NJPW G1 Climax 28 Finals, Day 19
August 12, 2018
Nippon Budokan, Tokyo Japan
Yuji Nagata, Ayato Yoshida, Shota Umino vs Togi Makabe, Michael Elgin, & Tomoaki Honma - 6/10
Yoshida is from Kaientai Dojo. Match was pretty much Nagata leading his young boys into battle with a bunch of huge guys. Match saw the large guys have control, but the smaller guys fight their hearts out. Yoshido had a good showing against Makabe, but ended up losing to him after the KKKD. This was probably the first time Umino found himself in this type of match and not get pinned, so good for him.
Toa Henare vs Bad Luck Fale - Squash
Henare has no face paint tonight. Off all people they could have squared off Fale against after the series of interference, they gave him Henare, maybe it's aplan to have Fale talk him into joining the team.Match saw Henare start strong, he took on Fale well, but then Fale cut him off, hit the Grenade and the Bad Luck Fall for the win. I think this is the first squash I've rated in New Japan. Henare was taken unconscious to the back.
Suzuki-Gun (Taichi w/Miho Abe & Takashi Iizuka) vs CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI) - 5/10
I have to wait over 20 shows to finally see Lord Taichi, who seems to be working hard on gaining some fat. Iizuka never came out with Taichi, and I indeed was wondering what was going on, but during the CHAOS entrance, he finally came out and attacked both from behind with a chair before the match started.
Iizuka came in to the match with a mask, that at one point took off and all his offense was about biting the enemy. Taichi did his normal stuff, with tons of cheating as usual. The one take away from this match is that Taichi kicked YOSHI-HASHI's ass and that makes me happy. Taichi won with a Last Ride on YH and a really uncomfortable looking pin. Match was somewhat bad, I mean, it featured Iizuka biting people and YH vs Taichi. Taichi is getting fat.
Post-match - Taichi attacked YH some more, took out Goto with the mic stand, and the ref while he was at it. I'm guessing Taichi chasing the NEVER title is not over.
Juice Robinson & David Finlay vs Bullet Club (Cody & Hangman Page) - 6.5/10
This is technically the first time that we've seen babyface(?) Cody with the Bullet Club. Now that the G1 is over, Juice simply took off the tape and I think that's it for his broken hand.
Match started with both teams measuring each other out, but quickly enough, Bullet Club got control of Finlay. Juice got the hot tag and he ran wild over both men, at one point hitting a Rolling Cannonball into Cody and Page in the corner, which may have taken years off Cody's life. Last two where Cody and Juice, they had a strike out, and at the end, Cody won with a Vertebreaker. Good match.
Interesting that after all the loses that Juice had during the G1 Climax, it was Cody who'll get first dibs.
Post-match - Cody took the title, posed with it, and said that Juice has been a bad champion and he'll be the next US Champion. Can't disagree, Juice has lost more as champ than challenger.
Bullet Club OGs (Guerrillas of Destiny & "Bone Soldier" Taiji Ishimori) vs Bullet Club Elite (The Young Bucks & "The Villain" Marty Scurll) - 7/10
Ishimori officially with the OGs if there was ever a doubt, and by the way, I have no idea what to call the Tongan's team, they call themselves Bullet Club, but between that, OGs, Firing Squad, Tongans, i don't know what's the proper name anymore, and then you have the other team calling themselves Elite, BC Elite, Golden Elite. Before the match, Tanga Loa challenged them to put the 6-Man Titles on the line. Matt Jackson kinda took over and made it seemed it was his idea. President Harold at ring side gave the OK. This got the crowd hot.
Match started with a small brawl that the BCE ended up winning. Back inside the ring, Tongans got control of Matt Jackson for a while. Nick came in with the hot tag, and soon after the match went all Tornado Tag.
There was a lot of work between the Bucks and the GoD, and Ishimori vs Scurll, so I wouldn't be surprised if those two become feuds going into King of Pro Wrestling. Tons of big moves and double/triple moves. As the match was coming to their end, there was a blind tag to Tama Tonga, but everyone kept working on Ishimori, to the point that they left Tama Tonga free to hit the Gun Stun on Scurll as he was going for the finger spot on Ishimori. With the pin, BC OGs capture the titles, but by pinning Scurll, GoD don't earn a Heavyweight Tag title match.
Seeing President Harold here really really scares me. I don't want him to become an on-screen character.
Post-match - GoD take out both Bucks and disrespect the championships. They actually left without the championships, so I don't know if this is a Tranquilo thing, or if they straight up relinquished the titles.
Wrestle Kingdom 13 Announcement - They announced the date and place, like if it had ever been different.
Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr, El Desperado, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) w/TAKA Michinoku vs Los Ingobernables de Japon - 7.5/10
Match started with a brawl, but quickly focused on Naito vs Suzuki, to the pint that Naito was babyface in peril for a bit. EVIL came in and went at it with Sabre. BUSHI went in and fought off Despy and Kanemaru, and finally SANADA came in to the match, played Nudo with Kanemaru before all of Suzuki-Gun came in and ganged up on him, but as the rest of LIJ save him, Kanemaru went for the Whisky Mist that SANADA dodged, locked in the Skull End and won the match for this team.
Post-match Suzuki worked over Naito's leg outside the ring. Sabre worked over EVIL's leg, and when the Young Lions saved Naito, they all got put in submissions by Suzuki.
CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, & "Switchblade" Jay White) vs Bullet Club Elite (Kenny Omega, Chase Owens, & Yujiro Takahashi w/Pieter) - 6.5/10
The build to Ishii vs Omega for the title begins! All three CHAOS came out to Ishii's song, which Jay White hadn't been doing since his debut.
Match started with Jay White, but quickly left the ring when he lost control, he tagged in Yano and we got a bunch of comedy thanks to Yano, Omega, and Chase, ending with Pieter dancing in the middle of the ring while the rest of the guys just looked at her, except for Ishii who just got out of the ring as he is not into shenanigans, and Omega, who is either 100% focused on winning, or 100% faithful to Ibushi.
After that, Ishii came in and tried to make the match more serious, which I guess he kinda did. As everyone was brawling outside, Ishii and Chase went at it inside the ring, good action that ended with Ishii dropping Chase with the Brainbuster.
Post-match - Ishii made his challenge official for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championsihp. Omega accepted. While CHAOS is walking to the back, White is looking at Ishii and it seemed that for the first time, he was proud to be part of CHAOS.
Rey Mysterio jr., Pro Wrestler Sengoku Enbu, & KUSHIDA vs CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Roppongi 3K) - 8.5/10
Sengoku Enbu is Taguchi playing some video game (?) character. Okada is back to using his robe and gold, but still has the crap remix song. Mysterio looks tiny in this match, but in great shape.
Match started with Mysterio vs Okada! Mysterio kicked Okada's ass during that first encounter. We got an early 619 tease. KUSHIDA worked the meat of the match against RPG guys, and eventually the numbers game got to KUSHIDA. Enbu got the tag and him being Taguchi, it meant we got some butt offense and comedy, but good action. Rey finally came in and did a quick thing with Okada before tagging in YOH. Finish came when RPG was trying to take out Mysterio, but the fought them off both, with the help of Taguchi and KUSHIDA, he got rid of SHO and Okada, leading YOH as easy picks for the 619 and West Coast Plancha for the win.
Post-match - There is a post match backstage interview with Okada and Gedo were Okada said that he won't be relying on Gedo going forward. Okada and Gedo technically agree to part ways as wrestler/manager. Okada is not leaving CHAOS, just breaking up with Gedo. Just another thing going on with Okada's depression.
G1 Climax 28 Finals
Block A Winner Hiroshi Tanahashi w/Katsuyori Shibata vs Block B Winner Kota Ibushi w/Kenny Omega - 9.75
This 19 day trip is finally over. This is it. Crowd went apeshit for Shibata being Tanahshi's second. This match saw Tanahashi work Ibushi's legs pretty much from the start. Ibushi worked over Tanahashi's torso/neck.
Early on after measuring each other and showing off, Tanahashi won the move-by-move wrestling game, they started their limb work here when Tanahashi locked in a Triangle Hold on Ibushi, and later on, Ibushi landing a foot stomp on the apron on Tanahashi, right in the sternum. Soon after, Tanahashi landed a High Fly Flow to the floor from the top rope for the count out tease, and Ibushi responded with the Springboard Asai Moonsault.
Ibushi turned the match into a striking match, and by god they did, both guys went about 10 minutes or so striking each other. Great back and forward action with both men trading momentum, and as Ibushi is dominating Tanahashi, the Ace finally has to turn it around and bring back the spots as he hits a Slingblade out of nowhere.
Ibushi started chasing the Kami Goye and hitting tons of Triggers, including a Bomayee in there for a near fall. He landed the Moonsault Knee drop across the sternum, and a lawndart to the turnbuckle. On the other hand, Tanahashi chased the good High Fly Flow, he hit several Slingblades, some Twist and Shouts, a Dragon Suplex for a near fall. Tanahashi finally landed 3 High Fly Flows, one to the back, one to a standing Ibushi, and one to finally kill him off and win the G1 Climax.
This was a great great match, but in this tournament, it wasn't the best. Regardless, it was a great story, some great emotional stuff going around, and it was just a great closure to the tournament. I think with Ibushi pinning Omega clean told me that Ibushi wasn't winning the tournament and it made perfect sense for me that Tanahashi's return to the top was the story to tell, so maybe that 'spoiler' never made me sit at the edge of the chair as other matches did.
Post-match - Tanahashi cut a babyface promo saying nice things (I haven't seen the translation yet).
Arguably a one match show, but with tons of good stuff going on all over the show, from the first match seeing Nagata back with Yoshida, a lot of build up of feuds, a title change, and Rey Mysterio. These finals don't feel as ground breaking as the last two years when Naito and Omega won, but I think as the story starts to develop, we'll look back to this show with some love.
NJPW, PROGRESS, RevPro, CMLL, etc
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