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NJPW G1:Climax Night 9 and 10 Recap and Review

We are now at the half way point of NJPW’s premiere annual tournament the G1 Climax, we’ve seen some incredible action so far, from both blocks. At this critical stage of the tournament both blocks are balanced with no real front runners in either block especially after last weeks results which turned the groups on their heads. In block A, 4 competitors are sitting on 6 points, Kota Ibushi, Jay White, Taichi and Will Ospreay, closely following them are Okada and Suzuki on 4 Points. With 1 win each Jeff Cobb, Tomohiro Ishii and Shingo have 2 points and bringing up the rear is Yujiro Takahashi who is still on 0 points. Block B is just as competitive, currently at the top of the table are Naito, Juice Robinson and Toru Yano each on 6points, on their tails are Evil, Kenta, Goto, Tanahashi and Sabre Jr with 4 points and at the bottom of the table is Sanada and Yoshi-hashi who only have 2 points.


Night 9 Block A

Night 9 Block A kicks off with a young lions match as normal with Yuya Uemura facing off with Gabriel Kidd for the third time on this tour, Uemura has been much more aggressive as of late winning his last two matches and Gabriel Kidd went to a time limit draw with Yota Tsuji. Then Shingo Tagaki faces off against Yujiro, Yujiro will be desperate to get his first win, whilst Shingo will be hoping he can catch up with those above him and a loss will surely put him out of the running. Jeff Cobb is in similar position as he goes up against Bullet Club’s Jay White who will be looking to get back into winning form, having lost his first match last week. Suzuki and Okada will do battle, with both competitors on 4 points one will catch up to those at the top, the other will loose ground. Tomohiro Ishii will be looking to add to his second win against Taichi who will be looking to stay at the top of the table with another win here. In the main event Ibushi and Will Osprey will battle it out for the top spot, both are currently on 6 points, so each competitor will be looking to stay ahead of the pack by picking up the win here.


Gabriel Kidd Vs Yuya Uemura

  • Yuya Uemura Defeated Gabriel Kidd by Submission

The match swung back and forth with great transitions, Gabriel Kidd has the strength advantage, Uemura upped his aggression once again as he took control at the end. In the last minutes Uemura had Kidd in Boston Crab Kidd managed to escape, the two young lions then traded pins back and forth before Uemura reversed a pin to high angle Boston Crab to win the match by submission. Uemura has now defeated Kidd in their last two matches where as Kidd has one single victory against Uemura in their first clash.

Shingo Tagaki (1W 3L 0D 2Pts) Vs Yujiro Takahashi (0W 4L 0D 0Pts)

  • Shingo Tagaki defeated Yujiro Takahashi via pin fall

Yujiro was desperate to get his first win so he upped his viciousness in this match as he tried to counter Shingo’s strength, he would also resort to dirty tactics as he tried to gain any advantage. Shingo looked strong as he would club Yujiro with huge lariats and some high impact slams that would see Yujiro come crashing down to the mat. As a last resort Yujiro pushes the referee to the floor and attempt to use his Pimp stick but Shingo just slapped it out of his hand so hard the cane snapped, Shingo then set Yujiro up in his modified Death Valley/Made in Japan Driver to win the match by pin.

Jeff Cobb (1W, 3L, 0D 2Pts) Vs Jay White (3W, 1L, 0D 6Pts)

  • Jeff Cobb Jr defeated Jay white by pin fall

Jay White did all he could to avoid the grip of Jeff Cobb, resorting to plenty of heel-ish tactics to avoid being thrown around the ring by super athlete Cobb. Eventually Cobb was able to get a hold of White and he threw the bullet club member around with a variety of suplexes, even with Gedo getting invloved it was not enough to stop the strength of Jeff Cobb. The referee inevitability took a bump but when Gedo tried to get involved he had White thrown at him, taking care of Gedo. Cobb then hit the tour of island slam to pick up the win by pin fall.

Minoru Suzuki (2W, 2L, 0D 4Pts) Vs Kazuchica Okada (2W 2L 0D 4Pts)

  • Kazuchica Okada defeated Minoru Suzuki by pin fall

Suzuki was as violent as ever as he targeted Okada’s Rainmaker arm, both in and out side the ring, applying arm bars, wrist locks and hammer locks. Okada would not back down from Suzuki however, meeting him in the middle of the ring and exchanging strikes with Suzuki. But when Okada would start getting some momentum together, Suzuki would go back to targeting his arm, even blocking a rainmaker by kicking Okada’s arm. Both competitors attempted to put chokes on to the other to win, Okada with his cobra clutch “the Money Clip” and Suzuki with a rear naked choke, Okada would win the match by reversing Suzuki’s Gotch Pile Driver into a pinning predicament and getting the pin fall.


Taichi (3W 1L 0D 6Pts) Vs Tomohiro Ishii (1W 3L 0D 2 Pts)

  • Tomohiro Ishii defeated Taichi by Pin fall

Taichi and Ishii just stood in the centre of the ring, with Ishii throwing chops at Taichi chest and Taichi kicking at the leg of the stone pitball, eventually Taichi came out on top. Taichi was as vicious as ever using the ring bell hammer to choke Ishii on the outside of the ring, almost getting himself disqualified. Taichi controlled most of the match but the stone pitbull lived up to his moniker, absorbing everything Taichi threw at him, even taking a low blow and kicking out of the pin attempt. A frantic finish saw both competitors exhaust themselves completely, throwing everything they had each other. But it was Ishii who hit a vertical brain buster picking up the win by pin fall.


Kota Ibushi (3W 1L 0D 6Pts) Vs Will Ospreay (3W, 1L, 0D 6Pts)

  • Kota Ibushi defeats Will Ospreay via Pin Fall

It was slower start than expected with the two locking up and relying on some basic pure wrestling rather than going straight for dives, but it didn’t take long for the two pick the pace. Will Osprey was acting very cocky, even mocking Ibushi at times, he was made to pay for his arrogance as Ibushi would unleash his kicks. The two competitors hit each other with every move in their arsenal, the pair are freak athletes both displaying amazing strength and athleticism with variety of attacks and both doing things most could never do. Both men visibly physically exhausted, Ospreay would go for an Oz cutter but Ibushi hits him with knee mid air, followed by the Kamagoyee and picks up win by pin fall

Final Thoughts Block A Night 9

An amazing night of action that made the block even more competitive, with Ibushi the only person on 6 points to pick up a win, when he defeated Ospreay he put himself at the top of block with 8 points. Both Jay White and Taichi missed out on their chance to head the block after loosing to Jeff Cobb and Ishii respectively as they moved on to 4 points. Okada’s victory over Suzuki allowed him to catch up with the front runners of the block after moving on to 6 points. Shingo picked up his second win to move onto 4 points as Yujiro continues to be the whipping boy of block A loosing all 5 matches so far. The Ospreay and Ibushii match really did live up to it’s main event billing in an incredible match. Jay White continues to steal the tournament after his match with Jeff Cobb, which was really good, despite his loss.

Night 10 Block B

Block B’s main event sees Kenta take on the ace Tanahashi with both competitors on 4 points a win for either one will close the gap on the top spot, whilst the other will loose ground. Night 10 will also see Yoshi-Hashi as he goes one on one with one of the groups leaders Naito, can Yoshi-Hashi pick up the win and gain ground on blocks leader. Evil goes up against Juice Robinson, if Evil picks up the win he will be on equal points with Juice, if Juice wins he can increase his lead at the top. Sanada and Sabre will clash in technical master piece, Sanada must win to keep himself in contention, but Sabre could catch the group leaders with a win here. Can Toru continue his unlikely lead with a win over Hiroki Goto, who is supporting an injury from all the battles he’s been so far. The Young Lions will kick off the night as Yota Tsuji looks for revenge against Yuya Uemura who is currently on a 3 match win streak including a win over Yota the last time they faced off.

Yota Tsuji Vs Yuya Uemura

  • Draw after time limit reached

Yota had the strength advantage but Yuya made up for this with his intensity and aggression, this match was far less technical than the previous bout, the exhibition of wrestling is over. As the time limit drew near they became more frantic both looking for the win, first Yuya had Yota in the Boston Crab submission but Yota broke the hold, then Yota put Yuya in the Boston Crab but Yuya managed to break the hold. In the end the bell went as the time limit had come bringing an end to match for draw, the two had be separated after the bell and still kicking out at each other.

Toru Yano (3W 1L 0D 6Pts) Vs Hirooki Goto (2W 2L 0D 4Pts)

  • Hiroki Goto defeated Yujiro Takahashi via pin fall

Goto had no time for Yano’s fun and games and still supporting a shoulder injury, he quickly took Yano to the mat and tied his legs in knots, locking Yano into a pinning predicament for the 3 count, picking up the win by pin fall, in what must be the shortest match of the tournament. Yano looses his second match in row and Goto catches up to the front runners now on 6 points.

Sanada (1W, 3L, 0D 2Pts) Vs Zack Sabre Jr (2W, 2L, 0D 4Pts)

  • Sanada defeated Zack Sabre Jr by pin fall

the two contenders put on a master class of technical wrestling, trapping each other in pinning predicaments and a variety of submissions, throwing the odd kick chop as they just punished one another. The match went back and forth but Zack was the aggressor and did control most of the match, Sanada would take advantage of a rare Zack Sabre mistake, reversing a hold into a top rope assisted cutter followed by moonsault to pick up the win. Sanada’s second win in a row puts him on equal points with Sabre Jr as he looks to try catch up to the leaders, as Sabre looses more ground on the block leaders.


Evil (2W, 2L, 0D 4Pts) Vs Juice Robinson (3W 1L 0D 6Pts)

  • Evil defeated Juice Robinson by pin fall

Evil went straight for the dirty tactics, jumping Juice before the bell and it really didn’t take long for Dick Togo to make his presence felt, constantly interfering, removing the turnbuckle pads to expose the metal whilst Evil went for every trick in his book. Juice was fighting an uphill battle the moment the bell rang and Evil did control large portions of the match but Juice was up for the fight showing heart and tacticity, The crowd would get behind Juice giving him all their support clapping along every time Juice would fight. However with the inevitable referee distraction from Togo, Evil would hit a low blow following with his Everything is Evil for a pin fall victory, with this win Evil now joins Juice, Yano, Goto and Naito on 6 points at the top of the group.

Tetsuya Naito (3W 1L 0D 6Pts) Vs Yoshi-Hashi (1W 3L 0D 2 Pts)

  • Tetsuya Naito defeated Yoshi-Hashi by Pin fall

Both of these guys fought tooth and nail, Yoshi-hashi knew if he lost this match he would fall further behind the group leaders, Naito knew if he won this match he would be top of the block. The momentum swung back and forth neither competitor having control for any sustained period with both giving everything they had and more. Just when it looks like momentum is in yoshi-hashi’s favour Naito hit a destino but could not follow up, Yoshi-hashi blocked a second attempt and after a couple more reversals Naito hit Destino again to pick up the win by pin fall. With this win Naito is now at the top of black B with 8 points, with this loss Yoshi-hashi finds himself at the bottom of group with only 2 points.


Hiroshi Tanahashi (2W 2L 0D 4Pts) Vs Kenta (2W, 2L, 0D 4Pts)

  • Hiroshi Tanahashi defeats Kenta via Submission

Kenta decided to take his time choosing when to engage, but Tanhashi went straight on the offence, to slow the Ace’s momentum. Kenta went off on a vicious assault of Tanhashi’s knee. Kenta continuously attacked Tanahashi’s leg as if he was clipping his wings so he couldn’t fly, Tanahashi of course fought through the pain as he always does, even returning the favour with a couple dragon screws to Kenta’s leg. Kenta would push Tanahashi into the referee temporarily incapacitating him, he then used the US title shot briefcase, followed by huge running knee, Tanahashi would not stay down though. Tanahashi would strike back with a series of neck breakers and a flying cross body, before locking in a Texas clover leaf to get the submission victory moving on to 6 points.

Final Thoughts Night 10 Block B

Another great night and another mixed bag of results, whilst Naito is on top with 8 points and Yoshi-Hashi is at the bottom with only two points, there are 5 competitors right behind Naito on 6 points Tanahashi, Goto, Juice, Yano and Evil. whilst Kenta, Zack Sabre Jr and Sanada have 4 points each. The Zack Sabr Jr vs Sanada match was a technical master piece of great wrestling, Kenta and Tanahashi had a war in the main event and Juice and Evil had a classic old school clash. With the group so tightly contested and 4 more nights of group competition there is plenty still to play for, with each night becoming more critical than the previous it has been an incredible tournament so far.

The Great British Otaku

Andrew More

@GBOtaku82

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