We’ve seen 90 matches across 18 shows, over the course of three weeks, as 20 of the greatest competitors in the world battled for the honor of winning professional wrestling’s most prestigious tournament. That all culminates tonight’s in the G1 Finals, as Kenny Omega takes on Tetsuya Naito in a rematch from the 2016 Match of the Year, where the winner will earn a position among the all-time greats of New Japan history, as well as catapult themselves into the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 12.
Our live coverage begins at 2:00 a.m. EST, and we encourage you to join the discussion in the comments section down below and by following us on Twitter @WrestlezoneCOM. You can watch the show live on New Japan World, which will feature both traditional Japanese commentary and English commentary from Kevin Kelly and Don Callis.
NJPW G1 Climax Finals Results
TAKA MICHINOKU, DESPERADO, TAICHI & YOSHINOBU KANEMARU def. KUSHIDA, JUSHIN THUNDER LIGER, TIGER MASK & HIRAI KAWATO
The whole match was built around Kushida and Desperado to build towards a future juniors title match. They had all the best spots with Kushida hitting a front roll DDT transitioned into the Hoverboard Lock, and Desperado doing a beautiful tope that sent him flying over the barricade. Kawato came in at the end and tried to fire up but got triple teamed by Suzuki-Gun and pinned after a diving second rope DDT from Kanemaru.
There was a post-match brawl that went on forever with Kushida and Desperado brawling up into the crowd and the rest of the participants fighting in the ring and all around the arena.
TAMA TONGA & TANGA LOA def. YUJI NAGATA & MANABU NAKANISHI
Nagata got an incredible reaction before the match in appreciate of an outstanding performance in his final G1. The Guerrillas controlled the early match until Nagata trapped Tanga Loa in the Nagata Lock II and the third generation legends began to roll. Funny spot as Tama was trying to whip Nakanishi using all his weight and strength, but he just stood there like an uncaring tree trunk. They cleaned house for awhile but eventually Loa rallied and dropped Nakanishi with a Rikishi Driver.
In an extremely uncharacteristic display, both Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa bowed to Nagata after the match in a huge show of respect. They left the ring and let him have his moment with the Sumo Hall crowd as the Blue Justice theme played. Really cool moment.
HIROOKI GOTO & YOSHI-HASHI def. TOGI MAKABE & DAVID FINLAY
Finlay and Yoshi-Hashi started things off with a fast-paced back and forth before the two big hosses came in and bludgeoned each other with their usual affair of stiff lariats, headbutts and tackles. YH looked to have it won with a Butterfly Lock but Makabe made the save and destroyed him with a lariat. Finlay mounted a comeback but it wasn’t enough, as YH hit Karma to pick up the win in a relatively quick bout.
JUICE ROBINSON, SATOSHI KOJIMA & HIROYOSHI TENZAN def. BAD LUCK FALE, YUJIRO TAKAHASHI & CHASE OWENS
Chase Owens was the unlucky guy who got picked apart by the babyfaces early on, specifically from some big Tenzan headbutts. Yujiro took a cheap shot from the floor and Bullet Club briefly took control back until Kojima made the hot tag and lit everyone up with machine gun chops. Fale got dumped over the ropes with a huge lariat and Juice tagged in to run the gauntlet on everyone with cannonball splashes. Owens tried to fight back with a nice enzuigiri but fell to Pulp Friction in another quick, but entertaining match.
IWGP JR. TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Some comedy early on with Matt and Taguchi trading counters with their rears. Ricochet came in with a corkscrew tope to take down both of the Bucks. Things slowed down as Taguchi got thrown to the floor trying to do “suck it” chants, and the Bucks started to pick apart Ricochet with alternating tags. Earlier on they reversed a Benadryler by bashing his knee into the apron, which would create an opening for them to exploit for the remainder of the match. The challengers were able to tag out a few times and rally back – Taguchi even did some rare high flying and hit back to back topes and a springboard hip attack – but the Bucks continued to keep them isolated and the double team assaults were just too much to combat. Ricochet blocked the first attempt at a Meltzer Driver but his knee gave out and Matt immediately put him in the Sharpshooter. He got to the ropes briefly but Nick hit a Swanton Bomb to break his grip and they took him back to the center. Great spot as Nick also put Taguchi in a Sharpshooter and the challengers were screaming out in pain teasing a submission, but Taguchi struggled free and saved his partner. The finish came when Taguchi blocked a second Meltzer Driver with a springboard hip attack taking Nick out in midair. Ricochet on one good knee climbed the ropes and connected with a Shooting Star Press for the win.
KATSUYORI SHIBATA IS HERE! The crowd came absolutely unglued the literal second his music hit, and the pop when he walked through the curtain was almost deafening. There were people crying all around the arena. He walked straight to the ring – and let’s not forget just a few months ago people were concerned he might be permanently paralyzed – told the fans that he was alive, took a minute to soak in the reception, and left.
IWGP TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
War Machine struggled to get anything going individually at the start of the match as Bullet Club played the double team game. It took all their energy but they even hoisted up big Hanson for a double team suplex. Rowe finally built up some momentum running through the challengers like a freight train. He about sent Hangman flying with a shotgun dropkick. Hanson hit a handspring back elbow on both men – yes, the same move Kushida does – and that wasn’t the half of what he would end up doing by the end of it. Cody got thrown over the barricade into the commentary tables and War Machine hit a double powerslam on Hangman as Hanson dove through the ropes to take out Cody yet again. Page recovered and hit two high elevation German suplexes that sent Rowe crashing on his neck. Cody came back and hit the Disaster Kick before both Bullet Club boys went up and hit back to back moonsaults, but only got two. The champions fought back and somehow Rowe hit both a powerbomb and a powerslam on both of them. Hanson flew off the top with a 340-pound moonsault but Cody put his partner’s foot on the bottom rope to save it. Hanson went back up and took out Rhodes with a Swanton to the floor, and War Machine hit the Fallout on Page to pick up the win.
MINORU SUZUKI, ZACK SABRE JR., & TAKASHI IIZUKA def. HIROSHI TANAHASHI, KOTA IBUSHI & MICHAEL ELGIN
This was a giant mess of a brawl and was only briefly a six-man tag match, as the entire Suzuki-Gun faction was involved throughout. Ibushi got baited into going after Minoru and got trapped in an armbar over the ropes, and it just went downhill for the babyfaces from there. Every time they got close to coming back Taichi or Taka Michinoku or Kanemura would interfere and make it impossible. Minoru was just pure evil as he brutalized Big Mike with a steel chair on the floor, then stabbed him with a pen and wrapped his arm around a ring post. There were flashes of momentum, like Ibushi trading kicks and strikes with Minoru, or Elgin taking out all the extra Suzuki-Gun members singlehandedly, but it was never enough. Sabre put Tanahashi in an octopus stretch and for the second time in a month forced the ace to tap out. This was absolutely brutal.
After the match Elgin went after Suzuki and did his best to chase off Suzuki-Gun who was mauling Tanahashi in the ring. The two brawled into the crowd and all around the arena in an extremely physical fight that got broken up half a dozen times. Zack Sabre Jr. stood over Tanahashi’s lifeless body holding the Intercontinental Championship as bodies were still flying around the ring. Message sent.
EVIL, SANADA, BUSHI & HIROMU TAKAHASHI def. KAZUCHIKA OKADA, TOMOHIRO ISHII, TORU YANO & GEDO
This was another complete destruction of the babyface team as we’ve seen multiple times throughout the night, although not quite on the level of the Suzuki-Gun mugging we had just witnessed. The story of the match was that Okada demanded his revenge against EVIL but he needed to stay down after suffering serious injuries throughout the G1. The rest of CHAOS got worked over by the LIJ numbers game throughout the match. Okada came back time and time again to try and save his allies, but every single time he was met with a swift beatdown at the hands of EVIL. Ishii made the biggest dent in the LIJ forces powering through everyone but eventually even he fell to the four-on-one. The finish came when all four hit their big moves on Gedo and Hiromu made him submit with a triangle choke, but that was hardly the end of the story.
After the bout LIJ continued their attack. Okada once again tried to fight them off, but EVIL destroyed him with Darkness Falls into a pile of chairs. Looks like we have our King of Pro Wrestling challenger.
G1 CLIMAX TOURAMENT FINALS
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