7/14 NJPW G-1 Climax Results: Tokyo, Japan
1. NEVER Champion Hirooki Goto and Jado def. Toa Henare and Ren Narita
2. Tomohiro Ishii and SHO def. Toru Yano and YOH
3. The Guerrillas of Destiny def. IWGP US Champion Juice Robinson and David Finlay Jr.
4. Zack Sabre Jr. and TAKA def. Kota Ibushi and Yujiro Takahashi. One thing of note is that ZSJ is now using TAKA’s famous Michinoku Driver as a finisher.
5. Tetsuya Naito and SANADA def. IWGP Champion Kenny Omega and Chase Owens
6.A Block: Togi Makabe def. YOSHI-HASHI by pinfall with the King Kong Knee Drop.
Real good kickoff to the tournament, way better than expected. Both guys looked like they had something to prove with this year’s tournament and it showed in their work.
7. A Block: Hangman Page def. Bad Luck Fale by DQ when the Guerrillas of Destiny interfered. Afterwards, the new Firing Squad went to hang Page with his own noose until Omega, Ibushi and Chase Owens ran in to make the save.
Good firey match here. Hangman kicked off his first G-1 pretty well and Fale is someone who always performs at a high level in these tournaments. The rare DQ finish is interesting, as it allows to put more fire on the Bullet Club vs. Firing Squad rivalry.
8. A Block: Michael Elgin def. EVIL by pinfall with the Elgin Bomb.
HOSS BATTELS are a personal favorite match dynamic of mine and Elgin and EVIL delivered that in spades here. These two have always had really good chemistry, dating back to both their times in ROH, when EVIL was on excursion.
9. A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi def. Minoru Suzuki by pinfall with the High Fly Flow.
Similar to their New Beginning match back in January where Suzuki won the Intercontinental Title, this was a pure masterclass in psychology, selling and submission wrestling. Suzuki made six minutes of switching up submission holds, destroying Tanahashi’s leg, interesting and Tanahashi was fantastic in his selling and getting across that his pride was getting the better of him instead of submitting and then the miracle finish of Tanahashi finding a way to win fighting through the pain was a great story told. The first great match of the tournament this year.
10.Main Event in A Block: “Switchblade” Jay White def. Kazuchika Okada by pinfall with the Blade Runner following a ref bump, a low blow and a chair shot.
Very good main event. White is firing on all cylinders right now as a hated heel, getting more heat than anyone on the show, while Okada is on a losing streak currently following Dominion and is almost on a mid-life crisis of sorts with a new entrance, a new look and projecting more of his real-life dorkiness and less of the suave, debonare Rainmaker fans have seen for several years. More good storytelling here and setting up building blocks for the future.
Overall, a good first day of the tournament with a fantastic Tanahashi-Suzuki match and a surprise outing from Makabe and YOSHI-HASHI. Rest was good to very good.
The show is available on New Japan World with both English and Japanese commentary, as will be all throughout the tournament.
Wrestleview.com’s Jason Namako and Greg McNeish did a podcast review of Day 1 of the G-1 Climax that can be heard below.