– NJPW’s G1 Climax is an annual tournament 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 third day of the tournament.
– Tama Tonga & Tonga Loa defeated Toa Henare & Shota Umino
Toru Yano & Jado defeated Zack Sabre Jr & TAKA Michinoku
Juice Robinson & David Finlay defeated Kota Ibushi & Yujiro Takahashi
Tetsuya Naito & SANADA defeated Tomohiro Ishii & Sho
Hirooki Goto & Yo defeated Kenny Omega & Chase Owens
NJPW G1 Climax 28
Michael Elgin vs Hangman Page
Great showing from both men, really brought it and they showed real determination to constantly keep kicking out. Elgin showed his ability to draw sudden power from out of nowhere, but Hangman did his best to match him. Page came close but it wasn’t quite enough, Elgin’s power was the proving factor in the end.
In the closing sequence, after a fantastic back and forth contest, Big Mike went for the Sit Down Powerbomb. However Page lifted him up into the Rite of Passage, only to be countered back down into the Powerbomb position. Because of that, Elgin hooked the arms on his second attempt, slammed Hangman down with a Tiger Bomb and then hit the Sit Down Powerbomb for the win.
Winner: Michael Elgin (4 points)
YOSHI-HASHI vs EVIL
Decent match with both men having flashes without really ever dominating, however YOSHI-HASHI could have taken advantage after botched Powerbomb lift led to a nasty spill to the outside (pretty much identical to the infamous Cena & Batista botch from Royal Rumble 2005). But he wasn’t clinical enough, eventually EVIL was able to get back into things and hit the ‘Everything is Evil’ STO for the win.
Winner: EVIL (2 points)
Togi Makabe vs Minoru Suzuki
In the words of Kevin Kelly, “That’s a badass right there!” I’m surprised the match lasted in the ring as long as it did, this thing was guaranteed to brawl to the outside. And brawl they did, with the bravest referee in the world getting between them as they stood off, both armed with chairs. They got back into the ring, but that was only after the referee was inadvertently taken down. So Suzuki started leathering Makabe with chair shots, then back out to brawl they went. They eventually got back into the ring for real, I assume they realised someone had to win the thing at some point.
To close the match Makabe launched Suzuki backwards with a Spider German Suplex off the top rope. However when he was set up ready to finish with the King Kong Knee Drop, Suzuki was up on his feet! So being the no nonsense beast that he is, Makabe propelled his knee into Suzuki’s head with a flying King Kong Knee Drop. He then got back up on the turnbuckle and jumped down his traditional King Kong Knee Drop for the win.
Winner: Togi Makabe (4 points)
Kazuchika Okada vs Bad Luck Fale
Bad Luck Fale has a tendency to dominate during his G1 matches, this one was no different. He has no hesitation to start using his size to take down his opponent, Okada is no ordinary opponent, but eventually everyone gets caught and has to overcome his immense power if they want that win.
Okada did show flashes of his old self and managed to mount a comeback. Hitting two Rainmakers, taking out Tonga Loa. He went for a third Rainmaker but Fale countered, Okada managed to push Fale to the corner, but the ref was there and cornered by the big man. Which was when Tama Tonga came in and hit a Gun Stun (outta nowhere!) on Okada. Bad Luck Fall by Fale and Okada was defeated once again.
Okada losing streak continues, he has not won a single match since losing the IWGP Heavyweight Championship 6 weeks ago.
Winner: Bad Luck Fale (2 points)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs “Switchblade” Jay White
The blatant dishonour of Jay White is already a building theme this G1, at least Suzuki has some vague self-moral compass, he seems perfectly content with any tactic as it helps him win. We saw it from the start, using the apron again to target the knee. And also at the end when he swung a chair right across the Ace’s skull. If Tanahashi represents the honour and tradition of the New Japan wrestling style, then Jay White is taking that apart bit by bit.
Suplexing Tana into the barricade in front of the announcers, then later viciously going after the veteran’s neck. Kelly and Rocky did a fantastic job informing us how important Tanahashi is to the New Japan fans, how he saved the company from potential collapse. Just in time for us to see Jay White tear that all down with no remorse.
Tana tried fighting honourably, but eventually he just had enough and realised what needed to be done. But as I said, Jay White will stop at nothing and resorts to any means necessary to get that win. That’s the edge that ends up getting him the win, he was willing to absolutely anything no matter how abhorrent.
A steel chair to the skull, after already suplexing the man onto his neck again and again. After that Tanahashi was pretty much done. White finished things off with the Blade Runner, to a chorus of disapproving boos from the crowd.
Winner: Jay White (4 points)
Block A Standings
Jay White (4 Points)
Michael Elgin (4 points)
Togi Makabe (4 points)
Bad Luck Fale (2 Points)
EVIL (2 Points)
Hangman Page (2 Points)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (2 Points)
Kazuchika Okada (0 Points)
Minoru Suzuki (0 Points)
YOSHI-HASHI (O Points)
G1 is back Thursday July 19 for the Block B round 2 match ups: SANADA vs Tama Tonga, Toru Yano vs Zack Sabre Jr, Juice Robinson vs Kota Ibushi, Tomohiro Ishii vs Tetsuya Naito and Kenny Omega vs Hirooki Goto.
Full results of the show will be posted here.
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