SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
RADICAN’S G1 CLIMAX 27: NIGHT 9 REPORT
JULY 29, 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) Michael Elgin & David Finlay vs. L.I.J. (SANADA & BUSHI) beat Michael Elgin & David Finlay.
(2) L.I.J. (EVIL & Hiromu Takahashi) beat Katsuya Kitamura & Hirai Kawato.
(3) Bullet Club (Tama Tonga & Yujiro Takahashi) beat Suzuki Gun (Minoru Suzuki & Taichi). Tonga and Suzuki went at it after the match, but were separated quickly.
(4) Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan beat Bullet Club (Kenny Omega & Chase Owens)
(5) CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Toru Yano & Gedo) beat Juice Robinson & Ryusuke Taguchi & Tomoyuki Oda.
A BLOCK RESULTS & ANALYSIS
(6) Togi Makabe (4) vs. Yuji Nagata (0) in a G1 Climax 27 A Block match. Looks like Nagata got some cupping therapy. He’s still in search of his first G1 win. Makabe dominated early, but Nagata fired back and hit an exploder for a 2 count. Makabe hit a lariat and Nagata wouldn’t go down. Nagata fired back with a kick. They went back and forth several times with Makabe hitting lariats and Nagata hitting kicks. Makabe finally hit a huge clothesline and Nagata crumpled to the mat. Nagata surprised Makabe with the white eyes arm bar a short time later, but he managed to get to the ropes. Nagata went on the attack and got on a roll before hitting a backdrop driver for a 2 count. He went for another one, but Makabe fended it off and hit a German that left both men down on the mat. They battled up to a short time later. Makabe hit several chops to the neck. Nagata fired up at first, but ended up collapsing to the mat. Nagata got up only to take a flying knee to the shoulder from Makabe off the turnbuckles. Makabe hit a lariat a short time later for a 2 count. He went up for the King Kong knee drop and connected for the win.
Winner: Togi Makabe (6 pts)
Star rating: (***) – They kept things pretty basic here. Nagata has had some good matches in this tournament, but this one never really felt like he was on the verge of winning.
(7) Kota Ibushi (4) vs. Bad Luck Fale (4) in a G1 Climax 27 A Block match. Fale grabbed a stuffed Daryl from a fan in the crowd and tore it to pieces during his entrance. Fale tripped the ring announcer during the introductions and he fell hard right on his back. The fans fired up for Ibushi’s entrance and clapped along to his music. Fale went after Ibushi’s leg during the early going. He didn’t offer a clean break in the corner at one point and shoved the ref over twice. Ibushi fired up and wiped out Fale with a huge kick to the chest. He grabbed his leg and then hit a standing moonsault for a 2 count. Ibushi flipped away from Fale when he went for a grenade. He went for a German several times, but Fale eventually backed him into the corner. Ibushi nailed Fale with a huge kick to the back and hit a delayed German and the fans fired up. Fale fired back and they brawled into the crowd. Ibushi fired back and climbed up to the second deck of the venue. He fired up the fans before connecting with a moonsault to the floor that wiped out Fale. WOW! The fans went nuts and chanted for Ibushi. Ibushi walked back towards the ring as the ref counted. It looked like the moonsault had taken something out of him. Fale staggered towards the ring. He made it back in at 18. Ibushi stalked him from the apron and hit a springboard missile dropkick that sent him flying across the ring. He then charged at Fale, who wiped him out with a huge clothesline. The fans fired up and chanted for Ibushi. Fale tried to go on the attack, but Ibushi cut him off and hit a roundhouse kick to the head for a 2 count. He grabbed Fale’s arms and kneed him right in the head. He set up for the last rights powerbomb, but Fale countered it into a Samoan drop. Fale hit the grenade. He picked Ibushi up right away and hit the bad luck fall for the win.
Winner: Bad Luck Fale (6 pts)
Star rating: (***3/4) – Fale welcomed Ibushi to his world of brawling and at first it backfired, as Ibushi set the crowd on fire with a moonsault off the second balcony to the floor. Ibushi appeared to be on the verge of putting Fale away, but he couldn’t get him up for his finish. After that, Fale overpowered him and got the win.
(8) Hirooki Goto (4) vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (w/El Desperado) (6) in a G1 Climax 27 A Block match. Desperado tripped Goto from the outside and Sabre immediately put him in an octopus hold. Goto managed to get to the ropes fairly quickly. Sabre tied up Goto on the mat in a combination leg/arm submission. He tried to get into a striking game with Goto, which did not work out well for him as Goto nailed him with a big clothesline. Sabre fired back and slid around Goto after a misdirection spot. He then locked in the octopus hold in the middle of the ring. Goto fought out of it, but Sabre slid around him and applied a standing arm submission. Goto tried to power up again and he successfully hit the neck breaker over his knee! WOW! Sabre got a cross-arm breaker a short time later. He then began working over Goto’s wrist and he bent it at a bad angle. Sabre continued to go after Goto’s arm. He connected with a PK, but Goto ended up wiping him out with a lariat and both men were down. Sabre continued to outclass Goto on the ground and he nearly got a bridging pin with Goto’s arms trapped. Sabre countered Goto and trapped his arms with another pinning combination, but Goto managed to kick out at 2! Goto blocked a PK attempt. He invited Sabre to engage in a striking battle. Sabre finally hit a series of strikes. He went for a jumping mount, but Goto nailed him with a knee to the chest. He then wiped out Sabre with a big lariat! Goto set up for his signature kick and wiped Sabre. He then hit the GTR for the win.
Winner: Hirooki Goto (6 pts)
Star rating: (***3/4) – This was another really good match. Sabre went into Goto’s world once too many times, as he tried to engage in the striking game and it backfired in the end.
(9) IWGP IC Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi (6) vs. YOSHI-HASHI (2) in a G1 Climax 27 A Block match. The fans chanted for both men after the opening bell rang. Tanahashi offered a clean break against the ropes. HASHI backed Tanahashi into the ropes, but instead of offering a clean break, he nailed him with a chop. HASHI ended up on the floor a short time later and Tanahashi hit a slingshot splash before skinning the cat back into the ring. Tanahashi played some air guitar as the fans clapped and chanted. HASHI got back into the ring and Tanahashi began working over his leg. HASHI eventually caught Tanahashi with a modified running blockbuster to get the upper hand. He continued to target Tanahashi’s head with a neck breaker. Tanahashi blocked a kick and ended up hitting a dragon screw. He went for the Texas Cloverleaf, but HASHI fought him off. Tanahashi went for the Texas Cloverleaf again and got it a short time later. HASHI screamed in pain, but eventually got to the ropes. HASHI fired back and hit a spinning slam on Tanahashi. Both men were down and they began trading blows. They yelled at each other and continued to trade. HASHI finally caught Tanahashi and hit a shoulder breaker over his knee and a running knee strike. They went back and forth and HASHI caught Tanahashi with a western lariat. He then hit a powerbomb into a jackknife cover for a 2 count. He went up top and hit a swanton for a near fall. HASHI popped up and surprised Tanahashi a short time later with a back stabber. He set up for karma, but Tanahashi countered it into a rolling neck breaker. Tanahashi kept setting up for a sling blade. HASHI blocked it twice, but Tanahashi connected on the third try. Tanahashi then connected with the high fly flow for the win.
HASHI appeared to have some words for Tanahashi before he eventually went to the back.
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi (8 pts)
Star rating: (****) – This was excellent. Tanahashi had his swagger back and HASHI gave him a run for his money during the second half of the match. HASHI never went after his injured arm, but hit all of his signature offense on Tanahashi. He wasn’t able to connect with karma as Tanahashi countered it and eventually hit a sling blade and a high fly flow for the win.
(10) Tetsuya Naito (6) vs. Tomohiro Ishii (4) in a G1 Climax 27 A Block match. The fans fired up for Naito’s entrance when he came out first. Ishii teased a clean break, but went for a chop against the ropes. Naito then offered a clean break, but spit at Ishii after backing up. They went back and forth and Naito flipped into his signature pose. Ishii got frustrated as Naito rolled in and out of the ring to stall. Naito teased getting back into the ring, but then backed out onto the apron, so Ishii nailed him with a shoulder tackle. He then went on the attack on the outside. Naito fired back and whipped Ishii into the guardrail. Naito took control inside the ring. He began hitting some light kicks to Ishii’s head. He then slapped Ishii hard across of the back of the head. Ishii glared when Naito sent him into the corner. Ishii fired back and unloaded on Naito with chops. Naito fired back, but Ishii cut him off and hit another flurry of chops. Naito raked Ishii’s eyes and hit several clubbing blows. He then turned Ishii around with his feet draped over the ropes and hit a neck breaker over his knee. Naito targeted Ishii’s neck once again. Ishii tried to fire up, but Naito lit him up with strikes to maintain the upper hand. Naito charged at Ishii a short time later, but ended up taking a power slam and both men were down. Ishii went on the attack while holding his neck. He returned the favor by slapping Naito across the back of his head.
Naito hit a suplex and the fans fired up behind Naito. Naito fired back and dropped the back of Ishii’s head over his knee. He then hit his signature dropkick off the ropes. A short time later, Naito hit his signature slingshot dropkick and Ishii grabbed his neck/shoulder area. They went back and forth and Ishii managed to hit a release German that left both men down on the mat. Naito got up and spit in Ishii’s face. Ishii glared and Naito hit several punches. Ishii glared at Naito and began working towards him. He sent Naito into the corner with one forearm and followed up with a huge lariat. They battled up top and Naito slid under Ishii and hit a hangman’s neck breaker. He followed up with a big German for a 2 count. The fans chanted for Naito. Ishii fired back with a throat chop, but Naito hit the flying forearm. He followed up with a dragon suplex with a bridge for a 2 count. WOW! Ishii fired back and hit a HUGE release German that left both men down on the mat. This time the fans chanted for both men, although the Naito chant won out. They went back and forth and Naito no-sold a headbutt, but Ishii sent him down with a second headbutt. Ishii then hit a big folding powerbomb for a near fall. Ishii came up bleeding from the mouth as the fans chanted for Naito. Naito blocked a brainbuster attempt and hit a swinging DDT, but Ishii no-sold it. Naito then hit an enzuguri to the back of Ishii’s head and yet another release German and both men were down as the fans fired up. Ishii blocked a destino attempt. He flipped Naito over, but Naito reversed it into destino. He picked Ishii up, but Ishii countered him and hit a kick and both men were down! WOW! The fans chanted for Naito. They went back and forth. Naito hit destino and Ishii got right up and hit a sliding lariat for a near fall! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Naito blocked a brainbuster attempt, but Ishii hit a huge lariat for another near fall. The fans went crazy and Ishii lifted Naito up and hit a brainbuster for the win! WOW!
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii (6 pts)
Star rating: (****1/2) – Naito went after Ishii neck and seemed to have the upper hand, but Ishii kept hitting power moves to stay in the match. The spot where Ishii kicked out of destino at 1 and hit a sliding clothesline was absolutely insane. The crowd was behind Naito the whole match and Ishii managed to come back and finally hit the brainbuster after Naito had fended it off previously in the match.
Ishii did not cut a post-match promo. He went right to the back. The cameras eventually went backstage and Naito was shown staggering around with the help of some attendants. Ishii was then shown doing a press conference. He had very little to say and walked away.
Overall thoughts: One of the things that has made this tournament so special is the feeling that anyone can win on a given night. Bad Luck Fale takes people into his world and forces them to brawl. Ibushi couldn’t get on track, despite his spectacular moonsault from the second level to the floor. Fale ended up putting him away in the end because he won the match on his terms. Zack Sabre Jr. has been successful in this tournament when he makes his opponents wrestle with him on the mat. On this night, he had Goto outclassed on the mat and seemed on his way to putting him away, but he made the mistake of trying to strike with Goto and it cost him.
The last two matches were the standout matches of the night. Tanahashi and HASHI had one heck of a match, but Tanahashi was really on his game tonight without having to worry about his arm for the first time in the tournament. HASHI hit almost all of his signature stuff, but he couldn’t hit karma. HASHI’s character is difficult to connect with, but he has delivered in the ring.
This was another great night of in-ring action for the Grade One Climax! The A block is really crowded up top right now. Naito is the leader with 8 points, but there are a glut of wrestlers under him that aren’t out of contention just yet, although you can count out HASHI and Nagata at this point. I definitely recommend watching the last two matches. Sabre-Goto and Fale-Ibushi are also worth a look if you have the time.
STANDINGS AFTER NIGHT 9
Hiroshi Tanahashi (4-1, 8 pts)
Togi Makabe (3-2, 6 pts)
Tomohiro Ishii (3-2, 6 pts)
Bad Luck Fale (3-2, 6 pts)
Hirooki Goto (3-2, 6 pts)
Zack Sabre Jr. (3-2, 6 pts)
Tetsuya Naito (3-2, 6 pts)
Kota Ibushi (2-3, 4 pts)
YOSHI-HASHI (1-4, 2 pts)
Yuji Nagata (0-5, 0 pts)
Kazuchika Okada (4-0, 8 pts)
Kenny Omega (3-1, 6 pts)
EVIL (3-1, 6 pts)
Michael Elgin (2-2, 4 pts)
Minoru Suzuki (2-2, 4 pts)
SANADA (2-2, 4 pts)
Tama Tonga (2-2, 4 pts)
Juice Robinson (1-3, 2 pts)
Toru Yano (1-3, 2 pts)
Satoshi Kojima (0-4, 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 9
(9) IWGP IC Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. YOSHI-HASHI (****)
(10) Tetsuya Naito vs. Tomohiro Ishii (****1/2)
ATTENTION: Read Radican’s G1 Climax 27: Night 8 report HERE
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