NJPW G1 Climax Night 18: Tetsuya Naito Breathes with Jay White's Switchblade
Every single B-Block fighter came into Night 18 exhausted and willing to push themselves to the very brink of their abilities to craft a G1 Final of their own. You and I, readers, have almost seen this tournament through to its blazing end, and as our time nears its end, we pull out our calculators and chase the energy of this penultimate event! Four men stood ready to take the B-Block: The Death Rider Jon Moxley (fka Dean Ambrose), Destino Tetsuya Naito, Hirooki Goto, and the Switchblade Jay White were tied for first with 10 points each.
The final quick 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 18 was the final 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
"Shooter" Umino and Narita have a standing grudge, but tonight they fought together to take on the other two young lions preparing for an excursion. Umino's quick thinking kept Tsuji away from Uemuram and Narita locked Uemura into a Boston crab hold that tortured him into submission. These four trainees have bright futures, but I stand by my assertions that Narita and Umino came out of the G1 looking like unpolished gems.
Results: Ren Narita and Shota Umino def. Yuya Uemura and Yota Tsuji via submission
Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL, SANADA, and BUSHI) vs. Bullet Club (Chase Owens, Yujiro Tanahashi, and Bad Luck Fale)
Takahashi and PIETER, the Tokyo Pimps, came to the ring with Owens. As tight as Bullet Club are, Los Ingobernables de Japon were a trio ready to destroy even in the face of their exhaustion.
None of these men will be advancing to the G1 Climax Finals tomorrow night, but these last three exhibition matches weren't just fun plot advancement. Their performances tonight might end up having a tie-breaking effect on the 4 tied semi-finalists in B-block.
Owens, Takahashi, and Fale traded placed beating up BUSHI and SANADA both inside and outside of the ring. The majority of the match involved Owens, a great wrestler who does most of the hard work for Bullet Club, and EVIL, whose offense has been strong this tournament, ruining each other, but once SANADA had control, Owens got cocky. SANADA pushed him into a paradise lock beside Takahashi to absorb a dropkick.
EVIL and BUSHI went for the Tokyo Pimp, but BUSHI's tenacity didn't bring him victory. He took the pin from Takahashi.
Results: Bullet Club (Chase Owens, Yujiro Tanahashi, and Bad Luck Fale) def. Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL, SANADA, and BUSHI) via pinfall