Note: Before we start this post, we’d like to dedicate it to the memory of Daryl Takahashi, the esteemed cat belonging to Hiromu Takahashi. We’ll have more on this in a bit.
New Japan Pro Wrestling wrapped up its third night of the G1 Climax tournament at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. Saturday was all about the B-Block. Spoilers below.
Okada and Omega the current leaders
After the second set of matches, there are two leaders at the top in B-Block: Kazuchika Okada and Kenny Omega.
Okada found himself in a tough challenge and what will likely go down as one of the best matches in this G1 Climax.
He faced off against the Canadian powerhouse, Michael Elgin. Okada kicked out of multiple Elgin Bombs, as well as a superplex. Some might argue Elgin had the three count on the last Elgin Bomb.
In the end, Okada reversed Elgin’s powerbomb attempt into a tombstone piledriver, followed by the Rainmaker to get the pin.
This might have been the best match of the G1 tournament thus far. Both wrestlers came to compete.
I would’ve loved to have seen Elgin pull off the upset — and there were a few points where I thought it would happen. Okada is superbly talented, however. He is New Japan’s Ace, after all.
Omega, meanwhile, got his win over fellow Bullet Club member(?) Tama Tonga. This was an interesting match, which was built up thanks to Friday’s tag.
Tonga took out some frustrations on Omega, questioning him about being the Bullet Club leader and his allegiance to the Bullet Club entirely.
Omega rallied back, and did so to the point that he hit a dive outside to attack Tonga, despite fellow Bullet Club members begging him to not do so.
In the end, Omega won and it seemed as though things still felt personal. Could it be that the Bullet Club is breaking u….ohh they just did the “Too Sweet” gesture in the middle of the ring. ALL IS WELL!
This match felt more like a therapy session, or at least one that allowed for an airing of grievances. Clearly, the group needs to have more productive meetings.
Maybe the solution is to just work over your leader’s knee if you want to resolve some matters. TAKE NOTE, EVERYBODY!
Suzuki defeats SANADA
This was a match I really looked forward to watching and it didn’t let me down. I enjoyed this bout.
Both men found themselves outside quite a bit. In fact, there was a little bit of fighting in the Korakuen crowd, with steel chairs. It is Suzuki, after all.
Suzuki finally got on the board with a win, thanks to a Gotch-style piledriver on the young up-and-comer from Los Ingobernables de Japon.
I find myself getting more and more intrigued with this B-Block.
EVIL wins in tough battle against Juice Robinson
This was also a fantastic match. I loved the back-and-forth between these two guys. It feels like Robinson is going to be a breakout star of this G1 Climax, even with the loss.
EVIL has looked terrific thus far, too. Honestly, this was my second favorite match of the night. It would’ve been the favorite had it not be for Okada-Elgin.
I’m excited to see what EVIL and Robinson can do the rest of the way in this B-Block. There are some great match-ups on the horizon for these two.
Bread Club Update: D’OH and 2
I already felt down going into this match (more on that in the next topic). However, I didn’t expect noted hero Satoshi Kojima to lose to Toru Yano.
There were high hopes (mostly from me) that he would get on the board and really make a run at this G1 Climax.
It wasn’t meant to be, however. Yano resorted to his usual methods of cheating, which would’ve been acceptable at any other time.
With the ref distracted and Kojima blocking the view, Yano low-blowed our hero and rolled up Kojima for the three.
I plan on filing a formal protest to the New Japan offices (okay probably not).
That said, we can’t let this get us down. There’s still plenty of matches for Kojima to turn it around. Just have to stay optimistic!
— njpw_global (@njpwglobal) July 22, 2017
MURDERER! MURDERER! BAD LUCK FALE: NOTED STUFFED ANIMAL KILLER!
For those who are unfamiliar and are questioning ever reading this…Daryl Takahashi is a stuffed animal cat (however it works) who happens to belong to Hiromu Takahashi.
You might be asking, why he has a stuffed cat named Daryl? I could bring up that he named the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title Mr. Belt. It doesn’t matter, though! For what it’s worth, Takahashi’s nickname is Time Bomb.
It’s clear that Takahashi loved Daryl. They’re friends. Well, they WERE friends.
They were friends until Saturday’s six man tag featuring Takahashi along with BUSHI and Naito against Fale, Yujiro Takahashi and Chase Owens.
Naito and Fale brawled outside when Fale threw him on a table. Fale grabbed Daryl and….I can’t…just watch the video above!
Even with Naito pinning Chase Owens, it’s clear that things are personal now for Takahashi, who devastatingly carried what was left of Daryl to the back.
So in conclusion, everyone is probably going to root for Naito to avenge Daryl’s tragic death. I know I’ll be rooting for him.
And how does the Bullet Club’s underboss feel about this? The tweet speaks for itself.
Collateral damage! But that's what I'm gonna do to Naito! Rip him to pieces like poor little Darryl 😿😿😿 https://t.co/jSVBTulIcB
— TheUnderboss (@TOKSFALE) July 22, 2017
I think I’m gonna be sick…
Other tag notes
The opening match featured Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto and Gedo losing to Kota Ibushi, Togi Makabe and David Finlay.
This was a pretty good opener, especially with Ishii and Ibushi facing off. That could be a very fun match to watch.
It also set up Goto-Makabe, which could be a pretty fun brawl.
In the end, Finlay pinned Gedo, which probably isn’t much of a surprise. I’d have no qualms with letting Gedo take the pinfall for me, although I’d be disappointed that he was pinned.
Meanwhile, Yuji Nagata and Tomoyuki Oka scored the win over Hiroshi Tanahashi and Katsuya Kimura. This match mostly featured the youngsters Oka and Kimura going at it and it made the tag match pretty good.
Finally, we had Zack Sabre Jr. and El Desperado defeating Yoshi-Hashi and Jado. The match was meant to set up ZSJ and Yoshi-Hashi.
The G1 Climax tournament stays in Tokyo on Sunday, but this time they head for the Machida Gymnasium.
The A-Block match-ups will feature:
- Yoshi-Hashi vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Yuji Nagata
- Tetsuya Naito vs. Bad Luck Fale
- Kota Ibushi vs. Tomohiro Ishii
- Hirooki Goto vs. Togi Makabe
The tag matches feature:
- Kojima/Tenzan vs. Elgin/Kitamura
- Kawato/Finley/Robinson vs. Desperado/Taichi/Suzuki
- Owens/Tonga vs. Takahashi/EVIL
- Yano/Jado vs. Yujiro/Omega