SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
G-1 CLIMAX FINAL RESULTS
OCTOBER 18, 2020
TOKYO, JAPAN AT RYOGOKU, KOKUGIKAN
AIRED LIVE ON NJPWWORLD.COM
(1) CHAOS (TORU YANO, YOSHI-HASHI, TOMOHIRO ISHII & HIROOKI GOTO vs. SUZUKI-GUN (DOUKI, EL DESPERADO, ZACK SABRE JR & TAICHI) – Special Eight-man tag match
The show kicked off with an eight man tag match between CHAOS and Suzuki-gun. The camera cut to a very dapper Jushin Liger & Milano Collection AT ringside for the Japanese commentary. The match itself opened with Taichi & Ishii – with Taichi’s kicks vs. Ishii’s chops. Eventually the legwork went in Taichi’s favor, but given the pain of Taichi’s kick-fight with Ibushi Taichi suffered as well. The big story of this match was a preview of both the Best of Super Juniors & the Real World tag league as the next joint tour with the principles in this match.
After a few pier six brawls, ZSJ and Goto wound up as their teams’ representatives, with ZSJ focused on the injured shoulder of Goto. Goto tagged out to Yano, who attempted to undo one of the corner pads, but Z-SJ thwarted him briefly. Douki tagged himself in as he smiled as Suzuki-gun again cleaned house.
“Nobody puts Wally in the corner!” – Kevin Kelly as he referred to one of the named turnbuckle pads.
The finish came as Dangerous Tekkers dropped Zack Mephisto on Yoshi-Hashi, which allowed Douki to get the win. Post match, Suzuki-gun stretched and put the boots to the CHAOS members. Douki then grabbed the NEVER Openweight six man tag titles and challenged Yoshi-Hashi, Ishii & Goto.
WINNER: Douki by pinfall (Zack Mephisto) in 10:34 (**)
(Fann’s Analysis: Interesting that they allowed a junior heavyweight to pin Yoshi-Hashi, a heavyweight. That’s typically taboo in New Japan, and now CHAOS has to recover not only from the betrayal of Ospreay, but also the indignance of such a loss – and challenge to their six man titles.)
(2) LIJ (HIROMU TAKAHASHI & SHINGO TAKAGI) vs. SUZUKI-GUN (YOSHINOBU KANEMARU & MINORU SUZUKI) – Special Tag Match
This match broke down into two separate singles battles essentially – juniors Hiromu & Kanemaru as well as Suzuki vs. Shingo. Romero and company talked about the possibility of Suzuki being in the 31st G-1, given his showing this year.
Suzuki & Takagi eventually stood center-ring and traded forearms to the head. Suzuki eventually went for a Gotch-style piledriver, but was countered into a death valley driver. Suzuki however popped right up and gave a PK to Shingo. Both men tagged out to their junior counterparts at this point.
The finish came as both heavies brawled at ringside, while Hiromu spiked Kanemaru with Time Bomb for the win.
WINNER: Hiromu Takahashi by pinfall (Time Bomb) in 11:55 (**)
(Fann’s Analysis: Post match the Rocky III-esque staredown and brawl between the NEVER Openweight opponents exploded, and C block winner Tsuji got out of a Suzuki young lion beat down, as is his right. Kidd instead was kicked and punched in the head as Hiromu and Takagi chatted in the ring. Looks like the NEVER title and the Jr. Tag Titles have a CHAOS-Suzuki gun flavor for the next tour!)
(3) MASTER WATO (w/TENZAN), JEFF COBB, JUICE ROBINSON & HIROSHI TANAHASHI vs. BULLET CLUB (GEDO, TAIJI ISHIMORI, KENTA & JAY WHITE) – Special Eight-man tag
The big story in this tag match was the fractures within Bullet Club more than the opponents across the ring. Chris Charlton had a delightful Gino Gambino impersonation to defend the situation within the Club and how more is being made of it than needed.
Match wise, there was an “ab off” between Tanahashi and Jay White before it got physical which was greeted with noise from the crowd. Juice kicked off for his squad while White started for BC and attempted to get the crowd to stop with the “We Will Rock You” clap-stomps. Kenta and Master Wato then entered the ring and Kenta decided to beat the youngster like he stole something.
After the match broke down a great spot happened where the Jeff Cobb kept catching Bullet Club members and throwing them at Gedo. Tanahashi then slapped a Texas Cloverleaf on the beaten Gedo for the win.
Post match, KENTA tells Tanahashi he owes him a new briefcase, as Tanahashi’s skull is what split the case. KENTA even went so far as to put “Tanahashi’s head” on a piece of tape on the case.
WINNER: Hiroshi Tanahashi by Submission (Texas Cloverleaf) in 9:12 (***)
(Fann’s Analysis: By the numbers eight man tag match. Tanahashi continues to be one of the best at getting fans involved during this pandemic, whether it’s in the ring during the match, or playfully Irish whipping his teammates into the corners to celebrate in unison, or his “air hug” to fans as he walks the ring in victory. Bullet Club seemed to be – at least this iteration – on the same page even in defeat.)
An announcement was made that on January 4th and 5th, 2021, Wrestle Kingdom 15 would happen as a two-night event again.
(4) CHAOS (Sho & Kazuchika Okada) vs. GREAT O KHAN & WILL OSPREAY(w/Bea Priestly – Special Tag Match
This match was a story of giving O Khan a debut in-ring, as well as Ospreay’s full heel attitude. Ospreay avoided entering the ring unless Okada was down already, and Okada finally got a tag to SHO, who was beside himself with the betrayal of Ospreay – and even went so far as to shove Marty Asami as he tried to separate the two in the corner.
Ospreay worked on the knee of SHO – and then with the ref distracted Bea Priestley gave the junior member of CHAOS a dragon screw legwhip into the ropes. Ospreay then put SHO in the figure four while Okada was choked by O Khan for the win.
WINNER: Will Ospreay by submission (Figure Four) in 12:45 (***)
(Fann’s Analysis: It seems like with this new faction of Ospreay’s Bea Priestley will be in the Gedo role. O Khan looked to be posited as a big man who admired Genghis Khan? I don’t know what the )
(5) LIJ (Bushi & Tetsuya Naito) vs. BULLET CLUB (Yujiro Takahashi & Evil) – Special Tag Match
Early on in the match, it was spotlighted that Evil and Yujiro both joined Bullet Club in the path of costing their leaders the IWGP title – Yujiro with Okada and CHAOS, Evil with Naito with Bullet Club.
As Bushi and Yujiro fought, Romero spoke on the rigorous thought LIJ – and Naito in particular – put into invites into the faction. Meanwhile, the match devolved into a brawl with weapons outside while Dick Togo distracted the referee. Back in the ring, Evil dropped Bushi with Darkness Falls, but Bushi kicked out. Bushi was then put in the Scorpion Deathlock and team BC won. Evil refused to take the hold off until Naito kicked him off.
Dick Togo snuck behind Naito and choked him with the garrote, and then Evil dropped the double champ with Everything is Evil. Evil then picked up the double titles and stood on Naito’s chest and posed like he did when he beat Naito a few months ago.
WINNER: EVIL by submission (Scorpion Deathlock) in 14:14 (***)
(Fann’s Analysis: Evil is rolling and now has a claim for a title match at Power Struggle. Depending on who the G-1 winner is that could make for an interesting winter in New Japan.)
(6) KOTA IBUSHI (A BLOCK WINNER) vs. SANADA (B BLOCK WINNER) – G-1 CLIMAX 30 FINAL
Before the finalists came out, 5-time winner Masahiro Chono came out to talk about the importance of New Japan adhering to protocols and fighting through the pandemic, like these two men who lasted to “god-damn G-1 finals”.
The early story of the match was can Ibushi survive the onslaught after his kick battle with Taichi, and could Sanada rise to the moment after not quite making it so many times.
An O’Connor Roll late onto Ibushi to avoid Kamigoye got a 2.999999 and folks were angry that it wasn’t three for Sanada. A Kamigoye from Ibushi got a 2.999 and the crowd lost it, but a second got the win – and back-to-back G-1 final wins for Kota Ibushi.
Post match, Ibushi highlighted Chono and Tenzan as prior back-to-back winners and that in this era we live in and the challenge we face – he was honored that people came out to see him. He wanted to get back as soon as possible to fill these venues with screaming fans and now take this G-1 and try to become champion.
WINNER: Kota Ibushi by pinfall (Kamigoye) in 35:12 (****1/4)
(Fann’s Analysis: The best match Sanada has had in New Japan outside of his Okada title match a year and change ago. The most insane finishing sequence I’ve seen in some time. Just a fantastic match from start to finish. Ibushi’s penchant for letting his opponent drop him on his head at some point will always be a crazy thing, but this match – this tournament has led to setting Ibushi up as the man, and the person that is destined to take the double title challenge at Wrestle Kingdom. For Sanada, this was a disappointment, but all is not lost – perhaps he is now able to either separate himself from LIJ or to give himself that oomph to get to the next level.)
FINAL THOUGHTS (8.0): Solid tag match undercard that led to a magnificent main event. Ibushi’s third G-1 and second consecutive win was a mixture of wrestling styles and highlighted the flexibility in moveset, storytelling and brilliance. If you watch anything, watch this main event and enjoy wrestling as it should be.
Contact Rich at PWTDive@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/rich_fann.
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