Welcome to coverage of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s G1 Special from the Cow Palace in San Francisco.
The stream started a few minutes late, but your commentators are Jim Ross and Josh Barnett
Starting off the show is King Haku, GoD, Yujiro Takahasi, and Chase Owens vs. YOSHI-HASHI, Gedo, Rocky Romero, Roppongi 3KSHO, and YOH:
Ross put over Haku’s toughness with Haku starting the match against YOSHI-HASHI. HASHI’s right shoulder is wrapped up, but he gets Haku on the ground. Haku counters with an Irish whip, then tags in Tanga Loa. HASHI tags in Rocky Romero.
Romero puts his head into Loa’s chest, but Loa is able to take over following an exchange of offense.
Tama Tonga with a Stinger splash and everyone fights on the outside. Romero’s group is knocked out, allowing BC to take control. Haku gives Romero a piledriver and a cover for a two. GoD gets angry at the ref for not counting quick enough, something Ross points out. The belief is the ref wanted to make sure Romero was okay
Chase Owens tags in and trades shots with Romero. Yujuiro Takahasi is tagged in and dominates Romero, who almost gets a hot tag, but Owens stop him. Romero gets a double head scissors on Owens and Takahasi, and tags in HASHI.
HASHI cleans house and tags in SHO. Double team work by YO and SHO, but Takahasi gets a tag to Tama Tonga. Tonga dominates for a bit, but HASHI gets a spear and tags in Gedo. “All kinds of chaso in the ring,” to quote Josh Barnett, as both teams trade hits. Romero hits a tope suicida on the outside and Gedo goes for a pin on Tonga. Haku breaks it up with a throat grab and Tonga hits a Stunner variation for the pin.
Winners: Bullet Club
Up next is more tag team action with Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano vs. Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre. Jr.
Out first is Suzuki and ZSJ who are billed as the Revolution Pro Wrestling’s British Tag Team Champions for winning at Strong Style Evolved UK. ZSJ is put over for his submission prowess including submitting Okada.
Yano walks out with either a video game or a DVD in his hands while Ishii looks extremely serious. Ross points out Yano seems out of place because of his sense of humor, but can really wrestl.
Ishii and Suzuki starts off and start trading shot in the middle of the ring. They are just trading forearms before Ishii gets control. Suzuki counters and knocks Ishii down, but ZSJ is tagged in. He motions for Yano and his request is honored while Suzuki and Ishii fight in on the outside. Yano wants to shake hands with ZSJ doing so, but turning it into a wristlock. Yano makes it to the ropes and the ref breaks it up.
Yano does another handshakes, but counters ZSJ’s wrist lock with a hit to the eyes. Story of the match is Yano going to the ropes to break up any of ZSJ’s submission attempts. More fighting by Suzuki and Ishii on the outside, while ZSJ puts in a Reverse Indian Deathlock. He transitions into a Leg Nelson, but Yano gets to the ropes.
ZSJ tags in Suzuki and both men basically destroy Yano’s limbs while the ref is distracted by Ishii. ZSJ hits Ishii and gives another tag to Suzuki. Yano gets an inverted atomic drop, tags in Ishii who immediately goes after Suzuki. JR points out the two men want to “tear each other up” which is basically what’s happening. Suzuki gives Ishii clubbing forearms knocking him to the canvas. Ishii gets up, spits on Suzuki, and the two start beating each other again.
Yano and ZSJ are tagged in and Yano gets a turnbuckle pad. ZSJ counters into a submission and it is chaos with all the men fighting. ZSJ gets a long two. It’s more chaos and Ishii and Yano get the win after ZSJ blocks a low blow, but Ishii hits ZSJ with a clothesline and Yano pins him.
Winner: Ishii and Yano
Suzuki and ZSJ beat up Young Lions as they are led out.
Next is Marty Scurll and Adam “Hangman” Page vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & KUSHIDA.
JR and Barnett put over Page as he comes towards the ring. Call him a threat to any of the heavyweight belts. They also mention Page and Scurll are on “Team Cody” and point out leadership of Bullet Club is up for grabs.
Tanahashi and KUSHIDA come out next and they’re called two of the best of all times.
Scurll and KUSHIDA start things off with chain wrestling. Scurll gets to his feet and locks in a submission, but KUSHIDA gets out. Page and Tanahashi get tagged in with the story being it’s an all-time great against an up and comer. Tanahashi controls of Page, mocks Scurll, and tags in KUSHIDA
Page hits and awesome looking running Shooting Star Press to leave KUSHIDA laying. Page and Scurll do tandem offense for a two. KUSHIDA gets control of the match and tags in Tanahashi. Tanahashi nails a dragon screw and gets a senton on Scurll for a two. KUSHIDA is tagged in and all four men trade hits. Scurll tries to pop the fingers, but KUSHIDA gets a double wristlock with Tanahashi nailing a Texas Clover Leaf on Page. BC takes control but Page takes too long to get a cover. KUSHIDA quickens the pace, but Page hits the reverse pile driver aka Right of Passage for the win.
Winners: Marty Scurll and Hangman Page
JR and Barnett say Tanahashi had his knee go out which is why he couldn’t break up the tag. Tanahashi walked out fine while BC gave the crowd high fives.
Jeff Cobb vs. Hirooki Goto for the NEVER Openweight Championship is next.
Cobb is out first with JR and Barnett calling him “something special.” Cobb is wearing the All Pro Wrestling Championship. He’s called a “new problem” for Goto to figure out because there’s not a big scouting report on Cobb. Barnett says Goto needs to get his striking offense going because Cobb isn’t much of one.
Goto is out next and is called “Bret Hartesque” for his well-rounded ability.
The two lock up and Cobb gets Goto to the ropes. Goto gets Cobb to the ropes and JR points out Cobb’s left shoulder is heavily taped. Cobb gets a shoulder tackle on Goto after blocking an arm drag. Cobb stays in control with a suplex, then both men trade forearms and chops in the center of the ring. Goto knocks Cobb out of the ring then clubs him in the face after jumping over the ropes.
Cobb is thrown back into the ring and Goto starts beating on him. Goto hits two stiff elbow drops on Cobb – who is getting plenty of cheers in San Francisco. Cobb is trapped in a head scissors and gets to the bottom rope to force a break. Cobb ends up nailing a really impressive standing dropkick leaving Goto woozy. Barnett says Cobb needs to study Dr. Death Steve Williams tapes.
Cobb gets a spinning backdrop suplex for a two. He tries to hit a standing moonsault but Goto gets out of the way. Barnett and JR note Cobb took too much of a risk, especially because his back was to Goto. Backdrop suplex by Goto for a two. They’re really putting over Cobb as a tough match for Goto.
Cobb gets an Oklahoma Stampede (running splash after hitting the turnbuckle) but Goto kicks out. Cobb with a great looking lariat but Goto barely kicks out at 2.999999999999. Goto hits a sleeper, but Cobb is able to roll through. Headbutt by Goto, then a reverse GTR and Cobb kicks out.
Goto hits a normal GTR on Cobb for the win in a great physical match.
Winner and still NEVER Openweight Champion: Hirooki Goto.
Cobb is praised for his performance as Goto celebrates.
Bullet Club’s Young Bucks vs. LIJ’s EVIL and SANADA is next.
Barnett points out Nick and Matt Jackson are smaller than EVIL and SANADA as the challengers walk out. EVIL is wearing a snake-looking skull mask with the reaper hood and robe.
Nick and Matt Jackson come out with JR and Barnett mentioning they’re only the second tag team to win both the Jr. Heavyweight and Heavyweight Tag Titles. JR believes Bucks have to dictate the pace to win.
All four men end up in Scorpion Deathlock centipede. Nick and Matt hit tandem offense and preen to the very favorable crowd. SANADA hits a dropkick on Nick, then EVIL nails Matt in the glut with a kick. SANADA has control over Nick Jackson and gets him into a Paradise Lock. EVIL is tagged in and hits a senton on Nick Jackson, but only for a two.
The Bucks’ resilience is pointed out as EVIL has Nick Jackson cornered, but he’s able to get out. He goes for a tag to Matt but SANADA pulls his legs out from under him to stop the tag. Nick is able to tag in Matt but SANADA and EVIL take control for a moment. Matt works over EVIL, nails a cutter on SANADA, and then locks in a Scorpion Deathlock on EVIL. Barnett and JR mention Matt’s back is bugging him because he couldn’t lock it in all the way.
Superkick Party on EVIL, but SANADA hits a dropkick. SANADA and Matt trade shots in the ring, then locks in the ring. DDT on the apron on SANADA and Nick nails a 450. Matt with the cover for only a two. JR, “The Bucks of Youth are on fire” as they just do nutty flying spots and SANADA fights his way to the ropes for force a break from the Scorpion Deathlock.
Bucks go for More Bang For Your Buck, but SANADA avoids them and tags in EVIL. EVIL nails multiple suplexes and Darkness Falls, but Nick kicks out. Magic Killer by EVIL and SANADA, but Matt Jackson breaks it up. Young Bucks give the ref a Superkick Party accidentally, and EVIL grabs a chair. Superkick Party on EVIL as the holds the chair. Bucks try to hit Meltzer Driver on the chair, but it’s reversed with LIJ nailing their own Meltzer Driver. Nick Jackson breaks it up at two!
A bunch of fighting in the ring, including another Magic Killer by LIJ, but it all breaks down. The Bucks end up hitting a Meltzer Driver for the win
Winner and STILL IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions: The Young Bucks.
During the intermission they show videos promoting Jay White vs. Juice Robinson and Kenny Omega vs. Cody (who is back to the dark hair). They’re still playing up the tension within Bullet Club comparing him to AJ Styles as a “troublemaker.” Cody says he needs the IWGP Heavyweight Title. Barnett predicts nefarious means might lead to the Cody getting the title.
First match out of Intermission is Tetsuya Naito and BUSHI vs. Will Ospreay and Kazuchika Okada.
JR suggests Okada and Naito could end up being in the finals of the G1. JR also compares Naito to Steve Austin because of his anti-hero persona.
Okada is tossing out balloons to the crowd while Ospreay’s Assassin’s Creed robe is awesome looking.
Okada and Naito will start things out and JR points out both men don’t like each other. Naito plays tranquilo to start the match and preens to the crowd a bit. Barnett says LIJ needs to get its morale back up. Okada gets knocked out of the ring and Naito does more preening to the crowd (JR compares him to The Rock with his ability to get the crowd going with almost anything).
Naito tags out to BUSHI before the two can lock up again and Okada goes to Ospreay. Ospreay does an homage to Richochet with the flip and superhero pose, then nails Naito and BUSHI with kicks and cops. LIJ takes control and BUSHI starts working on Ospreay’s nose in the ropes.
Naito tags in and starts beating on Ospreay in the corner. Naito also throws mucus into the crowd after cleaning his nose, then tags in BUSHI. BUSHI uses a shirt to choke Opsreay, but the ref makes him stop. Naito back in and they exchange offense. Ospreay with a great step up kick to the side of the head and tags in Okada. BUSHI interferes with Okada, but the latter takes control. He wipes out BUSHI and gets a near fall on Naito. Naito hits a low dropkick then takes out Ospreay too. Okada tries to hit a Tombstone Piledriver but Naito counters. Okada eventually hits a neckbreaker
BUSHI and Ospreay tag in and start working over each other. Okada breaks up a pinning attempt and BUSHI hits a running Codebreaker. All four men starts fighting – Okada missed a Rainmaker and he and Naito end up outside – then Ospreay does a high impact flipping takedown on BUSHI. Ospreay with a great spinning neckbreaker for the win.
Winner: Will Ospreay and Kazuchika Okada
Josh Barnett mentions Ospreay wasn’t in the air too much. JR says there’s “something special going on with a rivalry between Okada and Naito.”
Up next it’s the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship between Dragon Lee and Hiromu Takahashi.
Lee is representing CMLL and has tape near his hip. Takahashi has his Best of Super Juniors trophy and his pet Darryl Jr. (who is apparently the son of Darryl and his wife Carol). JR says Takahashi is special, while Barnett says he can be a little inconsistent due to his wild streak.
The match starts off almost immediately with Dragon Lee taking out Takahashi, then doing a fearless tope suicida on the outside. Very fast movement by Lee who then mocked Naito (and WWE’s Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas) with the Tranquilo pose. Big dropkick in the corner with the hanging dropkick. Lee then does a chinlock and grabs at Takahashi’s nose. Takahashi takes control and nails a dropkick off the apron. Real impressive.
Takahashi hits a jump where his legs land on Lee’s left shoulder basically and both men are down. Both wrestlers fight on the ring apron, but Lee gets up on the top rope with Takahashi following. Lee does a double stomp onto Takahashi’s chest as they fall onto the outside and they’re down on the fall. Ow.
Takahashi does a sunset flip/power bomb on the outside and both men somehow beat the 20 count back into the ring at 19. The two start trading suplexes which eventually ends with Lee landing on his head before nailing another suplex. Lee and Takahashi trade offense which included a reverse Frankensteiner and a clothesline which leave them down in the ring. They trade chest slaps which Lee appears to get the better of but Takahashi hits a really hard on and yells, “Come on!” They’re just killing each other with palm strikes which ends when Lee eventually hits a knee, but Takahashi throws him into the corner.
Takahashi with a scary, crazy look on his face and gets a two count. Takahashi with a superkick, then Lee with a flip slam for a two count. Lee goes for a vertical suplex powerbomb, but Takahashi counters into a triangle which Lee then counters into a powerbomb. Takahashi gets the choke back in and Lee does a release dragon driver which KILLS Takahashi. Lee hits the vertical suplex powerbomb but Takahashi kicks out.
Takahashi gets a nearfall after reversing another vertical suplex powerbomb, then hits the Time Bomb for the win.
Winner and STILL IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Chamption: Hiromu Takahashi.
Up next is IWGP United States Champion Jay White vs. Juice Robinson.
The video promo focuses on the fact Robinson is dealing with a broken left hand and the fact “The Switchblade” has taken over Jay White.
Robinson is out wearing red, white, and blue trunks (with lace trim), a pirate hat, and a yellow colonial era jacket. JR mentioned he thinks White will retain because Robinson hasn’t won any of the title matches he’s been in. White comes out in all red with black trim and switchblade marks on his tights.
Ring announcer points out Robinson could be disqualified if he uses the cast on his left hand as a weapon.
White taunts Robinson by raising his left hand and Robinson takes him down quickly. The two separate and both end up going over the ropes. Robinson hits a running senton from the apron, then sends White into the security railings. White is then thrown into the time keeper’s area and the security railing almost completely disintegrates. Robinson throws White back into the ring and hits multiple right hands. He thinks about throwing a left, but stops when the ref warns him. White takes over, tosses Robinson out, and then tosses him into multiple security railings – which are both destroyed.
White gets a two after suplexing Robinson into the corner pad, then stomps on Robinson’s broken hand. White and the crowd taunt each other with words I won’t repeat here, then he starts working on Robinson’s lower back and left hand. Robinson fight back but is suplexed again to the ground. White goes for a leg grapevine, then adds in a facelock. Robinson is able to get to the ropes and force a break.
White hits Robinson with multiple European uppercuts and chops. Robinson defiantly tells White to eat something, and gets chopped. White refuses to pin Robinson and starts hitting him with jabs. Robinson counters with a chop, but White goes back to the hand. Robinson gets a spinebuster and is shaking out the left hand. He also hits a clothesline in the corner with the left hand and the ref makes sure he used his arm not the cast.
Robinson with a German suplex and a bridge, but Robinson kicks out. Story is now White working on Robinson’s left hand, but he’s able to get out of the ring and by the security rail. White sends Robinson into the ring post, then suplexes him into Jim Ross! Josh Barnett enters the ring to go after White and there are multiple expletives which made the broadcast, including Ross saying, “Officials should get their (stuff) together.” The ref has to keep Barnett at bay while Ross gets everything together. Ross mentions he’s “not okay” after someone asked him.
White is still in control but they end up crashing down onto the outside and the steel rails. The ref starts counting and gets all the way up to 19 before both men get into the ring. Robinson gets White up to the top of the turnbuckle and hits a brainbuster off the top. White gets out at two. Robinson goes for a Pulp Friction but White gets Robinson in a crucifix position and throws a ton of elbows, even though Robinson was in the ropes.
White goes for Blade Runner, Robinson counters and almost hits White with the cast but stops. White eventually hits a low blow, but Robinson nails him with the left hand (the ref saw nothing as he was cowering in the corner). Robinson hits Pulp Friction and covers White, but he kicks out at two!
Back up, White takes control and Robinson gets hit with two suplexes. Robinson reverses Blade Runner into a small package and gets the three count!
Winner and NEW IWGP US Champion: Juice Robinson.
Really good match. I’ve no idea if the bump with Ross was planned but wow. Robinson is also the first American to hold the IWGP US Championship.
Barnett says, “Don’t worry Jay, I’ll see you later.”
IWGP Heavyweight Championship between Kenny Omega and Cody is next.
New Japan shows a video of all the Heavyweight Champions, then went into a video over Omega’s climb to the top of the New Japan mountain. It also looks at the rivalry between Cody and Omega and how the two have been fighting over Bullet Club leadership.
Brandi Rhodes and Bernard the Business Bear are out first to introduce Cody. The now-dark-haired Cody is carried down to the ring on a throne carried by bouncers. Barnett calls Cody a sociopath who wants everything. Cody then sends Bernard to the back and JR says Dusty Rhodes would be proud of Cody for piloting his own ship.
Omega is out next with the Young Bucks in tow. JR calls him “arguably the hottest singles star” in all of wrestling. Barnett and JR asked how Cody would fee seeing the Bucks out with Omega. Matt and Nick Jackson give Omega hugs before he and Cody face off. The Bucks are staying out for the match as is Brandi
JR noted Cody has a movie or broadcast role coming up which is why his hair is dark again.
The two locked up and Cody tried to go after Omega’s eyes causing an issue with the left one. Omega gets Cody into the turnbuckle, then Cody shoves Omega hard. The two lock up again with Omega getting control in a side headlock. Omega with a hard chop, but Cody nails the “family uppercut” which send Omega to the outside.
Omega and Cody fight on the outside before Cody sends Omega back into the ring. The pair trade hard chops in the corner, then Cody hits a quick powerslam and gets a two count. Cody is still working on the eyes, but Omega takes control and hits a dropkick, then goes up into the air and sends Cody to the mat.
Omega appears to plan a tope suicida, but Cody pulls Brandi in front of him. Omega tries a splash, but misses, possibly jamming his knee. Cody does a splash off the top and mouths off to the Bucks. He then grabs his “Nightmare” belt and appears to plan to use it on Omega, but tosses it to the Bucks.
Omega then knocks Cody onto the table where the belt and the ring bell is and gives him double knees onto the table with the Bucks holding the railing. Omega grabs another table, but Nick and Matt Jackson tell him enough is enough and to put it back in the ring. The story appears to be the Bucks want Omega to end his feud with Cody and may have to choose sides again.
Cody gets Omega back in the ring and hits CrossRhodes, but Omega kicks out. Cody gets another nearfall after Omega’s knee goes out. Cody does pushups to play mindgames with the crowd. Cody says something to the Bucks and Omega gets control after hitting a Frankensteimer.
Cody goes on the outside and overturns the table. Omega hits dive over the top rope and the Bucks tell Omega to put Cody back in the ring. Omega goes up to the top rope and hits a missile dropkick. He then hits a neckbreaker, but doesn’t go for a cover. Omega is in control but Cody hits a low Dragon suplex.
The two go forehead to forehead and the two start changing punches. Cody gets a Figure Four after reversing a sunselt flip. Omega and Cody are punching each other even though the former is still in a Figure Four and Omega reverses the submission. Omega is selling the left knee, but pulls out a ladder. Cody has a chair.
The Buck are trying to get both men to stop with the weapons. Cody slams Omega onto a ladder, then adjusts it while Brandi Rhodes kicks Omega. Cody suplexes Omega chest first onto the ladder and the rebound nails Omega in the face. The Bucks are again telling Cody to stop.
Omega is slammed into the guardail, then Cody gets a table and the ladder. Cody shoves Matt Jackson, then starts climbing the ladder. Omega is on the other side. The two are trading shots on the top of the ladder. Omega prepares for a superplex onto the table, but Cody hits his own back into the ring.
Cody gets a nearfall, then rolls to the outside where Brandi attends to him. He then grabs the IWGP Heavyweight title, holds it up, and brings it into the ring. The ref grabs the belt and Omega hits a reverse Frankensteiner. Cody throws Omega into the ref, then hits a kick on Omega.
Cody holds up the belt but pauses. He ends up hitting CrossRoads, but Omega kicks out. The Bucks pull the ladder out of the ring.
Omega hits a V-Trigger knee, then hits Cody in the head, and a reverse kick to the back of the head. Omega gets a nearfall after a powerbomb, then three hard knees to Cody’s face. A fourth gets a two count (JR is now calling Cody, “Rhodes” and mentions his ability to come back from adversity).
Cody is sent into the table on the outside and the table didn’t creak when Cody went through it. Cody is tended to by both Brandi and the Bucks, then Omega tries to get Cody into the ring. Brandi and Nick Jackson are talking.
Brandi Rhodes get into the ring to try to stop Cody from interfering. Cody pushes her out, then nails a clothesline as Omega plans to hit another V-Trigger knee. They exchanges blows and Omega hits two knees. A piledriver but only a two count.
Omega hits a One-Winged Angel after nailing another knee on Cody and gets the pin.
Winner and STILL IWGP Heavyweight Champion: Kenny Omega!
The Bucks check on Omega, while Brandi checks on Cody.
Omega extends his hand to Cody and pulls him up. He then pats him on the shoulder. The two nod at each other Cody rolls out the ring. The Bucks applaud Omega and JR and Barnett wonder if another match between the two are coming.
Omega grabs the mic and puts over the Cow Palace and the fans. He talks about humanity and says Cody deserves a second chance. He promises to give the best professional wrestling matches to everyone on the roster. He also thanks the crowd for being lively and the house lights go up showing a pretty full house.
“Good-bye and good night…Bang!”
JR and Barnett says Bullet Club’s future is still kinda crazy and the Tonga Faction comes out to celebrate with Omega and the Bucks. Then all give Two Sweets, but Tama Tonga attacks the Bucks and Kenny Omega.
The Tonga Squad has a T-shirt on called “The Firing Squad” and are just beating down the Bucks and Omega. Hangman Page comes in to help but gets beaten down. Marty Scurll comes down and gets destroyed. The Tongans take out Chase Owens and Yujiro Takahashi while yelling, “Who you with?”
The Tongans stand tall, but here comes Cody.
They hand a chair to Cody and tell him to use it on Omega. Cody goes after the Tongans and gets knocked down! The Tongans hit a piledriver onto the chair on Omega and they do an upside down Two Sweet.
JR and Barnett guess Haku is behind the Tongans attacking the rest of Bullet Club while there’s speculation on who Bad Luck Fale will support (the guess is the the Tongans). Tama Loa says, “We’re all equal! This is Bullet Club!” as they hold up a Tongan flag. It appears they’re tired of the fight between Omega and Cody.
In the ring, Cody gives his hand to Omega and lifts him up. They all hug together in the ring, then Cody raises Omega’s hand in the ring. The non-Tgonans stand on the stage together and walk out together.