The hottest NJPW tournament will not be denied!
NJPW refuses to skip their greatest tradition, the G1 Climax! The 30th edition is still red hot in Autumn, and it all starts now!
NOTE: NJPW no longer wants to feed AXS TV now that it is with Anthem and Impact Wrestling. But never fear, I will cover NJPW in the spirit of AXS in providing the most important matches of the show.
- Block A – Will Ospreay VS Yujiro Takahashi; Ospreay wins.
- Block A – Jeff Cobb VS Taichi; Taichi wins.
- Block A – Tomohiro Ishii VS Minoru Suzuki; Suzuki wins.
- Block A – Shingo Takagi VS Jay White; White wins.
- Block A – Kazuchika Okada VS Kota Ibushi; Ibushi wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Block A – Will Ospreay VS Yujiro Takahashi!
The Aerial Assassin is back! He has the Rev-Pro British Heavyweight Championship, but he’s hoping to finally reach the IWGP Heavyweight Championship summit! Will Tokyo Pimp foil Opsreay’s return in this G1 Climax opener?
The bell rings and fans are already excited to have Ospreay back! Ospreay is just as fired up as he circles with Yujiro. They tie up, Ospreay powers Yujiro back to ropes but lets up. Yujiro kicks low and throws forearms to ruin the fun. Yujiro rocks Ospreay with more forearms then whips him to ropes. Ospreay ducks and dodges and huricanranas Yujiro out! Ospreay builds speed as fans fire up, but he fakes Yujiro out with the superhero landing! Yujiro is pissed and runs in but is sent right back out! Ospreay slingshots for the plancha, but Yujiro moves! Ospreay lands on his feet but Yujiro rakes his eyes! Yujiro whips, Ospreay reverses and sends Yujiro into railing. Ospreay swings, Yujiro ducks and shoves Ospreay into railing. Yujiro reels Ospreay in for a reverse DDT!
Yujiro is fired up and the fans can’t help but cheer that. Yujiro goes to the ring, fans rally up as Ospreay stirs. Ospreay hears the ring count climbing. He stands at 10 of 20 and gets in at 12. Yujiro is on him, bumps him off buckles, then stomps him. Yujiro throws forearms and CHOPS, then stands Ospreay up to slap him around. Yujiro stomps more but Ospreay hits back with forearms. Yujiro elbows away on Ospreay, the ref reprimands and Yujiro lets up. Yujiro whips Ospreay corner to corner, runs in and BOOTS Ospreay down! Yujiro runs to basement boot Ospreay! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer and rally but Yujiro rains down angry right hands. The ref reprimands the closed fists but Yujiro drags Ospreay up for a scoop and slam! Cover, TWO!
Yujiro keeps his cool while fans cheer. Yujiro drops a leg, and elbow and a headbutt on Ospreay fast, then covers. TWO, and Ospreay grits his teeth as he sits up. Yujiro toys with Ospreay but Ospreay throws forearms in return! Ospreay rocks Yujiro, kicks but Yujiro blocks for a trip! Yujiro tries the boot again but Ospreay dodges and back kicks back! Ospreay reels Yujiro in but Yujiro BITES his hand! Did Ospreay learn nothing watching Okada? Yujiro whips, Ospreay handsprings for the NEURALIZER! Both men are down but the fans fire up! Ospreay and Yujiro slowly rise, Yujiro runs into the atomic drop! Ospreay CHOPS, standing shooting stars, TWO! Ospreay goes right to a corner and aims to springboard for the FLYING FOREARM!
Fans are thunderous already as Ospreay stands over Yujiro. Ospreay drags Yujiro up, underhooks and lifts, but Yujiro escapes to get a backslide! Ospreay rolls off, Yujiro reels him in but Ospreay denies Pimp Juice with a suplex. Yujiro resists the suplex and ROCKS Ospreay with a forearm! Yujiro runs, but into the dropkick-flip and enziguri! Ospreay runs but Yujiro reels him in, INCOLLE SLAM! Yujiro and Ospreay are both down after the unique Olympic Slam but the fans rally up. Yujiro rises but Ospreay follows. Yujiro runs and BOOTS Ospreay at the ropes! Yujiro fireman’s carries, MIAMI SHINE! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay survives and the fans cheer! Yujiro grows frustrated but he still has more to try. Yujiro sits Ospreay up but Ospreay rolls him up, TWO!
Ospreay staggers up into Yujiro’s LARIAT! Yujiro fires up, drags Ospreay back up, and Canadian rack, for TOKYO PIM- NO! Ospreay lands out of the dominator and hits Yujiro with HIDDEN BLADE!! Ospreay drags Yujiro up, to STORM BREAKER!! Cover, Ospreay wins!!
Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall; gains 2 points, Takahashi earns 0
The Rev-Pro champion has that all important first win in the block! Will this lead Ospreay to new heights in NJPW?
Another surprise, Ospreay takes to the mic! “I’m hooome~!” And he must say, it is wonderful to see everyone. He’s missed the fans. And he won’t lie, just before coming out here, Ospreay was scared, nervous, but then he looked in the mirror and said, “There’s no reason to be nervous, because I am Will Ospreay!” Ospreay is THE BEST WRESTLER in the world right now! NJPW has been so good during the Pandemic Era. But it’s so much better now that Ospreay is back! “This G1 is about being the one. You are looking at him.” Mic drop! Will Ospreay make good on everything he just said?
Block A – Jeff Cobb VS Taichi!
It’s another incredible return as the Hawaiian Hulk is back in Japan! He won the New Japan USA Cup, but lost his contract to Kenta! Will he make up for that here? Or will the Sliest Wrestler in the World send Cobb’s Tour of the Islands on a detour?
Taichi takes his time with his elaborate entrance attire, and shows off his dancing pecs. The bell rings and fans rally already as Cobb and Taichi stare down. Taichi doesn’t seem to worry Cobb is his opponent as they slowly circle. Taichi keeps his distance but Cobb eggs him on. Taichi finally approaches and ties up, but he doesn’t try very hard as Cobb puts him against the ropes. The fans cheering and teasing Taichi do get on his nerves, though. Taichi and Cobb tie up again, Cobb pushes Taichi to ropes again but lets off fast. Taichi mockingly applauds as he circles with Cobb again. They tie up, Cobb gets a leg and Taichi scrambles to the corner. The ref calls for the break, Cobb lets off but Taichi being lax gets on his nerves now.
Taichi and Cobb circle again, Taichi offers a handshake, but Cobb already knows that’s not fair. He catches the sucker punch kick and CHOPS Taichi back! And again! Cobb whips Taichi to ropes, trips him up, hurdles over and dropkicks him out! Fans cheer for Cobb’s amazing agility! Taichi takes his time getting up, claiming he landed badly. Taichi walks off the fall but Cobb pursues. Cobb chases Taichi around, but Taichi sneaks the ring bell hammer! Taichi hammers Cobb in the stomach and leg! The ref reprimands that and tells Taichi to stop but Taichi wraps Cobb’s leg around the railing! Marty Asami counts, Taichi stops, but then he stomps Cobb down. Taichi puts Cobb in, fans cheer but Taichi stomps the bad leg more.
Taichi stands on the leg, pulls on it, and has a modified calf killer! Cobb endures, powers around and rolls but Taichi stays on the leg. Cobb gets the ropebreak, Taichi lets up quick. Cobb throws body shots and chops from his knees, but Taichi chokes Cobb! The ref counts, Taichi lets go at 3 and denies he was choking Cobb. Taichi stomps the bad leg and stands on the knees. Cobb tries to hit Taichi away but Taichi stomps him down. Taichi stalks Cobb, toys with him as he kicks Cobb around, but Cobb just gets mad. Fans rally up, Cobb throws forearms but Taichi kicks the bad knee. Taichi chokes Cobb again! The ref counts, Taichi stops, but he runs only to miss! Cobb LARIATS back! Both men are down but fans rally up again. Cobb gets up at the ropes, getting feeling into the bad leg again.
Taichi sits up, Cobb aims and runs to run him over with a shoulder! And another! Cobb powers Taichi into a corner! Cobb rams in again and again, then whips him corner to corner, to go back the other way! Cobb hits a HUGE leaping elbow! Cobb lifts Taichi for a running back suplex! Cover, TWO! Cobb keeps his cool as he drags Taichi up and scoops. Taichi rakes eyes to escape! Taichi kicks the bad leg, whips Cobb to a corner, but Cobb reverses. Cobb runs in but misses the shoulder, GAMANGIRI from Taichi! Cobb flounders while Taichi catches his breath. Taichi goes for the buzzsaw but Cobb blocks! Cobb CHOPS, Taichi KICKS! Taichi KICKS, Cobb eggs him on. Taichi kicks but Cobb throws big forerams! Taichi BOOTS back, but Cobb ROCKS him with a forearm again!
Taichi BOOTS again, Cobb DECKS Taichi!! Taichi is somehow still conscious so Cobb drags him up. Taichi back kicks hard but Cobb HEADBUTTS, only for Taichi to GAMANGIRI! Both men are down but fans rally up! Taichi gets up first and fires up, off come the pants! Taichi aims from the corner, Cobb rises, but Cobb blocks the superkick to drag Taichi in for a fireman’s carry, and pops him up into a BRAIN BUSTER! GACHIMUCHI SAULT!! Cover, TWO!?! Taichi survives but Cobb keeps on him! Cobb drags Taichi up, whips him and scoops him, but Taichi cradle counters! TWO!! Cobb is right up, but Taichi blocks the kick! Taichi pushes the ref away but Cobb intercepts the low blow with a forearm! Taichi staggers, Cobb runs in but misses the corner splash! ENZIGURI! DANGEROUS SAIDO!!
Fans are thunderous as Taichi grits his teeth and clutches his own head! Cobb flounders, fans rally up, both men slowly rise and Taichi fires up. Taichi runs, AX BOMBER! Cover, TWO!! Cobb survives but Taichi says he’ll finish this now! Taichi drags Cobb up, reels him into the Alabama, but Cobb is too big! Cobb gut wrench suplexes! And holds on for a second! And then a third, but Taichi slips out! Taichi swings into a cradle, ATHLETIC PLEX!! Cobb drags Taichi up as the fans fire up again. Cobb whips, scoops, and gives Taichi- NO! No tour as Taichi slips out, kicks low then ENZIGURIS again! But Cobb stays up?! He runs into the TENSHO JUJIHOU SUPERKICK! Taichi Alabama lifts, for BLACK MEPHISTO!! Cover, Taichi wins!!
Winner: Taichi, by pinfall; gains 2 points, Cobb earns 0
The Maestro wins over the New Japan USA Cup winner! And most shocking of all, he actually did it clean! Does Taichi no longer need his bag of tricks? Will Cobb rebound in the coming rounds?
Block A – Tomohiro Ishii VS Minoru Suzuki!
Get some ice now, this one’s gonna hurt! The Stone Pitbull and the Meanest Man in the World know how to hit hard, but who hits hard enough to get that crucial first win?
The bell rings and Ishii gets right in Suzuki’s face! Suzuki pushes, Ishii slaps, Suzuki forearms, and then it becomes a slap fight! Suzuki backs Ishii down with shot after shot then has him in the corner! Fans clap along with every hit, but Ishii just fires up to hit back! And again and again and again! Suzuki grits his teeth, pushes Ishii back and body shots! Ishii escapes the piledriver, spins Suzuki around and suplexes, but Suzuki gets free! The fans cheer the stand-off! Ishii and Suzuki egg each other on, and now they brawl with forearms. Ishii wants to feel it so Suzuki hits harder. They keep going back and forth, Ishii staggers Suzuki and whips him to a corner. Ishii runs but into a boot! He comes back, Suzuki slips outside and catches Ishii to a hanging armbar!
The ref counts, Suzuki lets go at 3, but he drags Ishii out to wrench and whip into railing! Ishii goes down in a heap while the ref tells Suzuki to get back in the ring. Suzuki drags Ishii up to forearm the shoulder! Suzuki wraps that arm around the railing! The ref reprimands, counts, and Suzuki lets go at 3. Suzuki tells Ishii to his face that he’s gonna beat the crap out of him, but Ishii slaps Suzuki! Suzuki eggs Ishii on, Ishii slaps more, then Suzuki SLAPS Ishii! Ishii flops down and fans fire up. Suzuki leaves Ishii behind to go into the ring, the ring count begins, but Ishii is up at 5 of 20. He gets in at 7 of 20, and Suzuki mocks him. Ishii throws forearms so Suzuki gives them back. Suzuki ROCKS Ishii, eggs him on, and Ishii hits back. Suzuki eggs Ishii on more, Ishii hits more, so Suzuki ROCKS him!
Ishii sits down in a corner but Suzuki brings him up for body shots and knees. Suzuki runs corner to corner to BOOT Ishii, then cravats. Ishii hits back but Suzuki whips him to a corner. Ishii comes right back but Suzuki boots him. Suzuki runs, into a POWERSLAM! Both men are down but fans fire up again! Ishii rises first, brings Suzuki up, but Suzuki blocks the back suplex and throws elbows. But Ishii still back suplexes him down! Ishii stands over Suzuki and slaps him around. Ishii stands ON Suzuki and eggs him on! Ishii stomps Suzuki, kicks at him mockingly, but Suzuki just grins. Suzuki ROCKS Ishii with a right! Ishii stays up, and ROCKS Suzuki back! Suzuki laughs it off to ROCK Ishii again!
Ishii wobbles, ROCKS Suzuki, but Suzuki nods and smiles. Suzuki ROCKS Ishii and Ishii flops against ropes! Fans rally as Ishii somehow returns, but Ishii can’t put enough into his return. Suzuki ROCKS Ishii, watches him stagger and then DECKS him! Suzuki drags Ishii around, grabs an arm and pulls Ishii up. Ishii is dead weight but the fans are thunderous as Suzuki PENALTY KICKS! Suzuki sits Ishii up again for another PENALTY KICK! Suzuki isn’t done with Ishii as he sits him up, runs, and KICKS! But Ishii tanks it?! Ishii gets up, Suzuki kicks and kicks but Ishii blocks to DECK Suzuki! Both men fall over but the fans keep rallying. Ishii fires himself up, runs, but Suzuki follows. Ishii dodges, Suzuki blocks with a knee and gets the sleeper.
Ishii powers out, follows and bumps shoulders, but Suzuki boots! Ishii is up, Suzuki boots again, but Ishii side steps to GERMAN SUPLEX! Both men are down again and fans are fired up all over again! Suzuki grins as he sits up. Ishii sits up, they talk trash to each other and give short headbutts. Ishii throws an elbow, Suzuki returns it, repeat. Ishii eggs Suzuki on then hits back. Suzuki hits back, Ishii SLAPS Suzuki! Suzuki SLAPS Ishii, repeat! Both men wobble but act like the other’s the weaker. Ishii slaps and slaps, Suzuki SLAPS! It’s back to the slap fight! Suzuki gets in shots from all sides, bobs ‘n’ weaves but Ishii HEADBUTTS! Both men stay up somehow, and Suzuki HEADBUTTS back!!
Suzuki brings Ishii around but Ishii LARIATS first! Ishii dares Suzuki to sit up, then runs, bu tinto a spin and a SLEEPER! Then the spin, but no Gotch as Ishii Alabama lifts for a CRUNCHIE!! Both men are down and the fans are thunderous! Ishii gets up and sits Suzuki up, for the SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Suzuki survives but Ishii isn’t going to stop! Ishii suplexes, Suzuki resists and goes aftre the arm! Ishii breaks free to enziguri! Suzuki is down again but Ishii steadies himself first. Ishii runs at Suzuki, to clothesline him at the ropes! Ishii keeps moving, Suzuki gets around to waistlock and drag him down, into a SLEEPER! Ishii fights up but Suzuki spins him, GOTCH-
NO! Ishii powers up and back drops out! Suzuki boots, Ishii LARIATS! Suzuki stays up and fires off more palm strikes. Both men SLAP and SLAP, then Suzuki ROCKS Ishii and then DECKS him!! Suzuki sits Ishii up, runs, and BASEMENT BOOTS! But Ishii is up!? Ishii LARIATS Suzuki down! Ishii rests in a corner but Suzuki laughs as he rises! Suzuki boots, Ishii blocks and headbutts! Ishii fires up, waits for Suzuki to stand, and runs to LARIAT again! But Ishii isn’t done, he drags Suzuki up for the suplex, and- No! Suzuki rolls back, spins Ishii around, Gotch PILEDRIVER!!! Cover, Suzuki wins!!
Winner: Minoru Suzuki, by pinfall; gains 2 points, Ishii earns 0
The NEVER Openweight Champion breaks through the Stone Pitbull to start off his G1 with authority! Will the King take the G1 trophy, contract and then the IWGP Heavyweight Championship?
Block A – Shingo Takagi VS Jay White w/ Gedo!
The Last Dragon “welcomes” the Switchblade back, but not warmly. Will White “thank” Takagi by making him Breath with the Switchblade?
White double guns and shows off his new abs. White and Gedo give the Low Sweet for the first time in six months and fans do have to cheer that. The bell rings and White bails right out. He’s right back to his old ways! White mocks the fans rallying as he claps and gets back in the ring. Only to get right back out. “It’s not G1, it’s Jay 1!” Takagi dares Jay to get in, he does, and they finally tie up. Takagi has White on the ropes but White headlocks back. Takagi powers out but White holds hair! White headlocks again, Takagi powers out this time and White bumps shoulders to then kick low. White hits the headlock takeover and Gedo cheers along with the fans. Takagi fights up, powers out again but White holds ropes.
Takagi runs into White’s boot, and White runs, only for Takagi to run him over! Takagi goes after White in the corner, blocks the boot to clothesline! Takagi whips corner to corner, hits another clothesline then scoop slams! Takagi climbs but White bails out. Takagi hops down, follows White on the outside, and POSTS White! Gedo attacks behind Red Shoes’ back! Takagi grabs Gedo but White runs over. Takagi hits White first and headbutts him! Gedo backs off, Takagi drags White up and into the ring. But Gedo comes back to anchor Takagi and White blasts him off the apron! Takagi hits railing, White whips him into more railing! White catches his breath, but mocks the cheering fans again. White fetches Takagi to RAM him into railing, and again! And again! White gives the windshields a Too Sweet!
White leaves Takagi behind to get in the ring but fans rally up for Takagi. White goes back out to apron back suplex! Takagi shouts in pain as he’s bent backwards but White slow rolls into the ring. White mocks Tranquilo as perhaps a message to Naito. Takagi gets up as the ring count climbs. Takagi stands, shakes the railing in anger, but is in at 14. White stomps away over and over at the ropes! White bends Takagi against the ropes, clubs him, then does it again! White pulls back hard but Red Shoes counts. White stops at 3, drops Takagi down and covers, but Red Shoes refuses to count. White complains, “Other people do way worse!” White drags Takagi up for a neckbreaker! Cover and now Red Shoes counts, TWO!
White is annoyed but he wraps Takagi up in a chinlock, digging a knee in. Takagi fights up but White jams his knee in again and again! White turns Takagi over to drop a knee on the back! Gedo cheers as Takagi gets to ropes. White drags Takagi up, Takagi hits back but White throws him down by his hair! Gedo cheers and White drags Takagi up to whip him to a corner. White kicks low and throws Takagi down by his hair again! White brings Takagi up by his hair to throw him down by his hair! And again! Fans rally and Takagi is right up! Takagi DOUBLE CHOPS White right down! Takagi reels White in for a suplex, White slips out and CLUBS him on the back! White runs but Takagi grabs White’s hair to CLUB him back! Fans fire up as Takagi stalks White to a corner.
Takagi drags White up to TOSS him by his hair! Gedo panics as Takagi fires up. Takagi clotheslines White right out of the ring! Takagi goes out after White and RAMS him into the apron! Takagi JABS and CHOPS over and over then rains down furious fists from all sides! Takagi tells media to move, and he whips White into railing! White staggers into a fireman’s carry, apron snake eyes! And adds a DDT! Takagi fires up while Red Shoes checks on White. White is okay to continue so fans rally up behind Takagi. Takagi puts White in, tells Gedo to stay back, and then gets in. Takagi toys with White now as he kicks him around. White gets up, swings on Takagi but Takagi spins him to a backslide then facelock. White spins out, but Takagi suplexes White high and hard! Cover, TWO!
Takagi’s bad back might’ve limited that cover, but he gets White in the Gory Especial. White fights out but Takagi rams him into buckles! Takagi runs in but into a boot! White dodges the corner clothesline to SNAP SAIDO! Both men are down, fans rally and White runs in at Takagi with a European Uppercut! White goes to suplex, Takagi blocks and pries free, but White shoves and atomic drops, to a DDT! Fans cheer as White drags Takagi up for an ANARCHY SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! White grows annoyed with Takagi but Gedo says he’s got this. White drags Takagi up, but Takagi fights off Blade Runner. White CHOPS then runs, into an elbow! Takagi JABS but White ducks the lariat! White throws EuroUpper after EuroUpper, Takagi counters to the NOSHIGAMI!
Both men are down and fans fire up! Takagi and White slowly stir, and fans rally as Takagi rises. Gedo shouts to White but Takagi reels him in for a WHEELBARROW GERMAN! Takagi sits White up and elbows away on his shoulder! Takagi runs but sees the monkey flip coming so he just avoids it entirely. Takagi kicks White but White throws a forearm! Takagi DECKS White! Takagi runs but White slaps him. White counter punches and hits a forearm then lariat! Takagi stays up to LARIAT back! White flounders against ropes and fans fire up with Takagi! White grabs at Red Shoes, and uses him as a decoy! Takagi dodges the sucker punch but not the Complete Shot! DEAD LIFT GERMAN! Gedo is fired up and the fans cheer as White sits up.
White flounders over to Takagi, brings him up and in, for a BIG URENAGE! Cover, TWO!! White crawls around and gets behind Takagi. White reels Takagi into a sleeper, but Takagi fights it off. White fires off forerams to rock Takagi but Takagi HEADBUTTS back! Takagi fires up, White manages to stand and CHOP, but Takagi just tanks it! Takagi fires off elbows over and over from all sides then ROCKS White! Takagi runs, White sits down to deny his Pumping Bomber, but Takagi just changes direction to SLIDING FOREARM White in the back! Takagi keeps moving to SLIDING LARIAT! Takagi drags White up, pump handles, but White resists. Takagi knees away, and changes things to a GUT BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! White survives Nippon but Takagi fires up again.
The fans rally up behind Takagi as he gets back up. Takagi drags White up for another pump handle but White pops out. Takagi elbows White down hard! Takagi drags White back up, White shouts to Gedo and Gedo gets in the ring. Red Shoes tells him to get out, Takagi chases him off, and White rolls Takagi up! White has feet on the ropes, Red Shoes sees that in time and stops the count! White is furious with Red Shoes, but he turns around into a JAB! LARIAT! Takagi runs but White counters to the SLEEPER SUPLEX! Takagi is up but White is on him with a fisherman, KIWI KRUSHER! Cover, TWO!! Takagi survives and White is beside himself! Gedo coaches White up as fans rally, and White slashes the throat!
White brings Takagi up but Takagi pulls hair and throws hands to hold off Blade Runner. White elbows away on Takagi, but Takagi spins to pump handle, MADE IN JAPAN!! Cover, TWO!?! White survives one of Takagi’s best and everyone is shocked! Takagi fires up and drags White up, pump handle and firmean’s carry, but White fights out! White goes after Red Shoes, Gedo gets in but Takagi DECKS him! White grabs Takagi, Takagi lariats out of Blade Runner! Takagi runs, PUMPING BOMBER!! Fans are thunderous for Takagi as he goes to finish this off! Takagi drags White up, pump handle and lift, but White grabs the ropes! Red Shoes is there to try and get the ropebreak, but Takagi swings and White’s boots hit Red Shoes! Red Shoes is down as Takagi hits LAST OF THE DRAGONS!!
Cover, but no one is there to count! Takagi would’ve won by now! The Young Lions check on Red Shoes as Takagi lets White go. Fans rally up as Takagi shouts to Red Shoes. Takagi decides to crush White for good! Takagi brings White up, but White LOW BLOW UPPERCUTS! White shouts for Red Shoes now, he brings Takagi up as Red Shoes slowly rolls in. FISHERMAN BACK SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Takagi lives and White is furious! But White reels Takagi in, cross-arm BRAIN BUSTER! White wants to end this, BLADE RUNNER!! Cover, White wins!!
Winner: Jay White, by pinfall; gains 2 points, Takagi earns 0
It wouldn’t be a Jay White victory if he didn’t find a way to use the oldest tricks in the book! He won’t even let Takagi have the ice pack, he takes it for his own neck. But will the “Jay 1” really have more of the same?
Kazuchika Okada VS Kota Ibushi!
The Rainmaker VS The Golden Star is practically finals worthy, but we’re getting it to close opening night! Will Okada begin his path back to the top? Or will Ibushi start on the road to back-to-back G1 Climax contracts?
Okada claps and stomps along with the fans before taking off his entrance attire. The bell rings and fans cheer for this instant classic! Ibushi and Okada stare down, then slowly circle. They approach but then back away. The fans clap again, but it could be for both “O-KA-DA” and “I-BU-SHI!” Okada and Ibushi approach, feel out the grapple, circle more, and then tie up. They’re in a deadlock but Okada shifts to waistlock. Ibushi wrenches an arm to a wristlock, but Okada rolls and wrenches back. Okada shifts to a hammerlock but Ibushi drop toeholds. Ibushi gets the headlock back, Okada gets up but Ibushi holds on tight.
Ibushi hits the takeover, Okada keeps his shoulders off the mat and rolls Ibushi to a cover, ONE! Ibushi still holds on, gets an arm for leverage, but Okada pops out the back. Okada waistlocks, shifts to a facelock, but Ibushi gets up and around to a waistlock. Okada wrenches an arm and gets the headlock back, and grinds Ibushi’s head. Ibushi powers up but Okada grinds harder! The fans rally as Ibushi endures, powers up again and powers out. Ibushi hurdles, drops down and huricanranas Okada out! Fans cheer and rally as Ibushi builds speed, but Okada avoids the baseball slide. Okada boots but Ibushi blocks and forearms back! Ibushi goes up, Okada yanks him down! Okada whips Ibushi into railing hard! Ibushi flops down as Okada catches his breath.
Fans rally up again, and Okada brings Ibushi up, just for a DDT to the floor! Okada leaves Ibushi behind and Red Shoes checks on Ibushi. Ibushi is able to continue but Okada rests in the corner. The ring count begins as fans rally. Ibushi gets up at 5, and drags himself into the ring at 8. Okada sits Ibushi up and runs for the basement dropkick! Ibushi sits up and eggs Okada on?! Okada drags him up for big forearms! Ibushi comes back with forearms of his own! Okada eggs Ibushi on and Ibushi throws more forearms. Okada knees low and turns Ibushi for a neckbreaker! Fans cheer as Okada covers, TWO! Okada keeps his cool as he drags Ibushi back up. Okada bumps Ibushi off buckles, then throws heavy back elbows. Okada wrenches, whips Ibushi corner to corner, but Ibushi boots back!
Ibushi runs, Okada boots him, then Okada runs, into a dropkick! Both men are down but fans fire up! Ibushi grits his teeth as he and Okada slowly stand. The fans rally and Ibushi fires up. Ibushi whips, Okada reverses but Ibushi dodges to running KICK Okada down! Ibushi brings Okada up, ducks the punch and fires off a strike fest! Okada sits down, but he ducks the kick, only for Ibushi to hit the standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his cool as he stalks Okada from behind. Ibushi waistlocks, Okada elbows out but Ibushi forearms back. Ibushi whips, Okada elbows him down! Okada fires up and the fans fire up, too!
Okada drags Ibushi up, whips him to a corner, and hits a back elbow! Then the kick and DDT! Cover, TWO! Okada claps along with the fans as he watches Ibushi sit up. Ibushi stands, Okada Alabama lifts but Ibushi blocks the rest! Ibushi hammers away but Okada EuroUppers. Okada runs at the corner, Ibushi goes up and over, then ducks Okada’s clothesline to PELE! Both men are down again and fans cheer! Okada and Ibushi stir but Ibushi is up first. Ibushi brings Okada up, but Okada wrenches to DEEP IN DEBT! Ibushi endures, knees hard to get free, and both men back off. Ibushi runs at Okada, Okada gets him in the Alabama and hits the REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Okada drags Ibushi up, whips but reels Ibushi in for a Russian Leg Sweep! TO DEEP IN DEBT!
Ibushi endures as Okada cranks on the modified cobra clutch! Fans rally up, Ibushi fights and reaches, but Okada cranks harder! Ibushi starts to fade! Red Shoes checks, Ibushi revives and gets the ropebreak! Okada holds on until the count of 4! Okada keeps his cool while he and Ibushi catch their breath. Ibushi flops out of the ring, Okada pursues. Okada drags Ibushi up, gut wrenches, but Ibushi fights free! Ibushi shoves Okada, dodges and hops up fast, for an ASAI MOONSAULT! Fans fire up as Ibushi takes Okada down! Fans rally up as Ibushi rises. Ibushi drags Okada up, puts him in the ring and then aims from the corner. Ibushi springboards for a missile dropkick! Direct hit and fans fire up again.
Ibushi stalks Okada to a corner, hoists him up top and climbs up to join him. Okada clubs Ibushi but Ibushi fights through to get up. Okada turns that into his gut wrench! Ibushi fights to escape, and CHOPS Okada! Ibushi slingshots, steadies himself and SPRINGBOARD SUPER STEINERS! Cover, TWO! Okada survives and Ibushi can’t believe it! Fans rally again, “I-BU-DA!” “O-KA-SHI!” Ibushi drags Okada up, scoops, but Okada fights out to gut wrench again! Ibushi fights out to gut wrench, tucks Okada in, but Okada fights to gut wrench back! TOMBSTONE!! Both men are down but the fans are fired up again! Okada and Ibushi slowly but Okada roars as he glares at Ibushi. Ibushi and Okada go forehead to forehead, then throw forearm after forearm!
Neither man backs down, and Ibushi even eggs Okada on. Fans rally up as the forearms fly even harder! Okada also eggs Ibushi on so Ibushi hits him harder! Okada and Ibushi get to their feet, and the forearms hit even harder and faster! As soon as Okada hits Ibushi, Ibushi hits back! Ibushi DECKS Okada! Fans fire up as Ibushi drags Okada back up by wrists. Okada grabs a leg to prevent Kami-Goye, so Ibushi clubs away on Okada’s back. Ibushi gets his leg free and BUZZSAWS Okada right down! Ibushi staggers away while Red Shoes checks on Okada. Okada sits back up as fans rally again. Ibushi goes to a corner to call upon the powers of Shinsuke Nakamura! But Okada catches Ibushi for a TOMBSTONE! DEEP IN DEBT!! Ibushi resists but Okada still locks it in!
Ibushi endures, fans rally, Ibushi gets up but Okada wrangles him down and grinds him down! Ibushi keeps moving, keeps fighting up, and manages to gut wrench Okada! Okada slips out, DEEP IN DEBT from the other side! Ibushi endures again, turns a bit red, but he pries free to arm-drag Okada away! Okada staggers, comes back, but Ibushi dodges the dropkick! Fans fire up as Ibushi and Okada stand. Ibushi kicks, Okada blocks it to EuroUpper! Okada gut wrenches, Ibushi flails and turns it around, but only for a moment! Ibushi kicks again, Okada clubs him on the back and spins him around to spin, into a ROUNDHOUSE! Ibushi V-TRIGGERS! KENNY! But Okada dropkicks Ibushi first! Okada whips and dropkicks again!
Okada grabs Ibushi’s wrists, but Ibushi turns the dropkick into a SIT-OUT BOMB! Ibushi rolls back, V-TRIGGER! Then double wrists, KAMI-GOYE!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; gains 2 points, Okada earns 0
Incredible! The Golden Star shines brighter than the Rainmaker, and perhaps takes the biggest win of this entire block! And we’ve only just begun! Ibushi is given the mic to speak. “In these tough times, I’m so happy that you could all be here today.” Ibushi says that not just in the A Block, but the entire G1, beating Okada, “one of the favorites,” is huge. Ibushi vows to never run away, lose, give up or betray the fans. Ibushi vows that no matter who he faces next, he’ll take this G1 back, and join the wrestling gods! A very straightforward message! Will Ibushi fulfill his own golden prophecy?
Truly an incredible start to a better-late-than-never G1! All five matches today were great, I don’t think there’s anything to complain about. Ospreay was great in his return to NJPW with his chocolate mint gear, and his surprise promo. Usually it’s only the main event winner, but we haven’t heard from Ospreay in awhile so this was totally fine. Taichi actually getting a clean win is a good surprise. A shame Cobb lost his US Championship title contract already, that could’ve added dimension to his story here. Jay White stays true to his Heel self, which I suppose is fine. It annoys me but that’s the point, isn’t it? Okada VS Ibushi really was on the caliber of a later round or even a finals, so it made for quite the amazing main event for night one. Not sure who the following rounds can match that, but I know they’ll try.
My Score: 9.3/10