G1 Climax 28 Review Night Five
20 July 2018
Live from Korakuen Hall, In the Shadows of TGI Fridays, 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.
Night Five picks up right where Night Four leaves off, as we remain in the hallowed Korakuen Hall for another evening. Here, 1,799 polite Japanese fans, along with one wanker from the UK who’s wearing an Iceland shirt and is probably four Strong Zeros in, get to take in the A Block main events of Okada vs. Page and Tanahashi vs. Fale.
Your commentators for the event are Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero.
Before the opening contest, Ozaki announces that Gedo will replace Jado in his upcoming tag match.
TAKA Michinoku and Zack Sabre Jr. (Suzuki-Gun) vs. Shota Umino and Toa Henare
Just a heads-up for this review: So, I went to see Japandroids yesterday, and they were awesome, but (get this) they were REALLY FUCKING LOUD and my hearing is shot for the moment. It’s very distracting and I hope it doesn’t take away from the quality of this review. Which was poor enough to begin with.
TAKA and Umino to start with some basic mat offense and counters against each other. It’s apparently Tiger Hattori’s birthday. Happy birthday Tiger! Kelly: “I heard we were gonna get a birthday cake, but the Fire Marshall wouldn’t allow it with all the candles.” Ha, an age joke! Nice. Zack’s in and commences tying Umino up in knots. He’s puts Umino in what looks like a Sideways Surfboard, and then quickly tries a pin for two. TAKA’s back in and Umino is really getting the dojo treatment during this match. Umino eventually throws some hard chops and TAKA’s calling for more! He eventually gets out of it via a swift kick to the shin. Shota catches TAKA with a dropkick and Henare’s the legal man for the first time in this match. Henare eventually gets TAKA prone and performs his War Dance, then slugs Sabre off the apron and a Falling Chop gets two. Sabre comes in and Uppercuts Henare, but Henare eventually responds with a Samoan Drop for the two count. Umino and Henare hit tandem corner offense on Sabre, and Umino connects with the Top Rope Missile Dropkick for two before TAKA broke it up. Umino goes for the Boston Crab, but Sabre is not limited by the rudimentary submissions of the Young Lion system, as he locks in a modified Crossface. Umino makes the ropes! Umino with the surprise roll up for two, then a backslide gets two! Zack eventually gets Shota in a Cobra Twist submission, and then falls to his back with the chicken wing, and Umino is done. Zack Sabre JR and TAKA Michinoku def. Shota Umino and Toa Henare via submission. Short and harmless, with the spotlight on Sabre and Umino during the majority of the match. Henare looked alright but didn’t have much to do outside of his War Dance. Good way to get the crowd going early. **1/2
Kota Ibushi and Yujiro Takahashi vs. Toru Yano and Gedo (CHAOS)
Yujiro’s got quite the arm candy today, and as they slowly strut to the ring, Ibushi’s bouncing and jumping behind them, almost like he’s trying to squeeze by and can’t. This match will preview Yano vs. Ibushi, and if there ever was a G1 Climax that called for someone to shoot fireworks off of their chest, this is the match. Yano looks to have Gedo start the match, and Takahashi starts on the other side. Yujiro and Gedo show off some tactical offense by biting on each other’s thumbs, before Gedo starts with the heavy punches. Yujiro grabs the beard and drams Gedo back to his corner before tagging in Ibushi. Some nice combo offense ends with an Ibushi Standing Moonsault, and it looks like they are coming together as a tag team. Gedo eventually hits Ibushi with a low dropkick and he tags in Yano. The referee has to admonish Yano as he goes for the turnbuckle, and the Sublime Master Thief relents. Yano still wants to cheat, but then he remembers his promise to the people of Japan and the rest of the world. Inverted Atomic Drop, and Yano goes for the turnbuckle again! He just can’t help himself. Ibushi charges into the corner, Yano removes the turnbuckle, but Ibushi stops before running into the steel! Yano hits the exposed turnbuckle! Ibushi starts to get the crowd fired up, but Yano hits the belly-to-belly suplex! Tags for both sides, Gedo hits the Thrust Kick, but Yujiro eventually hits the Fishermen’s Buster for two. Yujiro is alone with Gedo, but Gedo reverses the Pimp Juice for the Inside Cradle and a two count! The Pimp Juice DDT flattens Gedo for the three count. Kota Ibushi and Yujiro Takahashi def. Toru Yano and Gedo via pinfall. After the match, Kelly and Romero argue about whether Yano can upset the Golden Star in less than five minutes during tomorrow’s event. The match showed a better sense of chemistry between Ibushi and Takahashi, as the Golden Lovers-adjace put on a good showing against Yano and Gedo. Gedo, the most selfless booker in wrestling history, took the fall as one would expect. **1/2
SANADA and Tetsuya Naito (Los Ingobernables de Japon) vs. Juice Robinson and Cactus Jack Finlay
The FinJuice 2018 World Tour makes it’s G1 Climax debut at Korakuen Hall, and Robinson REALLY needs a win over Naito if he’s gonna look even remotely credible during this tournament. Yesterday, Kelly revealed that Robinson has to keep the cast on through at least September, so that means the cast will play a role in each match during the Climax. Naito and Juice look, and Naito immediately goes over Juice’s bad hand. Juice manages a couple of arm drags but Naito gets a headscissors in and hits the Tranquilo pose after letting Juice out of the hold. SANADA and Finlay in now, the Celtic Prince getting a nice reception from the Korakuen faithful. Finlay and Robinson both succumb to the wily antics of F.I.J., and something just occurred to me. Finlay’s hair is so long, it almost completely obscures his utterly terrible back tattoo. Juice eats a barricade outside from Naito. Finlay takes some double team offense and eventually hits Naito with an European Uppercut to get Juice into the match. Juice lights up Naito with some Juice punches, as the crowd gets behind the Flamboyant One. Naito eventually recovers and goes after Juice’s bad hand again. Both men manage to make tags, and Finlay is fired up, hitting SANADA with the Urinage Backbreaker for two. SANADA with the standing Moonsault for two. Skull End is reversed, but the O’Connor roll, eventually turns into Skull End again. SANADA manages the giant swing and doesn’t even have to fall back into the hold before Finlay taps. SANADA and Tetsuya Naito def. Juice Robinson and David Finlay via pinfall. There were some good interactions between Juice and Naito, but it looks like a lot of tomorrow’s contest will focus on Naito going after Juice’s broken hand. That could work rather well, or it could be painfully boring. Juice has the expression of a man who’s resigned to the fate of a horrible G1 Climax. **3/4
Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa (Bullet Club/ Guerrillas of Destiny) vs. Kenny Omega and Chase Owens (Bullet Club)
This upcoming tag matches previews the personal and professional rivalry between Tama Tonga and Kenny Omega, both self-proclaimed leaders of the Bullet Club. Tonga, of course, got sick of the rivalry Omega was having with the other leader of the BC, Cody (Don’t Call Him) Rhodes. Tama stepped up with his brother and their father, King Haku, attacking both men after their match in San Francisco and announced a new splinter group, Firing Squad. It was later revealed that Bad Luck Fale was in on this plan from the beginning. Tama vs. Kenny is set for tomorrow’s G1 Climax, but in the meantime, Owens and Omega storm the ring and the brawl is on! GoD put the beatdown on Owens, with a massive Leg Drop from Loa following a Reverse Neckbreaker from Tonga. Omega comes in and hits a Bulldog on Loa to even things up. Loa eats a Pescado, but Tama wisely moves out of the way for his Pescado and start littering punches all over Omega’s face. Loa teases Omega with Owens’ lifeless body before hitting a Snap Suplex for two. Tama with the DISRESPECTFUL COVER for two. I just noticed that Kenny has his silly house show tights on for the first time this tournament. Your IWGPO Champion, everybody. Kenny almost makes the tag, but Tama pulls him off the apron and hits a bodyslam to neutralize him. Owens hits Loa with a Thrust Kick and starts to get fired up. Package Piledriver reversed into a Tama Twist! Omega in with the Superkick and then the Snap Dragon! Omega starts the V-Trigger but is eaten alive by Loa with a Spear. Omega alternates punches between the brothers but eats a Gun Stun for his troubles! Gun Stun to Owens before a Tongan driver finishes things off. I refuse to call it the Apeshit Piledriver, by the way, that’s such a stupid name for a move. Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa def. Kenny Omega and Chase Owens via pinfall. Different from your usual inter-stable G1 Climax match setups, as one can tell there’s supposed to be real bad blood between the two men. This has me excited for tomorrow, as the last time they fought in the G1, it was Just Another Bullet Club Match. This was quick but had the feel of a real sprint throughout. ***
Post-match, Tonga rushes back to the ring and hits one more Gun Stun on Omega. It’s Reeeeeal!
Tomohiro Ishii and SHO (CHAOS) vs. Hirooki Goto and YOH (CHAOS)
SHO and YOH square off again, as they team with the heavyweights of CHAOS for this final prelim match. We’re seeing Ishii and Goto tomorrow, and there’s a real chance for Ishii to win and then challenge for the NEVER Openweight Championship, a title he’s held four times at this point. Ishii and Goto start off, and Goto actually holds a 3-1 advantage over the Stone Pitbull in G1 action. The Ishii lone victory, back in 2014, was due to Goto having to forfeit from broken ribs. They pummel each other quickly before tagging in the Roppongi 3K boys. They keep it basic, with standing switches against each other, before SHO hits YOH with the IMAGINERY CUPID’S ARROW and YOH looks taken aback. YOH eventually hits a spinning shoulder tackle, and they both look pretty good. SHO tags in Ishii, who immediately eats a Dragon Screw from YOH! Goto’s back in and we’re back to where we started. Goto suplexes SHO onto Ishii, and if you’ve forgotten which members of CHAOS are teaming together, I’d completely understand. Goto with a Side Suplex to Ishii for a two count from the Birthday Boy Tiger Hattori. YOH attempts a German Suplex on Ishii but eventually hits the Done Deal Falcon Arrow for two. YOH’s looking pretty good against Ishii. SHO finds his way back in and hits an INSANE German Suplex for two. Now it’s SHO and Ishii with the tandem offense, with a Lungblower from SHO followed by a German from Ishii. A Vertical Delayed Brainbuster from Ishii finishes off YOH. Tomohiro Ishii and SHO def. Hirooki Goto and YOH via pinfall. Tomorrow’s affair is a real Pick’em, as Goto and Ishii both possess the drive and stamina to put on an excellent main event. YOH looked alright in defeat, and he and SHO, once again, reminded us that they were be excellent foils for each other down the road. ***1/4
Django joins Romero and Kelly on commentary to provide Japanese translations when required, as we get ready to kick off tonight’s A Block matches.
G1 Climax 28 A Block Match: Michael Elgin vs. Jay White (CHAOS)
Both competitors, along with Togi Makabe, are in the driver’s seat with four points after their first two A Block matches. Rocky Romero hesitantly throws his support behind his CHAOS stablemate, revealing that Okada has since forgave White for the manner in which their first match ended. I might be crazy, but it almost sounds like Elgin’s got a remixed version of his theme going as well. Elgin looks in phenomenal shape today. They lock up and White immediately begins clubbing Elgin across the back. Elgin recovers and hits a shoulder tackle but White stays on his feet. Elgin: “COME ON, GAY!” Well, it sounds like that’s what he says. I think he meant Come on, Jay. Some STIFF chops from Elgin as Jay heads outside. Tope suicida from Big Mike! Elgin looks to get White for a Buckle Bomb, but Jay manages to turn him over the barricade. Elgin implores some fans to move, as he looks to Suplex White over the guardrail. White fights out and drags Elgin into the barricade, ribs-first. Snap Saito Suplex on the floor! Whoa, that looked rough. White hits Big Mike with the apron/guardrail combination, then slides back in with ease as the referee begins the 20-count. White eventually relents and drags Elgin back in for two. They trade chops for a bit before White hits a neckbraker for two. White twists of Elgin in a Muta lock and grabs at Big Mike’s nostrils, and that is still gross. Five minutes past. Elgin finally manages to reach the bottom rope for a break. White manages to get Elgin on the apron, but he ends up hits a high kick and then a Double Leg Stomp over the top rope! Elgin takes control with a gnarly shoulder tackle and White looks flustered. Overhead bridging suplex gets two. White teats a few running lariats and Elgin moves him to the top rope, but Jay manages to get Elgin down with some hard elbows. The youngest man in the G1 tournament, White displays some veteran offense with a thundering Urinage for two. White attempts a Kiwi Krusher but Elgin fights out of it. A standoff in the center of the ring, with the two men trading punches and then BLISTERING CHOPS. Elgin rips off his elbow pad and JUST GOES TO TOWN on White. Elgin HUOLKS UP and runs right into a Falling Drop and the HUGE German Suplex. Ten minutes past. A Thrust kick from Elgin is followed by a German Suplex INTO THE TURNBUCKLE. Ouch. These two are having a great match to start of the A Block. Elgin attempts to set up the Elgin Bomb but White manages to hold onto the double underhook for an Overhead Suplex and two. Jay’s looking for Three Amigos, but Elgin breaks the repeated suplexes and gets Jay to the top rope again. Superplex! I think the ring moved after that. White kicks out at two. Elgin with the massive Splash for the pin! Switchblade kicks out! That was a close one. Elgin goes for a Full Nelson on the apron, but White gets out of it. Complete Shot on the apron! White goes for the Kiwi Krusher on the apron, but can’t get Mike all the way up, and both men collapse to the floor! Wow. If that was the plan, it looked scary. If that was a botch, it still looked scary. White slithers back into the ring at 14, but Elgin collapses into the ring at 19! Fifteen minutes past. White calls for Blade Runner, but Elgin gets out of the way. Disgusting spinning elbow to the back of White’s head. Another spinning elbow, this time to White’s face. Half-and-half suplex! Giant powerbomb! White’s out at two point nine! The crowd is fully into this match now. White punches his way out of the Buckle Bomb, but Elgin manages to hit a second attempt. WHITE GRABBED ASANI ON THE WAY DOWN! Low blow to Elgin! Blade Runner connects. One, two, three. Jay White def. Michael Elgin by pinfall. Three matches, three creative ref bumps, three victories for White. I am fully on board with his “Smarmy little shit, can’t win the big matches without nefarious means to save his life” character he’s portraying. Big Mike also looked great in defeat. Six points after three matches as they encourage us to breathe with the Switchblade. ****1/4
G1 Climax 28 A Block Match: Minoru Suzuki (Suzuki-Gun) vs. YOSHI-HASHI (CHAOS)
Kelly suggests to Django that he should probably bail while Suzuki is making his entrance, and Romero doesn’t even need direction as he’s calling for a bathroom break. The camera pans over the English commentary table and looks like both men have indeed left the table. Smart men! Now, both men have started the tournament scoreless in two matches, and a win by either man will get their tournament started properly as they hope to catch White at the top of A Block. YOSHI tosses the staff aside and looks to be ALL FUCKING BUSINESS as he charges at Suzuki to start the match! YOSHI knocks Suzuki down and this proves to be a fiery affair. Suzuki becomes acquainted with the barricade and the Japanese commentators now have SHO with them. Suzuki wraps YOSHI’s arm around the ringpost and hits a SCARY chair shot that reverberates through Korakuen. Now it’s YOSHI’s turn to go up and over the barricade. HE then absorbs a heavy chair shot across his back. A second chair shot across YOSHI actually knocks the top display off of the chair. YOSHI manages to beat the 20-count, somehow, as Suzuki looks to have many screws loose. Triangle armbar across the ropes. Suzuki looks to target the right shoulder of the Head Hunter during this match, ripping off YOSHI’s shoulder tape and berating his shoulder with stiff boots. Fine minutes past. Suzuki sends YOSHI into the corner to eat a boot, but YOSHI manages to catch Suzuki’s leg during the subsequent PK attempt! YOSHI’s turn to dominate, as he dangles Suzuki over the top rope and runs in with the Flying Dropkick. YOSHI with the Head Hunter from the top rope! Nice improvisation after Suzuki avoided the Swanton Bomb. Minoru collapses to the mat but manages to get back up and hits a sick armbar on YOSHI. He then turns it into a Cross Armbar but thankfully YOSHI’s close enough to the ropes that it doesn’t last long. Rear naked choke now by Suzuki, and YOSHI is fading. Minoru reaches for the Gotch Style Powerbomb… whoops, I mean Piledriver, but YOSHI boosts out of it! Suzuki gets right back, and YOSHI hits the Western Lariat! Neckbreaker but Suzuki escapes at two. First application of the Butterfly Lock as YOSHI holds Suzuki in the center of the ring. Minoru still manages to wriggle to the bottom rope to break the hold. Ten minutes past. YOSHI manages to finagle Suzuki back into the Butterfly Lock, and Suzuki looks more bored than anything else right now. Despy’s freaking out in the back of the screen right now as Suzuki begins to fade. He still manages to squirm to the bottom rope as YOSHI has to break the hold. Backcracker for TOSHI as he goes for Karma, but Suzuki elbows out. SICK DROPKICK to YOSHI, and there’s that sadistic look on Minoru’s face I was hoping for earlier. Suzuki slaps YOSHI relentlessly (there much have been at least twenty-five slaps in about ten seconds), but YOSHI hits one and quickly rolls up Suzuki for two! Suzuki goes for the GSP again and connects! A woman HILARIOUSLY screams out in the audience. Suzuki sits on YOSHI for the lazy cover that gets the pin. Minoru Suzuki def. YOSHI-HASHI via pinfall. They made the right call by having YOSHI-HASHI come out strong and quick against the veteran, but it proved to be for naught as Suzuki managed to withstand the onslaught and take it right back to the Head Hunter. With that loss, YOSHI-HASHI quickly moves into Chump of the A Block status, as he anchors the block with zero points and matches with Okada and Tanahashi still ahead. Poor Tacos. **3/4
G1 Climax 28 A Block Match: EVIL (Los Ingobernables de Japon) vs. Togi Makabe
It’s a first time G1 Climax match-up between the King of Darkness and the Unchained Gorilla. EVIL starts early with the corner chops, but bails to the outside after a shoulder tackle from Makabe. They slug outside, and Makabe politely asks the cameraman to move as he sends EVIL into the barricade. A running charge, however, leaves Makabe in the guardrail. EVIL goes underneath and finds a couple of chairs for he and Makabe to sit in. No, wait, EVIL fashions one on Makabe’s neck and Bryce Harper’s his ass past the right field fence. Hey, shoutout to the local boy! EVIL climbs into the ring, and the referee starts the 20-count, but Makabe slooooowly crawls in at 17. They immediately head right back out through the crowd and ALL the way to the back of the South Stand. EVIL initially attempts Darkness Falls before settling with a Thrust Kick. Makabe then lariats EVIL’s ass to the crowd floor. The referee and the Young Lions give chase as Makabe heads down the other side stairs toward the ring. EVIL eats the ringpost and they’re both back in the ring. Ten punch, HA HA HA! Five minutes past. Another sick clothesline gets two for Makabe. EVIL hits Makabe with another Thrust Kick and follows that up with corner offense as Makabe slumps to the floor. Bronco buster for EVIL gets two. EVIL calls for the Banshee Muzzle but Makabe escapes with a hair pull. EVIL manages a front choke and tries the Banshee Muzzle again. This time, Makabe is much closer to the rope. EVIL tries Darkness Falls again Makabe recovers with Trapezius Chops. Fisherman’s Buster gets two for EVIL. Darkness Falls finally hits for two! Everything Is EVIL fails as Makabe shows some signs of life. They trade thudding clotheslines and the elbow pads come off for both men. Ten minutes past. EVIL collapses after the last crushing clothesline by Makabe. EVIL will not be denied! EVERYTHING IS EVIL outta nowhere. EVIL def. Togi Makabe via pinfall. With this victory, jumps into second place with four points and a victory over Makabe. This was a stiff, hard-hitting affair, with good crowd work and brutal stiff clotheslines against each other. The ending was a little outta nowhere for my liking, but a reasonable performance from both men. ***
G1 Climax 28 A Block Match: Bad Luck Fale (Bullet Club/Firing Squad) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Oh dear. This might be the match where the nefarious BC interference jumps the shark, for me at least. Hiroshi Tanahashi is another one of the men who can get strong performances out of Fale, so I’m cautiously optimistic. This is their fifth G1 Climax match, with both men at two victories apiece. Tanahashi charges into Fale at the bell with a running Dropkick, and we’re off! Tana immediately targets Fale’s left knee and avoids the charge from the big man before taking him down with a Chop Block. Fale recovers but Tanahashi matches to hit another Chop Block and continues to targets the knee until the ref calls for a rope break. Fale takes a powder but Apron Somersault Cannonball to the outside by the Ace! Loa stares menacingly at Tana from the other side of the ring. Tana attempts a guardrail charge, but Fale reverses and sends Tana over! The Underboss grabs and distracts Red Shoes while Loa pummels away at Tanahashi outside. Boo, boo this man. Fale asks some fans to move while assuring Red Shoes that everything’s ok… of course, then he casually tosses Tanahashi into the third row. 20-count starts, but Tana’s in at 14. Fale looks vicious, just standing on Tanahashi with all of his 300 lbs of mass. Five minutes past. Fale chokes Tanahashi over the ropes but has to break the count due to a rope break. Fale hits a brutal forward to the back of the Ace and keeps the assault going. The crowd begins to chant for Tanahashi as he writhes around on the ground. A bodyslam from Fale is followed by the most casual of sit-downs as Tanahashi barely manages to kick out. Things don’t look good for the Ace here. Fale continues he onslaught with strikes to the side of Tanahashi’s head. Fale: “Too easy, man, too easy.” Tana springs to life with a series of low dropkicks, and he’s struggling to get Fale over for the German Suplex. Tana sends Fale down with a vicious Palm Strike, following that up with a sick looking Dragon Screw! Texas Cloverleaf to follow, and it’s requiring a lot of energy for Tana to fully lock on this hold. He slowly manages to turn him over and the crowd LOSES THEIR SHIT! Fale has nowhere to go, but he eventually manages to power out of the hold and flip Tanahashi to the floor. Ten minutes past. Back in the ring, Fale manages to choke Tanahashi but falls victim to another Dragon Screw. GO ACE! Fale sits on Tana after a Sunset Flip attempt for a quick two count. A Splash gets two. Loa’s had surprisingly little input in this match so far. Tana runs off the ropes and falls for a monster Clothesline. Samoan Drop from Fale, but it was more like a Samoan Trust Fall with the way Fale put Tana down. BAD LUCK FALL attempt turns into a Rana for two from Tanahashi! Sling Blade attempt somehow becomes a roll-up attempt from Tanahashi for two. TWIST AND SHOUT! NOW he hits the Sling Blade and goes up to the top turnbuckle! HIGH FLY FLOW MISSES! Fale crashes Tanahashi into the corner. Grenade, leg is hook, Tana manages to kick out! Fale tries for the Bad Luck Fall again, but Tana manages to escape with another Sling Blade! High Fly Flow connects! One, two… Loa pulls Red Shoes out of the ring! He’s now taking it to Tana with kicks in the ring. Fifteen minutes past. Loa holds out Tanahashi but eats the running clothesline from Fale! Tana looks to take over but GUN STUN from Tama Tonga! Red Shoes hesitates to start the pin fall attempt before flipping double birds to the Firing Squad and calls for the bell! Red Shoes taking no shit today for a change. Hiroshi Tanahashi def. Bad Luck Fale via DQ. Well, I’m happy to see that the BC antics resulted in a logical conclusion for a change, as Red Shoes had the gumption to actually call for the bell when the Firing Squad started their bullshit techniques. Of course, Tanahashi takes a beating afterward to a chorus of boos. Fale takes the microphone afterward to complain about the decision, and you almost need Django to translate through his thick accent. Anyways, this was a good match in the Fale/Tanahashi rivalry that now sees Fale looking up at the rest of the A Block (outside of Tacos, of course). ***
G1 Climax 28 A Block Match: Hangman Page (Bullet Club) vs. Kazuchika Okada (CHAOS)
Adam Page in the main event of a G1 Climax event makes me so happy. Virginia represent! Okada comes out and launches phallic-shaped balloons into the audience and Page has this look on his face like “What the hell is this guy on?” Cocaine, Page. Mounds and mounds of cocaine. They stare down at the start, and Page really looks like he belongs in the ring, facing off against the former champion. They each roll through each other’s arm locks before Page locks in a choke from behind. They lean up against the ropes before Okada does a clean break and Page looks incensed. Okada catches a boot from Page but manages a Drop Toe Hold, and Okada’s smile has so much cheese, it’s insufferable. Page tosses Okada over the rope and goes for broke with a Sideways Flip over the top rope! Looked kinda sloppy, but he didn’t die, so I’ll allow it. Page has control and deadlifts Okada up via a Half Nelson and hits what looks like a Half Nelson Fallaway Slam for two! That was impressive. Chops in the corner to Okada as Page taunts the audience about the current state of Okada. Another choke in the center of the ring as Page begins to take control of the affair. Page bounces off the ropes and eats another but boot, but Okada misses a Senton and Hangman hits a running Shooting Star Press for two! That was a cool sequence. Somersault Senton from the Apron from Page to a loud cheer from the audience. Five minutes past. Okada eventually nips up and runs the rope before hitting Page with a running elbow. Flapjack from Okada for a two count. Okada positions Page on the top rope and DROPKICK sends the Hangman all the way to the floor. They’re outside now, and it’s Page’s turn to eat the guardrail, followed by a Big Boot over the barricade by Okada. Okada sets up for the Draping DDT, but Page fights out of it and HITS THE BUCKSHOT LARIAT to a big response from the crowd. They head back inside and Page positions Okada for a Moonsault. Beautiful Moonsault that Okada manages to avoid, which is always a shame. Page fights out of an Alabama Slam, and we are ten minutes past. Okada goes for the Tombstone, but Page counters and hits the Dudebuster! He only gets two, but the crowd is decidedly pro-Hangman. Hangman goes for the Rite of Passage, but Okada holds onto the ropes for dear life. Okada heads up top but Page hits a Clothesline to halt his opponent, at least temporarily. Page is set for a Superplex but Okada holds on and sends him to the mat. SWINGING NECKBREAKER BY PAGE OFF THE TOP ROPE! Holy shit, you guys. Okada rolls out of the ring, but Page climbs up and hits a beautiful Triangle Moonsault! HE quickly rolls Okada in and hits another Buckshot Lariat! One, two, no, Okada manages to kick out. Page calls for the Rite of Passage again, but Okada rolls through for a two-count. Page lands on his feet after a German attempt, then hits a running dropkick into the corner on Okada. TOMBSTONE IN THE CENTER BY OKADA! Fifteen minutes past. They square off in the center, alternating punches and boots, before Page finally misses and walks into an Uppercut. Hangman does eventually get to hit a forearm that sends Okada. Okada recovers, however, and sends Page into the ropes before hitting The Best Dropkick in the World. A third Buckshot misses, Rainmaker attempt, but Page manages to turn it into a Powerbomb and the crowd is FIRED UP FOR PAGE NOW. Rite of Passage again turns into a Rolling Lariat by Okada. RAINMAKER, that’s that. Kazuchika Okada def. Hangman Page via pinfall. This was a more than serviceable main event, as they (mostly) kept it to the ring and delivered counter after counter. Most importantly, Hangman Page continues to look like he belongs in the G1 Climax, delivering two successive performances in a row and getting the crowd behind him in the process. Okada exorcises at least some of his demons, picking up his first singles win in 40 days.
Okada: “Finally, finally, finally my first win! It’s a pretty good win too. I’m pretty happy. Thank you so much, everyone! But still, the G1 just started. And I’m looking forward to winning the G1.”
Final Thoughts: Page and White have been killing it during the initial G1 Climax events, and White leads the pack early with six points. He’s likely gonna start taking some losses soon, but as long as he stays ahead of Okada, his confidence will stay high. Tanahashi got another good performance out of Fale before the BS started, but other than Suzuki/YOSHI-HASHI, the entire show was highly entertaining. We’re back tomorrow (Jesus Christ) for Goto/Ishii and Omega/Tonga.
Standings (A Block):
Jay White – 6 pts
EVIL, Togi Makabe, Michael Elgin, Hiroshi Tanahashi – 4 pts
Adam Page, Bad Luck Fale, Kazuchika Okada, Minoru Suzuki – 2 pts
YOSHI-HASHI – 0 pts
Standings (B Block):
Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi – 4 pts
Hirooki Goto, Tama Tonga, Tomohiro Ishii, Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, Zack Sabre Jr – 2 pts
Juice Robinson, Toru Yano – 0 pts
Five down, fourteen to go.