Many thanks once again to Robert McCauley for the following report on the G1 Climax 27 Final show:
New Japan Pro-Wrestling wrapped up its 27th G1 Climax in memorable fashion. We had new champions, surprise returns, future title matches cemented and an absolute classic main event. Here we go.
Suzuki-Gun (Taka Michinoku, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Taichi & El Desperado) def. Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask IV, KUSHIDA & Hirai Kawato @ 6:54
El Desperado came to the ring with the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship that he stole from KUSHIDA on the previous night. The New Japan team came out hot. Tiger hit a couple of Tiger Drivers and the team assisted Kawato to a few near fall via a great sunset flip and top rope dropkick. Ultimately this was Kawato’s battle to lose. Kanemaru gets the pin and just as Desperado was looking to leave with KUSHIDA’s belt once again, he was chased down and we had a brawl with both teams scattered across the arena. This will set up a match between the two for the junior title sometime down the line.
Guerillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) def. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi @ 7:40
The crowd was insanely hot for Nagata’s entrance. This was Nakanishi’s return after taking a bit of time off on the tour. The veteran team had the crowd behind them as they looked strong against G.O.D. Tama Tonga was very entertaining, mocking Nagata and being a goof with Nakanishi. They disrespect the veterans but after getting the win, both brothers bows to the legends in a sign of respect.
Chaos (Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI) def. Togi Makabe & David Finlay @ 6:33
They kept this one simple and to the point. Goto and Makabe stiffed each other, Y-H and Finlay counter-wrestled with smooth transitions. Y-H hit Karma on Finlay for the win. Finlay is said to be hoping to join next year’s G1.
Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Juice Robinson def. Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens) @ 7:40
Tencozy receive a great reaction from the crowd. Chase Owens has been very solid on the tour, he really stands out in a good way when in these tag matches. Juice has officially won the crowd over sufficiently. He pulls off another win here, keeping his streak alive and carrying so much momentum out of the tournament. His father/son relationship with Kojima was on full display as they embrace post-match.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match
Ryusuke Taguchi & Ricochet def. Bullet Club (The Young Bucks) (c) @ 15:13
This one had all the fixings of a great junior heavyweight match. Incredibly crisp, fun comedy spots, high-flying, good selling, awesome story and a great payoff. The story was for Ricochet to overcome his knee injury, which the Bucks took advantage of after a dive. They isolated him from his corner, resulting in big match Taguchi making an appearance. When he wants to turn it on, Taguchi can prove his worth inside the ring. He hit springboards and dives to keep Ricochet alive the best he could. The fighting spirit of Ricochet was on full display, needing to power through multiple Sharpshooters before he and Taguchi could make their comeback and get the win off a Shooting Star Press. Post-match the new champions celebrate with a dance in the ring. Really fun moment and a great team to have the titles.
Just as intermission was about to be announced, Katsuyori Shibata’s music hits and the arena comes unglued. We hadn’t seen Shibata since his brutal match with Okada in April. He comes to the ring, fights back tears and announces to the audience that he’s still alive. Tears spill from everyone’s eyes and he walks off to the back. Another great moment of the show.
After intermission and just before the next match, a video of a knife appears on the screen.
IWGP Tag Team Championship Match
War Machine (c) def. Bullet Club (Cody & Hangman Page) @ 11:15
After taking a few minutes to get settled in, the crowd began getting behind Hanson’s power moves. Each of these big men were really impressive here. Very stiff/physical fight with great strikes from Rowe and freakish agility from both Hanson and Page. War Machine retain their titles here and are confronted by G.O.D. who want a rematch for the titles. Then out come the returning Killer Elite Squad, taking out both teams and stating that they want a shot for the titles. A cool return and an explanation for the video package displayed before the match.
Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr. & Takashi Iizuka) def. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi & Michael Elgin @ 13:42
Ibushi got the hot start but the match broke down quickly as Suzuki-Gun each took a man outside the ring and brawled. Ibushi was choked by Iizuka, Elgin was hit with chairs by Suzuki and Tanahashi was thrown into the barricade by Sabre. Elgin took out the stable’s junior goons but their numbers game became too much. Sabre Jr. again submitted Tanahashi just like their tournament match on day one. Post-match the Suzuki-Gun team didn’t hold up. Suzuki continued to attack Elgin, setting up their Openweight tile match later on in the year and Sabre Jr. held up the IC title over Tanahashi’s prone body. Two title matches set up in very intense ways.
Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, SANADA, Hiromu Takahashi) def. Chaos (Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & Gedo) @ 10:32
Okada and EVIL started this one-off and the LIJ crew were quick to beat down Okada, going after the injured neck. Team Chaos tried to fight back but with Okada all but on empty, their attempt was futile. Ishii tried with a big comeback but the numbers game proved to be too much. Hiromu submitted Gedo with a Triangle Choke and in the post-match EVIL dumped Okada on his head with a Darkness Falls onto a pile of chairs. The two will likely have a match for the Heavyweight Championship in the coming months.
G1 Climax Finals Match
Tetsuya Naito def. Kenny Omega @ 36:35
Boy, did this match get absolutely ugly. They started off with Naito doing his best to get under Omega’s skin. The tactic was successful as Omega opened himself up too much, causing Naito to take advantage. The story of the match was both guys going after the other’s neck. They botched and were sloppy in a couple of places which added a real sense of hatred and danger. Naito drops Onega off a table and onto his head rather than through the table. Later on, Naito slips and bashes his head into the ring post. Both spots weren’t planned but added a level of intensity that pushed the match to another level. They were very aggressively attacking the neck. Omega whipped Naito hard into the turnbuckles and dropped him face first onto a turnbuckle. Absolutely insane. Meanwhile, Naito countered a top rope powerbomb into a frankensteiner and immediately delivered a poison rana from the top. Two direct blows to Omega’s neck in less than a minute. Absolutely insane.
In addition to all the insanity I’ve already listed, they both pulled out finishing moves from their past. Omega with Croyt’s Wrath (which he did the night before against Okada) and the Dr. Wily Bomb. Naito attempted his Stardust Press, which won him the G1 in 2013, but was unsuccessful. These two threw every move they had at each other. After a total of four Destinos, Tetsuya Naito got the pin on Omega and became the G1 Climax 27 winner. Absolutely insane match. The ugliness of it all really helped bring this to a nearly unprecedented level. Post-match Naito teases throwing the trophy into the crowd which received an audible gasp. Masahiro Chono enters the ring to hand the flag to Naito and give him the fist bump. LIJ comes out in support of their ace and Naito thanks the fans for supporting him and his faction.
The final day of the G1 Climax 27 was filled with not only great wrestling, but great moments as well. There were heartwarming moments of aged veterans receiving respect from those who trained them, great surprise returns and an absolute classic wrestling match to close out the show. If you’re a fan of New Japan Pro-Wrestling there isn’t anything here that you won’t enjoy.
Congratulations to Tetsuya Naito
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