By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
New Japan Pro Wrestling “G1 Climax Tournament Day 16”
August 8, 2019 in Kanagawa, Japan at Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium
Streamed live on New Japan World
Kevin Kelly, Rocky Romero, and Chris Charlton were the English broadcast team…
1. Ren Narita and Shota Umino defeated Yuya Uemura and Yota Tsuji. Umino used a fisherman’s suplex to get the win for his team.
2. Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, and Yujiro Takahashi beat Evil, Sanada, and Bushi. Owens used a package piledriver on Bushi and pinned him.
3. Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr. and Lance Archer beat Kenta, Karl Fredericks, and Clark Connors. Suzuki performed a Gotch-style piledriver on Connors before pinning him.
4. Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Yoshi-Hashi beat Will Ospreay, Kota Ibushi, and Toa Henare. Yoshi-Hashi used a brainbuster to defeat Henare.
Powell’s POV: I skimmed through the first four matches to see the finish. I am watching the tournament matches listed below from bell to bell.
5. Toru Yano vs. Taichi (w/Miho Abe) in a B-Block tournament match. Kelly said Yano’s total match time for the tournament is 33 minutes and 56 seconds. Meanwhile, block leader Tomohiro Ishii’s total match time is two hours two minutes, and 51 seconds. Taichi stalled and Yano comically barked at him to get in the ring. Yano said there’s no point in this and then left the ring and teased going backstage, but Yoshinobu Kanemaru came out and attacked him and brought him back to ringside. Taichi wrapped Yano in the ring skirting banner in an attempt to beat Yano at his own game. Yano struggled, hopped, and returned to the ring to beat the referee’s count to avoid the count-out.
Yano removed a turnbuckle pad and tossed it at Taichi when the referee scolded him. They played a game of hot potato with the pad. Yano threw it at Kanemaru, who stood on the apron. Kanemaru threw it back and then Yano threw it at the referee. Yano removed Taichi’s tearaway pants and then shot him into the exposed turnbuckle before rolling him up for a near fall. Yano brought Taichi to ringside. Kanemaru spat whiskey, but Yano ducked it and it hit Taichi. Yano low-blowed Taichi and Kanemaru, then wrapped them up in another piece of the ring skirting and took the count-out win.
Toru Yano defeated Taichi by count-out in a B-Block tournament match.
Powell’s POV: Good, silly Yano fun to open the tournament matches. He’s had something new for each of the tournament matches thus far.
6. Tetsuya Naito vs. Jeff Cobb in a B-Block tournament match. Kelly noted that Naito struck a sumo-like pose before the match to taunt Cobb, who then started the match on the offensive. Naito came back with an early dropkick to the knee. A short time later, Naito lightly slapped the head of Cobb and then spat at him. Cobb fired back. Naito teased him with a big punch, then kicked his bad left knee instead. Cobb caught Naito going for a move and then suplexed him. Cobb performed a Samoan drop and a standing moonsault for a two count a little over 5:00 into the match.
A short time later, Cobb performed a German suplex into a bridge for a near fall. The wrestlers fought for position on the ropes. Cobb got the better of it and superplexed Naito and then covered him for a two count. Cobb followed up with a spin cycle suplex for another near fall. Cobb showed frustration and said “come on” while punching his bad knee. Naito came back with another dropkick to the bad knee, but Cobb shut him down with a kick to the head. Cobb placed Naito on the ropes and set up for a move that Naito fought to avoid. Naito performed a Frankensteiner from the ropes. Cobb got right up.
Naito went for a tornado DDT. Cobb blocked the DDT initially, but Naito followed through with it. Naito went for Destino, but Cobb stayed on his feet and countered into an F5. The wrestlers traded forearms. Naito spat at Cobb and then fired away with several forearms. Cobb held his ground and ended up turning Naito inside out with a lariat. Cobb went for his Tour of the Islands finisher, but Naito countered into a reverse DDT for a near fall. Naito hit a Destino and scored the clean pin…
Tetsuya Naito defeated Jeff Cobb in a B-Block tournament match.
Powell’s POV: An entertaining match. The outcome was never in question in my mind and they didn’t take the big match approach, as Cobb went down to a single Destino. Even so, it was a good match that keeps Naito in the chase and gives him momentum going into the final weekend.
7. Jon Moxley vs. Hirooki Goto in a B-Block tournament match. Moxley tore apart some of the barricade during his entrance. The wrestlers fought evenly to start. They went to ringside and were so caught up in trading forearms that they both had to rush back to the ring to beat the referee’s count. A short time later, Moxley caught Goto with a lariat and got a two count. Moxley followed up with a Regal Knee for a near fall. Moxley barked at referee Red Shoes over his count. Goto came back with Ushigoroshi. Both wrestlers went for simultaneous lariats three times and fell to their knees. Moxley was up first. Goto threw a kick at Moxley, who caught it and dropped Goto with a Death Rider DDT. Goto came right back with a GTR and scored the pin…
Hirooki Goto defeated Jon Moxley in a B-Block tournament match.
Powell’s POV: A fairly short match with a finish that surprised me. It actually creates a three-way tie scenario between Goto, Moxley, and Naito with ten points each. And it’s a true three-way tie because Goto beat Moxley, Moxley beat Naito, and Naito beat Goto. I thought Goto already had enough points to justify the story they’ve been telling about the hard training he did at the LA Dojo going into the tournament. Now he has more than enough going into his final day match against Shingo Takagi. I’m not a Goto hater, but he’s the least appealing of the realistic block winner candidates.
8. Juice Robinson vs. Jay White (w/Gedo) in a B-Block tournament match. White offered Robinson a handshake and said it was just like old times when they were at the dojo together. Robinson didn’t fall for it. Early in the match, Gedo held Robinson’s leg while White chop blocked it. White went to work on Robinson’s left knee for an extended stretch and removed his kneepad. White put Robinson in a half crab until Robinson reached the ropes to break it. White taunted Robinson with his fist pump. The wrestlers traded strikes. Robinson started to get the better of it, but White went at the knee again. White did the Robinson fist thrusts and told the crowd to “f— off” when they chanted Robinson’s name. Robinson came back with a spinebuster.
White went for a figure four, but Robinson kicked him off and White went to ringside. Robinson dove onto White on the floor, then got up and ran him into the barricade. Robinson picked up White and dropped him onto the barricade, then rolled him back inside the ring and wrapped his knee around the ring post twice. Robinson tried to do it a third time, but White used his legs to pull Robinson face first into the post. Back inside the ring, Robinson fired away with two lariats and then performed a Jackhammer. Robinson sold knee pain and was only able to get a two count. Robinson went to the ropes, but White crashed into the ropes to knock him down. White followed up with a DDT and sold knee pain of his own. White hit a brainbuster for a two count.
White suplexed Robinson and then tried to follow up with another. Robinson blocked the suplex, but White kicked his bad knee. Robinson suplexed Robinson over the top rope and he tumbled to the floor. White threw Robinson back inside the ring and performed a uranage for a near fall. Robinson came back with a full nelson bomb. Robinson was the first man back to his feet and he put White down with a powerbomb for a two count, then rolled him into a Boston Crab-style hold. White punched Robinson’s bad knee to break free. White attacked the bad knee with an inverted dragon screw leg whip and then applied a leg lock that Romero compared to a reverse figure four. Robinson reached the ropes to break the hold.
White wrenched Robinson’s bad knee and then kicked it. Robinson fired up and swung at White, who ducked two punches and suplexed him at the 20:00 mark. White went for the Blade Runner, but Robinson countered into a rollup for a two count. Romero said Robinson beat White for the IWGP U.S. Championship in San Francisco using the same rollup. Both men took turns going for their finishers and White took another jab at the bad knee. White went for his finisher, but Robinson blasted him with the Left Hand of God punch, then fell down in exhaustion. Robinson played to the crowd and set up for Pulp Friction, but Gedo climbed onto the apron and distracted the referee and Robinson. White low blowed Robinson and then shoved him into the referee. REF BUMP!!!
Gedo slid a chair to White, who wound up to use it, but Robinson tagged him with another Left Hand of God punch. Robinson went for Pulp Friction on a chair, but Robinson pushed him off and Robinson landed hard on the chair. White hit Robinson’s bad knee with the chair twice and then applied his leg lock. Gedo rolled referee Red Shoes back inside the ring. Robinson tapped out.
Jay White defeated Juice Robinson in a B-Block tournament match.
Charlton noted that Robinson is out of the block contention and that White has moved to ten points, meaning there’s a four-way tie for first. White gave Robinson a Blade Runner afterward, then Romero vented on commentary about White and Gedo.
Powell’s POV: The best match of the night thus far. I don’t mind the interference of Gedo in this instance because it protected Robinson. I just wish it didn’t happen as often as it does. Robinson is out, but his character will be out for revenge in his match with Moxley on Sunday and he could prevent him from winning the block.
9. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Shingo Takagi in a B-Block tournament match. Charlton noted that Ishii needed a win to get to ten points to remain in contention for the block, while Takagi was eliminated going into the match. Takagi got off to a good start, but Ishii knocked him down with a shoulder block. Ishii jawed at Takagi, who blasted him with a chop that Ishii no-sold. Ishii fired away with chops that knocked Takagi down. Ishii jawed at referee Red Shoes. Takagi fired back with a headbutt, but Ishii stayed on his feet and fired back with a headbutt that sent Takagi to his knees. Ishii delivered more headbutts and Takagi encouraged him to bring it on. Takagi got up and traded chops to Ishii and got the better of it by throwing a double chop, which Ishii sold in the corner.
Takagi performed a vertical suplex. Takagi bodyslammed Ishii and then went up top and dropped an elbow on him, which led to a two count. The wrestlers jockeyed for position, then Takagi dropped Ishii with a DDT. Takagi followed up with a backdrop suplex for a two count. Ishii stuffed a move attempt and backdropped Takagi, then followed up with a powerslam. Ishii fired away with chops and forearms in the corner. Takagi spun him around and returned the favor, then started throwing punches. The referee tried to pull him off, but Takagi threw him off. Kelly said a less experienced referee may have thrown out the match. Ishii started no-selling Takagi’s forearms and motioning for more. Takagi started selling forearm pain, then punched Ishii and dropped him with a lariat.
Ishii called in Takagi, who threw forearms. Ishii told him that he didn’t feel one, then said another wasn’t good enough. They traded more forearms. Takagi got pissed and threw a flurry of forearms. Ishii returned the favor. Ishii ran the ropes, but Takagi followed and hit him with a lariat. Ishii returned the favor. They met with simultaneous lariat attempts. Ishii performed a couple of backdrop suplexes and both men stayed down for a bit. Ishii had blood coming from or near his left ear. Ishii got to his feet and placed Takagi on the top rope, then performed a superplex for a near fall.
Takagi knocked Ishii down with a lariat at 15:00. Ishii slammed Ishii and then performed a sliding lariat for a near fall. A short time later, Takagi hit Made in Japan for a near fall. Takagi drilled Ishii with a Pumping Bomber for a near fall. Ishii stuffed a Last of the Dragon attempt and rallied with a German suplex. Ishii threw a lariat at Takagi, then dropped him with another and covered him for a near fall. Ishii performed a sliding lariat for another near fall. Both men stuffed the other’s big move attempts. Eventually, Takagi slammed Ishii to the mat.
Both men stood up and Takagi blasted Ishii with a Pumping Bomber. Ishii got up and absorbed another, traded headbutts, then fired back with a kick that knocked Takagi down. Ishii ran the ropes and drilled Takagi with a running lariat that turned him inside out. Ishii and covered Takagi just a one count. Takagi threw a lariat at Ishii and covered him for just a one count. The wrestlers threw simultaneous lariats, then Takagi dropped Ishii with another. Takagi threw a Pumping Bomber and covered Ishii. Takagi held up his hand in victory, but Ishii kickedout at the very last moment. Takagi let out a primal scream and then hoisted Ishii onto his shoulders and hit Last of the Dragon and scored the clean pin…
Shingo Takagi defeated Tomohiro Ishii in a B-Block tournament match.
After the match, Charlton said Ishii is essentially out of the tournament because the four wrestlers tied for first would all need to go pointless on the final night for him to even have a chance. Takagi took the mic and spoke about how strong Ishii is and questioned what the heck he is and stated that he’s not human. Takagi said he might be out of G1 contention, but he was in the main event and he’s happy he didn’t quit. Takagi said it’s his first G1 and he entered because he wanted to fight. He spoke about facing Hirooki Goto in the final match of the tournament and said the dragon will breathe fire at Budokan Hall.
Powell’s POV: A hell of a match and the rightful main event of the show. This should put Takagi in line for a shot at Ishii’s Never Openweight Championship. It’s disappointing to see Ishii drop out of contention, but it’s better that he was eliminated in a meaningful match that elevated Takagi rather than being eliminated with the iron fingers or some other Taichi nonsense on the final day. I hope they give Takagi another big win on Sunday by having him eliminate Hirooki Goto.
I thought this would be a show that created some separation in the standings. Instead, they took the opposite approach by creating a logjam going into the final day of block play on Sunday. It’s a nice contrast to the A-Block, which is down to a single match between Kazuchika Okada and Kota Ibushi on Saturday. I really enjoy the work of the broadcast team, but I wish they or someone would explain the various tiebreaker scenarios. Perhaps it’s been covered during the undercard matches, but I’ve watched all of the tournament matches this year and I’m still not sure what would happen in the event of a three-way tie that can’t be broken by a head-to-head tiebreaker. That said, it should be a great weekend with Okada vs. Ibushi for the A-Block on Saturday, four wrestlers in play for the B-Block on Sunday, and the finals on 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 has 14 points, Kota Ibushi has 12 points, Evil, Kenta, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Sanada have 8 points, Zack Sabre Jr., Will Ospreay, and Bad Luck Fale have 6 points, Lance Archer has 4 points.
The B-Block Standings: Jon Moxley, Tetsuya Naito, Jay White, and Hirooki Goto have 10 points, Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano have eight points, Juice Robinson, Shingo Takagi, Taichi, and Jeff Cobb have 6 points.
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.