Good morning, and we are back!
It is Night 5 of the B Block fo G1 Climax, and the clear leader is Kenny Omega. But he has got a couple of ungovernable pursuers (see what I did there?) and the younger one of them is meeting him tonight. My prediction is Omega-Sanada will end in a 30-minute draw, as either version of more decisive outcome would go too far. Let’s see what happens tonight at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.
Bad Luck Fale and Tanga Loa vs Togi Makabe and Toa Henare
Most of this match is what I call an Easter Island Brawl which is when wrestlers take turns trying to pose off as being tougher, stronger and more savage. Tanga Loa pins Henare with a reverse piledriver. I expect Magabe and Fale to fight each other at the next A Block night.
Jay White and Yoh vs Adam Page and Chase Owens
Man, I understand that these tag matches are just prelims, but New Japan is not trying to diversify these at all, eh? I feel like I already saw this match and the previous during Climax 28. However, this one has my favorite pairing: Jay White and YOH, so let’s see what happens. What happens is that when Jay White held up Adam Page for YOH to hit, YOH went for a fivearm, Page ducked and White was nailed. This allowed Adam to hit a back-to-belly piledriver on YOH. White had a chance to stop the 3-count, but instead stopped and rubbed his jaw. After the bell, Jay White attacked and destroyed Chase Owens.
Minoru Suzuki and El Desperado vs EVIL and Bushi
The best tag match of the tournament so far, in spite of short length. The storyline here is that Suzuki felt challenged by EVIL treating him the way Suzuki normally treats people (with contempt and foot rakes), and the two of them went full throttle at it, with both the cruiserweights joining in at one point. Suzuki eventually cradle piledrove Bushi for the pin. EVIL and Suzuki had to be kept apart afterwards.
Hiroshi Tanahashi and Shota Umino vs Yoshi-Hashi and SHO
Will another big name fall to this CHAOS team in the tag matches? I had a feeling the answer would be no, as Young Lions almost never win and Yoshi-Hashi was doing well against Tanahashi early on. Finally Tanahashi reversed the tide, but as Umino asked to be tagged in, the match went into a sequence where Umino repeatedly almost won, only for SHO to finally hit a German Suplex for the win. Second very good short tag match in a row.
Kazuchika Okada and Gedo vs Michael Elgin and David Finlay
Okada’s gimmick of carrying balloons to ringside continues to not match his personality. Finlay hit a stunner, out of nowhere, on Gedo. to win. Okada offered Elgin a handshake after the match, and Elgin agreed, but as Okada tried to walk away, Elgin wouldn’t let go. Okada gave a smile, and then pulled his hand out of the handshake. Looks like the main event for next night is set.
Zack Sabre Jr vs Tama Tonga
During the last interviews Naito said that Tonga isn’t interested in points and it’s New Japan’s fault for letting him into the tournament. That definitely makes the Firing Squad’s behavior more sensible and interesting. Tonga seemed to go for Roman Reign’s big arm cocking sign at entrance, but then waved it off into the air and laughed. Tanga Loa then did a special intro, maybe to match Taka Michinoku’s intro of ZSJ or as a new gimmick. Tanga said: “Son of Haku,, he didn’t come here to wrestle, he came here to beat you black and blue, no need to cock you with the fist, he could easily beat you with the Tongan Twist.” Huge cheers from the crowd at the end of speech. After the ref got knocked out, Tanga Loa attacked ZSJ, but he ducked and Tonga hit the diamond cutter on Tanga Loa. ZSJ then locked on triangle armbar and Tonga tapped, but ref was still out. As Taka woke ref up, Tonga tried for another cutter, but Zack grabbed the arm and applied a submission hold. This led to Bad Luck Fale storming the ring, and the Tongans got DQ’ed. I expected Suzuki to show up, but it just ended there.
Juice Robinson vs Toru Yano
Perfect opponent for Juice to start his path of reedemption. The end came with the spot where Juice was trying to set up Pulp Friction, which Yano would reverse into a backslide, which Juice would again reverse into a Pulp Friction and so forth, ad infinitum, until finally Juice hit the Pulp Friction and got the win.
Kota Ibushi vs Tomohiro Ishii
Each man would go on long impressive stretches of dominance, until the other man would hit a move and battle back. At one point Ibushi moonsaulted onto Ishii off a balcony. Finally Ibushi hit a weak clothesline, a kick to the head and a knee for a pin. One of the better matches, but since they didn’t really build to anything (this same sequence has happened at least twice earlier, from two different men) not by much.
Tetsuya Naito vs Hirooki Goto
The exact opposite of previous, with build and logic. Goto went for GTR, but Naito covered into Destino. Goto kicked out at 2. Naito then went for another Destino, and once he nailed it, it was obviously all over–Goto isn’t kicking out of 2 Destinos in a Climax match. This leaves Naito tied with Omega for the Block lead, with the Sanada-Omega determining whether it will be a 3-way tie or a solo Omega in front.
Kenny Omega vs Sanada
I can not do this match justice, nor can I remember every move and its reversal. The match was a story of Sanada standing up to Omega’s every move with a reversal or one of his own. Omega would go for a finish, and Sanada would slide down Kenny’s back into his. Sanada went for a moonsault, Omega slid away and Sanada grabbed him into a tiger suplex. They battled each other blow for blow, elbow for elbow, until an uppercut and knee led to a near collapse. Finally as Sanada ended up on Kenny’s shoulders Omega nailed a half-turned version of One-Winged Angel to end 20 minutes of excellent action and storytelling.
Omega is now in the lead of B Block, with Naito the sole pursuer.