A Block Finals are here! Kazuchika Okada and Kota Ibushi are the only two that matter! Winner Takes All!
Not really a ton of extra bells and whistles beyond the Ospreay and Tanahashi match.
What we all want to know is who wins the block. Kota Ibushi? Kazuchika Okada? Do they both get food poisoning and explode?
Let’s find out!
- Juice Robinson & Ren Narita vs Shota Umino & Jon Moxley: Shooter wins via Fisherman Suplex Hold @3:40 – **
- Toa Henare & Jeff Cobb vs Tomoaki Honma & Toru Yano: Cobb wins via Tour of the Islands @5:25 – **
- Minoru Suzuki, Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto: Suzuki wins via Gotch Style Piledriver @7:50 – ***
- Jay White, Chase Owens & Yujiro w/Pieter vs BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito & Shingo Takagi: Takagi wins via Made in Japan @8:35 – ** ½
- A Block: EVIL vs Lance Archer: Archer via EBD Claw Hold @10:00 – *** ¼
- A Block: Bad Luck Fale vs SANADA: Fale wins via Small Package @10:40 – ** ½
- A Block: Zack Sabre Jr vs KENTA: Zack Sabre Jr wins via Jim Breaks Special @16:25 – **** ¼
- A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Will Ospreay: Ospreay wins via Stormbreaker @17:10 – **** 1/2
- A Block: Kazuchika Okada vs Kota Ibushi: Ibushi wins via Kamigoye @25:05 – *****
Juice Robinson & Ren Narita vs Shota Umino & Jon Moxley – Juice and Moxley added a little more heat to their feud, but Shota and Ren did most of the hard work. A Hart Attack, followed by the Fisherman Suplex Hold gave Moxley’s team the win.
Toa Henare & Jeff Cobb vs Tomoaki Honma & Toru Yano – So we just see that Yano has to figure out a way around Cobb’s power for the last day of matches. Cobb was fairly dominant the entire time, so this didn’t do a whole hell of a lot.
Minoru Suzuki, Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto – This was the most entertaining tag so far. We get a small glimpse of Ishii bringing out the Dangerous T in Taichi, as well as, YOSHI-HASHI nearly pulling off an upset pinfall on Suzuki. Suzuki managed to outdo YOSHI, but there were a few hope spots where YOSHI nearly had a huge pin.
Jay White, Chase Owens & Yujiro w/Pieter vs BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito & Shingo Takagi – Jay White and Tetsuya Naito have nice moments in this match. Not a ton of interacting in the ring, but two characters that revel in mind games add some fun tension to the B Block Finals tomorrow. Shingo looks great in this match. He gets ganged up on at times, but fights through with Pumping Bombers and eats Yujiro with a Made in Japan.
A Block: EVIL vs Lance Archer – Archer has been a complete treat in this G1. Pulling off moves he rarely does, this match he did a Moonsault from the apron out onto EVIL and four Young Lions. Amusing moment was when EVIL tried to throw Archer’s leg to the referee, but Archer is too big and knocked the referee clear out of the ring. After that, both men took a little advantage of the lack of referee, EVIL hits a Rope Assisted Magic Killer, but Archer kicked out. EBD Claw Hold picks up the pinfall, and Archer goes out on a high note.
A Block: Bad Luck Fale vs SANADA – Well Fale continues to be the most technical wrestler in New Japan since Wild Pegasus. SANADA tried to overcome the 3 on 1 odds, but it was too much. After going on a roll, SANADA ends his tournament in shenanigans. Fale also went from last to middle of the pack with this new gimmick of using wrestling moves.
A Block: Zack Sabre Jr vs KENTA – This was a damn good match. KENTA and Zack have history back to Pro Wrestling NOAH, and both are looking to end strong. KENTA showed a few more glimmers of his old self with the stiff slaps and general badass posturing. It was close, but as you could see KENTA kept getting the Go 2 Sleep countered, it felt like Sabre’s match to win. So while wrestling down KENTA a few times and focusing on the surgically repaired arm, Zack finally gets KENTA to verbally submit.
A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Will Ospreay – Even partially crippled, Tanahashi still has a tendency to put on good matches against smaller opponents. Tanahashi pulled out a few technical tricks we haven’t seen in a long time as long as numerous modified Slingblade counters. This was just a really well wrestled match with a great story of the Next Generation trying to prove themselves and unseat the older generation. Generational wars are very big in Japanese wrestling and we even saw a bit of it when Shinsuke Nakamura started his King of Strong Style gimmick.
A Block: Kazuchika Okada vs Kota Ibushi – So after being ahead the entire tournament, Ibushi was the only one with a prayer to steal the block away from Okada. This was everything and more that you would expect from the two. Ibushi pulled out all his tricks, and when he attempted the Bom-Ba-Ye Okada was all too familiar with Nakamura’s move. Definitely one of the best matches of the tournament. A must watch for everyone.
Overall Score: 8.75/10
Three fantastic matches capped off the A Block. Sure, questions can arise from SANADA and EVIL’s booking, and even what Tanahashi will do, but it was still damn good if you appreciate the actions for what they mean now.
Ibushi goes on to his second G1 Climax Finals in a row. After losing to Tanahashi last year, this could be his Wrestle Kingdom destiny. Will Kota Ibushi finally win the G1 Climax?
Block A Standings:
- Kota Ibushi: 7-2 (14 Points) – WINNER!!
- Kazuchika Okada: 7-2 (14 Points) – ELIMINATED
- KENTA: 4-5 (8 Points) – ELIMINATED
- Hiroshi Tanahashi: 4-5 (8 Points) – ELIMINATED
- EVIL: 4-5 (8 Points) – ELIMINATED
- SANADA: 4-5 (8 Points) – ELIMINATED
- Zack Sabre Jr: 4-5 (8 Points) – ELIMINATED
- Will Ospreay: 4-5 (8 Points) – ELIMINATED
- Bad Luck Fale: 4-5 (8 Points) – ELIMINATED
- Lance Archer: 3-6 (6 Points) – ELIMINATED