Another night of New Japan’s G1 Climax tournament has concluded and it’s clear who the top guys are in the B-Block.
Okada remains tied at top of leaderboard
Another B-Block main event, another big win for Kazuchika Okada. This time, it came against Los Ingobernables de Japon member SANADA.
Both men went back-and-forth early on. However, SANADA got the advantage when he feigned a knee injury to blindside Okada. SANADA had his opportunities to get the win, getting Okada locked in the Skull End. However, Okada, after a desperate struggle, barely reached the ropes.
The match resulted in Okada winning via his patented Rainmaker. Obviously, there’s still a lot of G1 matches left for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship Okada. Still, these three early wins that Okada has gotten will help him later in the tournament.
Omega remains “tied” at the top of the leaderboard
Sharing first place with Okada is none other than Bullet Club leader Kenny Omega. He got his third win of the tournament by defeating Toru Yano in what was by far my favorite match of the night.
I had high hopes that this would be a fun match and it didn’t let me down. In fact, I think it went above my expectations.
The bout started with Yano offering one of his DVDs as a “peace offering” to Omega. However, Omega wouldn’t accept. Yano then gave it to Red Shoes, a reliable third party and top-notch referee, to give to Omega.
At that point, Omega took it and teased tossing it into the crowd, with Yano begging him not to.
Omega slowly opened the DVD, loaded with salt and Yano used that as his distraction, blinding Omega and rolling him up for a near fall.
At that point, I knew this would be my favorite match and probably the best, even with the other B-Block matches being great.
This match had it all. It had Omega nearly using his finishing move on Red Shoes. We saw Yano nearly get another near fall. In all the craziness, Yano removed all the turnbuckle pads and we got numerous teases with the exposed turnbuckle.
We also got to see Red Shoes get involved in the fun as he did a double-axe handle off the middle rope to break a hold.
— The Tag Rope (@tagropemag) July 25, 2017
This is wrestling, my friend!
If that isn’t enough, both men tied each other’s feet up with medical tape and we got to see some wonderful rope running…or hopping!
— GIF DDT (@GIFDDT) July 25, 2017
This match was ridiculous, yet wonderful. If you’ve ever watched DDT, another promotion in Japan, then this match was great.
I get that not everyone will enjoy this match, including a certain fast-talking, tennis-racket carrying, Sprite drinking ex-wrestling manager.
However, I don’t care. If you don’t like it, fine whatever! It doesn’t lessen the enjoyment I had watching it.
Comedy matches are nice because they’re different. You can’t have every match work the same way. It gets boring, otherwise.
Anyway, Omega won the match via countout. Omega freed his feet, thanks in part to fellow Bullet Club member Chase Owens getting to ringside with a pair of scissors.
This of course raises more questions. Did Owens run with the scissors? He didn’t hand them to Omega properly, doing so blade-first. Scissors etiquette is very important. I CANNOT emphasize this enough. You don’t want to hinder your stablemate/friend more than by harming him due to improper scissors handling.
So remember, never run with scissors and hold them by the blade, not the handle, especially if you’re going to hand them to someone.
Suzuki and EVIL move on up
Sitting in a tie for third place are Minoru Suzuki and EVIL, who both picked up second wins.
For Suzuki, the win came against Juice Robinson, in which it felt like 80% of the match involved Suzuki working over Robinson’s left knee. Robinson limped his way to the ring and wasn’t in the ring 10 seconds before Suzuki started working it over.
It got to the point that Suzuki dragged Robinson outside and kept attacking the left knee with a guard rail and a chair. This led to Robinson gingerly walking back to the ring to try and beat the 20-count.
Robinson battled back, but Suzuki got the win thanks to the Gotch piledriver.
Meanwhile, EVIL defeated Tama Tonga. The match also led to some brawling on the outside.
Tonga hoped to use the “win by countout because his opponent was too far away from the ring” strategy. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for Tonga.
EVIL got back in and the two kept battling back and forth until EVIL got the win. Both EVIL and Suzuki will get the chance to face off this week in the next set of B-Block matches. We’ll see what happens from there.
Bread Club Watch: D’OH and three
Unfortunately, the fearless leader of Bread Club lost once again, this time via pinfall to Canadian powerhouse Michael Elgin.
I wasn’t that disappointed in the match, though. It was a solid opener for the B-Block matches. Lots of hard-hitting, obviously.
Both men did apron spots. Kojima did a DDT, while Elgin powerbombed Kojima. Bold moves considering we always hear that the apron is “the hardest part of the ring.”
The ending wound up with Elgin doing a sunset flip powerbomb, followed by an Elgin Bomb. One of these men had to lose as both came into Tuesday with an 0-2 record. In this instance, it was unfortunately Kojima.
We just have to keep our hopes high. Maybe the next match will be the one that *checks schedule* …oh, it’s Okada!
Tag match notes
The opener of the night featured Kota Ibushi and Syoto Umino taking on Togi Makabe and Ryusuke Tacguchi.
This match helps set up Ibushi and Makabe. It’s clear that Ibushi can hang tough. He showed it in his prior match against Tomohiro Ishii. On Tuesday, we saw glimpses that he could hang tough with Makabe, as well.
Taguchi got the win over Umino and Ibushi and Makabe brawled afterward.
Meanwhile, Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI, who will face off Wednesday, teamed up to take on Katsuya Kitamura and Tomoyuki Oka.
Both Kitamura and Oka are fantastic rookies and held their own against Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI. It would not surprise me to see Kitamura and Oka in future G1 tournaments.
YOSHI-HASHI got the win for the team.
In the latest chapter of the Daryl Takahashi saga, Hiromu Takahashi and Tetesuya Naito continued on as they defeated Yuji Nagata and Hirai Kawato. Takahashi got the win with a Boston Crab on Kawato.
Leading up to the match, Takahashi, still in mourning, kept holding a ghost version of Daryl. During the entrance Naito fist bumped Takahashi and also fist bumped the ghost version of Daryl.
— njpwworld (@njpwworld) July 25, 2017
As far as I can tell, Naito did right by Takahashi. Unfortunately, I don’t really have a protocol of any kind in regards to fist bumping ghosts.
Please let me know if you have any etiquette information when it comes to interacting with ghosts through fist bumps.
Hiroshi Tanahashi and David Finlay got the win over Hirooki Goto and Jado. Finlay pinned Jado. Poor Jado!
Finally, we had Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi and Chase Owens defeating Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi and El Desperado. Yujiro got the pinfall over Taichi.
I’m intrigued to see how it goes between ZSJ and Fale. It could be good, but I don’t know for sure. We’ll have to wait and see.
The tournament continues on Wednesday at the Sendai Sunplaza in Miyagi. A-Block will be the focus of the G1 Climax. Matches include:
- Ishii vs. YOSHI-HASHI
- Sabre Jr. vs. Fale
- Ibushi vs. Makabe
- Naito vs. Nagata
- Tanahashi vs. Goto
The tag matches feature:
- Finlay/Robinson vs. Yujiro/Tonga
- Yano/Jado vs. SANADA/BUSHI
- Suzuki/Taichi vs. EVIL/Takahashi
- Omega/Owens vs. Elgin/Taguchi
- Kojima/Tenzan vs. Okada/Gedo