RADICAN’S G1 Climax 29 Night 3 report: Ospreay vs. SANADA, EVIL vs. Ibushi, Tanahashi vs. KENTA (w/spoiler free match recommendations and updated A block standings)

By Sean Radican, PWTorch Columnist

Kota Ibushi (art credit Matt Charlton and Sam Gardiner © PWTorch)

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G1 CLIMAX 29: NIGHT 3 REPORT
JULY 14, 2019
OTA CITY GENERAL GYMNASIUM
TOKYO, JAPAN
AIRED LIVE ON NJPW WORLD

G1 CLIMAX 29: NIGHT 3 VIEWING GUIDE

(6) Will Ospreay vs. SANADA (****½)

(7) Kazuchika Okada vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (****)

(8) EVIL vs. Kota Ibushi (****¼)

(9) KENTA vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (****¼)

Note: This section will provide my spoiler free 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.

Commentators: Kevin Kelly, Chris Charlton, and Rocky Romero

UNDERCARD RESULTS

(1) Yota Tsuji & Toa Henare & Juice Robinson beat Yuya Uemura & Hirooki Goto & Tomoaki Honma in 6:30.

(2) Ren Narita & Jeff Cobb beat Shota Umino & IWGP U.S. Champion Jon Molxey in 5:00.

(3) CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI & NEVER Openweight Champion Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano) beat Bullet Club (Jay White & Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi) in 9:00.

(4) Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki & Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) beat L.I.J. (IWGP IC Champion Tetsuya Naitio & BUSHI & Shingo Takagi) in 8:30.

A BLOCK RESULTS & ANALYSIS

(5) LANCE ARCHER (2) vs. BAD LUCK FALE (2) (W/JADO) IN A G1 CLIMAX 29 A BLOCK MATCH

Both men charged at each other right away with stereo shoulder tackle attempts, but neither man would go down. Archer charged at Fale and speared him through the ropes to the floor and yelled, “Everybody dies.” WOW! What a start. Archer went for a chokeslam, but Jado hit him from behind with a kendo stick. Archer went after Gedo, which allowed Fale to attack him from behind. They brawled into the stands and Fale tossed Archer into several rows of chairs. Archer ran back into the ring, but Fale meant him with some boots. Fale choked Archer over the ropes with his weight over his neck. Fale took his time to drop an elbow off the ropes, but Archer got out of the way. Kelly mentioned that Archer lost to Fale in the first round of the 2019 NJPW Cup. Archer tried to fire back with a shoulder tackle and a clothesline, but Fale wouldn’t go down. Archer got whipped into the corner, but he climbed up the ropes and hit a crossbody off the top for a two count. WOW! Archer did his Undertaker style rope walk. Fale grabbed the ref, which allowed Jado to nail Archer up top walking the ropes with the kendo stick. Fale hit a superplex and the ref bounced to sell the move. That was a pretty cool visual. Fale made the cover, but Archer kicked out at the last second.

Fale grabbed Archer’s arm and it looked like he was going to try to walk the ropes, but Archer cut him off. Archer set up for the Blackout out of the corner, but Fale slid out of it. Fale then hit The Grenade for a near fall and the fans applauded. Jado ran into the ring, but Archer wiped him out and hit a pounce on Fale. The fans fired up and Archer hit a big chokeslam for a near fall. The crowd gasped at Fale’s kickout. Archer then locked in the EBD Claw and covered Fale while holding onto the EBD Claw for the win. WOW!

Archer knocked down a Young Lion after the match.

WINNER: Lance Archer (4 pts) in 10:00. (***1/4)

(Radican’s Analysis: Another very impressive performance from Archer. He got about the most you could expect out of Fale in a 10 minute match. Kudos to Fale selling for Archer really well to get him over like a million bucks with his new push and new EBD Claw finisher.)

(6) IWGP JR. HVT. CHAMPION WILL OSPREAY (0) vs. SANADA (2) IN A G1 CLIMAX 29 A BLOCK MATCH

They had a quick exchange early and came to a stalemate. SANADA offered a handshake. Ospreay accepted, but blocked SANADA’s attempt at a surprise kick. Ospreay went for a Paradise Lock attempt, but SANADA fended him out. SANADA applied the Paradise Lock, but Ospreay got out of it and surprised him with a dropkick when he turned around. WOW! SANADA fired back and hit a dropkick to Ospreay’s knee. He then put Ospreay in the Paradise Lock around the ropes. SANADA waited a long time before nailing Ospreay with a dropkick. Ospreay fired back and hit a running SSP for a two count after a big flurry of offense. Ospreay set up and hit the Sasuke Special to the floor a short time later to wipe out SANADA. Ospreay went off the ropes, but ended up taking SANADA’s signature dropkick. He rolled to the floor and SANADA nailed him with a slingshot splash right away. Both men ended up trading blows in the middle of the ring. Ospreay hit a hook kick. They went back and forth. SANADA kept going for a TKO, but Ospreay kept blocking it. SANADA went for it a third time, but Ospreay nailed him with a hook kick. Ospreay finally went for a handspring, but SANADA caught him and FINALLY hit the TKO. Great sequence there.

Both men began trading blows from their knees. They got to their feet and continued to trade blows. They picked up the pace as they traded forearms. Both men traded kicks and the pace quickened. OSpreay ducked a springboard missile dropkick and eventually connected with a sit out powerbomb for a near fall. These guys are killing it! Ospreay went up top and hit a HUGE SSP for a good near fall. Ospreay set up for the Strombreaker, but SANADA blocked it. Ospreay got SANADA up and nearly connected with the Stormbreaker, but SANADA countered it into the Skull End! SANADA spun Ospreay around and dropped him. He went up top and missed a moonsault and landed on his feet. Ospreay then ran at him and hit one man Spanish Fly for a near fall. What a sequence! Ospreay set up for the Robinson Special and connected. He went for the Os-Cuttter, but SANADA blocked it and applied the Skull End. Ospreay got out of it and they went back and forth. SANADA went for an Os-Cutter, but Ospreay blocked it. Ospreay countered SANADA with a hook kick and hit the Os-Cutter. He held on and hit The Stormbreaker for the win. What a match!

WINNER: Will Ospreay (2 pts) in 17:00. (****½)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was an amazing performance from both men. Ospreay is working at another level from everyone else right now. The counter wrestling in this match was insane. The stuff down the stretch was nuts.)

(7) IWGP HVT. CHAMPION KAZUCHIKA OKADA (2) vs. UNDISPUTED BRITISH CHAMPION ZACK SABRE (0) IN A G1 CLIMAX 29 A BLOCK MATCH

Sabre has promised to beat Okada. Sabre went to work on Okada’s arm on the mat during the early going. Okada escaped and sold his arm. They went back and forth and Okada decked Sabre coming off the ropes with a big boot. Okada went for a dropkick, but Sabre swatted it away and got a pinning combination that he beat Okada with last year on July 1 in Rev Pro for a near fall. He got another pinning combination for another near fall on Okada. Sabre then applied a banana split submission on Okada, but Okada eventually got to the ropes to escape the multiple submissions Sabre had applied on his legs and calf. Sabre taunted Okada with some light kicks to the head. Okada glared and got up to his feet. Okada fired back with several uppercuts. He caught Sabre with an elbow off the ropes and both men were down. Okada kipped up and went back on the attack. Okada hit a big DDT for a two count. Sabre countered a flapjack into a guillotine. Okada lifted Sabre and turned it into his signature neck breaker.

Okada went up top and dropped the elbow. His legs looked sore, but he hit the Rainmaker pose. Okada set up for the Rainmaker, but Sabre blocked it with a kick. Sabre then walked right into a dropkick. Okada lifted Sabre and hit a tombstone on Sabre’s neck, which had already had some damage to it. Okada went for the Rainmaker, but Sabre went for The Octopus and got it! They went down to the mat and Sabre maintained the hold. Okada teased tapping and Sabr really cranked down on the hold. Okada finally surged up and got the middle rope to break out of Sabre’s nasty submission. Sabre hit some uppercuts and Okada fired back and hit some forearms. Sabre dropped Okada and went for a PK, but Okada caught his foot. Sabre hit several slaps, but Okada pushed him off and hit a dropkick a short time later. Sabre blocked a Rainmaker and got the European Clutch for a near fall. Sabre got another pinning combination for another near fall. Sabre got out of a tombstone attempt and went back after Okada’s arm. Okada went for a backslide into the Rainmaker, but Sabre slid around it into a flying Octopus. Okada got out of it and hit a spinning Rainmaker. He then hit a traditional Rainmaker for the win.

WINNER: Kazuchika Okada (4 pts) in 12:00. (****)

(Radican’s Analysis: Sabre really had Okada in danger throughout the whole match, but Okada worked on his neck constantly during the match and it paid off in the end.)

(8) EVIL (0) vs. KOTA IBUSHI (0) IN A G1 CLIMAX 29 A BLOCK MATCH

Kelly mentioned Ibushi injured his leg during his match against KENTA last weekend in Dallas. Both men charged at each other and hit shoulder tackles at the same time. They began trading bombs and the fans started to fire up. EVIL got the upper hand and went after Ibushi’s injured ankle. Ibushi cranked on the ankle on the mat, but Ibushi managed to get to the ropes. EVIL began pounding the mat and the fans fired up. Ibushi slumped in the corner and EVIL nailed him with a Bronco Buster. EVIL got an ankle lock on Ibushi a short time later. Ibushi once again managed to get to the ropes. EVIL whipped Ibushi across the ring and he limped into the corner. EVIL blocked a kick and hit a clothesline in the corner, but Ibushi caught him with an awkward looking dropkick a short time later. Ibushi wiped out EVIL with a kick and hit a standing moonsault for a two count. The fans fired up and chanted for Ibushi. EVIL set up for Darkness Falls. Ibushi tried to fight out of it, but EVIL hung on. IBushi finally got out of it. They went back and forth off the ropes and Ibushi caught EVIL with a slam and hit a one-legged moonsault off the second turnbuckle for a two count.

Ibushi went up top, but EVIL crotched him by running into the top rope. EVIL went all the way up top and hit a big superplex. EVIL got up and hit a big running clothesline for a two count. Ibushi slid out of Everything is EVIL. He went for a dragon suplex and switched to a German and hit it. EVIL not sold it and hit one of his own, but this time Ibushi got up and smiled at EVIL. They both hit clotheslines at the same time and collapsed to the mat. Both men were slow to get up. They got to their knees and began trading forearms. Ibushi smiled and returned fire at one point. He told EVIL to hit him harder. They got to their feet and continued to exchange. Ibushi yelled at EVIL and he stepped on his ankle. EVIL went for the Scorpion Deathlock, but Ibushi got to the ropes before he could fully apply it. Ibushi went for several strikes, but EVIL blocked some of them. Ibushi then hit several big kicks to EVIL against the ropes. EVIL shoved the ref into Ibushi. He hit several headbutts, but Ibushi took a double chop and wiped him out with a huge clothesline. The ref recovered and made a two count. Ibushi went for the Kamigoye, but EVIL rolled through the kick and applied the Scorpion Deathlock. Ibushi struggled, but managed to get to the bottom rope.

EVIL went up top, but missed a senton. Ibushi got up and nailed him with a Boma Ye. Ibushi pulled his knee pad down and hit Nakamura’s pose. He hit another Boma Ye, but EVIL kicked out at two! Ibushi took down his other knee pad. He went for the Kamigoye and EVIL tried to counter it into Everything is EVIL. Ibushi blocked it and went for the Kamigoye. They traded clotheslines and EVIL hit a headbutt and he connected with a HUGE lariat a short time later. He got Ibushi up and hit Darkness Falls, but Ibushi kicked out at the last second! EVIL then hit Everything is EVIL for the win. WOW!

WINNER: EVIL (2 pts) in 19:00. (****¼)

(Radican’s Analysis: This got off to a bit of a slow start, but then it really picked up with EVIL working over Ibushi’s ankle only for Ibushi to mount a spectacular comeback. Ibushi’s selling here of his ankle was really good. The finishing sequence of counters around the Kamigoye and Everything is EVIL was spectacular.)

Katsuyori Shibata came down to do commentary for the main event.

(9) KENTA (2) vs. HIROSHI TANAHASHI (0) IN A G1 CLIMAX 29 A BLOCK MATCH

Shibata was in Tanahashi’s corner last year when he won G1 and he’s been training with KENTA for his comeback. KENTA backed Tanahashi into the ropes and slapped him across the face. The fans gasped. Tanahashi returned the favor a short time later. They began trading forearms in the middle of the ring. Tanahashi finally hit a slam and dropped an elbow, but KENTA got up and hit him with a light kick to the head while he was playing air guitar. Both men bumped into each other and began exchanging again. Tanahashi dragged KENTA to the floor and whipped him into the barricade. KENTA fired back and whipped Tanahashi into the barricade and then booted him over the top. KENTA dragged him into the crowd and hit a DDT on the concrete where there were no mats. He tossed Tanahashi into the ringpost. He tossed Tanahashi back into the ring and made the cover for a two count. KENTA hit a twisting neck breaker. KENTA took his knee pad down and teased a jumping knee, but he landed on his feet and hit a back kick to Tanahashi’s head. The announcers talked about KENTA being disappointing in the U.S. and being the top guy in NOAH and having no lineage in NJPW. He said KENTA has to earn respect from the roster. Rocky said many wrestlers were questioning why KENTA deserved the spot over someone like Minoru Suzuki. Tanahashi shrugged off a kick to the back and went after KENTA, but he nailed him with a knee to the gut.

Tanahashi had no choice but to show pain when KENTA hit an even harder kick to his back from the seated position. Tanahashi blocked a running kick to the head in the corner and hit a dragon screw. Tanahashi went on the attack and hit a flying forearm. The fans chanted Go Ace with Tanahashi on the attack. They went back and forth with KENTA hitting several kicks and Tanahashi hit a straight left hand. KENTA finally caught Tanahashi with a powerslam. KENTA hit a big running boot in the corner and then followed up with Shibata’s signature corner dropkick. He came off the top with a double stomp for a two count. Tanahashi blocked the GTS and hit a dragon screw. He held on and hit an inverted dragon screw. Tanahashi got the Cloverleaf hold. KENTA eventually countered it into a pinning combination for a nearfall. KENTA hit a hanging DDT off the middle rope a short time later. The fans tried to rally behind Tanahashi. Romero pointed out that KENTA had already hit a DDT on the exposed floor on the outside. KENTA set up for the Psycho Knee, but Tanahashi countered it into a Sling Blade and both men were down. WOW!

Both men got to their feet and traded big forearms back and forth. They continued to trade bombs at the 15minute mark. KENTA hit a counter right hand and a spinning lariat. KENTA lifted up Tanahashi for a GTS, but Tanahashi countered it into a Twist and Shout. He held on and hit two more. Tanahashi measured KENTA and hit a Sling Blade for a two count. Tanahashi went up top and hit a standing High Fly Flow. He went up top again for a traditional High Fly Flow, but KENTA got his knees up at the last second. KENTA ducked a clothesline and grabbed a Shibata style choke. Tanahashi began to fade and KENTA went for a PK, but Tanahashi caught his leg. KENTA escaped and hit a big knee. KENTA then hit the GTS for the win. WOW!

WINNER: KENTA (4 pts) in 18:30. (****¼)

(Radican’s Analysis: Another amazing match. KENTA showed he belongs in NJPW after beating Ibushi and Tanahashi, who made the finals last year. KENTA looked really good here overcoming Tanahashi’s attack on his leg and getting the better of him before hitting the GTS. KENTA was impressive here. I like his callbacks to Shibata as well.)

After the match, KENTA wanted a handshake, but Tanahashi offered his hand and pulled it back. This was a nice touch playing into KENTA having to earn respect in the NJPW locker room. The announcers pointed out it takes a ton to get a handshake from Tanahashi.

KENTA cut a promo. He introduced himself to the fans. He said this might be the first time some people saw him wrestle, but he said maybe there are some fans that have been with me for a long time. The fans applauded. He joked saying fans were leaving that don’t remember him and then pointing to some fans that he said did remember him. He said he didn’t come to NJPW to play around and just to see some friends he hadn’t seen in awhile. He said he came to NJPW to win the G1 Climax. He said he didn’t care if fans know him or not. He said he’s going to win his first G1 on his first time. He said remember my face and remember my name. I am KENTA.

Overall thoughts: This is easily a candidate for show of the year. The last four block matches were all excellent. Ospreay continues to make a case that he’s the best wrestler in the world with a great match against SANADA.

KENTA is getting a big push in G1 so far. He beat both of the participants in the finals from last year already and had a strong show closing promo tonight. KENTA being 2-0 is a bit of a surprise. It’s also a surprise that Ibushi, Sabre, and Tanahashi have started the tournament with two straight losses, but I expect that to come to an end quickly.

There were no other major surprises in the A block through two nights other than Lance Archer putting on another fantastic performance in a short match against Bad Luck Fale. I wasn’t expecting much out of this match, but they really put on a much stronger effort than I anticipated. It’s worth watching all of the block action from this show, but if you’re really stuck for time, you can skip Archer vs. Fale.

UPDATED G1 CLIMAX 29 STANDINGS THROUGH NIGHT 3

A BLOCK

Kazuchika Okada 2-0 (4 pts)
KENTA 2-0 (4 pts)
Lance Archer 2-0 (4 pts)
Will Ospreay 1-1 (2 pts)
EVIL (2 pts) 1-1
SANADA 1-1 (2 pts)
Bad Luck Fale 1-1 (2 pts)
Kota Ibushi 0-2 (0 pts)
Hiroshi Tanahshi 0-2 (0 pts)
Zack Sabre Jr. 0-2 (0 pts)

B BLOCK

Juice Robinson 1-0 (2 pts)
Jon Moxley 1-0 (2 pts)
Hirooki Goto 1-0 (2 pts)
Toru Yano 1-0 (2 pts)
Tomohiro Ishii 1-0 (2 pts)
Jay White 0-1 (0 pts)
Tetsuya Naito 0-1 (0 pts)
Jeff Cobb 0-1 (0 pts)
Taichi 0-1 (0 pts)
Shingo Takagi 0-1 (0pts)

Email Sean at radicansean@pwtorch.com. Follow him on twitter at twitter.com/sr_torch.

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