Match Ratings, Podcast Notes From NJPW G1 Special 2018 By Sean Ross Sapp


10- Perfect, 9- Excellent, 8- Great, 7- GOODER THAN THAT , 6- Good , 5- Average, 4- Slightly below average, 3 or below: Poor
Each match starts at a 5 and slides up and down based on entertainment, execution, time, environment, reaction and stakes. The ratings are in no way an indication of a "star rating," which is a completely different system.

Bullet Club defeated YOSHI-HASHI, Gedo, Rocky Romero, YOH and SHO
5/10

Jon Moxley Believes He And Kenny Omega Are The Two Best Wrestlers In The World
  • I can't get behind almost anything of Yoshi-Hashi. His strikes looked as bad as his haircut.
  • Rocky Romero tries to shoulder block Loa. That shit doesn't work.
  • Tama Tonga gets a great pop for a Stinger Splash.
  • Haku just did a GODDAMN PILEDRIVER. The ref hesitates and blows a spot.
  • Roppongi 3K and Tama are the stars of this one, except Haku.
  • Rocky Romero hits Tama HARD with a suicide dive.
  • TONGAN DEATH GRIP into the Stun Gun. "The version of the Stunner" It's been a fucking NJPW finish for years

Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii defeated Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki
5/10

  • JR gaffe #3 as he says Suzuki and Sabre won the Rev Pro Tag Titles last week. It was in January.
  • Ishii and Suzuki go at it and tag out. Suzuki's immediate running boots were great.
  • You know the drill with Yano. He's the comedy, the serious guys are the foil. I'm not big on him, but you need him for variety.
  • Ishii keeps getting picked off before the tag, then Suzuki beats his ass.
  • Minoru Suzuki is 50.
  • Yano comes in and tries a hot tag. He gets caught trying to punch Sabre in the dick. Ishii clotheslines Sabre and Yano pins him. Well ok.
  • When Cali goes nuts for Yano, we get him pinning Sabre.

Bullet Club's Hangman Page & Marty Scurll defeated KUSHIDA & Hiroshi Tanahashi
5.5/10

  • Four really good, over talents here.
  • Shooting Star Shoulderblock still doesn't make sense and slows momentum.
  • Tanahashi hits Scurll with a nice somersault senton.
  • Hoverboard Lock and Texas Cloverleaf locked on at the same time.
  • Rite of Passage wins it --- by the way you can get EARLY ACCESS to Making A Finisher: Rite of Passage (w/ Hangman Page) at FightfulSelect.comDecent little match.

IWGP Never Openweight Championship
Hirooki Goto (c) defeated Jeff Cobb
6/10

  • Cobb's belly-to-belly suplex was awesome. Swayed back and forth and then heaved.
  • Goto slingshots over the top. The traditional hoss has to be the little man.
  • Cobb's head clings off of the ring post.
  • As we suspected, this is a bit of a showcase for Cobb. He lands a big dropkick.
  • Goto has the damndest spinning heel kick into the turnbuckle.
  • Cobb does an Oklahoma Stampede, and a standing moonsault too. A GTR from Goto wins it though.
  • Hoss battle.

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
Young Bucks defeated LIJ's EVIL & SANADA
6.25/10

  • This match was a lot of working the crowd until a big inside out somersualt cutter from Matt Jackson.
  • Sanada doesn't seem to have the best chemistry with the Jacksons right off the bat, and looks like he's having an off night. Matt inside out DDTs him on the apron.
  • A Nick Jackson 450 can't get the job done.
  • More Bang For Your Buck misses, and they accidentally superkick the ref.
  • Young Bucks and Evil hot potato a chair and it gets kicked in Evil's face. Neat creative spot.
  • Nick gets dropped on a chair, but Matt breaks it up. Superkick party time. Meltzer Driver for the win

Will Ospreay & Kazuchika Okada defeated LIJ's Bushi & Tetsuya Naito
6/10

  • A brawl kicks off the match, then Naito does his sweep, outside-in dropkick and spits on the crowd, which Barnett blames on "ALLERGIES."
  • Ospreay's backflip enziguri is something special.
  • I thought Naito was about to reverse Okada's cross body, but it didn't happen.
  • The crowd is all over these Naito/Okada interactions.
  • Ospreay sells a Bushi missile dropkick hard, flying all the way across the ring. Okada almost misses breaking up a pin shortly after.
  • Okada misses on a Rainmaker but hits the dropkick, which JR calls the Big Money Dropkick -- I love that name.
  • Ospreay's finish hits on Bushi for the win.
  • This has been a really well paced show. Hopefully this is an adjustment for the market NJPW is in.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
Hiromu Takahashi (c) defeated Dragon Lee
6.75/10

  • Dragon Lee's suicide dive kicks things off, then he mocks Naito with an outside-in dropkick and a Tranquilo pose. Lee reads the crowd. He knows he's not the babyface here.
  • Lee cartwheels out of a Takahashi rana attempt. TAKAHASHI FLIES TO THE OUTSIDE WITH HIS GODDAMN ASS AND CRACKS LEE IN THE FACE. They absolutely do not call that the Rear View.
  • I hate the stomp where a guy has to hold onto the ropes while taking it. That happens here. So does a Takahashi sunset flip bomb to the outside
  • Several snap German suplexes from Lee and a double clothesline leave both men DEAD.
  • A C4 hits for Lee after he's superkicked in the face.
  • Takahashi hits a rana and a triangle but is powerbombed, and holds on to it!.
  • Takahashi took a Steenalizer ON HIS FACE. Holy shit I hope Takahashi is okay. He got SCOOTED across the ring on his head.
  • Takahashi wins with his finish after a Canadian Destroyer. That was a filthy last couple of minutes.

IWGP United States Championship
Juice Robinson defeated "Switchblade" Jay White (c) to become champion
8.5/10

  • Juice Robinson comes into this match with a broken hand, which takes a big piece of his offense out -- his left handed power punch. He's a southpaw.
  • Either way, Juice cross bodies White out of the ring and somersault sentons out.
  • I appreciate Jay White's use of the half hatch suplex. I don't think Juice appreciated his use of the Saito suplex that dropped Robinson on his head, through.
  • Juice gets tied up in the ropes after escaping an inverted STF. He makes a brief comeback, but gets German suplexed and his hand worked over, then half hatched into the guard rail.
  • Juice gets thrown into Jay and Barnett, and Josh Barnett hit the ring and went after Jay White!!
  • White tries to conchairto Robinson's hand but has to settle for a Saito Suplex to the floor. Robinson answers with a spinebuster to the apron!!
  • A Russian leg sweep off the apron leaves both men down.
  • Juice goes for Pulp Friction but it's turned into crucifix elbows by White. Switchblade hits Juice RIGHT IN THE PENIS when the ref is distracted.
  • Juice uses the left hand and hits Pulp Friction but it's only good for 2!
  • Switchblade hits the hand of Juice, but gets rolled up!! Pin!
  • This was outstanding. Lots of heat.
  • Bless Matt Bloom and Finn Balor for hooking up Juice Robinson with a NJPW job

IWGP Heavyweight Championship
Kenny Omega (c) (w/ Young Bucks) defeated Cody (w/ Brandi Rhodes)
7.75/10

  • The Bucks are out with Omega, who takes the advantage after several minutes and does the Terminator clap with them. Cody throws his injured wife in front of him and gets Omega off his game.
  • Kenny gets sent into the guardrail, which seems to have happened about five times tonight.
  • Cody gets Coup de Graced through a table in the crowd. The Bucks steady the barricade for Omega.
  • After Cody works over Omega, they slug it out in the ring until Omega hits a frankensteiner.
  • Great V-Trigger reversal tease that led to Omega drop toe holding Cody into the second rope, then doing it. Snapdragon follows that.
  • Cody applies a Figure Four, and Omega tries to slap his way out.
  • Kenny Omega grabbed a ladder! Cody grabbed a chair! Omega gets slammed, then front suplexed onto the ladder.
  • Cody superplexes Omega off the ladder into the ring! The Bucks had pleaded with Cody not to send him into the table outside.
  • Cody grabs the title and gets spike rana'd on it. Omega was livid that Cody would even think about touching the title.
  • Cross Rhodes hits for a 2.9. Omega powerbombs Cody over the top to the outside BUT THE TABLE DOESN'T BREAK. WOW.
  • One Winged Angel wins it!
  • “I see pretty much a full house"- No you don't Kenny.
  • Bullet Club comes out and congratulates Omega. TAMA TONGA TURNED ON OMEGA!!!!!!! IT'S HAPPENING!
  • This is the right move. I've been asking what would happen with the Tongans for months on the Fightful Select Weekender Podcast and List & Ya Boy!
  • Bucks get attacked too, Hangman tries to help, as does Scurll. Takahashi gets his ass beat real proper too.
  • Cody teases turning on Omega, but attacks the Tongans and gets beaten up too.
  • Cody hugs Kenny Omega to end the show and they leave. Tongans have defected from Bullet Club.
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