RADICAN’S G1 CLIMAX 28: NIGHT 4 REPORT
JULY 19, 2018
AIRED LIVE ON NJPW WORLD
Note: I’m only covering the tournament matches this year and will not be reviewing the undercard matches, but I will include the results in each report.
Announcers: Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero
(1) CHAOS (Jay White & YOH) beat Michael Elgin & Ren Narita.
(2) Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki & El Desperado) beat CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI & SHO).
(3) L.I.J. (EVIL & BUSHI) beat Togi Makabe & Toa Henare.
(4) Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & Tanga Loa) beat Hiroshi Tanahashi & David Finlay.
(5) Bullet Club (Hangman Page & Chase Owens) beat CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Gedo)
B BLOCK RESULTS & ANALYSIS
(6) SANADA (0) vs. Tama Tonga (w/Tanga Loa) (2) in a G1 Climax 28 B Block match. Both men managed to counter each other several times before they came to a stalemate. Tonga wanted a handshake, but he tripped SANADA and tried to put him in the paradise lock. He thought he had done it, but SANADA got up and rolled him up from behind. Loa tripped SANADA from the outside. The ref saw it and warned Loa. SANADA chased Tonga around the ring and Loa nailed him with a clothesline. The ref threw Loa out of the match. I’m shocked. Tonga went to the floor and whipped SANADA into the barricade. Tonga hit a splash in the corner back inside the ring a short time later and SANADA favored his shoulder. SANADA fired back and hit a dropkick out of the corner. SANADA hit his signature dropkick. He put Tonga in the paradise lock and drop kicked him and Tonga went to the floor. Both men ran into the ref. Tonga then hit a splash on the ref in the corner when SANADA moved. Tanga Loa and Bad Luck Fale ran down to the ring. Loa hit a big powerbomb on SANADA. Loa and Fale left the ring and Tonga made the cover for a near fall. The fans went nuts and chanted for SANADA. SANADA blocked the Gun Stun and ran Tonga into Loa on the apron. He then got a bridging pinning combination for the win! WOW!
WINNER: SANADA at 11:02 (2 pts)
Star rating: (***¼) – SANADA overcame outside interference and got the win. The fans responded HUGE to SANADA overcoming the numbers game, but this seems like it was a bit early to give way a moment like this in the tournament.
(7) Zack Sabre Jr.(0) (w/Taka Michinoku) vs. Toru Yano (0) in a G1 Climax 28 B Block match. Yano went right for the turnbuckle pads, but Sabre stopped him. Kevin Kelly said that Yano was trying to do things the right way. Sabre and Yano went back and forth on the mat and the fans gasped. Yano ended up in the ropes and the fans fired up for him to ask for a rope break. Sabre tied up Yano on the mat, but he managed to get to the ropes quickly. Yano fired back on the outside and whipped Sabre into the guardrail. They brawled into the crowd and Sabre got an arm submission. They went back and forth and Yano went for a German into the barricade, but Sabre grabbed the Octopus Hold. Sabre let go and rolled back into the ring. Yano then limped down to the ring and got back in at 19 and the fans fired up. They went back and forth. Yano managed to counter Sabre’s octopus hold and the fans gasped. Sabre looked absolutely enraged that Yano had outwrestled him. Yano tossed Sabre to the floor and went for a whip, but Sabre countered and sent him into the guardrail. Sabre tied Yano’s legs around the guardrail. He then went to work on Yano’s arm as the ref continued to count. The ref’s count reached 18. Sabre dove back into the ring, but Yano also freed himself and barely beat the ref’s count WOW!
The fans chanted for Yano. Sabre went after Yano’s leg and then tied up his other leg. Sabre then grabbed Yano’s arm and tied it up. The fans fired up and Yano managed to slip away from Sabre’s clutch to grab the ropes. Sabre got a triangle and Yano tried to power out of it, but couldn’t. Yano grabbed the ref and used the distraction to get to the ropes. Sabre yelled at Yano and nailed him with several uppercuts. Yano grabbed the ref and shoved him at Sabre. Sabre blocked the low blow attempt from Yano and got his wrist clutch pinning combination for a near fall! WOW! Sabre hit several uppercuts, but Yano took him down and took off the turnbuckle pad. He waited for Sabre to charge at him. Yano gave the ref the turnbuckle pad and went for a low blow, but Sabre blocked it. Yano got a pair of pinning combinations for a near fall. Sabre missed a charge and ran into the exposed turnbuckle pads. Yano tried to take off the other turnbuckle pad. He swung it at Sabre, but missed. Sabre then got a Gedo clutch with a bridge for the win. This was great.
WINNER: Zack Sabre Jr. at 11:27 (2 pts)
Star rating: (***¾) – This match was a ton of fun with Yano trying to out wrestle Sabre and when that didn’t work he went back to his cheating ways. They played off of the finishes of the previous tag matches these two had had recently and it was great.
(8) IWGP U.S. Champion Juice Robinson vs. Kota Ibushi in a G1 Climax 28 B Block match. Both men shook hands after the opening bell rang. Ibushi went for the Golden Triangle. He missed, but landed on his feet and Robinson caught him with a cannonball off the apron to the floor. Kelly said Robinson’s hand was about 70% healed. Robinson began working Ibushi over inside the ring. Robinson went for a cannonball in the corner, but Ibushi got out of the way. Ibushi went right to the apron and hit a springboard dropkick. Ibushi hit a standing moonsault for a 2 count and the fans fired up. Ibushi sent Robinson to the floor and the fans fired up. He set up for the Golden Triangle, but Robinson ran into the ring and grabbed his leg. They battled up top and Robinson hit a superplex WOW! Robinson then hit a HUGE cannonball. He followed up with a kneeling powerbomb, but Ibushi kicked out at the last second! Ibushi went for a springboard, but Robinson nailed him with a big chop. Robinson went out to the apron to go at it with Ibushi. They went back and forth on the apron and Ibushi suddenly ran at Robinson and took him down to the floor with a hurricanrana! WOW! Ibushi climbed up the ringpost and hit a huge moonsault into the crowd on Robinson. IBUSHI IS A MADMAN!!!
Ibushi tossed Robinson into the ring at the 10 minute mark and made the cover, but only got a 2 count. Ibushi set up for the Komigoye, but Robinson blocked it. Ibushi fired back on Robinson and hit a high kick while holding onto his arm. He went for the Komigoye, but Robinson ducked it and eventually caught Ibushi with a big kick. The fans fired up and chanted for Robinson. Robinson hit a double knee gutbuster, but only got a 2 count. The fans then fired up and chanted for Ibushi. Robinson set up for Pulp Friction, but Ibushi slipped out of it. He put Robinson up on his shoulders, but he punched out of his grasp. Ibushi then hit a straight jacket German with a bridge for a near fall. Ibushi then held on for the Komigoye for the win!
WINNNER: Kota Ibushi at 13:02 (4 pts)
Star rating: (***¾) – This was a really good back and forth match. The fans were into both guys and they delivered a great effort. The announcers pushed Ibushi as possibly getting a title shot in September for the U.S. Title. Robinson drops to 0-2 in the tournament.
After the match, Ibushi showed respect to Robinson. Robinson recovered and hugged Ibushi. He then raised his hand.
(9) Tetsuya Naito (0) vs. Tomohiro Ishii (2) in a G1 Climax 28 B Block match. The fans chanted for Naito after the opening bell rang. Naito tripped Ishii from the apron. He dragged him to the floor and whipped him into the barricade. Naito went after Ishii’s neck with elbows and Ishii told him to bring it. Ishii ducked Naito’s signature dropkick to the back and hit a low dropkick of his own. Ishii hit some HUGE chops and Naito spit at him. Ishii then went to town on Naito’s chest. It turned red and Naito smiled as Ishii assaulted him with chop after chop. Ishii turned Naito around and hit a back chop and then decked him with a chop to the chest and the fans applauded. Naito fired back and hit a neck breaker and the fans chanted for both men as they were down on the mat. Naito went on the attack and hit his signature dropkick to the back. He then tripped Ishii in the corner and hit his signature slingshot dropkick. Naito threw the ref down and ptu the boots to Ishii in the corner. The ref tried to get Naito out of the corner and Ishii began to fire up as Naito hit him with some light kicks. Naito spit in IShii’s face and Ishii looked irritated. Naito then walked out of the corner and OBLITERATED Naito with a forearm. Ishii began hitting Naito with some light kicks to the back of the head. Naito continued to nail Naito with some light kicks in the corner. Ishii then shoved the ref away and continued to hit Naito with short kicks. Naito fired back and slapped Ishii across the head. Ishii fired back with some THROAT CHOPS that rocked Naito. HOLY S–T!! They exchanged counters and Naito caught Ishii with a boot to the head and both men were down. Ishii no-sold a missile dropkick and sent Naito flying into the corner. Ishii set up for an avalanche brainbuster. Ishii tried to power him up, but Naito fought out of it. Naito then hit a sunset bomb and stacked Ishii up for a near fall!
Naito went for a flying forearm, but Ishii ducked it and hit a release German. Naito then fired back and connected with a flying forearm. They went back and forth. Ishii hit a headbutt and Naito nailed him with a HUGE slap. Ishii went for a vertical brainbuster, but Naito turned it into a DDT. Naito set up behind Ishii, but Ishii turned around and OBLITERATED him with a clothesline. The fans chanted as both men were down once again. WOW! They got up and began trading again. Ishii caught Naito with a HUGE headbutt. He then hit a Last Rites kneeling powerbomb for a near fall. Ishii followed up with the sliding lariat for another near fall! WOW! Ishii set up for the vertical brainbuster, but Naito got out of it. Naito went for Destino, but Ishii escaped and hit a clothesline. Ishii hit another HUGE clothesline for a near fall and the fans fired up. Ishii went for the vertical brainbuster, but Naito got out of it. Naito blocked a clothesline and hit a step-up enzuguri and both men were down. The fans fired up and chanted for Naito. Ishii slipped out of Destino and hit a brainbuster. Naito fired back with a rolling kick. Ishii didn’t go down. Ishii went for the vertical brainbuster, but Naito turned it into Destino for a near fall. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! WOW! Naito set up and hit another Destino as Kelly lost his mind calling it for the win. WHAT A MATCH!
WINNER: Tetsuya Naito at 19:57 (2 pts)
Star rating: (****½) – This was a great match. They riled each other up during the early going and then had some great strike and counter exchanges for the rest of the match building up to a great finish. This was a WAR!
The ref raised Naito’s hand after the match and he threw him down.
(10) NEVER Openweight Champion Hirooki Goto (2) vs. IWGP World Hvt. Champion Kenny Omega (2) in a G1 Climax 28 B Block match. Kevin Kelly talked about Omega wanting to be a grand slam champion. Omega has never held the NEVER Openweight Championship. Omega looked at Goto’s belt before the opening bell rang. Omega backed Goto into the ropes and gave him a light slap to the face. Goto no-sold a kick from Omega and wiped him out with a kick to the head. Omega nearly got the One-Winged Angel. Goto slipped out and went for the GTR. Omega fought out of it and sent Goto to the floor Omega went for Rise of the Terminator, but Goto got up onto the apron. Omega booted Goto to the floor and then hit a basement dropkick through the ropes that sent him over the guardrail. Omega then set up and went for a springboard into the crowd, but Goto tossed a chair at Omega to cut him off! WOW! Goto then hit a reverse GTR off the apron to the floor. Goto tossed Omega over the guardrail and went after him. They brawled into the bleachers. Omega eventually slammed Goto right onto one of the benches. OUCH! Omega then climbed up the side of the bleachers and hit a moonsault that wiped out Goto and a bunch of Young Lions. WOW! Omega measured Goto and hit a couple of big chops. Omega followed up with the Kitaru Crusher a short time later for a 2 count.
Omega and Goto began exchanging blows. Goto hit several big forearms, but Omega hit You Can’t Escape for a 2 count. Goto mounted another comeback. He went back and forth with Omega and surprised him by running around him on the ropes and then hitting a clothesline. Both men were slow to get to their feet. Goto hit a big wheel kick in the corner and a belly to back suplex for a 2 count. Omega went for a springboard a short time later, but Goto caught him and hit the Ushigoroshi. Goto grabbed a sleeper, but Omega reversed it. They went back and forth and Omega caught Goto with a V-trigger. They battled up top a short time later. Goto shoved Omega down to the mat, but he got a running start and hit a HUGE V-trigger up top. WOW! Omega went for a cross-legged superplex, but Goto fought out of it. Omega hit some big forearms, but Goto hit a headbutt. Goto then hit CODE RED off the top for a near fall! WOW! Goto went for his signature kick to the chest, but Omega blocked it. They began trading blows in the middle of the ring. The fans fired up and both men began trading bombs back and forth. Omega slipped around Goto and hit a snap dragon. He set up for a V-trigger, but Goto NAILED him with a HUGE clothesline. WOW! Goto hit a reverse GTR. He then went for the GTR, but Omega blocked it. They went back and forth and Goto hit SHOUTEN KAI for a near fall!
They went back and forth and Omega caught Goto with a V-trigger. Goto blocked a Jay-driller attempt and hit a headbutt. Omega surprised Goto with a running V-trigger against the ropes. He then hit a cross-legged suplex for a near fall. Omega set up for another V-trigger and connected against the ropes. Omega then finished with the One-Winged Angel for the win.
WINNER: Kenny Omega at 20:07 (4 pts)
Star rating: (****½) – This was a great match. They started with a brawl in the crowd early and then had some great back and forth action leading into the finish. Goto really seemed to be on the verge of winning many times during the match, but in the end Omega got the emphatic win.
Omega cut a promo after the match. Omega said the B Block is where it’s at in Japanese. He continued to speak in Japanese. The fans applauded and chanted for Omega. He then hit his catch phrase in English to close the show. Omega accidentally dropped the belt getting out of the ring, but quickly got out and hugged it.
Omega went to his press conference backstage. He said Goto fought with the Japanese fighting spirit that he fell in love with 18 years ago. He said Goto was almost as good as him tonight. Omega said he had so little power by the end of the night that he actually dropped his 45 pound belt. Omega said he will carry the belt with pride and honor. He said he would do it in his own special way. He said he’s the best and he knows. Omega said he’s the most sought after athlete on the planet like Tiger Woods, Larry Bird, and Michael Jackson. Omega said he has Tama Tonga next. He said all of his matches had purpose. He said it was Tama Tonga’s chance to prove his Bullet Club is better than his. Instead of firing his gun, Omega made a funny noise and set it to stun.
Overall thoughts: This was a really great night of block action. The B Block is stacked this year and started out with three good to very good matches on this night. Yano vs. Sabre stood out from the bunch, as they had a really fun match that played off their previous tags. Yano out wrestling Sabre at times and Sabre’s reaction to it was great.
The last two matches were both fantastic. Naito and Ishii tore it up in a hard-hitting war that set the crowd on fire. They riled each other up with light kicks and slaps. The match got very physical after that and they had some great counter sequences. Naito’s counter of the vertical suplex into Destino was great.
The main event match between Omega and Goto was great as well. I think it was a great touch that the storyline going into the match is that Omega is interesting in the NEVER Openweight title because he wants to be a grand slam champion. It made the match feel more important. These two went to war at the beginning of the match. Goto tossed a chair at Omega when he went for a springboard flip dive over the guardrail and the match was off to the races from there. Goto’s Code Red off the top was great and he really came through here and pushed Omega to the limit before falling short in the end.
Overall, this was a great night of block action. If you have time, it’s worth watching all of the matches, but if you’re pressed for time, definitely watch the last two. The only letdown was that it felt too soon for someone to overcome the outside interference of The Firing Squad as SANADA did tonight. I think that could have been saved for a more dramatic win for someone later in the tournament.
STANDINGS AFTER NIGHT 4
Jay White (2-0, 4 pts)
Togi Makabe (2-0, 4 pts)
Michael Elgin (2-0, 2 pts)
EVIL (1-1, 2 pts)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (1-1, 2 pts)
Hangman Page (1-1, 2 pts)
Bad Luck Fale (1-1, 2 pts)
Kazuchika Okada (0-2, 0 pts)
Minoru Suzuki (0-2, 0 pts)
YOSHI-HASHI (0-2,, 0 pts)
Kenny Omega (2-0, 4 pts)
Kota Ibushi (2-0, 4 pts)
Tomohiro Ishii (1-1, 2 pts)
Tetsuya Naito (1-1, 2 pts)
SANADA (1-1, 2 pts)
Tama Tonga (1-1, 2 pts)
Hirooki Goto (1-1, 2 pts)
Zack Sabre Jr. (1-1,2 pts)
Toru Yano (0-2, 0 pts)
Juice Robinson (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 28.
Match recommendations for G1 Climax 28: Night 4
(9) Tetsuya Naito vs. Hirooki Goto (****½)
(10) Kenny Omega vs. Hirooki Goto (****1/2)
Contact Sean at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Sean on Twitter @sr_torch