Day 2 of Wrestle Grad Slam and we get a main event with EVIL. Okay, so the main event will suck, but the rest of the show might make up for it! Let’s find out!
Oh Christ, EVIL is getting a title shot. WHY!? WHY!? WHY!? The main event will be a mess, but thankfully there are 3 other title matches that might be worth watching.
Taiji and ELP defend the Junior tags against Despy and Kanemaru of Suzuki-Gun. The Heavyweight tags are defended in a triple threat that our Holy Emperor better retain. Lastly, Hiromu gets his title match against Robbie Eagles for the Junior Heavyweight title!
Hopefully at least one of those can give us a reason to enjoy this show since we’re all fairly sure the main event will be hot garbage.
Let’s get it over with!
- Queen’s Quest (Momo Watanabe & Saya Kamitani) vs Donna Del Mondo (Giulia & Syuri): Syuri wins via Arm Capture Twisted Stretch Muffler @11:31 – ***
- CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada) vs United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan): O-Khan wins via Eliminator @12:45 – ** ¾
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Titles: Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) vs Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori & ELP) (c): Despy wins via Pinche Loco @20:28 – *** ¼ – TITLE CHANGE!!!
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: LIJ (Tetsuya Naito & SANADA) vs CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI) vs Dangerous Tekkers (ZSJ & Taichi) (c): Tekkers retains via Black Mephisto @26:43 – *** ¾
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Robbie Eagles (c) vs Hiromu Takahashi: Eagles retains via Ron Miller Special @24:07 – *** ¾
- IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Shingo Takagi (c) vs EVIL w/Dick Togo: Shingo retains via Last of the Dragon @30:20 – **
Queen’s Quest (Momo Watanabe & Saya Kamitani) vs Donna Del Mondo (Giulia & Syuri)
So after losing her hair to Tam Nakano, it seems like Giulia found an interesting team personality. Alto livello KABALIWAN which means High Level Craziness in a combination of Italian and Tagalog. Syuri and Giulia come out in masks and with a little dance routine, then run to the ring with some high energy, which is interesting from Giulia’s cocky unwavering demeanor in the early days of her Stardom career. Definitely comes off a little more Tokyo Cyber Squad than I expected, I don’t dislike it, just wasn’t expecting these two to apply a loud, colorful and crazy tag team gimmick.
The match is simple though, Momo and Giulia have had a bit of heat since everyone else in Queen’s Quest has elevated their status, except the supposed leader Momo Watanabe. Giulia chided Momo and they had a bit of a rivalry based purely on Giulia taking the mean girl approach. But coming off the fact that Syuri and World of Stardom Champion Utami Hayashishita are still deadlocked power wise, it wouldn’t have made sense for Syuri to lose here.
Syuri is the only woman who can technically match Utami thus far, and the angle is built nicely to be a big deal when something finally breaks. So Momo and Giulia stuck together, Saya tried her hand against Syuri, but it was a little futile. Saya also never tried the Waterwheel Kick, so I just find that generally amusing with my disdain for her doing it last year. Timing on some moves looked delayed or clunky and this was more of a match to show off Syuri and Giulia.
So Syuri’s striking is one of the best in current Joshi, her mat prowess is fantastic and the fact that she was trained by Taijiri and spent time in HUSTLE helps to prove why she’s a bit of a chameleon with her personality. Not sure if she gave her submission a cute name, but the modified Stretch Muffler looked fantastic. I personally hope Syuri takes the red belt off of Utami, and I’m a big fan of Utami; Syuri is just legit and it would be a cool pivot for Stardom to make.
Decent match, not as good as yesterday’s, but that’s mostly because the match wasn’t about Stardom, it was about DDM. That plus the fact that some spots were just a little off, hurt the general flow of the match.
CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada) vs United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan)
This is Ishii’s first match back since having to quarantine after participating against Moose at Resurgence. Story wise, we get to see if Okada can quell the tide of momentum for United Empire or if Cobb and O-Khan continue their upward trajectory.
Ishii and O-Khan start things off, but when Okada gets tagged in, her just goes right after Cobb on the apron. So this entire match was Cobb vs Okada and then Ishii and O-Khan putting in good work while two crazy people tried to kill one another.
Okada broke up a tandem assault, managed to clear the ring for Ishii to have a clear shot at O-Khan, but it didn’t work out for CHAOS. Ishii got caught by O-Khan in a Clawhold Sleeper, that he transitioned into the Eliminator and Okada is on the losing end yet again.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Titles: Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) vs Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori & ELP) (c)
Early on we saw the Bullet Club tactics look a little stupid honestly. Ishimori held Despy and Kanemaru on the outside, implying ELP was gonna Moonsault into the pile or something, but then ELP walks the ropes and just decides not to. So the whole waiting on the outside seemed too choreographed and stupid.
Thankfully for the match, that moronic spot was very early, so the rest of the story could save it. Kanemaru and Despy worked on ELP’s legs, and ELP sold the work well. He had to pivot on a tandem move because he couldn’t execute the move and it even played into the finish. ELP couldn’t throw the Superkick because his legs were shot, so he took off his boot and was just going to use it as a weapon, Despy ducks it and catches ELP. Then Despy sees what’s in the boot and wants to use it, but Taiji throws the referee into Despy and we get the ref bump spot.
Despy never lets go of the boot though, so there’s tug of war, then Kanemaru hits Taiji with the whiskey bottle. Despy puts the boot on his fist and hits ELP with a loaded right hand but then sells like he broke his hand. Despy hooks in Pinche Loco and we have new champions!
What was in the boot? What could be that hard that Despy looked to break his hand using it?
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: LIJ (Tetsuya Naito & SANADA) vs CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI) vs Dangerous Tekkers (ZSJ & Taichi) (c)
Personality is heavy early on because during the entrance Naito seemed to be singing Taichi’s theme song with him, then Taichi puts his arm around Naito and Miho is just as confused as the rest of us. Early on we see Taichi applying his Grecco Roman Throathold to Goto. YOSHI-HASHI comes in to team up on Taichi, Naito walks in and thinks for a second then starts choking Taichi as well. SANADA comes in, chokes Taichi, so everyone is ganging up on our poor Holy Emperor!
Now let’s be honest, this was a crazy match with a lot of action but it was all really fun and made solid sense. YOSHI-HASHI’s offense still looked awkward at times, he’s gotten a little better over this past year, but he still looks out of place when the action gets chaotic and quick. There was also a weird delayed period where commentary tried to say that Naito was surveying the situation and making a gameplan, but it really just looked like waiting for people to get in close enough spots so nothing was missed.
So a few missed steps, but the finish was amazing. SANADA had YOSHI-HASHI dead to rights, but he was in the Tekkers corner while the Tekkers were on the floor. SANADA gets greedy, heads up for the Moonsault, Taichi pops up and tags in on SANADA’s boot. Moonsault gets hit but the referee calls Taichi the legal wrestler. We get one more “everybody down” moment after signature spams. ZSJ locks up Naito in a grounded octopus and Taichi takes the weakened YOSHI-HASHI and Black Mephistos him back to the 6 man division. Stupid HASHI.
G1 Participants are announced along with their blocks!
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Robbie Eagles (c) vs Hiromu Takahashi
We see a lot of quick early strikes, early dives, typical Hiromu break-neck speed. A little bit of the overhand chop exchange that he likes to do, then a lot of dodging and countering. Hiromu keeps stopping the Turbo Backpack, while Robbie is throwing a few different moves at Hiromu. Robbie gets Overhead Release German’d into the corner, Hiromu puts some stuff together, Robbie counters, then Hiromu staggers to the corner, blocks Robbie’s move and Death Valley Driver into the corner pads.
Then we see the signature Apron Sunset Bomb that killed Kushida in a matter of seconds when Hiromu came back, and Robbie barely beats the 20 count. Hiromu continues high impact attacks around the neck and shoulders area, but can’t seem to keep Robbie down just yet. Dynamite Plunger and a few high impact moves give Hiromu some near falls, but he has to look for some of his bigger moves.
Time Bomb 2 gets countered, Robbie gets perched on the top rope, Hiromu tries for an Avalanche Wheelbarrow Bomb, but Eagles blocks. Eagles gets off the top rope and starts picking at Hiromu’s legs. He hits the Turbo Backpack off the top rope and works on the legs some more. Hiromu starts seeing the writing on the wall, tries to block Robbie from executing the leg 450, but Robbie extricates himself from Hiromu’s grip, 450 on the leg, Ron Miller Special, then pulls Hiromu back to the middle after some struggle, Ron Miller Special again and Hiromu submits while looking heartbroken.
Desperado comes out, challenges Robbie for the title, but sweetens the pot by saying if he accepts Despy will put the Junior Tags on the line. Robbie chooses Tiger Mask as his partner, and of course accepts. Not sure if it’s 2 separate title matches or a winner takes all match. Could be cool depending on timing. You never know, it could be 2 title matches on the same night.
IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Shingo Takagi (c) vs EVIL w/Dick Togo
So I don’t think anyone is surprised by this match. Everyone hates EVIL’s matches, not because he’s a heel and we’re supposed to dislike it; but because they are the same clusterfuck interference match always. This is no different, Kevin Kelly says a mouthful when Red Shoes kicks out the House of Torture members saying “15 minutes of nonsense”. The first 15 minutes were pure unadulterated garbage.
The best thing about this match was seeing LIJ actually work together. House of Torture came back out (of course), first we see BUSHI try and stop them, but he’s overwhelmed. Then after SHO hits Shingo with a chair and goes for Shock Arrow, Naito and SANADA hit the ring the make the save. The historically worst faction at helping one another, actually all came out.
Shingo manages to fight through all the bullshit and hit Last of the Dragon to beat EVIL. After the match even Hiromu comes limping down the ramp. LIJ is whole, LIJ is together….LIJ is supporting each other for the first time in a VERY long time. This LIJ story, made the match a little better than the EVIL garbage.
Overall Score: 6.5/10
So even with the overarching feel good aspect of Los Ingobernables being whole, EVIL in any match, much less a main event is terrible. Now that being said, the Japanese audience was very audible during Shingo’s comebacks, Red Shoes kick out of the seconds and all of the things they’re supposed to pop for. PERHAPS…maybe…PERHAPS, the EVIL trash works a little better in the live situation than it translates on video. Because every EVIL match just feels like a waste of time.
Aside from that, the tag match was pretty damn good if not for a few weird hiccups and YOSHI-HASHI existing. Hiromu’s failure to get the Belto-san back is great for the Junior division because the face of the division has something to overcome instead of just getting handed back the belt. El Desperado also has done a great job reinventing himself since his injury and quarantine. He sells well, has a compelling way of speaking and his matches are fun. Let’s also not overlook the G1 announcement is pretty important! Is Tama gonna body check EVIL and eject the House of Torture out of Bullet Club?
The two days were fairly even, but the fact the main event was trash is what makes this show lag a little behind yesterday. New Japan isn’t quite back to where it used to be, but at least these two days lead into the G1 decently.
Mitchell’s AEW Dynamite Results & Report! (8/17/22)
American Dragon VS Dragonslayer!
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?
- 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]
Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 32 Results & Report! (8/17/22)
And then there were four!
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?
- 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?
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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