We enter the middle portion of the tournament with a few men still undefeated in Block A. Plus others like Zack Sabre Jr. and Hiroshi Tanahashi are surprisingly at the bottom of the standings. Still, there is plenty of time left for surprises and upsets, and that’s one of the things that makes the G1 so exciting.
IWGP US Champion Jon Moxley & Shota Umino b. Juice Robinson & Yota Tsuji when Umino submitted Tsuji with a Boston Crab – Moxley, of course, beat Juice for the US Title a few weeks back. They will not meet in the tournament until the last night of B Block, so I’m not sure why they’re fighting here. But both men tossed their tag partners out of the ring and got into an intense brawl. Both Tsuji and Umino blind tagged themselves in, which seemed to go unnoticed by Juice and Moxley. The Young Lions continued the match in the ring while Juice and Moxley brawled to the back. Tsuji got Umino into a Boston Crab. Somehow Moxley made his way back out and broke the hold. He and Umino then hit a Hart Attack on Tsuji so Umino could return to the Boston Crab. Juice did not make it to the ring until after Tsuji submitted.
After the match, Robinson and Moxley continue their pull-apart brawl.
Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) b. Hirooki Goto, Toru Yano, & Yuya Uemera when Kanemaru pinned Uemera with a Deep Impact DDT – The heels, of course, took the fight to the floor and pummeled the babyfaces. Once the match got back in the ring, they were getting the heat on Goto. Uemera defiantly got in Suzuki’s face, which got cheers from the crowd. Yano and Suzuki got the respective tags, which saw Yano remove the turnbuckle pad only to get whipped into it. Uemera got in and the babyfaces triple-teamed Kanemaru. This caused the obligatory multi-man brawl. Umera got several near falls on Kanemaru while everybody else brawled on the floor. But in the end, Kanemaru landed the Deep Impact DDT to score the pin on Uemera.
After the match, Goto chased Taichi to the back.
Bullet Club (Jay White, Yujiro Takahashi, & Chase Owens) b. Jeff Cobb, Tomoaki Honma, & Toa Henare when Owens pinned Henare with a Package Piledriver – Honma missed a Kokeshi and the heels capitalized to get the heat on him. Cobb got the tag and went after White. The heels tried to triple-team him but failed. Henare tagged in while White fought with Cobb on the floor. Owens managed to his the Package Piledriver and pin Henare.
Los Ingobernables De Japon (IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI, & Shingo Takagi) b. Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI, & Ren Narita when Bushi pinned Narita with an MX – The heels got the heat on Hashi before Ishii got the tag. He and Naito tangled for a while, then Narita and Bushi got the legal tags. In the ensuing melee, Bushi hit the MX on Narita and got the pin.
Zack Sabre Jr. (0-3, 0) b. Bad Luck Fale (1-2, 2) via count-out – This was definitely a Do Or Die match for Zack. Fale naturally tried to use his size and power to his advantage while Sabre kept escaping and grabbing into holds and submissions. Eventually, Jado struck with his shinai and Fale pummeled Sabre on the floor. The two fought well into the crowd where Sabre clamped on an armbar as the referee began the count. Sabre released the hold at about the count of 15, and raced into the ring. Fale couldn’t keep up and got counted out.
Hiroshi Tanahashi (1-2, 2) p. Lance Archer (2-1, 4) with a Victory Roll – In an unusual move, Tanahashi actually struck before the bell, perhaps to beat the heel to the punch. He hit a pescado to the floor, but his momentum didn’t last long because Archer chokeslammed him on the apron. Back in the ring, Archer hit a Black Hole Slam for a two count. For the next several minutes, Archer dominated with Tanahashi only getting occasional bursts of offense. Tanahashi only managed to escape the Claw by making a rope break. Archer perched Tanahashi on the top rope, perhaps for a Blackout, but Tanahashi turned it into a Victory Roll for a surprise pin.
KENTA (3-0, 6) p. EVIL (2-1, 4) with a GTS – Kenta kept one step ahead of Evil for the most part until the match spilled into the crowd. Evil literally started using chairs the fans were sitting in as weapons. Kenta made his comeback and took the match back into the ring. The two went back and forth, eventually battling in a duel of strikes. Kenta hit a pair of Psycho Knees before hitting a Penalty Kick. A GTS later and Kenta remained undefeated.
Kota Ibushi (1-2, 2) p. SANADA (1-2,2) with a Kamigoye – Both of these men are at the bottom of the block, so it’s another Do Or Die scenario. The two quickly matched each other with rapid fire exchanges and reversals. Ibushi was the one that grounded Sanada, and it was Sanada who resorted to speed and aerial tactics to make his comeback. Neither man gained any long term control of the match, as they had a battle of strikes, kicks, and clotheslines. Sanada used a Kamigoye (Ibushi’s knee strike) for a two count. Ibushi responded with a Boma Ye. Again they traded strikes, and each man tried their own Skull End. In the end, Ibushi hit another Boma Ye and a Kamigoye to score the pin.
IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada (3-0, 6) p. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay (1-2, 2) with several Rainmakers – Not only are both men world champions in their division, but both men are also in the CHAOS faction. Ospreay knocked Okada to the floor but did not hit a dive. Instead, he held the ropes open for him. Okada refused the help but got attacked upon his entry anyway. Okada then returns the favor to Ospreay by knocking him to the floor and holding the ropes. Ospreay hit a thunderous chop that had to be heard to be believed. Okada hit the Shotgun Dropkick and the elbow before signaling for the Rainmaker. Ospreay escaped the Rainmaker and exchanged several reversals before getting hit with the Okada Dropkick. Ospreay again dodged the Rainmaker and hit the Robinson Special. Okada countered the Oscutter with a dropkick that sent Ospreay to the floor. The two wound up on the apron for the obligatory Big Match Apron Bump at the 15-minute mark. Thankfully, that bump didn’t happen here. Ospreay kicked his way free, which sent Okada to the floor. Okada hoisted Ospreay up for a Tombstone Piledriver on the floor. Ospreay escaped and hit an Oscutter on the floor. That almost got a countout victory as Okada entered on 19. Ospreay immediately pounced and hit a coast to coast dropkick. Okada kicked out of a second Oscutter. Ospreay tried a Super Oscutter that Okada reversed into a German Suplex. Okada tried a Rainmaker that Ospreay reversed into a Spanish Fly for a near fall. Ospreay quickly hit a 450 splash, but Okada again kicked out. The two reversed a Tombstone Piledriver several times before Ospreay was able to hit it. Ospreay lifted Okada for a Stormbreaker. Okada reversed into a Rainmaker. He kept wrist control and hit a second Rainmaker. rather than make the cover, Okada lifted Ospreay for a third Rainmaker. Ospreay reversed into a Stormbreaker that Okada reversed again into a Spinning Rainmaker. Finally, Okada hit one more standard Rainmaker for good measure and got the pin
This continued the story of Ospreay being consistently harder for Okada to beat. Okada took the mic for the closing promo. He boasted about four wins, and said he will win at Budokan
A BLOCK STANDINGS
8 Kazuchika Okada
4 Hiroshi Tanahashi
4 Kota Ibushi
4 Lance Archer
2 Bad Luck Fale
2 Will Ospreay
2 Zack Sabre Jr.