The G1 Climax Okada block continues! Can anyone stop the rolling Rainmaker? Looking at you SANADA…
Now this has been an odd block. Even when Okada got off to his 2017 6-0 start, he didn’t feel as far ahead as he does this year. Everyone has seemingly been playing for second.
Speaking of second, it seems to be between Tanahashi or Ibushi, since KENTA is starting to slide. Does Ibushi surpass his God? Can SANADA overcome his 0-5 record against Okada?
Well let’s all just hope Okada picks up a loss soon, sheesh.
- Ren Narita & Yota Tsuji vs Juice Robinson & Toa Henare: Henare wins via Toa Bomb @6:20 – ** ¼
- Toru Yano, Tomoaki Honma & Jeff Cobb vs Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI: YOSHI wins via Butterfly Lock @5:50 – **
- Minoru Suzuki, Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI: Takagi wins via Made in Japan @7:30 – ***
- Jay White & Chase Owens vs Jon Moxley & Shota Umino: White wins via Blade Runner @5:55 – *** 1/4
- A Block: KENTA vs Bad Luck Fale: Fale wins via Roll-Up @7:20 – *
- A Block: Lance Archer vs Zack Sabre Jr: ZSJ wins via Crucifix Pin @10:45 – *** ½
- A Block: Will Ospreay vs EVIL: EVIL wins via Everything is Evil @17:10 – *** ¾
- A Block: Kota Ibushi vs Hiroshi Tanahashi: Ibushi wins via Kamigoye @15:55 – ****
- A Block: Kazuchika Okada vs SANADA: SANADA wins via Moonsault @29:45 – **** ½
Ren Narita & Yota Tsuji vs Juice Robinson & Toa Henare – Not a lot to discuss here since Juice isn’t facing his next opponent. This is a standard tag with Young Lions. Not a lot to discuss beyond it helped Henare get some momentum and look better.
Toru Yano, Tomoaki Honma & Jeff Cobb vs Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI – I zoned out a little during the match honestly. All of the Chaos members stopped Yano from doing most of his shtick and this was just a slow match. Even with Yano beating Moxley, it’s not like he’s suddenly a favorite to win the block or put on a great match. Skip this…Skip it 9 times.
Minoru Suzuki, Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI – There’s a few threads to pull here. Kanemaru nearly beat Shingo during the Best of Super Juniors, Taichi has his issues with both Shingo and Naito and Suzuki hates L.I.J. So this was fun, a lot of little interactions and then after the match, Shingo and Naito do the LIJ fist bump, so there’s no hard feelings going into their match tomorrow.
Jay White & Chase Owens vs Jon Moxley & Shota Umino – This was a beautiful match based off the story it’s telling. Jay did everything to frustrate Moxley and picked his spots, bailed out at great times, it was just fantastically entertaining. Moxley is getting frustrated and Jay dodged most of the contact. Great stuff.
A Block: KENTA vs Bad Luck Fale – Well this match sucked. Chase Owens joining commentary going into this match made the finish obvious. Slow match, lots of interference, no real flow. Straight garbage, skip this.
A Block: Lance Archer vs Zack Sabre Jr – Interesting clash of styles in this match. ZSJ applied most of his submission maneuvers, while Archer tried to power through and throw ZSJ around. Lance looked to have a win with the Chokeslam, but he picked Sabre up himself. Archer wanted to hit Blackout, but ZSJ slipped down into a Sleeper Hold, and then transitioned into a Crucifix Pin, for the surprise win. Solid match.
A Block: Will Ospreay vs EVIL – This match took it’s time picking up. A small mishap with a chair allowed for some early comedy and then it was really just a typical match for both, until the last few minutes. False finishes and signature hits gave Ospreay a few believable upset spots, but thankfully EVIL maintained some momentum. He tends to never be able to string together wins, but this year could be something special for EVIL.
A Block: Kota Ibushi vs Hiroshi Tanahashi – Ibushi has finally surpassed god! Tanahashi has always been a hurdle he couldn’t get over. Tanahashi not quite looking like himself this tournament definitely bode well for Ibushi. There was a great strike exchange between the two and Ibushi landed all of his cringe inducing moves, so it was a sight to behold. Very good match, hard fought, and feels like a big step for Ibushi and possibly the first moment in A Block where you believe someone not named Okada has a shot.
A Block: Kazuchika Okada vs SANADA – Well this was a hell of a match. We saw similar shadows of their matches earlier this year, where Okada was a step ahead and SANADA kept going to the well. Okada was in the Skull End for about 4 minutes towards the end of the match. Okada managed to counter out of it, looked to hit a Rainmaker, but SANADA hit a Pop Up Cutter and then two Moonsaults to give him his first win ever against Okada.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
SANADA and Ibushi made a little history on their win loss records, but SANADA gave everyone else hope. Even with half of A Block eliminated, SANADA playing spoiler made sure Okada didn’t run away with the block. If Ibushi can stay only 1 win behind Okada that makes their last night match up worth all the marbles.
I guess A Block was jealous that B Block had all of the buzz after the Yano upset. Now we’ve got a hell of a last third to look forward to.
Block A Standings:
- Kazuchika Okada: 6-1 (12 Points)
- Kota Ibushi: 5-2 (10 Points)
- KENTA: 4-3 (8 Points)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi: 4-3 (8 Points)
- EVIL: 4-3 (8 Points)
- SANADA: 3-4 (6 Points) – ELIMINATED
- Zack Sabre Jr: 3-4 (6 Points) – ELIMINATED
- Will Ospreay: 2-5 (4 Points) – ELIMINATED
- Lance Archer: 2-5 (4 Points) – ELIMINATED
- Bad Luck Fale: 2-5 (4 Points) – ELIMINATED