NJPW G1 Climax 28: Day 5





NJPW G1 Climax 28: Day 5

By Big Red Machine
From July 20, 2018

NJPW G1 Climax 28: Day 5

TOA HENARE & SHOTA UMINO vs. SUZUKI-GUN (Zack Sabre Jr. & TAKA Michinoku) - 4.25/10


Shockingly, Suzuki-Gun did not jump the bell on their opponents. Instead they just won clean with Zack stretching poor Shota.

KOTA IBUSHI & YUJIRO TAKAHASHI vs. CHAOS (Toru Yano & Gedo) - 4/10



DAVID FINLAY JR. & JUICE ROBINSON vs. LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON (Tetsuya Naito & Sanada) - 4.5/10



THE GUERRILLAS OF DESTINY vs. BULLET CLUB (Kenny Omega & Chase Owens) - 5/10


This was excellent for the time it got. It was, in essence, a five-minute and forty-second grudge match. The Gueriilas of Destiny won, and Tama Tonga came back to give Chase a Gun Stun after the match.

CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & Yoh) vs. CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Sho) - 5/10



BLOCK A MATCH:
Jay White(4) vs. Michael Elgin(4) - 8.75/10


They had a hell of a slugfest with lots of big moves that they did a great job of making matter. Just about the only thing that didn't was Elgin's ribs being bumped on the guardrail, which even the announcers pointed out hadn't led to anything. They did an excellent job with all of their false finishes. Even the count-out tease, which was the first time in a long time that I thought there was any chance of a count-out in New Japan despite just about every match having a spot that teases one. White once again cheated to win, but their ref bump was done in a very clever manner, so I'll give them a pass on it. I just don't need to see any more ref bumps tonight.

BLOCK A MATCH:
YOSHI-HASHI(0) vs. Minoru Suzuki(0) (w/El Desperado) - 4.25/10


YOSHI-HASHI charged right at Suzuki to start things off. They wound up on the outside and YOSHI-HASHI was going to use a chair on Suzuki but the referee stopped him by threatening to DQ him if it he did it. Suzuki then got YOSHI-HASHI in an armbar using the ringpost and the referee tried to stop him but Suzuki shoved the referee down. You would think that this would surely be a DQ, but no. From that point on Suzuki's arm-work didn't ever matter again. They traded strikes, gave YOSHI-HASHI a false finish, then Suzuki won with the Gotch Piledriver.

BLOCK A MATCH:
Togi Makabe(4) vs. EVIL(2) - 1.5/10


They had you standard bullsh*t refereeing, with them fighting on the outside forever without being counted out and EVIL being allowed to hit Makabe with a chair, all to set up a count-out tease that no one bought anyway. EVIL then immediately tossed Makabe out of the ring again and dragged him into the crowd, and apparently on his way out of the ring he told the referee the secret password to make the count-out rule not apply anymore.
They eventually got back to the ring after teasing Darkness Falls on the concrete up in the stands and instead just having Makabe hit a lariat or two.
Makabe dragged EVIL back to the ring, and from there 90% of the rest of the match was hitting each other with Lariats. Some of the intensity was there, but it just wasn't very interesting or exciting.

BLOCK A MATCH:
Hiroshi Tanahashi(2) vs. Bad Luck Fale(2) (w/Tanga Loa) - 6.75/10


They were having a pretty good match with Fale using his size to work over Tanahashi's midsection while Tanahashi worked over Fale's knee. Tanahashi countered a Bad Luck Fale with a Slingblade, then hit the High Fly Flow but Tanga Loa pulled the ref out of the ring and he bumped on the floor. Tanga Loa interfered but accidentally got clotheslines by Fale. Tanahashi looked like he was about to take over but Tama Tonga ran in for a Gun Stun out of nowhere and Fale went for the pin, but the referee I guess saw what happened and decided that instead of counting the pin he would call for a DQ (FINALLY!), but even that came off awkward because of how long he waited to do it, and the fact that it didn't look like the ref actually saw Tama Tonga touch Tanahashi.
By now it's clear that the Firing Squad are interfering just for the sake of having interference in their matches rather than anything having to do with actual grudges like it seemed the idea was in the Page vs. Fale match on the opening night. This makes them feel like they're just a retread of Bullet Club... but I guess that's kind of their stated reason for existing, so it does make sense artistically (in a way that isn't shallow, I mean).

BLOCK A MATCH:
Adam Page(2) vs. Kazuchika Okada(0) (w/Gedo) - 9/10


Both guys worked over the other's head, but the real story here was Page trying to prove himself against Okada while Okada was sort of trying to find himself again. This was an emotion-heavy match which they paced perfectly so that you would have time to really digest how each spot affected both stories. This was probably best match I've seen Page have, and certainly the best singles match, and at no time it did ever feel like Okada was carrying him. Adam Page may have lost this match, but he made it clear to everyone that he is now a big player, and will be for years to come.

Final Thoughts
A very up-and-down show from New Japan. We had two fantastic G1 matches, but also very sub-par ones. The undercard was probably a little better than you might think, though still forgettable. Just watch Okada vs. Page and White vs. Elgin and skip the rest.

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