In this episode of Wrestling Night in America, PWTorch columnist Greg Parks breaks down both nights of WrestleMania with callers and emailers. Topics include the quality of the Firefly Funhouse match, the decision to put Charlotte over Rhea Ripley, the potential of wrestlers getting more creative freedom in the current environment, and more.
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G1 CLIMAX 29: NIGHT 2 REPORT
JULY 13, 2019
OTA CITY GENERAL GYMNASIUM
AIRED LIVE ON NJPW WORLD/TAPE DELAY ON AXS TV AT 8 P.M. EASTERN TONIGHT
Commentators: Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero
(1) L.I.J. (EVIL & SANADA & BUSHI) beat Yuya Uemura & IWGP Jr. Hvt. Champion Will Ospreay & Kota Ibushi in 8:00.
(2) Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens) beat Suzuki-Gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Lance Archer) in 6:00.
(3) KENTA & Clark Connors & Karl Fredericks beat Ren Narita & Shota Umino & Hiroshi Tanahashi in 11:00.
(4) Suzuki-Gun (Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki) beat CHAOS (IWGP Hvt. Champion Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI in 11:00.
B BLOCK RESULTS & ANALYSIS
(5) SHINGO TAKAGI (0) vs. JUICE ROBINSON (0) IN A G1 CLIMAX 29 B BLOCK MATCH
Shingo hit a shoulder tackle, but Robinson didn’t go down. Robinson went for a shoulder tackle and hit it, but Shingo didn’t go down. They went back and forth and Robison finally caught Shingo coming off the ropes with a leg lariat. Shingo blocked Robinson on the apron and hit a DDT on the floor. Shingo went after Robinson’s midsection and then bowled him over with a big running shoulder tackle off the ropes. They went to a big chop exchange and Shingo decked Robinson with a double chop. He then clotheslined him over the top to the floor. The fans fired up and Takagi set up for a dive, but Robinson cut him off with a slingshot spear through the ropes. The fans began chanting Juice as Robinson went on the attack. Robinson hit a big spinebuster and the fans began chanting Juice again. Robinson hit a crossbody off the top and the fans began chanting Takagi. Shingo blocked the Juice Box and went for a lariat, but Robinson ducked it and hit a full nelson bomb for a two count. The crowd seemed torn, as they continued to alternate chants for both men.
Robinson went for his signature punches, but Shingo blocked the punch and decked Robinson with a straight right and a lariat and both men were down. Robinson surprised Shingo with a lariat in the corner, but Takagi avoided a cannonball attempt in the corner. Shingo followed up with a wheelbarrow suplex and made the cover for a two count. They traded counters and Robinson hit The Juice Box to send Shingo into the corner. He followed up with a cannonball in the corner after missing his first attempt earlier in the match right before the 10 minute mark of the match passed. Robinson hit a superplex and held on for a Jackhammer for a good near fall. Robinson went for Pulp Friction, but Shingo blocked it and connected with a sliding lariat and both men were down. They got up and traded blows. Robinson no sold a snap suplex and eventually decked Shingo with a lariat! The fans fired up and Robinson set up for Pulp Friction once again, but Shingo countered it into Noshigami. WOW! Shingo got a running start and hit a HUGE lariat for a near fall and the fans exploded. Robinson got out of Made in Japan. Shingo went for it again, but Robinson got a slick pinning combination for a near fall. Robinson hit Left Hand of God twice and followed up with Pulp Friction for the win.
WINNER: Juice Robinson (2 pts) in 15:00. (***¾)
(Radican’s Analysis: This got off to a bit of a slow start, but then the second half of the match came alive with some great back and forth exchanges with both guys trading slick counters. This is only Shingo’s second pinfall loss in NJPW since joining the promotion last October.)
Jon Moxley vs. Taichi is up next. Moxley made his entrance through the crowd, but Taichi executed a nice sneak attack. They began brawling back towards the ring and the ref called for the bell.
(6) TAICHI (W/MIHO ABE) (0) vs. IWGP U.S. CHAMPION JON MOXLEY (0) IN A G1 CLIMAX 29 B BLOCK MATCH
Moxley got sent into the ringpost by Taichi. Taichi then attacked Moxley with a chair and hit him across the back with it. Moxley struggled to get to his feet to beat the 20 count, but managed to slide in at 19. He slid right into a buzzsaw kick from Taichi for a two count. Moxley tried to fire back but Taichi hit a jumping kick to his head. Moxley blocked a kick and went on the attack. He decked Taichi with a lariat. They went to the floor and Moxley went under the ring and got a table. They went back and forth near the table. Taichi hit several kicks to Moxley’s head, but Moxley fired back and hit a urangi on Taich through the table and the fans fired up. Moxley flipped off Taichi and blew a kiss to Miho. Moxley hit a big running knee to Taichi’s head for a near fall. He set up for the Death Rider, but Taichi blocked it. Taichi threw Moxley into the ref and hit a jumping kick to the head. Kelly questioned whether or not Taichi had intentionally thrown Moxley into the ref.
Miho gave Taichi a chair. Moxley blocked a chairshot with a kick to the gut. Taichi charged at Moxley and he threw the chair right into his head. The referee recovered and Moxley tossed the chair out of the ring. Taichi blocked the Death Rider and got the Gedo Clutch for a near fall. Moxley blocked a superkick and hit a HUGE death rider for the win.
WINNER: Jon Moxley (2 pts) in 8:00. (***1/2)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was really good despite the short length of the match. Taichi attacked Moxley as he made his entrance through the crowd and they had a brawling/hardcore style of match with chairs and tables involved.)
(7) IWGP IC CHAMPION TETSUYA NAITO (0) vs. TORU YANO (0) IN A G1 CLIMAX 29 B BLOCK MATCH
Naito kept his shirt on, so Yano put his on so they’d be even. Yano tried to take the turnbuckle pad off one of the corners. Naito stopped him, but he went to another corner and took the pad off. The announcers said the pads have names now. Naito went to take a pad off. Yano went after him and whipped him into the ropes and Naito mocked him rocking on the ropes. Naito put Yano’s shirt over his head and rolled him up for a near fall. Yano covered his face for Naito’s signature dropkick in the corner, but when he lifted his hands, Naito nailed him with the dropkick. Naito and the ref fought over the turnbuckle pad. Naito used the pads to shove Red Shoes down. He was about to hit Yano, but Red Shoes dove in to get the pad. Both men went back and forth grabbing each other by the hair. Yano put the ref’s shirt over his head and hit a low blow on Naito. He put Naito’s shirt over his head and nailed him with a chop block for the win. That was tremendous.
WINNER: Toru Yano (2 pts) in 4:00. (**½)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was a lot of fun with Naito trying to beat Yano at his own game only for it to backfire.The announcers noted that this is Yano’s first G1 win since 2014.)
The announcers mentioned that this is the first time Cobb and Ishii have wrestled in NJPW. They’ve wrestled previously in Rev Pro and OTT.
(8) NEVER OPENWEIGHT CHAMPION TOMOHIRO ISHII (0) vs. JEFF COBB (0) IN A G1 CLIMAX 29 B BLOCK MATCH
Ishii kept going for shoulder tackles, but Cobb wouldn’t go down. Ishii ducked a clothesline, but walked right into a shoulder tackle from Cobb and he went down. Cobb hit several forearms, but Ishii told him to bring. Ishii then sent Cobb into the corner and went after him with chops and forearms over and over. Ishii kept going and Cobb wouldn’t go down. Ishii finally got tired and Cobb went down on his knees. Cobb fired back with some chops and forearms and Ishii told him to hit him. Ishii then nailed Cobb with some hard chops and the crowd gasped with each one. Ishii sent Cobb into the corner with a big chop. Cobb fired back from his knees with a big chop. This has been pretty much a slugfest through the first five minutes of the match. Cobb fired back with a big belly to belly suplex and the fans fired up. Cobb got Ishii up and hit a big twisting back suplex for a two count.
Both men got to their feet and began trading forearms. Both men continued to trade forearms, but neither man would go down. Cobb caught Ishii with a short right hand and he stumbled into the corner. Ishii got whipped into the corner, but he came firing out and he decked Cobb with a shoulder tackle. Ishii lifted Cobb, but ended up hitting a traditional vertical suplex. Cobb tried to lift Ishii, but he escaped. Cobb went for a dropkick, but Ishii held onto the ropes. Cobb then easily popped Ishii up into a vertical suplex and hit a standing moonsault for a two count. Cobb tried to lift Ishii, but he collapsed down to his knees. The fans tried to fire up behind Ishii. Cobb hit several downward angling elbows. Ishii continued to take forearms from Cobb, but he began walking into them and the fans began to gasp. Ishii continued to step into each forearm. Ishii sent Cobb into the corner and hit a big clothesline. He lifted Cobb up and placed him on the top rope. Ishii set up for a superplex and he connected! Ishii yelled after landing on the mat and fired up. Ishii measured Cobb and hit a clothesline, but Cobb didn’t go down and he wiped out Ishii with a clothesline of his own. Cobb placed Ishii up top. He set up for a superplex and hit a stalling version of it. WOW! Cobb made a light cover and then grabbed Ishii’s leg for a two count.
They went back and forth trading blows in the center of the ring. Cobb hit a big headbutt and he lifted Ishii up into the powerbomb position and hit a nasty looking piledriver for a two count. The fans fired up behind Ishii once he kicked out. Cobbs set up for Tour of the Islands, but Ishii hung onto the ropes. Ishii went for a suplex, but he couldn’t get Cobb up. He finally hit Cobb with a backdrop suplex and the fans fired up. Ishii hit s slam, but Cobb got up. Ishii hit a German and Cobb got up and hit a Uranagi suplex. Ishii got up and took a dropkick, but ended up bouncing off the ropes into a lariat and the fans fired up with both men down. WOW! Ishii set Cobb up and went for the sliding lariat, but Cobb caught him. Cobb tried to go for a big move, but Ishii slid around him and hit a dragon suplex. He turned Cobb inside out with a big lariat, but Cobb kicked out at one! Cobb fired back with a thrust kick and a German for a near fall. WOW!
Cobb took his straps down with the match well past the 15 minute mark. He set up for Tour of the Islands again, but Ishii blocked it. He went for it again, but Ishii got out of it and hit an enzuguri. Ishii set up Cobb and finally hit the sliding lariat for a near fall. Ishii set up for the Vertical Drop Brainbuster, but Cobb got out of it. Ishii hit a headbutt on the chin and ducked a clothesline. He then hit the Vertical Drop Brainbuster. He made the cover and it was good for the win. WOW!
WINNER: Tomohiro Ishii (2 pts) in 18:30. (****¼)
(Radican’s Analysis: The match started a little slow, but it really picked up during the second half. The last five minutes were absolutely spectacular and they really fired the crowd up with some great back and forth strike exchanges. This delivered about what I was expecting in terms of fighting spirit and counter exchanges, especially toward the end of the match.)
(9) JAY WHITE (W/GEDO) vs. HIROOKI GOTO IN A G1 CLIMAX 29 B BLOCK MATCH
White rolled to the floor and got a chair for Gedo that he put behind the barricade. He said this was going to be easy. Goto hit several forearms that surprised White. White rolled to the floor and Goto went right after him. He whipped White into the guardrail. Romero talked about how deep and personal this G1 was, especially this match. Romero talked about how Katsuyori Shibata had helped him prepare for the tournament. Goto hasn’t had much success in G1 recently or the NJPW Cup, so this tournament is his chance at redemption. Goto chased Gedo, but gave up. He tried to get back into the ring, but Gedo tripped him and White nailed him with a running elbow. White lifted up Goto and dumped him ribs-first onto the apron from the floor. White drove him back and forth between the guardrail and the apron on the floor. He then whipped Goto into the guardrail and the fans booed. White continued to dominate the action back inside the ring. White taunted Goto and Kelly reminded viewers that White had promised to beat Goto on April 29 and he was successful. Goto tried to fire back, but White yanked him down to the mat by the hair. White toyed with Goto and hit some light slaps across the back of the head.
Goto fired back with some big overhand chops, but White went after his knee to ground him. White hit some light boots to the side of Goto’s head. Goto finally hit a spinning clothesline to ground White. Goto sent White flying with a big mid kick. He hit a wheel kick in the corner and a Saito suplex for a two count. The fans fired up and tried to get behind Goto. The announcers noted Goto was moving faster with his attacks than he usually does. White blocked an Ushigoroshi attempt, but Goto caught him with a big clothesline in the corner right before the 10 minute mark of the match passed. White avoided a charge from Goto and hit a DDT and both men were down. White hit a series of suplexes. Goto tried to block it, but White ended up hitting the third suplex into the turnbuckles. White hit the Bladebuster for a two count. Goto ducked a clothesline and pulled White’s hair so the back of his head connected with his knee. Both men traded blows in the middle of the ring. White sent Goto to the ropes with several strikes. Goto tried to surprise him with some misdirection off the ropes, but White blocked it. Goto went for some misdirection off the ropes again, but White ducked a clothesline and hit a belly to back suplex.
White hit some light slaps to Goto’s face at the 15 minute mark. Goto went for a clothesline, but White turned it into a uranagi. White made a cover with one foot, but the ref wouldn’t make the count. White played with Goto’s face to make him smile and frown. White tried to lift Goto, but he couldn’t get up. White tried to lift Goto again and the ref tried to check on Goto, but White shoved him away. White yelled at the ref and Goto popped up and nailed White with a big clothesline. Both men were down and White was the first to get uop. White tried to lift him, but Goto countered it and hit the Ushigoroshi. Goto fired up and set up for his mid kick, but White didn’t get up. White smiled as he stayed down. The announcers said White was staying down on purpose. Goto hit several kicks against the ropes. The ref backed him up and White went for Blade Runner, but Goto got out of it. Goto decked White with a headbutt. He then hit a reverse GTR for a near fall. Goto set up for a regular GTR, but White punched his way out of it. Goto and White went back and forth going for the Blade Runner and the GTR. Goto blocked a Blade Runner by pulling White. He then hit several headbutts to White’s head and finished the sequence with the Final Cut. The fans fired up big time. Gedo got into the ring and the fans booed. Gedo had brass knux. Goto blocked a Blade Runner attempt and hit Shouten Kai just before the 20 minute mark for a near fall! WOW! Goto lifted White and hit big Ushigoroshi with a clothesline on top of it for a near fall. Goto hit a big mid kick. He then lifted White up and hit the GTR for the win! What a story this match told!
WINNER: Hirooki Goto (2 pts) in 21:00. (****)
(Radican’s Analysis: The match told a great story with Goto training with Shibata to get better and end his losing ways. Goto looked more aggressive, but it looked like this was going to be the same old story for him and he was going to put in a good effort and lose. That turned around quickly during the second half of the match and Goto showed signs of outsmarting White on his way to eventually winning with some new offense down the stretch in the form of a Final Cut/Ushigoroshi combination maneuver. Goto even managed to overcome the interference of Gedo during the match to get the win.)
Goto got on the mic after the match and the fans chanted his name. He said, “It’s been awhile.” In reference to him not winning a big match in a long time. He said he was happy to have a match in front of this crowd and to win the match. The fans chanted for Goto. He said there’s a long way left to go in G1, but he told the fans to remember that the G in G1 stands for Goto. The fans chanted for Goto as he posed on the turnbuckles.
Overall thoughts: This was a strong night for the B block. All of the tournament matches were entertaining. Moxley vs. Taichi was a surprisingly good brawl, Takagi vs. Robinson had a very good match that established the Juice might not be a frequent loser in this tournament, and Naito vs. Yano was a fun break from the longer tournament matches on the show. Cobb vs. Ishii was a tremendous match and they delivered the best match on the show with a hard-hitting affair.
The real story here is that NJPW established Goto isn’t going to be a loser anymore. He’s been losing big matches for a long time in NJPW and recently he had been really made to look bad by Jay White, who said he was going to beat Goto on April 29 and he delivered on that promise. The storyline is that Goto has begun training with Shibata and the question going into the tournament was whether or not that was going to make any difference.
It looked like the same Goto at first, but as the match went on, he began to get the better of White and was much more aggressive. Goto overcame White’s taunts and Gedo’s outside interference and in the end, he was able to play the mental game better than White, which is a big surprise. Goto getting the win here should set up for a much needed rebuild of his character that I didn’t really believe NJPW could pull off in this tournament, but this was a great first step. Thumbs up to the B block on this night.
G1 CLIMAX 29: NIGHT 2 VIEWING GUIDE
Note: This section will provide my recommended matches to watch from each night of the tournament if you’re pressed for time and only want to see the essentials. The matches worth seeing will start at ***¾ or higher.
(5) Shingo Takagi vs. Juice Robinson (***¾)
(8) Jeff Cobb vs. Tomohiro Ishii (****¼)
(9) Hirooki Goto vs. Jay White (****)
UPDATED G1 CLIMAX 29 STANDINGS THROUGH NIGHT 2
Kazuchika Okada (2 pts)
SANADA (2 pts)
Bad Luck Fale (2 pts)
KENTA (2 pts)
Lance Archer (2 pts)
SANADA (0 pts)
Hiroshi Tanahshi (0 pts)
Zack Sabre Jr. (0) pts)
EVIL (0 pts)
Will Ospreay (0 pts)
Juice Robinson (2 pts)
Jon Moxley (2 pts)
Hirooki Goto (2 pts)
Toru Yano (2 pts)
Tomohiro Ishii (2 pts)
Jay White (0 pts)
Tetsuya Naito (0 pts)
Jeff Cobb (0 pts)
Taichi (0 pts)
Shingo Takagi (0 pts)
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