The past month was all for tonight. G1 Climax 29 Finals. Kota Ibushi vs Jay White, good versus evil. Who wins the briefcase?
Today’s show we get to see a few people who weren’t on the undercard during the G1 Climax block days. Liger continues his retirement tour, Taguchi Japan and the 6 Man belts return, as well as, the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Champions.
Does New Japan decide to go down the road of hatred with Jay White pulling out an unpopular win? Does Ibushi continue to reap the benefits of signing his lifetime contract?
No more reason to delay! Let’s go!
- Yota Tsuji & Ren Narita vs Clark Connors & Karl Fredericks: Connors wins via Boston Crab – *** ½
- Lance Archer, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi w/Miho Abe vs Jyushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask & Jeff Cobb: Cobb wins via Tour of the Islands – ** ¾
- YOH, SHO & Will Ospreay vs Yujiro Takahashi w/ Pieter, Chase Owens & Taiji Ishimori: Ospreay wins via Stormbreaker – ** ½
- Juice Robinson & Toa Henare vs Shota Umino & Jon Moxley: Henare wins via Toa Bomb – ** ½
- Tomoaki Honma, Ryusuke Taguchi, Toru Yano, Togi Makabe & Hirooki Goto vs BUSHI, Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & EVIL: SANADA via Moonsault – ** ½
- YOSHI-HASHI, KENTA & Tomohiro Ishii vs Guerrillas of Destiny & Bad Luck Fale: Tama Tonga wins via Go 2 Sleep – ****
- Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr vs Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi: Suzuki wins via Gotch Style Piledriver – ****
- G1 Climax 29 Finals: Kota Ibushi vs Jay White: Ibushi wins via Kamigoye – *****
Yota Tsuji & Ren Narita vs Clark Connors & Karl Fredericks – Very simple story here, Eastern Young Lions versus Western Young Lions. Shibata’s LA Dojo duo dominated this match. Tsuji and Narita obviously got offense in, but they were never able to maintain any kind of momentum. Connors and Fredericks looked amazing. After the match, the other Japanese Young Lions came in and it does feel like a turf war in a sense.
Lance Archer, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi w/Miho Abe vs Jyushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask & Jeff Cobb – Entertaining match, but purely filler. Liger is on his retirement tour, so this is the first time in like 8 years that Liger has wrestled in the Boudokan and his last G1 Climax. So to feel good about Liger’s retirement we got this match, and Liger was on the winning team. We got a small taste of Archer versus Cobb, so there could always be something there later in the year.
YOH, SHO & Will Ospreay vs Yujiro Takahashi w/ Pieter, Chase Owens & Taiji Ishimori – Perfectly adequate undercard tag. YOH and SHO are in the upcoming Super J Cup, so this could just be a nice way to make sure fans didn’t forget about them. It’s also nice to see Ishimori again. But nothing special, just a solid match.
Juice Robinson & Toa Henare vs Shota Umino & Jon Moxley – Well with Juice eliminating Moxley from the G1, Juice was put into consideration for a US Title shot. Juice being on the winning team, as well as stoking the flames between the both of them, should more than insure he gets a shot soon. Most likely during the Destruction tour so the defense can happen before AEW TV starts. As for the match it was okay. Shota and Henare did a bit, and with Henare picking up the win, it helps to try and separate him further from the Young Lions.
Tomoaki Honma, Ryusuke Taguchi, Toru Yano, Togi Makabe & Hirooki Goto vs BUSHI, Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & EVIL- There’s some possible intrigue here, because Yano, Taguchi and Makabe are the 6 Man Champions. So if any of them eat the pinfall, then LIJ would have an opportunity at that title. Alas, Honma eats the pin and we just have a fun and frantic 10 man match.
YOSHI-HASHI, KENTA & Tomohiro Ishii vs Guerrillas of Destiny & Bad Luck Fale – Tama tweeted a new acquisition a few hours before the show and this match always looked weird on paper. KENTA did his entrance, didn’t throw his shirt, never made a save for his CHAOS teammates, and then when Ishii needed the tag, KENTA dropped off the ring. KENTA watched, until Ishii started making a comeback, then he slides in, hits Busaiku Knee, then a Go 2 Sleep and Tama takes the pin. KENTA is about to say something, but Shibata comes screaming down the ramp and unloads on KENTA and the other Bullet Club members. Eventually the numbers catch up to him and Shibata is taken out by a few Kendo shots and a PK from KENTA. KENTA does the Too Sweet, and they walk off together.
Shibata is disgraced, humiliated, embarrassed, whatever word you want to use. He vouched for KENTA, they were friends for years, and KENTA betrays Shibata and New Japan. It has to be mentioned, Shibata looked amazing. If he can somehow get cleared for active competition, this heel turn for KENTA could be the path back for Shibata. Very awesome.
Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr vs Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi – Suzuki’s great plan of revenge has now begun in full swing. Since being spurned from the G1 Climax this year, he’s been quietly plotting. Sabre had to put up a fight against Tanahashi since he’s lost the last two matches against him. The match was damn good, and you kept seeing Suzuki chomping at the bit to make sure he had Okada. So now, Suzuki is in line for a championship shot. It is very rare for the Champion to get pinned in an undercard match, especially by someone who didn’t even qualify for the G1 Climax.
G1 Climax 29 Finals: Kota Ibushi vs Jay White – Jay White has a solid lock on his character. He comes down with the full Bullet Club entourage in tow, and it looks like the Finals will be ruined with Bullet Club shenanigans. Red Shoes immediately throws out all of them, except Gedo. Then he catches Gedo so throws him out shortly after. We get a great back and forth match with both personalities shining through. When Red Shoes gets bumped and Gedo comes back out, it almost looks like that’s the opportunity to ruin a great match. But Ibushi fights through it all, taps into his second life bar, hits 2 Bom-ba-ye and 2 Kamigoyes. So much was riding on Ibushi to be the hero to overcome the villain. Kamigoye means to surpass god, and he used it to surpass the ultimate evil. Simple, yet beautiful.
Ibushi is the first man in New Japan history to win the Best of the Super Juniors (2011), New Japan Cup (2015) and G1 Climax (2019)
Overall Score: 8.5/10.
A few of the undercard tags were nothing but filler, but at the point where KENTA did his heel turn, that just reignited the night. Suzuki’s surprising pinfall on Okada and then a great main event with the babyface going over and having the crowd erupt was something special.
Numerous fans flipped out this year with Moxley starting strong, Naito losing, KENTA’s presence and Jay White being Jay White. But if people would just let the story play out, before overreacting to their playlist not coming true…you’d see something special.
Great G1 Climax, capped off wonderfully.