SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
G1 CLIMAX 27: NIGHT 19 FINAL REPORT
AUG. 13, 2017
AIRED LIVE ON NJPWWORLD.COM
REPORT BY RICH FANN, PWTORCH LIVECAST HOST
ANNOUNCERS: This show had a multi-camera shoot with Kevin Kelly, Don Callis, and Rocky Romero providing English commentary.
Note: As Sean Radican’s’s stunt double for this morning, just like his reports, I will not be reviewing any of the non-tournament matches, but I will provide the results. If any undercard match turns out to be extremely noteworthy, I will make an exception in certain cases.
(1) Suzuki-gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi & El Desperado & TAKA Michinoku) beat KUSHIDA & Jushin “Thunder” Liger & Tiger Mask IV & Hirai Kawato
-Suzuki-gun did what they nearly always do post-match, and that is find a poor soul to beat down – in this case continuing to assault Liger, Tiger Mask IV and Kawato while El Desperado and Kushida brawled, setting up a future IWGP Jr Title match.
(2) Guerrillas of Destiny [G.o.D] (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) beat Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi
(3) Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI beat Togi Makabe & David Finlay
(4) Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima & Juice Robinson beat Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens). The only thing of note from this was that Juice beat Chase Owens with the Pulp Friction, continuing his continued rise in the New Japan Ranks. He led a celebration mid-ring with TenCozy afterwards.
(5) The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) vs. Ryusuke Taguchi & Ricochet at 15:13 to capture the IWGP Junior Tag Championships. This match started with the usual Young Bucks shenanigans, irritating Taguchi with a “suck it” mid-ring, which lead to Taguchi doing one in response. A Taguchi hip attack was countered with pulling down the middle rope, which allowed for the Bucks to gain the upper hand outside via working on Ricochet’s knee after Ricochet attempts a head kick and hits the post (in an attempt to thwart him using the Benadryller) and a tandem powerbomb to Taguchi onto the apron.
Taguchi saved himself from further damage with a dual inverted/DDT combo to both Jackson brothers, giving him the opening to tag in Ricochet. Ricochet’s attempt at firing up failed because of his bad knee, but he gave Taguchi enough time to recover – tagging him back in to hit a few hip attacks and a somersault plancha. An attempt by Taguchi to hit Three Amigos on Nick Jackson is countered because of Matt coming in to stop the third suplex, so Taguchi tries to double hip attack the Bucks and is countered into a double atomic drop, giving the Jackson brothers the momentum again.
Ricochet made a blind tag, countering an attempt at a Meltzer Driver into a powerbomb, but Ricochet was superkicked in his knee by Matt Jackson, who followed up with a Sharpshooter. After a spell of being in the hold, Ricochet got to the ropes. No time for stoppage, as Nick Jackson jumped off the top rope, falling onto Ricochet and allowing Matt Jackson to drag Ricochet back to the middle of the ring. Taguchi came for the save and was put in a Sharpshooter of his own. Taguchi got out and shoved the Jackson brothers into each other, freeing Ricochet.
Ricochet sacrificed his own injured knee to counter More Bang For Your Buck, getting Nick out of the picture. With one leg, Ricochet attempted a rollup for a close two count, but Matt Jackson kicked out and gave Ricochet a superkick (superkick number 14 of the match give or take). Another attempt at an Indytaker was countered with a Taguchi hip attack on Nick Jackson in mid-air, allowing Ricochet a chance to get out of the tombstone position and attack Matt Jackson without interference. Taguchi hit Dodon’s Throne and calls for Ricochet to go for a Shooting Star Press, which Ricochet hit on one leg for the victory become NEW IWGP JR. TAG CHAMPIONS (53rd).
-Young Bucks were inconsolable post-match, once the realization hits they’ve lost their IWGP Jr. Tag Titles after only two defenses, telling the English announce team “we’re not in the mood to talk.” This also put the Bullet Club at 1-2 going into Omega’s G-1 Final Match.
Rich’s Analysis: This match was a great match and, as a person that doesn’t find Taguchi to be their cup of tea, I was engrossed throughout. If you see any undercard match, see this one. Taguchi’s post match dancing to celebrate instantly made me regret giving him the benefit of the doubt, however.
Katsuyori Shibata’s music? OH MY GOODNESS, HE’S THERE! Shibata walks to the ring with the loudest response so far of the night, returning to a New Japan ring for the first time since his now-infamous IWGP Title match that was feared to have left him permanently paralyzed. With tears in his eyes and a smile a mile long, the usually stoic Shibata did a back bump, got into his favored cross-legged pose mid-ring, and sucked in the adulation. In true Shibata fashion, he showed up only to say to the crowd, “I’m alive,” then departed.
-A vignette was shown with a mysterious person wielding a knife, redacted words on a paper and a TV of some sort. The last time there was a creepy video like that
(6) War Machine beat Cody Rhodes & Hangman Page in an IWGP Tag Championship Match.
-G.O.D. came out for a post-match challenge of War Machine, but were interrupted by Suzuki-gun’s Killer Elite Squad (a returning-from-injury Lance Archer and David Smith), who brawled with War Machine
(7) Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr. & Takashi Iizuka) beat Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi & Michael Elgin.
-Two G-1 Climax aftermath events were set up by this match. First, Zack Sabre Jr. won for Suzuki-gun via his Octopus hold on Hiroshi Tanahashi, holding up Tanahashi’s Intercontinental Title after the victory, a well-earned level of confidence having beaten the 1/100 ace twice now by submission in four weeks.
Second, Michael #BigMike Elgin and Minoru Suzuki brawled through the crowd post-match, setting up two solid feuds for the Intercontinental and NEVER Openweight champs respectively.
(8) L.I.J. (SANADA & EVIL & BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi) beat CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano & Gedo)
G-1 CLIMAX FINAL
(9) A BLOCK WINNER Tetsuya Naito (14 points) vs. B BLOCK WINNER Kenny Omega (14 points)
Both wrestlers wore their Sunday best to the ring – Naito’s burgundy L.I.J. suit of doom and Omega’s One-Winged Angel leather jacket and tights combo. The Young Bucks are out to support their Bullet Club / “The Elite” stablemate.
The match starts with both competitors faking a lock up and soaking in the fans’ energy. Once they kicked off, Naito took advantage, dumping Omega out of the ring to set up for his trademark “Tranquilo” roll and pose in-ring. Naito goes outside, where Omega takes over, hitting a moonsault off the guardrail and ramming Naito into the barricade. Back in the ring, a Kotaro Krusher by Omega gets a 2 count.
Naito uses his quickness to get Omega onto the apron outside, where Omega receives a neck-breaker to the apron and then another from the apron to the floor. Back in the ring, Naito continues working on the neck, and dumps Omega outside. Naito fakes a “Tranquilo” roll and instead of posing goes through the ropes, knocking Omega over the fence onto a table and clipping his own knee in the process.
Naito goes for a piledriver on the table, but MISSES THE TABLE, dropping Omega on the corner of the table and the guard rail. Doctors check on Omega while Naito preens away from the carnage.
I cannot re-iterate how unnecessary that spot was.
After taking a 15 count, Omega gets back into the ring, and eats a german suplex from Naito for a 2 count. An Omega comeback is thwarted by a dropkick from Naito to Omega’s bad knee, setting Omega up in the corner for Naito’s corner attack. When Naito attempts to flip back in for the conclusion of his corner combo, Omega counters with double boots to Naito’s face, giving the Canadian a little space to recover.
At the ten minute mark the crowd begins to do the Terminator claps to encourage Omega to keep battling, and Kevin Kelly notes that this match is one fall to a finish with no time limit. Omega drops Naito with a backbreaker and hushes the crowd, so they can hear the thunderous chop he throws at Naito from a seated position on the mat. Omega then goes for a half-camel clutch and slows things down, focusing on the shoulder and neck of Naito.
Omega goes for a Finlay roll and that allows Naito to get back into the match, finally hitting his corner dropkick. Rocky Romero notes this is the most focused he’s ever seen Naito, and that he’s got a lot to prove by beating Kenny Omega. A frankensteiner counter spills Naito to the floor, which allows Kenny the space to go for a BEAUTIFUL Terminator dive. Matt Jackson assisted with catching Omega, keeping both Naito and Omega away from another fence incident.
Both men return to the ring, where Omega attempts a snap dragon suplex, which led to a sequence of slap attempts ending with Omega hitting a deadlift German suplex. Omega hits Aoi Shoudou on Naito, again returning to the neck – and the leader of L.I.J. is on the ropes. Sensing the match is going his way, Omega goes for a V-Trigger, which Naito avoids and instead hits Omega with a spin DDT. Naito attempts a top rope frankensteiner, which Omega counters into a face first drop onto the turnbuckle for Naito. With his opponent groggy, Omega hits a snap dragon suplex and a V-trigger for a hellacious near fall. We’re now at the 20 minute mark and the fans are losing it. An attempt to hit a Jay Driller is countered, and Omega clubs Naito for his trouble. A powerbomb by Omega is countered by Tetsuya Naito into a DDT, while the Young Bucks attempt to keep Kenny Omega calm in ring.
Naito hits an enziguiri, and follows with Gloria!, getting a 2.99 in the process. A Destino attempt is turned into Naito being dropped on his head for a 2 count. Both men end up on the top rope and OH MY GOD NAITO AND OMEGA SLIP, with Naito falling into the post. Omega re-situates them and attempts a top rope powerbomb, which Naito counters into a top rope hurricanrana!
We’re now at the 25 minute mark and Naito is going and hits a top rope reverse hurricanrana on Omega for a 2.7 count. This is amazing – Naito drops Omega with a body slam and CALLS FOR THE STARDUST PRESS – the finisher he used as a face, which he retired when he became the curmudgeon we all know and love today. Naito crashes and burns, as Omega moves before Naito can land.
Both men are down and out and fighting to get back to their feet. Omega hits a Jay Driller for a near 3 count – in absolute shock it didn’t put Naito away. Naito eats a 2 V-Triggers, and collapses before Omega can hit a third. Omega tries to pick him up and Naito catches the four attempt at a V-trigger BUT EATS A FIFTH AND A DR. WILY BOMB! TWO COUNT!!!
The crowd is loving this. Omega puts the gun to Naito’s head and Naito catches a fifth V-trigger. Naito is placed up for a One Winged Angel, but counters into a dead fall reverse frankensteiner, and follows up with DESTINO! Omega kicks out!
Naito goes for a second Destino, which Omega counters into setting up for One Winged Angel – and instead hits Croyt’s Wrath! 2 count! Omega hits the Rain Trigger! Another gun point at Naito and the L.I.J. skipper eats a SIXTH V-Trigger!
(This one will be gif’d I can guarantee it)
Omega goes for the One Winged Angel, which Naito counters into Destino! Both men are on their feet, staggering about and landing forearms/slaps/chops, basically whatever their spent bodies can muster in offense. Omega hits 2 V-triggers, Naito rolls through a third and hits a dragon suplex. Destino attempt is blocked, but a spinning Destino isn’t blocked – TWO COUNT!!
Naito sets up or fourth Destino and the ref counts the fall. Tetsuya Naito is your 27th G-1 Climax Winner~!
WINNER: Naito at 36:35 with the Destino. Naito is now a two-time G-1 Climax winner and begins the long road to Wrestle Kingdom. WATCH THIS MATCH. I’m not a star guy, but this is one of the best matches of 2017.
Overall Thoughts: A really good show – not only for the main event. Between the Jr. Tag match, the Suzuki-gun brawls, and even the War Machine vs. Page & Rhodes match, this was a solid card. The main event was excellent and the story that started in 2013 with Naito winning the G-1 and ultimately not being in the main event, culminated in creating the L.I.J. Naito as we know him. I am looking forward to seeing how a man who feels disrespected by his home company get a shot at their biggest title on their biggest show. This also sets up a question for Omega – if the Wrestle Kingdom main event isn’t in the cards – who is?
If you listen to the English feed, I cannot recommend more the three man tandem of Don Callis, Kevin Kelly, and Rocky Romero. Romero’s style fits in perfectly with the two and I never felt like any of them were talking over each other – and Kelly’s knowledge was top notch.
I would encourage you all to read Sean’s prior reports, and watch the recommended matches – as this was one of the finest displays of professional wrestling I’ve ever seen, and Sean Radican was outstanding in his coverage the last several weeks.