Welcome to the WrestlingINC's Viewing Party for NJPW G1 Special (final card here). We will be providing live ongoing coverage of tonight's event, starting at 8pm ET. All of you can chime in with your thoughts throughout the show in the comments section below.
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- We open with a recap of past Superstars from NJPW's history, which moves to the matches that we will be seeing during the G1 Special shows. "A new era has begun, strong style evolved."
Kicking off the night we have Scurll and Ospreay to a big ovation from the crowd. Wrist locks countered multiple times by both men. Side headlock takeover multiple times by Ospreay, but gets a thumb to the eyes by Marty. To the outside, Ospreay with a fake and back flip back into the ring and gets kicked by Takahashi. Fale enters, as does Jay, who gets some assistance from Mark. Mark takes out Fale on the outside, Jay cannon ball to Takahashi to clear him out. RPG Vice and Young Bucks in the ring. RPG Vice get the first superkicks of the night. Multiple guys jump to the outside, Ospreay with a springboard moonsault clearing out everyone! Nasty finger snap by Scurll on Jay. Matt Jackson able to take on both Briscoes, more superkicks. Baretta with a tornado DDT to slow down Matt.
Flurry of attacks from both sides as guys are jumping in and out. Romero singles out the Bucks and lands multiple clotheslines. He then goes for Fale, who absorbs the punishment, RPG Vice tries to double knee the big man down, but double clotheslines are in their future. Bad Luck Fall sending Baretta all the way to the floor through both teams. Briscoes able to sneak attack Fale. Young Bucks in to help with the big man and land some more superkicks. Bucks with a Buckle bomb/kick to the back of the head combo. Meltzer Driver interrupted by Baretta and Romero is able to get the roll-up win.
Winners: Chaos (Beretta, Jay Briscoe, Mark Briscoe, Rocky Romero and Will Ospreay via Pinfall
Dragon Lee, Jushin Thunder Liger, Titán and Volador Jr. vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Bushi, Evil, Hiromu Takahashi and Sanada)
Bushi and Volador get things off to a quick start. Volador with some fancy flips early on and in comes Liger to a nice ovation. Sanada in and goes for a handshake. Liger is skeptical. He goes in for it and EVIL attacks from behind! Liger uses some trickery to send Sanada to the floor, but EVIL drops Liger to the mat and Sanada with a drop kick to the face. Sanada getting Titan tied up in a knot and kicked to the backside. Liger getting beat up by continuous double team moves. JR is wondering why the ref isn't trying to keep this one and one.
Liger hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and palm strike to find his way to Lee and Takahashi runs in. The two with back and forth chops and a nice snap dragon suplex by Lee. Titan and Takahashi in the ring, huge overhead release suplex into the corner by Takahashi. Pin attempt, two count. Ref is held down by Takahashi, chair put around the neck of Titan and EVIL swings away with another one! Time Bomb by Takahashi for the 1-2-3.
Batter up! pic.twitter.com/iY46s5rlhZ— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) July 2, 2017
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon (Bushi, Evil, Hiromu Takahashi and Sanada) via Pinfall
Hangman Page vs. Jay Lethal (1st Round IWGP US Championship Tournament)
Jay turned his back on Page and gets attacked before the match can get started. Lethal recovers and lands a huge suicide dive to the outside, blasting Page through the barricade. Action back into the ring and Page hangs Lethal up on the top ropes. Lethal had his ribs beat up badly after his match against Silas Young at last week's ROH Best in the World. Ribs are taped up for this match. Page continues to focus on the ribs.
Lethal really selling the injury, abdominal stretch by Page. Big kicks, spinning strike, and cutter by Lethal who moves up to the top rope. Elbow drop connects, but can't get the immediate cover. Finally does, 2-count, goes for figure-four. Page counters, tossed to the apron, flips back in and lands a big lariat. Lethal recover and lands a number of attacks, spring board cutter finally lands and he is in pain again. Multiple kicks to the face, another springboard cutter, hits it clean and gets the victory.
Winner: Jay Lethal via Pinfall (Advances to Semis)
Juice Robinson vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (1st Round IWGP US Championship Tournament)
More methodical start to this one, Robinson lands the bigger strikes first, side Russian leg sweep, and standing senton by Robinson. Sabre Jr. starts to get his limb destruction on with an arm lock, utilizing his legs, he wrenches Robinson's arm. He now moves to the hands and stomps on the arm. Sabre Jr. using Robinson's hair in a submission, crowd begins to boo his tactics, although they seem pretty split between the two wrestlers. Big gutbuster by Juice! Robinson attempts to get some offense in, but standing double wristlock by Sabre gets reversed into a slam. Running cannonball into the corner by Robinson, this is becoming a power vs. technique encounter.
Sabre Jr. trying to chop Robinson down who yells "Come on!" and starts fighting back. Sabre Jr. going for cross armbreaker, but Robinson is trying to fight out. He really locks it in and instead a powerbomb reversal by Robinson! Juice just can't escape the submissions though, Octopus Hold by Sabre Jr. who wrenches back his fingers from grabbing the rope. Zack then locks both arms and Robinson is forced to tap out with nowhere to go.
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr. via Submission (Advances to Semis)
Jay White and Taguchi Japan (David Finlay, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kushida) vs. Hunter Club (Billy Gunn and Yoshitatsu) and Tempura Boyz (Sho Tanaka and Yohei Komatsu)
Komatsu and Kushida gets us start with wrist and head locks. Kushida showing off his speed and agility, giving Billy Gunn a "Suck it" to a big pop. Finlay in and goes to work with a jumping forearm and drop kick to the entering Tanaka. Kushida back in gets kicked to the outside, Tempura Boyz with multiple double team moves to keep him grounded. In comes Billy Gunn! He goes to work stomping away at Kushida and tells him to "Suck it!" Crowd is booing Gunn. He goes for the cover and Tanahashi almost jumps in, Gunn stares him down for a moment. Gunn is towering over everyone in this one.
Tanahashi gets tagged in to a big cheer and goes right after Gunn, he slows him down with an elbow. Tanahashi goes for a jump off the second rope and Gunn attempts to catch him, but doesn't, Gunn picks him up and pulls off a fall away slam. In comes White and Yoshi, crowd chanting "Jay White!" White getting the best of these exchanges, and multiple men are jumping in now and getting destroyed one-by-one. White and Yoshi in there now, until they aren't, it's chaos, multiple people jumping out to the floor. Flatliner by White on Yoshi and that ends the match.
Winners: Jay White and Taguchi Japan (David Finlay, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kushida) by Pinfall
- Show is pausing as we head to intermission. We get a video package of the upcoming title match between Cody and Okada and a recap of tonight's action thus far.
Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Roa) (c) vs. War Machine (Hanson and Raymond Rowe) - (IWGP Tag Team Championship)
Rowe gets on the mic and wants the match to be a "No DQ" match, which Tama agrees to by smacking Rowe in the head with the microphone. Action spills to the outside almost immediately before Hanson and Roa get back in the ring. Tama forearms Hanson to the outside and in comes Rowe who gets going with some heavy strikes, but gets a trash can lid upside his head. Hanson dumps Roa out of the ring and he's looking to fly, but gets a garbage can to the mug, along with another to the abdominal area.
Guerrillas take turns landing attacks on Rowe until Hanson comes in and hits some big kicks to both men's faces. He starts running from corner to corner with clotheslines, yelling "Ahhh!" as he goes from side to side. He's still going! I mean, we're talking maybe eight to ten times either way, this is a 300 pound man doing this! Rowe continues to get destroyed by Roa and Tonga, Hanson puts the champions down. All four guys are down on the mat as the crowd claps them back up. Hanson goes for a springboard, but gets caught and spinning powerslam by Roa! Reverse DDT by Tonga on Rower, champs are up top, headbutt and frog splash for just a two-count. Hanson tosses Tonga up in the air, Hanson catches and powerslams him. Pin, 2-count. In comes Chase Owens - a member of the Bullet Club - and whacks Rowe with a chair. Ref can't do anything since it's no DQ. Powerbomb through two chairs on Rowe and somehow he kicks out of the pin attempt. Now a table has been brought into the equation, Rowe trying to fight back to no avail.
Pull up a chair! pic.twitter.com/xrDOHrE4aI— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) July 2, 2017
Chase Owens tries to get involved but ends up getting drop kicked out of the ring and to the floor. Hanson trying to put Roa down and instead suicide dives to the outside on Owens and Tonga. Rowe is trying to put Roa down with a number of moves, Roa keeps shaking them off until a final kick puts him down (he nods like "Yeah, that one hurt.") Fallout through the table on Roa and that gets the 1-2-3!
Winners: War Machine defeats Guerrillas of Destiny via Pinfall to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship
Tetsuya Naito vs. Tomohiro Ishii (1st Round IWGP U.S. Championship Tournament)
Naito goes after Ishii early, sending him to the outside, he runs to the ropes like he's jumping out and lays out on the mat instead, tanquillo as ever. Naito tries to keep it going, but he just ends up making Ishii mad with the chops and smacks to his head. Ishii grounds Naito, grinding his foot into his face, with disrespectful kicks to the mug. Naito continues to slap at Ishii, but that's just not going to get the job done. Dropkicks seem to do the trick though as he's able to finally ground the resilient Ishii. Naito with punches, fake out, kick to drop Ishii and another disrespectful slap to the head. Ishii regains control of the match for a few minutes, but Naito hits a slick neckbreaker off the second rope and a massive missile dropkick.
Naito with a nice DDT reversal and he's busted open at the mouth. Float-over neckbreaker, dropkick, German suplex with a bridge for a two count. Naito with Frankensteiner off the second rope adn then wipes his boots on Ishii. The crowd boos. He then spits blood on Ishii and gets a massive headbutt from Naito for doing so. High powerbomb by Ishii and keeps him down for only a two count. Nasty counters by both men, which finished with a big lariat by Ishii. Tornado DDT by Naito landing it perfectly. Both men are wiped out and laying on the mat. This has been easily the most intense match thus far tonight.
Destino attempt, countered into a headbutt, Naito with a hard flying forearm. He's going for Destino again, elbow and sliding lariat by Ishii, pin, 2! Dragon suplex by Naito for another 2 count. Crowd is really into this one. Destino again blocked and lariat, two times, pin, 2-count. A sudden Brainbuster hit by Ishii and that does it! Ishii wins the match! What a fantastic effort by these two.
Brain. Busted. pic.twitter.com/KqyJX7tai7— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) July 2, 2017
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii (Advances to Semis)
Kenny Omega vs. Michael Elgin (1st Round IWGP U.S. Championship Tournament)
Out come The Young Bucks with Omega. Kenny is over big time with the live crowd. Elgin is getting the best of Kenny in the early stage of this match, he's getting basically all of the major offense so far. Crowd is really into this one though. Elgin pulls off a nice stalled suplex and then taunts Nick and Matt. Hurricanrana by Omega, sending Elgin to the outside. Crowd starts up "Terminator" theme, Omega went for a dive, but Elgin runs back into the ring and hits him with a scissors kick, followed up up with a flying tackle.
On the outside, Elgin looking to hit a powerbomb on the unprotected part of the floor. Omega is able to grab the ropes and almost hit a moonsault off the apron, but Elgin catches him. Omega gets out of that and hits a running Leg lariat in the very narrow entrance way. Elgin nearly got counted out of the ring, we're talking 19 and 1/2! Crowd is chanting "That was 20!" In the ring, sleeper hold on Elgin, the big man tries to "Fighting Spirit" his way out of it and does so. Kenny goes for a second rope moonsault, but Elgin lifts the knees to put him down. Elgin looks just as tired at the moment. JR says the Young Bucks are annoying, but talented. Elgin with multiple German suplexes, goes for a final one and Omega flips out of it, only to be sent over to the apron, then back in with a power slam by Elgin for a 2-count.
Snap dragon suplex by Omega, sending Elgin to the outside. Omega goes for another huge dive right over the top rope. Chops and elbows from both men right in the middle of the ring. V-Trigger by Omega, cross legged backbreaker and the crowd is really getting behind Omega. Elgin heads up to the second rope, but Omega slides under and trips him up. Both men on the apron, belly-to-back suplex, oh my! Omega is out of it as Elgin forces him up to the top rope. He lands a sitout powerbomb! Omega somehow kicks out! Elgin has a look of completely surprise on his face. Buckle bomb, Elgin goes for another and Omega counters into a roll-up for a two count. Elgin just can't seem to put Omega away, he lines up Omega for a lariat and V-Trigger to the face, two times! A third one that hits crazy hard! Reverse frankensteiner for only a 2-count! Crowd is going wild right now. Omega does the gun taunt and Elgin yells "Do it!" Knee to the face and another! One Winged Angel, reversed, a 40th V-Trigger! Omega finally locks in the One Winged Angel and gets the win. What a match!
Winner: Kenny Omega via Pinfall (Advances to Semis)
Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Cody (IWGP Heavyweight Championship)
Cody comes out with his wife, Brandi, who lights a cigar for him. Surrounding him are guys in masks of former U.S. Presidents. Okada out next! Cody has his shoulder and hand taped up. Pre-match Cody gets a kiss from his wife, crowd boos mildly. Match kicks off, Cody looks to stall quite a bit, before heading back out to get another kiss, crowd really booing now. Action finally gets going, Okada with an early Rainmaker, but Cody dodges it, stare down between both wrestlers. Cody looks to wear Okada down, and keeps heading out to the crowd as part of his mind games. Finally, Okada chases after and dives over the barricade slamming Cody into a bunch of empty chairs.
Back in the ring, Cody goes for multiple pins, no luck, he gets cranky. Crowd boos him, very much behind Okada in this one. That was not so much the case last week in ROH where Cody received a number of cheers and the crowd actually booed Christopher Daniels at times. Spinning power slam by Cody, no luck on the pin. He's getting really bothered by these two-counts and actually spit on the ref and then gave the fans the middle finger. Oh, they don't like him at all. Okada trying to get the match back in his control with a nice DDT and kip-up. Action moves to the outside, DDT by Okada from the apron to the floor! Both men are down now with the ref starting his count. Okada goes up top and Cody follows him up with a shoulder throw! Cody goes for another pin, 2-count, mounted punches to the head of Okada.
Reverse neckbreaker by Okada, he goes up top and lands a big elbow. Part of the crowd is trying to chant "Cody" and is getting booed down by the rest of the crowd. Rainmaker quickly gets countered into a modified calf slicer and Okada is in pain here. Cody is yelling "Tap!" Okada looks like he might do it, but is able to get to the ropes. Cody with a disrespectful slap to the head a few times, picks Okada up, and slaps him in the face a few times. Okada responds with some massive forearms and kicks to Cody over and over in the corner. Crowd loves it! Brandi has moved from behind the guardrail area and is now at ringside. Tombstone by Okada, picks Cody up and gets spit on! Okada with two Rainmakers and out to the ring comes Kenny Omega with a white towel. He's telling Brandi, she has to throw it in for Cody. He won't do it, she has to. Cody looks for Cross Rhodes, but Okada reverses with a dropkick.
Cody hits a Rainmaker on Okada! Only a 2-count. Cody now sees Omega with the towel, grabs it and throws it at him angrily. Okada recovers and hits a Cross Rhodes on Cody, goes for the pin, and we get a 2 count. Crowd is chanting for Okada. Tons of disarray on the outside between Kenny, Brandi, and The Young Bucks. Back in the ring, both men trade punches, forearms, and kicks. Cody goes for Cross Rhodes, gets knees to the head, pin, 2-count. Cody looks to be getting an idea, Okada is out on his feet. Cody goes for One Winged Angel and it's reversed into a massive german suplex. Okada holds on and goes for Rainmaker, misses, Cross Rhodes, reverse again. Spinning jumping tombstone piledriver by Okada! Rainmaker! 1-2-3!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship via Pinfall
- Post-match, Okada celebrates in the ring and Kenny Omega sticks around to talk. He says he's jealous of Okada for being able to main event the show. He says he's not going to take this moment away from Okada because they have a match G1 Climax. "Goodbye and good night," and Omega heads to the back. Okada asks how the live crowd how the show was, thanks Long Beach, and says he will make it rain all over the world.