A rematch from WrestleKingdom 12 headlines tonight’s show as Hiroshi Tanahashi squares off against Jay White. Tanahashi was able to thwart White that night, retaining his Intercontinental title. But in the last few months, White has built up massive momentum, including the first night of G1 action where he defeated Kazuchika Okada. White looks to atone for his loss by picking up the win here tonight.
Another clash between Kazuchika Okada vs. Bad Luck Fale is also set for tonight. These two have faced each other on and off for years, and usually have excellent chemistry with one another. Okada should best avoid Fale's Bad Luck Fall as he nearly took him out with the move during last night's show. Other A Block bouts tonight include YOSHI-HASHI vs. EVIL, Hangman Page squaring off against Michael Elgin and Togi Makabe taking on Minoru Suzuki.
Join us for live coverage this morning at 5:00 a.m. EST. There will be English commentary for the event.
Guerillas of Destiny defeated Toa Henare and Shota Umino
Good, fast paced opener. Umino has highlighted a lot and looked good. Henare had some good near falls. Loa got the win with the sitout piledriver.
Toru Yano and Jado defeated Zack Sabre Jr. and Taka Michinoku
Yano’s story in this tournament is that he is trying to actually wrestle and not resort to the tricks that he usually relies on, with the announcers putting over his amateur wrestling credentials. He actually chain wrestled with Sabre at one point. He then took down TAKA Michinoku out of nowhere and just straight up pinned him. Weird finish, but I guess it plays into the storyline.
Juice Robinson and David Finlay defeated Yujiro Takahashi and Kota Ibushi
Standard tag team match. Ibushi and Robinson worked well together; they’re set to square off on Wednesday morning. Robinson won the match, pinning Takahashi with pulp friction.
Tetsuya Naito and SANADA defeated Tomohiro Ishii and SHO
SHO was, well, showcased a lot during this match, holding his own against Naito and SANADA. He fought a long time to escape the skull end, but after spinning him around in the skull end, SHO passed out and LIJ was awarded the win.
Hirooki Goto and YOH defeated Kenny Omega and Chase Owens
Not much to it. Omega and Owens worked as the heels, and of course the focus was between Goto and Omega. Goto picked up the win, pinning Owens with the GTR.
Michael Elgin defeated Hangman Page
A hot, fast paced match. Both guys are excellent and know what to do to get over in Japan. There’s such a massive upside to Hangman Page, who looked really good here.
They started off hot. Elgin did a big tope that took out Hangman. He responded with a cutter on the apron and the shooting star shoulder block.
Both men tried to gain some momentum. Elgin laid out Page with a release suplex and multiple running clotheslines into the corner. Elgin and Hangman traded a great series of nearfalls. Hangman catched Elgin in the reverse DDT position and transitioned into a package tombstone piledriver for a nearfall.
Hangman went to the top rope where Eligin met him and attacked. He teased like he was going to suplex Page to the floor but instead threw him back in the ring. Hangman firef back, hitting a hurricanrana off the top rope then followed with a neckbreaker on the opposite corner for a good near fall.
Elgin fired back with a series of superkicks as they started to exchange blows. They traded German suplexes, with Elgin capitalizing on a tiger suplex. Hangman countered a lariat and tried for the buckshot lariat but Elgin counters it. He hit a lariat and splash mountain but wasn’t able to rack up the win.
Elgin hit the buckle bomb. Hangmas tried for the rite of passage but Elgin cuts him off and hit the Elgin bomb for the win.
EVIL defeated YOSHI-HASHI
This was a good little match, but not great or anything. Short, but good action.
Quick pace to start things off. EVIL got the advantage early, putting one chair over YH’s neck and slamming that chair with another. They wound up back in the ring as there’s a little more back and forth.
YOSHI-HASHI went for a powerbomb, but he overshot and somehow both fell to the floor in what looked like an unplanned spot. Back in the ring, YH went for the butterfly lock. He tried to follow with Karma, but EVIL countered and tried for the STO. YH was cut off one more time, with EVIL scoring the win after a half dragon suplex and the STO.
Togi Makabe defeated Minoru Suzuki
This was a fun brawl. Both these guys have that brawler aura and they played it up well here, fighting all around the arena. Good stuff.
The two didn’t waste any time, striking each other early with stiff blows right at the bell. Makabe gets the better of it, taking Suzuki to the corner and pummeling him with blows. They exit the ring, where both grab steel chairs and start striking one another. They shove the referee out of the way and head back to the ring, where Suzuki whacks Makabe with steel chair shots.
Suzuki took Makabe back to the outside and attacked him inside the crowd, shoving the referee into the barricade. Gee, that doesn’t warrant a disqualification? They went back to the ring where Suzuki continued to be the aggressor, striking down Makabe with stiff shots before sinking in a choke.
Suzuki couldn’t get Makabe up for the Gotch piledriver. Makabe eventually countered, taking out Suzuki with a death valley driver. After two clotheslines, Makabe went for the spider German suplex, striking his head on the post. Amazingly, Suzuki was back on his feet. But Makabe connected with the king kong knee drop, then followed with another for the win.
Bad Luck Fale defeated Kazuchika Okada
This was good, but not a fan of the finish. This is a start of a trend in these matches with the Firing Squad, or whatever they’re calling themselves, where there’s a bunch of run ins and lame finishes. This is not a good trend to establish.
Hot action to start. Fale grabbed a chair, and as he and the referee argued about it Tanga Loa jumped Okada from behind and plants him with a powerslam, allowing Fale to gain the upper hand. He took Okada into the crowd and threw him into an aisle of empty chairs.
Back in the ring, Okada fired back but is unable to gather any momentum until body slamming him. Clotheslining him to the floor, Okada launched off with a big senton to the outside. He tried for the Rainmaker but Fale countered with a samoan drop. He tried for the Bad Luck Fall, but Okada escaped.
Fale hit a giant clothesline as he went to the top rope. Okada met him there, nailed a dropkick and threw Fale to the floor. After connecting with a dropkick, Okada went for the tombstone but instead hit the rainmaker. Tanga Loa interfered, but Okada took him out. After a ref bump, out of nowhere Tama Tonga came in and laid out Okada with the gun stun. Fale then followed with the Bad Luck Fall for the win.
Jay White defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi
I thought this was a very good main event, though I sick of the constant ref bumps up and down the card tonight. It’s fine to do in one match, but this show seemed full of them, or at least too much for one New Japan show. Action and work was pretty good for the most part regardless.
Good back and forth to start things off. White, however, knew immediately what to do. As soon as he got the opportunity, he chop blocked Tanahashi’s injured knee and started to work over it, slamming it across the ring post.
Tanahashi soon cut off White and begins focusing on his own leg. He tries for a cloverleaf, but White managed to make it to the ropes. White hits a big flatliner then countered with a giant deadlift German suplex. Tanahashi tried to fire back as White was chopping him, but then White began focusing on his leg again.
White went for the bladerunner but Tanahashi blocked it. White changed course, taking Tanahashi to the floor and connected with a Saito suplex. He repeatedly slammed Tanahashi’s back into a nearby guardrail. Back in the ring, White took down Tanahashi with a number of suplexes, capitalizing with a kiwi crusher.
White took a chair under the ring and went to strike Tanahashi, but the referee got in the way. This gives Tanahashi the opportunity to hit the sling blade. This time, Tanahashi grabs a chair. He second thinks the move as White immediately cuts him off. Another ref bump/low blow spot follows. I’ve seen too many of these lately.
Tanahashi low blowed White right as he was looking to use the steel chair again. He connected with the high fly flow...or almost did, as White floated through. Tanahashi avoided the blade runner and hit a straightjacket suplex. White threw the referee into the post, taking out both him and Tanahashi as he was going for the high fly flow. White grabbed the chair again, this time connecting with a shot. He then planted Tanahashi with the blade runner and scored the win.
White cut a promo after the match. He told them so. He doesn’t care what they think of him. It is my year, my reign, my company, my rainmaker, my G1 you will all breathe with the Switchblade.