NJPW G1 CLIMAX 33 – NIGHT 3 RESULTS (7/18): Narita vs. Tsuji, Sanada vs. Umino, Okada vs. El Phantasmo



JULY 18, 2023

Commentators: Kevin Kelly and Chase Owens (Match 5 onward)

(1) KAITO KIYOMIYA (2 pts) vs. CHASE OWENS (2 pts) – Block A Match

Owens attacked Kiyomiya from behind to get the early upper hand. Kiyomiya took Owens down with a body slam and a leaping elbow drop before Owens pulled his throat into the ropes. Owens smashed Kiyomiya into the corner with an Irish-whip and dropped him with a back suplex for a pair of two counts. Kiyomiya cracked Owens with a right hand to the head, following it with a pair of running back elbows and a diving clothesline. Kiyomiya knocked Owens off his feet with a missile dropkick, but missed a follow-up dropkick, allowing Owens to kick him on the head.

Owens dropped Kiyomiya with a back suplex on the corner, followed by a regular back suplex for a two count. Kiyomiya planted Owens with a back body drop, only for Owens to catch him off-guard with a rebound Death Valley Driver for a two count. Owens cracked Kiyomiya with a knee strike before nearly being beaten with a hurracarrana. Kiyomiya laid Owens out with a Full-Nelson sit out slam, setting him up for a Shining Wizard and the win.

WINNER: Kaito Kiyomiya (4 pts) at 8:28. (**1/2)

(Pomares’s Analysis: A very middle of the road start to today’s show. It wasn’t terrible by any means, but I struggle to get invested in Chase Owens’ matches. At least it’s cool to see Kiyomiya start to gain some steam. With how heavy on newcomers Block A is, I think Kiyomiya has a decent shot at making it to the next round.)

(2) THE GREAT-O-KHAN (0 pts) vs. KENTA (0 pts) – Block B Match

They grappled briefly early on before KENTA was forced to roll out of the ring. KENTA targeted O-Khan’s eyes, only for O-Khan to make him retreat with a shoulder tackle. O-Khan shoved the referee away, allowing KENTA to blast him with his DEFY championship belt. KENTA took the brawl away from the ring and tossed O-Khan’s body into a row of chairs. At ringside, KENTA nailed O-Khan with a shot into the ring post and a double stomp from the apron.

Back in the ring, O-Khan caught KENTA with a boot to the face and a gutwrench suplex. O-Khan tossed KENTA’s body into a row of chairs before sitting on a chair on top of his chest. O-Khan smashed KENTA’s head into the barricade and started choking him with a bandana. Back in the ring, O-Khan put KENTA down with a back suplex for a two count. O-Khan stopped KENTA’s attempt at a cheap shot behind the referee’s back, but was still taken down with a DDT.

KENTA cracked O-Khan with a Busaiku Knee for a two count. O-Khan shoved KENTA into the referee, knocking him down in the process. O-Khan maintained control over KENTA with a series of strikes before planting him with a modified Tenzan Tombstone Driver. KENTA countered the Eliminator with a hurracarrana while grabbing the ropes for the three count.

WINNER: Kenta (2 pts) at 11:40. (**)

(Pomares’s Analysis: Very slow paced and a lot of walk-and-brawl out of the ring. The final minutes were okay, but this didn’t need to go anywhere near as long as it did.)

(3) HIKULEO (0 pts) (w/Jado) vs. GABE KIDD (0 pts) – Block A Match

Kidd attacked Hikuleo before the match with a chair shot to the back. Hikuleo blocked another chair shot with a big boot and maintained control over Kidd with chops and forearms. Kidd blocked a powerslam and started gauging Hikuleo’s eyes, setting him up for a chair shot to the head. Kidd laid a pile of chairs on the floor, only for Hikuleo to drop him on top of them with a back body drop.

Hikuleo tossed Kidd’s body into the ring, officially starting the match. Kidd knocked Hikuleo off his feet with a right hand and a lariat for a two count. Kidd spit at Hikuleo twice, but was immediately shut down with a giant slap to the face. Hikuleo planted Kidd with a release German suplex, followed by Snake Eyes and a running lariat for a close nearfall.

Hikuleo spiked Kidd with a rough-looking belly-to-belly slam, only for Kidd to block a chokeslam with an eye rake and a chop block. Kidd trapped Hikuleo in an arm head-and-arm lock, shoved the referee away and knocked Jado down. Hikuleo tried to hit Kidd with a chokeslam, but Kidd responded with a low blow and a piledriver for the victory.

WINNER: Gabe Kidd (2 pts) at 3:29. (**1/2)

(Pomares’s Analysis: I like the way Kidd has carried himself throughout his first two matches with the wild brawls at ringside. It obviously wasn’t clean, but I’m surprised Kidd got a pinfall victory over Hikuleo. Let’s just hope that Kidd is doing okay after that scary-looking fall.)

(4) TAICHI (2 pts) vs. TANGA LOA (2 pts) – Block B Match

Loa shoved Taichi down before starting a chop and forearm strike exchange. They traded running boots to the face, until Loa sent Taichi out of the ring. Loa drove Taichi into the barricade, but Taichi quickly responded by smashing his leg into the ring post. Back in the ring, Taichi put Loa in a modified Calf Killer, further damaging Loa’s knee. Taichi trapped Loa in a Half Boston crab, followed by a hook kick for a two count. Loa fired up and hit Taichi with a swinging side slam, followed by a corner clothesline. Loa dropped Taichi with a German suplex and a Blue Thunderbomb for a two count.

Taichi cracked Loa with an enzuigiri, starting a strike exchange shortly after. Taichi knocked Loa down with an enzuigiri before tearing off his pants. Both men knocked each other with kicks to the legs and nailed each other with running clotheslines at the same time afterwards. Taichi knocked Loa off his feet with a backdrop driver. Loa planted Taichi with a pair of clotheslines, but Taichi evaded the Apeshit and nearly beat him with a Taichi Clutch. Loa shut Taichi down with a Spear, only for Taichi to counter the Apeshit with a successful Taichi Clutch.

WINNER: Taichi (4 pts) at 12:34. (***)

(Pomares’s Analysis: Early on this match wasn’t really clicking with me, due to the slow pace and a couple of clunky spots. However, by the end they really got into a decent streak of counters and nearfalls. A much better showing from Loa after his match with KENTA from Night One.)

(5) REN NARITA (1 pt) vs. YOTA TSUJI (0 pts) – Block A Match

Early on, Narita put Tsuji in a hammerlock, but he was able to turn it around with a headlock. Tsuji pushed Narita into the ropes and blasted him with a chop to the chest. Tsuji tried to stomp Narita down, until Narita suddenly tossed him out of the ring. Narita stopped Tsuji from returning a couple of times, clobbering him with a dropkick through the ropes in the process. Tsuji returned to the ring and knocked Narita down with a headscissors takedown. Narita caught Tsuji with a knee strike to the midsection, followed by a series of stomps and a leaping clothesline.

Narita knocked Tsuij off the apron with a sleeper hold using the top rope and waited nearly 15 seconds to put him back in the ring. Tsuji caught Narita off-guard with a shot into the barricade, followed by a huge suicide dive into it. Back in the ring, Tsuji put Narita down with a bodyslam and a leaping splash for a two count. They traded a few chops to the chest, until Narita knocked Tsuji off his feet with a leg lariat. Narita dropped Tsuji with a bridging Front Chancery suplex for a two count.

Both men went back-and-forth with elbow strikes, until Tsuji snapped Narita with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Tsuji put Narita in a Boston Crab in the middle of the ring and tried to add pressure by grabbing Narita’s wrists, but Narita was able to grab the rope. Tsuji crushed Narita with a corner splash, setting him up for a lariat and a powerslam for a two count. Narita and Tsuji blocked a couple of suplex attempts, until Narita dropped Tsuji with a bridging German suplex.

Tsuji dropped Narita with a Falcon Arrow, as it was announced that only 3 minutes were left. Tsuji smashed Narita’s head with a Curb Stomps, only for Narita to retaliate with a leaping knee drop. Narita put Tsuji down with a suplex, but Tsuji stopped the follow-up with a pump knee and a headbutt before collapsing next to him. Tsuji sat Narita atop the turnbuckle and clocked him with an enzuigiri. Narita trapped Tsuji in a sleeper hold atop the turnbuckle before missing a diving knee strike, as the time officially ran out.

WINNER: Time limit draw at 20:00. Ren Narita (2 pts), Yota Tsuji (1 pt). (****)

– Immediately after the bell rang, Yota Tsuji clotheslined Ren Narita over the ropes, sending both men to ringside.

(Pomares’s Analysis: Just like Umino and Narita on Night One, Ren Narita and Yota Tsuji pushed each other to their limit in 20 minutes of back-and-forth action. I’m really loving the story between the former Young Lions and the way they portray their desire and ultimate failure to one-up each other.)

(6) YOSHI-HASHI (2 pts) vs. WILL OSPREAY (0 pts) – Block B Match

Ospreay caught YOSHI with a kick to the midsection, only for YOSHI to respond with a running neckbreaker and chops. Ospreay low-bridged YOSHI, setting him up for a Pescado at ringside, as it was revealed that his chest was bleeding. Back in the ring, Ospreay maintained control over YOSHI with a couple of chops and a Cobra Twist. YOSHI put Ospreay down with a hip toss, following it with a dropkick to the knee and a DDT.

YOSHI took Ospreay down with a kick to the midsection and a neckbreaker, setting him up for a blockbuster and a two count. Ospreay knocked YOSHI off his feet with a handspring enzuigiri and a springboard forearm strike, but he kicked out at two. They faced off while exchanging brutal chops to the chest, until YOSHI clocked Ospreay with a Rewind kick. Ospreay landed on his feet off a pump handle move before nailing YOSHI with an elbow strike and the OsCutter for a nearfall. YOSHI evaded the Hidden Blade and nailed Ospreay with a knee to the head.

Both men went for thrust kicks, until YOSHI turned Ospreay inside out with a lariat, followed by the Kumagoroshi for a close two count. YOSHI spiked Ospreay with a Destroyer, but he kicked out at two. Ospreay blocked a pump handle move and put YOSHI down with a Spanish Fly for a two count. Ospreay blasted YOSHI with the Cheeky Nandos kick, setting him up for a sit out powerbomb, a reverse Spiral Tap and the three count.

WINNER: Will Ospreay (2 pts) at 12:04. (****)

(Pomares’s Analysis: Ospreay and YOSHI-HASHI started the match in second gear and never slowed down. intense and hard-hitting from bell-to-bell, this was easily one the most entertaining matches of the tournament so far.)

(7) SANADA (2 pts) vs. SHOTA UMINO (1 pt) – Block A Match

Umino knocked SANADA down with a shoulder tackle, followed by a clothesline and a basement dropkick. SANADA caught Umino with a dropkick to the head, as he entered the ring. At ringside, Umino drove SANADA over the barricade with an Irish-whip before starting a strike exchange at ringside. Umino dropped SANADA with a back suplex on the apron, following it with a barrage of elbow strikes and a swinging neckbreaker. SANADA avoided a corner splash and laid Umino out with a back suplex.

SANADA sent Umino out of the ring with a dropkick, setting him up for a Pescado. Back in the ring, Umino nailed SANADA with a basement dropkick and a fisherman suplex for a two count. Umino sent SANADA out of the ring with a headscissors takedown where he crushed him with a cannonball off the apron. At ringside, Umino damaged SANADA’s arm with a deep wrist lock before blasting him with a missile dropkick. They traded numerous chops and uppercuts, until Umino countered the Skull End with a couple of twisting cutters and a twisting neckbreaker.

Umino evaded a moonsault and launched SANADA away with a Xploder. Umino planted SANADA with a slingshot DDT, but couldn’t follow it up with the Death Rider. SANADA surprised Umino with a moonsault into the Skull End, only for Umino to reverse it into an elevated reverse DDT. Umino hit SANADA with a Tornado DDT and a swinging neckbreaker, only for SANADA to respond with the Skull End. Umino managed to turn the hold into a cradle DDT for a close nearfall.

SANADA missed the Death Fall and a Shining Wizard, allowing Umino to crack him with a pop up uppercut. Umino knocked SANADA down with a dropkick and nearly beat him with an O’Connor Roll. SANADA dropped Umino with a pop up TKO, as it was confirmed that only 2 minutes were left. SANADA cracked Umino with a Shining Wizard and the Death Fall for the win.
WINNER: SANADA (4 pts) at 18:50. (***1/2)

(Pomares’s Analysis: A very methodical match early on that had some really great exchanges in the second half. This was more of a chance to showcase Umino in a lengthy top-billing match. Out of all the Young Lions, I thought Umino had an actually decent shot at beating SANADA and earning a future title shot.)

(8) KAZUCHIKA OKADA (2 pts) vs. EL PHANTASMO (0 pts) – Block B Match

ELP pushed Okada into the ropes and played with the crowd’s cheering, only for Okada to grab him by the throat and stomp him down. ELP teased going for a chop, but chose to attack Okada with a nipple twist instead. Before Okada could react, ELP took him down with a dropkick and a clothesline over the ropes. Okada pulled ELP off the apron and dropped him with a DDT on the floor.

ELP was barely able to return to the ring in time, only for Okada to nail him with elbow strikes and a DDT. ELP managed to knock Okada down with a running clothesline and plant him with a bodyslam. Okada got out of the ring before Sudden Death and tried to Irish-whip ELP into the barricade, but he jumped over it. ELP caught Okada with a Tornado DDT onto the floor before returning to the ring. Okada blocked the UFO, hit ELP with a flapjack and blasted him into the corner with a shotgun dropkick.

Okada blocked a springboard crossbody from ELP with a dropkick mid-air. ELP tried to make a comeback with forearm strikes, but Okada shut him down with a dropkick. ELP evaded a dropkick and crushed Okada with a springboard moonsault for a two count. Before Okada could react, ELP laid him out with an inverted Death Valley Driver for a nearfall. Okada blocked the CR2 with a back body drop, only for ELP to respond with the Sudden Death and the CR2 for a nearfall.

ELP crashed into Okada with a top turnbuckle moonsault at ringside before throwing his body back in the ring. Okada blocked the Thunder Kiss 86 with his knee and tried to put him in the Money Clip. ELP countered the Landslide with a Tombstone Piledriver, but Okada reversed the CR2 with a Landslide. Okada immediately floored ELP with the Rainmaker to pick up the victory.

WINNER: Kazuchika Okada (4 pts) at 16:22. (***1/2)

(Pomares’s Analysis: A rock solid main event with an outstanding final stretch. I love seeing ELP get a main event spot against a top name like Okada and actually look like a semi-credible threat. The crowd seemed to be very into ELP and I really hope New Japan’s management notices the connection he’s created with the audience.)

Overall thoughts: Night Three was the story of two halves. The first had fine matches that didn’t really hit the next level and were ultimately forgettable, especially Kenta vs. O-Khan. Narita vs. Tsuji brought me back into this show at the start of the second half and it remained strong enough until the end. The main event and Sanada vs Umino was good, but the only matches I think one must actually go out of their way to see are Ospreay vs. Yoshi-Hashi and Tsuji vs Narita. Far from a bad show, but the only story that really caught my eyes was the rise of the younger stars in Block A.

You can contact at mauriciopomares@gmail.com or on Twitter @PomiWrestling

CATCH UP… NJPW G1 CLIMAX 33 – NIGHT 2 RESULTS (7/16): Takagi vs. Kingston, Tanahashi vs. Sabre, Evil vs. Tonga, Cobb vs. Naito

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