wrestling / TV Reports

Csonka’s NJPW G1 Climax 28 Finals Review

August 12, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
NJPW G1 28 Finals
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Csonka’s NJPW G1 Climax 28 Finals Review  

Csonka’s NJPW G1 Climax 28 Finals Review

– Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe, & Michael Elgin defeated Yuji Nagata, Shota Umino, & Ayuto Yoshida @ 7:20 via pin [**½]
– Bad Luck Fale defeated Henare @ 1:55 via pin [NR]
– Taichi & Iizuka defeated Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI @ 8:30 via pin [*]
– Cody & Hangman Page defeated Juice Robinson & David Finlay @ 9:05 via pin [***]
Never Openweight Trios Title Match: The Guerrillas of Destiny & Taiji Ishimori defeated Champions The Young Bucks & Marty Scurll @ 11:30 via pin [***½]
– Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA, & BUSHI defeated Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, & El Desperado @ 10:25 via submission [***¼]
– Toru Yano, Jay White, & Tomohiro Ishii defeated Kenny Omega, Chase Owens, & Yujiro Tanahashi @ 9:40 via pin [**¾]
– Rey Mysterio, KUSHIDA, & Sengoku Mai (Ryusuke Taguchi) defeated Sho, Yoh, & Kazuchika Okada @ 12:32 via pin [***]
NJPW G1 Climax 28 Final: Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Kota Ibushi @ 32:05 via pin [*****]

– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe, & Michael Elgin vs. Yuji Nagata, Shota Umino, & Ayuto Yoshida: Ayato Yoshida making his main roster NJPW debut, and has been previously featured on Lion’s Gate events (where he’s impressed), and previously worked for K-DOJO. Nagata and the lads attack at the bell. They take immediate control and Umino hits a missile dropkick for 2. They isolate Honma, but Honma cuts off Umino and tags in Makabe. He beats down poor Umino, laying in big strikes and tags Honma back in, and Honma lays in elbow strikes and chops. The slam follows and the falling kokeshi connects. Elgin tags in and Umino fires up but Elgin destroys him with chops. Umino now looks for a sunset flip, but Elgin powers out and then avoids the dropkick. Umino gets it on the second try and Nagata tags in and lays in kicks on Elgin, he takes out Honma and Makabe and follows with kicks on Elgin. The corner boot follows, Elgin fights of the XPLODER, and hits a superkick and enziguri. Makabe tags in and lays in strikes on Nagata in the corner. They trade, but Makabe hits the lariat, but runs into an XPLODER. Tag to Yoshida and he hits a shoulder tackle on Makabe. He follows with kicks and covers for 2. It breaks down, and Makabe hits a lariat on Yoshida and Umino makes the save. Makabe hits another lariat but Yoshida kicks out. Makabe up top and hits the king kong knee drop for the win. Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe, & Michael Elgin defeated Yuji Nagata, Shota Umino, & Ayuto Yoshida @ 7:20 via pin [**½] This was a nice and solid opener, and it’s cool to see Honma back. He’s not 100% but it’s a nice feel good story.

Bad Luck Fale vs. Henare: Henare was Fale’s student, some have speculated he could join Fale in Bullet Club due to the relationship. We shall see. Henare attacks before the bell and is all fired up. He hits shoulder tackles, but Fale cuts him off. Henare hits a head butt; heads up top and the flying shoulder tackle takes Fale down. Fale quickly cuts him off and hits grenade and then the bad luck fall for the win. Bad Luck Fale defeated Henare @ 1:55 via pin [NR] Great fire from Henare before Fale killed him.

Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Iizuka & Taichi: Iizuka attacks Goto and HASHI during their entrance with chair shots. Taichi rolls HASHI in and takes control. HASHI fights back and hits a RANA. Iizuka cuts him off with a chair shot, allowing Taichi to take control back. Iizuka works over Goto on the floor while Taichi chokes out HASHI. Taichi takes off Iizuka’s mouth guard and he starts with the biting. Iizuka works the injured shoulder of HASHI, ripping off the tape and then biting Goto. HASHI hits a desperation blockbuster and Goto tags in. He takes control, suplexing Taichi onto Iizuka. The spin kick and Saito suplex follows for 2. Iizuka fights off ushigoroshi by biting him. Taichi tags in but Goto hits a Saito suplex and tags HASHI back in. The draping dropkick connects. Taichi cuts him off with kicks, but HASHI hits a lariat. Karma is countered and Iizuka is in with iron fingers. Goto cuts him off, and Taichi hits a lariat for 2. The pants are off and the head kick connects. Taichi hits the powerbomb and finishes HASHI. Taichi & Iizuka defeated Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI @ 8:30 via pin [*] This wasn’t good, it was quite bad actually. When Iizuka wasn’t biting guys and using chairs, the action was lethargic and not engaging at all.

– Post match, Taichi beats down Goto with the mic stand.

Cody & Hangman Page vs. Juice Robinson & David Finlay: Juice immediately unwraps the hand, showing he’s ok. Finlay claims to have won “C Block,” but that honor actually went to Tanga Loa, who dominated the undercards. Page and Finlay to begin. They work into some nice back and forth to begin and then into a stand off. Cody tags in, and so does Juice. They lock up; Juice follows with arm drags and a dropkick. Finlay in and they double team Cody and Finlay knocks Page to the floor. Finlay now chases Cody, but Page helps him cut Finlay and back in we go. Cody lays the boots to Finlay, tags in Page and they isolate Finlay, taking the heat. Page hits the bridging pump handle slam and gets 2. He and Cody work quick tags, and Cody covers for 2. More double teams follow, Finlay slowly fights back but gets cut off with double teams and Juice makes the save. Cody takes Finlay up top and Finlay fights him off and hits a flying uppercut. Wholesale changes to Page and Juice, Juice runs wild and heads up top, and the high cross gets 2. Juice fires up and page pokes him in the eyes. Juice runs Cody into Page and Cody cuts off the cannonball, and heads up top. He gets crotched into the tree of WHOA. Juice then hits the cannonball. It breaks down, Cody hits a powerslam and Page hits the running shooting star press for 2. Cody lays in jabs now, but Finlay rushes in and they hit the double team flapjack. Cody fights off pulp friction, Finlay makes the save but Page hits the buckshot lariat. Cody and Juice trade strikes, and then trade kicks. Juice looks for pulp friction, but Cody hits din’s fire for the win. Cody & Hangman Page defeated Juice Robinson & David Finlay @ 9:05 via pin [***] This was a good back and forth match with good energy and yet another challenger appears for Juice’s US Title.

– Post match, Cody runs down Juice and declares himself the next IWGP US Champion.

Never Openweight Trios Champions The Young Bucks & Marty Scurll vs. The Guerrillas of Destiny & Taiji Ishimori: Ishimori has been absent during this whole Bullet Club Civil war, doing some time with Impact Wrestling, but Tonga was the one that brought him into Bullet Club. Loa wants the titles on the line and we get some banter, and the champions agree to put the titles on the line. They get the OK from President Harold. Matt and Tonga to begin. They brawl right away, and it immediately breaks down. Bodies spill to the floor, and Loa attacks the bad back of Matt. Marty & Ishimori pair off as the Bucks hit stereo suicide dives. Marty hits an apron superkick and Nick follows with a tope onto Ishimori. Back in and the champions work over Tonga. Loa cuts off Matt with a lariat, and that allows Tonga to take control. Loa now tags in and hits a delayed jackhammer for 2. Ishimori tags in and he now works over Matt. Tonga tags back in and he and Loa work double teams. They isolate Matt in their corner, but Matt cuts off Ishimori with a spear. Tonga and Loa cut off the tag, but Matt hits the double clothesline. Nick gets the hot tag and runs wild. Brother Nick has the best hot tag in the business. They send Ishimori to the floor, and Matt tags in and the assisted swanton gets 2 on Tonga. They look for more bang for your buck, but Tonga fights them off, and hit the Tongan twist. Matt cuts him of with a superkick and we get wholesale changes to Marty and Ishimori. Ishimori hits the back handspring kick and then the sliding German. Ishimori up top and the seated senton gets 2. Marty cuts off the back handspring into a chicken wing and the Bucks get stereo sharpshooters on the Guerrillas. The Guerrillas escape; Nick wipes out the pile with a dive. They isolate Ishimori and triple teams follows for 2. Ishimori fires back on Marty, Tonga blind tags in and the Bucks take out Loa but Tong is in but eats superkicks. They look for the Meltzer driver, but Loa cuts it off and it completely breaks down. Loa cuts off Marty now, but Marty looks to break the fingers, but eats gun stun and we have new champions. The Guerrillas of Destiny & Taiji Ishimori defeated Champions The Young Bucks & Marty Scurll @ 11:30 via pin [***½] This was a very good match with a ton of energy, and the title change was needed as the Bucks & Marty weren’t doing anything with them and Firing Squad needed something to call their own.

– Post match, the new champions beat down the former champions.

– The announce Wrestlekingdom 13 for January 4th in the Tokyo Dome, and debut the logo.

Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA, & BUSHI vs. Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, & El Desperado: In a shocking turn of events, Suzuki-gun attacks before the bell in a blatant display of shitty sportsmanship. The important matches are over, so Naito is back to wearing a shirt, and no fancy suit. The fight goes to the floor and everyone brawls. Naito cuts off Suzuki and get a chair, Suzuki gets one as well. They drop they chair and trade strikes. They work into the ring and Suzuki takes control. Naito spit at him so Suzuki kicks his ass. He locks on a knee bar and then tries the Gotch, but Naito fights it off. Suzuki-gun isolates Naito, just destroying Naito. Sabre in now and Naito fires up with chops, Sabre attacks the arm that Suzuki was working over but Naito hits an enziguri and neck breaker. EVIL tags in and Sabre cuts him off for a moment, but EVIL hits a shoulder tackle and senton for 2. Sabre counters the fisherman’s buster, and Sabre then lays the boots to EVIL. Sabre cuts off darkness falls with the hanging kimura. EVIL powers out and into a fisherman’s buster. BUSHI in and hits a RANA on Kanemaru, Desperado with a cheap shot and they now double team BUSHI and cover for 2. BUSHI fights back and hits a RANA on both. SANADA tags in and looks for paradise lock but Suzuki makes the save. SANADA fights them off until he’s triple teamed and Kanemaru hits deep impact for 2. SANADA fights off Kanemaru and EVIL is in and it breaks down. Suzuki and Sabre work submission, SANADA avoids the whiskey mist and gets skull end and taps out Kanemaru. Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA, & BUSHI defeated Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, & El Desperado @ 10:25 via submission [***¼] This was a good, fun, and chaotic match like all LIJ vs. Suzuki-gun matches; the war is far from over.

– Suzuki absolutely destroys several young lions post match in his rage.

Kenny Omega, Chase Owens, & Yujiro Tanahashi vs. Toru Yano, Jay White, & Tomohiro Ishii: This is a teaser for Ishii vs. Omega. Owens and White to begin. They work into some back and forth; White lays in chops, but Owens fires back. The running boot connects for Owens, and White now tags in an unprepared Yano. Yujiro in and he bites Yano, but Yano cuts him off, Owens & Omega stop him from undoing the buckle pads. Bullet Club hates fun. Omega tags in and lays the boots to Yano. Owens tags in and double teams follow. Omega and Owens play around as Omega is in night off have fun mode. They keep refusing to tag in Yujiro, but he finally comes in and Pieter comes in and dances as bullet Club works the rowboat spot. Omega escorts her out, allowing Yano to cut him off. Ishii tags in and the ass kicking begins for everyone as Ishii runs wild. Omega fires up and lays in strikes, and Owens is in and they double-team Ishii. They isolate Ishii, Owens hits a running knee strike for 2. Owens looks for a package piledriver, but Ishii fights him off. Yano and White rush in and CHAOS triple teams Owens and Ishii hits a sliding lariat for 2. Yano and Yujiro spill to he floor, Ishii cuts off Owens and walks through superkicks, and hits the head butt and lariat. Owens again looks for the package pile driver, but Ishii kills him with a lariat and the brainbuster finishes him. Toru Yano, Jay White, & Tomohiro Ishii defeated Kenny Omega, Chase Owens, & Yujiro Tanahashi @ 9:40 via pin [**¾] This was a pretty good match, a bit light hearted at times, but fun and it led to Ishii’s official challenge to Omega. Owens continues to be a gem in these undercard tags, he’s really consistent and underrated by many.

– Post match, Ishii officially challenges Omega for a title match.

Rey Mysterio, KUSHIDA, & Sengoku Mai (Ryusuke Taguchi) vs. Sho, Yoh, & Kazuchika Okada: KUSHIDA rides a hover board to the ring. Gedo is out with CHAOS. Rey and Okada start us off. Okada slaps Rey and Rey fires back wit kicks and a head scissors. Okada teases a rainmaker, but Rey head scissors him to the floor, and hits a RANA. Back in and Rey hits a dropkick, but Okada avoids the 619 and begs off. KUSHIDA tags in and so does Sho. The work into some back and KUSHIDA hits a hip toss and dropkick. Rey & KUSHIDA work quick tags, and they work Sho’s arm. KUSHIDA grounds the action, working the arm. Sho powers out, slams KUSHIDA down, and CHAOS rushes the ring and Okada rips at Mai’s mask. Yoh in and hits a hip toss and covers for 2. Yoh now grounds things, working a body scissors. Sho tags in and maintains control, slamming KUSHIDA down. Yoh knocks Mai & Rey to the floor. Double teams on KUSHIDA follow. KUSHIDA cuts off poetry in motion and hits the back handspring elbow. Hot tag to Mai, who steals Taguchi’s signature offense in a disgraceful display. The bulldog and a rough looking standing moonsault gets 2. Mai now gets an ankle lock, but Sho escapes and hits a German, Okada tags in and lays the boots to Mai. The DDT follows and that gets 2. Mai avoids the rainmaker and hits ass attacks and both men are down. Hot tag to Rey and he runs wild on Okada. Okada catches a springboard, Rey escapes the tombstone but runs into a flapjack. Yoh tags in and does the deal on Rey with the falcon arrow for 2. They trade roll ups, 3k cuts off Rey and work him over with double teams. Rey fights off 3k with a DDT, RANAs Shoto the ropes and send Yos there as well. Okada hits the dropkick to cut off the 619 to he jeers of the crowd. It breaks down as KUSHIDA & Mai hit stereo topes. Rey sends Yoh to the ropes and hits 619. The springboard splash finishes it. Rey Mysterio, KUSHIDA, & Sengoku Mai (Ryusuke Taguchi) defeated Sho, Yoh, & Kazuchika Okada @ 12:32 via pin [***] While a bit rough around the edges, this was an overall good and fun match, highlighted by the Rey vs. Okada exchanges, which were tremendously fun. I didn’t know I wanted it, but I want that match now.

NJPW G1 Climax 28 Final: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi: This is a really fascinating final, the former champion and two-time winning G1 winning ace looking for one more ride on the sun, facing a man he defeated last year to retain his IC title, and then demanded he step up and show his true potential. Ibushi idolizes Tanahashi as a God, but does he finally have enough to beat his God when it matters and take that next step? Omega is in Ibushi’s corner. SHIBATA IS IN TANAHASHI’S CORNER! I may not be ready for this. This crowd is fucking hot even before they touch. We get a slow beginning, Tanahashi grounds the action, but Ibushi makes the ropes. Tanahashi again grounds things, but Ibushi escapes back to his feet. Ibushi looks to strike, but they lock up and Tanahashi is looking to outwrestle Ibushi early on, but Ibushi grounds Tanahashi. They work into counter wrestling, Tanahashi gets a side headlock, and then hits a shoulder tackle but Ibushi pops up and lays in kicks. Tanahashi cuts him off with a dropkick to the knee, grounding Ibushi and now attacking the knee. Ibushi fights off the cloverleaf, but Tanahashi locks on a triangle scorpion. Tanahashi breaks and Ibushi fires up with strikes, and follows with a jumping kick; Tanahashi is down. Ibushi is slow to follow due to the knee, but avoids a charge and hits a powerslam and second rope moonsault for 2. Tanahashi fights off the German, but runs into an Ibushi dropkick. Tanahashi to the floor, and Ibushi follows with a double stomp on the apron. Back in and they trade strikes and Ibushi fires up with kicks until Tanahashi hits the dragon screw to cut him off. Shibata yells at Tanahashi to keep on the attack, but Ibushi cuts off Tanahashi and hits a standing double stomp. Tanahashi dropkicks Ibushi to the floor, heads up top and Ibushi cuts him off but Tanahashi counters the lawn dart into a sling blade. Tanahashi now hits the corner dropkick, they trade strikes, and both fire up and keep throwing. Tanahashi lays in repeated strikes and Ibushi tries to dump him, he skins the cat back in and Ibushi cuts him off and hits jig’n tonic for a good near fall. Tanahashi battles back with dragon screws, and then locks on the cloverleaf. Ibushi fights, Omega tries to rally Ibushi, but Tanahashi pulls him back center ring. Ibushi fights again and makes the ropes. Ibushi to the apron and Tanahashi hits the dragon screw in the ropes. Tanahashi follows with the high fly high cross to the floor. The ace is fired up and rolls back into the ring. Ibushi beats the count back in, and cuts of sling blade with a RANA and Tanahashi rolls to the floor. Ibushi rallies and hits a huge springboard moonsault to the floor. Ibushi rolls Tanahashi back in and heads up top and the springboard missile dropkick connects. Ibushi now takes Tanahashi up top, Tanahashi slaps him but Ibushi hits the SUPER RANA for a great near fall! Ibushi hits a bridging half and half suplex for 2. Ibushi looks for kamigoye, but Tanahashi counters and cradles him for 2. Ibushi now hits bom a ye and both men are down. The crowd tries to rally Tanahashi, he fights out of a powerbomb, and slaps Ibushi. Ibushi now fucks up with sick palm strikes and kicks. Omega pleads with Ibushi to finish Tanahashi, but Tanahashi fires up and they trade, Tanahashi is fired the fuck up and walking through strikes and they keep trading. My God! Ibushi is rocked, but kills Tanahashi with a huge lariat! The crowd is insane here as both men are down. They come face to face, and trade strikes from their knees. They keep throwing, neither man wants to stop and Tanahashi fires up to his feet and they are just throwing bombs. Tanahashi keeps digging deep, and starts firing away and Ibushi looks afraid and has no answer. Sling blade by Tanahashi gets a near fall. Tanahashi hits the straight jacket German foe a near fall. Tanahashi up top and high fly flow eats knees. BOM A YE by Ibushi to the back of Tanahashi’s head! The double-kneed standing moonsault follows from Ibushi. Ibushi now lawn darts Tanahashi to the buckles and thecae is down and in pain. Ibushi follows with kicks, and now looks for the German from the apron, Tanahashi fights, but Ibushi hits it! The last ride connects and that gets an AMAZING near fall, the ace is alive! Ibushi sets for kamigoye, Tanahashi counters out but Ibushi hits the straight jacket German for 2, but hangs onto the arms and Tanahashi counters kamigoye into twist and shout, he hangs on and hits another, and looks for a third, Ibushi escapes, and lays in strikes, but Tanahashi hits the dragon suplex for another near fall! Tanahashi up top and the high fly flow connects and he heads back up and hits the high cross, and follows with another high fly flow and the ace rides again! Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Kota Ibushi @ 32:05 via pin [*****] Just when I think I have seen something great and something special, something new comes along and absolutely blows it away. We all know that Ibushi is a special performer, and when he’s on there are few better, but at age 41, Hiroshi Tanahashi, looked at as the beaten down and fading ace comes along and shows us why he is an all time great. Not only is he the man that helped turn NJPW business around and start their amazing rise, but he still delivers in the big time matches, and why many have started to double him, we should all stop until he starts shitting the bed and gives us a reason to believe he’s fading and his skills are diminishing. As for the match, this was absolutely unreal and up there not only as the match of the tournament, the match of the year, and possibly the best G1 final ever, but it was quite possibly one of the very best professional wrestling matches I have ever seen. From the pacing, the way they captivated the crowd, Ibushi flipping the switch into violence to answer Tanahshi’s challenge, to the amazing babyface fire of Tanahashi, it was simply amazing, and they had me at the edge of my seat for the entire match. The crowd was locked in, the commentary was amazing, and it was a perfect storm and I don’t use that term lightly. As for emotional investment, they also had me with that the entire time, as we watched Ibushi trying to prove himself when it mattered as Tanahashi previously challenged him to, to the old gunslinger battling through everything his young, stronger, and faster challenger had to give. But for everything Ibushi had to give, Tanahashi had an answer, survived, dug deep and finally overcame to ride as the ace one more time. In the end, Ibushi’s arms were long enough to box with God, just not powerful enough to beat him. This was absolutely phenomenal and is essential viewing if you love wrestling. This was beautiful, this was art, this was professional wrestling at its very best.

– Shibata raises Tanahashi on his shoulders as they celebrate.

– Post match, a disappointed Ibushi leaves the ring in tears.

– Tanahashi gives a speech, saying he survived and won the G1 again, and tears it up with an air guitar solo. He proclaims that the ace is back as confetti falls.

– An interesting note…

Night One Review
Night Two Review
Night Three Review
Csonka’s NJPW G1 28 Undercard Thoughts (Days 1-3)
Night Four Review
Night Five Review
Night Six Review
Night Seven Review
Csonka: Early Title Match Implications From The NJPW G1 28
Csonka’s NJPW G1 28 Undercard Thoughts (Days 4-7)
Night Eight Review
Night Nine Review
Night Ten Review
Csonka’s NJPW G1 28 Undercard Thoughts (Days 8-10)
Night Eleven Review
Night Twelve Review
Night Thirteen Review
Csonka’s NJPW G1 28 Undercard Thoughts (Days 11-13)
Night Fourteen Review
Night Fifteen Review
Night Sixteen Review
Csonka’s NJPW G1 28 Undercard Thoughts (Days 14-16)
Night Seventeen Review
Night Eighteen Review

– End Scene.

– Thanks for reading.

 photo fe36ffd0-0da4-4e3b-a2d3-b026b341dd87_zps41ef5d61.jpg
“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Good
The 411
While the show got off to a rough start, I found the NJPW G1 28 Finals to be a good show, with some solid angle advancement on the undercard, a title change, some potential title matches set and an all-time classic G1 finals main event.