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NEW JAPAN G1 CLIMAX – NIGHT 11
OCTOBER 7, 2020
HIROSHIMA, JAPAN AT SUN PLAZA HALL
AIRED LIVE ON NJPW WORLD
REPORT BY RICH FANN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
(A) YOTA TSUJI vs. GABRIEL KIDD
The show kicked off with a Young Lion battle between Tsuji and Kidd, as the “C Block” continued. This iteration began with strikes and shoulder tackles. After the exchange, Kidd slapped a chinlock on Tsuji and slowed things down. Tsuji fought out of another strike exchange with a dropkick, and then ate a Kidd shoulder tackle. Both men went for suplexes and reversed the other’s attempt, until Kidd landed his suplex for a long two count.
The finish came as both again engaged in a strike exchange, with Tsuji on top with a powerslam and a spear. Tsuji then put Kidd in the Boston Crab and got the submission win.
WINNER: Yota Tsuji by submission (Boston Crab) in 6:43 (***)
(Fann’s Analysis: Kidd and Tsuji had a great “C Block” showing. After last night’s match, the Young Lions have really hit another gear, and this match continued in that vein.)
(1) TOMOHIRO ISHII vs. YUJIRO TAKAHASHI – Block A match
This next match was a battle of The Tokyo Pimp for the second A Block night in a row having to handle another power player, this time in the form of Ishii. Before the match started, Takahashi had already attacked Ishii and taken the fight outside. Back in the ring, Takahashi kept the pace up with stomps and basement dropkicks, and then bit Ishii’s hand during a comeback.
Takahashi had the advantage until late in the match, when Ishii was insulted at the audacity of Yujiro’s use of a brain buster on him. Ishii then clotheslined Yujiro into Alpha Centauri and followed that with a sliding lariat and a Brainbuster for the win.
WINNER: Tomohiro Ishii by pinfall (Brainbuster) in 15:25 (***)
(Fann’s Analysis: Yujiro again surprised. I guess when you’re in the ring with Shingo and Ishii back to back nights you adapt or die. Yujiro’s strategy was a solid one, but the usage of the brainbuster was a bridge too far. Ishii is on the road to a respectable G-1 showing as MVP per usual, and Yujiro has turned his tournament from a performance standpoint – despite being eliminated from contention.)
(2) JEFF COBB vs. KAZUCHIKA OKADA – Block A match
Okada and Cobb started with Okada’s traditional cheekiness on the ropes, but Cobb wanted to establish early this would be a power game and levelled the Rainmaker with a shoulder. Okada took a powder to recover, and then back in the ring avoided Cobb’s attack to hit a series of neckbreakers.
Cobb then got sick of Okada’s smugness with each counter-hold, and decided to clobbered Okada with strikes and a belly to belly suplex. Cobb then hit his gutwrench and got a two count – and followed with a standing moonsault for another. Okada eventually countered Cobb and used the tombstone piledriver, but Cobb was able to fight out of the Money Clip. Okada slipped out of the Tour of the Islands, and a series of roll up exchanges ended with Okada with the win.
WINNER: Kazuchika Okada by pinfall (Roll up) in 11:03 (***)
(Fann’s Analysis: Cobb and Okada had a really good match. The ending was both enjoyable – as it didn’t rely on making the Money Clip happen – as well as Okada’s realization that he couldn’t hang hold for hold with the bigger man. Cobb seemed really into the match and served as a great foil to keeping Okada from being in top gear.)
(3) WILL OSPREAY vs. MINORU SUZUKI – Block A match
Heavyweight Ospreay decided he wanted to test his big boy pants and opened this match with shots fired to Suzuki. The pair stood in the middle of the ring and scrapped until Ospreay sent Suzuki to the floor with a dropkick. Outside, Ospreay nailed a splash and continued the assault. Suzuki eventually countered a dive into an armbar outside, while the referee lost his mind the pair were going to town outside.
The match then became Suzuki focused on the arm of Ospreay vs. Ospreay’s attempt to drop Suzuki long enough to hit the Hidden Blade. Suzuki at one point was spun around for a backbreaker and instead transitioned into a rear naked choke – which was an insane spot live. Ospreay fought out, kicked Suzuki upside the head and then dropped Minoru with a Storm Breaker for the win.
WINNER: Will Ospreay by pinfall (Storm Breaker) in 14:26 (****)
(Fann’s Analysis: Similar to the first time Okada and Suzuki fought in a G-1, this matchup between Ospreay and Suzuki had a natural fit – despite the styles clashing in theory. Ospreay’s new heavyweight lucha style – not too dissimilar from his earlier work – and Suzuki’s “I’m going to murder you” was a great team. The backbreaker spot was great as I mentioned because you realize a 50 year old man just did a windmill backbreaker slip and choke out. Ospreay stays in the mix for the top spot and Suzuki is running out of time.)
(4) JAY WHITE vs. TAICHI – Block A match
White and Taichi started this match (and ended truly) as the absolute jerks they are – and bailed the ring at the bell. Both refused to get in, until both went in at the same time and brawled. The pair then fell out of the ring and brought the fight to the floor, and whipped each other into the barricades around ringside.
Back in the ring, Taichi tried to kick White’s head into the stands, but White ducked and instead took out the singer’s knee. White then followed with a ddt and a Blade Buster, but only got a two count. Taichi tried to fight back, but White was in rare form and instead gave Taichi a dragon screw leg whip. White then hit his uranage on Taichi and when White went for the Blade Runner, Taichi countered with a dangerous back drop. Taichi attempted a shot to the groin while Gedo distracted the referee for White, but was nearly caught by the official. In the chaos, both men crotched each other and wound up on the ground. After a few reversals of holds, Taichi tried another head kick, White countered and hit the Blade Runner for the win.
WINNER: Jay White by pinfall (Blade Runner) in 15:16 (***1/2)
(Fann’s Analysis: I really liked this match, any time you have a battle of jerks in a match it can be fun. Taichi’s tournament has been strong and White is on his path to a final day showdown to get to the final.)
(5) KOTA IBUSHI vs. SHINGA TAKAGI – Block A match
Takagi and Ibushi started a hellacious strike exchange, and Takagi ended the exchange out of the ring. Ibushi waited for his long-awaited opponent to return to the ring and the scrap continued. Takagi’s response was a clothesline of Ibushi over the top rope to the floor to the applause of the crowd.
Back in the ring, Takagi took advantage of the match and began to focus on the leg of Ibushi. Ibushi fought out of a leg hold to hit a frakensteiner and a standing moonsault for a two count. Takagi again took a powder, but this time Ibushi followed via a dive to the floor. Ibushi grabbed Takagi and returned both to the ring, only for Takagi to hit a backpack face plant for a two count. Ibushi dropped Takagi with a release German suplex, which opened the door to the craziest sequence of the match, as both men exchanged suplex attempts, knee strikes and punches. This culminated with Takagi’s Made in Japan for a long two count.
Takagi hit a few Pumping Bombers, and Ibushi fought back with a Bomaye for a 2.9 count. Ibushi went for another, but Takagi slid out of the way and applied Last of the Dragon for the win.
Post match, Takagi called out Okada and left the ring.
WINNER: Shingo Takagi by pinfall (Last of the Dragon) in 21:56 (****3/4)
(Fann’s Analysis: Takagi and Ibushi had never had a match before this. This was magnificent. The counters, the counters to the counters, and the aggression they showed was worthy of their first meeting. I eagerly look forward to the next encounter. The facials of Ibushi alone as he was caught in Last of the Dragon and again in Made in Japan were worth this.)
OVERALL THOUGHTS (8.5): The first Shingo – Ibushi match is worth it, but when you had a great spine of Ospreay-Suzuki and Taichi-White, you have a solid night of A block action. The question of the four men at that top tied for the spot will be answered in the next week, as matches to separate the pack in 2 of the next 3 nights will go a long way to settling that tale. Watch the main event if you miss any other part of the show.
Contact Rich at PWTDive@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/rich_fann.
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