Hey, it’s New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s G1 Climax, day six! We’re at the Beppu B-Con Plaza, and the crowd were a bit quiet. That hurts some of the better matches, which require the crowd to really play their part to make them classics. Roll on Korakuen Hall!
The opener, and they’ve been generally very good on this tour, was Jay White, David Finlay & Ryusuke Taguchi versus Jushin Liger, Tiger Mask IV & Captain New Japan. White pulled Young Boy rank on Finlay to start with Liger, who schooled him in matwork, stretching him in the middle of the ring.
Finlay and Tiger Mask both tagged in, and Tiger Mask dominated that match-up He took Finlay outside for Liger to hit him with a baseball slide, and then locked on a camel clutch on, which Taguchi bummed off. Liger then went to put Finlay in a surfboard but White bummed it off, and then did a Taguchi pose. Heh heh.
The Captain finally came in, having tried to tag in earlier, and Finlay took him down. To show his disappointment in him, Liger kicked the Captain. Good job. Finlay tagged out to Taguchi and it was bum, bum, bum, bum, bum. Taguchi vipered up, ready for the Bum Outta Nowhere, but the Captain punched his bum and made the hot tag to Tiger Mask.
Jay White came in, and he and Tiger Mask went back and forth, ending with a nearfall for White from a dropkick. The match broke down, in a good way, and Taguchi ended up bumming his own team. Tiger Mask then got the win with a Tiger Driver on White. Fun little opener.
Next up was The Bullet Club – in the shape of Doc Gallows & Cody Hall – versus Chaos, represented by YOSHI-HASHI & Toru Yano. Yano, who got split WIDE OPEN by Tenzan on day five, had a huge plaster on his head and was sporting a black eye. YOSHI-HASHI had a stick.
Yano and Gallows startred out with some comedy. YOSHI-HASHI came in and was overpowered and heeled on, with a brawl on the outside. This led to a rudo breakdown, and Bullet Club beat Chaos all round ringside.
Back in the ring, the heels kept the heat on until Gallows missed a sit-down splash and YOSHI-HASHI made the hot tag to Yano. First thing he did was to remove the turnbuckle, send Gallows into the bare corner, and then use the pad as a weapon. They did more comedy before YOSHI-HASHI and Hall tagged in. Hall got a nearfall with a discus lariat but then YOSHI-HASHI hit the Swanton for the win. It wasn’t terrible. Yano ran away from the heels after the match.
Taking things up a notch, out came Kota Ibushi, Mascara Dorada & Togi Makabe to take on Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Yohei Komatsu & Katsuyori Shibata. Shibata and Makabe got their own entrances while the others came out in pairs. I’m sure that tells a story.
Tenzan and Makabe HOSSed it up to start before Shibata and Ibushi came in, and Shibata took it to the mat. He did plenty of squeezing and then kicked Ibushi clean off the apron after he’d tagged out.
Shibata tagged out to Komatsu, who ran wild on Mascara Dorada. He missed a charge into the corner, which gave Dorada the shine, and he got a nearfall with a monkey flip(!). Makabe & Ibushi came in for quick spells, keeping the heat on Komatsu, and then Dorada laid him out for a dive from the top. Komatsu popped up, ran over, and hit a superplex. Komatsu has FIRE!
He got a nearfall with a cannonball off the top before Dorada made a comeback, hitting a Swanton after a ropewalk. Tenzan broke the pin and he & Makabe brawled. Dorada hit a release German suplex but Shibata broke the pin. Ibushi ran in and kicked Shibata a lot, taking him outside and then hit his quebrada off the turnbuckles. Meanwhile, Dorada hit his Screwdriver for the win. Eh, that was okay.
The final match before the interval was Michael Elgin, Tetsuya Naito & Hiroshi Tanahashi versus The Bullet Club team of AJ Styles, Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga. The face team seemed a bit of an odd match and that’s because Elgin was supposed to fight Shinsuke Nakamura in the G1 but Nakamura forfeited due to injury. Elgin then took Gedo’s spot in this match. Naito and Tanahashi hate each other. Naito didn’t have his suit and mask on tonight, just a shitty baseball cap that looked like it didn’t fit. What a dick.
Tanahashi and Tonga started out, and Fale got involved early doors, with shenanigans. Naito and Styles came in and Naito, lazily, was still wearing his t-shirt. He didn’t seem to want to do anything so Styles tried to force the issue and Naito took him down. Then he tagged out to Elgin. What a DICK.
Elgin hit his stalling suplex on Styles and Fale came in and bulled it off, after Tonga had failed to break it. Fale & Elgin then went at it, HOSS-style, before Tanahashi came back in. The heels then worked Tanahashi over, and they showed Naito just casually hanging out in the crowd. WHAT A DICK!
Tanahashi made a comeback on Fale but Fale stopped him tagging out. Tanahashi hit a desperation forearm and they both went down. Naito came in, still wearing his t-shirt, and the match fell into a bench-clearing brawl, which left Naito alone with the Bullet Club. Styles missed a charge into the corner, Fale charged in and was dumped over the top rope, and then Naito his Destino on Tonga for the win. That was a weird match, with more stalling than wrestling.
They had the interval and nothing happened. Because even though it was a multicam show, it wasn’t a TV show, so we just got to watch the ring again. I got up and went to the toilet for added reality.
The first match after the interval was Yujiro Takahashi versus Yuji Nagata. Takahashi left his stripper at home again, only bringing Cody Hall, who did not bump and grind.
After an early feeling out period, with some decent matwork, Nagata laid in the kicks. Takahashi sought refuge on the outside and Nagata followed. Takahashi went back in the ring and distracted the referee while Cody Hall attacked Nagata. Takahashi went back outside and laid a beating on Nagata, throwing him into the barriers.
Back in the ring, Takahashi continued a slow beating. He scored a nearfall with a low dropkick and this match was boring. Takahashi started being a dick and Nagata made a comeback. He got a nearfall with an overhead belly-to-belly but didn’t follow up because his ribs were hurting.
They had a forearm battel and Takahashi got a nearfall with a Fisherman’s buster. A nearfall! He tried a piledriver but Nagata blocked it and hit an exploder into the turnbuckles. He followed up with a high knee into the corner and a brainbuster for an other nearfall.
Nagata set up a Saito suplex but Takahashi grabbed the referee to stop it. While the referee was distracted, Takahashi hit a low blow and rolled Nagata up for a nearfall. And then scored another with a lariat. Then Takahashi got the win with Miami Shine after a kick to Nagata’s injured ribs. Very, very boring.
Next up was Hirooki Goto versus Tomoaki Honma, two more fellas who really aren’t going to trouble the scorers al that much. Goto got the better of the early exchanges but Honma fired back and went for his headbutt. Which he missed, of course.
Goto took back over, wearing Honma down, without too much in the way of devastation. Honma came back and they had a MASSIVE forearm battel, which went on FOREVER, and then atug of war over a suplex, which Honma eventually won, and they double downed.
Honma was first up and laid in some chops, and a running knee in the corner. He hit a bulldog and then hit his headbutt, before locking on a kneebar. Goto made the ropes.
Goto fired back with a lariat but both men were suffering. Goto laid in some kicks and then ran Honma into the corner and hit a spinning kick. He scored a nearfall with a side suplex and they traded back and forth.
Honma hit a diving headbutt and then a falling one to Goto’s back. He got a nearfall with a spinning neckbreaker and then slammed Goto to the mat and went up top. He missed a falling headbutt off the top when Goto moved and they traded clotheslines. Goto took Honma down but he fired right back up and then got knocked down again.
Goto went for Shouten Kai but Honma rolled him up for a nearfall. They traded headbutts and Goto clotheslined Honma out of his boots for a nearfall. He just wouldn’t go down! Then he hit Shouten Kai and Honma DID go down, and stay down. They didn’t have a classic match but they worked hard. Is that enough?
The surprise package of this year’s G1, Karl Anderson, was out next, accompanied by his Bullet Club compadres Tama Tonga & Cody Hall. He’s fighting Tomohiro Ishii, who’s had a mixed tournament so far.
They had a fast exchange early doors, with both men looking for their finishers, and leading to a stand off. They brawled around ringside for a while and Ishii tried to hit a brainbuster on the apron but Anderson blocked it. They had a forearm battel up there and then Anderson kicked Ishii to the floor.
Ishii made it back in comfortably and Anderson met him at the ropes. They traded blows and Anderson kicked him back to the floor. I see his game plan. Ishii made it back in again and Anderson started wearing him down.
Anderson started being a dick and Ishii came back. He hit a suplex and then laid in some hits, the lesson here being Don’t Be A Dick.
Ishii missed a charge into the corner and Anderson hit a kick and a backbreaker to take control. He got a nearfall with a Stun Gun, and another with a top rope Stun Gun, but then got caught as he tried a third, and Ishii German’d him across the ring.
Anderson came back with a kick and went for the Stun Gun again but Ishii pushed him off and then collapsed to the mat, holding his shoulder. Anderson continued his attack, and started being a dick again, which just made Ishii fire up. He hit Ishii with half a dozen forearms, Ishii no-sold them and smacked Anderson over.
He took him up top and hit a superplex but Anderson kicked out on two. Ishii went for Sliding D and Anderson blocked it, but Ishii did hit a clothesline. He went for Sliding D again, Anderson dodged and then hit a low dropkick for the double down.
Anderson got a nearfall with a sitout powerbomb and then hit a spinning Stun Gun for another. He tried another Stun Gun but Ishii blocked hit and hit Sliding D to the back of Anderson’s head. They both lay there, a bit fucked.
They had a final forearm battel, and Anderson tried some headbutts which only hurt him. Ishii took him down with a headbutt of his own and then hit Sliding D for a nearfall. Fired up, he hit the brainbuster for the win. I enjoyed that.
Hey, it’s our main event! It’s Satoshi Kojima versus IWGP champion Kazuchika Okada! Kojima dominated the early exchanges and controlled things on the mat. Okada made the ropes and the referee stood them up. Okada then took over until they got reset again from the ropes.
Kojima bulled Okada out of the ring and then joined him outside, where Okada attacked him and threw him into the barriers. Kojima exploded back out and began beating Okada around ringside. They went brifefly back into the ring before Okada dropkicked Kojima over the top, and onto the floor. Okada beat him a bit and then hit a draping DDT off the barriers. Kojima made it back in on fourteen, where Okada hit a low dropkick as soon as he stepped through the ropes.
Okada began wearing Kojima down and whipped him into the corner where his charge was met with a kick. Kojima forearmed him to the mat and then hit a number of shoulder charges. He picked Okada up for a brainbuster but Okada slipped out into a waistlock. Kojima elbowed out, hit a DDT, and then did his shitty tiny chops in the corner.
They went back and forth some more, until Kojima hit a Koji Cutter and they both went down, exhausted. They had a forearm battel and Okada’s selling was fantastic. Kojima hit his sloppy elbow drop for a nearfall and then a brainbuster and a Koji Cutter off the top. He pulled off the elbow pad, threw it at the ref, and ran into the ropes to come back with the elbow but Okada had fallen over. Red Shoes checked on Okada while Kojima seethed.
Okada took a break in the corner and Kojima charged in. Okada met him with a boot, and when he charged in again Okada stopped him and hit a reverse neckbreaker. They both fell down, fucked. Okada was up first and hit a scoop slam, and then an elbow off the top. He called for the Rainmaker and Kojima ducked it, so Okada hit a Death Valley Driver for a nearfall.
Okada tried to herk Kojima up for a piledriver but couldn’t get the strength. Kojima weakly slapped him from his knees. Okada hit a series of uppercuts and then began smiling. He whipped Kojima into the ropes for a dropkick but Kojima held on and hit a lariat. They both went down again. Kojima got up and began SCREAMING at Okada to do the same. Okada hit THAT dropkick out of nowhere, and then hit a piledriver and called for the Rainmaker. Kojima ducked it but Okada hit it again and this time connected for the win. That was a great match. Kudos to both men.
This was a Good Show. There was some top action and it felt a little bigger than previous days. The quiet crowd didn’t help it but we’re winding towards Tokyo, where they’ll be a bit hotter…
Block B Standings: Ishii 3-0, Okada 3-0, Anderson 2-1, Goto 2-1, Elgin 1-2, Kojima 1-2, Nagata 1-2, Nakamura 1-2, Takahashi 1-2, Honma 0-3,