wrestling / TV Reports

Hamilton’s New Japan G1 Climax 33 – Night Thirteen (Block A Finales) 08.05.2023 Review

August 5, 2023 | Posted by Ian Hamilton
NJPW G1 Climax 33 - Night Thirteen - Shota Umino vs. Hikuleo Image Credit: NJPW
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Hamilton’s New Japan G1 Climax 33 – Night Thirteen (Block A Finales) 08.05.2023 Review  

Quick Results
Great O-Khan & Jeff Cobb submitted DOUKI & Taichi in 6:55
YOH, Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI pinned Gedo, KENTA & David Finlay in 14:14
EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi & SHO pinned BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito & Shingo Takagi in 8:51
HENARE & Will Ospreay pinned Togi Makabe & El Phantasmo in 8:05
Tomohiro Ishii, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kazuchika Okada pinned Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa in 12:11
G1 Climax 33 – Block A: Yota Tsuji pinned Gabe Kidd in 14:47 (****)
G1 Climax 33 – Block A: Ren Narita pinned Kaito Kiyomiya in 15:17 (***¾)
G1 Climax 33 – Block A: SANADA pinned Chase Owens in 9:13 (**½)
G1 Climax 33 – Block A: Hikuleo pinned Shota Umino in 17:21 (***½)

— 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… and check out the GoFundMe that’s still open for Larry’s family

We’re coming from the Edion Arena in Osaka for the first of two nights… and aside from the results above, we’re skipping past the undercard. Chris Charlton’s on English commentary alongside the ever-present Kevin Kelly.

G1 Climax 33 – Block A: Gabe Kidd vs. Yota Tsuji
We’ve got some real history here, what with both guys having been Young Lions together. This is also the first G1 match that has had history going through Wrestle Carnival of all places… out of twenty (20 prior singles meetings, Tsuji has won 10, Kidd has won 9, and we’ve had a 15-minute time limit draw. Most recently, Kidd beat Tsuji at Rev Pro’s monthly show at the 229 back in February, but a repeat of that would lead to a draw as Kidd needed 20:42 that night.

Kidd does his usual thing and attacks Tsuji from behind… except that’s not Yota Tsuji. Yota’s got a lookalike (apparently his twin brother, called Shota Tsuji, and is a stuntman – I shit you not) to take his spot – and the beating – and the real Yota Tsuji attacks Kidd from behind.

Kidd powders outside after the bell to avoid the Gene Blaster spear, but Tsuji just launches onto him with a tope, then hurled Kidd into the rails… only for Kidd to return fire with a Saito suplex on the floor. Shota Tsuji gets another kicking from Kidd, slamming him into Yota.

Back inside, Kidd retained the upper hand, chopping Yota into the corner before Tsuji returned the favours. A double-handed chop finally took Kidd down into the corner, ahead of a tiltawhirl backbreaker as sweary Gabe ran into Tsuji. We’re back to the trading of elbows, with Tsuji stopping to tie his hair back. It kinda worked too as we resumed clunking elbows, until Tsuji got caught with a throat thrust.

Tsuji tries to fight back, but he eats a Bull lariat for a one-count… then a brainbuster for a near-fall… a front suplex gets Tsuji back in it ahead of a gutwrench takedown… then a moonsault out of the corner. Tsuji keeps ahead with a stomp, before Kidd kicked away a spear in mid-air. OW.

The piledriver looks to follow from Kidd, but Tsuji just slaps his way free… they trade slaps with increasing pace, before a Tsuji headbutt and the Gene Blaster lariat gets the win. From start to finish, this was fantastic pro wrestling – from the (literal) stunt double, through to the strike-heavy finish. It’s a bright finish for Tsuji, but the tie-breakers mean this was a result all about pride, rather than getting through to the quarters. ****

G1 Climax 33 – Block A: Ren Narita vs. Kaito Kiyomiya
This is a first-time meeting. I know, you’re shocked!

The pair go to ground early as Narita looked to control proceedings… but instead stood back and insisted Kiyomiya stand up. They trade wristlocks, but Kiyomiya’s snap Dragon screws dumped Narita to the mat ahead of a Figure Four. That ends in the ropes after Narita blocked the hold… then resumed by knocking Kiyomiya into the ropes ahead of a Baba-ish neckbreaker for a two-count.

A dropkick to the knee stopped Narita in his tracks, as Kiyomiya focused on the left knee for a spell. A rear naked choke from Narita puts him back in control, at least until Kiyomiya backed them into the corner for a brief respite… which led to a dropkick moments later.

Kiyomiya got a near-fall from a bridging German suplex, only for Narita to dive back in with the choke… then with a front guillotine… and back into a Cobra twist as Kiyomiya tried to suplex his way free. The ropes eventually save Kiyomiya, who returned with a Dragon screw… then a missile dropkick to the right knee, before another Dragon screw to the left knee took us into the Figure Four…

Narita looked to get to the rope, but Kiyomiya drags him away… only for Ren to grab that bottom rope anyway. A Tiger suplex is blocked as Narita came back with a Cobra Twist attempt… it’s fought off as Kiyomiya tried to go back to a Dragon screw, eventually landing a rolling elbow. Narita’s back with an enziguiri, only to eat a ‘rana for a near-fall… then a Tiger suplex for another near-fall!

Kiyomiya keeps up with a modified Tiger driver – the half-nelson spin-out driver – but Narita kicks out as we crossed the 15-minute mark… before a Kanuki suplex countered a Shining Wizard attempt as Narita snatched victory from deep in the throat of defeat. Narita looked rough in this to start, but as we got closer to the finale this one picked up magnificently. ***¾

G1 Climax 33 – Block A: Chase Owens vs. SANADA
We’ve two prior meetings here, as this is the third year in a row they’ll have met in the G1. SANADA won both times, and both in under 13 minutes so…

Even Red Shoes Unno is trying not to laugh at Owens’ notion of getting a title shot as we start… SANADA breaks cleanly in the ropes, before the pair tried to cheapshot the other from a handshake. Owens trips up SANADA, but can’t do a Paradise Lock until the second try… rolling SANADA over.

Owens celebrates it, then broke the hold with a dropkick to the arse. Chase celebrated that like it was a win, but SANADA’s ready to attack as he took Owens onto the apron, and wrapped him around the bottom rope in another Paradise Lock. Breaking the hold, SANADA tries to add a plancha, but misses as SANADA gets thrown into the rails.

Owens pulls up the padding on the floor, but a package piledriver onto the exposed floor is blocked as Chase ends up hitting a DDT… then dived into the ring, only for SANADA to pop up at 19 to beat the count. A C-Trigger and a package piledriver looks to follow, but Owens counters out and took the long way around into a Skull End.

SANADA got to the ropes as the referee threatened a stoppage… Owens take off his knee brace and cracks SANADA with it after the referee was thrown aside. It’s good for a near-fall before SANADA ‘rana’d out of the package piledriver. SANADA’s had enough, like me, and hits back with a Shining Wizard, then the Dead Fall, and that’s it. A clean sweep for SANADA, who really shouldn’t have given as much in this match, but that’s an argument for another time – why not dominating lower-card guys hurts you as World champion. **½

G1 Climax 33 – Block A: Shota Umino vs. Hikuleo
Imagine picking THIS match at the start of the tournament as a potential block decider, huh? We’ve history here as well, with two matches in the space of three months in Rev Pro just before the world went to hell – both of them won by Shota. Winner goes through here, if we have a draw, it gets confusing, unless it’s a no-contest. My brain hurts.

We start with shoulder tackles as Shota declared “I’m strong”… then went for a dropkick to the knee before he was stuffed on a bodyslam attempt. Bodyslams from Hikuleo have Shota down, but he goes back to the knee before… another bodyslam’s stuffed as Hikuleo fell onto Shota.

A running uppercut knocks Hikuleo down, as again Shota tries a bodyslam… and eventually scored it. Shota heads up top for a missile dropkick, but Hikuleo’s quickly back with a Snake Eyes and a clothesline to put himself back in control… while a suplex underlined things for a two-count.

Hikuleo blisters Shota with a chop, but telegraphs the snap powerslam as Shota countered with a nice double stomp. A STF followed, dragging Hikuleo away from the ropes as he was made to work for that rope break. Shota goes for a walk as he set up a run-up for a Drive By dropkick on the apron… following with a slingshot DDT, only to get powerslammed as he set up for a Death Rider.

Fighting back, Shota ends up getting decked by right hands, but manages to avoid another powerslam attempt as Hikuleo then teased the Godsend. Umino slips out, returning with a bridging German suplex for a near-fall, before a big boot and a powerslam countered Shota’s attempt at Ignition. The Godsend looks to follow, but Shota counters into a DDT as he then took things up top for a superplex.

Umino’s knocked down… but returned with a rising uppercut as he again tries the superplex, this time landing it as we passed the quarter-hour mark. Hikuleo kicks out at two, then ate an Ignition for another near-fall. A clothesline from Hikuleo broke up a Death Rider attempt, leaving Shota in a heap though, before the Godsend was countered into a sunset flip that almost won it.

Shota status on him, rolling Hikuleo to the mat in a wonky place as he almost pinned himself… a snap powerslam from Hikuleo is next, before Shota again blocked the Godsend. It eventually lands, and that’s enough to put Hikuleo through to the quarter-finals. This got a little rough around the edges when they started to get panicked in the final moments, but on this night, Shota just didn’t have enough. ***½

Your standings…

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
Kazuchika Okada (5-1 / 10pts)
Will Ospreay (4-2 / 8pts)
Tanga Loa, El Phantasmo, Taichi (3-3 / 6pts)
KENTA, YOSHI-HASHI, Great O-Khan (2-4 / 4pts) eliminated

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

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:

SANADA vs. C Block, 2nd place
B Block, 1st place vs. D Block, 2nd place
C Block, 1st place vs. B Block, 2nd place
D Block, 1st place vs. Hikuleo

We’re back in Osaka tomorrow for the block B finals, with El Phantasmo vs. Will Ospreay in a “win and in” main event.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Block A’s finale came with its speedbumps - you know which match I’m looking at - but today’s quartet of matches had enough about them to be worth your while.