SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
RADICAN’S G1 CLIMAX 28: NIGHT 9 REPORT
JULY 27, 2018
ACT CITY HAMAMATSU
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 (Hirooki Goto & YOH) beat Toa Henare & Shota Umino.
(2) G.O.D. (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) beat Suzuki-Gun (Zack Sabre Jr. & Taka Michinoku)
(3) Juice Robinson & David Finlay beat CHAOS (Toru Yano & Gedo).
(4) Kota Ibushi & Yujiro Takahashi beat CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & SHO).
(5) L.I.J. (Tetsuya Naito & SANADA) beat Bullet Club (Kenny Omega & Chase Owens).
A BLOCK RESULTS & ANALYSIS
(6) Minoru Suzuki (w/El Desperado) (4) vs. Michael Elgin (4) in a G1 Climax A Block match. Suzuki got the armbar in the ropes early, but Elgin flexed Suzuki up and punched him in the head. Desperado distracted the ref and Suzuki went to town on Elgin with a chair on the floor a short time later. He went after Elgin’s arm and tired it around the ringpost. Suzuki then took Elgin into the crowd and nailed him with a chair to the gut. He then wrapped Elgin’s arm in another chair and worked it over with a submission. Desperado kept the ref from getting to Elgin and Suzuki in the crowd. Suzuki knocked the ref over to stop his count. He then went after Elgin in the crowd. Suzuki went after Elgin’s arm once again on the floor. Suzuki wrapped Elgin’s arm around the barricade and then nailed it with a running kick. Elgin tried to go after Suzuki with his good hand. He nailed Suzuki with an enzuguri. He tried to suplex him with one arm, but could not. He eventually caught Suzuki with a powerslam. Elgin hit a big running forearm, but hurt his own arm in the process. Elgin hit a slingshot splash, but hurt his arm again in the process. Suzuki mounted a comeback and hit a PK for a 2 count. He then went right after Elgin’s other arm. He switched to an arm bar and got it, but Elgin got to the ropes with his foot. Suzuki shrugged off a chop from Elgin and smiled. He hit Elgin with a forearm and Elgin hunched over. They went back and forth trading blows. Suzuki hit a crisp forearm and Elgin went down to the mat at the 10 minute mark. Elgin fired back and hit a big forearm with his bad arm. Suzuki went after Elgin’s good arm. Elgin hit a German, but Suzuki kicked out and locked in a nasty arm submission. He went for an armbar, but Elgin held on and slammed Suzuki down to the mat.
Elgin hit a big running clothesline with his bad arm for a 2 count. Elgin hit a buckle bomb. He set up for the Elgin Bomb, but Suzuki slipped off him and went for the choke. Elgin threw him off quickly to get out of it. Elgin hit a superkick and went for a tiger bomb and connected for a 2 count. WOW! Elgin went to bounce off the ropes, but Suzuki surprised him with a big running dropkick. Suzuki hit a combination of left and right strikes. He went for the choke, but Elgin got him up on his shoulders. Suzuki got a guillotine and Elgin tried to lift him up for a suplex. Suzuki slipped around him and got the choke. He then hit the Gotch Style Piledriver quickly for the win. WOW!
WINNER: Minoru Suzuki at 14:08 (6 pts)
Star rating: (***¾) – This was really good with Suzuki going after both of Elgin’s arm. The finish was so quick that it came across as a shock that Suzuki managed to hit the Gotch so quickly.
(7) EVIL (6) vs. Hangman Page (2) in a G1 Climax 28 A Block match. Today is Hangman Page’s birthday. Page and EVIL both went for their finishes early. Page bailed to the floor after the opening sequence before returning to the ring. EVIL hit a big shoulder tackle that sent Page back to the outside a short time later. Page went under the ring and grabbed a chair. EVIL shoved the ref away and Page tossed the chair to EVIL and nailed him with a running kick. EVIL fired back and went for a senton, but Page rolled out of the way. EVIL blocked a kick and tossed Page’s foot ot the ref. EVIL then nailed Page with a kick and both men were down. Kelly said EVIL can’t afford a loss to Hangman Page given the upcoming big names that he’s facing. EVIL clotheslined Page to the floor and followed him to the outside. He tossed Page into the guardrail multiple times. EVIL went under the ring and grabbed a pair of chairs. He went and got another chair. He tossed it into the ring and the ref went after it. EVIL then set up a chair around Page’s neck and he swung for the fences. Page managed to get back into the ring, but EVIL greeted him with a Bronco Buster for a 2 count. Page ducked a rolling elbow and hit a big dropkick in the corner. He then hit a big German for a 2 count. Page went up top and hit a HUGE moonsault to the floor. Page and EVIL both screamed after Page connected with the moonsault. Page rolled EVIL into the ring and went up top. He went for a moonsault, but EVIL got out of the way. He landed on his face and hit a standing SSP on EVIL for a 2 count. WOW!
Page placed EVIL up top and hit a big chop. He set up for a neck breaker, but EVIL tried to fight him off. Page shoved EVIL to the mat and set up for a moonsault, but EVIL crotched him. They battled up top again. EVIL hit a headbutt and turned Page inside out with a belly to back superplex for a 2 count. EVIL sold his knee like it had given out after hitting the superplex. EVIL struggled, but lifted Page up for Darkness Falls for a 2 count. EVIL signaled for the end, but Page blocked Everything is EVIL. EVIL went for a discus elbow, but Page cut him off with a superkick and both men were down. Both men got up and went right at it. They went for clotheslines at the same time and EVIL got the better of the second exchange. Page ducked a lariat and then landed on his feet out of a German attempt. He then hit the Buckshot Lariat for a near fall. WOW! The fans chanted for Page. EVIL blocked the Rite of Passage. Page slipped out of Everything is Evil a short time later. They went back and forth and EVIL hit a headbutt and a big lariat for a near fall. WOW! EVIL signaled for the end again and hit Everything is EVIL for the win. WOW!
WINNER: EVIL at 15:37 (8 pts)
Star rating: (***¾) – This was a great back and forth match. They really picked up the action at times and delivered a really satisfying match that was built around counters. EVIL getting to 8 points this quickly should keep him alive until the final days of the tournament.
(8) Bad Luck Fale (w/Tonga Loa) (2) vs. Jay White (6) in a G1 Climax 28 A Block match. This will be an interesting battle of the cheaters here. White slid out of the ring and attacked Loa. Fale went after White, but he tossed Loa right into the guardrail. Fale got back into the ring and White immediately attacked him. Fale fired back and whipped White head-first into the corner. Fale distracted the ref by grabbing a chair and Loa ended up going to town on White on the outside. Fale went after White on the floor, but he drove him hard into the barricade. White then grabbed Fale and ran him into another section of the guardrail. White tossed Fale into a pile of chairs in the crowd. He then attacked one of the Young Lions. He whipped a Young Lion into Fale. He then attacked yet another Young Lion and slammed him right into Fale. White turned his attention to Loa and Fale attacked him from behind. Fale tossed White into a pile of chairs. The fans aren’t reacting at all to this match. The commentary is gone as well. White got back into the ring and Fale stood on top of him while using the ropes for leverage. White fired back and dropkicked Fale’s leg.
White hit a big running uppercut on Fale, who was tied up in the ropes. He then brought him back into the ring with a draping DDT for a 2 count. White went for the Saito suplex, but Fale blocked it. White kicked Fale’s leg several times to ground him. He slapped Fale on top of the head and Fale fired up suddenly and wiped him out with a shoulder tackle. Fale hit a big splash in the corner and followed up with a splash in the middle of the ring for a near fall. White slid out of the Bad Luck Fall. He fired back and hit a Saito suplex. White went for Blade Runner, but Fale fired up. White then drove Fale into the ref at the 10 minute mark. Loa ran into the ring and attacked White as the fans booed. Tama Tonga came down to the ring with a chair. He set up for a Gun Stun on the chair, but White shoved him into Fale. He wiped out Loa. White then hit a low blow on Fale and laughed. Tonga recovered and hit a Gun Stun on White. Fale then hit the Bad Luck Fall. The ref magically recovered and counted to 3.
WINNER: Bad Luck Fale at 11:42 (4 pts)
Star rating: (¼*) – There’s 11:42 of my life that I’ll never get back. Terrible.
(9) Hiroshi Tanahashi (6) vs. Togi Makabe (4) in a G1 Climax 28 A Block match. The commentary is still out on the English side. The fans fired up and chanted for Tanahashi after the opening bell rang. Kevin Kelly finally came back on air during the early stages of the match. Makabe took Tanahashi down with a shoulder tackle during the early going. Rocky Romero’s mic still wasn’t working. He finally came in on commentary. Kelly said it was White’s fault for the commentary going out as he whipped Fale right into their setup through the guardrail. Makabe hit a big clothesline in the corner. He then mounted Tanahashi and hit his signature punches. Makabe caught Tanahashi with a big lariat off the ropes a short time later. Tanahashi fired back and hit a dragon screw, but Makabe caught him with a powerslam off the ropes and both men were down. They traded blows and Makabe eventually wiped Tanahashi with a short lariat. Makabe hit the kneeling powerbomb a short time later for a 2 count. Makabe set up Tanahashi for the Spider German, but Tanahashi hit some elbows. Makabe leaned over and then rose back up. He slammed Tanahashi’s head into the ringpost. They battled up top and Tanahashi hung Makabe upside down again. Makabe popped up and hit a belly to belly suplex. He then went for the King Kong Knee Drop, but Tanahashi got out of the way. Tanahashi hit a sling blade, but Makabe kicked out at 1. Tanahashi went right up top and hit a standing High Fly Flow. He went up top again and hit the traditional High Fly Flow for the win.
WINNER: Hiroshi Tanahashi at 12:01 (8 pts)
Star rating: (***) – This went 12 minutes, but it felt shorter than that. The action was good, but Tanahashi went over without too much drama here. Tanahashi moves into a tie for first place with EVIL at 8 points.
(10) Kazuchika Okada (4) vs. YOSHI-HASHI (2) in a G1 Climax 28 A Block match. This is a matchup of CHAOS stablemates. Okada soaked in some chants. He then took off his shirt and fired it at HASHI. HASHI fired up and sent Okada to the floor. He whipped Okada into the guardrail on the floor. He then whipped Okada through the section of the barricade where the gate is. Okada fired back and sent HASHI over the guardrail with a running boot. He then tossed HASHI into a pile of chairs. He then fired a couple of chairs at HASHI. Romero said both men were frustrated and had had a hard tournament so far. Okada hit a DDT on the floor and HASHI managed to make it back into the ring at 18. The fans fired up behind HASHI. He hit a couple of forearms and Okada told him to bring it. Okada then hit a big uppercut. Okada missed a running elbow in the corner. They went back and forth trying to go for a suplex. HASHI floated Okada over and hit a neck breaker. HASHI followed up with a running blockbuster off the ropes a short time later. They went back and forth and Okada countered a powerbomb into a hurricanrana. He then hit a shotgun dropkick that sent HASHI flying into the corner. Okada went up top and hit a missile dropkick that sent HASHI flying across the ring. He then hit his signature neck breaker, but he sat out on it. Okada then hit a big Rainmaker, but HASHI kicked out at 2 and the fans gasped.
HASHI countered a tombstone and got a rollup for a near fall. Okada went for a Rainmaker, but HASHI countered it into one of his own! WOW! HASHI hit a powerbomb and went into a jackknife pin for a near fall. He hit a running meteora for another 2 count. He went up top for a swanton, but Okada got out of the way. Okada hit a dropkick to HASHI’s back. He then hit his signature dropkick. Okada went for a Rainmaker, but HASHI held on to his arm and got the Butterfly Lock. Okada got to his feet, but HASHI suplexed him and held onto the Butterfly Lock. Okada tried to get to his feet again. This time he blocked a suplex and went for a Tombstone, but HASHI slipped out. HASHI hit a dropkick to Okada’s back. HASHI rolled out of the corner with Okada a short time later and got the Butterfly Lock again. Okada struggled and teased tapping. He went for the ropes, but HASHI dragged him back to the middle of the ring. Okada looked like he was going to tap, but he began making his way towards the ropes. He changed direction again and managed to get his foot on the bottom rope. WOW! The fans fired up as both men regrouped.
HASHI hit some light kicks to Okada’s head and then some BIG kicks to his back. Okada glared at HASHI and got in his face. He grabbed HASHI by the throat and began hitting forearms. The ref brought him back from the ropes and HASHI fired back with several forearms and Okada went down. HASHI caught Okada with a western lariat a short time alter for a near fall. HASHI went for Karma, but Okada slipped out of it. HASHI hit a big slap to Okada’s face. Okada fired up and ate a superkick. HASHI then hit a big Fisherman Buster variation, but OKADA KICKED OUT!. WOW! Okada countered Karma and hit a spinning Rainmaker a short time later. He lifted HASHI up and hit another Rainmaker for the win. WOW!
WINNER: Kazuchika Okada at 19:41 (6 pts)
Star rating: (***¾) – Okada is showing a more serious edge and picking up wins in spite of his new carefree personality. Once again, HASHI had a really good performance in a G1 match.
Okada was going to leave without cutting a promo. The fans chanted his name, so he got back into the ring and grabbed the mic. He said he had gotten his third win. Romero had trouble translating the rest of the promo. Okada teased crying during his promo and thanked the fans. He then said something and the fans laughed. A big Okada chant started in the building. He closed by thanking the fans.
Okada was shown cutting a promo backstage, but we don’t have a translator for this show.
Overall thoughts: This was a solid night of A Block action. There wasn’t anything really going out of your way to see, but there was a nice selection of matches close to four stars including Suzuki-Elgin and Page-EVIL during the early going.
The only real down note on the night was the third block match between Jay White and Bad Luck Fale. The crowd didn’t care about the match and then they did a terrible ref bump and a lame finish to give Fale the win. This was easily one of the worst G1 matches I’ve seen.
Tanahashi-Makabe was good, but it felt like something was off. It went 12 minutes, but the finish felt very abrupt.
The main event was really good between HASHI and Okada. Okada seems a bit off still, but now that he’s wrestling with a serious edge since Hangman Page woke him up, he’s on a roll. HASHI has been very good in this tournament and has made the fans believe he can beat just about anyone and he brought the fans into this match with a great effort. He got a really good near fall late, but ultimately fell short. I think this is a safe night to skip if you’re looking for a G1 breather. EVIL and Tanahashi are your leaders after night 9, but there are several right behind them in contention.
STANDINGS AFTER NIGHT 9
EVIL (4-1, 8 pts)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (4-1, 8 pts)
Jay White (3-2, 6 pts)
Minoru Suzuki (3-2, 6 pts)
Kazuchika Okada (3-2, 6 pts)
Togi Makabe (2-3, 4 pts)
Bad Luck Fale (2-3, 4 pts)
Michael Elgin (2-3, 4 pts)
Hangman Page (1-4, 2 pts)
YOSHI-HASHI (1-4, 2pts)
Kenny Omega (4-0, 8 pts)
Tetsuya Naito (3-1, 6 pts)
SANADA (3-1, 6 pts)
Kota Ibushi (2-1, 4 pts)
Hirooki Goto (2-2, 4 pts)
Tomohiro Ishii (2-2, 4 pts)
Zack Sabre Jr. (2-2, 2 pts)
Tama Tonga (1-3, 2 pts)
Toru Yano (1-3, 2 pts)
Juice Robinson (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 28.
Match recommendations for G1 Climax 28: Night 9
Contact Sean at email@example.com. Follow Sean on Twitter @sr_torch.