By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
New Japan Pro Wrestling “G1 Climax Tournament Day 4”
July 15, 2019 in Hokkaido, Japan at Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center
Streamed live on New Japan World
Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero served as the English broadcast team. Kelly acknowledged Will Ospreay’s injury that kept him out of the opening match. He essentially repeated what the company stated about Ospreay’s status in the press release that was issued before this show.
1. Kota Ibushi and Jushin Liger beat Yota Tsuji and Shota Umino. Ibushi forced Tsuji to submit to a Boston Crab.
2. Evil, Sanada, and Bushi beat Tomoaki Honma, Toa Henare, and Ren Narita. Bushi beat Narita with MX.
3. Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr., Lance Archer, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru beat Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kenta, Karl Fredericks, and Clark Connors. Kanemaru beat Connors with Deep Impact.
4. Kazuchika Okada and Yoshi-Hashi beat Bad Luck Fale and Chase Ownes. Okada pinned Owens after a Rainmaker.
Powell’s POV: I didn’t have time to watch the undercard today, so the results are straight from the New Japan website. I’m watching the tournament matches listed below from bell to bell.
5. Shingo Takagi (w/Bushi) vs. Toru Yano in a B-Block match. Yano went for a low blow, but Takaghi blocked it. Yano countered into a backslide for a good near fall. Yano shoved Tagagi into the referee. REF BUMP!!! Yano grabbed a chair, threw it to Takagi, and then woke up the referee and acted like he’d been hit in hopes of getting a DQ win. Bushi came out and pleaded with the referee on Takagi’s behalf. While the referee was dealing with Bushi, Takagi threw the chair at Yano’s face, followed up with a lariat, and scored the pin.
Shingo Takagi defeated Toru Yano in a B-Block match.
Powell’s POV: I get a kick out of Yano, so this was fun. The broadcast team noted that Yano won a past tournament match using the same DQ ploy in the past, so this was a callback.
6. Hirooki Goto vs. Juice Robinson in a B-Block match. Goto caught Robinson on the top rope and then performed a hanging neckbreaker. Robinson went to ringside. Goto followed and ended up running him into the barricade. Kelly told the story that Goto needed a good showing in the tournament or there would be questions about his future now that he’s 40 years-old. Goto was in offensive control for a slow stretch. Robinson fired back and they hit one another with simultaneous lariats. Goto blocked a couple of lariat attempts from Robinson, then knocked him down with a big one. Goto performed a Ushigoroshi for a near fall.
Goto threw several kicks at a kneeling Robinson, who fell over before Goto could deliver the big kick. Robinson avoided a reverse GTR and countered into a Jackhammer for a near fall. Robinson went for Pulp Friction, Goto countered into a GTS attempt, which Robinson countered out of with an inside cradle for a good near fall. Robinson threw a punch at Goto, who headubtted his hand. Goto threw a punch and Robinson headbutted his hand. Robinson ended up catching Goto with a headbutt and then a left handed punch and followed up with Pulp Friction for the win…
Juice Robinson defeated Hirooki Goto in a B-Block match.
Powell’s POV: A solid match. It was slow during that stretch when Goto had the prolonged offense, but the action picked up down the stretch. I didn’t have a real feel for who would win this match, which always makes it fun.
7. Jon Moxley vs. Jeff Cobb in a B-Block tournament match. Moxley made his entrance through the bleachers. Cobb performed an early belly to belly suplex. Moxley rolled to ringside. Cobb followed to the apron. Moxley grabbed the arm of Cobb and pulled him shoulder first to the apron. Moxley ran Cobb into the ring post and then continued to target Cobb’s left shoulder. Romero pointed out that Cobb had left shoulder issues. Kelly wondered if Moxley was being coy when he said he didn’t know Cobb, as it seemed like he scouted him given that he was targeting the shoulder.
Back inside the ring, Moxley lowered his left knee pad and threw a running knee at Cobb, who rolled to ringside. The broadcast team described the knee as a glancing blow. Moxley performed a suicide dive onto Cobb. Moxley took Cobb up the entrance ramp and set up for a powerbomb, but Cobb avoided it. Moxley went after Cobb’s eye. Moxley backed up and ran at Cobb, who caught him with a right hand. Moxley backed up and ran at Cobb again and both men threw simultaneous clotheslines. The referee finally started his count. Both men ended up on the floor on opposite sides of the entrance ramp and stared at one another while they walked to the bottom, then went at one another again. Cool visual.
Moxley threw Cobb back inside the ring and performed a flying elbow from the top rope that led to a two count. Cobb rolled over and powered up Moxley for a suplex, but he released it and sold his left shoulder. Moxley went for the Death Rider (Dirty Deeds), but Cobb stuffed it. Cobb performed a snap German suplex. Cobb thrust kicked Moxley and hit a standing moonsault for a two count. Cobb lowered the straps of his singlet and then performed a flying elbow on Moxley in the corner. Moxley came right back with a clothesline that turned Cobb inside out. Ambrose performed another Regal Knee that led to a near fall.
A short time later, Cobb tried to German suplex Moxley on the apron and then off the apron, but Moxley held the ropes and stomped Cobb’s foot to break it. Cobb wound up and clotheslined Moxley, who went over the top rope and back into the ring. As Cobb tried to return, Moxley caught him with another Regal knee. With Cobb hung up in the ropes, Moxley performed a draping version of the Death Rider and scored the pin…
Jon Moxley defeated Jeff Cobb in a B-Block match.
Powell’s POV: A fun match. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this given the different styles, which I’m sure I’ll be writing a lot about Moxley matches in this tournament. So far so good. Moxley and Cobb told a nice story with Moxley targeting Cobb’s shoulder. I was surprised to see Moxley look as dominant as he did, as Cobb never had a prolonged stretch of offense that made Moxley seem like he was close to losing. It will be interesting to see if they continue to tell stories with Cobb’s left shoulder injury through the remainder of the tournament.
8. Jay White (w/Gedo) vs. Tomohiro Ishii in a B-Block match. White rolled to ringside and invited Ishii to follow. “Come here, you dumbf—.” Ishii rolled to ringside and White returned to the ring. Ishii grabbed Gedo by his shirt. White rushed to help, then Ishii turned and attacked White while the broadcast team put over his plan. A short time later, Ishii threw a chair at White at ringside. White moved and the chair crashed into the barricade. Gedo distracted Ishii, then White shoved Ishii face first into the ring post. White jawed at referee Red Shoes while Kelly reminded viewers that White blamed Red Shoes for his loss to Hirooki Goto in their tournament match.
Later, Ishii performed a superplex for a near fall. Ishii went for a powerbomb that White blocked. White went for a clothesline, but Ishii ducked it and gave him a high angle backdrop suplex. Ishii caught White with a headbutt and ran the ropes. White caught him and gave him a uranage slam. White performed the Kiwi Crusher for a good near fall. Kelly noted that Gedo was complaining about a slow count. White set up for the Blade Runner. Ishii tried to fight free. White hit him with repeated elbows and dropped him, then stomped him several times at the 15:00 mark.
Ishii caught White with several elbows, but White hit a dragon suplex. Ishii came right back with a German suplex that resulted in both men staying down. Once they were up, White caught Ishii with some strikes, then ran the ropes and ate a lariat. Ishii powerbombed White for a two count. Ishii set up for a sliding lariat, but White fell to his back. Kelly questioned whether White was out or if he laid back to avoid the move. Gedo climbed onto the apron to buy White time. Ishii went over to him.
Ishii went back at White, who set up for the Blade Runner, but Ishii avoided it and hit an enzuigiri. Ishii connected with a sliding lariat for a good near fall. Ishii went for a brainbuster that White avoided. White slipped away from another attempt and set up for a Tombstone that Ishii avoided. White went for a Blade Runner, but Ishii countered into a Flatliner. Ishii connected with a running lariat for a really good near fall. Ishii followed up with a brainbuster and scored the pin…
Tomohiro Ishii defeated Jay White in a B-Block match.
Powell’s POV: A terrific match with really good drama down the stretch. I like the way Gedo played into the match with a distraction and even buying White time at a crucial point even though Ishii went on to win. It was also fun to hear the broadcast team gloat over the hated White being winless in his first two tournament matches. I assume White gets back on track with his next match against Yano, and I can’t wait to see the Ishii vs. Moxley match on Friday.
9. Tetsuya Naito vs. Taichi (w/Miho Abe, Yoshinobu Kanemaru) in a B-Block match. Taichi did his musical entrance and the broadcast noticed that Yoshinobu Kanemaru was with him. The broadcast team noted that Taichi was in his hometown and yet was not a hero to most of the fans. Romero said there were some Taichi fans in the building and certainly more than at a typical show. Taichi stalled to start. Naito laid down on the mat and slammed his hands down to invite Taichi in, then caught him in a small package for a two count. Naito struck his pose on the mat after a quick exchange, then rolled to ringside.
Naito caught Taichi with a leg sweep from the apron. Taichi rolled to ringside and held his leg. Naito followed and ran Taichi into the barricade. Taichi used Miho as a shield. Naito grabbed her by the hair and glared at her, then released her without incident. Naito returned to the ring and Taichi caught him with a kick to the groin. Taichi took Naito to ringside and ran him hard into the barricade. “And into my knee,” Romero said before taking a quick powder. Taichi worked over Naito with a chair at ringside, then rolled him back inside the ring.
Naito came back with a couple of moves that targeted Taichi’s neck and got a two count. Naito applied what Kelly described as a Full Nelson-like move using his legs while both men were lying on the mat. Taichi came back with a kick to the back of Naito’s head. After some back and forth strikes, Taichi performed a nice kick to the side of Naito’s head, then removed his tearaway pants (fortunately he remembered to wear his trunks). The broadcast team said Taichi lives for the attention. Taichi went for a powerbomb, but Naito performed a huracanrana. Taichi caught a charging Naito with a kick and then performed a backdrop suplex that led to a two count.
Taichi went to his corner and got his bag. Taichi motioned for someone in the back, which led to the referee sending the young lions watch out for interference. Taichi pulled out his “iron fingers” glove while the ref was distracted and tried to hit Naito with it, but Naito caught him with a dropkick to the legs. Naito performed a tornado DDT and followed up with a huracanrana from the middle ropes. Naito performed Gloria for a two count. Naito went for Destino, but Taichi avoided it and responded with a kick to the head. Naito went for a powerbomb. Naito blocked it, but Taichi powered him up and slammed him down with what Romero said was a move similar to the Gonzo Bomb.
Taichi axed the back of Naito’s head and caught him with another high kick that led to a near fall. Taichi made the throat slash gesture and set up for his finisher, but Naito avoided it and knocked the referee down. REF BUMP!!! Naito popped up Taichi and kicked him in the balls. Naito followed up with a Poison Rana and Destino for a near fall. Romero said the move was actually used as a setup for the actual Destino. Naito went for the actual Destino, but Taichi caught him on his shoulders and performed the Black Mephisto. Taichi was unable to make the cover and both men remained on the mat for a moment.
Taichi got back to his feet first and went for a superkick, but Naito blocked it and performed a German suplex. Taichi popped right up and let out a war cry. Taichi kicked Naito and then whipped him into the ropes. Naito went for a flying forearm, but Taichi pulled referee Red Shoes into his path. REF BUMP!!! Naito checked on the referee. Kanemaru set up to spit whiskey at Naito, who covered his mouth and knocked him off the apron. Taichi put on the iron glove again and swung at Naito, who avoided it. Naito went for his finisher, but Taichi elbowed him.
Naito caught Taichi with an enzuigiri. Naito performed a Snowplow and had a visual pinfall while the referee was still down. Naito pulled the referee toward Taichi. Naito went for his finisher, but Taichi avoided and and then superkicked him in the gut and covered him for a near fall at the 20:00 mark. Kanemaru kept the referee down while Taichi put the iron fingers on again. Taichi hit Naito with the glove, then followed up with a Last Ride powerbomb for the win.
Taichi defeated Tetsuya Naito in a B-Block match.
Taichi spoke to the crowd in Japanese (apparently no one cared enough to translate this time around)…
Powell’s POV: Weak. I’m just not into the iron fingers silliness. The glove looks ridiculous and all of the ref bumps are just not what I’m looking for from NJPW. I don’t mind Naito falling to 0-2. As bizarre as it seems that he lost to Toru Yano and Taichi, it sets the stage for his matches with bigger names to be even more meaningful as he fights to get back into contention. Plus, he’s not alone, as big names such as Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Zack Sabre Jr. are in the same spot in the A Block. Overall, this was the early low point of the tournament shows. Moxley vs. Cobb and Ishii vs. White are worth checking out, but a lot of this was missable if you need a day off from the tournament.
The A-Block Standings: Kazuchika Okakda, Kenta, and Lance Archer have 4 points, Will Ospreay, Evil, Sanada, and Bad Luck Fale have 2 points, and Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Zack Sabre Jr. have 0 points.
The updated B-Block Standings: Jon Moxley, Juice Robinson, and Tomoshiro Ishii have 4 points, Shingo Takagi, Hirooki Goto, Taichi, and Toru Yano have 2 points, and Tetsuya Naito, Jeff Cobb, and Jay White have 0 points.
The A-Block resumes Thursday in Tokyo at Korakuen Hall with the following matches: Lance Archer vs. Kenta, Kazuchika Okada vs. Bad Luck Fale, Evil vs. Sanada, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Zack Sabre Jr., and Will Ospreay vs. Kota Ibushi.
The B-Block resumes Friday in Tokyo at Korakuen Hall with the following matches: Shingo Takagi vs. Taichi, Juice Robinson vs. Jeff Cobb, Toru Yano vs. Jay White, Hirooki Goto vs. Tetsuya Naito, and Tomohiro Ishii vs. Jon Moxley.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast With Jason Powell featuring guest Jim Ross discussing his role in AEW, Tony Khan as a leader, whether Ross knew Shawn Spears was going to hit Cody with a chair shot to the head, working with Excalibur and Alex Marvez, his new book and speaking engagement deal, and much more.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...