The grind continues as the G1 Climax rolled into Sendai’s Sunplaza for the next round of block A goodness!
Bullet Club (Tama Tonga & Yujiro Takahashi) vs. Juice Robinson & David Finlay
We start with Tama shooting for Juice’s legs – a move that succeeded once he’d unsighted Robinson by throwing his shirt his way. That backfired as Juice made the ropes and quickly took down Tama, who needed distractions from Yujiro to help him get into the match, chopping away at Juice’s injured knee.
In the meantime, Finlay and Yujiro had a brief skirmish on the outside as this match struggled to get into first gear. My feed gave out for a bi there, then resumed as Juice charged into Yujiro so Finlay could pick up a near-fall. A uranage backbreaker almost gets Finlay the win, so Yujiro bites him, gives him a version of Miz’s Skull Crushing Finale, then a Pimp Juice DDT for the win. I didn’t miss that much it feels, but this match felt flat as a pancake… and not that good a way to get us going. One to skip. *½
Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA & BUSHI) vs. Toru Yano & Jado
We have a jump start as SANADA instantly ties up Jado in the Paradise Lock – and leaves him there! He literally does nothing as Yano unsights the Ingobernables by pulling their shirts over their heads… two low blows later and a schoolboy to BUSHI, and Yano gets the win. It probably took you longer to read that than this match lasted! Jado’s easiest pay-day ever!
Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL & Hiromu Takahashi) vs. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & Taichi)
Surely this can’t be two quick losses for the Ingobernables? El Desperado was out with Suzuki-gun, just because, but this time it’s the Ingobernables who start out hot as they took the match straight to the outside, where Suzuki quickly took over, throwing EVIL into the timekeeper’s table.
EVIL tries to strangle Suzuki with a cable… but Minoru frees himself by stabbing EVIL in the eye with a pen! Taichi gets in on the act by drilling Takahashi with the mic stand as EVIL and Suzuki trade slaps in the aisle before dragging themselves back into the ring. After taking a suplex, Minoru fires back with a PK for a near-fall before he toys with EVIL, only to get dropped with a lariat as EVIL looked for the finish.
Instead, his Everything is EVIL attempt is countered into a rear naked choke by Suzuki, but Suzuki’s unable to follow through with the Gotch piledriver, as EVIL backdrops free. There’s an accidental ref bump as EVIL passes him Suzuki’s leg – and things go a little wonky – before we’re back to Takahashi and Taichi, the latter of which rocks Hiromu with some head kicks for a near-fall.
Another ref bump follows as Taichi shoves the ref into Takahashi, but that backfires as Takahashi shoves away Desperado… only to eat as superkick as Taichi’s attempt to win with the Gedo clutch fails as the ref’s still down! Turnabout becomes fair play as Hiromu nails Taichi with the stand, then uses the Gedo clutch… and that’s now two matches in as many days that Takahashi’s won with his opponent’s finisher. An interesting wrinkle… as Suzuki tries to kill EVIL after the match, because that’s what he does. **¾
Bullet Club (Kenny Omega & Chase Owens) vs. Michael Elgin & Ryusuke Taguchi
The crowd popped for Taguchi’s new haircut, but he’s double-teamed from the off as Omega and Owens went straight for him. Taguchi quickly comes back with some hip attacks to Owens before bringing in Big Mike, who threw in a hip attack of his own!
Taguchi misses a sit-down splash as he tried to counter a sunset flip, and that just gets the Bullet Club back into things, with Omega dropping elbows for a near-fall. Owens avoids a sunset flip, only to run into a hip attack as Elgin squashes him with an enziguiri and a slingshot splash.
Omega tries to help out, but eats a running ‘rana from Big Mike, who went back after Owens with clotheslines in the corner and a Falcon Arrow for a two-count. Some more double-teaming goes awry as Elgin picks up Owens and Omega… but they wriggle out and regain the advantage for a brief while, until they take a pair of hip attacks.
Owens takes some more duelling hip attacks, before he’s buckle bombed into Omega as the Elgin Bomb gets the win. Pretty straight-forward stuff and something you’d probably skip. Unless you like Elgin playing as Taguchi! **¼
Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Kazuchika Okada & Gedo
Kojima surprisingly goes for Okada at the bell, knocking him off the apron… only to get whipped into the guard rails as the cameras focused on Tenzan and Gedo instead. Okada returned to the ring to attack Tenzan from behind as the “Violent Bull” got some double-teaming, eventually catching a break as he dropped Okada with a Mountain Bomb.
Kojima tagged back in and quickly knocked Okada into the corner with a forearm ahead of the machine gun chops, but Okada avoids a top rope elbow as he instead took a DDT as Kojima was enjoying a decent spell of offence. A rolling elbow counters a Rainmaker, but Okada hit back with a dropkick before Gedo’s attempt at offence saw him plastered with Mongolian chops.
Gedo avoids the TenKoji Cutter and nearly schoolboys his way to win, before taking the rebadged 3D for a near-fall. Okada tries to interfere, but gets thrown outside as Gedo takes a Strong Arm lariat as the last of our undercard breezes by. Decent, but way too short – for perhaps the expected reasons. **½
G1 Climax, Block A: YOSHI-HASHI vs. Tomohiro Ishii
YOSHI-HASHI was the early aggressor here, which perhaps wasn’t a smart move as that just riled up Ishii into some forearms before eventually scoring with a shoulder block. Yet still YOSHI-HASHI kept on throwing chops, and taking them back as a long chop battle broke out in Sendai!
Ishii just about won out, knocking YOSHI-HASHI into the corner – revealing that YOSHI’s new gear has already lost it’s S, showing “YOHI HAHI” on the rear. Honestly, he’s only just switched away from the falling-to-pieces Loose Explosion gear and this is how he treats his new threads!
A dropkick to a hung-in-the-ropes Ishii gets a near-fall, before YOSHI-HASHI washes his boot on Ishii’s face… which eventually wears out on the Stone Pitbull, who comes straight back with headbutts and forearms in the corner. They continue to trade chops in the corner, until YOSHI hit back with a variant of an F5 for a near-fall.
Ishii comes back with a backdrop suplex, then a superplex before a spin kick and a left-arm lariat turns things around for the man with the dodgy ring gear. A senton bomb off the top rope connects for a two-count, so YOSHI-HASHI follows up with a Butterfly lock, dragging Ishii into the middle of the ring before Ishii finally made the ropes.
The pressure’s kept up as YOSHI-HASHI tries to go for Karma, but instead hits a superkick and a back cracker, before a sliding Meteora nearly got him the win. Eventually though, Ishii hit back with a lariat before drilling YOSHI-HASHI with a folding powerbomb for another near-fall, as Ishii’s sliding lariat was countered with a left-arm lariat as the pair continued to trade near-falls.
Ishii pops up to wallop YOSHI-HASHI with elbows, then headbutts as they gave as good as they got. One headbutt eventually clonks YOSHI-HASHI to the mat, but he’s still able to kick out of a sliding lariat… only for a brainbuster to give Ishii the win. By the end of this, YOSHI’s ring gear continued to fall, losing most of his name… In spite of their effort, this match was hard to get invested in – almost like I was watching a training/exhibition than a serious contest at times. Unlike, say, Bullet Club or Suzuki-gun, there isn’t any real feeling of camaraderie in CHAOS, which really hurt this. ***½
G1 Climax, Block A: Bad Luck Fale vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Yeah, Fale killed the ring announcer again.
Sabre starts by leaping into Fale, climbing around him in search of a submission… but Fale overpowered him and went outside… where he quickly splatted Desperado before slamming Sabre into the ring posts. An Irish whip bounced Zack off of the guard rails, giving Fale something obvious to attack: the back!
Fale sits on Sabre for a near-fall, but Zack rebounds with a crucifix attempt, which turned into a sunset flip that eventually led to a missed sit-out splash as a PK finally put Fale down. An Octopus hold follows as Sabre tries to sink it on on the giant Tongan, who eventually broke free of the submission attempts before squashing Zack with an avalanche in the corner.
A body splash follows for a two-count, but Fale goes for a Bad Luck Fall… and loses out as Sabre slips free and ties him up in a double heel hook until a rope break is forced. Zack keeps going for the leg, only for Fale to bulldoze into him with a lariat for a near-fall, before he countered a Grenade with a hanging triangle armbar. Fale monsters up, but gets wheelbarrow rolled, and just like that, Sabre stole the pin to bring a real style clash to an end. Entertaining enough, if you like Sabre’s style, but this was a match that was going to struggle because of all of the disparities. I’m pretty sure Zack said he avenged Daryl with that “victory for animal rights”… ***½
G1 Climax, Block A: Kota Ibushi vs. Togi Makabe
Tomoaki Honma was doing commentary for this – and the entire show – for what I believe was his first appearance since getting injured in March.
Makabe started by losing a striking battle to Ibushi, who decided to follow him outside with a plancha as Makabe shook the crowd barriers in frustration. Ibushi keeps up the pressure by throwing Makabe chest-first into the barriers, before returning the favour as the pair barely broke the 20-count in time.
Ibushi tries to kick his way out of some offence from Makabe, eventually succeeding with a dropkick before a standing moonsault collected a near-fall, only to get taken into the corner for some mounted punches as the crowd finally woke from their slumber. A Northern Lights suplex gets a near-fall for Togi, as does a lariat, before the pair traded some more clotheslines, with Ibushi this time winning out.
Ibushi takes over in search of a superplex, before instead opting to slap Makabe in the gut ahead of a top rope ‘rana that collected a near-fall. Makabe hits back with another lariat, but Ibushi comes back too, teasing a top rope piledriver that would have shattered ol’ Togi into a million pieces.
Instead, Makabe shoves Ibushi away and takes an overhead kick in the corner… but Makabe rises back to his feet for a King Kong Knee drop into the face of Kota (clearly, wanting to find a new way to show us how much he hates having a neck), who then kicked out of a powerbomb at one! So Makabe heads up again for another King Kong knee drop, and that gets what has to be a surprise win after a shockingly decent match. A win for Honma, perhaps? ***¼
G1 Climax, Block A: Tetsuya Naito vs. Yuji Nagata
Going in at 0-3, Nagata’s creeping to finish line… in the predictable race to be the first person eliminated, sadly.
Nagata started by trying to go for a belly-to-belly early on, but Naito goes to the ropes before avoiding a faked-out dropkick and eventually doing the tranquilo pose… right in front of Nagata. That wasn’t wise… Naito takes a walk as he starts some mind games, which just fires up Nagata, who quickly gets his eyes raked as Naito edges ahead.
They head outside, as Nagata’s thrown into the guard rails, before taking a barrage of punishment in the corner as Naito rained down elbows. Eventually Nagata fired back up, but he’s just as quickly slapped down. Finally, Nagata comes back with a big boot into the corner, then an Exploder out of it as he gets a near-fall, only for Naito to rebound again with the slingshot dropkick in the corner.
A tornado DDT follows for a near-fall, as Naito starts to work towards a finish, teasing a Gloria before instead stomping and spitting away at Nagata. That just riled up the veteran, who chopped away at Naito with a series of kicks to the front and back, before engaging in a slapping battle in the middle of the ring. Some elbows from Nagata continue to rock Naito, as does a release German suplex which dumped the Ingobernable on his head for a near-fall.
The pair exchange yet more furious slaps, but Naito takes over with a leaping forearm… only to get caught in a Fujiwara armbar as Nagata rolled his eyes all the way back! Nagata looked to go for a Backdrop Hold, before blocking a tornado DDT as Naito countered the counter into a Destino for a near-fall. One regular Destino later, and Naito picked up the win in a pretty good match that was just about threatening to go too long. ***¾
G1 Climax, Block A: Hirooki Goto vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
They open out innocently enough, with Tanahashi taking Goto into the corner… only for his attempt of a Dragon screw out of the corner to fail as Goto took Tanahashi to the outside.
After taking his time, Tanahashi got back in and dropped Goto throat-first across the top rope. He looked to end things in short order with the middle rope flip senton, but Goto popped up and clotheslines Tanahashi to the floor so he could throw him repeatedly into those over-used guard rails. Goto actually got booed for wrenching Tanahashi’s arm in the railings, which was the set-up for him to start targeting the injured arm – just like everyone else has!
Goto peppers Tanahashi’s injured arm with uppercuts, but finds a back suplex blocked as Tanahashi rebounds with a Dragon screw instead. That flip senton connects at the second attempt as Goto’s forced to kick out, before finding that a slap from Tanahashi knocked him loopy for a little while. Once he was back on his feet, Tanahashi tried to capitalise, succeeding with a German suplex, only to get dumped with a backdrop suplex as Goto continued to hold his jaw.
Tanahashi continued to fire away, as this descended into a striking battle, before Goto’s attempt at an ushogoroshi was countered into a Slingblade for a near-fall. A High Fly Flow that looked to be an exclamation mark misses, allowing Goto to take over with a lariat as that jaw still continued to cause issues. Undeterred, Goto grabs a sleeper as he perhaps looked to soften up Tanahashi for a GTR, but instead he went all Sabre on us with a PK before landing the ushigoroshi for another near-fall.
Goto keeps going though, but he took too long setting up for a GTR as Tanahashi turned it into a spinning neckbreaker. Another suplex gets countered into a spinning neckbreaker as Tanahashi strung together some snap suplexes, then a Slingblade for a near-fall, before a High Fly Flow succeeded. A second one follows, and that’s enough to get Tanahashi the win to put him at the top of the block (before you figure in tie-breakers)… a good main event, but one that perhaps didn’t crack through into being totally memorable. ****
This was a very weird show to watch – an undercard that started off badly, recovered with comedy and then meandered into a G1 selection of matches that also underwhelmed. All in all, day seven wasn’t a bad showing, but one that you can perhaps afford to skip over if you’ve not got the time to watch all of the G1.
G1 Climax 27 Standings
Block A (after four matches):
Tetsuya Naito, Zack Sabre Jr., Hiroshi Tanahashi (3-1; 6pts)
Bad Luck Fale, Hirooki Goto, Kota Ibushi, Tomohiro Ishii, Togi Makabe (2-2; 4pts)
YOSHI-HASHI (1-3; 2pts)
Yuji Nagata (0-4; 0pts)
Block B (after three matches):
Kenny Omega, Kazuchika Okada (3-0; 6pts)
EVIL, Minoru Suzuki (2-1; 4pts)
Michael Elgin, Juice Robinson, SANADA, Tama Tonga, Toru Yano (1-2; 2pts)
Satoshi Kojima (0-3; 0pts)