The finals of the 28th G1 Climax took place Sunday from Budokan Hall with the A Block winner Hiroshi Tanahashi meeting B Block winner Kota Ibushi to conclude the tournament.
The two had one of the best matches of the entire tournament, going 35 minutes and culminating with three versions of the High Flow delivered by Tanahashi to pin Ibushi.
The win represents Tanahashi’s third tournament victory with additional victories in 2007 and 2015. He will now challenge for the IWGP heavyweight championship at Wrestle Kingdom 13 on Friday, January 4th, 2019 at the Tokyo Dome.
Ibushi, devastated from the loss, held his head in his hands as he staggered to the back after briefly bowing to Tanahashi.
Tanahashi and Ibushi had met in the 2015 and 2017 editions of the G1 with each holding a victory. They also engaged in one of the best matches of 2017 with an Intercontinental title match at Power Struggle.
With Kenny Omega as IWGP heavyweight champion, a match with Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom would be their first singles match since February 2016. That match occurred when Omega broke out as a singles star, defeating Tanahashi to win the Intercontinental title, which was vacated by the departing Shinsuke Nakamura.
We will have a review of the finals posted on the site shortly with Wai Ting, WH Park and I discussing the entire card.