New Japan held day 9 of this year’s G1 Climax in Act City Hamamatsu, with 2,800 in attendance. Today’s event was headlined by Kazuchika Okada and YOSHI-HASHI.
CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & YOH) defeat Shota Umino & Toa Henare
Guerrillas Of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) defeat Suzuki-gun (TAKA Michinoku & Zack Sabre Jr.)
David Finlay & Juice Robinson defeat CHAOS (Gedo & Toru Yano)
Kota Ibushi & Yujiro Takahashi defeat CHAOS (SHO & Tomohiro Ishii)
Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA & Tetsuya Naito) defeat BULLET CLUB ELITE (Chase Owens & Kenny Omega)
A Block: 5th Round of Matches
Michael Elgin vs Minoru Suzuki
Elgin can certainly out power Suzuki and he showed glimpses of that here, but Suzuki is crafty and unafraid to bend the rules to get a win. Suzuki targeted the arm of Elgin early on as a way of limiting the effectiveness of his striking and his power advantage, but Elgin powered on. It was an okay match, as they traded forearms with Suzuki rocking Elgin but Elgin fires back with a Lariat, Buckle Bomb but Suzuki gets out of the Elgin Bomb only to get Tiger Bombed by Big Mike. Suzuki goes for Sleeper’s but Elgin fights off until eventually succumbing to a Gotch Style Piledriver as Suzuki marches on victorious.
Hangman Page vs EVIL
Page’s birthday today but I somehow doubted EVIL was in a generous mood and that proved to be the case, I really liked this one, very evenly matched and both shone today, although personally, Page has had the better G1. The main problem for Page is while he hits some of his big moves again like the Standing Shooting Star and the Buckshot Lariat, he doesn’t put away his opponents with them so is reliant on the Rite of Passage which he has yet to hit in this year’s G1. EVIL rocks Page with a headbutt and lariat but only gets a nearfall, he follows up with a Everything is Evil for the pinfall victory.
Bad Luck Fale vs Jay White
Fale is seconded as usual by Loa, Fale and White can trace their history back to Devitt who recommended White to Fale, which adds to the conspiracy that White, along with Henare, may join up with the BCOGs. Plenty of brawling outside the ring and interference from Loa as expected when the ref is distracted. White throws three young lions on top of Fale on the outside but is then distracted by Loa and Fale blindsides White from behind. Back in the ring, they go back and forth with control until Fale crushes the ref and Loa and Tama interfere, White manages to fight them off briefly and low blows Fale but Tama gets a Gun Stun and Fale follows it up with a Bad Luck Fall for the win.
At least it’s not a DQ loss I guess?
Togi Makabe vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
These two had my favourite match of the night, some excellent traditional style wrestling and Makabe again working on that leg that Suzuki targeted back on the opening night, Makabe not letting Tanahashi’s record over him get the better so he takes the fight to the Ace, the crowd is firmly behind the Ace though and as they chant ‘Go Ace’, Tanahashi starts firing back at the Unchained Gorilla. One quite nasty looking Powerslam from Makabe shuts him down and he fails to land a Slingblade, suffering a Lariat from Makabe. Makabe sets up for the Spider German but Tana fights it off, but Makabe throws him with a Belly to Belly instead and goes for the King Kong Knee Drop but misses. Tanahashi comes back at him with a Slingblade but Makabe powers out at one, High Fly Cross Body followed by a High Fly Flow and Tanahashi is victorious.
Kazuchika Okada vs YOSHI HASHI
I’m sorry but I just didn’t see what the rest of the Twitterverse saw with this match, the Suzuki loss just made YOSHI-HASHI’s offence look weak and he didn’t seem to bring the same fire that he had in the first two matches. He did pull out all the stops against Okada, but I think Okada made him look stronger than he is, which is more a credit to Okada in my book. His Butterfly Lock doesn’t look painful at all, it just doesn’t work for me, but his Fisherman Buster was picture perfect so maybe adding more moves like that could be a way forward. The crowd did buy into him so I could very well be in the minority but I do sincerely hope he improves. They brought back the weird Rainmaker from their WK 6 meeting but it wasn’t until Okada got the full Rainmaker that got him the win.
EVIL and Tanahashi leading Block A on 8 points each with Suzuki, White and Okada all on 6 points.
One of the better A Block days but B Block continues to be my favourite, Makabe and Tanahashi, EVIL and Page are well worth a watch.