SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
RADICAN’S G1 CLIMAX 28 FINAL REPORT
AUG. 12, 2018
AIRED LIVE ON NJPW WORLD
Announcers: Kevin Kelly, Rocky Romero, and Chris Charlton.
Note: I will update the undercard with my full analysis and star ratings in the near future.
(1) Tomoaki Honma & Michael Elgin & Togi Makabe beat Yuji Nagata & Shota Umino & Ayato Yoshida.
(2) Bad Luck Fale beat Toa Henare.
(3) Suzuki-Gun (Taichi & Takashi Iizuka) beat CHAOS (Never Openweight Champion Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI.
(4) Cody Rhodes & Hangman page beat IWGP U.S. Champion Juice Robinson & David Finlay. This match was used to tease a future U.S. Championship match between Cody and Robinson.
(5) Bullet Club (Tama Tonga & Taiji Ishimori & Tanga Loa) beat NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Team Champions Bullet Club (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson & Marty Scurll to become the new Never Openweight 6 Man Tag Team Champions. Loa cut a promo before the match that got the Young Bucks and Scurll to put the titles on the line. Tonga hit the Gun Stun on Scurll for the win. Tonga, Ishimori, and Loa threw the titles down after the match. The Young Bucks and Scurll ended up leaving with the belts.
(6) L.I.J. (SANADA & EVIL & Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI) beat Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr. & Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado).
(7) CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Jay White & Toru Yano) beat Bullet Club (IWGP Hvt. Champion Kenny Omega & Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi). This match was used to set up a potential Ishii challenge to Omega’s title. After the match. Ishii grabbed Omega’s belt. Omega then asked the crowd if they wanted the match. Ishii beat Omega in B block action during the tournament.
(8) Rey Mysterio & KUSHIDA & Pro Wrestler Sengoku Enbu beat Kazuchika Okada & SHO & YOH. Mysterio pinned YOH after a 619 and a springboard splash.
(9) G1 CLIMAX 28 FINAL – HIROSHI TANAHASHI (w/Katsuyori Shibata) (A Block Winner) vs. KOTA IBUSHI (w/Kenny Omega) (B block winner)
Kota Ibushi came out first to a good pop from the crowd. Kenny Omega will be in his corner> Hiroshi Tanahashi has Katsuyori Shibata in his corner. This match has no points at stake and no time limit. The bell rang and the fans fired up with a big Tanahashi chant. WOW! Kelly said they had all taken their headphones off to hear the chants. The announcers said the chants were mixed. Charlton told a story about Ibushi leaving home at 18 to train and getting a job as a baggage handler. Tanahashi grounded Ibushi early and went after his arm, but Ibushi got to the ropes. Kelly talked about the match history between them. Ibushi beat Tanahashi in G1 on Aug. 1 where he debuted the Kamigoye, but lost to him at Power Struggle for the IC Championship. After that the Cody vs. Ibushi feud launched. Charlton mentioned that Ibushi calls Tanahashi his god, but he didn’t follow his path. Ibushi didn’t train in the dojo and followed his own path. They went back and forth on the mat as the 5 minute mark passed. The announcers talked about how Tanahashi was critical of Ibushi being involved in the Cody vs. Omega feud. He thought he should be his own man. Tanahashi caught Ibushi with a dropkick to the knee. Tanahashi then began working over both of Ibushi’s legs. Ibushi fired back and caught Tanahashi with a kick to the midsection. Ibushi hit a powerslam and a moonsault out of the corner, but he favored his leg after getting a 2 count. Ibushi hit a dropkick and Tanahashi rolled to the floor. The fans fired up and Ibushi set up for the Golden Triangle. Kelly said Tanahashi had actually blocked the dropkick and tried to bait Ibushi. Tanahashi went for a dropkick to Ibushi’s legs on the apron, but Ibushi jumped over him and hit a double stomp. WOW! Ibushi kept eating kick after kick. He finally blocked one and hit a dragon screw and the fans fired up. Tanahashi baited Ibushi into going for those kicks over and over and it finally paid off for him. Tanhasahashi hit a big dropkick in the corner, but Ibushi came out of the corner with a double stomp! WOW! Tanahashi hit a running dropkick that sent Ibushi to the floor. Tanahashi went up top, but Ibushi ran into the ring. He set up for a lawn dart, but Tanahashi turned it into a Sling Blade! Tanahashi then hit a Shibata style dropkick in the corner and nodded at Shibata. I have to say Shibata’s corner dropkick is much better.
They began exchanging strikes as the fans fired up. Tanahashi told Ibushi to bring it. They continued to trade as the fans fired up. They went back and forth and Tanahashi finally went to Ibushi’s leg with a kick. They continued to go back and forth. Ibushi pulled the ropes on Tanahashi, but he tried to skin the cat. Ibushi blocked him and brought him back into the ring and hit a package tombstone for a near fall. HOLY S–T! That was insane! Ibushi caught his breath at the 15 minute mark of the match. Tanahashi hit a pair of seated dragon screws. Ibushi tried to fight the cloverleaf, but Tanahashi got it in the middle of the ring. Ibushi struggled, but got to the ropes. Ibushi tried to kick Tanahashi through the ropes, but Tanahashi caught it and hit a dragon screw around the ropes. Tanahashi then hit a High Fly Flow to the floor and the fans applauded. WOW! Ibushi rolled around on the floor and got back into the ring at 18. Tanahashi did not go to the floor to get him. Tanahashi set up for a Sling Blade, but Ibushi sent him to the floor with a hurricanrana. WOW!
The fans fired up with Tanahashi down on the floor. Ibushi set up and hit a springboard 180 moonsault to the floor. WOW! Charlton said Ibushi went for the moonsault because the Golden Triangle didn’t work earlier in the match. Ibushi grabbed Tanahashi and tossed him into the ring at the 20 minute mark. Ibushi followed up with a springboard missile dropkick and the fans fired up. They went up top and Tanahashi sent Ibushi to the apron with slap to the face, but Ibushi jumped right back up and hit a super hurricanrana for a near fall. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Tanahashi has taken 2 big blows to the head so far in the match now. Tanahashi ducked the Kamigoye, but hit the bomaye! Charlton said that was taught to Ibushi by one god and delivered to another. Tanahashi got up and nailed Ibushi with a big punch. Ibushi fired up and hit several palm strikes and a front kick that sent Tanahashi into the corner. The ref dragged Ibushi away from Tanahashi and he began walking into Ibushi’s strikes. They began slapping each other across the face. THIS IS CRAZY!! Ibushi told Tanahashi to bring it and he slapped him as hard as he could three times, but Ibushi fired back with a HUGE LARIAT. WOW! WOW! WOW! Both men were down and the fans fired up and chanted for them. They got to their knees and began exchanging blows. They got to their feet and continued to exchange big bombs. Tanahashi hit several big uppercuts, but Ibushi nailed him with an uppercut. Tanahashi countered Ibushi and hit the Sling Blade. He then caught Ibushi with a straightjacket German for a near fall and the fans went nuts. Tanahasi went up top for the High Fly Flow, but Ibushi got his knees up. WOW! Ibushi hit another Bomaye at the 30 minute mark and the fans went nuts. Ibushi then hit a standing moonsault into a double knee drop right into Tanahashi’s midsection. WOW! He then hit a lawn dart on Ibushi just like he did in their G1 match and Tanahashi began grabbing his arm. WOW! Ibushi then grabbed Tanahashi on the apron and climbed the ropes. He hit the outside in German suplex. Ibushi then hit the Last Ride, but Tanahashi kicked out. ARE YOU SERIOUS!? THIS IS NUTS!! The fans chanted for both men again as they regrouped on the mat.
Ibushi set up for the Kamigoye, but Tanahashi stepped to the side. Ibushi then hit a straight jacket German for a near fall. Ibushi maintained hold of Tanahashi’s arms. He went for the Kamigoye, but Tanahashi turned it into a Twist and Shout. Tanahashi held on and hit another Twist and Shout! Tanahashi held on for a third, but Ibushi countered it. They went back and forth and traded slaps. Tanahashi ducked a kick and hit dragon suplex with a bridge for a near fall. Tanahashi went up top and hit a high fly flow to Ibushi’s back. He turned Ibushi over and went up top again. Ibushi began to stand and Tanahashi hit a standing High Fly Flow. WOW! Tanahashi went up top again and hit the HIGH FLY FLOW to win the match. WOW! This was insane.
WINNER: Hiroshi Tanahashi at 35:10 – G1 Climax 28 winner
Star rating: (*****) – This was incredible story here. Ibushi couldn’t beat his god in this match. The storytelling in the match was so good with Tanahashi representing his generation. He hit Shibata’s dropkick and Ibushi brought back Nakamura, his other god, into the mix, by hitting his Bomaye finisher multiple times during the match. This was incredible as the ace of NJPW has risen to the top once again!
After the match, Tanahashi rode around the ring on Shibata’s shoulders. Kelly mentioned that Tanahashi was 8-1-1 in the tournament. Tanahashi bent over on Ibushi, who was still down on the mat, and shook his hand as Omega checked on him. Ibushi got to his feet and got a big ovation. Ibushi and Tanahashi went face-to-face. Ibushi shook his head and backed off. Ibushi went to the back and Tanahashi was presented with the flag and trophy for winning G1. Masahiro Chono presented Tanahashi with his flag. They joked on commentary about Tanahashi’s flag breaking the last time he won G1 in 2015. This is Tanahashi’s third G1 win.
Tanahashi got on the mic and said he had won G1. A big Tanahashi chant rang out. He said he was a survivor just like the tagline said for the tournament. He said he survived with NJPW. Tanahashi said he would go to the Tokyo Dome and continue to carry NJPW on his back just like he has for so long. Tanahashi teased leaving, but the fans wanted him to come back. A big Tanahashi chant rang out in the building. Tanahashi came back and grabbed the mic. He asked how many rockstars have been in this building? He said he’s ready to tear it up and he started playing air guitar as the fans clapped! WOW! Tanahashi teased fainting and collapsed on the mat. Tanahashi continued his guitar solo up on the ropes, but collapsed again. The fans applauded and chanted for an encore! Tanahashi slammed his guitar and kicked it out of the ring. He then asked for a new guitar. A fan tossed it to him. Tanahashi then began playing guitar again as the fans clapped along. He then tossed it back into the crowd and the fans applauded. The fans chanted Tanahashi is awesome. Tanahashi got back on the mic and thanked the fans. He said the ace is back! He then told the fans he loved them as the confetti flew down from the rafters and into the ring. A big Tanahashi chant rang out as Tanahashi’s music played. Tanahashi got back on the mic and said he had just gotten some special information from the crowd. He read from a card that on Aug. 19 that a TV special was airing. Tanahashi then waved the G1 flag and it didn’t break.
Kevin Kelly thanked Rocky Romero and said he’d never forget this experience with him. Kelly said he’d had a lot of partners, but this was the best. Kelly said this was the greatest experience in his 28 years in wrestling. Kelly thanked Charlton for his help telling the stories of NJPW on commentary the last couple of years. Charlton said the experience had been surreal for him. Kelly then thanked the crew that supports them. Tanahashi got out of the ring and you could see the fans running to get to the guardrail to greet him on his way to the back. Romero thanked the fans for supporting NJPW. Kelly said their goal a year ago was to bring people the entire G1 in English and it happened. Kelly said people need to let their voice be heard for what they want to see from NJPW in the future. Kelly then signed off for Romero and Charlton.
The cameras followed Tanahashi backstage for his press conference. He had a lot of Miller beer waiting for him. He was congratulated for winning. He said G1 was all about what he could do. He thanked his body for holding him together for so long. It was tough to survive he said, but he was able to do it. He surpassed his own expectations in the tournament. He didn’t know how much energy it would take. He said it was an awoken energy and that energy helped him beat Ibushi. He said he had left part of himself in the ring. He talked about Shibata being in his corner and said he had a lot of gratitude for him willing to be in his corner. He said with Shibata in his corner they showed the world what NJPW was all about. He was asked about wrestling in Budokan Hall and said there was lots he couldn’t do because there are lots of rules in the building. He said at the Tokyo Dome he will once again be in the main event and once again be IWGP Hvt. Champion. He was asked about wanting to show his style against the loaded B block. He said it’s just not about today, it’s about tomorrow, the next few months, and beyond. He said a promotion is defined by its champion. He said that’s why he’s driven to be champion again.
G1 CLIMAX 28 WINNER – Hiroshi Tanahashi
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)
Contact Sean at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Sean on Twitter @sr_torch.