New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax – Night Sixteen – 08/08/2019

Hello You!

Back again with some action from the B Block!

I hope all my fellow English Soccer Fans enjoyed the close to the transfer window. Everton’s pursuit of Wilfried Zaha ended up becoming a bit of a farce, but Alex Iwobi is certainly an interesting signing and I’m hoping he’ll hit the ground running for The Toffees. I must admit to being slightly relieved that the Marcos Rojo deal didn’t go through. He’s played something like 14 games in the previous 2 seasons I believe and has had not only injury issues but also strikes me as a red card waiting to happen. On loan I could have handled it, but for 25 Million Man United were having a giraffe and Marcel Brands did well to walk away. It also gives an opportunity to Mason Holgate as well, and I genuinely think this could be a break out season for him, so it isn’t all doom and gloom.

I’m afraid Saturday’s G1 show won’t be up until at least Sunday because I’m heading down to Selhurst Park for the first game of the season. I might try and have both Saturday and Sunday’s shows up on Sunday night, but I make no promises. Everton tend to open the season quite a lot with 2-2 draws, so I’m looking forward to being 1-2 up with 10 minutes to go only for Palace to bundle in the equaliser and for both Home and Away supporters to trudge home wondering whether it was a good result or not. Ah, football eh?

Anyway, enough wittering on my part, let’s get to some chuffing wrestling!

The following matches came from the Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium on the 8th of August 2019

Calling the action are Kevin “Loverboy” Kelly, “Beautiful” Rocky Romero and “Sweet” Chris Charlton

Taichi (6pts) w/ Mioh Abe and Yoshinobu Kanemaru Vs Toru Yano (6 pts)

Taichi still has a slight chance of winning the Block here, but defeat would seem him fall out of the running officially. Yano has a better chance owing to having tiebreaker wins over Jon Moxley. Tetsuya Naito and Jay white. Apparently some technical difficulties take out the English commentary during Taichi’s entrance but they finally get it up and running again in time for the start of the match. Abe wiping down the ropes following Yano’s antics is a nice touch.

Taichi takes his time removing his entrance gear, which serves to annoy Yano, and then bails the second the bell rings. Yano gets annoyed and just walks away at one point, and actually gets all the way up the ramp, where Kanemaru jumps him and throws him back in. Taichi wraps Yano up in the ring skirt and tries to win via count out, but Yano makes it back in, whilst still wrapped in the apron, causing Kelly to make an Animal House reference. Toga! Toga!!

Yano takes off a turnbuckle pad and plays hot potato with Taichi with it, which eventually involves the referee and Kanemaru after a while. Yano tears off Taichi’s pleather pants and then rolls him up for two. Taichi sends him into the unprotected turnbuckle twice though and then gets a Gedo Clutch for two. The fight spills outside again, where Kanemaru tries to spit whiskey in Yano’s face. Yano redirects it into Taichi’s face however and then gets his revenge by wrapping both Taichi and Kanemaru up in the ring skirt. Taichi and Kanemaru are unable to get free in time and Yano wins via count out!

RATING: *1/2

This was the usual Yano fun. The match itself was nothing, but it was an absolute blast and I love Yano outsmarting douchebag heels when he gets the chance to do so.

Tetsuya Naito (8 pts) Vs Jeff Cobb (6 pts)

I think Cobb has zero chance to win this one, as you’d think that Naito needs to be alive on the last night of the Block and with Moxley having the tiebreaker over him, the only way Naito can finish above him is if he wins his last two matches and Moxley loses his last two. It’s not like Cobb can’t deal with a loss to a guy of Naito’s calibre either.

Naito mocks Cobb during his entrance, so Cobb takes him down with a shoulder tackle right out of the gate and then beal’s him across the ring for good measure. Naito rolls outside, so Cobb follows him out there and throws him back inside, where he blocks a Naito rana and goes for a powerbomb. Naito slips out of that however and dropkicks Cobb in the knee, before following up with another one. Cobb sells the attacks to the leg in a big way and Naito keeps up the pressure on his downed opponent with a neck breaker for two before adding more stomps to the leg. Naito now switches to working the neck again with a cravat, which makes sense considering his finisher is a version of a DDT, but feels out of place when he started the heat going after Cobb’s legs.

Naito goes for a dropkick in the corner but Cobb catches him and then delivers a big overhead belly to belly suplex. Cobb gets some attacks in the corner and follows up with a Samoan Drop and standing moonsault for two. In a nice touch, Cobb couldn’t cover properly there due to hurting his leg and that allowed Naito to kick out. Naito replies with an enziguri and tries for a flying forearm, but Cobb counters it into a German Suplex for two. Cobb sets Naito up top and looks to go for a suplex from up there, but Naito tries to fight him off. Cobb won’t be denied though and gets an impressive stalling superplex for two. Cobb gets a nice inverted spinning back suplex for two, as the crowd chants for Naito.

Naito tries fighting back with a rolling front kick, but Cobb no sells that and gets a thrust kick before putting Naito back up top. Cobb looks to go for a powerslam from the second rope, but Naito saves himself by going to the eyes and then rana’s Cobb down. Cobb no sells that however and then counters a Tornado DDT into a suplex, only for Naito to counter that into a DDT and a reverse rana. Destino (Satellite Reverse DDT) looks to end things, but Cobb blocks it mid move and then delivers a modified version of the F5. Cobb pulls Naito to his feet, but Naito fights back and the two men trade strikes, which ends with Cobb turning Naito inside out with a lariat. Cobb goes for Tour of the Islands (Spinning front powerslam) next, but Naito is able to counter it mid move into a reverse and that gets him a two count. Undeterred, Naito simply picks Cobb back up and delivers Destinoooooooooooooooooo to pick up the win.

RATING: ***1/4

Why does Naito even bother going for a pin after the first Destino anymore (That’s basically what the counter to Tour of the Islands was)? We all know the guy is kicking out and he’s just going to deliver the move again. Just go right to it and save yourself the time and effort of making that first pointless pin attempt. It’s like when you ask for Coke in the pub and the barman says “Sorry, I only have Pepsi, is that alright?” It’s not like you’re going to storm out in disgust if you find out you’ve been given a slightly different caffeinated soft drink, so why bother asking? Just give me my tooth rotting fizzy drink and I’ll be on my way mate. I’m already in a sour mood from getting roped into being the designated driver, so stop dawdling on my refreshment you pillock! As for the match, it was fine but didn’t really captivate me.

Jon Moxley (10 pts) w/ Shota Umino Vs Hirooki Goto (8 pts)

You’d have to think that Moxley does another job here, because if he wins then Naito is eliminated and I think they’ll want all of Naito, Moxley, Goto and Jay White in play for the final round of fixtures. Goto winning here ensures it’s all up for grabs tomorrow, provided White also wins later. Part of me would like to see Goto and Ibushi win their respective Blocks actually, as I think it would be an interesting Final, although Ibushi would likely be the heavy favourite, whilst Jay White, Naito or Moxley would realistically be a stronger opponent.

In a nice touch, Goto wants to touch fists prior to the match, but Moxley’s fist game is stronger as he roughly brings his fists down on Goto’s and then no sells it when Goto does it back. Both men trade strikes, which is a battle than Moxley wins and he clotheslines Goto over the top to the outside. Moxley sends Goto into the railings outside and then continues to work him over with strikes. Goto fights back however but both men realise the referee is counting and roll back in at 19. The fight continues back inside, with both men trading strikes. Goto manages to take Moxley down following a trio of clotheslines and then sets up for a Saito Suplex. Moxley fights that off, so Goto gets a spin kick in the corner and then gets the suplex on the second rope.

Moxley slips out of a fireman’s carry and goes for his old Moxicity move, which is a double chicken wing into a face buster, but Goto fights that off so Moxley goes to a release German Suplex instead. Moxley follows up with a uranage slam and pulls down his knee pad for a running knee strike, but Goto dodges so Moxley gets a butterfly suplex and then transitions to a double wrist lock. That was very nice from Moxley. Moxley tries to transition to a cross arm breaker and eventually gets it, but Goto is too close to the ropes and gets his feet on them to break. Goto gets back to his feet and tries fighting back with strikes, but Moxley gets the better of things and takes him down with a lariat for two. Moxley delivers a William Regal like running knee next, but Goto is able to kick out at two.

Goto replies with a Ushigoroshi (Fireman’s carry onto the knee) and that allows him to get back on an even keel with Moxley. Both men throw lariats at each other, which leads to sweat flying and both men dropping to their knees. That leads to Goto throwing some kicks, but Moxley catches the last one and gets the Death Rider (Double Arm DDT). He holds on and tries a lifting Death Rider next, but Goto slips out of that and delivers the GTR (Reverse DDT over the knee) and manages to score the win off that.

RATING: ***1/4

This was a bit lacking in heat, but the work was good and Goto winning was definitely the right booking decision as that keeps him alive in the tournament and makes sure there are plenty of people who can still bring home the bacon on the Final night. I like how A Block has come down to one recognised match between Okada and Ibushi whilst B Block is a mad house where nearly half the field could still realistically win the Block on the last night. It’s like The English Championship when you get into April and half the League could still conceivably finish in a Play Off spot if results go their way. You wouldn’t want both Blocks to be the same, so the fact B Block has been way nuttier has added some variety, and variety is of course the spice of life!

“Switchblade” Jay White (8 pts) w/ Gedo Vs Juice Robinson (6 pts)

I think White is probably winning here so that his name can be added to the list of potential winners on the final night. Due to losing to Goto in Round 1, if he doesn’t win here then he’s out of the tournament because Goto holds the tiebreaker over him. Juice can afford to lose here so long as he beats Jon Moxley in Round 9 to earn himself a rematch at the US Title. These two have history between one another as Juice defeated Jay White for the US Title once, which was ironically the match where things really clicked for White as a heel after a slow start.

White stalls to start, so Juice mocks him by wiping his bum with a scarf that has White’s name on. Gedo causes a distraction, which allows White to pull Juice down by his hair, but Juice replies with a hair pull of his own and then delivers a jumping side kick. Juice’s trademark jabs look to be incoming, but White rolls outside to avoid them, which leads to Juice following him out. Gedo provides another distraction out there however, which allows White to throw him throat first into the railings. White tries to add a chair shot, but Juice dodges it and grabs the chair himself, but he ends up putting it down when Referee Uno confronts him over it. However, when Juice gets back inside Gedo grabs his leg, which allows White to cut Juice off and then throw his leg into the apron. White goes after the leg outside by laying it over the ralings and kicking it.

White takes the fight into the crowd, where he drops Juice’s leg onto the chairs. White wants Uno to start counting, but Uno instead decides to let Juice get back into the ring due to White’s illegal activities. That at least makes sense to a degree, as he gave White some leeway because he wants a clean finish in the ring, but he also won’t alow White to win directly from cheating. White goes to the single leg crab back inside the ring, but Juice is able to make it to the ropes and cause a break. White mocks Juice’s taunt and then actually starts throwing jabs, but Juice fires back with a chop and throws some jabs of hiw own, only for White to go back to the leg like the underhanded heel he is. I love how White is just openly going out there and being as reprehensible as he can, because he’s the bad guy and that’s what he’s there to do.

Juice manages a desperation spine buster to White and finally gets a chance to throw some jabs, but White takes him down before the big punch and goes for a Figure Four. Juice kicks him off to the outside however and follows with a dive, but that serves to hurt him as much as it hurts White. Juice sends White into the railings a few times and rolls him back inside, where he rams White’s leg into the ring post as payback for White’s attacks to his leg earlier in the bout. Gedo provides another distraction however, which allows White to pull Juice face first into the post. Back inside, Juice dodges a White attack in the corner and then adds a pair of clotheslines before going for a cannonball, but White avoids that, so Juice goes to a Jackhammer instead. That only gets a two as Juice can’t cover properly due to his leg hurting. Juice heads up top, but his leg slows him down and that allows White to jam the ropes before he can jump off.

White snaps off a DDT and follows up with a spinning vertical suplex for two. White gets a Saito Suplex and the tries to get another over the top to the outside. Juice tries to fight it, but eventually White is able to deliver it and Juice goes tumbling to the floor. White gets a big uranage slam back inside, but Juice is able to just about kick out at two. White goes for a sleeper suplex, but Juice fights it off and gets a Full Nelson Slam for a double down. Juice gets up first and delivers a big powerbomb for two before transitioning to a modified Boston Crab ala Hiroyoshi Tenzan. White desperately fights his way out by attack the leg and even goes to the Tanahashi playbook with an inverted Dragon Screw. White goes to a modified Indian Deathlock next, called the Tanahashi Tap Out because White invented it specifically to beat The Ace, but Juice is able to drag himself to the ropes to break.

White tries the sleeper suplex again and gets it this time. The Blade Runner (Sister Abilgail’s Kiss) looks to end things, but Juice counters it into a roll up for two from the referee. Juice goes for Pulp Friction (The Tomikaze) next, but Juice attacks the leg to counter it, so Juice clocks him with a big left handed punch instead and both men are down. Juice is up first following that and calls for Pulp Friction, but Gedo causes a distraction, which allows White to low blow Juice and shove him into the referee. This allows Gedo to throw a chair into White, but Juice punches White before he can use it and goes for Pulp Friction onto the chair, but White blocks that and delivers two chair shots to Juice’s leg before going back to the Tanahashi Tap Out. Juice has nowhere to go and has to tap out.

RATING: ****

White really had to win there, but there’s always a chance they could do another match down the line and Juice could get some revenge. Juice’s main focus will be Moxley next though I think, and I’ve been thinking from the minute the brackets came out that Juice would beat Moxley, so we’ll see if I’m right on that one. You’d think that White Vs Naito will probably be the match that settles the Block, unless they bowl a Yorker and have Goto advance by having White and Naito fight to a 30 minute draw whilst Juice beats Moxley and Goto wins his last match. The match itself was really enjoyable, with Juice being a gutsy babyface and White being an absolute scum heel. They have a good dynamic together and I wouldn’t mind seeing more matches between them going forward.

Shingo Takagi (4 pts) Vs Tomohiro Ishii (8 pts)

Ishii is another who could conceivably win the Block, but he’ll need to win here to remain in contention. Should he win then we’ll have an amazing 5 out of the 10 wrestlers in the Block who could still win it, which would lead to some incredible drama on Night Eighteen. Shingo is mathematically eliminated now and is just wrestling for pride, but his match on Night Fourteen with Naito was one of the best of the whole tournament.

Chris Charlton tells an interesting story during the entrances, where he recounts how Ishii went to the 1993 January Tokyo Dome and saw Tenryu take on Riki Choshu in a match that made him want to become a professional wrestler. He then got to train with Tenryu and eventually got mentored by Choshu, which is pretty darn cool actually. Meanwhile, Shingo was trained by Choshu’s running mate Animal Hamaguchi and then eventually was mentored by Tenryu. I love stuff like that as it’s actually interesting stuff that adds to the story of the match and is another example of why this New Japan team is probably the best English commentary team in Pro Wrestling right now in my opinion.

We get the manly lock up to start, which sees Shingo bull Ishii into the ropes and chop him. Ishii isn’t having any of that and both men start charging one another with shoulder barges, which eventually leads to them avoiding the other’s attacks in a great little segment. Both men trade forearms in the center of the ring, with neither budging, but eventually Shingo is able to take Ishii down with a shoulder tackle and then drops some elbows and a big jumping back senton splash. Shingo works a body scissors next, but Ishii is able to roll to the ropes to break it. Shingo keeps targetting the mid-section with knees, but Ishii charges at him with shoulder block to take him down and starts throwing some chops. Ishii adds some kicks to the back of the head and shoulders, and then talks some smack to Shingo before letting him up and demanding he fight him.

Shingo obliges, but Ishii targets the throat with some chops. Shingo keeps coming though, so Ishii throws some head butts, only for Shingo to get up again and throw some chops. Both men chop the fudge out of one another, which ends with Shingo getting a double handed chop. Ishii keeps fighting, so Shingo delivers a vertical suplex to halt his momentum and then adds some clotheslines in the corner. Shingo delivers a slam and then heads up top for a Tenryu like back elbow for two. I’ve always liked Tenryu’s elbow drop actually, it’s brutally simple and I love that. Shingo gets a modified back suplex for two and then starts throwing elbows to a downed Ishii before delivering dropping a knee. Shingo tries a powerbomb of some kind, but Ishii back body drops out of it and then follows up with a powerslam. Ishii throws some chops and forearms in the corner, but Shingo no sells it and delivers some of his own, actually managing to make Ishii sink into the corner. Ishii is soon pulling himself back up though, almost annoyed at Shingo’s insolence, and moves foreward into forearms. Shingo changes tact and gets a punch and a lariat instead, which knocks Ishii down, but when he goes to pick him up Ishii delivers a vertical suplex. Ishii can’t resist allowing Shingo to get up and start hitting him again though, and that leads to both men lariating and suplexing one other, which eventually ends with Ishii suplexing Shingo for a double down. What a great fight this is!

Ishii gets a stiff clothesline in the corner and sets Shingo up on the top rope, where he brings him down with a superplex for two. Someone needs to bring the superplex back as a finisher and they need to put a hold on other people doing it in whatever company it is, because a big move like that really should be a finish. Ishii gets a big powerbomb next, but Shingo is once again able to will himself to kick out. Ishii tries for the brain buster, but Shingo slips out and goes for Made in Japan (Side Half Nelson into a powerbomb) but Ishii fights that out so he just lariats him instead. Shingo gets the Gory Bomb and then follows up with a sliding lariat for two. Made in Japan looks to come next, but Ishii fights that off, only to take a short lariat for his troubles. Sweat quite literally flew there! Ishii absorbs the lariats though and takes Shingo down with a head butt before trying a sliding lariat. Shingo blocks that however and goes to Made in Japan, but Ishii is able to kick out at two.

Pumping Bomber Lariat comes next from Shingo, but once again Ishii is able to kick out. Shingo goes for a fireman’s carry, but Ishii slips out of that and eventually manages to deliver a release German Suplex for a double down. Ishii appears to be bleeding from his ear, which is hopefully an external wound and not an internal one. Ishii turns Shingo inside out with a lariat and then follows up with a sliding one for two. We get the 10 minute warning, as both men fight over a suplex. Shingo eventually wins that battle with a modified vertical suplex and then hits a Pumping Bomber, but Ishii pops right back up with an enziguri. Ishii DESTROYS Shingo with a lariat, but Shingo kicks out at one and hits a lariat of his own, only for Ishii to kick out of one at well! Are these two men bloody cyborgs are something?!?! Both men charge at one another with lariats, which is a battle Shingo actually wins and he hits another Pumping Bomber for a great near fall. The crowd was BUYING that near fall right there! Shingo gets Last of the Dragons (Fireman’s Carry into a modified Michinoku Driver) and that’s enough for him to finally pick up the win and take Ishii out of the tournament.

RATING: ****1/2

Hotdog, jumping frog, Albuquerque, what a main event that was! So we’re only going to have four men in contention on Night Eighteen then, but this could potentially set Shingo up for a shot at Ishii’s NEVER Openweight Title and I’d be all for them locking it up again!

So with the penultimate night of B Block action in the books, let’s see how the standings are set up;

Jox Moxley, Tetsuya Naito, Hirooki Goto and Jay White are all on 10 points and any of them could still win the whole shebang! Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano are on 8 points, whilst the rest of the field are sitting on 6 points.

In Conclusion

Yup, get yourself that main event, it was fantastic and make sure you tune in to Night Eighteen, as it’s going to be one heck of a conclusion! I’ll have the A Block Final up on Sunday at the latest and I’ll also attempt to have the B Block Final up on the same say as well, it just depends on what time I get home from London.