NJPW G1:Climax Night 15 and 16 Recap and Review
We are now on the penultimate nights of Block matches for the NJPW G1 Climax 30, their premiere annual tournament to determine who will challenge Naito for his IWGP title at NJPW’s biggest show of the Year, Wrestle Kingdom (if Naito wins, he will get to pick the challenger). The last round of matches were superb as always but most importantly the block leaders in each group have finally created a big enough point gap that has seen many competitors finally out of the running to advance.
Night 13 Block A
Night 13 kicks off with another young lion match as Gabriel Kidd faces off against Uemura, Kidd is riding a wave of momentum currently with 2 wins in a row and Uemura defeated Yota Tsuji in his last outing. There are some key clashes tonight for those at the top of leader board, none more so than Will Ospreay Vs Jeff Cobb, Ospreay could put Cobb out of the running with a win, Cobb needs to win to still have chance of advancing. Ibushi must get past Takahashi, can Takahashi play spoiler? Jay White faces of with the always dangerous Suzuki, Okada faces his stable mate Ishii but don’t expect Ishii to lay down for Okada, Okada will have to be ready for a hard fight. In what should be truly excellent encounter, Shingo Tagaki takes on Taichi, in a fight for pride Taichi will no doubt want to stop his current loosing streak.
Gabriel Kidd Vs Yuya Uemura
Yuya Uemura defeated Gabriel Kidd by Pin fal
In yet another incredible example of how great technical wrestling matches can look to be truly competitive, Gabriel Kidd and Yuya Uemura were at their best here in amazing match. Kidd had upped his aggression once more but it was Uemura who would come out on top once again using an arm trap double underhook suplex to get the pin fall victory. Uemura has now won his last two matches and Kidd’s winning streak is put to and end, the young lions have been one of the best parts of G1 Tournament.
Jeff Cobb (3W 4L 0D 6Pts) Vs Will Ospreay (5W, 2L, 0D 10Pts)
Jeff Cobb defeated Will Ospreay by Pin fall
Jeff Cobb was ale to fully display his incredible strength for as much as Will Ospreay flew around the ring Jeff Cobb threw him around the ring, with suplexes and Slams. Will Ospreay was on fine form as well he just glides around the ring with amazing speed and athletcisum his new added size has established him as a true heavyweight in this tournament. However even with the added size and strength he was still unable compete with power of Cobb who would hit his Tour of Island slam to pick up the pin fall victory. Jeff Cobb goes up to 8 points and Ospreay remains on 10 points still clinging on to his chance to advance.
Kota Ibushi (5W 2L 0D 8Pts) Vs Yujiro Takahashi (0W, 6L, 0D 0Pts)
Kota Ibushi defeated Yujiro Takahashi via Pin Fall
Yujiro is still without a single win. He also more than likely needs to get back in Jay White’s good books following last weeks match and what better way than by beating Ibushi who is currently on equal points with Jay White. As such there was fire inside him and he really took the fight to Ibushi getting a couple of near falls but Ibushi has proven that he’s not easily put down and fought back with his stinging strikes. Ibushi eventually overcomes the challenge of Yujiro hitting Kamigoye off of a reversal to secure the win via pin fall. With this win Ibushi moves on to 12 points to take lead at the top of block A and Yujiro remains at the bottom still without a win.
Taichi (3W 3L 0D 6Pts) Vs Shingo Tagaki (3W 3L 0D 6Pts)
Taichi defeated Shingo Tagaki via pin fall
Taichi was up to his tricks once again using the ring bell hammer, risking disqualification at one point when he threw the referee to continue his assault on Shingo, using the ring bell hammer to choke Shingo. Shingo would fire back at Taichi with some truly stiff clubbing blows and at one point hitting a clothesline that nearly took Taichi’s head off. In the end it was Taichi who finally got another win after hitting a super kick at a charging Tagaki, he followed up with an air raid crash to win the match by pin fall. Although Taichi won the match and has moved on to 8 points it wont be enough to advance to the finals and Tagaki remains on 6 points with no chance of advancing.
Jay White (5W, 2L, 0D 10Pts) Vs Minoru Suzuki (3W, 4L, 0D 6Pts)
Jay White defeated Minoru Suzuki by pin fall
Suzuki was not going to wait for Jay White who tried to play his usual games, with Suzuki heading straight for him as Jay tried to buy time on the outside. Both competitors could have easily been disqualified but the referee allowed things to continue. Suzuki was basically fighting a handicap match with Gedo in Jay White’s corner, at one point Suzuki has Jay tapping to an armbar but Gedo had the referee distracted, so it went unnoticed. In the end Suzuki locked in his Gotch Style Piledriver but due to a Gedo distraction, Jay hit a low blow then his blade runner finisher winning the match by pin fall. With this win Jay now joins Ibushi on 12 points and Suzuki remains on 6 points and is officially eliminated from the competition.
Kazuchica Okada (4W, 2L, 0D 8Pts) Vs Shingo Tagaki (3W 3L 0D 6Pts)
Kazuchica Okada defeated Shingo Tagaki by referee stoppage
Okada locked up with the monster of a man that is Tomohiro Ishii, eager to show that he would not be out muscled by the Stone Faced Pitbull even managing to put Ishii to the mat with a shoulder tackle. Okada worked a much faster style than he would normally in attempt to push the cardio of the more experienced Ishii. Ishii would slow the match back down with chops that made Okada’s chest beet red. As the battle raged on you could see how effective Okada’s game plan was as Ishii began to tire, Okada seemed to still have the energy to spare. Ishii would rally back but in the end Okada would wear the big man down before locking in his Money clip to win the match by Referee stoppage. Okada now joins Ibushi and Jay White at the top of the block with 12 points, as Ishii crashes out.
Final Thoughts Block A Night 15
Some really great matches tonight, none more so than Jay White Vs Suzuki, Suzuki painted a master piece of violence and viciousness but with Jay being no stranger to being vicious or violent himself he almost equalled that of Suzuki. The Jeff Cobb Vs Will Ospreay was another highlight of the night in a great Monster vs High Flying contest in what was a super athletic contest. Taichi and Shingo also had an incredible match, Taichi has had an amazing G1 tournament so far and Shingo himself has had great match after great match. The young Lions also need to be commended for their performances, not just on this night but on nearly every night. Uemura and Kidd have had fantastic matches throughout. I cannot wait for the final group stage matches, with 5 competitors still with a chance of advancing its going to be a climatic night of wrestling.
Night 16 Block B
Those that are at the top have some critical clashes on this penultimate night of group stages, in the main event Sanada, who is well on his way to making the ultimate come back to advance, faces the NJPW Ace Tanahashi. Evil faces off with Goto, if Evil can pick up the win he will eliminate Goto. Naito faces the G1 bogeyman Yano, he has stolen victories off of many top competitors in the G1 Climax over the years and this year is no different, although he’s currently on a 4 match loosing streak. Sabre Jr finds himself right behind the leaders but needs to win against Juice Robinson to stay in with a chance of advancing. In the opening match, young lions Yota Tusji and Yuya Uemura face off against each other for the 6th and final time on this G1 group stage tour.
Yota Tsuji Vs Yuya Uemura
Yota Tsuji Defeated Yuya Uemura by Submission
Uemura’s technical skill as well as his aggression were on point since his confidence was high following his win last time out and knowing Tsuji has lost his last two matches. Tsuji would match Uemura’s technique and aggression with his strength, at one point managing to block Uemura’s arm trapped underhook suplex. Tsuji would go on to win after he was able to use the giant swing on Uemura setting up for a Boston Crab almost snapping Uemura in half and forcing him to submit. Out of the 6 matches Tsuji has 3 wins, Uemura had 2 Wins and there was 1 draw.
Yoshi-Hashi (1W 6L 0D 2Pts) Vs Kenta (3W 4L 0D 6Pts)
Kenta defeated Yoshi-Hashi via pin fall
Kenta did not play his usual opening mind games instead looked to engage straight away, Yoshi-Hashi would meet him in the middle and would get the upper hand. Kenta would lure Yoshi-Hashi outside where he would work on his arm to soften him up for his submission move later in the match. He would continue to focus on Yoshi-Hashi’s arm throughout the match and any time Yoshi-Hashi would try to fight back Kenta would attack the arm with targeted kicks. Yoshi-Hashi would fight with the heart of a lion but in the end it was Kenta who would trap Yoshi-Hashi in his submission forcing Yoshi-Hashi to tap. Although Kenta moves on to 8 points it’s unlikely he will gain enough points to advance now.
Zack Sabre Jr (3W, 4L, 0D 6Pts) Vs Juice Robinson (3W, 4L, 0D 6Pts)
Zack Sabre Jr defeated Juice Robinson by Pin fall
It was a battle of power against technique as Zack Sabre Jr would try to wear down the bigger and stronger Juice Robinson with technical wrestling and submissions. Sabre would go on to focus Juice’s arm mainly but any limb was fair game if Zack could get a hold of it and attack it he would. Juice would match this with powerful punches, rib crushing chops and slaps and some huge slams including a spine buster that almost put Sabre through the mat. Sabre would wrap his long limbs around Juice in several submission attempts throughout the match, at one point Juice would have to drop Sabre Jr on his head dangerously to break one armbar. Sabre would pick up the win after countering Juice’s Pulp Friction finisher into a pinning predicament getting the pin fall.
Toru Yano (3W, 4L, 0D 6Pts) Vs Tetsuya (5W 2L 0D 10Pts)
Tetsuya Naito defeated Toru Yano by pin fall
There were shenanigans a plenty in this match and not just from Naito as he would decide to play Yano at his own game, especially after Yano would perform signature Naito moves and taunts. The turnbuckle pads were removed and at one point Yano would tie Naito to Yota Tsuji in attempt to get him counted out, similar to what he did to Sanada on night 2 but Naito managed to get back in the ring, dragging Yota with him. The match would end after Yano hit Naito with low blow but Naito escaped the pin attempt, he would then return the favour by hitting Yano with low blow and successfully getting a pin for the win. Naito remains at the top of block moving on to 12 points and Yano has now lost his last 5 matches after winning his first 3.
Evil (5W 2L 0D 10Pts) Vs Hirooki Goto (4W 3L 0D 8Pts)
Evil defeated Hirooki Goto by Pin fall
It really did not take long for Dick Togo to intervene on Evil’s behalf, first physically and then providing a distraction so Evil could attack Goto with chairs, taking aim at Goto’s injured right arm. Evil would continuously flout the rules again risking disqualification, Goto would continue to fight back but with only one arm you could see him struggle to be effective with his left arm and you could see him wince in pain any time he used his right arm. Goto is a warrior and would not quit easily surprising everyone by diving over the top ropes and taking both Togo and Evil, before hitting a reverse GTR but Evil would kick out of the pin. As Goto set up for a true GTR, Evil would manage to get a reversal and hit Every Thing is Evil picking up the victory by pin fall. Evil joins Naito on 12 points and with this loss Goto is now out of the running to advance.
Sanada (4W 3L 0D 8Pts) Vs Hiroshi Tanahashi (3W, 4L, 0D 6Pts)
Sanada defeats Hiroshi Tanhashi by pin fall
Sanada and Tanahashi would start out with some classic wrestling as both competitors seemed to show each other respect with little animosity towards each other. It took some time but eventually the two would start exchanging strikes, as the match started to pick up so did the competitiveness and the aggression. They both started pulling out their best moves, Tanahashi landed a high cross body from the top rope to the outside following up with Texas Clover leaf but Sanada would get to the ropes. Sanada would go for his moonsault but missed landing on his feet, Tanahashi would go for his High Fly flow but Sanada would get his knees up. They would battle back and forth until eventually Sanada would would hit his moonsault and get the pin fall. Sanada continues his comeback, still with a chance of advancing.
Final Thoughts Night 16 Block B
I think this might possibly be the best Block B night so far, there were some incredible matches on night 16 starting with the Kenta Vs Yoshi-Hashi match, they had a fantastic opening match. Juice and Sabre Jr had a true classic match, minus Juice dropping Sabre Jr on his head, they had an excellent technical wrestler vs the flamboyant strong man contest. Evil and Goto had a real battle of wills and bodies, it was a tough hard hitting affair. But the match of the night has to go to Sanada and Tanahashi in an incredible main event. The last night is going to be epic as Sanada and Evil will clash in what should be a main event, whilst Kenta has a chance to stop Naito from advancing if he can beat him.
Both Nights are now available with English commentary.
The Great British Otaku