RADICAN’S 8/10 NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 17 report: Final night of A block action w/Sabre vs. KENTA, Tanahashi vs. Ospreay, Okada vs. Ibushi main event to determine winner of A block (w/spoiler free viewing guide)

By Sean Radican, PWTorch Columnist



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RADICAN’S NJPW G1 CLIMAX 29 NIGHT 17 REPORT
AUGUST 10, 2019
BUDOKON HALL
TOKYO, JAPAN
AIRED LIVE ON NJPW WORLD AND SAME DELAY ON AXS TV

G1 CLIMAX 29: NIGHT 17 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.

(5) Lance Archer vs. EVIL. (****)

(7) Zack Sabre Jr. vs. KENTA (****)

(8) Will Ospreay vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi. (****½)

Commentary: Kevin Kelly, Rocky Romero and Chris Charlton.

UNDERCARD RESULTS

(1) Jon Moxley & Shota Umino beat Ren Narita & Juice Robinson in 3:40.

(2) Toa Henare & Jeff Cobb beat Tomoaki Honma & Toru Yano in 5:20.

(3) Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi & Minoru Suzuki beat YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii in 7:50.

(4) BUSHI & Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito beat Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi & Jay White in 8:40.

A BLOCK RESULTS & ANALYSIS

(5) LANCE ARCHER (4) vs. EVIL (8) IN A G1 CLIMAX 29 A BLOCK MATCH

Both men went to opposite corners and charged at each other and hit shoulder tackles at the same time, but neither man would go down. Archer hit a big slap to EVIL’s face that sent him down to a knee, but EVIL fired back with a superman punch only to eat a black hole slam as he came off the ropes! Archer went to the floor and attacked The Young Lions. Archer went for his usual cannonball, but EVIL blocked it, so Archer hit a moonsault off the apron to the floor and wiped out everyone. HOLY S–T! Archer took off a turnbuckle pad and whipped EVIL into it a short time later. He then suplexed EVIL into the exposed turnbuckle pad. Archer went for a modified outside in senton over the ropes, but EVIL got out of the way. EVIL mounted a comeback and went to work on Archer. The crowd fired up and EVIL hit a bronco buster in the corner. Archer fired back and decked EVIL with a big lariat. Archer went up top, but EVIL cut him off and hit a big superplex. This crowd is SO hot. They had a great exchange and the ref bumped when EVIL sent Archer’s leg to him. Archer then caught EVIL with the Derailer. Archer set up a chair between the turnbuckles in the corner.

EVIL ended up sending Archer head first into the chair set up in the corner. He wiped out Archer with a lariat. He then hit total anarchy for a near fall. EVIL set up for EIE, but Archer blocked it. Archer blocked a chokeslam and hit a clothesline, but EVIL kicked out! Archer lifted EVIL onto his shoulders and hit a F5.He set up for the EBD Claw, but EVIL ducked it. EVIL hit a headbutt and went for EIE, but Archer got the EBD Claw and leaned onto EVIL and it was good for the pin. WOW!
After the match, several Young Lions tried to pull Archer off of EVIL. He ended up letting go of EVIL and he gave one of the Young Lions the EBD Claw.

WINNER: Lance Archer (6 pts) in 10:00. (****)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was awesome from start to finish with a red hot crowd. Archer was great here and so was EVIL.)

Archer got onto English commentary and said it won’t stop next year. He promised that everyone would die next year at G1.

(6) SANADA (8) vs. BAD LUCK FALE (W/JADO & CHASE OWENS) (6) IN A G1 CLIMAX 29 A BLOCK MATCH

SANADA has won three matches in a row heading into this match including a win over Okada. Meanwhile, Fale has been cheating to win matches, but has been using pinning combinations to win his last two matches. Kelly said SANADA will likely get a title shot, but if Okada wins the G1, he might pick SANADA to face him at Wrestle Kingdom. The bell rang and the fans fired up and chanted for SANADA. Owens grabbed SANADA’s leg and Fale jumped him right away. Gedo tried to hit him with the kendo stick, but SANADA avoided it. He went to bounce off the ropes and Jado hit him with the kendo stick to give Fale the upper hand. Fale put SANADA on the English announce table and choke him with a mic chord. Fale distracted the ref and Owens attacked SANADA on the apron. SANADA went for a slam, but Fale fell on top of him for a two count. SANADA finally hit a basement dropkick and then a dropkick, but Fale wouldn’t go down. He clotheslined Fale to the floor and he was still up on his feet. SANADA wiped him out with a slingshot splash to the floor. He then wiped out Gedo and Owens and the fans fired up big time! SANADA went to the camera and pointed it towards the cheering crowd. Fale ducked a missile dropkick and SANADA went for a TKO, but Fale fell right on top of him. He then hit a splash for a near fall.

Fale hit The Grenade, but SANADA kicked out at two. Fale set up for the BLF, but SANADA slipped out of it. SANADA hit a big slam a short time later and the fans cheered. He lifted Fale and hit the TKO, but Fale managed to kick out at two. SANADA got Skull End on Fale. He got the hooks in, but Owens dragged the ref to the floor. Fale tapped out with the ref down. Jado snuck in from behind, but SANADA countered him. He dropped the kendo stick and locked Jado in the Paradise Lock. Owens ran in and he did the same to him. SANADA hit a springboard dropkick a short time later. He went up top and missed the Muta Moonsault, but landed on his feet. He went for Skull End, but Fale got an inside cradle for the win.

WINNER: Bad Luck Fale (8 pts) in 10:40. (***½)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was one of Fale’s better matches. The crowd was hot for SANADA overcoming the outside interference. It’s pretty funny that Fale keeps winning matches with wrestling holds given all the cheating that is done on his behalf.)

(7) BRITISH UNDISPUTED CHAMPION ZACK SABRE JR. (6) vs. KENTA (8) IN A G1 CLIMAX 29 A BLOCK MATCH

KENTA is looking to snap a four match losing streak in the tournament. Sabre hit a big uppercut and KENTA told him to bring it. KENTA walked into several uppercuts and then decked Sabre with a big forearm. He then took Sabre down with a big series of kicks. Sabre tried to hit some uppercuts, but KETNA put him down with a forearm. KENTA went for a sleeper, but Sabre went after his arm. KENTA avoided a kick to his arm and took Sabre down with a knee to the gut. KENTA hit a short knee drop and then his signature backwards kick to the head and the fans booed. Sabre fired back and went after KENTA’s left arm. Sabre went for an arm submission, but KENTA got out of it with some knees to the head. Sabre got the upper hand and went back after KENTA’s arm. He got a combination arm and leg submission and then turned it into a pinning combination, but KENTA kicked out at one. Sabre tried to work over KENTA, but got caught with a powerslam and both men were down. KENTA dropped Sabre throat first over the top rope and then hit a clothesline off the top for a two count. KENTA caught a kick and Sabre hit some slaps. KENTA then fired back with some huge slaps and a big running kick in the corner followed by a Shibata style stalling dropkick. KENTA missed a double stomp a short time later. They went back and forth and Sabre hit a northern lights suplex and then got a double wrist lock with the neck trap. He tried to float over into the armbar, but KENTA kept his hands together.

Sabre got the armbar, but KENTA quickly got to the ropes. Sabre kept wrenching on KENTA’s arm and they went back and forth and KENTA hit a spinning backfist and both men were down. They went back and forth trading strikes and this time Sabre hit an uppercut that decked KENTA. He went for a PK, but KENTA caught his leg and hit a discus lariat. KENTA went up top and hit a big double stomp for a near fall. Sabre fired back with a leg sweep and hit a PK, but KENTA kicked out at one. They traded big open hand slaps and KENTA hit a counter slap to Sabre’s face. He went for a head kick, but Sabre got the European Clutch for a near fall. WOW! THey traded bombs again and Sabre blocked a clothesline and went for an arm submission, but KENTA countered it. They went back and forth with KETNA going for Game Over. KENTA eventually got Game Over, but Sabre got to the ropes. KENTA hit the Busaiku Knee a short time later for a two count. KENTA went for GTS, but Sabre countered it into a triangle. KENTA tried to roll over, but Sabre rolled with him. KENTA tried to get out of it again, but Sabre got an arm and leg submission and kicked away at KENTA’s head. He then wrenched back on KENTA’s arm and leg like someone bending a bow with an arrow and he verbally submitted.

WINNER: Zack Sabre Jr. (8 pts) in 16:30. (****)

(Radican’s Analysis: Great match between former mentor and protege here. KENTA looked more like his old self and they had some great strike exchanges. Sabre worked over KENTA’s bad arm from start to finish and it paid off in the end.)

(8) IWGP JR. HVT. CHAMPION WILL OSPREAY (6) vs. HIROSHI TANAHASHI (8) IN A G1 CLIMAX 29 A BLOCK MATCH

Both men are out of the running for winning the block. This would be a huge win for Ospreay. The fans fired up and chanted for both men. They had a feeling out period. Tanahashi hit a shoulder tackle and Ospreay sprung up and played some air guitar. Tanahashi tried to fire back, but Ospreay sent him to the floor and hit his signature handspring dive. They went back and forth near the apron and Tanahashi dropkicked Ospreay’s leg as he tried to come back into the ring and then hit a series of dragon screws around the ropes. Tanahashi then went to work on Ospreay’s leg. Tanahashi worked a leg submission and then bridged backwards to put some torque on the hold, but Ospreay managed to get to the ropes. Both men traded bombs in the center of the ring. Tanahashi ended up kicking at Ospreay’s leg, but Ospreay fired right back with a springboard kick and both men were down. Ospreay went for a springboard, but Tanahashi blocked it. Ospreay fired back and pulled the ropes on Tanahashi and he went to the outside. Ospreay then hit the Sasuke Special and both men were down. They showed a nice replay from a low angle of Ospreay hitting the Sasuke Special.

Ospreay didn’t hit the move precisely and the announcers wondered if it was because of the work Tanahashi had done to his leg. Back inside the ring, Ospreay hit a standing SSP. Tanahashi staggered and Ospreay hti a top rope 619. He missed Pip Pip Cheerio and Tanahashi dropkicked his bad leg right away. Tanahashi went for the Cloverleaf Hold, but Ospreay fought out of it. Ospreay hit the Tiger Wall flip kick and sold his leg. He went for an enzuguri, but Tanahashi caught his leg and hit a dragon screw. Tanahashi went for the Cloverleaf and got it this time. Ospreay tried to get to the ropes, but Tanahashi dragged him back to the center of the ring and sat down on it. Ospreay sat up and crawled to the ropes to break the hold. The fans fired up and chanted for both men. Ospreay ducked Slingblade. They went back and forth and Ospreay got a pinning combination for a two count. He then hit the Robinson Special. Ospreay set up for the Os-Cutter, but Tanahashi turned it into a modified Slingblade. Tanahashi hit a straightjacket suplex with a bridge for a two count. He went to bounce off the ropes, but Ospreay hit a one man Spanish Fly for a nearfall! Ospreay went up top and hit a SSP for another nearfall. WOW! Ospreay signaled for the Os-Cutter and hit it, but Tanahashi kicked out at the last second! The 15 minute mark came and went with Tanahashi in great danger.

Ospreay signaled for the finish. He went for the Stormbreaker, but Tanahashi turned it into a Slingblade!! Tanahashi then hit a full running Slingblade for a two count. Tanahashi went up top and hit a standing HIgh Fly Flow, but Ospreay rolled through for a nearfall! Ospreay hit a hook kick. He then hit Hidden Blade and the fans fired up! Ospreay lifted Tanhashi up and hit Stormbreaker for the win. WOW! He did it!

After the match, Ospreay went to Tanahashi on the floor and showed him respect as Tanahashi was being helped to the back. Tanahashi’s time as a threat in G1 seems to be over.

WINNER: Will Ospreay (8 pts) in 17:15. (****¾)

(Radican’s Analysis: This is the biggest win of Ospreay’s career, as he beat Tanahashi on one of the biggest G1 stages possible. They told a great story with Tanahashi working over Ospreay’s leg throughout the match, but Ospreay’s high flying took him through the match and got him the win.The crowd heat for this match was amazing.)

The A block final is next. If Okada wins or draws he advances. Ibushi must beat Okada to advance to the final.

(9) KOTA IBUSHI (12) vs. IWGP HVT. CHAMPION KAZUCHIKA OKADA (14) IN A G1 CLIMAX 29 A BLOCK MATCH

The announcers talked about how Ibushi has tried to beat Okada before, but has fallen short each time. The bell rang to start the match and the fans went nuts chanting for both men. Ibushi caught Okada with a dropkick early in the match. A short time later, Okada fired back and hit his signature dropkick that sent Ibushi to the floor just before the five minute mark. Okada hit a big DDT on the floor. He then began working over Ibushi inside the ring. The crowd tried to rally behind Ibushi as Okada worked a chinlock. Okada went to bounce off the ropes a short time later, but Ibushi caught him with a snap rana and both men were down. Ibushi hit a standing SSP for a two count a short time later. Ibushi hit a springboard splash to the floor a short time later. He favored his ankle after landing. Okada fired back and caught Ibushi with an elbow off the ropes a short time later. Okada hit a DDT and made the cover, but Ibushi kicked out at two. Okada rolled through when Ibushi got out of the way of his top rope elbow. They went to a fast exchange off the ropes and Ibushi caught him with a flying mid kick. They went to a strike exchange and Ibushi finally buckled. They went back and forth and Ibushi hit a powerslam and went for a moonsault, but Okada got his knees up. Okada hit a big flapjack a short time later for a two count.
Okada hit a slam at the 15 minute mark. He went up top, but Ibushi got up and cut off his top rope elbow. Ibushi went for a butterfly superplex, but Okada fought out of it and Ibushi went to the apron. Ibushi then hit a chop and a springboard super rana for a two count.

After making the pin attempt, Ibushi favored his ankle. Ibushi hit a sit out powerbomb a short time later, but Okada grabbed the bottom rope to break the pin. Ibushi ducked a Rainmaker, but Okada hit a German and held on. He went for a Rainmaker, but Ibushi ducked it. He went off the ropes and walked right into a dropkick from Okada. Ibushi countered a tombstone attempt and hit his signature package tombstone and the crowd gasped with both men down on the mat. The fans chanted for Ibushi. Both men began trading blows from their knees. Both men yelled before exchanging blows. Okada told Ibushi to bring it as the 20 minute mark passed. They continued to trade blows with now less than 10 minutes remaining in the match. Okada went down after a strike. Ibushi hit several blows and Okada hit a shotgun dropkick, but Ibushi got up and nailed him with a lariat and both men were down. WOW! The fans fired up and chanted for Ibushi. Ibushi’s knee pad was down. They traded counters with Ibushi going for a lawn dart, but Okada slid through and hit a Rainmaker.

Okada lifted Ibushi and hit a flush Rainmaker. He hit the Rainmaker pose and set up for another Rainmaker, but Ibushi ducked it and hit a straightjacket suplex. Ibushi held on and went for Kamigoye, but Okada blocked it. He then hit a dropkick to the back of Ibushi’s head. Okada went for a dropkick as Ibushi came off the ropes, but Ibushi turned it into a powerbomb! WOW! Ibushi set up for the Boma Ye, but Okada nailed him with a dropkick! He went for the Rainmaker, but Ibushi ducked it and hit a high kick to his head. He held on and went for Kamigoye, but Okada blocked it. Okada ended up sitting on top of Ibushi and he got a pinning combination for a nearfall. Ibushi hit another high kick. Okada ducked a high kick and went for a spinning Rainmaker, but Ibushi hit a jumping knee to the face. He then hit a Kamigoye, but Okada kicked out. Ibushi immediately lifted Okada up and hit a second Kamigoye for the win. WOW.

WINNER: Kota Ibushi (14 pts) in 25:00. (Ibushi wins A block via tiebreaker) (****½)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was an excellent match, but it was never outstanding until the end. Ibushi kept Okada off his game throughout the match and cut off his signature spots throughout the match. He absorbed multiple Rainmakers and surprisingly put Okada away without a ton of drama, as they didn’t even tease a time limit draw.)

Ibushi cut a promo after the match. The fans fired up and chanted his name. He thanked the fans and everyone that fought with him during the A block. He said he would represent the A block in the finals and he will not lose. He said he will not go down the same path as last year. He promised to win and the fans fired up.

Kelly and Romero pointed out that Ibushi had one extra day to rest unlike last year when he faced Tanahashi on the very next day in the finals after winning the B block. The announcers wondered if Ibushi would move out of his small apartment if he won G1.

Overall thoughts: This was a tremendous night of block action. Despite the final match being the only match that mattered in terms of the standings and who would go to the finals, every block match delivered and four out of the five block matches were outstanding.

The big story here is that for the second straight year, Ibushi is going to the finals of G1. Last year he lost to Tanahashi in the finals. He had a great match against Okada and it went by like a breeze, but it didn’t have the high drama of some of the better matches of the tournament. Ibushi has certainly at the very least earned himself a shot at Okada’s title if he doesn’t beat the B block winner.

The other highlight of the show was the incredible Ospreay vs. Tanahashi match. This felt very much like Tanahashi passing the torch on a big stage in the semi-main event of the final night of A block action at Budokan Hall. They had a tremendous match.

The crowd was on fire all night and I can’t say enough good things about this show. Lance Archer vs. EVIL and Zack Sabre Jr. vs. KENTA matches were both outstanding. Enjoy the rest of the ride folks, this was a great first of three nights at Budokan!

UPDATED G1 CLIMAX 29 STANDINGS THROUGH NIGHT 17

A BLOCK

Kota Ibushi 7-2 (12 pts) – WINNER A BLOCK
Kazuchika Okada 7-2 (14 pts)*
EVIL 4-5 (8 pts)*
Hiroshi Tanahashi 4-5 (8 pts)*
Zack Sabre Jr. 4-5 (8 pts)*
KENTA 4-5 (8 pts)*
SANADA 4-5 (8 pts)*
Bad Luck Fale 4-5 (8 pts)*
Will Ospreay 4-5 (8 pts)*
Lance Archer 3-6 (6 pts)*

B BLOCK

Jon Moxley 5-2 (10 pts)
Tetsuya Naito 5-3 (10 pts)
Hirooki Goto 5-3 (10 pts)
Jay White 5-3 (10 pts)
Tomohiro Ishii 4-4 (8 pts)*
Toru Yano 4-4 (8 pts)*
Juice Robinson 3-5 (6 pts)*
Jeff Cobb 3-5 (6 pts)*
Taichi 3-5 (6 pts)*
Shingo Takagi 3-5 (6 pts)*
*-eliminated from A/B Block final

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

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