NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 9: Okada and KENTA meet in hard-hitting Aichi main event

TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 20: Kazuchika Okada looks on during the New Japan Pro-Wrestling G1 Climax 29 at Korakuen Hall on July 20, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 20: Kazuchika Okada looks on during the New Japan Pro-Wrestling G1 Climax 29 at Korakuen Hall on July 20, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images) /

Night 9 of the NJPW G1 Climax 29 tournament kicked off its weekend at Aichi Prefectural Gym in Aichi and featured the next round of A-Block matches, including IWGP Heavyweight champion and hometown boy Kazuchika Okada taking on KENTA in a stiff main event.

Results roundup:

  • Minoru Suzuki, Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru def. Jeff Cobb, Ren Narita and Yota Tsuji
  • Jay White (w/ Gedo), Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi (w/ Pieter) def. Juice Robinson, Tomaki Honma & Toa Henare
  • Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano def. Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI
  • Tetsuya Naito and Shingo Takagi def. Jon Moxley and Shota Umino
  • A Block: Kota Ibushi (4) def. Lance Archer (4)
  • A Block: Will Ospreay (4) def. Bad Luck Fale (2) (w/ Jado & Chase Owens) via disqualification
  • A Block: EVIL (6) def. Zack Sabre Jr. (2)
  • A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi (6) def. SANADA (2)
  • A Block: Kazuchika Okada (10) def. KENTA (8)

Minoru Suzuki, Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru def. Jeff Cobb, Ren Narita and Yota Tsuji

Suzuki-gun jumped their opponents before the bell. Taichi used a fan’s umbrella on Jeff Cobb when the match spilled to the floor, then grabbed Milano Collection A.T. by his shirt, who was standing in front of him at the announce table. Suzuki threw a guardrail at Tsuji. The crowd got most into the match when Cobb made a comeback after a hard right hook on Taichi.

Yota Tsuji came into the ring house-of-fire style, then he and fellow Young Lion Ren Narita worked over Kanemaru until Suzuki came to the ring; from here they double-teamed Tsuji until the pin, which saw Suzuki hold Tsuji in place for Kanemaru to plant Tsuji head-first with his Deep Impact diving DDT.

Taichi patted Cobb on the stomach after the match and offered a handshake, which actually wasn’t a swerve, and the two shook hands. These two will have a match at the same venue in the B Block.

Jay White (w/ Gedo), Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi (w/ Pieter) def. Juice Robinson, Tomaki Honma & Toa Henare

This was mainly a vehicle for White vs. Robinson on Sunday. They didn’t face off until midway through the match, which is when the crowd and the match itself really began to pick up. Juice said “Hi Pieter!” as he beat on White, which I enjoyed but the crowd seemed didn’t seem to get it.

Honma looked fine but is so slow these days, which is sometimes worrisome considering the context. Henare and Owens were good together here. Henare held Owens in a deadlift suplex hold for a few moments until its full execution, and the Japanese announce team commented on his Henare’s amazing power. Owens threw the referee into Henare at one point towards the end of this, which gave Owens an opening to finish Henare off with a package piledriver.

Owens has picked up quite a few wins in the tag matches he’s been in this summer. Jay White and Gedo bullied Rocky Romero at the English announce table after the match.

Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano def. Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI

CHAOS vs. CHAOS here. Yano and Goto kicked things off as they’ll fight Sunday in the same venue. To show how much Goto meant to him, Yano didn’t pull the ring post pad off until later than usual into the match.

Ishii and Goto had a great exchange. I’ve noticed that YOSHI-HASHI’s eyebrows are plucked so high that he looks to be in perpetual state of wonder and/or shock. He actually got the better of a chop exchange between himself and Ishii until the latter tagged back out to Yano, who finally ripped the pad off one of the neutral corner posts.

And of course it was YOSHI-HASHI who ultimately ate that spot, and later the pin. Yano used a school boy roll-up to pick up the victory for his team today. He and Goto will wrestle on Sunday in the B Block.

Tetsuya Naito and Shingo Takagi def. Jon Moxley and Shota Umino

Moxley and “Shooter“ entered through the crowd. Naito walked in slow-motion to the ring as Moxley waited for him on the ropes. He insisted that Moxley bend the middle rope open for him to enter through. Moxley did not oblige.

Naito’s strategy was to pretend like he didn’t notice anything Moxley was saying as Mox continuously called Naito out ahead of their match the next day. Takagi did some “hey man, mellow out” gestures. Moxley is so good at selling the match as a fight instead of a sportsman-like match and not in an unrealistic way but in a way that makes you want to see what will happen next.

Umino and Takagi were in first. These two actually had an excellent short bout this winter and were great together tonight. Umino’s left arm was taped up from his shoulder to pretty much his wrist. Takagi worked that arm over until Moxley and Naito finally were in the ring together.

Mox was itching to get into the match and couldn’t contain himself after Naito spit at him on the apron, so Moxley threw referee Marty Asami out of the way and the two went at it, first in the ring and then on the outside. Naito really excels in this wild brawling style, like the way he wrestled in his matches with Chris Jericho last year.

Takagi and Umino had a few more nice exchanges, but this was all the Mox vs. Naito show. Naito spit in Mox’s face again, then gave him a crotch chop (!) and dropkicked his knee. The match wrapped after Takagi decapitated Umino with a Pumping Bomber lariat for the win.

Mox went after Naito with a chair after the match but Naito rolled out of the way and did the Tranquilo pose. Naito shot one more wad of spit at Moxley before heading to the back. They then zoomed in on Moxley taking deep breaths and counting to three to ease his anger, which was both hilarious and character-appropriate. I anticipate something special between these two on Sunday.

A Block: Kota Ibushi (4) def. Lance Archer (4)

This was short but great. There was a big “I-bu-shi” call at the top of this match. Archer wouldn’t go down for any of Ibushi’s kicks or dropkicks, and when he went to power bomb Ibushi to the floor Ibushi reversed it with a Frankensteiner. Ibushi went for the Golden Triangle moonsault to the floor but Archer tripped him before he jumped. Archer beat on Ibushi on the floor for a few minutes until the action moved back to the ring. This wasn’t even five minutes into the match.

Archer blasted Ibushi with a wristlock-to-lariat (but not a Rainmaker). People in Aichi loved Ibushi and it sounded like tons of women, in particular, were screaming his name. Archer teased a pounce but Ibushi countered with a flying double stomp which I don’t think we’ve ever seen before. He slipped on a second-rope moonsault but saved it at the last second.

Ibushi did a sit-out Last Ride on Archer for two. It’s easy to forget how strong this guy is. Archer later countered with a kinda-sorta slingshot somersault senton, then a chokeslam where Ibushi could have touched the ceiling inside the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.

Later, when Ibushi went for Kamigoe, Archer countered with a big knee strike of his own which led to a very close two-count. Archer missed a top rope moonsault after this. What is happening? The crowd stayed hot as Ibushi landed a Boma-ye and finally Kamigoe, which at first Archer no-sold, or half-sold, not going down all the way until another one which saw Ibushi grab the pin.

A Block: Will Ospreay (4) def. Bad Luck Fale (2) (w/ Jado & Chase Owens) via disqualification

This was an interesting match but it isn’t for everyone, mainly because of all the schmozziness involved. Half of this (if not more) was Bullet Club interference spots and ref bumps. Chase Owens grabbed Will Ospreay by the ankle before he stepped into the ring, which gave Bad Luck Fale a chance to ambush Ospreay before the bell.

Owens and Jado beat on Ospreay while Fale distracted the ref after the match started, but Ospreay was able to make it back into the ring and land Pip Pip, Cheerio. The Bullet Club wouldn’t let up, though, and Jado was able to crack Ospreay in the back with a kendo stick while Fale once again distracted Marty Asami.

Owens tried ripping the athletic tape from Ospreay’s shoulder, then Fale put Ospreay into a camel clutch until Ospreay literally bit his way out of it. Later, Ospreay laid in a ton of elbows with Fale in the corner. When Ospreay went for the Os-Cutter, Fale shoed Asami into the ropes and knocked Ospreay to the floor. Owens went to do some kind of double-underhook move on Ospreay but he escaped, then ducked a kendo shot from Jado and made it back into the ring, only to be crushed with an avalanche in the corner from Fale.

Fale used a Grenade on Ospreay but referee Asami was still selling on the floor. Owens rolled him back in but only scored a two-count. Ospreay then slipped out of a Bad Luck Fall and went for a Stormbreaker but couldn’t lift Fale so he let go and sold his back. The crowd let out a loud “Ooohhh” for this.

Next was a Hidden Blade and then an Os-Cutter for thr — nope, Owens again with the interference. He dragged Asami by his ankles to the floor to break the count. Jado went to whack Ospreay with the kendo stick again but Ospreay knocked over Jado and grabbed it from him until Owens, again, interfered. He hit Ospreay in the back the kendo stick when Ospreay was mid-air for an Os-Cutter, then spiked him with a package piledriver.

From here, Fale went for the cover and most everyone assumed he’d win. Red Shoes came out to take over for Marty Asami and counted to two and then stopped, flipped Fale the double-birds, cursed at him in English and finally called for a disqualification. Fale chased Red Shoes out of the ring after this.

A Block: EVIL (6) def. Zack Sabre Jr. (2)

This was fantastic. These two have a unique, natural chemistry together. EVIL’s mat work is quite good and when in the ring with Zack Sabre he blends it into the match without it feeling forced or like he is altering is style for Zack, or vice-versa. They make basic holds like side headlocks and standing armbars look more interesting and exciting than they actually are, and both wrestlers are always able to thread moves together organically with logic.

They are two guys who have wrestled a lot and for a long time and know what they’re doing, and it shines through; they understand how to make “simple” or less flashy wrestling look dramatic, not unlike Kazuchika Okada or Hiroshi Tanahashi.

When EVIL went to slap on a Scorpion Deathlock, Sabre reversed it and used his own version of the move instead until EVIL grabbed the ropes for a break. They went to the floor next and EVIL used the apron to assist him in doing a Magic Killer onto the floor.

There was one cool spot where EVIL went to kick Zack in the stomach after he caught his leg and passed it to Red Shoes, but Sabre somehow caught EVIL’s kick and reversed it into a heel hook. The two actually fought for heel control in the 50/50 position until EVIL finally rolled Sabre over into the Scorpion Death Lock, and Sabre grabbed the ropes.

They traded roll-up attempts until ZSJ very nearly scored the pin with a European Clutch. The crowd was peaking at around this point. Sabre landed a hard Penalty Kick for two. He tried locking in an octopus hold but reversed it and EVIL landed Darkness Falls and Milano Collection A.T. screamed “THIS IS POWER!” in English. After one last wild back-and-forth EVIL hit Everything is Evil for the win. Again: really, really good stuff.

A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi (6) def. SANADA (2)

This had a main-event feel even though it was technically the semi-main. The crowd was hot for this and seemingly split down the middle in support of either Tanahashi or SANADA.

They started slow and exchanged holds until they came to a brief stalemate. Tanahashi used this as a chance to work up the crowd again because when it’s that easy, why not? The two went to kick each other at the same time but caught each other’s foot, so they began to argue about who was going to put the other’s foot down first. SANADA did this in one of his recent ROH matches against the Kingdom. Red Shoes began to count so they were forced to let go but that sneaky SANADA tripped Tanahashi and went to apply the Paradise Lock but he couldn’t swing it until the second try, which he followed up with a low dropkick to Tana’s exposed rear.

The two later traded Dragon Screw leg-whips. SANADA’s was apparently more effective, because moments later he landed a beautiful springboard missile dropkick and then a pescado to the floor. Later he did a variation of the assisted Magic Killer into the ring that EVIL did to Zack Sabre Jr. in the match before, just with Tana’s legs on draped over the ropes instead of on the apron.

Tana returned the offense with his signature spots until he went for the High Fly Flow, which he missed. SANADA went for a moonsault and he missed, too. The crowd began to peak here and they still sounded to be split. SANADA locked in the Skull End (Dragon Sleeper) but Tana eventually reversed it into a pin, then a Dragon Sleeper attempt of his own, which SANADA re-reversed.

Tana later landed a Dragon Suplex for a very close two-count from here, and finally put SANADA away with a High Fly Attack followed by a High Fly Flow for the win; Tanahashi’s G1 comeback continues. This was an excellent match with a red-hot Aichi crowd.

A Block: Kazuchika Okada (10) def. KENTA (8)

Okada had a long entrance and then a wave of “O-ka-da” calls. KENTA waited in the corner for the chants to quiet down and circled Okada without taking his eyes off of him.

The build from the start was gradual and serious. First, Okada wrestled KENTA to the ropes to force a clean break, and then they mirrored the spot, though this time KENTA feigned a clean break but slapped him in the face. Okada is great at building on the mood of his opponents in the moment.

This led to a stiff exchange of elbows between the two. KENTA then landed some really hard kicks and anyone saying he’s “not the same KENTA” should pay close attention to his last few matches. One of his low kicks to Okada’s back on the floor sounded like he was kicking an actual sandbag.

Back in the ring, KENTA continued to work Okada down with hard kicks and a mean neck crank. After another hard kick, KENTA looked to the crowd and did the Rainmaker pose which elicited lots of boos.

Okada made a short comeback but KENTA shot that down quickly. He did a cool swinging stungun from the second rope. They next went into an even harder exchange of strikes and neither would back down to the other.

The bout fell to the floor again and the sequence finished with KENTA flying from the apron so that he could double-stomp Okada, who was draped over the guardrail. Back in the ring, KENTA used the Shibata corner dropkick. The calls for Okada were really loud here.

Okada made another comeback with a shotgun dropkick that sent KENTA flying into the corner. When he went for a flying elbow drop, KENTA caught him and put him in his Game Over submission (omoplata with facelock) but Okada made it to the ropes, then kicked out of a busaiku knee and diving double stomp for two respective near-falls.

When Okada went for a tombstone piledriver, KENTA escaped and somehow muscled into a Go-to-Sleep attempt on the larger Okada, who then blocked KENTA’s knee, spun KENTA around and dropkicked him in the back, and then in the face from the ropes. Finally, Okada was able to spike KENTA with the tombstone.

KENTA reversed a Rainmaker into a spiral lariat for two. At the 25-minute call the two were on their knees exchanging more elbows. KENTA got the better of it and started slapping Okada hard in the head and ear until Okada landed another big dropkick and a stiff Rainmaker that you could feel through the screen. Okada wins.

He strapped his belt around his waist after the match and walked to KENTA and offered his hand, which KENTA accepted. Another excellent match to close out Saturday’s action and possibly KENTA’s best match of the entire tournament so far. This was his first defeat.

Check back on Monday for more G1 29 coverage from Aichi.

Current G1 Standings

A Block

Kazuchika Okada 10



Hiroshi Tanahashi 6

Lance Archer 4

Kota Ibushi 4

Will Ospreay 4


Bad Luck Fale 2

Zack Sabre Jr. 2

B Block

Jon Moxley 8

Juice Robinson 6

Tomohiro Ishii 4

Shingo Takagi 4

Toru Yano 4

Taichi 4

Tetsuya Naito 4

Hirooki Goto 2

Jeff Cobb 2

Jay White 2

Next. NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 8: Naito vs. Ishii. dark