NJPW: G1 Climax Day 2 Review

With Day 1 out of the way and the shock of Jay White upsetting Okada out of the way, day 2 is set to be the standout show of this years G1.  Another clash in the Naito vs Omega feud as well as Kota Ibushi vs Zack Sabre Jr. in a rematch from this year’s New Japan Cup.  We also have Tama Tonga vs Juice Robinson, SANADA vs Hirooki Goto in what may be an underrated sleeper and a tag team implodes as Tomohiro Ishii takes on Toru Yano.

Results:

Chase Owens & Hangman Page def.  Fuck Michael Elgin & Shota Umino

EVIL & BUSHI def. YOSHI-HASHI & Sho

Minoru Suzuki & El Desperado def. Togi Makabe & Toa Henare

Tanga Loa & Bad Luck Fale def. Kazuchika Okada & Gedo

David Finlay & Hiroshi Tanahashi def. Jay White & Yoh

G1 Block B Tournament Match: Tomohiro Ishii vs Toru Yano

This match started with Yano playing Ishii’s game and trading shots and forearms.  From there Ishii dominated for a stretch before Yano fought back and removed the turnbuckle pad.  After some Irish whips into the exposed steel, Ishii is fired up.  Yano tries to strike but its to no avail.  Ishii with a German WHICH BEAST YANO NO SELLS AND HITS HIM WITH A BELLY TO BELLY.  After Yano playing Ishii’s game for the whole match Ishii plays Yano’s and hits a low blow and a roll up for the win.  Beautiful little match and easily the best of Yano’s career

Credit © njpw1972.com

Winner: Tomohiro Ishii Rating: (biased) 10 out of 10 (unbiased) 6 out of 10 (Editor’s Note: we’re going down the middle and rounding to a neat 8. OK, let’s call it a 9)

Tomohiro Ishii: 2 points

Toru Yano: 0 points

G1 Block B Tournament Match: Tama Tonga vs Juice Robinson

Juice is great.  Tama…..not so much.  Robinson has a big ask to drag Tonga to a great match here.  We start with some fine grappling until Tonga Loa distracts Juice, this allows Tonga to get the jump and take over.  After a series of near falls with Juice showing heart Tonga just steps on the injured hand and hits insulting jabs.  Juice cuts him off and lays in his signature jabs.  Tonga lock in a guillotine but Juice powers him up into a jackhammer.  Signature comeback follows with clotheslines and a cannonball.  Robinson almost dumps Tonga on his head with a poor brainbuster.  Juice looks for Pulp Friction but Loa interferes again, Juice deals with him but Tonga hits the stun gun for the win.  2 for 2 on interference for the Firing Squad.  G1 is usually free of the WWE BS  but if this keeps up NJPW will turn off some of its newer fans.

Credit © njpw1972.com

Winner: Tama Tonga Ratings: 3 out of 10

Tama Tonga: 2 points

Juice Robinson: 0 points

G1 Block B Tournament Match: SANADA vs Hirooki Goto

This is a sleeper.  It had very little hype but it was great.  They start with the usual solid grappling before the action spilled to the floor.  The point we really heat up is when Goto disposes of SANADA who just flies back in with a huge dropkick and it is all bomb-throwing from there.  This was perfect SANADA who every time the pace would slow at all would pounce with a moment of athleticism.  The end sequence lasted for ages, from the first GTR attempt onwards.  SANADA reversed and locked in Skulle End. Went for the finish but Goto fought out, SANADA HIT GOTO WITH HIS OWN SIGNATURE USHIGOROSHI, locked in Skull End, missed the moonsault, Goto proceeded to knock SANADA’s head into the last row with a vicious lariat, SANADA O’connor rolls into another Skull End, headbutt by Goto and backwards GTR, sets up the GTR proper but its turned into a cradle for a near-falll, SANADA flies over Goto into Skull End, Goto powers him up into a draping GTR and finally hits the GTR proper for the win.  Amazing action down the stretch and a definite show stealer.

Credit © njpw1972.com

Winner: Hirooki Goto Rating: 8 out of 10

Hirooki Goto: 2 points

SANADA: 0 points

G1 Block B Tournament Match: Kota Ibushi vs Zack Sabre Jr.

This was Athleticism vs Technical ability.  Whenever possible Ibushi used his power and Speed advantage to get the better of ZSJ. For his part, ZSJ did his usual in wearing down Ibushi and working over the knee.  Wih Ibushi now hurt we saw the reemergence of the snake-like ZSJ from the New Japan Cup where he would manoeuvre all around his opponent and trap him any way he can.  As we head for the finish they start to trade more and more with Ibushi being established as the hardest hitter.  Ibushi starts to look for the Kamigoye to put the match to bed but ZSJ finds a counter each time.  Ibushi hits the snapdragon and a devastating kick to the head which downs ZSJ.  Ibushi drops the kneepad and looks for Kamigoye but again Sabre reverses into a European Clutch for 2.  more technical counter work as both men try to gain any advantage possible.  Ibushi hits a Straightjacket Tiger Suplex and Kamigoye for the win.

Credit © njpw1972.com

Winner: Kota Ibushi Rating: 8 out of 10

Kota Ibushi: 2 Points

Zack Sabre Jr: 0 Points

G1 Block B Tournament Match: Kenny Omega vs Tetsuya Naito

This was a clash of two men who have clearly fought before and studied the tape.  Neither man ever lets the other control for too long with tonnes of counters.  We got a very heelish Omega to start as the counters started immediately.  We got the always amazing spot of each man stealing the others signature taunt before Omega decides to dive into the crowd again.  The match never lets up with both Naito and Omega going for the kill as soon as possible but neither man able to hit their signature moves.  We reach the Climax of the match when Naito manages to hit a running Destino.  That works for a 2 count.  Goes for the Destin-NOO Omega reversed.  Naito goes again. Gets caught and Omega DROPS HIM ON HIS HEAD FOR 2.  One-Winged Angel from Omega puts Naito to sleep.  Fantastic addition to their already legendary series.

Credit © njpw1972.com

Winner: Kenny Omega Rating: 9 out of 10

Kenny Omega: 2 points

Tetsuya Naito: 0 points

Save for the skippable Tonga match, this may just be one of the best G1 shows of all time.  An awesome Yano/Ishii match, another classic from Ibushi and ZSJ, Goto and SANADA surprising everyone to have a great match and Omega vs Naito being well worth the hype.  As Jozef mentioned yesterday we will be reviewing the G1 in a more bite-size style going forward so you can catch up on results and we’ll tell you what’s must-see.