By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
New Japan Pro Wrestling “G1 Climax Tournament Day 14”
August 4, 2019 in Osaka, Japan at Edion Arena
Streamed live on New Japan World
Kevin Kelly, Rocky Romero, and Chris Charlton were the English broadcast team…
1. Shota Umino and Ren Narita beat Yuya Uemura and Toa Henare. Umino beat Uemura with a fisherman’s suplex hold.
2. Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr., and Lance Archer beat Evil, Sanada, and Bushi. Suzuki performed a Gotch style piledriver on Bushi and then pinned him.
3. Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, and Yujiro Takahashi beat Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, and Tomoaki Honma. Owens beat Honma with a package piledriver.
4. Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospray, and Yoshi-Hashi beat Kenta, Karl Fredericks, and Clark Connors. Yoshi-Hash beat Connors with the 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. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Toru Yano in a B-Block tournament match. Ishii removed a couple of the turnbuckle pads before Ishii arrived in the ring. Yano removed another once Ishii arrived. Ishii crashed into the exposed corners and Yano put a t-shirt over his face and rolled him up for near falls. Yano begged off. Yano went to ringside and set up a chair on the entrance ramp and called for Ishii, who remained in the ring. Yano lost the game of chicken and had to rush back in the ring to beat the referee’s count. Ishii worked over Yano for a bit, but Ishii crashed and burned into the exposed corners a couple more times.
Yano got bold and barked that he wanted to fight. Ishii got up and encouraged Yano to hit him. Ishii no-sold Yano’s forearms, then blasted him with one of his own. Ishii toyed with Yano for a bit. Yano fired up and traded more forearms. Yano knocked Ishii off his feet. Ishii came right back with a suplex. Yano performed a couple of takedowns for near falls. Yano avoided Ishii charging at him in the corner, causing Ishii to crash into the exposed corner again. Yano rolled up Ishii for a good near fall. Yano went for a lariat, but Ishii blocked it.
Ishii went for a lariat, but Yano beat him to the punch. “What is going on?” Kelly asked. Yano performed a belly to belly suplex for a near fall. Ishii came back with a lariat for a near fall. There was a fun series of low blow attempts with both men blocking the other’s strikes. Ishii headbutted Yano and performed a sliding lariat, but Yano caught him in a pin for a two count. Ishii blasted Yano with an enzuguiri. Ishii hit another sliding lariat, but Yano kicked out again. Ishii performed a vertical drop brainbuster and scored the pin…
Tomohiro Ishii beat Toru Yano in a B-Block tournament match.
Powell’s POV: Yano took a more serious approach than usual in this match. He still removed turnbuckle pads and went for low blows, but it was fun to see him knock Ishii down with a forearm and suplex him. Yano has provided a lot of great comedy and some truly suspenseful moments throughout this tournament.
6. Juice Robinson vs. Taichi (w/Miho Abe, Yoshinobu Kanemaru) in a B-Block tournament match. Taichi made the first entrance. Kanemaru attacked Robinson during his entrance while Taichi and Abe distracted the referee. Once Robinson was in the ring, Taichi blasted him with a buzzsaw kick and got a two count. Abe slapped Robinson at one point while Taichi was working him over at ringside. Robinson eventually came back with a spinebuster. Robinson went on the offensive and performed a cannonball in the corner. Robinson went for Pulp Friction, but Taichi caught him with a backdrop suplex. Taichi followed up with a lariat that turned Robinson inside out. Taichi covered Robinson for a near fall.
Taichi went for a powerbomb, but Robinson slipped out and hit the Juice Box. Robinson performed a powerbomb for a two count, then rolled Taichi into a Boston crab. Kanemaru stood on the apron, and Robinson released the hold to chase after him. Taichi hid behind the referee, but Robinson hit him with a right hand. Robinson went for his finisher, but Taichi avoided it. Both men went for their finishers. Kanemaru climbed onto the apron with a mouthful of whiskey, but Robinson punched him off the apron and then dove onto him at ringside. Robinson went for the Left Hand of God on Taichi, who hid behind the referee again. Taichi spat whiskey in the eyes of Robinson and rolled him into a pin for a near fall. Taichi threw a kick and hit his Black Mephisto finisher for the win…
Taichi defeated Juice Robinson in a B-Block tournament match.
Powell’s POV: A solid match with Kanemaru’s distractions being the difference. Kelly noted that Robinson and Taichi would be eliminated from B-Block contention with a Jon Moxley win later in the show. I’m mildly surprised by Robinson losing this match as I thought they might keep him in contention going into the final match with Moxley. At the same time, that match will be about revenge for Robinson given the way Moxley mauled him when he debuted to beat him to win the IWGP U.S. Championship.
7. Hirooki Goto vs. Jeff Cobb in a B-Block tournament match. Cobb shoved Goto into the ropes and set up for his finisher early, but Goto held onto the ropes. Later, Cobb set up for a superplex, but Goto hit him with several forearms and headbutts. Cobb came back with a couple of headbutts and followed through with the superplex. Cobb covered Goto for a two count. Goto rallied with a ushigoroshi. Both men traded forearms on their knees as they got to their feet. Cobb got the better of the forearm strikes, but Goto came back with some kicks and hit him with a reverse GTR that led to a two count just before the 10:00 mark.
Cobb and Goto squared off while going for belly to belly suplexes. Goto won the battle and performed the suplex, which led to a two count. Cobb stuffed a kick and then performed a snap German suplex. Cobb went for his finisher, but Goto slipped away. Cobb avoided a GTR attempt. Goto slammed Cobb for a two count, then hit the GTR and scored the clean pin…
Hirooki Goto beat Jeff Cobb in a B-Block tournament match.
Powell’s POV: A solid match that will be quickly forgotten in this loaded tournament. It was logical to give Goto the win due to the story of how much work he put into training for the tournament and because it makes his Thursday match with Jon Moxley very relevant. Maybe I’m misreading the situation and he’s a bigger threat to win the B-Block than I realize, but I see this as Goto needing enough points for it to feel like he had a strong showing by tournament’s end. By the way, I’ve mentioned in that I love the match length based stats that Kelly has been dishing out on commentary. Kelly is giving credit to a guy named Chris Samsa for compiling those numbers, so join me in giving him a follow on Twitter at @TheChrisSamsa.
8. Jon Moxley vs. Jay White (w/Gedo) in a B-Block tournament match. White came out first while Kelly told the story of him starting 0-3 in the tournament and then clawing his way back into contention with three straight wins. Moxley was out next and attacked White as soon as he entered the ring. Moxley took White to ringside and worked him over. Moxley set up a table under the ring while Kelly explained that New Japan officials keep an extra chair under the ring just in case one of the broadcast team tables are broken. Gedo ran over and grabbed the table and carried it to the ramp so that Moxley couldn’t use it.
Moxley threw White back inside the ring and ate a bunch of boots when he followed. White chopped Moxley in the corner, but Moxley fired up and worked over White in the corner. A short time later, White clotheslined Moxley via the top rope. White followed up with a DDT and then threw a series of punches at him. Moxley rallied a short time later and performed a clunky suicide dive. Moxley took the fight into the crowd. Kelly noted that neither man would get any points in the event of double count-out. Kelly also pointed out that referee Red Shoes followed the wrestlers to keep an eye on them rather than remain in the ring to count them out. Moxley brought White back to ringside and ended up giving him a figure four around the ring post. White eventually broke free. In the ring, Moxley applied a cloverleaf. When White reached the ropes, Moxley countered into an STF, but he had to release it because of White holding the rope.
White used the referee as a distraction and then performed a DDT that sent Moxley into the corner. White performed a snap suplex. Moxley stood right up, but White performed a Flatliner and a dead lift German suplex. White performed a uranage for a two count. A short time later, Moxley performed a cool suplex on White that resulted in a two count. White came back with some forearms, but Moxley ducked a punch and executed a uranage. Moxley pulled his kneepad down and set up for the Regal Knee, but White dropped to the mat. Gedo ran interference and White tried to capitalize with a Blade Runner, but Moxley bit his eyebrow. Moxley punched White and then ran the ropes. White went for another Blade Runner, but Moxley avoided it and performed a snap version of the Death Rider (Dirty Deeds DDT) for a good near fall.
Moxley set up for the Death Rider, but White grabbed the referee. Moxley got upset and threw White at the referee. Gedo entered the ring wearing brass knuckles. Moxley spotted him and dared him to hit him. Gedo backed off for a moment, then swung and Moxley ducked the punch. White low blowed Moxley, and Gedo hit him with the brass knuckles. White woke up the referee and covered Moxley for a good near fall. White set up for the Blade Runner, but Moxley rolled him up for a good near fall. Both men stood up and Moxley blasted White with a lariat and a Regal Knee for another strong near fall.
Moxley set up for his finisher, but he released it to knock Gedo off the apron with a knee. White capitalized with a sleeper suplex. Moxley blocked the Blade Runner, White blocked the Death Rider, and White suplexed Moxley. White got to his feet and Moxley flipped him off. White grabbed Moxley’s arms and gave him a cross-armed Bloody Sunday and followed up with a Blade Runner for the pin.
Jay White pinned Jon Moxley in a B-Block tournament match.
White went to ringside afterward and told Romero to believe in him. “I hate him,” Romero said. Kelly noted that White will face Juice Robinson and Tetsuya Naito in his remaining tournament matches, while Moxley will face Goto and Robinson. Kelly also pointed out that Robinson is still very much alive given that he faces Moxley and White.
Powell’s POV: This was a strong match with several dramatic near falls. This is the first time that Moxley has been pinned in NJPW (his other tournament loss was via count-out to Toru Yano). Gedo’s interference and distractions were the difference, just as Taichi benefitted from interference earlier. Despite Kelly’s comments about Robinson being alive in the B-Block race (and that’s how Kelly should frame it), I still don’t believe he’s a threat to win this since it would take some type of three-way or four-way tiebreaker, but he will have two very relevant matches to close things out.
9. Tetsuya Naito vs. Shingo Takagi in a B-Block tournament match. There was an early stalemate exchange that drew applause. Naito threw his fist in the air as a sign of respect, but Takagi kicked him in the gut. Naito fired back and cleared Takagi to ringside, then struck his pose in the ring. Takagi picked up a chair and threw it into the ring at Naito, who responded by setting up the chair and sitting down on it. Takagi rushed back to the ring and took a drop toehold onto the chair. A short time later, the wrestler traded strikes in the ring. Naito wound up for a big shot, then raked Takagi’s eyes.
Naito spat in Takagi’s face. Takagi got fired up and ended up clotheslining Naito to ringside and running him into the barricade twice. Naito tumbled over the barricade the second time. Takagi ran Naito into the ring post and DDT’d him on the floor before throwing him back inside the ring. Kelly said Takagi is normally not a wrestler who targets a certain part of the body, but he questioned whether he was targeting Naito’s neck. With Naito leaning against the ropes, Takagi slapped him a few times and then knocked him down moments later. Romero said the backstage monitor is usually a sellout because the wrestlers are so in awe of the things that Takagi can do. Naito caught Takagi charing and performed an inverted atomic drop, then followed up with a huracanrana.
Naito dropkicked the back of a seated Takagi, then performed a hesitation dropkick in the corner. Naito performed a neckbreaker for a two count. Kelly said Naito was targeting the neck of Takagi to set him up for his Destino finisher. Takagi stuffed a swinging DDT and then rallied with a Death Valley Driver. Takagi picked up Naito in suplex position and dropped him on the top rope. Takagi went to the top rope and dropped an elbow onto Naito for a near fall. There was a loud “Takagi” chant. Kelly said they have loved Naito at times and booed him out of the building at other times. Naito placed Takagi on the top rope, but Takagi slipped under and pulled Naito down so that his face landed on the turnbuckle pad. Takagi caught Naito behind him and dropped him down face first.
Naito avoided a Pumping Bomber and performed a swinging DDT from the ropes. Naito went for Gloria, but Takagi blocked it and threw a knee at Naito, who came right back with a wheel kick and a flying forearm. Naito performed Gloria for a two count. Naito went for Destino, but Takagi caught him and ended up powerbombing him. Takagi performed a wheelbarrow German suplex that drove Naito into the turnbuckle pad. Takagi threw a lariat at Naito in the corner, then backed up and performed a running lariat. “I think I saw Naito’s soul leave his body on that one,” Romero said. Nice line. Takagi hoisted Naito on his shoulders and then climbed to the second rope. Naito fought free with punches and then sent for a Frankensteiner, but Takagi caught him and powered him up for a powerbomb, but Naito countered into a huracanrana instead.
Naito hit a Poison Rana and set for Destino, but Takagi blasted him with a great lariat that left both men down. There was a loud “Naito” chant. Takagi pulled Naito to his feet and sent for Made in Japan, but Naito fought free. Takagi blasted him with two short Pumping Bombers. Takagi went for a third, but Naito ducked it. Takagi flexed free. Naito kicked Takagi and ran the ropes, but Takagi followed and hit him with a lariat against the ropes. Takagi performed a dragon suplex. Naito came right back with a dragon suplex of his own. Takagi powered up Naito for Made in Japan for a good near fall. Takagi blasted Naito with a Pumping Bomber and covered him for another strong near fall. Takagi fired up and went for Last of the Dragon, but Naito countered into a reverse DDT.
Both wrestlers got to their knees and traded headbutts. Naito threw forearms at Takagi and then spat at him before throwing more forearms. Takagi got up and dazed Naito with a forearm. The wrestlers traded forearms at the 25:00 mark. Naito landed a palm strike, but Takagi came right back with a headbutt. Naito countered a suplex into a brainbuster for a two count. Naito let out a primal scream and went for Destino, but Takagi remained on his feet, ran the ropes, and turned Naito inside out with a lariat. Takagi powered up Naito, who slipped away and hit a Canadian Destroyer. Naito followed up with Destino for a great near fall. Naito hit Destino again and scored the pin with less than two minutes remaining in the 30-minute time limit.
Tetsuya Naito defeated Shingo Takagi in a B-Block tournament match.
After the match, Bushi came out and checked on both men, who remained lying on the mat for a couple minutes. Kelly noted that Naito will close the tournament with matches against Jay White and Jeff Cobb, while Takagi will face Tomohiro Ishii and Hirooki Goto. Kelly said Takagi might be mathematically eliminated from the tournament, but “everybody has lost their damn mind” if there’s not an invitation extended to Takagi to wrestle in next year’s G1 tournament. Amen.
Naito and Takagi got to their knees spoke to one another. Takagi used Naito’s shoulders to press himself to his feet, then rolled out of the ring while Naito stuck around to address the crowd in Japanese (Charlton translated on commentary). Naito told the fans “good evening.” Naito said he knew he made the right choice in telling Takagi to join Los Ingobernables. He said they could absolutely face one another again at some point. There was a chant for Takagi. Naito noted that he is 4-2 in the tournament, still alive, and will keep fighting until the end. Naito said his eyes are on the prize further down the road. Naito told the fans to enjoy the wait while he reaches his goal. Naito told the fans to come back and see him when they return to Osaka in September. Naito listed the members of Los Ingobernables and said the name of the faction to close out his promo. Kelly closed out the English broadcast shortly thereafter…
Powell’s POV: A terrific main event and the best match of the night hands down. The first half of the match was solid and built to the outstanding second half. Naito winning is logical in that it keeps him in the hunt and I still see him as the biggest threat to pass Moxley to win the tournament, though perhaps I have Naito blinders on as I did last year when I thought he was going to win the entire tournament. In order to do so, Naito has to win out and Moxley has to lose both of his remaining matches, as Moxley has the tiebreaker over Naito based on beating him when they met on Day 10. White now holds the tiebreaker over Moxley, so perhaps he’s a more realistic threat.
Then again, I still have no clue what happens if there is a three-way tie that can’t be settled by the head-to-head meetings. For instance, if Moxley, White, and Naito all finished tied for first in points and their head-to-head results were White over Moxley, Moxley over Naito, and Naito over White, then what’s the next tiebreaker? They can obviously book to avoid this scenario and probably will, but I’m legitimately curious to know if this has happened or if there’s a definitive tiebreaker in place for such a logjam. If you know the answer then please educate me via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Overall, this was a good night of tournament matches with two strong show closing matches and the fun Yano vs. Ishii match in the tournament opener. It’s going to be a fun week with a few days off and then four shows to close out the block play between Wednesday and Sunday followed by the finals on Monday. I’ve made it this far so I’ll be doing my best to fit everything in during what will be a very busy weekend with the SummerSlam and NXT events taking place in Toronto. I’ve updated the schedule below to include all of the remaining tournament matches.
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, Kota Ibushi has 10 points, Evil, Kenta, and Hiroshi Tanahashi have 8 points, Zack Sabre Jr. and Sanada have 6 points, Lance Archer, Will Ospreay, and Bad Luck Fale have 4 points.
The B-Block Standings: Jon Moxley has 10 points, Jay White, Tetsuya Naito, Tomohiro Ishii, and Hirooki Goto have eight points, Juice Robinson, Toru Yano, Taichi and Jeff Cobb have 6 points, and Shingo Takagi has 4 points.
The A-Block resumes Wednesday in Shizuoka, Japan at Hamamatsu Arena with the following matches: Kazuchika Okada vs. Evil, Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Kota Ibushi, Will Ospreay vs. Kenta, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Bad Luck Fale, Sanada vs. Lance Archer.
The B-Block resumes Thursday in Kanagawa, Japan at Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium with the following matches: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Shingo Takagi, Juice Robinson vs. Jay White, Hirooki Goto vs. Jon Moxley, Jeff Cobb vs. Tetsuya Naito, and Toru Yano vs. Taichi.
The A-Block concludes on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan at Budokan Hall with the following matches: Kazuchika Okada vs. Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Will Ospreay, Kenta vs. Zack Sabre Jr., Evil vs. Lance Archer, and Sanada vs. Bad Luck Fale.
The B-Block concludes on Sunday, August 11 in Tokyo, Japan at Budokan Hall with the following matches: Jon Moxley vs. Juice Robinson, Tetsuya Naito vs. Jay White, Hirooki Goto vs. Shingo Takagi, Jeff Cobb vs. Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii vs. Taichi.
The NJPW G1 Climax 29 Finals will be held on Monday, August 12 in Tokyo, Japan at Budokan Hall with the A-Block vs. the B-Block winner.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Colt Cabana on his role in ROH, the state of the independent wrestling scene, the future of his podcast, the ROH Global Wars tour, the new ROH television format, Starrcast III, and much more...