Norrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Review Night Two

G1 Climax 28 Review Night Two

15 July 2018

LIVE from the Ota Central Gymnasium, Oka-tu, Tokyo


You can find my preview for the entire tournament here.

You can find my Night One review here.


The B Block finally gets the chance to make their initial impressions as they kick off with singles action.  Meanwhile, the men of the A Block square off again in tag matches to set up Night Three.

Your commentators are once again Kevin Kelly, Don Callis and Rocky Romero.  This is apparently Don’s last night before the Block Finals, as he flies home for what’s like Impact Wrestling work. 

Michael Elgin and Shota Umino vs. Hangman Page and Chase Owens (Bullet Club)

Umino gets his first crack at the G1 Young Lion opening spot, teaming with Elgin against Page and Owens.  Kelly makes note of the work EVIL did on Elgin’s right arm, musing over whether or not that will affect him going forward in the tournament.  I love it when commentators do things like that.  Elgin and Page to start.  They give each other tense stares until Owens attacks Elgin from behind.  Elgin gets the upper hand and Umino tags in.  They hit some basic tag offense before Umino leaves Page in by himself.  Page murders Umino with a punch to the face before going after Elgin.  Page then dropkicks Elgin while hitting Umino with a standing moonsault! Impressive.  Owens come in and whips Umino into the corner HARD.  Page back in, and they are looking good as a duo, keeping Umino far, far away from Elgin’s corner.  Umino hits a sick dropkick, and the hot tag is on! Elgin slides out of the ring and murders Page with a punch of his own!  Falcon Arrow for two.  BICYCLE KICK MAGGLE from Owens.  Umino tags in, and you can sense the end is near.  Nice spinebuster from Umino into the full Boston Crab.  Page tries to break up the hold with punches but Umino holds on! Again! Rolling elbow from Page, Owens with the Superkick, Page runs out for the Apron Shooting Star on Elgin, and Owens finishes Umino with the Duel Heist (hammerlock lariat).  Chase Owens and Hangman Page def. Michael Elgin and Shota Umino via pinfall.  Umino had a much better outing than Narita yesterday, showing great heart and fire, especially when Page tried to break up the submission hold.  **3/4

EVIL and BUSHI (Los Ingobernables de Japon) vs. YOSHI-HASHI and SHO (CHAOS)

It looks like SHO and YOH will stay separate for the tour to compliment their heavyweight CHAOS brethren.  YOSHI-HASHI and EVIL to start as a precursor to their upcoming A Block match.  Callis notes that YOSHI looks much leaner and healthier since the last G1.  He’s not wrong.  Also, his new gear looks awesome compared to the baggy mess of years past.  Delayed brainbuster from YOSHI early; it looks like a signature move going forward for him.  EVIL takes an early beating until YOSHI eats the mat courtesy of BUSHI grabbing the legs.  EVIL then sends YOSHI over the barricade, with BUSHI targeting SHO in a similar manner.  BUSHI comes in and starts to tag YOSHI with his T-Shirt before hitting the dropkick from the top rope.  BUSH-A-ROONIE!  YOSHI manages to hit the Head Hunter and tags in SHO.  SHO’s looking great as a hot tag.  Deadlift German attempt fails, as BUSHI hits a stand enziguiri and tags in EVIL.  SHO manages to lock in a cross armbreaker as BUSHI takes out YOSHI outside.  Back in the ring, EVIL misses a splash and some combo offense gets two.  BUSHI hits the MX on SHO before a new submission EVIL calls the Banshee Muzzle puts SHO out.  EVIL and BUSHI def. YOSHI-HASHI and SHO via submission.  YOSHI-HASHI looks like a man with new purpose since this G1 started.  He’s leaner and meaner, and his new moves look quite impressive against the much larger EVIL.  Pretty standard tag match otherwise.  **3/4

Minoru Suzuki and El Desperado (Suzuki-Gun) vs. Togi Makabe and Toa Henare

Get this: Suzuki and Desparado jumped the bell to kick things off! Henare and Makabe manage to withstand the onslaught, as they go to town on Desperado in the ring to start.  Henare starts the Maori War Dance before walking right into the Triangle rope armbreaker from Suzuki.  Makabe eats the guardrail soon after, as Suzuki begins to carry him through the crowd.  Makabe then takes a chair to his back while underneath a guardrail, and I don’t care if it’s your night off from the G1, that just fucking looks like it hurts.  Don gets hit with something off camera.  Callis: “I think I just had a minor heart attack.” Kelly: “At least it was only a minor one.”  Henare manages to shoulder tackle Minoru down before tagging in Togi.  Ten punch count and HA HA HA on Suzuki.  They trade slugging blows before Makabe gets the chance to tag Henare back in.  Henare hits the big shoulder tackle off the top rope as the foolish Desparado thinks maybe THIS is the time to break things up.  However, Suzuki isolates Henare and hits the GSP outta nowhere for the win.  Minoru Suzuki and El Desperado def. Togi Makabe and Toa Henare via pinfall.  It’s not surprising that Henare took the L, but the suddenness of the ending kinda took things out of the match.  It’s like a producer got in the referee’s ear and said “Make them go home NOW” and they obliged.  I’m not particularly excited for Makabe vs. Suzuki. **

Post-match, Suzuki chokes out a Young Lion and then kicks the barricade in front of the English commentary team.  Callis lets out some of the most HILARIOUS yells while scurrying away.

Bad Luck Fale and Tanga Loa (Bullet Club/Firing Squad) vs. Kazuchika Okada and Gedo (CHAOS)

Okada’s back to the red-and-black pants and the goofy-ass balloons. Kelly: “Fans are curious as to what it all means.” IT MEANS HE DOESN’T HAVE THE TITLE AND DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO ACT WITHOUT IT.  This isn’t Heart of Darkness, Kelly.  Okada and Fale start us off.  It looks like New Japan is getting into the habit of having the future G1 opponents try and start the tag match again each other.  Fale sends Okada to the ring corner before missing a splash and eating the DDT.  Loa sneaks in to assist Fale before eating a crossbody from Okada.  Romero explains the origins of the Scooby Dooby Doo reference during the crossbody, and of course it has to do with Okada’s friendship with Ospreay.  Fale steamrolls Okada with a shoulder tackle that ranks about 0.6 on the Keith Lee scale.  Loa tags in and hits Okada with multiple corner tackles.  Gedo’s in now and quickly gets double-teamed by the Firing Squad.  Okada manages to clothesline Fale out of the ring, as Geo is left alone with Loa.  COME ON RAINTAKER! Gedo tries multiple roll-ups before Loa scores a Tongan Driver for the three-count.  After the match, Fale tries to hit Okada with the Bad Luck Fale outside the ring before the Rainmaker manages to escape.  Tanga Loa and Bad Luck Fale def. Kazuchika Okada and Gedo via pinfall.  Your standard plodding affair featuring Fale and Loa, and not much to offer from Okada or Gedo.  In fact, Gedo’s only real action were the last few minutes before he ate the pin.  Next.  **1/4

“Switchblade” Jay White and YOH vs.  Hiroshi Tanahashi and Cactus Jack Finlay

This upcoming G1 Climax match will serve as the rematch between the then-debuting Knife Pervert and the Ace of the Universe for the IWGP Intercontential Title match.  White, knowing that this tag match doesn’t serve much purpose (hey, just like reviewing this tag match!) initially thinks to walk out on the match before coming back and tagging in YOH.  Tanahashi opts to tag in Finlay as well, so I guess technically they’re starting the match.  Finlay hits the shoulder tackle on YOH but turns his back on the blue corner and White STRAIGHT UP FLINGS HIM into the turnbuckle.  Tanahashi is incensed and begins brawling with White outside of the ring.  Of course, he takes a barricade for his troubles.  White does his alternating apron toss/barricade toss to Finlay, and if THAT becomes a regular move of his, I’m on board.  White lays into Finlay with a massive chop but eats a Urinage backbreaker and Tanahashi comes in and plays the hits for us.  He hits the somersault senton as the crowd comes alive with chants of “GO ACE!”  Tana waves bye-bye to Jay White and hits the Dragon Screw, but White manages to hit an insanely high side Saito suplex.  YOH and Finlay both come in and YOH hits the Flashy Flying Forearm in a cool spot.  SUPERKICK from YOH followed by the Falcon Arrow, doing the deal in the process.  Outside the ring, Switchblade grabs a chair and welps Tana with it.  He then implores YOH to use the chair on Finlay, but because YOH’s a stupid-ass babyface, he naturally throws the chair down and walks right into a Stunner from Finlay.  White refuses to break up the pin as punishment.  Hiroshi Tanahashi and Dave Finlay def. YOH and Jay White via pinfall.  That was an interested and fast-paced tag match after the White stalling, and it accomplished loads in getting White’s character over as a selfish, narcissistic, “I’m only out here for myself and fuck you if you forget that” heel.  Tana and Finlay didn’t do too much but it was still very entertaining.  ***1/4

G1 Climax B Block Match:  Tomohiro Ishii (CHAOS) vs. Toru Yano (CHAOS)

Good, get the quick G1 match out of the way first.  Now, this is a big test for Toru Yano, as he stands to compete in his first G1 Climax match… without resorting to cheating or other dirty, underhanded tactics.  Ishii will likely have none of his shit.  Yano takes a moment to settle himself before beginning with trading clubbing blows with Ishii! Yano with an arm drag, a side throw and a tackle in quick succession! Kelly: “What have you done with our Yano?”  Outside the ring, Ishii throws Yano into the guardrail and down goes Rocky!  Yano contemplates using the chair on Ishii but decides against it.  Back in the ring, Ishii hits some chops as Yano leans against the ropes and considers seppuku as an honorable way to end the match.  Side suplex from Ishii, but Yano kicks out before the three.  Inverted Atomic Drop from Yano, and OH NOOOO, Yano goes for un-doing the turnbuckle pad.  So much for that.  Ishii runs into the exposed steel as Yano, once again, swipes Rob Van Dam’s taunt. Yano! To! Ru!! Ishii tries to catch him at the end of the taunt but instead gets slingshotted into the steel.  Yano then eats the exposed turnbuckle as Ishii begins his chop/slug combination.  Yano has quite the red chest at the moment.

Backslide from Yano for two, inside cradle follows for two.  Ishii gives a rare-for-him weak headbutt and eats the middle turnbuckle for a roll-up and a two count.  Ishii calls for the blows from Yano before giving the receipt. INSANE STRIKE FROM YANO that sends Ishii to the mat.  Belly to belly from Yano!  Who is this guy?  Clothesline from Hell for Ishii gets a two.  Callis: “Why can’t we see this Yano more often?”  Ishii and Yano then execute a ri-goddamn-diculous exchange of low blow attempts before Ishii hits Yano with the kick to the dick! Nakamura, take some notes.  He then rolls up Yano for the one, two, three!  Tomohiro Ishii def. Toru Yano via low blow and roll-up.  This was a THOROUGHLY entertaining match, as Yano pulled out some more than competent wrestling while still employing a small amount of cheating and a lot of comedy.  See, this is why the Toru Yano character works.  We know he can produce the goods when he needs too, but he just deliberately chooses not to and instead resorts to hair pulls and low blows.  Ishii winning via Yano-endorsed methods was the icing on the cake.  ***1/4

G1 Climax B Blockmatch: Juice Robinson vs. Tama Tonga (Bullet Club/Firing Squad)

Big first match for Tonga, as he’s coming off a hot angle from the G1 Special in San Fran and needs to bring it in his third G1 Climax (especially since his first two outings weren’t all that great, to put it mildly).  Juice coming out with the US Heavyweight Title makes me so damn happy.  Standard cast rules apply for this contest (that being, of course, if Juice relies on the cast for offense we will have a DQ).  Lock up to start as Tama brings Juice down to the mat with a headscissors.  They trade hammerlocks back and forth, and this is a very wrestling-heavy start tot this wrestling match.  GENERIC INDY STANDOFF, and as Tama figures out his next move, a clear JUICE chant breaks out.  Tama throws Juice outside, and as Juice turns his attention to Loa, Tonga sneaks up from behind to take control of the match.  Juice becomes acquainted with the ring post soon after, and Tama tries to re-break his hand on the guardrail, to no avail.  Juice: “Come on, motherfucker, right now!” I bet the English speakers love getting away with cursing on New Japan shows.

Multiple arm drags and a hip-toss as the match finally starts to pick up steam.  Juice appears to have tweaked his hand and Tama displays care and sympathy by dropkicking him out of the ring.  Loa takes off Juice’s head with a lariat and it’s Devitt-era BC all over again.  The dreaded 20-count makes its first appearance of the night but Juice manages to squeeze back into the ring.  Juice avoids a splash and gets Tama into an Electric Chair position before Tama hits an impressive neck breaker for a two.  Tama getting the Michael Jordan height with a corner splash for two.  Tama begins to put the pressure on Juice’s bad hand, and I can’t help wonder if his Air Jordans are custom-made for him to wrestle in.  Juice manages to escape and start the Juice Punches, but Tama quickly counters with a Front Face chokehold.  Ron Burgundy: “CAN-NON-BALL!”  Juice finally hits the face first drop from the Electric Chair, and this suddenly becomes a Very Even Match.  Juice calls for Pulp Friction as Loa jumps on the apron.  Juice pulls Loa into the ring and lays into him with Juice Punches, including a strike with the broken hand! Pulp Friction into GUN STUN! Tama Tonga gets the win.  Tama Tonga def. Juice Robinson via pinfall.  In what’s likely a theme going forward, Tama Tonga relied on the antics and exploits of his brother to cheat and win.  I don’t mind this as it’s harkening back to the OGBC days when Devitt and Styles relied on their stablemates to pick up victories against more threatening opponents.  Juice looked pretty good here, a far cry from his performances 18 months ago.  I’d be down for the cast to stay on for the course of the tournament and have it play into the matches.  **3/4

G1 Climax B Block Match:  Hirooki Goto (CHAOS) vs. SANADA (Los Ingobernables de Japon)

This is their second G1 Climax match, as SANADA defeated Goto in the 2016 tournament before Goto went on to win the block and meet Kenny Omega in the finals.  They lock up and perform some perfectly acceptable chain wrestling.  Shoulder block from Goto as SANADA eats an arm drag and a clothesline sends SANADA over the ring rope.  He’s quickly up, though and hits a Missile Dropkick off the top rope!  The action spills outside as sends Goto headfirst into the guardrail.  SANADA drags Goto back to the ring, hitting the clubbing elbow to the back of the NEVER Champion.  SANADA attempts a standing Moon Sault, but after missing, he lands on his feet and kicks Goto on the back of his head! That was cool.  Goto follows a spinning back heel kick with a Saito Suplex for two.  SANADA performs the leaping frog combo with a quick Planche in an awesome display of explosiveness.  See, that sort of stuff is why people touted him as a future IWGP Champion.  They trade some snug blows before SANADA hits a HUGE Uppercut.  Goto catches SANADA and turns him into the Ushigoroshi.  Jerry Lawler: “The Ushigo-whatta?”  GTR is reversed into Skull End as SANADA picks up Goto and SPINS HIM AROUND while keeping the hold on.  Ushigorishi from SANADA! Skull End fully locked in!  Goto, being the sweaty beautiful man that he is, worms his way out of the hold.  SANADA goes for the Moon Sault but comes up empty!   This would be the spot in their NEVER Title match where they would show a camera shot of the belt.  SANADA takes a Goto lariat and almost lands on his head in a scary spot.  We can’t lose two L.I.J. members at the same time!  Goto goes for the PK but SANADA catches him and after an O’Connor roll, gets Goto back in the Skull End! Shouten Kai attempt! Ridiculous headbutt from Goto! Reverse GTR follows, Goto goes for the regular GTR, but SANADA rolls him up for the two point nine nine nine! Moon Sault into Skull End! Draping Reverse GTR from the ropes! G-T-R for the One-Two-Three! Hirooki Goto def. SANADA via pinfall.  That was a really fun that picked up steam after they returned from fighting outside.  SANADA has so many interesting and cool ways to put his opponents in the Skull End, making for an exciting final few minutes of the match.  I don’t really see SANADA at the NEVER Openweight level, so hopefully he ends up in the US or Intercontinental Title scenes over the next year.  Good win for Goto to start off his G1 tournament.  ****

G1 Climax B Block Match: Kota Ibushi (Golden Elite) vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (Suzuki-Gun)

As stated yesterday, Sabre and Ibushi are 1-1 in New Japan singles matches, with Zack rebounding from losing their G1 27 match by submitting him in the New Japan Cup.  Kota wears a T-Shirt to the ring that says CAN’T STOP LOVING and my heart starts to melt when thinking about August 11th.  They take a methodical approach to star as Zack focuses on controlling Ibushi’s arms.  A Test of Strength is underway, with first Kota and then Zack taking the lead.  They stalemate again before Ibushi brings Sabre down for the pin, followed by a bridging escape.  Zack takes control with several pin attempts of his own before Ibushi reaches the ropes.  God, every time I look away from the TV to make sure I’m still typing properly, I look back and they’re in a new position or sequence.  Ibushi monkey flips Sabre before they both bridge out of a double pin.  They haven’t let go of each other’s hands in quite some time.  Zack flips Kota over his back and they are STILL holding onto each other.  They start kicking each other on the side hips before finally getting go of each other, and the STRIKES ARE A-COMING.  Zack hits the European Uppercut before Kota unleashes his signature strikes! Standing Moonsault gets two.  Ibushi goes for the Triangle Moonsault to the outside, but Sabre hooks Kota’s heel in his first of 277 unique counters to Kota’s offense.  It’s all leg and ankle work for Sabre now.  Kota strikes Zack with a closed fist and gets admonished by Red Shoes for the move.  Later, Sabre has Ibushi in a bridging leg hook, and now I imagine Sabre’s happy, happy, happy dreams about tying up his opponents.  Kota makes it to the ropes, as a small “Ibushi” chants starts.  Kota hits a hard kick to the chest after Zack misses a sweeping kick of his own.  Zack goes for a low running dropkick and EATS A SICK DOUBLE LEG STOMP by Ibushi that honestly, almost looked like a botch.  They’re back outside now after an Ibushi Planche, and then back inside as Sabre misses a Kota dive and transitions into a Half-crab.  Pele kick caught and turned into an Ankle Lock by Sabre! Both men are down after a thunderous Ibushi Lariat.  Sabre somehow locks in an Omaplata while simultaneously driving Ibushi’s knee to the matt, but Kota still somehow made it to the ropes.  Ibushi with the Powerslam. Misses the Moonsault.  Zack hits two consecutive PKs but somehow only gets two.  They look spent and it’s only their first G1 matches.  Stiff kicks from both competitors to the other’s legs before Ibushi takes the lead.  Ibushi flips through a German and hits the open palm to Zack!  The two men are facing each other on their knees and Sabre begins open slapping Kota.  The start going back on forth before Sabre starts with the uppercuts.  Kota puts Zack on the ropes facing away from the ring and gives him a gnarly kick to the spine, followed by a German Suplex for the bridge and the two-count! This match is nuts.  Ibushi readies his opponent for the Kamigoye but Sabre manages to roll up his opponent for two.  Last Ride Powerbomb for two! We are twenty minutes in and I honestly have no idea how this match is going to end.  Sabre sneaks in an Octopus Hold and he has control of the arms.  But suddenly, Ibushi breaks the hold and lifts Sabre up for the Tombstone.  His knee, however, can’t support the weight and he collapses to the ground.  Kota hits the release German! Straight kick to the head.  Ibushi rolls down the kneepad as the end is near… wait, no Zack does a roll up for two! Back to the kneebar for Sabre, Ibushi hits a German Suplex for two, KAMIGOYE!!! One, two, three!  Kota Ibushi def. Zack Sabre Jr. via pinfall.  WHOA.  A great, great match between two world-class athletes.  They managed to take one of the most boring things to watch in wrestling (the test of strength/not letting go of the other’s hands) and made at least five of the most compelling minutes of wrestling I’ve watched in a while, AND managed to tie it into the ending of the match.  Along the way we got a lot of interesting submissions, counters to submissions, and a whole lot of fun along the way.  Remember when this was supposed to be a Cruiserweight Classic match?  ****1/2

G1 Climax B Block Match:  Kenny Omega (Bullet Club/Golden Elite) vs. Tetsuya Naito (Los Ingobernables de Japon)

And then we get to follow that with this?  This, of course, being their rematch from the G1 27 Finals, which was itself a rematch of the G1 26 B Block finals.  And it’s their first match of the tournament.  Amazing job, Gedo, as per usual.  Naito takes his time to get undressed before the match gets going.  CAN’T HE UNDERSTAND I HAVE TO FINISH THIS REVIEW BEFORE WORK TODAY?  Kenny channeling his inner KUSHIDA by pointing at his non-existent timepiece.  The crowd sounds VERY Pro-Naito, but there are some Omega chants underneath.  Omega follows up a side headlock with a shoulder tackle, then runs up to him before casually walking over his back.  Wow, I didn’t know Kenny was such a dick in real life.  Naito follows with his own back-walking sequence before firing off an imaginary bullet.  SHOTS FIRED!  Naito fakes diving out of the ring before trying to spit on Kenny. Of course, he hits the New Japan doctor instead.  Kenny starts with quick kicks to Naito’s back before running him into the turnbuckle.  A quick backbreaker gets two for Omega before he settles into a Crossface to buy some time.  Naito hits the ropes to break the hold, but once they get up, Kenny strikes Naito with a kidney strike.  A second kidney strike follows.  Don openly muses that Kenny Omega might be the greatest IWGP Champion of all time.  I nearly spit out my Coke as a result, so thanks for that, Don.  Kenny kicks Naito before attempting a Powerbomb setup, but Naito manages to block.  Omega responds with a helluva chop, but Naito hip tosses Omega and hits his low dropkick.  Naito then delivers THE LOOGIE OF DOOM to Kenny’s face.  What is it about these boys and sanitation?   Kenny sets up for You Can’t Escape but Naito does indeed escape and hits a backbreaker/neck breaker combo for two.  Leg sweep is countered by Kenny into a successful You Can’t Escape for two.  There’s a lot of shit happening in this match.  Naito takes a Side Suplex into the apron as Kenny goes to tear up the mats outside the floor.  NAITO DROPKICK WHEN KENNY WASN’T LOOKING! Kenny’s head eats the concrete floor.  Naito finally manages to hit his leg sweep/dropkick combo.  Frankensteiner from Omega, while Naito takes a powder outside.  Terminator clap from the audience, but Naito sneaks back in and hits a Swinging DDT for two!  Omega hits a sliding dropkick and knocks Naito into the crowd.  SPRINGBOARD DIVE FROM OMEGA OVER THE BARRICADE TO NAITO!  You knew that spot was coming at some point in this match.  Kenny climbs the top turnbuckle for a dive, but Naito manages to push him low to knock him down.  Naito goes up for a Frankensteiner, but Omega manages to knock Naito face-first into the turnbuckle pad! Gutwrench powerbomb by Kenny, and then he signals for the V-Trigger, but misses.  Omega rolls out of a German, and then an insane sequence results in a V-Trigger, OWA turns into a reverse Rana out of desperation for Naito!  Naito puts Kenny back on the top rope and hits the Rana! Gloria! Omega kicks out!  Destino set-up fails as Omega strikes Naito across the face with an elbow.  They start running the ropes before… V-TRIGGER FROM HELL! Naito sneaks in a DESTINO! Setup for the proper Destino, Croyt’s Wrath turns into a Piledriver modifier for two! Fans are giving up their lungs in order to scream NAITO! NAITO!  Omega locks in the Full Nelson for a Dragon Suplex, Naito escapes, but Kenny hits a roll kick instead. Naito’s face is buried in the turnbuckle, and Kenny hits the nastiest V-Trigger in a part where I openly winced.  Kenny slowly sets up the top rope Dragon Suplex, but Naito manages to hook his foot on the second turnbuckle.  One Winged Angel setup from the top rope! Naito escapes and powerbombs Kenny off the second rope! Jesus, my heart.  DESTINO!!! KENNY KICKS OUT!!  Naito goes for another Destino, but Kenny powers out. Naito throws an overhead suplex and goes for another suplex, but Kenny escapes again.  Kenny hits the Piledriver to End All Piledrivers.  Naito kicks out, of course.  JAY DRILLER!!  Naito’s out again! Oh my god.  Naito chants erupt again.  V-Trigger of Death connects.  ONE! WINGED! ANGEL! Kenny Omega finally puts Naito away for good.  Kenny Omega def. Tetsuya Naito via pinfall.  Well, that’s it everybody, we can call it now.  Omega and Naito put on what’s probably gonna be Match of the Tournament, and if it weren’t for Dominion, Match of the Year for New Japan Pro Wrestling.  There were so many excellent callbacks to their previous two matches, but they never felt masturbatory or excessive.  From the teased One Winged Angels, to the teased Croyt’s Wrath, to the surprise Destinos, these two wrestlers once again proved they are two of the best wrestlers on the New Japan roster.  An easy *****, without question.

Omega mentioned in his post-match comments that his Japanese promos need work, but the are also a lot of fun to do.  He said that he didn’t get to congratulate Naito on his G1 victory from 2017, but “there’s always next year for you, Naito.”  Good-bye! MWWWAH! And Good Night! BANG!  Backstage, Omega hinted that if he gets to pick his opponent for Wrestle Kingdom 13, “I think we all know who’d that would be.”

Final Thoughts:  We might have a long way to go before the G1 Climax concludes at Budokan, but in the meantime we had five B Block matches that ranged from Entertaining to Good to Great to Why Do I Even Stick Around and Watch WWE?  Yano had a surprisingly good outing versus Ishii, The Tongans brought us back to our Devitt-era roots, Goto and SANADA had a low-key war between them, Ibushi and Sabre put on a technical showcase, and Naito and Omega reminded us of their two prior classics while offering a third at the same time.  Drop everything if you haven’t watched the B Block outing from today and take care of that, please.


Standings (A Block):

Jay White, Togi Makabe, Adam Page, Michael Elgin, Hiroshi Tanahashi – 2 pts

Kazuchika Okada, YOSHI-HASHI, Bad Luck Fale, EVIL, Minoru Suzuki – 0 pts

Standings (B Block)

Kenny Omega, Hirooki Goto, Kota Ibushi, Tama Tonga, Tomohiro Ishii – 2 pts

Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, Zack Sabre Jr, Juice Robinson, Toru Yano – 0 pts

Two down, seventeen to go.