Date: July 13, 2019
Venue: Ota City General Gymnasium (Tokyo, Japan)
Commentators: Kevin Kelly & Rocky Romero
Night 2 of G1 Climax 29 brings the tournament back home to Japan and kicks off B Block action with Jon Moxley, Tetsuya Naito, and others in action. This is a recap of the tournament matches only; I’m sure the tag team undercard is fine but not my interest.
- IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: “The Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada
- IWGP INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION: Tetsuya Naito
- IWGP UNITED STATES CHAMPION: Jon Moxley
- IWGP JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: Will Ospreay
- NEVER OPENWEIGHT CHAMPION: Tomohiro Ishii
- IWGP TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tonga Loa)
- IWGP JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Bullet Club (El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori)
- NEVER OPENWEIGHT 6-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe & Toru Yano
- B BLOCK: Juice Robinson vs. Shingo Takagi (***3/4)
- B BLOCK: Jon Moxley vs. Taichi (**3/4)
- B BLOCK: Tetsuya Naito vs. Toru Yano (*1/2)
- B BLOCK: Jeff Cobb vs. Tomohiro Ishii (****)
- B BLOCK: Hirooki Goto vs. Jay White (****)
G1 CLIMAX: B BLOCK
“The Flamboyant” Juice Robinson vs. “The Dragon” Shingo Takagi
Robinson backs Shingo in the ropes and breaks clean, dodging Shingo’s attempt at a kick. Shingo with a standing side headlock, Robinson whips him off and absorbs a shoulderblock. Shingo challenges Robinson to try, which he does, but Shingo does not budge either. Shingo catches Robinson in a leapfrog attempt, Robinson escapes a fireman’s carry and they trade back elbows before Robinson puts him down with a leg lariat. Robinson to the apron, Shingo pulls him down and connects with a DDT on the protective mats. Shingo rolls Robinson in and drops a slingshot knee to the sternum. Shingo with another knee followed by an aggressive shoulderblock that this time takes Robinson down. Vertical suplex follows that up and Shingo covers for a one-count. Robinson and Shingo trade forearms and chops as they try to prove their manliness or whatever until Shingo drops him with a double-handed chop. Shingo clotheslines Robinson to the floor and goes to take flight but he’s caught mid-dash with a slingshot spear. Robinson drills Shingo with a spinebuster and a flying crossbody TO THE FACE for the 1…2…Shingo kicks out. Robinson goes for the Juice Box, Shingo dodges it but Robinson dodges a running knee and hits a full nelson bomb for the 1…2…Dragon kicks out once again. Crowd can’t decide which man to cheer on.
Robinson with a series of jabs, but Shingo catches him off-guard with a straight right hook and a BEAUTIFUL lariat. Robinson catches Shingo with a corner clothesline but misses the cannonball and Shingo hits a wheelbarrow suplex for the 1…2…Robinson kicks out in the nick of time. Robinson connects with the Juice Box, propelling Shingo into the corner for a CANNONBALL. Robinson follows up with a Superplex from the middle buckle, holding on for a Jackhammer and the 1…2…SHINGO KICKS OUT much to his opponent’s surprise. Shingo blocks Pulp Friction and connects with a sliding lariat, taking both men out of commission. Shingo and Robinson collide with lariats to one another, sweat flying off their bodies from the impact, and Shingo brings him to his knees with a series of forearms. Shingo with a Saito suplex, Robinson gets right back to his feet and connects with a lariat. Shingo counters Pulp Friction with Noshigami followed by a running lariat for the 1…2…JUICE KICKS OUT! Hot damn. Robinson counters a pumphandle with a roll-up for the 1…2…Shingo kicks out! Robinson belts Shingo with two left hooks followed by the PULP FRICTION for the 1…2…3!
Juice Robinson defeated Shingo Takagi via pinfall with Pulp Friction (14:42)
- A great hard-hitting match to open the B-Block. Watching these two club the sh*t out of each other while the sweat was flying with each blow was a cool visual, and although he lost Shingo proved himself to be ready to handle the rigors of the G1 Climax and the Heavyweight division at large. Hat tip to Kelly and Romero for explaining that story in a clear and concise way, it helped me get me invested. (***3/4)
G1 CLIMAX: B BLOCK
Jon Moxley vs. Taichi [w/ Miho Abe]
Taichi came out looking like if The Phantom of the Opera took place in the Final Fantasy universe and SANG HIMSELF TO THE RING. I’m sure this is something he does all the time, but I’ve never seen this before, and I am in love. This is cool as f*ck. I thought I was going to go into this one being pro-Moxley but now I want this opera dude to have every title ever created in the pro wrestling industry.
Taichi wastes no time and attacks Moxley during his entrance through the crowd. YEEEEAH OPERA MAN, DO YOUR THING! The two fight to the ringside as the bell rings, the ref tired of waiting for them to enter the ring. Taichi drives Moxley into the post and cracks a chair across his back. Taichi hits an Ax Bomber (AAAAX BOOM-BAH!) and enters the ring to take the countout win, but Moxley manages to make it back in the nick of time. Taichi immediately makes him pay with a Buzzsaw Kick for a two-count. Moxley and Taichi trade blows, the latter dropping the former with a jumping enzuigiri. Moxley with a sunset flip for two, then goes into brawler mode with all sorts of strikes. Taichi reverses a corner Irish whip, Moxley turns him inside out with a running lariat. Moxley sends Taichi to the floor and follows up with a tope suicida. An angry Moxley sets up a SUPER TINY TABLE, Taichi goes for a Last Ride but Moxley blocks it. Moxley connects with a forearm and puts Taichi through the table with a urinage, Abe freaking out as one would. Moxley lowers the kneepad and connects with a running knee strike to the skull for the 1…2…Taichi kicks out but barely. Moxley gets thrown into the ref and dropped with a dropkick from Taichi. Abe gives Taichi a chair, Moxley kicks him and takes the steel, piefacing him with it when Taichi charges. Moxley tosses the chair out IN FULL VIEW OF THE REF but he doesn’t care, whatevs. Taichi rolls Moxley up for the 1…2…kickout. Moxley catches a kick and sends Taichi face-first to the mat, then follows up with the Death Rider for the 1…2…3.
Jon Moxley defeated Taichi via pinfall with the Death Rider (7:35)
- Well that was shorter than I was expecting. I love how motivated Moxley is now that he’s free from the chains of WWE and he brought the intensity and aggression to this one, but I’ll be honest I was more into Taichi and his whole opera shtick. Hopefully it won’t get tiresome by the end of this tournament. Good match given the length, Moxley picks up his first-ever G1 win while Taichi takes the L in his first G1 match as well. (**3/4)
Moxley celebrates with his United States title…which I heard he can’t actually defend in the states ever because of his contract with AEW. That’s pretty funny.
G1 CLIMAX: B BLOCK
Tetsuya Naito vs. Toru Yano
Naito I’ve seen enough to be excited for, but I’ve heard Yano is pretty much a “comedy” guy so I’m not sure how this one is going to go. This is Naito’s TENTH G1? I have no concept of time.
Naito takes his sweet time removing his entrance gear, stone-facing the goofy yelling of Yano who wants to get the match going already. Naito is wearing a t-shirt for this match so Yano evens it out by wearing a t-shirt himself. I love that Naito doesn’t take his t-shirt off for matches he deems unimportant; I appreciate that it’s a character thing instead of just a sad thing like when Sting used to do it. Yano removes the turnbuckle cover on one end but gets attacked when trying to do the other. Naito mocks Yano by repeating his own goofy moves, then COVERS HIS HEAD IN HIS T-SHIRT and covers for a two-count. Naito dropkicks Yano in the corner and grabs “Steve” (the turnbuckle pad I guess?). He tries to use it, RED SHOES LEAPS AND GRABS IT OUT OF HIS HANDS and Yano rolls Naito up for the 1…2…nope! Yano runs into Red Shoes, covers him in his t-shirt, low-blows Naito, then covers Naito’s head in his own t-shirt and hits a spear for the 1…2…3! YANO WINS!
Toru Yano defeated Tetsuya Naito via pinfall with a roll-up (3:42)
- I have no idea what I just witnessed but…I think I liked it? I appreciate that Toru Yano is goofy but a CLEVER goof as opposed to just cracking jokes and getting beat up in short order. All his goofs felt like a mind game that he eventually used to his advantage to pick up what has to be an upset victory. This was strange. This was very strange. (*1/2)
G1 CLIMAX: B BLOCK
Jeff Cobb vs. “The Stone Pitbull” Tomohiro Ishii
Ishii with a headlock, Cobb lifts him up and brings him to the ropes for a clean break. They start trading forearms, Ishii charges but Cobb barely budges from the shoulderblock. Cobb asks him to do it again, same result but a LOUD SLAP. Cobb and Ishii continually run into each other because they are TOUGH, Ishii ducks a clothesline and gets DROPPED with a tackle. Cobb with two CRAZY HARD chops but Ishii refuses to go down. Ishii absorbs another chop, telling Cobb to bring it, and is felled to one knee after an elbow. Chops and forearms in the corner, Ishii no-sells and does the chop/forearm thing as the crowd chants along. I guess that’s a signature of his? This goes on for what feels like a minute but Cobb only falls to his knees at the end of it. Ishii chops Cobb down until he collapses in the corner, and OH MAN THAT MAN’S CHEST IS REAL RED. Ishii tells Cobb again to bring it, and Cobb does until Ishii hits a series of headbutts. Ishii comes charging out of the corner, Cobb throws him across the ring with a release overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Cobb with a leaping European uppercut in the corner and a twisting back suplex for the 1…2…Ishii kicks out.
Cobb and Ishii trade forearms, again showing how TOUGH AND MANLY they are. Cobb decks Ishii with a short right that sends him staggering in the corner. Cobb deadlifts Ishii up, Ishii escapes his grasp and dodges a dropkick. Ishii charges, Cobb catches him and connects with a vertical suplex followed by a standing Moonsault for the 1…2…Ishii kicks out. Cobb peppers Ishii with a series of elbows, yelling at him to get up. Ishii absorbs more forearms and shakes his head at Cobb. Ishii steps into the forearms, countering them with headbutts and clotheslining Cobb in the corner. Ishii brings Cobb to the corner and connects with a middle-rope Superplex that shakes the ring. Ishii follows up with a Lariat, Cobb absorbs it and hits one of his own. Cobb then one-ups Ishii, hitting a DEADLIFT STALLING middle-rope Superplex for the 1…2…Ishii finds a way to kick out. Cobb with a headbutt to the sternum and Ishii crumples to the mat. Same, dude, same. Cobb follows up with a piledriver for the 1…2…ISHII KICKS OUT IN THE NICK OF TIME. Ishii goes for a suplex, Cobb blocks it, Ishii ducks a clothesline, and drills Cobb with a backdrop suplex. Cobb charges, Ishii connects with a powerslam. Cobb gets right back up, Ishii drills him with a release German suplex. COBB IS UP AGAIN and hits a urinage suplex, but Ishii gets right to his feet. Cobb with a dropkick, Ishii with a lariat, and both men are dazed and confused. YEEEEEEAH. Cobb catches Ishii mid-sliding lariat, Ishii escapes the urinage and hits a Dragon Suplex followed by an inside out lariat for the 1…COBB POWERS OUT. Cobb with a superkick followed by a bridging German suplex for the 1…2…ISHII KICKS OUT.
Cobb pulls the straps down, ready to finish Ishii for good. Ishii escapes the Tour of the Islands and connects with a standing enzuigiri. Ishii props Cobb up into a seated lariat for the 1…2…Cobb kicks out again. Ishii escapes a brainbuster, forearms from Cobb and headbutts from Ishii. Ishii with a DELAYED BRAINBUSTER for the 1…2…3!
Tomohiro Ishii defeated Jeff Cobb via pinfall with a Brainbuster (18:34)
- A real slow start full of that “MANLY DUDES HIT EACH OTHER FOR FIVE MINUTES WITH FOREARMS” bullsh*t that’s more funny than cool, but once things got going THEY GOT GOING and they had me hook, line, and sinker by the end. Cobb’s freakish strength was on full display here and Ishii looked like a killer here, absorbing Cobb’s best stuff and finally dropping his foe on his head to claim the victory. This was the match I was most excited about and while I wish it had been shorter, in the end I loved it. (****)
G1 CLIMAX: B BLOCK
Hirooki Goto vs. “Switchblade” Jay White [w/ Gedo]
This is the main event of the opening night of the B Block. First time I saw Jay White in action was at the G1 Supercard back in April and he was…fine. I’m sure I’ve seen Goto wrestle at some point over the years, probably on an old Rudo Reels bootleg. I guess White used to be in CHAOS with Goto so there’s history here? Maybe I misheard. Maybe you’re yelling at whatever you’re reading this on.
White immediately bails from the ring and grabs a chair for Gedo to sit and enjoy the show because this is going to be an easy win. NICE. Goto escapes a side headlock, shoulderblock where nobody budges. White reverses a corner Irish whip, Goto with a series of forearms. White bails again, this time Goto follows, throwing Switchblade into the guardrail. Action only heads back into the ring momentarily as Goto clotheslines White back to the floor. Goto threatens Gedo, Gedo grabs his leg and White attacks from behind to take control. White with a front-facing suplex onto the apron, Goto taking the hardest part of the ring ribs-first. Goto rolls in to beat the count, but we’re back to the floor so White can drive him into both the railing and the apron back-first. White whips Goto into the railing and poses for the unadoring crowd. Back in the ring Goto fires a series of chops but White takes the starch out of that with a jumping elbow followed by a neckbreaker for a two-count. White locks in a cravate, Goto tries to break out so White drives an elbow to the back of the neck before going back to the hold. Goto breaks it again, more elbows from White. Goto blocks the Brainbuster and goes for a suplex, White escapes mid-air and uses the hair to yank Goto to the mat. White toys with Goto, not taking him seriously in the slightest. Goto with a series of slaps to the chest, White kicks him in the knee to bring him to the mat. Goto ducks an elbow and drops White with a spinning clothesline.
White escapes an ushigoroshi, Goto changes gears to a kick followed by a spinning wheel kick in the corner and a Saito suplex for the 1…2…White kicks out. Goto catches a kick in the corner and drives White down with a hard bicep strike. White spikes Goto with a DDT out of nowhere and both men are out of it. White with back to back suplexes, Goto tries to block the third but ends up getting thrown into the corner. White follows up with the Bladebuster for the 1…2…Goto kicks out, stopping Gedo’s premature celebration ringside. White with a chop, Goto ducks a clothesline and uses the hair to drop the back of White’s head across his knee. Misdirections aplenty until White connects with a snap Saito suplex. White connects with a clothesline and decides to tell Gedo again how easy this is instead of going for a pin. Goto goes for a headbutt, White counters with a slap to the face. White with more slaps, Goto charges in and White hits a urinage. White tries to pin with one foot but Red Shoes don’t play that, fool. White grabs Goto’s face, making him frown as another sign of disrespect. White tries to lift an unconscious Goto up, Red Shoes tries to stop him so White shoves him down. White yells at Red Shoes, turns around, and gets belted with a lariat. Goto connects with the Ushigoroshi (I hope I’m spelling this right) and tries to measure White for the finishing kick, but White dead weights him to avoid it, smiling for everyone but Goto to see. That’s pretty good. White goes for the Blade Runner, Goto escapes, each man counters the other and Goto drops White with a headbutt. Goto with a reverse GTR for the 1…2…White kicks out! White escapes the proper GTR with a snapmare and they counter one another’s finisher some more. Goto with a snapmare, more finisher counters, Goto grabs the hair and rains down headbutts on White followed by a Final Cut. Gedo gets in the ring, brass knux in hand, but Goto scares him off. Blade Runner countered again into a Shouten Kai for the 1…2…White kicks out! Goto with another Ushigoroshi for the 1…2…WHITE KICKS OUT AGAIN. Goto measures White and connects with a penalty kick followed by the GTR for the 1…2…3!
Hirooki Goto defeated Jay White via pinfall with the GTR (21:07)
- A good example of a match between two people I’m unfamiliar with winning me over and getting more and more invested as the match went on. I loved this one top to bottom, from White’s douchey heel stuff (getting a seat for Gedo so he could watch at ringside was HILARIOUS) to Goto fighting as the underdog leading into avenging White leaving CHAOS and finally pinning the Switchblade. This match sold me on Jay White much more than the main of G1 Supercard and now I’m starting to see why NJPW put as much faith in them as they did. Great main event to cap off a good night. (****)
Goto gets the final word, grateful to have won the match tonight (thank you interpreter!). Goto says G1 has only just started and there’s a long way to go, but remember that the G in G1 stands for Goto. Sounds go(to)od to me!
FINAL THOUGHTS: All in all I enjoyed the B Block’s opening salvo, with all of the matches delivering in one form or another even if one (Naito/Yano) confused the sh*t out of me. Goto/White and Cobb/Ishii stole the whole show, but props need to given to Juice Robinson and Shingo Takagi as well for a solid opener. I think I liked the A Block better last week, but I’m interested in seeing how the other matches in the block work out. I love to be surprised.
- MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Jeff Cobb vs. Tomohiro Ishii
- MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: Taichi’s entrance. I’m sure it’s hold hat to longtime fans but this was my first time seeing it and I was in looooove.