New Japan Pro Wrestling
G1 Climax 29 Night 4
July 15, 2019
Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center
Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
Watch: NJPW World
Lance Archer, Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr. & Yoshinobu Kanemaru def. Clark Connors, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Karl Fredericks & KENTA
Now normally, I wouldn’t review any of these undercard tags on the G1 shows, but this match piqued my interest after the incredible KENTA/Fredericks/Connors vs Tanahashi/Narita/Umino tag on Saturday’s show, so I decided to give y’all an extra match here even though I still have to review the 13 match Peter Pan card later today.
The Suzuki-gun guys charged before the bell in a shocking development. Sabre paired off with Tanahashi and Archer with KENTA, previewing the upcoming block matches. Minoru Suzuki took care of the young lions.
This was a pretty standard undercard tag all in all, but there was an awesome moment where Karl Fredericks was crawling for a hot tag and Tanahashi pushed KENTA out of the way to steal the tag. The Suzuki-gun heavys all locked in submissions on their opponents and Kanemaru hit deep impact on Clark Connors for the victory. Sabre held on to the submission on Tanahashi after the bell. This wasn’t on the level of Saturday’s tag involving the LA Dojo boys but was still pretty fun. ***1/4
G1 Climax B Block
Shingo Takagi (2) def. Toru Yano (2)
Toru Yano pulled one over on Shingo’s stablemate, Tetsuya Naito, just two days earlier, so Shingo wasn’t going to be fooled so easily here, countering Yano’s classic spots at every turn. This was typical Yano antics with the turnbuckle and the rollup the same way he beat Naito, only for Shingo to kick out. We got a countout tease as well with Shingo rolling in at 19.
Yano countered Noshigami with a backslide but Shingo kicked out, then the CHAOS member tried to pull an Eddie Guerrero but BUSHI distracted the ref and the Pumping Bomber fell YTR. I really enjoyed this but I do like Yano more than most. ***1/2
G1 Climax B Block
Juice Robinson (4) def. Hirooki Goto (2)
Before the G1 when I looked at the betting odds for who would become tournament champion, Goto was behind Toru Yano. That’s pretty incredible. Nonetheless, English commentary tried to convince us that this is a “new Goto” that has a shot at winning the block.
I used to think Goto was one of the top workers in the company, but I don’t think he’s had a single match I’ve given **** this year, probably in part due to a lack of opportunities, but I’m hoping he gets back to his old self in this tournament.
Goto’s strikes looked like death here early on, Juice collapsing during one of the combos was a nice touch to get them further over. The two had a pretty cool finishing exchange trading finishers and Goto blocking Left Hand of God with his own head! At the end of it though, Pulp Friction finished Goto.
Seems as if the “new Goto” may already be done. After the match commentary mentioned that Juice may have injured his hand again with the Left Hand of God, so it’ll be interesting to see if they play that up in future matches. ***1/2
G1 Climax B Block
Jon Moxley (4) def. Jeff Cobb (0)
AEW vs ROH in this one. I actually picked this as a double countout in my pick’em just so I could say that I did if it ends up happening.
The strike exchanges here were borderline nasty, but Mox got the best of Cobb with an exposed knee. They brawled on the outside for a little bit but it didn’t lose steam like a lot of New Japan matches do when they go brawling because of Moxley’s charisma.
Back in the ring where Cobb flattened Mox with a standing moonsault for two. Mox hit a Draping DDT to fall Cobb and Moxley improves to 3-0 in New Japan singles matches. ***1/2
G1 Climax B Block
Tomohiro Ishii (4) def. Jay White (0)
Jay White struggled off the blocks this year, losing to Hirooki Goto in the main event of the first B Block show, so he really needed to rebound here. The switchblade baited Ishii to the outside early on and controlled the match early.
White has star charisma, that’s undeniable, but I go back and forth on his ring work, I thought this was one of his poorer control periods, but once we got into Ishii just panning him with strikes the match picked up.
White threw Ishii overhead with a German and then pounded on Ishii on the mat, Ishii popped back up, though, no-selling a Saito Suplex and dropping White with a forearm.
White survived a superplex and nailed the Kiwi Crusher for two, but Ishii popped out of Blade Runner with a lariat, and nailed a German! Powerbomb only got two for Ishii and White collapsed out of the way of a Sliding D. Gedo’s distraction attempt proved unsuccessful but White fought out of his way of a Vertical Drop Brainbuster. Blade Runner countered with a Flatliner and the Vertical Drop Brainbuster drops White to 0-2! Very good closing stretch but the match could have used some time shaved off from the start. ****
G1 Climax B Block
Taichi (2) def. Tetsuya Naito (0)
The John Carroll bowl took Hokkaido for the second time this year after Taichi and Tetsuya Naito tore it up in a very underrated February match. This match is the reason I agreed to review this show.
Naito baited Taichi in early, lying prone on the mat and then rolling up Taichi when he closed in. Taichi took advantage quickly though, with a low blow and chair shots on the outside.
Back in the ring, Taichi called for someone from the back to distract the ref and pulled the iron fingers out, but Naito survived with a dropkick to the knee and a second rope frankensteiner. Destino was countered though, and Taichi nailed a high roundhouse kick and then, to continue his Kawada tribute, a Gonzo Bomb!
Low blow and a running Destino gout a near fall for Naito but the standard Destino is countered with Black Memphisto. The ref then took a bump thanks to Taichi, Naito stopped Kanemaru’s interference and got a visual pin with the Snow Plow, but Taichi got the Iron Gloves as Kanemaru kept the ref down, nailed Naito, and hit the last ride to secure his first two G1 points. Awesome match, but then again I love these two even more than most. ****1/4
A pretty good show but maybe the weakest of the four G1 shows so far, I loved the main event and I think most people will like the semi-main even more. Looking at the block standings, we’ve got some interesting slow starts opening up early with Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tetsuya Naito, and Jay White, the four most commonly picked finalists, all starting at 0-2. We still have seven matches to go though, so there is time for a rebound.
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