NJPW G1 Climax 28 - 7.15





NJPW G1 Climax 28 - 7.15

By GARZA
From July 15, 2018

NJPW G1 Climax 28 - 7.15

Hangman Page & Chase Owens vs Michael Elgin & Umino Shota - 5/10


Standard G1 tag match with Elgin and Page getting a chance to preview tomorrow's match before getting the Young Lion in to get pinned. Page looked pretty good. Owens won the match with the Jewel Heist on Umino.

EVIL & BUSHI vs YOSHI-HASHI & SHO - 5/10


YOSHI seems to be trying to turn the page and bring out the brawler in him, his match with Makabe and now this one, he's been fighting more like a Goto or an Ishii, and I kinda like it, he could be a good chaser for the NEVER title and let Goto chase the IC more. Having said that, the MVP of the match was SHO, dude is awesome in any match he is in, even when fighting EVIL, I was more excited about SHO in the G1 than YOSHI. Finish saw SHO tap out to the Banshee Muzzle by EVIL after being hit by the MX by BUSHI.

Minoru Suzuki & El Desperado vs Togi Makabe & Toa Henare - 5/10


Not much to this match either, Makabe and Suzuki did their thing and it was similar to what we've seen them do before. It was good, but nothing special. Suzuki won the match when he dropped Henare with the Gotch Piledriver.

Bad Luck Fale & Tanga Loa vs Kazuchika Okada & Gedo - 5.5/10


Crazy Okada is here and Gedo is starting to look like a concerned father. The match was pretty much about showing Okada, while still great, wasn't the killer Okada he would normally be against someone like Fale, and Fale in this case, being more powerful and vicious than we usually see. Loa pinned Gedo after the Tongan Driver. After the match, Fale was about to drop Okada with the Bad Luck Fall on a table, but Okada got away.

Hiroshi Tanahashi & David Finlay vs "Switchblade" Jay White & YOH - 7/10


They're still making a huge deal with White trying to take CHAOS away from Okada and his heelish way of life. Romero is on commentary and making a lot of remarks about how Jay has been behaving and in the ring, we see YOH having some problems siding with Jay when White cheats or does something dickish.

Match saw a really pissed off Tanahashi and Finlay bring it to White, they both have their own personal biffs with him and brought it. Whole story was White viciously going after Tanahashi's injured leg. Big finish saw YOH and Finlay fight inside the ring, YOH drooped David with a Falcon Arrow but Tana broke the pin. White throws Tanahashi to the floor and uses a chair on the leg, and then hands off the chair to YOH to use it on Finlay, but YOH decides not to listen to White. YOH turns into a cutter from Finlay and gets pinned while White just looks on, refusing to break the pin which he could have. Romero went crazy at this finish. Overall a good match and awesome storytelling.

G1 Climax Block B Match
Tomohiro Ishii (0) vs Toru Yano (0) - 8/10


This was fucking awesome, in a Yano kind of way. This match brought us back to the early 2000s when Yano wasn't a comedy wrestler and brought in the strikes. Match was all about Yano proving that he doesn't need to cheat to win and he brought his old learning and came close to defeating Ishii, who at the end had to rely on Yano tactics and low blow him for the win. The only Yano thing we saw was taking off the padding of the corner, but that's not actually cheating or anything. Lots of striking and germans and shoulder tackles in this match.

G1 Climax Block B Match
Tama Tonga (0) vs Juice Robinson (0) - 8.5/10


I think Tama Tonga didn't just take the out of nowhere cutter from Orton, but also his pacing, this match would go quick, then slow, then quick, then slow, and it was a bit annoying since I never felt the momentum build. Story of the match was Juice was fighting against many odds, like he always does, in this case being that Tama Tonga was targeting his injured hand, Tanga Loa kept interfering, and he couldn't use his injured arm because of the DQ rule. Juice's offense was that he kept chasing the Electric Chair, but either Tama would get out of it or Juice had to transition to another move, but he could never finish the move, at least until the third attempt where he picked up a near fall.

Finish saw Juice set up the Pulp Friction, but Loa jumped in the apron. Juice brought him in the hard way and landed a cast strike (no DQ since Loa is outside interference), and when he went back for Tama Tonga for the Pulp Friction, Tama Tonga turned it around, hit the Gun Stun and the win. I want Tama Tonga as the US Champion come King of Pro Wrestling. Good match.

G1 Climax Block B Match
Hirooki Goto (0) vs SANADA (0) - 9/10


Great match between two guys that have the same set up for their finishers and thus gave us some awesome reversals as both men started to chase their killer move. They both worked over each other's neck/head, both landing moves like the Ushigorishi, Goto hitting several versions of the GTR, including one from the top rope, and SANADA locking in the Skull End from any counter. There was a great call by the commentary when SANADA has the Skull End locked, but he released it to hit the moonsault, and it was sold as both men being really sweaty, and as we were seeing, Goto was slowly slipping away from the lock and SANADA needed to transition. The last few minutes of this match were incredible as they start reversing everything, ending with Goto hitting two GTRs for the win. I really wanted SANADA to win and challenge for the title, but since Jericho is still the IC champ, I rather see him challenge him to build to the Naito rematch.

G1 Climax Block B Match
Kota Ibushi (0) vs Zack Sabre Jr (0) - 9.5/10


Before the match, TAKA indeed confirmed that Sabre has a new move, and it's not the Michinoku Driver, but the Zack Driver. I personally would have called it the Sabre Driver, but whatever.

This was a really close second to the New Japan Cup match, and about a mile beyond the CWC one. Whole story as usual, Sabre is a submission specialist, but Kota's strikes are devastating. Sabre worked over Ibushi's leg from the get go, as he is trying to take away the jumping and the triggers, and consequently, making him tap out from one of the many leg submissions he can do. On the other side, Kota is striking down Sabre to straight up just defeat him and leave him ready for the Kamigoye. There was a lot of masterful moves and locks executed in this match, great selling by both men, awesome counters, and a few near falls here and there. Ibushi picked up the win with the Kamigoye after a Bridging Suplex that was a counter to Sabre's wrist control as he was chasing the Zack Driver. Awesome match.

G1 Climax Block B Match
Kenny Omega (0) vs Tetsuya Naito (0) - 9.75/10


EASILY, the most heated match of the night, crowd was going crazy for both men. There was a lot of throwback to their old matches, there was a lot of mind games with them teasing each other and countering a lot of their moves, only to be reversed themselves. This was like a finals level match.

First half of the match was both men trading some moves, lots of counters, both targeting each other's backs. Soon enough, Omega went to the outside and pulled off the floor padding, which served as a distraction for Naito to take him out. From here on, they brawled outside for a while, big springboard plancha by Omega on Naito, who was in within the crowd. Once they were back, Omega and Naito started to chase their finishers, Naito ate several V-Triggers throughout the match, but kept dodging the One Winged Angel. Meanwhile, Omega took two Destinos which he kicked out of, but Naito was getting closer and closer to pinning the champ. Last few minutes was about both guys countering Destinos into Uraganges and Snap Steiner Drivers and Double Underhook Piledrivers until Omega was finally able to land a proper V-Trigger and OWA for the win. Awesome match.

Post-match - Omega cut his winner's promo saying that Naito failed to cash in the G1 win and now he was going to fail to win the G1 again, so there's always next year. Omega said he would win the G1 and choose who to defend it against and we already knew who it was. This is indeed a way to get to Ibushi vs Omega at WK.

OVERALL THOUGHTS


An awesome show by Block B and I can barely believe this is night 2. All the tournament matches are well worth going out of your way to watch for some reason or another.

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