SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
G1 CLIMAX DAY 15 RESULTS
OCTOBER 13, 2020
AIRED ON NJPWWORLD.COM
(a) YUYA UEMURA vs. GABRIEL KIDD
The two opened with their usual strong array of counters leading to a Kidd near-fall. Kidd retained control and tied up Uemura’s legs and added a chinlock, looking for a tap. Uemura reached the ropes for a reset and attempted to draw in Kidd from the mat, then staved off Kidd’s reversal attempts to work his left arm. Kidd found the ropes to break and got in some rights while doing a good job on selling the work that was done on his arm. He sold the pain after every offensive move and couldn’t latch on a double-underhook as a result of it. Uemura trapped the bad arm with his legs and Kidd broke the hold with a stiff and loud palm strike to the face. The two exchanged forearms and Kidd got a near-fall after a dropkick. Uemura took Kidd over with an armdrag and held on for a German with a bridge to finish.
WINNER: Yuya Uemura at 8:37. (***)
(Wells’s Analysis: Another very good outing for the Young Lions with a healthy helping of psychology. These two just get it)
(1) JEFF COBB (6 points) vs. WILL OSPREAY (10 points)
Ospreay exploded in with a dropkick and controlled the early going with his speed. Only a minute into the match, several hard spots on the apron were teased, leading to Cobb hitting the floor and Ospreay hitting a plancha. Ospreay hit a Shibata dropkick for a one count and Cobb threw Ospreay off of him. As with much of the tournament so far, Ospreay worked a little heelish against a babyface opponent, suckering in Cobb while asking for a shot, then hitting a spinning heel kick. Cobb caught Ospreay for a belly-to-back and a huge back elbow in the corner. A Cobb brainbuster got a two count. Cobb ragdolled Ospreay around until Ospreay created some separation with a dropkick after springing off of the standing Cobb’s legs. Ospreay continued to stick and move and hit a standing moonsault for two. A springboard forearm got two. Ospreay missed the hidden blade and Cobb hit a standing moonsault for two. The two traded some blocks and reversals that at times defy description. Cobb hit a superkick after a series of blocks but ran right into Spanish Fly for two. Springboard 450 splash got two for Ospreay. Ospreay softened up Cobb with some kicks but Cobb blocked an Os-Cutter and bealed Ospreay for two. Cobb tossed Ospreay toward a corner and unwittingly set him up for an Os-Cutter for two. Cobb blocked Stormbreaker and hit a German, then Tour of the Islands to win.
WINNER: Jeff Cobb at 12:21. (****)
(Wells’s Analysis: These two match up incredibly well. It’s a shame this didn’t get more time, but in a block this stacked, you could say that about most of the matches. Ospreay has always been one to use his speed against a bigger opponent, but his growing strength has afforded him the opportunity to work with some different blocks and counters. Ospreay’s chances to win the block took a huge hit here but I won’t obsess about things until the show is over.)
(2) KOTA IBUSHI (10 points) vs. YUJIRO TAKAHASHI (0 points)
Yujiro looked to sucker Kota to the outside in the early going, but Kota wasn’t having it. Yujiro was able to toss Kota outside but Kota reversed him into a barricade. Kota looked to keep up the onslaught but Yujiro snuck back into the ring. Yujiro threw a few rights and Kota smiled through them, but a fourth staggered him. Kota hit a dropkick and Yujiro bailed and pulled Kota to the outside again. Yujiro raked Kota’s eyes and set him to the barricade, then hit an inverted DDT on the outside. The ref counted to 8 before action went back into the ring. Yujiro controlled for the next couple of minutes with his fundamental offensive set. Kota hit a kick off of a Yujiro rope run and lit him up with shots and a standing moonsault for two. Yujiro again took control and a running lariat got two, but quickly ran into a double stomp. Yujro hit a Samoan drop to fight off Kamigoye. Yujiro hit a top rope fisherman buster and one from the mat for a very close two. Kota fought off Pimp Juice and Yujiro escaped Kamigoye. Kota hit a rising knee and finally converted with Kamigoye to win.
WINNER: Kota Ibushi at 12:28. (**)
(Wells’s Analysis: The final two minutes were decent, but until then it was a Yujiro affair. If you catch any of his matches in this tournament, let it be the night 13 match with Jay White given the story of Yujiro looking to retain his pride in a difficult situation. This win eliminates everyone but Ibushi, Okada, Ospreay and White from a possible block win, and Ospreay is only in the mix if a multi-way tie happens, which is practically unheard of in the G1.)
-Cleaning and disinfection time.
(3) SHINGO TAKAGI (6 points) vs. TAICHI (6 points)
Taichi stalled early and Shingo was all business, as expected. There was almost no contact for the first 90 seconds as Taichi kept breaking holds with the ropes. Takagi hit a corner lariat and a shoulderblock to get the crowd into it. Taichi bailed and Takagi follwed him out, only to get hit with the timekeeper’s wooden mallet. Taichi choked Takagi with the mallet, then a cable at ringside before rolling Takagi inside. Taichi choked Takagi on the mat as the ref kept counting him toward disqualification. Taichi hit a snap mare and threw a few dismissive kicks. Takagi elbowed himself out of trouble and hit a dragon suplex, then sold the work on his neck. Sliding lariat got two for Takagi. Taichi took control by blocking a corner charge and hitting a thrustkick but he couldn’t capitalize. Shingo blocked a lariat and hit one, then hit noshigami for two. Taichi fought off Made in Japan and the two exchanged kicks (Taichi) and chops (Shingo). Shingo got the better of the exchange. The two then traded lariats and Taichi hit a dragon suplex. Taichi mimicked Shingo’s war cry and hit a pumping bomber for two. Taichi did the pants-toss spot and Takagi immediately laid him out in the corner with a lariat. Taichi fought off Made in Japan again but Takagi caught Taichi with his own trademark rollup for two. Made in Japan got two. Pumping bomber also got two. Taichi fought off Last of the Dragons and hit Made in Japan for two. Taichi hit an enzuigiri and his rollup for two. The two exchanged shots and Taichi hit Black Mephisto to win.
WINNER: Taichi at 16:21.(***1/2)
(Wells’s Analysis: These two did a Taichi Memphis-style heat match early on but got to a good exchange of power about 40% in. With both of them out of the running, I expected Shingo to take this, what with his overwhelming popularity right now, but it sure seems like he’s going to be the second coming of Tomohiro Ishii and end up a World Champion that never happened)
(4) MINORU SUZUKI (6 points) vs. JAY WHITE (10 points)
Jay bailed and looked to sucker Suzuki outside to open. Has he seen Suzuki matches before? Suzuki threw a stiff kick as White tried to hide in the ropes for first contact. Suzuki wrenched White’s arm and twisted his digits. He mocked White with a clean break in the corner. Suzuki destroyed White with some chops and went after Gedo on the outside, which allowed White to block him into the barricade repeatedly. Suzuki seethed and you don’t have to speak the language to hear the announcers firing up over Suzuki’s glare. Suzuki, seated, no-sold some White kicks to the back and got up for a huge palm strike. White raked his eyes and Gedo set up for a chair shot to draw referee Red Shoes Unno to the outside. White brought in a chair but Suzuki intercepted it and hit White with a few shots. Red Shoes reentered the ring and cleared it of chairs. Suzuki hit a PK and White was reeling in a corner. His kicks had little effect but he hit a snap suplex into the buckle pad to earn a breather. Suzuki blocked Blade Runner and laid out White with a single forearm. Another sent White to the outside. White tried to use the ref for an opening but Suzuki saw it coming and laid him out again. White finally found his speed and worked over Suzuki’s left leg. Death Valley Driver by White got two. White threw some chops at a kneeling Suzuki, who begged for more. White may have hit a low blow – camera angle couldn’t confirm – and he hit a DDT for two. Suzuki threw some mean forearms and White exited the ring again. When he reentered he nearly caught Suzuki with Blade Runner, but Suzuki escaped. Dragon screw by White at the fifteen minute mark. Suzuki worked a submission hold on White’s left leg, but White reached the ropes to break. Suzuki hit another sick forearm on White as Gedo yelled “no, no, no, no” from the outside. And again. Gedo started sneaking into the ring as Suzuki set up a third, and caused enough of a distraction to allow a brainbuster by White. A staggering White went for Blade Runner but Suzuki caught him in a triangle. Gedo distracted Red Shoes while White frantically tapped out. Suzuki hit a hard right on Gedo to lay him out. White tried repeatedly to hit Suzuki with Blade Runner but Suzuki escaped. Suzuki put a sleeper on at the twenty minute mark. Gedo distracted Red Shoes as Suzuki went for the Gotch piledriver, and White hit a low blow and finally hit Blade Runner.
WINNER: Jay White at 20:29. (***1/2)
(Wells’s Analysis: A match between these two could have gone a lot of different ways, and this was a good choice. As a wrestling match it wasn’t a technical experience, but for a wrestling fan it was a joy as one of the meanest bastards in the game systematically destroyed the company’s most despicable heel. Suzuki seems like he could still be an asset to the top of the card, but this is his lane now; he dominates matches for the moral victory while not actually winning very often anymore)
(5) TOMOHIRO ISHII (6 points) vs. KAZUCHIKA OKADA (10 points)
Slow feeling-out process to open, with little to no contact in the first couple of minutes leading to a couple of tackle attempts by both. Arm drag and snap mare by Okada gave him control and another snap mare got a one count. Ishii threw a ton of chops in the corner and Okada fired up and hit a few forearms. Ishii took Okada down with another chop. Okada fought off the pain and threw a few back elbows and a forearm before Ishii slowed him with a forearm of his own. Okada’s chest was already a bit of a red mess.
In the corner, Okada fought off a charge and took down Ishii. Okada took control on a power exchange until Ishii hit a belly-to-back in the corner. Ishii hit a superplex for two. Ishii kept on the offensive but an Okada dropkick turned the tide. Piledriver led to the Money Clip, but Ishii got to the rope. Ishii blocked a second piledriver but Okada took him down with an uppercut. Ishii reversed a suplex but was rolled up for two. The two exchanged rollups and Ishii nearly stuck Okada. Shotgun dropkick by Okada, who then blocked a dropkick and hooked in the Money Clip again. Ishii reversed and hit a DDT and worked Okada’s left arm, but Okada reached the ropes after a couple attempts. Ishii worked the arm in the corner and shoved off the ref, then hit a diving ax-handle and a sliding lariat for two. We’re twenty minutes in.
Okada caught Ishii in another piledriver and the two sold for a good 45 seconds. The audience clapped rhythmically, though it wasn’t clear for whom. Big headbutt by Ishii, but Okada hit a dropkick and a lariat. Okada latched on the Money Clip again but Ishii got to his feet and flipped through and hit a headbutt to break. He hit a running lariat with the crowd into it and got a long two. Ishii fired up and Okada blocked his finisher and locked in the Money Clip briefly. Lungblower by Ishii broke. A series of reversals led to an Okada lariat and another Money Clip as we reached 25 minutes. Ishii fought to his feet but Okada locked him back in. Red Shoes called the match as Ishii passed out.
WINNER: Kazuchika Okada at 26:14 (***1/2)
(Wells’s Analysis: A very good match that I thought would cross over to great. It really took its time early, and that was fine, but it didn’t find its gear until late.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: The A Block is practically immune to having a bad show. At their worst I think they could manage a B-. This was a decent show that of course left a lot on the table leading to the block final; technically four men are in the running but I have to assume that Okada is winning the block (and possibly the tournament) because he has the most compelling losses so far, leading to some briefcase defenses. Before the tournament started I thought Jay White would win the block, and that’s still in play, so the block final will be a lot of fun to see. At any rate, it was a very good night of wrestling, and hopefully the best is yet to come.
|Zack Sabre Jr.||8|