ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard Results And Review: Okada Reigns Supreme
Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling made history as the companies joined forces to sell out Madison Square Garden in New York City and put on the G1 Supercard PPV. It may only be April, but this is a strong contender for the best show of the year, and it featured two match of the year contenders as well. Below, you'll find the full results for the entire show as well as a review of each match.
There will be multiple titles on the line, including matches where multiple titles are up for grabs. It should be an incredible evening with some incredible moments. Check out the full match card below.
G1 Supercard Match Card
- Honor Rumble (Pre-Show)
- Kagetsu, Hazuki, & Jenny Rose vs. Sumie Sakai, Hana Kimura, & Stella Grey
- Will Ospreay vs. Jeff Cobb (Never Openweight Champ vs. ROH World TV Champ)
- Dalton Castle vs. Rush
- Mayu Iwatani vs. Kelly Klein (WOH World Championship)
- Bully Ray vs. Juice Robinson (NYC Street Fight Open Challenge)
- Taiji Ishimori (c) vs. Dragon Lee vs. Bandido (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship)
- Evil & Sanada vs. G.O.D. (c) vs. Villain Enterprises (c) vs. The Briscoes (IWGP & ROH Tag Championship)
- Zack Sabre Jr. (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (British Heavyweight Championship)
- Tetsuya Naito vs. Kota Ibushi (IWGP Intercontinental Championship)
- Jay Lethal (c) vs. Matt Taven vs. Marty Scurll (ROH World Championship Ladder Match)
- Jay White (c) vs. Kazuchika Okada (IWGP Heavyweight Championship)
Like most wrestling fans on the internet, GameSpot's wrestle buddies Mat Elfring and Chris E. Hayner have some opinions about the show. Throughout the evening, they'll be updating you with the winners of each bout along with a review of each match.
The evening kicked off with a couple of matches during a preshow, including the Honor Rumble. The match itself brought out some huge names like Jushin "Thunder" Liger and The Great Muta, among others. Kenny King ended up being the final survivor of the match, however. For a preshow, this was an utterly excellent way to kick things off.
As always, GameSpot's wrestle buddies, Mat Elfring and Chris E. Hayner will be discussing the G1 Supercard event, but this time, they are live inside Madison Square Garden as the event unfolds. Keep refreshing to as the show proceeds to see what happens on the show and what GameSpot's Wrestle Buddies have to say about it.
[Photo Cred: Ring of Honor]
Will Ospreay vs. Jeff Cobb
(Never Openweight Champ vs. ROH World TV Champ)
Cobb wins by pin at 12:52
Mat: It's the battle of "guy who will flip over you against a guy who will smash your face with his fists." A truly classic story, and we can all agree on that. I'm really into the offense Cobb is bringing here, which is stopping Ospreay's quickness and agility and pounding him down.
A Jeff Cobb standing moonsault is a gif I desperately need in my life. I needed to get that out into the world. It is very much a back and forth battle with two distinctly different styles. It's complimentary, although the breaks in between spots can be a bit long. Luckily, Ospreay's spots are insane and completely innovative in many respects. I really didn't think this was going to go to Cobb, but he pulled out a win after a couple of huge slams. This is how we're starting the main card off? Ok. I'm into it.
Chris: Will Ospreay ignores the rules of gravity and I'm into it. Jeff Cobb, on the other hand, hits very hard--Ospreay's kryptonite. Well, all of our kryptonite. The best thing about this match early on is how excited the crowd is. It really goes to show how far Ring of Honor and New Japan have come that they can sell out Madison Square Garden and pack it with die-hard fans who are with the matches every step of the way.
These two blended their very different styles together so well, though it wasn't always perfect. While both men got their signature spots in, there seemed to be a fair amount of time between big spots. That said, this story of speed vs. brute force was an entertaining one that led to some truly impressive aerial moves and some downright disturbing hits. In the end, Cobb's brute force won out, and a Tour of the Islands made him a dual champion in a truly awesome opening match.
Dalton Castle vs. Rush
Rush wins by pin at 0:15.
Mat: And here we go. Man, Rush isn't just his name, it's his lifestyle. I love that dropkick he just… and it's over. What? Why are they doing my precious Dalton Castle dirty like that? Well, it's so he can beat up The Boys. I am hurt by everything happening here. My soul is withering away into nothingness. What is life?
2/10 (There wasn't a match)
Chris: So, uh… Yeah. That was a thing. Dalton Castle's entrance was twice as long as this match--and it was fantastic. That said, what's there to review of a match that just kind of starts and ends. Clearly, this is all storytelling for something bigger. Castle turning on the boys after the match is devastating to those of us that follow Ring of Honor, but man, it's an interesting character turn that leaves me curious to see what happens next. That said, Dalton is going to regret getting rid of the Boys. Who else will fan him?
1.5/10 for the match.
6/10 for the angle that followed
Mayu Iwatani vs. Kelly Klein
(WOH World Championship)
Kelly Klein wins by pin at 10:42
Mat: Apparently, Dalton Castle turning on The Boys still has the audience in shock during the Women of Honor title match because they weren't entirely on board with it to begin with. The match was very solid, but very slow. It wasn't bad by any means. This felt very much like a solid NJPW match, but the story didn't really grab me from the get-go. There was also a segment after the match where The Beautiful People and Mandy Leon--now called Allure--came to the ring and attacked Klein that went over poorly. They used lipstick to put an "A" on Klein's head. I thought it meant, "Anarchy," but it totally didn't.
Chris: After an action-packed opener and a second match designed to set up a storyline, this women's match felt a bit out of place as it wasn't loaded with high spots or full of outrageous drama. Instead, it was simply a well-wrestled match. That, however, is the kind of thing ROH and NJPW fans love. From the grounded mat-based wrestling to the few dives sprinkled in, this match more or less had their attention. Not in the same way, though. This match had the audience largely quiet as they waited for the moved to come, applauding especially impressive sequences.
It really shows you that there are different types of wrestling fans. This is the kind of match that would lead a WWE Raw audience to chant "boring." At G1 Supercard, though, there's room for all kinds of action. In the end, Klein won the Women of Honor Championship and was then attacked by the Beautiful People and Mandy Leon, adding a little sizzle to this segment. Unlike the Dalton Castle turn, though, the post-match segment was worse than the match itself.
5/10 for the match
3.5/10 for the post-match angle
Bully Ray vs. Flip Gordon
Apparently, Juice Robinson won't be in the match. Please ignore the fact he's in the promotional image above. It's Flip fighting, not Juice.
Match change... again:
Bully Ray, Silas Young, & Shane Taylor vs. Flip Gordon, Juice Robinson, & Matt Haskins
Gordon/Robinson/Haskins win by pin at 14:59
Mat: Flip! Hell yes. I was actually pretty pumped to see Juice Robinson in this match, but I am quite the Flip Gordon fan, so I'm all about this. Some guy in the next row got really mad when Silas and Shane Taylor showed up and attacked Flip. Ok, there's been like four match changes in the first two minutes.
Please stop hitting Flip with the kendo stick. Anyway, so is a "New York Street Fight" a match where everyone gets all the kendo sticks because that's what happened here. The bout was very much an East Coast match and nothing like NJPW presents, which is completely fine. Tonally, it feels completely in contrast to what we've seen earlier in the night, but it's very fitting. 13 minutes into this madness, you quickly realize that the winner or loser doesn't matter as it's pure chaos in the ring. Sure, it was fun, but it was a bit of a mess at the same time.
Chris: Hang on, I'm just going to sing Flip Gordon's theme song to myself for a couple of hours. A Bully vs. Flip match is all I ever want, honestly. That said, Juice Robinson, Matt Haskins, Silas Young, and Shane Taylor came out, and it became a six-man tag with weapons and stuff. Again, ROH and NJPW know how to switch things up, and this is yet another completely different kind of match than anything seen so far tonight.
This match was just insane, with weapons scattered around, chairs and garbage cans in play, tables here and there. What's not to love from a good ol' hardcore bout? I'll tell you what, the length of this one. It went on much longer than it needed to. Flip and his team got the win, but it didn't really mean anything, and it took a while to get there.
Taiji Ishimori (c) vs. Dragon Lee vs. Bandido
(IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship)
Dragon Lee wins by pin at 8:54
Mat: This match is a bit more up my alley. I like a fast-paced match and agile wrestlers. Essentially, I like seeing people do a bunch of flips and produce ridiculous spot after ridiculous spot. It's apparently not just me, as the crowd at the Garden was super-into this match as well. Ishimori brought more of a powerhouse feel to the match, to counter-act Bandido and Lee's abilities. It's a well-booked match, and nothing but fun.
I can't get too detailed because I was completely hypnotized by the match itself. It flowed so well, and really dragged me in. I was pulling for Bandido to win, but I'm really happy with the Lee win here. What an awesome match.
Chris: Bandido is one of my favorite wrestlers to watch live. And he didn't disappoint. Neither did anyone else, though. The pace was ridiculously fact, the high spots were very high, and everyone was throwing out offense. What's more, there was some insane moves that seem completely out of the realm of possibility--like Bandido's double...Spanish Fly kind of? Whatever it was, it and practically everything else in this match was just awesome. Dragon Lee pulled out the win, but all three of these guys were fantastic.
Evil & Sanada vs. G.O.D. (c) vs. Villain Enterprises (c) vs. The Briscoes
(IWGP & ROH Tag Championship)
G.O.D. wins by pin at 9:49.
Mat: PCO's entrance was longer than everyone else's combined. That's how we started the match. Let's be honest here. 8-Man tag matches are a bit silly. The majority of the match, half the competitors are laying ringside, hurt. It's just moment-to-moment spotlights of two people. However, I'm fine with this when PCO is involved because there's no way he should be pulling off some of the moves he does in the ring.
However, after we get through the lag, this ended up being a pretty great match. G.O.D. ended up taking the titles, which is great to rebuild Bullet Club. However, everything was overshadowed by after the decision when two men from the crowd started attacking Bully Ray. It wasn't shown on the stream, but security never came down, so it's all very confusing.
Chris: First thing's first. If ROH wants to do elaborate entrances, a la WWE's Wrestlemania offerings, they need to make it more fluid. It took a very long time to set up PCO's entrance. While it was a cool moment, the fact that it took minutes for them to actually get it ready took away from how special it was.
As tends to happen in matches like this, a lot of the bout saw only two wrestlers in the ring, with a variety of shenanigans and wrestling happening on the outside. However, once things picked up, there were some truly heinous moments including two competitors powerbombing PCO out of the ring, much to the horror of every fan in MSG. The reaction to that was the loudest I've heard all night and I truly feel for that man.
In the end, Guerrillas of Destiny got the win but everyone was distracted by what was happening outside the ring. What looked like Enzo Amore and Big Cass jumped the guardrail and were immediately tackled by Bully Ray and an assortment of wrestlers. The whole thing was very strange. It feels like it has to be part of the show, as security wasn't there instantly, but if this is an angle it's a terrible one. Neither of these guys should come anywhere near ROH and NJPW and a show of this caliber doesn't need them as a distraction.
7/10 for the match
-100/10 for the post-match angle, if that's what it was
Zack Sabre Jr. (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
(British Heavyweight Championship)
Zack Sabre Jr. wins by submission at 15:13.
Mat: Well, apparently is was Enzo and Cass that jump the guard rails. In other news, I probably need new glasses because my eyesight sucks. Although that happened all off-camera, it may have killed the momentum of the show for the live audience for the first few minutes of this match, which is a shame, as this was a fantastic technical bout.
About 10 minutes in, the crowd was fully back into it, and the back-and-forth between the two wrestlers was fantastic. The finish was amazing as Sabre had Tanahashi in this insane submission move which had all of Tanahashi's limbs in very painful-looking positions. Ridiculousness from outside forces aside, this was a great match.
Chris: In the aftermath of the Enzo and Cass debacle, the early part of this match got lost to myself and--seemingly--most of the people in the press box, which is a real shame. Tanahashi and Sabre are two of the most talented wrestlers on the planet. The holds, strikes, and pinning combinations there two exchanged had the audience on the edge of their seats once they got over the Enzo nonsense.
These two were incredible, and Sabre tying Tanahashi up into a pretzel to get the submission victory was surprising and ridiculously entertaining. I am loving the variety of styles on this card. There's just so much to draw you into this show and we haven't even gotten to Ibushi and Naito yet.
Tetsuya Naito vs. Kota Ibushi
(IWGP Intercontinental Championship)
Ibushi wins by pin at 20:51.
Mat: Early on, the best moment is when Ibushi was tossed into a security guard, and the guard no-sold it--as he didn't know it was going to happen. Naito got in his face, and the guard got all wobbly. Thank you for that moment.
This is exactly what you want from a NJPW match. Moments building anticipation and emotion amongst the audience. These two know how to create drama and tell a story within the ring. There was a moment where we almost saw a death. I'm convinced. Ibushi got dropped on his head and neck hard, and it looked painful.
This was better than I anticipated, and I had extremely high expectations for this match. Ibushi and Naito put everything on the line. This was an incredible battle and a must see match for the entirety of Mania weekend.
Chris: I dare you to find a harder-hitting match on this card. These two are the epitome of New Japan Pro Wrestling, and if you've seen this match, you'll know why NJPW is so popular. Holy cow. These guys kicked and punched each other senseless, pulled off a bunch of death-defying moves, and took each other to the limit.
Everything in this match looked like it hurt so much, which goes to show just how talented these two are. Even still, they're going to be very sore tomorrow. Heck, I might be just from the thuds we heard every time they hit the mat. This was a brutal contest between these two, and the audience ate up every second.
In the end, it was Ibushi who won after a vicious series of knees to the head that I would never want to personally experience. Wow. What a match. Everything about it worked and seeing Ibushi with the IWGP Intercontinental Championship to end it was practically perfect.
Jay Lethal (c) vs. Matt Taven vs. Marty Scurll
(ROH World Championship Ladder Match)
Taven grabs the title at 29:34.
Mat: Poor Matt Taven only got one streamer. The match itself was exactly what you want from a ladder match or a ROH match in general. It was a fantastic showcase for the company's biggest stars in a match type we don't typically see very often. Most importantly, Taven took the brunt of the punishment, which had everyone cheering. There were lots of crazy ladder spots, including a Lethal elbow drop on the outside of the ring from on top of one and someone in the front row getting hit in the face with a ladder--not intended.
This is exactly what you'd want to see out of a ladder match, although I wasn't really expecting Taven to take this one. I would have thought it would go to Scurll. Maybe we'll get the redesigned ROH World Championship he promised us last week. I would love to watch this match again and again and again.
Chris: What a match. That's a thought I've had a lot tonight, and it's applied every single time. There was no way this match wasn't going to be entertaining, given those involved and the ladder stipulation. Even still, these guys went above and beyond--as did the fan that got a ladder to the face.
The craziest and best spt of the match has to be Jay Lethal's massive elbow drop to Matt Taven off a ladder and through a table outside of the ring. It just looked utterly insane to see in person where it's clear just how big a drop it is. Though, seeing Taven send Lethal off the top of a giant purple ladder onto another one propped up below was quite a sight. Taven walked away from this one with the championship, putting the stamp on an absolutely entertaining main event for Ring of Honor. Poor Marty, though.
Jay White (c) vs. Kazuchika Okada
(IWGP Heavyweight Championship)
Okada wins by pin at 31:46
Mat: This is a late. I am tired. There is still wrestling happening. Why did this show start so late? The evening closes out with a very NJPW match. Slow, heavy-handed, and at times, brutal. This wasn't on the same level as Naito/Ibushi, but it was damn close. It's nuts to see two matches this good on the same card.
This was a gradual climb up the mountain that paid off in dividends. Exceptional moments and high spots weren't overshadowed by the next moment, truly letting it sink in with the crowd. It gets to a point, later in the match, where both of the men have given it their all, and you just don't know what's left in the tank, and that's what's great about this story. The finish to the match was nasty, as Okada kept hitting White with everything he had. This was a long but fantastic match. A great way to end the show.
Chris: If you're going to have an over four hour show, it probably shouldn't start at 7:30 PM. That's late for anyone to be sitting there. It's certainly started taking a toll on me. However, this match still had the crowd wrapped around its finger. How could it not? Okada looking to unseat evil champion Jay White is a great story and these two hit hard.
While it took a while for this match to work up to the intensity of Ibushi and Naito, the story it told--and has been telling--makes it special. As the new leader of Bullet Club, White wants to prove himself as IWGP Champion. Meanwhile, Okada wants to make it rain and save the title--and NJPW--from the likes of White. It's good vs evil and it rules. It also looks very painful.
One thing this match had over Ibushi/Naito was how it progressed. By the end, these two men were utterly exhausted after breaking each other. Thankfully, though, Okada had one last Rainmaker in him and put White down, giving the hero a victory to end what was, ultimately, a victory for wrestling. A non-WWE show at Madison Square Garden, packed to the rafters with rabid fans. It's just magical. Wrestling is cool like that.