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NJPW G1 CLIMAX 31: FINAL REPORT
OCT. 21, 2021
AIRED LIVE ON NJPW WORLD
Announcers: Kevin Kelly and Chris Charlton
(a) YOSHINOBU KANEMARU & EL DESPERADO vs. KOSEI FUJITA & RYOHEI OIWA
Kanemaru submitted Fujita with a Boston Crab.
WINNERS: Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado at 8:40.
(1) YUJI NAGATA & TORU YANO vs. THE GREAT O-KHAN & JEFF COBB
Yano had been isolated late in the match, but suddenly he caught O-Khan with a low blow that the ref didn’t see and he rolled up O-Khan for the win.
WINNERS: Toru Yano & Yuji Nagata at 8:29.
(Radican’s Analysis: Cobb and O-Khan deserved a better finish to G1 than this. A showcase win for them would have been nice given their respective performances in G1. Cobb was especially impressive going 8-0 and nearly winning his block.)
(2) HOUSE OF TORTURE (EVIL & YUJIRO TAKAHASHI & SHO W/DICK TOGO) vs. CHAOS (TOMOHIRO ISHII & HIROOKI GOTO & YOSHI-HASHI)
The ref got bumped and Sho wiped out Hashi with a chairshot to the head. Evil hit Everything Is Evil on Hashi for the win.
WINNERS: Sho & Yujiro Takahashi & Evil at 11:20. (*½)
After the match, House of Torture continued to work over their opponents. They held up the NEVER Six Man Tag Team Championship titles while standing on top of Chaos, so that match will likely be signed for Power Struggle.
(Radican’s Analysis: If you hadn’t gotten enough of Bullet Club/House of Torture antics during G1, you got another dose here.)
(3) TOMOAKI HONMA & TIGER MASK & HIROSHI TANAHSHI & TOGI MAKABE) vs. BULLET CLUB (CHASE OWENS & KENTA & TAMA TONGA & TONGA LOA W/JADO)
The action was good from start to finish. Everyone ended up brawling on the floor. Honma and Owens were left inside the ring. Owens ended up pinning Honma with a package piledriver.
WINNERS: Chase Owens & Kenta & Tama Tonga & Tonga Loa at 10:41.
(Radican’s Analysis: This was an enjoyable tag match ahead of intermission)
After the match, Owens was jawing with Tanahashi, but Kenta laid him out with a belt shot. Kenta and Owens then tugged the belt back and forth. Owens beat Tanahashi during the tournament. Owens backed down and said Kenta could challenge first and then Owens would get the next shot. Owens got on the English commentary feed and said he was stepping back because he was coming back to the U.S. for a while, but he would be waiting. Tanahashi’s next program will be with Kenta it appears.
A video announced that the Strong Spirits game would launch in early 2022 on smartphones to kick off the 50 year celebration of NJPW.
Zack Sabre Jr. came out to the ring unscheduled after intermission. He was wearing shorts and a windbreaker. Katsuyori Shibata’s music then played and the announcers sold shock. The fans fired up big with claps. Shibata made his way down to the ring with a towel around his neck wearing shorts. The announcers asked what is this?
The ring announcers said this was a five minute special exhibition UWF rules match.
(4) KATSUYORI SHIBATA vs. ZACK SABRE Jr. – Five minute special exhibition UWF rules match
Chris Charlton explained what UWF rules meant. He said ordinarily they would have a point system in NJPW, but right now it was just one round at five minutes. Charlton mentioned Sabre’s first match in NJPW was against Shibata. Shibata got a full mount on Sabre, but he escaped and they came to a stalemate. The fans clapped loudly after they came to a stalemate. They came to another stalemate with two minutes left and the fans fired up once again. Shibata got his signature sleeper late and went for the cobra twist, but Sabre countered it with 20 seconds left in the time limit. Shibata countered Sabre and got the cobra twist again. The bell rang and Sabre slipped around Shibata and went for an arm bar as the ref told them it was over.
Shibata asked for more time and the ref raised both men’s hands. Shibata offered a handshake and Sabre accepted.
WINNER: Draw at 5:00.
Shibata got on the mic after and thanked Sabre. He said there would be a next time for him in the ring. Shibata then took a back bump and left.
(Radican’s Analysis: This was incredible. I had chills watching Shibata and Sabre go at it on the mat. I’d love to see Shibata wrestle again, but only if he’s been cleared by doctors.)
(5) MASTER WATO & RYUSUKE TAGUCHI & HIROYOSHI TENZAN & SATOSHI KOJIMA vs. L.I.J. (BUSHI & HIROMU TAKAHSHI & SANADA & SHINGO TAKAGI)
This was another good tag match with high energy bell-to-bell. Late in the match, Wato wiped out Bushi with a dive. Wato has put on some muscle recently. Takagi ended up alone in the ring with Tenzan. He got the win with a Pumping Bomber.
WINNERS: Master Wato & Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima at 12:17. (***¼)
(Radican’s Analysis: This had a little bit of everything with Taguchi trying to gas out Takahashi running the ropes early, to brawling on the floor, to chaotic in-ring action. The crowd was definitely lively from start to finish for this tag.)
(6) KOTA IBUSHI vs. KAZUCHIKA OKADA – G1 Climax 31 finals
There is no time limit for the final. All regular G1 matches have a 30 minute time limit. The opening bell rang and the crowd fired up clapping. They felt each other out for five minutes or so and then the pace really picked up. Okada went for a Rainmaker, but Ibushi ducked. They came to a stalemate and both men smiled at each other from opposite sides of the ring. Okada eventually took control, but Ibushi mounted a comeback. They ended up on the floor and Ibushi hit a half and half suplex and the fans applauded with both men down. Okada ducked a charge in the corner and put Ibushi up top before hitting a dropkick that sent Ibushi to the floor. Okada hit a big DDT on the entrance ramp. He ended up tossing Ibushi back into the ring instead of letting the ref count. Ibushi escaped a Money Clip attempt, but Okada got it again. Ibushi tried to escape, so Okada hit a tombstone and applied it again.
The crowd tried to rally behind Ibushi as Okada worked the Money Clip well past the 15 minute mark of the match. Ibushi kept trying to escape the Money Clip and eventually got to the ropes. Ibushi fired back at Okada a short time later and hit a lariat. The fans fired up as the 20 minute mark came and went. Ibushi went for a Kamigoye, but Okada easily shrugged it off. Ibushi fired back and sent Okada to the floor. The fans fired up with claps. Ibushi set up on the apron and hit a quebrada off the top rope to the floor. Ibushi hit a Rainmaker head kick and then a Rainmaker knee to Okada chin. He then hit Kamigoye, but Okada kicked out at the last second. The fans fired up and clapped in unison. Okada sat down on Ibushi and got his signature pinning combination a short time later for a nearfall.
Okada went for a spinning Rainmaker, but Ibushi cut him off with a clothesline. Ibushi went for a Phoenix Splash, but crashed and burned. The fans fired up and Kelly said Ibushi had landed awkwardly on his right arm. The ref continued to talk to Ibushi, who appeared to be in a great deal of pain. The ref called for the bell and Kelly said he thought Ibushi might have broken his arm. That gives the win to Okada. The cameras stayed on Okada, who didn’t look pleased.
WINNER: Kazuchika Okada at 25:37. (****)
(Radican’s Analysis: Okada and Ibushi were having a tremendous match until Ibushi’s unfortunate injury.)
Ibushi was shown grabbing his wrist. Okada asked for people to come into the ring to attend to Ibushi. Shingo Takagi came down to ringside and looked concerned. Okada was announced as the winner of G1 and the fans applauded. Ibushi appeared to be in a lot of pain on the mat as he was attended to. Kelly said they might be trying to pop something back in place.
Kelly said he was going to guess it was a dislocated shoulder on the landing of the Phoenix Splash. Ibushi continued to appear to be in a lot of pain on the mat. The ringside attendants began removing the ropes to help Ibushi get out of the ring easier. Ibushi appeared to be favoring his elbow. He had words with Okada. Ibushi left the ring and bowed to Okada.
Okada was announced as the G1 Climax 31 winner again. He was given the trophy and flag. This is Okada’s third G1 Climax win and his first in seven years.
Okada was given the mic. Okada said the ref ended the match, but he would still stick out his heart and chest with pride and say he won G1 Climax. He said in the end, results are what matter and I have won the G1. He thanked the fans for their support. He said for now, his eyes will be set on the Tokyo Dome. He said he’s the center of NJPW and it’s up to him to tear it up. He said he will once again carry the organization on his back. He said that this is not the ending he wanted with Ibushi and said they would do it again.
Okada said as G1 Champion, he wanted to say one thing to NJPW. He said, “Make sure I get to wrestle Kota Ibushi again.” He said he would make sure he is the fourth IWGP World Hvt. Champion so he could make the match happen. Okada said or he would become the IWGP Hvt. Champion again. Takagi was shown at ringside staring at Okada. Confetti shot down from the rafters as he hit the Rainmaker pose. Okada then posed on the ropes with the G1 flag and shield.
Okada was celebrating with Chaos backstage when Tama Tonga came in clapping sarcastically. He congratulated Okada. He said Okada almost had the perfect G1, but he took it from him. Tonga said he was the only one in G1 to beat him this year. Tonga said just make the briefcase the Tama Tonga briefcase. He said he would beat Okada against and make it the Tama Tonga briefcase.
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