The A Block reaches its conclusion!
This is it! The final round for A Block! Will Rainmaker or Golden Star take the block to be a G1 Climax Finalist?!
- EVIL VS Lance Archer; Archer wins.
- SANADA VS Bad Luck Fale; Fale wins.
- KENTA VS Zack Sabre Jr; Sabre wins.
- Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Will Ospreay; Ospreay wins.
- Kota Ibushi VS Kazuchika Okada; Ibushi wins and advances to the G1 Climax 29 Finals.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for the penultimate Climax!
A dream match-up determines the entire fate of the finals! The Rainmaker went on a 6-0 run, only to run into the Cold Skull for the seventh time in his career. And in perhaps the biggest shock ever, Sanada came away as the 1 in 6-1 for BOTH streaks! Meanwhile, the Golden Star had an epic rematch from the epic G1 Climax 28 Finals as he defeated the Ace! Ibushi not only overcame the wrestling icon, but he firmly made himself the second place contender in the A Block! Ibushi and Okada would continue into Night 15, Ibushi winning again while Okada rebounding just in time. But now, they have their first match against each other in five years! Even a draw helps Okada make it to the end, but Ibushi could win to be a back-to-back finalist! Will the Golden Star shine in the heavy rain? Or will Okada take that next step towards making history?
EVIL VS Lance Archer!
Just because the standings have eliminated the King of Darkness and the Killer Elite doesn’t mean they won’t fight for pride and glory! Who comes out of this the better man?
AXS jumps into the action as Archer drags Evil to a corner and suplexes him into bare buckles! Evil writhes in agony as Archer soaks up the heat. Archer looms over Evil, then grinds a knee into him for a cover. TWO, but Evil clutches his legs. Archer reels Evil in for a lariat, then covers with just a hand. TWO, and Archer rains down rights on Evil’s head! Archer shouts at the ref then drags Evil to a drop zone. Archer stomps Evil then goes to the apron. He climbs the ropes, but Evil gets clear of the senton! Archer stings from having to roll through, but he’s still up first. Fans rally for Evil but Archer is angry. Archer drags Evil up but Evil fights back! Evil runs, dodges and collides with Archer! Archer ends up in a corner and Evil gets a clothesline! Evil sweeps Archer’s legs then roars. Fans fire up as Evil drums the mat. Evil runs corner to corner, BIG bronco buster! Cover, ONE!?
Evil keeps his composure as he grits his teeth. Archer slowly stands but Evil is on him with a suplex. Archer blocks with height and strength, to then spin and knee Evil into a lariat! The “American Psycho” shakes the cobwebs out as he eyes the corner again. He climbs up but Evil intercepts him with hands! Evil climbs up to throw forearms, but Archer gives them back. Evil headbutts, grabs Archer, and SUPERPLEXES! Cover, TWO!! Fans still rally and Evil stalks Archer. Archer stands, Evil runs, but the clothesline barely staggers Archer! Archer grabs Evil by the throat! But Evil breaks free, to catch the kick! Evil throws it at the ref, but Archer’s so big, the ref goes flying! Evil still mule kicks, but he runs into the DERAILER POUNCE! With the ref down, Archer goes out to fetch chairs! Archer brings the chair in, wedges it in the bare-buckle corner, and fans rally up as they anticipate his evil plans for Evil.
Archer drags Evil up, whips him over, but Evil stops himself! Then baits Archer in, sending Archer crashing through the chair! The plan backfired! Evil runs, to LARIAT Archer down! Fans are thunderous and the referee has revived. Evil slashes the throat and drags Archer up. He suplexes Archer to the ropes, hanging Magic Killer! Cover, TWO!! Archer still lives, but Evil has more left. He slashes the throat again, spins Archer around, but Archer slips out to a full nelson! Evil breaks free, kicks, spins, but into the CHOKE SLAM!! Cover, TWO!? Evil lives! But Archer drags him up to a fireman’s carry, F5!! That’s not enough for Archer, he wants to use his claw! Archer reaches down to bring Evil up, Everybody- misses! Evil headbutts! Then spins Archer, only to get the claw!! Everybody Dies, cover, Archer wins!!
Winner: Lance Archer, by pinfall
Not everything is evil, but Evil is still trying everything he can to fight out of the claw! Archer holds on tight to punish him, but Young Lions rush in to help. So Archer goes after one of them with the claw! He lets go when he is satisfied, but will Archer be satisfied with anything less than crushing everyone’s dreams with that vicious claw?
Archer goes to English commentary to talk to them. “Next year, nobody lives!” This year was “sh*t”, so next year, Archer vows to be undefeated. “It does not stop!” Rocky, say it! Rocky Romero says the catchphrase, and Archer leaves him alone. Will G1 Climax 30 be the year #EverybodyDies?
SANADA VS Bad Luck Fale!
The Cold Skull isn’t too upset that he won’t be a G1 Climax finalist. After all, he has a win over Kazuchika Okada, the reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion! But will Sanada survive the Rogue General so he can cash in that title shot burning a hole in his back pocket?
The bell rings and fans are of course on Sanada’s side against Bullet Club. Sanada stares down with Fale as they circle, but Chase Owens swipes at him from behind. This distracts Sanada for Fale to attack! Fale throws heavy hands then grinds Sanada into the ropes. Fale stops at the ref’s count, then whips Sanada, but Sanada stops himself when he sees Jado and that kendo stick. Fale comes up but Sanada is ready with big haymakers! Sanada rocks Fale then runs, and dodges, only to get that kendo SMACK after all! Fans boo but Jado gets away with it again. Fale kicks Sanada out of the ring, and they end up by commentary. Fale tosses Sanada over the railing onto monitors! And uses a mic cable to choke him! The ref reprimands him and fans boo, but Fale does let up.
Fale goes back to the ring and stays where the ref says. The ref also makes sure Chase and Jado leave Sanada alone. Sanada catches his breath and gets out of the mic cable. He heads back to the ring, but Fale is on him with stomps. Fale stands on Sanada’s stomach! The ref counts and Fale stops, only to stand on Sanada’s chest! The ref counts again and reprimands Fale, but now Chase gets cheap shots in! Fans boo but Bullet Club is too good at the game. Sanada gets up and tries to scoop Fale, but Fale’s just too big. Fale clubs Sanada down, and then clamps a hand on the trapezius muscle! Sanada endures the claw, and gets a ropebreak with his feet. But Fale stomps him down and brings him back up. Fale clamps that hand on Sanada’s side, right under the armpit! Sanada endures this new nerve hold, then stands with a cocky salute cover. TWO, and fans rally hard for Sanada!
Sanada throws CHOPS on Fale, but the scoop still doesn’t work. Fale scoops Sanada but Sanada escapes, to get the scoop! But then he falls over with Fale’s weight! Cover, TWO! Sanada survives being squashed but Fale keeps stomping him. Fale steps on Sanada, to then drop a big elbow! Cover, TWO! Fale drops more elbows out of frustration, covers, TWO! Fale scoops Sanada and slams him down, to then get a running start, only to miss the elbow drop! Sanada catches his breath while Fale clutches his elbow. Sanada throws hands on Fale then whips, but Fale reverses. Sanada dodges, dodges, and dropkicks the legs! Fale staggers so Sanada dropkicks his chest! Sanada clotheslines Fale out of the ring! Fale still stands, so Sanada slingshots to topple him over! He slingshots to take Jado out! Chase runs into the ring but Sanada redirects him. Sanada hurdles and dropkicks Chase out, to then slingshot! A hat trick for Sanada!
Fans are thunderous for Cold Skull and he wants the cameramen to see that. Sanada uses the ring count to catch his breath and get Fale in the ring. Sanada aims from a corner, springboards, but Fale dodges the missile dropkick. But Sanada gets a fireman’s carry! Only for Fale’s weight to topple him over again. Fale splashes down, cover, TWO! Sanada survives becoming a pancake, but Fale still has something left to try. He drags Sanada up, Grenade hits! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives again and Fale is furious! Fale vows to end this while fans reach a fever pitch for Sanada. Fale lifts Sanada to the crucifix, but Sanada slips out! Sanada dodges in the corner and gets the scoop slam!! Then the fireman’s carry, to the TKO neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!! Fale still lives, but Sanada keeps his cool. He drags Fale up into the dragon sleeper!
Fale endures, but Sanada drops back for the body scissors! True Skull End is in, but Chase yanks the ref out! Fale is tapping but no one can call it! Fans boo but Bullet Club does it again. Sanada lets go, Jado runs in, but he misses the kendo strike! Sanada kicks Jado low, tosses the stick aside, and ties Jado up in Paradise! Chase runs in, but even he gets put in Paradise! Fale clubs Sanada and whips, but Sanada tumbles out, springboards in, and dropkicks Fale down! Sanada gets up top as the ref returns, Moonsault! Fale dodges but Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada runs in, tilt-o-whirl to Skull End! Cradle counter, Fale wins!?
Winner: Bad Luck Fale, by pinfall
The Rogue General’s soldiers sacrificed themselves and he comes away with one last victory in the G1! But he forgets to help Chase out… Jado kicks Chase free, and Bullet Club leaves together. Well, Crown Jewel aside, is Fale poised to get a title match from the Cold Skull if he dethrones Okada?
KENTA VS Zack Sabre Jr!
The TakeOver continues, even without being a G1 Finalist. Will Kenta makes ZSJ #GoToSleep? Or will the Submission Master make Kenta #JustTapOut?
The bell rings and the two stare down. They circle as fans duel, and Kenta is wary of ZSJ’s grip. Kenta uses a corner for defense but ZSJ just grins and taunts him. They circle again and Kenta just stays out of ZSJ’s holds. Kenta waistlocks but ZSJ drops down. Kenta floats over then back around, but ZSJ switches. ZSJ floats, Kenta pushes him over, and the two break. Fans cheer this already impressive exchange. Kenta and ZSJ go again, pushing for headlock control. ZSJ gets the facelock but Kenta puts him into the ropes. They end up in the corner, and ZSJ pats his shoulder for a clean break with “senpai.” They circle again, and ZSJ tries to reel Kenta in. They end up on ropes again, and now Kenta is a good senpai as he gives the. Only to swing a kick! ZSJ gets under and is upset senpai wasn’t more respectful, as are fans.
ZSJ and Kenta circle again, and Kenta gets a leg. ZSJ leans back to fight the takedown, then goes for Kenta’s arms. Kenta pushes to the ropes and ZSJ has him in the corner again. The clean break is immediately marred by a stiff European Uppercut. Fans cheer but Kenta eggs ZSJ on. ZSJ throws more uppercuts, but Kenta only steps into them! Then Kenta DECKS ZSJ with one hard right! ZSJ flounders up but gets kicks to the chest! ZSJ is knocked off his feet with a high one, and then Kenta kicks him in the back. Kenta toys with ZSJ now and ZSJ gets annoyed. ZSJ gives Kenta more uppercuts, but Kenta just decks him again! Kenta dares ZSJ to do something before kneeing him back down. Kenta snapmares ZSJ to kick him in the back again. ZSJ gets up but Kenta is on him with a facelock.
Kenta shifts around for a chinlock, but ZSJ works on the grip. ZSJ gets an arm and wrenches a couple times, but Kenta just narrowly avoids the Pele! ZSJ narrowly avoids another kick, then gets up to boot! But he runs into Kenta’s knee! Kenta looms over ZSJ, to drop knees. Then he hops, to scuff ZSJ’s face. Fans boo again but Kenta pretends to be confused. But ZSJ gets his leg to stomp the arm! ZSJ wants to torture the surgically repaired arm with twisting, wrenching, and stomping! ZSJ then goes after a leg for a fast deathlock, and a butterfly mount. Kenta grits his teeth and slaps ZSJ. ZSJ digs his knuckles into the knees, then stands on Kenta to grab the bad arm! ZSJ has a double wristlock on top of the leg lock! Kenta pops his legs free to then use them to knee ZSJ in the shoulder and head! ZSJ lets go and gets away to ropes.
Kenta kicks ZSJ against the ropes! And again! And again! ZSJ flops over, and Kenta drops a knee on him again. Cover, ONE, but Kenta is on ZSJ with a snapmare. Kenta wraps the chinlock back on but ZSJ quickly slips out to hammerlock the arm! ZSJ pulls on this arm, then pulls legs into a figure four. He digs his knuckles in before getting the other arm, and practically makes Kenta into a pretzel. ZSJ flops Kenta over for a cover, ONE, and ZSJ grows frustrated. ZSJ toys with Kenta now, kicking him around. Kenta gets up to SLAP ZSJ. ZSJ SLAPS back, so Kenta forearms back. ZSJ fakes the uppercut to snapmare Kenta and crank the neck! ZSJ comes back to bring Kenta up in a half nelson. Kenta resists the full nelson and fights out with elbows. Kenta runs but into a boot. But he still catches ZSJ into a powerslam!
Both men are down and fans rally up. Kenta goes to a corner while ZSJ gets up. ZSJ runs in but into boots. Kenta hops up and grabs ZSJ for the tornado hotshot! Kenta climbs again and leaps at ZSJ for the flying clotheslines! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer and rally as ZSJ stays in this. Kenta drags ZSJ up, blocks the kick, but ZSJ starts slapping him. ZSJ even toys with Kenta, but he gets hard SLAPS back for it! Kenta runs corner to corner to give ZSJ a helluva kick! Then again for a basement dropkick! Kenta drags ZSJ to a drop zone and goes up top, for flying double stomps, only to roll through. Kenta runs into an uppercut, but gives back fast hands. ZSJ Northern Lights to a Kimura and headscissors! Then shift to an armbar! Kenta holds it off with a grip, but ZSJ works on the fingers. They roll, the armbar is complete but the ropebreak is, too!
ZSJ lets Kenta go to come back with a kick to the bad arm. And again! He won’t let up, he grinds the shoulder and wrenches, but Kenta forearms back. ZSJ holds on to still wrench, but he gets another forearm. ZSJ refuses to let go, and wrenches there times. Kenta gives three forearms back, but ZSJ kicks the shoulder! Kenta back hands ZSJ down as he falls! Both men hit the mat and fans fire up! Kenta and ZSJ head for each other, and Kenta eggs ZSJ on. ZSJ forearms but Kenta give sit back. The go back and forth, and ZSJ starts kicking. They stand, and Kenta forearms, but ZSJ EuroUppers back. Kenta, ZSJ, repeat. Kenta dares ZSJ to keep going, so ZSJ does. ZSJ fires kicks and one more uppercut! Kenta is down now, and ZSJ eggs him on. Kenta blocks the Penalty Kick! To spin and LARIAT! Kenta heads back up while ZSJ is down. Flying double stomps! Cover, TWO!!
ZSJ survives Kenta’s coup de grace, but Kenta vows to end this. Fireman’s carry, but ZSj slips out to PELE the arm! And sweep the legs! Penalty Kick hits! Cover, ONE?! And ZSJ is shocked! ZSJ and Kenta throw forearms again, then Kenta SLAPS ZSJ! ZSJ SLAPS back! Now it’s a SLAP fight! Kenta ROCKS ZSJ, and again, and again, and again! But ZSJ ducks the buzzsaw to get Kenta into the EuroClutch! TWO!! Fans are thunderous as Kenta escapes. ZSJ boots Kenta’s clothesline away, uppercuts back, and then catches the discus into a takedown! ZSJ wants both arms, but Kenta slips out to his own hold! #GameOver, but not yet! ZSJ gets a Triangle Hold! Kenta pops out to get back to the GameOver LeBell lock! ZSJ scrambles with his legs for a ropebreak! Kenta lets go in frustration.
Kenta gets up first, and kicks ZSJ off the ropes! Then he runs, to Psycho Knee ZSj down! Cover, TWO! Kenta vows to end it, fireman’s carry, GUILLOTINE! ZSJ shifts to a Triangle, and brings Kenta around! Kenta gets up again, but he can’t stack to a cover. ZSJ has the arms again! ZSJ pulls on the bad arm with Rings of Saturn! Bow ‘n’ Arrow even! Kenta endures even as ZSJ kicks his head! Verbal submission, ZSJ wins!!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission
Kenta didn’t tap, but he couldn’t withstand the man of 1000 holds’ arsenal! ZSJ survives to finish strong, and brags as he holds up his Rev-Pro British Heavyweight Championship. Will ZSJ only get stronger from here?
Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Will Ospreay!
The Ace and the Aerial Assassin is a dream match to say the least! This may not be as big as the G1 Finals, but can the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion still win big against the Once in a Century Talent?
The bell rings and fans are dueling already! “Go Ace!” “Ospreay!” goes back and forth as the two circle. They tie up, and Tanahashi puts Ospreay against the ropes. He gives a clean break and they circle again. The dueling gets louder and Ospreay is clearly appreciative of having fans in attendance. He and Tanahashi tie up again, and Tanahashi works to power Ospreay to ropes. Ospreay locks his legs, and then pushes forward to put Tanahashi back! Ospreay lets up and keeps it clean, too. Fans cheer this respect between both men. Ospreay calls for a test of strength! Tanahashi obliges, and they lock up with the knuckles. They go shoulder to shoulder, and they’re deadlocked in the middle of the ring. Tanahashi brings things up, and uses leverage against Ospreay.
But Ospreay bridges to power back up! Then he kicks and wrenches Tanahashi to a wristlock. Tanahashi reverses the wrench, and brings Ospreay to a knee. Ospreay stands and rolls to handspring and break free! Ospreay headlocks and fans cheer! Tanahashi powers up and brings Ospreay back down, standing on his leg. Tanahashi pulls Ospreay back for a headlock, but Ospreay powers out. Tanahashi runs Ospreay over but Ospreay springs right up! Ospreay plays an air guitar! Tanahashi kicks Ospreay low, air guitar is his thing! Tanahashi whips Ospreay to a corner, Ospreay goes up and over, then keeps moving to huricanrana Tanahashi out! Ospreay builds more speed, to fake Tanahashi out! Superhero Landing! And then he slingshots, but Tanahashi gets in. Ospreay forearms Tanahashi but Tanahashi dropkicks Ospreay in the ropes! Dragon screw jams Ospreay’s leg!
Fans duel hard as ever, and Tanahashi drags Ospreay in by the bad leg. Tanahashi stomps the hamstring and yanks on the leg. Ospreay crawls to ropes but Tanahashi is after him again. Tanahashi drops an elbow on the leg then wraps on an toehold. Ospreay fights back but Tanahashi keeps the chinlock off. Tanahashi then laces the legs for a deathlock. Tanahashi uses the butterfly mount, but Ospreay endures and keeps his shoulders off the mat. Ospreay drags himself and Tanahashi towards ropes, but Tanahashi stands to apply more pressure! Ospreay holds himself up on one hand, but Tanahashi bridges back! No hands! Ospreay endures this unique Ace Deathlock, but still scrambles to ropes! Tanahashi lets go with the ropebreak, but the damage has been done.
Tanahashi drags Ospreay back up but Ospreay throws forearms. Tanahashi gives them back, then eggs Ospreay on. Ospreay obliges, and now they brawl with forearm after forearm! Ospreay gets an edge, but Tanahashi kicks the bad leg. Tanahashi whips but Ospreay handsprings to enziguri! Fans rally and duel again, but the Ospreay fans are gaining steam. Ospreay throws more forearms on Tanahashi, but Tanahashi reverses the whip. Ospreay dodges to hit a flying forearm smash! Tanahashi ends up in a corner, but Ospreay runs at him, only to be put on the apron,. The leg jams but Ospreay still punches Tanahashi away. Ospreay springboards but Tanahashi intercepts and punches him down! Tanahashi runs over but is dumped out! Ospreay dropkicks Tanahashi away, then builds up speed! SASUKE SPECIAL! Direct hit takes Tanahashi down!
Ospreay puts Tanahashi in the ring, for a standing Shooting Star! Cover, TWO! The dueling is at a fever pitch now, and Ospreay brings Tanahashi up. Tanahashi fires off strikes, ducks Ospreay’s roundhouse, but then Ospreay rocks him with a right. Tanahashi ends up by ropes, Ospreay hits him with an elevated 619! Tanahashi staggers, Ospreay springboards, but Tanahashi gets clear of Pip-Pip Cheerio! The leg jams again, and Ospreay hobbles into a dropkick to the leg! Tanahashi gets up as another fan rally begins. He has Ospreay’s legs for the Cloverleaf, but Ospreay resists. Ospreay pries Tanahashi’s hands away, and then kicks until Tanahashi backs off. Tanahashi kicks Ospreay’s leg, but runs into the dropkick-flip! But the leg! He still enziguris, but Tanahashi keeps hold of the other leg! Ospreay grabs at hair, but Tanahashi pulls on the ankle, for a Dragon Screw!
Tanahashi has the legs again, and completes the Cloverleaf! Tanahashi sits deep on Ospreay, bending him from legs to neck! Fans rally and duel as Ospreay endures. Ospreay pops out the back to reach for ropes, but Tanahashi drags him away! Tanahashi sits even deeper! Red Shoes checks on Ospreay, but Ospreay is fading! Ospreay gets a second wind, to get that ropebreak! Tanahashi lets go and fans are loving this match! The dueling does not slow down as Tanahashi stomps Ospreay at the ropes. Tanahashi waits for Ospreay to stand, to kick his leg out. Tanahashi waits for Ospreay to stand again, then runs, but Ospreay dodges the Slingblade! Ospreay wants the full nelson but is denied, and his hook kick misses, too! Tanahashi full nelsons Ospreay, but Ospreay drops down to victory roll! Cover, TWO! ROBINSON SPECIAL!
Fans fire up with Ospreay as he calls for it. Ospreay springboards, but Tanahashi side-steps and slams Ospreay down! Cover, TWO!! Tanahashi drags Ospreay up, full nelsons, but Ospreay breaks free, only to be in the trapped-arm German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!! Ospreay escapes but Tanahashi still has more to give. Tanahashi waits for Ospreay to stand before he runs. Tanahashi comes in, but gets a SPANISH FLY! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay doesn’t hesitate, he climbs up top and leaps, SHOOTING STAR! Cover, TWO!!! But that still doesn’t deter him, he springboards for OSCUTTER!! Cover, TWO!?! How does Tanahashi keep surviving?! Ospreay is at a loss for words but the fans reach a new level of excitement! Ospreay gives a thumbs up, then slashes the throat with it. He drags Tanahashi up, underhooks, and Canadian racks, but Tanahashi makes it a SLINGBLADE!
The rallying from fans continues as Tanahashi stands back up. Tanahashi runs, and gets THE Slingblade! Cover, TWO!! But Tanahashi won’t let that slow him down, he goes up top! Ospreay stands, ACE’S HIGH Crossbody! But Ospreay rolls it over, TWO!!! SLAPPING Palm strike, but Tanahashi gets a HOOK KICK! Hidden Blade! But that’s not all, underhooks and lift, STORMBREAKER!!! Cover, Ospreay WINS!!
Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall
The biggest victory to date for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion! But Ospreay shows respect as he checks on Tanahashi as Young Lions help him up. The slogan has long since been “Attack for the Next Generation.” Has that banner officially been passed on from Ace to Assassin?
Kota Ibushi VS Kazuchika Okada!
It all comes down to this very last match of the A Block. The Golden Star lost early on in the round robin while the Rainmaker lost not too long ago. Can Ibushi continue his comeback and shine the brightest he ever has? Or will Okada continue to be on a whole ‘nother level? Who is THE A Block Finalist?!
The bell rings and fans are immediately fired up for these fan favorites! Okada and Ibushi can hear their supporters, but of course know there are just as many for the other. Okada teases rushing Ibushi, but he stays back to give Ibushi a fair fight. They circle and approach, wary of a grapple because they know how skilled the other is. They tie up, and Okada waistlocks. Ibushi wrenches out to a wristlock, but Okada rolls and trips Ibushi to a toehold. Okada wrenches and goes after the ankle, but Ibushi retaliates with a chinlock. They roll and Ibushi gets a headlock, only for Okada to slip out to a hammerlock. Okada rolls Ibushi to a cover, ONE! Fans cheer as Okada backs off and Ibushi stands.
The dueling continues as Okada and Ibushi reset and go again. Ibushi works to push Okada back, but Okada pushes Ibushi. Okada gets Ibushi on the ropes, but in classic Okada fashion, the break is clean, with the chop feint. Okada pats Ibushi’s shoulder and dares him to come back. Ibushi comes back with a forearm to the face! Ibushi waits for Okada’s response, and Okada forearms him back. Ibushi forearms, Okada forearms, and they go back and forth! Okada gets the edge, runs, but into Ibushi’s dropkick! The dueling returns as Okada shakes out the cobwebs. Ibushi is on him with forearms and Okada staggers to a corner. Ibushi elbows then wrenches, then whips Okada corner to corner. Okada whips Ibushi but misses in the corner. Okada still gets Ibushi up top, and dropkicks him down! Ibushi crashes and burns towards commentary!
Okada takes his time as the five minute mark is announced. After all, Okada only needs a draw to still advance. He drags Ibushi up for a DDT right to the floor! Ibushi clutches his head and neck but Okada simply walks away. Okada rests in the ring while Red Shoes checks on Ibushi. Ibushi is okay to continue, but he’s still dazed. The ring count begins, and Ibushi sits up at 10 of 20. Ibushi wobbles but Okada has Red Shoes stop there so this match can continue. Okada brings Ibushi up and throws him at buckles! Okada throws back elbows in at Ibushi, and Ibushi sits down as he clutches his ear. Ibushi wants time, and Okada pretends to give it before stomping him down! Okada lets up to bring Ibushi up, but Ibushi throws forearms back. Okada knees low, then snapmares Ibushi to run an dropkick! Okada walks it off as Ibushi clutches his face. Okada comes back to cover, TWO!
Fans duel as Okada puts on a chinlock. He digs his knee into Ibushi’s back, but Ibushi endures. Ibushi fights his way up but Okda pulls back harder. Fans build to a rally but Ibushi starts to fade. Red Shoes checks on him but Ibushi finds new life. He fights up and out of the hold, but Okada clubs him back. Okada whips but Ibushi reverses and runs in, only to get a boot. Okada runs but gets a huricanrana! Both men are down now and fans rally up again. Ibushi fires himself up knowing the 10 minute mark has arrived. He drags Okada up but Okada swings a punch. Ibushi ducks that to come back with a strike fest! Ibushi roundhouses Okada off his feet! Then standing moonsaults! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his cool as he grits his teeth. Fans duel more and Ibushi stands while Okada bails out. Ibushi slingshots and splashes down on Okada!
Ibushi gets up and walks off the ankle pain. He puts Okada back in and fans cheer as he wants to end this in the ring. Ibushi whips but Okada dodges and ducks to elbow Ibushi down! Okada fires up and the fans do, too! Okada drags Ibushi up, whips him corner to corner, and runs in for a big elbow. Then he kicks for another DDT! Cover, TWO! Ibushi refuses to stay down but he is clutching his neck again. Okada drags him up, scoops and slams him fast, then heads up top. Standard Okada as he aims, but Ibushi is up and gets under. Ibushi runs into an uppercut, and Okada runs, only to get Ibushi’s enziguri! Both men are down and fans rally up!
Okada sits up first but Ibushi follows. Ibushi throws a forearm but Okada give sit back. Ibushi gives another forearm, but Okada gives it back. They go back and forth, Ibushi, Okada, repeat, faster and faster. Ibushi staggers, and Okada throws a big EuroUpper! Ibushi wobbles but stays on his feet. Okada whips Ibushi corner to corner but Ibushi reverses, only to run into an elbow. Okada runs but into Ibushi’s powerslam! Ibushi rolls, moonsaults, onto knees! Okada has control again as he looms over Ibushi. He whips Ibushi to ropes, and hits a big flapjack! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and duel again while Okada drags Ibushi back up. Okada scoops and slams Ibushi, then heads back up. But Ibushi is up fast and intercepts with a body shot. Ibushi climbs to join Okada and wants underhooks. Okada resists with just his legs, and fights back with body shots and clubbing forearms.
Okada clubs Ibushi until he’s down onto the apron. Okada adjusts, but Ibushi is up fast! Springboard SUPER STEINER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as both men slowly stand. Ibushi blocks Okada’s meteora into a POWERBOMB! Ropebreak! Okada knew where he was and saves himself. Ibushi sits back in the corner to rest while Okada crawls away. Ibushi stands, vowing to end this. He brings Okada up by his wrists, but Okada reels Ibushi in! Ibushi ducks the Rainmaker and waistlocks, but Okada elbows out. Ibushi still comes back, only to swing into Okada’s German Suplex! The bridge doesn’t stay up, but Okada doesn’t mind, he has the wristlock. Ripcord but Ibushi dodges, only to get Okada’s dropkick! Okada drags Ibushi up, scoops him, but Ibushi flails to reverse the position! Ibushi tucks Okada in for PACKAGE TOMBSTONE!
But Ibushi can’t hold on for a cover, and now both men are down again! The fans are thunderous as Okada and Ibushi stir. Ibushi sits up first and still wants to end this. He throws forearms on Okada, but Okada comes back with his own. They brawl on their knees, Ibushi hitting and Okada responding. Each man roars in turn, and they continue hitting as they stand. The 20 minute mark is given, so Ibushi has 10 minutes to win! Ibushi hits Okada, but Okada hits back. The brawl picks up speed, but then Okada flounders! Ibushi brings him back up for more forearms, and Okada ends up in a corner. But he comes back with a shotgun dropkick! But Ibushi rolls through! LARIAT! Both men are down again and the dueling returns to that thunderous level.
Ibushi stands first, and calls for a corner. He scoops Okada, but Okada fights out to scoop Ibushi! But then Ibushi reverses positions again, only for Okada to slip out and backslide! Ibushi rolls off, to get a point-blank Rainmaker! Okada keeps wrist control and has to slap the stars out of his head. He pulls Ibushi back up, and reels him in, for another Rainmaker! Okada roars and takes off his armbands. He wants the true form of…. No, Ibushi ducks, straitjacket German! But he doesn’t bridge, because he spins Okada around, only for Okada to block. Ibushi fights Okada off the leg, only to get a dropkick to the back! Okada whips but Ibushi counters the dropkick to a bomb! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives and the fans are at that fever pitch again!
Ibushi calls upon the King of Strong Style as he stands in the corner. “YAO!” Ibushi runs out, but he gets a dropkick! Okada drags Ibushi up, wristlocks and reels him out, but Ibushi ducks! Ibushi wristlocks and ripcords Okada for a roundhouse! Then with both wrists, KAMI- NO! Okada counters, but Ibushi denies the Electric Chair. Ibushi spins around and sunset flips, but Okada sits on it! TWO!! Ibushi shocks himself with his escape! ROUNDHOUSE! Okada staggers but ducks the second, spins Ibushi as he spins, only to get a knee trigger! Ibushi has the wrists, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, TWO!?! Okada survives, but Ibushi wont’ let up! Another KAMIGOYE!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; advances to the G1 Climax Finals
Ibushi ties the score at 14, but because of this win, he has the tiebreaker! Okada’s dream of being a G1 winning IWGP Heavyweight Champion will not happen this year! But can Ibushi turn back-to-back finals appearances into a G1 Climax win? And who does he meet from B Block?
NJPW returns with Ibushi’s victory speech.
“With this, I have punched my ticket to the finals.” Ibushi stands up to do this properly. Fans cheer for Ibushi as he takes a moment to catch his breath. “First, I want to say thank you to everyone.” And he also thanks all the other wrestlers in the A Block. As the A Block winner, he vows not to lose. He won’t make the same mistakes from last year. He will not give up until the bitter end. It’s a promise! See you then! Ibushi will only have so much time to rest. Who will he have to prepare for in just a matter of days?
NJPW Media backstage interview
Ibushi sits and says, “Last year, I was a runner-up, and I’m guaranteed at least second place.” But Ibushi won’t be satisfied that for a second year. He will not quit. He’s been waiting for this a whole year. August 12 is Kota Ibushi Day. Ibushi will give back as good as he gets from his opponent. Ibushi just has to keep going, just a little further. He’ll do his very best to the very end, no matter who it is he’s up against. And as for his match with Okada, Ibushi can still barely comprehend it. Okada and Ibushi are roughly the same class, 2004. Ibushi can’t wait to face him again, because Okada is incredible. That was maybe Okada’s 1% against Ibushi’s 100%. There is still more to this between the two of them. Ibushi is writing his own story. You’ll have to wait and see the ending another time. Can Ibushi beat B Block’s best to get that Wrestle Kingdom 14 title match contract?
An amazing two hours once again, as every one of these has been from NJPW and AXS. Again, the only match that mattered for the tournament was the main event, but the other matches can make for some great story as the G1 Climax is wrapping up overall. Archer has another good showing, and even though he wins over Evil, he clearly won’t be satisfied. This already plants a story a year in advance of Archer wanting to dominate whatever Block he’s put in. Fale wins thanks to Bullet Club shenanigans, and that could be used to spark a story of Bullet Club and Los Ingobernables de Japon through Sanada. At the same time, Chase seems to be the low rung on the ladder now, I wonder if that becomes something in Bullet Club’s next phase as a faction.
ZSJ VS Kenta was a great match, and that was a great win for ZSJ. This could definitely spark a story for Kenta with ZSJ as the year rolls on. Tanahashi VS Ospreay was incredible! This was worthy of being the A Block Finals in itself, and it was big for Ospreay to win here. It was tantamount to a passing of the torch, between Tanahashi putting Ibushi and Ospreay over. Tanahashi still has a lot left, but this is a big sign that it is time for the new stars to rise up and carry NJPW forward. And of course, that extends even to Ibushi VS Okada here in the main event, which was worthy of the title match already. Ibushi winning is incredible for him and this tournament. AXS will take two more weeks to wrap up G1 even though it’s done in real time, but getting to see B Block next week and the man Ibushi faces/faced is going to be awesome. And without looking it up, I have a feeling it’s Naito just so the two of them can have one more match.
Naito could take it here so that he gets his match to be both IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion. Plus, Okada will have a hard-fought road to Wrestle Kingdom with Sanada having his title match lined up, and technically now even Ibushi. Anything could happen where Okada shockingly loses the title to Sanada or Ibushi so that it’s one of them headed to Wrestle Kingdom to face Mr. G1 Climax 29. Because for one, I don’t see the WK14 contract holder losing that, so it has to still come down to the G1 Climax winner having a title match. This far out, things can always change, but it would be pretty awesome if Naito as Mr. G1 meets Ibushi again when Ibushi is IWGP Heavyweight Champion. At the same time, Naito VS Okada is great because beating Okada is itself a title win, while LIJ VS LIJ as Naito has to face Sanada, his teammate, to prove who is truly the best in the faction.
My Score: 9.5/10