We did it! We’ve gone through an entire week of New Japan’s G1 Climax Tournament. Congratulations! Have a cookie, why don’t you?
Everyone went to Miyagi as A-Block got featured for the tournament matches. Once again, it’s a bit crowded at the top.
Three-way tie for first
Going into Wednesday’s show, we had six guys tied for first. With a couple of the head-to-head matches, it’s down to three.
Tetsuya Naito, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Zack Sabre Jr. all lead the A-Block with six points.
Of the three, Sabre Jr. had the big upset when he knocked off Bad Luck Fale, winning with a victory roll.
Because of Fale’s power, he dominated the match against Sabre Jr. It reached the point that not even interference from El Desperado could help Sabre Jr.
Fale showed no mercy towards Sabre Jr. To ZSJ’s credit, he hung in there and that win makes a big difference for him later on.
It could come in handy, should Sabre Jr. face a tiebreaker scenario.
Meanwhile, Naito defeated Yuji Nagata to keep up the pace with everyone else.
I liked the match, a lot of good back-and-forth between the two. Naito mocked Nagata, using Nagata’s salute.
In the end, Naito got the victory with Destino.
The main event featured Tanahashi against Hirooki Goto. As per usual in this tournament, Goto worked over Tanahashi’s bicep.
Great match though with a lot of back-and-forth and near falls between the two wrestlers.
Tanahashi ended up winning with the High Fly Flow.
As of now, Sabre Jr. has the only tiebreaker advantage which came in a win against Tanahashi.
Naito has yet to face either Tanahashi or Sabre Jr. He’ll face Sabre Jr. later next week, assuming both men maintain their positions.
Other A-Block match-ups
The other two A-Block match-ups featured two wrestlers who found their way back in the tournament: Togi Makabe and Tomohiro Ishii.
Makabe got the win over Kota Ibushi thanks to his King Kong Knee Drop.
It’s worth pointing out that in attendance for this match was former tag team partner Tomoaki Honma, who sat in for commentary during the show.
Honma suffered a cervical vertebrae injury in March and hasn’t returned to the New Japan ring since.
No doubt, he was pleased to see his former tag partner get the win. It’s the second straight win for Makabe, who started the G1 with an 0-2 record.
All of the sudden, Makabe is back in contention. We’ll see if he can keep it up.
Meanwhile, Ishii faced fellow CHAOS stablemate YOSHI-HASHI. It’s not an Ishii match unless there’s a lot of hard-hitting, and it certainly had its hits.
I liked this match a lot. It opened the A-Block match-ups.
A lot of close calls for both guys. YOSHI-HASHI had Ishii in the Butterfly Lock, but Ishii reached for the ropes. Ishii got the win thanks to the brainbuster.
Bread Club Update: Still winning the tag matches
The greatest tag team in all the land, TenCozy, scored a win over the IWGP Heavyweight champion and his tag team partner/cornerman.
Yes, Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Kazuchika Okada and Gedo. Oh, and Kojima picked up the win.
Granted, he pinned Gedo, but hey, a win is a win. If this G1 included tag matches, Kojima would clearly be running this A-Block.
Maybe we can all work together to change the rules in favor of Kojima. It’s worth a try, right?
Watch the leg
This topic is one that I’ve been looking to go over since I started these recaps. The opening tag match featured a limping Juice Robinson plus David Finlay taking on Tama Tonga and Yukiro Takahashi.
As we all remember, Suzukigun worked over Robinson’s left leg the other day, and Minoru Suzuki made it worse on Monday.
The rule of thumb in wrestling is if your opponent has a bad knee, you work it over. That knee is marked for life.
Tuesday night was obviously no different as Tonga and Yujiro took great pleasure in beating up Robinson’s knee.
This can be the kind of thing that sticks with a wrestler for years. If he ever reaches grandfather status, rest assure one of his grandchildren will put him in a figure four.
So if you’ve hurt your knee and you’re a pro wrestler, watch yourself. People will come out of the woodwork to beat up your knee.
It could be your mailman, your exterminator, your neighbor, your best friend, it could even be Art from the lawn and garden section at your hardware store.
All I’m saying is, watch yourself!
Oh, and Yujiro pinned Finlay to get the win. CARRY ON!
Other tag notes
The shortest match of the night featured the tag match of Toru Yano and Gedo against SANADA and BUSHI. It didn’t even last a minute.
Yano, ever the opportunist, took advantage of both SANADA and BUSHI wearing shirts (even if SANADA technically didn’t have any sleeves on his) by pulling them over their heads, giving both wrestlers a low blow, and rolling up BUSHI for the pinfall victory.
There’s a lot of ways to describe Yano. However, resourceful is the proper way to describe this wrestler.
We also had EVIL and Hiromu Takahashi take on Minoru Suzuki and Taichi. Yes Takahashi still carried the ghost version of Daryl and yes he scored the pinfall victory over Taichi.
This match had quite a bit, including Suzuki trying to stab EVIL’s eye with a pen. I expect writing utensils to play a big role in Wednesday’s match.
And yes, Takahashi still carries around Daryl the ghost. It’s working for him. He’s winning matches. Maybe Daryl the ghost is the answer to making Takahashi the junior heavyweight champion again.
Finally, we had Michael Elgin and Ryusuke Taguchi taking on Kenny Omega and Chase Owens. It sets up nicely for us to see a really good match between Elgin and Omega.
The G1 Climax tournament marches on to Ao-re Nagaoka in Niigata. B-Block takes the stage with these matches:
- Robinson vs. Tonga
- Yano vs. SANADA
- EVIL vs. Suzuki
- Okada vs. Kojima
- Omega vs. Elgin
The tag match-ups will feature:
- Narita/Umino vs. ZSJ/Desperado
- Makabe/Taguchi vs. Nagata/Kawato
- Ibushi/Oka/Kitamura vs. Fale/Yujiro/Owens
- Ishii/Jado vs. Naito/BUSHI
- Tanahashi/Finlay vs. Goto/YOSHI-HASHI