By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
New Japan Pro Wrestling “G1 Climax Tournament Day 12”
August 1, 2019 in Fukuoka, Japan at Fukuoka Prefectural Gymnasium
Streamed live on New Japan World
Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero were the English broadcast team…
1. Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, and Yujiro Takahashi beat Kenta, Karl Fredericks, and Clark Connors. Owens beat Fredericks with a package piledriver.
2. Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr. beat Lance Archer and Yoshinobu Kanemaru. Sabre beat Kanemaru with a European Clutch.
3. Kota Ibushi, Tomoaki Honma, and Toa Henare beat Hiroshi Tanahashi, Shota Umino, and Ren Narita. Henare beat Narita with a TOA Bottom.
4. Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay, and Yoshi-Hashi beat Evil, Sanada, and Bushi. Yoshi-Hashi beat Bushi 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. Jeff Cobb vs. Shingo Takagi in a B-Block tournament match. Cobb performed a couple of nice suplexes early on. Takagi targeted Cobb’s left knee. Cobb caught Takagi in the corner and performed a belly-to-belly suplex. Kelly noted that the average match length for both men in the tournament is nearly even and spoke of how evenly matched they are. Cobb went for a standing moonsault and came up holding his bad knee. Takagi performed a suplex of his own, fired up, and hit a couple of running clotheslines in the corner. Takagi placed Cobb on the top rope and executed a superplex. Cobb got up and performed a T-Bone suplex. Takagi returned the favor with the same move.
The wrestlers traded strikes and headbutts in the middle of the ring, then Takagi knocked Cobb down with a Pumping Bomber lariat. Takagi went for a cover and Cobb threw him off at the one count. Takagi charged at Cobb for another Pumping Bomber, but Cobb countered into a Tour of the Islands attempt, which Takagi avoided. Moments later, Takagi threw a Pumping Bomber that turned Cobb inside out. Takagi went for a cover, but Cobb kicked out in a good near fall. Cobb stuffed a Made in Japan attempt and then blasted Takagi with a lariat.
Cobb caught Takagi going for a huracanrana and then powered him up for a powerbomb. Takagi performed a crucifix bomb and then powered up Cobb for Made in Japan, which led to another good near fall. Takagi fired up and threw lariats at Cobb, who remained on his feet. Takagi went to run the ropes, but Cobb grabbed him from behind. Takagi elbowed his way free and punched Cobb. Cobb went for a Tour of the Islands, but Takagi dodged it. Cobb avoided a Last of the Dragon and performed a suplex followed by his Tour of the Islands finisher for the win…
Jeff Cobb beat Shingo Takagi in a B-Block tournament match.
Powell’s POV: A hell of a match, especially for the first tournament match of the night. This was my favorite Cobb match of the tournament thus far. By the way, Romero has mentioned that it’s ridiculously hot in the building, so we’ll see if that’s a factor in any of the matches.
6. Jon Moxley vs. Toru Yano in a B-Block tournament match. Yano sprayed water at Moxley from ringside. Moxley went after Yano, who rushed into the ring. Yano knelt down and begged for forgiveness, then went for a low blow, which Moxley blocekd. Yano ducked a clothesline and raced to his corner. “A DVD for you,” Yano said. He opened the DVD case and there were 10,000 yen inside. Moxley kicked the DVD case and the money. Moxley after Yano, who continued to avoid him while saying he was sorry.
Moxley caught Yano with a punch and then followed him to ringside. Yano ran Moxley into the barricade. Moxley returned the favor. Yano performed an inverted atomic drop, then pulled out a roll of tape. Moxley kicked Yano and then tied Yano to the barricade to take a page out of Yano’s book. Yano scrambled to break free and returned to the ring to beat the referee’s count. Yano begged off again and offered Moxley a handshake. Moxley looked to the crowd and complied, then both men grabbed the other’s hair. Yano ran to a corner and removed a turnbuckle pad, then Moxley did the same. They had a battle with the turnbuckle pad. Moxley got the better of it and wound up to hit Yano with the pad, but the referee took it away from him. Yano low blowed Moxley for a good near fall.
Moxley ran Yano into the exposed turnbuckle. Moxley caught Yano with a Regal Knee. Both men went to ringside where Moxley pulled a table out from under the ring and leaned it against a piece of the barricade. Moxley slammed Yano’s head into the table three times. Moxley got a running start, but the Yano pulled Shota Umino in front of him to stop Moxley. Yano low blowed both men, then tapped the legs of Moxley and Umino together. Yano returned to ring while Moxley was left scrambling three-legged race style to get back to the ring, but he couldn’t be the referee’s count.
Toru Yano defeated Jon Moxley via count-out in a B-Block tournament match.
Moxley acted shocked at ringside and told the referee that it was unacceptable. Moxley pulled a chair out from underneath the ring and told the referee that he better run. Moxley threw the chair down. Moxley entered the ring and flashed a look of shock over being beaten by Yano. Romero blamed Umino, saying he should have sawed off one of his legs to let Moxley return to the ring. Kelly explained that Romero was upset because it keeps Jay White alive in the B-Block. Kelly noted that everyone else in the B-Block had worked over an hour of match time, Yano’s combined total is just 19:13…
Powell’s POV: This was great for what it was. Yano matches are not for everyone, but I’ve gotten a big kick out of them throughout the tournament. The comedy is entertaining and everything matters because his matches are brief and you never know if he’s going to lose or pull off the upset. In this case, you had to assume that Yano was going over if only because Moxley losing keeps some big name player alive in the tournament.
7. Tetsuya Naito vs. Juice Robinson in a B-Block tournament match. Kelly noted that Naito was given a second lease on life via Yano’s victory. Robinson did the stalling by folding up his gear prior to the match and removing three different t-shirts individually. Naito looked humored, but then attacked Robinson as he was removing the final t-shirt. Naito mocked Robinson by pumping his fist and saying “Juice” at one point. Robinson came back and struck Naito’s pose in the middle of the ring. Naito tied up Robinson in the ring with his legs and continued to pump his fist to mock Robinson. Kelly noted that Robinson could get within two points of Jon Moxley in the standings with a win in this match, and that Robinson faces Moxley on the final night of the tournament.
A short time later, Robinson caught Naito with a huracanrana form the rope and followed up with a powerbomb for a two count. Robinson went for Pulp Friction, but Naito countered into a wicked suplex. Robinson stood right up. Naito went for a DDT, but Robinson countered into a suplex attempt, only for Naito to hit the DDT after all. Naito charged at Robinson, who caught him, but Naito countered into a reverse huracanrana and then hit Destino for a good near fall with Robinson waiting until the very last moment to kick out. Robinson blocked a Destino attempt and caught Naito with a Juice Box. The referee checked on Naito while Romero noted that Naito’s left ear was a bloody mess that may require stitches.
Natio got to his feet first and ducked a Left Hand of God. Naito went for Destino, but Robinson blocked it and punched Naito with a right hand and then performed a left armed lariat for a near fall. Robinson played to the crowd and went for Pulp Friction, but Naito avoided it and performed a brainbuster for a near fall. Naito followed up with Destino and scored the clean pin…
Tetsuya Naito defeated Juice Robinson in a B-Block tournament match.
Powell’s POV: A good match. I came away feeling like these two are capable of having a better match together, but it was still solid. Naito going over seemed likely, as he had to win to stay alive in the tournament, whereas Robinson entered the match alone in second place. Robinson’s last two matches are with Jay White and Jon Moxley, which should be really fun regardless of where he’s at in the standings.
8. Jay White (w/Gedo) vs. Taichi (w/Miho Abe, Yoshinobu Kanemaru) in a B-Block tournament match. Romero was openly rooting for Taichi due to his disdain for White. Taichi performed his usual song as part of his entrance, and White applauded at the end. Kelly noted that White essentially had to win in order to have any chance. Taichi faced elimination because he would lose a tiebreaker to Moxley. White laid on the top rope while Taichi stalled, which drew clapping from Taichi. White started bickering with Kanemaru. He told him to shut the f— up, then went to ringside and got in his face, telling him to do something while Kanemaru backed off. Taichi went to ringside and ended up fighting with White, which resulted in White being sent into the barricade. White returned the favor. Both men returned to the ring at referee Red Shoes’s 19 count.
Taichi went on the offensive and removed his tearaway pants. Taichi set up for a thrust kick, but White fell to the mat to avoid it. White came back with a neckbreaker. Taichi fired back with an enzuguiri. White performed a uranage, then followed up with a Kiwi Crusher. Taichi came back with a nice suplex. Taichi blasted White with a kick and covered him for a two count. Taichi set up for a powerbomb, but Gedo stood on the apron to cause a distraction. White went for a low blow, but Taichi blocked it and ended up kicking White below the belt. Taichi knocked Gedo off the apron, then rolled up White. Taichi had the pin, but Gedo pulled the referee from the ring.
Gedo put brass knuckles on. Kanemaru entered the ring and tried to spit whiskey at Gedo, but Gedo punched his junk. Taichi took out Gedo. White low blowed Taichi. White set up for a Blade Runner, but Taichi sent him toward the ropes, where Kanemaru spat whiskey in his face. Taichi clotheslined White and gave him a Last Ride suplex for a near fall. White came back and they jockeyed for position, and Taichi landed a kick. White performed a wicked suplex. Taichi got up and stumbled around the ring, then White performed a brainbuster and followed up with a Blade Runner for the win.
Jay White beat Taichi in a B-Block tournament match.
White went over to Kelly and Romero and gloated about his victory. Gedo joined and Romero acted irate…
Powell’s POV: A mildly interesting dynamic between the two heels, but the over the top interference was expected and yet too much. I guess the idea was that fans were supposed to be anxious to see White lose to bump him from contention, but the hard part is that this would require fans to rally behind Taichi. This match could have opened the tournament matches or at least went on earlier as far as I’m concerned.
9. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Hirooki Goto in a B-Block tournament match. Kelly noted that everyone in the B-Block is still alive with three matches remaining (Moxley beat Taichi and Takagi, who trail him by six points with only three matches remaining, so they are essentially eliminated aside from perhaps a three-way or beyond tie scenario). Kelly recalled the history between Ishii and Goto, noting that Ishii beat Goto last year in the G1, while Goto had won their two previous G1 matches.
It was a back and forth battle early. Ishii threw a series of strikes in the corner, then Goto spun him around and fired back. Later, they fought on the ropes for position and Goto performed a sunset flip style move that sent Ishii to the mat. Goto covered him for a two count. Ishii no-sold a lariat. Goto ran the ropes and Ishii knocked him down with a lariat. Goto came back with one of his own, then no-sold a lariat from Goto. They went for simultaneous running lariats. Goto went down, Ishii stayed up briefly, then tumbled to the mat.
Goto slapped Ishii, who fired back with ebows and punches. Goto went for a headbutt, but Ishii dropped him with an elbow. Ishii powebombed Goto for a two count. Ishii hit German suplex and a sliding lariat for another near fall. Ishii went for a brainbuster, but Goto hit him with a knee to the head. They jockeyed for position and eventually Goto hit a reverse GTR. Goto applied a sleeper, then released it and set up for the GTR, but Ishii threw punches. Goto hit a spinning Ushigoroshi for a near fall. Goto threw kicks at Ishii’s chest. Goto came back with three headbutts. Goto fired back with one of his own, Ishii responded, then Goto knocked him down with another headbutt.
Goto hit a reverse GTR and a kick that led to another two count. Goto set up for the GTR, but Ishii slipped away and ended up catching Goto with a kick. Goto came back with a sit-out GTR, then hit the actual GTR and scored the clean pin.
Hirooki Goto defeated Tomohiro Ishii in a B-Block tournament match.
Romero called it a night of spoilers. Kelly spoke about how Moxley appeared to be walking away with the B-Block coming into the tournament and now coming out of this show everything seems much closer with so many wrestlers tied for second place. Goto cut a promo in Japanese afterward and told the crowd that the G in G1 stands for Goto. Kelly and Romero wrapped up the English broadcast shortly thereafter…
Powell’s POV: A good slug fest main event. Goto needed another big win in the tournament to justify the story they told about him going to the LA Dojo and recommitting himself. He peaked with that early victory over Jay White and has been fairly quiet since then, so this was a necessary win. Overall, the main event was entertaining, but I found Cobb vs. Takagi to be more entertaining, and I loved Yano vs. Moxley match for its style. It was a good night aside from the White vs. Taichi match.
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 has 12 points, Kenta, Kota Ibushi, and Hiroshi Tanahashi have 8 points, Evil has 6 points, Lance Archer, Zack Sabre Jr., Sanada, and Will Ospreay have 4 points, Bad Luck Fale has 2 points.
The B-Block Standings: Jon Moxley has 10 points, Tomohiro Ishii, Tetsuya Naito, Juice Robinson, Jay White, Toru Yano, Hirooki Goto, and Jeff Cobb have 6 points, and Shingo Takagi and Taichi have 4 points.
The A-Block resumes Saturday in Osaka, Japan at Edion Arena with the following matches: Kazuchika Okada vs. Sanada, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi, Will Ospreay vs. Evil, Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Lance Archer, and Kenta vs. Bad Luck Fale.
The B-Block resumes Sunday in Osaka, Japan at Edion Arena with the following matches: Tetsuya Naito vs. Shingo Takagi, Jon Moxley vs. Jay White, Hirooki Goto vs. Jeff Cobb, Juice Robinson vs. Taichi, Tomohiro Ishii 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...