New Japan Pro Wrestling
G1 CLIMAX 29
Day 4 – Block B
Hokkaido Preferctural Sports Center Hokkai Kitayell, Hokkaido
Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero on commentary which is PERFECTION.
SHINGO TAKAGI (0)
TORU YANO (2)
We get the bell and Shingo is already looking pissed, the Hokkaido crowd is throwing down for Yano as their “representative” or whatever the current shtick is, and Yano is clowning brilliantly. Yano goes to take his shirt off and Shingo attacks, with Yano blinded in the corner. Shingo mocks Yano, but Yano reverses a whip and exposes a corner, Shingo runs in but Yano moves and Shingo hits the metal! Yano blinds Shingo with the shirt and rolls him up for 2. Yano now heads outside and goads Shingo out, sitting in a chair deep in the corner aisleway. Shingo heads out and slams Yano into the chair, beats on Yano and tells the ref to start the count. Shingo tries to rush Yano in the chair but Yano drop toe holds him into the chair, beats him down and creates an obstacle course between Shingo and the ring, and throws the corner pad at him to boot, but Shingo makes it in JUST in time! Love it. Yano has the tape, Shingo takes it away and hits knees to the gut and drops Yano with a tackle. Cover but only 2. Shots traded with some Yano clowning though Yano starts throwing some hands before eating a straight right hand from Shingo. Low blow by Yano is blocked, Yano tries a backslide, Shingo tries a noshigami reversal but Yano gets the slide for a VERY close 2! Elbow and short lariats by Shingo and a double chop drops Yano. The crowd is getting behind Shingo, the ref gets KOed as Yano shoves Shingo and Yano gets a chair and pulls an Eddie Guerrero! The ref takes the chair from Shingo as Yano laughs, BUSHI is out and distracts the ref, Shingo tosses the chair into Yano’s face while his back is turned and he hits Pumping Bomber and gets the 3!
Shingo Takagi (2) defeats Toru Yano (2) by pinfall via Pumping Bomber
JAY’S RATING: 2.5 out of 5
This was a solid way to open the show, though lackluster compared to the past three days if I’m being honest. Shingo is great, and Yano is one of the best at what he does, but whereas Yano and Naito really played with each other, Shingo and Yano didnt have that same groove together. There were a couple fun moments, and thats the key to a Yano match, but not enough to really carry it further than just a solid and good match. Glad to see Shingo get on the board now.
HIROOKI GOTO (2)
JUICE ROBINSON (2)
We get the bell and Goto gets the edge with crowd chants. They start grappling fast and go to standoff. They go to the mat again and are evenly matched again. Tackles move no one, they run the ropes and Juice wipes Goto out with a Harlem Sidekick. Corner clothesline connects, Goto is down but he evades the cannonball, sits Juice up top and hits a draping neckbreaker. The action spills outside, Goto gets a mid-kick and whips Juice to the rail. Goto rolls Juice in and covers but only gets 1. Elbow strikes by Goto grounds Juice, vertical suplex follows for 2 and Goto gets a chinlock, transition to headscissors but Juice gets the ropes. Shots traded, flapjack by Juice connects well and Juice follows with a flying clothesline. Big full nelson slam by Juice, cover but only 2. Juice gets the crowd chanting, hits jabs, Left Hand of God is blocked and Juice eats a mid-kick. Elbows in the corner by Goto, Juice up and hits a corner clothesline, Goto follows with the corner wheel kick and Saito suplex. Cover, but only 2. Shots traded again, Goto looks for ushigoroshi but Juice lands on his feet, lariats collide, Goto tries Psych Out, Juice ducks and they collide their lariats again. Goto blocks two lariats from Juice and takes Juice down with a big one and both are down. Ushigoroshi connects this time, cover but only 2 for Goto. GTR is countered, headbutt from Goto lands as he maintains wrist control, hits kneeling kicks repeatedly and Juice collapses while Goto keeps the wrist. More kicks, he lines up a mid-kick but Juice just falls. Inverted GTR is blocked and Juice gets a jackhammer, crawls to cover but gets 2. Pulp Friction is countered into a GTR attempt but Juice gets a cradle for 2 but its close, and Goto is spooked. Left Hand of God is thrown but Goto counters WITH THE TOP OF HIS HEAD. Awesome. Punch from Goto is countered by Juice the SAME WAY and hits a thudding headbutt and Left Hand of God! Pulp Friction connects, cover and Juice gets another WIN!
Juice Robinson (4) defeats Hirooki Goto (2) by pinfall via Pulp Friction
JAY’S RATING: 3.75 out of 5
This was a very good match in which both Juice and Goto felt competitive as hell, though once again I am left craving that extra spark from Goto more consistently. But their chemistry came through well here, and Juice picks up another big win to go 2-0 and gain 4 points going into Round 3. Lots of possible ways to go here…
JON MOXLEY (2)
JEFF COBB (0)
Curious about this clash of styles… Mox enters through the crowd again with Lions holding his belt for him. They lockup and Mox bobs and weaves, going amatuer with Cobb, they trade counter holds and they grapple into the ropes. Nice show of mat ability by Mox, telling the story that he can go with Cobb on that level. Chop by Mox in the ropes, they run the ropes and Cobb hits a nice dropkick and release belly to belly suplex that dumps Mox. Mox grabs the arm and pulls Cobb down onto the apron hard and then sends Cobb into the corner post outside. Back inside and Mox targets the arm, locking in a Fujiwara and transitioning from there until Cobb makes the ropes to break. Shots from Mox, Cobb fires back but Mox keeps on the shoulder, unwraps the knee and hits the Regal Knee. Cobb heads outside and Mox takes him out hard with a suicide dive. Mox looks under the ring for a moment but then changes his mind? They head up the entrance ramp and Mox looks for a bomb, Cobb counters but Mox bites him, gets distance but runs into a Cobb elbow. Mox gets distance again and they both hit clotheslines and both are down on the ramp. They rise and slug it out on their way back to the ring, Mox keeps on the shoulder and rolls in, but BREAKS the count and keeps working over Cobb’s shoulder using the barricade. LOVE Mox’s style!!!
Back inside, Mox climbs and hits Lunatic Fringe, covers but only gets 2. Cobb rolls with Mox to lift him, but cant hold the deadlift suplex. Mox looks for Death Rider but Cobb drops weight and gets a SNAP German suplex. Superkick drops Mox and a standing moonsault connects by Cobb, cover but only 2. Cobb takes the straps down and hits the corner Euro, but Mox explodes out of the corner with a HUGE lariat, then hits a BIG Regal Knee! Cover, but only 2. Mox tries to suplex Cobb in from the apron but Cobb’s power brings Mox to the apron, he looks for a German off the apron on Mox but Mox escapes. Lariat by Cobb puts Mox back in the ring, but Mox catches Cobb in the ropes with another Regal Knee, then hits a draping Death Rider and covers and thats 3.
Jon Moxley (4) defeats Jeff Cobb (0) by pinfall via draping Death Rider
JAY’S RATING: 3 out of 5
This was a good match that was gaining in momentum, Cobb is smooth as butter and Mox is carving such a distinct path for himself. I know the Steve Austin comparisons probably seem ridiculous to some and there are HUGE differences… but theres something about the anti-hero style of Mox that I dont know that I’ve really seen SINCE the days of Austin, and its REALLY working for me. I do feel like the end deflated a bit, and Cobb came off looking WAY weaker than he usually does which bugs me a ton, but nonetheless the work was solid as hell all around and the right person did win, in spite of my personal sadness at an 0-2 Jeff Cobb.
JAY WHITE (0) w/ Gedo
TOMOHIRO ISHII (2)
Jay going against his 2nd CHAOS member this tournament in Ishii, and comes in against Ishii at the early points disadvantage. Chants for Ishii as Jay rolls outside as per usual. He calls Ishii a “dumb fuck”, Ishii gives chase and Jay rolls back inside as Gedo laughs absurdly. Of course then Ishii grabs Gedo by the collar, Jay comes to the rescue and Ishii takes charge, rolling Jay back in and beating on him. Gedo gets a trip allowing Jay to get shots in, but a tackle doesnt phase Ishii. Ishii isnt moving though Jay is rocking a bit, and Ishii runs through him on the last one. The action spills outside again as Ishii tosses Jay into two barricades and pulls a chair from the announce area. Ishii is READY. TO. GO. He hard-tosses a chair at Jay but Jay moves, and Gedo strikes from behind allowing Jay to send Ishii headfirst into the corner post. Jay now sends Ishii into the barricades, chants for Ishii as the ref begins the count. Ishii rolls back inside and Jay gets chops in the corner, corner running Euro and a cover for 2. Jay looks for the corner half hatch suplex, Ishii blocks but Jay gets a neckbreaker for 2. Suplex by Jay is reversed by Ishii into one of his own as Ishii shows the power.
Corner strikes by Ishii, Jay mocks him in the corner and kicks away at him, but Ishii chops him IN THE THROAT. He just keeps LAYING them in. FOR FUCKS SAKE. Jay collapses and Ishii kicks away at him. Jay looks for a DVDDT, Ishii counters but Jay gets a spike DDT instead and Ishii rolls to the ropes and his holding his arm. Half hatch into the corner by Jay connects as Ishii continues to hold the shoulder and arm. Bladebuster connects for 2. Kiwi Krusher is blocked, lariats by Jay stagger Ishii but Ishii hits one of his own and lands a scoop powerslam, and both are down. Shots by Jay, Ishii asks for more and trades back, quick elbow shots by both and Jay finally drops, but he comes back with a snap flatliner into the deadlift German. Jay beats down Ishii targeting the neck and shoulder, and Red Shoes asks Ishii if he can continue (which he says he can). Paintbrush kicks by White leads to a slap which wakes up Ishii. Elbows by Jay do NOTHING, and then Ishii just LEANS IN to each one. Jay hits the snap Saito suplex but Ishii is RIGHT BACK UP. Yes. Jay turns around and gets PUNCHED in the FACE. The crowd loves it.
Ishii sits Jay up top and hits a stalling superplex, quick cover but only 2. Powerbomb by Ishii is blocked, NICE backdrop driver by Ishii instead and he lines up a lariat. Jay blocks, they trade evasions, Ishii gets a headbutt but Jay gets a uranage and the Kiwi Crusher, cover but only 2. Chants for Ishii. Jay looks for Blade Runner, Ishii blocks so Jay lays in elbows and stomps, Ishii counters again with strikes until Jay gets the sleeper suplex. Blade Runner is blocked again as Ishii lands a release German and both are down! Ishii gets a corner lariat, Jay fires back with strikes but Ishii hits a HUGE lariat! FOLDING POWERBOMB, cover by Ishii but only 2! Ishii tries the sliding lariat but Jay collapses, but is caught laughing. Strikes by Ishii, Jay holds onto the leg and Gedo distracts the ref and Ishii backs him down. Jay is rising, looks for Blade Runner but Ishii hits an enziguri! Ishii looks for a lariat, Jay drops down to evade so Ishii changes direction and hits a sliding lariat! GREAT spot. Cover but only 2! Ishii looks for the VDB, Jay fights out twice and looks for Blade Runner but Ishii keeps the momentum going to hit his own Blade Runner and follows with a HUGE LARIAT! Cover, and a VERY close 2! Vertical Drop Brainbuster connects, cover and ISHII BEATS WHITE!
Tomohiro Ishii (4) defeats Jay White (0) by pinfall via Vertical Drop Brainbuster
JAY’S RATING: 4.25 out of 5
This was a great match on so many levels, from physicality to match storytelling to character storytelling. I LOVE Jay’s ever developing Switchblade shithole-ness, and Ishii is such a fucking MVP again and again and again, and both of them brought what makes them great to the table here. I also LOVE the choice to put Jay down 0-2 in the first 2 rounds! It feels to me like they are building a “humbling” story for Jay after he came in and turned the place upside down, declaring his “new era.” But if I know my storytelling structure (and I do), this is ripe for him to then come back – whether at or after G1 – that much more war-tested, focused and deadly than ever. So Ishii gets more momentum and goes to 4, and Jay’s story continues to deepen? I’m here for it.
TESTUYA NAITO (0)
Kanemaru is out along with Miho Abe to accompany Taichi. This is for one of them to get on the board. Kevin Kelly runs down the personal rivalry and history between these two, where Taichi is 0-2 against Naito. Taichi has blindsided Naito before so Naito makes a point to keep an eye out behind him as Taichi teases him. Very complex crowd response here, as this is Taichi’s hometown. Taichi keeps things slow and plays with Naito to start, avoiding the lock up, so Naito just lays on the ground and asks Taichi to do something. Taichi approaches and Naito gets a rollup for 2! They run the ropes and evade strikes and Naito rolls into Tranquilo. Nice. Naito now rolls outside to control the pace, teasing getting back in the ring but then deciding not to. This match structure is based on two “chess” oriented wrestlers, which iss keeping things methodical as fuck. Naito up, Taichi in but gets tripped and Naito hits a variation of Combinacion Cabron over the top. Outside with Taichi and Naito sends him into the barricade. Boots by Naito who grabs the mic stand and Taichi puts Miho Abe in front of him. Naito grabs her hair to an interesting crowd response and YK approaches as Taichi rolls back inside for a breath. He takes a close look at her, then lets her go and heads inside but runs into a low blow while the ref was still distracted, and Taichi takes control.
Back outside and Taichi whips Naito HARD into the barricade, spilling him over the top into the announce area and then driving the chair into Naito’s face and across the back. Back inside and Taichi gives a cocky cover, and Red Shoes again wont count it. Snapmare and kick to the back by Taichi, who chokes Naito on the ground and mocking the LIJ salute. Taichi keeps Naito grounded, paintbrushing him and talking shit, Naito chops away at him but Taichi absorbs them and goes for the eyes. Kawada kicks by Taichi, thudding mid-kick but Naito gets the feet up and hits a nice single leg dropkick to drop Taichi. Hiptoss and dropkick by Naito, draping backbreaker and a nice neckbreaker follow and a cover gets 2. Chants for Naito rise. Neckbreaker by Naito is transitioned into a nice leg nelson, grounding Taichi who gets the ropes to break. Shots by Naito, Gloria is blocked as Taichi lands a sharp elbow and enziguri to the back of the head in the corner and both are down. Naito catches the kick and hits a flurry, they trade shots but Taichi hits a nice gamengiri to the face of Naito. THE PANTS GO FLYING. Superkick is ducked by Naito but Taichi looks for a Last Ride instead, counter by Naito but Taichi lands a Dangerous Backdrop Driver and covers for 2.
Taichi now heads to the corner and picks up the blue bag with the iron glove, then calls down the ramp. The Young Lions run down, but IT WAS A RUSE! Taichi brings out the iron glove, the Lions are gone and YK distracts the ref as Taichi puts the glove on and powers up! (Or something.) Taichi calls for it but Naito dropkicks the knee and the glove goes flying as Naito hits a rope walk tornado DDT. Naito now sits Taichi up top and hits the avalanche rana, follows up with Gloria and covers, but only gets 2. Destino is blocked by Taichi who hits a nice head kick, Last Ride is blocked again but Taichi turns it into a Ganzo Bomb instead, dropping Naito straight down. Axe Bomber by Taichi from behind is followed by a stiff gamengiri, cover but only 2. Taichi fires up, looks for Black Mephisto, Naito counters and shoves the ref and gets a pop-up low blow! Poison rana follows and Naito hits a running Destino, covers but Taichi kicks out! Taichi counters another Destino attempt and transitions it over into Black Mephisto, but Taichi cant follow up! Superkick is blocked, Naito gets a release German but Taichi is up (FIGHTING SPIRIT!) and pulls the ref into the path of Naito’s flying forearm! YK looks for the whiskey mist but Naito cuts it off, Taichi grabs the iron glove while the ref is down but Naito evades it again and hits an enziguri and a Northern Lights Driver! Cover, but the ref is still out. Naito wakes Red Shoes, looks for Destino but Taichi hits a superkick for 2! The ref is still out as Taichi grabs the glove again and drives it right into Naito’s face, and the folding Last Ride does it.
Taichi (2) defeats Testuya Naito (0) by pinfall via iron glove and Last Ride
JAY’S RATING: 3.25 out of 5
This was a good match that worked a very particular style of chess-playing, and as such took a while to get going. But they were tuned into each other well, so while not the most exciting match it kept the momentum going and played off the crowd’s split sympathies well. The iron glove shenanigans didnt work for me though and sapped the ending in my opinion. Naito going 0-2 is HUGE, especially in taking a loss to Taichi… Naito’s arc from here on our becomes that much more interesting after a very unexpected start. Good work, just not quite there for me as a main event.
After the match Taichi grabs the mic. No Charlton, but he sounds comfortable and gets a good crowd response.
An entertaining day of action, though probably my least favorite so far. Ishii/Jay White is STELLAR however, so if you are cherry-picking, go there. I love White being taken down a peg because I predict that that could mean he’s gonna make an even bigger splash on the other side of it – we shall see. But the big news here to me is Naito going into Round 3 with ZERO POINTS, and having a loss to TAICHI. SUPER interesting choice, and definitely complicates Naito’s quest to become a double champ… Its early yet, so this is still in the super intriguing phase. Lets see where it goes. The standings are now:
Lance Archer (2-0)
Juice Robinson (2-0)
Kazuchika Okada (2-0)
Jon Moxley (2-0)
Tomohiro Ishii (2-0)
Shingo Takagi (1-1)
Bad Luck Fale (1-1)
Hirooki Goto (1-1)
Will Ospreay (1-1)
Toru Yano (1-1)
Zack Sabre Jr (0-2)
Jay White (0-2)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (0-2)
Jeff Cobb (0-2)
Kota Ibushi (0-2)
Tetsuya Naito (0-2)
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