NJPW G1 Climax Night 16: B-Block's Penultimate Matches for Moxley, Naito
Night 16 stood as the last night to perform a major upset and grab a chance at the G1 Climax Finals. Jon Moxley still had the lead going in, but he lost the last few matches. Naito had kept a steady pace of wins to emerge as a legitimate threat. Jay White's unsurprising methods led to a surprising number of points in the tournament so far. Would it all change tonight?
Only White, Goto, and Ishii had a chance to tie or surpass Moxley. Don't worry if the event was too hard to enjoy in your time zone. Read on, and allow me to tell you how it all went down!
The usual primer: G1 Climax is a yearly 19-night tournament held by NJPW (New Japan Pro Wrestling) to determine the most tenacious member of the roster. For the first time, all of the events will be available legally outside of Japan without a time delay via the NJPWWorld streaming service and with a delay on AXS TV.
There are two blocks with 10 fighters per block. Each fighter will have a match with every other fighter in their block, and they are awarded 2 points for a win, 1 for a draw, and none for a loss.
The highest scoring fighter from each block will face off at the Finale. Night 16 was and a B-Block night, opening as usual with 4 short feature tag matches featuring the A-Block competitors.
Let's get right to it!
Ren Narita and Shota Umino vs. Yuya Uemura and Yota Tsuji
The four dojo trainees, aka young lions, who have all had impressive showings during these tag exhibitions, started the show ready to tear each other apart. Narita grappled with Uemura first, showing a flowing style that contrasted well with his tag partner Shooter Umino.
Umino is shaping up to be a strong brawler, though he's often been a weak link for his tag matches. He and Narita ganged up on Uemura, and Narita made the first pinfall attempt. Uemura hit Narita with a dropkick and they tagged their partners in.
Tsuji, like Uemura, had a strong dropkick game, but Umino was able to land a powerbomb and suplex. The combo put Tsuji down for the count.
Results: Ren Narita and Shota Umino def. Yuya Uemura and Yota Tsuji via pinfall
Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL, SANADA, and BUSHI) vs. Bullet Club (Chase Owens, Yujiro Takahashi, and Bad Luck Fale)
These two tag teams clashed constantly during the tournament, whether in singles or tag. Watching them take this feud to the mat has been a good way to familiarize oneself with these popular factions.
Fale and SANADA opened the match, and Owens kept attacking from behind. Once Fale rolled SANADA out to put him over the blue barricade, he was ready to tag Takahashi in. Owens followed, and he asked one of the JP announcers how to do a very frightful hold. No matter how many times, Owens never got it right.
SANADA's rallying bought him space to tag in EVIL, whose pink and purple hair matches my own fashion choice! BUSHI's turn didn't put Owens down, but it did open him up to Bullet Club problems.
Owens slammed BUSHI down with a package piledriver to take the victory. Bullet Club is close to unstoppable with Owens on the team.
Results: Bullet Club (Chase Owens, Yujiro Takahashi, and Bad Luck Fale) def. Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL, SANADA, and BUSHI) via pinfall