New Japan Pro Wrestling comes to Long Beach, CA for the very first time for night one of their G1 Special in USA tour.
The only way to watch tonight’s show live is through the AXS channel. For those without access to the network, both SlingTV and DirecTV NOW offer free trials of their online service which includes AXS. The event will be added to New Japan World at a later date, and those with New Japan World subscriptions will be able to watch tomorrow’s night two in Long Beach live as well.
Live coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. EST!
NJPW G1 USA Results
– A video package highlighting the history of New Japan Pro Wrestling and the major rivalry heading into this weekend kicks off the broadcast, as WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross and UFC legend Josh Barnett welcome us to Long Beach.
ROPPONGI VICE, THE BRISCOES & WILL OSPREAY vs. THE YOUNG BUCKS, MARTY SCURLL, YUJIRO TAKAHASHI & BAD LUCK FALE
Will Ospreay starts things off grappling Marty Scurll to the mat, which doesn’t last long as The Villain pokes him in the eye and plays to the crowd. A loud “Too Sweet, Woop Woop!” crowd erupts for Scurll and the Young Bucks as Mark Briscoe tags in and starts throwing big right hands at everyone. A massive brawl erupts as everyone fights to the floor, and the Bucks come face to face with Roppongi Vice as the crowd gives them a round of dueling chants. RPG takes control of the tag team champions but spend a bit too much time posturing and run into a stereo Superkick Party from Nick and Matt. The brawl continues on the outside as Ospreay looks to fly, launching himself over the ropes to take out everyone. Scurll does his finger-breaking spot on Jay Briscoe as things break down further, bodies flying everywhere. The Bucks take out the Briscoes with superkicks, but Baretta flies out of nowhere to take down Matt with a headscissors takedown, then gives his brother the same treatment. Rocky fires up and tries to run clotheslines on every corner, but runs into a big brick wall in form of Bad Luck Fale. The Underboss shakes off a series of lariat attempts like a fly, then runs through both members of Roppongi Vice. He sets up for the Bad Luck Fall on Rocky, but sees a group of humanity on the floor and opts to send the juniors star flying into them instead. The Briscoes recover and attempt to chip away at the big man and finally take him off his feet, but by the time they do the Bucks have recovered and waste them with another round of superkicks. Rocky rolls up one of the Bucks and sits down on the pin to steal the victory to send a message to the IWGP champions. // Winners: CHAOS
JUSHIN THUNDER LIGER, VOLADOR JR., DRAGON LEE & TITAN vs. HIROMU TAKAHASHI, BUSHI, EVIL & SANADA
Dragon Lee gets started with a nice back-and-forth lucha exchange with Bushi, with neither able to gain the advantage. Sanada tags in and extends a hand to Liger, who foolishly shakes it and gets attacked from behind by EVIL. Los Ingobernables immediately goes on the attack and takes the match to the floor, going after the masks of the CMLL stars. Eventually Liger fires up and hits EVIL with a big tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and clears the apron, making the hot tag to Dragon Lee. He and Hiromu go back and forth with devastating chops, reigniting their rivalry as the crowd gets behind them. Titan flies over the ropes to take out the rest of LIJ then spins Hiromu around and around with a headscissors helicopter spin. He lines up for a splash in the corner, but Takahashi catches him with a snap exploder suplex into the turnbuckle. As the referee is distracted, Sanada brings a chair into the ring and wraps it around the neck of Titan, as EVIL grabs another chair and swings for the fences. Hiromu picks up the CMLL star and plants him with a Time Bomb to pick up the win. // Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon
IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship Tournament Match
The Hangman attacked Lethal before the bell rang, knocking him out of the ring and throwing him hard into the barricade. Lethal has his ribs taped up after the brutal attack by Silas Young and the Beer City Bruiser at ROH Best in the World last weekend. Lethal recovers and hits a series of uppercuts and a standing dropkick for two. Page quickly gets control back shooting on the injured ribs, then launched himself off the apron with a Shooting Star shoulder black to the floor! The Bullet Club star slows things down from there, focussing on the target with body stretches and power slams. Lethal fights back briefly and tries for a handspring off the ropes, but gets caught in an Octopus Stretch. Again the former ROH Champion fights his way out of the hold, but he has a hard time getting anything going with the state of his ribs. After finding an opening he heads to the top rope and connects with the Hail to the King flying elbow drop, but may have done more damage to himself in the process. He tried locking in the Figure Four but Page rolled him into a small package for a very close nearfall. The Hangman side-stepped the Lethal Injection and fired off with a massive lariat, but only picked up two-and-a-half. Lethal fired off the Lethal Injection out of nowhere, but didn’t get all of it and couldn’t crawl over and make the cover. Both guys slowly get to their feet and trade right hands back and forth. Lethal hit an enzuigiri to send the younger star reeling, then hit a second Lethal Injection and this time made the pin. // Winner: Jay Lethal
IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship Tournament Match
Sabre goes to the mat early trying to cut off the ring and wrestle the match his way. Juice fires off with a series of right hands and connects with a standing dropkick, followed by a running senton splash. The crowd is split between them, but Sabre begins to feel the boos as he goes to work with stiff kicks and manipulates his opponents fingers in numerous holds. He goes after Robinson’s hair and the crowd really gives him hell for it. Zack slows things down working over the wrist as he transitions from standing holds to mat holds. Juice rallies back and hits a double knee gutbuster, but his advantage doesn’t last long as the British sensation catches him out of the air with a front-mounted sleeper. As he attempts to hook an armbar Juice breaks the hold with a vertical suplex, sacrificing himself in the process. He connects with the running cannonball into the corner, tries for Pulp Friction but Sabre rolls him up into a bridge for a close nearfall. From there it’s the Suzuki-Gun newcomer’s game, as he fires off with kicks working the openings he created earlier in the match. Robinson fires up and begs him for more as Zack gets cocky, and the crowd erupts in his favor. He hits a big leg lariat but Zack once again catches him out of the air into a cross armbreaker, kicking away at his opponent’s head as he struggles to transition into a triangle choke. Juice tries to strongman him up into the air, but it just gives more leverage to the triangle as he teases the submission, then fires up again and slams Sabre hard into the mat to finally break the hold. Juice tries for Pulp Friction once again, but Zack has it scouted and locks in an Octopus Stretch, bending back both his arms and nearly snapping his fingers off in the process. Robinson has no choice but to tap out. // Winner: Zack Sabre Jr.
HIROSHI TANAHASHI, KUSHIDA, JAY WHITE & DAVID FINLAY vs. BILLY GUNN, YOSHITATSU, YOHEI KOMATSU & SHO TANAKA
Tanahashi has a brand new title belt with him, and got the biggest reaction of the night as Long Beach exploded for his entrance. KUSHIDA started the match off for his team taking Komatsu to the mat with a wristlock takeover into a standing dropkick. The double champion gave Billy Gunn the old “Suck It!” taunt and immediately put Komatsu in an armbar to rub salt in the wound, and the referee had to back off the former WWE veteran. The babyfaces worked over Komatsu until the other half of the Tempura Boyz took a cheap shot on Jay White to give them control of the match for the first time. Billy Gunn tags in and gets massive heat from the crowd, getting in the face of Tanahashi before going back to work on KUSHIDA. White and Finlay fire up and attempt to clear the apron but Gunn once again cuts off the hot tag to stoke the ire of the fans. Eventually the hot tag is made to Tanahashi who sends Gunn flying with a Dragon Screw, but gets caught coming off the top rope. The Bad Ass actually messed up catching him off a crossbody, but ended up getting way more heat for it. Jay White tags in and gets a great chant as he fires up on Yoshitatsu, but is caught with a spinning wheel kick. White recovers and destroys him with a half-and-half suplex into the turnbuckle. All eight guys trade signature moves one after another, which ends with Tanahashi hitting the Sling Blade on his upcoming challenger. Finlay hits Yoshitatsu with a backbreaker into a urinage slam from White, but all of the heels hit the ring to break things up as a huge brawl erupts. Within the chaos, White is the legal man and plants Yoshitatsu with the Kiwi Krusher to pick up the win. // Winners: Hiroshi Tanahashi, KUSHIDA, Jay White & David Finlay
IWGP Tag Team Championship Match
Raymond Rowe grabbed a microphone before the match could start, and said that in Osaka they tried to fight the honorable way but Bullet Club brought weapons into the match. He asks the officials to make this a No Disqualification match, and Tama Tonga takes the microphone…then pelts him in the face with it. The stipulation is on!
All four men brawl around ringside and it’s Tanga Loa that introduces the first weapon into the match, lighting up Hanson with a trash can lid. The big man shakes it off and goes to dive through the ropes, but runs face first into the rest of the trash can. With him out of the way the champions pick apart Rowe with numerous splashes in the corner, and pelt his back with shots from the unforgiving can. GoD flattens him with a half dozen running splashes, alterning back and forth until Hanson comes back and takes both of them out. The big man runs a gauntlet of corner lariats on both guys as the crowd comes alive the longer he continues. He plays a bit too much to the crowd and gets run through with a spear from Tama Loa, who somehow hasn’t dropped a single F-Bomb in this match so far. War Machine tries for a double team move on Tama Tonga, but his brother catches Hanson out of the air with a huge powerslam. The champions head to the top rope and connect with a diving headbutt and flying splash one after another. The challengers tried to fight back but Chase Owens came out of nowhere and smacked them both with a steel chair. GoD put Rowe through a chair with a brutal double powerbomb spot, but somehow he kicked out at two-and-a-half. A table gets introduced into the match out of pure desperation at this point. Hanson fires up and took out both of the champions, then ducked under a chair shot from Owens and destroyed him with a lariat. The big man dove through the ropes to take out Tama Tonga, as Rowe just kicked Tanga Loa in the balls for good measure. Rowe hoisted up the Bullet Club member and Hanson came off the top rope, as Loa ate Fallout through a table! 1….2….3! // Winners and New Champions: War Machine
IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship Tournament Match
Naito is ridiculously over in Long Beach, as the fans erupt into “NAITO!” and “TRANQUILO!” chants the minute his theme song hit. The Los Ingobernables leader teased doing a dive to the outside as he knocked Ishii off the apron, but instead hit the Tranquilo pose on the mat as the fans went wild for it. The big man took exception to the mockery and hit the ring, and Naito made a huge mistake slapping him in the face. Ishii lit him up with right hands and back elbows, but Naito fired right back with hard chops and running dropkick. They went back and forth with elbow strikes, and the Stone Pitbull took control with a series of harsh chops in the corner, then followed up with a running lariat and a huge snap powerslam. Naito took it back with a neckbreaker over the top rope, then mounted the turnbuckle and came flying off with a missile dropkick. The crowd chanted for the LIJ leader, but he got turned inside-out with a lariat on the apron that busted him open the hard way from the mouth. Tasting his own blood Naito mounted a comeback with blow after blow, then set the big man on the top rope and connected with a Reverse Frankensteiner for a close nearfall.
Beyond frustrated now, Naito spit blood into his opponent’s face. You messed up, son… Ishii no-sold a half dozen chops then brutalized the former world champion with a jacknife powerbomb. Naito came out of nowhere with a rolling kick, but got blasted with a shoulder tackle into a lariat from the Stone Pitbull. They went back and forth countering finishers on spaghetti legs and Naito executed a beautiful roll-up for two-and-three-quarters. More fighting back and forth, and again it’s Naito who comes out on top with a triangle DDT off the ropes. Wasting no time he came off the top rope with another missile dropkick to the back of the head, connected with Gloria, but couldn’t pick up the win. Ishii fired off with a sickening headbutt, following up with a seated lariat, but Naito scouted the Brainbuster and hit a Dragon Suplex for another nearfall. Destino attempt coming, but Ishii countered it and hit two back to back lariats that killed his opponent. He got him up, connected with the Brainbuster, and that’s all she wrote. // Winner: Tomohiro Ishii
IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship Tournament Match
The Young Bucks are out with Kenny Omega, who receives the loudest reaction of the night by far. The Elite tried to get referee Red Shoes to “Too Sweet” them, but the senior official thought about it for a second and gave them a crotch chop to the single loudest pop of the night.
Elgin showcased his size and power immediately, shaking off a series of chops and screaming at the Bullet Club leader to bring it. He threw him across the ring with a huge powerslam, then came off the ropes with a springboard splash. They fought back and forth to the floor with Elgin slamming Omega down hard on the apron. Kenny recovered and gave himself some distance, then came off the ropes with a springboard moonsault to the floor, but Big Mike caught him out of the air and flattened him on the entrance ramp with running powerslam! Both men were slow getting up, crawling their way to the ring as the referee made started to count. Omega threw his opponent hard into the ring apron and slid into the ring at 18, but Elgin threw himself back in just as he was about to get counted at. Kenny couldn’t believe it and went after the ref, then collected himself and put the big man in a side headlock to slow things down. He transitioned into a rear choke hold, but Elgin shook it off and connected with a few big chops in the corner. Kenny connected with a rolling fireman’s carry slam, but got caught with the knees coming down on the second rope moonsault.
We’re back to square one with both men down. Kenny gets thrown to the apron off a lariat attempt, and Elgin popped him back in with a huge front powerslam for two. The crowd erupts into a loud “Kenny!” chant and it’s clear where the fans’ allegiance lies in this match. Mike takes a bit too long setting up for a powerbomb, and Omega turns him inside-out with a reverse rana sending him to the floor. The Bullet Club leader looks to fly, clearing the ropes with a beautiful tope con hilo to the outside taking his opponent down. Loud “Too Sweet!” chants rock Long Beach as the six star icon begins to feel it. He climbs the ropes and connects with a brutal dropkick to the back of the head. Elgin isn’t dead yet as he fires off with some extremely stiff elbows, but Kenny finds a high knee strike that makes the eyes roll back in the head of Big Mike. He signals for the V-Trigger but plays to the crowd too long and gets caught with a sick lariat. Both men take their time getting to their feet, rolling to the apron and jockeying back and forth for control. Omega goes for a piledriver then tries to turn it into a reverse Frankensteiner, but Elgin catches him with an explosive German suplex, his head thundering off the edge of the apron. Big Mike wastes no time and powers his opponent to the top rope, setting up for a Super Crucifix Powerbomb…and he hits it! 1…2…Omega kicks out at two-and-three-quarters!
Elgin is livid now. He hoists up Omega and drives him into the corner with a Buckle Bomb, then tries for the Elgin Bomb but gets rolled up into a small package out of nowhere for a close nearfall. Kenny is on spaghetti legs and starts chopping away, but his offense has no effect. Elgin destroys him with a lariat, but somehow he gets the shoulder up and the crowd goes insane! Elgin off the ropes but he runs into a V-Trigger! A second V-Trigger connects. A third V-Trigger practically shatters his jaw, but Big Mike kicks outs in the nick of time. Omega gives him the Bullet Club guns signalling for the end, and Elgin grabs his hand and screams at him to finish things. Kenny connects with a fourth V-Trigger to the back of the head, picks him up and drops him on his head with a Tombstone piledriver variation. A fifth V-Trigger finds its mark stiffer than anything so far in this brutal match, Kenny gets him up, hits the One Winged Angel…and it’s over. // Winner: Kenny Omega
IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match
The crowed erupts for the greatest IWGP Heavyweight Champion in history as soon as his music hits, as the American Nightmare gets booed out of the building. Cody takes a breather on the outside right away, walking over to his wife for a little pre-match make-out session. As they finally get underway Okada grapples the challenger into the ropes and gives him a mocking pat on the chest to showcase his dominance. They brawl to the floor and Rhodes gets sent over the barricade as the champion follows up with a huge dive into the crowd, sending them both crashing into several rows of chairs. Eventually they make their way back into the ring to break the 20-count, and Cody takes control with a cheap shot in the ropes. He slows things down, mocking the crowd and blowing them kisses as he continues to stomp away on his opponent. Okada fights back and tries for a vertical suplex, but gets taken over into a facebuster by the challenger.
Cody is just toying around now as he knows he’s in control, throwing down the referee and spitting on him. The crowd rains down boos on the second generation star, and he soaks them in before flipping Long Beach the double birds. Okada sees the distraction and takes advantage with a neckbreaker to give himself an opening, then follows up with a series of clotheslines and a furious running shoulder tackle. The champion connects with a lariat in the corner and plants Cody with a DDT square in the middle of the ring, then delivers a rolling elbow strike on the mat for two. Rhodes attempts to fire back and climbs the ropes, but he gets caught with the signature dropkick from Okada to send him crashing to the floor below. The challenger recovers and starts trash talking about “legacy” but gets caught with a Hangman’s DDT off the apron, shades of Randy Orton. Okada slowly rolls his opponent back into the ring and mounts the turnbuckle, but Cody saw it coming and sprinted to meet him with an arm drag from the top! The Disaster Kick finds its mark, but Okada kicked out at two-and-a-half.
Cody is frustrated now and mounts the champion, firing off with angry right hands. He throws up the Bullet Club guns but again spent too much time worrying about playing mind games, and gets caught with a hard knee strike to the head. Okada called for the Rainmaker pose, but couldn’t find his mark as Cody rolled him up into a modified Indian Deathlock! The champion teased tapping out several times, but eventually pulled himself to the ropes to break the hold. Rhodes starts slapping Okada over and over in the back of the head like a Young Boy, and the world champion fires up grabbing him back the hair and destroys him with a right hook. He throws him to the corner and stomps a mudhole in him, walking it dry as Jim Ross makes the iconic call – the crowd is absolutely electric. Brandi Rhodes has made her way to ringside and is creaming at Okada, who ignores her and connects with a dropkick to the back of her husband’s head. Tombstone Piledriver connects, and the champion goes for the Rainmaker, but Cody spit right in his face! Okada took a second to collect himself, then turned his opponent inside-out with the Rainmaker! He maintained control of the wrist, picked him up and dropped him with a second Rainmaker.
As the pissed off champion fires up, the Bullet Club leader Kenny Omega walks out with a white towel, shades of what almost happened at Dominion. Brandi Rhodes argues with him but Kenny wants to throw it in because he’s getting murdered out there. Okada tries for another Rainmaker, but Cody counters it and tries for the Cross Rhodes; the champion counters and hits a dropkick instead. CODY HITS THE RAINMAKER! 1….2….Okada kicks out with barely a breath between the referee’s hand and the mat! Cody is furious and takes the white towel, wipes his ass with it and throws it back into the face of Kenny Omega. The crowd chants “you f—ed up” at him as the American Nightmare rolls his eyes and signals for the finish. Okada hits him with the Cross Rhodes! 1….2…..the challenger kicks out. Both men get to their feet and exchange right hands and elbows back and forth as the crowd explodes for every single shot. Okada finds a set of European uppercuts to take Cody off his feet. Rhodes counters and looks for his finisher again, the champion kneeing him in the face to escape, and he settles for a reverse DDT instead. Back and forth they go, over and over again, with neither man giving an inch. Okada connects with a trio of German suplexes, nails the Tombstone Piledriver, hoists him up and connects with the Rainmaker. 1…2…3! // Winner and Still Champion: Kazuchika Okada
– Kenny Omega hits the ring after the match and takes a microphone. He tells Okada that for once he’s not here to take his moment, because they have a rematch coming up in the G1 next month. He praises the champion and tells him to have his moment, then leaves the ring and heads to the back. Gedo speaks in English and asks the fans if they were entertained by New Japan Pro Wrestling in America. Okada, also in English, asks the fans how they felt about New Japan after night one, and a loud “New Japan” chant breaks out. He cuts his usual Japanese promo to close the show and promises to continue making it rain on NJPW and Long Beach.
Cody RhodesG1 Special in USAjay lethalKazuchika Okadakenny omegamichael elginnjpwTestuya Naitothe young buckswar machineHave a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report?