– The G1 Climax is an annual tournament for New Japan Pro Wrestling that this year takes place from July 14 to August 12. Wrestlers are split into 2 Blocks of 10 and fight each person in their allocated Block. 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 for a loss. The two wrestlers at the top of Block A and Block B will face each other in the NJPW G1 Climax 28 Final, August 12 in Tokyo at the Budokan.
Below are the results from the second day of the tournament.
NJPW G1 CLIMAX 28
Day 2 Results (July 15)
Hangman Page & Chase Owens defeated Michael Elgin & Shota Umino
EVIL & BUSHI defeated Sho & Yoshi-Hashi
Minoru Suzuki & El Desperado defeated Toa Henare & Togi Makabe
Bad Luck Fale & Tonga Loa defeated Kazuchika Okada & Gedo
Hiroshi Tanahashi & David Finlay defeated Jay White & Yo
Tomohiro Ishii vs Toru Yano
Kevin Kelly informed us on commentary how Yano had vowed that he wouldn’t cheat in this match , that he was done with that kind of thing and was going to wrestle within the rules. He nearly did cheat, but successfully managed to stop himself every time. After Ishii started to get into his stride, Yano replied with stiff strikes and eventually impressive suplexes of his own. He was matching Ishii and genuinely was fighting with honour for once.
The same can’t be said for Ishii though. With the referee distracted, after his opponent went on a spree of hitting hard suplexes just like the Stone Pitbull himself, Tomohiro Ishii pulled a trick right out of Yano’s playbook. Ishii hit a low blow on Yano and rolled him up for the surprise win.
Toru Yano was actually a competent wrestler for that short while it lasted.
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii (2 points)
Tama Tonga vs Juice Robinson
Juice fought honourably against the odds presented to him from the get go, as we were reminded that he was not allowed to strike with his broken hand as it was in cast. On top of that Tama Tonga came out with his GoD teammate Tonga Loa by his side, guaranteeing Juice would be up against the numbers game.
Tama controlled most of the match in his slow, methodical manner, however with the help of the crowd Juice found a way to fight through. The flamboyant one broke free and was in with a real chance after he managed to take down Tonga Loa, striking him with his broken hand. Which was totally legal as the ‘no striking with the cast’ rule only applied to those in the match, of which Tonga Loa was not one of. However the numbers were just too much, having to focus on Loa gave Tama Tonga time to recover and reverse Robinson’s attempt at an Unprettier into a Gun Stun for the win.
Winner: Tama Tonga
SANADA vs Hirooki Goto
What a match, SANADA seemingly had answers to everything Goto was throwing. The Chaos veteran just could not keep up with the athleticism of LIJ’s highly rated prospect. SANADA wasn’t really hitting anything that was totally taking out Goto, but he was steadily wearing him down.
However you should never count out Hirooki Goto, in the latter half of the match the 2016 G1 Climax finalist managed to equal the Cold Skull. Matching him blow for blow, eventually getting the better end of the offence after an elevated Ushigorishi rattled SANADA’s senses when his skull met Goto’s knee. After which Goto sensed victory and tried to finish things off, however SANADA was still reversing everything. Until Goto managed to read one of those reversals and hit him with snap Ushigorishi for the three.
Winner: Hirooki Goto
Kota Ibushi vs Zack Sabre Jr
Contortion, reversals and strong kicks. An incredible match that highlighted the incredible abilities of both of these gentlemen to an amazing level. Zack Sabre Jr is seemingly able to reverse every move in existence into a submission, and Ibushi’s no slouch either with his lightning fast movement and remarkable strength.
ZSJ had control at the beginning, Ibushi had his flashes but when he went for any of his signature moves they were immediately countered into a submission. Be it anything from a simple strike to the Triangle Moonsault, it was all countered. But you can only avoid Ibushi’s strikes for so long, eventually Sabre Jr felt their force and the Golden Star was able to conjure up some momentum.
For most of this match Zack Sabre Jr targeted Ibushi’s right knee, which grounded the opponent for a lot of the first half, but created the caveat that he was a little too predictable for the calibre of opponent he was up against. A rarity for ZSJ, Ibushi started to read the counters and started integrating reversals of his own. Resulting in a fast paced, hard hitting game of one-upmanship. With ZSJ seemingly winning out in the end ready to hit a Dragon Suplex, which was somehow (I still don’t know how) reversed by Ibushi into a Dragon Suplex of his own.
Ibushi had been trying to hit his powerful knee strike ‘Kamigoye’, which was one of the reasons Sabre Jr had targeted the knee. The move had been countered every time so far, but the Dragon Suplex reversal had completely taken out his opponent. In immense pain, Ibushi struck ZSJ with one hell of a Kamigoye and got the three. An absolutely mazing match.
Winner: Kota Ibushi
Kenny Omega vs Tetsuya Naito
Oh my God! So many devastating reversals, so much tension. Both men had it won, yet the other somehow kicked out every goddamn time. At the beginning both men disrespected the other by mimicking their taunts/poses, I have a feeling they’d each live to regret that. As they proceeded to throw absolutely everything at each other with no holding back, with the odd pose of cockiness thrown in for good measure.
Each guy seemed to have the other’s signature moves completely sussed, which led the match for a couple of minutes into a short brawl. With Naito on the outside, kicked over the barricade by Omega, who then jumped off the top rope, over the barricade, right on top of Naito and the first two rows of seats! Back in the ring Omega had the upper hand, but there was that same issue, both guys were so prepared for the other’s signature moves.
It was going to take something truly special to ground either man, and after 20 minutes of continuous devastating offence/counters, Naito reversed the One Winged Angel into a Destino! 1… 2… KICK OUT! Naito went for another Destino to end the match, but was reversed and spiked into a Sit Down Piledriver from Omega! The Tranquilo one was completely rocked! Yet still somehow kicked out! In the words of Don Callis, “What the hell?!”
Stunned, Omega went for the One Winged Angel, only to get reversed into a Destino! 1… 2… KICK OUT! OMFGJCHS! Naito goes for the Destino again, reversed into the One Winge- reversed back into the Desti- reversed again! One Winged Angel! 1… 2 … 3! Omega wins!
Winner: Kenny Omega
Block B Standings
Hirooki Goto (2 Points)
Kenny Omega (2 points)
Kota Ibushi (2 points)
Tama Tonga (2 Points)
Tomohiro Ishii (2 Points)
Juice Robinson (0 Points)
SANADA (0 Points)
Tetsuya Naito (0 Points)
Toru Yano (0 Points)
Zack Sabre Jr (O Points)
Those last two bouts were incredible, the first round of the G1 set us off with a blistering start! And SANADA vs Goto was no slouch either, all five were worth your time but I highly reccomend checking out those final three in particular.
Tomorrow’s July 16 Block A round 2 match ups are as follows: Hangman Page vs Michael Elgin, EVIL vs YOSHI-HASHI, Minoru Suzuki vs Togi Makabe, Bad Luck Fale vs Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs “Switchblade” Jay White.
Full results of the show will be posted here tomorrow.
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