By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
New Japan Pro Wrestling “G1 Climax Tournament Day 4”
July 19, 2018 in Tokyo at Korakuen Hall
Broadcast live on New Japan World
Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero were the English commentary team.
There was a ceremony for the late Masa Saito. Referee Tiger Hattori held a framed Saito photo in the ring while several wrestlers stood at ringside. The ring announcer spoke in Japanese and the bell rang ten times…
1. Jay White and Yoh defeated Michael Elgin and Ren Narita. Kelly noted that Masa Saito’s death was front page news in Japan. White and Elgin will meet in a tournament match on Friday. With Elgin and White at ringside, Sho put Narita in a Boston Crab and won the match. White took a cheap shot at Narita afterward. Yoh remained in the ring with his opponents for a moment to show that he was surprised by White’s actions. Kelly said Yoh was in a tough spot in that he was trying to make it work with White.
2. Minoru Suzuki and El Desperado beat Yoshi-Hashi and Sho. Suzuki and Yoshi-Hashi will meet in a tournament match on Friday. Suzuki kicked Yoshi-Hashi to ringside and then hit the Gotch piledriver on Sho and pinned him.
3. Evil and Bushi over Togi Makabe and Toa Henare. Evil and Makabe will meet in a tournament match on Friday. Evil caught Henare with a late clothesline and then applied a submission hold that resulted in a tap out. The young lions had to hold Makabe back as he tried to get at Evil after the match.
4. Tanga Loa and Bad Luck Fale beat Hiroshi Tanahashi and David Finlay. Tanahashi and Fale will meet in a tournament match on Friday. Late in the match, Tanahashi dropkicked Fale to ringside and then followed him. In the ring, Loa performed a German suplex. Finlay popped right up, but Loa followed up with a lariat and then hit a piledriver that has a vulgar name that Kelly and Page wouldn’t pronounce, then got the pin.
5. Hangman Page and Chase Owens over Kazuchika Okada and Gedo. Okada and Page will meet in a tournament match on Friday. Page went for his Rite of Passage on Okada, but Okada avoided it and bounced back with a dropkick. Both men tagged out. Gedo caught Owens with a right hand that dropped him and also superkicked him. Gedo rolled him into a pin, but Page broke it up. Page hit a double buckshot lariat on both opponents, then performed his shooting star press off the apron onto Okada on the floor. In the ring, Owens performed a package piledriver for the win. Romero noted that Okada hasn’t won a singles match in over 40 days.
6. Sanada defeated Tama Tonga in a G1 Tournament B-Block match. Sanada blocked a Gun Stun attempt and briefly applied Skull End. Moments later, they backed the ref into the corner. Tonga went for a splash in the corner, but Sanada moved and the referee took the splash. REF BUMP!!! Tonga Loa and Bad Luck Fale hit the ring and worked over Sanada. Loa left him laying after a powerbomb. Tonga covered Sanada for a near fall. Tonga went for the Gun Stun. Sanada blocked the hold, then pushed Tonga toward the ropes and knocked Loa off the apron. Sanada rolled up Tonga and pinned him clean. The fans were hot for the finish.
7. Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Toru Yano in a G1 Tournament B-Block match. Yano, who had been playing it straight in the tournament in previous matches, removed the turnbuckle pad. He wound up to hit Sabre and had to wait just long enough for the ref to take it that it looked bad. Sabre blocked a low blow attempt by Yano and rolled him into a pin for a near fall. Sabre ended up running into the exposed turnbuckles and then Yano ran him into them a second time. Yano removed another turnbuckle pad, but Sabre rolled him into a pin and bridged while getting the three count. Sabre flipped off the fans afterward.
8. Kota Ibushi defeated Juice Robinson in a G1 Tournament B-Block match. Ibushi performed a moonsault off the ring post and onto Robinson on the floor. Wow. Ibushi rolled him back inside the ring and covered him for a two count. Ibushi lowered his kneepad, but Robinson turned him inside out with a clothesline. Robinson tried to hoist Ibushi onto his shoulders, but it was stuffed. Ibushi caught Robinson with a kick. Robinson avoided a second kick and caught Ibushi with a kick of his own. Robinson hoisted up Ibushi and performed a double knee gutbuster for a near fall. Kelly said it may have been a finishing move on any other man. Robinson went for Pulp Friction, but Ibushi slipped away and ended up hitting a straight jacket German suplex for a two count. Ibushi blasted Robinson with a knee to the head and then pinned him. The broadcast team played up the possibility of Ibushi challenging Robinson for the IWGP U.S. Championship at the Long Beach, California show. Ibushi and Robinson embraced after the match. Robinson held up Ibushi’s hand.
9. Tetsuya Naito defeated Tomohiro Ishii in a G1 Tournament B-Block match. Ishii scored a near fall off a powerbomb. He followed up with a lariat for another one. Ibushi went for a brainbuster. Naito slipped away and went for Destino. Ibushi avoided it and performed a pair of lariats for a great near fall. Naito avoided another brainbuster and connected with a enzuigiri. A short time later, Ishii went for the brainbuster again, but Naito countered in the air and performed a Destino on the way down for another excellent near fall. Naito hit another Destino and got the pin.
10. Kenny Omega defeated Hirooki Goto in a G1 Tournament B-Block match. Late in the match, Omega and Goto traded forearm shots in the middle of the ring. Omega eventually slipped behind Goto and performed a snap dragon suplex. Omega ran the ropes only to have Goto turn him inside out with a lariat. Goto performed a reverse GTR. Goto set up for the actual GTR. Omega avoided it only to be slammed to the mat for a close near fall. Goto set up for his finisher again, but Omega countered into a pin for a two count. A short time later, Omega caught Goto running the ropes and connected with a V-Trigger. Omega performed a neckbreaker onto his knee for a two count. Omega performed another V-Trigger and hit the One Winged Angel for the clean pin.
Omega spoke in Japanese to the fans afterward. As he was leaving the ring, Omega dropped the title from the ring to the floor accidentally. He quickly retrieved it, cradled it, and kissed it. Omega spoke in English during his press conference. He said he felt alive in the ring and Goto fought with the same fighting spirit that he fell in love with. Omega said he’s beat up with scratches everywhere. He said he had so little power that he actually dropped his title belt. He said he will shoulder the responsibility of being champion and carry the belt with pride and honor. “Am I heel?” Omega asked. “Am I baby? I don’t know, I don’t give a shit. You know what I am? I’m the best and I know that I am. So call it how you like… I’m Kenny Omega, the most sought after athlete on the planet.” He compared himself to Tiger Woods, Larry Bird, and Michael Jackson. “You know what I mean,” he added. Omega spoke about facing Tama Tonga in his next match. He said that if Tonga thinks his version of the Bullet Club is better than his then he should “f—ing prove it if you can”…
Powell’s POV: The scoring for the round robin tournament is two points for a victory, one point for a draw, and no points for a loss.
The current standing in the A-Block: Michael Elgin (4), Togi Makabe (4), Jay White (4), Evil (2), Bad Luck Fale (2), Hangman Page (2), Hiroshi Tanahashi (2), Minoru Suzuki (0), Kazuchika Okada (0), and Yoshi-Hashi (0).
The updated standings in the B-Block: Kenny Omega (4), Kota Ibushi (4), Tama Tonga (2), Hirooki Goto (2), Tomohiro Ishii (2), Tetsuya Naito (2), Zack Sabre Jr. (2), Sanada (2), Toru Yano (0), Juice Robinson (0).
The tournament will continue Friday morning in Tokyo at Korakuen Hall with the following A-Block matches: Kazuchika Okada vs. Hangman Page, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Bad Luck Fale, Togi Makabe vs. Evil, Yoshi-Hashi vs. Minoru Suzuki, and Michael Elgin vs. Jay White.
Saturday’s show in Tokyo will feature the following B-Block matches: Hirooko Goto vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Kenny Omega vs. Tama Tonga, Juice Robinson vs. Tetsuya Naito, Sanada vs. Zack Sabre Jr., Toru Yano vs. Kota Ibushi.
Sunday’s event in Tokyo will feature the following A-Block matches: Kazuchika Okada vs. Togi Makabe, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Hangman Page, Jay White vs. Minoru Suzuki, Evil vs. Bad Luck Fale, and Michael Elgin vs. Yoshi-Hashi. The tournament will continue on Thursday, July 26.