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RADICAN’S G1 CLIMAX 28: NIGHT 5 REPORT
JULY 20, 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) Suzuki-Gun (Zack Sabre Jr. & Taka Michinoku) beat Toa Henare & Shota Umino.
(2) Kota Ibushi & Yujiro Takahashi beat CHAOS (Toru Yano & Gedo)
(3) L.I.J. (Tetsuya Naito & SANADA) beat IWGP U.S. Champion Juice Robinson & David Finlay.
(4) G.O.D. (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) beat Bullet Club (IWGP Hvt. Champion Kenny Omega & Chase Owens). Loa pinnned Owens. Omega was tending to Owens after the match when Tonga ran back into the ring and took Omega out with a Gun-Stun.
(5) CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & YOH) beat CHAOS (NEVER Openweight Champion Hirooki Goto & SHO).
A BLOCK RESULTS & ANALYSIS
(6) Jay White (4) vs. Michael Elgin (4) in a G1 Climax 28 A Block match. White went for a chop and Elgin shrugged it off and decked White with a big chop of his own. White then ran into another big chop and went to the floor. Elgin hit a dive to the floor and the fans fired up behind Elgin. Elgin set up a couple of chairs on one side of the guardrail and he tried to suplex White over the guardrail using the chair for leverage, but White snapped his ribs over the guardrail. White then hit a snap Saito suplex on the floor. White drove Elgin’s back into the apron and then into the guardrail several times. White set up Elgin’s legs and then locked in the Muta Lock. Elgin struggled towards the ropes and eventually got there. Elgin fired back on White from the apron and hit a slingshot double stomp. Elgin hit a pair of big running clotheslines in the corner a short time later. White fired back up top and raked Mike’s eyes. He slid around Elgin a short time later and hit a Saito suplex. White followed up with a big uranagi for a 2 count. Both men went back and forth trading forearms. White hit a chop and Elgin fired back and sent him on his backside. Elgin hit another chop and White went down on his back. Elgin took his pad off and hit a HUGE forearm. They went back and forth and Elgin hit a big enzuguri on Elgin after absorbing a shot to his ribs. White fired back and caught Elgin with a flatliner and a German. WOW!
Elgin hit a German into the turnbuckle padding a short time later and both men were down. The fans fired up as both men regrouped.White countered Elgin and hit a pair of head and arm suplexes. He held on for a third head and arm suplex, but Elgin hit a suplex of his own. Elgin held on and placed White up top. Elgin then got all the way up top and delivered a superplex! Elgin made the cover, but only got a 2 count. Elgin went up top and hit a big SPLASH for a near fall! He set up for the buckle bomb, but White drove him into the corner. Elgin fired back with a chop and placed White up top. He set up for the burning hammer, but White slipped away to the apron. Elgin went for a half and half suplex on the apron, but White tried to elbow out of it. White ducked a clothesline and hit a flatliner on the apron. White followed up with the Kiwi Crusher off the apron to the floor. HOLY S–T! Elgin barely beat the 20 count getting back into the ring at the 15 minute mark. White set up for Blade Runner, but Elgin slipped out of it and tagged White with a spinning elbow. White went for a Saito suplex, but Elgin nailed him with a knee and then a rolling elbow! Elgin followed up with a half and half suplex and a HUGE CLOTHESLINE. He followed up with a tiger bomb for a near fall. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! The fans gasped when White kicked out of the tiger bomb. Elgin set up for the buckle bomb. White tried to elbow out, but Elgin hit the buckle bomb. At the same time, White managed to hit the ref and wipe him out. White hit a low blow with the ref down and then the blade runner for the win.
WINNER: Jay White at 19:32 (6 pts)
Star rating: (***¾) – This was a really good match. I wasn’t a fan of the low blow finish because it feels like White just cheats all the time to win at this point and the ref doesn’t question it or find a way to rectify the situation.
(7) Minoru Suzuki (w/El Desperado) (0) vs. YOSHI-HASHI (0) in a G1 Climax 28 A Block match. HASHI went right after Suzuki before the bell rang. HASHI got the upper hand and whipped Suzuki into the guardrail on the floor. Suzuki fired back on the floor and got the upper hand. He got a cahir and the ref took it away from him. He then whipped HASHI hard into the barricade and nailed him with a chairshot to the back. Suzuki drove the side of the chair into HASHI’s mid-section several times and then brought it down over his back again. Suzuki then lifted up the chair and slammed it on top of HASHI’s head. HASHI barely made it back into the ring at the count of 19. Suzuki went after Tanahashi’s injured shoulder with an arm bar around the ropes. Suzuki began tearing off the tape around HASHI’s shoulders. Suzuki began hitting some light kicks to HASHI’s head. HASHI began to fire up and he hit a big chop. Suzuki smiled at him and dropped him with a short forearm. Suzuki went for a PK, but HASHI caught it and hit a Cactus style DDT variation. HASHI went up top a short time later. Suzuki stood up and HASHI hit a blockbuster for a 2 count. Suzuki got the upper hand and went to work on HASHI’s arm. He then switched arms and got a cross armbreaker!.HASHI struggled, but got to the bottom rope.
The announcers basically said HASHI was now screwed as Suzuki worked on the choke. Suzuki let go and went for the Gotch piledriver, but HASHI backdropped his way out of it. Suzuki went to bounce off the ropes and ran right into a western lariat from HASHI. He locked in the butterfly lock a short time later. Suzuki struggled, but managed to get to the ropes at the 10 minute mark. HASHI got the butterfly lock once again. Suzuki struggled to get to the ropes, but couldn’t get there. He began to fade, but then he sat up and yelled out before getting his foot on the bottom rope. HASHI hit a back cracker. He went for Karma, but Suzuki blocked it. HASHI went to run the ropes, but Suzuki surprised him with a running dropkick up against the ropes. Suzuki lifted HASHI and nailed him with slaps and punches to the body over and over. HASHI fired back with a superkick and got an inside cradle for a near fall! HASHI went for the butterfly lock, but Suzuki slipped out and nailed him with a big forearm. He hit another big forearm and went for the Gotch piledriver. He lifted HASHI up and kneeled on top of HASHI for the win.
WINNER: Minoru Suzuki at 14:07 (2 pts)
Star rating: (***¼) This got off to a bit of a slow start with Suzuki dominating, but HASHI made a good comeback. The match got good very late, but other than that it just seemed to be a matter of time before Suzuki won.
Suzuki went after the ref after the match. He then went after Kelly on commentary and asked him if he wanted a choke.
(8) EVIL (2) vs. Togi Makabe (4) in a G1 Climax 28 A Block match. They went back and forth during the early going and Makabe caught EVIL with a shoulder tackle. EVIL rolled to the floor and Makabe followed. Makabe whipped EVIL into the guardrail. He charged at EVIL, but EVIL tripped him into the guardrail. EVIL put a chair around Makabe’s neck and nailed it with another chair. Makabe slowly got back into the ring, but EVIL tossed him right back out and dragged him into the crowd. He walked Makabe up the stands. EVIL went for Darkness Falls, but Makabe fought out of it. He measured Makabe and went for a clothesline, but Makabe blocked it! Makabe then caught EVIL with a big clothesline and he fell to the concrete in the stands. The fans fired up and chanted for Makabe. Makabe walked EVIL back down to ringside and tossed him into the ringpost. Makabe then took control inside the ring. EVIL blocked a kick and tossed Makabe’s boot to the ref before nailing him with a thrust kick to the stomach. EVIL hit a bronco buster in the corner a short time later for a 2 count. EVIL went for the Banshee Muzzle, but Makabe blocked it. EVIL got a front choke a short time later. He then rolled through on Makabe and got the Banshee Muzzle. Makabe eventually got his foot on the bottom rope.
Makabe fired back with some big overhand chops, but EVIL hit a fisherman buster for a 2 count. The fans fired up and chanted for Makabe. EVIL set up for Darkness Falls and hit it for a near fall. EVIL set up for Everything is EVIL, but Makabe fought out of it. Both men went back and forth hitting clothesline, but neither man would go down. They both hit clotheslines at the same time at the 10 minute mark. They bother hit clotheslines at the same time, but this time Makabe went down and EVIL hit Everything is EVIL for the win.
WINNER: EVIL at 10:46 (4 pts)
Star rating: (**½) – Not much to this one with EVIL in control most of the match and never in any danger of losing. This should serve as a big momentum builder for EVIL going forward.
(9) Bad Luck Fale (w/Tanga Loa) (2) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (2) in a G1 Climax 28 A Block match. The ref gave Loa a warning before the match started.The bell rang and Tanahashi charged at Fale and hit a big dropkick in the corner. He then went after Fale’s leg. Fale charged at Tanahashi in the corner, but he got out of the way and hit a chop block. Fale charged at Tanahashi again, but he tripped him and tried to tie his legs up on the mat, but Fale got to the ropes. Tanahashi caught Fale with a cannonball off the apron to the floor a short time later and the fans fired up and chanted for him. Fale countered a whip on the floor and whipped Tanahashi over the barricade. Fale grabbed a chair and got into the ring. The ref tried to cut him off, which allowed Loa to attack Tanahashi on the floor. Fale tied up Tanahashi in the ropes and put his weight down on him. Fale hit a slam and sat down on top of Tanahashi’s chest for a 2 count. He then worked a nerve hold. Fale hit right and left clotheslines on Tanahashi in the corner. Tanahashi fired back with a series of dropkicks to Fale’s leg. He went for a German, but Fale blocked it.Tanahashi hit a dragon screw a short time later and the fans chanted for Tanahashi. Tanahashi set up for the Texas Cloverleaf. He struggled to turn Fale over, but he did it! He then fully applied the hold on Fale. Fale used his legs to fight Tanahashi off and he spilled through the ropes to the floor. Fale tried to get back into the ring a short time later, but Tanahashi caught him with a dragon screw around the ropes. Tanahashi went for a sunset flip, but Fale sat down on him for a 2 count.
Fale hit a running splash off the ropes for a 2 count. They went back and forth and Fale hit a big clothesline. He went for The Grenade, but Tanahashi blocked it. Fale then hit the Samoan drop a short time later for a 2 count. Fale set up for the Bad Luck Fall, but Tanahashi turned into into a dragoncanrana for a 2 count. Tanahashi got another pinning combination for a 2 count. Tanahashi went for an inside cradle, buti Fale blocked it. Tanahashi then hit Twist and Shout. The fans chanted go acea and Tanahashi finally hit the Sling Blade. He went up top for the High Fly Flow, but Fale got out of the way! Fale hit a big splash in the corner. He followed up with The Grenade for a near fall! Fale set up for the Bad Luck Fall, but Tanahashi countered it at the last second into a SLING BLADE! Tanahashi went up top and hit HIGH FLY FLOW for the apparent win, but Loa dragged the ref out ot the floor. Loa put the hoots to Tanahashi. The match had gotten SO good at that moment. Loa held Tanahashi up, but he ducked and Fale clotheslined Loa. Tanahashi hit the Sling Blade on Fale, but Tonga ran into the ring and hit the Gun Stun. The ref rolled into the ring with Tonga clearly standing in the ring. The ref thought about counting it, but then he flipped Fale off and called for the DQ. WOW!
WINNER: Hiroshi Tanahashi at 16:47 via DQ (4 pts)
Star rating: (***¾) – This was really well done. I thought for sure the ref was going to count the win for Fale when it was clear that Tonga had interfered, but he stood up to the Tongans and flipped off Fale and called for the DQ, which was great. The match really peaked well down the stretch and Tanahashi hitting the High Fly Flow for the win would have been the perfect ending, but I liked how the interference was handled to restore a shred of credibility to the ref’s in NJPW.
Fale went after the ref, but The Young Lions managed to pull him to the floor after the match. Fale kicked some other Young Lions away from Tanahashi. Tonga and Fale then began to put a beating on Tanahashi. Loa got into the ring to join them. The fans booed as they stood over Tanahashi. Loa, Tonga, and Fale ended up leaving the ring to boos. The fans then fired up and chanted for Tanahashi. Fale got in on the English commentary and yelled things I couldn’t understand.
Kazuchika Okada shot some balloons into the crowd and swung some other balloons around at ringside before getting into the ring.
(10) Kazuchika Okada (0) vs. Hangman Page (2) in a G1 Climax 28 A Block match. Okada offered Page a clean break and smiled at Page. Page got upset as Okada continued to smile at him and he told Page to bring it. Okada tripped Page and smiled again. Okada smiled at the fans and Page clotheslined him to the floor and followed up with a big dive. He called Tanahashi a “piece of s–t.” He said, “This is Okada now” to the fans. Kelly said Page wanted to wrestle The Rainmaker and not this version of Okada. Page began working Okada over back inside the ring. He caught Okada with a standing SSP a short time later for a 2 count. Page hit a slingshot senton a short time later and posed as the fans applauded at the 5 minute mark. Okada finally fired back and hit a DDT and both men were down. Okada caught Page with a big elbow off the ropes. Kelly said that Page’s taunt had woken Okada up. Okada hit a flapjack, but only got a 2 count. Okada hit a dropkick on Page while he was on the top turnbuckle and he spilled to the floor. Okada booted Page over the barricade. Page fired back and hit the Buckshot Lariat over the guardrail. WOW! Page went for a moonsault back inside the ring, but Okada rolled out of the way. Page avoided a dropkick at the 10 minute mark and went for the Rite of Passage. Okada got out and went for the tombstone, but Page countered it and hit his package tombstone for a near fall. WOW! The fans chanted for Page after the near fall.
Page went for Rite of Passage again, but Okada grabbed the ropes. Page let Okada go and he eventually went up top, but Page cut him off. Page went for a superplex, but Okada hit some punches to the body. He then sent Page to the mat with a forearm. Page got up and nailed Okada with a forearm. He then hit a swinging neck breaker off the top on Okada. Okada rolled to the floor and the fans fired up. Page went up top and hit a moonsault to the floor. WOW! He tossed Okada right back into the ring and the fans chanted his name. Page hit the Buckshot Lariat, but Okada kicked out. WOW! Page signaled for the end and went for Rite of Passage, but Oakda turned it into a pinning combination for a 2 count. Page landed on his feet after a German attempt from Okada. Okada didn’t see it and Page caught him with a HUGE dropkick in the corner. Okada then countered Page and hit a tombstone and both men were down. WOW! Okada glared at Page and hit him with a forearm. The announcers noted Okada wasn’t smiling now. They went back and forth trading blows. Page shook off an uppercut and hit a big rolling elbow. Okada then reversed a whip and hit a dropkick on Page. Page ducked a Rainmaker and hit a superkick. Page went for another Buckshot Lariat. Okada ducked it and went for the Rainmaker, but Page escaped and hit a powerbomb. Page hit a rolling elbow and the fans fired up. Page went for Rite of Passage, but Okada slipped out and hit a rolling lariat. Okada then hit a big Rainmaker on Page for the win.
WINNER: Kazuchika Okada at 16:38 (2 pts)
Star rating: (****) – This was a great match. Okada finally ends his losing streak in the ring and gets 2 points on the board. Page made Okada turn serious and it paid off for Okada in the end, as he was able to counter the Rite of Passage constantly. Page’s stock continues to grow during this tournament. He’s been really good so far.
Okada got on the mic and said he had finally gotten his first win. He said it was a pretty good win too. He thanked the fans and they applauded. Okada faked like he was going to cry as the fans chanted his name. He said the G1 just started and walked out of the ring.
The cameras followed Okada backstage to the post-match press conference. He said he was sorry it took so long for him to win. He said some people were saying he was getting bored. He apologized for being board and said sometimes that happens. Okada was asked how he felt about the result today. Okada said there were a lot of questions, but the fans were able to enjoy the matches tonight, so from here on out he’s going to give it his all. He said he’s going to keep enjoying this no matter what to conclude his comments.
Overall thoughts: This was a good night of block action. I was beginning to get annoyed with the amount of cheating being allowed from Jay White and The Firing Squad during the tournament, but seeing Red Shoes stand up to Fale and flip him off before calling for the DQ was great.
It’s been fun watching White progress from a character standpoint. He’s been great in this tournament with his facial expressions and mannerisms fitting his dark character. He’s come a long way recently and has seemed to find himself as a character.
The other wrestler that’s breaking out is Hangman Page. Page has showed flashes of great potential in ROH, but this tournament is allowing him to match up with some great talent in singles matches and he’s improving by leaps and bounds. The fans really got behind him during his match with Okada and he put up one hell of a fight before Okada got serious and got the win. Page is still set up to have a great run in the A block going forward.
I’m not sure Tama Tonga, Bad Luck Fale, and Tanga Loa have the presence to pull off being a dominant heel faction. They’re getting a big push right now, but it comes across as lame interference than heels getting good heat. Fale and Tanahashi put together a really good match that got better as it went along. The ref refusing to count the win for Fale was great, but Fale, Tonga, and Loa did very little after the match to get their heat back after the ref stood up to them. Heck, they just left Tanahashi down on the mat and didn’t even put a beating on him.
This was a good night of A block action. If you’re pressed for time, make sure you watch Hangman Page vs. Kazuchika Okada. Jay White vs. Michael Elgin and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Bad Luck Fale are worth a look as well if you’re not pressed for time.
STANDINGS AFTER NIGHT 5
Jay White (3-0, 6 pts)
Togi Makabe (2-1, 4 pts)
Michael Elgin (2-1, 4 pts)
EVIL (2-1, 4 pts)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (2-1, 4 pts)
Hangman Page (1-2, 2 pts)
Bad Luck Fale (1-2, 2 pts)
Minoru Suzuki (1-2, 2 pts)
Kazuchika Okada (1-2, 2 pts)
YOSHI-HASHI (0-3, 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 5
(10) Kazuchika Okada vs. Hangman Page (****)
Contact Sean at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Sean on Twitter @sr_torch.