Welcome back to the G1 Climax and if you’ve been catching up with me and Andrew, Jay White has secured another big win in the main event of A Block by defeating Hiroshi Tanahashi while Kazuchika Okada has suffered another loss at the hands of Bad Luck Fale.
On our first day of B Block, we’ve seen a more serious side of Toru Yano, an amazing bout between Goto and SANADA, and Kenny Omega defeating Tetsuya Naito in a fantastic match and now can the people that lost in the first day try to pick up their wins? Will Goto be able to finally defeat Kenny in a one on one match?
Well, we’ll get the answers to these questions and more as we…dive right in.
G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
SANADA vs. Tama Tonga
Review: Tama Tonga is looking to pick up another win under his belt when he defeated Juice Robinson on the first night of B Block and wants to prove to Kenny Omega that he is now on a different level, but first, he has to defeat SANADA to solidify his point since his next match will be against Kenny Omega. SANADA has proven over time that he can be a big player in the company but he, unfortunately, doesn’t have a contract with him much like Kota Ibushi which holds him back from elevating much higher than he should be. That still doesn’t stop him from showing his intelligence in the ring and would need a win here to put himself back on track.
The match would be rather slow compared to the matches they had previous since we watched SANADA gave a great match against Goto and this one feeling a little bit of a downgrade and with a Tama Tonga match compared to the one he had with Juice, it felt about the same with in-ring quality. Tama’s brother Loa would try to interfere in the match by attacking SANADA when the referee wasn’t looking, but eventually, the referee would catch him in the act and has him banned from ringside, leaving Tama to fend for himself. Tama early on would fail to put SANADA in the Paradise Lock correctly and I love how they treat it like nobody could do it right except for SANADA as he did it to Tama later on in the match to show him how it’s done. SANADA would counter the Apeshit to get him into the Skull End, but Tama would accidentally knock out the referee before SANADA hit the Gun Stun on him but the referee is knocked out as Loa and Fale come in now to attack SANADA and Loa hits him with a Sitout Powerbomb before leaving the ring, but he still kicked out at two. Tama would go for the Gun Stun one more time but SANADA reverses it into the European Clutch and rolls him up for the three count as SANADA gets his first win.
Recommended: The match was average, so this one is all up to you.
G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Toru Yano vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Review: Both of these men have lost their first matches and both were incredibly entertaining too might I add and unfortunately one of them is gonna have to suffer a second loss on their record and would really need to try and catch up before being mathematically eliminated from the tournament. Will Toru make his mark and spoil Zack’s chances early or will Zack make him just tap out?
I know I said it before in the last article, but I’ll never get tired of TAKA and Zack pairing up together because they just work amazingly with each other with TAKA pretty much being his Gedo like how he is with Okada, it’s a little something to give Zack that little extra elevation and it just works. We also get Toru doing the whole ‘back to basics’ ordeal while still pulling off his antics and he did say that we were gonna see a more serious Toru Yano and it appears to be the case with the slight change in his wrestling. He’s pretty much being how Ryo Saito is acting like in Dragon Gate with how he’s a comedic wrestler and is now going back to the basics, but the only difference here is that Toru isn’t wearing Young Lion gear like Saito does in Dragon Gate. So far these two back to back G1 matches with Toru have been very entertaining and probably the best I’ve seen him in a long time too, but that’s a good thing because now I wanna see how his next match is gonna go after this. Zack also does a good job meshing it up with Toru here as they had pretty impressive chemistry together in the ring and seeing him in Japan is making me warm up to him a little more each time. Toru would rely on his tricks near the end as he untied the turnbuckle pads to try and hit him with him with them but that backfires despite Toru being able to throw him into the exposed turnbuckle and roll him up for a two count, but Zack would roll him up with the European Clutch like how SANADA did in the previous match and gets his first win on the board while Toru still has zero wins in his name.
Recommended: Definitely give it a watch, very entertaining.
G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Juice Robinson vs. Kota Ibushi
Review: Our IWGP United States Champion is off to a bad start as he’s the only champion in the tournament to have suffered a loss in the tournament when he fought Tama Tonga and now his next match is against Kota Ibushi and I believe this is the first time the two are fighting each other one on one also, so this should be a rather interesting bout. Can the United States Champion pick up an upset win over the Golden Star or will he suffer a second loss and be tied with Toru Yano?
Juice had a much better match here than when he fought Tama Tonga on the first day and this is the type of Juice Robinson that people need to see because he has been on a different level this year with having great matches against people like Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto, Michael Elgin, and even Jay White and is building up quite the resume here in New Japan since his NXT days a few years ago and it definitely has paid off for him here. Kota Ibushi has been another level lately and I like to credit the Golden Lovers reunion a few months ago mixed with we know how good Ibushi is in the ring and would be a top star in any company he chose if he ever did settle down sign a full-time contract with anyone but he still wants to be known as the greatest Freelancer in Japan and he does have a legit case for that as of right now. The both of them had good interactions together and had nice sequences when Kota would go for the Triangle Moonsault and Juice rolled out of the way to hit a Frontflip off the apron and on top of him to give him that nice little opening over the vet. Juice still selling his hand in the match works since because, well, it’s injured and need to still sell like it’s still broken and he knows that, but it doesn’t appear to have affected him as much compared to his last match since it’s probably taped up better. Juice was having a strong offense to Ibushi to make the fans believe that he had a chance, even when he was dodging his Kamigoye and was able to get out of his Capture Suplex so he wouldn’t give him a chance to grab his arms to set up the finisher, but eventually Ibushi would hit the Capture Suplex and once Juice kicked out of it, Ibushi rolled up to get him in position as he hits the Kamigoye Knee this time and Ibushi remains undefeated while Juice has zero wins like Toru Yano. The two hugged it out after the match as a sign of respect and it’s a great way to end the match.
Recommended: This was a solid match, I would give it a watch.
G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Tetsuya Naito vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Review: One of the big matches for this days block as we have a rematch from last year with Tetsuya Naito taking on Tomohiro Ishii. I’m gonna be honest here, they made it to my Top 25 Matches of 2017 with their G1 encounter out of the trilogy they had with this, the G1 Special, and Kings of Pro Wrestling and they were all great but their G1 Climax match was slightly better for me and surprised we’re gonna get this match a bit early. Ishii got his first win when he defeated Toru Yano and Naito wouldn’t be so lucky as he had a bad start of the G1 when he was defeated by the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kenny Omega and he looks to bounce back by defeating Ishii to at least keep his name on the scoreboard, but can he do it?
Once again, these two men killed it in the ring together and while I still enjoyed their encounter from the G1 last year a bit better, this was still pretty damn close and still a great match. I don’t know what exactly makes them so good in the ring together, it could be their styles of wrestling the carry each other over to that next level, or even just their personalities in the ring..but it could very well most likely be a mix of all three and more since they actually do bring out the best in one another or should I say Ishii knows how to put people into that next level. Naito just has the best charisma in New Japan and originally it was Shinsuke Nakamura who had that title and I thought it was gonna be hard for someone to top that and I was proven wrong with how Naito is now and how the crowd just cheers for him and loudly might I add as you can tell who they really believe is their top guy and it’s not Okada or Omega, but the fans think it’s Naito to them and that’s the guy they would want as their IWGP Heavyweight Champion. One thing you shouldn’t do to Ishii and that’s slapping him on the top of his bald head because that will very well most likely lead you to write your own will while he barrages you with stiff slaps and punches, and maybe a Lariat on the side of that as you have that dazed confused on your face asking yourself ‘what just happened?’ as your life flashes before your eyes. Ishii would give him more stiff Lariats to give him enough force to have Naito land on his neck with each hit down to him and he looks to try and put him away, but Naito would hit an Enziguri and would go for a Destino as Ishii would counter it with an Enziguri of his own as they’re both down. Ishii went to go for his Vertical Brainbuster and Naito would shake it off to try and go for another Destino, but Ishii would try to do it one more time as Naito would knee his head once pulled up and used that opening to hit a Destino for a two count. Naito would get Ishii up for one more Destino as the crowd is behind him and he gets his first win on the board.
Recommended: Fantastic match, highly recommended.
G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Hirooki Goto vs. Kenny Omega
Review: Our main event is a champion vs champion match as we have our NEVER Openweight Champion, Hirooki Goto taking on IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kenny Omega. Two years ago, the two fought in the G1 Climax finals where Kenny would defeat him to become the first gaijin to win the G1 Climax Tournament and a couple of months later, the two would fight again in a rematch where Omega would defeat him a second time. It appears as though Goto would always become close to defeating Omega in a match, but the opportunity to finish the job always slips his fingers and would come up short with Omega coming out on top. Two years later, we get this match again and Goto has been on a roll lately ever since he won the Openweight Championship and this new focus could be enough to finally get the win over Kenny or will the Heavyweight Champion find a way to win because both men have a win in their name and one of them is gonna have to lose that undefeated streak, so a win here could be huge for the both of them.
One thing I wanted to point out in the match happened around the beginning of it actually and pretty sure that it’s just speculation and nothing more, but before Kenny would do his little Terminator dive off the ropes, Goto would throw a chair at him to make him fall down and that was quite a bit of a surprise since you have Goto who is like this samurai wrestler that lives by honor and fights as the Openweight Champion like how Shibata would’ve wanted it and just throws a chair at him like something Jay White would do if he was in the ring with Omega. I don’t know if I’m just looking into it too much but I think Jay White is slowly starting to influence his fellow CHAOS members since he’s the one undefeated in A Block while Okada is in this downward spiral and could make them think maybe Jay White is onto something during his matches, it’s either that or Goto is just a dick and wanted to throw a chair at him, but that’s still a bit out of his character regardless and something to keep an eye on as G1 progresses. Aside from the rather odd pacing at the beginning of the bout, this was extremely fun and while not better than their day one matches, still something to see for yourself. They would fight all over the place and even had a moment where Omega did a Moonsault off the bleachers onto Goto and would deliver a lot of V-Triggers like more than a Superkick Party sometimes in his matches (even though Kento does them better 😉 ). Omega went for the Avalanche Aoi Shoudou but Goto fights out of it and hits a Kaiten from the top rope for two count, and then he would keep attempting to hit the GTR on Omega as he would attempt the One-Winged Angel to see who could hit it first since that could be the deciding factor in the match, but Omega would hit another V-Trigger for good measure and then hits the One-Winged Angel to get the pinfall as Goto still fails to beat him.
This one is just another speculation but think it could mean something, but has anyone else felt like Kenny’s personality has changed a little bit? Like, you seem him be a bit more heelish with his attitude and how he has been lately in his press conferences and how he feels like the Japanese wrestlers in the company hasn’t stepped up at all. I think it has something to do with beating Okada and getting the IWGP Heavyweight Championship since that gave him a gigantic chip on his shoulder and it could very well possibly have it that having the belt might slowly consume him due to his change in attitude and another example would be Okada since he changed completely ever since he lost the belt also. This is probably nothing, but I think it could be an interesting story if they do decide to run with it.
Recommended: Great match, worth viewing.
Overall: I would say that the second night of B Block was a success despite the first match being bad, the other four matches were very solid and curious to see how the next night plays out for them since we got Kenny Omega taking on Tama Tonga which could be very interesting.
Favorite Match: Tetsuya Naito vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Least Favorite Match: SANADA vs. Tama Tonga