We approach the middle-point of the tournament with a lot of exciting matches left to see. Bullet Club leader “Switchblade” Jay White is still scoreless, while newcomer Jon Moxley is still undefeated.
A Block Tag Matches
Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi, & Chase Owens) b. Will Ospreay, Tomoaki Honma, & Yuya Uemera when Takahashi pinned Uemera with a Pimp Juice DDT – Honma started out opposite Yujiro. Once Honma missed a Kokeshi, the heels pounced and got the heat on him. Ospreay got the hot tag and immediately went after Fale. Owens countered with a DVD for a double down. Double tag out to Uemera and Yujiro. The heels triple teamed Uemera, which Yujiro finished off with a Pimp Juice DDT.
Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Lance Archer, & Zack Sabre Jr.) b. Los Ingobernables De Japon (EVIL, SANADA, & BUSHI) when Suzuki pinned BUSHI with a Gotch Piledriver – It wasn’t a question of whether the heels would attack before the bell, it was a question of which heel team. This time it was Suzuki-Gun. They got the heat on Evil until Sanada got the tag and ran wild. Archer cut him off with a Black Hole Slam. Bushi tagged in and went for the MX on Suzuki. Archer intercepted and used the EBD Claw. This gave Suzuki time to recover and hit BUSHI with the Gotch Piledriver to get the win.
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Shota Umino p. Kota Ibushi & Ren Narita when Tanahashi pinned Narita with a Slingblade – The teams went back and forth making frequent tags. It wasn’t until Umino go thrown into the barricade that either team got momentum. Narita placed Tanahashi in a Boston Crab. Tanahashi made the rope break and hit a Slingblade to get the pin in a relatively short match
IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada, YOSHI-HASHI, & Toa Henare b. KENTA, Karl Fredericks, & Clark Connors when YOASH-HASHI submitted Connors with a Butterfly Lock – Okada and KENTA insisted on starting for their respective teams. Okada’s team cut off Fredericks until he managed to tag Connors. Hashi got triple-teamed, which resulted in a near fall. Okada’s team kept Kenta and Fredericks at bay while Hashi recovered and used the Butterfly Lock to get the submission.
B Block Tournament Matches
Juice Robinson (2 -1, 4) p. Toru Yano (2-1, 4) with Pulp Friction – Yano went to his usual bag of tricks of removing the turnbuckle pads, tying up with tape, and rolling up from behind. Juice managed to stay a step ahead and got the pin with Pulp Friction in a fairly quick match.
Taichi (1-2, 2) p. Hirooki Goto (1-2, 2) with a Gedo Clutch – Taichi attacked Karl Fredericks who was now doing ringside duties. The connection is that Fredericks and Connors trained with Goto and Katsuyori Shibata at the LA Dojo. This enraged Goto, which played into Taichi’s plans. He Brawled with Goto on the floor and used a lot of kicks in the ring. When Taichi tried a superkick, Goto reversed it into an Ushigoroshi and began his comeback. A reverse GTR got a two count for Goto. Taichi escaped a Shouten-Kai and pulled the referee in the way of a Goto shouldberblock. With the referee down, Taichi went for his mic stand. Goto intercepted it and tossed it out of the ring. Again Taichi used the referee’s placing in his favor by grabbing him during another GTR attempt. This helped obscure the referee’s view as he low-blowed Goto and rolled him up with the Gedo Clutch to steal the victory.
IWGP United States Champion Jon Moxley (w/Shota Umino) (3-0, 6) s. Shingo Takagi (2-1, 4) with a Cloverleaf – Kevin Kelly noted that Moxley and Kenta were in the same stable during their time in Dragongate USA. As expected, this match had a lot of strikes right off the bat. It also quickly spilled to the outside. Moxley had the upper hand for the first several minutes. Takagi rebounded with a Noshigami and hit a Pumpin Bomber for a near fall at the 10-minute mark. After Takagi kicked out of a Deathrider, Moxley took the fight to the floor and dropped his knee on a chair. After that, he used chairs on Takagi’s knee. Takagi managed to make into the ring at 19, but immediately got smacked with a Regal Knee. Takagi countered with Made In Japan for a two count. Moxley escaped Last Of The Dragon and hit a pair of Regal knees. Instead of going for the pin, Moxley used a Cloverleaf and surprisingly got the submission.
“Switchblade” Jay White (0-3, 0) (w/Gedo) p. Jeff Cobb (1-3, 2) with Blade Runner – Cobb was unfazed by White’s antic which repeatedly caused White to exit the ring in frustration. Eventually, Cobb had enough and followed him to the floor. Gedo tried to distract Cobb to no avail. Cobb tossed Gedo into the ring and went after him. This gave White the opening he needed to pounce from behind. Cobb battled back with his power. White still managed to escape the Tour Of The Islands and knocked over Red Shoes. Gedo took advantage of the referee being down and tried to use his knucks. Cobb blocked the knucks and knocked Gedo out of the ring. While the referee was coming to, Cobb tried the Tour Of The IIslandsagain. White again escaped, and this time hit the Blade Runner to steal the win.
IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito (1-2, 2) p. NEVER Openweight Champion Tomohiro Ishii (2-1, 4) with Destino – The two erupted in dueling strikes as soon as the bell rang. Naito came out on top with a few clotheslines. Ishii did not stay down for long and soon began rising up against Naito’s strikes. Each time Ishii gained any steam, Naito managed to cut him off. Naito got several near falls before trying for a Destino. Ishii powered out, so Naito used a reverse hurricanrana. Ishii responded with a clothesline. A mountainous superplex finally gave Ishii some clear momentum. However, Naito escaped a brainbuster and hit a Destino. Ishii kicked out. The two traded several big counters and reversals until Naito finally hit Destino to get the win in front of his hometown crowd.
B BLOCK STANDINGS
8 Jon Moxley
6 Juice Robinson
4 Shingo Takagi
4 Tomohiro Ishii
4 Tetsuya Naito
4 Toru Yano
2 Hirooki Goto
2 Jay White
2 Jeff Cobb