After a day’s break, G1 Climax 33 resumes with action from blocks A and B.
Yamagata City General Sports Centre plays host to today’s action in the 2023 G1 Climax tournament.
More Youngsters Making Waves, Veterans Getting the Job Done
G1 Climax 2023 Block A Match – Chase Owens (1-0) vs. Kaito Kiyomiya (1-0)
Opening up Day 3 of the tournament was Bullet Club’s Chase Owens taking on Kaito Kiyomiya. Owens started off the match showing how sporting he was with a handshake, before delivering the cheapshot to Kiyomiya that truly demonstrated his true colours. After being ‘out-dirtied’ by his stablemate, Gabe Kidd, on Saturday, Owens embraced a little more of the new Bullet Club mentality in this contest. Kiyomiya, by contrast, stuck with the purer wrestling style that won him the first contest.
As the match progressed, Kaito found himself grounded by the veteran, Owens. After Chase unsuccessfully lifted him up for the Package Piledriver, Kiyomiya found a second wind and culminated his attack with the Shining Wizard to remain undefeated in his debut G1.
G1 Climax 2023 Block B Match – KENTA (0-1) vs. Great-O-Khan (0-1)
The match began on the mat with Great-O-Khan smothering KENTA, forcing the DEFY Champion from the ring. After gingerly returning to the fight for a moment, both men took their brawl to ringside. KENTA took this opportunity to bounce O-Khan from various parts of the arena and further weaken his opponent with a steel chair.
The action returned to the ring, briefly, before Great-O-Khan took things back into the crowd to return the favours afforded him by KENTA. O-Khan locked a chair around the neck of KENTA and launched him into the wall and followed it up by choking him with a United Empire towel.
Back in the ring, Khan continued the assault, delivering clear and straight punches to the jaw. After reviving the referee, Great-O-Khan went for the kill but KENTA avoided the Claw and rolled up Khan, holding on to the ropes to secure himself a three count.
G1 Climax 2023 Block A Match – Gabe Kidd (0-1) vs. Hikuleo (0-1)
Looking to pick up that crucial first win in the tournament, Bullet Club’s violent Gabe Kidd went up against Hikuleo of the Guerrillas of Destiny. Kidd jumped Hikuleo on the ramp, just as he had done in the opening match of the tournament. The fight went into the crowd, once again, and Gabe opened up on Hikuleo with chairs. Kidd got a little too cocksure, though, and after setting up piles of chairs at ringside, Hikuleo countered the powerbomb attempt to drop Kidd onto the wreckage.
Hikuleo took Kidd to the ring and the match finally began. Kidd continued to try and wear down his larger opponent with his rabid style but Hikuleo was able to fight through the underhanded tactics, at least at first. Kidd knocked down the referee after he gave Gabe far more leniency that he should have, as he choked Hikuleo in the ropes. With the official recovering and after a low blow, Kidd hit his version of a Package Piledriver to pick up his first win in the G1.
G1 Climax 2023 Block B Match – Taichi (1-0) vs. Tanga Loa (1-0)
The, so far, undefeated pairing of Taichi and Tango Loa went one on one, next. Seemingly out of a mutual respect between these men, the pair engaged in a test of will to begin this contest, opening up their chests to allow the other to deliver their best chops across the pectoral region. The pair went back and forth regularly in this match with no clear favourite evident for the majority.
As the desperation of each man increased, the pair engaged in move and counter move to try and put the match away. After twice escaping the Reverse Piledriver attempt from Tanga Loa, Taichi was able to set Loa into the Taichi Clutch and pick up the win to go 2-0 in the tournament.
G1 Climax 2023 Block A Match – Ren Narita (0-0-1) vs. Yota Tsuji (0-1)
Preparing for a hard hitting contest, young debutantes Ren Narita and Yota Tsuji collided in the next match. The pair engaged on the mat to start things off in this one. After a period of feeling each other out, Narita took control of the match. After dropping Tsuji out of the ring, Narita sat back and waited for the countout but this gave Yuta the opportunity to recover and he took down Ren with a Suicide Dive to the outside. Bouncing Narita around the barricades, Tsuji returned his fellow Musketeer to the ring where the pair went back and forth again.
After 15 minutes of competition, Narita collected a very nearfall after a German Suplex and Tsuji gathered one of his own with a Suplex Bomb. The Stomp from Yota Tsuji was also not enough to keep Ren down so he set up for the Spear. With two minutes left, Narita Ren avoided the tackle and tried to grapple again. Tsuji wasn’t interested in this and instead took down his opponent with a vicious headbutt. Ascending to the turnbuckles with 30 seconds left, Ren locked in an Abdominal Stretch and set up for a top rope manoeuvre. However, time expired before he could deliver it. Another time limit draw for Ren Narita, and Yota Tsuji’s first.
G1 Climax 2023 Block B Match – YOSHI-HASHI (1-0) vs. Will Ospreay (0-1)
After being shocked in his opening match, Will Ospreay sought to get his first win of the tournament against YOSHI-HASHI, next. Ospreay controlled the early portion of the match with a headlock before YOSHI-HASHI retaliated with a huge Neckbreaker to even things up. HASHI opened up the chest of Will Ospreay with his signature hard hits. Not to be outdone, Ospreay trapped YOSHI-HASHI against the turnbuckle and delivered a strong open handed chop to his chest, sending sweat evaporating into the air.
Ospreay kept his momentum going with a Phenomenal Forearm and, after yet another chop exchange in the middle of the ring, he set up for and delivered the Oscutter. Despite hitting it cleanly, YOSHI-HASHI kicked out. The IWGP United States Champion set up for Hidden Blade but this was avoided by HASHI. YOSHI-HASHI built a head of steam and secured nearfall with a Kumagoroshi but, despite bleeding from the mouth, Ospreay avoided further doom and again went for Hidden Blade. Unsuccessful for a second time, Will Ospreay took to the ropes to deliver the move he didn’t have the equilibrium for in his match with Taichi, the 540° Corkscrew Senton Bomb, to pick up his first win for G1 33.
G1 Climax 2023 Block A Match – SANADA (1-0) vs. Shota Umino (0-0-1)
In the penultimate match of day 3, SANADA went up against Shota Umino. Umino demonstrated his ability in the early going, taking the fight to SANADA, but the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion used his experience to frustrate young Shota. At points where Umino would gain the upper hand, SANADA would put him back in his place quickly, often taking the action to ringside.
The ringside area would be the potentially undoing for SANADA, though, as after Umino delivered a Rolling Senton from the apron to outside, the champion began to show favour to his neck and shoulder. Shota delivered a chain of two Rolling Cutters but SANADA escaped a third and started to get back into the contest.
Still favouring his shoulder, SANADA avoided Death Rider and kicked out of a Cradle DDT to stay in the match. Shota Umino collected a number of nearfalls as the clock would down and, with two minutes left, SANADA delivered a Shining Wizard before following it up with Dead Fall to pick up the win.
G1 Climax 2023 Block B Match – El Phantasmo (0-1) vs. Kazuchika Okada (1-0)
The main event closed out a fantastic night of action in Yamagata with El Phantasmo taking on Kazuchika Okada. In a continued effort to rehabilitate his image, El P gave a child in the crowd his t-shirt and led chants for both himself and his opponent, Okada. This just seemed to irritate Okada, though, and Phantasmo had to resort to nipple grabbing to stop the offense of the NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Team Champion.
Almost facilitating the countout of El P, Okada maintained his momentum and attempted to keep Phantasmo grounded. Okada couldn’t contain Phantasmo forever, though, and El P delivered a Tornado DDT from the ring barricade, outside of the ring. The Rainmaker quickly recovered an continued to hold control of the match whilst inside the ring.
El P put up a good fight as the clock ticked on and was able to achieve some nearfalls on big moves. The closest of these came from after a combination of a Sudden Death and Canadian Revolution II but Okada kicked out at the very final moment. El P’s Thunderkiss was thwarted by the knees of Okada, leading to Landslide and The Rainmaker from Kazuchika to go 2-0 in this year’s tournament.
Sendai Up Next
Day 4 of the 2023 G1 Climax tournament takes place tomorrow, July 19th, with the second round of matches from blocks C and D. Highlighted by Tomohiro Ishii and Tama Tonga, we can expect this card to have it’s share of hard hitting, meat slapping action. Join us tomorrow on JEZ Sports for full show coverage.
We’re starting to see some competitors rise to the top already. Who is surprising you in G1 33? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!