NJPW G1 Climax Results – Day 1: Okada vs Jay White, Tanahashi vs Suzuki, Bullet Club Faces Firing Squad & More

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NJPW G1 Climax Results – Day 1
July 14, 2018
Ota City General Gym, Tokyo, Japan

Report by Mike Killam for ProWrestling.com

.Undercard

— Hirooki Goto & Jado def. Ren Narita & Toa Henare

— Tomohiro Ishii & Sho def. Toru Yano & Yoh

— Guerrillas of Destiny def. Juice Robinson & David Finlay

— Zack Sabre Jr. & Taka Michinoku def. Kota Ibushi & Yujiro Takahashi

— Tetsuya Naito & Sanada def. Kenny Omega & Chase Owens

A Block Tournament Matches

TOGI MAKABE vs. YOSHI-HASHI

YH’s right shoulder area is already taped up on night one, so look for that to be a factor over the next month. He threw Makabe into the guardrail early to control the first few minutes, hitting lots of chops and even a Brainbuster for two. He started throwing some elbow shots and punches, which just woke up Makabe as he fired back with punches of his own and a lariat to the back of the head. YH wouldn’t give up and traded forearm strikes until he collapsed, taking another lariat for good measure. They wound up fighting for position on the top turnbuckle, and it was actually YH who rolled into a big sit-out powerbomb for a close nearfall. The commentators were really playing up that he’s been struggling, and needs to find a new attitude if he wants to be relevant in this year’s G1. Just like that he started pounding away with clubbing blows to the back of the neck and a running double knee strike, floating right into the Butterfly Lock. Makabe got to the ropes to break the hold and YH kept his momentum going with a Headhunter from the second rope, but still couldn’t get the pin. Makabe surprise him with a release side suplex, but YH popped right back up and screamed in his face, unknowingly making the commentary team eat their own words. It wasn’t enough however, as the Unchained Gorilla caught him with another lariat, a spider suplex out of the corner, and King Kong knee drop to score the victory. // Winner: Togi Makabe

HANGMAN PAGE vs. BAD LUCK FALE

Hangman was announced “from Bullet Club Elite” so that appears to be the branding they’re going with when up against the Bullet Club Firing Squad. Page hit a suicide dive early but got thrown into the barricade over and over again, and was even tossed a few rows into the crowd. Fale bullied him around the arena and hung him in the ropes, pressing down with the full weight of his body (which is noticeably more in shape). Hangman tried to get something going with a few running lariats, and even managed to drop the big man to one knee, but made the mistake of going for a suplex and instead got squashed flat in the corner. Fale tried for the Grenade and Page rolled him up with a nice counter, nearly stealing the win out of nowhere as Tanga Loa made his way to ringside. Hangman saw it coming and did a moonsault off the top, all the way to the floor to take both guys out. Back in the ring he hit a slingshot lariat on his opponent, but couldn’t get three. Tama Tonga came out of nowhere and all three Firing Squad members beat the hell out of Page until the referee was forced to call for the bell. // Winner: Hangman Page

After the match Fale grabbed the thick bull rope that Hangman comes to the ring with and they threatened to hang him from the ropes, but Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi rushed out to make the save, chasing them off.

MICHAEL ELGIN vs. EVIL

Test of strength early on, won by the newly JACKED Michael Elgin, who ran right through a chop and delivered a big lariat. They fought to the outside and Elgin delivered hard knife-edge chops, but ran into the ring post and Evil took advantage and rammed his arm and shoulder into the barricade. He continued to work the arm, wrapping it in a steel chair and slamming it into the ring post, changing the pace of the bout entirely. The mid-match was all Evil, slowing things down with rest holds and submissions, targeting the arm and shoulder. Elgin eventually fired back with a series of suplexes and an impressive slingshot double stomp, and actually flew through the ropes with a suicide dive that sent both guys crashing into the barricade. He hit about a dozen lariats in the corner before trying for the Falcon Arrow, but his arm gave out. Evil dropped the arm over the ropes, then down across the metal barricade to do even more damage. He hit Darkness Falls, but only got two. Elgin countered the STO and this time hit the Falcon Arrow. The two traded hard forearm shots until they could barely stand, followed by a trade of even more brutal lariats. Elgin found his second wind and hoisted him up for a superplex off the top, hit the Buckle Bomb, the two traded about a dozen counters until Big Mike finally hit an Avalanche Elgin Bomb, into the Elgin Bomb to get the win. // Winner: Michael Elgin

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HIROSHI TANAHASHI vs. MINORU SUZUKI

Suzuki immediately fired off with a flurry of strikes so fast I could barely keep up with it, dropped Tanahashi and started mercilessly beating on his knee. He slapped on a simple leg lock and wrenched away on it, transitioning into all kinds of submissions as the Ace screamed out in pain. They approached the ten minute mark without Tanahashi hitting a single offensive move, and by the time he was finally able to hit a Dragon Screw and give himself some space, his knee was basically just hanging off his body like a limp noodle. Suzuki went back at him with a PK right back into the leg lock, just wrenching away on the hold and twisting it with, as Kevin Kelly called it, almost a “sadistic glee”. After a few more minutes of torture Tanahashi dug deep and hit another Dragon Screw, then hit an inverted Dragon Screw that nearly dislocated Minoru’s knee, as the mob boss screamed out in pain on the mat. The Slingblade connected, followed by a High Fly Flow to the back, and the High Fly Flow to the front. And… that’s it! // Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi

KAZUCHIKA OKADA vs. JAY WHITE

A much more relaxed Okada than we have seen in several years opened the bout, immediately wrestling White down to the mat and playing some mind games. They fought out to the floor and White got sent hard into the barricade, as the Rainmaker stalked him out in the arena and threw him off everything not nailed down. The referee eventually had to restore order and White took advantage slamming his opponent into the barricade and the side of the ring, back and forth, over and over again. Commentary pointed out that this did not feel like a match between two faction members, and they were very correct as Switchblade nearly broke the barricade door off sending Okada crashing through it. Jay was a merciless thug throughout the match, hitting neckbreakers on the apron, and even ripped a piece of the ring so he could get a better shot into the wood. He continued to work over the back and neck until Okada eventually caught him with a dropkick and went to work, throwing forearm shots and dropkicks. He came off the second rope but Jay caught him out and hit a trio of different suplexes leading into a corkscrew Brainbuster. He tried for the Blade Runner but Okada had it scouted and locked in the Cobra Clutch. White faded, fought back, faded again, but then reversed the hold into the Rings of Saturn. Okada got to the ropes and hit a neckbreaker over his knee, then a shotgun dropkick sending his opponent flying hard into the turnbuckle. After a body slam he went to the top rope, connecting with a diving elbow drop, and for the first time motioned for the Rainmaker. White ducked the finisher into an STO and immediately deadlifted him up, exploding into a bridging suplex out of nowhere for two-and-a-half. He fired off with about six consecutive lariats before suplexing Okada over the ropes, sending him hard down on the apron as he crashed into the barricade. The ref went to check on him, but White wouldn’t stop and hit a snap suplex sending Okada neck first between the floor and the barricade – the same move he nearly killed Jim Ross with last weekend in San Francisco. Okada was lifeless at this point and White went out to get a steel chair. The referee got shoved down, but Okada was playing possum and hit a dropkick out of nowhere! He hit a second dropkick and the Tombstone Piledriver, finally connected with the Rainmaker, but White’s forearm destroyed the ref in the process so there was nobody to make the call. In all the chaos, White kicked his opponent in the groin, chucked a steel chair into his face, connected with the Blade Runner and stole the victory. // Winner: Jay White

Following the match, Jay White cut a promo claiming that Okada had being “dying a slow death” ever since he lost the IWGP title at Dominion, and that somebody needed to “pull the plug” and put him out of his misery. He claimed that New Japan belonged to him now, that it was his CHAOS, and his G1 tournament, leaving the ring as Gedo and Rocky Romero both freaked out in their own ways at ringside.

UPDATED G1 STANDINGS – CLICK HERE