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NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.83 ~ 10TH MAY 2020

Some pretty big things happened this week! Title changes, betrayal and new alliances! Hisame breaks down all the NOAH news!

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Some pretty big things happened this week! Title changes, betrayal and new alliances! Hisame breaks down all the NOAH news!

NEWS

KATSUHIKO NAKAJIMA, NEW GHC NATIONAL CHAMPION
Katsuhiko Nakajima became the 2nd GHC National Champion when he defeated Takashi Sugiura for the belt at “NOAH STAY TOGETHER: Sugiura vs Nakajima”.

Katsuhiko Nakajima came out with the usual smirk, and started winding Sugiura up right from the start. Nakajima got his comeuppance after “The Shutter Chance” when Sugiura took out Nakajima’s biggest and main weapons, his legs, attacking his knee and wrapping them round the steel barrier and working on his knee throughout the match, Nakajima sold this well, limping and often smacking it to try and get the feeling back into it.

Stiff match as was expected, and although Nakajima’s cockiness caught up with him at times, it did not cost him the match as it has done in the past. This is something Nakajima seems to have realised now, but in any case he and Sugiura know each other very well due to past title matches and Sugiura watching Nakajima grow up partially in NOAH.

As part of his taking Nakajima down, Sugiura locked in the dreaded ankle lock twice, with Nakajima managing to make it to the ropes the first time. The second time, Sugi dragged him back so Nakajima had to resort to punches until he let him go, despite Sugiura tightening the hold. Nakajima even grabbed hold of the ref at one point.

The end came in sequence; Nakajima with a massive kick on Sugiura when he went for the Olympic slam, and I mean massive, Sugiura crumpled to the mat. When he revived he was groggy, so Nakajima followed this up with further stiff kicks and the terrible soccer ball kicks which echoed around the arena.

Not enough for the pin, Sugi kicked out and went for the neck choke when Nakajima went for the Vertical Spike. Nakajima locked it in, but Sugi still kicked out.

Second ankle lock, followed by a slap war. Nakajima got the upper hand, and with a big Cheshire Cat grin hit the Vertical Spike with a long hang time.

Nakajima sat staring at the belt when it was offered to him by the referee, and he didn’t take it for a few moments. I half feared that he was going to throw it out of the ring like the W-1 belt, but Nakajima has an analytical mathematical brain, and he just wanted to think about it and what he was going to say and do. When he did take the belt, he put it down on the mat, sat down behind it, propped it up and then spoke on the microphone. He said that this belt opened up a chapter two and a new phase, and he could not wait to consider the possibilities that this belt would bring. Naturally, his first message on social media was to Go Shiozaki. Now they had two singles belts, were two singles champions, and they could stand together side by side.

“FULL THROTTLE”

After their tag match on the 10th May 2020, Atsushi Kotoge turned on Kotaro Suzuki, headbutting him when they went to shake hands, and then hitting him with the Killswitch. Speaking on the microphone Kotoge told Kotaro that he wasn’t going to be in STINGER with HAYATA, no one had even told him about it (see below), and neither had anyone even told him that STINGER had gotten back together. He then turned to Hajime Ohara and Seiki Yoshioka, and asked them if he could join The Sugiura Army.

NOSAWA Rongai appeared out of thin air, and said that Kotoge looked “too shady” to be in The Sugiura Army (this coming from a man who no one will sit next to on the train), and was attacked by Yoshioka, who knocked him out with a kick. The three of them then banded together, after some hesitation by Hajime Ohara, and then posed triumphantly on Kotaro and NOSAWA, who were lying in the ring. Backstage, Atsushi Kotoge announced their team name “FULL THROTTLE” and said they would breathe new life into the NOAH juniors.
HAYATA BETRAYS RATELS, JOINS STINGER
The long suspected and half forgotten mystery of HAYATA shaking hands with Yoshinari Ogawa after dropping the belt to him in January 2020, was revealed when HAYATA &YO-HEY defended the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag belts on 9th May against Kotaro Suzuki & Yoshinari Ogawa. HAYATA turned on YO-HEY during the match, and in the process vacated the tag belts by saying “Belt…return” and walking off with STINGER after a ring brawl which caused a no contest when Ogawa kicked the ref. Tadasuke grabbed the mic and screamed after them that he and YO-HEY would challenge them for the belts. Title match was set for “Muta Fantasia”, the next day on the 10th May.

Backstage, Ogawa gave no information as to why HAYATA had chosen to betray RATELS (and lets face it, HAYATA is never going to say it either), but RATELS themselves were in shock. Tadasuke and Harada were angry, with YO-HEY in shock at being betrayed by “Wife” and said they were getting a divorce.

On the 10th May, YO-HEY was not his usual bouncy self in the match, although HAYATA seemed more cold and sadistic than usual, but this time towards YO-HEY, even throwing him into a wall at one point. As soon as the bell rang, YO-HEY & Tadasuke attacked, and as the brawl went outside the ring, it led to a no contest. At the request of YO-HEY & Tadasuke, the match was restarted, but after several near heart in mouth pinfalls, HAYATA pinned YO-HEY for the belts.

There was confusion in the ring afterwards, as Atsushi Kotoge, Hajime Ohara and Seike Yoshioka got into the ring, and everyone started squaring up to each other and shoving each other (Kotaro snatched Kotoge’s hat off of his head at one point, and YO-HEY was clinging on to HAYATA’S leg), then the rapidly changed junior division withdrew into their three separate units and stared at each other. Harada, glaring daggers at HAYATA, was one of the last to leave.

Backstage Daisuke Harada said they would no longer be calling themselves RATELS. HAYATA had betrayed them one too many times now, and he would never be allowed back.

KENDO KASHIN

NOSAWA Rongai announced that The Sugiura Army were cutting Kazuyashi Fujita (no one can get hold of him), Dick Togo, KAZMA SAKAMOTO, Hideki “Shrek”Sekine and Hideki Suzuki from the unit temporarily, but he had recruited into it Kendo Kashin. Knowing that Sugiura “The Boss” had told him repeatedly, no more members, NOSAWA knew he had to bide his time and chose an appropriate moment to tell him.

Sensibly, NOSAWA did not bring up the matter after Sugiura had lost the belt to Katsuhiko Nakajima, but rather the next day after the Sugiura Army had defeated Kongoh (Nio and Yoshiki Inamura). Sugiura listened to his list of people that had cut, but he wasn’t too pleased at a new member.
Rene Dupree saved the situation by suggesting that everyone go out for beer.

EVENT RECAPS & POST MATCH PROMOS
Post match promos: 3rd May – “SHOWDOWN, The Sugiura Army vs Kongoh”
Event recap: 9th May – “Sugiura vs Nakajima”
Post match promos: 9th May – “Sugiura vs Nakajima
Event recap: 10th May – “Muta Fantasia

You can watch “Muta Fantasia” and past events free and worldwide for the next seven days from the time of writing (10th May) for the next seven days on ABEMA.

SCRAMBLE HISTORIES
Toshiaki Kawada vs Akitoshi Saito
Kotaro Suzuki vs Takeshi Rikio
Kaito Kiyomiya vs Seiya Morohashi

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH
~ Tadasuke’s latest drunken Instagram video ended with him singing Anime songs, and then passing out drunk with the feed still playing. YO-HEY turned up to laugh at him, and Naomichi Marufuji asked “What is that noise?” It was Tadasuke’s air con that kept on shorting out when it sped up. Despite Tadasuke doing nothing but snore, people kept tuning in to watch. Tadasuke has promised another drunken Instagram, especially in light of HAYATA;S betrayal.
~ After being rushed to hospital with acute appendicitis, which has kept him off the recent NOAH shows (and probably will until June), Go Shiozaki has gone back to doing some light weight training, and as the weather is good, it is outside in his outdoor gym.
~ Naomichi Marufuji’s incarnation “Magical Immortality” (in Japanese the Hiragana spell out “MA RU FU JI”) debuted on May 10th at “Muta Fantasia”.” He is a black and white demon. Great Muta was excited and said that he had “found a friend” in the NOAH ring, so this probably means that he will be back.
~ Kenoh has sworn to make the NOAH GHC Twitter pay, as he thought their apology for messing up the Kanji in a word that he likes to say and changing the meaning, was sarcastic (thanks to Metal NOAH for explaining this one).

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

THIS WEEK IN NOAH
Monday 11th May: Kenoh will be appearing for Samurai TV in their “Samurai Archives” series (expect to see him talk about his matches in Michinoku Pro, and his obsession, Kaito Kiyomiya after footage plays of both)
Wednesday 13th May: Hajime Ohara debut anniversary (2004)
Thursday 14th May: Go Shiozaki is doing an online merchandise signing session on the official NOAH YouTube channel (18.00 JST). Kinya Okada will assist him, and says he will do his best to look after Shiozaki.


UPCOMING EVENTS
NOAH have announced two further TV match events in May (24th & 31st), called “New Hope” These will most likely broadcast via ABEMA, and hopefully be free for all to view.

The events will be mainly the younger roster, Kenoh naturally isn’t pleased as it seems to centre on Kiyomiya, who “isn’t champion anymore”.

LINKS
“Front teeth disappear”…fan uproar..”Wanderer” Manabu Soya’s head on match with Takashi Sugiura
“Ideal belt for me” Katsuhiko Nakajima on the National Championship
“Now Noah can take the lead again” ~ continuing the empty arena, and the true intention of Noah’s rebel, Kenoh
Yoshinari Ogawa, “A lonely technician born from solitude and hardship”
“A Resident in The Demon World, in which immortal blood flows” ~ Interview with Naomichi Marufuji regarding “Magical Immortality”
“The day when a new speciality wrestling commentator was born” Kuniko Yamada’s commentary on Noah
“Accept anyone’s challenge”, Nakajima takes down Sugiura and seizes the GHC National Championship

GIF Credit: Samurai TV
Picture of HAYATA & YO-HEY: PKDX
“New Hope”: Noah.co.jp
The drunk Tadasuke picture was screenshotted by me.


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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Dynamite Results & Report! (8/17/22)

American Dragon VS Dragonslayer!

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AEW House of the Dragon

Dynamite becomes the House of the Dragon!

AEW has an epic rematch between Bryan Danielson and Daniel Garcia, in a Best Two Out of Three Falls match! Will Red Death truly slay the American Dragon?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Bryan Danielson VS Daniel Garcia; wins.
  • Gunn Club VS The Varsity Blonds; win(s).
  • Toni Storm VS KiLynn King; wins.
  • AEW World Trios Championship Tournament, Opening Round: La Faccion Ingobernable VS The Young Bucks & ???; win(s) and advances.

PLAY BY PLAY

[Due to scheduling conflicts, coverage of AEW Dynamite will begin later tonight]


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Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 32 Results & Report! (8/17/22)

And then there were four!

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NJPW G1 Climax 32

The G1 Climax’s Final Four face off!

A VS B and C VS D, the biggest G1 Climax in NJPW history reaches its semifinals! Will Tetsuya Naito make Will Ospreay trainquilo? Will Kazuchika Okada make it rain on the Good Bad Guy?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS Suzuki-Gun; Chaos wins.
  • Royce Isaacs & Tom Lawlor VS Dangerous Tekkers; Dangerous Tekkers win.
  • Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe VS Bad Dude Tito & JONAH; Tito & Jonah win.
  • Six Man Tag: The United Empire VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
  • 8 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
  • 8 Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano, David Finlay & KUSHIDA VS Bullet Club; Tanahashi, Yano, Finlay & Kushida win.
  • G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Kazuchika Okada VS Tama Tonga; Okada wins and advances to the finals.
  • G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Tetsuya Naito VS Will Ospreay; Ospreay wins and advances to the finals.

PLAY BY PLAY

G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Kazuchika Okada VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!

It’s A Block VS B Block, Rainmaker VS Good Bad Guy! And in G1 Climax 31, Okada lost to Tama! Will history repeat itself? Or will Tama have to fall back to the golden ticket he got from beating Jay White?

The bell rings and fans rally up already as the two circle. Tama and Okada shake hands to show there’s respect here and fans cheer more. Okada and Tama tie up, are in a deadlock, but Okada uses his height as leverage. Okada puts Tama on the ropes and the ref calls for the break. Okada lets off, pats Tama on the shoulders, but Tama rushes in. Okada kicks low, headlocks, but Tama powers up and out. Okada runs Tama over and fans fire up. Okada runs, Tama gets up to arm-drag Okada around! Then Tama dropkicks Okada down! Fans fire up more as Tama brings Okada up. Tama CLUBS Okada and follows him to a corner.

Tama throws body shots, but Okada throws forearms! Tama knees low, Okada throws body shots but Tama CLUBS Okada down. Fans rally as Tama whips corner to corner, but Okada reverses. Okada runs in but into a back elbow. Tama runs at Okada but into the FLAPJACK! Fans applaud while Okada catches his breath. Jado coaches Tama while fans rally up. Okada drags Tama up, ROCKS him with a forearm, and Tama goes to ropes. Okada brings Tama around to CLUB him on the neck. Okada puts Tama in a corner and throws a back elbow. And then another! And then another! The ref counts and Okada lets off.

Fans rally, Jado coaches Tama, but Okada brings Tama up. Tama throws body shots but Okada knees low. Okada turns Tama for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Okada sits Tama up for a chinlock. Tama endures while Okada squeezes tight. The fans rally up more as Okada turns and twists Tama. Tama fights up to his feet, throws elbows, but Okada knees low. Okada throws Tama out of the ring then follows after. Tama staggers up into a kick and DDT to the floor! Okada leaves Tama behind while fans rally up. Jado coaches Tama while the ring count climbs. We’re at 5 of 20 but Tama is still down.

Tama pushes up off the floor at 10 of 20 and crawls his way over, and he drags himself up at 16, only to fall! Tama springs up and in at 19! Okada walks over and kicks Tama around while the fans rally up. “O-KA-DA!” eggs Tama on, so Tama fires off forearm after forearm! Okada eggs Tama on, Tama keeps throwing hands, but Okada DECKS Tama with one! Okada whips Tama to a corner, but Tama comes back to CLOBBER Okada! Fans fire up and rally again as Tama drags himself up the ropes. Tama rushes Okada to LARIAT, and ELBOW, and scoop SLAM! OFF COMES THE VEST! Fans fire up with Tama as he claps, “TA-MA! TA-MA!”

Okada is in the corner, Tama runs in to STINGER SPLASH! And then a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans continue to rally as Tama paces around. Tama brings Okada up to CLUB him down, then he throws body shots. Tama dragon sleepers but Okada fights free! Tama throws a body shot, an uppercut, and then whips. Okada ducks ‘n’ dodges to CLOBBER Tama with an elbow! Fans rally and Okada whips Tama into a corner. Okada runs in to back elbow, then kicks and DDTs! Cover, TWO! Fans clap for “O-KA-DA!” “GOOD BAD GUY!” as Okada watches Tama stand. Tama staggers into the Alabama Lift! But Tama fights it off with body shots!

Okada ROCKS Tama, but Tama ROCKS Okada. Okada EuroUppers but Tama EuroUppers back! Okada swings but into the TONGAN TWIST! Fans rally up again as Okada bails out of the ring. Tama goes out after Okada and brings him up, but Okada throws body shots! Okada whips Tama into railing, and Tama bounces off into a scoop! But Tama fights that to a TONGAN TWIST to the floor! A bit of payback from earlier! Fans rally up while the ref checks both men. Both men are able to continue and Tama stands first. The ring count starts and Tama drags Okada up at 5 of 20 to put him in at 6. Fans cheer as this match continues.

Tama stalks Okada while the fans clap. Okada stands, Tama rushes in, VENENO! Cover, TWO! Tama paces around then brings Okada back up. Tama fireman’s carries, but Okada fights free and spins Tama. ROLLING- NO, Tama ducks the lariat to fireman’s carry! S R C! Tama heads for the corner and fans fire up! SUPREME FLOW! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives and Tama grows frustrated, but Jado calls the shot! Tama and Jado pound the mat, and fans clap along. Tama watches Okada rise, then he rushes in, GUN- NO, Okada turns that into the BACK2BACKBREAKER! And then the MONEY CLIP!!

Tama endures and fans rally up! Tama reaches out and gets the ROPEBREAK! Okada lets go in frustration but fans fire up more. The fans continue to rally, “O-KA-DA!” “GOOD BAD GUY!” Okada drags Tama up, scoops him and SLAMS him, then goes to the corner. Okada climbs up and fans rally for the MACHO ELBOW! And of course, the Rainmaker Pose! Okada drags Tama up, wristlocks, but Tama throws back elbows. Okada CLUBS Tama, EuroUppers and runs, but into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up as Tama takes Okada down! Tama drags Okada up, but Okada fights off the suplex to shove and DROPKICK Tama in return!

Okada drags Tama back up, ripcords, but Tama ducks to slips around, BLOODY SUNDAY!! Shoutout to the Prince! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but Tama just reloads and brings him back up! Double underhooks, but Okada fights free to LARIAT! Not quite the Rainmaker but Okada holds onto the wrist! Fans rally as Okada slowly rises back up. Okada drags Tama up, for a short arm LARIAT! Okada fires up and the fans follow suit! He drags Tama back up, ripcords, but Tama ducks and runs, into a DROPKICK! But he gets back up! Tama is roaring, fans are fire dup, but Okada scoops for the LANDSLIDE!!

Okada then ripcords Tama, GUN STUN!!! But Tama can’t make the cover! Jado shouts to Tama, he crawls over to Okada, pushes Okada over for the cover, TWO!!! Okada survives because of the delay! Fans are thunderous while both men are still down! Tama rises and he drags Okada back up. Tama reels Okada in, underhooks the arms, but Okada fights the lift! Tama CLUBS Okada, CLUBS him again, and fans rally as Tama CLUBS Okada one more time. Tama brings Okada up, reels him in again, but Okada back drops and sits on the cover! TWO!! Tama swings, but into a waistlock! Tama fights the suplex, throws elbows, and then whips.

Okada reverses but Tama dodges the dropkick! And he hurries to underhook, but Okada slips out! GUN- NO, Okada holds it off this time, to then get the wristlock! Ripcord, GUN- NO!! Okada turns it into a MONEY CLIP!!! Fans rally as hard as ever, and Tama turns clip into cradle! TWO!!! Okada escapes, BOOTS, but Tama PELES! Tama reloads fast and waits on Okada to stand! Okada is up, Tama runs in, GUN- NO!!! Okada fights it again, to ENZIGURI! And then pump handle scoop, POWERSLAM!! Ripcord, RAINMAKER!!! Cover, Okada wins!

Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall (advances to the finals)

Tama put up one hell of a fight, truly worthy of the biggest G1 Climax ever, but it just wasn’t enough to stop the Rainmaker! Will Okada not stop until he has that Right to Challenge briefcase once more?

 

G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Tetsuya Naito VS Will Ospreay w/ Great-O-Khan!

It’s C Block VS D Block, Uncontrollable Charisma VS Commonwealth Kingpin! We know Okada awaits in the finals, will he be facing one of his great rivals in Naito? Or will it be one of his great enemies in Ospreay?

Naito takes off his elaborate entrance attire while Ospreay takes his time with his coat and two title belts. Fans rally, “NA-I-TO!” “O-SU-PREAY!” and the bell rings. Ospreay encourages the fans to get louder so they do, and Naito says that’s nice. The two then circle, Naito goes back and forth to toy with Ospreay, but then they tie up. They’re in a deadlock, but Ospreay finds a point of leverage. He puts Naito on the ropes and Red Shoes counts. Ospreay pats Naito but Naito turns things around. Naito has Ospreay on the ropes, but then pats Ospreay on the shoulders. To then kick low and CLUB him on the neck! And again!

Red Shoes reprimands but Naito whips Ospreay. Ospreay reverses, Naito holds ropes and BOOTS Back, to then RANA! But Ospreay handsprings through! Naito ducks the Penalty Kick, avoids the Standing Moonsault, then arm-drags Ospreay! Naito ducks a roundhouse and tranquilos! Ospreay smirks while Naito bails out. Fans rally up while Naito stares Khan down. Khan keeps his distance and Naito takes a walk around the ring. Khan tells Naito to get back in so Naito does. Naito and Ospreay circle, feel out a knuckle lock, then circle some more. Ospreay blocks Naito’s kick! Naito tries to reach Ospreay but he can’t!

Ospreay ROCKS Naito with a forearm, then another! Ospreay whips, atomic drops and CHOPS Naito down, for the STANDING SHOOTING STAR! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up and Khan cheers Ospreay on. Ospreay drags Naito up, ROCKS him again, then bumps him off buckles. Ospreay CHOPS Naito in the corner, then stalks him to another corner. Ospreay CHOPS again and Naito staggers. Ospreay whips him but Naito reverses, only for Ospreay to go up and over. Naito dodges, blocks a kick and puts Ospreay in the ropes for a DRAPING BACKBREAKER! Naito then whips Ospreay to ropes for a hip toss! And basement dropkick! Naito keeps going, NECKBREAKER!

Fans fire up while Ospreay clutches his neck. Fans rally up and Naito brings Ospreay into a chinlock. Naito grinds Ospreay down with an almost bulldog choke but Ospreay endures. Fans rally up more, Ospreay pulls hair but Red Shoes reprimands. Naito lets off to snapmare Ospreay into a headscissor hold! Naito pushes up to put pressure on the neck but Ospreay endures. Ospreay rolls around and gets the ROPEBREAK! Red Shoes counts and Khan protests, and Naito lets off. Fans rally up as Naito brings Ospreay around. Naito ROCKS Ospreay but Ospreay ROCKS Naito, repeat! Naito then CLUBS Ospreay on the neck!

Naito CLUBS away on Ospreay in the corner, then whips him corner to corner. Naito runs in to JUMP KICK! Leg sweep, SWINGING DROPKICK! Combinacion Cabron! Fans fire up as Naito poses, then covers, TWO! Fans rally up and Naito stomps Ospreay around. Naito brings Ospreay up to cravat and neck wrench! Ospreay endures, drops to a knee, and fans rally again. Ospreay fights back up, throws body shots, but Naito ROCKS him again. Naito whips, Ospreay reverses but Naito reverses again. Naito swings into a full nelson, but he arm-drags free! Naito dodges and whips but Ospreay handsprings to NEURALIZER!

Fans fire up while both men are down. Ospreay sits up and grits his teeth. Ospreay waits on Naito to get up, but Naito is slow. Ospreay fireman’s carries to then SNAKE EYES and BOOT! Ospreay goes to the apron and fans fire up with him. Ospreay aims at Naito, springboards and PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is annoyed but fans continue to rally. Ospreay drags Naito back up, reels him in, but Naito resists the lift. Ospreay keeps trying but Naito flails. Ospreay CLUBS Naito, throws a quick Kowada Kick, then CHOPS Naito off his feet! Naito gets up but Ospreay reels him in, only for Naito to fight the bomb!

Naito ducks the lariat to BACKBREAKER into the LEG HOOK NELSON! Naito slaps Ospreay around but Ospreay still endures. Ospreay moves around, but Naito drags him from ropes! Fans rally, Naito puts on more pressure, but Ospreay kicks his way around! ROPEBREAK! Fans fire up as Red Shoes counts, and Naito lets Ospreay go. Fans rally as Naito stands and Ospreay drags himself up the ropes. Naito hammerlocks and half nelsons but Ospreay fights off the lift! Naito ripcords but Ospreay ducks the elbow. Naito CLUBS Ospreay, dodges a haymaker, then ROCKS Ospreay! Naito runs, into the Tiger Wall Kick and ENZIGURI! But Naito rebounds, into a SPANISH FLY!!

Fans are thunderous as both men are down again! Ospreay and Naito sit up, talk some trash, and then get forehead to forehead. Naito throws a forearm but Ospreay gives it back. Naito grins and forearms Ospreay again! Ospreay ROCKS Naito back! Ospreay eggs Naito on so Naito ROCKS Ospreay! Ospreay roars and fans fire up, and Ospreay throws another forearm! Naito gives another, and they go back and forth! Fans rally up as the speed picks up! Ospreay fires off a flurry, then CHOPS!! Naito staggers and Ospreay waits on him. Naito comes back to SLAP Ospreay! Ospreay grins and fans fire up!

Ospreay blocks a kick, ducks the enziguri but Naito dodges Hidden Blade to TORNADO- NO! Ospreay blocks to suplex and BRAINBUSTER! But Ospreay holds on, brings Naito back up, suplexes but Naito RANAS! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay escapes in time but Naito gets him for the TORNADO DDT! Fans are thunderous again while both men are down. Naito and Ospreay stir and Naito sits up first. Naito crawls his way over, drags Ospreay up, and throws heavy back elbows! Ospreay drops to a knee, but Naito brings him up for more heavy elbows! Ospreay drops again but he grabs at Naito. Naito brings Ospreay up for even more heavy elbows!

Ospreay falls over backwards, and the tape on his shoulders is coming off! Naito hammerlocks, half nelsons, and hits GLORIA! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is still in this but Naito is still smiling. Naito brings Ospreay up again, wrenches the arm, but Ospreay RAMS him into the corner! Ospreay runs in but Naito alley-oops him into the corner! Naito then sits Ospreay up on the top rope backwards, and climbs up behind him! Naito goes up to SUPER POISON-RANA!!! Cover, TWO!!! Ospreay survives and fans are thunderous! Naito aims from the corner as Ospreay rises, then he runs in to CORRIENDO SHIKI- NO, Ospreay blocks Destino!

But Ospreay also holds Naito up! Ospreay ties up the legs, MAGIC CROSS DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!! Fans are thunderous again as Ospreay aims from the corner! Naito sits up, Ospreay rushes in, HIDDEN BLADE!!! But Ospreay isn’t satisfied with that, he drags Naito up! Underhook and lift, STORM- DESTINO!!! Naito turns things around but both men are down! The fans are electric as both men stir on the mat! Naito crawls over to Ospreay, drags him up, but Ospreay BOOTS! Naito ENZIGURIS! Naito scoops but Ospreay slips out to HOOK KICK! Ospreay calls his shot, springboards, but Naito ducks the OsCutter! SPINEBUSTER!!

Naito hauls Ospreay up to wrench and- NO, Ospreay turns it, CHELSEA GRIN!! Fans fire up as Ospreay aims again! Ospreay runs in, but Naito ducks the blade! CORRIENDO SHIKI DESTINO!!!! Cover, TWO?!?!? Ospreay survives and no one can believe it!! Naito roars, drags Ospreay up, and tilt-o-whirls, DESTI- NO!! Ospreay slips out to HIDDEN BLADE!!! Cover, TWO?!?!?!? Maybe 2.999!! The fans can’t believe it, Khan can’t believe, commentary can’t believe it! But Ospreay drags Naito back up, reels him in and underhooks, for STORMBREAKER!!!! Cover, OSPREAY WINS!!!

Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall (advances to the finals)

After fighting back from an 0-2 start, after fighting his heart out here, Naito falls before the Climax! If this is truly Naito’s last G1 Climax, if this is truly his last year with NJPW, has it all ended here and now? Or can Naito find another path to Wrestle Kingdom?

As for Ospreay, he holds up his IWGP US Heavyweight Championship and Rev-Pro British Heavyweight Championship high as he stands over Naito, and then again as he stands on the corner. Khan waves the banner of the United Empire, then brings the mic to Ospreay. The fans applaud, but Ospreay says, “Louder, Budokan! Louder!! Motto! Gentlemen, I said MORE! I want more!” Fans applaud louder, and Ospreay is happy. “Naito, good showing. One more, onegaishimasu. This doesn’t get spoken about enough. In May, I nearly died! I had a kidney infection that nearly killed me! And in three months, three months! After saying I could’ve died, I’m in the G1 Final!”

Fans applaud that heart, and Ospreay says his opponent “is a man who seemingly, I can’t beat on my own. In the seven matches Ospreay and Okada have had, Okada has one SIX of them. SIX. Everyone is now doubting me, because they think I can’t beat Okada. I’ve seen it done with my own eyes! I have seen AJ Styles beat Okada. I have seen Tanahashi beat Okada. I’ve seen NAITO beat Okada! Hell, I’ve even see Jay White dethrone Okada. Know what makes me different? I know in my heart, I know I’m better than all those guys! I know I’m the best wrestler in the world today!!” Fans applaud that, he has a case for it.

Ospreay lists off his accomplishments: Best of the Super Juniors; the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship; the New Japan Cup; the British Heavyweight Championship; the NEVER Openweight Championship; the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship; and the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship!! There’s just one more to go! “And believe me. Believe me when I say this. Believe me, I’m not gonna lose. I will beat Okada! I will lead NJPW out of the Dark Ages, and I will bring it back tot he light! Okada, matta ashita <I’ll be waiting tomorrow.> See you at the top!” The Kingpin vows to go from Grand Slam to ULTIMATE Champion in NJPW, will he succeed?


My Thoughts:

A great event as the penultimate night of the G1 this year. Yes, I skipped a lot of matches, and I wish I had time to see that 8 Man with Tanahashi, Yano, Finlay & Kushida, because it saw the return of the Good Brothers to Japan. But Tanahashi’s team won thanks to some sneaky moves from Yano. I wonder if anyone from Tanahashi’s team will go after Karl Anderson’s NEVER Openweight Championship. Any one of them would be a great opponent for Anderson, but especially Tanahashi.

But we got awesome G1 matches, as to be expected. Tama has been running strong, but it sure seems like everyone knows how to counter the Gun Stun… It makes sense that Okada wins, he could potentially go back-to-back as the G1 Climax winner. But given that, I don’t think he will. Ospreay VS Naito was a great choice to be the main event between the two semifinal matches, and honestly I didn’t think Naito was going to lose. This is supposed to be his last year, so I thought he’d get to the finals before losing and having to worry about what’s next.

Ospreay has a great promo and he does make a great argument for winning the finals. Ospreay’s checked off almost everything to do in NJPW as a singles wrestler, even more than what Okada has done. Ospreay getting the honor of being the first to check everything off the list would be huge.

My Score: 9/10


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