Preview by Joseph Currier
After a marathon tournament, New Japan Pro Wrestling’s 26th annual G1 Climax comes to an end early Sunday morning at Sumo Hall.
We're looking for your thoughts on all three nights at Sumo Hall, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle on all three nights as well as a best and worst match from all three nights to email@example.com
Sunday is the third straight night in the building after both block winners were decided the previous two nights.
Hirooki Goto emerged as the winner of Block A by defeating Naomichi Marufuji in the last night of the block's tournament action, and he got some help later in the night when Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi went to a time limit draw in the main event.
Goto will be facing Kenny Omega, who defeated Tetsuya Naito in Block B’s final tournament match to come out on top of the block. The winner will earn the opportunity to challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at next year's January 4th Tokyo Dome show, but they will be booked to defend the title shot along the way.
The show will also feature a Ring of Honor World Championship match, as Jay Lethal defends his title against Satoshi Kojima. And the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship will be on the line when The Briscoes defend against the Bullet Club’s Hangman Page and Yujiro Takahashi.
The show begins at 2:00 a.m. EST/11:00 p.m. PST on NJPW World. English commentary will be provided by Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino.
The card for the show is:
- Hirooki Goto vs. Kenny Omega to determine the G1 Climax winner
- Kazuchika Okada, Naomichi Marufuji, & Toru Yano vs. Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, & Tanga Roa
- Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin, KUSHIDA, & Juice Robinson vs. Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, EVIL, & BUSHI
- ROH World Champion Jay Lethal vs. Satoshi Kojima for the ROH title
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions The Briscoes vs. Hangman Page & Yujiro Takahashi for the tag titles
- Katsuyori Shibata, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Yuji Nagata, & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima, Go Shiozaki, Maybach Taniguchi, & Masa Kitamiya
- Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe vs. Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI
- Yoshitatsu & Captain New Japan vs. Gedo & Jado
- Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask vs. David Finlay & Ryusuke Taguchi
JUSHIN LIGER & TIGER MASK VS. DAVID FINLAY & RYUSUKE TAGUCHI
Fast paced short match ending with Tiger Mask pinning Finlay after a double arm superplex while Liger had Taguchi in the Rito Romero special at the same time. All four men shook hands and posed together to the applause of the crowd. Very much rushed.
YOSHITATSU & CAPTAIN NEW JAPAN VS. GEDO & JADO
We've got the Hunter Club against the New Japan and NOAH bookers. This wasn't a comedy match but it may as well have been it. Another short match ending when Jado made Captain submit to the crossface of Jado. Yoshitatsu walked out on Captain. Pretty bad match.
TOMOAKI HONMA & TOGI MAKABE VS. TOMOHIRO ISHII & YOSHI-HASHI
Ishii & Yoshi-Hashi won when Yoshi-Hashi pinned Honma after a pump handle falcon arow. Very good match, especially when Ishii was in. He and Makabe picked up where they left off yesterday. They pushed that Ishii & Yoshi-Hashi just beat the former IWGP tag champs so sounded like they are going to get a shot at the tag title winners later in the match.
MASA KITAMIYA & MAYBACH TANIGUCHI & GO SHIOZAKI & KATSUHIKO NAKAJIMA VS. KATSUYORI SHIBATA & YUJI NAGATA & MANABU NAKANISHI & HIROYOSHI TENZAN
Kitamiya has his name because he physically resembles Masa Saito. This is NOAH vs. New Japan class of 1992 & Shibata.
This was incredible. Nakajima pinned Nakanishi with a brainbuster but that hardly tells the story. Shibata was just unreal here. He did the sickest head-butt on Nakajimaand split his own head open. Then after the match Shibata was just going wild on the NOAH guys, especially Nakajima and Shiozaki. They had this ridiculous post-match brawl that was way too intense. Honestly, a lot of the Shibata stuff was beyond dangerous. But Shibata showed the old Inoki fire. This was a must-see match clearly starting what looks to be a great feud.' The crowd hae dhe NOAH guys.
MARK & JAY BRISCOE VS. YUJIRO TAKAHASHI & HANGMAN PAGE FOR THE IWGP TAG TITLE
Takahashi came out like The Godfather as he had four women with him. Takahashi did an inteview talking about this will be the real G-1 Climax. That was a double entendre about the women.
The Briscoes retained with the Doomsday Device on Page and Mark pinned him. This match was physical as hell but to the crowd they couldn't follow the previous match. The crowd got quiet late. Page did some cool stuff and I hope he's okay given some of the bumps he took including the finisher, as well as a Death Valley Bomb by Jay on the apron. Mark did a moonsault off the top rope to the floor. Jay was busted open in two places from a belt shot. Mark was busted open as well and I'm not sure where that came from. Page had swelling under his left eye. The Briscoes and Page were killing each other to get over but it's just impossible to follow that performance by Shibata in the prior match when it's four guys who aren't that over to this fan base.
They just announced officially that Wrestle Kingdom 11 takes place on 1/4 at the Tokyo Dome.
They had a Jericho like graphic saying that in like 83 days or something like that the Time Bomb explodes. Minoru Suzuki has been doing time bomb interviews. They need to do Suzuki vs. Shibata. It'll be interesting if he brings Sugiura with him.
JAY LETHAL VS. SATOSHI KOJIMA FOR THE ROH TITLE
Lethal retained the title with a low blow and the Lethal injection. Very good match, fans were really surprised that Kojima didn't win. Lethal after the match vowed revenge on Adam Cole on Friday night in Las Vegas. Lethal kicked out of Kojima's lariat. He did his two tope series but Kojima broke up the third. A big pop was when Kojima used the Anaconda vise on Lethal but Lethal escaped.'
HIROSHI TANAHASHI & KUSHIDA & JUICE ROBINSON & MICHAEL ELGIN VS. TETSUYA NAITO & EVIL & BUSHI & SEIYA SANADA
Good match but predictable. Evil pinned Robinson with the STO. After the match Naito seemed to challenge Elgin for the IC title. Elgin was the focal point of the match with his power moves. Bushi used a tope on Kushida and Kushida, Tanahashi and Sanada all did big moves leading to the finish.
It's only 6:24 p.m. in Tokyo with two matches left so it feels like the main event is going long.
KAZUCHIKA OKADA & NAOMICHI MARUFUJI & TORU YANO VS. BAD LUCK FALE & TAMA TONGA & TANGA ROA
Chaos is 4-0 after this one. Okada pinned Roa with the rainmaker in a basic match after clotheslining Fale over the top rope. Okada looked good.
Okada called out both Fale and Marufuji after the match. The crowd popped much bigger when he challenged Marufuji. Okada asked him if he wanted a shot at the best title in the world. Marufuji asked the fans if they wanted to see the match. They cheered and Marufuji offered his hand and Okada blew him off. That'll be a great match as their Sapporo match was awesome.
It's only 6:45 p.m. and they've pretty much rushed through the undercard.
Masahiro Chono came out to a big reaction to announce the main event. Chono is Mr. August, having won the first two G-1s and more G-1s than anyone in history.
HIROOKI GOTO VS. KENNY OMEGA FOR THE G-1 TITLE
Omega became the first Canadian and North American (technically Chono was born in the U.S. but he's really Japanese) to win the G-1 using the One winged angel in just under 27:00. This was an incredible match. The story is that Omega battled back from two bad knees but still did everything and then some. Omega refused to wave the G-1 flag when it was over and instead waved the Bullet Club flag.
Omega was really the star of the match from start to finish. He did all kinds of incredible moves that he'd normally do from the fast dragon suplexes and such. A huge spot was Goto had him in a choke and with Goto on his back, he climbed to the top rope and fell backwards off the top rope to break the choke. Then he started doing big moves of his friends he turned on, like the last ride power bomb and Phoenix splash of Kota Ibushi, and the Bloody Sunday DDT and Styles clash of A.J. Styles. He also kicked out of all of Goto's finishers except the GTR, which he blocked twice. What also made this match was the crowd. The crowd cheered both men throughout, switching back-and-forth at different times.
Omega said a lot of people said the Bullet Club is over and Bullet Club should disband. The Bullet Club is never over, it's for life. Without the Elite, wrestling is boring and it sucks. Days like this, like today they happen once a lifetime, don't be afraid to dream, don't be afraid to reach for the stars. But when you're about to reach for that and get it, someone like me is going to swoop in and take it away because I'm more talented, have more drive, more determination I'm not like any one of you but I wrestle for you. He then said Hi to all the wrestlers in Orlando who are watching saying you can use his matches in G-1 as a study lesson. He then Challenged Okada. Omega said "I've never beaten you because I've never wrestled you," and said him facing Okada is the likely scenario. He stared talking Japanese and they popped. Whatever he said got the fans laughing. He got over big on his pomo. Loud "Kenny" chants when this was over.
Omega is doing a press conference now and said The Bullet Club, said DDT betrayed me and threw me to the dogs. Was real sarcastic about the fans cheering you, as soon as they love you, they'll discard you, said all the fans are weraing LIJ shirts, but that Bullet Club is still bigger worldwide. Said Japanese wrestlers have the biggest heart, they never want to give up, but I'm two times more talented than any wresler in this locker room, the Japanese will die rather than quit. I won't die, I just want the money and the women. Today was the first time I fought Goto and I was a little lucky because in the last match Goto wrestled Marufuji, he threw knees but my knees are better but a barrage of knees and One Winged Angel said Goto was loopy. Said wrestling nearly an hour was tough but I'm talking an H-bomb and going to sleep on the flight. That H-bomb line isn't going to go over well with a lot of people. There was also a tease of something with Kota Ibushi because when he was asked about using the Phoenix splash, he refused to answer the question.
For match quality, the last three days were easily the best last three days in recent memory. It almost reminded me of 1991 with the same situation with the surprise guys winning and new stars being made.
Now they are replaying Omega vs. Goto except in Japanese.