RADICAN’S 7/18 NJPW G1 Climax 29: Night 5 report: EVIL vs. SANADA, Sabre vs. Tanahashi, Ibushi vs. Ospreay finishes off show of the year candidate (w/spoiler free viewing guide and standings update)

By Sean Radican, PWTorch Columnist

EVIL (art credit Matt Charltonn and Sam Gardiner © PWTorch)


JULY 18, 2019


(5) KENTA vs. Lance Archer (***¾)

(6) EVIL vs. SANADA (****½)

(8) Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (****)

(9) Kota Ibushi vs. Will Ospreay (****¾)

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.

Commentary: Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero, and Chris Charlton.


(1) Shota Umino & IWGP U.S. Champion Jon Moxley beat Yuya Uemura & NEVER Openweight Champion Tomohiro Ishii in 6:00.

(2) CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & YOSHI HASHI) & Jeff Cobb beat Yota Tsuji & Juice Robinson & Toa Henare in 9:30.

(3) Bullet Club (Chase Owens & Jay White & Yujiro Takahashi) beat Ren Narita & Toru Yano & Tomoako Honma in 9:00.

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



They went face-to-face and Archer shoved KENTA down to the mat. KENTA fired back and hit several kicks to Archer’s legs. KENTA hit a pair of running kicks in the corner. He set up for another move in the corner, but Archer surprised him with a shoulder tackle. Archer choke slammed KENTA from the apron to the floor, but the Young Lions caught him. Archer then hit a big flip senton off the apron to wipe out everyone. Archer worked over KENTA on the outside before tossing him back into the ring. The fans were mixed in their support of both men. Archer called KENTA “Hideo” and KENTA slapped him, but Archer wiped him out and mounted him and hit several punches. The ref admonished him and Archer shoved the ref. KENTA hit a running kick, but Archer wouldn’t go down. He hit another running kick to Archer’s head and he went down to a knee. Archer charged at KENTA, but he countered and hit a powerslam. KENTA hit a big Shibata style dropkick in the corner and followed up with a double stomp for a two count.

KENTA went for GTS, but Archer slid out of it. KENTA went for a DDT out of the corner, but Archer countered and placed him up top. They battled up top and KENTA hit a pair of headbutts. KENTA sent Archer to the mat. He came off the top, but Archer caught him and slammed him face first into the mat for a two count. Archer went for the EBD Claw, but KENTA blocked it. He then nailed KENTA with a big clothesline for a near fall. Archer went for Blackout, but KENTA turned it into a sleeper. Romero said it was similar to Shibata’s sleeper. KENTA let Archer go and hit a PK. KENTA went for GTS, but Archer got EBD Claw. KENTA quickly got to the ropes to escape the hold. Archer set up for a Muscle Buster and connected for a near fall. Archer hit a pop-up powerbomb on KENTA for a two count. He went for a chokeslam, but KENTA turned it into a triangle. He then turned it into modified crossface for the win.

WINNER: KENTA (6 pts) in 12:00. (***¾)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was a very good match. KENTA looked good working over Hoyt’s leg early and although he couldn’t get the GTS, he finished Archer off with his Game Over Submission. Hoyt was very good here once again.)


SANADA came out of the gate with a pair of dropkicks. He went for the Muta Moonsault, but EVIL got out of the way and he landed on his feet. The fans roared. Kelly asked Charlton if the controversy on Twitter was over in reference to TV Ashashi not wanting him to commentate and only translate, but Chris didn’t say much of anything. Charlton is expected to commentate on NJPW World events going forward after TV Ahashi reversed their stance after being inundated with complaints from angry NJPW World Subscribers about Charlton’s removal from commentary. SANADA went for the Paradise Lock, but EVIL rolled through it. EVIL tossed SANADA’s kick attempt to the ref and nailed him with a kick. EVIL then put SANADA in the Paradise Lock and the fans popped big. EVIL mocked SANADA and put his foot on SANADA’s back. EVIL then wiped out SANADA with a running dropkick. They went to the floor and EVIL whipped SANADA into the guardrail several times. EVIL grabbed a bodyscissors once they got back inside the ring. SANADA began to fire back with some big chops. EVIL told him to bring it and knocked him down with a double chop, but he missed a senton when SANADA rolled out of the way. They went back and forth, but SANADA connected with a pair of dropkicks to EVIL’s knee during the exchange. SANADA then applied the Paradise Lock around the ropes on EVIL. SANADA waited before nailing EVIL with a dropkick. EVIL went to the floor and SANADA nailed him with a slingshot splash and the fans fired up.

SANADA hit a high angle backdrop suplex once EVIL got back into the ring for a two count. EVIL fired back and went after SANADA’s back. EVIL went for a German, but SANADA landed on his feet. EVIL went for a misdirection, but SANADA slid around him and vaulted over the ropes and hit a missile dropkick right before the 10 minute mark. EVIL pulled the ref in the way to cut SANADA off. He then lifted up SANADA’s feet on to the ref’s shoulders for a Magic Killer. That is a signature finish for when they team together. They went up top and EVIL hit a superplex. EVIL set up for Everything is EVIL, but SANADA countered it. SANADA went for Skull End and EVIL got out of it. They went back and forth and EVIL went for Skull End, but SANADA got out of it. SANADA eventually hit Everything is EVIL on EVIL and the fans roared. EVIL managed to kick out at the last second and the fans fired up. WHAT AN EXCHANGE! SANADA went for the Muta Moonsault again, but EVIL got his knees up and got an inside cradle for a near fall.

Both men were down. They got to their feet and EVIL hit three forearms, but SANADA shook them off. EVIL sent SANADA down with a chop, but SANADA got right back up. They went back and forth and SANADA hit a tiger suplex with a bridge for a near fall right before the 15 minute mark. SANADA got the Skull End. EVIL tried to fight it, but he began to go down. SANADA swung EVIL around, but EVIL got an inside cradle for a near fall. WOW. What a counter! Both men traded blows and EVIL hit a huge lariat. He followed up with Darkness Falls for a near fall. SANADA blocked Everything is EVIL and got an inside cradle for a near fall. EVIL kicked out and hit a HUGE lariat, but SANADA kicked out at one! SANADA struggled to get to his feet after kicking out and EVIL hit another HUGE running clothesline, but SANADA kicked out at the last second! He then hit Everything is EVIL for the win. What a match!

WINNER: EVIL (4 pts) in 18:00. (****½)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was so good. Both men knew each other so well in the ring and they countered each other throughout the match. SANADA could never hit the Muta Moonsault and he countered Everything is EVIL several times, but EVIL finally hit it to end the match. This was one hell of a war between tag partners.)

After the match, EVIL offered SANADA a fist bump and SANADA bumped fists.

Bad Luck Fale was supposed to come out for the next match against Kazuchika Okada, but Chase Owens and Gedo came out instead. Fale then tossed Okada into the entrance area. Okada was down while wearing his full entrance gear. The ref called for the bell and the match was on.


Fale dragged Okada to ringside and put a beating on him on the floor. Fale hit a big splash on Okada in the corner once they got back inside the ring and then another big splash off the ropes for a two count. Okada tried to fire back, but Chase Owens tripped him to the floor and Jado hit him with the kendo stick while Fale distracted the ref. Fale began working over Okada’s back inside the ring. Okada fired back and caught Fale coming off the ropes and hit a bodyslam after failing a short time earlier in the match. Fale went to the floor and Okada wiped all of Bullet Club out with a big dive to the floor. The announcers hammered home that Okada had lost two G1 matches to Fale in the past. He caught Fale with a shotgun dropkick, but Fale wouldn’t go down. Okada lifted Fale and hit his signature over his knee for a two count. That was impressive. Okada dropped the elbow off the top and signaled for the Rainmaker, but Fale grabbed the ref and shoved him into Okada.

Owens ran into the ring and put the boots to Okada with the ref down. He then fed Okada to Fale for the grenade. Fale set up for the Bad Luck Fall, but Okada got out of it and nailed Fale with a dropkick. He then hit a big dropkick on Owens. Jado hit Okada from the outside and held Okada, but he got out of the ray and Fale knocked him off the apron. Okada then caught Fale with a pinning combination for the win.

After the match, Fale attacked Okada, but Okada nailed him with a dropkick. He then saluted Fale, who was staggering around on the floor. Owens came in on English commentary and said Okada had cheated and Kelly told him he was out of his mind.

WINNER: Kazuchika Okada (6 pts) in 10:00. (**)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was the standard Fale vs. Okada encounter, but nowhere near some of their better matches in the past.)


Neither man can afford a loss here at 0-2. They had a great back and forth exchange on the mat and came to a stalemate and Sabre sold frustration while the fans chanted for Tanahashi. Both men continued trade the advantage on the mat, but neither man could get the upper hand as the five minute mark passed. Tanahashi countered an abdominal stretch attempt into a pinning combination for a two count. Sabre then got a near fall with a quick pinning combination. Tanahashi traded pinning combinations back and forth and Tanashi finally hit Twist and Shout and the fans chanted for Tanahashi. Sabre got the Octopus HOld, but Tanahashi grabbed his leg and hit a dragon screw and the fans chanted for Tanahashi again. They traded bombs in the middle of the ring. Both men went for a backslide. They countered each other while continuing to try to go for a backslide. They went back and forth fighting for position. They seemed to be at a stalemate. Tanahashi finally broke it and hit a Slingblade at the 10 minute mark! Tanahashi countered Sabre and got a backwards bridging pinning combination, but Sabre kicked out and went for an arm bar. Tanahashi rolled on top of him and then went for a Cloverleaf, but Sabre countered it and got a double arm submission. Sabre cranked on Tanahashi’s arm and then his fingers. The fans screamed as it looked like Tanahashi was in danger. Sabre then put his legs around Tanahashi’s head while cranking on the hold. Tanahashi was so close to the ropes and Sabre really cranked on the hold. Tanahashi finally managed to get his leg on the rope to break the hold.

Sabre went for a PK< but Tanahashi blocked it. Sabre hit slap after slap and Tanahashi wouldn’t let go. He glared at Sabre and hit an inverted dragon screw instead. Tanahashi hit another Slingblade, but Sabre kicked out at the last second. Tanahashi hit a big High Fly Flow on Sabre while he was standing. He went for a traditional High Fly Flow, but Sabre blocked it with his knees and got a triangle. Tanahashi suddenly flipped over Sabre and got a leverage pin for the win!

Sabre threw a tantrum at ringside after the match. He continued to pout on the floor and throw things around ringside. Tanahashi raised his fist in the middle of the ring and then posed for the fans. Kelly mentioned that nobody had ever won G1 after starting 0-3.

WINNER: Hiroshi Tanahashi (2 pts) in 14:00. (****)

(Radican’s Analysis: Tanahashi looked great here. He was ready for everything Sabre threw at him and he found ways to counter Sabre’s counters to his attacks throughout the match. Sabre tried to go after Tanahashi’s injured elbow, but ultimately Tanahashi had an answer for his attacks.He went after Sabre’s legs throughout the match with dragon screws and countered him in the end with a pinning combination.)


Ospreay had a lot of tape around his neck after sitting out night 4 with a neck injury. Charlton said he first learned about Ospreay in 2015 when his circle called Ospreay the British Kota Ibushi. Both men backed each other into the ropes and offered clean breaks during the going. The chants for Ospreay drowned out the chants for Ibushi. Ibushi went after Ospreay’s head with a headscissors and Ospreay bridged out of it, but Ibushi put him right back in the hold. Ospreay got out of it again and went after Ibushi’s arm. Ibusbi came off the ropes and took Ospreay down with a shoulder tackle. They went back and forth and traded a bunch of counters. Both men went for their finishers. Ospreay went to the floor and tripped Ibushi and slammed his injured leg over the apron. Ospreay slammed his leg over the guardrail and then brought him over to the ringpost and slammed his leg around the ringpost several times. Ospreay continued to go after Ibushi’s leg inside the ring. Ospreay eventually missed a double knee attack in the coroner and Ibushi nailed him with a kick to the neck area that was taped up.

Ibushi wrapped his legs around Ospreay’s neck and worked him over on the mat. Ospreay tried to get to the corner, but Ibushi kept using his legs to drag him by the head back to the center of the ring. Ospreay stood up and Ibushi slid off his shoulders. Ospreay eventually hit a handspring kick on Ibushi and both men were down. Ospreay hit a top rope 619 and sold his neck. Ibushi avoided Pip Pip Cheerio, but missed a moonsault. Ospreay went to the apron and hit Pip Pip Cheerio and Ibushi went all the way to the floor. Ospreay set up and hit the Sasuke Special to the floor. Ospreay sold his neck before going back after Ibushi. Ospreay set up for the Stormbreaker, but Ibushi blocked it. Ospreay went for a springboard, but Ibushi turned it into a high angle German. Ibushi and Ospreay began trading forearms. They glared at each other and began trading rapid fire forearms. Ibushi landed a big shot. They began trading kicks. Ibushi went for his signature series of strikes into a standing moonsault, but Ospreay rolled him up. Ospreay blocked a kick and then tripped Ibushi before stomping down on his injured ankle. He then nailed Ibushi with a head kick. They traded counters and Ibushi turned a Strombreaker into a Cop Killa variation. Holy s–t!

The ref checked on Ospreay to see if he could continue. Ibushi hit the Last Ride for a near fall. Ospreay sold his neck and the fans chanted his name in support. Ibushi went up top, but Ospreay cut him off and hit Cheeky Nandos. He lifted up Ibushi for the Stormbreaker, but Ibushi countered and almost hit a legs tapped piledriver, but Ospreay got a pinning combination for a near floor. Ospreay flipped over Ibushi all in one motion and lifted him into a twisting powerbomb and the fans went nuts when Ibushi kicked out. The fans chanted for Ospreay and Ibushi grabbed his ankle to prevent him from going up top. The 20 minute mark passed and Ospreay hit some slaps and then some light kicks to Ibushi’s head. Ospreay hit a big roundhouse kick to Ibushi’s head. He set up for a step up Os-cutter off the top, but Ibushi tripped him and hung him upside down. Ibushi hit several light kicks. He got down on his knees and invited Ospreay to trade slaps. Ibushi hit several slaps and then kicks, but the ref backed him off. Ibushi set up for a super dragon suplex, but Ospreay sat down to block it. He then elbowed Ibushi down to the mat, but Ibushi jumped right up off the mat into a flip kick! Ibushi went for his outside in German, but Ospreay landed on his feet! Ospreay waited and then hit the Hidden Blade to Ibushi’s face. He made the cover, but Ibushi got his hand on the bottom rope at the very last second to break the pin!

Ospreay hit several kicks to Ibushi’s head. He set up for the Robinson Special and connected! Ibushi blocked the Os-Cutter again. Ospreay blocked a straightjacket suplex and hit the Os-Cutter for a near fall. WOW! Ibushi slipped out of the Stormbreaker and hit a big standing Kamigoye! He held on and went for the Kamigoye, but Ospreay ducked it and hit a hook kick. Ibushi countered Ospreay and hit a Michinoku Driver for a near fall! Ibushi set up for a lawn dart, but Ospreay turned it into a one man Spanish Fly well past the 25 minute mark. He made the cover, but Ibushi kicked out! Ospreay went for the Hidden Blade, but Ibushi cut him off with an elbow and hit a lariat! Ibushi set up for the Boma Ye and nailed it for a near fall! They announced three minutes left and Ibushi lifted up Ospreay and hit Kamigoye for the win! What an amazing match!

WINNER: Kota Ibushi (2 pts)i n 27:00. (****¾)

(Radican’s Analysis: I was worried about both men given their history with injuries. Ospreay was working with a banged up neck and Ibushi worked the match with an ankle injury, but these two put on an incredible MOTYC. Both men went after each other’s injuries as expected. They went back and forth trading the advantage on offense and the counters were amazing. Ospreay could never hit the Stormbreaker and Ibushi eventually connected with the Kamigoye with just three minutes left in the time limit. This match was a wild roller coaster ride. The fans were red hot for the action)

After the match, Ibushi got on the mic and the fans chanted his name. He thanked the fans. He said this G1 bangs you up, but you have to go through it. He said he will not lose, not run away, not give up, and not betray any of your hopes. He said I appreciate your support and I’ll see you tomorrow to close his promo.

Overall thoughts: If night 3 was a show of the year contender, this show surpassed it. EVIL vs. SANADA and Ibushi vs. Ospreay were both incredible matches. Ospreay vs. Ibushi was the best match of the tournament so far, as they set the crowd on fire with an incredible main event. Sabre vs. Tanahashi was an incredible match as well.

I was worried about Ibushi and Ospreay going into this show given their in-ring style and injury history, but they delivered an incredible match without doing anything stupid, which was nice to see given what I expected going in.

The top of the leaderboard sees Okada and KENTA tied for first with three wins each. I suspect EVIL to generate some momentum in this tournament, but ultimately I have little doubt that Ibushi and Okada will be the top names in the mix to advance to the finals of the tournament when all is said and done.

EVIL vs. SANADA was an incredible match between two tag team partners that know each other well. They set the crowd on fire with some tremendous counter exchanges. I loved how both guys went all out and then bumped fists when the match was over.

Go out of your way to watch this show. Okada vs. Fale wasn’t anything special, but everything else on the card was tremendous for the most part.



KENTA 3-0 (6 pts)
Kazuchika Okada 3-0 (6 pts)
Lance Archer 2-1 (4 pts)
EVIL (4 pts) 2-1
Hiroshi Tanahshi 1-2 (2 pts)
Will Ospreay 1-2 (2 pts)
SANADA 1-2 (2 pts)
Bad Luck Fale 1-2 (2 pts)
Kota Ibushi 1-2 (2 pts)
Zack Sabre Jr. 0-3 (0 pts)


Juice Robinson 2-0 (4 pts)
Jon Moxley 2-0 (4 pts)
Tomohiro Ishii 2-0 (4 pts)
Taichi 1-1 (2 pts)
Shingo Takagi 1-1 (2 pts)
Toru Yano 1-1 (2 pts)
Hirooki Goto 1-1 (2 pts)
Jay White 0-2 (0 pts)
Tetsuya Naito 0-2 (0 pts)
Jeff Cobb 0-2 (0 pts)

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

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