NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING G1 SPECIAL
FROM THE LONG BEACH CONVENTION CENTER
AIRING ON NEW JAPAN WORLD
- The show opens with a video package highlighting the history and evolution of NJPW, with the tag line "Strong Style Evolved".
* SIX-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Kushida, Jushin Thunder Liger & David Finlay vs. The Tempura Boyz & Yoshi Tatsu
All 6 combatants take turns playing to the crowd with Jushin Liger and his teammates getting cheered, while Yoshi-Tatsu and company get booed. The referee climbs up the ropes and he gets a good pop from the Long Beach crowd..... Finlay and Yoshi kick things off briefly before the legendary Liger makes his way into the action. Liger immediately goes to his signature offensive playbook, like his surfboard submission. Moments later, The Tempura Boyz and Tatsu turn the tables and triple team Liger with a tandem flapjack. Liger battles back and hits his signature Shotei strike on Komatsu. Kushida gets tagged in and goes on an offensive flurry. He hits a double handspring elbow and then an over the top rope plancha on The Tempura Boyz, of which Jim Ross calls them the Teriyaki Boyz...... When Tanaka gets caught in the hoverboard submission, he counters out and has his Tempura Boyz partner hit a tandem driver on Kushida. Moments later, Tanaka hits a great looking delayed german suplex. Yoshi Tatsu and Finlay are back in the match. Seesaw action back and forth between the two. The son of Fit Finlay, hits a multitude of strikes on Yoshi and gets a near pin fall. Tatsu battles back with a high knee lift. Yoshi crotch chops the crowd and goes for a pedigree but Finlay counters out of it. When The Tempura Boyz try to get into the action to interfere. The 3 heels are all set up in submission holds. David Finlay gets the official fall when he forces Tatsu to submit to the stretch muffler.
Kushida, Jushin Liger & David Finlay defeat Yoshi-Tatsu & The Tempura Boyz
* IWGP US HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE TOURNAMENT SEMI-FINAL MATCH
Kenny Omega vs. Jay Lethal
As the late great Gorilla Monsoon would say, This is a main event anywhere in the world...... Lethal's ribs are heavily bandaged, an injury that was focused upon during yesterday's broadcast. Kenny Omega nearly knocks out Jay Lethal with a terrific roundhouse kick at the outset, it sends Lethal crashing through the ropes. Omega gets vicious and uses the ring apron as a landing spot for Lethal's ribs. Omega then attempts to come off the top but misses, both men counter one another in an exciting exchange, where Omega nearly connects with The One Winged Angel. Jay Lethal rallies and gets three big strikes on Omega before landing The Lethal Injection. Omega falls outside the ring to prevent a pinfall attempt. Lethal stays on the offense and hits a trifecta of suicide dives. Moments later, Lethal slaps on a figure four on Kenny Omega, after a beautiful transition. These two are on their A game right now.....
Jay Lethal's figure four is broken up when Omega gets to the ropes, but Lethal stays in control by going after Kenny's injured left leg. Lethal then attempts another Lethal Injection but Omega catches him in mid-air and hits a back stabber. This helps Omega get back into the match. He revs up as the crowd rallies behind him. Kenny Omega starts to strategically target Lethal's ribs and back. Omega drives hard knees into Jay's ribs repeatedly and gets a near pinfall, after the multiple strikes. Lethal battles back with a sharp elbow coming off the ropes. Omega shuts down Lethal's comeback attempt with a high knee and then traps him in a reverse surfboard submission. Jay Lethal escapes and counters it into a pinfall attempt. The next sequence sees both men trading several chops. The pace picks up and Omega grounds Lethal with a basement dropkick. Seconds later, Lethal is able to battle back with a blue thunder bomb. After both men struggle back to their feet, Lethal tries another Lethal Injection but gets hit with a snap dragon suplex. Omega then hits an inverted neckbreaker, which JR says is The One Winged Angel...... Omega starts hitting Lethal with the heavy leg strikes, he adopted from Nakamura. Lethal fights back and goes for a figure four but gets rolled up in a cradle. Moments later, Omega gets a near fall after hitting The Doctor Bomb. Omega hits a hard knee trigger on Lethal and then sets him up for the One Winged Angel, Lethal tries to counter out and almost does but Omega repositions him and hits The One Winged Angel.
Kenny Omega defeats Jay Lethal by pinfall to advance to The IWGP US Title Tournament Final
* IWGP US HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE TOURNAMENT SEMI-FINAL MATCH
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Tomohiro Ishii
This ended up being the perfect marriage of contrasting styles......Sabre Jr. tries to get into an early striking exchange with Ishii, which is a foolish strategy. Ishii is barely moved by Zack's strikes, he tries a headbutt on the Stone Pitbull and knocks himself to the ground. Tomohiro then corners Sabre Jr. and pounds away on him for awhile. Sabre finally finds an opening and goes after Ishii's arm. He takes him down and then puts all of his weight on Ishii's arm by applying a coil lock, ZSJ then transitions it into a variation of submission holds. Sabre Jr. continues to target Ishii's joints, Tomohiro spits at Sabre and then grounds him with a head butt. Ishii gets his bearings and then takes down Zack with a clothesline and a shoulder block. Ishii then sets up ZSJ on the top rope but Sabre tries to get out of his predicament by trapping Ishii in an arm submission. It doesn't work as Tomohiro hits an avalanche styles suplex off the top rope. The move results in a near pinfall for Tomohiro. ZSJ battles back with a jumping northern lights suplex and then catches Ishii in an arm bar. Tomohiro is able to get to the ropes to break the hold.
Sabre Jr. continues to go after Ishii's joints but ends up getting hit with a back suplex. Tomohiro goes for a power bomb but gets countered into a double underhook submission, after several counters, Sabre gets a near victory with a bridging pinfall. Ishii grounds Sabre using his strength and then attempts a sliding lariat but Sabre catches him and traps Ishii in the triangle submission as Tomohiro screams out in pain. When he reaches for the ropes, Sabre briefly stops him. Tomohiro figures out a way to use his legs to get to the ropes, and the crowd erupts during this exchange. The pace slows down considerably in the next few moments. When ZSJ tries to deliver kicks to Ishii, Tomohiro fires up and knocks him down. Sabre battles back with a jumping leg scissors into a double wristlock. Ishii counters out but gets hit with a penalty kick. Tomohiro springs back up, bull rushes Sabre Jr. and hits his inverted brainbuster to gain the pinfall victory on ZSJ.
Tomohiro Ishii defeats Zack Sabre Jr. by pinfall to advance to The IWGP US Title Tournament Final
- Tomohiro Ishii will now go on to face Kenny Omega in The IWGP US Title Tournament Final.
- The first part of Night 2 of The G1 special can be seen in the video below. It was live streamed on NJPW's YouTube channel. The show starts at the 13 minute mark and ends an hour and eight minutes in.
* TEN MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Los Ingobernables De Japon (Testsuya Naito, Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI, EVIL & SANADA vs. Jay White, Juice Robinson, Dragon Lee, Volador Jr. & Titan
Jim Ross calls LIJ "NWOish".... I think he means the other heel faction Bullet Club..... Chaotic match here.... Naito clowns his opponents early on. The CMLL stars head to the air to battle back. After a great plancha by Volador Jr, the crowd gets a Lucha Libre chant going. LIJ puts an early stop to their opponents aerial theatrics when Sanada does a running kick to Titan's head. Chaos ensues with everyone battling it out on the outside. Naito goes after Juice and chokes him with his own dreads up the ramp way. Meanwhile back in the ring, Sanada ties up Titan and then Juice Robinson, when he returns. Sanada then goes a running kick into the both of them.
Naito is in and he schools Titan with a beautiful step kick. Seconds later, Titan battles back and tags in Juice. Robinson goes on an offensive flurry and takes down all the members of LIJ. Juice grounds EVIL with a spinebuster. Juice Robinson the does running cannonballs on LIJ in opposite corners. Naito gets things going back in his team's favor and tags in Takahashi. Dragon Lee soon follows to battle him. They then get into a crazy slap fest, striking each other with open hand slaps repeatedly. Takahashi and Lee then go tit for tat for the next few minutes. Jay White and EVIL are next in, When Jay gains the advantage, Sanada interferes from the apron to turn the tides. This leads to a chaotic finishing sequence with all 10 men getting involved. Bushi gets isolated in the ring and double teamed as Jay White and Dragon Lee hit several tandem moves on him. White finishes off Bushi with a flatliner to secure the victory for his team.
Jay White, Dragon Lee, Juice Robinson, Titan & Volador Jr. defeat Los Ingobernables De Japon
* SIX MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
War Machine & Michael Elgin vs. Guerillas Of Destiny & Hangman Page w/Haku & Chase Owens
Haku, the father of Tanga Roa and Tama Tonga, shows up on the stage with a Bullet Club shirt on before G.O.D. and Page make their way to the ring.....
Some power spots early on by Elgin on Page, before G.O.D and War Machine go at it. War Machine and Elgin control the early portion of the match. Rowe, Hanson and Elgin stack up The Bullet Club in one corner and then run full speed at them. Tama Tonga gets things turned around with a reverse neckbreaker on Hanson. The Bullet Club then isolate Hanson in their corner and take turns beating him down for the next few minutes. Hanson battles back and hits a seated senton on Tanga Roa. Elgin is in and he hits a slingshot splash on Hangman Page, who has entered the fray. When Elgin tries to hit a delayed vertical suplex on Page, it gets interrupted by The Guerillas. Elgin shuts them down and then proceeds to hit a thunder bomb on Page. Elgin executes a wasist lock German suplex and then blind tags in Rowe. War Machine then hits some tandem offense on Hangman. When Page is on the verge of being finished off, The former IWGP tag champs, G.O.D. comes into the ring and hits some tandem offense of their own on Rowe. Roa and Tonga attempt to double superplex Hanson off the top but Elgin comes into the ring to save his partner. Roa and Tonga trash talk Elgin and end up hitting a tandem neckbreaker on him. Hanson leaps off the top rope with a splash on G.O.D. Moments later, Destiny recovers and sends Hanson to the outside. Rowe is in next, he holds his own against the G.O.D and takes them out. Hangman Page runs into the ring and hits a lariat on Rowe. He then hits the Rite of Passage on Rowe and pins him.
Hangman Page & Guerillas of Destiny defeat War Machine & Michael Elgin
- The chairman of NJPW Naoki Sugabayashi comes in the ring to make a special announcement. He thanks the fans for their support of NJPW. He announces that New Japan will return to the U.S. in 2018..... This leads to an intermission for the show before the events final four matches.
Chairman Sugabayashi has just announced! #G1USA is just the beginning! NJPW will be back in the US in 2018!— njpw_global (@njpwglobal) July 3, 2017
* IWGP JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH
The Young Bucks (c) vs. RPG Vice
Romero and Matt Jackson kick things off. Every start of a Bucks match is the calm before the storm. Matt Jackson counters a hurricanrana from Romero and then after a few more counters and reversals, Matt gets Rocky in a sharpshooter. Beretta is in and he is joined by Nick Jackson. When The Bucks try and double up on Trent, Rocky is back in and both teams evade each other's moves to stand off. All 4 men stay in the ring and The Bucks ended up getting stacked up in the corner. When Beretta attempts to fling Romero into the Jacksons, he eats a double superkick in mid-air. The Jacksons then take to the air and Nick lands a springboard moonsault onto RPG Vice at ringside.
The action is back in the ring and The Bucks do some double team work on Romero. Nick Jackson goes for a swanton bomb but Romero picks his knees up. When Romero goes to tag in Beretta, Matt goes over and attempts a sunset flip power bomb on Trent from the apron. Nick superkicks Trent and Matt finishes the power bomb on the ramp way. More running kicks by The Bucks after this. It leads into an assisted swanton bomb on the outside. The Bucks stay in control for the next few minutes as the match slows down for the time being. After Matt counters Romero and transitions nicely into a tombstone piledriver position. The Bucks ends up colliding into one another. The Jacksons recover and attempt to superkick Rocky but they end up eating a stereo clothesline. Beretta is tagged in and goes at it with Nick Jackson. Beretta goes for a tornado DDT but Matt intervenes and stops Beretta dead in his tracks. Moments later, Beretta battles back and does hit the tornado DDT. When Beretta attempts to go the top rope, Matt Jackson trips him up and he takes a bad fall to the mat. Beretta then gets buckle bombed into a round kick by Nick Jackson. Romero gets into the ring to break up the tag. Romero ends up getting his partner power bombed onto his back for his troubles. The Young Bucks start up a superkick party soon after. The Bucks appear to be ready to finish off Beretta but Matt hesitates and ends up calling an audible. They hit their signature spots leading into a 450 splash that Beretta kicks out of.
Beretta is hanging by a thread at this point. He gets locked up in the scorpion death lock by Matt Jackson. When he almost breaks the hold. Nick Jackson leaps off the top with a swanton dive on him. Romero eventually saves his partner. Moments later, Romero and Nick Jackson go at it. The Bucks set up Romero for a Meltzer Driver on the apron but Rocky gets away from them. After a crash and burn to the outside, the action continues on the apron. Nick and Beretta jockey for position and Beretta ends up piledriving Nick Jackson on the apron. Beretta then hits a high running knee on Nick inside the ring, followed by a Gotch style piledriver, that leads to a very close near pinfall. The battle continues between Nick and Beretta until Romero comes into the ring to aid him. RPG Vice hits their Strong Zero Finisher on Nick but he kicks out right before the ref counts to three. The action continues with Rocky and Matt Jackson going at it exchanging strikes. This leads to The Bucks teaming up on Rocky and hitting the "Herbert Meltzer" driver on Romero on the outside. A tribute they promised to give Dave Meltzer's father before this show, who passed away earlier today..... The fans in attendance chant Meltzer..... The action is back in the ring, The Bucks measure RPG Vice and lace them with superkicks. They hit Rocky with another Meltzer Driver and then get dueling sharpshooters on RPG Vice to get the submission victory.
The Young Bucks defeat RPG Vice to retain The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles
- After the match, Ricochet shows up in street clothes and attacks The Young Bucks. He ends up leaping onto The Jacksons at ringside. Ricochet then grabs the mic. He says that he wouldn't miss this event for anything in the world. He is wearing a brahma bull hat and does The Rock's 'Finally' catchphrase. Ricochet touts The Young Bucks accolades and then challenges them to title match with Taguchi as his partner. Ricochet says that he wanted to be here wrestling at this event "but a certain underground company is being pricks right now". Ricochet salutes the crowd and then leaves.
- After Ricochet leaves, We cut back to the ring and Rocky Romero grabs the mic. He has finally gotten back to his feet after the last match. Rocky addresses his history with Beretta as his partner and what they have accomplished together. Rocky says that after their accomplishments, that he promised Beretta that if they didn't win tonight's match, that he would allow Beretta to go on to a singles career in the heavyweight division. Romero tells Trent that he loves him and they hug. Their music plays and they do their signature leaping high five for the last time.
* EIGHT MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay & The Briscoes vs. 'The American Nightmare' Cody, Marty Scurll, Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi
Bad Luck Fale has a black and white, "Make Jobbers Great Again" shirt on. Jim Ross wonders if The original NWO should get royalties for all the two sweets used by the Bullet Club.... The 'Villain' plays to the crowd early on to get them to chant Marty. Scurll gets into a comedic exchange with Mark Briscoe. It's Marty's chicken wing attempts versus Mark's redneck Kung Fu. Mark gets the better of The Villain and tags in his brother Jay. JR and Barnett admit their faux pas from last night, where they mixed up The Briscoe Brothers.... Cody is in and he gets booed and refuses to get in the ring. The crowd chants "We Want Fale" instead. Cody tags in Fale and then he turns on the crowd and tags Cody back in. The crowd then chants for Cody to tag in Takahashi. The Bullet Club plays the same game with the crowd. Giving them what they want and then taking it away. Okada is in and Cody runs away. Ospreay gets tagged in when the crowd requests in and Cody flees yet again. Cody finally starts to participate in the match physically with Jay Briscoe. He hits a Goldust styled power slam. Jay battles back and tags in Ospreay. The pace of the match quickens with The Aerial Assassin in. When Ospreay goes to the top rope, Scurll distracts them by flapping his "wings" like a chicken beside him. Ospreay gets grounded and The Bullet Club works on him. The heels then start doing their best Ric Rude/Val Venis hip swiveling impersonations. It all starts with Yujiro and extends to Bad Luck Fale, who teases but ends up not doing the gyration..... Eventually Scurll attempts a chicken wing submission on Ospreay but Will counters with a step up kick. The comedy stops when The Briscoes take over the match with their brawling. This all leads to Okada getting in the ring with Bad Luck Fale. He goes on an offensive flurry but is unable to body slam Fale initially but the eventually does moments later. Fale battles back with a fallaway slam and a big splash. After Fale does some damage to Okada, Cody tags himself in to take advantage. Rhodes gets too cocky and then gets flap jacked. Ospreay gets tagged in and hits a spectacular spike DDT counter out of a tilt a whirl. This leads into a frantic finishing sequence with all 8 men involved. Scurll's umbrella comes into play, as he uses it to distract Okada, while Cody hits the beautiful disaster. Ospreay comes in and hits an flurry of aerial moves but ends up getting caught and hit with The Cross Rhodes. Cody covers and pins him to secure the victory for his team.
Cody, Marty Scurll, Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi defeat Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay & The Briscoes
Cody celebrates with his Bullet Club partner and then by himself after the match. The large part of the story here was Cody trying to claim leadership over the entire Bullet Club faction.
* IWGP INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH
Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Billy Gunn
This is arguably the most polarizing match in New Japan's recent history. One of the most decorated and critically acclaimed stars in Tanahashi against an accomplished and underrated veteran who passed his prime over a decade ago. To his credit, Gunn looks great though..... Gunn tries to play mind games early on with Hiroshi and uses his power and size against him. The fans in attendance boo the slow pace early on dictated by Billy Gunn. A lot of early side headlock action. It's Tanahashi who uses that move to his advantage until Gunn suplexes his way out of it. Gunn then grounds Tanahashi with a flatliner. Billy takes control of the match and goes to work on Hiroshi's bandaged bicep. Gunn rams it against the steel barricade and into the ring post. The pace of the match slows down to a crawl as Billy Gunn hits a jackhammer and then goes back to work on Tanahashi's arm. The crowd starts to get restless as Gunn continues to stay in control. Billy then starts to taunt the crowd and gets his tights pulled down by Tanahashi. No 1999 Ass Man styled thong is revealed..... Tanahashi gets pantsed himself a minute later and ends up showing his Ace. This leads into Billy Gunn hitting a cobra clutch slam on Hiroshi. Gunn then goes for his signature fameasser but Tanahashi counters it. Hiroshi goes for his High Fly Flow splash but misses. Billy Gunn then hits the fameasser for a near fall. Billy then cotch chops Tanahashi but Hiroshi battles back and floors Gunn with a sling blade. Tanahashi then heads to the top and hits The High Fly Flow to win the match.
Hiroshi Tanahashi defeats Billy Gunn by pinfall to retain The IWGP Intercontinental Title
- Billy Gunn shakes hands with Tanahashi in a show of respect after the match.
* G1 SPECIAL MAIN EVENT
IWGP US HEAVWEIGHT TITLE MATCH TOURNAMENT FINAL
Kenny Omega w/The Young Bucks vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Ishii over powers Omega early on, using his brute force. Omega rallies by speeding up the pace. Kenny then relies heavily on leg strikes, which the big men Ishii welcomes with delight. Both men end up brawling into the crowd and Tomohiro dominates the brawl with Omega. The crowd is firmly behind Kenny despite their respect for Tomohiro. The battle continues into the stands and then back to ringside. Ishii tries to suplex Omega while he hangs on to the barricade. Kenny blocks it and suplexes Ishii onto the ringside floor.
When the action gets back into the ring. The hard hitting continues as Tomohiro battles back and pounds away on Omega. Both men then start putting another strong style display, hitting each other with several chops and strikes. Tomohiro comes out on top in this exchange. Tomohiro revs up and hits a big power slam. Moments later, Omega rallies with a spike DDT. Both men are down and struggle to get back up. Omega gets the better of Ishii on their next exchange, when he connects with a running fireman's carry into a moonsault. Omega keeps his momentum with a high leg bulldog. This is followed by a terminator spot and a running over the top rope somersault. Omega grabs his knee after he lands on the floor. Kenny gets back in the ring and the ref checks on his knee. It ends up being a ruse, as the Bucks set up a table at ringside. Kenny magically recovers when the table is set up. Ishii is back in the ring and gets hit with a missile dropkick to the back of his head. Omega stays in control for the next couple of minutes. When Kenny tries to knock Ishii down with several forearms, Ishii muscles up. Kenny hits a frankensteiner to stoop Ishii's momentum.
Omega and Ishii end up battling to the ring apron, just inches over the table set up on the outside. When Omega tries to suplex Tomohiro onto it, Ishii bites on the ropes to try and prevent Omega from suplexing him. It only works momentarily as Omega ends up dragon suplexing Ishii through the table. Both men make it back inside the ring before the count of 20. Omega hits V trigger knee strikes on Tomohiro. He sets up for a final knee but it gets blocked. Omega finally lands the big knee but Ishii kicks out at 2 and 3 quarters. Omega then gets up Ishii for the One Winged Angel but Tomohiro counters into a DDT. Tomohiro then turns Omega inside-out with a wicked lariat. Tomohiro then ends up hitting an avalanche suplex off the top for a near fall. After yet another stiff striking exchange. Ishii hits another inside-out lariat on Omega for another near fall. The crowd rises to their feet to give a standing ovation. Omega hits Ishii's with his own finisher for a near fall. Omega then connects with a snap german but gets rocked moments later with a stiff lariat, for yet another near fall. A New Japan chant breaks out.... When Omega goes for a high leg bulldog, Ishii catches him and hits the one winged angel on Omega for yet another near fall. Moments later, Omega hits another V trigger high knee. Omega knocks down Ishii with a palm strike and then hits a cross legged neck breaker. Kenny calls for the finish. He hits a nasty running knee but Ishii hulks up, only to be hit with a dragon suplex and yet another running high knee. More high Impact offense by Omega and he lands the one winged angel on Ishii to finally win the match.
Kenny Omega defeats Tomohiro Ishii to become the first ever IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion
- In the post match, Kenny Omega is presented The US Title by The Chairman of NJPW. The Young Bucks and Marty Scurll are on hand for the presentation. Cody shows up dressed in a suit. He takes the title away from Omega. He then pauses and hugs Omega. He puts the IWGP US Title around Omega's waist. The entire Bullet Club comes to ringside, to celebrate with Omega, as Kenny is hoisted up on the their shoulders. Omega takes the mic. Kenny says that this year has been difficult for him with all the big losses. Omega says that he has had failures in his career but he has overcome them. Omega puts over the crowd and compares himself to them. Omega says that no one believed in him and that no one believed in New Japan. Omega says that this year, they filled a 2,000 seat arena in The United States but that next year, they are going to fill a 20,000 seat arena. Omega says that New Japan is going to rule the wrestling world. Omega and the entire Bullet Club pose on the stage to end the show.
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