New Japan Pro Wrestling
G1 CLIMAX 29
Day 11 – Block A
Takamatsu City General Gymnasium #1, Kagawa
Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero on commentary which is PERFECTION.
BAD LUCK FALE (2) w/ Jado & Chase Owens
KOTA IBUSHI (6)
Fale attacks before the bell and dumps Ibushi. BC attacks Ibushi while the ref is dealing with Fale, and Fale keeps the pressure on outside and in the entrance ramp. The ref starts counting as Fale stands on Ibushi, beats him down and pulls apart the barricade to be an obstacle. Ibushi makes a break for it, ducking a kendo stick shot from Jado and slides in in time but Fale hits a big splash to the back and covers for 2. Fale stays on Ibushi and grounds him, dropping an elbow and doing a Captain Morgan cover for 2. Red Shoes wouldnt count that. Fale stands on Ibushi in the ropes and then distracts the ref allowing Jado and Chase to help. More pressure from Fale on Ibushi, keeping things slow and methodical, Ibushi fires back but Fale just grabs Ibushi and squeezes in a bear hug with the right arm trapped. Chants for Ibushi. Fale misses the corner splash, Ibushi hits Fale with a kick and comes off the ropes with a flying mid-kick. Yes Kicks by Ibushi, low dropkick puts Fale down and the standing moonsault connects. Cover but only 2. Ibushi climbs, Chase intervenes and distracts allowing Fale to hit the corner avalanche and big splash. Cover but only 2. Fale calls for Grenade, flurry by Ibushi to escape and he looks for Kamigoye but Fale hoists him, Ibushi escapes and runs the ropes but Jado gets a kendo stick shot. Grenade by Fale connects, cover but only 2. Chants for Ibushi. Bad Luck Fall is countered, Ibushi tries a crucifix but cant get Fale over, Jado helps from the apron but the ref pulls them apart and Ibushi gets the rollup but only gets 2. Buzzsaw kick from Ibushi connects, he exposes the knee and goes Nakamura, BOMA YEEEEEEEE! The other kneepad comes down, Kamigoye connects and thats that.
Kota Ibushi (8) defeats Bad Luck Fale (2) by pinfall via Kamigoye
JAY’S RATING: 1.75 out of 5
Eh. Ibushi looked good and made due. Fale brings SO LITTLE to the table and is so inconsistent. Sigh. But thankfully this eliminates Fale mathematically.
ZACK SABRE, JR. (2)
WILL OSPREAY (4)
ZSJ has been blaming Boris Johnson for his rough tournament so far. Love it, and ZSJ is a hero. ZSJ also has a 4-2 victories edge in past meetings with Will. We get the bell and they grapple with speed, trading moves and countermoves and standoffs. Great mat exchange as Will uses speed and ZSJ uses technique, and a GREAT handspring escape by Will. Dang. ZSJ goes for the arm, another quick sequence and standoff. Takedown by ZSJ who works the leg of Will to ground him, transitions to the arm and wrist, Will looks to counter and they run the ropes. Will kips out of a snapmare but ZSJ dodges a kick as he tries the leg again and gets Will in a bow and arrow, Will drops into a cover but doesnt get 1 as ZSJ evades a dropkick, Will evades a PK and a dropkick puts ZSJ outside as Will does the dive fake. Nice sequence. Will lands a baseball dropkick to ZSJ and looks to dive, ZSJ back in so Will adjusts and lands a chop back inside. They trade snapmares until ZSJ gets the neck crank, and holds the headscissors with Will in the ropes to increase the damage.
Taunting kicks by ZSJ who keeps working Will in the corner, he lays in Euros and just brutalilzes Will in the ropes. Cravate by ZSJ with a leg trap, Will fights out but ZSJ reapplies, Will escapes but misses the standing shooting star, ZSJ with a bizarre and extreme stretch but Will falls into the ropes for the break. ZSJ gets a stranglehold to ground Will, Will tries to fight but ZSJ keeps it on and gets a backbreaker stretch. Great reversal by Will and he follows up with the handspring enziguri. Nice corner enziguri and top rope 619 by Will, running rana connects and dumps ZSJ and Will follows with the Space Flying Tiger Drop! So pretty. Will sends ZSJ back inside and lands Pip Pip Cheerio, cover but only 2. Robinson Special connects, ZSJ cuts off the OsCutter and goes for the arm, big chop by Will but ZSJ gets a nice tornado DDT off the ropes and both are down. ZSJ tears the tape off of Will’s neck and shoulder and lays in taunting kicks that get more thudding. Will asks for more and eats a HARD chest kick. Will still asks for more and eats another, then catches the next one but eats a hard shot and a boot from ZSJ. Will tries the hook kick, ZSJ counters, Euro by ZSJ lands but Will hits a hook kick and both are down again.
Stormbreaker is countered into a rollup for 2, they trade 2 counts with ZSJ getting a close one, Will tries the OsCutter but ZSJ catches him in a choke on the way down. Will escapes and hits a nice head kick and lands the OsCutter! Cover but only 2. Hook kick by Will, Hidden Blade is countered and ZSJ gets a grounded stretch but Will gets the ropes to break. Zack Driver is blocked, NICE Euro from ZSJ connects but Will looks for reverse Bloody Sunday, ZSJ counters with a choke and transitions into a guillotine but Will powers ZSJ up into a brainbuster! Stormbreaker is countered again into the European Clutch but it only gets 2 and ZSJ hits a PK. Cheeky Nandos connects from Will who hits the reverse Bloody Sunday, cover but only 2. Will climbs and flies but ZSJ catches the shooting star press on the way down into a triangle and rolls to center, but Will is able to power ZSJ up into a sitout powerbomb for 2. The shooting star press follows, cover but still only 2! Hook kick sets up Stormbreaker but ZSJ counters and locks in the Octopus, catches the arm with his leg and Will drops to the ground and has to TAP!
Zack Sabre Jr (4) defeats Will Ospreay (4) by submission via grounded leg-trap Octopus
JAY’S RATING: 4.25 out of 5
This was an outstanding New Japan outing by two talents who know each other so well, and it paid off BIG TIME here. The work was so smooth, so confident, brutal when it needed to be, and was easily ZSJ’s best tournament performance thus far. Will as usual delivers great moments throughout and plays the plucky babyface beautifully against ZSJ’s cocky prick. Also happy to see ZSJ get another win after a ROUGH start, and I feel like Will has some wins coming and can stand this loss. Brilliant work!
LANCE ARCHER (4)
KAZUCHUKA OKADA (10)
Archer starts fast before the bell crushing Okada in the corner. The last time these two met was 5 years ago today in this very buidling. Okada spills outside and Archer lands a cannonball off the apron, then takes out a Young Lion before driving Okada into the barricade and then into an announce table. Archer brings Okada into the crowd and makes a child cry before hitting a Young Lion and carrying Okada’s beating deeper into the audience. Red Shoes gets between Archer and the child as Archer whips Okada to the barricade. Open hand chop by Archer on the outside, Okada fires back but Archer hits a big forearm and Okada drops. Red Shoes now begins to count but Archer chases the timekeeper away to stop the count, then throws Okada back inside. Short-arm clothesline by Archer puts Okada down again, and Archer mockingly does the Rainmaker pose. Chants for Okada as Archer goes Old School and walks the ropes, and then comes off the top rope with a standing moonsault to wipe out Okada! Cover but only 2! Archer is amazing this G1, and chases off Red Shoes for only giving him a 2 count. Shots by Okada, Archer absorbs them and looks for a chokeslam, Okada tries to counter with a dropkick but Archer moves. Corner rush by Archer but Okada gets a rollup for 2 and follows with a basement Euro to put Archer down. More chants for Okada.
Shots from Okada and the running elbow stuns Archer and he follows with a sliding single leg dropkick. Archer bails and Okada wipes him out with a pescado as Okada fires up the crowd. Back inside and Okada hits the corner jumping elbow and DDT, cover but only 2 as Archer kicks out hard. Tombstone by Okada is countered but Okada hits a slam, looks to climb and lands the diving elbow drop. Okada teases the Rainmaker pose but gets too close to Archer who applies the EBD Claw! The ropes cause the break, but Archer follows with the Derailer. Blackout is countered, backslide by Okada gets rolled through and Okada hits a thudding short arm lariat, then a second, but Archer drops Okada hard with one of his own. Cover but only 2. HUUUUUGE chokeslam by Archer plants Okada hard, cover but still 2! Archer looks for Blackout again, Okada fights but Archer drives him down, cover but Okada gets his foot on the ropes to break the pin attempt. Chants for Okada as Archer calls for the EBD Claw, Okada evades and hits a dropkick to the back, Archer charges but Okada hits a dropkick to the front to follow. More chants for Okada. Archer crushes Okada in the corner and looks for a superplex, Okada holds on and fights out and drops Archer with a front missile dropkick. Tombstone by Okada is reversed into Blackout but Okada escapes and hits a spinning lariat. Okada catches the hand to block the EBD Claw, holds the wrist to transition into a ripcord and hits RAINMAKEEEEER! Cover and thats 3!
Kazuchika Okada (12) defeats Lance Archer (4) by pinfall via Rainmaker
JAY’S RATING: 3.8 out of 5
This was a very good match with Okada continuing his undefeated streak, further setting my altered predictions for where the G1 is headed. Archer also continues to deliver an ENORMOUS singles repackaging and its outstanding. He looked dominant at times and comfortable in that role opposite Okada, and should be poised to be the new gaijin monster for NJPW and I’m all about it. This win also eliminates Archer, SANADA, Will Ospreay, ZSJ and Fale mathematically from Finals contention. This Okada run…
With SANADA now elliminated, its about him playing spoiler, which he can contribute to here with KENTA. Chants for SANADA at the bell, and SANADA plays to the crowd. Red Shoes comments that KENTA isnt getting much by comparison, so KENTA tries to the play to the crowd, with moderate success. SANADA goes again but KENTA attacks SANADA from behind, nice evasion by SANADA but KENTA dumps him and whips him into the barricade. SANADA reverses and whips KENTA into the barricade but rushes KENTA who drop toe holds SANADA face first into the barricade. KENTA now slams SANADA into the announce table and corner post, keeping the pressure on with mid-kicks and hitting a DDT on the floor. Red Shoes starts the count and KENTA throws SANADA back in, covers but only gets 1. KENTA grounds SANADA, SANADA fights up but KENTA lands a knee to the gut and kick to the back. Kick series in the corner by KENTA who dominates SANADA, SANADA fires back but KENTA lands a neckbreaker and covers for 2. Knee drops by KENTA, he exposes the knee and does the fake out mule kick, which wakes up SANADA for a moment. More kicks by KENTA, SANADA fires back, shots traded as SANADA dropkicks the knee. KENTA comes back but SANADA gets the leapfrog dropkick and KENTA bails, SANADA follows with a pescado and wipes out KENTA. Nice pop, chants for SANADA.
Back inside, cover by SANADA but only 2. KENTA fires back and gets the tornado guillotine on the top rope and follows with the diving clothesline, cover but only 2. Flurry by KENTA is cut off, KENTA evades a standing moonsault and catches SANADA in a powerslam off the ropes. KENTA rolls to the apron and taunts the crowd, hits a spring missile dropkick and follows with the corner boot and hesitation dropkick. The diving double stomp connects by KENTA, cover but SANADA is out at 2. KENTA calls for the end but SANADA blocks the GTS, rollup by SANADA gets 1 but KENTA reverses it into Game Over in the center of the ring. SANADA crawls and fights and finally gets the ropes for the break. Busaiku knee is blocked by SANADA, KENTA fights but SANADA rolls through into a TKO (nice recovery), cover but only 2. Backbreaker by SANADA who climbs, but KENTA gets the knees up to block the moonsault. Chants for SANADA, they trade shots, nice thuds on each shot, KENTA gets kicks in but SANADA looks for Skull End, looks to drop but KENTA gets the sleeper hold and SANADA fades. SANADA catches the PK but KENTA just SLAPS the SHIT out of SANADA and lands the busaiku knee! Cover but only 2. KENTA calls for the end again, GTS is countered into Skull End, KENTA fights and gets SANADA into position for GTS again but SANADA counters into Skull End again, gets the giant swing and drops down with the body scissors. SANADA lets go and lands the moonsault, cover and thats 3!
SANADA (4) defeats KENTA (8) by pinfall via moonsault
JAY’S RATING: 3.25 out of 5
This was quite a good match, but KENTA continues to suffer in my opinion from some air issues which interfere with the flow and build/release of tension throughout the match, and it once again held back what was otherwise a really entertaining match. Both looked strong overall, and KENTA’s asshole-ish-ness continues to be one of his greatest strengths. SANADA going over here is intriguing, as it keeps KENTA from getting to 10 points and being immediately behind Okada. He is also now joined by Ibushi at 8, and possibly Tana or EVIL shortly?
HIROSHI TANAHASHI (6)
With SANADA’s win over KENTA, both EVIL and Tana have a chance to join KENTA and Ibushi immediately behind block leader Okada. Chants for Tana at the bell. EVIL strikes first, gets a headlock, Tana tries to power out but EVIL holds firm before escaping and getting his own. Hair grab by EVIL to get control and he drops Tana with a tackle. Hip toss by Tana is countered but Tana gets an interesting headscissor to take EVIL over, and a mid-rope crossbody by Tana drops EVIL. EVIL gets a clothesline that dumps Tana to the floor, he follows and whips Tana to the barricade and pulls two chairs out from under the ring. We get the home run chair swing with one draped around Tana’s head and Red Shoes admonishes and tells EVIL to get it back in the ring. EVIL rolls Tana inside and works the knee, locking in a Figure Four and wrenching it down as Tana tries to keep EVIL from full application. Tana is able to turn it over and reverse the pressure, EVIL turns it back but Tana uses the momentum to turn it over in the other direction before EVIL gets it centered again and applies the pressure until Tana makes the ropes.
Shots by Tana, EVIL fires back but misses the senton and Yota Tsuji gets the crowd behind Tana. Flying forearm drops EVIL, a slam by Tana connects and is followed by a somersault senton. Cover but only 2. Sling Blade is blocked, Tana counters a German and hits a dragon screw on EVIL. EVIL counters Sling Blade again and tries a dump, Tana skins the cat but EVIL is waiting and drops Tana on his head with a release German suplex. Lariat by EVIL misses, he tries a misdirection but Tana is ready and hits Sling Blade. EVIL bails, Tana climbs the corner and hits High Fly Flow from the top all the way to the floor. But Tana’s knee hits the floor and he’s holding it in pain. EVIL comes back and uses Tsuji as an assist to hit Tana with Magic Killer, and both are down at ringside as Red Shoes begins the count. We get to 16 and both are down, and both barely make it in at 19 with EVIL making it in first. EVIL keeps on Tana’s knee but Tana takes a note from EVIL in using the ref to hit EVIL’s knee, and gets a grounded dragon screw before looking for the Cloverleaf. Its fought off by EVIL so Tana adjusts into a deathlock but EVIL scrambles to the ropes for the break. Chants for Tana.
Tana blocks a corner clothesline but runs into a BIG lariat from EVIL, and both are down again. Corner clotheslilne from EVIL connects, he sits Tana up top and climbs to the very top, and hits a top rope superplex. Cover from EVIL but only 2. Darkness Falls lands, cover by EVIL but still only 2. EVIL calls for the end, Everything is Evil is countered and Tana hits Twist and Shout, he holds on and hits a second one, EVIL looks for the fisherman suplex but Tana hits a third Twist and Shout and follows with Sling Blade. Cover but only 2. Tana now climbs and flies but EVIL gets knees up to counter High Fly Flow and rolls Tana up, but only gets 2! Chants for Tana. Shots traded, both Tana and EVIL fire up, the crowd fires up, they keep trading, double chop by EVIL lands hard and he takes Tana down with a short lariat! Cover but still only 2! Chants for both now, EVIL lines up a lariat and takes Tana’s head off! Another cover but another kickout at 2 by Tana. EVIL calls for the end again, Everything is Evil is blocked again and Tana looks for his own but EVIL counters and hits a headbutt, and Tana crumples. Everything is Evil is countered again and Tana hits a dragon suplex, bridges but only gets 2! Tana climbs, EVIL rises and Tana hits a standing High Fly Flow, then changes corners and hits High Fly Flow! Cover and thats the 3!
Hiroshi Tanahashi (8) defeats EVIL (6) by pinfall via High Fly Flow
JAY’S RATING: 4 out of 5
This took a minute to get going but the closing stretch was really well done, and EVIL went move for move with one of the New Japan greats surprising no one. Tana has been pushing his body this G1, but its been paying off even as his knees buckle. Great match, simple, straightforward and strong action.
After the match, Tana teases to leave, the crowd chants (with Tana’s encouragement) and Tana takes a mic. No Charlton again (boo) so no translation. He keeps it short but the crowd chants for him some more. Tana motions to Tsuji and Tsuji throws him the air guitar, and we get the full air guitar performance to send us off. Tana then throws the guitar away (complete with crash sound), but the crowd wants an encore, so someone throws him another one. LOL. We get another air guitar solo, and then he throws it back to the crowd. He picks up the mic and we get more chants, and he finishes the promo.
This was a good day of tournament action, with the highlights being ZSJ/Ospreay (which was just a fucking awesome match anytime anywhere any company), Okada/Archer and the main event. SANADA giving KENTA a 2nd loss adds some drama, especially since Okada remains undefeated and moves to 12 points, with all of his 2nd place competition a full two wins behind him points-wise. However, we now have Ibushi, Tana and KENTA all at his heels, so Block A remains intriguing while leaning toward an Okada landmark. We shall see. The standings are now:
Kazuchika Okada (6-0)
Kota Ibushi (4-2)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (4-2)
Lance Archer (2-4)
Zack Sabre Jr (2-4)
Will Ospreay (2-4)
Bad Luck Fale (1-5)
Jon Moxley (5-0)
Tomohiro Ishii (3-2)
Juice Robinson (3-2)
Jeff Cobb (2-3)
Hirooki Goto (2-3)
Toru Yano (2-3)
Tetsuya Naito (2-3)
Jay White (2-3)
Shingo Takagi (2-3)
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