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NJPW G1 Climax 28

Mathew’s G1 Climax 28 B Block Results & Review: Day 16

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Welcome back to B Block as we are just about down the wire here with one more show left on B Block after this one.

This one looks to be pretty intense, because it could decide the outcome of who moves on depending on which ones win or lose. As we saw on the last show, we’re down to three people winning the whole thing and all of their matches are important here since again, it could very well shift into someone’s hand if certain ones win or lose.

Can the top three stay on top or is one of them gonna get knocked down? Let’s not waste any time and…dive right in.

 

G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Juice Robinson

Review: At the last show, Ishii defeated the undefeated Kenny Omega to knock him down a peg so he could give Naito and Ibushi the opening they need to advance. A little fun fact that Ishii has defeated both champions so far in this tournament since he has wins over both Goto and Omega, and he’s now fighting another champion, the IWGP United States Champion, Juice Robinson. It could be another belt Ishii could challenge for if he does somehow win since he won’t challenge Goto due to them being in the same unit and he could also challenge Omega. Nothing wrong with a backup in case he does fail to beat Kenny. Can Ishii defeat another champion or will Juice actually stop the Stone Pitbull?

This match went much better than I expected it to be since you got Ishii who has been on a roll in this G1 whether he wins or loses these matches and you got Juice who is the likable underdog and can give us entertaining matches in the process here. Loved the little mocking Ishii did to Juice when he was attempting to do his punches and you see Juice getting a bit mad about it as he would try to do his Headbutts as a counteract but that, of course, didn’t turn out so well nice try. Both of them played well to their strengths and gave us another solid bout to add in the G1 books. Juice would keep attempting the Pulp Friction on Ishii only for him to keep rolling out of it and hits him with a Headbutt to knock him down a bit and Juice would hit him with a vicious punch to get him down. Juice counters a Vertical Drop Brainbuster but Ishii hits a headbutt only for Juice hits a headbutt and then Ishii hits an Enzuigiri which gives Ishii time to hit the Vertical Drop Brainbuster for the pinfall victory and Ishii has defeated all of the champions in B Block!

Recommended: Solid match, worth watching.

 

G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Hirooki Goto

Review: Our NEVER Openweight Champion, while having great matches, really hasn’t been stocking up any big wins here in this tournament, but he could, however, try to get a win here against the Technical Wizard, Zack Sabre Jr. Both of these men are no strangers to each other and have fought before for the Openweight Championship where Goto would win the match as well as meeting at last year’s G1 Climax and Goto would get the win over him again. Can Goto do it a third time or will Zack pull off another surprise win with another crazy submission?

Goto started off strong with this one by getting Zack to the outside and would start throwing him around the guardrails to do some damage to him, but Zack would eventually find an opening and a body part for him to work on throughout the match as he caught Goto to get his arms to do some damage on them and once Zack finds a body part, he’s gonna manipulate it until you tap out. That is exactly what Zack did since he would work on his arms all throughout the match to weaken his arsenal since he does rely on them for his GTR and other various moves, so Zack’s not an idiot for picking those as his target since he has lost to him twice and doesn’t wanna make any mistakes in this one. Goto went to the top rope to do a Diving Elbow drop and Zack catches him into the Orienteering With Napalm Death and yes that is the name he has for it, but Goto would get to the ropes in time before he could tap. Zack would try to do another submission hold and it doesn’t work this time since Goto would deliver a Headbutt to knock him down and would hit him with an Inverted GTR and he would pick him up to attempt the GTR but Zack would roll him up for the European Clutch and he gets the victory over Goto! After the match, Zack would grab Goto’s belt and have it around his shoulder to toy with him to let him know he wants it.

Another win for Zack in the books and despite having ten points, he lost to Omega and Ibushi meaning he wouldn’t be able to advance if he were to somehow tie and beat Naito on the final day, but he could at least ruin Naito’s chances of winning in the process. Now that Zack has defeated Goto, I think we could see another NEVER Openweight Championship match between the two here soon, but where?

Recommended: Another solid match, worth a view.

 

G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Tama Tonga vs. Kota Ibushi

Review: It’s time to reignite the Bullet Club Civil war with Golden Elite’s, Kota Ibushi taking on Firing Squad’s, Tama Tonga and the last time we have a Civil War match on this block was when Kenny Omega and Tama Tonga fought in the ring and that resulted in Kenny getting the victory but it was a disqualification meaning he didn’t get the clean win over him and it opened the door to an actual match down the road, but it could also play out depending the outcome of this match. This is one that Ibushi needs to win to strengthen his chances of winning the block but if he does somehow lose, his chances are gonna be really slim depending on how the last two matches play out.

I love Tonga’s new shirt and I am very tempted to buy it. Before Ibushi could even get to the ring, Tonga would start to attack him on the entrance ramp and would continue the assault on Ibushi and would get him back in the ring to attack him some more. The two would start going back into it until Ibushi would appear to have gotten the advantage and attempts a Triangle Moonsault only for Tonga to slide into the ring quick enough to push him off and they would keep fighting outside and it looked like they were all the way in the back to the point where they would disappear, but Ibushi would eventually be seen from the balcony while Tonga was still on the ground level as Ibushi would high five a fan and do a Balcony Moonsault onto Tonga, just don’t do it Saturday so you don’t get banned again. Ibushi would get Tonga back into the ring and it looks like he had him until Loa would run in to prevent Ibushi from doing more as Tonga used this distraction to hit a reverse Gun Stun and a DDT for only a two count. The referee would get knocked out and Fale came into the ring until Kenny Omega ran out to even the odds as all the outside interference is out for Ibushi to attempt the Kamigoye but Tonga slides out of it to hit a Pop-up Gun Stun and he pinned Ibushi for the victory. They’re not done yet as Loa would hit the Tongan Bomb on Kenny just before his match coming up next.

While not a great wrestling match, the story behind it was excellent and added much-needed depth to the rivalry and this is where the interference should’ve happened mostly with the G1 almost over and the fact that Golden Elite is on the top spot that they would wanna make sure it would be ruined for them and it makes sense here. Now that Ibushi got pinned, is he eliminated? Right now the answer is no unless Kenny does somehow beat Toru, otherwise, he would be out since he still only has one loss.

Recommended: Very enjoyable with a great story attached to it, watch it if you’re invested in this feud.

 

G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Toru Yano vs. Kenny Omega

Review: Kenny only has one loss in his name thanks to Ishii, but if he does somehow win his next match then he is pretty much a lock to go onto the final due to Ibushi losing to Tonga not too long ago, but Kenny would have to win against his opponent, Toru Yano. Last time they fought…I thought the match was okay and I didn’t mind the comedy, but I felt like it should’ve been saved for something outside of the G1 Climax but not much you can do about it. Can Kenny get an easy victory or is Toru gonna ruin it for someone else?

Kenny took a beating just at the previous match thanks to Firing Squad and this could very well play into Toru’s factor if he is somehow smart enough to take advantage of it, especially when Toru just goes into the ring right away while Omega was down from that Powerbomb as he used this time to untie the turnbuckle posts until Kenny woke up and started the attack only to be thrown into the exposed turnbuckles. Again, I’m not a big fan of comedy matches being used in these types of tournaments, but it works out here much better in this one than their previous encounter last year and had others involved like Adam Page, Chase Owens, and even had Young Lion, Ren Narita involved when him and Omega’s arms are tied together to attempt a countout victory, but Kenny would get back in the ring in time for him and Ren to hit a Double Clothesline before they untied each other. Also, Toru’s Dragon Screw with the turnbuckle post was hilarious and amazing. Kenny would hit the V-Trigger and would attempt to hit the One-Winged Angel but Toru grabbed the referee to hold on tight and reversed it to hit a low blow onto both of them but that gave an opening for Tonga to run in and hit the Gun Stun on both Toru and Kenny, but he’s not done yet as he grabbed Toru to have him on top of Kenny to get the victory and Kenny suffers his second loss in a row.

This ending is what made the match make more sense along with the story of it since he did, in fact, ruin both Ibushi and Kenny in the same night by making them both lose. Now that Kenny has suffered a second loss, it means Ibushi is still in the race to have a chance to win and I will get to how at the bottom of the standings later on. Does this mean Toru will get a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Championship? It could happen, but I think it’ll go to Tonga since they didn’t have a clean ending and the fact he screwed him over on this one that he might get it at a future date.

Recommended: The match was entertaining and comical, worth viewing.

 

G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
SANADA vs. Tetsuya Naito

Review: It’s time for our main event as we have Los Ingorbernables de Japon fighting each other here with Tetsuya Naito taking on SANADA and I do believe this is the first time that these two are fighting each other as well. Two years ago, Naito fought EVIL in the G1 where Naito won and last year we had EVIL taking on SANDA where SANADA came out on top for that one, so I’m kinda seeing a pattern here with two LIJ members being on the same block to fight each other somehow. For this one, however, SANADA teased Naito by thinking there was tension in the group and wouldn’t do the fist bump with him after matches to try and throw Naito off and would keep it that way until they fight each other like they are right now. This one is crucial for Naito since if he does lose here, then he will be eliminated from the tournament and hard to do it when you’re so close and already suffered your second defeat to Kota Ibushi. Which one of them is gonna come out on top?

You can hear the crowd being so torn between these two since they’re loved by the fans and you can even see that in their matches. Naito went for the fist bump with SANADA and once he went to do it back, Naito used this to kick him in the midsection and throw him out the ring to try and do his Tranquilo thing, but SANADA grabbed his foot to drag him to the outside and would taunt him with a little bit of ‘Tranquilo’ of his own. This match is more of these two guys know each other so well despite not having a one on one match together and they know how to counter each other from certain moves, but the real outcome depends on who can hit their moves quick enough before they could reverse it. Most of the reversals came from the Destino and the Skull End due to it being their bigger moves in their arsenal and would always fight out of it or reverse it into a move of their own. SANADA would catch Naito before he could hit the Destino and attempted a TKO only for Naito to reverse it back into the Destino for a two count and once he tries to go for another one, SANADA would hit a Destino on Naito and kicks out of it! SANADA didn’t waste any time here as he applied the Skull End to knock him down and misses the Moonsault off the top rope. SANADA went to try to apply the Skull End once more but Naito tries to reverse it only for SANADA to reverse it into the European Clutch and Naito kicks out at 2.99! Naito would throw SANADA into the turnbuckle and that looked nasty and hits a German Suplex for a two count and SANADA and Naito would go back and forth with the Skull End until Naito was able to catch him with the Destino for the win and he’s still alive in the race!

After the match, the two of them would fist bump and the other members of the group, EVIL and BUSHI would come out to the ring to join them as they have Hiromu Takahashi’s jacket out with him as all four of them celebrate in the ring and say they hope Hiromu comes back soon. This is why they’re my favorite faction in wrestling right now, they treat each other like an actual unit and a family and even when they fight each other in the G1 or whatever, they just wanna prove that they’re the best. Even after the match, none of them are angry and instead of just having tension in the unit it just strengthens their bond together to bring them closer and that’s amazing since you rarely see that here. Naito is still in the race and LIJ is still growing strong and can only go up from here.

Recommended: Really good match and nice story, definitely worth watching.

 

Overall: If we’re gonna go by just the in-ring quality of the matches, I’m gonna have to say that this was the weakest out of the bunch but the stories between Naito/SANADA and Bullet Club are what made their matches better and it felt like something that you would see on A Block where that one is more story driven than wrestling driven. Still, a solid night and we still got our top three finalists for the last show.

Favorite Match: SANADA vs. Tetsuya Naito

Least Favorite Match: Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Hirooki Goto (If I had to pick one.)

Score: 7.5/10

 

B Block Standings:
Kenny Omega 6-2 (12 Points)
Tetsuya Naito: 6-2 (12 Points)
Kota Ibushi: 5-3 (10 Points)
Zack Sabre Jr: 5-3 (10 Points) – Eliminated
SANADA: 4-4 (8 Points) – Eliminated
Tomohiro Ishii: 4-4 (8 Points) – Eliminated
Hirooki Goto: 3-5 (6 Points) – Eliminated
Tama Tonga: 3-5 (6 Points) – Eliminated
Juice Robinson: 2-6 (4 Points) – Eliminated
Toru Yano: 2-6 (4 Points) – Eliminated

Now that all three of these men are still at the top of the block, it’s time to see what they need to do to win now:

Kenny Omega: Kenny needs to defeat Ibushi 

Tetsuya Naito: Naito needs to defeat Zack Sabre Jr. and Kota Ibushi would have to defeat or tieKenny Omega

Kota Ibushi: Kota would have to defeat Kenny Omega and Tetsuya Naito would have to lose against Zack Sabre Jr.

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G1 Climax 28 Ratings and Joint Review

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Well we have reached the end of the road. G1 Climax 28, Grand Finals night.

Hiroshi Tanahashi won the A-ce Block and Kota Ibushi won our hearts…and…well…the B Block. Both have some history facing each other, and both are known to be more than competent wrestlers, so we’re looking at a great match.

Now it should be noted that Mathew and I will do this article jointly, similarly to how we did the Finals of the Champion Carnival.Also in an amusing turn of events, we both predicted this finals, but we’re rooting for the other’s block winner.

So if Tanahashi wins that would make me a perfect 3-0 in the tournaments we’ve covered, for the eventual winner coming from my block ( Marufuji won Champion Carnival, Masato Yoshino won King of Gate).

With that, I’m okay being wrong if Tanahashi wins. So let’s get to the show.

 

Togi Makabe, Michael Elgin & Tomoaki Honma vs Yuji Nagata,  Ayato Yoshida & Shota Umino

Average match, glad to see Honma again, but nothing special – Mathew

Yeah, basically what Mathew said, basic match, nothing super impressive. It is nice to see Honma back for his technically third match since returning from injury. But this was just a standard Young Lion opening match.

Winner: Makabe via King Kong Knee Drop

Rating: **

 

Toa Henare vs Bad Luck Fale

This was a glorified squash match. Henare got in a good headbutt, but this just went quick.

Henare dead – Mathew

Winner: Fale via Bad Luck Fall

Rating: *

 

Taichi & Iizuka vs Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI

Taichi got introduced and they kept cutting off his music with Iizuka’s music, so that messed up his singing idol gimmick.  Iizuka doesn’t come out with Taichi, and instead jumps the CHAOS members form behind.

The match was fine, if anything it proves that Taichi would’ve been a better addition to the G1 than YOSHI-HASHI, since HASHI eats the pin.

Decent match, Miho Abe is gorgeous, HASHI needs to go away, and what does this all mean for Taichi? – Mathew

Winner: Taichi via Last Ride Powerbomb

Rating: ** 1/4

 

Cody & Hangman Page vs Juice Robinson & David Finlay

Cody’s first match since San Francisco, so he can’t really lose, can he?

Juice took the hand wrapping off before the match started, and wasn’t shy about throwing hands. Finlay did his usual thing, where it’s never quit enough to get the job done. Page blind sided Juice with a Buckshot Lariat, before everyone started wiping each other out with signatures. Cody finishes the match, countering the Pulp Friction into a Vertebreaker.

Solid match, everyone pulled their weight, except for Finlay. Cody decided to cut in line for the US Title, rude. – Mathew

Winner: Cody via Vertebreaker

Rating: ** 1/2

 

NEVER 6 Man Tag Team Championships: Tanga Loa, Tama Tonga & Taiji Ishimori vs Marty Scurll & The Young Bucks

Decent match, felt more like an ROH match than New Japan. Not really sure how I feel about Taiji’s first belt being this one, but the blatant disregard for the belts at the end was fantastic. – Mathew

This wasn’t supposed to be a title match, but Tama talked some smack and Matt Jackson asked the President to make it official. So even though the Tongans are one wrong move away being suspended, now they get a title shot.

When we get down to the match, it was paced out like most ROH Trios matches, and never really got out of that gear. We saw a few more Super Kicks than usual, but a bunch each man’s signature moves. Double Sharpshooter into Chicken Wing spot popped the crowd pretty hard.

Tama makes the blind tag, so when the Bucks go for the Meltzer Driver on Taiji, the giant cluster happens. Tama slinks off into the corner to draw less attention, but eventually lands the Gun Stun for the win.

Winner: Tama via Gun Stun

Rating: ***

 

Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Zack Sabre Jr vs Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA & Bushi

Well the drama between these clubs goes back a few months when Suzuki and Naito had their match for the Intercontinental belt.  This is just being furthered along by Zack Sabre ruining Naito’s chances to win the G1 Climax. So this should be entertaining.

Before the bell rings, Suzuki-Gun jumps Los Ingobernables de Japon and they spill to the outside. Naito and Suzuki have a chair based stand off and from there on we get the usual multi-man match. Each person comes in, does their thing, but with the tempers flaring.

The match ends with SANADA dodging Kanemaru’s Whiskey Mist and slapping on the Skull End while the rest of the members are on the outside going crazy.

Bit of a cluster, sloppy at points but it told a story and did what it needed to. Young Lion Lives Matter – Mathew

Winner: SANADA via Skull End

Rating: *** 1/4

 

Jay White, Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano vs Kenny Omega, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi

Jay hasn’t played well with SHO and YOH, but how will he fair with Ishii and Yano? On the flip side, Omega could use a little momentum after 3 straight singles losses, included a singles loss to Ishii.

Entertaining, Pieter’s dance was the best part, but did a good job at what it was supposed to do. – Mathew

Like Mathew said, at one point in the match all six men are in and the Bullet Club members do the Row Boat spot, but Yujiro asks Pieter to come in an help. So she decides to get in the middle of all six men and urge them along by spinning and dancing all sexy. Yujiro gets infatuated first which allows Ishii to roll of the ring, and the rest of the men just stop and stare at Pieter. Kenny decides to be the party pooper and slap sense into his teammates and escort Pieter out of the ring.

Aside from that, we had a few good spots with Omega/Owens doing a Superkick/Pump Kick combo on Ishii, and good team work on both ends. Eventually Owens and Ishii are alone in the ring, Owens goes for the Package Piledriver, fails and gets a Vertical Drop Brainbuster for his troubles.

Winner: Ishii via Vertical Drop Brainbuster

Rating: *** 1/2

 

Kushida, Rey Mysterio & Pro Wrestler Sengokuenbu vs Kazuchika Okada, SHO & YOH

We have the debut of an unknown samurai wrestler from the Sengoku (Warring States) period of Japan. Time traveler, or just a big fan, he makes his appearance to help out Rey Mysterio and Kushida against the CHAOS members.

Best tag match on the show, everyone delivered, very entertaining. Sengokuenbu was the highlight, now we just need to figure out who he could be. Give us Mysterio vs Liger already, dammit! – Mathew

The match saw a lot of all three guys getting in good offense, a tease for a Double 619, that Okada stopped with his picture perfect Dropkick. But stereo Tope con Hilos at the end, set up Mysterio to get YOH into position for the 619 and West Coast Pop, to pick up the pinfall.

Nothing crazy happened during or after, just a good ole fashioned fun match with no storyline implications, just entertainment.

Winner: Mysterio via 619

Rating: *** 3/4

 

G1 Climax 28 Finals: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi

So these two have put on some great matches in the past. Does Ibushi avenge his loss at Power Struggle 2017? Does the Ace have one more run left in him? Enough hyperbole, time to find out.

I thought the match was just simply incredible. The story of the match, the intensity and emotion of it all really delivered to give us the perfect way to end the G1 Climax overall. It showed Ibushi is on another level compared to his previous runs in New Japan and can be everything they look for if he ever signs a fucking contract! Tanahashi winning is the right call in my opinion and I really hope he’ll be the one that breaks the WK curse and beats Omega for the championship, he definitely deserves that one final run.- Mathew

Mathew’s sentiment is right on the level with mine. But we also saw some fantastic spots in this match. Ibushi countered a Sliding Dropkick from Tanahashi on the apron, and Double Footstomped perfectly on his chest, a quickly snapped off Avalanche Frankensteiner as well as his new Double Knees Moonsault. Tanahashi was in usual form also, with a couple Short Arm Slingblades mixed in with two Twist and Shout Neckbreakers.

Throughout the match, the story and struggle was painted plainly on both men’s faces. Ibushi kept trying to hold back his emotions, until the spirit of Shinsuke Nakamura overcame him. A few antagonistic kicks to the head, mixed with two or three Bomaye Knees from different angles. Hell Ibushi even hit his Outside-In Deadlift German Suplex on Tanahashi, but only for 2 counts.

Tanahashi had a hauntingly similar sequence to the Power Struggle match, but instead of 2 High Fly Flows, this time it took 3 for Tanahashi to finish the job. A momentous occasion of course, but it should be noted that Kota never hit the KamiGoye. For those who don’t know, KameGoye means “Beyond God”, and he named it such because of Tanahashi. It was the move he was going to use to finally surpass God, and God, to Kota Ibushi, is Tanahashi.

Not quite there yet for Kota, but words can’t adequately describe how amazing this match was.

Winner: Tanahashi via High Fly Flow

Rating: ******

Thoughts:

Tanahashi wins his third G1 Climax, and the winner comes from my block for the third time this year! Yes I know I picked Ibushi, but being wrong there, still kinda paid off. The match was tremendous, the undercard built like a normal New Japan show. So now we get to see when and where Jay White will challenge Tanahashi for the contract, and if Kazuchika Okada might make a challenge.

Even though all previous contract winners have lost at Wrestle Kingdom, we might finally see something change. Maybe Tanahashi wins, maybe he loses it before the big show. Guess we’ll just have to sit back and find out.

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NJPW G1 Climax 28

Mathew’s G1 Climax 28 B Block Results & Review: Day 18

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Welcome to the final day of B Block and for those that aren’t aware, Hiroshi Tanahashi has won A Block after him and Kazuchika Okada had a thirty-minute draw.

I know I picked Okada to win A Block, but I’m very happy to see Tanahashi advance as he’s still my favorite in the New Japan roster and how can you not be a fan of him? If you’re not, then I’m not sure if I can trust you.

Anyway, now that A Block is all done, it is now time to see who moves on to fight Tanahashi tomorrow as our only options at this point are Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi, and Tetsuya Naito. Yesterday, NJPW posted a ruling for today that if Tama Tonga or any of the OG Bullet Club members interfere in any of the B Block matches tonight, they would be fined and suspended for three months. Let’s be honest, do you really think they care? Are they going to cooperate or keep doing what they’re doing? Who will move on to B Block? Let’s not waste any more time and…dive right in.

 

G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Toru Yano vs. Tama Tonga

Review: Looks like Tama is gonna have to do this one solo due to the ruling and I’m sure he doesn’t need it since he’s fighting Toru Yano, he even helped him at the last show with defeating Kenny Omega so Toru should be thanking him. But yes, Toru does have a win over Kenny Omega thanks to Tama despite him not being able to beat him in the tournament either and maybe Toru can rack up one final win. Since OG’s are banned from ringside, what will Tonga’s strategy be to defeat him? Is he gonna cheat and play along with Toru’s games or is he going to actually play fair? I doubt it but let’s see.

I wonder, could you really call it a match? I mean there kinda was one for a couple of minutes and it looked like Tama did have it under control for a while until Toru started getting the upper hand. It got to the point where Fale and Loa started to come out to try and come in ignoring the rule about being suspended. Tonga has choking Toru and the referee would try to break it up but gets ignored, which the referee pulls his hair Kento style. Tama didn’t like that ine bit and goes ape shit hitting the Gun Stun to get disqualified as OG’s are now kicked out of the building and Toru wins. Good job, Toru.

Recommended: It was more story driven than anything and guess they wanted to have them gone early. Still worth checking for 5 minutes.

 

G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Juice Robinson vs. Hirooki Goto

Review: These two are no strangers to each other as both men have fought for the NEVER Openweight Championship twice and Goto would always come out on top of those matches. Juice would always somehow get the lucky pinfall victory over him when it comes to tag matches to earn these opportunities, but when it comes to just fighting him one on one, he comes up short every time. However, Juice could maybe get that singles victory over Goto this time and potentially another Openweight Championship match or Goto could just knock Juice down again. Will this be the time for Juice to get the victory or does Goto stand tall once again?

Before the match starts, Juice decides to take off the wrist tape and I guess it’s to show how serious he is about the match. Both of them appesr to have an injury with Juice and his hand while Goto has his arm taped up a little thanks to Zack. Juice looked like he had the upper hand for the beginning of it and wanted to keep it that way until Goto would stop his momentum. I like wheh they fight because ir shows a good story with Goto seeing potential in him and wants him to unleash that ‘samurai spirit’ and you see that in their matches. The last few minutes of the match were very back and forth with them trying to hit the GTR or Pulp Friction. Goto eventually hits an inverted GTR and looks like he was gonna get it this time but Juice shows his fire and hits a stiff left hook before hitting the Pulp Friction as Juice finally defeats Goto! Now that Juice pinned Goto one on one for the first time, will that lead to a NEVER Openweight Championship match? Right now, I’m gonna say no due to them having a lot of contenders lined up and just have Juice mark it up as I got a win over him and that’s good enough right now.

Recommended: Great match, worth viewing.

 

G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Tomohiro Ishii vs. SANADA

Review: The two of them fought each other twice in a singles competition where SANADA defeated Ishii in 2016 during the G1 Climax and last year at the New Japan Cup where Ishii defeated SANADA. So this would technically be the rubber match between these two here to see who would come out on top. Ishii has been stocking up some pretty impressive victories lately and wouldn’t be surprised if he wants to stock up one more to end it, but SANADA has also lost a few big ones and wants to fix that by getting that one more win as well. Who needs the win more?

I’m just gonna come out and say it, these two are the MVP’s of not only B Block, but throughout the G1 Climax in general. Whether they have the best match on the show or just had a great performance, these two would always deliver to give us something memorable to watch with how they perform. For having them fight last on the final day, I thought the match was tremendous from beginning to end and gave us a fantastic story and plenty of nice sequences from their reversals and trying to do their moves like Ishii attempting the Skull End and SANADA countering it with Ishii’s Sliding Lariat and just how they flowed together was beautiful.

There was also a nice little callback to Great Muta with SANADA attempting the Diving Moonsault and missing as Ishii catches him with a Shining Wizard as the crowd goes crazy. These two went to war together, but there had to be a winner as Ishii defeats SANADA with the Vertical Suplex Drop. Despite them having a pretty decent record, both of them did a fantastic job with all of their opponents whether they won or loss and nothing to be ashamed of. Ishii showed that he’s still at the top of his game and SANADA has shown that he can be a key player in New Japan.

Recommended: Fantastic match, please watch.

 

G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

Review: The only way for Naito to advance now is that he has to defeat Zack Sabre Jr. Last time they fought, it was the first round of the New Japan Cup and Zack would shock the audience when he made Naito tap out, but Naito did defeat Zack last year in the G1 Climax so it was them saying they’re even now. This is another tiebreaker that needs to be taken care of since they both got a victory over each other and all Naito has to do is win and he will advance to fight Tanahashi. Can Naito meet Tanahashi in the finals one more time or will Zack ruin it for Naito to make Kenny or Kota advance?

It appears Naito has gotten into Zack’s head pretty early with his little Tranquilo tactics since you can see Zack throwing a little temper tantrum outside with TAKA trying to calm him down until he got back in the ring. It appears to have worked because once Naito was about to do his little taunt, Zack would waste no time putting him in an Armbar and the body manipulations begin. Something about these two working together makes it feel rather unique at times and it’s with the popularity of Naito from the fans and Zack showing his personality a little bit more with him compared to the other guys he fights in New Japan and it shows here.

I’m not exactly sure which match I like better out of the three but this one was still great and maybe a little weaker than their NJ Cup match, so still not really bad. Zack has been trying everything to get Naito to tap out because he knows Naito will be out if he can defeat him and wants to do that here but Naito kept on getting to the ropes to show that he won’t quit at all. Zack would even come close with the European Clutches and he still kicks out of them and you can tell Naito wants this bad. Naito hits the Destino and Zack was sitting up, so he calls for another Destino but Zack caught him for the Zack Driver and Naito is….out…wait what?

No, it wasn’t a typo there, Zack Sabre won the match meaning Naito is now eliminated from the G1 Climax. I know I picked Ibushi to advance from my predictions in the first day, but I did want Naito to win and finally get his WK win for the belt, but it appears to be once again put on hold. What’s next for Naito? I’m not sure and I’ll get to that at a later date, but I can’t be mad and he did well at least.

Recommended: Great match and a rather heartbreaking ending. So yes

 

G1 Climax 2018 Block B Match
Kenny Omega vs. Kota Ibushi

Review: Six years ago, these two would fight each other in the very same arena in Nippon Budokan where they fought in DDT for the KO-D Openweight Championship where Ibushi defeated Kenny to retain the title and these two almost killed each other, and check the match out for yourself if you haven’t. Now six years later, both of these men have matured completely compared to their DDT days and now it’s time to see who’s the better man out of these two. The outcome of this match will decide how things turn out for the final because Kenny will move on if he wins this match and Ibushi has a chance to advance if he defeats Kenny here. With OG being banned from ringside, should be safe to say there will be no interference to cause a no contest and risking them both to not advance at all. Which of the two Golden Lovers comes out on top?

Aside from Kenny having a bit of a serious face, Ibushi’s face just tells it all with the story of this match and all the years they’ve known each other. They had the perfect pacing from beginning to end with them starting off with chain wrestling and doing the same move to each other whether they hit or block it. They knew when to hit the big moves or when to hype it up for a reversal and again, it was a very special match if you’ve been following the Golden Lovers and how their careers have played out, it shows their maturity and progression since they last time they fought together and it’s quite amazing to see how far they’ve come whether you’re a fan of them or not.

They did say they might kill each other the next time they fought in this arena and they weren’t kidding here since some of the moves they do to each other or when Kenny dropped him on his head when he tried to do a Reverserana. Ibushi would hit the Kamigoye and Kenny would surprisingly kick out of that one, leaving Ibushi emotionally frustrated since he wants it over. Kenny had Ibushi on the top rope and Ibushi fights it off by delivering a Double Stomp right on the back of his head to knock him out and does an amazing Tiger Bomb off the top rope only to top it off with the Kamigoye for the victory over Kenny!

After the match, Ibushi would hug his unconscious body sharing an emotion moment together. Definitely a fantastic match with a great story to top it off and in my opinion might be my favorite match from the both of them this year. Since Ibushi defeated Kenny, that means he moves on to the finals to fight Hiroshi Tanahashi tomorrow. It looks like I got both my predictions right since I said these two would be in the finals, but I’m gonna have to go with Tanahashi winning it all.

Recommended: Fantastic match, worth watching.

 

Overall: B Block ended on a high note with some great stories along with excellent in-ring quality from top to bottom. An unexpected victor made it to the final and it’s gonna leave a bunch of questions after tomorrow pretty much asking, what’s next for everyone that didn’t make it?

Favorite Match: Kota Ibushi vs Kenny Omega

Least Favorite Match: Tama Tonga vs Toru Yano

Score: 9/10

 

B Block Standings:
Kota Ibushi: 6-3 (12 Points) – Winner
Kenny Omega 6-3 (12 Points) – Eliminated
Tetsuya Naito: 6-3 (12 Points) – Eliminated
Zack Sabre Jr: 6-3 (12 Points) – Eliminated
Tomohiro Ishii: 5-4 (10 Points) – Eliminated
SANADA: 4-5 (8 Points) – Eliminated
Juice Robinson: 3-6 (6 Points) – Eliminated
Toru Yano: 3-6 (6 Points) – Eliminated
Hirooki Goto: 3-6 (6 Points) – Eliminated
Tama Tonga: 3-6 (6 Points) – Eliminated

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