wrestling / TV Reports

Hamilton’s New Japan G1 Climax 33 – Night Fifteen (Block C Finals) 08.08.2023 Review

August 8, 2023 | Posted by Ian Hamilton
NJPW G1 Climax 33 - Night Fifteen - Shingo Takagi vs. EVIL Image Credit: NJPW
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Hamilton’s New Japan G1 Climax 33 – Night Fifteen (Block C Finals) 08.08.2023 Review  

Quick Results
Great O-Khan & Jeff Cobb pinned Ryohei Oiwa & Kaito Kiyomiya in 10:49
Gabe Kidd & Alex Coughlin pinned Tomoaki Honma & Toru Yano in 8:22
Ren Narita, Minoru Suzuki & El Desperado submitted Jado, Hikuleo & Shota Umino in 6:43
Shane Haste, Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita pinned Oskar Leube, Hirooki Goto & YOH in 10:18
Yota Tsuji, Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI pinned Togi Makabe, Master Wato & Hiroshi Tanahashi in 10:45
G1 Climax 33 – Block C: Tomohiro Ishii pinned Mikey Nicholls in 13:01 (***½)
G1 Climax 33 – Block C: Tama Tonga pinned HENARE in 14:30 (***½)
G1 Climax 33 – Block C: David Finlay pinned Eddie Kingston in 16:35 (***¼)
G1 Climax 33 – Block C: EVIL pinned Shingo Takagi in 17:40 (***¼)

— If you’re on Twitter/X/the bird app, give me a follow over on @IanWrestling. I’m also over on BlueSky, Instagram and Threads by that same name, and if you’ve put your chips in on Mastodon, catch me here. One of those has to be the winner, right? And I’ll be hopping around those until they fall off… In the meantime, check out the GoFundMe that’s still open for Larry’s family

The G1’s had a day off and we’re in Yokohama at the relatively-new Yokohama Budokan for today’s block C finals… Kevin Kelly and Chris Charlton are back on English commentary, as we slowly continue to fill-out the quarter-finals.

G1 Climax 33 – Block C: Mikey Nicholls vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Both guys are already out, so this is a “playing for pride” match, to borrow an end-of-season sports analogy.

We’re quickly outside as Nicholls was taken into the railings… but he rebounds with a clothesline before grounding Ishii back inside. Some face-hooking earns the ire of the ref, as things then descended into a brief chop battle before a fight over a suplex led to Nicholls getting dropped.

Chops from Ishii trapped Nicholls for some forearms as the referee needed to separate the pair… but Nicholls fires back up, and got charged back down. Nicholls gets busted open again as the pair exchanged forearms back-and-forth, leading to a big slap taking down Ishii. A DDT followed, planting Ishii into the mat for an eventual near-fall as Ishii looked to have taken some big damage from that head drop.

Nevertheless, Nicholls hauls him up for a stalling suplex for a near-fall, before Ishii’s back suplex bought him some time. Nicholls manages to catch Ishii, effortlessly scooping him up into a death valley bomb as I thought he was doing for a spinebuster… following up with a superplex for another near-fall.

Ishii avoids a diving uppercut as Nicholls ended up getting taken into the corner… Nicholls rebounds with a tornado DDT, then a second death valley bomb, before a sliding lariat again took Ishii to the edge of defeat. Out of nowhere, Ishii cuts off Nicholls with a German suplex as an exchange of lariats nearly gets Ishii the win…

An exchange of enziguiri left both men laying, but it’s Ishii who inched ahead with a sliding lariat, before Nicholls returned with a Master Blaster and a moonsault for another near-fall. Ishii escapes a Mikey Bomb, and finally clobbered him with a lariat, before the sheer drop brainbuster put an end to an entertaining slugfest. ***½

G1 Climax 33 – Block C: HENARE vs. Tama Tonga
Tie-breakers kind of kill Tama Tonga’s shot of making the play-offs, relying on him and Shingo Takagi winning… then Tama winning a decision match on top of that, but HENARE can slam the door firmly closed here with a win.

Armdrags from Tama subdue HENARE early on, as did a back body drop, before HENARE returned with a springboard enziguiri out of the corner. HENARE rips off part of the corner pad, exposing just the top buckle as he proceeded to sandwich Tama between the ropes for a running knee to the ribs.

HENARE focuses on the ribs from there, while a grounded cobra looked to stretch Tama out before the ropes forced the break. Tama’s back with a dropkick as HENARE came off the ropes, before Tama came back out of the corner with a clothesline following a reversed Irish whip.

Tama gets a two-count out of an Exploder, but things descend once more into an exchange of strikes, ending with Tama hitting the SRC. He eventually heads up top for a Supreme flow, but HENARE’s knee strike sends Tama flying to the floor. Back inside, HENARE took his time following up as PKs ran through Tama for a near-fall, while a Berzerker Bomb almost led to the win.

Out of nowhere, Tama struck back with the Veleno leaping DDT for a near-fall, following up with a Tongan Twist and a Supreme Flow for a near-fall. A pop-up Samoan drop gives Tama a rude landing, as HENARE added a knee strike that looked to set up for the Ultima… but instead a step-up knee into the corner proved to set up the submission hold.

Tama manages to hold on though, but hits a Gun Stun as HENARE looked to spin him out.. Leading to a delayed near-fall. A second Gun Stun’s blocked, then thrown aside as HENARE charged back in with a Rampage spear… before Tama slipped out of a Streets of Rage. Instead, Tama’s Superman punch connected, before his DSD (Jay Driller) planted HENARE into the mat for the win. ***½

G1 Climax 33 – Block C: Eddie Kingston vs. David Finlay
Whoever wins here is into the quarter-finals – but the prospect of a draw here and/or in the main event is already making my head hurt…

Opening with a tie-up, we break in the ropes… before a cheapshot from Finlay led Kingston to double-leg him as things spilled to the outside. Here come the guard rails as Finlay’s beaten around ringside, eventually cutting off Kingston with a suplex on the floor.

Kingston’s charged into the rails, then into the ring post as Finlay looked to get a foothold in the match. Back inside, Finlay’s chopped into the corner, but an Irish whip leaves Kingston laying, as did a pendulum backbreaker out of the corner. We’re back to chops as Finlay cuts off Kingston with a DDT, only for Kingston to fire back with a clothesline into the corner and some Kobashi-like chops.

Finlay floats out of a back suplex, but gets caught with it at the second attempt for a near-fall, before Finlay struck back with the uranage backbreaker. Pushing on, Finlay hits a second one for a near-fall… then shoved down Kingston off the top rope almost a la Okada. Heading outside, Finlay popped up Kingston into the ring post… but Kingston beats the 20-count, then found a way back in with a half-and-half suplex.

The Backfist to the Future connects for a near-fall almost out of desperation, before the pair jockeyed over a suplex… but another Backfist from Kingston leads to a Northern Lights Bomb. Finlay lands by the ropes though, and was able to put his foot on the bottom rope to save his skin once Kingston’d made the cover.

Coming back, Finlay’s able to haul up Kingston for Into Oblivion, but he too can’t make the cover as we crossed the 15-minute mark… The pair trade strikes as they looked to be running on fumes, but Finlay ducks the backfists and lands a spear after a bunch of rolling elbows. It’s not enough, so he pulls up Kingston for another Into Oblivion, and that’s enough to put Finlay into a quarter-final match against Will Ospreay. This was fine, but Finlay’s spells on top just didn’t connect with me – nor the crowd… but hey, how’s that for serendipity? David Finlay, the guy who championed a C block back in the day, wins C block! ***¼

G1 Climax 33 – Block C: EVIL vs. Shingo Takagi0
Everyone’s playing for second place – a win or a draw for EVIL puts him in, while a win for Shingo Takagi means we’ll have a follow-up play-off match straight after this one. A bonus main event?!

Of course, we’ve a jump start from EVIL, who choked Shingo down with a t-shirt before the bell… Shingo withstands and returned with a shoulder tackle, before a series of shots took EVIL into the corner. Things spill outside as EVIL tried to wipe out the timekeeper… but Shingo put on the brakes to save him, only for EVIL to make sure at the third attempt.

EVIL’s got some hair clippers – as he vowed to shave his head bald if he didn’t beat Shingo. EVIL makes a point of keeping Shingo on the outside, where Dick Togo interjects himself, but the ref knows the game and refused to count a pin after the interference. Shingo fired himself up… and got his eyes raked before he caught EVIL with the jab, elbow and DDT.

Following up, Shingo lands a back senton and a suplex for a two-count, while a noshigami and a sliding lariat seemed to provide the cue for the rest of the House of Torture to head out. Shingo tries to ignore it, but a Made in Japan is escaped as EVIL baited Shingo into a suddenly-exposed corner. Cue pantomime boos.

Cue even more of them when Shingo was sent outside so he could take a kicking, then throw Shingo back inside as a Darkness Scorpion was broken in the ropes. Darkness Falls is next, but Shingo kicks out at two, before Yujiro pops up on the apron to distract… but Dick Togo’s interference backfires as he’s used for a Magic Killer on EVIL.

EVIL escapes a Made in Japan, only to fall to it at the second attempt for a near-fall, before he countered an attempt at Everything is EVIL into a Last of the Dragon. The ref’s been pulled out though, as Dick Togo slid in to count the pin… Yujiro rings the bell in the cruellest of pranks (if only because this has to continue), as the House of Torture swarm Shingo.

Finally we’ve a save from Yota Tsuji and BUSHI, but they’re quickly dealt with as Dick Togo continued to choke Shingo. Yujiro’s Pimp cane and a seat-wrecking chair shot from SHO leaves Shingo prone for a Shock Arrow… as the referee got rolled in, only for Hiromu Takahashi to run out and pull the referee away again.

We’ve a parade of bullshit, but Shingo manages to pull away with a double clothesline as Tsuji hits an Orihara moonsault into the House of Torture on the floor. Back in the ring, a Pumping Bomber lands, as BUSHI rolled the referee into the ring as a Last of the Dragon… is thwarted! Shingo finds a way through with a headbutt as we hit the final three minutes… but again EVIL shoves aside the ref to hit a low blow… Everything is EVIL follows, and the dreams of a play-in are squandered as all the air seemed to evaporate from the Budokan.

EVIL finishes second by way of tie-breakers, and faces SANADA in Thursday’s quarter-finals. Yeah. They went the long way around bullshit boulevard to get to the destination of an extremely brave result to run with. ***¼

Post-match, EVIL threatens to shave Shingo bald, but BUSHI, Hiromu and Tsuji chase them away. Naito, I assume, wasn’t too bothered.

Block A Final
SANADA (7-0 / 14pts) A1 qualifier
Hikuleo (4-3 / 8pts) A2 qualifier
Yota Tsuji (3-3-1 / 7pts)
Kaito Kiyomiya, Ren Narita, Shota Umino (2-3-2 / 6pts)
Gabe Kidd (2-4-1 / 5pts)
Chase Owens (2-5 / 4pts)

Block B Final
Kazuchika Okada (6-1 / 12pts) B1 qualifier
Will Ospreay (5-2 / 10pts) B2 qualifier
Tanga Loa, KENTA, Great O-Khan, El Phantasmo, Taichi (3-4 / 6pts)
YOSHI-HASHI (2-5 / 4pts)

Block C Final
David Finlay (5-2 / 10pts) C1 qualifier
EVIL (5-2 / 10pts) C2 qualifier
Tama Tonga (4-2-1 / 9pts)
Eddie Kingston (4-3 / 8pts)
Shingo Takagi (3-2-1 / 7pts)
HENARE, Tomohiro Ishii, Mikey Nicholls (2-5 / 4pts)

Block D
Jeff Cobb, Tetsuya Naito, Zack Sabre Jr. (4-2 / 8pts)
Hirooki Goto, Hiroshi Tanahashi (3-3 / 6pts)
Alex Coughlin, Shane Haste, Toru Yano (2-4 / 4pts) eliminated

With block A now finalised, here’s how the quarter-finals are shaping up:

Kazuchika Okada vs. D Block, 2nd place
David Finlay vs. Will Ospreay
D Block, 1st place vs. Hikuleo

We’re back on Wednesday in Shizuoka for the block D finals – with Hiroshi Tanahashi and Tetsuya Naito on top – before a quick turnaround gives us the quarter-finals in Chiba on Thursday.

The final score: review Good
The 411
While the main event was certainly heightened by the drama around a possible play-in match, unfortunately the shenanigans will be yet another example that lapsed fans point to as to why they’re not giving New Japan the time of day.