NJPW G1 Climax 28, Day 18
August 11, 2018
Nippon Budokai, Tokyo, Japan
David Finlay & Michael Elgin vs Toa Henare & Shota Umino - 5/10
Good opener. Kevin Kelly didn't shut up about this being the finals of the Block C and they did indeed had a cheap cup in there. This was all the younger guys wrestling around and papa Elgin killing whoever was in there when he came in. Umino was great as usual, but ended up eating a Uranage and Stunner by Finlay for the loss.
Bad Luck Fale & Tanga Loa vs Chase Owens & Hangman Page - 4.5/10
This was a quick brawl. Owens and Page started the match off strong against the Tongans, trying to work on Loa and keeping Fale at bay. Owens and Page hit a bunch of stuff, really flashy. Finish saw Owens go for a Package Piledriver on Loa, but he gets out, hits a lariat and Apeshit for the Tongan win.
The Young Bucks & "The Villain" Marty Scurll vs Roppongi 3K & "Switchblade" Jay White - 6/10
Great action in this match, but it was more about keeping the White vs CHAOS storyline going when he walked out of both SHO and YOH are being submitted. This was also a quick show off for the Bucks and Scurll to get their shit in and walk to the back. Finish saw YOH accidentally hit White, causing him to walk out on them as the Bucks and Scurll locked them in with a Sharpshooter and a Cease and Desist.
EVIL & BUSHI vs Minoru Suzuki & El Desperado - 6.5/10
Another Suzuki-Gun brawl, but since Budokan doesn't allowed going into the crowds, it was kept within ringside. Once inside the ring, SZKG worked over BUSHI's arm for a while. EVIL got the hot tag and went at it with Suzuki for a bit. They traded some moves and as Suzuki was about to take out EVIL with the GSP, BUSHI made the save and took out Suzuki with the MX, leaving Desperado for EVIL who won with Everything is Evil. EVIL and Suzuki are building towards a British Undisputed title defense, but I'm not sure if BUSHI is building towards anything against Desperado and Kanemaru since Hiromu is out of action.
Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tomoaki Honma, and Togi Makabe vs Kazuchika Okada, Gedo, and YOSHI-HASHI - 6/10
Well there's a name I hadn't written in a while. Honma looks great visually, but is moving like the Log Lady's log with legs. You can tell he's doing better, but he's really stiff when doing moves, not sure if it's lack of security, or straight up his muscles are not functioning well. Regardless, CHAOS sold for him and this ended up being really emotional.
Okada and Tanahashi did some stuff working out of last night's match. Honma got the tag and hit some of his signature safe spots. CHAOS worked over Honma's neck, and as expected, it was YOSHI-HASHI who fucked up and gave Honma the opening to tag in Makabe. Everyone hit their big moves, ending with Makabe landing a KKKD on YH Gedo for the win. Honman cried after the match as he stood on the second rope.
G1 Climax Block B Match
Toru Yano (4) vs Tama Tonga (4) w/Tanga Loa - 4.5/10
Loa was ejected from ringside when Toru Yano started a 'kick him out' chant at the start of the match. Match was quick, Yano went for roll ups early, turnbuckle spots. Tama Tonga beat Yano for a while, but Yano made a small comeback hitting a great Belly-To-Belly Suplex and Tackle. Finish saw Tama Tonga get super frustrated and he choked Yano, ref tried to stop him causing Tama to just take out the frustration on the ref. Fale and Loa came down, all the refs tried to stop him, Tama Tonga beat up some of them and got DQd. Even President Harold and CEO Sugabayashi came down for the angle. I liked Yano's offense.
G1 Climax Block B Match
Juice Robinson (4) vs Hirooki Goto (6) - 8.5/10
We have a champion vs champion here, so there was a little under story of what title was going over. This was Juice's final block match, so he decided to finally take off the hand cast and work without it.
The match was all back and forward. Goto had his weak arm coming off the Sabre matches, but both men ended up working each other's heads instead. First half of the match was just your usual back and forward lock-ups, strikes, submissions, nothing special, but later on, Goto lands the Ushigoroshi and Juice follows up with the Juice Box and the match turned around. They started chasing and trading reversals for their finishers, tons of reversals between the GTR and the Pulp Friction, until Juice hits Goto with a huge left strike and manages to hit Pulp Friction for the win. Good match with a great finish.
There was the announcement that the Bullet Club OGs had been escorted out of the building, so out main event should go without interference (since we knew they attacked yesterday's match).
G1 Climax Block B Match
Tomohiro Ishii (8) vs SANADA (8) - 9.5/10
This was a hell of a match that considering the main event, I think a lot of people did not see coming, but the MVP of the tournament once again delivers. Story of the match was that Ishii wanted to get in a striking match, SANADA was avoiding it, but as the match went on, Ishii brings out the striker in all of us.
Early on, SANADA is showing off his moves, while avoiding getting in the striking match. After Ishii gets out of a chinlock, SANADA finally agrees to striking Ishii, but it works against him and ends up being dropped by a second rope brainbuster for a two count. Ishii starts to push SANADA by stealing Skull End, which SANADA answers back hitting the running lariat on Ishii. At this point, SANADA is really pushing to lock in the Skull End, so he starts going for reversals or the moonsault Skull End.
As they head for the finish, SANADA has a bad landing and hurts his knee, which Ishii targets a bit to slow down SANADA. They hit some other big moves like a Shinning Wizard, but at this point they just go crazy reversing Brainbuster into Skull End into Brainbuster, over and over again. Finally, Ishii lands a pair of super stiff looking lariats for a near fall, hits the Brainbuster, and picks up the win. Awesome match.
G1 Climax Block B Match
Tetsuya Naito (12) vs Zack Sabre Jr (10) w/TAKA Michinoku - 9/10
So, arguably, Sabre can tie everyone here with a win, but both Ibushi and Omega have tie breakers on him, so he can't win the tournament, but he can spoil it for Naito, who could take the win and hope that Omega and Ibushi go for the draw.
Story of the match is that Naito get's in Sabre's mind quite easily and pushes his patience, so this takes Sabre out of his zone and is less lethal. This was regardless, a usual NJPW Sabre match, where he has an answer to most of the offense thrown at him, but Naito being unpredictable sometimes, he would get some offense in himself. Sabre kept locking in submissions as Naito slowly worked himself from his signature moves into Destino, sometimes being reversed and being able to hit the move later on, like it happened with Combinacion Cabron or Gloria. Finish saw Naito go for a second Destino, but out of nowhere, Sabre reversed it into the Zack Driver for the clean win. Naito is officially gone from contention.
G1 Climax Block B Match
Kenny Omega (12) vs Kota Ibushi (12) - 9.25
At no point did these guys tease not wanting to fight each other, they went heavy pretty much from the get go. This was/felt a lot shorter than I expected, especially for a clean pin, but the intensity did make everything seem so painful that at the end, you had no doubts that Ibushi had defeated Omega. No the best match of the tournament, but for its significance, it was huge.
First half of the match, Omega was in completely control. He worked over Ibushi's head/neck, he hit the Kotaro Krusher, some kicks to the head, and in a big spot, Omega cut Ibushi's Golden Triangle attempt, and hit a Spike Piledriver on the apron. Omega hit Croyt's Wrath for a near fall at this point.
Ibushi started his comeback when he cut off Omega at the top rope and landed a Reverse Frankensteiner and the Golden Triangle. Ibushi hit Omega with a Standing Moonsault into double knees that landed knee first into Omega's sternum, this looked terrible, I was hurting on the other side of the world. At this point, both Omega and Ibushi start chasing their respective knee based finishers.
We got a spot with Omega going for the Dragon Suplex from the top rope, the one that almost killed Okada, but Ibushi landed on his feet. We started getting some great near falls here after some V-Triggers by Omega, and a Last Ride and Kamigoye from Ibushi. We got a lot more V-Triggers now, a failed Phoenix Splash in there by Ibushi. Finally, Omega starts looking for the One Winged Angel, but is never able to hit it as Ibushi keeps reversing it or blocking it; however, Ibushi has been hitting some big moves on Omega's neck, including a nasty double footstomp from the top rope onto the back of Omega's neck. At the end, it's Ibushi that lands one last Kamigoye for the win.
Like I mentioned, great emotional match. I liked that Omega never landed the One Winged Angel, even though we know that Ibushi is the only man to have ever kicked out from it.
Post-match - Quick promo by Ibushi saying he'll win the G1 Climax.
A great closing show for Block B. Considering that only two matches really mattered here, we still got a great show top to bottom (with the Tongan speed bump right there in the middle). I think at the end, Ibushi vs Omega delivered as this match that we had been waiting for since the blocks were announced.
FINAL B BLOCK STANDINGS
Kota Ibushi 12 (Winner)
Kenny Omega 12
Zack Sabre Jr. 12
Tetsuya Naito 12
Tomohiro Ishii 10
Hirooki Goto 6
Tama Tonga 6
Toru Yano 6
Juice Robinson 6
NJPW, PROGRESS, RevPro, CMLL, etc
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