New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax 29 Day 5 Report (A Block) | Aired 7/18/19

New Japan Pro Wrestling

Day 5 – Block A

Aired 7/18/19
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero with Chris Charlton on commentary which is PERFECTION.


We get the bell and see the size difference to start, with Archer just shoving KENTA down hard. KENTA is unphased, and chips away with kicks to the legs and base of Archer. He gets Archer down to a knee and shows utter confidence in continuing to strike away. Corner kicks by KENTA connect but Archer explodes out with a shoulder block to drop KENTA. Archer looks for a chokeslam off the apron, Young Lions get in the way, Archer slams KENTA onto the Lions but they catch KENTA so Archer hits a cannonball off the apron to wipe everyone out. And Archer receives a HUGE pop from the crowd! Well then. Archer sends KENTA into the railings and keeps the pressure on. The ref now starts the count but Archer grabs the timekeepers mic and tells him to shut up, then rolls KENTA back inside. Chants for KENTA, but chants for Archer rise alongside them. Archer calls KENTA “Hideo” and gets slapped for it, but Archer hits that Derailer Pounce of his to wipe KENTA out and beats him down. The ref tries to stop him and gets shoved down by Archer who chokes KENTA in the ropes.

Short-arm clothesline by Archer lands hard, KENTA tries to slam Archer but cant so he hits boots to the face and then catches Archer in a powerslam and both are down. Spring dropkick by KENTA sends Archer into the corner, BIG corner boots land and KENTA hits the hesitation dropkick. Top rope double stomp by KENTA gets 2. GTS is blocked but KENTA gets behind Archer and looks for the tornado guillotine, Archer counters and looks for a superplex, KENTA escapes and dives but Archer catches and just PANCAKES him down. Cover but only 2. EBD Claw is called for, KENTA catches the hand and tries to transition but Archer is out and hits a lariat for 2. Archer looks for Blackout, KENTA is up but transitions into a choke on Archer’s back. Archer fades and KENTA hits the PK, looks for GTS and gets Archer up but Archer locks on the EBD Claw! KENTA gets the ropes to break, Archer hoists KENTA again and lands a Muscle Buster, cover but still 2. BIG chants for Archer, Last Ride lands with a thud and Archer covers but still only gets 2. EBD Claw again is countered so Archer looks for a chokeslam, KENTA transitions into a guillotine and then turns that into Game Over (the Yes Lock), and Archer TAPS!

KENTA (6) defeats Lance Archer (4) by submission via Game Over
JAY’S RATING: 3.25 out of 5

This was a really good match and the right person won, but I feel like not only did Archer earn a GREAT response from this crowd after a 3rd really great singles showing in the G1, it also reveals one concern I have: that KENTA’s ring rust is making it that much more difficult of the audience to take him on as a face. Its not that he’s bad – FAR FROM IT. He’s KENTA for fucks sake. But there’s a sharpness from his NOAH days that I still feel myself missing – its not about an evolved style, its about the execution of what he has, which is REALLY good… but it used to be more consistently great. Nonetheless, good work all around and from a story POV I am very glad to see KENTA take the win here and remain undefeated thus far at 3-0. But watch Archer’s space.

EVIL (2)

LIJ partners collide! Milano is holding a mini EVIL scythe at commentary, which is adorable. SANADA with dropkicks right at the bell, hits the backbreaker but EVIL evades the moonsault earily with SANADA landing on his feet, and EVIL bails for a breath. EVIL heads under the ring and pulls a chair out and throws it inside, SANADA takes it, the ref takes it away and that allows EVIL to hit a tackle inside. The pressure is kept on SANADA who gets a reversal and tries the Paradise Lock, EVIL escapes and looks for the Scorpion Death Lock, SANADA rolls it through and tries the Paradise Lock again and EVIL rolls out of it to another standoff. Classic EVIL assisted mid-kick connects and EVIL now tries the Paradise Lock, AND GETS IT LOCKED IN! Chants for EVIL who Captain Morgans on SANADA, hitting the running dropkick to release it and send SANADA outside. EVIL sends SANADA into the rail, beats SANADA down and rolls him back in for a 1 count before locking in a body scissors. SANADA makes the ropes to break, EVIL toys with SANADA and keeps on him. Chops by SANADA and EVIL tells him to bring it on, chops SANADA down but misses the senton as SANADA rolls. Suplex by EVIL is blocked, SANADA gets behind and dropkicks the knee to put EVIL down. SANADA now ties EVIL up in a rope assisted Paradise Lock, the ref doesnt know what to do so SANADA hits the dropkick and EVIL heads outside, and SANADA follows by hitting a pescado. Chants for SANADA.

Back inside and SANADA hits a back suplex for 2. EVIL fires back and hits a big backbreaker for 2, tries a German but SANADA lands on his feet, misdirection in running the ropes and SANADA lands a great spring dropkick. TKO is blocked, EVIL uses the ref to distract and hits a Magic Killer off the ref’s shoulder! (Marty also takes a nice tumble on the move which is fun.) Corner clothesline by EVIL connects, he sits SANADA up top, climbs up all the way with him, and hits a big top rope superplex and covers, but only gets 2. Everything is Evil is blocked twice, SANADA looks for Skull End, they trade counters, SANADA gets Skull End but EVIL reverses it into one of his own but SANADA is up and hits EVERYTHING IS EVIL! Cover but only 2! Chants for SANADA. Backbreaker by SANADA but EVIL gets the knees up on the moonsault and rolls up SANADA, but only gets 2. Both are slow to rise, SANADA gets a Euro and EVIL fires back with strikes. They trade, EVIL shows the power by SANADA pops back up. Headbutt by EVIL but SANADA gets a Tiger Suplex! Cover but only 2! Skull End is attempted again, EVIL fades and SANADA gets a Giant Swing in it but EVIL counters into a rollup for 2. Strikes traded and EVIL hits a lariat, fires up and hits Darkness Falls! Cover, but still only 2. Everything is Evil is countered into a cradle by SANADA for 2, another big lariat by EVIL drops SANADA but SANADA is out at 1! Another HUGE lariat connects from EVIL, cover but a close 2. EVERYTHING IS EVIL! EVIL covers and thats the 3 count!

EVIL (4) defeats SANADA (2) by pinfall via Everything Is Evil
JAY’S RATING: 3.8 out of 5

This was a REALLY good match that almost hit greatness, but I’m also leaving pretty dang satisfied. These two played off their knowledge of each other super well, the counter work was great and while I think most feel that SANADA is a future IWGP champ, EVIL is so consistent in the ring and so I’m thrilled to see him pull off a great win here over his tag partner. Plus, the post-match makes it feel like all is good under the surface in LIJ, which makes me happy. Damned good work here.

After the match, EVIL offers the LIJ fist bump and gets it from SANADA. Fan of that.

BAD LUCK FALE (2) w/ Jado & Chase Owens

Jado and Chase Owens are out and pull focus as Fale makes his way in already beating down Okada who is in his entrance gear and belt as Fale keeps the pressure on, sending Okada into the rail. Avalanche and big splash by Fale gets 2. Chants for Okada. Okada fights back but Chase gets the trip while Fale distracts the ref and Jado gets in shots with the kendo stick. The ref starts to count but Okada rolls back in as Fale is waiting and steps on him. Cover by Fale but only 2. Fale keeps things slow and works the back of Okada, Okada looks for a slam but cant get him yet and eats a big backdrop. Fale does a cocky cover, and Red Shoes again refuses to count such covers. Okada tries the slam but Fale falls on him for a cover but gets 2. Okada hits the running elbow and finally hits the slam. Chants for Okada, Fale bails and Okada hits a tope con hilo to wipe out Fale, Jado and Chase. Back inside Okada hits the corner elbow and DDT but gets 2. The Air Raid Neckbreaker is countered into a Bad Luck Fall attempt, Okada escapes and hits John Woo. Okada now hits the Air Raid Neckbreaker, covers but only 2. Big elbow drop from Okada lands, and we get RAINMAKER POSE! Fale uses Red Shoes to block Rainmaker and he goes down, allowing Chase to hit the ring for the beatdown. Fale hits Grenade and looks for the Bad Luck Fall, Okada drops behind and hits a dropkick, and Chase eats a dropkick as well. Tombstone by Okada is reversed, Okada gets hit with a Jado cane shot ut then Fale takes out Jado by accident and Okada is able to snatch a rollup on Fale for the WIN!

Kazuchika Okada (6) defeats Bad Luck Fale (2) by pinfall via rollup
JAY’S RATING: 2 out of 5

This was a match that happened and was fine. With the exception of the finish its basically the same Fale/Okada match I’ve seen a bunch of times.

After the match Fale attempts an attack but eats a dropkick, and Okada mockingly salutes the Rogue General.


Both of these competitors are at 0-2 which in itself is a surprise. Chants for Tana, some for ZSJ as well as we get the bell. Methodical grappling and feeling out to start. Nice transition work from ZSJ, Tana gets the leg and goes to the mat but ZSJ pops up for the stand off. ZSJ goes for the leg now, nice counter work from Tana and they tie up on the mat which each othe them locking in heel hooks and smiling, though Tana gets the torque advantage for ZSJ goes back to the arm. Nice counter by Tana on the mat, nice bridge escape by ZSJ, they are just on top of each other, ZSJ bow and arrow is countered into a pin attempt but not even 1 as ZSJ escapes but shows MAJOR frustration. Chants for Tana are loudest. More mat work follows with Tana on top, using a toe-hold to keep ZSJ grounded using his own game. Nice escape from ZSJ, who gets a Cobra Twist but Tana counters into his own and grounds it into a cover for 2, ZSJ with a cradle of his own for 2, another rollup by Tana for 2 but ZSJ looks for the arm. Tana stacks up another cover for 2, they trade small packages and 2 counts but Tana holds on as they rise and hits Twist and Shout. Chants for Tana.

Sling Blade is countered into an Octopus Hold, but Tana gets a dragon screw and both are down. Shots traded, nice Euros from ZSJ, Tana tries a backslide, ZSJ tries a reversal, they trade position and get a stalemate, chants from the crowd and Tana unlocks and hits a Sling Blade! Dragon Suplex is countered but Tana is able to reverse the rollup into a Prawn-style rollup for 2, but ZSJ transitions the kick out to attack the arm. Tana tries to stack up ZSJ and stomp on him, and turns ZSJ over for the Cloverleaf but ZSJ gets a GREAT hammerlock Fujiwara, and just WRENCHES back! ZSJ has this PERFECTLY applied, and uses the feet for a headscissors, then rolls the hold over into a hammerlock chimera of sorts until Tana finally makes the ropes! More arm work by ZSJ, Tana grabs the leg, ZSJ slaps away but Tana gets an inverted dragon screw and another Sling Blade! Cover but only 2. Tana climbs and hits a standing High Fly Flow, climbs for the followup but ZSJ gets the knees up and goes for a triangle hold! Tana struggles and flips over into a cradle and STEALS THE WIN FROM THE MASTER!

Hiroshi Tanahashi (2) defeats Zack Sabre Jr (0) by pinfall via rollup
JAY’S RATING: 3.75 out of 5

This was another VERY good match from these two though for me not quite as exciting as some of their past outings. But the storytelling was key here, with the continuation of ZSJ’s losing streak and his petulance and cockiness starting – really for the first time in his NJPW run – to cost him big time. Tana getting on the board here was the right choice, the chemistry was strong and ZSJ’s spiral is being played wonderfully. Good work all around.

After the match ZSJ is PISSED OFF at dropping to 0-3, especially given that tournaments have been a specialty of his. ZSJ throws a tantrum outside takes out aggression on a Young Lion before collapsing to the ground in despair. Love it.


VERY interested going into this match, not only because of their history (that Hidden Blade shot from a while back still gives me shivers) but because Ibushi has yet to get on the board for what feels like his biggest G1 opportunity yet. Will is fired up before the bell and tries to psych out Ibushi, but Ibushi stays calm. Split crowd. Lock up to the ropes to start as they feel it out. Another lock up, another break in the ropes. Clean breaks on both. Will chants grow. Will mounts Ibushi, they work the mat trading holds with Ibushi looking to work Will’s hurt neck. Rolling escape by Will who keeps Ibushi’s arm, and a tackle from Ibushi drops Will (who doesnt use his usual kip up). Will drops for Ibushi to run across but Ibushi drops to a headlock instead. The pace picks up with move attempts and evasions, they look for signatures but Will trips Ibushi, heads outside and slams Ibushi’s leg on the apron. BIG shot to the knee by Will who dumps Ibushi knee-first on the barricade and then wraps it around the corner post. Back inside Will keeps on the knee, slowing Ibushi down. Corner Euro by Will is followed by a hesitation dropkick attempt, but Ibushi moves and lands a thudding kick to Will’s back.

Ibushi keeps the pressure on but they continue to work methodically, with Ibushi getting a cravate. Elbow drop by Ibushi gets 1 and he keeps Will grounded. Will lifts Ibushi to escape but eats a mid-kick before landing the handspring enziguri. Shots by Will, top rope 619 connects, Pip Pip Cheerio is evaded as Ibushi hits a powerslam, but Will evades the follow up moonsault and lands Pip Pip Cheerio and Ibushi heads outside. SPACE FLYING TIGER DROP CONNECTS PERFECTLY, wiping out Ibushi. Chants for Will. Back inside and Will hits reverse Bloody Sunday, cover but only 2. Stormbreaker is attempted, Ibushi drops weight to block and Will fires off shots. Ibushi catches a Will spring into a GREAT German suplex and both are down. Chants for both. Last Ride by Ibushi is blocked, shots traded, they start throwing HARD, they each hit boots, flurry by Ibushi, rollup by Will gets 2 and he goes right after the leg and hits a nice Buzzsaw kick to the head. Dragon suplex by Will is reversed into a German by Ibushi, Will hits the backflip enziguri and looks for Stormbreaker but Ibushi lifts him up for a Rite of Passage and just DROPS WILL ON HIS NECK. Dang.

Golden Bomb by Ibushi lands, cover but only 2. Chants for Ibushi, then chants for Will quickly as well. Ibushi climbs for the Pheonix, Will cuts it off and gets Cheeky Nandos, Ibushi falls back into a Stormbreaker position but drops behind and turns it to an inverted Dudebuster, Will transitions out into a rollup but only gets 2. Float over spinning Liger Bomb by Will gets 2! Nice spot. BIG chant for Will, more than Ibushi which is notable. Will’s shoulder/neck bandage is tattered. Will looks to climb but Ibushi cuts him off, slaps by Will and mocking kicks to the head, then HARD kicks to the head, holds him up and looks for the super OsCutter but Ibushi strikes and gets Will in the Tree of Woe. Ibushi now stands over a prone Will and stares DAGGERS. Slaps by an upside down Will, Ibushi doesnt flinch, Will pulls himself up only for Ibushi to pull him right back down and lay in slaps and kicks, flipping off Will and just striking him mercilessly. Red Shoes tries to pull him off but Ibushi keeps throwing. Ibushi now lifts Will and looks for an avalanche dragon suplex, OFF THE TOP, Will fights out but eats a Pele from Ibushi and Will falls to the apron.

Ibushi looks for the deadlift German from the apron, Will lands on his feet because of course he does, and Will just KILLS IBUSHI WITH AN ELBOW TO THE SIDE OF THE HEAD. WHAT THE HOLY HELL WAS THAT. Cover, but Ibushi grabs the ropes to break! Will grabs Ibushi and hits Kawada kicks, Ibushi is collapsed and Will hits the Robinson Special. The OsCutter is blocked, suplex is reversed by Will and he hits the OsCutter on the next attempt, cover but Ibushi kicks out at 2! Less than 5 minutes now in the time limit. Stormbreaker is countered with a big knee strike by Ibushi, Kamigoye is blocked, Will hits a hook kick but Ibushi gets a BIG Michinoku Driver and covers but only gets 2! Will evades the Lawn Dart and hits the standing Spanish Fly, cover but only 2! The elbow pad comes off of Will and he lines up the Hidden Blade, Ibushi reverses and hits a giant lariat. Ibushi drops the knee pad, channels Nakamura and hits BOMA YEEEEE! Cover but only 2! Ibushi lands Kamigoye, cover and thats the 3 count!

Kota Ibushi (2) defeats Will Ospreay (2) by pinfall via Kamigoye
JAY’S RATING: 4.5 out of 5

Now THAT is a main event! I was a little worried for a while that the methodical pace to start, while sensible from a story perspective, meant that it was going to keep slow too long and not ratchet up at the necessary moments. I was wrong, as these two just beat the hell out of each other, and their connection in the ring was just insane. That Tree of Woe sequence with Ibushi, that SICK Hidden Blade by Will and the closing sequence really helped elevate this match, and Ibushi finally gets on the board. These are two clear future faces of New Japan, and I still have no doubt that the new Ace once Tana gives it up will be Ibushi. If you wonder why I feel that way, this match helps explain. Excellent work all around!


This was a really strong day for A Block, with the main event delivering BIG TIME and Ibushi finally making the board. There’s a bunch of interesting stuff to watch this year but perhaps the most compelling for me is Ibushi – who I was thinking might take the whole thing this year (and he still might yet) – coming out of the third round with only 1 win so far, especially with KENTA at the top with Okada as undefeated thus far. (That doesnt surprise me either as a way to showcase KENTA’s return to Japan… but for Ibushi to start off this slow is some big drama for me.) However, with Ibushi having lost to KENTA, I can also see him starting a streak with the rest of the lineup, with the big question makr being what happens when he clashes with Okada. Good stuff. Also, shout to to Archer and Ospreay, and ZSJ’s spiral without TAKA at his side is SUPER fun. The standings are now:

Block A

Block B

KENTA (3-0)


Juice Robinson (2-0)


Kazuchika Okada (3-0)


Jon Moxley (2-0)


Lance Archer (2-1)


Tomohiro Ishii (2-0)


EVIL (2-1)


Shingo Takagi (1-1)


Hiroshi Tanahashi (1-2)


Hirooki Goto (1-1)


Kota Ibushi (1-2)


Toru Yano (1-1)


Will Ospreay (1-2)


Taichi (1-1)


SANADA (1-2)


Jay White (0-2)


Bad Luck Fale (1-2)


Jeff Cobb (0-2)


Zack Sabre Jr (0-3)


Tetsuya Naito (0-2)



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