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

My word, its Night Fourteen of G1 Climax 2018! We continue on with B Block, as Kenny Omega has remained unbeaten thus far, although he had to show a lot of resilience to pull one out of the bag against Zack Sabre Jr the last time out. Today he takes on “The Stone Pitbull” Tomohiro Ishii in a match that we surely push him to his utmost limits. Will he be able to continue his perfect run? Let’s read on to find out!

If you want to catch up with goings on in B Block, you can read my recap of Night Twelve by clicking right HERE!

The following matches took place on the 4th of August 2018 from the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium in Osaka.

 VSFourteen

B Block – 04/08/2018
Toru Yano (2 pts) Vs SANADA (6 pts)

Yano jumps SANADA in the aisle before the match even starts and hog ties him with his shirt before sprinting into the ring. The referee stupidly decides to count, even though the match can’t officially start until both men are in the ring. Thankfully SANADA makes it back in to break the count, but that was some utterly atrocious refereeing there even for New Japan.

Back inside, SANADA gets a rolling cradle for two, at which point a dizzy Yano tumbles to the outside. SANADA ties him up in the Paradise Lock and leaves him out there. Rocky Romero jumps off the commentary desk to help his CHAOS stable buddy and rolls him onto his side like a fallen tortoise so he can break the hold. Yano tries tries to hit SANADA with a turnbuckle pad, but SANADA leap frogs over and dropkicks him to the outside.

SANADA follows with a dive and then locks Yano around a piece of guardrail, going for the count out again. Romero again goes to help, but this time SANADA ties HIM up, which means there’s no one to help Yano and he is promptly counted out. Romero hilariously calls for help whilst tied up in the Paradise Lock as SANADA walks to the back.

WINNER: SANADA BY COUNT OUT
RATING: NO RATING

I can’t really rate it as it wasn’t really a match and more a prolonged angle, but it was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a while. Milano Collection AT (The inventor of the Paradise Lock) helps both Romero and Yano out following the match, which is nice of him!

VS

B Block – 04/08/2018
Hirooki Goto (4 pts) Vs Tama Tonga (4 pts) w/ Tanga Loa

Manly lock up to start, as both men try to shove the other around, which ends with Tama trying a cheap shot after a clean break and ending up in a side headlock for his troubles. Goto tenaciously holds on to the headlock and counters an attempted Tonga hip toss with one of his own. Tonga grabs the referee to buy himself a break, which allows Loa to shove Goto off the top rope to the floor for the cut off.

Tonga sends Goto into the railings outside and then adds a throw into the ring post for added measure. Loa gets another cheap shot in on the outside whilst the ref is distracted, but Goto is able to break the count back inside. Tonga chokes away inside the ring but Goto won’t stay down and starts throwing some forearm strikes before hitting a lariat to get some respite.

Goto hits a spinning wheel kick in the corner and then delivers a Saito Suplex for two. He muscles Tonga up into a fireman’s carry but Tonga slips out and tries a Stinger Splash, but Goto moves and sets him up on the top rope. Tonga attempts to fight Goto off but Goto won’t take no for an answer and goes for a fireman’s carry up there, only for Tonga to slip out and get a powerbomb.

The powerbomb doesn’t full come off correctly, so Goto gets straight back up and lariats Tonga before trying the Ushigoroshi, but Tonga slips out and shoves Goto into the ref to knock him down. This allows Loa to come in with a running powerslam. Bloody hell, where are the rest of CHAOS to help out Goto here?! They’re a bloody terrible stable, no wonder there’s dissention amongst the ranks!!

Goto manages to fight Loa off and then hits the Ushigoroshi on Tonga as the revived ref now gets back in. Goto hits the GTR, but when he goes for the cover Bad Luck Fale runs down to drag the ref out of the ring for the DQ. What is it with the Firing Squad not doing clean jobs in this G1? Oh wait, hang on, it turns out it wasn’t a DQ and the bell rang on accident, as Fale drops Goto with the grenade and drapes Tonga on top. However, Referee Red Shoes runs down and flips Fale off before calling for the real DQ. Amazingly, the Firing Squad doesn’t kill him for that.

WINNER: HIROOKI GOTO BY DISQUALIFICATION
RATING: **1/2

Match was fine, but I honestly don’t understand why they feel the need to “protect” the Firing Squad with all these DQ’s, especially as doing clean jobs in New Japan doesn’t do anyone any real damage because the booking rarely makes anyone look stupid, so you can survive a clean job in that environment because no one on the roster is booked like a chump.

VS

B Block – 04/08/2018
IWGP United States Champion Juice Robinson (4 pts) Vs Zack Sabre Jr (6 pts) w/ TAKA Michinoku

It’s Zack Sabre Jr time!! TAKA makes sure to point out in his pre-match promo that if Zack wins here then he wants a title shot down the road. Juice’s taped up left hand would have to be a major target for Zack here. I have a morbid fascination to see what terrifying submission holds Zack can do to that hand actually.

Zack delivers some European uppercuts in the early stages, but gets floored when Juice fires back with forearm strikes. If I was Zack, I’d stick with holds and grappling in this environment, especially as striking is Juice’s forte. Juice goes for a senton back splash, but Zack is able to catch him in a submission hold and then stomps away on his left arm with vicious vigour.

Juice tries to keep his arm away from Zack, but Zack is now the proverbial shark smelling blood and goes right after the appendage. Juice tries to hit the Juice Box, but Zack counters that and goes right back to the arm like an absolute dick. Juice no sells some slaps and gets the better of things with right handed jabs and a chop. I love how Zack would probably be the IWGP Champion right now if he just stuck to submission wrestling, but he’s too cocky to do just that which ultimately leads to his downfall. It’s such a great character flaw.

Zack goes to a double wrist lock and targets the left hand with it, but Juice won’t tap so he transitions to a choke instead. Juice is able to run Zack into the corner to break and then follows up with a cannonball. Juice goes for a powerbomb but Zack holds on and goes for the double wristlock again, but Juice is able to show his deceptive power by muscling him up into a Jackhammer to break.

Juice goes for the Juice Box, but Zack slips out and goes to a vicious looking octopus hold, but Juice powers out again and finally hits the Juice Box for two. Juice goes for Pulp Friction but Zack is able to counter it into a triangle choke. How does he do that?!?! He’s like a fucking anaconda!!! Juice manages to powerbomb out of that and undoes the tape on his left hand so that he’s allowed to throw a punch, but he hurts himself in the process.

That wasn’t the brightest strategy from Juice all told, but it did some serious damage to Zack. Juice goes for Pulp Friction but Zack counters it by attacking the arm and goes to a version of the Dis-Arm-Her, trapping all of Juice’s other limbs in the process when tries to make the ropes. Oh my word that looks excruciating!!! Juice holds on as long as he can, but he eventually has to submit to give Zack the 2 points.

WINNER: ZACK SABRE JR
RATING: ****

Zack poses with the title belt post-match to establish himself as a future challenger. That was a great match, with Zack busting out the usual submission goodness whilst Juice displayed some surprisingly good power wrestling in order to hang with him.

VS

B Block – 04/08/2018
Tomohiro Ishii (4 pts) Vs IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega (12 pts)

Ishii has defeated Omega in the past during the New Japan Cup in 2017, and the rest of the field in B Block will be hoping he can do it again here in order to open the Block up. Omega gives Ishii a mocking “clean” break on the ropes to start, and then adds some mocking slaps for good measure. Deary me, I think Omega has a literal death wish.

Omega hits some chops in the corner, which Ishii doesn’t even register. Ishii ducks a V-Trigger and hits a vertical suplex before throwing some shade Omega’s way by tussling his hair and delivering some chops in the corner. Omega delivers a DDT in reply for two, which looks much nicer than Okada’s, and Ishii can’t escape the rolling fireman’s carry nor the follow up Quebrada, which gets Omega a two count from the ref.

Omega wrenches in a chin lock, almost turning it into a camel clutch, and wrenches it so much that he loses his grip. He kicks away at Ishii on the mat, which Ishii treats like a mosquito bite and gets to his feet to deliver a powerslam. Ishii chops and elbows away in the corner and then hits a Saito Suplex for two. Ishii tries a powerbomb but he doesn’t lift Omega correctly, which leads to Omega slipping out and then sending Ishii outside where he follows up with a big dive.

Omega gets a face crusher back inside but gets bulled into the corner by Ishii before hitting some forearm strikes. Ishii shakes those off and hits one of his own before hitting a release German Suplex into the corner. Ishii puts Omega on the top rope and then brain busters him down for two. Somewhere, CW Anderson cracks a smile. Omega replies with a V-Trigger, but Ishii dodges a follow up attack and hits release German followed by two lariats for a near fall.

Fans are really getting into this now, sensing that Ishii might be able to pick up the big win. Ishii gets cheeky and tries for his own One Winged Angel, but Omega slips out and hits him with a spin kick to the back followed by a V-Trigger in the corner. Omega gets a big sit out powerbomb, but Ishii is able to kick out at two, much to Omega’s frustration. Omega brains Ishii with a nasty pair of V-Triggers before hitting a big third. However, that last one seemingly wakes Ishii up, so Omega hits two more followed by a snap dragon suplex and a lariat for two.

ISHII ISN’T BLOODY HUMAN!!! Omega goes for the One Winged Angel, but Ishii slips out and hits a release dragon suplex before countering a rana attempt into a powerbomb for the double down. Both men get up and trade strikes, which ends with Omega getting a reverse rana and then following up with a vicious V-Trigger to the side of the head. Ishii is lying with his upper body dangling over the apron, so Omega decides to hit him with a big double stomp to send his body crashing to the floor.

Omega puts Ishii back inside the ring and heads up top, where he comes down with a missile dropkick to the back of the head and gets a suplex onto the knee (Mark Sloan approves) for two. One Winged Angel would appear to end things, but Ishii fights out of it and then blocks a V-Trigger with a release German Suplex, but Omega lands on his feet and gets the V-Trigger this time. Omega spikes Ishii with a Jay Driller, but that only gets him a two as well!

Omega pulls down his knee pad and delivers and unprotected V-Trigger, but Ishii STILL kicks out. Goodness me!! Omega tries One Winged Angel but Ishii counters into a crucifix pin for a nail biting two count. I thought that was the finish! Ishii fires himself up and slugs away with Vader strikes before delivering some head butts and a big lariat for two. Crowd are losing their minds now, and I’m with them!!! Omega pulls out a big brain buster, but Ishii is out at one. Yes, ONE!

Ishii hits an enziguri and follows up with a brain buster to FINALLY deliver Omega his first loss in this G1 and probably put himself into title contention in the process. Omega is bleeding from the mouth quite severely after that and I reckon he’ll possibly need stitches for that.

WINNER: TOMOHIRO ISHII
RATING: *****

Seriously, Ishii has to win one of the two major titles at some point just as a reward for all these great matches doesn’t he? I mean, this match was superb and fans had absolutely no problem buying him surviving all of that punishment from the top singles champ. Heck, have Ishii crush Chris Jericho for the IC Title at The Tokyo Dome if needs be. I think everyone would enjoy that (Including probably even Jericho)

VS

B Block – 04/08/2018
Tetsuya Naito (10 pts) Vs Kota Ibushi (8 pts)

Omega losing means that Ibushi has a great shot at winning B Block if he wins here, as he still has to wrestle Omega and has two matches left after this. It would also give him a tie breaker over Naito, should it come down to that. Meanwhile, Naito needs to win here as Omega already has a tie breaker win over him so he can’t afford to let Ibushi have one too.

Omega ducks an Ibushi kick and then taunts before rolling outside to stall. Ibushi doesn’t follow Naito outside and instead waits for him to come back in. Naito attacks Ibushi with strikes back inside, but Ibushi fires back with a dropkick and sends him outside. Ibushi follows Naito out and the two end up fighting on the apron, where Naito dropkicks Ibushi in the left knee. Naito drapes Ibushi’s knee over the guardrail and kicks it, as the Osaka crowd shows their usual contempt towards him.

Ibushi gets thrown over the commentary table but is able to drag himself back in to break the count. Naito targets the left knee back inside and then hammers away in the corner with elbows and kicks. Naito “endears” himself to the Osaka crowd by taunting them, but when he goes to dropkick the knee again Ibushi jumps to dodge it and then comes down with a double stomp to buy himself some time. Ibushi hits a standing moonsault for two and then tries a German Suplex but Naito fights him off and then hits a neck breaker out of the corner.

Ibushi fights off another neck breaker attempt and hits a rana to send Naito outside before following up with an Asai moonsault. Back inside, Ibushi goes up top but Naito stops him and then tries to bring him down with a rana. Ibushi fights this attempt off and then sends Naito down to the apron where he tries to German Suplex Naito from the apron into the ring, but Naito blocks it and then drops him over the ropes. Naito follows with a missile dropkick back inside and then follows up with a springboard dropkick in the corner before going to a figure four leg lock.

Both men trade slaps in the figure four, which Naito ends by cinching the hold in, so Ibushi drags himself to the ropes to cause a break of the hold. Naito goes for a tornado DDT, but Ibushi blocks it, only for Naito to hit him with a flying forearm. Ibushi replies with a release half nelson suplex and both men are down. Both men fight up from their knees and trade strikes. Ibushi starts giving Naito a taste of his own medicine by kicking his leg, but Naito grabs his leg and spits in his face.

Ibushi replies with some slaps but gets hit with a modified piledriver, silencing the crowd. High angle pump handle slam sets up a rope assisted neck breaker for two, but Ibushi looks out of it and it shouldn’t be long now. The referee checks on Ibushi and allows the match to continue, even though it appears that Ibushi is completely out cold. Ibushi shuts me up however by delivering a big kick to the head out of nowhere and both men are down again.

Naito gets an alleyoop into the corner but Ibushi fights off the Everest Destino attempt with a Pele Kick and then tries to piledrive Naito from the top rope! Naito thankfully fights it off to save himself from possible death and then manoeuvres himself into a reverse rana from the top, but Ibushi lands on his feet and then turns Naito inside out with a big lariat. Both men are down again, with Ibushi in particular having a glassy look in his eye.

Naito rolls out onto the apron where he can’t be pinned, but it turns out to be a mistake as Ibushi German Suplexes him back into the ring in one of the most amazing moves in wrestling for two. Ibushi follows up with a sit out Last Ride powerbomb, but Naito manages to kick out once again. Naito dodges a follow up knee strike and hits The Destinoooooooooooooo……for two! Naito goes for it again but Ibushi drops him on his HEAD with a counter and then hits a knee strike for two. Another knee strike finally leads to the finish.

WINNER: KOTA IBUSHI
RATING: ****1/2

I feel the need to mark the match down for Ibushi dropping Naito right on his head like that, although I don’t think the counter was supposed to be as severe as that. Still, it was unnecessarily dangerous and I really wish they’d stop doing stuff like that. The match itself was great, as Naito was a great dick and Ibushi gave him his comeuppance at the end.

Let’s see how B Block looks now following those matches;

Kenny Omega still leads the Block on 12 points, but Kota Ibushi and Tetsuya Naito are only just behind him on 10 points. Zack Sabre Jr and SANADA are tied on 8 points, whilst Hirooki Goto and Tomohiro Ishii both sit on 6 points. Tama Tonga and Juice Robinson both have 4 points whilst Toru Yano brings up the rear on 2 points.

Liking the sound of this New Japan stuff? Well if you head over to New Japan World you can sign up for just 999 Yen a month and not only get all of these great shows but also access to New Japan’s cavernous vaults, where you’ll find all sorts of superlative grapple action!

Whilst you’re here, why not give Ian’s review of Titan Quest for the Nintendo Switch a goosey gander? You can read it by clicking right HERE

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