The G1 Climax’s opening weekend wraps up!
After the thrills of A Block’s first round, B Block has its first turn! Who among some of NJPW’s best begins their journey to the 31st G1 Climax finals?
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.
- YOSHI-HASHI VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo; Evil wins.
- Jeff Cobb VS Chase Owens; Cobb wins.
- SANADA VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado; Sanada wins.
- Hirooki Goto VS Taichi w/ Miho Abe; Taichi wins.
- Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Kazuchika Okada; Okada wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
YOSHI-HASHI VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo!
The Head Hunter is still part of the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions, but he doesn’t want to just #StayGold, he’s going for more! But the King of Darkness wants another shot at the throne! Will Hashi still #GetBackUp when Everything is Evil?
Evil and Dick Low Sweet, then the bell rings and fans rally up already. Evil and Hashi slowly circle, approach, and then Evil kicks low. Evil headlocks, Hashi endures the grind then powers up to power out, and Hashi reels Evil into a headlock of his own! Fans cheer as Hashi grinds Evil down now. Evil powers up, pulls hair, but Hashi grinds the headlock harder. Evil powers out, he and Hashi ram shoulders, but neither falls. Fans cheer as Hashi eggs Evil on. Evil steps to run, kicks Hashi low then runs anyway! But Hashi runs Evil over! Fans fire up for Hashi as he stands tall! Evil gets to ropes and drags himself up, but Hashi runs over to CHOP!
Hashi suplexes to hang Evil out to dry then runs, but Dick trips him up! Hashi points him out and the ref tells him to stay back, but then Hashi bails out to chase Dick. But Evil is waiting and he ambushes Hashi around the corner! Dick plays innocent as Evil stalks Hashi up the ramp. Evil stomps Hashi, the ref checks on Hashi but Evil undoes the blue corner’s buckle pad! The Bullet Club’s favorite strategy comes into play already. Evil brings Hashi around and RAMS him into the timekeeper’s table! Poor Abe-san suffers from Evil’s bullying again! Evil and Dick Too Sweet over being jerks and Evil leaves Hashi behind as he goes into the ring.
Fans rally for Hashi but a ring count can’t start with Abe down, too. Young Lions help Abe reset, a count begins, and Hashi gets up at 8 of 20 to get in at 9. Evil stands on Hashi’s head and digs his heel in, but the ref counts as they’re at the ropes. Evil lets off at 3, drags Hashi up and CHOPS him to a corner! Evil stands Hashi up straight to CHOP him again! And again! And again! Hashi CHOPS back, so Evil rakes Hashi’s eyes! The ref counts, Evil stops and throws Hashi out, and then Dick whips Hashi into railing! Evil keeps the ref busy as Dick throws Hashi into the ring. Evil covers, TWO! Fans cheer Hashi but Evil looms over him.
Fans clap for “GET BACK UP! GET BACK UP!” but Evil hits a FISHERMAN BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Evil argues the count but it is fair. Evil kicks Hashi toyingly, then slap shim around. Hashi gets up and stares Evil down, even as Evil throws more slaps. Hashi fires off forearms so Evil knees low. Evil runs, Hashi runs, HEADHUNTER BLOCKBUSTER! Fans fire up while Hashi and Evil are down. Hashi and Evil slowly rise and go to opposite corners. Evil and Hashi run at each other but Hashi shoulders Evil down! Hashi CHOPS, whips and runs in to CHOP Evil again! Hashi whips to CHOP, mule kick and NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!
Hashi keeps his cool as he brings Evil back up. Hashi reels Evil in, but Evil pulls hair again! The ref reprimands but Hashi CHOPS Evil! Hashi whips, Evil holds ropes and bails out but Hashi goes out after him. Evil gets back in and now he dares Hashi to do the same. Hashi gets on the apron and he shoulders into Evil. But Evil plays it up and the ref misses Dick tripping Hashi! Evil goes out to drag Hashi up and RAMS him back into the timekeeper! Abe-san suffers again! Evil brings Hashi around for a BACKBREAKER! Hashi writhes but Evil gets his legs for a SHARPSHOOTER! Hashi endures but the ring count is climbing!
Evil pushes it to 13 of 20 before he RAMS Hashi into more railing! Evil gets in the ring at 17, Hashi springs up at 18 and in at 19.5! Evil is annoyed but he drags Hashi around. Fans rally up but Evil reels Hashi in for a fireman’s carry, DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Hashi survives and Evil is beside himself. Dick coaches Evil up while fans still rally for Hashi. Evil slashes his throat, drags Hashi back up and spins him around, but Hashi fights the STO! Evil still tries, Hashi standing switches but Evil elbows free. Evil whips, Hashi reverses but Evil reverses back! Hashi hits the bare buckles! But then Hashi keeps moving!? And he LARIATS Evil down!!
Fans are fired up as both Hashi and Evil are down and stirring! Hashi rises, Evil follows, and Hashi runs, but Evil blocks the clothesline! Hashi CHOPS, Evil comes back to LARIAT! But Hashi stays up to fire off strikes, and a CHOP! Evil roars and spins, into a SUPERKICK! Hashi powers up and fans rally behind him as he brings Evil back up. Hashi reels Evil in, fisherman but Evil wrenches, EVERYTHING- NO! Hashi wrenches to a takedown! Hashi wants the Fujiwara, Evil resists, so Hashi shifts sides to get the BUTTERFLY LOCK! Evil endures, Hashi leans on the hold, but Evil reaches out with a foot! Hashi shifts position again to a SLEEPER!
Evil is already red but he stands up, into a BACKSTABBER! BUTTERFLY LOCK!! Evil kicks and flails but Hashi has him caught! Evil grabs at the ref, Dick gets in but Hashi is ready and SUPERKICKS him down! Evil is free but he keeps the ref down like a hostage! The ref sits up and realizes he’s being used as a meat shield! Evil shoves the ref at Hashi, Hashi pushes the ref aside and is ready for Evil’s ambush! Hashi catches Evil to a full nelson, spin to pump handle, but Evil pops out of Karma! EVERY- No, Hashi holds off the STO again and still wants the pump handle! Evil fights that so Hashi LARIATS point blank! Hashi changes up the grip, KARMA BACKBREAKER!!
Fans are thunderous now as Hashi gets Evil up in a waistlock. Hashi full nelsons, Evil grabs the ref! The ref SLAPS Evil away and Hashi hits a DRAGON SUPLEX! Evil staggers up, into a LARIAT!! Hashi gets Evil back up, fisherman to KUMAGOROSHI!! Cover, TWO!?! Evil survives all that and fans are almost electric! Hashi tries the full nelson again, spins to KARM- No, Evil shoves Hashi at the ref! Hashi blocks the low blow! But Evil rakes eyes to then LARIAT! Both men are down and fans rally up again! Evil slowly rises, he runs as Hashi stands, LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!! Hashi survives and shocks Evil but the fans are fired up!
Evil slashes his throat, vows to end this, and he gets Hashi up. EVERY- NO! Armbar takedown to a cover, but Dick is distracting the ref again! The ref tells Dick to go away but Evil LOW BLOWS Hashi!! Evil drags Hashi back up, reels him in, EVERYTHING IS EVIL!!! Cover, Evil wins!
Winner: EVIL, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Yoshi-Hashi earns 0)
The finger gun to Hashi’s throat says it all! The Bullet Club’s most devious duo found a way to shoot down the Head Hunter and now have that all important first win! With Yujiro Takahashi winning to start the A Block, will the House of Torture own the G1 Climax this year?
Jeff Cobb VS Chase Owens!
Great-O-Khan won yesterday for the glory of the United Empire, but now it is up to the Hawaiian Hulk! Will the Crown Jewel break under the pressure? Or will he skip the Tour of the Islands to get a huge first round win?
The bell rings and Chase rushes in, only to get run over! Cobb runs Chase over again and then Chase bails out. Fans cheer while Chase paces around the outside. Cobb waits but Chase dares him to go out after him. Cobb refuses so Chase goes looking under the ring. The ref reprimands, Chase slides in but slides out as Cobb storms over. Chase goes around the way, rolls into the ring, and then uses the ropes as defense as Cobb storms over again. Cobb backs off, Chase circles with him, but then uses the ropes as defense again. Cobb gets annoyed and pushes the ref aside but Chase dropkicks his leg out! Chase CLUBS away on Cobb’s back, then throws elbows.
Cobb shoves Chase away, Chase knees low and throws more clubbing elbows. Chase clamps on a cravat for a neck wrench but Cobb throws a heavy body shot! Chase headlocks, Cobb powers out and runs Chase over! Fans cheer as Cobb stands tall, then things speed up. Chase hurdles, Cobb clotheslines, repeat, then Chase SHOTGUN BOOTS! Cobb staggers and falls out of the ring, and Chase builds speed! But Cobb moves aside so Chase slides out instead. Cobb clinches Chase for an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Chase writhes and Cobb catches his breath while getting in the ring. A ring count starts on Chase as he drags himself up the railing.
Chase gets in at 8 of 20, but Cobb stomps him right on the back. Cobb stalks Chase, drags him up and whips him hard to a corner! Chase falls to his knees but Cobb stomps him down. Cobb stomps Chase more, then double stomps. Cobb drags Chase up to HEADBUTT him down. Fans rally while Cobb steps on Chase. Chase flounders to a corner, he kicks Cobb in the stomach, but Cobb stomps him into the corner. Cobb throws clothesline after clothesline and Chase falls. Cover, ONE! Chase sits up but Cobb snapmares him for a knee to the back! And then another! And then an uppercut to the back! Cover, TWO! Cover again, TWO!
Cobb snarls then mocks Chase’s finger gun. Cobb drags Chase up, lifts him and runs to RAM him into a corner! Then goes corner to corner to RAM him in again, then back the other way! And then one more RAM into the blue corner! Fans fire up, Cobb says bang and he hoists Chase up for a RUNNING BACK SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! Cobb is annoyed but fans rally again. Cobb kicks at Chase but Chase throws body shots. Cobb isn’t even bothered and he throws a forearm. Chase stands, Cobb slaps him so Chase throws body shots. Cobb knees low and starts taunting Chase. Cobb scoops, Chase slips out and waistlocks but Cobb bucks the roll up.
Chase dodges, throws forearms, but Cobb swings a haymaker. Chase slides under to ENZIGURI! Cobb falls out of the ring, Chase builds speed again! Chase WRECKS Cobb with the dropkick! Chase puts Cobb in the ring, climbs up top and leaps to missile dropkick Cobb down! Chase kips up and fires up with the fans! Chase aims from a corner, Cobb slowly rises, and Chase runs corner to corner to forearm smash! Then he reels Cobb in for a clothesline! Cover, TWO! Chase gets Cobb up, tries to fireman’s carry but Cobb CLUBS him with elbows. Cobb swings but Chase boots him! HANGMAN’S NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Cobb is still in this but Chase goes back to the corner.
Chase takes aim and says bang, then gets Cobb up and reels him in. Chase tucks the arms but Cobb powers up to get free! Cobb kicks low, EuroUppers then DROPKICKS! Fans cheer Cobb’s athleticism as he and Chase go to opposite corners. Cobb runs in but Chase catches him for a BUCKLE SHOT! Chase runs to JEWEL TRIGGER! Chase gets Cobb up, wrenches and hammerlocks, but Cobb blocks the lariat for a Belly2Belly! Pop-up and OKLAHOMA STAMPEDE! Cover, TWO! GACHIMUCHI MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! Chase survives being crushed but Cobb isn’t done with him yet! Fans rally and Cobb grins as he gets back up.
Cobb slaps Chase around, throws hands, but Chase just fires up. Cobb gives toying kicks, Chase eggs him on. Cobb throws hands, Chase gives them back! Cobb fires off several forearms, then “reloads” to DECK him! Chase staggers back to his feet and puts some stank on his SLAP! Cobb CHOPS Chase to a corner! Cobb runs corner to corner but Chase dodges the back elbow! Cobb hits buckles, Chase goes up but Cobb trips him up! Chase hits buckles on the way down, Cobb whips but Chase JEWEL TRIGGERS! Hammerlock, JEWEL HEIST!! Cover, TWO!! Cobb survives but Chase aims from the corner again. Chase runs in but Cobb blocks the knee!
Chase elbows Cobb, goes to run but Cobb reels him in for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Cobb whips Chase to ropes, TOUR OF- No, Chase slips out to a waistlock! Cobb switches but Chase breaks free to PELE! Cobb staggers, Chase hits a CYCLONE BOOT! But Cobb ROCKS him with a right! Chase rebounds, into a SUPERKICK! Chase rebounds again into a TOUR OF THE ISLANDS! Cover, Cobb wins!
Winner: Jeff Cobb, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Chase earns 0)
The United Empire is 2-0 between Khan and Cobb! Will they be the ones to conquer the G1 this year?
SANADA VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!
The Cold Skull and the Good Bad Guy are familiar foes from the tag team division, but they’re both after a higher prize this time. Sanada’s been a finalist before, will he make it to the end of the G1 Climax this year? Or will Tama trip him up right out of the gate?
Tama and Jado Low Sweet and Sanada takes off his space vampire duster jacket. The bell rings and fans cheer as the two stare down. Fans rally up, “SA-NA-DA! SA-NA-DA!” and Tama acknowledges that. Tama offers a handshake but Sanada is wary. Sanada reaches out, Tama finishes the handshake for him, and then of course reels Sanada into a headlock! Tama laughs as he grinds the hold but Sanada throws body shots. Sanada powers out but reels Tama in for a headlock of his own. Tama powers up but can’t power out as Sanada holds tight. Tama pulls hair, throws body shots and shoves Sanada. Sanada jumps over the drop down, ducks the elbow and whips to reverse roles.
Sanada again hurdles and ducks and even handsprings through Tama’s hip toss to arm-drag Tama away! Fans cheer while Tama bails out. Sanada builds speed, but he tumbles up and out as Tama slides in. And Jado grabs at Sanada’s feet! Tama runs but Sanada gets free to slingshot up and over! Tama’s baseball slide takes out Jado! Fans cheer for Tama’s misfortune but he gets in to arm-drag Sanada. Sanada arm-drags back and then dropkicks cancel out! Fans cheer as the two stand off, and Tama takes off his padded shirt! The Good Bad Guy is jacked and Sanada takes a moment to show his respect. The two circle and Tama says he respects Sanada, by showing another handshake.
Sanada is of course wary of it, he just fell for the trick last time. But fans still cheer, and Tama gets on the corner to encourage them to get louder. The fans do get louder, and Tama now offers Sanada a turn on the corner. “Dozo, dozo!” Sanada considers it, and then he goes up on a corner! Fans cheer, especially because he shows off the dancing pecs. But then Tama yanks Sanada off the corner to roll him up! TWO, and Tama clotheslines Sanada out of the ring! Fans rally for “SA-NA-DA!” as the ring count starts, but it’s 10 of 20 before Sanada stirs. Tama paces, willing to take a count out, but Sanada gets up at 15! Sanada takes a moment, and then gets in at 19. But Tama stomps him down!
Tama throws Sanada back out, then goes out after him to RAM him into the apron! Tama CLUBS Sanada against the apron, then follows him around the way as Sanada staggers. Tama brings Sanada around to POST him! Sanada falls back, Tama takes a moment to catch his breath and walk around. A ring count starts again and Tama considers his options. The count is 10 of 20 but Tama snap suplexes Sanada to the floor! Tama goes into the ring at 14, Sanada writhes and pounds his fist. Sanada drags himself up and in at 19! Tama drags Sanada up, then suplexes high and hard! Cover, TWO! Tama keeps focus as he drags Sanada back up for crossface forearms!
Tama paces around and even kicks Sanada around. Tama throws down fists but the ref reprimands the closed fists. Tama drops to the cover, TWO! Fans cheer but Tama wraps on a chinlock. Tama grinds Sanada but fans continue to rally. Sanada endures, even as Tama leans on him. Tama thrashes Sanada around, Sanada kicks and fights the hold. Sanada gets to his feet, throws body shots, but Tama throws a forearm. Tama shoves Sanada, runs in but into a boot! Tama comes back, blocks the boot and throws body shots! Tama whips corner to corner but Sanada comes back to dropkick the legs out! Both men are down and fans cheer.
Sanada and Tama slowly stir, then Sanada kips up! Sanada runs in at Tama and rallies with big forearms! Sanada arm-drags, then back suplex BACKBREAKERS! Tama bails out but Sanada PLANCHAS! Direct hit but Sanada gets back in! Sanada aims at Jado and PLANCHAS again! Down goes the Master Heater! Fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get louder. They get louder but Sanada needs more! The fans give him more and now Sanada is satisfied. Sanada fetches Tama and brings him up to put him in the ring. Tama rushes Sanada but Sanada shoulders into him! Sanada slingshots up and over to sunset flip, but Tama rolls through!
Sanada boots Tama away, trips him up and puts him in Paradise! Fans are fired up for this one as Sanada powers up. Double thumbs up to Milano and he gives them back! Sanada lets Tama suffer a little longer before aiming from the corner. Fans rally up, “PA-RA-DISE! PA-RA-DISE!” but Sanada dropkicks Tama out! Cover, TWO! Sanada keeps on Tama with a fireman’s carry, but Tama flails to get free! Dragon sleeper, but Sanada slips around to suplex! Tama slips out of that to get the TONGAN TWIST! Both men are down but fans fire up! Tama drags himself up the ropes while Sanada goes to a corner. Tama runs in to SPLASH!
Tama brings Sanada around to fireman’s carry but Sanada fights out to waistlock. Tama switches to GERMAN SUPLEX, but Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada runs, ducks and dodges, but Tama POWERSLAMS! Cover, TWO! Sanada survives that fast one but Tama drags him back up. Tama underhooks, lifts, but Sanada fights that off to fireman’s carry! Tama fights that, dragon sleeper, but Sanada powers his way out to arm-drag Tama to a corner. Sanada runs in but into a boot! Tama swings on Sanada but he dodges to QUEBRADA! Sanada gets the dragon sleeper! Tama fights through, suplexes, but Sanada slips through to dragon sleeper again!
Tama drops to then jump up and over to get the dragon sleeper for himself! TONGAN TW- NO! Sanada pommels through to ROCK Tama with a right! Sanada spins but Tama counters to a suplex! Sanada fights that, to get Tama on the ropes, MAGIC SCREW! Both men are down again but fans fire back up! Fans rally as the two stir, and Sanada encourages the fans again. The fans get louder as Sanada and Tama slowly stand. Sanada stalks Tama to a corner, and throws a heavy EuroUpper! Tama stays up but Sanada EuroUppers again! Tama still stays up so Sanada EuroUppers him off his feet! Tama staggers up into a fireman’s carry, TKO! Cover, TWO!!
Tama survives but Sanada vows to end this! Sanada drags Tama up into the dragon sleeper but Tama throws hands to fight it. Sanada holds on, cranks back, SKULL SWING! But Tama spins through to inside cradle, TWO!! Sanada escapes, swings but into Tama’s spin and underhooks! JAY DRILLER!! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives and Tama is shocked! The ref checks on Sanada but somehow he’s okay. Tama hears voices in his head like The Viper as he pounds the mat. Fans clap along as Sanada slowly rises. GUN STUN- NO! Sanada catches Tama and drops back to SKULL END!! Tama is caught in the body scissors and in the center of the ring!
Fans rally as Tama endures and pops free! Sanada hurries to get the dragon sleeper again, then he drops back down, SKULL END!! Tama endures again but Sanada’s grip is tighter this time! The ref checks on Tama, the arm drops once. The arm drops twice and Sanada hurries to a corner! ROUNDING BODY PRESS onto knees! Cover, TWO!!! Sanada survives his own bad call but Tama takes aim again. GUN- NO! DRAGON- NO! Tama spins through but then Sanada suplexes. Tama twists to GUN- NO!! Sanada blocks the Gun Stun to the dragon sleeper. Sanada shoves, waistlocks, O’Conner BRIDGE! Sanada wins!!
Winner: Sanada, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Tama Tonga earns 0)
The Cold Skull snatches victory from the jaws of defeat! Will he be able to repeat history and take the block again this year? As for the Guerrillas of Destiny, will either Tanga Loa or Tama Tonga be able to turn things around in round two?
Hirooki Goto VS Taichi w/ Miho Abe!
The third of the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions takes on the other half of the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, both aiming for the top of NJPW! Hashi and Ishii both lost, will the Fierce Warrior break the pattern? Or will the Sliest Wrestler in the World make sure the Dangerous Tekkers are 2-0?
Taichi finishes up his lip syncing and Miho helps with his elaborate entrance attire. Taichi shows off his dancing pecs but Goto is not impressed. Taichi taunts Goto with the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team belt, which the Tekkers retained at MetLife. Goto kicks Taichi low and grabs the belt, to give it to Red Shoes. The bell rings and Goto fires off hands on Taichi in the corner! Goto whips corner to corner, runs in and clotheslines! Goto whips to ropes, Taichi reverses but Goto runs him over with a shoulder! Fans cheer as Goto follows Taichi out of the ring. Taichi kicks back, then brings Goto around the way to POST him!
Goto flounders to railing, Taichi heads over and grabs camera wire. Goto blocks the choke and kicks Taichi low! Then Goto chokes Taichi with the cord! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Goto lets off fast and apologizes. Taichi sputters but Goto sits him up to choke him again! Red Shoes again reprimands and counts, and Goto lets go at 4. Goto says, “Okay,” he’ll stop. Goto brings Taichi up to put him in the ring and fans cheer as this continues properly. Goto stomps Taichi then clamps on claws to the shoulders. Taichi claims choke but Goto whips him to ropes. Goto elbows Taichi down, covers, TWO! Goto clamps back on with a chinlock and even digs a knee into Taichi’s back.
Taichi grabs at Goto, throws hands from below, but Goto drives an elbow into Taichi’s forehead! Goto stalks Taichi but Taichi bails out again. Taichi gasps and sputters at the railing but Goto waits for him to return. The ring count begins and Miho checks on Taichi. Goto goes out to kick Taichi and whip. Taichi reverses to send Goto into railing! Taichi scowls as he drags Goto back up. Taichi has cameras clear out and he whips Goto into more railing! Taichi grabs more camera cord and he uses a lot of it to choke Goto! Red Shoes reprimands, Taichi lets go with one hand. Red Shoes wants Taichi to let go completely but Taichi defies him with a shove.
Taichi drags Goto with the cord and then drops him. Red Shoes reprimands more but Taichi drags Goto up by his hair. Taichi digs Goto’s head into the railing to choke him! Red Shoes starts a ring count, Taichi lets off on Goto at 4 of 20. Taichi takes his time, bringing Goto up at 11 and putting him in the ring at 14. Taichi stands on Goto’s neck but Red Shoes reprimands again. Taichi steps off, fans rally up but Taichi bumps Goto off buckles. Taichi stomps away on Goto’s leg then digs his boots into Goto’s neck again. Red Shoes shakes his head and counts, so Taichi puts his hands up. Taichi’s cleverness is only annoying Red Shoes and he keeps counting.
Taichi stands on Goto with both feet, Red Shoes counts and Taichi lets off. Red Shoes tells Taichi to watch himself and Taichi thanks Red Shoes for the advice. Taichi drags Goto up and brings him around for Kowata Kicks, then tops it off with a hard kick. Goto glares at Taichi so Taichi KICKS him in the chest! Goto eggs him on so Taichi KICKS him down! Taichi smirks then chokes in the cover! Red Shoes notices and has him stop. Taichi does it again and again Red Shoes has to tell him to stop. Taichi says that’s not a choke, THIS is a choke! Red Shoes counts but Taichi lets off, and fans cheer Taichi’s wry wit.
Taichi drags Goto back up, but Goto CHOPS and CHOPS! Taichi choke grips but Goto breaks free to kick low! Taichi two-hand chokes Goto! But Goto two-hand chokes Taichi back! Red Shoes reprimands them both but both men drop to their knees as they keep going! Goto gets the edge and has Taichi on the mat! Red Shoes counts, Goto lets off at 4, and then he argues with Red Shoes that Taichi’s done far more than that. Taichi goes to roundhouse but Goto blocks and pump handles Taichi to then give him a Charlie Horse! Taichi staggers to a corner, Goto runs in to MURAMASA! And BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Goto drags Taichi back up.
Goto fireman’s carries but Taichi chokes his way out of it! Goto knees low, whips Taichi to ropes, but Taichi reverses to wrench and HOOK KICK! Both men are down and fans fire up! Taichi and Goto stir, fans build to a rally, and Goto gets to a corner. Taichi runs in to clothesline! Taichi runs Goto corner to corner to clothesline him again, then snapmare to a KICK to the back! Goto sits up and Taichi wraps him up for SEITEIJYUJIRYOU! Goto endures, pries free and arm-drags Taichi away! Taichi comes back, Goto blocks the boot to DISCUS LARIAT! Both men are down again and fans fire back up! Taichi is at the ropes but Goto goes to the opposite end.
Taichi is in the corner, Goto runs in but Taichi dodges to GAMANGIRI! Taichi runs but Goto fireman’s carries to USHIGOROSHI! Both men are down again and fans fire back up! Miho grows worried for Taichi as he checks his arm. Taichi rolls away to ropes as he gets feeling back in left arm. Goto rises as Taichi drags himself up the ropes. Taichi BOOTS but Goto stays up and growls. Goto throws a forearm, but Taichi rebounds to BOOT again! Goto throws another forearm, Taichi comes back to BOOT again! Taichi eggs Goto on now, and Goto throws another forearm! Goto eggs Taichi on so Taichi KICKS Goto’s leg! Forearm, KICK, repeat!
Fans rally up as they pick up speed! Taichi gets the edge with KICKS to Goto’s leg, but Goto blocks the chest kick to CLUB the leg! Taichi sobats, but DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Neither man falls, sot hey DOUBLE LARIAT again! Taichi roars, runs in and DOUBLE LARIAT! Goto staggers but he dodges the next try to LARIAT Taichi down! Goto eggs Taichi on, runs, but into a choke grip! Taichi puts Goto in the corner then ROUNDHOUSES! Choke grip, CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO!! Goto survives but OFF COME THE PANTS! Taichi aims from the corner, but Goto blocks the superkick! Goto hoists Taichi to the fireman’s carry, Taichi slips out, but Goto evades the saido!
Goto suplexes and stalls for SHOUTEN KAI! Both men are down and fans are thunderous! Miho and the fans rally up as Goto crawls to a cover, TWO!! Taichi is still in this and Miho is relieved. Fans rally up as Goto slowly sits up. Goto roars, gets to his feet and drags Taichi back up. But Taichi hits DANGEROUS SAIDO outta nowhere! Goto flounders around, roars as he stands back up, but Taichi GAMANGIRIS again! Both men are down but Miho leads the rally now. Taichi stands up first and he BUZZSAWS Goto back down! Taichi slashes his throat and Alabama lifts, but Goto sunset flips to get the dragon sleeper! Taichi fights that, but Goto tries again!
Taichi again fights off the dragon sleeper so Goto HEADBUTTS! Taichi falls and fans are thunderous again! Goto drags himself up the ropes, powers up as Taichi rises, BUZZSAW! Goto drags Taichi back up, dragon sleeper but Taichi CHOKES from that position! Goto blocks the lift, throws elbows, but Taichi back suplex CHOKE SLAMS! Cover, TWO!?! Goto survives but Taichi is too tired to be frustrated. Fans rally up hard as ever and Taichi gets himself to a corner. Taichi fires himself up, takes aim as Goto rises, TENSHOU- NO! Goto blocks to SLAP Taichi! Goto fires up, but Taichi comes back with the three point stance and FOREARM SMASH!
Taichi gets Goto up fast, Alabama lift to BLACK MEPHISTO!! Cover, Taichi wins!!
Winner: Taichi, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Goto earns 0)
In the blink of an eye, the Holy Emperor turns the tables and takes the win! With all three NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions losing, are they in danger of losing those belts after the G1? As for Taichi, will he and ZSJ take their blocks and make it a Dangerous Tekkers Climax?
Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Kazuchika Okada!
The Ace VS the Rainmaker is definitely main event material, so how fitting that they close out the G1 Climax’s opening weekend! But with Tanahashi still holding onto the IWGP United States Championship, can Okada earn himself a title opportunity on top of two points? Or will Osaka rock ‘n’ roll with love and energy?
Okada is very quick to put aside his newest jacket aside to show off his newest ring gear. Tanahashi takes off his jacket to show off the classic muscles, and of course the IWGP US belt. The belt is put aside, the bell rings and Osaka already fires up for this one. The claps are either “LET’S GO, ACE!” or “O-KA-DA!” but either way, everyone’s clapping along. Okada and Tanahashi circle then approach. They feel out the grapple, then back away to circle more. They tie up collar ‘n’ elbow, Tanahashi waistlocks but Okada pries it open to wrench and wristlock. Tanahashi wrenches and slips through to headlock in return. Fans cheer as Tanahashi grinds Okada down.
Okada fights up, pushes free and gets Tanahashi down for a grounded waistlock. Tanahashi pushes up to slip around and switch with Okada. Okada pushes up but Tanahashi holds on as Okada tries to throw him off. Okada stands up, wrenches to get a hammerlock but Tanahashi drop toeholds and floats to a headlock! Fans cheer this technical exchange as it continues with Okada rolling Tanahashi over. Okada gets free of the headlock to had Tanahashi in one and fans cheer again. Tanahashi fights and rolls Okada to put the headlock back on him! Okada fights up to his feet as fans rally, and he puts Tanahashi on ropes. Red Shoes counts the break, and Okada lets off slowly.
Okada fakes the chop to pat Tanahashi on the shoulder, a classic move. Tanahashi runs in but Okada kicks and headlocks. Tanahashi powers out but Okada runs him over! Things speed up, Tanahashi hurdles but Okada stops to waistlock! Ripcord and RAIN- No, Tanahashi gets under to full nelson! Okada breaks free and comes back, into an arm-drag! But Okada headscissors and Tanahashi kips free! The two fire up as fans cheer for this stand-off! Tanahashi and Okada cool off to reset and the fans rally back up. The two circle again, they tie up, and are in a deadlock. Okada’s height gives him leverage but Tanahashi shifts to get a headlock.
Tanahashi grinds Okada down again but Okada fights back up. Okada powers up but Tanahashi holds tight. Okada throws body shots, powers up but still can’t power out as Tanahashi holds on tighter. Tanahashi hits a takeover and holds off Okada’s headscissors to then trap an arm. Okada endures and moves around. Okada knees Tanahashi in the back, gets his arm free, but Tanahashi pulls back on the headlock. Okada fights back up to his feet all the same, and he pries at the headlock. Tanahashi powers up to keep the headlock on! Okada still endures and powers up yet again. Okada pries the hold open but Tanahashi again uses power to keep it on!
Tanahashi grinds Okada’s head more but Okada keeps fighting. Okada hooks a leg for some leverage as he pries the headlock open again! Okada turns it around and finally puts the headlock back on Tanahashi! Okada hits a takeover and he fights off Tanahashi’s headscissors this time. Tanahashi now endures and fans rally up again. Tanahashi fights to his feet, Okada grinds and grinds the headlock, all in return for what he endured. Tanahashi pries at the headlock now, but now Okada powers it back on tight! Okada shifts to a cravat to snapmare Tanahashi into a chinlock. Okada digs his knee into Tanahashi’s back but Tanahashi still endures.
Tanahashi stomps the mat and fans rally up behind him. Tanahashi fights up, throws body shots and is free! He runs but into Okada’s elbow! Okada takes a moment to catch his breath and pace around. Fans still rally, Okada stands Tanahashi back up and turns him for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Okada clamps right back onto the chinlock! Tanahashi fights back up, throws body shots and runs, but then ducks an elbow! Okada blocks the kick to BOOT Tanahashi, then Okada snapmares and runs for the basement dropkick! Okada stands on Tanahashi with the Rainmaker pose for a cover, ONE! Fans rally but Okada clamps on another chinlock.
Tanahashi pries the hold but Okada pulls back on it. Tanahashi fights to his feet again, throws more body shots, then runs, ducks and kicks. Okada blocks again, but Tanahashi blocks the boot to DRAGON SCREW! Fans cheer as both men are down. Tanahashi pounds the mat as fans rally up, and he fires forearms off on Okada. Tanahashi whips, Okada reverses but Tanahashi comes back with flying forearms! Okada sits up but Tanahashi is on him with a scoop and SLAM! Tanahashi goes to the corner and the second rope, SUNSET SENTON! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps his cool as Okada sits up again.
Tanahashi runs, but then he turns around to dropkick a leg! Tanahashi runs, blocks Okada’s boot and DRAGON SCREWS again! Tanahashi gets both legs and ties them up, but Okada gets the ropebreak before the Cloverleaf. Tanahashi lets Okada go to stomp the legs. Okada bails out, Tanahashi follows after and puts him back in. Fans cheer as Tanahashi runs and dropkicks Okada’s leg out again! Okada bails out again but Tanahashi follows after. Tanahashi CLUBS Okada, but Okada hits back and bumps Tanahashi off apron. DDT to the floor! The Ace just got spiked! Fans rally and clap, “LET’S GO, ACE!” “O-KA-DA!” again as Okada grits his teeth.
Okada gets up and hobbles over to Tanahashi. Okada puts Tanahashi in the ring and fans cheer. Tanahashi slowly rises but Okada brings him up. Tanahashi fires off forearms, then runs, but into a FLAPJACK! Okada stalks Tanahashi, Alabama lift and REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Fans keep rallying as Okada watches Tanahashi go to the corner. Okada runs corner to corner but Tanahashi dodges the back elbow! Tanahashi runs in but Okada puts him up top! Okada then dropkicks Tanahashi down to the floor! Fans rally hard as ever as a ring count starts. Tanahashi stirs at 6 of 20 but Okada goes out at 7. Okada has cameras move aside and he brings Tanahashi up.
Okada whips Tanahashi into railing! And then runs in to BOOT, but Tanahashi blocks! DRAGON SCREW! Okada clutches his leg while Tanahashi crawls away. Tanahashi gets up to the apron, and then climbs up the corner! But Okada intercepts him with haymakers and clubbing forearms! Okada drags Tanahashi onto his shoulder, but Tanahashi fights free! Tanahashi ROCKS Okada with a forearm, brings the bad leg through the ropes, and DRAPING DRAGON SCREWS! Okada falls, Tanahashi climbs back up, ACES HIGH CROSSBODY!! Both men are down on the outside but fans are thunderous! Red Shoes checks on both men, but they’re both okay to continue.
A ring count begins as Tanahashi slowly rises at 4 of 20. Tanahashi drags himself in at 10, but Okada is still down. Okada sits up at 13 but he’s pretty dazed. The count is 15 of 20, Okada stands at 17, and Okada slowly gets in at 18! Fans cheer as this continues but Tanahashi runs in corner to corner. Okada pops Tanahashi up to the Alabama, but Tanahashi fights that to TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! And then TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT again! Then a third TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! The Ace has a hat trick but he’s not done there! SLINGBLADE! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but Tanahashi fires up as he goes back to the corner. Tanahashi climbs again, Okada stands, HIGH FLY FLOW CROSSBODY!
But Okada rolls through to get the arm! MONEY CLIP!! Tanahashi endures, Okada holds on tight and fans rally up as hard as they can! Tanahashi fights up to his feet, reaches for ropes, but Okada brings him around with a BACK2BACKBREAKER! And back to the MONEY CLIP! Tanahashi endures all over as Okada leans on the hold. Fans are thunderous as they rally but Tanahashi is turning red! Red Shoes checks, Okada puts on more pressure, but Tanahashi gets a second wind! Tanahashi kicks forward to get the ROPEBREAK! Okada lets go and fans cheer Tanahashi’s resolve. Okada keeps his cool as he hobbles over.
Okada gut wrenches but Tanahashi blocks! Tanahashi throws body shots and gut wrenches Okada! Okada blocks that and it is a battle of gut wrenching! Okada CLUBS Tanahashi’s lower back, then ROCKS him with a forearm! Tanahashi still blocks the gut wrench! Tanahashi throws elbows, fast hands, and then gut wrenches through! But Okada slips off, so Tanahashi tries again. Okada gets Tanahashi up, SPINNING TOMBSTONE! But Okada isn’t done there, he drags Tanahashi back up and wristlocks! Ripcord, Tanahashi ducks the Rainmaker to sunset flip! But Okada sits on it for his own cover, TWO!!! Tanahashi barely escapes!
Okada aims from a corner, runs and SHOTUGN DROPKICKS! Both men are down again, with Tanahashi in a corner from that shot. Fans rally up hard as ever and Okada stands again. Okada drags Tanahashi up, scoops and SLAMS, and standard formula, he goes to the corner. Okada climbs, leaps, MACHO ELBOW! But he doesn’t cover here, he gives us THE Rainmaker Pose! Fans are thunderous again as Okada wristlocks and ripcords, but Tanahashi gets around to waistlock back! Tanahashi ripcords but Okada won’t let him steal the Rainmaker! Okada ripcords and spins, but into a SLINGBLADE!! Fans are electric as Tanahashi runs, to SLINGBLADE AGAIN!
Tanahashi fires up as Okada is in a drop zone! Tanahashi goes to a corner, climbs up top, HIGH FLY FLOW onto knees!! Okada saves himself at the last second, but is too tired to capitalize! Fans are electric again as both men are down! Okada crawls to the cover as the time limit is drawing ever closer. Okada gets Tanahashi up with wristlock, short arm LARIAT! Okada holds on, gets Tanahashi back up and LARIATS again! Okada roars and fans fire up again as he brings Tanahashi around. Okada drags Tanahashi back up, wristlock and ripcord, but Tanahashi inside cradles! TWO!!! Okada narrowly escapes, but he runs right into a GERMAN SUPLEX!
Tanahashi hurries to get Okada in the full nelson, for a DRAGON SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Time is running out as both men roar! They fire off forearms back and forth and fans are rallying with them! No guard, no hesitation, but Okada and Tanahashi do wobble. But then they fire up and DOUBLE FOREARM again and again! And again and again! Okada gets the edge and he roars, but Tanahashi SHOTEIS! Tanahashi runs into the DROPKICK! Okada hurries, gut wrench to SIT-OUT TOMBSTONE!! Okada hurries to get Tanahashi up again, ripcord to RAINMAKER!!! Cover, Okada wins!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Tanahashi earns 0)
With literal seconds to spare, the Rainmaker closes the deal! Okada may have just gotten the most important win of the block! Will the Once in a Century Talent be able to get past this loss and still make a run for the top?
Okada once again closes out the show by getting the mic. “OSAKA!” Fans cheer for the cheap pop. “This match against Tanahashi might count the same as any other league match, but facing him here in Osaka means a lot more than that to me.” And also, “this wasn’t the same Kazuchika Okada you’ve seen recently. The Rainmaker is BACK!” Fans cheer that! Okada continues by saying that the fans shouldn’t worry. He knows “the world isn’t in the best state right now. But now that the Rainmaker is back, NJPW will be firing on all cylinders, and the world will be better for it!” But were the fans satisfied with Blocks A and B over this weekend? The fans cheer, because they sure were!
Well you can’t be satisfied yet, ya bums! Things are just beginning! Whether it’s the fire of pro-wrestling or the G1 itself, the Rainmaker is ready to scorch the Autumn! Okada thanks the fans, and promises to make it rain all over this G1 Climax! With a shot at the US Championship in his back pocket, will Okada make it back to the top of NJPW?
Here are the current B Block standings!
Kazuchika Okada: 1-0, 2 points
EVIL: 1-0, 2 points
Jeff Cobb: 1-0, 2 points
SANADA: 1-0, 2 points
Taichi: 1-0, 2 points
Hiroshi Tanahashi: 0-1, 0 points
Hirooki Goto: 0-1, 0 points
Tama Tonga: 0-1, 0 points
Chase Owens: 0-1, 0 points
YOSHI-HASHI: 0-1, 0 points
The G1 Climax is off to an awesome start with this opening weekend. A Block perhaps had the stronger start just on Yujiro Takahashi getting the upset over Kota Ibushi, but B Block came really close. For a moment, I thought Yoshi-Hashi was going to get a shocker over Evil, but Evil of course has Dick there to help him cheat and win. At the same time, I’m sensing that House of Torture is going to be built up during the G1. Sho’s getting wins over new Young Lions in the matches I’ve been skipping, and Yujiro and Evil have strong starts to their G1 runs. Meanwhile, the rest of Bullet Club is struggling as Chase and both Guerrillas of Destiny lose, further sewing seeds for a new civil war.
The United Empire is definitely looking strong through the G1, and I’d love if this at least gave them license to challenge the Dangerous Tekkers in the late Fall to early Winter. The singles titles are either spoken for, or absent in the case of Jay White and the NEVER Openweight singles title being in the States for New Japan Strong and Impact Wrestling. But Khan & Cobb taking on the Dangerous Tekkers seems like a lot of fun just thinking about it. Taichi and Goto have a great match but Taichi wins to stay strong alongside ZSJ, so the Tekkers will definitely come out of the G1 looking strong, as well, and they might be eager to freshen things up after defeating Chaos AND LIJ.
Sanada gets a great win off Tama Tonga, and I really hope we get to see more from him as a singles guy. As I’ve said before, he seems to be stuck in the Heavyweight Tag Division right now, but he could make a good run of things this year. At the same time, maybe he is one of the ones to check off a win from Tanahashi? Tanahashi VS Okada was as great as we all expected, and I like that they pushed it close to the time limit to tease a draw. A draw would’ve really made things interesting, and I almost wish NJPW had done that, but I suppose they can’t just outright handicap they’re top two entries in B Block from the start. Okada winning and proclaiming THE Rainmaker is back is all logical moves, but just as easily as he could get to the finals, he could just miss it by someone being a spoiler.
My Score: 9.2/10
Andrew’s G1 Climax 31 FINALS Day Results & Match Ratings: 10.21.2021
Kota Ibushi looks to 3-Peat, Kazuchika Okada looks to win his first G1 in 7 years! Who will win?
Kota Ibushi looks to 3-Peat, Kazuchika Okada looks to win his first G1 in 7 years! Who will win?
So we get a fairly basic card. A few undercard tags, the semi-main contains Shingo and most of the main players not in the Finals. Jeff Cobb goes from a shot in the Finals to the opening match, that’s a big blow to the ego.
There’s a few interesting threads that can be pulled at, but the major draw is the G1 Climax 31 Finals. So let’s get to it!
- Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru: Kanemaru wins via Boston Crab @8:40 – **
- United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) vs Toru Yano & Yuji Nagata: Yano wins via Roll-Up @8:29 – **
- House of Torture (EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi) w/Dick Togo vs Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii: EVIL wins via Everything is Evil @11:20 – * ½
- KENTA, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Chase Owens w/Jado vs Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Tiger Mask IV & Hiroshi Tanahashi: Chase wins via Package Piledriver @10:41 – ** ½
- 5 Minute UWF Rules Match::Katsuyori Shibata vs Zack Sabre Jr: Time Limit Draw @5:00 – *****
- TenCozy, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato vs Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI, SANADA & Shingo Takagi: Shingo wins via Pumping Bomber @12:17 – *** ½
- G1 Finals: Kota Ibushi vs Kazuchika Okada: Okada wins via Referee Stoppage @25:37 – *** ¼
Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
Commentary doesn’t even really try to hide the fact that these Young Lions are very early in their careers and have no real chance. They are in this match to learn, build endurance and get experience.
Nothing special in this match, they give the Lions a few flash pinfall attempts but again, we all know better. More just moments of surprise cause the Suzuki-Gun duo were playing with their food. Still far too fresh in their training to show anything more than basics, and all I’ll say is, they didn’t embarrass themselves, so that’s a positive.
United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) vs Toru Yano & Yuji Nagata
So one of the most successful teams and singles wrestlers this year, against a clown and a veteran. I mean Nagata is no slouch, but he’s not in a position to be upsetting two rising stars. Maybe Yano pulls off some thievery, but I’m not really intrigued.
Early on we see the usual Yano stuff of shenanigans and turnbuckle pads going missing. Nagata gets tagged in and we get some real wrestling. However, Cobb and Nagata square off outside when they aren’t the legal men, and Yano executes the miraculous shot to the Ding-Ding, and Rolls-Up O-Khan for the win!
This does continue the weird story between O-Khan and Yano, so at least there’s a thread of story, but it does definitely leave Cobb in a weird spot.
House of Torture (EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi) w/Dick Togo vs Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii
Early on SHO starts with the mind games having a CHAOS towel in the ring and wiping his body with it, and being generally mocking. Things start quick, turnbuckle pads are taken off, people get wrapped into ropes and I suppose this is a more tolerable usage of EVIL. House of Torture can torture the 6 man division with bad wrestling and cliché paint by numbers heel work.
Togo uses the garrot on HASHI, but HASHI and Goto manage to hit GYR on EVIL, but Dick Togo of course gets involved to distract the referee. Chairs lay out the CHOAS members, Everything is EVIL on HASHI and yeah yeah, House wins and challenge for the six mans. Ugh.
KENTA, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Chase Owens w/Jado vs Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Tiger Mask IV & Hiroshi Tanahashi
So wait, we get all Bullet Club members against the veteran Hontai Squad? I mean Tanahashi has looked extremely mortal lately, and he’s not really bringing a ton of back up. When Makabe is the second best one on your squad, and he’s barely wrestled this year…you gotta wonder.
Makabe starts things off and we can see his back and waist heavily taped. So it looks like Makabe’s part time schedule could have something to do with injuries. Injured or not, Makabe gets the most of Loa, brings in Honma, then Honma eats some offense from Tama, until Honma counters and lands a big suplex. Tiger Mask IV comes in and actually cleans house, it takes a little bit before Tama does the Double Leapfrog Haku Chop to start taking control.
Bullet Club smacks around Tiger Mask until KENTA eats a Tiger Driver (ironic, I’m aware) and then Tanahashi gets tagged in. Tanahashi works to get a measure of revenge on the Bullet Club, but then we get some spam moments. G.o.D. tries to take out Makabe, but Makabe wipes out G.o.D. easily. Makabe brings in Honma, Honma takes it to Chase Owens, but no avail. A missed Kokeshi, a blocked Brainbuster attempt, and then C Trigger into Package Piledriver gives Chase the win.
Chase looks to be setting up a challenge, but KENTA blindsides Tanahashi with the belt. KENTA and Chase play tug of war a little, Chase tells KENTA he pinned him, KENTA says he doesn’t care, and Chase relents. He says KENTA can get the first shot, but he got next.
5 Minute UWF Rules Match: Katsuyori Shibata vs Zack Sabre Jr
This…this is amazing. Shibata gets his first match in 4 years, and it’s against the most perfect wrestler for Shibata to have a technical and safe exhibition match.
Since its UWF this is usually done in a points system like the old IMPACT Grand Championship. But a 1 round exhibition doesn’t allow for anything beyond a Draw, but this is wonderful. It’s a technical marvel with counters, submissions, references to Inoki’s classic on the ground pose that we saw Great-O-Khan reference back to during the G1. This is just a great moment, and hard to do any real play by play, but it’s a technical marvel. Hell, Shibata looks better than he ever has.
WAIT – After the match Shibata says “Next time I’m in the ring, I will be in my ring gear”. He punctuates the line with a hard flat back bump and a kip up. …Shibata is back? SHIBATA IS BACK?!
TenCozy, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato vs Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI, SANADA & Shingo Takagi
Taguchi and Hiromu start off with a good bit of comedy, before everyone not named Tenzan starts doing the Mongolian Chops, much to Tenzan’s chagrin. Wato has some nice spots early before LIJ do their wonderful Bum Rush. BUSHI comes in, uses the shirt and then LIJ starts dominating Wato. Wato manages to get a little space and get Kojima in and we get Machine Gun Chops on SANADA in the corner!
Hiromu tries to block it, gets shoved in the corner for his own chops, BUSHI tries to stop it, and gets put in the corner for the Triple Stacker of Chops. Shingo looks, and then drops off the apron and decides he’s just gonna let them play. Shingo does cut off Kojima before he does his signature Elbow, so Shingo didn’t ignore his team, just decided he wasn’t gonna fall into the dumb spot.
Signature spams, LIJ pain train, signature spam again, and then we get solid call backs. Shingo and Tenzan are the last two, Shingo uses Mongolian Chops, Tenzan responds in his own way. Some haymakers thrown, a Headbutt from Tenzan, the attempted Flying Headbutt, but Shingo cuts him off, Pumping Bomber, and Shingo wins!
G1 Finals: Kota Ibushi vs Kazuchika Okada
So they feel each other out early, and have the usual fast pace wild swings that get dodged and end in a small rest moment where they just smile and absorb the energy of the match. Before Ibushi can really get anything going, the arrogance of the Rainmaker returns. Very deliberate shots, perfectly rolling through his Slingshot Senton, and his single foot Dropkick. It’s really interesting to see Okada reverting back to his old self. The 2017 form is further exemplified by Shibata’s return since it helps to bring everyone back to “brighter days”.
Okada goes for his corner Hip Attack, but now Ibushi gets to start a comeback. Dropkick, Roundhouse Kicks, Standing Moonsault and Okada powders. After some fighting on the outside, Okada takes control again and hits a DDT on the ramp, which has Ibushi pretty much out. Okada waits in the ring until about 18, before he decides that’s not how he wants to win. Drags Ibushi in, tries the Money Clip, Ibushi won’t go in comfortably, Okada rocks him, whips him into the ropes, hits the Million Dollar Dropkick, and finally gets the Money Clip sunk in. Okada is in a different aggressive form that we haven’t seen since 2018 when his nearly 2 year title reign ended and he went balloon crazy.
Savage Elbow, Rainmaker Pose, Zoom Out…Wind up…Rainmaker misses and Ibushi returns with his own Lariat turning Okada inside out. Now they stand up for the strike exchange. Okada falls into an old Nakamura trap, where he starts winning the exchange, taunts the challenger and gets rocked. Ibushi grins, hits the Frankensteiner sending Okada to Powder. So now it’s Moonsault time for Ibushi, and lands perfectly on Okada.
Going back inside, Ibushi looks for Kamigoye, Okada blocks and then ducks the Round Kick, goes for a Backslide, but Ibushi rolls through and kicks Okada. Okada then eats a V Trigger and a Kamigoye…but it’s only 2! Okada flips Ibushi over when he attempts another Kamigoye, Double Legged Cradle, but ibushi kicks out. They lay each other out, Ibushi crawls to the top rope, Phoenix Splash and…Ibushi lands weird. He immediately grabs his arm, Red Shoes goes over to Ibushi, and after a few moments Red Shoes calls for the bell.
Okada wins the G1 off of Ibushi missing the Phoenix Splash and possibly dislocating his right arm.
Overall Score: 7.25/10
There’s a dark poetry in the ending to this year’s G1. Starting with Naito’s injury and ending with Ibushi’s injury, just makes this a fairly cursed year which plays into the cursed aspect of this World Heavyweight Championship. In a way, this works out for the best since if this tournament was supposed to make a newer wrestler and ended the same way, there would always be an asterisk. But it’s Okada, he’s a proven commodity and no one will really question his victory. I really appreciated the fact that he always loomed close while Ibushi was struggling with the doctor and through his injury. He held his hand many times, even seemed to tell him it’s fine, we’ll do it correctly 1 more time in the future.
Katsuyori Shibata returns, Kazuchika Okada returns to the a level of prominence by winning the G1 Climax 31 and this is a nice way to remind people of the names that many of the current crop of IWC fans know. New Japan grew quickly because of AJ Styles and Kenny Omega’s Bullet Clubs, but in the last few years we’ve seen many of the names we know fall to the back or go to different companies. This could be a return to form finally for New Japan.
Even if it ended off a failed Phoenix Splash, it could help New Japan rise from the ashes of community favor like a Phoenix.
Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 10.21.2021
Bound for Glory is on Saturday! How does IMPACT! hype us up for one of their crowning PPVs of the year?!
We get to see Mickie in an IMPACT ring for the first since 2015, Heath tries to get answers out of Rhino and we’ll probably see a lot of Josh Alexander and Christian Cage fleshing out the last little bits of the World Title match.
Aside from that, do we get anything of note to talk about, or is it just an appetizer for the real show on Saturday?
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 22, 2021
- Bullet Club (Chris Bey & Hikuleo) vs FinJuice: NO CONTEST/Double Pinfall – ***
- Jordynne Grace & Fallah Bahh vs Tenille Dashwood & John Skyler vs Chelsea Green & Crazzy Steve: Tenille wins via Spotlight Kick – ***
- Pick Your Poison: Savannah Evans w/Tasha Steelz vs Mickie James: Mickie wins via Mick DDT – *** ¼
- Alex Zayne vs Trey Miguel: Miguel wins via Meteora – ** ¾
The Insiders Stream on YouTube didn’t start until about 9:00pm, I’m not sure why IMPACT constantly has issues, but YouTube is not a hard platform to utilize. These delays are inane and embarrassing.
Bullet Club (Chris Bey & Hikuleo) vs FinJuice
Bey and Leo try some trickery early, but Finlay keeps pace. When Leo gets back into the match he starts throwing Finlay around a bit, which opens up opportunity for Bey. Bey looks to get flashy, but Finlay manages to get Juice in and Juice comes in hot. He nearly flips Bey out of the ring, takes Leo off the apron and tags in Finlay for some tandem work.
Leo breaks up the pinfall and then throws out Juice. Finlay grabs Bey in a Backbreaker/STO combination but Bey’s feet bump the referee. Leo chokeslams Finlay, puts Bey on top, but it takes the new referee too long to show up and it’s only a two count. We see Hikuleo trying to finish things, while the new referee tries to wake up the original referee. Leo gets double teamed, Juice Rolls Up Leo and then Bey Rolls Up Finlay, both referees count a 3 count for the different pinfalls. So we get a little call back to Beer Money and Motor City Machine Guns if we’re staying within TNA Universe.
This will probably end up a triple threat, unlike the MCMG/Beer Money double pinfall which ended in overtime.
There’s a long segment with Josh Alexander giving us his story. It’s not a bad segment, but the only advantage to the show starting late means I got to rewind for the match and speed through most of this. Alexander is a great story, but I already mostly know it, and would really like to see him win at Bound for Glory. Get the title back on a wrestler on the actual IMPACT roster.
Jordynne Grace & Fallah Bahh vs Tenille Dashwood & John Skyler vs Chelsea Green & Crazzy Steve:
This is a Digital Media Championship preliminary match. I find it interesting that there’s 3 men and 3 women. So instead of one or two for “inclusion” it’s actually an even spread. The way the teams are broken apart is interesting too where it’s Power vs Crazy vs Opportunistic.
The gimmicks actually paid off in the match. Jodynne massacred kids, but then things started to get a little messy. Fallah gets a handle on things, squishes the world, and then looks to BAHHnzai Drop on Tenille but Kaleb gets involved. A little more confusion, Steve hits King Kill 33 on Fallah, but Skyler pulls Steve out of the ring. Tenille hits the Spotlight Kick and the Opportunistic team win because well…there was an opportunity.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 22, 2021
Pick Your Poison: Savannah Evans w/Tasha Steelz vs Mickie James
Mickie takes a moment to absorb the accolades from the crowd first, and then we see a quick strategy twist. Savannah looks for a few Haymakers and using her reach to her advantage, where Mickie just finds a few quick strikes and interesting angles to land some offense. Mickie looked to be building some momentum, and then Tasha got involved.
Savannah starts to dominate after the assist from her second. Big Bear Hug in the middle has Savannah just ragdolling Mickie until she can land a few choice Forearms. Mickie fights out, Sole Butts, a few nice attacks and Mickie hits the Avalanche Thesz Press, but only a 2 count. Deonna’s music plays as Savannah kicks out, Mickie is distracted and then we see Savannah lay in some big shots. The Full Nelson Bomb only gets Savannah a 2. Mick Kick rocks Mickie and then Mick DDT for the win. Hardcore Country wins the match.
Deonna walks down, mouths off…actually pushes Mickie…so I’m confused about the no contact clause…but then Rehwoldt shows up behind Mickie and wipes her out.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 22, 2021
Alex Zayne vs Trey Miguel
The Sauce against the other guy who can’t speak but likes to try to use food analogies and sucks at it, aka, Trey Miguel. He’s like a Young Will Ospreay with less ability to talk…so no upside at the moment cause Ospreay was pretty awful up until a year or two ago.
So this is just a lot of counters, blocks, Arm Wringers, not much direct offense, just a lot of choreographed spots. This feels like a much slower paced version of a Ricochet/Ospreay match from 2016. Zayne is a more fluid wrestler, and he just makes everything look good. Miguel does a weird Cradled Octopus but Zayne responds with a Handspring Frankensteiner, as an early highlight spot.
Miguel in Ospreay fashion hits the Cheeky Nandos, into the corner stuck Tiger Feint, Meteora and Trey wins.
Thankfully Maclin attacks Trey after the match so I feel generally better. Bullet Club comes out and take out both Maclin and Trey. El Phantasmo just baby faced himself in my house.
Show ends with the usual talking segment hyping the World Title match. Alexander gets a “You Deserve It” from the crowd and portrays himself as the everyman fighting for his boys. Christian’s music hits and Captain Charisma vacuum shows up to stir a pot that doesn’t need to be stirred.
Christian taking the experienced thrives under pressure condescending veteran angle is…annoying. Like I said a few weeks ago, the boxes they are trying to play in, I don’t love. Alexander does flip the script nicely talking about how people classified him as nothing more than a Tag Team guy, and “sounding familiar” strikes a chord with Christian. Small scuffle as Christian tries to snip back, but it’s fairly paint by numbers.
Overall Score: 5/10
Low key? This was a pretty lame episode for an Impact Go Home. The matches weren’t really anything special, with the most happening during Pick Your Poison, but it effectively being a non-issue. The YouTube delay of course hurt my enjoyment of the show, but even without the delay, I don’t really feel like this would’ve registered much higher on my scale.
I am looking forward to Bound for Glory because of who’s in the matches, but this episode didn’t help sell it. Thankfully it’s already sold out, and most people probably decided if they were purchasing it by now.
When it comes down to it, I’m expecting quite a few title changes, even though I’m figuring that Mickie’s involvement is more of a one off to give the rub to younger talent and cement her dominant reign. Alexander I would love to see win the belt and The IInspiration would do wonders and put an immediate spotlight on a division that has floundered behind a lack of real teams and no real direction.
So I’ll see all of you on Saturday for Bound for Glory!
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