G1 Climax 28 Night 1 A Block – 7/14

New Japan Pro Wrestling’s annual classic G1 Tournament has arrived. I must confess in many ways I look forward to the G1 more than I do WrestleMania, partially because it’s a month long event.

For those who may be unfamiliar with the concept, New Japan takes 20 men and assigns them in two blocks of 10. Every wrestler in their respective block faces each other in singles competition. The winners of each block then face each other in the finals to determine the G1 Climax winner. In short, it’s a round robin tournament, much like a season of conventional sports.

Each night of the tournament focuses on on of the two blocks. The undercard is filled out with tag matches by wrestlers in the other block, and wrestlers not in the tournament at all.

Hirooki Goto & Jado of CHAOS b. Ren Narita & Toa Henare when Goto pinned Narita with a Ushi-Garoushi. Standard opening match fare, with the veterans defeating the young up and coming team. Jado and Henare started the match, with Henare unfazed by Jado’s offense. CHAOS turned the tide after Narita tagged in. Henare got a tag and made a comeback. After Narita tagged back in, Goto hit the Ushi-Garoushi for a pinfall.

Tomohiro Ishii & Sho of CHAOS b. Toru Yano & Yoh, also of CHAOS, when Ishii pinned Yoh with a brainbuster. This match was a rare case of stablemates facing off against each other. Yano and Ishii (who coincidentally are former IWGP Tag Champions) will face each other in a B Block tournament matchup. Thus they are put on opposing ends of tag matches. Even stranger is their respective tag partners were also from a CHAOS tag team in Sho and Yoh, who are Roppongi 3K. Sho and Yoh began the match with some high energy moves. Ishii and Sho had the momentum until Yano tagged in and went to a fisticuffs with Ishii. Of course, since it’s Yano, a turnbuckle pad was removed which backfired. Sho and Ishii double teamed Yoh, with Ishii hitting the brainbuster to get the win.

The Guerillas Of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) b. IWGP United States Champion Juice Robinson & David Finlay when Tonga pinned Finlay with a Gun Stun. It’s worth noting that GOD were not wearing any Bullet Club attire. Loa and Finlay started the match, and Loa quickly gained control. The heels worked over Finlay for several minutes until Juice got the hot tag. The babyfaces rand wild, but Finlay made the mistake of going to the middle rope. Tonga reverse a double axhandle off the ropes into a Gun Stun to give GOD the win.

Zack Sabre Jr. & Taka Michinoku of Suzuki-Gun b. Kota Ibushi & Yujiro Takahashi when Sabre pinned Takahashi with a Michinoku Driver. Yes, you read that correctly. ZSJ used Taka Michinoku’s finisher. Yujiro and Kota worked as babyfaces. Sabre and Ibushi started out feeling each other out. Some back and forth action until ZSJ bloked a Pimp Juice DDT, and hit the Michinoku Driver. Taka himself declared the move The Zack Driver.

IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega & Chase Owens of Bullet Club b. Tetsuya Naito & SANADA of Los Ingobernables De Japon when Sanada submitted Owens with the Skull End. Surprisingly, Omega and Naito started for their teams. Omega and Owens worked over Naito. SANADA tagged in and a brief four way ensued. Naito kept Omega at bay while SANADA hit an inverted DDT and finished off Owens with a Skull End Dragon Sleeper.

Now onto the tournament matches.

Togi Makabe p. YOSHI-HASHI with a King Kong Knee Drop. The match immediately started out with fisticuffs, which Makabe easily won. Hashi escaped a corner pummeling and took Makabe to the outside. Hashi whipped Makabe into the guardrail to gain control of the match. A brainbuster from Hashi for a near fall. Makabe started his comeback and hit a powerslam. A Northern Lights Suplex scored a near fall for Makabe. Hashi tried to rally with strikes until Togi leveled him with a lariat. Makabe went for a Spider Suplex, but Yoshi countered with a powerbomb. Makabe kicked out of a double kneestrike pin. Hashi put Makabe in a Butterfly Lock, which Makabe escaped with a rope break. Yoshi followed up with a Blockbuster for another two count. A double clothesline took both men down. Makabe recovered, and hit the Spider German Suplex. A King Kong Knee Drop later, and it was all over.

Hangman Page b. Bad Luck Fale via disqualification when The Guerillas Of Destiny interfered. Fale attacked Page before the bell and pummeled him outside the ring. When Page started a comeback, Tanga Loa came to ringside. Page countered a Hand Grenade attempt into a roll-up for a two count. Page clotheslined Fale to the outside and went for a dive. Loa grabbed Page’s feet and yanked him out of the ring. Page responded by hitting both Tongans with a moonsault on the outside. Page was setting up Fale for a Rite Of Passage when Tama Tonga also came to ringside and clipped him in the knee. The three Tongans started triple teaming Page, resulting in a disqualification. After the match, Kenny Omega came out to save Hangman from literally being hanged with his own rope.

Michael Elgin p. EVIL with an Elginbomb. The match spilled to the outside right off the bat. Evil got control when the match got back in the ring. They went back and forth, until Evil Smacked Elgin’s arm into the barricade from the apron. Elgin managed to make it back in the ring, and countered Evil’s finisher with a Falcon Arrow. Evil tried for a lariat, only to get hit by one from Elgin. Evil kicked out of a Superplex. A Bucklebomb staggered Evil, who tried again for Everything Is Evil. Elgin managed to reverse that and hit a pair of powerbombs for the win.

Hiroshi Tanahashi p. Minoru Suzuki with a High Fly Flow. It’s hard to believe Minoru Suzuki is 50 years old and still wrestling full time. El Desperado accompanied Suzuki to the ring. Suzuki immediately went for Tanahashi’s leg, and tortured him for several minutes. Tanahashi refused to stay down, despite Suzuki’s merciless beating. Tanahashi finally got some momentum by escaping a Rear Naked Choke, and hitting a Sling Blade for a two count. Tanahashi hit a High Fly Flow bodypress, followed by a High Fly Flow Splash to get the comeback victory.

Switchblade” Jay White p. Kazuchika Okada with a Blade Runner. This match had two members of the CHAOS stable as opponents. White offered a handshake. When Okada accepted, White tried for a Blade Runner. Okada blocked and the match was one. A lot of back and forth action until White got frustrated and threw Okada to the outside. He suplexed Okada in the the barricade and went after Okada with a chair. Referee Red Shoes tried to intervene, and got thrown down by White for his efforts. Okada countered with a dropkick to the chair. Okada hit the Rainmaker, but White accidentally hit the referee so there was no count. White again used the chair, and followed that up with a Blade Runner to get the surprise victory.

After the match, White took the microphone and cut a gloating promo. He said it is now “My CHAOS”, so apparently he thinks he should be the leader of CHAOS now. That could be an interesting storyline, but didn’t they just do the same thing with Bullet Club for the last year?


2 – Michael Elgin
2 – Togi Makabe
2 – Hangman Page
2 – Hiroshi Tanahashi
2 – Jay White
0 – EVIL
0 – Bad Luck Fale
0 – Kazuchika Okada
0 – Minoru Suzuki

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