ospreay’s G1 debut is a zero. And then Archer “celebrates” by attacking the Young Lions! Will Archer make sure everyone in A Block suffers? Can Ospreay make a comeback in the later rounds?
G1 Climax, A Block: EVIL VS Bad Luck Fale!
The King of Darkness and the Rogue General are no strangers to each other, and certainly not in the G1. They add a new chapter to this fight, who takes two points into the next round?
The bell rings and Evil rushes Fale! Evil throws him out of the ring and throws big knees. Evil brings Fale to the ramp and gets some space to run in. BIG lariat hits Fale but Fale doesn’t fall! Fans rally behind Evil as he scoops Fale. But Fale is too big for that! Fale clubs away on Evil’s back to then scoop and slam Evil to the ramp! Evil writhes while Fale catches his breath. The referee tells Fale to get in the ring while he checks on Evil. Fale doesn’t care, he stomps Evil then pushes the ref. Fale drags Evil up to throw big body shots. He drags Evil to the ring to bump him off the apron. The ring count finally begins but Fale kicks Evil down. Fale gets in the ring at 16 and leaves Evil to the count. Evil gets in at 19!
Fale is right on Evil with stomps but the fans rally up. Evil fights back with forearms, but that scoop doesn’t work. Fale body shots back then puts him in a corner hard. Fale clubs away on Evil’s back against the buckles. The ref counts and Fale lets up, only to put Evil against the bottom rope. Fale stands on Evil’s back with all his weight! Fale drags Evil up to throw big clotheslines in the corner from both sides. He dumps Evil down and stands on him for a cover, TWO! Fale blames the fans for this. Fale drags Evil up again but Evil fights back! Evil CHOPS then whips, but Fale blocks. Fale whips Evil then runs in, but Evil dodges! Evil scoops and slams Fale! But it took everything he had, so Evil falls over, too.
Both men slowly stand and fans rally again. Evil runs at Fale and clotheslines him out! Evil follows Fale and looks under the ring. He brings out spare chairs! But Fale kicks him down before he could use one. Fale has a chair but the ref reprimands him. Fale aims but Evil mule kicks! Evil puts a chair around Fale’s head and rams him into the post! Fale goes down and fans fire up behind Evil. Evil puts Fale in the ring and the fans start drumming. Evil runs corner to corner, bronco buster! Cover, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as he prepares the arm. He runs as Fale stands, but the clothesline only staggers Fale. Evil tries again, and Fale falls to a knee! But that’s not enough, Evil tires again, only for Fale to run Evil over!
Evil and Fale get to opposite corners, and Fale hits a corner to corner splash! Then drops the splash! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer Evil’s toughness but Fale picks up those chairs from before. Fale brings them into the ring but the ref stops him. But there are two chairs, so the ref has to take the other chair, too. Evil kicks the chair into Fale! Then runs to LARIAT Fale down! Cover, TWO!! Evil keeps his focus as fans continue to cheer him on. Evil slashes the throat and drags Fale up. Everything is denied, and Fale grabs Evil. Evil breaks free to headbutt and spin, into the GRENADE! Cover, TWO!? Evil survives and Fale is shocked!
Fale drags Evil up again, prepares the bomb, crucifix but Evil wiggles free! Evil blocks the boot, gives it to the ref, and lariats Fale down! But the ref goes down, too! Evil takes advantage by getting those chairs back in. Evil aims at Fale, and jabs Fale in the back! Then he puts it around Fale’s head again, only for Fale to throw it back at him! LOW BLOW! Fans boo as Fale goes one cheat too far! Fale takes the chair and puts it around Evil’s head now. He takes the other chair and salutes, before swinging a HOME RUN! The chair flies off Evil and the ref finally returns. Fale drags Evil up, crucifix, Bad Luck Fall! Cover, Fale wins!
Winner: Bad Luck Fale, by pinfall; earns 2 points
Bullet Club’s A Block behemoth scores big in this opening round! Will he continue his way towards the finals? Or will darkness still fall?
G1 Climax, A Block: SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr!
Another familiar match-up is revisited in the G1’s opening round! Cold Skull and the Submission Master will go toe to toe and hold for hold again, but who takes the victory?
The bell rings and fans sing for ZSJ as he circles with Sanada. Sanada stays out of ZSJ’s reach, but they do tie up. ZSJ headlocks but Sanada wrings him out. ZSJ gets away and says, “No way, mate.” The two circle again and tie up. ZSJ headlocks then cravats, but Sanada endures. Sanada breaks the hold to get the wrist, but ZSJ chinbars. Sanada wrenches but ZSJ rolls to wrench and arm-drag Sanada down. Fans applaud the technical exchange, but ZSJ keeps it going as he bends the fingers. He stands Sanada up to wrench through again. Sanada endures as ZSJ has a standing armlock. Sanada rolls and handsprings then cartwheels and handsprings and spins all around ZSJ to spin him through to a wristlock! But ZSJ just trips him to a heel hook.
Sanada resists but ZSJ Bow ‘n’ Arrows only for Sanada to pop to a cover, but ZSJ kicks out. ZSJ chases Sanada to a corner but Sanada gets clear, and fans are thunderous for this exchange! Sanada and ZSJ catch their breath as they circle. ZSJ taunts Sanada as fans duel. Sanada and ZSJ approach and feel it out. ZSJ gets a facelock and then the armlock. He powers Sanada to the corner but the ref calls for the break. ZSJ takes his time grinding into Sanada before he whips. Sanada reverses but ZSJ ducks down and baits Sanada. ZSJ then rolls Sanada but Sanada sits on it, only fro ZSJ to pop out. Sanada jackknifes but ZSJ sits on him, only for Sanada to pop out.
They go back the other way, then the other, and then Sanada has the legs! ZSJ resists Paradise to pop Sanada to a cover, TWO! Sanada has a cover, TWO! Another stalemate and the fans cheer. Sanada goes out to catch his breath and redo a wristband. ZSJ dares him to get back in while fans duel. Sanada chooses to take a sip of water instead. Sanada hears the count go up to 10 then 14. He slithers in when ZSJ finally backs off. Sanada and ZSJ have only be at this for 5 minutes but they’ve already done so much. Sanada calls for a test of strength and ZSJ laughs. ZSJ takes the challenge only to kick Sanada’s hands away.
Sanada calls for another test of strength, and ZSJ comes back to actually take it. ZSJ tries but can’t power Sanada down. ZSJ twists the fingers, then reels Sanada in to stand on his hands. He hooks Sanada’s face then puts on a full straitjacket hold. Sanada gets flashbacks to a previous match up as he stands up. He turns it onto ZSJ as fans rally and duel. ZSJ endures and works against it, but Sanada has more strength. ZSJ keeps trying, but Sanada keeps reapplying it. A third time, and ZSj turns it around only to get it turned all the way back. But ZSJ silps under to bridge and put it on Sanada! ZSJ pulls back but Sanada rolls through to put it back on Zack!
ZSJ wiggles the jacket off and swaggers out. Then he turns to uppercut Sanada! ZSJ snapmares but Sanada rolls through to a wristlock. ZSJ tries again but Sanada does it again. Fans rally as ZSJ snapmares a third time, but Sanada handsprings through. Sanada misses his dropkick but dodges the Penalty Kick. He still gets a headlock takeover, but ZSJ headscissors back. Sanada pops out and dropkicks ZSJ down! ZSJ bails out but Sanada just runs. ZSJ gets clear but Sanada tumbles to the apron. Sanada watches ZSJ go around the way and fans rally up. ZSJ rests at the corner and now Sanada dares him to get back in. ZSJ refuses it, same as Sanada.
The ring count begins but ZSJ waits until it climbs past 10. The count passes 15 and higher, and ZSJ plays around. He gets in at 19 and flips off the fans. Then he runs at Sanada, but Sanada blocks! Sanada trips ZSJ up, but ZSJ resists Paradise again. Sanada whips ZSJ but ZSJ sunset flips, only for Sanada to roll through! One more try but ZSJ monkey flips Sanada into an armbar! Sanada flails to a ropebreak! ZSJ lets go only to kick the arm! Sanada bails out and the ring count begins again. ZSJ lets Sanada stay out there, and Sanada gets in at 12. ZSJ is on Sanada and stomps the arm again. He also kicks Sanada swift in the back. ZSJ taunts Sanada while fans rally up.
Sanada gets mad now and starts throwing CHOPS! ZSJ eggs him on, and throws uppercuts back. ZSJ whips but Sanada reverses, only to get caught into an abdominal stretch! Sanada powers out to a hip toss! Both men are sore as they slowly stand up. ZSJ uppercuts but Sanada hurdles over him to dropkick him down! ZSJ backs out but dodges the slingshot. He has the arm through the ropes! The ref reprimands ZSj and he lets go at 4, but misses his Pele to the arm! Sanada has ZSJ in the ropes as he puts on a modified Paradise Lock! ZSJ is bamboozled! He shouts to the ref to get him out, but Sanada kicks him out of Paradise!
ZSJ bails out of the ring, Sanada slingshots to take him down! Fans fire up behind Sanada as he drags ZSJ into the ring. Sanada drags ZSJ up but ZSJ resists the suplex. ZSJ switches but Sanada switches back, big back suplex! Cover, TWO! Sanada keeps his cool and he throws haymakers on ZSJ. He wrenches ZSJ as fans duel. Sanada whips corner to corner but ZSJ reverses. Sanada goes out then springboards in, but ZSJ gets clear. ZSJ runs back in, only for Sanada to fireman’s carry. But ZSJ slips down into the Octopus! And he cranks the arm back hard! Sanada endures as ZSJ locks on tight. ZSJ finds the other arm and makes it part motorcycle stretch.
Sanada drops to the mat and ZSJ just pulls back hard! Sanada endures more, and reaches with his legs, to get the ropebreak! ZSJ lets go but the damage was done. Fans duel and sing again as ZSJ catches his breath. ZSJ kicks at Sanada over and over, but Sanada just gets mad. ZSJ throws an uppercut, and Sanada gives it back! They go back and forth with heavy EuroUppers, but then Sanada scoops ZSJ into the dragon sleeper! ZSJ slips out but gets a forearm. Sanada whips but ZSJ comes back, tornado DDT into a dragon sleeper of his own! He hooks his hands behind his back for a deeper sleeper, but Sanada refuses to give in. Sanada powers up with ZSJ on his shoulders! Fireman’s carry but ZSJ slips to a guillotine!
Sanada stays standing with ZSJ’s weight pulling on him, and fans rally up. He pops an arm free and suplexes ZSJ for a brain buster! Fans fire up as Sanada drags ZSJ into the fireman’s carry, TKO! Cover, TWO! ZSJ lives but Sanada vows to finish it. He goes to the corner and climbs up, but has to land on his feet when ZSJ dodges the moonsault. ZSJ uppercuts Sanada, but leaps into a backslide! TWO, and Penalty Kick takes Sanada down! ZSJ catches his breath instead of covering, then gets a facelock to a scoop. Sanada slips out to the dragon sleeper! ZSJ resists so Sanada swings him around! Then he drops ZSJ to go up top, MOONSAULT into knees! And a Triangle Hold!!
Sanada endures again as we hit the 20 minute mark! ZSJ twists the arm and squeezes tight. Sanada fades but fans give him a second wind! He lifts ZSJ but ZSJ Peles the arm. ZSJ runs into an elbow and Sanada moonsaults to the dragon sleeper! ZSJ starts fading now, but he keeps going. Sanada lifts but ZSJ slips out. ZSJ body scissors and leg clutches to the EuroClutch, TWO! SKULL END, but ZSJ pops out to another EuroClutch, only for Sanada to pop out into a Japan Clutch! SANADA WINS!
Winner: SANADA, by pinfall; earns 2 points
Sanada snatches victory from the jaws of defeat! He gets a big win and ZSJ is shocked! ZSJ takes his frustration out on the referee! Will these two meet again for another shot at the Rev-Pro British Heavyweight Championship?
G1 Climax, A Block: Kota Ibushi VS KENTA!
The Golden Star has become a full-time member of NJPW, but so has his opponent! Perhaps one of the most anticipated matches of the entire block, Kenta is finally in NJPW to #Takeover! Who strikes harder to take those pivotal opening points?
Katsuyori Shibata is spotted nearby as he watches this match intensely. The bell rings and fans are fired up already. Kenta and Ibushi circle and tie up. They’re evenly matches in strength, but Ibushi manages to get Kenta to ropes. Kenta turns it around but Ibushi dodges his punch. Kenta dodges Ibushi’s kick, and fans already like the exchange. Ibushi and Kenta circle again and tie up. Kenta kicks quick but Ibushi walks it off. Ibushi and Kenta approach again, and they test out strikes. Each man is ready to block and evade. Fans duel as each man keeps trying to find an opening.
Kenta catches a leg to a waistlock but Ibushi drops to hook and switch. Ibushi has a facelock but Kenta slips out to a hammerlock. Fans agree to cheer for “Both These Guys!” as they end up on ropes again. Kenta pats Ibushi’s shoulders but then SLAPS him! Ibushi scowls then SLAPS Kenta back! Ibushi stomps Kenta then toys with him. He drags Kenta up for big haymakers and swift kicks. Kenta ends up in a corner and Ibushi whips him corner to corner. Kenta takes a spin but tosses Ibushi to the apron. Ibushi forearms back but gets a kick through the ropes! Kenta hops up to guillotine knee drop Ibushi down! Fans cheer as Kenta toys with Ibushi.
Kenta drags Ibushi up as fans duel again. Kenta gives Ibushi a swift kick, but Ibushi eggs Kenta on. More kicks come in and Kenta covers, TWO! Kenta keeps on Ibushi with a chinlock and grinds Ibushi down. Ibushi endures and fans rally up. Ibushi fights out then runs, but into Kenta’s kitchen sink knee! Kenta drags Ibushi up and Penalty Kicks Ibushi down HARD! Kenta stands on Ibushi but Red Shoes does not call that a cover. So Kenta drags Ibushi to be on his stomach. Kenta drops knees right to Ibushi’s head, takes off his knee pad and jumps, to scuff Ibushi’s head. He drags Ibushi up but Ibushi fights back. They fire forearms and Ibushi gets the edge. He eggs Kenta on but Kenta makes him pay for it with heavy shots! Cover, ONE!
Kenta kicks Ibushi hard in the back but Ibushi eggs him on. They each egg each other on as they start throwing forearms fast and furious! Ibushi rocks Kenta but Kenta body shots and uppercuts. Kenta elbows Ibushi’s head then snapmares him for another kick! Ibushi writhes while trying to get his arms moving. Kenta covers, TWO! Kenta wraps Ibushi in another chinlock. Fans rally up and Ibushi powers up. Ibushi throws forearms but Kenta knees low, only to run into a dropkick! Both men are down but are sitting up fast. Kenta is in the corner and Ibushi walks over. Fans duel again as Ibushi whips corner to corner. Kenta reverses but Ibushi goes up and over to then powerslam Kenta down! Ibushi keeps moving, moonsault! Cover, TWO!
Both men are down as they catch their breath. Fans rally up as Ibushi stands. Ibushi waistlocks and drags Kenta up but Kenta resists. Kenta switches but Ibushi elbows free. Ibushi runs and things speed up, calf kick from Kenta! Both men are down again, but Kenta is up first. Kenta drags Ibushi up to whip but Ibushi reverses. Kenta ax handles Ibushi down then rallies with lariats. Ibushi just fires up, only to get caught into an exploder! Kenta glares at Ibushi as he climbs up top. Kenta leaps for a flying clothesline! Cover, TWO! Kenta drags Ibushi up and waistlocks, but Ibushi elbows out again. Ibushi runs in but into a boot. Kenta hops up and brings Ibushi in, tornado denied and Ibushi SLAPS Kenta!
Ibushi climbs up to join Kenta, but Kenta resists. They fight up top, and Ibushi elbows Kenta down to the apron. Ibushi drags Kenta up, has the waistlock, but Kenta fights free! Only for Ibushi to PELE Kenta down! Kenta hits the floor but Ibushi slingshots, into a knee?! Kenta makes Ibushi crash and burn and then drags Ibushi up. He suplexes Ibushi to hang him out to dry on railing. He drives elbows in, too, then goes back to the apron. Kenta leaps for guillotine double stomps!! Dallas loses its mind over that one! Kenta gets back in the ring and still wants more, but the ring count begins. The count reaches 10 before Ibushi stands. Ibushi climbs in at 12, so Kenta springboards and dropkicks him back down! Running boot in the corner, then a basement dropkick in the corner!
Kenta climbs up top while Ibushi is in the drop zone. DOUBLE STOMPS! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi survives Kenta’s coup de grace, and fans duel harder then ever. Kenta slashes the throat and drags Ibushi up. Fireman’s carry, but Ibushi resists! Kenta still gets Ibushi up, but Ibushi grabs ropes. Kenta pulls him away but Ibushi fights out. Ibushi shoves but Kenta blocks one clothesline, only to spin into a LARIAT! Fans rally up while both men are down. Ibushi is up first and he drags Kenta up. Ibushi powerbomb lifts, sit-out Last Ride! Cover, TWO! Kenta lives but Ibushi rises again. Fans duel hard as ever as Ibushi sits Kenta up with the wristlocks. Kami- Fireman’s carry! Ibushi fights out and crucifix rolls, TWO!
Ibushi and Kenta collide with clotheslines, then run, shotgun knee from Kenta takes Ibushi down! But both men are down again as fans cheer. Dallas declares “This is Awesome!” as both men slowly stir. Ibushi and Kenta head for each other, and grunt and growl as they go forehead to forehead. They go forearm for forearm back and forth, and Ibushi starts to enjoy this. Kenta comes back with more but so does Ibushi. Ibushi and Kenta stand and fans cheer as they keep the brawl going. Kenta hits but Ibushi immediately responds, over and over. Even as they switch to kicks! Kenta gets Ibsuhi with the roundhouse! Cover, TWO!! Kenta drags Ibushi up for another kick! Then another! And a third! But Kenta isn’t done, he drags Ibushi up for a fourth! Cover, TWO!!
Kenta is furious, and he brings the knee pads down as he slashes the throat. He drags Ibushi up and fireman’s carries, GTS!! Cover, Kenta wins!!
Winner: KENTA, by pinfall; earns 2 points
Kenta makes Ibushi #GoToSleep in this G1 A Block opener! Is Kenta going to unlock more of his true style as the G1 rolls on? Can Ibushi make the comeback in the following rounds?
But to show respect to his opponent, who took so much out of him, Kenta helps Ibushi up to his feet. Fans cheer both men and the sportsmanship between them, though Ibushi can barely stand. Ibushi shakes Kenta’s hand and they even hug. Was this just the first match of a new and storied rivalry?
G1 Climax, A Block: Kazuchika Okada VS Hiroshi Tanahashi!
Speaking of a storied rivalry, the greatest rivalry in NJPW history, and perhaps of all pro-wrestling, of all fight sports and of all sports period, finally comes to the states! These two fought in the last round of A Block last year, to a time-limit draw! But now, in this year’s A Block opener, can we get a true finish?
The fans are already fired up for this incredible fourteenth match-up all time. They even lose their minds over Okada revealing the iconic shorts! The bell rings, and the A Block main event begins!
The Rainmaker and The Ace hear the fans roaring for them both. Okada and Tanahashi hear them cheer for “NEW JAPAN! NEW JAPAN!” as the two circle. They stay back to hear the fans chant and duel, then approach. The first tie up and both men are evenly matched in strength. Okada uses his leverage to back Tanahashi down. They end up on the ropes, and Okada backs off. Okada again fakes the chop to pat the shoulder.s Tananashi throws a forearm! So Okada responds! And we already have a fast and furious brawl! Neither man backs down or slows down, and they even grab for hair at the same time. Okada gets an edge and whips, to BOOT him down! But Tanahashi’s back up quick!
Tanahashi throws forearms, whips but Okada reverses. Tanahashi holds ropes to deny the dropkick, but Okada dodges the Slingblade. Okada wristlocks and ripcords, but Tanahashi denies Rainmaker to get a full nelson. Okada fights out of the dragon suplex only to get an arm-drag! But he headscissors back, only for Tanahashi to pop out. Fans cheer this great opening exchange! Dallas loves “Both These Guys!” as both Okada and Tanahashi catch their breath. Okada and Tanahashi circle and tie up again. Okada wrenches but Tanahashi forearms. Tanahashi scoop slams and drops an elbow! Fans cheer as the air guitar makes its Dallas debut! Tanahashi drags Okada up as fans cheer “Go Ace!”
Tanahashi throws forearms then whips Okada. Okada reverses but runs into an elbow. Tanahashi hops up but Okada anchors his feet. Tanahashi shoves him away but Okada dropkicks Tanahashi down! Okada catches his breath while Tanahashi is down, clutching a leg. He goes out to fetch Tanahashi while fans duel again. Okada brings Tanahashi up for a DDT to the floor! Okada leaves Tanahashi behind and the ring count begins. The count reaches 10 before Tanahashi sits up. Tanahashi stands at 14 and enters at 15, but Okada is on him with a basement dropkick! Okada stands on Tanahashi, but much like with the Kenta-Ibushi match, that’s not good enough for Red Shoes. Red Shoes mocks the Rainmaker pose, and fans cheer.
Okada drags Tanahashi up and powers him into a corner. He throws big elbows into Tanahashi then some more. Tanahashi throws forearms back, but the kick is blocked to a dragon screw! Okada borrows one of Tanahashi’s favorites! Okada drags Tanahashi up for a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Okada puts Tanahashi in a chinlock but fans rally up. Tanahashi fights his way up but Okada wrangles him back down. Fans rally up and duel again. Tanahashi pries against the chinlock and stands up to fight with elbows. Okada clubs Tanahashi back, then whips. Tanahashi kicks him but Okada blocks. Tanahashi fights the screw off, then catches Okada’s boot for his own dragon screw!
Okada clutches his leg now as Tanahashi gets to a corner. Fans rally again as Tanahashi throws haymakers and forearms. He boxes Okada to ropes then whips, but Okada reverses, only to get flying forearms! Tanahashi fires up and Dallas with him as he runs in. Dropkick in the corner staggers Okada. Tanahashi scoops and slams, then hops up for the second rope somersault senton! Cover, TWO! We pass 10 minutes as Okada stands. Tanahashi runs but Okada dodges, to then elbow Tanahashi down! Okada fires up and Dallas with him. Tanahashi is in a corner but Okada whips him corner to corner. Okada runs for a big back elbow, then kicks low for a DDT! Cover, TWO!
Okada keeps his cool as he stalks Tanahashi. Tanahashi stands and Okada lifts for the Alabama. Tanahashi fights out to throw EuroUppers. Okada puts Tanahashi on the apron but Tanahashi hits back. Tanahashi drags a leg out, for a dragon screw! Okada goes down and Tanahashi stalks him now. Tanahashi runs but into a flapjack! Both men are down but fans continue to fire up. Fans rally and both men stir. Okada gets to a corner and runs at Tanahashi. Tanahashi dodges but so does Okada. Okada uppercuts but Tanahashi dropkicks a leg out. Tanahashi whips corner to corner but Okada reverses into a forearm! Alabama lift, Air Raid neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!
Okada keeps his cool as he drags Tanahashi back up. He scoop slams fast then says he’s headed up top. Okada climbs a corner and leaps, Macho Elbow! But that just leads into the Rainmaker pose! But Tanahashi victory rolls! TWO, to a grounded dragon screw! Tanahashi has both legs now and ties them up into a Texas Cloverleaf! Perfect for being in Dallas. Okada endures as Tanahashi pulls him back. Tanahashi sits in deep but Okada gets the ropebreak. Tanahashi lets go but comes back for more. Okada holds onto the rope, so Tanahashi gives him another grounded dragon screw! Tanahashi hears we’re at 15 minutes so he fires himself up. He goes to the top rope and aims at Okada on the outside, for the HIGH FLY FLOW-BODY!
Fans are loving this as both men are down! Red Shoes starts the ring count, and it reaches 5 while Tanahashi gets the legs moving. The count reaches 10 as Tanahashi stands and fetches Okada. Tanahashi puts Okada in at 15 and the match continues. Tanahashi fires up again as he stalks Okada. Okada stands, Tanahashi runs, but Okada dodges. Okada fireman’s carries, but Tanahashi pops out for Twist ‘n’ Shout! But Okada’s back with a shotgun dropkick! But Tanahashi’s back with a slingblade! Tanahashi keeps moving, but gets the dropkick! Okada scoops, TOMBSTONE! Rainmaker Pose! Wristlock, SLINGBLADE! Tanahashi fires up again and heads up top. Dallas cheers The Ace on as he aims, leaps, High Fly Flow-body again!
But Tanahashi isn’t done here, he climbs again. Okada is in the drop zone, HIGH FLY FLOW onto knees! Okada saves himself at the expense of his legs! Red Shoes starts a standing count as fans rally. Both men sit up and head for each other. Okada is on his feet first and he scoops Tanahashi. Tanahashi resists and then scoops Okada. Okada resists and scoops Tanahashi. He grits his teeth but Tanahashi lifts him! Tanahashi can’t get Okada all the way so he clubs and forearms and uppercuts back. Palm strike! Tananashi runs, but into a backslide! He rolls through, RAINMAKER! But Okada doesn’t end here as we hit 20 minutes. He drags Tanahashi up for a second RAINMAKER! Okada hits the pose, and wants a third!
Okada drags Tananashi up, full wristlock ripcord, cradle counter!! TWO!! Okada escapes, but boots into the full nelson, Snap Dragon Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!! Both men are down but fans are hitting a fever pitch! Tanahashi runs, but Okada ducks and ripcords only for Tanahashi to escape. Tanahashi tries again, but Okada dodges to wristlock and ripcord, PALM STRIKE! But Okada holds onto the wrist. Tanahashi throws another slapping palm strike, but Okada refuses to let go. Okada roars, but a third strike does it! Dallas keeps cheering as Tanahashi runs, into a JUMPING TOMBSTONE! Okada roars again, ripcords, FULL RAINMAKER! Cover, Okada wins!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; earns 2 points
These are perhaps the most important points in the entire tournament! The fact Okada finally gets one over on Tanahashi in the G1 could decide the entire block right here! But history is against Okada as the reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Can Okada make history all over again as he takes the block and the tournament?
Okada puts on the belt and takes to the mic to address the fans. “My first win!” He apologizes to the American audience for starting in Japanese, so he’ll start again in English. “DALLAS~!” Dallas cheers for Okada while he catches his breath. “How was G1 Climax?” They loved it! “Tonight is the first time G1 is in America!” But it won’t be the last. Okada promises NJPW will come back. And when he does come back to Dallas, he will be the winner. But also, he promises to still be THE IWGP Heavyweight Champion. “Thank you, Dallas! Thank you very much!” And back in Japanese, he promises to take the entire tournament, and continue to make it rain! Dallas looks forward to it! Can Okada maintain being on a whole ‘nother level?
NJPW Media Backstage Interviews
The Rainmaker takes a seat and the belt is propped up. Okada speaks in Japanese to his thoughts on the G1 Climax’s opening night, and a translator steps up to turn it into English.
“What I’m thinking right now, after my first match, is that this is G1 Climax. This is a tough tournament. It’s fierce, and really hot. But honestly, I don’t think there is any wrestler that doesn’t give anybody a really tough match. So this is really normal for G1 Climax to have really tough matches. This first win in the tournament, especially from Hiroshi Tanahashi, this victory is really, really huge. This gives me huge momentum for the future matches, so I would like to keep this momentum going, and definitely for it to lead to the tournament victory.
“About the audience in Dallas, and not just Dallas, of course. The audience in the United States and of course in Japan, this tournament has been watched everywhere. And I think many of you who haven’t seen G1 before, maybe you don’t know much, but this is the tournament that goes on for one month, with 18 matches. So I think NJPW is the only organization that does this kind of tournament, anywhere in the world. This is the world’s best tournament, and I would like people to watch this,e specially for those in Dallas, to continue to watch the rest of the tournament, that is going to be held in Japan. I understand there is a time difference, so you might get sleepless if you keep following the matches in Japan.”
Media asks Okada some quick questions, to which his responds. His feelings towards this first time having a match with Tanahashi outside of Japan: “I think the reaction from the audience tells you what it’s about.” Okada continues to say that “regardless of where the tournament is held, Tanahashi’s power, his strength, hasn’t changed. He’s a pretty strong wrestler, and this match was definitely a great match that is deservedly fitting to the main event of G1.” Okada’s thoughts towards about his next match against Zack Sabre Jr, back in Japan: “Well I still have a little time until my next official match, so I’ll probably think about it a little later. As for me right now, I would like to enjoy this really pumped up, heated audience reaction in Dallas, and I will bring it with me when I go to Japan.”
Okada’s thoughts towards Minoru Suzuki calling him out given the G1 snub, and the chances of Suzuki attacking during the G1: “I think all I can say is, ‘Okay, come and try.’ I think my name was mentioned because I’m the champion. Suzuki probably feels pretty frustrated right now, so I’m not going to let him crash the G1. So come and try.” Okada’s thoughts to Tanahashi’s own personal rankings of the two of them: “Well I guess if that’s what Tanahashi said, that’s what he feels right now. But I still think he’s a really great wrestler, and he can try to minimize the gap, but all I can do is to have the gap bigger, and I will be better.”
Okada’s thoughts to his chances of being in the G1 Climax 29 finals: “I think I really had a great start this year, so it doesn’t really matter if I’m the champion or not. I’ve always been aiming to win this tournament, and I always aim for that. I’ve never given up on it. So whether it’s possible for me to win the G1 Climax as IWGP Champion or not, I would like you to go home today and maybe you can talk it over with your friends and family while having some drinks and relaxing. You can do that.” Okada’s thoughts on how special it is to have a crowd reaction like this outside of Japan: “Yeah, I did have some expectations about the reactions, but actually, this was more than what I expected. And it gives me a strange feeling that everybody calls my name, ‘Okada! Okada!’ at each match. Yeah, it gives me a strange feeling.”
Okada’s thoughts on new match-ups in the A Block, namely KENTA: “Right now, all I’m focusing on is my next match with Zack Sabre Jr. I still have plenty of time until I face Kenta, so I will think on how to fight against Kenta right before the match.” Okada’s thoughts on how much NJPW will travel to the states, and what the best part of that is: “I can’t really say there are too many or too few matches held in the United States. All I can do as a wrestler is show great matches. As to where matches are held, it’s not really something I can say as a wrestler. That’s something that’s left to the company to decide. All I do is go wherever the matches are going to be held, and just show the best wrestling I can bring.”
Even with the press conference continuing, the AXS TV cameras leave it at that to look at the standings. We know Okada, Kenta, Sanada, Archer and Fale take an early lead, but this could change after eight more rounds! The B Block begins very much the same next Saturday, same-day access on AXS! Who from the other half of this bracket take the opening points to join the five winners here tonight?
Woo what a great event! NJPW and AXS give us the entirety of this opening night and there wasn’t a bad match on the card. RPG3K do great even in losing to GoD. The NJPW Heavyweight Tag Division needs some refreshing so adding Sho and Yoh would be an interesting move. Ishii & Umino VS Cobb & Narita was great, mostly with the Cobb-Ishii interactions. However, given the supposed opening night block AEW pulled on Jon Moxley, this must’ve been the match he was going to be in, considering the Young Lion in question was Umino. Mox looked to be making Umino is unwillingly sidekick given their previous interactions. But that’s fine, as Ishii and Cobb was a great match-up and will be again in the B Block opening round.
The one thing that was clear in these preview tag matches was that the decisions did not come down to actual participants in the G1 Climax getting a cover off each other. Cobb pinned Umino, Goto pinned Chase Owens, and Yano used a low blow to beat Bushi. This is obviously good booking since it keeps all G1 Climax participants strong, so that it is only the G1 matches that decide things. Then just over the last two hours of this four hour event were the G1 matches, and again not a single one disappointed. Some of the finishes did confuse, namely in who went over. I did not expect Fale or Archer to win, but I supposed not all Faces can win tonight. Archer is immediately a dangerous force, and I can’t wait to see him against Fale.
I love that Sanada got the drop on ZSJ in a flashback to their previous tournament match-up. It would be really big for Sanada to get a high score in the G1 this year, given his great performances against Okada. Kenta VS Ibushi was an amazing match, and already we see what Kenta means by “his style.” Health concerns were most likely why WWE never let him go this hard, but he seems more than able to do strong style. It was a great move for him to be the winner, and he, too, might go pretty far in the block. But don’t count Ibushi out yet, either, he’s got a lot of fight left. Of course, this also does set up a future IWGP Intercontinental Championship match after the G1 is over, which will be incredible, too.
Okada VS Tanahashi as our main event was superb, and it really does set the pace for the rest of the block. Obviously there had to be a winner this time, and it means a lot for Okada to win. Obviously time constraints on television keep us from seeing all of Okada’s press conference, but I feel like that last question being indirectly aimed at WWE was not something AXS and NJPW wanted to have answered on live television. But Okada is a respectful winner being Face and the face of NJPW, I’m sure almost all his matches in the A Block are going to be highlighted. The story of him as champion and unlikely to win given history is a good one to follow through with, making even one loss feel critical. Then they can set up the finals as even bigger, because it will be a preview of Okada’s future title defense.
My Score: 9.5/10