Results by Paul Antonoff.
G1 Climax 28 - Night 3 - July 16 - A Block - Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center Hokkai Kitayell
Guerillas of Destiny defeated Shota Umino & Toa Herare
Jado & Yoru Yano defeated Taka Michinoku & Zack Sabre Jr
SANADA & Tetsuya Naito defeated SHO & Tomohiro Ishii
David Finlay & Juice Robinson defeated Kota Ibushi & Yujiro Takahashi
Hirooki Goto & YOH defeated Chase Owens & Kenny Omega
Tourament A block matches:
Michael Elgin defeated Hangman Page.
Started out fast with strikes, Elgin dropkicks Page outside and goes for a suicide dive. On the apron, Page hits and neck breaker and a shooting star press to the floor. Back in and Page hits a running shooting star press for 2. A catapult and a couple more near near falls before Elgin fights his way back up, sitout powerbomb for 2 and Elgin lays in the big strikes and clotheslines. Page comes back with a superkick and German for 2. Elgin cuts him off and hits an exploder. Into the corner with clothelines and chops and Elgin takes him up top and follows. Page fights back and rakes the eyes, but Elgin hits a slingshot cutter and big ending for 2. Elgin lights him up with some strikes and they trade pinfall attempts. Page counters a german into jig'n tonic for 2. Elgin goes out to the floor, Page goes up top, but Elgin comes back and cuts him off. They both work back up to the top, RANA attempt by Page is cut off, but he fights and hits it anyway and follows up with a dropkick. Back up again and Page hits a neckbreaker off the ropes for another awesome near fall. He tries for rite of passage but Elgin escapes with kicks. They trade strikes, Elgin starts lighting up Page. Page cuts him off and they trade Germans. Elgin gets sent to the apron and counters the bick shot lariate, hits his own lariant and splash mountain for another great near fall. Buckle bomb, tiger bomb and Elgin bomb finally finishes things in 17:16.
This match was an excellent back and forth match, both these guys are really good and showed that here. Page looked like he belongs and Elgin always brings the goods (****)
EVIL defeated YOSHI-HASHI.
Fast paced back and forth to start as they trade shoulder tackles, YH takes him down and follows with some chops, but EVIL dumps to the floor and follows him out. He starts working over the taped shoulder. EVIL grabs chairs and wraps one around YH's head and baseball swings with another. Back in and EVIL covers for 2 and goes after the arm, YH makes the ropes and tries to for some strikes but is cut off, EVIL misses a senton, YH follows with strikes and chops and then a running blockbuster. Draping dropkick for 2. EVIL comes back and goes for the arm again but YH counters into a sleeper. EVIL gets out and goes after the arm again, darkness falls for 2, he tries to follow with everything is evil but YH counters with a backstabber, and both guys are down. They trade clothelines and YH fies up, ditches the shoulder tape and they trade strikes. YH overshoots a powerbombs and both guys spill outside, I don't know if that was a botch but it looked really bad regardless. Back in and YH hits the powerbomb properly (yep, the first one was definitely a botch). 2 count and then puts him in a butterfly lock, EVIL fights and fights and eventually makes the ropes. YH heads up with a swanton for 2. EVIL fights off karma, but loses an exchange of strikes. Running meteora by YH for 2. EVIL counters karma with a suplex, and finishes with everything is evil in 12:35
Nothing special here, about as expected. YOSHI-HASHI isn't great and EVIL isn't great with a lesser opponent so we got a pretty average match. It was good early on but I was pretty much done with it after the botched powerbomb and the match lacked the drama to really pull me back into it. (**1/2)
Togi Makabe defeated Minoru Suzuki.
Stiff brawling from the bell, just beating the shit out of each other. Suzuki starts laughing at Makabe, they keep throwing. Makabe hits a shoulder tackle and Suzuki rolls outside. Makabe follows and the brawl continues. Both guys grab chairs and it's a chair fight. Ref gets bumped and they fight back in the ring. Suzuki lays into Makabe with a chair, and takes him outside again and slams him into the barricade. More chair shots follow by Suzuki and he shoves down the ref. He beats on Makabe some more and they head back in the ring. Makabe tries to fire up but Suzuki laughs at him and lights him up. Makabe fights back up and chops Suzuki, finally doing some damage to him. Corner clothesline and mounted strikes follow, but Suzuki cuts him off with knee strikes. Makabe hits a powerslam, and they start trading strikes again. Suzuki gets him in a sleeper and Makabe fades. Suzuki goes for the gotsch piledriver but is countered into a DVD and both guys are down. Makabe takes Suzuki up top, hits the spider. Suzuki to his feet and Makabe hits a flying and the king kong knee drop finishes Suzuki at 15:00.
This was a fun brawl, they just beat the shit out of each other and I enjoyed it. This was the start of the ridiculous ref bumping though, I can handle one bump while wildly brawling but once the ref gets decked 2 or 3 times it takes me out of things a bit. Anyway this was still good regardless and a really surprising result. (***1/2)
Bad Luck Fale defeated Kazuchika Okada.
They lock up, work to the ropes and Okada slaps Fale. Fale chases him out, and Okada runs Loa into Fale. Fale grabs a chair, this takes out the ref and Loa powerslams Okada on the floor. Fale whipes Okada into the barricade and then slams into the chairs. Okada makes it back in, but Fale immediately takes control. Okada fires up but runs into a shoulder tackle for 2. Camel clutch follows, Okada escapes but Fale stomps him. Fale misses a corner splash and Okada slams him. He connects with a DDT for 2. Up top and Okada jumps over Fale, hits a dropkick and dumps Fale to the floor. Okada wipes both Fale and Loa out with a tope. Back in and top rope elbow connects. Fale counters the rainmaker into a samoan drop and both guys are down. Fale gets up and hits a running splash for 2. Okada fights out of the bad luck fall, but Fale hits him with a lariat for 2. Fale goes up top and Okada cuts him off and goes up with him. Fale knocks him down, Okada hits a dropkick and slams him off the ropes to the floor. Okada hits a missile dropkick and goes for the tombstone. Fale fights it off but Okada hits the rainmaker. Hits another one and takes out Loa. Drop kick follows and Okada is fired up. He dropkicks Fale into the ref, Tama hits the ring and hits a stun gun on Okada. Fale hits the bad luck fall for the pin at 13:20.
Okada falls 0-2 as expected. They were having an ok, by the numbers match until the bullshit finish. I understand the reasoning behind it but it's already feeling tired for me. I saw this enough in 2014. Okada is one of the few that gets decent matches out of Fale but I wasn't overly impressed here (**1/2)
Switchblade Jay White defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi.
They lock up and Tanahashi looks to go after the arm. White pulls the hair and takes him to the corner. He lays in chops, Tanahashi gets his payback pulling Whites hair but White cuts him off with a running forearm and some more chops. Tanahashi comes back with a shoulder tackle and a dropkick. Tanahashi looks to lay in some strikes but White cuts him off with a chop block. White goes after the leg and grounds Tanahashi for 2. White now takes him to the apron and posts his knee. Back in and the ref refuses to count after the illegal moves. White puts him in an inverted figure four but Tanahashi makes the ropes. He tries to fight back and hits a desperation flying forearm. Stikes and a slam follow, senton for 2. Tanahashi with a dragon screw and White is down. Cloverleaf follows, White makes the ropes. White rakes the eyes, but Tanahashi gets a dragon screw in the ropes. White comes back with a German and both guys are down. White lays in chops and goes back after the leg, and dumps him with a sleeper suplex. Tanahashi counters the blade runner and lays in strikes. White pulls the hair and hits a lariat. He slams him repeatedly into the buckles, and Tanahashi rolls out, White follows, hits a saito suplex and slams him repeatedly into the barriade. Back in White hits rolling suplexes, Tanahashi is down. Twisting suplex by white for 2, and a kiwi crusher for another 2. White grabs a chair, he brings it in and Tanahashi hits a sling blade. Now Tanahashi gets a chair and White begs. He then rakes the eyes and hits a low blow. He shoves the ref down and tries to use the chair but Tanahashi low blows him in return. Twist and shout and sling blade get 2. Tanahashi up top but White shoves the ref and Tanahashi gets crotched. White lays him out with chair and blade runner finishes things at 24:01
White is clearly being positioned as someone to watch and this was good stuff, he continues to grow on me but this guy is still nothing special in the ring and nowhere near ready for this. He's wrestled 2 of the best of all time in this tournament and hasn't reached 4 stars in either match (I had the Okada match at ***3/4 if you're wondering). This was good, and I don't mind Jays cheating from the character perspective, but combined with the Bullet Club stuff it was getting too much tonight. (***1/2)
On paper this looked like a pretty average show and it lived up to those expectations. The A block hasn't been impressive so far and the booking has left a lot to be desired for me. Nothing here I'd necessarily go out of my way to see. Elgin v Page was very good and worth a watch, easily takes match of the night this time, which was kind of a surprise. Thumbs in the middle.
Thanks for reading.