4/6/19 - G1 Supercard - New York, NY
Zack Sabre Jr.
EVIL and SANADA
NEW YORK -- April 6 was an unforgettable, historic night, as Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro-Wrestling joined forces for G1 Supercard before a raucous, sold-out crowd of 16,534 at Madison Square Garden. Seven championships changed hands, including the ROH World and IWGP Heavyweight titles, which were won by Matt Taven and Kazuchika Okada, respectively. Fans also witnessed a surprise appearance by the legendary Great Muta and the debut of a new faction in WOH -- The Allure (Angelina Love, Velvet Sky and Mandy Leon), who made an immediate impact..
-- Kenny King won the Honor Rumble
-- Title vs. Title: ROH World Television Champion Jeff Cobb defeated NEVER Openweight Champion Will Ospreay to leave with both titles
-- RUSH defeated Dalton Castle (w/The Boys)
-- Women of Honor World Title Match: Kelly Klein defeated champion Mayu Iwatani (w/Sumie Sakai) to win the title
-- New York City Street Fight Six-Man Tag Match: Flip Gordon and LifeBlood’s Juice Robinson and Mark Haskins defeated Bully Ray, Silas Young and Shane Taylor
-- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Dragon Lee defeated Bandido and champion Taiji Ishimori to win the title
-- Title vs. Title Fourway Tag Match : IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa w/Gedo) defeated ROH World Tag Team Champions PCO and Brody King, EVIL and SANADA and Jay and Mark Briscoe to leave with both titles
-- British Heavyweight Title Match: Champion Zack Sabre Jr. (w/Taka Michinoku) defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi
-- IWGP Intercontinental Title Match: Kota Ibushi defeated champion Tetsuya Naito to win the title
-- ROH World Title Triple Threat Ladder Match: Matt Taven defeated champion Jay Lethal and “The Villain” Marty Scurll to win the title
-- IWGP Heavyweight Title: Kazuchika Okada defeated champion Jay White (w/Gedo) to win the title
The first two competitors were Kenny King -- who had demanded to start the match to prove his superiority -- and the dangerous Minoru Suzuki. The final two entrants were legends Haku and The Great Muta.
The match came down to Muta and another Japanese legend, Jushin “Thunder” Liger. It was a goosebump-inducing moment when Muta and Liger squared off, but that moment was spoiled by King.
King, who had been hiding under the ring after being through the ropes during the match (competitors are eliminated only when they are thrown over the top rope), came up behind Muta and Liger and eliminated them both to win the match.
Afterwards, Muta sprayed his mist into King’s face and then gave the ring to Liger, who has announced that he will retire in January. The crowd chanted, “ Thank you, Liger.”
Title vs. Title: ROH World Television Champion Jeff Cobb vs. NEVER Openweight Champion Will Ospreay
Cobb, who has not been pinned or forced to submit in ROH since winning the ROH World Television Title in September in his debut match, was looking to avenge a pinfall loss to Ospreay in a tag match at Honor Rising in February. He did so in an exciting, back-and-forth match that got the main show off to a sizzling start.
After hitting a super Tour of the Islands off the middle ropes, Cobb followed with a second Tour of the Islands for the victory. Ospreay, who had won the title from Kota Ibushi at Wrestle Kingdom in January, saw his reign end at 92 days.
Dalton Castle (w/The Boys) vs. RUSH
Castle, who has been mired in a prolonged slump, believed a victory over RUSH, who is undefeated in ROH, would get him back on track. After a spectacular entrance, however, things quickly went south for the former ROH World Champion.
One of The Boys’ feather fans was inadvertently left in the ring, and the referee wouldn’t call for the opening bell until it was removed. One of The Boys reached in and grabbed the fan, which distracted Castle for a split second, but that was all the time the opportunistic RUSH would need to take advantage.
The bell sounded and “El Toro Blanco” came charging out of the gate and blasted Castle with a shotgun dropkick that sent Castle crashing into the corner. RUSH immediately followed up with two Bull’s Horns and scored the victory. Time of the match: 16 seconds.
After the match, The Boys tried to comfort a distraught Castle, but Castle snapped and laid out his loyal, longtime companions to the shock and disgust of the crowd.
Women of Honor World Title Match: Champion Mayu Iwatani vs. Kelly Klein
This was the rubber match, as Klein had won the first two meetings, while Iwatani won the last two, defeating Klein for the title and then beating her again in the rematch.
Before the opening bell, Klein extended her hand to adhere to the Code of Honor, but Iwatani was wary and refused to shake Klein’s hand. Klein then told the members of Camp Klein to go to the back to demonstrate to Iwatani that this would be a fair fight with no outside interference.
The match pitted the champion’s technical skills and agility against Klein’s power moves and strikes. Klein hit her K-Power finish two times in a row to become beat Iwatani and become the first two-time WOH World Champion. Iwatani, who had defeated Klein to win the title at Bound by Honor in February, saw her reign end at 55 days.
After the match, an emotional Klein helped Iwatani to her feet, and the two rivals embraced. After Iwatani gave the ring to the new champion, former Impact Wrestling stars Angelina Love and Velvet Sky stunned the crowd as they walked down the ramp and entered the ring.
As Love and Sky stood across from a confused Klein, Mandy Leon -- who had sat in on commentary during the match -- entered the ring and stood alongside Klein. Suddenly, Leon removed one of her high heels and nailed Klein in the head with it. Love then pump-kicked Klein.
Jenny Rose hit the ring in an attempt to make the save, but Love took her out with a pump-kick. Stella Grey then entered the ring, but Sky sprayed her in the face with hair spray, and Leon DDT’d her.
Sky then drew an “A” with lipstick on the fallen Klein’s forehead. Love, Sky and Leon left the ring and stood on the ramp, where a graphic that read “The Allure” appeared on the screen behind them.
Bully Ray’s Open Challenge for a New York City Street Fight
Bully Ray was scheduled to face Juice Robinson, but Robinson was laid out by an unknown assailant (or assailants backstage). Bully said his open challenge was open again. It was answered by Flip Gordon, who had re-injured his knee in a match in Ireland less than two weeks ago and was thought to be unable to compete.
Doctors feared that Gordon -- who had been out of action since suffering a torn MCL tear in January -- had suffered a bucket handle meniscus tear, which would’ve required surgery and kept him on the shelf for four-to-six months. Fortunately, an MRI exam revealed that Gordon’s injury was a locked knee, which was treated with rest and pain medication.
A few minutes into the match, Gordon gained possession of a kendo stick and pointed it at Bully’s head. Suddenly, Silas Young and Shane Taylor hit the ring and attacked Gordon. That brought out Robinson and fellow LifeBlood member Mark Haskins to even the odds, and the match was turned into a six-man tag.
New York City Street Fight Six-Man Tag Match: Flip Gordon and LifeBlood’s Juice Robinson and Mark Haskins vs. Bully Ray, Silas Young and Shane Taylor
Early in the match, Gordon again found himself alone in the ring with Bully, Young and Taylor, who were all armed with kendo sticks. Gordon, refusing to be intimidated, gave his back to each of them and demanded they hit him with their weapon. He withstood brutal shots from all three men and would not back down. At that point, Robinson and Haskins got into the ring with kendo sticks of their own, and Haskins handed a third kendo stick to Gordon. The war was on.
Tables, chairs, garbage cans and a pallet also were used as weapons. Bully powerbombed Gordon through a table, but Gordon recovered and went on to hit a 450 Splash on Bully. Gordon covered Bully (with an assist from Robinson and Haskins) and referee Todd Gordon made the three count.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Champion Taiji Ishimori vs. Bandido vs. Dragon Lee
This match was all high-flying, fast-paced action right from the opening bell. In what would prove to be the move of the night, Bandido hit a double fallaway moonsault slam off the top rope. Lee won the match and the title with a suplex into a Liger Bomb on Bandido.
Title vs. Title Fourway Tag Match: ROH World Tag Team Champions PCO and Brody King vs. IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa w/Gedo) vs. EVIL and SANADA vs. Jay and Mark Briscoe
PCO had a surreal entrance, as he sat in an electric chair on stage and was “brought to life” by his trainer, Destro, with jumper cables. To no one’s surprise, this was a wild brawl right from the start. With Mark Briscoe incapacitated on the apron, PCO (finally) landed his somersault senton. Later, G.O.D. powerbombed PCO over the top rope to the floor. Incredibly, PCO sat right up.
G.O.D. hit a super powerbomb on King for the win. PCO and King’s reign as ROH World Tag Team Champions ended at 22 days (they still hold the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Titles with fellow Villain Enterprises member Marty Scurll).
G.O.D. became the fifth team to have held the ROH World and IWGP Heavyweight tag titles, but the first to hold them simultaneously.
British Heavyweight Title Match: Champion Zack Sabre Jr. (w/Taka Michinoku) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Tanahashi scored several near falls on Sabre, but he couldn’t put him away. Sabre eventually locked on an Octopus hold that tied up all of Tanahashi’s limbs, and the NJPW ace had no choice but to submit.
IWGP Intercontinental Title Match: Champion Tetsuya Naito vs. Kota Ibushi
This showdown between two highly decorated NJPW stars more than lived up to high expectations. There were numerous near falls that sent the crowd into a frenzy before Ibushi finally finished off Naito with Kamagoye to win the championship in just under 21 minutes.
It’s the first Intercontinental Title for Ibushi, a three-time former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion as well as a former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion and NEVER Openweight Champion. Naito’s third reign as Intercontinental Champion, which began with a victory over Chris Jericho in January, ended at 92 days.
ROH World Title Triple Threat Ladder Match: Champion Jay Lethal vs. Matt Taven vs. “The Villain” Marty Scurll
Twenty-five years after a historic ladder match took place at Madison Square Garden, three competitors all at the top of the game looked to ascend to even greater heights by leaving “The World’s Most Famous Arena” as the ROH World Champion.
Lethal, Taven and Scurll left it all in the ring as they put their bodies on the line throughout the brutal contest. At one point, Taven speared Scurll through the ropes and through a table on the floor. Outside the ring, Lethal hit a flying elbow off the top of a ladder to send Taven through a table.
Taven introduced a super-sized, purple ladder into the match. It came down to Taven and Lethal slugging it out on top of the ladder. Taven slammed the championship belt onto Lethal’s head, knocking Lethal off the ladder back-first onto another ladder. Taven pulled down the belt to become the new ROH World Champion at just under the 30-minute mark.
Taven is just the second Grand Slam champion in ROH history. Lethal, who holds the record for most combined days as ROH World Champion at 707, saw his second reign at 280 days.
IWGP Heavyweight Title: Champion Jay White (w/Gedo) vs. Kazuchika Okada
After White and Okada battled back and forth for nearly 30 minutes, Gedo jumped onto the apron and distracted the referee, which allowed White to hit a low blow on Okada. White was unable to finish off the challenger, however.
A series of high-impact moves, counters and near falls followed. Ultimately, Okada hit a Tombstone piledriver and followed with the Rainmaker to win his fifth IWGP Heavyweight Title. White’s reign ended at 54 days.