RADICAN’S 7/2 NJPW G1 Special in USA (night 2) report – semi-finals and finals of IWGP U.S. Title Tournament, Tanahashi defends IWGP IC Title vs. Gunn, Young Bucks-RPG Vice

By Sean Radican, PWTorch columnist


RADICAN’S G1 SPECIAL IN USA (NIGHT 2) REPORT
JULY 2, 2017
LONG BEACH, CALIF
AIRED LIVE ON NJPWWORLD.COM

Jim Ross and Josh Barnett are on commentary. This appears to be an AXS production tonight on NJPW World.

(1) IWGP Jr. Hvt. Champion KUSHIDA & Jushin Liger & David Finlay vs. The Tempura Boyz (Sho Tanaka & Yohei Kamatsu) & Yoshitatsu in a Six Man Tag Match. The crowd clearly favored Liger, KUSHIDA, and Finlay during a pose off on the ropes. Even the ref got cheered when he posed on the ropes over Tanaka, Kamatsu, and Yoshitatsu. Kamatsu got sent to the floor by Liger during the early going and KUSHIDA held him for a baseball slide dropkick through the ropes and the fans applauded. Liger got cut off and took a triple team flap jack for a 2 count. Liger mounted a comeback and tagged in KUSHIDA, who ran wild. He capped off a big sequence by wiping out the Tempura Boyz. KUSHIDA went after Tanaka’s arm to set up the hover board lock. Tanaka fired back and hit a big German. Both men tagged out and Finlay and Yoshitatsu went at it. Finlay and Liger got stereo submission and KUSHIDA joined them. Yoshitatsu was the legal man and he tapped out to Finlay’s stretch muffler.

Winners: KUSHIDA & Jushin Liger & David Finlay – This was a solid six man to open the show.

They are leaving the commercial breaks in for AXS and then cutting back to the show live.

(Commercial break)

(2) Kenny Omega vs. Jay Lethal in a IWGP U.S. Title Tournament Semi-Final Round match. Omega went right after Lethal’s injured ribs. He sent Lethal to the floor and dropped him stomach first over the apron. Omega missed a dive off the top, but he managed to counter Lethal several times. Omega got Lethal up for the one-winged angel, but Lethal rolled through. Lethal went for the Lethal injection, but Omega avoided it. Lethal hit two superkick and then the Lethal injection, but Omega rolled out of the ring! The fans popped as Lethal hit a big suicide dive and then another. He went for a third and connected. Lethal went up top and hit hail to the king for a 2 count. Omega kicked out right into a figure 4. The fans clapped the Terminator theme to rally behind Omega. Lethal continued to work over Omega’s leg. He went for another Lethal injection, but Omega hit a back stabber. Omega ended up hurting his own leg in the process. Omega went back after Lethal’s ribs as the fans chanted his name. Omega went for the leaping leg drop, but Lethal blocked it and hit a blue thunder bomb and both men were down. Omega cut off another Lethal injection attempt and hit a snap dragon suplex. Omega hit a v trigger knee. He went for another, but Lethal hit a forearm. Omega hit another v trigger followed by a running v trigger off the ropes for a 2 count and the fans fired up. Omega hit a blow to Lethal’s ribs and followed up with a big sit-out doctor bomb for a 2 count. Omega hit another v trigger knee against the ropes. He set up for the one winged angel. Lethal tried to counter it into a hurricanrana, but Omega blocked it and brought Lethal back up and hit the one-winged angel for the win!

Winner: Kenny Omega to advance to the finals of the IWGP U.S. Title tournament

Star rating: (***1/2) – Great stuff here. Lethal got in a good dose of offense, but once Omega got on track he dominated the match down the stretch.

Sabre vs. Ishii is up next.

(Commercial break)

(3) Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Tomohiro Ishii in an IWGP U.S. Title Tournament Semi-Final Round match. We have Chaos vs. Suzuki-Gun here. Sabre wanted to strike with Ishii early. Sabre hit several forearms and Ishii hit one that dropped Sabre. Ishii went to town on Sabre, but Sabre fired back and took Ishii down to the mat and tied him up right into a pinning combination for a 2 count. Sabre tied up Ishii worked over his arm and leg at the same time. The crowd began to boo as Sabre got the better of Ishii on the mat. The fans then chanted back and forth for both men. Ishii took a bunch of strikes, but spit at Sabre. He blocked a kick and hit a headbutt that sent Sabre down to the mat. They battled up top and Ishii hit a shoot headbutt. Ugh. Ishii then hit a superplex, but Sabre managed to kick out at 2. Sabre fired back and grabbed an arm submission using his legs for leverage, but Ishii managed to get to the ropes. Sabre cranked on Ishii’s wrist at a bad angle, but Ishii managed to drop him with a backdrop suplex. Ross acknowledged Sabre as an EVOLVE and PWG Champion on commentary. Ishii went for a powerbomb, but Sabre blocked it. They exchanged counters and Sabre got a bridging pinning combination while holding down Ishii’s wrists for a near fall. He went after Ishii’s arm, but Ishii caught him with a headbutt to the chest. Ishii went for the sliding lariat, but Sabre caught it and got another arm, submission. Ishii tried to get his leg on the bottom rope, but Sabre blocked it. Sabre had a triangle and an arm submission. Ishii screamed and nearly got the ropes with his free hand, but Sabre blocked it. Ishii finally got to the ropes and the crowd gasped! Holy s—t!

Sabre went after Ishii’s arm with some kicks. Ishii got to his knees and grimaced. Sabre hit another kick and Ishii stood up and leaned into each kick before dropping Sabre with a huge forearm. WOW! Sabre jumped into a double wrist lock on Ishii. He went after his fingers, but Ishii tried to lift him up. Sabre got out of it and hit a penalty kick. He charged at Ishii and ate a huge clothesline. Ishii then hit a brainbuster for the win. MY GOD THAT RULED!

Winner: Tomohiro Ishii to advance to the IWGP U.S. Title Tournament Finals.

Star rating: (****1/2) – This was one hell of a war between these two. Sabre’s submissions vs. Ishii’s power. The crowd got into the match more and more as it went on. Sabre is getting better before our eyes working with guys like Ishii.

(Commercial break)

(4) Titan & Volador Jr. & Dragon Lee & Jay White & Juice Robinson vs. L.I.J. (Hiromu Takahashi & NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions SANADA & EVIL & BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito) in a 10 Man Tag match. Lee and Naito had a fast exchange off the ropes. Naito stopped and hit his pose. Takahashi then ran in and wiped out Lee. Lee fired back and wiped out BUSHI and Takahashi. Lee ducked a dive on the apron and went right into a flip on BUSHI, who had just went under him and Takahashi. WOW! That was insane timing. Titan got isolated and L.I.J. began working him over. SANADA tied up Titan in a ball. Robinson ran in and he got tied up as well. SANADA then wiped them both out with a dropkick. Titan mounted a comeback and hit a kick on Naito. Robinson got the tag and ran wild on L.I.J. Lee and Takahashi finally went at it and they tagged each other with a billion chops and the fans went nuts. They continued to go at it at an incredible pace. They exchanged German suplexes and continued to go at it. Takahashi finally sent Lee into the turnbuckles with a belly to belly suplex and both men were down. WOW! L.I.J. cleared the apron and isolated White inside the ring. White finally pinned BUSHI with a flat liner.

Winners: Jay White & Titan & Volador Jr. & Juice Robinson & Dragon Lee

Star rating; (***1/4) – This was a lot of fun while it lasted, especially the Lee-Takahashi exchange.

(Commercial break)

(5) IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Champions War Machine (Hanson & Raymond Rowe) & Michael Elgin vs. G.O.D. (Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa) & Hangman Page (w/Haku & Chase Owens) in a Six Man Tag match.
Elgin caught Page in the corner and hit him with a huge uranagi during the early going. G.O.D. got into the ring and Elgin tagged in War Machine. G.O.D. hit a double dropkick and went on the attack. War Machine fired back and tossed Roa and Tonga into each other. Elgin and War Machine ran wild and Hanson capped a big sequence with a bronco buster on G.O.D. G.O.D mounted a comeback and began working over Hanson. Hanson mounted a comeback, but Roa cut him off. He finally took Roa down. Page tagged in, but Elgin got the hot tag and ran wild on Page. Elgin fended off G.O.D. He then hit a suplex into a falcon arrow on Page for a 2 count. Page tried to fire back, but Elgin hit a German. He held on, but Page fought out of it. Elgin, Rowe, and Hanson worked together to hit a triple team springboard clothesline/suplex on Page for a 2 count. War Machine set up for fallout, but Tonga crotched Hanson up top. Rowe got wiped out with the magic killer variation. Something happened on the floor that wasn’t shown. Elgin came back into the ring to save Hanson from G.O.D. They told Elgin to bring it and he glared at him. Elgin hit several forearms, but ended up taking a flurry of offense capped by a cutter. Hanson then hit a cannonball off the top on G.O.D. Hanson set up for his big clothesline sequence, but it got countered. Page hit his inverted piledriver on Rowe out of nowhere for the win.

Winners: Hangman Page & Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa

Star rating: (**3/4) – There was some good action here, but the finish came out of nowhere.

Naoki Sugabayashi, the NJPW chairman came down to the ring and spoke in Japanese. The ring announcer translated. He thanked the fans for making these shows possible. He said NJPW would return to the U.S. in 2018. He then said the time is now for strong style and the fans applauded.

They then went to intermission. Ross said RPG Vice vs. The Young Bucks would be up next for the AXS airing purposes. The camera showed the fans making their way out of their seats for intermission.

(Intermission)

(6) IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag Team Champions & ROH World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) vs. RPG Vice (Rocky Romero & (Trent) Baretta). Matt got a sharpshooter early, but Romero quickly got top the ropes. Matt taunted Romero and got slapped across the face. All four men ended up in the ring. Everyone missed moves and they all went for a dropkick at the same time to come to a stalemate. The match continued to at rapid pace. Trent suplexed Nick into Matt in the corner and the fans fired up. The Young Bucks broke up the battering ram spot from RPG Vice with a double superkick. Nick hit a sick assited moonsault to wipe out RPG Vice on the outside and said, “Did you just see that?” to the camera. Matt went for a sunset bomb to the floor on Trent. Trent blocked it, but Nick nailed him with a superkick and Matt powerbombed him onto the ramp. OUCH! The Young Bucks then began working over Romero at ringside and then back inside the ring with Trent down and out on the ramp. He Young Bucks set up for a Meltzer driver, but Romero hit a hurricanrana to send Matt into Nick as he went for the springboard. Romero tried to make the tag, but Trent was still down. Romero took a double superkick and no-sold it before hitting a double clothesline. Trent finally got the tag and went after Nick. He sold being hurt as he sent Nick into the corner. Nick blocked a tornado DDT and Matt superkicked Trent in the back to cut him off. Trent ducked a pair of splashes in the corner and hit a tornado DDT on Matt. Trent went up top, but Matt tripped him down to the mat. Matt locked in a sharpshooter on Trent, but Romero ran in to break it up. Matt powerbombed Romero onto Trent.

The Young Bucks sent Romero to the outside with a double superkick. They set up for more bang for your buck, but Matt dropped Trent. He then lifted Trent up and hit a burning hammer variation of more bang for your buck, but Trent kicked out! Matt got the sharpshooter on Trent again. Nick wiped out Romero on the outside. Nick hit a senton and Matt dragged Trent back to the center after Trent got a rope break. Romero finally made the save. Romero went for sliced bread, but Nick blocked it and went for a tombstone Romero got out of it. Matt then lifted Romero up on the apron, but Romero shoved Matt into Nick, who was on the turnbuckles. Romero hit a high knee from the apron to the floor to send Matt toppling off Trent’s shoulders to the floor. WOW! Trent and Nick went back and forth and Trent hit a piledriver on the apron. Man, that’s dangerous. Trent hit a high running knee and a Gotch piledriver on Nick for a near fall! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? RPG Vice hit strong zero on Nick a short time later, but he kicked out! WOW! The fans chanted for both teams after that near fall. Matt and Romero tagged in and were slow to go at it. They went back and forth and Romero hit a reverse cutter. He then went for a dive, but Matt caught him. Nick then went for a running step-up Meltzer driver on the floor. HOLY CRAP! The fans chanted Meltzer after that spot. Trent went at it alone against Matt and Nick. He spit in Nick’s face and told him to bring it. Nick hit a superkick. The Young Bucks then hit a double superkick to his back. The Young Bucks shouted out Meltzer and hit it on Romero right into a sharpshooter. The Young Bucks got a double sharp shooter for the win. WOW!

Winners: Matt & Nick Jackson to retain the IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag Team Championship

Star rating: (****) – This was a really good match that built and built. The Young Bucks had the advantage with Trent being down and out for a large portion of the match.

After the match, Ricochet ran down and wiped out The Young Bucks. He then wiped them out with a big flip dive. The fans applauded. Ricochet was wearing glasses and they didn’t even fall off. Ricochet got on the mic, but it didn’t work. He got another mic. The audio wasn’t very good. He said he wanted the tag titles. Ricochet said they had every right to call themselves the best tag team in the world. Ricochet challenged them to a match against him and Taguchi. He said they were called The Funky Future. The Young Bucks agreed to the match in Japan. Ricochet said he wanted to be here earlier, but a certain underground fighting company were being pricks, but that’s alright because he’s here now.

Ricochet left and Romero got on the mic. He said they had a five year plan. He talked about being 3x IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag Team Championship. He said the second thing was winning the Super Jr. Tag Team Tournament and they won that. Romero said the third thing was Trent would move up to the heavyweight division. He said he had told Trent that if they didn’t win the titles tonight, it was time for Trent to move up. Romero said it was time for Trent to move up to the heavyweight division. The fans chanted for Trent and they hugged. Trent wiped away tears and got a high five from Trent. I really enjoyed their team. Barnett wondered if Romero was retiring.

(Commercial break)


(7) Bullet Club (Marty Scurll & Yujiro Takahashi & Bad Luck Fale & ROH World Hvt. Champion Cody vs. IWGP Hvt. Champion Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay & Mark & Jay Briscoe in a 8 Man Tag match.
Ross talked up the dissention between Cody and Okada. The fans chanted for Fale when Cody tagged in for the first time. He tagged in and then tagged out to Cody. The fans then chanted for Takahashi. Cody tagged him in, but he tagged right back out to Cody. Jay stood and watched this whole thing unfold with a slightly amused look on his face. The fans chanted for Okada, so he tagged in and Cody went over the guardrail and stood in the front row. Ospreay tagged in and went after Cody, who backed down immediately. Ospreay tagged Jay back in, who went at it with Cody. Ospreay tagged in and hit a huge dropkick in the corner. Scurll distracted Ospreay up top and Cody ended up hitting a step up arm drag to send Ospreay down to the mat. Bullet Club then began working over Ospreay. Bullet Club teased tagging in Fale and the fans fired up. He tagged in to a big pop and teased doing the Rick Rude grind before sitting down on Ospreay for a 2 count. Scurll danced around for the chicken wing only for Ospreay to nail him with a huge step up kick. Jay got the hot tag and ran wild on BC. He went back and forth with Takahashi. Fale and Okada tagged into the match. Okada ran wild and hit a big DDT on Fale. Fale fired back a short time later and hit a fallaway slam and a big splash for a 2 count. Cody and Okada went at it. Both men went for their signature moves, but they countered each other. Okada finally hit a flap jack and both men were down. The action broke down and Okada capped a big sequence with a dropkick on Fale. Scurll opened up his umbrella and Cody used the distraction to his the disaster kick. Ospreay then wiped out Cody and Scurll with a handspring kick. He then took out Scurll on the floor with a space flying tiger driver. Cody blocked an Ospreay springboard with a disaster kick. He then hit cross Rhodes for the win!

Winners: Cody & Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi & Mart Scurll

Star rating: (***) – This started slow, but ended strong with a fantastic finish.

(Commercial break)

(8) IWGP IC Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Billy Gunn. Tanahashi has a brand new version of the IC Championship after the old belt was abused regularly by former champion Naito. Gunn was introduced to boos. Tanahashi got a big pop during the formal ring introductions. Gunn is much taller and bigger than Tanahashi. Tanahashi backed him into the ropes and offered a clean break. Tanahashi and Gunn engaged in some basic back and forth wrestling. Tanahashi worked a headlock on the mat. The fans booed as Gunn turned the tide and went on the attack. Gunn went after Tanahashi’s injured arm and slammed it around the ringpost. Gunn continued to go after Tanahashi’s arm on the outside before tossing him back into the ring. Gunn hit a jackhammer variation for a 2 count. The fans woke up and chanted for Tanahashi. Tanahashi tried to mount a comeback, but Gunn cut him off with a punch to the gut as he came off the turnbuckles. Tanahashi grabbed Gunn’s tights and they came down to reveal some briefs. Tanahashi finally mounted a comeback and Gunn wrestled with his tights halfway down. Tanahashi favored his arm as he went after Gunn with punches. Gunn pulled down Tanahashi’s pants to reveal a full moon. Gunn hit a cobra clutch slam for a near fall. Tanahashi went up top, but missed a high fly flow when Gunn got out of the way. Gunn hit a fameasser for a near fall. Tanahashi hit a sling blade. He then went up top and hit the high fly flow for the win.

Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi to retain the IWGP IC Championship

Star rating: (**) – This was average and well-below what you would expect from a Tanahashi match on a stage like this, but my expectations weren’t high for this match to begin with. I just don’t get the logic of not pairing Tanahashi with a better opponent on this stage.

(Commercial break)

(9) Kenny Omega (w/The Young Bucks) vs. Tomohiro Ishii in the IWGP U.S. Hvt. Tournament Finals.
Big Omega chants after the formal introductions and the opening bell. They went back and forth during the early going before coming to a stalemate and the fans applauded. Omega taunted Ishii with some slaps to the head before taking him down and nailing him with a big kick to the back. Ishii took a ton of kicks, but he fired up and got to his feet. Omega raked his eyes to cut him off. Ishii then countered Omega and hit a suplex. Ishii chopped Omega into the crowd and they brawled into the sea of fans. The camera shot was very dark, so it was hard to see what was going on, but it was clear Ishii was in control. They brawled back into the crowd and then back to ringside with Ishii still in control. Omega went for a springboard, but Ishii cut him off. Ishii went for a German, but Omega blocked it. Ishii shoved Omega into the guardrail and hit a German, but he rolled through. Omega then hit a suplex on Ishii to get back on track. Omega set up for The Terminator dive, but Ishii cut him off with a shoulder block. Ishii hit a big kick to the back and Omega told him to bring. Ishii hit another kick to the back and Omega fired back with a huge chop. Both men began trading hard chops. Ishii chopped Omega through the ropes to the apron. The fans fired up behind Omega with The Terminator clap. Omega tried to fire back with some punches. Ishii shook them off. Omega charged at Ishii, but ate a power slam for a 2 count. Omega finally countered Ishii and hit a big DDT that left both men down.

Omega got Ishii on his back and hit a Finlay roll. He went for the moonsault off the second turnbuckle and connected for a 2 count. Omega hit his leaping leg drop on Ishii, who rolled to the floor. The fans did The Terminator clap and Omega set up and connected. Omega sold his knee after hitting the dive. The Young Bucks checked on Omega and helped him back into the ring. The Young Bucks set up a table on the floor and Ishii rolled back into the ring. It turned out to just be a distraction for The Young Bucks to set up the table. Omega hit a missile dropkick to the back of Ishii’s head. Ishii staggered into the corner. Ishii ended up on the apron near the table on the floor. Omega smiled and nailed him with a kick, but he wouldn’t go down. Omega hit another running kick, but Ishii hung onto the ropes. Ishii hit a forearm on Omega and went for a suplex, but Omega landed on the apron. Omega went for a German off the apron through the table, but Ishii hung onto the ropes as the ref kept the YB away. Omega went for a dragon suplex on Ishii, but he held onto the top rope with his teeth! Holy s—t! Omega finally hit a snap dragon suplex to send Ishii through the table. OH MY GOD! The ref began counting and both men were slow to get up. Omega got into the ring first. Ishii finally got up and jumped into the ring at 19. Omega hit a v trigger knee and then another. Omega went for another, but Ishii blocked it. Ishii went for a forearm, but Omega cut him off with a v trigger knee and then a running v trigger knee for a near fall.

Omega set up for the one winged angel, but Ishii countered it into a DDT! Omega got up first and Ishii blocked a v trigger knee and hit a huge clothesline and both me were down on the mat. They battled up top as the fans chanted for both men. Ishii hit an avalanche superplex and the fans gasped. He rolled over to make the cover, but Omega kicked out at the last second! Both men began exchanging hard strikes once again. They went back and forth and Omega hit a v trigger knee against the ropes. He went off the ropes, but Ishii turned him inside out with a giant clothesline for a near fall. WOW! The fans stood and applauded with both men down on the mat. Omega countered Ishii and hit a brainbuster for a 2 count. The fans remained on their feet and applauded. Ishii no-sold a suplex and hit a big knee lift. He followed up with a sliding clothesline for a near fall. Omega countered a brainbuster. He hit the v trigger and went for a jumping bulldog, but Ishii caught him and hit the one winged angel for a near fall. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Ishii went for a brainbuster, but Omega countered it and hit a big running v trigger knee and both men were down again! The fans chanted for both men as they traded blows in the middle of the ring. Both men were clearly dragging at this point. Omega told Ishii to bring it and he hit several strikes. Omega decked him with a sick palm strike to the head. The fans gasped. WOW! Omega lifted up Ishii and hit a cross-legged neck breaker. The fans fired up again and Omega set up for a big v trigger. He connected and went for the one-winged angel, but Ishii fired up suddenly with strikes. Omega hit another v trigger and a suplex, but Ishii kicked out at 1! Ishii no sold a poison hurricanrana, but ran into a v trigger. Omega lifted up Ishii, who tried to fight out of it. Omega then hit a wrist clutch one-winged angel for the win. WOW!

Winner: Kenny Omega to become the first IWGP U.S. Champion

Star rating: (*****) – This was an amazing all-out war from both men. They just kept up an incredible back and forth pace from bell-to-bell. The finishing stretch was amazing with Omega finally putting Ishii away with the one-winged angel. Ishii is so good and he was awesome here. Omega is great as well, but I hope everyone appreciates Ishii.

Omega was presented with the title after the match, but Cody grabbed it from him. Both men glared at each other and hugged. Cody put the belt around Omega’s waist and hooked it in. The rest of BC came down to the ring to celebrate with Omega.

Omega grabbed the mic and talked about how he thinks about his struggled and failures. He said he’s just a human and said we all have failures. He said they are all special and worth something. Omega says the fans made this show and that is why he pushes so hard. Omega said nobody in Japan believed in them. He said next year he wants a 20,000 seat building. He said as long as Bullet Club is piloting the ship, they will rule the wrestling world. WOW! Omega said goodnight and goodbye, bang! To close the show. Bullet Club posed at the top of the ramp with Omega as streamers fell.

***
Email Sean at pwtorchsean@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @SR_Torch. Click the follow button on Facebook to join the Radican’s Wrestling Community Audio Fan Page at Facebook.com/SeanRadicanRWC

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