NJPW G1 Climax 27 Results (Night 1): Tetsuya Naito vs Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Zack Sabre Jr, Bullet Club & Suzuki-Gun Collide

Mike Killam

G1 Climax 2017

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NJPW G1 Climax 27 Results
July 17, 2017 (Night 1)
Hokkaido, Japan

UNDERCARD MATCHES

1. Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Jushin Thunder Liger def. Michael Elgin, Juice Robinson & David Finlay. The primary focus before and after the match was on Kojima and Juice to build towards their tournament bout on night two. Elgin dominated for his team and Tenzan dominated for his team, leading to an inevitable collision between the two big men where they went back and forth with chops and strikes. Kojima gave Juice an extra brutal looking set of machine gun chops in the corner and a DDT. Finlay tried to make the save but took the Cozy Cutter, and then later a lariat for the pin.

2. Minoru Suzuki, Desperado & Taichi def. Kenny Omega, Tama Tonga & Chase Owens. This was actually really interesting, as there’s a whole untold story between these two factions that have basically never touched before. Kenny stressed in the press conference that they had no beef with Suzuki-Gun, but as you might expect it didn’t work out that nicely here. This was your standard SKG brawl with Taichi using his bell hammer, but elevated as Minoru tried to murder Kenny the entire match. It’s actually pretty fascinating to see the dichotomy between the cocky Hot Topic heel team that think they’re bad, and the OG heel team led by the biggest gangster/mob boss in wrestling history. Anyways… Omega tried for the One Winged Angel but Minoru turned it into a sleeper hold. They left Chase Owens alone in the ring with him, he tried to put up a fight, but quickly became a ritual sacrifice to the demons that style Suzuki’s hair, via the Gotch-Style Piledriver.

3. EVIL & Hiromu Takahashi def. Bushi & Sanada. It’s the battle of Los Ingobernables as brothers prepare to do battle on day two. Hiromu and Bushi were a night addition to the match and provided some great spots, but the real focus was on the two heavyweights who seemed to genuinely want a piece of one another. There was a handshake at the start of the match that Sanada quickly turned into an attempted Skull End. EVIL and Hiromu actually make an excellent team, as they did an great sequence of about 20 moves to their opponents in quick succession at the end. The finish came from EVIL who revealed his new submission move created just for the G1; a variation on the crossface chickenwing.

4. Toru Yano & Jado def. Kazuchika Okada & Gedo. I think all you need to know about this match is that Toru Yano won by kicking both Gedo and the IWGP Heavyweight Champion in the groin. It was almost completely comedy with Okada getting more and more frustrated with the shenanigans of his CHAOS teammate as the match went on, but his frustrations only led to Yano being able to do even more nefarious and annoying things. Jado and Gedo were basically there to be the butt of every single slapstick joke. If Yano gets his face ripped off on night two I would not be terribly surprised.

A BLOCK TOURNAMENT MATCHES

5. YOSHI-HASHI def. YUJI NAGATA. As reported this is Nagata’s very last G1 and he absolutely came to play in the opening match of the tournament. This was probably the best I’ve seen him since the 2014 G1 when he had that hot run of matches against Ishii, Shibata and Shinsuke Nakamura. I don’t know if it was just for this match to let Nagata be the true babyface, or whether it’s a new side to his character, but Yoshi-Hashi was uncharacteristically heelish the entire match. He showed no respect for the third generation star, slapping and kicking him in the back of the head, and didn’t seem to be taking things seriously at first. This fired up Nagata who lit him up with a ton of strikes, headbutts and suplexes. The last few minutes were an amazing back and forth as YH teased tapping out to the armbar, and Nagata teased tapping out to the butterfly lock. It took Yoshi-Hashi knee strikes, a DDT, another knee from the second rope, a Lungblower, and finally Karma to put away the veteran.

6. BAD LUCK FALE def. TOGI MAKABE. An incredible display of dominance from the Underboss of the Bullet Club. Fale destroyed Makabe on the floor, out in the crowd, then crushed him with a Samoan Drop and the referee actually checked on him to make sure he didn’t have to stop the bout. Makabe got a few fire-up spots in and managed to get Fale off his feet, but the big man caught him out of the air looking for the King Kong knee drop and planted Makabe with the Grenade to pick up the win. Bad Luck is looking scary this year.

7. HIROOKI GOTO def. TOMOHIRO ISHII. This was exactly as much of a sloberknocker as you might expect. The second the bell rang they were crashing into each other like out of control freight trains. They hit each other with every strike, chop, elbow and cringe-worthy unprotected headbutt they could throw. Ishii hit a second rope Brainbuster fairly early in the match, before they tried to knock each other over with devastatingly stiff lariats that left welts in their chests. Goto came back and hit the Ushigoroshi but just couldn’t get the GTR no matter how hard he tried. They went back at it and somehow Goto got busted open the in the exchange, which sent him into a rage. He connected with a stick kick, several lariats to the back of his opponent’s head, then finally hit the GTR to win.

8. ZACK SABRE JR def. HIROSHI TANAHASHI. Let the record show that not only did the New Japan newcomer beat Tanahashi in singles action, he made Tanahashi submit in a G1 tournament match. This was just a masters class in technical wrestling, and Zack being a heel with Suzuki-Gun just adds to the affect as he can be a lot more mean about his offense and get away with it. Every single time Tanahashi mounted a comeback the entire match, Sabre ended up countering into a different hold. He targeted the bandaged up arm and shoulder, then concentrated every advantage on transitioning back into something that would make the injury hurt worse. Eventually the Ace did manage to get some actual momentum built up, hit the Slingblade, a vertical High Fly Flow, but a distraction from Suzuki-Gun member Desperado was enough to bring about his downfall. Zack caught him in an armbar, transitionng into an octopus stretch, then started manipulating Tanahashi’s fingers. When he refused to quit, and basically everyone was begging him to by this point, Sabre lost his patience and just started brutally wrenching on his wrist and arm back and forth until he had no choice but to submit. A slow, methodical match with a good story that would have stolen the show had it not been for…

9. TETSUYA NAITO def. KOTA IBUSHI. An absolutely incredible match, but it almost felt irresponsibly dangerous in some of the spots they pulled off. Naito made a point in the press conference that Ibushi was a “part-timer” that didn’t belong in the G1 and made his personal goal to make sure he took him out of action before he could even get started. He showed no respect at the start of the match, as expected, and actually did a serious amount of damage to Ibushi’s neck with a series of neckbreakers, suplexes and a big neckbreaker on the apron. Naito makes the mistake of not going for pins when he had the chance, as the Golden Star quickly fired up and launched into a series of stiff kicks you could hear from space. Ibushi snapped off a dropkick and the return of his Golden Triangle Moonsault, which was really just the start of the spots for these two. The rest of the match was a long back and forth with both guys attempting to murder one another. Naito continued to work over the neck with another neckbreaker from the second rope, but Kota sent him flying with a snap German suplex. A smaller story of the match was that no matter how hard he tried, Ibushi could never hit the elevated powerbomb; similar to Omega not being able to hit the OWA on Okada during their rivalry. Naito did a Super Reverse Rana off the top rope. Ibushi did a freaking piledriver from the second rope after backflip kicking him in the face. Somehow that wasn’t enough so he did the deadlift German suplex spot over the ropes and folded him up on his neck. Kota went into rage mode at this point, missed a huge spin kick and Naito caught him with Destino, then a second Destino, and finally that was enough to end the match.

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