SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
NJPW G1 CLIMAX 29: NIGHT 11 REPORT
JULY 30, 2019
KAGAWA, JAPAN AT THE TAKAMATSU CITY GENERAL GYMNASIUM ARENA 1
AIRED LIVE ON NJPW WORLD
G1 CLIMAX 29: NIGHT 11 VIEWING GUIDE
Note:This section will provide 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.
(6) Will Ospreay vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (****)
(8) SANADA vs. KENTA (****)
(9) Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. EVIL (****¼)
Commentary: Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero.
(1) YOSHI-HASHI, Hirooki Goto & Tsuji beat Tomohiro Ishii & Tomoaki Honma & Uemura in 9:24.
(2) Toru Yano & Narita beat Jon Moxley & “Shooter” Umino in 4:08. Hilarious segment with Moxley being charged for Yano’s DVD pre-match and Shooter being sent to get the 5,000 yen – all for Yano to steal the win, the DVD back and the money!
(3) Bullet Club (Jay White & Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens) beat SUZUKI-GUN (Taichi & Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) in 7:39.
(4) L.I.J. (BUSHI, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito) beat Juice Robinson, Jeff Cobb & Henare in 9:27.
A BLOCK RESULTS & ANALYSIS
(5) BAD LUCK FALE (W/Jado, Chase Owens) (2) vs. KOTA IBUSHI (6) IN A G1 CLIMAX 29 A BLOCK MATCH
Fale decided to jump Ibushi early to get an advantage, then threw Ibushi outside to allow the “master heater” Jado & Chase Owens to get their licks in as well. Fale then transitioned to his traditional power game, throwing in bear hugs, splashes and focused on Ibushi’s back.
After several Grenade attempts failed, Fale went for Bad Luck Fall, only for Ibushi to escape and attempt a crucifix. Fale then ate a kick to the head, a bomaye & two Kamigoye’s for the loss.
WINNER: Kota Ibushi (8 pts) in 9:27 via pinfall. Kamigoye. (**)
(Fann’s Analysis: This was a typical Fale match, but the late rally by Ibushi got the crowd back in. The two Kamigoye’s needed to beat big men two A block matches in a row was a nice touch.)
(6) IWGP JR. HVT. CHAMPION WILL OSPREAY (4) vs. BRITISH UNDISPUTED CHAMPION ZACK SABRE JR. (2) IN A G1 CLIMAX 29 A BLOCK MATCH
Ospreay and Sabre Jr. have squared off for years in the U.K. and Ospreay is now the second Briton to face two of his countrymen in a New Japan ring in 30+ years (thanks Twitter). After a series of reversals, Sabre Jr. cornered Ospreay and began what was a hellacious assault onto Ospreay’s neck. Kevin Kelly noted that Sabre had yet to submit an opponent in the G-1.
Eventually, Ospreay got back on track, hit a several vicious kicks and of course his Robinson Special, however right when you thought Ospreay’s hook kick – Stormbreaker attempt was going to be the finish, Sabre Jr. transitioned the finisher into his delightfully named move below for the submission. At this point the announcers noted that this may get Sabre Jr. over Boris Johnson as PM of U.K., but I doubt it!
WINNER: Zack Sabre Jr. (4 pts) in 20:02 via submission. Hurrah! Another Year, Surely This One Will Be Better Than The Last; The Inexorable March of Progress Will Lead Us All to Happiness. (****)
(Fann’s Analysis: This match was as awesome as all of the ZSJ-Ospreay matches in the U.K. had been. The fact these two men squared off in A-Block of the G-1 Climax is a heck of a note for their history. Watch this match.)
(7) IWGP HVT. CHAMPION KAZUCHIKA OKADA (10) vs. LANCE ARCHER (4) IN A G1 CLIMAX 29 A BLOCK MATCH
As soon as Okada was in the ring, Archer dropped him with a set of avalanche splashes, then started to brawl with the Rainmaker in the crowd. As Okada tried to fire back with his traditional dropkick, Archer dodged and shrugged it off. The announcers attributed this to Archer’s study of his prior matches with Okada, in particular their last meeting in the G-1 in the same arena 5 years ago.
Late in the match, Archer’s aggression did him in, as his rush to attack opened several counters by Okada, culminating in Archer’s attempt at Blackout being countered with a spinning Rainmaker, and the full Rainmaker for the win.
WINNER: Okada (12 pts) in 14:15 via pinfall – Rainmaker. (***¾)
(Fann’s Analysis: Archer’s still bringing the goods in the ring, but Okada’s a man on a mission. With his only opponent for the top spot in point chase mode, there’s an opportunity for the Rainmaker to move beyond everyone by night 13.)
(8) KENTA (8) vs. SANADA (2) IN A G1 CLIMAX 29 A BLOCK MATCH
SANADA’s cool demeanor versus KENTA’s fire is a great dichotomy when this match kicked off – particularly because KENTA got the jump. This match developed into a war of attrition – would KENTA’s knee give out before SANADA’s head/neck area did. Towards the end the Busaiku Knee wasn’t enough to put SANADA down for the GTS – which allowed SANADA to apply his spinning SKULL END and follow with the Mutoh snap moonsault for the pin.
WINNER: SANADA (4 pts) in 16:10 via pinfall – Skull End / Moonsault combo. (****)
(Fann’s Analysis: SANADA gets a great win from the former NOAH ace, and this was a great match between two men looking to set themselves apart. This was the first match since KENTA arrived in New Japan where his shoulder/arm issues became very prominent, as there were several power spots where KENTA had to get low to let SANADA help get himself up into the overhead position.)
(9) HIROSHI TANAHASHI (6) vs. EVIL (6) IN A G1 CLIMAX 29 A BLOCK MATCH
The bell rang and Tanahashi’s knee was the focus of the match by EVIL. Tanashahi spent most of the match on the comeback, as EVIL grabbed a Young Lion as his designated Magic Killer assistant.
Back in the ring, Tana hit a dragon screw legwhip series, before the Ace of the Universe switched to Twist ‘n’ Shout’s to add more pressure to the neck of EVIL as well as the knee. Tanahashi then attempted a Texas Clover Hold, which EVIL got to the ropes to break up.
The endgame came as Evil spammed attempted at Everything is Evil – and ate a dragon suplex for his trouble. Tana then hit Aces High and followed from the opposite corner with the High Fly Flow for the win and moved 4 points nearer to his rival Okada.
WINNER: Hiroshi Tanahashi (8 pts.) in 23:02 via pinfall – Aces High / High Fly Flow combo. (****¼)
Okada stood over KENTA after the match and offered him a handshake. KENTA accepted and pointed at Okada’s title. The announcers said Okada’s schedule would be super light going into Wrestle Kingdom if he went undefeated in the tournament.
(Fann’s Analysis: Great main event showing by EVIL – and he and Tanahashi had a really good chemistry in that late sequence. Tanahashi showed that despite injuries and Father Time, Tana can still be the ring general with a dance partner as talented as EVIL.)
Tanahashi celebrated mid ring post match, thanked the crowd and treated them to a mini concert.
Overall Thoughts:While the matches weren’t the knock down drag out bangers of a few nights ago, this was a solid night of G-1 action. I’d also recommend seeing a few of the tag matches, particularly the Umino/Moxley match vs. Yano. Not only very entertaining, but the specter of “will Mox lose to the sublime master thief” was peppered throughout by the excellent team of Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero.
UPDATED G1 CLIMAX 29 STANDINGS THROUGH NIGHT 11
Kazuchika Okada 6-0 (12 pts)
KENTA 4-2 (8 pts)
Kota Ibushi 4-2 (8 pts)
Hiroshi Tanahshi 4-2 (8 pts)
EVIL 3-3 (6 pts)
Lance Archer 2-4 (4 pts)
Will Ospreay 2-4 (4 pts)
SANADA 2-4 (4 pts)
Zack Sabre Jr. 2-4 (4 pts)
Bad Luck Fale 1-5 (2 pts)
Jon Moxley 5-0 (10 pts)
Juice Robinson 3-2 (6 pts)
Tomohiro Ishii 3-2 (6 pts)
Toru Yano 2-3 (4 pts)
Taichi 2-3 (4 pts)
Shingo Takagi 2-3 (4 pts)
Tetsuya Naito 2-3 (4 pts)
Jeff Cobb 2-3 (4 pts)
Hirooki Goto 2-3 (4 pts)
Jay White 2-3 (4 pts)
Email Rich at email@example.com. Follow him on twitter at twitter.com/rich_fann.