Juice Robinson, Tomohiro Ishii and Jon Moxley come in at the top of the standings. How do we see B Block take shape?
This whole day is based around two major things:
Will Jay White or Tetsuya Naito get a win?
Will Moxley or Ishii kill one another?
Let’s find out!
- Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens vs Zack Sabre Jr & Yoshinobu Kanemaru: Fale wins via Grenade @4:50 – **
- Tomoaki Honma & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer: Archer wins via EBD Claw Hold @9:50 – **
- SANADA, EVIL & BUSHI vs KENTA, Kota Ibushi & Clark Connors: BUSHI wins via MX @9:02 – ** 1/2
- YOSHI-HASHI & Kazuchika Okada vs Will Ospreay & Toa Henare: YOSHI wins via Fisherman Buster @8:45 – ** 1/4
- B Block: Shingo Takagi vs Taichi: Takagi wins via Last of the Dragon @14:40 – ****
- B Block: Jeff Cobb vs Juice Robinson: Cobb wins via Tour of the Islands @13:20 – *** 1/2
- B Block: Toru Yano vs Jay White: Yano wins via Brass Knuckle Low Blow/Roll-Up @3:05 – ** 1/2
- B Block: Tetsuya Naito vs Hirooki Goto: Naito wins via Destino @16:00 – *** 3/4
- B Block: Jon Moxley vs Tomohiro Ishii: Moxley wins via Deathrider @20:35 – **** 1/2
Well Fale tried to outsmart the Rainmaker in his last G1 match, and that didn’t go too well. So Sabre is being a whiny child, tried to step to Fale and for the most part, got brushed off. Fale isn’t really in a position to eat another loss, but it’s unusual for Sabre to be doing so poorly. I’m curious if Sabre continues this slide until maybe TAKA Michinoku returns to be his hype man, or Sabre gets off the schneid.
People, everybody dies. You know that, Lance knows that, Honma knows that…Kairi Sane knows that. This didn’t really add much to things except the undercurrent of a quiet Minoru Suzuki is scary for the whole world. Also – Everybody Dies!
Now that SANADA and EVIL have had their match, there is some symbiosis back on the LIJ undercards. KENTA and Kota teaming together was a cute call back, but nothing of heavy merit came from this match. BUSHI continues to rack up positive momentum during these tags, Clark Connors is impressive for an LA Dojo Young Lion. So decent match, but aside from EVIL and KENTA brawling after the match and SANADA and Ibushi having a rather civil fan support battle, nothing too important for the impending matches.
Okada and Ospreay did have the crowd hot, but aside from a small flourish, this was mostly YOSHI and Henare. Surprisingly, YOSHI-HASHI has put together a few pinfalls in the tag matches, so that tends to actually play a role in the second half story telling. Ospreay may be on his way to a big upset since even if Okada seems to be positioned to win A Block, he won’t make it through unscathed.
Now this was a fun match. It was a continuation of the Suzuki-Gun/LIJ drama, but Taichi has his own issues. Shingo is fighting as a Junior Heavyweight and Taichi moved up to Heavyweight last year, but was overlooked for the G1. So the fact that Shingo asks and gets in, yet Taichi moves up and was ignored has to bother him. With all of these little things eating through, Taichi brought out the Dangerous T that many of us have grown to love. Sure there was a brief moment of shenanigans with lovely Miho and the microphone stand, but 90% of the match was on the up and up. Pumping Bomber versus Axe Bomber was great, the callbacks to both of their mentors was wonderful and just generally speaking, when the Holy Emperor tries, those are great matches. Shingo getting the win won’t sit well with Taichi, but we’ve got plenty more time to see how this all falls.
Juice starts off the match in a 3 way tie for first, but Cobb really needs a win to legitimize his tournament. Being undefeated in ROH for about a year, as well as all his other accolades, he needs to stop losing. Cobb showed a little more fire than usual in this match and took it to Juice. Juice has been in hard hitting affairs all tournament and it looks like Juice might’ve finally hit the wall. Should be interesting to see if Juice flounders from here or if he recovers.
Well the Chaos revenge tour has another stop with Toru Yano and Jay White. Jay has not gotten off to a good start and it’s all his past decisions coming to bite him. This match…would be no different. Yano takes advantage of Gedo getting involved. Between Barbara Jean the turnbuckle pad and the brass knuckles from Gedo, Jay White’s nuts didn’t stand a chance. So Yano runs away with 2 more points and Jay’s pride…and other things…are a bit sore.
Goto started off the tournament looking like a new man, Naito has also looked different, but for different reasons. Naito sitting in the basement with zero points and Goto with the renewed sense of purpose makes for an odd dynamic. This match is one of their usual ones, where it’s quick bursts, hard hitting and a few solid false finishes. However, at multiple points Naito’s usual tranquilo is shaken and you can see him show levels of concern. Goto being the one with the power in the match, makes for some unique interactions. Naito does pull off the win, but it’s not for Goto’s lack of trying and kicking out of one running Destino. Naito finally gets some points, but it’s nothing near dominant enough to breathe a sigh of relief.
Moxley versus Ishii was the insane hard hitting match we expected. Ishii even flew. He hit a splash on Moxley through a table. The Stone Pitbull flew. Yes I realize there is a callback to Masato Tanaka in that move, but you don’t understand, Ishii flew. Anyway, the beauty of Red Shoes as a referee is he understands each wrestlers personality, so he gives them a little more leash to do what they like to do. Moxley used weapons, Ishii egged it on, there were huge strikes, Ishii’s torpedo style rising headbutts and just good violence. This was a bar fight and no one was upset. Moxley getting the win was a little surprising since most of us assume he won’t be available for many if any later dates once AEW TV starts up. This was just a nice change of pace for the usual New Japan and/or Strong Style match.
Overall Score: 7.75/10
With a great Taichi match and Moxley changing the pace, this show was definitely something to behold. Jay White’s continued spiral is more amusing than Sabre’s since this seems like retribution where Sabre is just a punk bitch when he loses. Even with an uneventful undercard, the main Block matches kept everything moving upward and onward.
With Moxley as the sole 3-0, who unseats the Death Rider?
B Block Standings:
- Jon Moxley – 3-0 (6 Points)
- Toru Yano – 2-1 (4 Points)
- Tomohiro Ishii – 2-1 (4 Points)
- Juice Robinson – 2-1 (4 Points)
- Shingo Takagi – 2-1 (4 Points)
- Jeff Cobb – 1-2 (2 Points)
- Tetsuya Naito – 1-2 (2 Points)
- Hirooki Goto – 1-2 (2 Points)
- Taichi – 1-2 (2 Points)
- Jay White – 0-3 (0 Points)