Norrissey’s G1 Climax 28 Review Night Six

G1 Climax 28 Review Night Six

21 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.

You can read my Night Five review here.


I really hope there’s a day off here coming up!  We’re at Night Six, where the B Block takes center stage after a great showing from the A Block the night prior.  The main event sees Hirooki Goto square off against his occasional tag partner and stable-mate Tomohiro Ishii. Elsewhere, BULLET CLUB PROPERLY EXPLODES, as Kenny Omega faces off against Tama Tonga in a match that will no shenanigans whatsoever, I’m sure of it.

You commentators for the evening are Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero, with Chris Charlton (!) available for translations.  Obligatory plug for both Lion’s Pride and Eggshells.  Both are supposed to be great books.  I actually ordered my copies of each on Friday so I’ll let you know what I think next week.

YOSHI-HASHI and SHO (CHAOS) vs. Michael Elgin and Ren Narita

SHO and Narita start us off.  It wasn’t too long ago that SHO was wearing the black tights and boots as a former Young Lion himself.  Narita quickly gets the upper hand with a shoulder tackle and he quickly takes it to SHO.  Outside, YOSHI runs Elgin into the barricade, and YOSHI HAS TO WIN on Sunday.  He just has to!  SHO tags in YOSHI and Narita goes up for a Delayed Brainbuster, but Elgin breaks up the following pinfall attempt.  YOSHI calls for Narita to chop him several times before finally making him stagger.  Narita finally tags in Elgin, who has four points and has already put on some great showings so far.  Elgin hits a major suplex and holds on for a Bridging suplex for two.  Elgin calls for the Lariat but runs into a weak looking chop from YOSHI.  He then sends some sweat into the tenth row with a disgusting chop of his own!  YOSHI quickly hits the Western Lariat and tags in SHO, but Elgin completely dispatches the two of them with a Complete Shot/DDT combo! Five minutes past.  Narita’s in and he goes to town, hitting a Belly-to-belly on SHO for a two count.  Jumping knee followed by a Backcracker for two, but then Narita makes several attempts to roll up SHO!  Nice powerslam by SHO gets two, plus a sick Bridging German Suplex, and that puts Narita away!  YOSHI-HASHI and SHO def. Michael Elgin and Ren Narita via pinfall.  I didn’t really like YOSHI and Elgin’s interactions with each other, but Narita looked good coming in, and SHO picks up a nice win in prelim action.  **1/4

EVIL and BUSHI (Los Ingobernables de Japon) vs. Bad Luck Fale and Tanga Loa (Bullet Club/Firing Squad)

Well, the Firing Squad’s antics finally caught up to them on Night Five, as Fale was disqualified in his A Block match against Hiroshi Tanahashi due to outside interference, and Red Shoes straight up flipped him off in the process.  Glad there is some justice in the world every once in a while.  The commentators muse as to whether Fale properly cares about the tournament, or if he’s just out to make a statement.  Gee, I dunno, was Fale even a real credible threat to win in the first place?  BUSHI and Loa start off, and Loa makes sure to point out that BUSHI isn’t the largest man in the world.  Loa goes after EVIL, but then (after a bit of struggling) BUSHI knocks Fale off the apron!  L.I.J. get the upper hand and they are going after the OG’s on the outside.  Oh no! Fale counters and hurls EVIL into the barricade!  The Underboss proceeds to drag EVIL all the way through the East Stand before throwing him into the wall.  Loa does the same with BUSHI through the West Stand.  I’m already counted to 40, but still, nothing.  Loa and BUSHI are back inside and the Silverback takes control, with a great Leg Drop for two.  BUSHI aims to fight back with a dropkick, and EVIL stumbles his way in to make sure Fale’s off the apron.  Enzigueiri and Backcracker for two, but Fale’s back in.  Back to one-on-one from BUSHI and Loa, and the Tongan Driver ends this contest.  Bad Luck Fale and Tanga Loa def. EVIL and BUSHI via pinfall.  Maybe the fatigue’s starting to set in, but this contest did NOTHING for me.  Fale and EVIL barely touched each other in substantial ring action, leaving their interaction to the outside brawl.  I can’t wait to get past the Fale/EVIL match.  *3/4

Minoru Suzuki and El Desperado (Suzuki-Gun) vs. “Switchblade” Jay White and YOH (CHAOS)

Suzuki walks out, and before you can blink, down goes a Young Lion.  So, this might be the first time since his excursion that Jay White finds himself across the ring from Minoru Suzuki, and since heel vs. heel matches really only happen during tournaments like the G1 Climax, I’m VERY exciting for their outing tomorrow.  White coyly reminds Suzuki he has six points and goes down from a kick for his troubles.  YOH sneaks up behind Suzuki, and White encourages Komatsu on, but Suzuki buries Yoh six feet under with these RIDICULOUS STOMPS.  I think SHO got the better pairing this morning, folks.  White won’t stop referring to YOH as “Komastu,” which is strangely hilarious. YOH gets fired up against Desperado, and NOW White wants to get back in.  White does the guardrail/apron combo to Despy but sprints away from Suzuki, who takes out another Young Lion to occupy his time.  White tags YOH in, and you can tell from YOH’s face that he just wants to take out White the first chance he gets.  White’s stomping on Despy and hits a Pumphandle Backbreaker for two.  Suzuki comes in to threaten White and White looks genuinely scared of the man.  YOH’s in now and hits some decent offense but runs into Desperado’s Spinebuster! Suzuki tags in and RACES TOWARD WHITE with the Boot, but White smartly gets out of the way.  Ten minutes past.  YOH takes it to Suzuki but walks into a Rear Naked Choke.  White tries to sneak in again, but YOH falls to another choke, and then White watches his partner from the apron as Suzuki hits the Gotch Style Powerbomb… whoops, I mean Piledriver for the victory.  Minoru Suzuki and El Desperado def. Jay White and YOH via pinfall.  This is the second time this tour that White had the chance to save YOH and refused to do so.  White really comes off as a man that does not care about the fate of his stablemates.  Or maybe he really just doesn’t like YOH.  I guess that’s possible too.  I look forward to Suzuki humiliating him on Sunday before giving up two more crucial points.  **3/4

Hiroshi Tanahashi and David Finlay vs. Hangman Page and Chase Owens.

Some Good Ol’ Southern Virginia boys up next, as Page teams with Owens in order to preview his match against Hiroshi Tanahashi tomorrow night.  Meanwhile, I don’t get what Finlay’s shirt is supposed to depict.  Is he pretending to have a baby strapped to his chest? Would anyone question this shitty metal fan’s qualifications to be a parent?  AM I ASKING TOO MANY QUESTIONS?  Page and Tana do the honors of starting off first, and the lock up turns into some sweet chain wrestling between them.  Tanahashi suggests Page try some air guitar, but Page hands off the guitar to Owens who stores it beneath the ring.  After consideration, Owens hands the guitar to Page, who then presents it back to Tanahashi.  Much respect shown to the Ace.  Finlay and Owens are in now, some nothing offense occurs.  Hangman tags in, and a combination Elbow Drop/Shooting Star gets two.  He and Owens are legitimately looking good as a tag team.  Tanahashi tags back in and we get our first actual preview for tomorrow’s affair.  They both go for a boot and argue about putting each other at the same time.  Page sneaks in another kick but Tana starts to take the lead, hitting a Somersault Senton from the second rope for a two count.  Five minutes past.  Page walks into a Dragon Screw but recovers enough to give Tana a Clothesline as both men are down.  Finlay tags in and take Owens off the apron.  A running series of elbows, but Page manages a Superkick.  Now Owens pulls off the Duel Heist on Tanahashi.  Finlay with the Urinage Backbreaker on Owens! BUCKSHOT LARIAT! RITE OF PASSAGE!  Page pulls off the quick victory over Finlay.  Hangman Page and Chase Owens def. Hiroshi Tanahashi and David Finlay.  Page is looking great through this tournament, Owens isn’t taking too many losses, and Tanahashi’s not having to do much on his days off, so this qualifies as a successful prelim match across the board.  ***

Togi Makabe and Toa Henare vs. Kazuchika Okada and Gedo (CHAOS)

Okada’s acting even sillier than usual, doing a somersault flip into the ring during introductions, and the commentators are left speechless at everything going on.  Makabe looks to have none of it as he and Henare march to the ring.  Do you ever think, with the amount of losses that Gedo takes, Okada’s like “Come on, man, you’re fucking up my win percentage”?  Gedo implores Henare to take it easy, but then eye pokes the Maori Warrior and performs what has to be the first haka in his life.  Henare recovers and performs an actual War Dance before hitting a fist drop on Gedo.  Okada storms the ring and goes right after Makabe across the ring.  I think they will have a low-key Good Match tomorrow night.  Hot take, I know, Okada having a good match.  Okada tags in and starts to punish Henare with some corner offense before hitting a Senton Atomico over the top rope.  The Raintaker comes in as Rocky brags about his victory over Okada in the Dragon Cup many moons ago.  Yes, apparently that’s a thing that happened.  Back to the action, Henare manages a backdrop on Okada and then a running shoulder tackle!  Makabe’s in now and does the ten punch/HA HA HA! Yes, if this is starting to get repetitive to read, just imagine watching it and typing it out as well.  Okada with the DDT on Makabe, but interestingly, he does not kip up out of it.  Bodyslam and then Okada goes for the elbow not Makabe slithers out of it.  Rainmaker attempt, Makabe initially shows promise to get out of it but falls into the Air Raid Crash!  Gedo tags in and tries to take out Henare, managing to send Henare into Makabe, and Gedo gets the chance to pin the Gorilla.  One, Two, Kickout! Gedo: “SHIT!” Makabe recovers and hits the King Kong Knee Drop on Gedo for the pinfall.  Togi Makabe and Toa Henare def. Kazuchika Okada and Gedo via pinfall.  Okada and Makabe stare each other down as they look to steal the show tomorrow night in Hachioji.  Makabe looks inspired for the first time in a while, and he’s definitely putting in better showings than he did in last year’s G1 Climax.  Good effort from all four men.  ***

G1 Climax 28 B Block Match: Kota Ibushi vs. Toru Yano (CHAOS)

All jokes aside, the last time Yano and Ibushi faced off in G1 Climax action, the Golden Star was bested in 50 seconds.  So, this might be a prime opportunity for Yano to pick up his first points of the tournament.  Ibushi locks with Yano but offers a clean break when they hit the ropes.  Standing switches between the two, Fireman’s Carry roll up for two from Yano, another roll up for two for Yano, MY GOD!  Headscissors from Ibushi has Yano roll out of the ring, Ibushi hits a planchet, and the crowd is WAY more into this match than they have every right to be.  Yano works to undo the red turnbuckle from outside the ring, and now the second turnbuckle comes off.  IBUSHI WITH THE HALF-AND-HALF TWIST OFF THE ROPES!  Yano is mildly dazed as Ibushi now works to undo a turnbuckle of his own!  Yano takes great disrespect to Ibushi taking off a turnbuckle and removes the final corner to thunderous applause.  Yano shoves Ibushi’s face into the corner and the crowd starts to get upset at these antics.  Ibushi sidesteps Yano, and the Sublime Master Thief eats the corner himself.  Sidesteps again, Yano meets the steel, then Ibushi, then Yano, then Ibushi, and it’s gonna come down to who can avoid the corner the most times.  Yano picks up the padding and swings, but Ibushi ducks and then he hits an amazing kick across the chest of Yano!  Five minutes past.  Ibushi swings and misses, and then tries a Standing Moonsault but misses, and not they both find themselves outside of the ring.  Yano brings out the tape, but Ibushi counters and grabs the tape himself!  Yano manages to wriggle free and roll Kota into the post, then inside the ring.  The referee’s distracted but Yano has more tape hidden in his tights!  He slugs away at the back of Ibushi’s head and while his arms are tied up, the Golden Star hits a shoulder tackle and his signature strikes and the comeback is on?  Moonsault while his hansds are still tied up! This match is nuts.  I can’t even describe this next part properly.  Yano manages to lace up Ibushi’s arms over the referee’s head, then Low Blows Kota and rollks him and the referee through.  Jesus Christ.  Yano gets Kota up for the Last Ride, Kota gets out, but Yano Low Blows again, followed by a Chop Block and the roll through for three!  Toru Yano def. Kota Ibushi via pinfall.  Well, Yano still has Kota’s number, I guess.  This was highly entertaining, as Ibushi reminds everyone that he’s still a pretty creative, silly and overall just plain weird professional wrestler.  Yano finally gets on the board with two points.  **3/4

G1 Climax 28 B Block Match: Zack Sabre Jr (Suzuki-Gun) vs. SANADA (Los Ingobernables de Japon)

I’m thoroughly pumped for this upcoming contest.  TAKA: “Who’s gonna win tonight, Zack Sabre or SANADA? Who’s gonna win the G1 Climax?  He can make anybody tap out, but he also has the Zack Driver!  Zack beat SANADA in the New Japan Cup, don’t forget.  SANADA’s not gonna get the Skull End, he’s gonna meet his end, so SANADA, COME ON OVER HERE!”  This, as indicated previously, is a repeat of their New Japan Cup match from earlier this year, and SANADA comes into the match as the crowd favorite.  They both tease shooting the single to start before trading chain wrestling.  Sabre Snapmares SANADA but SANADA stands up quickly to a good response.  SANADA’s continuing to find new ways to put Zacky One belt in the Full Nelson and Sabre’s getting pissed.  He eventually takes control and looks to twist SANADA’s left leg as Cold Skull has nowhere to go.  Sabre forces SANADA into the corner before delivering a ridiculous European Uppercut and now the pace quickens as the muster a crazy amount of roll up attempts against each other to thunderous applause.  The crowd comes alive as both men try to figure out how to proceed.  Sabre gets SANADA down in a straightjacket hold and we’re five minutes past.  SANADA’s throwing in some excellent World of Sport style wrestling moves and keeping up with Sabre’s technical prowess quite nicely.  Sabre attempts to fight out of the hold but falters before getting SANADA into a straightjacket hold of his own! No, wait, now Sabre’s back in the hold.  Nutty stuff.  They have a rest period in opposite corners before getting ready to lock up again.  Nasty uppercut by Zack.  They begin trading uppercuts and Zack has the meanest look smirk on his face.  SANADA tries the Backslide but Zack looks to reverse it.  Sabre puts SANADA in a front wrist lock, but SANAD gets him in the Skull End! Octopus hold, but they begin another series of pinning combinations and SANADA almost gets Sabre with a quick pinfall.  Penalty kick from Sabre!  Ten minutes past.  Zack Driver reversed into the Skull End.  European roll up with the bridge gets two.  O’ Connor roll into stull End.  Bridging pin by SANADA AND BY GOD THAT ENDS THE MATCH.  SANADA def. Zack Sabre via pinfall.  Zacky is ABSOLUTELY LIVID at this outcome.  Man, that was one hell of a contest, as they told the story of SANADA being able to first keep up and then eventually out-wrestle the Submission Master.  Sabre’s not taking the result too kindly to say the least. ***3/4

G1 Climax 28 B Block Match:  Tetsuya Naito (Los Ingobernables de Japon) vs. Juice Robinson

I can only keep saying this so many times: Juice needs to get on the board, like, right fucking now.  I’m not overly concerned with the state of the US Heavyweight Championship, but I feel like by accumulating all of these loses, it weakens Juice in general going forward.  So, of course his next contest is against last year’s winner, Tetsuya Naito.  Fuck.  Yesterday’s tag match saw Naito relentlessly target Juice’s broken left hand, and it doesn’t bode well for today’s match quality.  The bell rings, and the crowd, previously pro-Juice, is now heavily behind Naito, as they circle each other around the ring.  Naito tries to draw Juice in before kicking him in the stomach, but Juice manages to avoid the kick and the trade punches in the center of the ring.  Naito manages a kick to Juice’s hand, and the Korakuen faithful starts to boo Naito.  Juice is pretty good at predicting Naito’s movements and hits a high Senton to a good response.  Naito gets Robinson in the corner and hits the Leg Sweep, followed by the dropkick straight into Juice’s hand!  Damn, that looked vicious.  Juice hits the barricade full stop and Naito looks like a man not to be messed with.  Hey, Husky Honma’s on Japanese commentary! Great to see him back, even if he’s not competing during the G1.  Naito pummels no Juice’s hand over the ring apron and I’m starting to worry for Ol’ CJ Parker here.  Five minutes past.  Naito continues to work on Juice’s hand via the wrist lock, but Juice starts to respond with some punches while trying to block the pain of his left hand.  Naito goes for the eyes now!  But Juice responds, eventually hitting a Full Nelson Slam! The crowd starts to come behind Juice as he starts to hits Juice Punches.  Naito spits on Juice’s face and Juice responds with a Sick Spinebuster that is like a 0.8 on the Arn Anderson scale.  A very loud series of chops to Naito in the corner and Juice looks fired up now!  Naito counters a neckbreaker with a sliding dropkick to Juice’s hand! Ugh.  Naito locks in an armbar submission on Juice’s bad hand, but Juice manages to scurry to the ropes!  Naito gets a top rope Hurricanrana, but JUICE ROLLS THROUGH for the two count! Whoa!  Ten minutes past.  Naito with the Inverted Atomic Drop, swinging DDT, NOPE, Juice with the Jackhammer but he can’t follow up with the pinfall.  Juice avoids a kick from the corner and murders him with a left forearm, then position Naito on the top rope.  Juice hooks him over for the Superplex, but Naito grabs his bad hand to get out of it.  Juice slugs at Naito to keep him on the top rope and HITS A FALLAWAY SLAM FROM THE SECOND ROPE!  Cannonball!  Powerbomb!  Okay, THAT would have been a great finish, but Naito kicks out before the three.  Juice tries for the Double Knee Gutbuster, Naito escapes but the US Heavyweight Champ turns him inside out.  Reverse Rana from Naito!  Look of good action in this contest.  Naito squares up Robinson for the Destino, Robinson counters into Pulp Friction, Naito counters THAT in to a German Suplex, then a Flying Forearm, fifteen minutes past, second Destino attempt to a thunderous lariat, and both men are down!  Oh my god.  Juice goes for Pulp Friction one more time, NOPE, DESTINO, NO, Juice Box into Destino, Juice kicks the fuck out at two!!  Crowd is aghast at the result.  Naito goes for one more Destino, and you bet your ass that’s it.  Tetsuya Naito def. Juice Robinson via pinfall.  A great context that took something that could have been very boring (Naito going after Juice’s hand) and made it very enthralling.  Naito didn’t just grab at his hand, he pulled at it, kicked it, dropkicked it, pummeled it, and overall just made Juice look like he should’ve taken the month off because of it.  Juice stays winless, but this was without a double his best performance of the tournament.  He should get a win in his next match, right? Oh, it’s Kenny Omega.  Shit.  ****1/2

G1 Climax 28 B Block Match: Kenny Omega (Bullet Club) vs. Tama Tonga (Bullet Club)

Ok, so the IWGP Champion has an inter-stable G1 Climax match and it’s NOT the Main Event, so say it with me folks: Outside Interference Is A-Coming.  Tama’s rolling deep, as Tanga Loa and Bad Luck Fale both accompany him to ringside, as Omega journeys to the ring alone.  HE still looks awesome wearing the IWGP Championship, btw.  I’ll Have Loa and Fale attack Kenny From Behind Before the Match Starts for $800, Alex.  The three of them systematically take down Omega before Chase and Hangman come to bail out their comrade!  Page and Owens clothesline Fale, and Omega furiously calls for the bell to begin the match.  Rise of the Terminator as everyone’s down outside.  Omega calls for it again, but a spear from Tama begins the match proper.  Tama takes control, blaming Omega for ruining something that could have been special, in his words.  Red Shoes sends everyone to the back, and Tama sounds vicious as he continues to berate Kenny.  Kenny starts to fire up and hits a sliding Dropkick, but Tama with the misdirection before a Dropkick of his own puts Kenny down.  Stinger Splash in the corner misses, and Omega starts to ley into Tonga with knife-edge cops.  Jumping spinning DDT from Kenny gets two.  You Can’t Escape hits, but Tama gets the knees up and Kenny looks winded.  Gun Stun attempt turns into a V-Trigger! Five minutes past.  Tonga hits a sick Alabama Slam for a two count.  Tama begins to stalk Kenny before another another Gun Stun attempt, another V-Trigger attempt, and then a V-Trigger proper.  There’s a lot to cover here, so bear with me, everybody.  Both men are on the apron as Kenny looks for the Dragon Suplex.  Tama blocks it with the legs around the ropes, but Kenny gets him back in.  TAMA distracts the ref and its Tanga Loa with the surprise chairshot.  Kenny rana’s him to get out of it and then eventually Powerbomb’s Tama into the apron.  Kenny calls for another V-Trigger but Loa grabs at him again.  Roll-up by Omega gets two, Omega eats a chair to the face, one, two, no, Kenny kicks out!  Why is Red Shoes allowing Loa at ringside if he previously sent everyone to the back?  Gun Stun attempt onto the chair fails, then they trade counters before Tama goes for the Styles Chair onto the chair! Red Shoes kicks the chair out of the ring, and starts to get fired up against Tama Tonga, but then eats a Gun Stun for his troubles!  Bad Luck Fale storms the ring and the beatdown is on as the bell sounds for the disqualification.  Kenny Omega def. Tama Tonga via disqualification.  Look, I get it.  They are trying to tell a story with Tama and the other Tongans out for blood against the rest of Bullet Club.  They don’t care about points so mush as about making a point, as Kevin Kelly put it (which I really liked).  In then end, though, it’s not adding up to great matches.  The second Red Shoes saw that Loa was back out, he should have disqualified Tama, dead to rights.  The fact that Kenny won is irrelevant.  If I’m to buy the Firing Squad as a legit threat to Kenny AND the IWGP title, that shit can’t happen.  *3/4

After the match, the beatdown is on, with Adam Page, Chase Owens, and KOTA IBUSHI making the save!  The Firing Squad quickly retreats to the back.  Ibushi and the rest of the boys help Omega to the back as well.  I hope Red Shoes can recover from that horrific Gun Stun for the final contest.

G1 Climax 28 B Block Match: Hirooki Goto (CHAOS) vs. Tomohiro Ishii (CHAOS)

Now is more like it as far as inter-stable matches are concerned.  It looks like Unno’s going head backstage and another referee will replace him.  Inter-stable matches are rare outside of the G1 (unless you’re Bullet Club), but if Ishii bests Goto, he’ll have a legit claim to the latter’s NEVER Openweight Championship.  This should be a hard-hitting, brutal affair, and I can only get so erect.  Kelly says it best: “They don’t do subtle.”  The bell sounds and the crowd is PUMPED.  Goto starts by taking control with a headlock, but Ishii gets out and then they go toe-to-toe with shoulder tackles, and neither man goes down.  Marty Asami is your referee for this, but the way.  This looks very even so far, as Ishii calls for Goto to bring it with thick forearm clubs.  Finally, a head-on collision sees Ishii go down.  Goto drives an elbow to the back of Ishii’s head before Ishii runs Goto into a corner and hits a Spinning Powerslam to take the lead.  LOUD CHOPS from Ishii send Goto down to the mat.  Rocky: “No love lost, whether in the same faction or not.”  A hard chop exchange then sends Goto back down to the math, as Ishii taunts Goto.  Ishii: “Where have you gone? What’s the champion gonna do?”  Go responds with a sick lariat in the corner and whips Ishii to the other side for a Spinning Back Heel Kick and a Saito Suplex for a two count.  Five minutes past.  Strap in, folks.  Goto looks to toss Ishii but the Stone Pitbull avoids this, only to run into a fast-moving kick from Goto.  The kicks continue, as Ishii looks spent on the mat, but he headbutts the mat to fire himself up.  More kicks, and Ishii stoically absorbs them as the crowd loses their minds and chants for Ishii.  Down goes Goto!  Ishii starts to lay chops and forearms into Goto and puts him down with a thunderous shoulder tackle! Gee, you think these two are fired up for this match much?  They have an insane rope-running sequence before Ishii hits a nice German! GOTO’S BACK UP! Mid-kick puts Goto in the lead as Ishii goes down.  Goto then sneaks up behind Ishii for a Rear Naked Choke, and I can finally stop typing for at least fifteen seconds.  Ishii powers out of the choke with a Snapmare, but Goto manages a clothesline that sends Ishii Spittle about ten feet across the ring.  They trade forearms as Ishii tries to shrug it off, but he’s looking spent as Goto is not going down AT ALL.  Neither is Ishii, but he’s definitely staggering.  They continue with these ridiculous forearms, and Goto finally goes down to one knee, but he gets up, Ishii goes down, gets up, Goto goes down, gets up, and now the double lariats are seeing BOTH MEN COLLAPSE IN THE CENTER OF THE RING.  Jee-zus.  Ten minutes past, by the way.  Goto’s back up with the Rear Naked Choke on Ishii as Asani asks if the Stone Pitbull submits.  Ishii fights out of it and delivers these insane clubbing blows to Goto!  HEADBUTT from Ishii sends Goto into the corner.  That looked gnarly.  Ishii positions Goto on the top rope with the Super Brainbuster on the mind, and HE HITS IT, and my mouth is on the floor.  One, two, KICKOUT. Sliding lariats sees a few counters before Goto hits the Ushigoroshi!  A wicked Ripcord lariat sends Ishii to the mat before Goto hits the Reverse G-T-R!  G-T-R is set up before Ishii counters, and they both tease G-T-R- before Ishii hits a Saito Suplex and both men are down.  Fuck.  They begin to batter each other again after they get up, and we are fifteen minutes past   ISHII TURNS GOTO INSIDE OUT WITH THE CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL!  The crowd is, without a doubt, pro-Ishii, which is always awesome.  Shotun Kai from Goto, ISHI KICKS OUT!  Oh man.  Goto’s on his feet first and lays out Ishii with a mid-kick, but Ishi fires out the G-0T0R and they hit some sick-ass headbutts that made me wince.  Sliding lariat gets a close two count!  Vertical Drop Brainbuster looks like it killed Goto! One, two, three!  Tomohiro Ishii def. Hirooki Goto via pinfall.  Well, these two put on their working boots today, didn’t they?   Both men exhibited Strong Style wrestling perfectly, and showed why every once in a while, THIS is the kind of match that should main event New Japan shows.  Ishii and Goto both put in the work and kept the outcome in doubt the entire time.  Ishii doesn’t do the traditional post-main event promo, instead being helped to the back, ending the night on what was a strong outing for the B Block, as per usual.  ****3/4

Final Thoughts:  Not every match was great, but some matches exceeded exceptions (Juice/Naito) and others moved the story that they’re trying to tell along (Tama/Omega), and my God, that main event killed it!  SANADA and Zed-S-J should not be overlooked, and Ibushi /Yano was highly entertaining, so thumbs up from me across the board.  Tomorrow’s action sees Okada vs. Makabe and Tanahashi vs. Page. But don’t spoil it for me, I know it’s already happened.  I’ll have a review for it up tomorrow.

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


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

Six down, thirteen to go