SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
RADICAN’S G1 CLIMAX 27: NIGHT 5 REPORT
JULY 23, 2017
AIRED LIVE ON NJPWWORLD.COM
This show had a multi-camera shoot and Japanese commentary.
I will not be reviewing any of the non-tournament matches this year, but I will provide the daily results. If any undercard match turns out to be extremely noteworthy, I will make an exception in certain cases.
(1) Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan beat Michael Elgin & Katsuya Kitamura.
(2) Suzuki Gun(NEVER Openweight Champion Minoru Suzuki & Taichi & El Desperado beat Juice Robinson & David Finlay & Hirai Kawato. Suzuki Gun went after Robinson’s leg after the match ended.
(3) L.I.J. (EVIL & Hiromu Takahashi) bet Bullet Club (Tama Tonga & Chase Owens). After the match, Tonga tried to hit EVIL with a gun stun, but failed. They then had stare down.
(4) Bullet Club (Kenny Omega & Yujiro Takahashi) beat CHAOS (Toru Yano & Jado).
(5) L.I.J. (SANADA & BUSHI) beat CHAOS (IWGP Hvt. Champion Kazuchika Okada & Gedo).
A BLOCK RESULTS & ANALYSIS
(6) Zack Sabre Jr. (w/El Desperado) (2) vs. YOSHI-HASHI (2) in a G1 Climax 27 A Block match. Sabre offered a clean break early, but Desperado grabbed HASHI’s leg when the ref wasn’t looking. HASHI turned the tide and went on the attack. Sabre countered HASHI on the mat and stomped down on his arm. Sabre worked over his arm for several minutes and HASHI fired back with a kick to his legs. Sabre tried to hit an up kick on HASHI’s leg, but HASHI countered it and they went back and forth. HASHI eventually hit a powerbomb and floated over into a pinning combination for a 2 count. HASHI went up top for a swanton, but Sabre got his knees up. Sabre hit a PK. He made the cover and went right into a cross-arm breaker when HASHI kicked out. HASHI got on top of Sabre, so he transitioned to a triangle. HASHI got to his back and Sabre held on to his arm before he eventually got to the ropes. HASHI fired back with a big lariat for a 2 count. Sabre got his signature bridging pin with the arms traps on HASHI, but he kicked out. Sabre got a mounted double arm submission a short time later and HASHI was forced to tap. WOW!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr. (4 pts)
Star rating: (***1/2) – WOW! That was a destruction of HASHI’s arm by Sabre on the mat. He never let HASHI get out of the gate at all during this match.
After the match, Desperado held up the Suzuki Gun flag while Sabre flipped the double bird behind him.
(7) Yuji Nagata (0) vs. IWGP IC Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi (2) in a G1 Climax 27 A Block match. I wonder which body part Nagata is going to go after in this match. The fans were red hot for Nagata’s entrance. HASHI went for his signature fake out kick, but Tanahashi wasn’t having any of it. Tanahashi eventually grabbed Nagata’s leg and hit a dragon screw. Tanahashi continued to go after Nagata’s leg and drew some boos after playing some air guitar. The fans booed as Tanahashi continued to work over his leg until Nagata caught him with a knee to the gut. Tanahashi blocked a kick from Nagata and slapped him across the face. Nagata dropped Tanahashi and kicked him across the back as hard as he could several times. He then hit a big chop on Tanahashi. Tanahashi took exception and they began slapping each other across the face. They continued to exchange until Nagata grounded him with a kick to the chest. I don’t know anyone that kicked harder than Nagata. Tanahashi fired back a short time later and hit a big German. Tanahashi waved for the fans to make noise and they booed. Nagata went for a kick out of the corner, but Tanahashi blocked it and hit a dragon screw. He played to the crowd, which drew some boos. He charged at Nagata, who countered him and got the white eyes arm bar on his injured arm! The fans fired up big time as he rolled his eyes into the back of his head. Tanahashi struggled, but finally managed to get his feet on the bottom rope.
Nagata set up for a top rope exploder and he connected! Holy s—t! Nagata crawled over for the cover, but Tanahashi kicked out at the last second. Nagata hit a twisting brainbuster, but Tanahashi kicked out at the last second again. MY GOD! Nagata went for the backdrop driver, but Tanahashi managed to roll over on top of him at the last second! Tanahashi then went after Nagata’s leg once again and both men were down. They got up and began slapping each other across the face. They really started to lay it in with the slaps to the face and both men staggered. Tanahashi hit a couple of slaps and Nagata went to one knee, but he fired back with several slaps of his own. They continued to trade and Nagata was cut before the eye. Nagata went for a slap, but didn’t connected and ended up doing the Flair flop. Tanahashi hit the sling blade, but Nagata kicked out. He then went up top, but Nagata popped up and cut him off. He set up for another super exploder, but Tanahashi fought out of it. Nagata screamed at Tanahashi and continued to absorb big forearms. Tanahashi finally sent him to the mat with a headbutt. He connected with a standing high fly flow. He then went up top and hit a traditional high fly flow for the win. WOW!
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi (4 pts)
Star rating: (****1/4) – This was amazing and it really got hot once Nagata got on a roll and seemed to be on the verge of putting Tanahashi away. Tanahashi played the subtle heel role well and the fans booed him going after Nagata’s leg. Nagata got a couple of great near falls, but ultimately came up short. What a run this has been for Nagata so far. Surprisingly Tanahashi’s injured arm didn’t play a huge role in the match.
(8) Tetsuya Naito (4) vs. Bad Luck Fale (2) in a G1 Climax 27 A Block match. Naito attacked Fale as soon as he came through the ropes. Fale went to the floor and Naito teased a dive before hitting his signature pose in the middle of the ring. Fale offered a clean break against the ropes a short time later and Naito spit on him. Fale was supposed to catch Naito coming of the ropes, but they fell to the ground. Fale tried to lift him, but Naito slapped him across the top of the head. Fale finally stopped Naito’s momentum with a big shoulder tackle as he came off the ropes. Fale went after Naito’s back and hit a big Earthquake style splash on him as he was draped on the ropes. Naito mounted a comeback and hit his signature dropkick in the corner. Fale quickly fired back and caught him with a big splash in the corner and then another one off the ropes for a 2 count. Naito fired back with a STO. He then got a Koji clutch, but Fale managed to get to the ropes. Naito hit a jumping forearm and set up for destino, but Fale blocked it. Fale fired back and hit a big clothesline for a 2 count. Fale countered Naito a short time later and hit the grenade for a near fall. He went for the bad luck fall and connected for the win.
Winner: Bad Luck Fale (4 pts)
Star rating: (***) – This was a good match. Fale winning isn’t a huge shock, as he always seems to be in the mix during G1, but it was a surprise to see Naito get put away in such decisive fashion. That’s the beauty of this tournament, as wrestlers rise and fall on a nightly basis.
(9) Kota Ibushi (2) vs. Tomohiro Ishii (2) in a G1 Climax 27 A Block match. Both men exchanged a flurry of counters and came to a stalemate. The crowd applauded as they regrouped before going at it again. Ibushi took some big blows in the corner. He fired back with a suplex. Ishii got right up, but Ibushi caught him with a dropkick off the ropes and both men were down. Ibushi sent Ishii to the floor and hit a slingshot splash on Ishii and the fans fired up. Ishii fired up and absorbed a couple of kicks before hitting a backdrop driver and both men were down. Ibushi hit a standing moonsault a short time later, but Ishii managed to kick out at 2. Ibushi began unloading with kicks to Ishii’s chest. Ishii tried to fire himself up on the ground. Ishii took a kick and absorbed it. He took another kick and just glared. He took a third kick to the chest and rubbed his chest like it was nothing. He took a fourth kick and fired back with a chop. He then chopped Ibushi’s throat in the corner and the ref admonished him. Ishii’s hit some light kicks to Ibushi’s head in the corner. Ibushi fired up and took several knees from Ishii. He no sold them and hit several knees to the head. Ishii went down and Ibushi began taunting him with light kicks and slaps. Ishii fired up and they began slapping each other across the face! They went back and forth until Ibushi nailed Ishii with a huge kick to the chest and the fans fired up. Ishii slid around Ibushi and hit a German, but he got right up. They went back and forth no-selling strikes and big moves until Ishii decked Ibushi with a HUGE lariat. WOW!
Both men were down. Ibushi fired himself up and went after Ishii, but he slipped around him and put him up top before hitting a headbutt. Ishii then hit his signature delayed superplex for a 2 count. Ibushi fired back and hit a German with a bridge a short time later for a 2 count and both men were down again. They continued to go back and forth. Ishii went for a German, but Ibushi landed on his feet and obliterated him with a roundhouse kick to the head and both men were down. WOW! Ibushi hit a big kick to Ishii’s chest, but he kicked out at 1. Ishii hit a huge lariat, but Ibushi kicked out at 1! Ibushi then hit a German with a bridge for a super close near fall! WOW! Both men nailed each other with some huge shots. Ibushi blocked a lariat and hit a HUGE lariat of his own. He then grabbed Goto’s arms and nailed him with a huge knee to the chest and both men were down. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Ibushi hit then hit the last rights powerbomb for the win. WHAT A MATCH!
Winner: Kota Ibushi (4 pts)
Star rating: (****1/2) – This was amazing. Ibushi went strong style here and did hardly any flying. They had some insane strike exchanges and fighting spirt spots that set the crowd on fire. It’s amazing that Ibushi can perform at such a high level doing this style after being absent from NJPW for so long.
(10) Hirooki Goto (4) vs. Togi Makabe (0) in a G1 Climax 27 A Block match. They brawled on the outside during the early going. Goto got the upper hand and tossed Makabe back into the ring. Goto began kicking Makabe and he told him to bring it. Makabe continued to fire up and absorb blows easily. He shook off several forearms and started at Goto. He finally took Goto down with a shoulder tackle as he came off the ropes and both men were down. Goto fired back and hit a suplex for a 2 count after Makabe had dominated the action for several minutes. Goto hit a clothesline and Makabe got right up and hit a clothesline of his own. Goto got right up and both men hit clotheslines simultaneously twice before collapsing to the mat! WOW! They went back and forth and Goto hit his signature neck breaker over the knee for a 2 count. Makabe fired back a short time later with a straightjacket German with a bridge for a 2 count. They began hitting running clotheslines off the ropes, but neither man would go down. They told each other to bring it and Makabe sent Goto to his knees with a big clothesline. He told Goto to get up. Goto tried to hit a clothesline, but Makabe turned him inside out with a clothesline of his own for a 2 count. Makabe slammed Goto and went for the King Kong knee drop quickly, but Goto got out of the way!
Goto got up and hit a huge clothesline on Makabe. He signaled for his signature kick and connected, but Makabe kicked out at 2. Goto got a sleeper and Makabe began to fade. Makabe tried to get to his feet and he broke Goto’s grip only for Goto to nail him with a huge headbutt to the chest. They battled up top a short time later. Makabe hit several chops to send Goto to the mat. Goto got up and charged at him, but Makabe hit another chop. Makabe caught him with a knee to the head off the turnbuckles and a kneeling powerbomb for a 2 count. Makabe set up for a spider German. He slammed Goto’s head into the ringpost several times and landed it! The fans fired up and Makabe went up top and connected with the King Kong knee drop for the win. WOW!
Winner: Togi Makabe (2 pts)
Star rating: (****) – These two had a tall order in front of them to follow the previous match, but they had an excellent hard-hitting encounter. I am up and down on Makabe matches, but his offense looked awesome in this encounter. They had some insane strike exchanges and big fighting spirit spots. Makabe missed the King Kong knee drop the first time, but was successful after hitting a Spider German to get the win. Makabe is on the board with 2 points.
Makabe cut a promo after the match that the fans seemed to enjoy.
Overall thoughts: This was a fantastic night of block action with every match delivering. Sabre was vicious and managed to put away HASHI in rather short order to kick things off. Elsewhere on the card, Fale pulled off a surprising, but not shocking with over Naito, as he put him away in rather decisive fashion, which you will see in certain matches from time to time in G1.
The match quality in the tournament so far has been insanely good. Nagata, in his final G1, continues to put on fantastic matches. The fans were red hot for his match against Tanahashi and he got some good near falls before falling short in the end. They really got the crowd going with Nagata being on the verge of putting Tanahashi away down the stretch. The big surprise was that he didn’t go after Tanahashi’s arm much during the match.
Ibushi vs. Ishii was a blow away match. They really tore the house down with some hard-hitting exchanges and fighting spirit spots. I am really impressed by Ibushi’s ability to come back to NJPW after a layoff and perform at this level. He and Ibushi set the crowd on fire and it was surprising to see Ibushi beat Ishii at his own game without resorting to much high flying at all. This match is really going out of your way to see.
Makabe and Goto had a tough act to follow in the main event, but they delivered another excellent hard-hitting match to close the show. I was wondering how they were going to follow Ibushi-Ishii, but they managed to get the crowd into it with some hard-hitting exchanges.
It’s getting harder and harder to figure out a way for people without a lot of time to see the best stuff on the tournament. The shows so far have been incredible with night 3 being one of the nights of block action that I can recall. Do your best to see Nagata-Tanahashi, Ibushi-Ishii, and Makabe-Goto.
STANDINGS AFTER NIGHT 5
Kota Ibushi (2-1, 4 pts)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (2-1,4 pts)
Bad Luck Fale (2-1, 4 pts)
Zack Sabre Jr. (2-1, 4 pts)
Hirooki Goto (2-0, 4 pts)
Tetsuya Naito (2-1, 4 pts)
YOSHI-HASHI (1-2, 2 pts)
Tomohiro Ishii (1-2, 2 pts)
Togi Makabe (1-2, 2 pts)
Yuji Nagata (0-3, 0 pts)
Kenny Omega (2-0, 4 pts)
Kazuchika Okada (2-0, 4 pts)
Toru Yano (1-1, 2 pts)
EVIL (1-1, 2 pts)
Minoru Suzuki (1-1, 2 pts)
Juice Robinson (1-1, 2 pts)
Tama Tonga (1-1, 2 pts)
SANADA (1-1, 2 pts)
Satoshi Kojima (0-2, 0 pts)
Michael Elgin (0-2, 0 pts)
I will provide a list of matches ranked at **** or higher for people just looking to watch the best matches from the tournament. This guide is also handy for those of you that are short on time and looking to sample the best of each night of G1 Climax 27.
Match recommendations for G1 Climax 27: Night 5
(7) IWGP IC Champion Hiroshi Tanahasi vs. Yuji Nagata (****1/4)
(9) Kota Ibushi vs. Tomohiro Ishii (****1/2)
(10) Hirooki Goto vs. Togi Makabe (****)
ATTENTION: Read Radican’s G1 Climax 27: Night 4 report HERE
Contact Sean at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Sean on twitter at twitter.com/sr_torch. Follow and like Radican’s Wrestling Community Facebook.com at Facebook.com/seanradicanrwc