We’re at the Eidon arena in Osaka for the 14th night of the prestigious G1 Climax tournament. Osaka is always a notoriously hot crowd for Tetsuya Naito and he’s facing the ever popular Kota Ibushi, let’s see who the crowd rallies behind tonight!
Toru Yano vs Sanada:
Sanada has very slim hopes of making it through the b-block, but then again Yano is notorious for playing spoiler in the G1, so Sanada should not take this match lightly.
Yano almost gets the jump on Sanada by tying his legs together on the outside ramp, but The LIJ member breaks free and gets back in the ring just in time
Some brawling ensues on the outside after Sanada almost gets the win via count out with the paradise lock, but Yano’s stablemate Rocky Romero makes the save by freeing Yano from the hold.
Sanada successfully gets the count out victory by taping Yano to the barricade and locking Rocky in the paradise lock to grab a vital 2 points and keep the embers of his g1 hopes burning. Honestly a rather fun Yano match.
Tama Tonga Vs Hirooki Goto:
Well, the bad boy has reached Kanemaru status for me, I’m starting to dread covering these matches as it appears that this OGBC story isn’t really going anywhere, but thankfully there are only a couple more nights left in the B-block and maybe Goto can knock some sense into the Tongan.
These Tama matches are getting harder and harder to cover, it’s almost formulaic, Loa spot, followed by Fale spot, lather rinse repeat. It’s tired booking and not the kind of booking that fans expect out of the prestigious competition known as the G1.
Fortunately, this match has a slightly better style to it, after yet another Fale attack, Red Shoes comes in, but instead of counting for Tama, he flips off the Tongans and throws the match out. And word on the street is that NJPW is not too happy with the antics of the Tongans (kayfabe of course).
Winner: Hirooki Goto
Zack Sabre Jr vs Juice Robinson:
It’s Zack time as he takes on a revitalized US champion in Juice Robinson, the status of his arm is in question as he removed his cast in his last match, and Sabre is the last person you want to step into the ring with while you’re carrying an injury.
Sabre and Juice start the match in Sabre’s style early and Sabre nearly immediately goes after Juice’s injured hand. But Juice manages to free himself and absolutely flatten ZSJ with a chop in the corner. Sabre might be barking up the wrong tree if he wants to make this a slugfest.
Juice has successfully kept this match physical and has been able to handle whatever the Brit has thrown at him, Sabre has locked in a few submissions but Juice manages to power out.
Sabre finally is able to lock Juice in a hold that likens to turning Juice into a human pretzel and though he valiantly holds on, Juice verbally taps out to end the match. This opens up an opportunity for Sabre to have a US title match, and Sabre wants to hold it on US soil.
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr
Kenny Omega vs Tomohiro Ishii:
The idea of this match has me feeling tingly, these two are gonna have a war in the rematch of their 2017 US title tournament final, that match was an instant classic and this one has all the potential to repeat.
Both these workers start out hot and keep it super physical, Ishii has the definite upper hand and lands some mean strikes on the heavyweight champ. But Omega answers with a DDT that plants Ishii like a lawn dart.
Omega hits his terminator outside dive but lands awkwardly on his injured heel, possibly giving Ishii an opening to gain control of the match, which he takes with even more ferocious strikes.
Somewhere in between some severely stiff offense, Omega’s mouth is busted open and it looks gnarly. But the champion isn’t letting a little blood slow him down and lands a few more v-triggers, but none of them seem to even phase Ishii.
After what can only be described as an all-out war, a beaten and bloodied Omega just could not handle the sheer determination and heart of Tomohiro Ishii, and the stone pitbull hands Kenny Omega his first loss, he manages to do what some thought would be impossible to do and gets two points from Kenny.
Chalk this one up as another can’t miss match. As of right now, Ishii is my tournament MVP, hands down.
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii
Kota Ibushi vs Tetsuya Naito:
Given the unenviable task of following up the previous night, Naito and Ibushi have a match with so much on the line. A victory here for the leader of LIJ all but secures his place in the final and puts Ibushi between a rock and a hard place. With so much on the line, I wouldn’t count on this match to be disappointing.
Tetsuya tries to establish control early but Ibushi manages to keep up with him move for move. Naito takes it to the outside where he tries to ground the high flyer with some offense on his knee.
The offense to Ibushi’s knee does nothing to slow him down as he is maintaining his blistering pace with a golden triangle to the outside, how folks are able to keep up this pace after such a grueling G1 schedule is such a testament to their stamina and conditioning.
20 minutes in and these two have no signs of stopping, Ibushi attempts a top rope piledriver but Naito manages to reverse it into a super reverse Rana, but Ibushi lands on his feet before being steamrolled by an incredible lariat. This match is nothing short of a roller coaster.
Naito seems to have the match won after using Destino, but Ibushi kicks out and gathers up the strength to hit a boma ye knee strike straight outta the Nakamura playbook and follows up with Kami-Goye to win the match and keep his hopes alive and keeps the pressure on Naito, this block is going to come down to the wire.
Winner: Kota Ibushi
|Jay White||12||Kota Ibushi||10|
|Minoru Suzuki||8||Zack Sabre Jr||8|
|Bad Luck Fale||6||Tomohiro Ishii||6|
|Michael Elgin||6||Hirooki Goto||6|
|Hangman Page||6||Tama Tonga||4|
|Togi Makabe||4||Juice Robinson||4|
With only a few matches left and the final coming up this weekend, the B-block is still wide open, everything is still on the line and any dropped points will be costly in this block. There’s a whole bunch of scenarios now, so make sure to stick tight and don’t miss any of the action with us here!