The G1 Climax returns to the historic Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan for night two of B-Block tournament matches (night four overall). Tonight’s show will be headlined by IWGP Intercontinental Champion Michael Elgin taking on former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Tetsuya Naito in what is sure to be a great match. Plus we’ve got NEVER Openweight Champion Katsuyori Shibata taking on the stand-out from NOAH in Katsuhiko Nakajima in a match that has the potential to steal the show.
Here are tonight’s tournament matches:
- Michael Elgin (0) vs. Tetsuya Naito (0)
- Katsuyori Shibata (0) vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima (2)
- Toru Yano (0) vs. Kenny Omega (0)
- Yuji Nagata (2) vs. EVIL (2)
- Tomoaki Honma (2) vs. YOSHI-HASHI (2)
JUICE ROBINSON vs. DAVID FINLAY
A friendly exhibition between the two Young Lions, as they shook hands before and after the match. This was pretty good, and they got a lot in for nothing having a ton of time to work. Finlay was strike-based and threw a lot of European uppercuts while Robinson was more about the Western style big moves and spots and was a lot more showy. Robinson won it with a devastating lariat and the Unprettier in a fun opener. Winner: Juice Robinson.
BUSHI & SANADA vs. RYUSUKE TAGUCHI & TOGI MAKABE
Too short to get anything going. LIJ attacked before the match and choked out Taguchi with a shirt so he was basically a non-factor, save for a single plancha at the end. BUSHI and SANADA double teamed Makabe throughout and kept Taguchi out of it until Makabe built his comeback and pinned BUSHI with the King Kong knee drop. Meh. Winners: Makabe & Taguchi.
BULLET CLUB (BAD LUCK FALE, TAMA TONGA & TAKAHASHI) vs. HIROSHI TANAHASHI, KUSHIDA & CAPTAIN NEW JAPAN
This was a primer for the Tanahashi vs. Tama Tonga match happening on night five (tomorrow), and a display for Tanahashi to show off that he’s not down-and-out yet despite two upsets and a pretty significant injury. They kept Captain out of the match the entire time, like they’ve been doing in every night of this tournament, and of course he came in at the end, did his “surprise” nearfall spots, then took a pin from a pretty lackluster DDT off Takahashi. Very flat ending. Winners: Bullet Club.
TIGER MASK, JUSHIN LIGER, MANABU NAKANISHI, SATOSHI KOJIMA & HIROYOSHI TENZAN vs. NAOMICHI MARUFUJI, GEDO, HIROOKI GOTO, TOMOHIRO ISHII & KAZUCHIKA OKADA
As you can expect this was pretty chaotic (no pun intended). A lot of the focus was on Tenzan and Marufuji who face off tomorrow. Tenzan is still really over right now and the fans were reacting to everything from everyone. All the legends got their big spots in and Goto pinned Tiger Mask with the GTR heading into his match with Okada tomorrow. Winners: Marufuji, Gedo, Goto, Ishii & Okada.
TOMOAKI HONMA (2) vs. YOSHI-HASHI (2)
This was just okay. The structure of the match was good, and everything was there in the sense that both guys are hot right now and needed the win, and the fans were into it for the most part, but there was little chemistry between them and a lot of the spots just felt flat to me. Honma sold a neck injury for most of the match, which isn’t ideal since 90% of his arsenal is his head. He was looking for the Tombstone for several minutes, and when he finally hit it Tacos kicked out, then managed to roll out of the way of a top rope headbutt. HASHI had his comeback and put on a Butterfly lock, but then couldn’t hit Karma and Honma took him down with a second Tombstone, running headbutt and the top rope headbutt. Definitely not “big match” Honma we saw two nights ago against Shibata. Not bad by any means, just lacking something. Winner: Honma (4).
YUJI NAGATA (2) vs. EVIL (2)
Hard-hitting match, as you’d expect. Nagata took a bump into the post early on and EVIL attacked him with a chair so he got to sell most of the match. He got in his armbar spot at the end and transitioned into a cross-armbreaker but EVIL got to the ropes. They traded suplexes wearing each other down and Nagata got the better of it. Winner: Nagata (4).
TORU YANO (0) vs. KENNY OMEGA (0)
This was a comedy match, but it was one hell of a well-executed comedy match. Yano’s style has its place and it’s in the ring with people like Omega, who can be deadly serious in big title matches but also mix it up here and have some fun. It started as Yano doing all his comedy bits and Omega mocking him out of spite, and evolved into Omega basically doing the exact same spots and them trading illegal moves and throwing around the referee and just trying to get away with anything they could. Omega won with two V-Trigger knee strikes. Winner: Kenny Omega (2).
KATSUHIKO NAKAJIMA (2) vs. KATSUYORI SHIBATA (0)
Back-and-forth match with both guys showing off, taunting the other to try and best them. They traded moves for much of the match, and Nakajima picked away at Shibata’s tapped up shoulder to try and gain advantages. Shibata ended up winning with a sleeper, weakening Nakajima, followed by a PK. Winner: Shibata (2)
MICHAEL ELGIN (0) vs. Tetsuya Naito (0)
Both guys looking for their first win here. There was some nice carryover from their tag team mach on night three, as Naito worked over Elgin’s knee after doing a lot of damage to it the night before. This was a really good match and exchange, with a lot of counters and they had each other scouted on their signature moves throughout. Naito hit the Destino out of Elgin’s deadlift and pinned him after a great match. Winner: Naito (2)
Here’s the updated brackets for the A-Block:
Honma – 4
Nagata – 4
EVIL – 2
Nakajima – 2
YOSHI-HASHI – 2
Naito – 2
Omega – 2
Shibata – 0
Elgin – 0
Yano – 0