The action of the G1 Climax tournament rolls on with three days of competition from Tokyo, starting today with A and B block matches from Korakuen Hall.
After a day away that felt more like a week, it’s time to get back to the action with Day 7 of the G1 Climax tournament. Tonight, we’ll see SANADA (3-0) and Kaito Kiyomiya (2-0-1) face off in the main event, former Bullet Club partners Tanga Loa (1-2) and El Phantasmo (0-3) square off and we’ll kick off the competition with an all-United Empire affair between Will Ospreay (2-1) and Great-O-Khan (1-2).
Inter Stable Action, Past and Present, on Day 7
G1 Climax 2023 Block B Match – Will Ospreay (2-1) vs. Great-O-Khan (1-2)
The show opened with a first time matchup between United Empire members as Great-O-Khan took on Will Ospreay. Anything but a friendly competition, Khan began the match as he often does, inviting his opponent to chop him across the chest. When Ospreay returned the favour, Khan instead elected to deliver a series of Mongolian Chops to the shoulders and side of the neck of the IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion. As the match progressed, Great-O-Khan continued to do whatever it takes to try and pick up the win, repeatedly bouncing the face of Ospreay off the top turnbuckle. Sensing weakness in Ospreay after throwing him out of the ring, Khan took the fight into the crowd, bouncing Khan off the barricade, throwing him into and striking him with chairs.
Back in the ring, Khan sprayed Ospreay with the mist and collected a number of nearfalls. Ospreay stayed in the match as well as he could and eventually hit a Spanish Fly and an Oscutter to pick up his own nearfalls, before closing things out with the Leap of Faith twisting moonsault. After the match, the United Empire pair reconciled and Will Ospreay began to look ahead to his next huge encounter – Kazuchika Okada on Thursday.
G1 Climax 2023 Block A Match – Gabe Kidd (2-1) vs. Shota Umino (0-1-2)
Continuing the tradition of War Dogs attacking their opponents as they made their entrance, Gabe Kidd jumped Shota Umino in the audience as the pair prepared to face off in the next contest. Kidd soon dragged his opponent down to the ring but not before bouncing the Roughneck off the ringpost. With the match underway, Kidd continued the violence at ringside before getting into the ring and waiting for a countout victory. Umino returned to the ring, however, and Kidd went right back to work on breaking down his opponent.
As the clock rolled on this match, Umino began to find his feet and returned the viciousness of Kidd. Atop the turnbuckles, the pair exchanged hard strikes to the ribs before Kidd once again wrestled momentum from Umino by choking him with a chinlock that left him hanging. Kidd tried to repeat the same anticts he pulled on Ren Narita, throwing the referee around and delivering a low blow, but Umino was wise to it and blocked the devastating shot to the groin. Umino built some steam with Ignition but still Kidd maintained his dominance.
Shota Umino was down but not out, however, as he was able to surprise Kidd with a Lifting DDT and followed it up with Death Rider to pick up his first win if G1 Climax 33.
G1 Climax 2023 Block B Match – KENTA (1-2) vs. Taichi (2-1)
In the next matchup, Taichi looked to continue his good tournament to date against KENTA. As Taichi sung his entrance, as he always does, KENTA joined in, playing air guitar on his DEFY Championship.
When KENTA held up the horns for Bullet Club, Taichi wanted no part of it and, instead, the pair argued who had the best looking championship belt. This argument culminated in KENTA using his belt to strike across the head of Taichi and the bell finally rang.
Taichi rallied despite the pain of being hit by a title belt and was able to avoid Go 2 Sleep. KENTA yanked the Velcro trousers of Taichi away and went for the rollup. In the attempt, the official was knocked down. This allowed KENTA to hit Taichi in the ankle with the belt, deliver a strike below the belt and roll up Taichi to steal two points from the Just 5 Guys member.
G1 Climax 2023 Block A Match – Chase Owens (2-1) vs. Yota Tsuji (0-2-1)
The next match saw Chase Owens take on Yota Tsuji. Owens started fast, attacking Tsuji whilst the official was checking him, and began to bounce his opponent off the barricades at ringside. Yota Tsuji returned the favour before taking Owens down with a Moonsault from the turnbuckles to the outside of the ring and the match returned to the ring at the behest of the referee’s 20 count.
Back in the ring, Owens began to wear down the lower back of his young opponent with pointed elbow strikes to the spine. The Crown Jewel of Bullet Club followed this up with a Crossface but Tsuji was able to reach the ropes and break the submission. Chase continued to wear away at Tsuji with strikes across the body but Yota was able to return a good number of his own hard hits. Tsuji delivered a Kerb Stomp for a nearfall but was able to finish the job, Spearing Chase Owens out of his boots to pick up his first win in his debut G1 Climax.
G1 Climax 2023 Block B Match – El Phantasmo (0-3) vs. Tanga Loa (1-2)
Still without a win in this year’s tournament, El Phantasmo took on Tanga Loa. Former teammates in Bullet Club, El P held out his hand for a shake and the two embraced, seemingly making peace with their tumultuous past.
After the bell, Phantasmo encouraged Tonga Loa to remove his t-shirt, for whatever reason. Loa obliged and the fight was on.
The action spilled to ringside where Doctor Hayashi was almost taken out by a leaping El P but, luckily, he survived and the wrestlers decided to take the match back to the ring. Phantasmo continued to show issue with his shoulder and neck and failed to get Loa up for a Piledriver. Tanga Loa took advantage, wearing down even further the nagging injury of El P, whilst trying to avoid damage to the old wound of his own – the recently repaired knee.
El Phantasmo barely kicked out of a Blue Thunder Bomb, escaped a loss following a Jackhammer and soon ate a Super Powerbomb but, once again, the Headbanga kicked out. Unable to deliver too much big offense, El P instead countered Tanga Loa into a Crucifix Pin and got a three count to finally get on the board in G1 2023.
G1 Climax 2023 Block A Match – Ren Narita (0-1-2) vs. Hikuleo (0-3)
Next up, Ren Narita and Hikuleo both sought to get into the win column for the first time as they went one-on-one. It was a methodical start between the two, aggressively delivering strikes and wearing each other down. Hikuleo took it to another level, launching Narita across the ring with a massive Biel and picked up a nearfall after a Running Powerslam. Hikuleo called from the regular Powerslam, his signature move, but Ren was wise to it and escaped, at least for the moment.
Ren Narita tried to create his own weakness in his much larger opponent, attacking the lower limbs of Hikuleo with submission manoeuvres. Hikuleo was able to shock Narita with the Powerslam but Ren went right back to submissions to avoid being pinned. Narita couldn’t escape Hikuleo’s clutches forever, though, and the big man put him away for a three count following the Chokeslam.
G1 Climax 2023 Block B Match – Kazuchika Okada (3-0) vs. YOSHI-HASHI (2-1)
It was the battle of the old hands in the next match, as Kazuchika Okada took on YOSHI-HASHI. Okada took control of the match in the same way he has in the early going of each of his three wins in the G1 tournament so far with a DDT on the floor outside the ring again. YOSHI-HASHI stayed in the match as it returned to the ring, though, and the IWGP Tag Team Champion delivered his own slew of offense to turn the match into a back and forth affair.
Deep into the contest, Okada went for The Rainmaker but HASHI turned it around into a Lariat of his own. YOSHI-HASHI delivered Kumagoroshi to gain a nearfall of his own. Okada retaliated with the Money Clip, which brought HASHI down to the mat. The Rainmaker was on the mind of Okada again but YOSHI-HASHI avoided it again with a kick to the knee. Kazuchika Okada seemed determined to hit his special Lariat and almost cost himself the match by trying to force it in a third and fourth time. However, on the fifth attempt, Okada finally made it rain, hitting his epitomous strike to go 4-0 in his quest to win his third G1 Climax in a row.
G1 Climax 2023 Block A Match – SANADA (3-0) vs. Kaito Kiyomiya (2-0-1)
In the main event, IWGP World Heavyweight Champion sought to keep pace with Okada and go 4-0 with a win over NOAH’s Kaito Kiyomiya. The opening five minutes of the match saw the two exchange a series of mat based submission, attempting to wear each other down. Later, Kiyomiya took control of the match by diving out of the ring and taking down SANADA but the flurry of offense was shortlived and SANADA delivered his own move out of the ring, taking Kaito down with a Plancha and following with his the Magic Screw.
With SANADA in full control, he looked to deliver Skull End but Kiyomiya escaped and dropkicked the champion in the knee. Kaito used this advantage to launch an onslaught on the knee, kicking it several times before locking in a Figure Four Leg Lock. SANADA spent a long time in the move before eventually breaking the submission with the ropes. Kiyomiya looked for the Tiger Suplex and, while SANADA countered, the champion further hurt his knee by landing with all his weight on his feet. SANADA put on a brave face and kipped up to try and show that his knee was fine but he jammed his knee again on a moonsault attempt.
With three minutes remaining, Kiyomiya hit Shining Wizard but didn’t have enough to make the pinfall attempt. He hit the Tiger Suplex on his second attempt but SANADA kicked out of the cover. Hoping to close out with another Shining Wizard, Kiyomiya was instead sent into a TKO. Under a minute left, Kaito secured a quick succession of nearfalls but SANADA shocked him with a Shining Wizard of his own and, with two second left on the clock, the IWGP Champion pinned Kiyomiya to remain perfect at 4-0.
Lots More Coming This Week
A great night of action kicked off a midweek triple header of New Japan Pro Wrestling. Come back tomorrow for competition in block C and D. Day 8 will be highlighted by Tama Tonga vs. David Finlay and kicks off with EVIL vs. HENARE. Join us here at JEZSports.com for continued covereage of G1 Climax 33.
Have we seen the winner fight here tonight? Can Okada retain? Will SANADA add G1 to his World Heavyweight Title? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!