G1 Climax Night 8 Recap: Oh what a night

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Night 8 has concluded with New Japan Pro Wrestling’s G1 Climax tournament, and it certainly was a fun show.

B-Block took the stage on Thursday and featured some terrific matchups. At the end, only one wrestler sits in first place in the standings.

Okada nearly destroyed by Bread Club, squeaks out a win

We were so close. SO CLOSE! Satoshi Kojima got so close to getting his first win in this G1 Climax tournament, and it very nearly came against the IWGP Heavyweight champion.

Despite the loss, I enjoyed this match. It’s probably the best match Kojima will have in this G1. And he had the crowd in Niigata behind him. Kojima chants rang loudly through the gymnasium.

The match featured a Kojima Cutter off the top rope, which turned into a near fall. It also featured Kojima reversing Okada’s Rainmaker finisher into his own lariat, which got a count of 2 99/100.

Undoubtedly, this was my favorite match of the show. The crowd stayed with Kojima all the way.

With the Okada win, he sits alone in first place with eight points. Unfortunately, Kojima drops to 0-4. It seems less likely that he’ll win B-Block.

Hopefully, everything just collapses and Kojima just rallies to make the most incredible comeback in history.

Omega falls out of first place

Tough break for the Bullet Club and Elite leader! Michael Elgin scored a big upset victory with his win over Kenny Omega.

This match featured a really tough back-and-forth battle. ¬†And since it’s Elgin, it featured no shortage of awesome powerbombs, including a probably very painful one on the ring apron.

I loved the spots in this match and it had just about everything needed to make it a classic. How did Elgin get the win, though?

He did so with the Burning Hammer, which is always a terrific finisher. If you want a sure-fire way to win, always go with the Burning Hammer.

It was an incredible match and you most certainly should go out of your way to watch this.

By no means does this loss knock Omega out of contention for B-Block. He’s tied for second with EVIL.

With Elgin getting his second win (4 points), he now finds himself in the middle of the pack.

EVIL vs. Suzuki gets a little…crazy

EVIL found himself tied for second with Omega after his win against Minoru Suzuki.

The match featured a lot of brawling, especially outside the ring. Suzuki used chairs, or anything he could get his hands on, to keep EVIL down.

Because of that, the referee nearly counted out EVIL. However, EVIL got back in safely and continued the match.

During the match, we once again saw a referee get knocked out. This only seems to happen in Suzuki matches.

Because of this, El Desperado, noted corner man for Suzuki, got in the ring and started attacking EVIL.

This didn’t please Los Ingobernables, as noted statesman BUSHI ran to the ring to attack El Desperado.

The interference didn’t stop from there. Taichi sneaked his way into the ring and hit EVIL with a chair.

This didn’t please Hiromu Takahashi, who ran out to the ring to attack Taichi. All four men wound up brawling to the back.

It pays to be in Los Ingobernables. I’d be comfortable with both BUSHI and Takahashi having my back. How can you not love this group?

Yano’s tactics backfire

We all loved (or most likely I loved) Tuesday’s match between Omega and Toru Yano on Tuesday.

It seemed obvious that Yano would try to use some of those tactics again in his match with SANADA.

Of course, SANADA didn’t fall for Yano’s tricks and attacked Yano right from the start.

Yano pulled off the pad from the turnbuckle and planned to use it on SANADA. However, SANADA grabbed it and instead used it on Yano.

Of course, Yano had another trick up his sleeve. SANADA dumped water on Yano, which led to Yano spitting water in SANADA’s face and doing a small package for a near count.

If I can get off topic briefly, I think Yano’s tactics are brilliant. If it was me, I’d probably try to win every match by small package or a roll-up every time. It’s not about being stronger or faster, it’s about being smarter.

That said, Yano pulled out the tape from under the ring. I don’t know if he keeps rolls of them under the ring, but someone should really look into that. People shouldn’t be leaving just anything under the ring.

SANADA wasn’t about to let the same fate happen to him that occurred to Omega. He confiscated the roll and threw it into the crowd.

This didn’t stop Yano, however. He went under the ring again and pulled out ANOTHER roll. Be prepared, I guess…

SANADA had enough of Yano’s antics. He attacked Yano, took him and the roll of tape to the entrance-way, and used the tape to help tie him up into a Paradise Lock.

SANADA won the match via countout.

Tonga wins in battle of 1-2 records

At this point, nobody wants to drop to 1-3 in the block. A loss makes it that much harder to get back towards the top of the tournament.

Both Tama Tonga and Juice Robinson went into their respective match with each having a 1-2 record.

In the end, Tonga came out on top, keeping his B-Block hopes alive. The match didn’t come easy, though.

Tonga had to earn his victory as Robinson continues to be an impressive performer in his G1 debut.

His record won’t show it, but Robinson has left a really solid impression thus far. He’ll be a contender for years to come.

Unfortunately for Robinson, Tonga continued the trend of working over the knee. This will probably haunt Robinson for the rest of the tournament.

Tonga’s in a crowded spot of being tied four fourth with four points. He’s joined by SANADA, Suzuki and Elgin.

Naito: The smoothest

Is there anyone in pro wrestling smoother than Tetsuya Naito? I think not! I enjoy watching Naito wrestle. He’s great!

Naito and BUSHI teamed up to take on Tomohiro Ishii and Gedo.

Once again, BUSHI offered a handshake in hopes of sportsmanship to Gedo. He once again shook the referees hand, hoping Gedo would trust him.

Gedo clearly didn’t trust the masked nobleman. He shook the refereee’s hand, and then hugged him. This once again devastated BUSHI.

Out of frustration, BUSHI kicked the referee in the back. I’m not really sure why. Nonetheless, BUSHI is a good man and Gedo has a beard that opposing wrestlers should use to their advantage.

Of course, BUSHI and Naito did. Moral of the story, protect your beard.

Anyway, BUSHI pinned Gedo and we got an awesome stand-off afterward between Naito and Ishii.

Other tag notes

Zack Sabre Jr. and El Desperado got the win over Ren Narita and Syota Umino. This didn’t really set up anything because Sabre Jr. will wrestle Hirooki Goto on Saturday night.

Goto teamed up with YOSHI-HASHI to face Hiroshi Tanahashi and David Finlay. With Finlay being the only non-G1 competitor, he ended up losing to Goto.

We also saw Togi Makabe and Ryusuke Taguchi defeat Yuji Nagata and Hirai Kawato. Taguchi pinned Kawato. It set up what could be a really fun match between Makabe and Nagata.

Finally, Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens and Yujiro Takahashi defeated Kota Ibushi, Tomoyuki Oka and Katsuya Kimura. Owens pinned Oka and we got a tense stand-off between Fale and Ibushi.

What’s next?

The next show is Saturday in Aichi. Here are the A-Block matches:

  • Nagata vs. Makabe
  • Ibushi vs. Fale
  • Sabre Jr. vs Goto
  • Tanahashi vs. YOSHI-HASHI
  • Naito vs. Ishii

Here are the tag matches for that night:

  • Elgin/Finlay vs. BUSHI/SANADA
  • Yano/Jado vs. EVIL/Takahashi
  • Suzuki/Taichi vs. Tonga/Yujiro
  • Kojima/Tenzan vs. Omega/Owens
  • Robinson/Taguchi vs. Okada/Gedo