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Wrestle Respawn – New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax 2018 – Night Thirteen

Hello you! Welcome back for Night Thirteen of this year’s G1 Climax tournament. We return to A Block with this show, as Kazuchika Okada of CHAOS takes on Minoru Suzuki of Suzuki-gun in the main event. A win for either man would put them on 10 points, which will be essential to keep up with current A Block leader Hiroshi Tanahashi. Which of these two men will pick up the precious 2 points? Let’s read on and find out!

If you want to catch up with goings on in A Block you can read my recap of Night Eleven right HERE

The following matches took place on the 2nd of August 2018 from Fukuoka Citizen Gymnasium in Fukuoka.

VS

A Block – 02/08/2018
Michael Elgin (4 pts) Vs Bad Luck Fale (6 pts) w/ Tanga Loa

Elgin’s wearing copious amounts of tape on his right shoulder and chest area now due to a torn bicep that he suffered in an earlier match with Minoru Suzuki. Both men trade pie faces to start and Elgin throws some elbow strikes, but his torn bicep limits the force he can deliver them with. Loa trips Elgin, so Elgin dives out onto him and then comes off the second rope with a shoulder attack to Fale, but Fale just absorbs it and sends Elgin crashing to the mat.

Fale takes the fight outside the ring and sends Elgin into the railings. Fale stands on Elgin’s bicep area back inside the ring and then clubs away. Fale adds a splash to the arm, which Elgin sells big, and then keeps working over the area with a claw hold. Elgin gets a boot up in the corner and adds an enziguri, but Fale doesn’t go down. Elgin decides to hit with his left arm instead, but due to being a righty it doesn’t have the same oomph as he’d like.

Elgin goes for a suplex but the arm gives out and Fale squishes him in the corner with an Avalanche before hitting a big 747 Splash for two. Wow, that was TWO 1980’s big man finishers that Elgin just absorbed and he still managed to kick out! Elgin slips out of the Grenade and gets a big boot and a series of left handed lariats to floor Fale for two. He goes for a powerbomb and then a Burning Hammer, but his injury means he can’t muscle Fale up for either.

Fale hits a Samoa Drop for two and then goes for the Bad Luck Fall, but Elgin slips out and follows up with a release German Suplex and a roaring elbow with his injured arm for two. Elgin tries to set Fale up on the top rope, but he shoves him off into the ref, which allows Loa to come in for the attack. Elgin manages to suplex Loa and then actually pulls off a big body slam onto Fale! Sadly he chooses not to leg drop and instead heads up for a splash, at which point Tama Tonga runs in with a chair for the DQ.

WINNER BY DISQUALIFICATION: MICHAEL ELGIN
RATING: **

Good selling by Elgin there, but the match wasn’t much. Tonga wears Elgin out with the chair post-match to a chorus of boos from the crowd. They seem determined not to have Fale do any clean jobs in this G1 don’t they?

VS

A Block – 02/8/2018
Togi Makabe (4 pts) Vs Hangman Page (2 pts)

After a brief bit of lip service to wrestling with a headlock, Makabe takes things outside and sends Page into the guardrails. Page boots Makabe as he comes back in however and then follows with a dive to the outside before giving Makabe a taste of his own medicine. Page hammers away on Makabe with some forearm strikes back in the ring and then adds a dropkick in the corner for two. Page pulls off one of the most impressive looking moves in wrestling next, the dead lift blockbuster slam, but Makabe is out at two.

Makabe starts no selling strikes and demanding more, upon which Page obliges, but Makabe shakes them off and hits a powerslam to restore parity. Makabe gets the ten punches in the corner and follows up with a nice Northern Lights Suplex with a bridge for two. Page hits a roaring elbow and follows up with a bridging German Suplex, but Makabe is out at two. Page ducks a lariat but doesn’t duck a second one and gets floored by Makabe.

Makabe sets Page on the top rope in order to hit the Spider German Suplex, but Page elbows out, so he improvises with a belly to belly instead. With Page down, Makabe attempts the King Kong Knee Drop from the top rope, but Page is able to roll out of the way and there’s no water in the pool. Both men trade clotheslines, which goes Makabe’s way, but when he tries a German Suplex, Page lands on his legs and gets a super kick, only to then run into a lariat.

Makabe sends Page out onto the apron, but it allows him to spring back in with a flipping clothesline and he follows up with the Rite of Passage to finally get a pin fall victory to go with his earlier DQ win over Fale in the first round of fixtures.

WINNER: HANGMAN PAGE
RATING: ***

Makabe is getting dangerously close to washed up, but he worked hard here and this ended up being a good clean win as consequence, which helped elevate Page.

(I now go and watch Burnley Vs Aberdeen in the Europa League. You can simulate this by walking away from the review and coming back two hours later if you like.

Back? Lovely! Shame that Aberdeen couldn’t pull off the victory but they played well and raised the profile of Scottish football in the process, so go them!)

VS

A Block – 02/08/2018
Jay White (8 pts) Vs YOSHI-HASHI (2 pts)

This is CHAOS Vs CHAOS, although White hasn’t been doing much to endeavour himself to his fellow stablemates recently, so I doubt YOSHI will be going too easy on him. White has a great chance to get to 10 points here and really cement himself as one of the favourites to go all the way in A Block.

White jumps YOSHI right from the off and lays the bad mouth on him for added measure, but YOSHI replies with a shoulder tackle and then hammers away in the ropes. White replies by giving YOSHI a back suplex from inside the ring to the outside before taking him on a tour of the guardrails in his usual vicious sadistic manner. I kind of wish the other wrestlers would lay off that spot and leave it for White. Fellow CHAOS member Rocky Romero is not happy about these tactics and chews White out on commentary.

Back inside, White goes to the inverted Indian Deathlock and cinches it in, ripping at the face for added measure, but YOSHI is able to make the ropes to break. White keeps laying on the bad mouth, as I continue to be impressed with this heel persona of his. He tapped into his inner heel almost overnight against Juice Robinson in Long Beach and hasn’t looked back since.

White tries to bring a chair in, but the referee stops him, which allows YOSHI to baseball slide it into his face. Back inside, YOSHI hangs White over the top rope and dropkicks him before coming off the top rope with an Over Castle for two. YOSHI tries a powerbomb next, but White is able to slip out and hit a Complete Shot and release German Suplex for a double down.

Spinning brain buster gets two for White. He tries to follow up with the Blade Runner, but YOSHI is able to counter to a school by for two. YOSHI hits a powerbomb and goes into the bridge, but White kicks out at two. YOSHI heads up for a Swanton Bomb, but White pushes the ref in the way to stop him before cutting him off.

White goes for the Blade Runner but YOSHI fights him off. The ref gets sandwiched in the corner, which allows White to hit a low blow, but when he goes for the Blade Runner YOSHI is able to slip out and hit a duo of kicks. YOSHI gets a back cracker and then heaves White up into an Emerald Fusion for a close two count. YOSHI goes for Karma, but White is able to slip out at the last minute and hit the Blade Runner out of nowhere to pick up the semi-clean win.

WINNER: JAY WHITE
RATING: ***1/4

This was a solid match that told a good story, with White’s spoilt brat heel character really starting to get cooking. White heads over to Romero on commentary post-match to tell him that sometimes people have to be taught lessons. What a git, I love it!

VSThirteen

A Block – 02/08/2018
Hiroshi Tanahashi (10 pts) Vs EVIL (8 pts)

So this is a pivotal match in A Block. If Tanahashi wins he will be on 12 points and will be guaranteed to top the block at the end of the night, but if EVIL wins he will tie him on 10 points and will also hold a tie breaker over him as well, which could end up coming into play if things are still tight at the top on the last day.

Tanahashi gets the better of things in the early going with arm drags and headlocks. EVIL pulls some hair to get out of that, but gets low bridged onto the apron in reply. Undeterred, EVIL grabs Tanahashi’s right arm and drops it over the top rope. Back inside, EVIL sends Tanahashi shoulder first into the corner and then hits a big jumping back senton for two before going to an arm bar.

EVIL transitions to a surfboard and works that for a while, as the fans get behind Tanahashi. Tanahashi is finally able to acrobatically flip out of the hold and gets a flying forearm followed by an elbow drop and somersault senton splash for two. Tanahashi slams EVIL down and heads up to the second rope, but he takes too long and that allows EVIL to cut him off and then clothesline him from the top rope to the outside.

Out there, EVIL sends Tanahashi into the guardrail and then follows up with a big clothesline to floor the Ace. Tanahashi manages to just about break the count back inside, where he is met with a bronco buster from a waiting EVIL, which gets a two count from the referee. EVIL goes for Darkness Falls, but Tanahashi slips out, only to get hit with a lariat not soon after for two.

EVIL gets a fisherman’s buster, but Tanahashi is once again able to kick out at two. EVIL gets cocky, which allows Tanahashi to get a cradle for two. EVIL goes for Everything is EVIL, but Tanahashi counters it with a neck breaker and then follows up with a Sling Blade for two. Tanahashi heads up top, but EVIL comes to stop him, so Tanahashi gets a dragon screw over the second rope and comes off the top with a cross body block but he misses the follow up High-Fly-Flow.

EVIL hits Darkness Falls, but Tanahashi is able to kick out at two. EVIL gets a big lariat and goes for the pin, but Tanahashi is once again able to kick out at two. EVIL goes for Everthing is EVIL, but Tanahashi blocks it and delivers one of his own before heading up for the High-Fly-Flow to put himself in pole position in A Block.

WINNER: HIROSHI TANAHASHI
RATING: ***1/2

Tanahashi Special™ there, as he made EVIL look like a real contender before gutting it out to pick up the clean with the Frogsplash. Due to holding the tie breaker that means that EVIL can now no longer finish ahead of Tanahashi, which means it’s mathematically impossible for him to win A Block seeing as he only has two matches left to wrestle.

VS

A Block – 02/08/2018
Kazuchika Okada (8 pts) Vs Minoru Suzuki (8 pts)

So with Tanahashi winning, Okada really needs to win here. Conceivably he could lose here and still win A Block if he wins the next two matches and Suzuki stays on 10 points, but it would be out of his hands in that case. Suzuki will be mathematically out of it if loses here, as Tanahashi has a tie-breaker win over him and he’d only be able to get a maximum of 12 points from his ensuing fixtures. Basically, he has to win all of his remaining matches and hope someone does him a favour and takes points off Tanahashi.

We have a brawl right from the off, as Suzuki destroys Okada with guardrails and chairs in brutal fashion. The ref is so afraid for his own safety that he actually grabs a chair of his own for protection in a funny spot. Suzuki flings Okada into a row of chairs before adding even more shots with one of them. Seriously ref, the DQ line for even New Japan must have been crossed by now surely? The ref finally decides to get in the ring and start counting, but doesn’t stop it when Suzuki hits Okada with a chair before he gets in. Okada just about makes it back in at nineteen, but he has every right to feel aggrieved by the officiating.

Okada has been utterly destroyed during that opening brawl and can barely even defend himself as Suzuki chokes him with his own t-shirt. Okada finally shows some life following a Suzuki forearm and manages to get a boot up in the corner and hit a neck breaker to buy himself some respite. Okada hits his sloppy DDT for two and then goes for an inverted neck breaker, but Suzuki grabs onto the arm and goes to a cross arm breaker, but Okada is able to make the ropes to break.

Suzuki hits a Yakuza Kick and then follows with a PK before going to a Fujiwara Arm Bar. Suzuki even hooks Okada’s other arm, just to be a massive jerk, but Okada is eventually able to get a foot on the ropes to break the hold. Okada keeps coming, but his strikes don’t have the fizz he’d like them to due to all the arm work, so he hits a running front dropkick to finally knock Suzuki down. However, Okada appears to have a death wish and openly invites Suzuki to get back up and hit him.

Suzuki obliges and fires off some super stiff forearm strikes that reverberate throughout the arena. Suzuki decides to mock Okada’s “Rainmaker” pose, which serves to fire Okada up. Sweat flies as both men tee off on each other with forearms, as Okada finally gets some force behind his shots. Suzki just laughs in Okada’s face and throws even more shots before adding a slap for good measure. The slap causes Okada to sink to his knees, but he’s able to fight out of a piledriver attempt and hit a dropkick.

Both men trade STIFF slaps and Okada seems to get the better of that, but when he goes to hit the ropes he ends up finding a Suzuki dropkick waiting for him. Okada withstands more slaps a knees from Suzuki and tries to go for a Tombstone Piledriver, but Suzuki goes to a front facelock to put a stop to that and then transitions to a sleeper when Okada tries to power out. Okada starts to fade in the sleeper, but he’s able to fight off a piledriver attempt but not a follow up Octopus Stretch.

Okada manages to power out of the Octopus however and delivers a Tombstone for a double down. Okada goes to his own sleeper and then tries the Gotch Style Piledriver, only for Suzuki to power out with a Tombstone counter. Okada is able to counter that with his own Tombstone though and hits a discus lariat before following up with a Rainmaker for three.

WINNER: KAZUCHIKA OKADA
RATING: ****

Needed a more “epic” closing stretch to really put it over the edge, but this was an incredible effort by Okada, as he got pummelled mercilessly but survived it all before getting the win. With that loss Suzuki is now out of the running for A Block.

Following those results, let’s see how A Block stands;

Top of the pile is Hiroshi Tanahashi with 12 points. In joint second place with 10 points are Kazuchika Okada and Jay White. Tied on 8 points are Minoru Suzuki and EVIL, whilst Michael Elgin and Bad Luck Fale both have 6 points. Tied on 4 are Hangman Page and Togi Makabe respectively whilst YOSHI-HASHI brings up the rear on 2 points.

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Whilst you’re here, why not take a goosey gander at Will’s review of Guts and Glory by clicking right HERE

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