Hello, again folks! We are on the fast-track to the G1 Finals at the lovely Budokan Hall. Today’s A-Block action comes from the Takamatsu City General Gymnasium in Kagawa. With that said, let’s get to the fun!
Togi Makabe vs. Bad Luck Fale:
Right off the bat, we know the Tongans are gonna be doing some serious Tongan shit that is going to turn this match sideways in a hurry. Makabe is a tough as nails dude but it’ll still wind up 3 on 1. Just as with every other match, Fale is out with Loa, Makabe may have already lost.
I’m not gonna sugar coat this, as much as I love New Japan, this angle has been trash. They blew up the powder keg at the Cow Palace and are now trying to light the fuse. Gedo doesn’t swing and miss often, if ever, but this is one of those times.
Makabe comes out like a ball of fire and just starts to steamroll Fale as he knows his time is limited. And just like that, Loa trips Makabe to give Fale the advantage. Tongan shenanigans have commenced far earlier than I expected. Makabe isn’t bowing down to the Tongans though and is defiantly fighting them off.
Ref bump, Tongan interference, babyface tries to fight, babyface loses the fight, Tongans win. Now the Tongans have been getting more DQ’s but they can still steal those wins. Fale gets the victory after a lariat with his arm wrapped with Makabe’s chain. Another dud, I’m just burned out on this storyline.
Winner: Bad Luck Fale
Switchblade Jay White vs. Hangman Page:
This is a match of two stories, White has cheated every match and it’s paid off as he’s near the top of the table, while Page has given his heart and played the game straight and is sitting at the bottom. Page has had great match after great match but it just isn’t getting him anywhere. Hopefully, future booking is kind to him after his fantastic performances this tournament.
I wish I could speak Japanese just so I could understand all of the nice things Yujiro is saying about Hangman. Hangman has an early advantage using some good strikes and he and White go to the floor. Out of nowhere Page comes flying into the screen with a Suicide Dive and peppers the hell out of White with strikes.
White goes to the outside again, Page goes for the Apron Shooting Star but White ducks it and nails Page with the Saito Suplex. White is just beating the hell out of Page’s back by repeatedly slamming it into the apron then the barricade.
a fast-paced striking battle ends with Page getting a Standing Shooting Star for two. Page goes for the Buckshot Lariat and White counters it into a modified Blade Runner. These two have an awesome chemistry and they definitely learned from their match earlier this year. Switchblade has Page tied up and is peppering him with strikes and lariats. White goes for one more but Hangman smashes White with the Buckshot Lariat.
White has decided he’s had enough of Hangman and grabs a chair, throwing the ref aside. AS this match goes on we can clearly see how annoyed Switchblade is getting at Pae for not just laying down. Page goes for the chair but eats a low blow followed by the Blade Runner for the three.
Winner: Switchblade Jay White
EVIL vs. Minoru Suzuki:
KAZE NI NARE! The King, Minoru Suzuki makes his way to the ring and none of us are worthy! His opponent tonight is the dark man from LIJ, EVIL. Spoiler alert, these two are going to beat the living hell out of each other, and I AM HERE FOR IT!
Suzuki jumps the gun and he and EVIL make their way to ringside and nobody is safe. Seriously. PROTECT THE YOUNG LIONS!!!! They’re fighting in the crowd and Suzuki is hammering EVIL with chairs and guard rails. Bless the G1 and its majestic nature. Suzuki in the crowd with weapons is like a kid on Christmas morning with his toys.
EVIL is fighting back and he’s getting the upper hand with some power moves and Suzuki is feeling it. Suzuki has a look on his face that I could only describe as ” I’m going to kill you.” Minoru locks in the armbar but EVIL fends it off with the rope break.
Suzuki isn’t having any of that rope break crap and he just begins to wail away on EVIL’s hand with a chair. EVIL is able to get some breathing room and now he has the control with a pair of chairs. EVIL steps up to the plate, stares down the pitcher, here comes the pitch AND IT’S A HOMERUN! I’m not the biggest fan of hitting the chair around the neck as NOBODY ever sells it but hell it’s impressive he hasn’t killed anyone.
The two men are now standing in the center of the ring just throwing haymakers. After a hellacious exchange EVIl\L is finally able to knock down Suzuki while collapsing. Both trade their finishers but are met with counters. Suzuki fends off Darkness Falls into the Rear Naked Choke followed by the Gotch Piledriver. The King stands tall!
Winner: Minoru Suzuki
Yoshi-Hashi vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi:
Folks, Tanahashi’s hair is ON POINT. The Ace looks good, he feels good, and he’s ready for Yoshi-Hashi. This is a battle of two of the most beat up wrestler on the roster and neither will let that get in the way. Tana seems to be taking Hashi a ta light in the early goings here as Hiroshi is spending a lot of time playing to the crowd.
Yoshi-Hashi is in control of the match and plants Tana with a beautiful vertical suplex. Tanahashi is fighting back though and get back in the match with a forearm smash. Tanahashi with a gorgeous Somersault Senton off the second rope for a two count.
Tanahashi counters a powerbomb into a Dragon Screw and now he starts to dissect the legs of Yoshi-Hashi. Yoshi isn’t going lightly as he fights off Tana with a Backcracker and then follows up with a massive Powerbomb. Yoshi lands the Swanton for a big two count but the Ace still has some fight.
Tanahashi counters the Karma attempt into a nasty looking Twist and Shout. Yoshi-Hashi is giving all he’s got here and he is getting incredibly close to beating Tana. The crowd is starting to get firmly behind Yoshi-Hashi as they feel an upset is possible here. Every time Yoshi-Hashi seems to be right there, Tana finds a way to get that big bit of offense, this time he connects with the Slingblade.
Big Straightjacket German Suplex for a two count by Tana. Right with the victory in his grasp Tana misses a High Fly Flow and now Yoshi is back in this. These two are giving it everything in the tank and this is one hell of a match! Tanahashi steals the win with a roll-up out of nowhere and he continues his march to the top of the table!
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi
Michael Elgin vs. Kazuchika Okada:
Tests of strength to kick the match off as both men trade lariat attempts then flex. Big Mike is looking to use his power advantage early while Okada is going to need his agility. Okada gets Elgin on the floor and tosses him a few times into the barricade. Elgin answers right back with an Enziguri and a Suicide Dive to knock down Okada.
Okada goes to catch his breath n the outside but Big Mike follows but Elgin is hit with a massive DDT on the floor. Kazu sets Elgin on the barricade and plants him with the Draping DDT on the floor. Elgin has the heart for days though and he isn’t letting the Rainmaker get away with an easy win.
Both of these men are fighting to keep their G1 hopes alive as they’re middle of the table and you feel the urgency from both. Elgin attempts to take it to the top rope but Kazu fights it off. Okada gets a splash countered by Elgin and the two trade shots on the ropes for Okada to turn an Elgin splash into a flapjack.
Okada is doing everything he can to soften up the head of Elgin for the Rainmaker Clothesline. Kazu lands the third DDT and starts to work for a Neckbreaker just to have Elgin counter into a series of German Suplexes. Elgin misses a top rope splash and both men are exhausted. Big Mike sends Okada crashing to the mat with a monstrous Superplex for two.
The sequence that these two just pulled off was insane! Dropkick from Okada, Bucklebomb and a Half and Half suplex from Elgin. Lariats by both and finisher attempts by both. Elgin and Okada both desperately need these two points and this match is hitting a fever pitch. Elgin is throwing everything at Okada and is getting closer and closer to that big victory.
Big Mike plants Okada with a Splash Mountain Bom for a 2 3/4 count! I have no idea how Okada still has any fight left! Okada finally hits the Tombstone after several attempts, he follows it up with the 360 Rainmaker and then a traditional Rainmaker. WHAT A FREAKIN MATCH!!! Great showing by both but it is The Rainmaker that walks away with the points to keep his G1 hopes alive!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada
|Jay White||8||Kota Ibushi||6|
|Minoru Suzuki||8||Zack Sabre Jr||6|
|Bad Luck Fale||6||Tomohiro Ishii||4|
|Togi Makabe||4||Hirooki Goto||4|
|Michael Elgin||4||Tama Tonga||2|
|Hangman Page||2||Toru Yano||2|
Holy hell what a night of awesome matches, Tongan shenanigans aside. Okada and Elgin absolutely raised the bar and easily set the A-Blocks best match of the tournament. Thanks for reading and keep posted for all of our G1 coverage!