New Japan Pro Wrestling
G1 CLIMAX 29
Day 8 – Block B
Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall, Hiroshima
Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero on commentary which is PERFECTION.
TORU YANO (4)
JUICE ROBINSON (4)
We get the bell and some strong chants for Yano. Yano offers the handshake, Juice is wary and warns Yano, so Juice takes his hand and Yano rolls him up for a quick 2 count! Yano goes for the corner pad and gets it off and swings, Juice ducks and hits jabs but Yano uses the pad to block the Left Hand. Juice tosses the pad and Yano rolls Juice up again for 2, then dodges a running Juice sending him shoulder-first into the corner post and outside. Yano follows and sends Juice into the barricade and tries to tie Juice to the railing with tape (a callback to Yano tying Juice’s former dreadlocks in the railing), the ref is counting and its getting deep, Yano stops Juice from sliding in and gets in himself at 18, and Juice BARELY makes it back in time! Juice tells the ref to check Yano and indeed he finds a roll of tape in his tights. Yano says he didnt know how it got there, and tells the ref to check Juice too! The ref does and Yano gets another rollup for 2! Atomic drop by Yano connects and he sends Juice into the exposed corner, Juice tries the same but Yano evades but gets rolled up for 2. Yano sends Juice hard into the middle exposed turnbuckle and gets a rollup again for a CLOSE 2 count! Yano now uses the ref as a shield to help get a low blow but Juice blocks it and looks for Pulp Friction, Yano escapes and looks for a low blow again but gets caught in the act. BIG Left Hand of God connects and Pulp Friction follows, cover by Juice and thats the 3 count.
Juice Robinson (6) defeats Toru Yano (4) by pinfall via Pulp Friction
JAY’S RATING: 2 out of 5
This was what it was, and what I expected it to be, though it was a little too “standard Yano” fare and didnt really do much to elevate or specify it with Juice. But the point of this match felt like giving Juice another solid win and 2 points, and so it feels like it did exactly what it was meant to do, and well enough at that as both looked solid along the way.
HIROOKI GOTO (2)
As Goto’s music plays Taichi heads outside and grabs an LA Young Lion, Karl Fredericks, and just beats him down in the ring, ripping the LA Dojo shirt off of him as Goto emerges wearing the same shirt. Taichi stomps the shirt in the ring and Goto rushes in to jump him, and drops Taichi with a tackle. Both need a win in order to keep future Block hopes alive. Goto lays hard elbows into Taichi and shoves the ref aside aggressivelly. Spin wheel kick in the ropes by Goto connects and the action spills outside where Goto sends Taichi into the barricade. Taichi uses Miho Abe as a shield and distraction, Taichi gets behind Goto and goes after Fredericks again, sending him into Goto and then sending Goto into the corner post. Taichi now beats Goto down in the announce area, and the ref begins counting. Goto makes it back in at 18 and Taichi chokes him in the corner, then keeps Goto grounded as he plays dominant. Shots by Goto who fires back with open hand chops, Taichi hits Kawada Kicks and escapes ushigoroshi by going to the eyes. Goto cuts off the Axe Bomber with a lariat of his own and both are down.
Ushigoroshi is blocked again but Goto hits the corner spin kick and back suplex combo, cover but only 2. Another ushigoroshi is blocked by Taichi who hits a short lariat, they trade shots until Taichi drops Goto with a gamengiri to the face. Nice kick to the back of the head by Taichi, buzzsaw kick follows with a cover but only gets 2. And THE PANTS GO FLYING. Thrust kick is blocked and countered into ushigoroshi. Lariats from both land thuddingly and Goto takes Taichi down with one and covers for 2. Chest kicks by Goto, Taichi pops up and hits Kawada Kicks, headbutt by Goto and then Goto blocks a gamengiri WITH A HEADBUTT? (…) Reverse GTR by Goto connects, cover but only 2. Taichi blocks the GTR and escapes a Shouten Kai attempt, then throws the ref into Goto before hitting a backdrop driver. The ref is down as Taichi grabs his mic stand, Goto ducks the shot and disarms Taichi, then dumps the mic stand to a small pop. BIG mid-kick by Goto, the GTR looks to follow but Taichi grabs the ref, hits a low blow and gets the Gedo Clutch for 3.
Taichi (4) defeats Hirooki Goto (2) by pinfall via low blow and Gedo Clutch
JAY’S RATING: 2.5 out of 5
This was a good match with some fun shenanigans as well as too many shenanigans without proper tension for my taste, as Taichi moves to 4 points. That’s the part that gets me the most – I dont understand Goto’s booking AT ALL. He was showing like he might have finally found some renewed fire, he’s coming off of training with Shibata in LA, he beats Jay White, and then his G1 might be over just like that? I dont know. I understand some of the retisence with Goto, but this also doesnt necessarily set him up to succeed as a choice at this point. And I just don’t care enough about Taichi either way yet for this win to really work for me. The first time I’ve genuinely questioned a booking choice so far this G1, and its part of a larger confusion about what they want from Goto right now.
SHINGO TAKAGI (4)
JON MOXLEY (6)
Mox makes his way through the crowd once again, with Shota Umino seconding him holding Mox’s IWGP US belt. He gets in the ring and gets right into Shingo’s face, and we hear about their history in the same faction when they were in Dragon Gate USA. They start trading shots, Mox bits Shingo and hits strikes in the corner, but Shingo counters and hits his own flurry of shots. Tackle moves no one, Shingo hits a clothesline in the ropes but Mox puts him down with a tackle and dumps Shingo outside, following with a suicide dive attempt that Shingo catches and counters into a DVD on the floor! Headbutt by Shingo but Mox runs him into the barricade. Mox says he gives zero fucks, and heads under the ring for a table. He sets it up and looks to bomb Shingo off the apron through it, Shingo fights out and hoists Mox but Mox escapes into the ring and dropkicks Shingo’s knee in the ropes. Choke by Mox, he pushes the 5 count and then apologizes to Red Shoes before locking in a Figure Four. Shingo rolls it into the ropes to break. Mox looks for Death Rider but Shingo dumps him and hits a clothesline in the corner, then another and follows with a nice suplex. Cover, but only 2. Shingo is favoring the left knee. Noshigami is blocked so Shingo looks for a sliding lariat instead, Mox catches it and looks for a uranage, Shingo counters but Mox dropkicks the knee and then wraps it around the post outside. Figure Four around the post on the outside by Mox.
Back inside and Mox hits a corner clothesline, Shingo fires up and snags a snag German, Mox right up with a German of his own. Lariats collide but Shingo drops Mox with a left arm one. Chants for Shingo. Shots traded, Mox tries to bite but Shingo lands the sharp right hand, Mox gets a dragon screw and looks for a Figure Four again but Shingo gets a rollup for 2. Mox looks for another submission, Shingo escapes but eats a sliding lariat. Cover by Mox but only 2. Mox goes back to the knee and Shingo collapses. Shingo blocks the Regal Knee and gets Noshigami, then hits a big lariat and PUMPING BOMBER! Cover, but only 2! Fire up by Shingo, the crowd comes to life, he looks for Last of the Dragon but the knee buckles and Mox gets the snap Death Rider! Cover but only 2! Chants for Shingo as Mox poses, Death Rider is countered and they spill outside. Mox drives Shingo knee-first onto the table and then Pillmanizes the knee! Mox rolls back inside as Red Shoes begins the count. Shingo uses a chair to push himself up but the chair collapses, but Shingo makes it in at 19 and eats a Regal Knee from Mox! Death Rider is blocked again and Shingo hits a lariat, headbutt by Mox, another knee is blocked and Shingo turns it into Made in Japan and covers but only gets 2! Chants for Shingo, shots traded, Pumping Bomber countered, Death Rider countered, Last of the Dragon countered and Mox hits a Regal Knee to the back of the head! Another Regal Knee straight on, cover by Mox but still only 2, and Mox transitions immediately into a Cloverleaf. Shingo reaches for the ropes but Mox pulls Shingo back into the center of the ring and Shingo TAPS OUT!
Jon Moxley (8) defeats Shingo Takagi (4) by submission via Texas Cloverleaf
JAY’S RATING: 4 out of 5
This was an excellent match by two people who knew each other and each others styles extremely well, and that made for great storytelling and focus from top to bottom. (Also, these two could not be more dropped into their “characters”.) Mox now stands alone undefeated in B Block, and gives Shingo his first submission loss which to me is big news. Great stuff here from both, definitely check this one out. (Mox just looks so… HAPPY.)
JAY WHITE (0) w/ Gedo
JEFF COBB (2)
In order to get to where he was in last year’s G1, Jay has to win 6 in a row. He promises to do just that. We get the bell and Jay heads outside as usual. Jay back in and looks for a headlock but ends up eating a tackle from Cobb, so Jay bails again. Back in and Jay and gets in shots, Cobb hoists Jay who escapes but then eats a BIG dropkick from Cobb. BIEL out of the corner by Cobb and Jay just slides onto the outside in a heap. Cobb follows and keeps the pressure on, hoists Jay but Gedo pulls Jay down. Cobb grabs Gedo and puts him in the ring and Gedo begs off, Jay gets behind Cobb and strikes from behind, then uses the apron cover to choke out Cobb. Nice draping neckbreaker off the apron to the floor by Jay, and the crowd jeers. Jay sends Cobb into the barricade and Red Shoes begins the count. Cobb back inside and Jay is right on top of him, snapping Cobb’s throat against the bottom rope. Cover by Jay but Red Shoes won’t cover so Jay intimidates him before hitting a neckbreaker on Cobb, cover and now Red Shoes counts for 2. Jay grounds Cobb and works the head and neck. Cobb hoists Jay and gets a Samoan Drop, then tries to kip up but JAY GRABS HIS HAIR to counter. What a dick move. Jay uses the hair again to drop Cobb, but eats a big overhead belly to belly suplex. Chants for Cobb, BIG chops connect and Cobb just pops Jay up into a free fall. BIG gutwrench throw by Cobb follows, Cobb lands the flying corner Euro and pops Jay up into the vertical suplex. Standing moonsault by Cobb, cover but only 2.
Cobb looks for Tour, Jay counters out to the apron and snaps Cobb down on the top rope and gets a running DDT. Corner Euro by Jay, uranage is blocked but Jay gets a flatliner but Cobb blocks the deadlift German, Jay gets another flatliner and looks for the German again, Cobb tries to counter but Jay transitions brilliantly to the snap Saito. Big uranage by Jay connects, cover but only 2. Kiwi Krusher is blocked as Cobb powers out, thudding forearm by Cobb, they trade shots with Cobb hitting BOMBS, and Jay ends up getting thrown with a fallaway slam. The crowd gets behind Cobb who hits a HUGE chop in the corner, then Cobb PULLS Jay up from the ground into a sidewinder back suplex! That was cool. Cobb now sits Jay up top, Gedo prevents the superplex which allows Jay to escape to the apron but Cobb transitions to the deadlift superplex! Nice pop for that spot, cover but only 2. Good job by Red Shoes showing the short kick-out. Tour is blocked again as Jay tries to lay in elbows, Cobb powers him back into Tour position but Jay counters again and gets thrown into Red Shoes, who is down. Gedo is in with the brass knucks, Cobb blocks the shot and powerslams Gedo. Jay looks to strike with Blade Runner, Cobb counters for Tour but Jay escapes and gets a low blow. HARD sleeper suplex connects, cover but Red Shoes is still down so Jay wakes him up, looks for Blade Runner but Cobb gets a German suplex! Tour of the Islands is blocked again and Jay hits Blade Runner! Cover, and thats 3.
Jay White (2) defeats Jeff Cobb (2) by pinfall via Blade Runner
JAY’S RATING: 3.6 out of 5
And with that, Jay White is on the board. This was a really good match if lacking that next gear that it really could have used. But one thing I do appreciate is how Jay is a classic heel and rulebreaker, but (to use this comparison again) like HHH in the day he shows that he can win with the move itself. Like, yes he hits the low blow, but Cobb is able to come back and almost steal a win before Jay gets a great counter into his finisher and THAT’S what picks up the victory. Its a booking detail that makes a HUGE difference in Jay’s legitimacy as a main event threat, and it played well with Cobb here, who continues to look good and had the crowd behind him well, which is GREAT. Well done.
TESTUYA NAITO (2)
TOMOHIRO ISHII (4)
Big chants for Naito at the bell! There is support for Ishii as well though. Naito starts fast at Ishii with shots, but Ishii drops him with a tackle and kicks Naito in the back. Shots traded, and they just fire away at each other. Ishii gets the advantage, Naito gets a hiptoss and dropkick to the back of the head and spits at Ishii as he stomps him and dumps him to ringside, Naito runs the ropes and teases the dive but goes Tranquilo instead. Fun start. Back inside and Naito goes right for a cravate, grounding Ishii. Boots by Naito, some mockingly, Ishii asks for more and then fires off chops in the ropes and hits a scoop powerslam on Naito. Shots traded, chop by Ishii drops Naito and Ishii toys with Naito now who fires back. Headbutt by Ishii, back suplex is blocked and Naito hits an inverted atomic drop and running single led dropkick to take Ishii down. More shots by Naito, nice running rana connects and Naito gets an elbow and dropkick combo, then lands Combinacion Cabron. Super rana by Naito is blocked and Ishii transitions into a powerbomb attempt, Naito escapes and SMACKS Ishii in the back of the head! Ishii looks PISSED. Naito spits in Ishii’s face. ISHII LOOKS MORE PISSED. Ishii drops Naito with a shot. Yup. Ishii now stands over Naito and talks shit, then fires away at Naito in the corner beating him down, then picking him back up just to beat down again, and then does it again. Finally he lets Naito collapse and yells down at him. GREAT spot. Nice backdrop suplex by Ishii, cover but Naito is out at 2. Powerbomb by Ishii is reversed into a rana, Naito misses the enziguri but evades a sliding lariat and hits a low enziguri, but Ishii counters the flying forearm into a backdrop suplex.
Naito comes back with a great tornado DDT that spikes Ishii on his head and neck! Chants for Naito, with chants for Ishii as well. Naito looks to fly but Ishii cuts him off, Naito blocks the superplex and gets the draping neckbreaker out of the corner, then sits Ishii up top and hits the super rana! Cover but still only 2. Ishii fires back but eats a flying forearm, Naito hits Gloria hard and covers but only gets 2. Destino is blocked but Naito gets a German suplex instead, but Ishii is back up (FIGHTING SPIRIT!), Naito gets a poison rana but then runs into a lariat from Ishii who then collapses and now both are down. Chants for both. Ishii back up first but eats an enziguri and staggers back to the corner, Naito rushes but gets sat up top and Ishii hits a rising headbutt under Naito’s chin! DANG. Ishii now climbs all the way to the top, and hits THE BIGGEST SUPERPLEX I THINK I’VE EVER SEEN! Like, he JUMPS off the top when Naito hits vertical! Cover, but Naito is out at 2! Ishii now calls for a lariat, Naito blocks and SLAPS Ishii, Ishii hits a hard headbutt and scores with the lariat! Cover but still only 2! Ishii calls for the VDB, Naito escapes and hits a kappo kick! Enziguri by Ishii but Naito comes back with a running Destino and gets 2! Naito fires up, Destino is countered into a VDB attempt but Naito hits a DDT out of it, Ishii is right up though (FIGHTING SPIRIT!) and follows with the sliding lariat! Cover but Naito is out at 2! VDB is countered again, Destino is countered too but Naito hits a HUGE Northern Lights Bomb and covers but gets 2! Destino finally connects fully, Naito covers and thats 3!
Testuya Naito (4) defeats Tomohiro Ishii (4) by pinfall via Destino
JAY’S RATING: 4.25 out of 5
THIS WAS GREAT! God these are two of New Japan’s most reliable players, especially when they know the spotlight is on them as it was here in the main event. This played off their history together, and both showed INSANE resliience as they weathered a true battle. Naito coming off on top is the right move, as he needs some G1 momentum after a slow start. Utterly incredible performances by both here. WATCH THIS ONE.
After the match, Naito takes the mic. No Chris Charlton on commentary tonight so I’m not sure what he is saying, but his promo command is fucking great and the crowd is loving Naito tonight.
A great day of B Block action, capped off by a great final three matches. Naito finally gets another 2 points, though with his slow start as well as Ibushi’s, its starting to change my thoughts on where the G1 might be headed in terms of finals… the next 2 days will tell me a bit more. White also gets on the board and pledges to win the next 5 as well. Juice moves to 2nd place, and Mox is now alone undefeated at the top of the block, and stares down Naito next. THIS IS GETTING INTERESTING. The standings are now:
Kazuchika Okada (4-0)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (2-2)
Lance Archer (2-2)
Kota Ibushi (2-2)
Will Ospreay (1-3)
Zack Sabre Jr (1-3)
Bad Luck Fale (1-3)
Jon Moxley (4-0)
Juice Robinson (3-1)
Toru Yano (2-2)
Tetsuya Naito (2-2)
Tomohiro Ishii (2-2)
Shingo Takagi (2-2)
Hirooki Goto (1-3)
Jay White (1-3)
Jeff Cobb (1-3)
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