The G1 is approaching its final days and, believe it or not, there are still a lot of wrestlers who can still theoretically win. Approximately half of A Block and almost all of B Block are still mathmatically capable.
B Block Tournament Matches
Juice Robinson & Toa Henare Ren Narita & Yota Tsuji when Henare pinned Tsuji with a Uranage – A standard opening match that featured Young Lions. Juice’s next opponent is scheduled to be Taichi so putting him against a team of just Young Lions is a little different than usual. Juice put Narita in a modified Boston Crab on the floor to prevent him from aiding Tsuji as Henare got the pin.
CHAOS (NEVER Openweight Champion Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto, & YOSHI-HASHI Toru Yano, Jeff Cobb, & Tomoaki Honma when YOSHI-HASHI submitted Honma with a Butterfly Lock – Yano teased joining the side of his fellow CHAOS members. He still started out with Ishii. Goto stopped Yano from stalling on the outside and tossed him back in. The finish saw Honma and Hashi in the ring while everybody else brawled on the floor. Hashi clamped the Butterfly Lock on Honma, who lingered for a minute or two before submitting.
Los Ingobernables De Japon (IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, & BUSHI) b. Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) when Takagi pinned Kanemaru with Made In Japan – In this case, Naito and Takagi are opponents on the next show, but rather than face each other in a preview match they are teaming since they’re in the same stable. Not surprisingly, a brawl broke out before the bell and the match went almost immediately to the floor. When the match got back in the ring, Bushi was the one getting triple-teamed. After a double tag out, both teams steadily got in offense with neither team dominating the other. Kanemaru hit a spinning DDT on Takagi, which was followed with a quick double-teaming with the help of Suzuki. Naito broke the pin and another brawl broke out. Takagi blocked the Deep Impact DDT and hit a Pumping Bomber on Kanemaru. With everybody else held at bay, Suzuki scored the pin with Made In Japan.
After the match, the three LIJ members gave the fistbump.
Bullet Club (Jay White & Chase Owens w/Gedo) b. Jon Moxley & Shota Umino when White pinned Umino with a Blade Runner – Umino got cut off and slammed into the apron and the barricade. White managed to yank Moxley off the apron to prevent a tag. Umino fought back and put Owens in a Boston Crab. White broke the hold and got chased around by Moxley. Owens managed to knock Moxley down and tag in White, who finished off Umino with a Blade Runner.
After the match, Chase Owens chased off Christ Charlton (no pun intended) and sat in on color commentary for the next match. Of course, it also involved The Bullet Club.
A Block Tournament Matches
Bad Luck Fale w/Jado (2-4, 4) p. KENTA (4-22, 8) with a roll-up – The underhanded tactics began almost immediately with Jado striking Kenta from behind with the shinai. Fale stalked Kenta for the next several minutes. Kenta retaliated with a flying clothesline and started his comeback. He hit the Double Stomp but Fale kicked out. For some reason, Kenta thought it was a good idea to try the GTS. Obviously, Fale was too big and escaped. Fale lifted Kenta for a Hand Grenade. Kenta reversed it into a submission that brought Fale to the canvas. Kenta transitioned into Game Over. Owens rang to ringside to distract the referee. Fale visibly tapped out behind Red Shoes’ back. Jado entered the ring and tried to hit Kenta with the shinai. Kenta blocked and knocked Jado to the floor. Fale struck from behind and rolled up Kenta to steal the victory.
Zack Sabre Jr. (2-4, 4) p. Lance Archer (2-4, 4) with a Roll-Up – Archer sucker punched several Young Lions while making his entrance. The two Suzuki-Gun members played to their strengths. Archer used his power while Sabre relied on his agility and submission holds. Archer still managed to hit a flying bodypress for a near fall. Archer hit a chokeslam but then made the mistake of pulling up Sabre before the three-count. this came back to bite him because Sabre reversed a chokeslam into a roll-up and scored the pin.
After the match, Archer put the referee in the Claw because he’s a jerk like that.
EVIL (3-3, 6) p. Will Ospreay (2-4, 4) with Everything Is Evil – Ospreay got the shine early one by knocking Evil to the floor. Evil returned the favor and knocked Ospreay to the floor. Rather than wait in the ring like Ospreay did, Evil followed him and battered him on the floor. This put Evil clearly in the driver’s seat when the match got back into the ring. At the ten-minute mark, Ospreay reversed a Darkness Falls into a Stunner and started his comeback. Evil stopped the momentum with a running clothesline. Ospreay kicked out of Darkness Falls. Evil went for the kill with Everything Is Evil only for Ospreay to counter into a Powerbomb. the two traded several reversals and near falls, including Evil kicking out of an Oscutter. Ospreay tried a second Oscutter which Evil reversed into a back suplex. Finally, Evil hit Everything Is Evil and got the pin.
Kota Ibushi (4-2, 8) p. Hiroshi Tanahashi (4-2, 8) with a Kamigoye – This was a rematch of the G1 Finals last year where Tanahashi won. This year both men are tied at 8 points. They started the match with the feeling out process. Tanahashi got the upper hand and grounded Ibushi. Tanahashi knocked Ibushi to teh floor and tried to follow up with a High Fly Flow. Ibushi sprung up and hit a hurricanrana from the top to counter. Tanahashi kicked out of a Deadlift German Suplex and slapped Ibushi. This got Ibushi riled up, and the two traded dueling strikes. Ibushi won that battle but couldn’t get the pin. Tanahashi blocked a Kamigoye and made his comeback. He hit the Aces High and immediately went for the High Fly Flow. Ibushi dodged, and Tanahashi crashed to the mat. Ibushi followed up with a Boma Ye. Tanahashi still kicked out. Ibushi then hit the Kamigoye to get the pin.
After the match, the two laid on the mat, clearly talking to each other. Tanahashi patted Ibushi on the back and slid out of the ring, which seemed to imply he showed Ibushi serious respect for beating him since this eliminated Tanahashi from winning the A Block.
SANADA (2-4, 4) p. IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada (6-0, 6) with a Moonsault – Okada has beaten Sanada every time they wrestled. However, the matches were getting noticeably longer, meaning that Sanada is getting increasingly harder for Okada to beat. For the first few minutes there literally was no contact because the crowd was loudly chanting for both men. Neither man got any sustained offense and the two went back and forth. It was Okada who got the momentum after the match went to the floor. Okada hit a sliding dropkick, then stood over Sanada with one foot on him like he was trying to pin using only one foot. For some reason, Red Shoes didn’t make the count. Still, this brash of arrogance by Okada turned the crowd against him. Sanada made a comeback to the roar of the crowd and put Okada in the Paradise Lock. The two then traded several moves that lead to a double down. As they got to their feet, they traded strikes at the 20-minute mark. Okada hit the Dropkick and again went for the Rainmaker. Sanada again reversed into a Skull End. Okada tried to reverse that but got a German Suplex in response. Sanada hit a TKO for a near fall. Okada responded with two straight Rainmakers. he went for a third which Sanada countered into his own Rainmaker. Sanada again went for the Skull End, this time the spinning variation. At the 25-minute mark, Sanada had Okada in the middle of the ring, unable to escape the Skull End. Okada was in the hold for several minutes and finally started to fade. Sanada released the hold and climbed the ropes for a moonsault. Okada still got the knees up and blocked it. Sanada reversed another Rainmaker attempt into a TKO. Sanada responded with two straight moonsaults and got the pin with mere seconds remaining.
After the match, Sanada cut the customary promo saying he lost to Okada last time he was here, but for tonight Osaka is great.
A Block Standings
12 Kazuchika Okada
10 Kota Ibushi
8 Hiroshi Tanahashi
6 Zack Sabre Jr.
4 Bad Luck Fale
4 Lance Archer
4 Will Ospreay