By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
New Japan Pro Wrestling “G1 Climax Tournament Day 8”
July 24, 2019 in Hiroshima, Japan at Sun Plaza Hall
Streamed live on New Japan World
Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero served as the English broadcast team…
1. Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, and Yujiro Takahashi beat Will Ospreay, Tomoaki Honma, and Yuya Uemura. Takahashi beat Uemura with Pimp Juice.
2. Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr., and Lance Archer over Evil, Sanada, and Bushi. Suzuki performed a Gotch-style piledriver on Bushi and pinned him.
3. Hiroshi Tanahashi and Shota Umino vs. Kota Ibushi and Ren Narita. Tanahashi used a Slingblade clothesline to defeat Narita.
4. Kazuchika Okada, Yoshi-Hashi, and Toa Henare beat Kenta, Clark Connors, and Karl Fredericks. Yoshi-Hashi beat Connors via submission with a Butterfly Lock.
Powell’s POV: The results of the first four matches are straight from the New Japan website. I am watching the tournament matches listed below from bell to bell.
5. Juice Robinson vs. Toru Yano in a B-Block tournament match. Yano went for a handshake. Robinson was apprehensive, but eventually obliged only for Yano to roll him up for a two count. Yano pulled off the turnbuckle pad. Robinson punched Yano several times, but Yano blocked the big one with the pad. Yano threw the pad to Robinson, who tossed it to ringside. Yano rolled him up for another two count.
Robinson charged Yano, who moved, causing Robinson to crash into the post and tumble to ringside. Yano went to ringside and ran Robinson into the barricade. Yano tried to tape Robinson to the barricade. Yano returned to the ring late in the referee’s count. Robinson barely beat the count by returning at 19. Robinson had the referee check Yano’s tights. The referee found another role of tape. Yano rolled up Robinson again for a two count.
Yano and Robinson did some spots where they came close to hitting the exposed turnbuckle. Robinson eventually did and Yano rolled him up for a near fall. Yano barked at the referee about the count, then used him as a shield. Yano shoved the ref at Robinson, then teased a low blow. Robinson came back with a left hand and hit Pulp Friction for the win…
Juice Robinson defeated Toru Yano in a B-Block match.
Powell’s POV: The usual Yano fun. They kept it brief and there was actually good drama with Yano scoring near falls given some of the wins he’s had in this and past tournaments.
6. Hirooki Goto vs. Taichi (w/Miho Abe) in a B-Block match. The broadcast team labeled it a must win situation for both men given where they were in the standings. Karl Fredericks was among the young lions at ringside. Taichi went after him while Kelly explained that Goto trained with Fredericks and therefore Taichi attacking him was a way of getting to Goto, who was nearly counted out.
Taichi landed a high kick to the face of Goto, who eventually came back with several kicks. Taichi recovered out of nowhere and threw kicks of his own. Taichi went for a high kick, but Goto headbutted his leg. Goto performed a reverse GTR for a near fall. Goto went for the GTR, but Taichi grabbed his hair. Taichi threw the referee into Goto. REF BUMP!!!
Taichi performed a backdrop suplex on Goto. Both men and the referee were down. Taichi went to the corner and grabbed his microphone stand and tried to use it on Goto, who ducked it and hit him with a headbutt. Goto threw the mic stand to ringside. Goto threw a kick at Taichi, then followed up with a GTR attempt, but Taichi grabbed the referee. Taichi shoved the referee aside, blocked a kick, and caught Goto with a low blow before pinning him..
Taichi beat Hirooki Goto in a B-Block match.
Powell’s POV: It was admittedly tough to care about this match simply because of where both men are in the standings and how unlikely it seems that either man will will the block. Plus, a Taichi win is never a good thing. Is the one win over Jay White going to be the only highlight of Goto’s tournament? Anyway, let’s get to the good stuff.
7. Shingo Takagi vs. Jon Moxley in a B-Block tournament match. The broadcast team spoke about how Takagi won nine straight matches in the juniors tournament and could run off a series of wins in the G1. Moxley entered through the crowd and immediately went nose to nose with Takagi. Romero said there’s no love loss between the two dating back to when they were in the same faction in Dragon Gate USA years ago. The bell rang and Takagi landed some strikes, while Moxley came back by biting his face.
Moxley went for an early suicide dive, but Takagi blocked it and performed a Death Valley Driver at ringside. Moxley came back and ran Takagi into the ring post. Moxley looked into a camera at ringside and said, “I give zero f—s.” Moxley pulled out a table and slammed Takagi’s face into it. Moxley brought Takagi to the ring apron and set up for a powerbomb, but Takagi fought back. Moxley caught Takagi’s knee in the ropes and then dropkicked it. Moxley applied a figure four. “Switching from violence to straight technique,” Romero observed of Moxley. Takagi reached the ropes to break the hold.
Takagi went on the offensive and suplexed Moxley, yet came up selling the bad knee. Takagi went for a sliding lariat, but Moxley caught him. A short time later, Moxley dropkicked the bad knee. Moxley wrapped Takagi’s knee around the ring post twice and then applied a figure four around the post. Romero noted that Moxley used the same hold when he defeated Juice Robinson to win the IWGP U.S. Championship.
Back inside the ring, Takagi fired up both men hit simultaneous clotheslines twice. Takagi blocked one and then blasted Moxley with a lariat. They got to their feet and traded punches and forearms. Moxley performed a dragon screw leg whip, but Takagi countered into an inside cradle for a near fall. Moxley performed a lariat on a seated Takagi for another two count. Moxley lowered his knee pad. Takagi rallied and knocked Moxley down with a couple of lariats and got a near fall at 10:00.
Takagi fired up and set up for his Last of the Dragon finisher, but his knee gave out. Moxley kicked Takagi and performed a DDT for a near fall (it was called a Death Rider, but it looked like a standard DDT rather than a double underhook DDT). Moxley set up for a Death Rider, but Takagi blocked it. The wrestlers went to ringside. Moxley picked up Takagi and dropped him knee first onto to the table he set up earlier. Moxley wrapped a chair around the bad leg of Takagi, then pulled out another chair and slammed it onto the chair. Kelly said the referees have given Moxley a lot of leeway in the tournament. Takagi struggled and returned to the ring at the referee’s 19 count.
Moxley was waiting for Takagi and immediately blasted him with a Regal Knee. Moxley followed up with a Death Rider attempt, but it was stuffed by Takagi. Moxley and Takagi threw strikes. Takagi blocked another knee, then hit Made in Japan for a really good near fall. Takagi continued to limp. They took turns going for their finishers. Moxley kicked the back of Takagi’s knee and then hit him with two Regal Knees to the head and covered him for another really good near fall. Moxley applied a cloverleaf and Takagi tapped out. Romero noted that it was Takagi’s first submission loss in NJPW…
Jon Moxley defeated Shingo Takagi in a B-Block match.
Powell’s POV: Another excellent outing for Moxley in the G1. It was a simple story to follow with Moxley targeting the knee of Takagi relentlessly throughout the match. Takagi deserves a ton of credit also, as he did a really nice job of selling the bad knee consistently throughout the match. After a couple matches, I viewed Moxley as a fun change of pace guy in the tournament, but he’s quickly changed my perception by delivering some of the more compelling performances of anyone in the tournament.
8. Jeff Cobb vs. Jay White (w/Gedo) in a B-Block tournament match. Kelly said White would need to run off six wins in a row to overcome his poor start. Cobb got off to a strong start. Kelly said found the competition difficult and looked a bit shellshocked early in the tournament, but observed that he was looking confident in this match. Gedo ran interference at ringside early on. Cobb threw Gedo into the ring. Gedo begged off. White hit Cobb from behind and then put the boots to him. White draped Cobb over the apron and performed a neckbreaker onto the floor.
Back inside the ring, Cobb caught White charting and powered him into a Samoan Drop. Cobb was going to kip up, but White reached over and grabbed his hair. Cobb rebounded with a nice overhead belly to belly suplex. Cobb performed a high backdrop on White and then powered him up for a gut wrench suplex. Cobb performed a running uppercut and a vertical suplex. Cobb performed the standing moonsault for a two count. Cobb sent White into the ropes for his finisher, but White held on and ended up clotheslining Cobb over the top rope. White performed a Flatliner. White ducked an elbow and performed a nice suplex, then pointed at his head to show it was strategy. White performed a uranage for a near fall.
A short time later, Cobb rallied with a fallaway slam. White kicked Cobb from the corner. Cobb grabbed the legs of White and powered him up for a suplex. Cobb placed White on the top rope in the corner and set up for a superplex. Gedo climbed up and held onto White until the referee scolded him. White went to the apron, but Cobb powered him up for a deadlift superplex. Cobb went for the pin, but Cobb lifted his shoulder. Cobb went for a Tour of the Islands, but White threw rapid fire elbows at Cobb, who fell to his knees. Cob powered him back up, but White slipped out. Cobb threw an elbow that sent White crashing into the referee. REF BUMP!!!
Gedo entered the ring wearing brass knuckles and went after Cobb, who caught him and bodyslammed him. White went for his finisher, then Cobb countered into his own, but White slipped away and low-blowed Cobb. White performed a sleeper suplex. White woke up the referee. White went for a Blade Runner, but Cobb countered into a German suplex. White avoided a Tour of the Islands attempt and hit the Blade Runner for the win…
Jay White defeated Jeff Cobb in a B-Block match.
Powell’s POV: A solid match with the focus being on whether White could end his winless streak. And now that he has it will be interesting to see if they make him a player in the tournament going forward. I’m guessing he’ll rally and I could see White winning a lot of matches, but White becoming a real player in the B-Block would also require Moxley to lose several matches.
9. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Tetsuya Naito in a B-Block tournament match. Kelly noted that Naito is a big fan of the Hiroshima baseball team and that’s led to the city being an adopted hometown for him. Naito targeted the neck of Ishii early. The broadcast team agreed that the neck is the obvious target for Ishii’s opponents. Ishii fired back with chops, then performed a powerslam. Naito came back with a flurry of offense. Kelly said Ishii spit to the floor and he spotted blood.
Naito spat in the face of Ishii, who responded with a forearm shot. Ishii appeared to have a fat lip, which may be where the blood came from. Ishii threw a series of forearms and chops at Naito in the corner. Ishii performed a suplex for a two count. Romero noted that it was a rough landing for Naito. Ishii went for a powerbomb, but Naito countered into a huracanrana. Naito followed up with a kick and then went for a flying forearm, but Ishii caught him with a German suplex. Naito came right back with a tornado DDT around 10:00.
Naito executed a neckbreaker and then a huracanrana from the ropes for a near fall. Naito picked up the pace and performed Gloria for a two count. Naito went for a Destino. Ishii stuffed it, but Naito caught him with a German suplex. Ishii no sold it. Naito performed a Poison Rana. Ishii got to his feet. Naito set up for his finisher, but Ishii blasted him with a lariat. Ishii stumped and fell into the ropes before falling to the mat to sell the punishment he’d taken.
A short time later, Naito was on the ropes when Ishii leapt up and headbutted his chin. Ishii performed a superplex from the top rope for a near fall that got a big rise out of the crowd. Ishii followed up with a headbutt and a lariat for a near fall. Ishii powered up Naito for his vertical drop brainbuster, but Naito slipped away. Naito kicked Ishii, who came right back with an enzuguiri. Naito stumbled to sell the kick, then performed his Destino finisher for a good near fall. Naito went for Destino. Ishii powered him up and fell back into the corner.
Naito went for a DDT from the ropes, but Ishii stuffed it and went for a suplex. Naito countered into a DDT. Ishii no sold it and hit a seated Naito with a lariat for a near fall. Ishii sold neck pain. Ishii went for his finisher, but Naito slipped away. They exchanged strikes and then Naito performed a Michinoku Driver for a two count. Naito performed his Destino finisher and got the clean pin.
Tetsuya Naito defeated Tomohiro Ishii in a B-Block match.
Both men laid in the ring afterward. Kelly said Taichi, White, and Naito were all in must win situations and they delivered, while others such as Cobb and Goto came up short. He said Ishii was still in a decent position with four points. Naito got to his feet while the broadcast team hyped Naito vs. Moxley for Sunday. Referee Red Shoes raised the arm of Naito.
Ishii stumbled from the ring to the floor while Kelly ran through Friday’s lineup (see below). Naito delivered a promo in Japanese. Kelly noted earlier that Chris Charlton was off (Charlton noted on Twitter that he will return on August 3). There was no English translator for Naito’s promo, but he ran through the names of his Los Ingobernables faction to close the promo. Kelly and Romero closed the English broadcast with more hype for Naito vs. Moxley on Sunday and Saturday’s A-Block tournament…
Powell’s POV: A strong main event with the logical outcome to keep Naito in contention and give him momentum heading into the match with Moxley. The main event was the best match of the night, but I also really enjoyed Moxley vs. Takagi, and got a kick out of the Yano vs. Robinson match. It was a solid night of tournament action, though not as memorable or must see as some of the other shows. The weekend main events look very good on paper. I will be in Waterloo, Iowa for the National Wrestling Hall of Fame events over the weekend and I have no clue what my wifi situation will be like at the hotel. In other words, I will probably fall behind on the tournament while I’m away, but I will do my best to catch up on Sunday or Monday.
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 8 points, Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Lance Archer, and Evil have 4 points, Will Ospreay, Sanada, Zack Sabre Jr., and Bad Luck Fale have 2 points.
The B-Block Standings: Jon Moxley has 8 points, Juice Robinson has 6 points, Tetsuya Naito, Tomohiro Ishii, Shingo Takagi, Toru Yano, and Taichi have 4 points, Hirooki Goto, Jay White, and Jeff Cobb have 2 points.
The A-Block resumes Saturday in Aichi at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium with the following matches: Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenta, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Sanada, Evil vs. Zack Sabre Jr., Will Ospreay vs. Bad Luck Fale, Kota Ibushi vs. Lance Archer.
The B-Block resumes Sunday in Aichi, Japan at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium with the following matches: Tetsuya Naito vs. John Moxley, Shingo Takagi vs. Jay White, Jeff Cobb vs. Taichi, Juice Robinson vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto vs. Toru Yano.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ricky Starks on his NWA run, doing enhancement work for WWE, leaving NOLA due to Hurricane Katrina, the January 24 NWA Hard Times PPV on FITE.TV, his relationship with Nick Aldis, and much more...