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

Wow, are we really already at Night Six of this year’s G1 Climax? It’s been like a second World Cup for me this and I’ve loved it! Hopefully Zack Sabre Jr can bring wrestling home eh?

Anyway, the big match from today’s G1 is going to be Kenny Omega taking on Tama Tonga. Tonga, Tanga Loa and Bad Luck Fale were all long time members of the Bullet Club but turned on their fellow stablemates three weeks ago and formed a new group known as the Firing Squad. Tonight will be Bullet Club leader Kenny Omega’s first chance to get his hands on Tonga in a singles match. The two faced off on Night Five in a tag match, which ended with Tonga laying Omega out. Let’s read on to see how the next chapter of this story progresses!

Head to the archives for results of Night Four if you want to get up to date with the action in B Block

All of the following matches took place on the 21st of July 2018 at the world famous Korakuen Hall in Bunkyo

VS

B Block – 21/07/2018
Toru Yano (0 pts) Vs Kota Ibushi (4 pts)

Yano has tried turning over a new leaf from his cheating ways in G1 so far this way, and it hasn’t really helped him yet. Yano actually out wrestles Ibushi in the early going with amateur style take downs, much to the crowd’s surprise. Ibushi responds with a rana to send him outside and then follows with a dive for good measure.

Outside the ring is more of Yano’s element though and he’s able to throw Ibushi into the guardrails and then starts undoing all of the turnbuckle pads. This gives Ibushi time to recover however and he comes off the top rope with a twisting…thing to the outside. Ibushi now undoes a turnbuckle pad, but this allows Yano to jump him and then take off the final pad.

Come to think of it, despite people always banging on about how the apron is the hardest part of the ring, surely the METAL buckles would be harder? Yano tries to whip Ibushi into the unprotected buckles but he puts on the breaks. Yano eventually gets it however and sends Ibushi into the turnbuckles numerous times to gain the advantage.

Yano grabs a turnbuckle pad and swings it at Ibushi, but Ibushi ducks and hits him with a kick before grabbing it for himself. Yano is able to dodge the pad shot and manages to get one of his own before scurrying outside to get some tape from under the ring. Ibushi blocks the tape however and we head back inside. However, it turns out Yano had ANOTHER roll of tape stuffed somewhere and he tapes Ibushi’s hands together.

Undeterred, Ibushi gets a no handed dropkick and then follows up with a standing moonsault for two. Seriously ref, get the tape off his hands or at least call for a DQ. The ref goes down due to chicanery, which allows Yano to get a low blow and roll up to get the upset win!

WINNER: TORU YANO
RATING: ***

Hey, I love Yano’s cheating antics, sue me! As usual, Yano proves to be the spoiler in G1 by picking up an outrageously unpredictable win. This stops Ibushi powering ahead with a 6 point lead and finally gets Yano on the board. Man, by the end of this round poor YOSHI-HASHI could be the only guy left with nil points at this rate.

VSSix

B Block – 21/07/2018
SANADA (2 pts) Vs Zack Sabre Jr (2 pts) w/ TAKA Michinoku

Zack got on the board thanks to win over Toru Yano in one of my favourite matches of this year’s G1 so far. Meanwhile, SANADA managed to overcome cheating from the Firing Squad to beat Tama Tonga with a cheeky roll up. This is Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA) Vs Suzuki-Gun (Zack). Zack won the single elimination New Japan Cup tournament earlier in 2018, and made SANADA submit along the way in the semi-final.

This will be the amazing athleticism of SANADA against the superlative technical prowess of Zack. Styles make fights as they say! SANADA flips right out of a snap mare early on as if to accentuate that point before the two men start trading Full Nelson’s. Zack actually struggles to get out as SANADA seems to have a counter for every one of his, but finally he does and goes to a leg lock. Zack tries the bow and arrow submission but SANADA effortlessly slips out and it’s back to the drawing board.

Both men do a fishtails pinning sequence which is some of the best wrestling I’ve seen in this tournament so far. That sequence was astoundingly fluid and exceptionally executed! We get some more primo chain wrestling from both men, with neither one gaining a clear advantage. Some of the counters are great though. I can’t even describe some of them to you because they’re so intricate.

Both men trade European uppercuts, after which Zack counters a backslide into a double wrist lock. SANADA powers out of that and tries Skull End, but Zack gets out of that and we go to another pinning sequence, which ends with Zack kicking SANADA. Zack tries the Zack Driver but SANADA slips out, and then we go for MORE pins, which ends with SANADA countering a Zack counter to a pinning hold of his own for the three count.

WINNER: SANADA
RATING: ****1/2

I loved that, absolutely loved it! It was almost like a classic World of Sport match, with both men constantly jockeying for position and trying to get in and out of holds. Really refreshing to see a match like that today and the fans at Korakuen loved it. Zack is furious after the match due to being out wrestled. Hey, I’m all for a rematch if you want to do one lads!

VS

B Block – 21/07/2018
IWGP United States Champion Juice Robinson (0 pts) Vs Tetsuya Naito (2 pts)

Naito responded well from his opening loss to Kenny Omega by defeating Tomohiro Ishii in a hard hitting war. Juice currently has no points on the board but he looked great against Kota Ibushi in his last match so maybe he can go one better here against Naito?

Naito went after Juice’s injured left hand in a tag match on Night Five, so Juice is very protective of it here. Naito shows he is wise to do so by immediately trying to kick the hand, but Juice is able to dodge it. Both men trade forearm strikes, which ends with Naito kicking the hand and then going after it. Juice fights back but he traps his hand in an up and over and Naito makes things worse by dropkicking the injured body part.

Juice rolls outside and sells the hand big, but he isn’t safe out there as Naito follows and does more damage to it. Juice rolls back inside and is in a lot of pain, so Naito goes to a wrist lock just to be a jerk, but Juice manages to make the ropes. Juice starts firing up, but Naito responds by gouging his eyes. Juice keeps coming though with a back elbow and Full Nelson Slam to buy himself some time.

Juice goes to chop Naito, but Naito spits at him in an effort to make Juice punch with the left hand and get himself disqualified, but Juice stops himself and hits a spine buster. Juice delivers some big chops to Naito with his right hand and lays the bad mouth on him for good measure. Naito comes back by drop kicking the hand and then goes to a wrist submission but Juice is able to make the ropes to break.

Naito sets Juice up top and then slaps at him disrespectfully before delivering a top rope rana, but Juice rolls through with a cradle for two. Juice blocks a swinging DDT with a Jackhammer and that’s enough for a double down. Juice hits a clothesline in the corner and then sets Naito up onto the top rope and returns the slapping from earlier. Juice goes for a superplex but Naito targets the arm to stop that.

Juice is persistent though and gets a block buster slam from the second rope before following up with a cannonball into the corner followed by a big powerbomb for two. Juice gets Naito up in a fireman’s carry but he slips out, only to walk into a side kick from Juice. Naito responds with a reverse rana though to counter an Electric Chair and both me are down once again. This has been far more trouble than I think Naito was betting on.

Naito tries The Destino but Juice gets out and goes for Pulp Friction, but Naito gets out of that and hits a German Suplex. Destino would seem to end things, but Juice slips out of that and ends up hitting Naito with a big clothesline to floor him. Juice goes for Pulp Friction but Naito counters to a Destino attempt, but Juice counters that to a fireman’s carry, at which point Naito counters THAT with The Destino for two and follows with another for three. WHEW!!!

WINNER: TETSUYA NAITO
RATING: ****

Poor Juice, still without a point to his name despite more than holding his own in every match thus far. I loved the psychology here where Naito worked the arm, which served to fire Juice up and almost pull out the win. With that win, Naito is now on 4 points and you’d have to think he’ll only kick on from here.

VS

B Block – 21/07/2018
Kenny Omega (4 pts) Vs Tama Tonga (2 pts)

As mentioned in the opening paragraph, there’s oodles of back story to this one and the Firing Squad waste no time jumping Omega three on one before the bell even rings. Annoyingly the ref allows this to happen, instead of doing something useful like disqualifying Tonga. Hangman Page and Chase Owens of Bullet Club run down to even the odds and the bell finally rings to start the match, as Omega dives onto EVERYONE outside the ring!!!

However, Tonga hits a spear back inside the ring and follows up with a TKO before laying the bad mouth onto his former leader. The referee finally does something useful by sending all the seconds to the back, as Tonga hits a snap suplex for two. Tonga seems to blame Omega for dividing the Bullet Club and makes sure to yell that at him whilst working him over. Kevin Kelley drops the bomb on commentary that former BC leader AJ Styles is actually siding with the Firing Squad on this issue.

Tonga misses a Stinger Splash in the corner and Omega fires off some chops and hits a swinging DDT for two. Tonga can’t escape a rolling fireman’s carry but he does manage to get his knees up on a Quebrada. Omega blocks the Gun Stun and hits a V-Trigger, but ends up on the wrong side of an Alabama Slam. Tonga blocks another V-Trigger but ends up running into another one straight afterward.

Onto the apron we go, which is THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING (If you ignore the ring posts and turnbuckles) and Tonga grabs onto the ref to distract him, which allows Loa to sneak back out and clip Omega’s leg with a chair. Omega fights Loa off though and then powerbombs Tonga onto the apron before hitting a fisherman’s buster onto the knee back inside. Mark Sloan would be proud!

Loa causes another distraction but heel miscommunication allows an O’Connor Roll from Omega. Tonga kicks Omega out, right into a chair from Loa, and gets a school boy for a near fall. Loa distracts the ref and puts the chair in, but Omega blocks the ensuing Gun Stun attempt. Tonga instead tries a Styles Clash on the chair but the ref kicks the chair away and earns himself a Gun Stun as consequence.

This leads to Loa and Fale coming back out as the disqualification is called. Firing Squad try to Pillmanise Omega’s neck after the match but Ibushi, Owens and Page run down to make the save before that can happen. Tonga sends threats from the entrance way before leaving, so this ain’t over folks!

WINNER BY DISQUALIFICATION: KENNY OMEGA
RATING: ***

Decent enough match with the DQ finish making sense as you don’t want to blow things off already with a clean Omega win.

VS

B Block – 21/07/2018
NEVER Openweight Champion Hirooki Goto (2 pts) Vs Tomohiro Ishii (2 pts)

This match is CHAOS Vs CHAOS, as two stablemates go at it. This should be a hard hitting fight. Goto lost to Omega in the second round whilst Ishii was pipped to the post by Naito in a great match. Both men trade shoulder barges early on like two bulls, with neither giving way to the other and then proceed to trading strikes.

Goto looks like he might be about to wobble but he fires up and then knocks Ishii down with a shoulder barge to win the rally. Ishii isn’t down for long though and comes back with a powerslam before unleashing some vicious knife edge chops. Goto responds with some open hand slaps but Ishii shrugs those off and then floors him with a big chop.

Goto won’t give up though and comes back with a big clothesline in the corner before following up with a spin wheel kick and a Saito Suplex for two. Goto unloads some STIFF kicks to Ishii, who sells them big before shaking them off because he’s so gosh darn MANLY! Into the corner we go, where Ishii unloads with chops and elbows and then floors Goto with a big shoulder barge.

I’ve never seen two elephant seals fight on a beach, but I imagine it wouldn’t look too differently to this. Ishii hits a release German Suplex but Goto no sells it and hits a big kick in response before going to a sleeper hold. Well, Plan A of “hitting him really REALLY hard” didn’t work, so it makes sense that Goto might go to Plan B of “choking him out and holding on for dear life”, but not even THAT works as Ishii comes back with a lariat.

Goto replies with a lariat of his own and we have a LARIAT BATTLE on our hands! That’s the best kind of battle!! So both men hit each other with increasingly stiff lariats, but neither of them is willing to go down. Finally both men hit each other with one last lariat and collapse to the mat exhausted, battered and bruised. What an absolute WAR this match has been!

Goto goes back to the sleeper but Ishii throws punches to break it and then no sells a big slap before delivering some punishing elbows and a head butt to send Goto collapsing into the corner. Ishii sets Goto up top and then brings him down with the old CW Anderson stalling brain buster, but Goto is able to kick out at two. Goto manages a Ushigoroshi in response and then follows up with a big lariat to floor Ishii.

Goto gets the reverse GTR and then goes for a standard one but Ishii gets out of it and delivers a big Saito Suplex to buy himself some time. The Korakuen crowd seem to be behind Ishii here, but I have to give both men credit for pummelling each other in such a manner. Ishii tries an enziguri and Goto swats it away but ends up running into a big lariat that gives Ishii a nail biting two count.

Ishii roars and goes for a brain buster but Goto is able to block it and hits the Shouten Kai for another near fall. Goto kicks Ishii down and then goes for the GTR but Ishii slides out and hits a series of head butts followed by and enziguri and a sliding lariat for two. How on EARTH did Goto kick out there?!?! It proves to only be a last gasp false hope for Goto though as Ishii follows up with the brain buster to pick up the win.

WINNER: TOMOHIRO ISHII (And the medical profession of Tokyo)
RATING: ****3/4

Goodness me, what a fight! If you’ve never seen New Japan and would like an idea of why it’s so popular, then I’d highly recommend watching this as it was everything about why people love Japanese wrestling. Stiff strikes, great psychology and pure emotion.

And with that Night Six is in the bag and it’s almost certainly been my favourite show of this G1 so far. What I loved so much was the variety on display. You had the Yano comedy cheat fest, an American style grudge match, a World of Sport style technical exhibition, a match built around working a body part and then a classic Japanese style match built around hard strikes. Basically, there had to be at least one match here that you could enjoy due to every match being different. I just wish WWE would realise this rather than making everyone work the same way.

So after Night Six, B Block looks as follows;

Kenny Omega leads with 6 points, Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, Tomohiro Ishii and Kota Ibushi all have 4 points, Toru Yano, Zack Sabre Jr, Hirooki Goto and Tama Tonga all have 2 points whilst Juice Robinson brings up the rear with nil points.

I hope to see you all tomorrow for Night Seven!

Like the sound of this New Japan stuff? Think you might like to see some of this action for yourself? If so, then head over to New Japan World and sign yourself up for just 999 Yen a month. It’s an absolute bargain!

Thanks for reading

Whilst you’re here, why not take a goosey gander at Will’s review of Lego The Incredibles? You can find out more by clicking right HERE.

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