KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (11/14)
(Search "pwtorch" to subscribe in podcast app)
RADICAN’S G1 CLIMAX 27: NIGHT 16 REPORT
AUG. 8, 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) Chase Owens beat Tomoyuki Oka .
(2) Suzuki Gun (Zack Sabre Jr. & El Desperado beat Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Shota Umino.
(3) Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi) beat Yuji Nagata & Katsuya Kitamura.
(4) CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI) beat Togi Makabe & Kota Ibushi & Hirai Kawato.
(5) Hiroshi Tanahashi & Ryusuke Taguchi & David Finlay beat L.I.J. (Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi.
B BLOCK RESULTS & ANALYSIS
(6) Tama Tonga (4) vs. Satoshi Kojima (w/Tenzan) (2) in a G1 Climax 27 B Block match. Tonga jumped Kojima before the opening bell. He put on Kojima’s jacket and hit the machine gun chops in the corner. Kojima mounted a comeback, but missed a slingshot splash. Tonga worked over Kojima for a long period of time. Tonga hit the mongolian chops and the fans gasped. Tenzan took exception and got up on the apron. Tenzan nailed Tonga with some double chops from the apron when Tonga went after him. Kojima then fired up and went on the attack. Kojima hit the machine gun chops and went up top a short time later. Tonga popped up and cut him off. He hit a spinning facebuster and both men were down on the mat. They went back and forth and Kojima hit a big cutter. He then sent Tonga to the floor with a clothesline. Kojima helped Tonga get back into the ring to break the ref’s count. He then hit a brainbuster for a 2 count. Kojima set up for the cozy lariat, but Tonga countered him and hit an inverted DDT for a 2 count after some misdirection. Kojima blocked a gun stun attempt. Tonga blocked a clothesline, but Kojima eventually caught him with a western lariat for a 2 count. Tonga finally ducked a pair of lariat attempts and caught Kojima with the gun stun for the win.
WInner: Tama Tonga (6 pts)
Star rating: (**1/2)
(7) Toru Yano (6) vs. Juice Robinson (4) in a G1 Climax 27 B block match. Robinson chased Toru under the ring and they both barely beat the 20 count. Toru tried to tie Robinson’s hair to the guardrail to get a count out win, but Robinson freed himself. Yano hit a low blow while dragging the ref in front of him so he couldn’t see him. Yano went for another low blow, but the ref stopped him. Robinson then connected with pulp fiction for the win.
Winner: Juice Robinson (6)
Star rating: (**1/2)
(8) EVIL 10 vs. Michael Elgin (6) in a G1 Climax 27 B Block match. EVIL tried to jump Elgin before the bell, but Elgin turned the tide. EVIL eventually managed to drag Elgin to the floor. He wrapped a chair around Elgin’s head and ran him into the ringpost. Elgin mounted a comeback and hit a powerslam inside the ring. He hit a German into the turnbuckles a short time later, but EVIL kicked out at 2. EVIL swung Elgin’s leg to the ref a short time later and nailed his other leg with a kick. Elgin countered an EVIL attack off the turnbuckles to regain the upper hand. He went for a buckle bomb, but EVIL slipped out and hit a fisherman buster and both men were down. Both men got up and began hitting each other with clotheslines at the same time. EVIL eventually hit a big release German and a huge lariat and the fans fired up. He followed up with darkness falls for a near fall. EVIL signaled for the end with a slash across ELgin’s throat. Elgin blocked the STO. Elgin ducked a charge in the corner and hit a pair of huge Lariats on EVIL, who slumped to the mat. Elgin placed EVIL up top and the fans fired up. Elgin hesitated and hit a superplex, but EVIL kicked out at the last second! Eglin hit a buckle bomb, but EVIL countered the Elgin bomb and hit a headbutt and a huge forearm. Elgin blocked the STO and hit an enzuguri. EVIL no sold it, so Elgin hit a second one that put him down on the mat. Elgin hit a pop-up sit out powerbomb for a near fall and the fans went nuts when EVIL kicked out. Elgin set up for a lariat and hit it. He then hit the Elgin bomb for the win. MY GOD WHAT A WAR!
Winner: Michael Elgin (8 pts)
Star rating: (****) – They went a shade over 11 minutes, but this was an all-out war from start to finish with both guys looking to finish the match as quick as possible. EVIL is mathematically eliminated from contention with the loss.
(9) IWGP U.S. Champion Kenny Omega (w/Chase Owens) (10) vs. SANADA (8) in a G1 Climax 27 B Block match. Omega went for the one-winged angel early and SANADA slipped out into the skull end, but Omega got out of it. SANADA went up for his moonsault a short time later, but Omega popped up. SANADA tried for the paradise lock, but Omega fended him off and eventually bailed to the floor after Sanada went after his leg. SANADA and Omega went at it on the floor. Omega eventually hit a moonsault press off the guardrail to wipe out SANADA. Omega dominated the action for a long period of time. They went back and forth and SANADA hit his signature dropkick sequence. He then hit a slingshot splash to the floor. SANADA got Omega in the paradise lock before nailing him with a big dropkick for a 1 count. Omega hit his jumping bulldog a short time later for a 2 count. SANADA hit an elbow and went for a standing moonsault, but Omega goat out of the way. Omega then hit a cross-legged neck breaker over his knee. He followed up with a big V Trigger against the ropes. He went for the one-winged angel, but SANADA countered it into a hurricanrana. He hit a TKO a short time later for a 2 count. SANADA went for a moonsault. Omega got out of the way , but he landed on his feet. They went back and forth and SANADA flipped over Omega in the corner and got the skull end! Omega struggled and SANADA applied the hold again in the middle of the ring. Omega finally got to the ropes to break the hold. SANADA went for the moonsault, but Omega got out of the way.
Omega popped up and hit a snap dragon suplex and a running V Trigger for a 2 count. They went back and forth and Omega hit another V Trigger for a 2 count. SANADA ducked a V TRigger againast the ropes. THey went back and forth and Omega managed to counter SANADA as he was flipping over him right into the one-winged angel for the win.
Winner: Kenny Omega (12 pts)
Star rating: (***½) – This got off to a slow start, but finished strong. The second half of the match was very good at times, especially the counter sequences down the stretch.
(10) IWGP Hvt. Champion Kazuchika Okada (w/Gedo) (12 pts) vs. NEVER Openweight Champion Minoru Suzuki (w/El Desperado & Taichi). Suzuki came out with his title for the first time in the tournament. Taichi got in Okada’s face before the match began. He took forever to leave the ring and the fans applauded when the ref motioned for him to get out of the ring. Okada fended off an armbar in the ropes and booted Suzuki off the apron and into the guardrail. He booted Suzuki over the guardrail and into the crowd. Taichi and Desperado attacked him, but OKada fired back and wiped them out. Okada told the Young Lions to eject Taichi and Desperado and they dragged both of them to the back. Okada’s neck was taped up and Suzuki went after it with some forearms once they got back inside the ring. He tore the tape off Okada’s neck and nailed him with a big running knee strike from the floor to the apron. Suzuki shoved Okada back-first into the apron and Okada sold his neck. He went to hit Okada with a chair, but the ref stopped him. Okada mounted a comeback and hit a cross-arm neckbreaker and both me were down. Okada went on the attack, but continued to favor his neck. Suzuki suddenly popped up and hit a series of rights to the head. He set up for a PK, but Okada blocked it and hit a big forearm. Both men began trading bombs as the fans fired up. Suzuki slipped around Okada with the sleeper, but Okada turned it into a DVD and both men were down. Okada went up top and dropped the elbow. He sold his neck before hitting the rainmaker pose. Okada set up for the rainmaker, but Suzuki grabbed a front chancery. Okada went for a tombstone to escape, but Suzuki managed to slip out of it. He then caught Okada with a dropkick as he came off the ropes and both men were down!
Suzuki grabbed the sleeper and let go to set up for the Gotch, but Okada slipped around him and nailed him with a dropkick to the back. Okada then set up for a Gotch tombstone! The fans booed. This is Suzuki’s hometown. Suzuki ducked a rainmaker attempt from Okada. Okada went for another tombstone, but Suzuki blocked it and hit a tombstone of his own! WOW! The fans fired up big time after that sequence. Suzuki went back after Okada’s neck he hit a huge running dropkick that connected with Okada’s neck a short time later. Suzuki grabbed a chinlock and continued to crank on Okada’s neck. The fans chanted for both men. Okada struggled, but Suzuki ot a crossface. He then worked a headscissors crank on Okada’s neck, but Okada got to the ropes. Suzuki hit a kick to Okada’s back and then a huge running kick to his back and Okada sold his neck. A small Okada chant rang out, but then a big Suzuki chant started. Okada went for a too awesome dropkick, but Suzuki held onto the ropes and hit an enziguri. Okada sold his neck and Suzuki got the octopus hold! Suzuki cranked on the hold and Okada eventually collapsed to the mat. Suzuki let go of the hold and made the cover, but Okada kicked out at the last second! Suzuki set up for the Gotch piledriver, but Okada blocked it. Suzuki went for it again and nearly had it, but Okada blocked it! Suzuki held onto Gotch. He then let go and went off the ropes, but Okada hit the too awesome dropkick. WOW! A small Okada chant was once again drowned out by a Suzuki chant.
Okada crawled up top and hit a HUGE missile dropkick. He sold his neck with Suzuki down on the mat. Okada hit a German and held on. He set up for the rainmaker, but Suzuki ducked it and got the choke. He turned it into a judo throw and grabbed the choke on the mat once again. It was almost like a modified bank statement. Okada struggled to the ropes, but Okada grabbed the Kokina clutch and dragged Okada back to the mat. Okada began to fade and the ref checked his arm. Okada rolled over and reached for the ropes. Suzuki continued to crank on the hold and Okada reached out and got his foot on the bottom rope. Suzuki lit up Okada with palm strikes and he collapsed to his knees. The fans applauded. Suzuki hit a series of slaps to the face and Okada went face-down into the mat. Suzuki shoved the ref away as he checked on Okada. Okada suddenly fired up and hit a big rainmaker! Both men were down and the camera zoomed in on Okada still holding onto Suzuki’s hand! WOW! Okada hit a SECOND rainmaker, but couldn’t make the cover. Okada crawled over to make the cover, but Suzuki kicked out at the last second! Okada went for another rainmaker, but Suzuki blocked it and hit several slaps to the face. Suzuki absolutely tagged Okada with palm strikes to the face as the fans fired back Okada fired back with a slap to the face of his own. Gedo could be seen grimacing on the floor. Both men began slapping each other as hard as they could across the face. Suzuki stuck his tongue out and measured Okada for a couple of big palm strikes. Oakda went down, but smiled and got to his feet on wobbly legs. They continued to exchange slaps to the face, as the fans gasped and chanted with each exchange. Suzuki put his hands behind his back and told Okada to slap him. Okada hit three huge slaps. WOW. THIS IS NUTS! Suzuki blocked a tombstone and went for the Gotch, but OKada got down to a knee! OH MY GOD! Suzuki tried to deadlift him up into a Gotch piledriver, but Okada blocked it. They began slapping each other across the face once again. Suzuki said, “Champion” and slapped Okada across the face. Suzuki smiled after Okada absolutely tagged him. Both men continued to slap each other across the face. Okada ducked a slap and hit a rainmaker and both men were down. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The time limit was close to expiring and Gedo told Okada to make the cover. Okada crawled over towards Suzuki and stumbled and the bell rang. WOW!
Winner: No winner – Time limit draw Okada (13 pts) Suzuki (9 pts)
Star rating: (*****) – When you talk about great matches in recent G1 history, this match will rank extremely high. Suzuki had a classic against A.J. Styles at G1 Climax 24 that was a high end MOTYC. This match was in the same league as the two Omega vs. Okada classics from earlier this year. Suzuki played the role of bully to perfection in his hometown. Okada came into the match with his neck hurting him from his previous match with EVIL. Suzuki just brutalized his neck throughout the match. The finishing stretch was insane as both men absolutely tagged each other with slaps to the face. A sick sequence saw Suzuki invited Okada to slap him with his hands behind his face. Okada hit a third rainmaker late, but was unable to make the cover and we got a draw. This was a classic.
Overall thoughts: As expected, it will come down to Naito vs. Tanahashi in the A block and Omega vs. Okada in the B block. The twist is that Okada can now advance to the finals if he wins or goes to a draw with Omega. The main event of this show between Okada and Suzuki will go down as an all-time classic. It was the best G1 match I’ve seen since I started watching NJPW. Elsewhere on the card, EVIL, who was still in contention for a spot in the finals when the night started, had his momentum halted by Elgin.
Noting on the card outside of Elgin-EVIL and Suzuki-Okada stood out. SANADA vs. Omega was good, but it felt like something was missing and just when it was starting to get good, it ended.
The Elgin-EVIL match was a great all out back and forth encounter. I liked the way they planned out the match with both men trying to win as quickly as possible. EVIL had a star-making performance against Okada on the previous night of B block action, but as G1 has taught us, momentum doesn’t always last very long and Elgin put EVIL away in impressive fashion.
The main event was an all-time classic. Suzuki was great here. He went after Okada’s injured neck right from the start, but he just couldn’t get Okada up for the Gotch piledriver. Suzuki’s facial expressions as he picked Okada apart were unbelievably great, especially when he stuck his tongue out at Okada during the face slap exchange late in the match. The aforementioned face slapping exchange went on in several stages and it was insane to listen to the crowd when Suzuki put his hands behind his back and allowed Okada to tag him with slap after slap to the face. Okada got on track with the rainmakers late in the match, but his neck prevented him from being able to make a quick cover. When he finally hit a third rainmaker, he was too hurt to cover Suzuki and the time limit expired.
The storytelling here was tremendous and Suzuki put on a performance that was better than his classic against A.J. Styles during G1 Climax 24 where he brutalized Styles’s arm. Go out of your way to see the main event and buckle up because this tournament has delivered beyond any reasonsable expectation so far.
STANDINGS AFTER NIGHT 16
Tetsuya Naito (6-2, 12 pts)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (6-2, 12 pts)
Kota Ibushi (5-3, 10 pts)
Bad Luck Fale (5-3, 10 pts)
Zack Sabre Jr. (4-4, 8 pts)
Tomohiro Ishii (4-34, 8 pts)
Hirooki Goto (4-4, 8 pts)
Togi Makabe (3-5, 6 pts)
YOSHI-HASHI (2-5, 4 pts)
Yuji Nagata (1-7, 0 pts)
Kazuchika Okada (6-1-1, 13 pts)
Kenny Omega (6-2, 12 pts)
EVIL (5-3, 10 pts)
Minoru Suzuki (4-3-1, 9pts)
SANADA (4-4, 8 pts)
Toru Yano (3-5, 6 pts)
Juice Robinson (3-5, 6 pts)
Michael Elgin (4-4, 6 pts)
Tama Tonga (3-5, 4 pts)
Satoshi Kojima (1-7, 2 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 16
(8) Michael Elgin vs. SANADA (****)
(10) IWGP Hvt. Champion Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki (*****)
ATTENTION: Read Radican’s G1 Climax 27: Night 15 report by clicking HERE