New Japan Pro Wrestling
G1 Climax 33 Night 16
August 9, 2023
Act City Hamamatsu
Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan

Watch: NJPW World

Here we are on the final D block night, where we will find out the last two wrestlers going to the quarterfinals of the G1 Climax 33. Tetsuya Naito, Jeff Cobb, and Zack Sabre Jr. are tied up at exactly 8 points, so their matches are the ones to watch. If all of those men lose, then they have on their back Hirooki Goto and Hiroshi Tanahashi trying to tie with those wrestlers with 6 points. Overall, the last three matches are the most important ones to see who will pass, since both Toru Yano and Alex Coughlin are eliminated.

Before you find out who won this night, here are the undercard results:

  • House Of Torture (EVIL & SHO) def. Eddie Kingston & Yuto Nakashima
  • TMDK (Kosei Fujita & Mikey Nicholls) def. Kaito Kiyomiya & Ryohei Oiwa
  • Hikuleo, Master Wato & Shota Umino def. BULLET CLUB (David Finlay, Gabe Kidd & Gedo)
  • United Empire (Great-O-Khan & HENARE) def. Tomoaki Honma & Tomohiro Ishii
  • Strong Style (El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki & Ren Narita) def. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, Shingo Takagi & Yota Tsuji)

G1 Climax 2023 Block D Match
Alex Coughlin (6) def. Toru Yano (4)

Instead of comedic shenanigans, this started with Kidd attacking Yano behind his back and then both War Dogs attacking him nonstop on the entrance ramp, even throwing the barricade on him. They beat Yano so badly that he changed his personality and remembered the old days. There were no jokes, no tape, no laughs, just a pissed-off man. Yano got an advantage after a drop toe hold into a chair for Coughlin, and then with another chair, he beat Kidd and took him to the back.

Yano and Coughlin continued the brawl through the crowd, and then went to the ring to start the match properly. It was barely a technical match since the referee was quickly knocked out and Kidd came out again to beat Yano up. But Yano persevered, took Kidd out, threw Coughlin into the exposed corner, and looked for some scissors to stab Coughlin in his forehead. Before he did it, he was stopped by the referee, and with that distraction Coughlin was able to give him a Jackhammer to finish the match.

This was short and fun. I liked how the War Dogs changed Yano’s personality, but the numbers game was too much for him. I popped for the almost stabbing. ***

G1 Climax 2023 Block D Match
Shane Haste (5) vs. Jeff Cobb (9)- Draw

Haste spoiled Cobb’s tournament with a count-out draw, thereby helping his stablemate Zack Sabre Jr. by eliminating one of the competitors. That was the story of the match: Cobb trying to stay alive on the last day of the tournament and Haste, who was eliminated, being a good stablemate by holding on to Cobb at the 20-second count.

The match started with Cobb manhandling Haste, until the opponent took him out of the ring, threw him into the barricade, and a powerbomb into the side of the ring gave Haste an advantage. It went back and forth in the ring, until they once again went outside and wrestled on the ramp. Haste tried a powerbomb on said ramp but failed. Count out started, and while Cobb was walking back to the ring, Haste did everything he could to stop him from going back. He held onto his waist, turned a Tour of the Islands into a choke that Cobb broke off, but what finally screwed the tournament for Cobb was Haste holding onto his legs for the last 3 seconds.

A fun sprint with a purpose and great action. I liked the story and Haste looked great taking a beating and receiving. Good ending. ***

G1 Climax 2023 Block D Match
Zack Sabre Jr.(10) def. Hirooki Goto (6)

Sabre is in the quarterfinals! Thanks to Cobb’s elimination, this win gave Sabre a ticket to tomorrow’s show, now it’s just a matter of whether he will be in first or second place.

The match was really good. It was at first Sabre working on Goto’s injured ribs and legs, but Goto was able to fight back by throwing bombs and working on Sabre’s neck. Side suplexes, slaps, Goto gave everything. If Goto looked a bit slow before due to the injury, tonight he came back. A GTW gave him a really close two call and an audible surprise from the crowd. But alas, as always, Sabre was able to counter Goto’s GTR with a convoluted submission where Goto did not have any available limbs to get the rope break and had to audibly submit.

This flew by and I was really into Goto getting it in the end, even though in my heart I knew Sabre was passing by. That’s a good job by both wrestlers, making me believe. It was great action and worth watching. ****

G1 Climax 2023 Block D Match
Tetsuya Naito(10) def. Hiroshi Tanahashi (6)

Before the match, it was announced that a tie in this match would have made Cobb pass. It did not happen, as you can read from the results of this match. Naito won the block even though he tied up with Sabre because he beat Sabre in their tournament match. In the case of a tie, the one that defeated the other gets the win.

Naito passed to the finals in what was an awesome match. This has been a tournament where Tanahashi has not looked good, even cooked at times, but he returned again for this match. This is not vintage Tanahashi, but he looked fucking great on this night and proved that in certain situations and opponents, he still got it. I loved how the match was set up.

It all started with a roll-up that was a really close two-count that gave Naito a scare. Tanahashi was in charge for the first five minutes until Naito took it back his way and started working on his neck, yet Tanahashi was able to gain momentum back with a well-placed Dragon Screw in the corner. With Naito outside, Tanahashi went for a Crossbody that he nailed. He threw Naito back into the ring, did a High Fly Flow, went for the second one, and it was a bust when Naito put up his knees.

Naito was up and proceeded to hit an Esperanza on Tanahashi’s neck, but the opponent was able to power through the pain and landed two Twist and Shouts. He tried pinning Naito with a combination, even went for a Straightjacket Suplex, but nothing gave him the three count. With three minutes left, Naito did a rope Tornado DDT and quickly went for a pinning combination to win the block.

This was awesome. Both men looked great, it was full of tension, and it was the story of two men who know each other, countering everything. Tanahashi’s desperation as the clock was ticking down was present, with more pin attempts as time flew by. Yet Naito in the end was able to sustain everything and land a final blow. ****¼

Final Thoughts

A good night of G1 action, especially after yesterday’s different ending to the show. If you did not like EVIL winning and that whole thing, this night might cure you. We had Yano going back to his serious heel days in a fun match, Haste sacrificing himself to help his fellow stablemate, a good match between Goto and Sabre Jr., and a great match between Tanahashi and Naito. I can’t complain about this night of tournament action and it’s a good way to end the block sections.

Here are the quarterfinals matches for tomorrow:

  • SANADA (A1) vs. EVIL (C2)
  • Kazuchika Okada (B1) vs. Zack Sabre Jr (D2)
  • David Finlay (C1) vs. Will Ospreay (B2)
  • Tetsuya Naito (D1) vs. Hikuleo (A2)

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