After 18 shows and a plethora of great, memorable matches, it all comes down to tonight’s G1 Climax 27 finals in Sumo Hall.
Tetsuya Naito and Kenny Omega have won their respective blocks and will square off in the main event to determine this year’s tournament winner. With Omega securing a win in their match at last year’s G1, Naito is looking to gain a measure of revenge by not allowing Omega a second consecutive run as the G1 Climax winner.
The winner of Naito vs. Omega will earn a briefcase to challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at next year's Tokyo Dome show.
A couple of title matches will also take place in the undercard. War Machine will face off against the Bullet Club contingent of Cody & Hangman Page for the IWGP Tag Team Championship, and The Young Bucks will defend their Junior Heavyweight tag titles against Ryusuke Taguchi & Ricochet.
Join us for live coverage at 2 a.m. ET. There will be English commentary with Kevin Kelly, Don Callis, and Rocky Romero calling the action.
Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Desperado, Taichi and Taka Michinoku defeated Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask, KUSHIDA and Hirai Kawato
This was a fun opener. Kawato came in and looked great, it’s very obvious that he’s the best out of the current crop of young lions. Tiger Mask and Taka battled it near the English announcers as Kanemaru and Taichi took care of Kawato. Taichi powerbombed him then Kanemaru followed with the deep impact DDT for the win.
Desperado and KUSHIDA brawled after the match. Desperado tried to take the IWGP Jr. title to the back, but KUSHIDA jumped him and they brawled inside the crowd. Taka included himself in the brawl as they eventually made their way outside the arena. Their match is likely to take place at one of the three (yes) Destruction shows next month.
Guerillas of Destiny defeated Manabu Nakanishi and Yuji Nagata
This was okay, nothing special. Heels beat on Nagata until he unleashed a big belly to belly suplex on Tonga. Nakanishi came in and did some big power spots. Both members of GoD focused on Nakanishi. Roa hit the sitout piledriver and scored the win for his team. Both members of GoD showed respect to Nagata after the match.
Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI defeated Togi Makabe and David Finlay
A good back and forth match. Makabe and Goto worked against one another. Everyone looked good, not that much to talk about honestly. YOSHI-HASHI got the win with karma, pinning Finlay.
Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Juice Robinson and Satoshi Kojima defeated Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi and Chase Owens
Also a pretty good back and forth bout. If there’s one person that became a star thanks to this tournament, it’s Juice Robinson. Kojima took out Fale with a lariat to the floor. Robinson came in for a hot tag. Robinson laid out Owens with a punch then pinned him with the pulp friction.
Ryusuke Taguchi and Ricochet defeated The Young Bucks to win the IWGP Jr. tag team titles
This was a great match. Ricochet and Taguchi worked really well together. Everyone held their own and looked tremendous, including Taguchi who did a great comeback. Excellent selling and drama as well.
Ricochet and Taguchi started off hot. Ricochet hit a fosbury flop off to the floor and tweaked his knee. Nick sensed it and clipped his knee; Matt soon followed. Ricochet went to do a Benadryller on the outside to even things up, but struck his knee on the ring post instead.
Back in the ring, Ricochet tried for a Benadryller again but got caught by a Nick Jackson superkick. After evading a sharpshooter, Ricochet managed to tag in Taguchi who cleaned house in a great comeback.
Taguchi tagged in Ricochet. Matt didn’t see this was he and Nick were going for the Meltzer driver. Nick caught him and laid him out as Matt went for the sharpshooter. Ricochet fought valiantly, but a swanton bomb by Nick puts him in peril. Somehow, Taguchi powers out of a sharpshooter by Nick, allowing Ricochet to escape.
Damage done, the Bucks went for the more bang for your buck. Ricochet got the knees up and tried to make a comeback, but got caught off by a superkick. They went for the Indytaker but Taguchi cut them off with a hip toss on Nick. He hit Matt with the dodon as Taguchi put Nick in the ankle lock. Ricochet struggled to make it to the top, but eventually did and hit a big shooting star press for the win and the titles.
WrestleKingdom 12 was announced for 1/4 at the Toyko Dome.
Katsuyori Shibata came out right before intermission to a huge ovation. He came to the ring and, in typical Shibata fashion, put it bluntly: “I am alive. That is all.” . This was simple, but so emotional and powerful at the same time. Women in the audience were crying. Awesome moment.
The show returned from intermission with a vignette of someone brandishing a knife. There were pieces of paper strewn about with text blacked out. It only lasted a few seconds, but I guess that’s a tease for someone.
War Machine defeated Cody and Hangman Page to retain the IWGP tag team titles
This also was a very good match. The crowd was quiet for a lot of it, but the action was good and War Machine worked their butts off as always. Page and Cody had good chemistry as a team, too.
Rowe and Hanson dominated Bullet Club early. They were cut off as Cody and Page worked on Hanson. Cody and Hanson did cartwheels and followed with double clotheslines on one another.
Rowe came in and started to clear house on Cody and Page. Everyone got in the ring and beat up one another. Cody hit Rowe with crossroads. Hanson took out both with a handspring elbow. Hanson threw Cody into the English announce team as War Machine took out Page.
Cody was taken to the outside by Hanson but Page came in for the save with the shooting star shoulder tackle. Cody flung the barricade into Hanson as Bullet Club came to the ring. They hit a disaster kick/slingshot clothesline combo. Page went for what looked like a moonsault on Rowe, but instead took out Hanson on the outside. Cody hit the moonsault on Rowe, but he managed to kick out.
Cody and Page went for a double suplex but Hanson back back and helped him clear house again. Hanson hits a moonsault of his own, but Cody put Page’s foot on the ropes. Rowe and Cody fight to the outside, where Rowe wipes out Cody with a tope, then Hanson followed with a somersault. War Machine get back into the ring and hit Fallout on Page to retain the titles.
Tama Tonga and Tanga Roa came in. Tonga grabbed a mic and says those belts look nice, but they belong to GoD. They want a rematch. Rowe was about to respond, but all of a sudden the Killer Elite Squad, Lance Archer and Davey Boy Smith Jr., make their return and lay waste to everyone.
Archer says that KES is back.GoD, War Machine, either way everyone dies.
Zack Sabre Jr., Minoru Suzuki and Takashi Iizuka defeated Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Michael Elgin
Heels dominated early on. Iizuka choked Ibushi with a camera wire, and Taichi even got involved again and choked out Tanahashi. Elgin came into the match as Iizuka distracted the ref with a chair. Kanemaru and Taichi came up, but were laid out by Elgin. Tanahashi came in for a comeback, but Sabre captured him in a armbar, leading the rest of his team to come in and break it up.
Suzuki-gun came back into the match and dominated. Sabre fought against Tanahashi as he latched on the octopus hold, focusing on Tanahashi’s injured arm. He takes off the elbow cover and continues to hold on until Tanahashi finally submits. Good, solid match.
Suzuki and Elgin brawled for a long after the match, threatening each other with chairs. Meanwhile, Sabre held the Intercontinental title over Tanahashi’s fallen body. Pretty clear those are the next two title programs.
SANADA, BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi and EVIL defeated Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Gedo and Toru Yano
SANADA put Yano in the paradise lock and tagged in EVIL, who held him in the spot. Okada tried to help, but EVIL took him out and threw him into the barricade. SANADA finally laid out Yano with a dropkick to break the lock.
It eventually turned out to be a pretty good match. Gedo came in and had Takahashi in the Gedo clutch but the rest of LIJ broke it up. Takahashi instead caught him in a triangle and submitted him for the win.
EVIL stacked chairs in the ring and grabbed Okada, laying him out with the Darkness Falls on top of the chairs. That’s your next IWGP title program.
Tetsuya Naito defeated Kenny Omega to win the G1 Climax 27 tournament
So, this was another absolutely incredible match in a sea of absolutely incredible matches. There were so many moments where someone landed on their neck that I am pretty sure both are going to be feeling the affects of this match for a long time to come. Simply awe inspiring athleticism here and somehow even better than their match from last year. I don’t know if it’s as good as the Omega/Okada trilogy, but this is certainly up there.
Naito hit a big tope that sent Omega careening over the barricade and on the announce table. Naito took Omega and hit a piledriver not on the table, which was supposed to be the intended target, but on the floor in a scary spot.
Naito focused on the neck, going to the second rope and dropping Omega from the top with a neckbreaker. Omega countered with a reverse rana then laid out Naito with a big tope con hilo to the floor. Omega hit a missile dropkick right in the back of Naito’s head.
Omega hit a German suplex and a knee neckbreaker and next went for the v-trigger. Naito dodged, but a German suplex attempt has Omega on his feet. Naito instead hit the satellite DDT. Naito looked to hit a hurricanrana off the top rope but Omega slid under, smashed him face first on the turnbuckle and hit the v-trigger.
Naito fired back with a DDT, then continued to work on Omega’s neck. Naito took what is normally Gloria but instead dumped him right on his neck. Naito went for Destino but Omega held on and dropped Naito right on the back of the neck for another nearfall.
Naito took Omega to the top rope, but Omega slipped off and instead Naito’s head crashed into the turnbuckle. Omega went for a powerbomb but in mid air Naito reversed it, then took Omega back up and hit a scary looking reverse rana off the top rope, landing right on his head. Naito went for the stardust press, but Omega escaped, sending Naito crashing to the mat.
Omega hit a double underhook piledriver and landed a v-trigger right in Naito’s jaw, then another. He went for a third, but Naito fell to the floor. Omega went for it again, but Naito grabbed him. Omega managed to hit it anyway then landed a gutwrench powerbomb. Naito hit another and went for the One Winged Angel but Naito countered with a reverse rana.
Naito hit Destino, but OMega kicked out. He went for another, but Omega countered with the Croyt’s wrath and another v-trigger, and again another. Omega went for the One Winged Angel, but Naito countered with the Destino.
The two battled one another. Omega hit the v-trigger, but Naito blasted him with a koppo kick. Naito went for Destino. Omega dodged it, but didn’t a second time. A third Destino seals the deal for Naito as he wins the 27th G1 tournament.
Naito was given the trophy, and Masahiro Chono came in to hand him the G1 flag. Naito cut a promo after the match, thanking the fans and saying it was a win for them. He fist bumped everyone, including Daryl, who has miraculously come back to life, to end the show.
Top to bottom, this was a very good show, highlighted by the awesome main event and the great tag team title matches. This show wasn’t just good in terms of match quality, but it was great in setting up the rest of the year -- everyone has a title program going into Destruction and it’s clear what New Japan is planning leading to WrestleKingdom 12.
Top that off with the return of Shibata and this was one emotional, amazing card that’ll take a few days (at least for me) to process at just how good it was. To reiterate a point I made on Twitter, New Japan isn’t perfect, and has its fair share of problems. But in terms of delivering a consistently great product, they’re one of the best promotions in the world, and tonight was a clear example.