Norrissey’s G1 Climax Night Fourteen Review
4 August 2018
Live from Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium (Bodymaker Coliseum), Osaka
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 Five review here.
You can read my Night Six review here.
You can read my Night Seven review here.
You can read my Night Eight review here.
You can read my Night Nine review here.
You can read my Night Ten review here.
You can read my Night Eleven review here.
You can read my Night Twelve review here.
You can read my Night Thirteen review here.
We’re at Night Fourteen, as Osaka plays host to a pair of awesome-looking shows. The first evening sees Kenny Omega try to keep his undefeated streak going when he takes on Tomohiro Ishii. In the main event, Tetsuya Naito tries to make B Block a two-horse race and put down Kota Ibushi for good. Enjoy the action!
Your hosts for the evening are Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero.
G1 Climax 28 B Block Match: SANADA (Los Ingobernables de Japon) vs. Toru Yano (CHAOS)
B Block action commences tonight with the Cold Skull playing the straight man against Yano’s wacky antics. SANADA marches out first, and before he can make it to the ring, Yano attacks him from behind and the match is on! He attempts to tie up SANADA in the Paradise Lock, but just like the rest of the roster, he can’t properly apply it and instead he resorts to using his shirt to tie up SANADA’s legs. SANADA struggles but manages to beat the 20-count and we are properly underway. Yano attempts a couple of pinfall attempts before SANADA tries a LOOOOONG rolling cradle attempt and Yano’s looking gassed but he manages to kick out at two. They’re outside now and here’s where the real fun starts! SANADA applies the Paradise Lock on Yano and the commentators are aghast at the action. Yano calls for Rocky Romero to come help him, and he obliges, rolling Yano over so that he can beat the count. Yano’s back in and the turnbuckle come off, but SANADA dodges the turnbuckle swipe and does the Leap Frog spot before dropkicking Yano down. Yano goes outside for some shenanigans, but SANADA manages to hit a Planche and puts his opponent in the Skull End for a bit. He fastens Yano in the Paradise Lock AROUND A BARRICADE AND THEN TAPES THE BARRICADE TO A RINGPOST. Rocky’s back to help Yano again, but succumbs to his own Paradise Lock and SANADA beats the 20-count to win! SANADA def. Toru Yano via countout. An utterly hilarious match, as SANADA manages to keep his stoic demeanor the entire match and put on a comedy clinic with Toru Yano. Oh, I forgot to describe the best part. After SANADA ties up Rocky in the Paradise Lock, he manages to put Rocky’s headset on so that he could complain on air afterward. And, of course, Milano Collection is the only person who can get Rocky out of the hold. This was complete fun. ***
G1 Climax 28 B Block Match: Tama Tonga (Bullet Club/Firing Squad) vs. Hirooki Goto (CHAOS)
Hooo, boy. I hope this is a quick one. Loa accompanies his brother to the ring, and I’ll admit, his pre-match hype spot is growing on me. I really, really hope that Goto gets a good match out of Tonga. The bell sounds and they slowly circle each other as the crowd cheers for Goto. They lock up, and Goto forces Tama into the ropes before offering a clean break. They try again, and this time Tama forces Goto into the ropes before suggesting a clean break. He’s lying, of course, and Goto avoids a strike to get Tama into a side headlock. He hits a running shoulder tackle and reverses a Hip Toss to hit one of his own. Goto’s clearly on the offensive here, heading to the top rope, but one simple distraction sees Loa shove Goto off of the top rope to the floor. Tama whips Goto into the barricade along the English commentary side, and it looks like Rocky lost his headphones for a bit. The crowd boos heavily when Loa gets a chance to clothesline Goto again on the outside. The 20-count begins and Goto gets underneath the bottom rope at 14. Five minutes past. A kind of funny bit as Tama tries to pin Goto, but Asami calls out Tama for choking Goto’s neck with his knee, so Tama promptly continues to choke him by the knee. The comeback is on, as Goto dodges a mid-kick to hit a Sidestep Lariat, then a Running Corner Roundhouse kick, followed by the Saito Suplex for two. Tama gets out of Ushigoroshi and goes for the Stinger Splash but Goto puts his opponent down HARD. He positions Tama on the top rope and looks for a top rope Ushigoroshi, but Tama fights out of it and attempts what’s really a pathetic looking Piledriver. Goto manages a good-looking clothesline for two. Tama shoves Goto into Asami, and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Loa’s in and hits a Powerslam and the crowd’s not having this. The brothers position Goto up for the Guerrilla Warfare but Goto fights out of it and hits a Lariat on Loa. Ushigoroshi, no, Gun Stun, no, they run the ropes with multiple misdirections and Goto finally hits the Ushigoroshi! Ten minutes past. Damn it. Asami’s alive as Goto hits the G-T-R. One, two, nope, Fale’s out and he pulls Asami out of the ring. He whips the referee into the barricade and the bell sounds for the disqualification. But then there’s some MORE BULLSHIT, if that’s even possible, as the Tongans implore Unno to count to three after Fale Grenades Goto and puts Tama on top of him. Unno proceeds to flip off Fale and Loa, before finally calling for the DQ. Hirooki Goto def. Tama Tonga via DQ. Go ahead, defend this shit. I dare you. ¾*
G1 Climax 28 B Block Match: Zack Sabre Jr (Suzuki-Gun) vs. Juice Robinson
Now this should be a fun one! TAKA does his usual pre-match schtick and Juice emerges, looking fired up and ready to go. The announcer, to his credit, announces that despite Juice’s hand being healed, he’s still wearing the cast, and should he use it he will be disqualified. They start slow, Sabre gently kicking at Juice’s hand, before they trade arm bars and Juice makes the rope. Before you know it, Juice levies Sabre with a thick chop to the corner and another forearm sends Zack to the floor. Slow and physical to start, my kind of party. Sabre with multiple Uppercuts, before another chop sends him down. Juice goes for another uppercut before falling into a Cobra Twist, then Sabre locks in the Cross Armbreaker, stomping on the arm to send Juice outside the ring. He’s back in and tries to keep his bad arm away from the Submission Specialist. An early attempt at the Juice Box sees Zack tie up Juice AGAIN, torqueing the arm around. Sabre playfully kicks at Juice’s hand before slapping him repeatedly in the face, and before you know it, Juice sends Zack down with a good-looking clothesline. Five minutes past. Juice Punches rain down upon Sabre and Robinson manages a Planche over the ropes to fire Osaka up. High kick misses and Juice readies for a Spinebuster but Sabre manages a front Guillotine, really wreaking havoc on the bad arm. Juice tries a Vertical Suplex but Sabre sneaks behind with a Rear Choke! Robinson forces Sabre into the corner, and with a quick shoutout to Kevin Owens (CANNONBALL!), he begins to take the lead. Jackhammer from Juice gets a two count. Juice Box attempt finally connects, but Sabre manages to kick out at two. Juice’s looking real hurt, as Sabre has a submission counter to everything he’s giving him. Ten minutes past. Sabre somehow manages to turn a Pulp Friction attempt into a Triangle Choke and continues to deny Juice the rope break. And yet Juice manages to hit a Powerbomb onto Sabre to break this hold. He unwraps the cast and hands the fabric to Red Shoes, before CONNECTING a Left Punch to Sabre’s face. The follow-up attempt at Pulp Friction stalls before Sabre Pele Kicks the hand and manages Orienteering by Napalm Death. Sabre manages to tie up all four of Juice’s limbs but he refuses to submit. Unno calls it anyways. That was sick. Zack Sabre Jr def. Juice Robinson via pinfall. Robinson, without a doubt, is the biggest babyface the company has. Such a neat little contest. Sabre looked like such the aggressive asshole and Robinson continueds to look great in defeat. This will be an awesome US Heavyweight Title match whenever it happens. ***3/4
G1 Climax 28 B Block Match: Tomohiro Ishii (CHAOS) vs. Kenny Omega (Bullet Club)
Well, considering the fact that these two put on the greatest match I’ve ever seen in person (at Long beach last July), I am FUCKING PUMPED FOR THIS MATCH. In fact, their entire trio of matches last year were great. This should be a war, to make it blunt. They lock up, Ishii quickly forced into the ropes before Kenny playfully allows Ishii out of the ropes. Now it’s Ishii’s turn to offer a break, and Kenny continues to toy with Ishii, seemingly forgetting what a tough old bastard Ishii is. Ishii tries to Spear Omega right through his stomach, but Kenny dodges this and chops away at Ishii’s chest. Ishii hits a HARD Running Shoulder Tackle and a sweet Brainbuster, but he’s not content to go for the pinfall just yet. Hard chops from Ishii now, and Kenny does some silly selling in the process. Kenny goes for the eye rake, and then stands Ishii right on his head with the DDT, but only gets two. It doesn’t matter, though, because TOMOHIRO ISHII, YOU CAN’T ESCAPE! Ishii indeed cannot escape, but still kicks out at two. Omega settles into a Front Face hold and I can finally breathe for a little bit. Five minutes past. Kenny stomps at the back of Ishii’s neck, but Ishii displays what some people would call a smile and starts with the DEEP chops into Omega’s neck. Omega sends some of his own and runs the ropes before succumbing to a running Powerslam from Ishii. Saito Suplex and Omega’s the one now in trouble, but he kicks out at two. Ishii looks for a Powerbomb but Kenny escapes and delivers a Snap-Rana. Crowd’s alive now! Ishii falls outside and the crowd claps along for the Rise of the Terminator. He hits the flip over the top rope and HOLY CRAP that looked amazing. They’re back in and Kenny manages the Kitaro Krusher for two. Considering that he’s working with a fractured foot, this is all something else. Ishii forces Kenny into the corner and they both deliver some wicked chops to each other. A stunning forearm knocks Omega down into the corner, and he’s looking limp as Ishii whips him into the corner. All of a sudden, Ishii delivers a German Suplex into the corner! Omega looks dead now. Ten minutes past. They’re on the top rope and Ishii manages a Superplex for two. These two have insane chemistry. Omega’s whipped into the ropes but he dodges a Lariat and manages to hit a Tornado DDT, followed by the V-Trigger! Kitaro Krusher again, nope, Ishii manages a German Suplex and then a Sliding Lariat for a two count. He tries to set up Omega for his own One-Winged Angel but Kenny fights out and gets Ishii facing toward the corner. V-Trigger to the back of Ishii’s head, followed by the Last Ride Powerbomb, BUT ISHII KICKS OUT AT TWO. Omega’s clearly bleeding from the mouth at this point. Ishii’s kneeling at the center of the mat, and Omega delivers multiple Short Knees to send Ishii to the floor. He takes another, but this time Ishii begins to come back to life! Omega hits two more V-Triggers and a Snap Dragon, but Ishii calls for more! One more V-Trigger gets two. This crowd is entirely behind Ishii. Ishii fights out of an OWA and hits a Snap Dragon suplex of his own. Omega gets out of it and goes for a Snap Dragon, but Ishii turns this into a Powerbomb and the crowd begins to lose their minds. Fifteen minutes past. They’re on the mat and clubbing each other with limp forearms. Back to their feet now, and Ishii is rattled but he refuses to go down. He lays into Omega with a series of elbows before Omega manages a reverse Rana to drive Ishii’s head right into the mat. Ishii’s neck must be killing him right now, assuming he has one. Kenny hits ANOTHER V-Trigger to send Ishii out of the ring. SPRINGBOARD DOUBLE STOMP TO ISHII, WHO’S SENT TO THE FLOOR. The crowd gasps at that one. Now Kenny’s going to the top rope and hits a Springboard Dropkick to the back of the head followed by a Twisting Neckbreaker for two. They’re both bleeding heavily from the mouth at this point. Kenny tries another V-Trigger, but Ishii sidesteps him and hits a German, but Omega lands on his feet and eventually counters into the Jay Driller, but OH MY GOD ISHII KICKS OUT AGAIN. What the hell is this match even. Kenny brings a knee pad down and destroys Ishii with the V-Trigger again, but ISHII KICKS OUT AGAIN! Oh man. Twenty minutes past. One more OWA attempt sees Ishii manage a desperation Crucifix pinfall attempt for two. Ishii starts to fire up and slugs away at Kenny with forearms, before two crushing headbutts and a Lariat gets two. Out of nowhere, Kenny hits a devastating Brainbuster, BUT ISHII KICKS OUT AT ONE. One more amazing Lariat, Enziguiri and ISHII HITS THE BRAINBUSTER AND PINS THE IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION CLEAN IN THE CENTER OF THIS RING! Tomohiro Ishii def. Kenny Omega via pinfall. Je. Sus. Christ. That was nuts, and Kenny’s lip looks like it’s about to fall off of his face as he’s helped to the back. That was bonkers in every sense of the word. The crowd was along for the ride the entire time, and their rematch at King of Pro Wrestling will be INCREDIBLE. Oh, sorry, ***** by the way.
G1 Climax 28 B Block Match: Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito (Los Ingobernables de Japon)
Not for the first time during this tournament, the B Block main event has to follow a Tomohiro Ishii classic. Pro wrestling in 2018, everybody. Kota’s essentially fighting for his tournament life, as he’s sitting two points behind his opponent, Tetsuya Naito, and four points behind the tournament leader, Kenny Omega. Naito, of course, is wrestling in the very building (Osaka Prefectural) where the fans mercilessly booed his ass all the way to Wrestle Kingdom 8 all those years ago. This is the fourth meeting between the two men, with Naito holding the 2-1 advantage. He’s taking his time getting undressed, making the Undertaker impatient in the process. The bell sounds and they lock up with Kota going behind quickly. Naito quickly manages wrist control and goes for the eyes; you can already sense that this will be fun! They run the ropes against each other several times before Naito does the Tranquilo pose and rolls outside to boos. Ibushi implores Naito to come inside, and the ref starts the 20-count, but Naito charges in and looks to take control. Ibushi scores with an impressive dropkick and Naito rolls out of bounds once again. Ibushi suggests a Planche and OH SHIT he goes for the German on the apron but Naito holds on for dear life. Instead, Naito hits a Missile Dropkick to Ibushi’s weak left knee and he falls to the floor in agony. Boos rain down from the Osaka crowd, something Naito’s definitely used to by now. Naito cordially introduces Ibushi to the English commentary table as Kelly and Rocky are displaced for the time being. Ibushi gingerly makes it back into the ring at 11 and Naito continues to target the knee with kicks and boots. Ibushi’s now seated in the corner and looking rough. He might be one of the best sellers in the wrestling world at the moment. Naito gets a two count with his Backbreaker/Low Dropkick combo and he spits, not at Ibushi, but at the fans for booing him. That’s some real heat. Ibushi manages a Double Stomp on Naito’s chest! We’re back to 50-50 as Ibushi hits a Spinning Mid-Kick and then a Flying Mid-Kick, Standing Moonsault! Naito quickly manages to kick out. He then gets Ibushi in the corner and snaps the neck down over his knee in a good little spot. Ibushi with the Snap-Rana! And Naito rolls to the floor. Ten minutes past. TRIANGLE MOONSAULT TO THE OUTSIDE, and the Golden Star collapses afterward. Unno starts the 20-count for both men, and Ibushi rolls Naito back in at 15. He goes up top, but Naito gets back on his feel as it looks like desperation is setting in for him. Naito climbs up and strikes the top of Ibushi’s head, but Kota’s relenting at the challenge. He actually manages to dump Naito over the top rope! Naito’s back up on the apron as Ibushi looks to Deadlift German Naito back into the ring from the second rope! Tetsuya gets out of it, though, and turns Ibushi inside out with the Missile Dropkick into the far corner, followed by the Cabron Combination!! Naito’s got Ibushi in the Figure Four, but Ibushi responds by trading slaps with his opponent right before he makes it to the ropes. Naito continues the target the knee before hitting the Inverted Atomic Drop and the Flying Forearm, but before he can hit the Destino Kota hits the Half-and-half and we’re back to square one. Fifteen minutes past and they start to slug at each other as they try to make it to their feel. Ibushi manages some kicks to Naito’s left hip, and he responds by going after Ibushi’s knee again. Naito catches Ibushi’s leg before spitting right in his face. Oh, that is just gross. Ibushi teases a Package Piledriver before Naito rolls out of it and hits the SICKEST PACKAGE PILEDRIVER THIS SIDE OF KEVIN STEEN. Naito connects with Gloria, and that looks vicious. It’s about time to finish Ibushi off, as Naito drapes Ibushi over the top rope and hits an awesome-looking Neckbreaker but only manages to get a two count. Red Shoes calls for Naito to take a powder so he can check on the health of Ibushi, but of course Naito does not care, of course, as he begins to drag Ibushi to his feet. The next thing you know, Ibushi hits a mighty high kick to knock Naito to the floor! Naito flips Ibushi into the red corner before hitting an Enziguiri, and he then goes to the top rope before eating a Pele Kick from Ibushi! Nuts. Twenty minutes past. Why is today the day all the wrestlers decided to bleep from the mouth? Ibushi’s looking to Piledrive Naito from the second rope, but Naito wisely gets out of it and starts clubbing on Ibushi from the side. He tightrope walks around Ibushi and tries the Super Reverse Rana, BUT IBUSHI LANDS ON HIS FEET and turns Naito inside out with a thumping Lariat! We’re about eight minutes away from the time-limit draw, and Kota’s definitely screwed if that happens. Naito tries to crawl out of the ring again, but Ibushi gets him ready, and DEADLIFT GERMANS NAITO’S BODY INTO THE RING. NAITO KICKS OUT. Not the greatest camera angle but it still looked scary as fuck. Last Ride Powerbomb connects, but Naito kicks out at two! Now the crowd decides to cheer for Naito, as he dodges a Kamigoye, and a second Kamigoye, and hits the DES-TINOOOOOOOOO, and IBUSHI’s out at two! A second Destino sees Ibushi drop his opponent on his head, before he does the Nakamura YEAOH taunt, and a BOMAYE connects, but Naito manages to squirm out of that at the last second! Holy fuck. Twenty-five minutes past, and the Kamigoye finally lands to end the match. Kota Ibushi def. Tetsuya Naito via pinfall. That had the tough task of following Omega vs. Ishii, and there was some sloppiness interspersed throughout the match, but the two men put on an entertaining encounter with some jaw-dropping moments (especially that Deadlift German from the apron). Ibushi makes the B Block all the murkier with his victory, moving to ten points and drawing level with Naito. ****1/4
Final Thoughts: This evening’s card will be up there when it comes times to consider the Card of the Tournament. Ishii finally hands Omega his first loss and looks to challenge for the belt in October. If you ask me, this telegraphs the notion that Kazuchika Okada is winning the tournament, and we are getting Okada vs. Omega V at WK13. And, hey, as someone that’s going to do everything in his ability to go to that show, I am completely OK with that. But regardless, there’s still some drama to happen, as all six men who were eligible to win the G1 are still options. I hope for a quick turnaround for Night Fifteen, which sees Hiroshi Tanahashi take on former tag partner Michael Elgin, and Kazuchika Okada meet up with EVIL in the main event. See ya!
Standings (A Block):
Tanahashi Hiroshi – 12 pts
Jay White, Kazuchika Okada – 10 pts
EVIL*, Minoru Suzuki* – 8 pts
Bad Luck Fale*, Michael Elgin* – 6 pts
Togi Makabe*, Hangman Page* – 4 pts
YOSHI-HASHI* – 2 pts
Standings (B Block):
Kenny Omega – 12 pts
Tetsuya Naito, Kota Ibushi – 10 pts
SANADA*, Zack Sabre Jr* – 8 pts
Tomohiro Ishii*, Hirooki Goto* – 6 pts
Juice Robinson* – 4 pts
Tama Tonga*, Toru Yano* – 2 pts
* = eliminated
Fourteen down, five to go.