The A Block continues the action!
And the Rainmaker is STILL undefeated! But now, the Cold Skull has another chance to take him down! Will SANADA be the one to end Kazuchika Okada’s streak?
Coverage of the G1 Climax 29 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs to come courtesy of https://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Bad Luck Fale VS KENTA; Fale wins.
- Lance Archer VS Zack Sabre Jr; Sabre wins.
- EVIL VS Will Ospreay; EVIL wins.
- Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Kota Ibushi; Ibushi wins.
- Kazuchika Okada VS SANADA; SANADA wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene for another round!
The Rainmaker is STILL unbeaten, even after facing the Killer Elite, Lance Archer. And now he is TRULY the last undefeated man in the G1 Climax as B Block’s Jon Moxley was bamboozled and beaten by the Clown Prince himself, Toru Yano! Kazuchika Okada faces a man he’s never lost to yet in SANADA! Sanada has no chance of making it to the Finals, but perhaps he can use this moment to spoil Okada’s momentum! Will Sanada still check off a future title match by beating Okada once and for all?
Meanwhile, there is a three-way tie for second place between the Ace, the Golden Star and Mr. Takeover! Tanahashi takes on Ibushi in a showdown of role model and follower! Will the Once in a Century Talent’s comeback be halted by the rise of a new ace? And what of Kenta’s run as he looks to stay afloat this close to the end?
Bad Luck Fale w/ Jado & Chase Owens VS KENTA!
Ask and we receive! The Rogue General is the next challenge for #FangRevive in the G1! Kenta wants to stay alive in the round robin, but will the big bad Tongan end all of that here?
The minute Kenta and Fale are face to face, Kenta SLAPS Fale! The bell rings and Fale hoists Kenta up with both hands! Kenta fights out and runs, but his boot only staggers Fale. Kenta tries another, but still nothing. He tries a third time, has to duck Fale’s counter attack, only to get a SMACK from Jado’s kendo stick! Fans boo but the referee just missed that, somehow. Fale grinds Kenta into the mat then drops a heavy elbow! Fale gets mad at fans booing but he just drops more elbows on Kenta. Kenta rolls to ropes but Fale just uses that to stand on him. The referee backs Fale off fast, having seen this before. Fale just comes back to stand on Kenta anyway! Fale lets up at the ref’s count, but Kenta slumps out to get jabs from Jado!
Fale fetches Kenta and stomps him out. Then he rams Kenta into the railing by commentary! Fale goes to the apron and a ring count begins. The count is already past 5 of 20 before Kenta gets to the apron. Kenta is in at 10 of 20 and fans cheer, but Fale drags Kenta up for big clubbing forearms. Fale chokes Kenta into ropes but the ref counts again. Fale lets up at 4, but then he drags Kenta for a cocky cover. TWO, and Fale is upset with the ref. Fale goes back to Kenta but Kenta fires slapping palm strikes! Fale just SLAPS Kenta once and Kenta’s down! Kenta is dazed but Fale scoops him up. Kenta fights out and staggers back. He boots Fale from the corner, then climbs up. Fale staggers into Kenta’s tornado hotshot! Fale staggers away, Kenta climbs and leaps for a flying lariat! It takes Fale down!
Fans cheer as Kenta hurries to the corner. Fale runs in but Kenta dodges! Kenta dropkicks the legs, then whips. Fale reverses but Kenta dropkicks the legs again. Kenta sees Jado and DECKS him! Kenta goes back to Fale for a DDT! Cover, TWO! Kenta keeps his cool and heads to a corner. Fans fire up with him as he springboards for a missile dropkick! Fale only falls into a corner, so Kenta BOOTS him! Kenta runs corner to corner for a helluva boot, then again for the basement dropkick! Fans fire up with Kenta as he climbs up again. Kenta aims, leaps, double stomps! Cover, TWO! Fale survives Kenta’s coup de grace, but Kenta isn’t done there. Kenta slashes the throat and drags Fale up. Kenta tries the fireman’s carry but that’s too much Tongan!
Kenta fires strikes and runs, but into a LARIAT! Fale catches his breath then covers, TWO! Fale grows frustrated but he prepares to finish this. Kenta crawls, but Fale grabs him. Fale pops Kenta up, but Kenta counters to a Triangle Hold! Chase Owens leaves commentary as Kenta wants #GameOver! Jado slips in as Chase distracts the ref! But Kenta stops the kendo, only for Fale to roll him up! Fale wins!!
Winner: Bad Luck Fale, by pinfall; earns 2 points
The Crown Jewel plays dumb as to what happened, but he’s the reason Fale finally gets on the board. Did Bullet Club just kill Kenta’s chances in G1?
Lance Archer VS Zack Sabre Jr!
For the first time, it is Suzuki-Gun’s Killer Elite VS Suzuki-Gun’s Submission Master! But being in the same faction won’t stop either man from doing what they love to do, and that includes Archer decking Young Lions just for fun! But just because #EverybodyDies, does that mean Archer will #JustTapOut?
The bell rings and Archer rushes in, but ZSJ gets clear. ZSJ taunts Archer, and Archer thrusts a big boot, but ZSJ gets clear of that, too. ZSJ keeps egging Archer on, but Archer almost corners him. Archer’s like a bull and ZSJ’s the matador. They circle and tie up, and Archer throws ZSJ into a corner! ZSJ gets out of the corner, but his uppercut is countered to a full nelson! ZSJ slips out but Archer headlocks to wrench to hammerlock, back to headlock! Archer wrenches again to a wristlock. ZSJ rolls but Archer blocks with strength to wrangle ZSJ to the mat. ZSJ slips out and rolls and bridges to spin and reverse the armlock! He spins all around but that sweep doesn’t work on such a tall and powerful opponent. The two fight with arms and legs, and ZSJ manages to get Archer down, only for Archer to kip up and wring ZSJ out!
Fans cheer as ZSJ is shocked by Archer’s agility! Archer taunts ZSJ now, but ZSJ gives it back in shoulder and chest bumps. Archer laughs until ZSJ throws European Uppercuts. They don’t do anything, but Archer’s CHOP floors ZSJ! Archer soaks up the cheers as ZSJ slowly gets up. ZSJ fires off more EuroUppers, then runs, but Archer runs him over! Archer drags ZSJ up and scoops for a one armed slam! Archer stomps ZSJ then grinds a boot into him. The ref counts and Archer lets up, to then drag ZSJ in for a standing toehold. ZSJ works his way up and out but Archer kicks and punches him down. Archer drags ZSJ up for another scoop and slam to a drop zone. Archer tells ZSJ fans to “Shut up!” then jumps up! But his spinning splash misses as ZSJ rolls away!
ZSJ runs back in to wheelbarrow and gets the leg! Archer can’t stay up as ZSJ has the kneebar! ZSJ heel hooks but Archer ropebreaks! ZSJ lets go but comes back to kick at the leg. Archer swats ZSJ down but ZSJ comes back and hops on for a sleeper hold, with body scissors! Archer starts fading but then revives to toss ZSJ off! Archer stomps ZSJ then clubs him hard on the back. He drags ZSJ up to toss him out hard! ZSJ crawls as Archer watches from the apron. But ZSJ sees him and runs away. ZSJ gets in the ring and goes at Archer, but Archer catches him with both hands! Archer lifts ZSJ up but ZSJ counters to an Iron Octopus through the ropes! The ref counts but ZSJ lets go at 4. To come back for the leg! The ref counts the draping kneebar, but ZSJ lets go.
ZSJ throws more EuroUppers, then runs, but Archer goes perpendicular, only for ZSJ to see it coming! He catches the Derailer pounce into a guillotine and body scissors! Archer gets up fast and rams ZSJ into buckles! Archer is free, but he misses in the corner. ZSJ runs in but gets tossed down with an urenage! Archer drags ZSJ up and over to the corner. Archer climbs and goes Old School! And the extension, but ZSJ trips him up! ZSJ climbs up and wants the arm but Archer knocks him away. ZSJ climbs back up for another guillotine! The ref reprimands him, but Archer stands and pushes ZSJ off. Archer boots ZSJ, then LEAPS for a crossbody! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer as ZSJ survives that massive splash!
Archer drags ZSJ up again, choke grips and lifts, but ZSJ headscissors for a Triangle! ZSJ drags Archer down but Archer deadlifts. But ZSJ shifts to a take on Rings of Saturn! Archer reaches with his legs for a ropebreak! ZSJ lets go to kick Archer in the chest! Fans fire up as ZSJ runs, but the PK is caught! Archer pops ZSJ up for a scooping powerbomb! High stack cover, TWO! ZSJ escapes the stack, and dodges the claw! He waistlocks and climbs for another Iron Octopus! But Archer powers out, only for ZSJ to sunset flip! Archer grabs down with his claw, but it gets caught into an armbar! But Archer deadlifts again! ZSJ lets go, arm Pele! Then to the other side! ZSJ runs, but into the BLACK HOLE! Cover, TWO! Somehow, ZSJ survives!
Archer grabs ZSJ but ZSJ avoids the claw! But not that powerful right hand! Then the CHOKE SLAM! Cover, but Archer lets up!? Archer hoists ZSJ up because he wants to end this! Inverted crucifix, but ZSJ slips out to a sleeper and body scissors! Then shift to a crucifix pin! ZSJ WINS!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by pinfall; earns 2 points
The Submission Master makes Archer regret not finishing him when he had him! Will ZSJ and the Killer Elite still be able to coexist within Suzuki-Gun?
EVIL VS Will Ospreay!
The King of Darkness is a dark horse to say the least in this round robin. But he must win in order to stay alive! Will Los Ingobernables de Japon take care of business, starting with Evil?
The bell rings and Ospreay hears the fans cheering him on. He fires up as he circles with Evil. They approach and Evil kicks low to headlock. Ospreay spins out to wrench, wristlock and wrench again. Evil endures and goes after the eyes! Evil whips Ospreay but Ospreay ducks and doges to headscissor Evil out of the ring! Then he keeps moving, only to fake Evil out and handspring superhero land! Fans cheer as Ospreay swaggers about. Evil takes his time returning, wanting to see what’s under the ring first. Red Shoes reprimands Evil already as he finds one chair. Evil struggles getting the chair in, since it went and opened on its own, so he tosses it over the top in frustration. Ospreay takes the chair, simply to taunt Evil with it’s clanging. Ospreay fakes throwing the chair, to hand it to Red Shoes. Evil slips in fast, but Ospreay is ready with kicks!
Ospreay whips Evil but Evil reverses. Ospreay holds ropes and boots Evil back. Ospreay bumps Evil, Evil comes back, they each dodge and counter, but Evil double CHOPS Ospready down! Ospreay dodges the senton, only for his standing shooting star to get knees! Evil runs and runs Ospreay over with a big shoulder! Fans are fired up as Evil watches Ospreay get up. Evil clotheslines Ospreay out hard, then goes out to fetch him. Well, him and a few more chairs. Evil stomps the bad shoulder before setting a chair around Ospreay’s head! Red Shoes reprimands Evil but Evil pushes Red Shoes aside, to swing that chair shot home run! Fans cheer as Evil “watches” it go out of the stadium. Evil then takes a seat as he watches Ospreay rise. Evil brings Ospreay back to the ring and fans cheer as he stalks Ospreay to a corner.
Evil clubs Ospreay on the bad shoulder, then elbows the neck. He drags Ospreay up and turns him for a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Evil keeps on Ospreay with a chinlock, digging a knee in Ospreay’s back. Ospreay endures and fans build to a rally. Ospreay fights his way up and out, and then CHOPS Evil hard! Evil elbows Ospreay back, then drags him in for a suplex. Ospreay resists but Evil tries again, only for Ospreay to counter with a stunner! Both men are down and Red Shoes checks on them. Ospreay’s okay to continue as he sits up. Evil follows and even stands first. But Ospreay throws hands, knees and a jawbreaker first! Ospreay kicks Evil then whips, but Evil reverses. Ospreay dodges again for BIG flying forearms! Evil gets to a corner, but Ospreay runs in, only to be put on the apron.
Ospreay hits Evil back then springboards in, Pip Pip Cheerio flying forearm! Cover, TWO! Evil survives but Ospreay keeps his cool. Fans rally up as Ospreay takes aim. Robinson Special avoided, and Evil catches the kick to give to Red Shoes, to mule kick Ospreay! Then snap suplex into buckles! Cover, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as he reels Ospreay in. Ospreay resists the German Suplex and elbows back, but Evil shoves him. Evil blocks the boot, ducks the enziguri, but misses his clothesline. Ospreay comes back to uppercut, then sweep the legs. Ospreay runs but Evil follows to get that clothesline! Fans cheer as Evil has the Aerial Assassin down.
Evil drags Ospreay back up to haul him to the top rope. Evil climbs up to join Ospreay but Ospreay resists. Ospreay pries free of the facelock to forearm Evil off the corner. Evil gets back up but Ospreay leaps, only for Evil to get under! Evil uses Red Shoes as a shield, then kicks to suplex Ospreay onto Red Shoes! Red Shoes panics and doesn’t stay a support for Magic Killer! Ospreay slips out, but Evil kicks low. Evil runs but Ospreay ducks, handsprings, enzugiri! Evil rolls out and Ospreay fires up. Ospreay runs, handsprings, GREAT SASUKE SPECIAL! That takes Evil down but Ospreay himself needs time to recover. Ospreay fires up and the fans fire up with him. Ospreay puts Evil back in, then climbs up top. He aims at Evil, but Evil rolls away. So Ospreay decides to go Coast2Coast instead! Cover, TWO!!
Fans fire up again as Ospreay fires up, too. Ospreay drags Evil up and reels him in. Underhooks but Evil fights out. Evil forearms, roaring elbows, and runs, into the dropkick-flip and enziguri! Ospreay runs but Evil goes to the corner to come back with a lariat! Both men are down, but fans rally up. Evil and Ospreay stir, with Evil up first. Ospreay follows and the two throw forearms from the mat. Evil hits Ospreay and eggs Ospreay on. Ospreay hits back, then they stand. Evil hits Ospreay and Ospreay grits his teeth to come back again. Another from Evil, another from Ospreay and the pace quickens! Evil rocks Ospreay and then goes to fireman’s carry. Ospreay elbows and kicks out, but Evil still powers him up! Ospreay slips out, inverted suplex, but Evil escapes! DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Fans cheer as Ospreay survives!
Evil slashes the throat and spins Ospreay around. But Ospreay spins through to sit-out powerbomb!! Cover, TWO!! Evil shocks Ospreay! Ospreay has the fans with him as he HOOK KICKS! Then from the corner, elbow pad off… HIDDEN- Miss! Evil counters and CHOPS, half ‘n’ half but Ospreay gets out to ROUNDHOUSE! Ospreay runs but into Evil’s clothesline! Ospreay stays up but Evil headbutts him down! Evil prepares his own, waits for Ospreay to get back up, SPANISH FLY counters the lariat! Cover, TWO!? Ospreay doesn’t stay down, OSCUTTER!! Cover, TWO?!? Evil survives again?! The fans are thunderous as Ospreay is stunned!
We reach the halfway point of this 30 minute time limit match, and Ospreay is determined to try again. He slashes the throat, drags Evil up, and underhooks the arms. Ospreay gets Evil up, but Evil wriggles free. Everything denied, Ospreay waistlocks but Evil standing switches to German Suplex! But Ospreay lands on his feet! ROBINSON SPECIAL! Ospreay vows to end this as he drags Evil to a corner. Ospreay springboards from the very top, but Evil catches the Oscutter!! Into a Half ‘n’ Half! And another! Ospreay is dazed, but Evil is fired up! Evil runs, LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay survives but Evil vows to end him! He hauls Ospreay up, spins him around, EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! Cover, Evil wins!!
Winner: EVIL, by pinfall; earns 2 points
Evil keeps his hopes alive, but will he only have to fight even harder to be a finalist?
Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Kota Ibushi!
It is a rematch of epic proportions! The Ace and the Golden Star met in the finals of the 28th G1 Climax, and it would be the Ace that won it all! But now, Ibushi has a second chance, can he even things with the man he calls a “wrestling god”?
The bell rings fans are thunderous already for these fan favorites! Ibushi and Tanahashi circle a couple times, then tie up. Ibushi waistlocks but Tanahashi standing switches. Ibushi also switches, but then Tanahashi, and repeat. Tanahashi ends up behind Ibushi again but Ibushi counters to a wrench. Tanahashi counters that wrench with a wrench and then a headlock. Ibushi endures but cannot power out as Tanahashi squeezes tight. Ibushi slips out the back and trips Tanahashi, to get a headlock of his own. Tanahashi powers up but can’t power out as Ibushi grinds him down. Tanahashi fights back then powers out, but Ibushi counters the hip toss only for Tanahashi to counter the hip toss, but then Ibushi blocks the next hip toss. So Tanahashi shifts to an arm-drag! But Ibushi headscissor counters! Tanahashi pops out but Ibushi dropkicks him down! Fans cheer as the Golden Star stands tall over the Ace!
Ibushi goes to pick Tanahashi up but Tanahashi trips him to get the leg! Tanahashi wrenches on the toehold but Ibushi endures. Ibushi tries to counter but Tanahashi drops elbows on the leg! Tanahashi shifts for more leverage, but Ibushi endures. Ibushi reaches for ropes but Tanahashi figure fours the legs for a butterfly deathlock! Fans rally both ways as Tanahashi puts more pressure on the knees. Ibushi endures while keeping his shoulders off the mat. Ibushi drags his way backwards, and gets the ropebreak! Tanahashi lets him go, but stomps Ibushi’s legs. Ibushi eggs Tanahashi on so Tanahashi drags him up, only for Ibushi to fire off forearms! Tanahashi kicks the leg out, then grabs it. Ibushi forearms to stop the screw, but Tanahashi fires off forearms and uppercuts! Tanahashi runs, into a kick!
Both men are down, checking their legs. Fans rally up and Ibushi stands first. He brings Tanahashi up, ducks the palm strike to fire off! Roundhouse decks Tanahashi! Standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his cool as he stands again. Tanahashi slowly sits up but Ibushi waistlocks and lifts him. Tanahashi elbows out, blocks the kick to knee the elbow. Ibushi tries again but gets a dropkick to the other leg! Tanahashi runs but he has to catch another kick, so he gives it a Dragon Screw! Ibushi is down and fans rally up again. Tanahashi drags Ibushi by his leg, grounded dragon screw! And then Tanahashi gets both legs, for the Cloverleaf! Ibushi resists the turn, but Tanahashi still gets him over! Ibushi endures and crawls for ropes again, only for Tanahashi to drag him away!
Tanahashi sits down deep! Ibushi continues to endure, and Tanahashi’s grip loosens. Ibushi crawls and gets the ropebreak! Tanahashi lets him go, but stomps those bad legs more. Tanahashi has Ibushi on the apron and drags him up. Ibushi fights back with forearms, but Tanahashi gets his leg through the ropes, for another Dragon Screw! Ibushi falls to the floor, clutching that leg. Fans rally up as Tanahashi goes to the corner. Tanahashi climbs, but Ibushi scrambles to meet him! Springboard Steiner! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi survives Ibushi’s surprise, but Ibushi keeps his focus. Ibushi scoops Tanahashi and aims for a corner, but Tanahashi slips out. Tanahashi aims for the legs, only to get Ibushi’s double stomps!
Fans rally as both men slowly stir. Ibushi is up first and brings Tanahashi back into the scoop. LONG DART! Tanahashi hits buckles face first, but both men are down as Ibushi catches his breath. Ibushi goes after Tanahashi on the apron for a familiar deadlift. SUPER GERMAN SUPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Tanahashi still lives, and Ibushi starts to grow frustrated. Fans rally up as Ibushi stands. Ibushi brings Tanahashi up, powerbomb lift but Tanahashi slips out to SLAP! But Ibushi just gets mad. Ibushi CHOPS then fires off on Tanahashi! But Tanahashi doesn’t back down! They start throwing big SLAPPING palm strikes. Tanahashi swats Ibushi, then Ibushi just fires off one after the other! Tanahashi doesn’t flinch, and now both men are throwing slapping haymakers! Tanahashi rocks Ibushi, only to throw more! But Ibushi spins around with a LARIAT!
Both men are down but fans refuse to give up on either. The rally returns, and Ibushi is up to his feet. He drags Tanahashi up, wants the bomb, LAST RIDE! Cover, TWO!! Tanahashi will not die! Ibushi is too tired to be frustrated, but he has enough left to be determined. Fans duel and rally as Ibushi vows to break the wrestling god! Wristlocks, but Tanahashi catches Kamigoye into Twist ‘n’ Shout! And then a second! And then Ibushi counters the third, but only for a moment! Tanahashi hits a third Twist ‘n’ Shout! The hat trick is complete, but Tanahashi runs, to SLINGBLADE! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi survives but Tanahashi fires up! Tanahashi climbs, Ibushi stands, Ace’s High crossbody! And that leads to Tanahashi going back up… for High Fly FLOP!! Ibushi moves out of the way just in time!
Tanahashi clutches his knee from the impact, but Ibushi feeds off the energy in the crowd. Ibushi aims like the King of Strong Style, “YAO!” BOMAYE! Cover, TWO!! Tanahashi survives the borrowed power of the other NJPW Wrestling God! Ibushi hears the halfway mark announcement, but he has his own move. But Tanahashi flips down to victory roll! TWO, ROUNDHOUSE! Tanahashi stays on his feet! Only to get a second ROUNDHOUSE! Now Tanahashi is down, and now Ibushi has the wrists, and now, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; earns 2 points
The Golden Star has beaten the Once in a Century Talent!! Ibushi trumps The Ace with both respect and determination. Tanahashi returns that respect, but will even his encouragement be enough for Ibushi to return to the G1 finals?
Kazuchika Okada VS SANADA!
The Rainmaker is THE IWGP Heavyweight Champion that is undefeated in this year’s G1, that is on a streak reaching back to last year’s G1, and has never lost to Cold Skull in the six times they’ve met. But this could be lucky number seven for Sanada. Will Sanada end the streak and punch his ticket to a title match even without the G1 tournament’s grand prize?
The elaborately designed jackets come off and the bell rings. Fans are thunderous again for two more fan favorites. Okada and Sanada take a moment to hear the cheers and chants, and even encourage it. They finally circle and approach. They feel out the grapple, remembering the six times before. Okada gets the waistlock but Sanada the wristlock and switch. Okada wrenches back to wristlock, but Sanada slips through. Sanada wrenches but Okada rolls to get the leg takedown. Okada has the toehold, but Sanada keeps calm. Sanada pries Okada off to an armlock, but Okada works his way up and around. Sanada avoids the cover but Okada facelocks him. They stand and Sanada wrenches but Okada wrenches back. Okada headlocks and grinds Sanada down.
Sanada fights back and powers out, but Okada runs him over! Things speed up, Okada counters the hip toss to a hip toss, but Sanada shoves Okada away. Sanada sweeps the legs to cover, ONE, and roles reverse. The two stand off and fans cheer. Okada backs off to check knee pads and catch his breath. Sanada also backs off to his corner to reset. The two circle and tie up again. Okada pushes Sanada back to the ropes, then as is his way, fakes the chop to pat Sanada’s shoulders. Okada kicks Sanada, snapmares but Sanada handsprings through! Sanada dropkicks but Okada gets clear, only for Sanada to get clear of the senton! Sanada basement dropkicks Okada this time! He looms over Okada now and brings him up for clubbing forearms.
Sanada has Okada in a corner, but whips corner to corner. Okada boots but Sanada blocks, and trips him up. Fans anticipate what’s coming as Sanada ties Okada up! Okada powers out then runs, but into Sanada’s elbow! Cover, ONE! Sanada keeps his cool as he keeps on Okada with a chinlock. Okada endures and works his way back up. Okada fights out but Sanada knees low. Sanada whips but Okada ducks and dodges to back elbow! Fans cheer as Okada evens things up. Okada brings Sanada up now and whips him corner to corner. Okada hits the back elbow, then kicks low to DDT Sanada down! Cover, TWO! Sanada is stinging but he still survives that spiking move. Okada scoops Sanada and slams him, then heads up top. Sanada gets under the leap, but Okada powers Sanada to the top rope, to dropkick him down and out!
Sanada is down in front of commentary as fans cheer and rally. Okada takes his time going out to fetch Sanada, and whips him into the barriers! Then boots him over! Okada drags Sanada up onto the railing, for the draping DDT! Sanada writhes and flails from being spiked again! Okada leaves Sanada behind to get in the ring. Red Shoes sees Sanada is okay to continue, so the ring count begins. Okada rests while the count climbs to 10. Sanada grits his teeth as he sits up and stands. Sanada is up at 14 and in at 15! Fans cheer as Okada goes right at him with a basement dropkick! Okada has a cocky cover but Red Shoes disapproves. Okada smirks when Red Shoes refuses to count, so he just walks around Sanada a moment. He hears the fans rally up for Sanada, so he drags Sanada up. Sanada fights back with body shots, but Okada forearms back.
Sanada swings but misses, Okada hits his uppercut. Okada whips but sees Sanada hold ropes. Okada stops his dropkick, only for Sanada to dropkick his leg out! Both men are down from the damage done in this match, but Sanada stands up first. Sanada throws forearms then whips, but Okada reverses to forearm back. Things speed up and Sanada hurdles to dropkick Okada down! Okada goes out, but Sanada slingshots for the plancha! Fans fire up and Sanada takes a moment to soak it up. Sanada drags Okada up and into the ring, which fans also cheer. Sanada gets in and brings Okada up again. Okada blocks the saido and elbows Sanada off. Sanada kicks but Okada spins him. Okada kicks but Sanada blocks, and trips him up! Raimaker in Paradise! And as fans cheer again, Sanada dropkicks Okada out of Paradise! Cover, TWO!
Sanada keeps his cool as he brings Okada up to a corner. He whips Okada corner to corner, then runs in, but Okada dodges. Okada comes back in but gets an elbow. Sanada moonsaults but Okada gets under, to flapjack Sanada on the return! Both men are down again but fans cheer them on. Okada sits up first but Sanada follows. They stand and Okada boots Sanada. Sanad goes to kick but Okada blocks, so Sanada forearms Okada instead. Okada rebounds but misses the dropkick. He dodges the moonsault but not the basement dropkick! Sanada drags Okada up, BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Sanada keeps focus as he works on getting his arms moving. He drags Okada up for a fireman’s carry. Okada slips out but Sanada elbows him away.
Sanada whips Okada but Okada reverses. Sanada tumbles out and jumps up, but Okada is there to catch him! Into the Alabama, for the Air Raid neckbreaker! Okada drags Sanada up again for a scoop and slam. Then he goes up top, and fans know what he’s after. Okada leaps, the Macho Elbow hits hard! And now, Rainmaker Pose! Okada stalks Sanada, drags him up and reels him out, but Sanada dodges to Shiranui into Skull End! Okada fights out with big haymakers, then climbs the corner for the gut wrench! TOMBSTONE! Rainmaker Pose 2! Okada drags Sanada up again, wristlock ripcord, but Sanada ducks! Suplex and hanging MAGIC KILLER! Both men are down from all the damage, and the fans are thunderously dueling!
Okada and Sanada stir, and Okada hurries after Sanada. He brings Sanada around, and throws a forearm. Sanada grits his teeth as he gives it back. Okada shakes out some cobwebs before throwing another. Sanada has to shake his own cobwebs before giving it back. Okada hits again, but Sanada still returns. They go back and forth and start picking up speed. Sanada staggers and Okada brings him around for another. Okada eggs Sanada on with a flurry of words! Sanada gives that forearm back, but just uses his icy stare to egg Okada on. Sanada hits Okada again, but Okada dares him to keep trying. The brawl continues back and forth, fast and furious! EuroUpper from Okada only fires Sanada up! Sanada gives a EuroUpper of his own and it staggers Okada!
Okada comes back with another EuroUpper, but Sanada gives him an even stronger one! Okada won’t fall, but Red Shoes is concerned. Sanada wants another, so he brings Okada back up, for that third EuroUpper! But Okada spins Sanada around for the dropkick! Okada whips, and hits another dropkick! He keeps going, wristlock ripcord, but Sanada dodges again! Sanada Shiranuis, but into the Tombstone position! But Sanada flails and gets out to the dragon sleeper! Sanada has Okada in Skull End phase 1, then waits until Okada fades, for a TIGER SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Sanada was so close and yet so far! But he vows to end it all now! Sanada fireman’s carries Okada to the TKO! Cover, TWO!? Okada barely survives, but this only encourages Sanada to MOONSAULT!
Okada dodges and Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada staggers but comes running back in. Okada boots him, then runs out, only for Sanada to dodge and moonsault again! He catches Okada into the dragon sleeper! Drop down, but Okada rolls through to point-blank Rainmaker! But Okada knows that’s not good enough for this seventh time around! He brings Sanada up for another point-blank Rainmaker! And then another Rainmaker Pose, for the wristlock and STOLEN RAINMAKER!! Sanada counters the lariat with a lariat! And now, dragon sleeper, SWINGING Skull End! Body scissors, too! Okada flails and reaches but they’re in the middle of the ring! Sanada holds on tight as Okada tries to roll around. The time is closing in, but Okada pops out of the sleeper!
Okada reaches but Sanada reels him back in! Okada fights off the arms and scrambles with his legs! Sanada holds on desperately, and ditches the scissors for the sleeper! Then he drops back down, further from the ropes! Okada is stuck back in Skull End, but he refuses to give up! Red Shoes asks him if he’s giving up, and Okada starts fading. Okada grabs at Red Shoes to do anything but tap! Okada pops out and bridges back, TWO!! SKULL END AGAIN! The third time, and Okada is running out of time!! Red Shoes asks Okada if he’s still in this, but Okada is fading fast! Okada keeps a spark of life going, but Sanada lets him go, to climb up and MOONSAULT! ONTO KNEES! Okada saves himself at the last second! But this could also be the last seconds of his streak!
Osaka is at a fever pitch for both men as they slowly stir. Okada is dazed as he looks for Sanada. Sanada finds him first, and we have ONE MINUTE left! Dragon sleeper, but arm-drag! Dropkick! Okada roars as he drags Sanada up, wristlock reel- POP UP CUTTER!! Thirty seconds as Sanada MOONSAULTS Okada’s back! But then another to the front! Cover, Sanada wins!!
Winner: SANADA, by pinfall; earns 2 points
With 13 seconds to spare, the Cold Skull finally defeats Okada! Sanada ruins the streak while pinning the IWGP Heavyweight Champion! We will hear from the shocking winner after the break!
NJPW returns as Sanada is given the mic.
Osaka is thunderous as Sanada finds the energy to speak. “I did it. I finally won against my rival.” It’s been a while since Sanada’s closed a show, are the fans okay with that? They cheer in approval, and we get a spotlight! Fans have the lights on their phones as Sanada says, “To tell you the truth… Last year, in this building here in Osaka, I lost to my rival, Okada.” He hated Osaka for that. But that all changes tonight. Osaka is now his number one favorite place in ALL of Japan! Osaka is happy to hear that! “Hey, Osaka. See you next time!”
NJPW Media Backstage Interview
Sanada asks, “There are people watching who couldn’t come to the arena, right?” That thing he did at the end is his gift to the TV audience. And with that, Cold Skull moves on having just gotten the biggest win of this entire tournament. When and where will Sanada get his shot at the championship?
WHOA, what a night! Just when I thought it was a shame AXS TV couldn’t get us other big matches, we actually got the biggest one of all. And it was after some really good matches on their own. Bullet Club keeps up the usual antics, and it pays off this time in screwing Kenta out of second place. Kenta will have plenty of things to do after the G1, so him going against Bullet Club would be interesting to see. Suzuki-Gun VS Suzuki-Gun was great, and it was great for ZSJ to get the surprise pinfall off Archer instead of a submission, the expected finish from the Submission Master. And then going into Night 15, Evil wins to keep his chances alive before facing Okada. Ospreay’s story is clearly that he’s still not quite at that level yet, even with two more rounds to go, but he could still finish strong to give himself hope.
The final two matches were the truly incredible action of tonight. Tanahashi VS Ibushi this year was on par, if not better than their G1 Climax finals match from last year. And it means so much for Ibushi to win here tonight, he is certainly going to reach the top of NJPW within the next year. He might even win G1 Climax 30 next year if things keep going this way. And it keeps Ibushi alive in a clear 2nd place behind Okada before they face off on Night 17, the final round. But of course, the biggest thing yet, Sanada finally gets on the board against Okada! For Sanada, it doesn’t even matter what happens with Okada and the G1 Finals, he has a match in his back pocket, and their eighth match will surely be even more amazing than this one.
As for Okada, he can still be a champion that wins the tournament, but I feel like that would only negate the importance of Sanada’s win here. If anything, Okada loses to B Block’s finalist, who could still very well be Jon Moxley. And that way, we still have a possible Champion VS Champion match at Wrestle Kingdom 14. The real question might, and perhaps should, become: Will it be Okada or Sanada with the title by then? There’s always intrigue on Mr. G1 Climax making it to the end of the year with the contract, since it can be defended like a title, but perhaps the pressure should be put on the IWGP Heavyweight Champion to make it to meeting Mox. Either way, there’s a lot of great potential going on here, and that’s always good for wrestling.
My Score: 9.5/10