NJPW G1 CLIMAX 33 – NIGHT 4 RESULTS (7/19): Radican’s Results & Analysis of Cobb vs. Coughlin, Tanahashi vs. Haste, Goto vs. Naito


JULY 19, 2023

English commentary: Kevin Kelly

Kosei Fujita came out dressed like Zack Sabre Jr. after Toru Yano made his entrance. Yano backed out of the ring and put his entrance attire on a Young Lion. Kelly asked if they were going to allow this to happen. Yano walked backwards down the aisle and Sabre jumped him from behind with a choke. The bell rang to start the match.

(1) TORU YANO (0) vs. ZACK SABRE JR. (w/Ichiban Sweet Boy Kosei Fujita) (2) – D Block match

Sabre let go of the choke and Fujita helped him tape all the corner pads in the ring so that Yano couldn’t take them off. Sabre went for a long running PK on the entrance ramp, but Yano ducked it and hit an atomic drop. Yano then taped Sabre’s legs together with medical tape. Sabre yelled and grabbed his crotch, but he was unable to move. He yelled at Fujita to help him and he refused. Sabre got to his feet, but fell down. Sabre then tried to hop down the aisle and fell again. Sabre tried again and fell. Sabre tried again and got two hops in, but fell. Sabre got three hops in and got caught in some chords at ringside. Sabre BARELY beat the 20 count and Yano immediately rolled him up for the near fall.

Yano tried to undo the tape on the turnbuckles, but he couldn’t get them off. Fujita came to Sabre’s aid with some scissors. Yano went to every corner and screamed in frustration because the pads were taped down. Sabre in the meantime continued to work on the tape around his legs. Yano went back after Sabre, who tried for a submission. Yano countered it into a pinning combination for a two count. Sabre then countered Yano and got a pinning combination for the win.

WINNER: Zack Sabre Jr. (4 pts) at 5:37. (***½)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was a tremendous comedy match. I recommend going out of your way to see this one. It was tremendously well put together.)

Kevin Kelly explained that he was going to do commentary alone because he didn’t want the athletes to do commentary and have to concentrate on the tournament at the same time. He said he would have guest commentators around with him later in the tournament. Kelly mentioned Eddie Kingston would join him on Aug. 9.

(2) MIKEY NICHOLLS (2) vs. DAVID FINLAY (w/Gedo) (2) – C Block match

Finlay dominated the action during the early going. He drove Nicholls’s head into the barricade several times. He eventually ended up launching Nicholls sideways into the ringpost. The crowd was silent for the action. Nicholls finally cut Finaly off and the fans fired up. Nicholls went on the attack and hit a big chop on Finlay in the corner. Finlay ducked a sliding lariat, but Nicholls caught him coming off the ropes with a spinebuster for a two count. They went up top and Finlay managed to slip under Nicholls and hit a powerbomb. Nicholls mounted a comeback and this time he hit the sliding clothesline. Finlay fired back and hit Into Oblivion for the win.

WINNER: David Finlay (4 pts) at 9:52. (**)

(Radican’s Analysis: The story was simple enough with Finlay working over Nicholls’s head to set up his finish. It never felt like Finlay was ever in any danger of losing. The crowd was almost silent at times during the match.)

-Kevin Kelly announced NJPW Strong Fighting Spirit Unleashed on Oct. 28 at Sam’s Town in Las Vegas.

He then announced that NJPW International Fan Club members could take part in an exclusive pre-sale ticket event for Wrestle Kingdom 18. He said from Aug. 2-Aug. 8 international fan club members there would be an exclusive pre-sale for royal floor seats. Kelly promised international fans would have a shot at some really good seats that previously hadn’t been made available outside of Japan.

Alex Coughline made his entrance swinging the NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Championship title. He knocked over the ring steps before getting into the ring.

(3) JEFF COBB (2) vs. ALEX COUGHLIN (0) – D Block match

Both men traded shoulder tackles during the early going. Cobb sent Coughlin to the floor with a flying shoulder tackle a short time later to end the exchange. Coughline grabbed the ref on the floor and threw him at Cobb. He then threw Oleg Botlin at Cobb a short time later. Botlin may be a Young Lion, but he’s still a large fellow to be used as a projectile. Cobb tried to knock Coughlin off his feet with a shoulder tackle, but he couldn’t. He did send Coughlin down to the mat with a dropkick as he came off the ropes. Coughlin easily lifted Cobb, but he slipped out of his grasp and ran him into the corner. Coughlin caught Cobb going for a splash in the corner and turned it into a belly-to-belly suplex. Coughlin then hit a deadlift back suplex for a nearfall.

Coughlin caught Cobb coming off the ropes and hit a Black Hole Slam. Cobb fired back and hit a German. Coughlin got right up and walked into the Tour of the Islands for the win.

WINNER: Jeff Cobb (4 pts) at 9:51. (***½)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was a lot of fun with Coughlin showing his power and manhandling Cobb at times before taking the Tour of The Islands out of nowhere for the loss.)

Eddie Kingston came out to face Evil carrying a Kendo stick. The ref tried to take it from him and Evil attacked Kingston from behind.

(4) EVIL (2) (w/Dick Togo) vs. EDDIE KINGSTON (2) – C Block match

Evil dragged Kingston into the crowd. He went back to the ring and made sure to lock the barricade shut on his way. Kingston struggled, but managed to get back to the ring in plenty of time to beat the ref’s count. Evil raked Kingston’s eyes. He blindly punched the air and stumbled through the ropes to the floor. Kingston went for a suplex a short time later and managed to land it after a struggle. Kingston charged at Evil, who pulled the ropes and Kingston flew to the floor. Evil then tossed Kingston into the barricade, which sent the timekeeper flying. They ended up back inside the ring and Kingston blocked Evil going for his leg and hit a DDT that left both men down on the mat.

Evil shoved Kingston into the ref in the corner. Kingston fired back and took Evil down with a clothesline. Togo jumped into the ring and tried to choke Eddie with the garret. Kingston hit a low blow on Togo. Evil went after Kingston with the Kendo stick, but Kingston got out of the way and he hit Togo. Kingston then went back and forth hitting Togo and Evil with the Kendo stick. Togo bailed and Evil took several more shots with the Kendo stick. Kingston blocked a low blow and hit a Saito suplex for a nearfall. Evil blocked a Backfist attempt and went for Everything is Evil. Kingston fought back and hit a Backfist for a nearfall. Evil used the ref to hit a Magic Killer on Kingston. Kingston got a stretch muffler on Evil, but Evil grabbed the ref. Togo tried to attack Kingston with the Kendo stick and Kingston no-sold it. Evil hit a low blow on Kingston and EIE for the win. What a finish.

WINNER: Evil (4 pts) at 15:15. (**)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was the usual Evil match with tons of interference and referee spots. These matches have grown so tiresome after so many years. Is there nothing NJPW management can do to stop Evil from a storyline standpoint.)

(5) SHANE HASTE (2) (w/Ichiban Sweet Boy Kosei Fujita) vs. HIROSHI TANAHASHI (0) – D Block match

The crowd chanted for Tanahashi after the opening bell rang. Haste targeted the back of Tanahashi’s head during the early going. He dragged Tanahashi to the apron and dropped him down over his knee on the floor. Haste caught Tanahashi by surprise with a big dropkick when he set up for a Sling Blade. He wiped out Tanahashi with a dive a short time later on the floor and Tanahashi sold his head. Tanahashi blocked a PK attempt and hit a dragon screw. He then went to work on Haste’s leg. He set up for a Sling Blade once again, but Haste turned it into a back suplex and both men were down. The fans paused before firing up with both men down on the mat.

Tanahashi countered Haste and hit a straightjacket German with a low bridge for a two count. He set up for yet another Sling Blade attempt. Haste blocked it, so Tanahashi hit Twist & Shout. Tanahashi then hit a Sling Blade for a two count. He went up top for a High Fly Flow, but Haste cut him off with an uppercut. They battled up top and Tanahashi chopped Haste to the mat. He hit Aces High. Tanahashi went back up and hit the High Fly Flow.

WINNER: Hiroshi Tanahashi (2 pts) at 12:04. (***)

(Radican’s Analysis: It was tough to get excited for the action. Haste was dominant for the most part and the crowd only woke up when Tanahashi was going for a comeback. I was almost surprised Tanahashi won because this seemed like the perfect spot for him to lose and give Haste some momentum moving into his next series of matches in the tournament.

The layout of the match was well done with Haste going after Tanahashi’s head throughout the match, but ultimately stuck to his plan of hitting a High Fly Flow to win the match.)

Kelly talked about Henare’s new facial tattoo on commentary as he made his entrance. He mentioned that Henare is a real tribal chief.

(6) SHINGO TAKAGI (0) vs. HENARE (0) – C Block match

They went back and forth off the ropes and Henare caught Takagi with a back spinning heel kick. Takagi ended up rolling to the floor. Kelly mentioned that Henare’s neck was giving him issues going into the match. Henare took control of the action and hit a Berserker Bomb for a two count. Henare charged at Takagi out of the corner, but he turned it into a DDT. He then hit a sliding lariat. Kelly mentioned these two have over an hour and ten minutes of singles competition against each other in the past. Right after that, Takagi blocked a knee strike and turned it into a powerbomb. Takagi caught Henare in a modified facelock submission from the side, but Henare managed to get to the ropes.

They went to a strike exchange and Henare decked Takagi with a spinning kick to the head. He set up for Rampage a second time and this time he hit it. Henare then locked in a full nelson submission on the mat with the hooks in. Shingo struggled, but he was close to the ropes and got to them to break the hold. Henare went for Streets of Rage, but Shingo countered it into a snap suplex. Takagi gave Henare some light slaps to wake him up. Henare and Takagi then began trading headbutts. Both men ran their heads into each other several times. Henare got the better of the exchange. He went for Streets of Rage, but Takagi turned it into a backslide for a nearfall. They got up and Henare hit a hammerhead headbutt that sent Takagi to the floor. Henare hit Streets of Rage, but could not get up to cover Takagi. Takagi managed to roll to the ropes to avoid a pin attempt.

The 15 minute mark passed with both men exhausted. They had a brief exchange and Takagi hit Made in Japan, but he could not make the pin. Takagi set up in the corner and hit a lariat,but only managed a one count and the fans gasped. Takagi set up and hit a Pumping Bomber. He made the cover, but Henare kicked out at the last second and the fans gasped again. Takagi let out a scream and got to his feet. He set up for Last of The Dragon, but Henare slipped out of it. They began trading slaps. Takagi hit several forearms back and forth, but Henare hit a liver shot. They traded moves and Takagi no-sold a PK. They hit clotheslines at the same time slumped into each other. They traded headbutts and Henare decked him with a HUGE headbutt, but Takagi kicked out at one. Henare hit a PK and Takagi kicked out at the last second with one minute left in the time limit. Henare hit several headbutts and hit Streets of Rage, but he couldn’t make the cover. He rolled over and made the cover for the win. WOW! This got really good and even woke up this dead crowd.

WINNER: Henare (2 pts) at 19:38. (****)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was about two men going to war for two points. They woke up a dead crowd and the last five minutes of this match were outstanding. This was an insane battle of wills. I wasn’t comfortable with the headbutt spot earlier in the match, but that was the only detraction here.

I’m excited about Henare again, but they’ve done so many overhauls with his character in the past. I think this one can stick. He was really good here and looks insane with his new face tattoo.)

(7) TETSUYA NAITO (0) vs. HIROOKI GOTO (2) – D Block match

The bell rang and the fans chanted for both men. The chants for Naito won out. Naito rolled to avoid Goto and hit his pose, so Goto wound up and kicked him. Naito went to the floor and Goto tossed him back into the ring. Naito rolled out the other side of the ring. Goto went after him, but Naito sent him into the guardrail and hit a neck breaker on the floor. Naito went after Goto’s neck once he got back into the ring. Goto managed to fool Naito with a change of direction off the ropes and he wiped him out with a clothesline. Goto had the advantage momentarily, but it wasn’t long before Naito cut him off with a swinging DDT and both men were down. Naito got the Koji Clutch, but Goto eventually got to the ropes.

The 10 minute mark came and went. Naito hit several elbows to Goto’s neck. Goto countered Naito and hit a sloppy powerslam and both men were down. Not sure what went wrong there. They got up and traded blows again. This time Goto fired back after Naito spit at him. Naito then fired back with several elbows to the head. Goto caught Naito by surprise with a short headbutt to the chest and then another. Naito went to the corner and slumped on the ropes. The crowd fired up again and chanted for Naito with both men down. Goto ended up hitting a Final Cut on Naito for a two count. Goto set up for GTR, but Naito blocked it and hit a rolling kick. Goto fired back and hit the Ushigoroshi for a nearfall. Goto went for a GTR, but Naito countered it into Gloria.

Naito hit Esperaza out of the corner and made a deep cover for a nearfall. Naito set up for Destino and Goto blocked it. He hit several elbows to Goto’s head. He then hit Destino, which didn’t come across very smooth for the win.

WINNER: Tetsuya Naito (2 pts) at 17:40. (**½)

(Radican’s Analysis: The crowd is so weird for this show. They seem to want to get chants going and get into the matches, but whether or not the matches are good or average the crowd seems to lose steam quickly.

This match told a solid enough story with Naito working Goto’s neck throughout the match to set up his finish. A lot of the moves weren’t executed smoothly and this looked rough in spots. Even the finishing Destino was clunky.)

(8) TAMA TONGA (w/Jado) (0) vs. TOMOHIRO ISHII (0) – C Block match

Tonga grounded Ishii with a clothesline and the fans fired up. He followed up with a splash in the corner and a big slam for a two count. Tonga went for the Tonga Twist and Ishii countered it into a vertical suplex. Ishii hit several forearms in the corner and the crowd fired up. Tonga ended up crumpling to the mat and the ref asked Ishii to back away. Ishii absorbed some blows as Tonga attempted to mount a comeback. He powered through and hit a big release German suplex. Both men bounced off the ropes. Tonga hit an exploder. Ishii got up and hit a back suplex. Tonga hit a rolling DVD and Ishii did not stay on his feet this time. Tonga went up top for Supreme Flow, but Ishii rolled out of the way. Great sequence there.

Ishii went to bounce off the ropes and came off, but Tonga hit a dropkick and in the process he landed right on Ishii’s head with his knee. That looked really painful for Ishii. Kelly said Ishii had an abrasion above his left eye. Ishii got up and began trading with Tonga. He fired back with left and right elbows. Ishii lifted Tonga, but he countered him and hit the Tonga Twist as the 10 minute mark came and went. Tonga set up for the Gun Stun and the fans clapped along as he slapped the mat. Ishii suddenly popped up and wiped out Tonga with a shoulder tackle. They traded blows in the middle of the ring again. This time Ishii decked Tonga with a headbutt to the chest. He then hit the stack powerbomb for a nearfall.

Tonga ducked a sliding lariat and went for a Gun Stun. Ishii blocked it and this time he connected with the sliding lariat for a nearfall. Ishii went for the Vertical Drop Brainbuster, but Tonga hit a suplex to counter him. Ishii got right up, but Tonga ran at him and hit a modified DDT. Tonga ripped his shirt off and hit Supreme Flow. He made the cover, but Ishii kicked out at two. The fans tried to fire up behind Ishii. He blocked another Gun Stun attempt from Tonga and connected with a jumping enzuguri. Tonga no sold it and hit a Death Rider variation for a nearfall. Ishii blocked a Jay-driller and hit a Gun Stun of his own. Ishii set up and hit a big running lariat, but Tonga kicked out at two. Ishii blocked another Jay-driller, but Tonga hit an enzuguri. Ishii no sold it. They went back and forth and Tonga hit a Gun Stun out of mid air. Tonga then lifted Ishii and the Jay-driller for the win.

Tonga looked up at the sky after the three count. Kelly said he knew Jay Briscoe was looking down.

WINNER: Tama Tonga (2 pts) at 15:38. (****)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was a war with Ishii going full Terminator and refusing to stay down long for most of the match. They had some great exchanges and built up to some great fighting spirit spots late in the match.

The crowd was much hotter for this match and they were behind Ishii the entire way, which was odd given how hard they were to engage otherwise for most of the show.)

After the match, Tonga showed Ishii respect on the mic. Tonga promised that this G1 would be his best one ever. He then thanked the fans in Japanese to close the show.

Overall thoughts: (7.0) – This was an uneven show. Some of the matches were a slog to get through because of the lack of crowd involvement and compelling action in the ring. It was like the crowd wanted to get into the action, but couldn’t bring themselves to fully get into the matches. The only time the crowd really got going was for the main event.

Overall the in-ring action was good. I would recommend checking out the hilarious Yano vs. Sabre opener just for the laughs. Shingo Takagi vs. Henare was really good as well. The crowd wanted to stay quiet, but couldn’t help themselves, but get into the match. The last 5 minutes were fantastic and stood out above the rest of the matches that preceded it on the card.

The main event featuring Tama Tonga vs. Tomohiro Ishii was easily the hottest match on the card. The crowd was into the match from start to finish to the point where I was wondering if they had teleported to a different venue for the main event. Ishii just kept coming and coming for Tonga, but ultimately it was Tonga standing tall at the end after a great finishing sequence.

Contact Sean at pwtorchsean@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @SR_Torch

CATCH UP… NJPW G1 Climax 33 – NIGHT 3 RESULTS (7/18) – Narita vs. Tsuji, Sanada vs. Umino, Okada vs. El Phantasmo

OR CHECK OUT PROWRESTLING.NET.S REPORT FOR ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE: NJPW “G1 Climax 33 Night Three” results (7/18): Vetter’s review of Kazuchika Okada vs. El Phantasmo, Sanada vs. Shota Umino, Yoshi-Hashi vs. Will Ospreay, Ren Narita vs. Yota Tsuji, Taichi vs. Tanga Loa

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