By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
New Japan Pro Wrestling “G1 Climax Tournament Day 6”
July 19, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan at Korakuen Hall
Streamed live on New Japan World
Kevin Kelly, Rocky Romero, and Chris Charlton served as the English broadcast team…
1. Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens beat Zack Sabre Jr. and Yoshinobu Kanemaru. Fale used the Grenade finisher to pin Kanemaru.
2. Minoru Suzuki and Lance Archer beat Hiroshi Tanahashi and Tomoaki Honma. Archer beat Honma with the EDB Claw.
3. Evil, Sanada, and Bushi beat Kota Ibushi, Kenta, and Clark Connors. Bushi beat Connors with MX.
Powell’s POV: I didn’t have time to watch the full undercard, so the results of the first three matches are straight from the New Japan website. I’m watching the next match and the tournament matches listed below from bell to bell.
4. Kazuchika Okada and Yoshi-Hashi vs. Will Ospreay and Toa Henare. Okada and Hashi isolated Henare. Okada taunted Ospreay a couple times to build toward their match on Saturday. Kelly said Ospreay could barely turn his head. He asked Romero if he’s been in a similar spot during his career. Romero said he had and it was an issue for a few months. Ospreay tagged in and performed a handspring into a kick on Okada. Kelly said they are not making up the Ospreay injury. He said he’s really injured and somehow able to do moves like that. Ospreay knocked Hashi off the apron, then performed a springboard clothesline on Okada for a near fall. Kelly said you can really tell while talking with Ospreay when he can’t turn his head to talk to you. Ospreay struck the Rainmaker pose to taunt him. Okada rallied with a dropkick. Ospreay came back with an enzuigiri and then both men tagged out. A short time later, Okada ran in and Ospreay cut him off and sent him to ringside, then leapt over the ropes onto him. In the ring, Hashi caught Henare with a lariat, then followed up with a suplex for the win.
Kazuchika Okada and Yoshi-Hashi beat Will Ospreay and Toa Henare.
After the match, Okada and Ospreay sat on the ring apron with their title belts and taunted one another for a moment. Ospreay walked by the English broadcast team and said that he’s never beaten Okada before and it’s time to make a change…
Powell’s POV: I watched this match to get a feel for how Ospreay’s neck is holding up. He wisely didn’t go overboard during this match as he continues to nurse the neck injury that caused him to miss a show earlier this week. He performed some moves including the dive onto Okada at ringside, but he didn’t do anything foolish (well, aside from maybe working the match rather than taking another night off).
5. Shingo Takagi vs. Taichi (w/Miho Abe) in a B-Block match. Takagi went right after Taichi with chops in the corner. Kelly noted that Takagi and Taichi had met many times in tag matches and neither man scored a pinfall victory over the other in those tag matches. Taichi ended up at ringside and pulled Miho in front of him when Takagi went after him. While the ref was dealing with Miho, Taichi hit Takagi with his mic stand to go on the offensive. Taichi ran Takagi into the ring post.
Back inside the ring, Takagi came back with some strikes and dropped Taichi with a punch. Takagi slammed Taichi and then went to the top rope and dropped slowly with an elbow, which led to a two count. Taichi avoided a sliding lariat and caught Takagi with a kick from the mat. Taichi caught Takagi with a nice leaping kick in the corner, then removed his tearaway pants. The wrestlers exchanged strikes in the ring and Taichi got the better of it with a leaping kick. Takagi came back with a suplex, but Taichi no sold it and responded with one of his own. Takagi hooked Taichi behind him and drove him down face first into the mat. The wrestlers threw simultaneous clotheslines twice. Takagi worked over Taichi with several elbows to the head.
A short time later, Takagi stuffed Taichi with a powerbomb style move for a good near fall. Takagi fired up. Taichi avoided the Last of the Dragon and came back with a kick, an axe to the back, and a high kick. Taichi followed up with the Last Ride powerbomb for a good near fall. The referee was shoved to the mat, but he got back up. Takagi avoided a low blow and then landed a series of strikes. Takagi connected with a running lariat for a near fall. Takagi hit the Last of the Dragon finisher and scored the clean pin…
Shingo Takagi defeated Taichi in a B-Block match.
Powell’s POV: As fun as it is to hate on Taichi, this was fun once they got going. Thankfully, we didn’t see the ridiculous iron fingers of doom as we did during Taichi’s match with Tetsuya Naito.
6. Juice Robinson vs. Jeff Cobb in a B-Block match. Robinson and Cobb shook hands before the bell. Both men ended up at ringside. Robinson shoved Cobb into the post and then performed a summersault dive from the apron. Back inside the ring, Robinson remained on the offensive and performed a pair of standing sentons. Robinson went for a standing moonsault, but Cobb rolled out of the way to avoid it. Cobb stuffed a leg lariat and then performed an overhead belly to belly toss. Cobb stuffed a spear attempt and tossed Robinson with another suplex. Cobb performed a Samoan drop and a standing moonsault for a two count.
Cobb shoved Robinson into the ropes and set up for his finisher, but Robinson held the ropes and ended up connecting with a leg lariat moments later. Kelly questioned whether Robinson could perform his Pulp Friction finisher on Cobb. Robinson went for a Juice Box, but he was unable to keep Cobb up for the move. The wrestlers exchanged strikes. Cobb got the better of it, but Robinson caught him with a spinebuster. Robinson cannonballed Cobb in the corner, then picked him up and sat him on the top rope. Robinson performed a top rope Frankensteiner and got a two count.
A short time later, Robinson won a battle on the ropes, slipped under Cobb, and performed a nice running powerbomb that led to a near fall. Kelly said this was the best he’d ever seen Robinson. Cobb stuffed Robinson’s finisher twice and performed a twisting suplex at the 10:00 mark. Kelly noted that Cobb had been on the defensive for the majority of the match. Robinson went for a lariat. Cobb fired up and responded with one of his own.
The wrestlers threw simultaneous lariats. Robinson threw a right hand at Cobb and picked up a near fall shortly thereafter. Robinson set up for his finisher, but Cobb countered into a nice German suplex. Cobb followed up with another. Cobb superkicked Robinson, then performed a German suplex into a bridge for a near fall. Cobb went for his finisher, but Robinson countered into a rollup for a near fall. Cobb avoided the Left Hand of God and performed a snap German suplex and a Tour of the Islands for the win…
Jeff Cobb defeated Juice Robinson in a B-Block match.
Powell’s POV: I was surprised that they didn’t play on the shoulder injury that Jon Moxley exploited during his match with Cobb. The idea was to make Robinson look really strong before he took the loss. Cobb got the win and all, but he sure does sell a lot for a powerhouse.
7. Jay White (w/Gedo) vs. Turo Yano in a B-Block match. Kelly noted that Gedo had a look of concern on his face during White’s entrance. White took a powder once the bell rang. Yano worked up the crowd. “I don’t even know what that means,” White said to whatever Yano was chanting. Funny. Yano went to ringside and got caught up with Gedo, allowing White to attack him from behind. They returned to the ring and Yano removed the turnbuckle pad and threw it at White, then rolled him up for a two count. White blocked a low blow and raked the eyes of Yano.
Gedo grabbed the foot of Yano, allowing White to roll up Yano for a near fall. Yano came back and catapulted White into the exposed corner, but White reached out and grabbed the ropes to avoid making contact. Gedo distracted the referee and then White low blowed Yano. White set up for his finisher, but Yano spat something in his eyes. The ref went down for a second. Gedo entered the ring, but Yano kicked him below the belt and took brass knuckles away from him. Yano shoved White into Gedo, low blowed him, and rolled him up for the pin.
Turo Yano defeated Jay White in a B-Block match.
After the match, Gedo told White “no more” as they walked to the back. Romero clapped and smiled as White and Gedo walked past the English broadcast desk. “Why are you smiling, you motherf—ers?” Gedo barked. Funny…
Powell’s POV: More Yano fun. Yano’s tournament act has really grown on me this year. His ultimate spoiler role is actually impressive booking in that it makes the comedy wrestler’s matches feel absolutely must see even if you’re not a fan of the schtick, as you never know who he will beat. Plus, it’s kinda crazy that the comedy wrestler beats top names and those top names lose nothing in the process. I totally get why the act doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s a change of pace and the live crowds love the guy.
8. Tetsuya Naito vs. Hirooki Goto in a B-Block match. Early in the match, Goto went for a kick from the apron while Naito was on the floor. Naito caught the kick, tripped him up, then slammed the leg down on the apron. Back inside the ring, Naito targeted the leg and applied a figure four. Goto eventually reached the ropes to break it.
Naito was dominant for a stretch and then set up for Destino, but Goto caught him and performed a neckbreaker onto his knee. Goto sold the bad knee immediately and Naito was back to his feet first. Goto was playing possum and powered up Naito and executed a Ushigoroshi.
A short time later, Goto stuffed Destino and performed a reverse GTR. Goto blasted Naito with a kick and then went for a Ushigoroshi, but Naito countered into a DDT and a Destino for a near fall. Naito performed Destino game and scored the clean pin…
Tetsuya Naito defeated Hirooki Goto in a B-Block match.
Powell’s POV: This was fine if you see it and fine if you don’t. It was well worked, yet there was nothing particularly memorable about the match and I couldn’t help but feel like they are capable of better.
“I’m scared of this main event,” Kelly told Romero prior to the entrances for Jon Moxley vs. Tomohiro Ishii. “I’m scared because of how violent it could get.” Moxley made his entrance through the crowd while Kelly noted that it was Moxley’s first NJPW main event. Moxley threw a couple of chairs inside the ring. Ishii made his entrance while Charlton noted that while Ishii is the elder statesman of the tournament in terms of his age and his career going back to 1996, but he didn’t debut in the G1 Tournament until 2013…
9. Jon Moxley vs. Tomohiro Ishii in a B-Block match. Ishii entered the ring and immediately went nose to nose with Moxley, which got a rise out of the crowd. The bell rang and they immediately went at one another with punches and Moxley threw some knees. Ishii connected with a leg kick, then Moxley avoided a high kick. Ishii and Moxley traded forearms. Moxley bodyslammed Ishii and then followed up by tossing him to ringside. Moxley followed and ran him into the barricade, then shoved him through the door and ended up walking him through a row in the bleachers. Moxley brought Ishii to the last row and slammed his head into an arena section sign against the back wall. Moxley followed Ishii into another section and threw knees at him. Referee Red Shoes followed and Moxley ended up hugging him.
Moxley grabbed Ishii in a front facelock and dragged him back down the steps and eventually brought him back to ringside. The referee finally started the count-out (um…). Kelly said you just got a tour of Korakuen Hall courtesy of Moxley. In the ring, Moxley threw kicks at Ishii, who eventually no-sold them. Moxley put him in a couple of holds and then Ishii put his foot on the ropes to break things up. Moxley fired chops at Ishii in the corner. Moxley threw another chop and Ishii fired up. Moxley shoved him back into the corner and Moxley fired chips and forearms at him. Ishii came back with a shoulder block that knocked Moxley down. Ishii fired away with his own chops and forearms, but Moxley threw him into the corner and clotheslined him. Ishii came right back with a vertical suplex.
Moxley threw several forearms at Ishii, who no sold them and then knocked Moxley down with one of his own. They went to ringside where Ishii ran Moxley into the barricade. Ishii tried to do it again, but Moxley reversed it and ran Ishii into the barricade. Moxley reached under the ring and pulled out two chairs. Moxley tossed one of the chairs to Ishii. Cool moment. They slammed the chairs together three times and Ishii sold hand pain, then Moxley threw what was left of his chair at the face of Ishii. Moxley pulled a table out from underneath the ring and set it up on the floor. Moxley brought Ishii to the apron and went for a uranage, but Ishii stuffed it. Moxley went for a piledriver, but Ishii blocked it. Moxley clotheslined Ishii with the top rope. Moxley charged at Ishii, who caught him with a forearm. Ishii went for a suplex, but Moxley blocked it.
With both men back in the ring, Moxley dropkicked Ishii, who rolled to ringside. Moxley performed a suicide dive. Kelly said Moxley’s antics were the result of years of being told what to do. Kelly noted that Red Shoes was giving the wrestlers a lot of leeway. Moxley ran at Ishii with a chair in hand, but Ishii elbowed it right into the face of Moxley. Kelly said Red Shoes is in a tough spot because the fans and the wrestlers would both be upset if he threw out the match. Ishii put Moxley onto the table and then performed a top rope splash that drove him through it. “Just when you think you have seen it all, Tomohiro Ishii just did that,” Kelly said. Ishii followed up in the ring with a superplex for a near fall.
Ishii went for a sliding lariat, but Moxley caught his arm and turned it into a pin for a two count. Moxley went for the same move, but Ishii stuffed it and ended up standing him up and performing a German suplex. Ishii went for a lariat, but Moxley ducked it and executed a German suplex. Ishii popped right up, but Moxley knocked him down with a running lariat. Ishii stuffed a kick and responded with a high kick to the head. Ishii connected with a sliding lariat for a two count. Ishii went for a brainbuster, but Moxley kneed him and then bit him a couple times. Moxley ran the ropes and hit Ishii with a Regal Knee. Both wrestlers got to their knees and did some light headbutting. They stood up and continued with it. Ishii fell to his knees and Moxlex wobbled, then taunted Ishii, who responded with a headbutt to the chin.
Moxley and Ishii exchanged strikes. Ishii blocked a running knee, but Moxley performed a uranage for a two count. Moxley performed a Regal Knee and held a finger in the air while getting a close near fall. Moxley stood up and played to the crowd to signify he was about to hit his Death Rider finisher. Ishii blocked it and backdropped Moxley. Moxley ducked a lariat and went for his finisher again, but Ishii stuffed it and caught him with a lariat. Ishii followed up with a lariat for a near fall. “You might have to drop a house on Jon Moxley to beat him,” Kelly said. Ishii went for a brainbuster. Moxley stuffed it and went for the Death Rider, but Ishii blocked it. Ishii headbutted Moxley and then hit him with a lariat to the back of the neck. Ishii performed a regular lariat, but Moxley no sold it. The wrestlers exchanged palm strikes. Moxley hit the Death Rider (Dirty Deeds) for a near fall at the 20:00 mark. Moxley pulled down his kneepads and connected with a Regal Knee. Moxley hit a high angle version of the Death Rider and scored the clean pin…
Jon Moxley defeated Tomohiro Ishii in a B-Block match.
After the match, Ishii struggled to get to his feet and then refused help as he stumbled to the back. Moxley took the mic and thanked the Tokyo fans. He thanked Ishii for sharing the ring with him and called him a “sick bastard.” Moxley said he knew the fans couldn’t understand everything he was saying, but a few months ago his career was in a toilet bowl. He said they welcomed him into Japan and made him feel like part of the family. Moxley said they gave him a canvas on which to paint his ugly, gruesome works of art, and he thanked the fans for it. Moxley said nobody in the universe can tell him what he’s capable of or what he can and can’t accomplish. He said only he can say that. Moxley said he will win the G1 Tournament of die trying. Moxley dropped the mic and got a round of applause.
Moxley went backstage to the press area. He said he thinks he said all he had to say in the ring. He said his wife will be mad at him because “she hates tables and shit.” He added that it’s all Ishii’s fault because he started the whole thing. Moxley walked off…
Powell’s POV: A really fun main event. It wasn’t a typical G1 wrestling classic type main event, but it was very good for its style. Moxley and Ishii meshed well together and they created some good drama and suspense. I assume they are saving Moxley’s losses for bigger names, which is logical, though I am curious to see if they might also use him to give Takagi a big win when they meet next week. Moxley really does come off like he’s unleashed and having a blast following his WWE run.
Overall, this was a solid night of tournament matches. The main event was fun and was the highlight of the tournament matches. Cobb vs. Robinson was solid, the Yano upset was fun, Takagi vs. Taichi was better than I expected, and Naito vs. Goto was fine even if it left me feeling a bit underwhelmed. It was good to see that Ospreay felt good enough to at least work his non-tournament match on the undercard after sitting out with a neck injury earlier this week and then having a gem of a match with Kota Ibushi on Thursday. Personally, I woud have given him the night off since it’s not like they needed this match to sell anyone on an Ospeay vs. Okada match. Tomorrow’s top three matches look strong on paper (see below). I should have a review available at some point on Saturday afternoon.
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 A-Block Standings: Kazuchika Okada and Kenta have six points, Lance Archer and Evil have 4 points, Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Will Ospreay, Sanada, and Bad Luck Fale have 2 points, and Zack Sabre Jr. has 0 points.
The B-Block Standings: Jon Moxley has six points, Juice Robinson, Tomohiro Ishii, Shingo Takagi, and Toru Yano have 4 points, Hirooki Goto, Taichi, Tetsuya Naito, and Jeff Cobb have 2 points, and Jay White has 0 points.
The A-Block resumes Saturday in Tokyo at Korakuen Hall with the following matches: Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay, Kota Ibushi vs. Sanada, Kenta vs. Evil, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Lance Archer, Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Bad Luck Fale.
The B-Block resumes Wednesday in Hiroshima at Sun Plaza Hall with the following matches: Tetsuya Naito vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Jon Moxley vs. Shingo Takagi, Jeff Cobb vs. Jay White, Hirooki Goto vs. Taichi, and Juice Robinson vs. Toru Yano.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Will Pruett on the Roman Reigns whodunnit angle, WWE heading into SummerSlam, AEW's October 2 premiere on TNT, the New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax Tournament through Day 11, and more (77:45)...