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RADICAN’S G1 CLIMAX 28: NIGHT 18 REPORT
AUG. 11, 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) David Finlay & Michael Elgin beat Shota Umino & Toa Henare.
(2) Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & Tanga Loa) beat Bullet Club (Chase Owens & Hangman Page)
(3) Bullet Club (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson & Marty Scurll) beat CHAOS (SHO & YOH & Jay White).
(4) L.I.J. (EVIL & BUSHI) beat Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki & El Desperado).
(5) Hiroshi Tanahashi & Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma beat CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASIH & Gedo).
B BLOCK RESULTS & ANALYSIS
Tetsuya Naito, Kenny Omega, and Kota Ibushi are still alive to win the B block.
(6) Toru Yano (4) vs. Tama Tonga (6) (w/Tanga Loa) in a G1 Climax 28 B Block match. Kelly reminded viewers that if the Tongans interfere in any matches in the tournament it’s a three month suspension and a fine per president Harold Meij. The fans chanted with Yano for Loa to get out of there. The ref sent Loa to the back. The fans applauded as Loa walked to the back. Yano got a pair of rollups right off the back for a pair of near falls. Tonga tossed Yano to the floor and choked him against the guardrail, but the ref eventually pulled him away. Tonga choked Yano back inside the ring and Tonga shoved him away multiple times. Tonga shoved the ref down again and Yano hit a big belly to belly suplex. He then hit a chop block on Tonga from behind and the fans fired up. Bad Luck Fale and Tanga Loa came down to ringside, but several officials held them back. Yano turned his attention to them, so Tonga jumped him from behind. Tonga choked Yano, so he threw the ref out of the ring when he tried to stop him. Another ref grabbed Tonga by the hair to break up a choke. Tonga turned around and hit a gun stun. President Miej came out to back the Tongans off as a DQ was called for.
WINNER: Toru Yano via DQ at 5:55 (6 pts)
Star rating: (n/a) – This was just more of the same from the Tongans. How long until Meij wrestlers Omega for the title?
Several officials came out to get rid of the Tongans. Meij pointed them to the back and they eventually left.
(7) IWGP U.S. Champion Juice Robinson (4) vs. NEVER Openweight Champion Hirooki Goto (6) in a G1 Climax 28 B Block match. It was once again announced that Robinson can’t use his left hand with the cast in this match or it will be a DQ. After the bell, Robinson took the wrap off his hand. Robinson removed the protective plastic and showed the ref so that he can use his hand. Goto went for a choke from inside the ring with Robinson on the apron, but Robinson snapped his arm down over the top rope. Kelly noted that Sabre had done a lot of damage to Goto’s arm recently. Robinson followed up with a cannonball in the corner a short time later. Robinson hit some big forearms and told Goto to bring it. Goto blocked a kick, but ate a straight jab when he went for a headbutt. Robinson bounced off the ropes and ran right into a kick to the chest. Goto went on the attack and hit a Saito suplex for a 2 count. Robinson fired back and went for his signature punches, but Goto ducked the big left. He then ran right into a spinebuster a short time later and the fans fired up. Both men ran into each other and hit clotheslines multiple times. Goto finally went down and Robinson bounced off the ropes only to walk right into an Ushigoroshi. Robinson fired back a short time later and hit the Juice Box and both men were down. On the mat. Robinson countered the GTR and they went back and forth jockeying for position. They continued to go back and forth. Goto went for Shouten Kai, but Robinson landed on his feet. Goto finally hit a reverse GTR to end the sequence and both men were down.
Robinson went for Pulp Friction at the 10 minute mark, but Goto countered it into the Shibata sleeper. Robinson countered and went for Pulp Friction again, but Goto pushed him off. Goto blocked a kick from Goto and hit the Left Hand of God followed by Pulp Friction for the win.
WINNER:: Juice Robinson at 10:35 (6 pts)
Star rating: (***¼) – This was a good match and a much needed win for Robinson, as he beats another singles champion and ends the tournament on a high note after dropping a lot of matches early in the tournament. Goto has an out with his arm being in bad shape heading into the match.
Robinson told Kelly after the match that he earned those two points. He gave a little boy his title and flexed with him after the match. That was great.
It was announced to the crowd that the BC OG’s had been escorted out of the building
(8) SANADA (8) vs. Tomohiro Ishii (8) in a G1 Climax 28 B Block match. They went back and forth to kick the match off and came to a stalemate. They had a chop battle that Ishii got the better of, but he went off the ropes and ran right into SANADA’s signature dropkick combination. SANADA immediately followed up with a slingshot splash to the floor. Kelly mentioned that Ishii was due some title shots after beating Robinson, Omega, and Goto in B block action. SANADA worked a chinlock and Ishii began to fade, but ultimately he got his foot on the ropes. SANADA hit some kicks to Ishii’s chest and he glared at him. He then hit some punches and Ishii looked at him like was stupid. Ishii began leaning into SANADA’s forearms. He decked SANADA with a single big forearm a short time later. Ishii followed up with the stalling brainbuster off the top for a near fall. WOW! They went back and forth and SANADA eventually caught Ishii with a big Frankensteiner and both men were down. SANADA exploded over the top rope and hit a missile dropkick. He went for a TKO, but Ishii landed on his feet and grabbed the Skull End! WOW! Ishii tried to put the hooks in, but SANADA slid out and hit Ishii’s sliding lariat! WOW! SANADA moonsaulted into the Skull End. Ishii tried to reverse it, but SANADA hit him with a twisting neck breaker with his legs draped over the top rope. SANADA hit a big backdrop later a short time later, but Ishii got right back up. Ishii hit a Saito suplex and SANADA got right up. They went back and forth and Ishii decked SANADA with a big clothesline.
Ishii hit a Last Ride and stacked SANADA up for a near fall. He hit a sliding lariat a short time later for a 2 count. Ishii went for the Vertical Drop Brainbuster multiple times, but SANADA blocked it. SANADA countered into the Skull End and Ishii slipped out only to walk right into a HUGE clothesline. SANADA got the Skull End with the hooks in a short time later. The fans fired up and chanted for Ishii. Ishii got partially out, but SANADA got the hold again. SANADA let go of the hold when Ishii went limp. Ishii rolled out of the way and SANADA landed on his knee and favored it. Ishii went right after his leg with a big chop block and both men were down. WOW! SANADA blocked a headbutt with an uppercut. He continued to hit Ishii with big uppercuts. Ishii went for a German, but SANADA landed on his feet. They went back and forth and SANADA hit a spinning back kick and a tiger suplex with a bridge for a near fall. SANADA went up top for the Muto moonsault, but Ishii got out of the way and hit a shining wizard. WOW! Ishii hitting Muto’s move on his trainee. The fans fired up and SANADA ducked a lariat. He rolled through into Skull End. They went back and forth as Ishii went for the Vertical Brainbuster. Ishii got the Skull End a short time later and they went back and forth. Ishii hit a big lariat, but SANADA stayhed on his feet. Ishii obliterated SANADA with two big lariats for a near fall. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Ishii then hit the Vertical Drop Brainbuster for the win. What a match!
WINNER: Tomohiro Ishii at 16:59
Star rating: (****½) – This was a tremendous match and it felt personal with both men hitting each other’s moves on each other. They had some great counter sequences and Ishii ducking the Muta moonsault and hitting a shining wizard was a great touch.
(9) Zack Sabre Jr. (w/Taka Michinoku) (10) vs. Tetsuya Naito (12) in a G1 Climax 28 B block win. Sabre has made it his goal to prevent Naito from making it to the finals. Naito needs a win and a Kenny Omega loss to make it to the finals. Naito got a HUGE pop making his entrance. Sabre went after Naito, who kept dodging him by sliding in and out of the ring. Naito told Sabre to calm down. Naito told Sabre to get back into the ring. Naito pointed to his wrist and Sabre to get back into the ring. Naito went around Sabre and hit his pose, but Sabre jumped right on him and grabbed an arm bar before mocking Naito’s pose when he got to the ropes. Sabre countered Naito and used his legs to target his head. Naito ducked a charge in the corner and went for his signature dropkick, but Sabre countered it with a leg sweep and Naito was down on the outside. Sabre wrapped his legs around Naito’s head and floated all around him and continued to work him over on the mat. Naito got a headscissor counter of his own. Sabre got right out of it and stood on Naito’s neck and back and hit his pose. Naito got up and was pissed. He began nailing Sabre with some big chops. Naito fired back and hit a dropkick to Sabre’s back and both men were down. The fans fired up and chanted for Naito. Naito went on the attack and this time was successful in hitting his signature dropkick in the corner. Naito then hit his pose and the fans applauded. Naito caught Sabre’s leg in the corner. Sabre kept kicking him with his other foot, so Naito spit in his face. Naito hit a neck breaker off the ropes and another neck breaker and the fans fired up. Romero said there’s some tension between these two. Kelly said Naito had heard Sabre’s statement about his fans and the fans of L.I.J. Sabre got an STF out of nowhere and transitioned it into an even tighter variation of the hold, but Naito got to the ropes right before the 10 minute mark.
The announcers mentioned how Sabre had kept his cool thanks to Michinoku advising him during the early stages of the match. Naito and Sabre began trading blows. Sabre went down after a back elbow to the neck. Naito hit some light kicks to Sabre’s head and Sabre fired back with a big slap. Naito fired back and hit a spinning DDT off the ropes a short time later. Naito set up for Gloria, but Sabre countered it into a triangle. Naito tried to get out of it, but Sabre held on. Naito rolled over into a pinning combination for a 2 count. Sabre got right up and hit a PK kick. Sabre went for the Zack Driver, but Naito countered it into a reverse DDT. Sabre sold his arm after hitting an uppercut. Both men began trading big slaps a short time later. Naito hit a slap and followed up with Gloria for a 2 count. Naito went for Destino, but Sabre blocked it with a kick. They went back and forth and Sabre ducked a flying forearm off the ropes and got the octopus hold in the middle of the ring. Sabre couldn’t get a full crank on the hold because of the work Ishii did on his neck. Naito was still in the octopus hold as the 15 minute mark passed. Sabre transitioned the hold and went after Naito’s arm. Naito struggled to ropes and Sabre pulled his hand back. Naito finally collapsed into the ropes to break the hold and both men were down. Kelly said Sabre’s arm problems weren’t going to go away anytime soon. Sabre got up and drilled Naito with another PK. Sabre hit another PK and waited for Naito to get to his knees. Naito caught a kick and hit a German. Naito then hit a flying forearm. Naito went for Destino, but Sabre got the European Clutch for a near fall. Sabre got a bridging pinning combination for a VERY close near fall a short time later. WOW! Naito fired back and went for a running Destino, but Sabre got out of it and got the octopus hold. Naito slipped out and hit a Destino. He went for another Destino, but Sabre slipped out at the last second and hit the Zack Driver for the win. WOW!
Michinoku dove into the ring and celebrated with Sabre. Sabre has just ended Naito’s hopes to reach the finals!
WINNER: Zack Sabre Jr. at 18:12 (12 pts)
Star rating: (****¼) – This was a great match. Sabre dominated Naito on the mat for most of the match. Naito made a great comeback and the finishing sequence was fantastic. Sabre’s mission to deny Naito his chance at the finals is complete.
(10) Kota Ibushi (10) vs. IWGP Hvt. Champion Kenny Omega (12) in G1 Climax B Block match. The winner of this match will go to the finals. Kevin Kelly said they didn’t want to wrestle again out of fear one of them go too far. Omega came out wearing a new jacket and tights. His tights were black with a feather pattern. The Young Bucks were at ringside to support both men. The bell rang and the fans applauded. WOW! Romero said this was purely about winning the B block. Kelly said their body types were now similar because they had been training together. They went at it at a fast pace. Ibushi caught Omega with a dropkick and Omega went to the floor. Ibushi set up for a dive, but Omega dove back into the ring and hit a HUGE chop. Omega followed up with another chop. Ibushi fired back and hit a kick. Omega blocked a kick, but ran into another kick a short time later. Omega went to the floor and Ibushi went for a slingshot splash, but Omega got out of the way. Omega tossed Ibushi into the guardrail and then slammed him onto the apron. Romero said Omega hadn’t been this aggressive since his match with Okada at Dominion. Omega hit the Kotaru Crusher a short time later. Kelly mentioned that Ibushi is the only person to kick out of the One-Winged Angel, which happened back in 2012. Romero said this is the Omega that wins championships. Ibushi hit a big kick and Omega sold frustration. Omega wanted to return the favor, but Ibushi fired back and placed him on the mat before nailing him with several kicks and stomps to the head. They went back and forth and Omega kicked Ibushi into the corner. They continued to go at it at a rapid pace and Omega got his knees up on a moonsault attempt. Omega went for You Can’t Escape, but Ibushi got his knees up. Both men traded Frankensteiners. Ibushi went for the Golden Triangle, but Omega got up and dragged him to the apron.
Omega went for the One-Winged Angel off the apron. Ibushi slipped out and went for an outside in German off the ropes. Omega grabbed Ibushi and hit a package tombstone on the apron. WOW! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Ibushi was on his knees and Omega nailed him with a dropkick to the back of the head. He followed up with a neck breaker over his knee. The fans fired up after Ibushi kicked out. Omega set up for a V Trigger, but Ibushi got out of the way. Omega whipped Ibushi into the ropes and hit a V Trigger to the back of his head. He went for a One-Winged Angel, but Ibushi fought out of it only to eat Croyt’s Wrath for a 2 count. Kelly said the match had been all Omega thus far. Omega measured Ibushi and hit a big V Trigger. Romero said Kenny was bothered by always playing second fiddle to Ibushi in DDT. Omega hit a DDT a short time later. Omega set up for Rise of the Terminator and connected. Both men went crashing into the guardrail when Omega landed on Ibushi! The announcer said 10 minutes had passed. Omega went up top, but Ibushi got up out of nowhere and hit a backflip kick. They battled up top and Ibushi hit a springboard hurricanrana off the top for a 2 count. Ibushi then set up and hit the Golden Triangle and the fans went nuts. WOW! Ibushi went for a springboard, but Omega caught him and went for the One-Winged Angel. Ibushi fired back and decked him with a combination of strikes. He then moonsaulted into a double knee strike for a near fall. WOW! The fans gasped looking at the replay. That was NUTS!
Ibushi set up for the Kamigoye, but Omega side stepped it. They went back and forth and Omega hit a wheel kick to the back of Ibushi’s head. Ibushi went into the corner on his knees. Omega hit a SICK running V Trigger on Ibushi up against the turnbuckle pad. He placed Ibushi up top and set him up for a dragon superplex. Ibushi tried to fight him off, but Omega stayed on top of him at the 15 minute mark. Ibushi stood up and Omega went for the super dragon suplex, but Ibushi landed on his feet! They went back and forth and Ibushi hit a German, but Omega got right up. Ibushi hit a half and half and Omega was out on his feet. Ibushi measured Omega and hit a HUGE lariat and the fans chanted for Ibushi. Ibushi went for the Last Ride and connected for a near fall. Ibushi sold shock. Ibushi went for the Kamigoye again and connected flush, but KENNY KICKED OUT! WOW! Ibushi took his knee pad down, but Omega hung onto his foot to prevent another Kamigoye. Ibushi maintained wrist control as they went back and forth trading blows. Ibushi would not let go of Omega’s wrist. Both men traded short elbows and began to run out of energy. Omega ducked a high kick and hit a V Trigger. WOW! Ibushi got up and hit a combination of strikes, but Omega caught him with a V Trigger up against the ropes. He went off the ropes and ran right into a head kick from Ibushi. WOW! This match is nuts! The fans gasped as Ibushi went up top. He went for a Phoenix Splash, but Omega rolled out of the way. Omega then hit a big V Trigger to the back of Ibushi’s head. He followed up with the Jay-driller for a near fall. WOW!
Omega sold frustration at the 20 minute mark. Kelly mentioned that Omega can advance with a win or a draw. He measured Ibushi and hit a V Trigger. Omega then went for the One-Winged Angel, but Ibushi blocked it. He went for a poison rana, but Omega held on and then dropped Ibushi right on his head for a near fall! WOW! Omega set up for another V Trigger and connected against the ropes. Omega put Ibushi up top and set him up for a super One-Winged Angel. Omega climbed up the ropes with Ibushi on his back, but Ibushi hit a bunch of elbows and then a double stomp. WOW! This match is crazy! Ibushi set Omega up on the top turnbuckle. He then hit a super tiger driver off the top for a near fall. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! The fans exploded as a replay aired of that insane spot. Ibushi set up for the Kamigoye. Kelly mentioned the ref had accidentally been hit, but Ibushi hit the Kamigoye and he recovered and made the 3 count. WOW!
WINNER: Kota Ibushi at 23:11 (12 pts) – WINNER B BLOCK
Star rating: (*****) – What an amazing match. Neither man gave an inch and Omega ran wild at the beginning of the match before Ibushi got on track. They put together some truly insane spots and Budokan Hall was rocking from start to finish for this masterpiece. It was unbelievable how crisp and precise the action was here. The pace they wrestled up was nuts.
Omega and Ibushi embraced in the middle of the ring. They hugged. The Young Bucks helped Ibushi to his feet.
It was announced that Ibushi had won a four-way tie to win the B block. He will face Hiroshi Tanahashi tomorrow in the finals.
Ibushi was left alone in the ring. He addressed Kenny, Matt, and Nick. He thanked them and other members of Bullet Club. Ibushi then thanked all the wrestlers. He said his G1 is not over yet. Tomorrow he is going to win and I’m going to win. Ibushi raised his hands and went to the back arm in arm with Omega and The Young Bucks. They all posed at the top of the entrance ramp before heading to the back.
Omega and Ibushi were shown together backstage. Omega said it’s always tough to lose, especially when you’re champion. Omega said all he can do is support Ibushi so he can win tomorrow. Ibushi was asked his thoughts on the match. He said he doesn’t remember anything about the match. Omega and Ibushi laughed. Ibushi then repeated he really doesn’t remember, which is scary given how high-risk the match was. Omega said he didn’t want to lose, but he wanted someone to evolve and grow to be an appropriate opponent for him in reference to Ibushi. Ibushi was asked about the match again and said he doesn’t have much memory about it.
Ibushi said he went into the match not knowing how he would beat Omega, but all he did was focus on winning. Ibushi said all throughout the G1, he’s been thinking about winning, but there’s still one more match against Tanahashi. He said he always saw Tanahashi as a god. Ibushi said enough talking as Omega answered a question and they walked away together.
Overall thoughts: This was a great night of B block action to determine the finals. I didn’t really see the finals being Tanahashi vs. Ibushi, but they did a nice job of getting to that destination. The B block has been killer and tonight was no different as the last three matches were all great.
Ishii-SANADA and Sabre-Naito were both tremendous matches. Ishii-SANADA felt very personal even though nothing was on the line. Both guys hit each other’s signature moves and really brought the fight in this match.
Sabre was a man possessed and he wanted to end Naito’s hopes of winning G1 and he did just that. He got out of control early, but Michinoku calmed him down and he dominated Naito on the mat for the bulk of the match. The counter of Naito’s Destio into the Zack Driver made for a tremendous finish.
This was very different from the final night of A block action where it seemed like the card was paced to let Okada vs. Tanahashi shine in the main event without anything else really touching it. Ibushi and Omega had a couple of tough acts to follow, but they put together an incredible match that blew me away.
Omega came out of the gates hot, but Ibushi got on track and they put on a classic match. It was everything you would expect from these two, who didn’t even want to wrestle each other again because they were afraid of what they would do to each other. They told a great story here with both guys hitting big move after big move and exchanging crazy moves back and forth at an incredible pace. I had no idea what it would take for either guy to win. Omega kicked out of the Kamigoye and Ibushi had previously kicked out of the One-Winged Angel, but Omega never hit it.
The B block has been great throughout and this is a must-see show. Make sure you at least watch the final three matches on this show before watching the finals tomorrow.
STANDINGS AFTER NIGHT 18
Hiroshi Tanahashi (7-1-1, 15 pts) – WINNER A BLOCK
Kazuchika Okada (6-1–1, 13 pts)
Jay White (6-3, 12 pts)
EVIL (5-4, 10 pts)
Minoru Suzuki (5-4 10 pts)
Togi Makabe (3-6, 6 pts)
Michael Elgin (3-5, 6 pts)
Hangman Page (3-6, 6 pts)
YOSHI-HASHI (3-6, 6 pts)
Bad Luck Fale (2-7, 4 pts)
Kota Ibushi (6-3, 12 pts) – WINNER B BLOCK
Kenny Omega (6-3, 12 pts)
Zack Sabre Jr. (6-3, 12 pts)
Tetsuya Naito (6-3, 12 pts)
Tomohiro Ishii (5-4, 10 pts)
SANADA (4-5, 8 pts)
Hirooki Goto (3-6, 6 pts)
Tama Tonga (3-6, 6 pts)
Toru Yano (3-6, 6 pts)
Juice Robinson (3-6, 6 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 18
(8) Tomohiro Ishii vs. SANADA (****½)
(9) Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Tetsuya Naito (****¼)
(10) Kenny Omega vs. Kota Ibushi (*****)
Contact Sean at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Sean on Twitter @sr_torch.