Norrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Review Night Seven

G1 Climax 28 Review Night Seven

22 July 2018

Live from Esforta Arena, Hachioji, Tokyo

 

You can read my preview of the entire tournament here.

You can read my Night One review here.

You can read my Night Two review here.

You can read my Night Three review here.

You can read my Night Four review here.

You can read my Night Five review here.

You can read my Night Six review here.

 

We’re back on the road (although still in Tokyo) as the G1 Climax heads to Night Seven in Hachioij.  The headliners are Okada vs. Makabe, Page vs. Tanahashi, and Suzuki vs. White.  This should be a good affair!

 

Your commentators are Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero.  Django’s back to provide translations if necessary.  They have a little bit of fun over Chris Charlton, who didn’t really have to do much translating after Ishii beat Goto in the main event of Night Six and promptly said nothing afterward.

Toa Henare and Shota Umino vs. Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa (Bullet Club/Guerrillas of Destiny)

Jado must have suffered an injury, as Gedo steps in again for the CHAOS tag match later.  This isn’t gonna preview anything for the tournament, but Tonga has a real challenge ahead of him when he faces Tetsuya Naito on the 26th in Niigata.  Loa aggressively goes after Henare and Umino to start, and Henare eats some punches as the cameras focus on the Japanese commentary team, including Husky Honma, for an unreasonable amount of time.  Tama delivers a quick, strong gut punch to Henare and then he tries a vertical suplex but Henare squirms his way out. He eats a dropkick for his troubles and this might be the closest match on the tour we get to a squash.  Loa tags in, and I’m curious to the state of Red Shoes as we ease closer to the main event of the evening.  Henare manages to get Umino tagged into the match, and Umino looks fired up; maybe he’s looking for revenge as the GoD took out his father with a Gun Stun yesterday?  Henare’s in and he hits a double shoulder tackle before alternating running lariats in the corners.  Umino with a Missile Dropkick and a sick German Suplex to Loa.  Loa, however, no sells it, because he’s not the best wrestler in the world.  Tongan Driver to Umino and that’s it.  Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa def. Toa Henare and Shota Umino via pinfall.  There was a really cool story going on here, as the Guerrillas of Destiny took out Red Shoes yesterday and Umino was out for revenge.  But the finish was too quick for my liking, especially with the commentary antics (Kelly: “I’ll let you call this one, Rocky.” Rocky: “APESHIT!!” Come on, what the fuck is that?).  Let’s move on.  *3/4

Toru Yano and Gedo (CHAOS) vs. Hirooki Goto and YOH (CHAOS)

Goto went through a war in his match against Tomohiro Ishii on Saturday, but now he’s got a different CHAOS challenge in Toru Yano for Night Eight.  YOH’s probably glad he doesn’t have to tag with the Switchblade tonight.  Handshakes at the beginning offered by Yano.  Such a nice guy!  YOH and Gedo to start, and YOH offers a clean break but Gedo gives him an eye poke for his troubles.  YOH soon hits the flying shoulder tackle and Goto comes in to knock off the Sublime Master Thief off the apron.  Some double team offense follows, and they hit the CHAOS taunt, “Hey!”  Yano and Gedo take the lead soon after, and they hit their own variation of the CHAOS taunt, “Hey!” I am smiling from ear to ear thinking about how close all these CHAOS boys must be in real life.  Yano goes for a turnbuckle (as is his wont), and whips YOH right into it after an eye rake.  Dragon Screw by YOH as he gets the opportunity to make the tag.  It’s Goto and Yano now, and Goto manages to suplex Gedo onto Yano before an elbow drop gets the two count.  Yano locks in a side headlock before they start slugging it out.  Belly-to-belly suplex by Yano! Nice. YOH and Gedo are in and they trade rolling pinfall attempts for multiple twos.  YOH with the Thrust Kick, but Gedo tries another roll up for two.  Gedo Clutch is reversed into the O’Connor roll for the three!  Hirooki Goto and YOH def. Toru Yano and Gedo via pinfall.  As expected, Gedo did the honors, but I’m excited for Goto and Yano on Thursday! It’s not gonna tear down the house or anything, but it should be a lot of fun compared to the Goto/Ishii Brawl for All.  **1/2

Zack Sabre Jr and TAKA Michinoku (Suzuki-Gun) vs. Tomohiro Ishii and SHO (CHAOS)

TAKA does his usual routine to hype up Sabre’s tournament match with Ishii, but you know what, I’ll save my type-up of his promo for Thursday.  These reviews are getting long enough as it is.  I expect Ishii to do pretty much nothing tonight after his massive encounter with Hirooki Goto yesterday at Korakuen.  TAKA steps up and he starts with SHO, with the veteran calling for forearms from the rookie.  SHO leapfrogs over TAKA, who’s running the ropes, and hits a flying dropkick to take the lead.  Sabre sneaks in and slaps Ishii across the chest, who barely flinches and looks upon Zack with such disgust.  God, their match on Thursday is gonna rule.  TAKA circles around SHO and whips him into the corner with the high knee.  A quick pinfall gets two, but SHO recovers and hits a Spear before tagging in Ishii.  Sabre’s also in and locks Ishii in a Cobra Twist.  Ishii’s then whipped into the corner but comes out flying wit ha Shoulder Tackle.  They trade chops before Ishii goes to town on Sabre with chops in the corner.  Sabre grabs onto his throat in pure agony.  He manages to get Ishii in the center with an Octopus Hold, then a Rear Naked Choke, then a Front Guillotine, but Ishi tries a deadlift Brainbuster, but Sabre with a Pele kick to get free and tags in TAKA.  TAKA quickly eats a Brainbuster for having the audacity to come in.  SHO in with the Cross Armbreaker!  Sabre comes into to break the hold.  Ishii with the German Suplex! SHO gets the tapout proper with another Cross Armbreaker!  SHO and YOH both picking up the victories with their respective teams!  Sabre locks on a Triangle Armbreaker on Ishii to send a message to the Stone Pitbull!  Tomohiro Ishii and SHO def. Zack Sabre Jr and TAKA Michinoku via submission.  As I stated earlier, Ishii and Sabre should be a barnburner.  I see Sabre getting the two points there to rebound from his RPW loss in April, and I’m salivating at the thought of the match.  ***

Juice Robinson and David Finlay vs. Kenny Omega and Chase Owens (Bullet Club)

Juice has put on some great performances, especially in his most recent outing against Tetsuya Naito, but he doesn’t have ant points to show for it.  I’m expecting another awesome contest when he fights Kenny Omega on Thursday, but I’m not confident in him picking up his first win.  But then again, he did beat Omega in last year’s G1, so anything’s possible.  Kenny Omega comes out with Owens, Heavyweight Championship AND house show pants in tow.  What a silly guy.  I love him.  This time last year, Kenny was a heel and Juice was a non-factor.  Now, they might be the two biggest babyfaces in the company.  They lock up, and alternate go-behinds before Kenny settles into the side headlock.  It looks like Kenny’s not going to target the left hand, which is a nice change of pace.  Juice takes control of the left arm before Kenny finally hits Juice’s cast on instinct.  He looks concerned about hitting the broken hand, and it’ll be interesting if he has any qualms about targeting the cast on Thursday.  You see, that cast is so dirty, it MUST BE CLEANED!  Finlay gets a brief bit of action before tagging Juice back in, then Finlay’s back in with a double axe handle.  He and Juice hit the Double Bulldog before Finlay manages a Backbreaker, but Kenny gets back in and they hit a Three Sweet Elbow Drop on the Celtic Prince.  Wishbone to Finlay, and then about five more Wishbones to Finlay as he writhes in pain.  Finlay recovers and hits the European Uppercut to Chase, THEN a sick dropkick to get Juice back in.  But then he takes forever to actually tag in the Flamboyant One, and the crowd loses all of their momentum.  What the fuck, dude. Five minutes past.  Owens and Omega hit a double Superkick to Juice and then Omega launches into a Kitaro Krusher for two.  Package Piledrive attempt by Owens, but Juice responds with a catapult.  Goes for Pulp Friction, Chase slides out, but Juice gets in up for the side Gutbuster (the Juice Box) and gets the three!  Juice Robinson and David Finlay def. Kenny Omega and Chase Owens via pinfall.  There was some good babyface interaction between Robinson and Omega here.  However, and maybe it was because they were in the same tag match, but Finlay and Owens proved exactly why they’re not involved in the G1 Climax tournament this month.  They just looked out of their league when stacked up alongside Omega and Juice.  However, they’re doing well enough in their roles as tag team partners.  **1/4

Kota Ibushi and Yujiro Takahashi vs. SANADA and Tetsuya Naito (Los Ingobernables de Japon)

Ibushi and SANADA!  That’s a tasty encounter.  And we’re getting a call back to No Limit, as Naito gets to take on his former partner, Yujiro Takahashi.  Remember when Yujiro was considered the more likely of the two to break out and become a star?  Jesus, dread the thought.  Ibushi and SANADA start with some flavorful chain wrestling, some slow and deliberate stuff, but SANADA eventually hits a running shoulder tackle! Ibushi kips up quickly, of course, and he eventually goes for a Planche, but SANADA sneaks out of the way.  A stalemate, as Naito and Takahashi tag in and the crowd ERUPTS!  NO LIMIT EXPLODES!  They trade slugs before Yujiro hangs Naito up on the ropes!  He now gets Naito down on the mat and hits him with a barrage of punches and maybe this matchup is inspiring Takahashi to put in a little bit of extra work!  He looks good.  Ibushi tags in and a Standing Moonsault gets the two.  They trade some offense before Naito does a reverse Draping DDT to get SANADA in the match.  SANADA does his double leapfrog spot and gets HUGE AIR before the dropkick.  Ibushi hits another Standing Moonsault on SANADA for two.  Five minutes past.  Ibushi with a Hurricanrana to get Yujiro back in the match.  SANADA with another Headscissors to take him over, then Naito in with the Leg Sweep, Dropkick combo spot on the Tokyo Pimp.  Yujiro bites Naito’s hand to avoid a DDT before connecting with a Sliding Dropkick.  Reverse DDT gets two on Naito.  Pimp Juice attempt, but SANADA sneaks in with the Skull End! Ibushi breaks all of it up with the Dropkick off the top rope and then Planches onto SANADA!  NAITO STEALS THE VICTORY WITH A VICTORY ROLL! WHAT?!? Tetsuya Naito and SANADA def. Kota Ibushi and Yujiro Takahashi.  I really liked that ending, because it suggested that Naito and Takahashi are on a more evening footing because of their tag team roots, when obviously THEY AREN’T, AND NAITO’S LEAGUES ABOVE TAKAHASHI.  But New Japan doesn’t have to say that to your face.  You just need to know their years of history together, back when they were losing to Kevin Nash in a Handicap match on TNA (yeah, that really happened, Google it).  A cool little match that nicely previewed Ibushi and SANADA. ***1/4

G1 Climax 28 A Block Match:  YOSHI-HASHI (CHAOS) vs. Michael Elgin

YOSHI-HASHI has yet to sniff any wins so far in the G1, and Elgin comes in supremely confident despite just falling to Jay White on Night Five.  So that means we’re getting the upset, right? Marty Asami is your referee as Elgin quickly locks in the side Headlock and then a stiff shoulder tackle.  I can’t get over how big YOSHI looks compared to Big Mike.  YOSHI tries the crossbody from the apron but Elgin quick catches him and goes for a delayed Brainbuster! YOSHI gets out of it and hits a Snap Suplex onto the floor! Okay then.  They’re back in and YOSHI positions Mike on the top rope but they’re back into the ring with a Lariat that looked like it could have taken YOSHI’s head off.  A quick cover gets two for Elgin.  Elgin clutches his lower back as he hobbles over to YOSHI but manages a bodyslam and then a falling elbow.  YOSHI fires back with cracking forearms and then a sliding dropkick.  It looks like YOSHI’s lost a lot of energy after that lariat.  YOSHI goes for a Hurricanrana, Elgin catches him, but YOSHI finishes the Rana!  YOSHI’s got a big two matches ahead of him in Okada and Tanahashi, so he NEEDS this win badly.  Top role somersault flip to Elgin and YOSHI starts to get on a roll! Five minutes past.  Head Hunter off the top gets a two count.  YOSHI sets up for a powerbomb but Big Mike sits out of it, then switches around for a rolling German, and Elgin is not done.  YOSHI manages to make the rope for a break, but Big Mike hits an Enziguiri and then slams him down, but YOSHI’s out at two!  Elgin readies YOSHI for a Superplex, YOSHI knocks him off the ropes, but Mike hits another Enziguiri! He sets up for what looks like Splash Mountain off the top rope, but YOSHI gets out with another reverse Rana! Elgin kicks out before the three count.  YOSHI’s looking for Karma, but Elgin responds with side elbows, then they trade chops across the chest, and you can guess who wins that exchange.  YOSHI’s arm is in a bad way as he had NOTHING on those chops.  Now Elgin’s trying to put YOSHI away and blocks a Thrust Kick, BUT YOSHI HITS A SURPRISE GERMAN SUPLEX OUTTA NOWHERE!  YOSHI then runs right into a Superplex but hits a Powerbomb off the ropes for two!  Thrust Kick, twisting suplex, then Swanton Bomb but Elgin kicks out!  Damn, that was a nice little sequence. Ten minutes past.  YOSHI starts the Butterfly Lock, but Elgin manages a Swinging Driver to break up the Head Hunter’s momentum.  Elgin calls for YOSHI to get up and hits a running lariat in the corner and positions him up for a vicious Superplex all the way to the mat.  That should do it, one, two, thr… NO, YOSHI KICKS OUT!  Buckle bomb, YOSHI counters with a Jack-knife pin, Elgin’s out, and it’s a stalemate as YOSHI struggles to trade blows with Elgin.  Elgin MURDERS YOSHI with a sick elbow across his face, and a Western Lariat puts YOSHI back in contention! Half-and-half Suplex from Mike followed by a BIG LARIAT BUT YOSHI KICKS OUT AGAIN! Elgin Bomb and YOSHI weakly kicks out again!  The crowd starts to rally behind YOSHI-HASHI as Elgin goes for the Burning Hammer, but YOSHI gets out and hits a cradle Fisherman’s Buster for two.  Backcracker followed by Karma, he connects, one two three!! YOSHI’s on the board! YOSHI-HASHI def. Michael Elgin via pinfall.  YOSHI ate a lot of offense, but he earned a big two points on the scoreboard in the process.  YOSHI’s getting beat up, and he didn’t deliver the most convincing offense compared to Big Mike.  He still overcame, though.  And, hey, he didn’t use the Butterfly Lock at any point, and he got the victory.  Maybe YOSHI-HASHI the character will start to fade the move out of his repertoire.  **3/4

G1 Climax 28 A Block Match:  Bad Luck Fale (Bullet Club/Firing Squad) vs. EVIL (Los Ingobernables de Japon)

They’ve fought before in the New Japan Cup, but this is the first G1 Climax meeting between Fale and EVIL.  Kelly keeps hyping up Fale’s 11-point average over his G1 career, but Fale’s too interested in disqualifications and group beatdowns instead of pin falls and victories this year.  Loa’s out with Fale and I’m already interested in skipping this match.  The trade off big man Shoulder Tackles, but Loa baits EVIL outside in an attempt to distract him.  EVIL has none of this shit and manages to whip Fale into the ring barricade.  Fale, sufficiently provoked, distracts the ref with a chair as Loa goes after EVIL.  Snooze.  You’d thin that if the ref KNOWS that the Firing Squad would try to pull this shit, he’d just go ahead and ban Loa’s ass before the bell rings.  They’re in the crowd now and this is probably fun for the live audience, at least.  EVIL takes a beating from the guardrails and looks to be in some real pain outside of the ring.  Fale looks to be OK with the count out victory, but whaddya known, EVIL’s back in a 17 and the crowd’s thrilled.  Fale systematically targets EVIL’s right elbow hits an impressive looking slam for a two count.  Five minutes past, as Fale continues to target the right arm.  Now they’re back outside and EVIL gives Loa a chair to distract the ref, then hooks another chair around Fale’s neck and shoves him into the ring post! That was nice, at least.  EVIL starts to fire up and tries to hit a Suplex, but Fale, that fat piece of shit, avoids it and runs through EVIL with a Tractor Shoulder Tackle and a splash for two.  The Grenade fails, EVIL hits a Thrust Kick and then a sweat-flying Lariat and then another one.  EVIL turns a suplex into a DDT but then runs into a deep Lariat, EVIL kicks out!  Bad Luck Fall but EVIL slips out, quick headbutt, rolling elbow, running Lariat for two but Fale kicks out! Ten minutes past.  EVIL goes for Everything Is Evil, but Fale shoves EVIL into the ref, and Loa’s in for the beatdown.  Kelly: “It’s not just the fans here booing, it’s everyone at home, too.”  YEAH, BECAUSE THIS SHIT IS STARTING TO GET OLD, KEVIN.  BUSHI’s in and mists Loa! Tama with a Gun Stun attempt! NAITO’S OUT AS WELL.  Bodies everywhere! EVIL hits Everything Is Evil! Asami’s up and can’t figure out who’s successfully caused more bullshit! Asami refuses to start the count until everyone’s out of the ring. GUN STUN TO EVIL! Disqualification, as Tama hits a Gun Stun on Naito as well.  Ugh.  EVIL def. Bad Luck Fale via disqualification.  Ok, I’m officially over it now.  This BC OG bullshit can fuck off.  And you know what pisses me off the most about it?  EVIL looked good during this match! He could have used the clean win against Fale! It would have said a lot about how much New Japan respects the work of the former Takaaki Watanabe.  Nope, instead we get more Tama bullshit and this G1 sure looks to have at least one blemish per show.  *

G1 Climax 28 A Block Match:  Minoru Suzuki (Suzuki-Gun) vs. “Switchblade” Jay White (CHAOS)

Switchblade’s been looking good in his smarmy cheating ways, but if there’s anyone that could Shut Him the Fuck Up Right Now, it’s Minoru Suzuki.  I’m pumped.  Man, White looks SCARED on his way to the ring, but he is King of the A Block right now, and he won’t let anyone forget that.  Suzuki stares over him like a lion scoping out an antelope in the distance.  Suzuki kicks White in the hamstring and White takes a powder and then hovers around the ropes for any potential break to a series of boos.  White’s channeling his inner Yano, it seems.  This might take a while to get going.  Suzuki finally catches White and sends him chest first into the barricade.  White recovers and then lunges Suzuki into the barricade himself!  White: “I’m the King now!” The Actual King then catches the pretender in a Triangle Armbar over the ropes and then SLAPS THE SWEAT off of White’s chest.  White refuses to go down and then offers his chest to Suzuki, but then kicks him in the knee and hits a DDT for a quick cover.  White pulls Suzuki to the apron and tries to suffocate Suzuki with the ring apron!  Red Shoes refuses to count the pinfall for White after that maneuver.  Good to see Red Shoes recover so quickly from Night Six’s events.  White looks pleased with himself after bringing Suzuki down with a Rear Choke.  Five minutes past.  Neckbreaker for a one count.  White transitions to a Muta lock, with slaps across Suzuki’s face for good measure, but Suzuki pulls out some finger mutilation for the reversal.  White eats a Running Boot and then a Snapmare/Penalty Kick combo!  Minoru pulls him up a second time for the PK, and then a third time for the PK! Obviously Suzuki’s out to murder this former Young Boy.  Suzuki looks to bend White’s fingers and then locks in a double wrist lock but White somehow makes the ropes.  Suzuki locks in a Guillotine and doesn’t let go, but White hopes to break it by ramming Suzuki into the corner post.  White forces the break and then hits a stiff chop to Suzuki, then a Head-and-arm Suplex right into the buckle (I dunno, that’s what Rocky called it).  Delayed Brainbuster leads to a two count for White.  Suzuki calls for the chops and finally catches White’s arm before the striking combo BUT WHITE SHOVES RED SHOES INTO SUZUKI.  Complete Shot into the German Suplex and White’s back in control.  Blade Runner turns into a Rear Naked Choke, then Suzuki runs the ropes before sneaking it on again and White starts to fade.  Ten minutes past, but White’s doing everything in his power to cheat his way out.  White goes for a Low Blow but Minoru blocks it and desecrates White with a closed fist that looked horrifying, then HITS THE GOTCH STYLE POWERBOMB… WHOOPS, I MEAN PILEDRIVER, and Jay White’s no longer undefeated.  Minoru Suzuki def. Jay White via pinfall.  Try as he might, White could not cheat his way to a fourth consecutive victory.  Suzuki basically got into the ring, did his business, and then called it a day.  White’s character progression continues.  **3/4

G1 Climax 28 A Block Match:  Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Hangman Page (Bullet Club)

The Battle of the Handsomes, as Rocky dubbed this upcoming match.  Page looks to join the ranks of the wrestlers who have managed a victory in his debut tournament match against Hiroshi Tanahashi.  Page even calls it the Handsome Battle in the camera before the match, so we look to answer the question, WHO IS MORE HANDSOME?  They lock up and trade standing switches, but Page takes the Ace down with a Drop Toe Hold.  Now Tana’s in control with the arm work, Page tries to roll out of it, then they trade side headlocks, and I’m just gonna take a breather because their chain wrestling is Very Very Good.  Tana offers Page the chance to play some air guitar.  Page considers this gesture of respect before BREAKING THE GUITAR OVER HIS KNEE.  What a dick.  I dunno what you all were expecting here. Page slides out of the ring and hyperextends Tana’s knee over the apron.  Page laces Tana’s bad knee over the ropes and runs in but Tana manages a crossbody.  Hangman rolls through and locks in the Stretch Muffler!  Somewhere, Sami Callihan is seething.  Tana crawls to the bottom rope to the bottom rope but Page will not relent.  He’s looking good against Tanahashi, catching a boot, but then Tana catches Page’s boot, and will there be a Gentlemen’s Agreement to drop them at the same time?  They quarrel but eventually agree to relent simultaneously.  TANAHASHI HOLDS ON, DRAGON SCREW!  Tana takes the offensive lead, hitting a Flying Forearm that leaves Page staggered.  Bodyslam leads into a Somersault Senton for a two count.  Tana looks to run the ropes but Page gives him a boot and throws him inside.  Tana tries to skin the cat but Page shoves him off, then hits the Apron Shooting Star Press!  This guy is seriously talented.  They’re back in now and Page hits a high Dropkick into the corner, followed by a Neckbreaker from the top rope for two!  Figure Four Leg Lock now, as Page tries to submit Tana in the middle of the ring.  Tana has nowhere to go but refuses to give up.  Page continues to target the bum knee when this move, but Tana tries to turn over and now it’s the Hangman with the pressure applied to his body.  Page sneaks out of the hold and takes off his elbow pad while standing on the apron.  Tana recovers and hits a Dragon Screw through the ropes! Whoa.  Ten minutes past.  Page still pulls off the Buckshot Lariat! He goes for the Rite of Passage, but Tana counters and hits a deep Dragon Screw and both men are down.  They get up and trade clubbing forearms, but Tanahashi quickly gets the upper hand with combos.  Page hits a Superkick and tries to whip Tanahashi into the ropes, but Tana turns this into a Sling Blade! High Fly Flow crossbody!  HIGH FLY FLOW! That’s in for Page, as the Ace picks up another two crucial points.  Hiroshi Tanahashi def. Hangman Page via pinfall.  Not as good as the match he had with Okada, but Page is drawing some great reactions and looking like he belongs with the starts of New Japan.  We’re now at a three-way tie for first place in the A Block, as White, EVIL and Tanahashi all sit at six points. ***1/4

Tanahashi had an interesting comment regarding his opponent following the match: “(Adam Page) is like nobody else.  He’s too good for Bullet Club.  Leave it to me, I’ll remove the poison inside him.”  Bwwwwah!?

G1 Climax 28 A Block Match: Kazuchika Okada (CHAOS) vs. Togi Makabe

Now that the Rainmaker has his first two points of the G1 Climax, is all well and good with Okada?  He comes out and proceeds to belt Rocky over the top of the head with a balloon for shits and giggles, but he still receives a rapturous applause from the Hachioji fans.  Togi Makabe enters to his classic theme, “Music Has Been Dubbed Due to Music Rights.”  Quite the headbanger there.  Okada’s back to his red dye job, by the way.  Okada starts striking and tries the 10 punch/HA HA HA spot, but Togi’s having none of his shit and gets him down after the third punch, followed by a running Shoulder Tackle, they bail to the outside.  Okada’s got a hold of Makabe’s chain, but Makabe wrests it back from him, but before he can inflict any serious damage, Okada surprises him with a DDT and Makabe is not moving!  The crowd starts to stir for Makabe as Okada silently starts over his competitor.  The ref starts the 20-count as Okada whips Makabe in the barricade and patiently waits in the ring for him to recover.  Makabe SLOOOOOWLY rolls back into the ring at 15.  A small slam precedes a Slingshot Senton into the ring.  Okada taunts Makabe and does the lazy Jericho cover, but Red Shoes refuses to count the pinfall.  He looks like a stern father, disapproving of his son’s behavior.  Makabe sprints up and tells Okada to bring it, then Okada calls for the forearms and he looks like a kid in the ring against Makabe.  Which, I guess he is, considering the age difference.  Okada turns Makabe over into a neckbreaker and goes after Makabe, driving the knee into the small of his back while applying a Rear Hold.  Five minutes past.  Makabe manages back up to his feet and goes for the inside elbows, then whips Okada into the ropes before the Rolling Powerslam takes Okada off his feet!  Makabe blocks some Okada forearms and sends the Rainmaker down with punches right to the top of the head.  Ten heavy clubs followed by HA HA HA, but Okada blocks the following Suplex and eats a Lariat for two.  Okada blocks a German Suplex and kicks Makabe in the gut followed by a DDT and both men struggle to get to their feet.  Okada slams Makabe and calls for the Top Rope Crossbody.  Scooby Dooby Doo! Makabe kicks out at two.  The commentators are now arguing as to whether Okada actually said “Scooby Dooby Doo!” during the crossbody, which pretty much suns up my feelings about this match.  Okada hits a Missile Dropkick to send Makabe into the corner! Neckbreaker, but Makabe kicks out at two.    Some slow action next, as Okada and Makabe get ready to trade forearms.  Okada strikes, and Makabe’s knees buckle but he eventually staggers to his feet.  Okada continues to rain blows on Togi, but the Unchained Gorilla calls for more.  NOW THEY TRADE OFF BLOWS and the crowd begins to come alive in what otherwise hasn’t been a very interesting match.  Makabe finally barrels through Okada and he goes down.  TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER OUTTA NOWHERE!  Makabe dodges the Rainmaker and hits a desperation Death Valley Driver!  Both men are down now.  I’ve gotta find a way to condense these reviews some.  Okada with the Big Boot, Makabe does not go down, but Makabe has a vicious look in his eyes.  Now Okada’s down via clubbing forearms and Makabe panders to the audience to a good reception.  Leaping Powerbomb draws a kickout from Okada!  Okada’s in the corner, facing away from the center and Makabe just murders him with a forearm, then sets up the Spider German, but he eventually manages a Belly-to-belly to throw Okada to the center of the ring.  Makabe sets up for the Knee Drop, but Okada dropkicks him out of mid-air!  Rainmaker, nope, Makabe blocks him and Lariats Okada straight to hell.  OKADA WITH THE ROLLING LARIAT, FIFTEEN MINUTES PAST.  Right on cue, Rainmaker, Okada bests the veteran.  Kazuchika Okada def. Togi Makabe via pinfall.  I just don’t think I really care for Makabe all that much, but he pulled a good performance out of his ass and helped to get Okada’s new weird character over.  Okada played the hits but still kept the audience engaged the entire time.  A solid main event.  ***

Okada: “(Grunts, grunts) my second victory!  Just had to sweat a little bit this time.  I got nothing to say, actually.  First time I’m in this situation, I have nothing to say.  Thank you everybody!!”

Final Thoughts:  DEFINITELY the weakest night of the tour so far.  It was bound to happen eventually.  In the A Block, there are no more undefeated competitors, and everyone’s on the scoreboard as YOSHI-HASHI earns his first two points of the tournament.  We have a bit of a break (thank God) before Night Eight, which sees Juice Robinson taking on Kenny Omega and SANADA facing Kota Ibushi in some tasty match-ups.  See you then.

Standings (A Block):

Jay White, EVIL, Hiroshi Tanahashi – 6 pts

Togi Makabe, Michael Elgin, Kazuchika Okada, Minoru Suzuki – 4 pts

Adam Page, Bad Luck Fale, YOSHI-HASHI – 2 pts

Standings (B Block):

Kenny Omega – 6 pts

Kota Ibushi, Tomohiro Ishii, SANADA, Tetsuya Naito – 4 pts

Hirooki Goto, Tama Tonga, Zack Sabre Jr, Toru Yano – 2 pts

Juice Robinson – 0 pts

Seven down, twelve to go.