Jay White and Tetsuya Naito looked to get on the board, as their G1 campaigns threatened to descend into humiliations.
It’s back to Korakuen Hall for the second of three straight nights – and we’ve still got Kevin Kelly, Rocky Romero and Chris Charlton on commentary.
Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens) vs. Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr. & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
With ZSJ currently bottom of block A, he’ll have a fairly hefty roadblock on his hands if he’s to break his duck tomorrow.
Fale attacks Sabre before the bell, as Bullet Club out-jumped Suzuki-gun, but Sabre quickly got in with an Octopus stretch that Fale quickly counters, working free before he shoulder charged the Rev Pro champion. Owens came in to keep up on Sabre in the corner, but uppercuts from Zack got him some brief respite before Owens came back with a running knee for a two-count. A package piledriver was attempted too soon as Sabre got free, and in came Kanemaru to take out Owens with a low dropkick. Kanemaru’s Deep Impact DDT is avoided as Owens came back with a dropkick of his own, before Fale returned to clear the apron. Kanemaru pulls Owens into harms way as Fale’s charge in the corner went awry, as did his whiskey mist, which Owens superkicks into ZSJ’s face… leaving nobody to save Kanemaru as a big splash from Fale nearly put him away.
From there, a Grenade followed… and that’s all folks. By the numbers, as Sabre continues to look out of sorts here. **½
Post-match, Sabre tried to attack Fale, but just got laid out with a Grenade.
Suzuki-gun (Lancer Archer & Minoru Suzuki) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomoaki Honma
Yeah, we’ve a jumpstart as Archer made a beeline for Tanahashi as the match spills outside almost instantly.
In the ring, Honma tries to chop Suzuki, but the blows are brushed off as Honma seemed to slip on something. He shakes off his ankle before wandering into a hanging armbar, while Tanahashi and Archer brawl outside again, as the camera crew picked up Suzuki choking out Honma with a chair. Oh, some of the Young Lions get a taste of it too, as it really wasn’t a good idea to wear the official G1 t-shirt near Suzuki… Finally the referee starts counting, but Honma beats the count… only to get knocked into the corner by a forearm as Archer tagged in for what may have been the first time. More chops awaited him, as Suzuki returned for a PK… but it’s caught as Honma tried to exchange strikes, until he finally landed a leaping Kokeshi into Suzuki.
Now Tanahashi comes in as he charges into Archer, using low dropkicks to try and take him off his feet. A Dragon screw from Tanahashi gets Archer on the mat as Honma was flat out in the corner… so when Archer pushes away a cloverleaf attempt, there was nobody to make the save from a Black Hole Slam. Honma returns to get chopped again, before his clotheslines eventually weakened Archer as Tanahashi helped out with a double-team suplex. Dualling Kokeshi put Archer down for a two-count, with Suzuki making the save, as Archer quickly came back in with the EBD Claw to pin Honma. A pretty run-of-the-mill undercard tag, but Archer’s having a pretty solid G1 so far. **¼
Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL, SANADA & BUSHI) vs. Kota Ibushi, KENTA & Clark Connors
We’ve only one of the LA Dojo Young Lions here, as Karl Fredericks has the night off…
It’s EVIL/KENTA and Ibushi/SANADA tomorrow – and it’s the latter who start us off in a fairly frenetic fashion with armdrags and the like, before Ibushi got tripped and almost put in the Paradise Lock. Kota turns the tables, but he too can’t get it in as BUSHI ended up tripping him in the ropes to give SANADA the lead again. EVIL takes over, trying to force near-falls out of Kota, before SANADA returned… and got taken down with a dropkick from Ibushi. KENTA and EVIL rush in next, trading forearms with some vigour ahead of a Busaiku knee from KENTA… who eventually took the Fisherman buster. BUSHI’s in with a missile dropkick to KENTA, before he had to deal with a leapfrog/dropkick combo from Connors that got him a near-fall.
Connors tried to eke out a win with a Boston crab, but he’s quickly swarmed by LIJ as a back cracker from BUSHI led to a near-fall, thanks to KENTA and Ibushi making the save… but it’s only a matter of time before BUSHI took the win with the MX. That’s telling that Connors was put away with the MX whereas earlier in the tour BUSHI didn’t need it against a Yuya Uemura. Pecking order. Aside from that, this was a pretty good undercard tag, heating up the matches nicely for tomorrow. ***
Will Ospreay & Toa Henare vs. Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI
It’s Ospreay/Okada in tomorrow’s main event… yeah, that’s an easy one to have after losing to Ibushi yesterday.
Ospreay needs a little less tape today, so he’s not cosplaying as YOSHI-HASHI today. It’s YOSHI-HASHI and Henare who start us off, with the Kiwi charging down YOSHI ahead of some chops… only for YOSHI to drag him to the outside and into the guard rails. Okada comes in with a slingshot senton as he tried to ape Ospreay, who busted out a “cheeky bugger” as he was forced to watch from the apron. YOSHI’s back with a dropkick in the ropes for a near-fall, as Okada continued to poke the proverbial bear. Forearms keep Henare away, only for the Kiwi to return with a Samoan drop as Ospreay begged for the tag… and got it! Ospreay drew first blood with a handspring enziguiri, then with a springboard forearm as he was largely evading Okada.
Ospreay mocks the Rainmaker pose as he continued to take the piss, but he’s caught with a dropkick as Okada swats away an OsCutter. An enziguiri stops Okada next as both men needed tags, and got them as Henare looked to suplex YOSHI-HASHI. That succeeds, as did a headbutt, before Ospreay and Okada went at each other again, quickly culminating in a pescado from Ospreay to Okada on the outside. Back inside, the Western Lariat nearly got YOSHI-HASHI the win, before the Fisherman buster did the trick. This felt a little flat to me, outside of the Okada/Ospreay exchanges… and that has a lot of potential to be real good, knocks and injuries notwithstanding. ***
G1 Climax, Block B: Taichi vs. Shingo Takagi
A first-time singles meeting here, as both men looked to improve on their 1-1 record so far.
Shingo charges in with chops to Taichi before the bell, then landed a suplex as Shingo was looking to end this one early. They head outside, as Taichi uses Miho Abe as a human shield again, distracting everyone as he looked to use his mic stand… and yes, Shingo runs into it as he tried to go for Taichi in the ring. The pair again brawl on the outside as Taichi grabs a headlock – and a bit of Shingo’s nose – before throwing him into the ring post as Taichi was forcing Shingo to wrestle his style of match. A clothesline follows in the corner as Taichi was threatening to make a Shingo match boring, but finally Takagi fought back in with a punch to knock him down.
Shingo keeps up with a slam and a back elbow off the top for a near-fall, before Taichi looked to block a Noshigami. A big kick knocks Shingo down in the corner, but he blocks Taichi’s buzzsaw kick… only to get decked with an enziguiri. The pair switch waistlocks as Shingo eventually hit a Saito suplex… which Taichi popped up from to return the favour, leaving Shingo in a heap. Shingo’s back with a Noshigami, before the pair traded their bomber lariats. Elbows from Shingo leave Taichi on his knees, but he still can’t land a clean Pumping Bomber… and ends up rushing into Taichi’s Axe bomber instead! From there, Taichi looked for the Black Memphisto, but Shingo counters with a backslide before ducking a kick and countering it into Made in Japan for a near-fall! Now this is picking up!
Short-range lariats leave Taichi down, as a Last of the Dragon was teased… but Taichi wriggled out and caught him with another leaping enziguiri, following in with a Last Ride and a folding pin as Shingo just about got out! Regardless, Taichi got up and teased a superkick, only for it to get caught. Much like Taichi’s low blow attempt, as a short-range Pumping Bomber put him down, before the real deal led to yet another near-fall! Last of the Dragon followed, and that was enough to end Taichi! This one started out way too slow for my liking, but thankfully the pace picked up to the point where the switches in momentum between Shingo and Taichi weren’t too jarring. ***¾
G1 Climax, Block B: Jeff Cobb vs. Juice Robinson
Another first-time meeting here, as we had a rather terse exchange to begin with, as Juice was looking to find a way to get past Cobb’s strength advantage.
Chops and clotheslines pinned Cobb into the corner early, before Cobb rolled to the outside to smartly avoid a cannonball. Not to worry, Juice follows him with a pescado, only for Cobb to catch it, trying to counter with a suplex, as Juice ends up posting him instead. A cannonball off the apron looked to keep Juice in it, but he misses a standing moonsault and became a human tackling dummy for Cobb, who busted out all of his suplexes. Juice’s leg lariat got him a bit of respite, as his attempt at a Juice Box ended with him just going back to strikes.
Cobb edges ahead with those forearms, but couldn’t avoid a spinebuster, as Juice finally lands that cannonball in the corner, catching Cobb as he was trying to compose himself. Again, Cobb puts distance between himself and Juice, suckering in the former US champion as Juice got put on the top rope for a big chop, but Juice is back with a falling powerbomb out of the corner for a near-fall. An attempt at Pulp Friction ended up getting countered with an Athletic Plex, as Cobb finally looked to get a foothold in things… but he eats a right hand and a lariat from Juice, who was really having his way here. There’s a pop-up German from Cobb, who decided to start uncorking more of his suplexes, folding Juice in half before he pulled down the straps and kicked Juice’s head off.
More German suplexes almost put Juice away, before a Tour of the Islands was countered with a roll-up for a near-fall. Another German rocks Juice, before the Tour of the Islands connected for the win. This felt like Cobb winning with a late flurry rather than dominating the match – he gave Juice a LOT early on, but Cobb needed a win to not get ruled out of the running early on. ***½
G1 Climax, Block B: Jay White vs. Toru Yano
White’s coming into this with no wins – and with commentary having told the story ad nausuem that nobody’s gone 0-3 and won their block… you’d have to think White’s winning here.
Yano’s trying to make White engage early on, so of course he rolls outside with him. Gedo distracts so White can attack him from behind, much to the happiness of a guy in the front row, but it’s not long before Yano gets the turnbuckle padding and nearly wins with a roll-up. White blocks a low blow, before Gedo trips him… which led to a near-win for White with a roll-up. A slingshot into the corner’s blocked by White, who then scored with a low blow as Gedo again took the ref’s attention… but a Blade Runner’s quickly stopped when Yano sprays water at White. Gedo’s back with brass knuckles, but Yano disarms him and ends up using the knuckles on White for a low blow and a roll-up for the win! **½
G1 Climax, Block B: Tetsuya Naito vs. Hirooki Goto
Naito too is on no points, and his cause wasn’t helped when Goto jumped him before the bell.
Goto’s aggressive from the off too, taking Naito into the corner for some forearms before the tables turned. Goto kicks away a Combinacion Cabron as he took the match outside, with Naito meeting the guard rails, but Naito found a way to stop the kicks… by trying to snap Goto’s leg off on the apron. Ow. An elbow to the knee keeps Goto down, as Naito began to get perhaps a little ahead of himself. A spinning clothesline from Goto took Naito to the mat, as did a Saito suplex as Goto was trying to get back into this on one leg. Naito’s reverse DDT and a low dropkick crack Goto… but again, neither man could hold much of an advantage as a hanging neckbreaker out of the corner puts Goto back in it.
Another flurry from Naito turns it back around, with an enziguiri and a German suplex leaving Goto in a head, before Destino was caught and turned into a modified ushigoroshi. A second ushogoroshi followed, as Goto started to finally build momentum, targeting Naito’s left arm with a series of kicks. Goto duck a reverse ‘rana as Naito tried to find a way back in, nearly snatching a win with a wheelbarrow roll-up, before Destino’s again caught and countered, this time into a GYR. Another ushigoroshi saw Goto take it to the well once too often as Naito countered with a horrendous DDT, before a running Destino led to a near-fall, with Goto kicking out just as Kevin Kelly finished his South American football commentator tribute. A second Destino followed, and that’s enough for the win. Thanks for coming Goto, you’ve at least made sure Jay White stands alone at the bottom of the board. ***¾
G1 Climax, Block B: Jon Moxley vs. Tomohiro Ishii
This could get messy. Especially with Moxley bringing a chair to the ring as he looked to protect his 100% run in New Japan so far.
The pair get in each other’s faces from the off as this started exactly how you’d imagine. ALL THE ELBOWS. Especially as Ishii popped up from a shoulder tackle before running into a bodyslam from Moxley as we finally had a chance to take a breather. Ishii and Moxley head outside as they decided to give everyone a front row seat, wandering around Korakuen Hall as Moxley threw Ishii head-first into the EAST sign. They keep going too, as a chop took Ishii into the seating decks, where a running clothesline left the big man down.
Moxley took the Stone Pitbull walkies again, dragging him back to the ring by a headlock as that ring finally got put to use again. Some kicks from Moxley just wake up Ishii, so Moxley tries to put him down with some clubbering crossface forearms, getting a near-fall out of it… then again with a stranglehold as he forced Ishii’s shoulders to the mat. Chops keep Ishii in the corner, but he charges out with shoulder tackles, eventually taking Moxley down! An attempt to cut off Ishii goes sour for Moxley as he’s caught with a suplex, but they’re back to the forearms, with Ishii swatting Moxley down with ease. They’re outside again, with Moxley tasting the guard rails, before reversing another Irish whip, as they get chairs and began a duel… with Ishii swatting the SEAT off of Moxley’s chair. Christ, those were heavy shots.
Out comes a table as Moxley tries to uranage Ishii off the apron through it… before he switched to a piledriver… but a back body drop from Ishii takes Moxley back into the ring, as the Stone Pitbull instead looked for a suplex to the floor. We got neither, thankfully, as Moxley came back with a dropkick, and we’re back on the floor, where a tope nearly put Moxley into the front row! Moxley grabs the chair that wasn’t bust up, and smashes it on Ishii’s back… before Ishii used his forearm to swat away a chairshot. Ishii gives a receipt for that chairshot as the referee just handwaves this all, watching on as Ishii put Moxley on the table… then headed up top and splashed Moxley through the table!
— LARIATOOOO!! (@MrLARIATO) July 19, 2019
Back in the ring, Ishii looked for a superplex, and got it, before Moxley blocked a sliding lariat and went for a cover. He tries the same trick, but Ishii caught him too, turning it into a German suplex as the pair began to trade those, with a lariat from Moxley leaving both men down on the mat. Ishii’s quickly back with a sliding lariat for a near-fall, prompting Moxley into biting Ishii. Wonder if he tasted of stone? A running knee followed, before the pair exchanged JYD-like headbutts, then standing headbutts, which seemed to wear down Ishii more, only for a rising headbutt to crack Moxley on the chin. Rapid-elbows follow as he shrugged off Moxley’s clothesline, but a uranage from Moxley only gets him a near-fall, before a second Regal Knee almost ruined Ishii for the pin.
Moxley signals for the Death Rider from there, but Ishii sandbags and comes in with a back body drop, then a clothesline as another Death Rider was stopped. Another sliding lariat connects for a near-fall, as a ruinous headbutt from Ishii puts Moxley back on the mat… but now it’s Moxley’s time to monster up before he snapped in with a Death Rider for a near-fall! A bare-knee Knee Trembler’s next, as Death Rider spiked what was left of Ishii’s neck… and that’s all folks. Good Lord above, this was as violent as you’d want without any blood. Just two lads throwing bombs at each other, and coming back for so much more. Moxley remains undefeated, and I have a feeling that’s not ending anytime soon… ****½
KENTA, Kazuchika Okada (3-0; 6pts)
Lance Archer, EVIL (2-1; 4pts)
Bad Luck Fale, Kota Ibushi, Will Ospreay, SANADA, Hiroshi Tanahashi (1-2; 2pts)
Zack Sabre Jr. (0-3; 0pts)
Jon Moxley (3-0; 6pts)
Tomohiro Ishii, Juice Robinson, Shingo Takagi, Toru Yano (2-1; 4pts)
Jeff Cobb, Hirooki Goto, Tetsuya Naito, Taichi (1-2; 2pts)
Jay White (0-3; 0pts)
Once again, a solid card – with the B block perhaps being a step behind in terms of match quality. Jay White’s hideous start to the tournament is becoming a story in itself, as perhaps the early shoots of Tetsuya Naito’s recovery began to show. Of course, the one match everyone’d circled on this line-up was the main event, and boy, that delivered. All the violence without being overly reliant on plunder… this was an epic.
It’s back to Korakuen tomorrow as Will Ospreay and Kazuchika Okada headline in block A – and then there’s a well-earned rest!
New Japan, G1 Climax, G129, Bullet Club, Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, Suzuki-gun, Zack Sabre Jr., Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tomoaki Honma, Suzuki-gun, Lancer Archer, Minoru Suzuki, Los Ingobernables de Japon, EVIL, SANADA, BUSHI, Kota Ibushi, KENTA, Clark Connors, Will Ospreay, Toa Henare, Kazuchika Okada, YOSHI-HASHI, Taichi, Shingo Takagi, Jeff Cobb, Juice Robinson, Jay White, Toru Yano, Hirooki Goto, Tetsuya Naito, Jon Moxley, Tomohiro Ishii