We’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as the conclusion of the G1 Climax is nearing. The final week of action kicked off in Shizuoka this morning, with A Block tournament matches taking place. Following yesterday’s upsets, will tonight be more of the same?
Prelim matches —
– Juice Robinson & David Finlay defeated Katsuya Kitamura & Tomoyuki Oka when Finlay pinned Oka following a stunner.
– EVIL & Hiromu Takahashi defeated Michael Elgin & Hirai Kawato when Takahashi submitted Kawato with the Boston crab.
– Tama Tonga & Yujiro Takahashi defeated Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan after Tonga laid out Tenzan with the Gun Stun.
– SANADA & BUSHI defeated Kenny Omega & Chase Owens when SANADA submitted Owens with the Skull End.
– Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano & Gedo defeated Minoru Suzuki, Taichi & El Desperado when Yano ripped off Taichi’s pants and rolled him up.
A Block matches —
Yuji Nagata defeated Zack Sabre Jr.
Great match. They combined Nagata’s stiffness with Sabre’s great wrestling ability to have a nice back-and-forth encounter.
They started off with some mat wrestling. Desperado grabbed Nagata’s leg, but he remained undaunted as he took out Sabre with a big boot. Sabre transitioned and used his feet to strike Nagata’s wrist, taking it into his control and stomping it.
There was more mat wrestling as Nagata took down Sabre and applied a crossface. He picked up Sabre for an exploder, but Sabre transitioned it into a guillotine, then went back to working on Nagata’s wrist. Sabre got Nagata in a triangle choke, but Nagata popped out and transitioned into his trademark armbar.
They each took shots at their injured arms, striking each other with kicks. Nagata went for the back suplex until Sabre countered with the octopus stretch. Nagata escaped and hit a brainbuster. Sabre kicked out of one back suplex, but he didn’t kick out of a second, giving Yuji Nagata his first win of the tournament.
Kota Ibushi defeated YOSHI-HASHI
They had another great back-and-forth match. The last couple of minutes were awesome. Ibushi always knows when to turn it up and YOSHI-HASHI does as well.
Both wrestlers got some shine early, striking one another with some very good offense. YOSHI-HASHI countered a clothesline and hit Ibushi with the headhunter neckbreaker. Ibushi came back with a hurricanrana and took out YH with the golden triangle moonsault on the outside.
YOSHI-HASHI came back with the swanton bomb and sunk in the butterfly lock. Ibushi fought on, but YH wouldn’t let it go. Ibushi got out of it, grabbed YH’s wrists and went for the Kamigoye, but YH would headbutt back whenever Ibushi tried to strike. YOSHI-HASHI finally cut off Ibushi with his own press powerbomb.
Continuing to gain momentum, YOSHI-HASHI hit a running meteora and went for Karma, but Ibushi floated over and struck YOSHI-HASHI with a kick to the head. He hit the last ride, but YOSHI-HASHI kicked out. The Kamigoye, however, sealed the deal.
Bad Luck Fale defeated Hirooki Goto
Goto tried to whittle down Fale with kicks, but it didn’t work as Fale quickly dispatched him to the outside. Fale took one of Goto’s legs and slammed it against the ring post, giving him something to work with.
Fighting back, Goto gained momentum by clotheslining Fale. He tried lifting him up on his shoulders but couldn’t get it done. Goto tried for the GTR, but Fale raked him in the eyes. He went for a lariat, but Fale came back with one of his own.
Goto escaped a Bad Luck Fall attempt, but then walked right into a Grenade, giving Fale a win in a pretty good bout.
Tetsuya Naito defeated Togi Makabe
Makabe started off hot on Naito’s trail as he took him out of the ring and brawled with him into the crowd. Naito cut him off and took him back to the ring, where he started to build momentum.
Naito tried for the satellite DDT, but Makabe threw him off and hit the kneeling powerbomb. Makabe then took Naito to the top rope and smashed his head repeatedly into the turnbuckle in nasty fashion. Eventually, he did land the spider German suplex. He went to finish with the King Kong knee drop, but Naito rolled out of the way.
Naito countered back with a koppo kick and went for the Destino, but Makabe blocked it and hit a lariat. Naito hit what looked like a reverse Destino, then followed with another for the win in a great match.
Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Tomohiro Ishii
I don’t know if this was as good as their previous bouts, but this was still one hell of a main event. There was excellent, high-impact work between the two with some exciting reversal spots near the end.
They went back and forth on one another early, exchanging brutal chops. Tanahashi went after a leg. He took Ishii to the top rope and tried to launch him off, but he wouldn’t budge until Tanahashi took him out with a dragon screw.
Ishii started to build momentum with a dragon suplex, but Tanahashi countered right back with a slingblade. Tanahashi missed a High Fly Flow attempt, but countered Ishii’s sliding D attempt into a crucifix. Tanahashi continued his work on Ishii’s legs, unloading with a few dragon screws before sinking in a cloverleaf.
After repeatedly going after Ishii’s bum leg, Tanahashi’s fortune turned against him as Ishii gave one of his legs a stunner and started to work on it. Ishii went for a knee crusher until Tanahashi countered with a slingblade, only for Ishii to come right back with a lariat.
Ishii wrapped Tanahashi in a sharpshooter, but he quickly made it to the ropes. Ishii got a setback as Tanahashi gave him a dragon screw, but he met Tanahashi on the top rope and unleashed a big superplex. Ishii tried to follow with a brainbuster, but Tanahashi hit two twist and shout neckbreakers. Ishii tried for it again, but this time Tanahashi took him out with a dragon suplex.
They battled it out, with both kicking out at one as they exchanged moves. Tanahashi crawled to the corner and went for the High Fly Flow, and it connected. A second followed, and Tanahashi scored the win.
Tanahashi, looking exhausted and selling his leg, cut a short promo to close out the show. Only Tanahashi and Naito are in contention heading into their match at the A Block finals on August 11th.
Current Standings —
Hiroshi Tanahashi — 12
Tetsuya Naito — 12
Bad Luck Fale — 10
Kota Ibushi — 10
Zack Sabre Jr. — 8
Tomohiro Ishii — 8
Hirooki Goto — 8
Togi Makabe — 6
YOSHI-HASHI — 4
Yuji Nagata — 2
Kazuchika Okada — 12
Kenny Omega — 10
EVIL — 10
Minoru Suzuki — 8
SANADA — 8
Michael Elgin — 6
Toru Yano — 6
Tama Tonga — 4
Juice Robinson — 4
Satoshi Kojima — 2