Delayed but not defeated! Andrew brings his totally biased in person opinion of the show!
So by now everyone heard about the drama in New York on Saturday night. Thanks to a false cancellation phone call, the ambulance was delayed on getting to the Hammerstein Ballroom until about 8:20 PM.
Around 8, the New Japan Vice President and Rocky Romero came out to apologize and throw out some free shirts to try and calm down some of the more vocal imbeciles. I say imbeciles, because we had a chorus of people chanting “This is Bullshit” or “We Want Wrestling” and then when the Vice President comes out and apologizes to the point of looking like he’s going to cry, suddenly the chant it’s “It’s Okay”.
It’s dumb crap like that, that makes wrestling fans look like straight up morons. Technical issues happen, we know they’re trying, how about you just sip on your Cosmo and keep your stupid comments in your pocket.
ANYWAY! Now on to the show.
- TJP vs Ren Narita: TJP wins via Detonation Kick @8:50 – *** 1/4
- Karl Fredericks vs Lance Archer: Archer wins via EBD Claw Hold @7:35 – ** 1/2
- Juice Robinson & Mikey Nicholls vs Alex Coughlin & Clark Connors: Nicholls wins via Mikey Bomb @ 8:30 – ***
- G.o.D. & Jado vs Roppongi 3k (SHO, YOH & Rocky Romero): Tama wins via Assisted Gun Stun @10:45 – *** 1/2
- Hiroshi Tanahashi & Rock N Roll Express vs Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI: Tanahashi wins via High Fly Flow @10:20 – *** – *Tiger Hattori’s Final Match to referee in the United States*
- Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & Amazing Red vs Jay White, Chase Owens & Gedo: Goto wins via GTR @12:00 – ***
- NEVER Openweight Championship: KENTA (c) vs YOSHI-HASHI: KENTA wins via Go 2 Sleep @25:00 – *** 1/4
- SANADA & EVIL vs Kazuchika Okada & Kota Ibushi: EVIL wins via Everything is Evil @18:45 – *****
TJP vs Ren Narita – New York really hates TJP. But the best thing here was TJP owned the heel side of the match and both really brought a lot to an opening match. This match started a trend of all the wrestlers really feeling like they’re trying harder to make up for the delay. Ren was given a lot of hope spots as well. TJP wasn’t able to submit him with the Crossface, but Ren missed the Dropkick more often than not. Also, TJP blocked the Belly to Belly Hold on each attempt, but Ren got a huge pop when he transitioned the Boston Crab attempt to the Texas Cloverleaf that he started adopting when he wrestled Tanahashi in the New Japan Cup. Great opening match, and the crowd was very into it.
Karl Fredericks vs Lance Archer – A very abrupt start in this match. Lance hit Karl with a Big Boot, but then went to the corner and the announcer finished the introductions while Karl sold for a good 20 seconds. Lance was great with his barking back at the crowd, especially when the crowd did the big “Shhh” because Lance was going to Chop Karl, and Lance yells ” I didn’t tell you to shh”. So just general good Lance Archer stuff. Yes it was really just an extended squash since Karl never had a chance, but god damn it was fun.
Juice Robinson & Mikey Nicholls vs Alex Coughlin & Clark Connors – I wasn’t expecting much from this, but it really over performed. Juice was dancing on the apron, and New York was showing him a lot of love. Coughlin made it his personal goal to go after Nicholls as often as possible. Connors and Coughlin have really good chemistry and it was a fun match. Juice and Mikey gave the Young Lion duo a lot, but eventually the veterans took over. Criss-cross corner attacks, led to Left Hand of God, into a Mikey Bomb for the finish. Just great fun, and surprisingly good action.
G.o.D. & Jado vs Roppongi 3k (SHO, YOH & Rocky Romero) – So this match showcased something very obvious…Jado needs to stay out of the ring. He’s slow, inflexible and just awful. Thankfully, some of his general badness was used in an interesting way, when he dives and misses the tag, but G.o.D. run in anyway and clean house. Tama’s reactions were great cause it was a combination of “Bitch really” and “You good”. The crowd was very high on the match since Rocky was our hero earlier during the delay, so he could do no wrong. SHO and YOH looked crisp, and Rocky had a nice Forever Lariats moment. Magic Killer got countered, but between Jado using the Kendo Stick and usual heel tactics, we see Loa catch Rocky attempting a Frankensteiner, and he tosses Rocky over his shoulder and Tama kills him with a Gun Stun. The match was still very fun, but Jado needs to stay as a manager and never enter the ring again.
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Rock N Roll Express vs Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI – Talk about conflict. New York erupted for L.I.J., but you can’t boo Tanahashi and RnR Express. This was definitely better than it has any business being in 2019. Robert Gibson took a few moves off, but given his age, he still performed well. I was just amused when they went for a Triple Dropkick on Shingo earlier, Shingo holds the rope and Tana and Ricky bump, but Robert just raised one leg, and then motioned for Shingo to kick him in the chest for the next spot. Due to the love for L.I.J. Ricky wasn’t really able to beg much assistance from the crowd. Ricky is very good at keeping the old 80s style of taking the beating and then trying to rally with the support of the crowd, but when he looked to the crowd, most of the time all he heard was “Shingo” or “Naito”. Small things in this match amused me, and the fact that when the Face team hit the Triple Dropkick on Naito, he wasn’t seen for the rest of the match. He went out away from the side I was at, but when the RnR Express used a Double Dropkick as a finish for so long, a Triple Dropkick, your ass better sell dead. BUSHI was in there to eat the pin, and he at a High Fly Flow, so he did his job.
-After this we had a small ceremony with flowers, children and grandchildren of Tiger Hattori, to commemorate the fact that this is the last match he will referee on American soil. And much like Shibata said in a post match interview, “Tanahashi cried, he always cries”.
Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & Amazing Red vs Jay White, Chase Owens & Gedo – Red being the hometown boy, he got a really good reaction and Jay White has quite a few haters in New York as well. I personally love our Cerulean Switchblade, but holy hell he got a great heel reaction. Also to be noted, Ishii decided he makes his own entrance and comes around the archway. You don’t argue with Ishii.
As for the match, it was damn good. Jay played his avoiding contact self and Gedo played his part wonderfully. This was really just great character work from Bullet Club. Ishii and Goto both looked great, Red looked…well…Amazing – HEY! Sit back down, it was low hanging fruit yes, but shut up, sit down. Goto murdered Gedo with the GTR and another small thing that I loved in this match was during the pinfall attempt, Red is trying to hold Chase back and he keeps trying to wiggle closer, he’s got most of his body in the ring and he’s kicking his feet and doing everything to try and break it up. In many tag matches, the outside people getting held look half asleep, but I loved Chase’s commitment.
NEVER Openweight Championship: KENTA (c) vs YOSHI-HASHI – Okay now I love me my New Japan, but come on now, did you really think we’d care about this match? Jokingly I always say, does YOSHI-HASHI translate to ‘Who Cares’ in Japanese. KENTA was pretty widely hated in Hammerstein but YOSHI was equally booed. So that gave some of those previously mentioned imbeciles the opening to chant nonsense.
Now full disclosure, between the delay, 80 degree weather in late September, and this hanging smoke, I was getting tired and just generally irritated. So KENTA’s constant powdering and toying with YOSHI on the outside for, what felt like, the first 5 minutes of the match…was annoying. KENTA wasn’t taking this match seriously, and neither was the crowd. So to KENTA’s credit, when YOSHI did fire up and put together some of his offense, it woke people up and even got some pity pops for YOSHI.
YOSHI looked like he was going to win the title with that terrible Butterfly Lock, but thankfully KENTA got to the ropes. Ref bump shortly after sent Marty Asami reeling to the outside, and G.o.D. showed up to do their thing. After only one or two small things, they set up for the Super Powerbomb, but Tiger Hattori ran in and made the save by grabbing Loa and Tama by the ear and scolding them like children. It was funny, and left KENTA sitting there wondering what to do next.
Thankfully, even though everything started looking like YOSHI was going to win, KENTA managed to get enough space with kicks and his Hesitation Dropkick, hit the Go 2 Sleep, and KENTA retained. I can see how it may have been seen on stream as plodding or awkward, but live, the extra little tidbits did what they needed to do to wake up the crowd, give YOSHI the hope moments he needed, and some comedy with Tiger. Total package, it was a solid match.
SANADA & EVIL vs Kazuchika Okada & Kota Ibushi – The match that got the only “All These Guys” chant. This was amazing, just beautiful how everyone moved around in ways that flowed with the match. Okada’s short pants pop was also louder than even I expected.
Ibushi and EVIL started things, and you saw Okada lose his mind on the apron, he was acting like his hair was red and he talked to balloons still. Okada got tagged in and did a goofy little shuffle and kept beckoning SANADA to get in as well, it was ridiculous but awesome to see Okada legitimately having fun.
SANADA gets Okada in the Paradise Lock and Okada did manage to hit a Dropkick, so I’m not sure if that Dropkick story was just a product of bad timing at Destruction, or if it will crop up from time to time. Also it was noticeable that SANADA and EVIL were the tag team, because SANADA got into position to do a few quick hit tandem moves with EVIL while Ibushi and Okada looked like two singles competitors doing the tag thing.
After everyone got in most of their signature stuff, we got a surprise. EVIL hit Darkness Falls on Ibushi, SANADA dealt with Okada and EVIL picked up the pinfall victory with Everything is Evil. So this was a great surprise that helps establish the challengers, especially since not many people see SANADA or EVIL picking up the wins at King of Pro Wrestling.
– After the match, EVIL gives the promo and says “Even though we were very very late, don’t worry, we’re done”. Then he proceeds to say that New York City is evil, everything is evil, so that makes tardiness evil! Welcome to the Darkness World!
Overall Score: 9/10
This show was amazing, even with the delay factored in….but it could also be thanks to where I was sitting:
So third row seating definitely helped for my overall enjoyment. Thanks to that, the main event was even better that close to ring. Some of the crowd of course were just complete asshats, but that’s going to happen at any gathering of humanity. New Japan put on a great show, even if it was just an overseas ‘Road to’. Sure the train ride sucked a bit cause it looked like there was a Mets game and concert letting out at the same time (11:30 PM eastern), but I’m not going to hold it against the company.
Everyone came out with a little more fire, the show was a great experience and the main event was easily the best match I’ve had the pleasure of seeing live and in person. Damn good show.
Andrew’s G1 Climax 31 Day 17 Results & Match Ratings: 10.18.2021
A Block Finals Day! My pick has been Shingo and he’s still got a shot! Who wins A Block!?
A Block Finals Day! My pick has been Shingo and he’s still got a shot! Who wins A Block!?
Alright let’s assess my quick and dirty math on how the top guys can win and get on with the show!
- Kota Ibushi vs KENTA: Is probably the main event looking at the shake out.
- For Ibushi to win Block: If Shingo wins, Ibushi needs to win and ZSJ needs to lose or draw.
- For KENTA to win Block: If Shingo loses & Zack wins, KENTA needs to win. If Zack loses and Shingo Draws, KENTA needs to win.
- Tomohiro Ishii vs Toru Yano: This will either be right before or right after Intermission probably. Ishii doesn’t really have an angle to win the Block because he lost to both KENTA and Ibushi. I suppose if we go with Suzuki’s old comment of both getting struck by lightning and Ishii wins, then there might be some math there. But Ishii is out regardless of Kevin Kelly’s sus arithmetic.
- Shingo Takagi vs Yujiro Takahashi: For Shingo to win the Block: He needs to win, Ibushi needs to Lose or Draw, ZSJ needs to Lose or Draw, KENTA is a non-factor because of tie breaker.
- Zack Sabre Jr vs Tanga Loa: For ZSJ to win Block: He needs to win and KENTA needs to Draw or Lose. ZSJ has tie breakers over everyone else.
- So KENTA is really the biggest factor on this final day. If KENTA can beat Ibushi that opens things up to however the rest of the day shook out. This is shaping up to be interesting.
Now on to the A Block Finals!
- Great-O-Khan vs Satoshi Kojima: O-Khan wins via Eliminator @10:25 – ** ½
- Tomohiro Ishii vs Toru Yano: Yano wins via Blackslide @11:08 – **
- Yujiro Takahashi w/Pieter vs Shingo Takagi: DOUBLE COUNT OUT / DRAW @13:36 – ***
- Zack Sabre Jr vs Tanga Loa: Loa wins via Deep Cradle @17:31 – *** ½
- Kota Ibushi vs KENTA: Ibushi wins via Kamigoye @26:16 – *** ¾
Great-O-Khan vs Satoshi Kojima
Because of Naito’s injury, we are all used to a non-tournament match during A Block. But the fun part here is that O-Khan and Kojima do have a little history this year when the United Empire went against TenCozy.
O-Khan dominates early but Kojima fires up with a Lariat and turns it into an Apron Piledriver, so the great leader of Bread Club is finally starting to put things together. Since O-Khan’s points are counted for, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kojima pulls out an upset here. It would be nice for a non-tournament upset, which could also give Kojima an entrance into next year’s G1 as his swan song.
A few close flashes with calls to the Cozy Lariat, his statue lariat and the crowd rallied behind Kojima…but O-Khan doesn’t fall to a non-G1 participant. One Eliminator later and the replacement matches go 8-0 in favor of the tournament wrestlers. It would’ve been much better if there was a surprised upset or two.
Tomohiro Ishii vs Toru Yano
Yano tries an early sneak attack using the gimmick bag, an extra t-shirt, a few interesting little things. Ishii does his best to fight through the Yano Sublime Master Thief shenanigans but eventually falls victim to a Low Blow into a Backslide.
There were a few interesting moments, but the usual Yano stuff of exposed buckles, Low Blow attempts, Roll Ups and Referee dancing.
Yujiro Takahashi w/Pieter vs Shingo Takagi
Yujiro goes for the attack as Shingo is coming to the ring, but Shingo quickly turns things around and starts murdering Yujiro. Shingo chucks Yujiro to the outside and Pieter tries to distract Shingo instead of the referee. Shingo is having none of Pieter’s coy feminine wiles, he asks her to move, she tries to act cuter and then Shingo brushes her to the side as Yujiro catches him with the pimp cane.
Shingo takes control back, but then Yujiro bites his hand in the classic Yujiro move. Yujiro goes for a Fisherman Buster, but Shingo bites Yujiro’s hand. The referee tries to admonish Shingo, but Shingo points out he wears a mouth guard, so it’s not a full bite. Shingo rallies the crowd, but Yujiro counters and impressively gets Shingo over for the Olympic Slam. It was impressive because Shingo was fighting/sandbagging but Yujiro was determined and it looked a little wonky, but Yuj did it. It’s always interesting when Yujiro puts in effort since he’s not a bad wrestler, just very indifferent.
Last of the Dragon is called for, but blocked. Yujiro goes for a kick, Shingo catches the foot and just pulls Yujiro into the Made in Japan/Last Falconry. Yujiro kicks out, powders to apron, Shingo charges but gets low bridged. The fight goes on out of the ring, but they break at 19 and Yujiro pulls Shingo back out. Noshigami attempt, Yujiro counters, into Pimp Juice, Shingo stops Yujiro, hits the Death Valley Driver on the outside. He tries to slide back in but Yujiro grabs the foot and won’t let go. DOUBLE COUNT OUT!
Shingo’s draw…technically still keeps him alive. If Kota and KENTA go to a no contest, and ZSJ loses, Shingo. If KENTA and Ibushi goes to a Draw…it should be a Triple Threat Match playoff for the Finals winner. Ibushi has the breaker over Shingo, Shingo has the breaker over KENTA, and KENTA would’ve drawn with Ibushi…so I feel like that would be a bonus triple threat match. Though I agree with Chris Charlton’s initial idea, most other tournaments a Double Count Out is counted as a loss for both men, but here it’s a Draw.
Zack Sabre Jr vs Tanga Loa
ZSJ comes out quick realizing he needs to win. Because if he wins he eliminates Shingo and is in a very good place to win the block. Loa reels a little early, and starts to slow things down with a few impactful power moves and Slams. Loa does a great job at keeping it simple to not give ZSJ many chances to catch him unaware or in an awkward position.
Zack has to fire up with a few quick counters tying Loa in the ropes with a Rear Naked Choke, running through, doing the Neck Twister and then taking a second to breathe. A small strike exchange that Zack has the advantage in, results in ZSJ trying to step up on the corner and do the Tornado DDT, but Loa catches him and hits a T-Bone Suplex, followed by a Diving Headbutt. This becomes a much more back and forth match than anyone expected. Sabre tries a Crucifix pin, but Loa rolls and powers through, ZSJ stays attached in an Octopus but Loa reaches the ropes.
Big strike exchange, ZSJ throws everything, but Loa fires and for every 2 or 3 ZSJ strikes, Loa lands a Haymaker that sends the soy boy flying. Zack talks crap, baits Loa into attempting an Enzuigiri, dodges, then goes for the European Clutch. At 2, Loa slides him down, turns it around and sits back deep in a Cradle of his own. ZSJ can’t get out and gets beat! ZSJ is eliminated!
Kota Ibushi vs KENTA
After an early attempt by KENTA to win via a cheeky Count Out, which feels like it was the Bullet Club game plan all day. Ibushi beats that attempt, but then we get the KENTA style of this tournament where he cheats at opportune times and really only removes the turnbuckle pad.
Things play through well as Ibushi powers through the first chairshot, and then stops the next attack and takes the chair from him. Threatens it, but tosses it down and hits a Buzzsaw Kick. However, Ibushi was not above using furniture. He finds a table and we get an interesting moment. He lays out KENTA, puts KENTA on the table, and then one set of legs folds, so it’s awkwardly angled. Ibushi doesn’t care, adjusts his trajectory and pulls off more of a Stuka Splash which just looks rough cause it’s sandwiched almost totally against the guardrail.
We get back in the ring and KENTA lands a flush overhand right, and the aggression appears. We continue to see flashes of NOAH KENTA with the Bullet Club/WWE sprinkles. Green Killer, Diving Lariat and a Double Footstomp put KENTA in the driver’s seat. A fun thread was when KENTA finally drives Ibushi into the exposed turnbuckle, but Ibushi does something no one else has done, and that’s kick out. So KENTA is shocked and starts trying to put more together, but he can’t land Go 2 Sleep.
Ibushi catches the knee, V Trigger, Reverse Kamigoye, and followed with the exposed knee Kamigoye for the win. Conceptually good, execution was a little lacking.
Overall Score: 7.75/10
Well look at that, Kota Ibushi makes history as the first person in G1 history to make 4 consecutive Finals. I’m not happy since that means my pick of Shingo Takagi came just short in second place. I am however happy to see tweets about this match claiming that even Japanese fans are getting tired of Ibushi.
Even though the match was good and the night was generally interesting, I feel running back Ibushi again is boring and lazy booking. Especially since he already has a win over the champion, so he doesn’t need the G1 briefcase for a shot. So he’ll probably lose to Cobb or Okada…and given the two options…Okada makes the most sense. A redemption seeking Rainmaker would draw a crowd for Wrestle Kingdom far more than tweener Gaijin.
Here’s the final standings!
- Kota Ibushi/ 7-2/ 14 Points – Winner
- Shingo Takagi/ 6-2-1 / 13 Points – Eliminated
- Zack Sabre Jr/ 6-3 / 12 Points – Eliminated
- KENTA/ 6-3/ 12 Points – Eliminated
- Toru Yano/ 5-4/ 10 Points – Eliminated
- Tomohiro Ishii/ 5-4/ 10 Points – Eliminated
- Great-O-Khan/ 4-5 / 8 Points – Eliminated
- Tanga Loa/ 3-6/ 6 Points – Eliminated
- Yujiro Takahashi/ 2-6-1 / 5 Points – Eliminated
- Tetsuya Naito/ 0-9/ 0 Points (Eliminated Injury)
Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 31 Results & Report! (10/18/21)
A Block’s final round!
The ninth and final round to make a difference!
There are four men standing at 6-2, and in the end, only ONE can go to the 31st G1 Climax finals! Will Shingo Takagi make NJPW history?
NOTE: NJPW no longer wants to feed AXS TV now that it is with Anthem and Impact Wrestling. But never fear, I will cover NJPW in the spirit of AXS in providing the most important matches of the show.
- Tomohiro Ishii VS Toru Yano; Yano wins.
- Shingo Takagi VS Yujiro Takahashi w/ Pieter; Draw.
- Zack Sabre Jr. VS Tanga Loa w/ Jado; Loa wins.
- Kota Ibushi VS KENTA; Ibushi wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Here are the current A Block standings!
Kota Ibushi: 6-2, 12 points
Zack Sabre Jr: 6-2, 12 points
Shingo Takagi: 6-2, 12 points
Kenta: 6-2, 12 points
Tomohiro Ishii: 5-3, 10 points [ELIMINATED]
Toru Yano: 4-4, 8 points [ELIMINATED]
Great-O-Khan: 4-5, 8 points [ELIMINATED] [won special singles bye]
Tanga Loa: 2-6, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
Yujiro Takahashi: 2-6, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
Tomohiro Ishii VS Toru Yano!
The Stone Pitbull and the Clown Prince aren’t in the running but this Chaos VS Chaos showdown is for pride! Will Ishii stay strong as a NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Champion? Or will the provisional Mr. KOPW 2021 finish strong?
The second Ishii gets in the ring, Yano kicks him down! The bell rings and Yano has his blindfold bag! Ishii blocks and the ref reprimands Yano. The ref confiscates the bag, Ishii kicks back then whips Yano to a corner. Ishii runs in but Yano uses his towel to drag Ishii down to a cover, TWO!! Ishii escapes but Yano kicks low then puts his shirt over his head! Roll up, TWO!! Yano unties the buckle pad in the blue corner but Ishii runs in and kicks Yano first! Ishii throws Yano out of the ring, goes out after him, and brings him up to whip him into railing! Yano falls in a heap and Ishii takes off his shirt to choke Yano with it! The ref reprimands and Ishii lets off to argue with him.
Ishii goes back to Yano and drags him up, to whip him again, only for Yano to reverse! Ishii hits railing now, and Yano goes under the ring? A ring count starts as Yano dares Ishii to chase him. Ishii doesn’t, and he goes into the ring. The count is 7 of 20, then 10. Yano can’t believe Ishii isn’t taking the bait! So Yano gets out from under the ring at 15! Ishii throws the buckle pad at him! The count is 18, but Yano staggers in at 19! Ishii drags Yano back up, gives him a headbutt, then stomps him down. Ishii kicks Yano around, drags him back up, then CHOPS him. And CHOPS! And CHOPS! Yano falls, Ishii shouts, “What’s the matter?” and fans cheer.
Ishii dares Yano to get back up, and Yano slowly sits up. Ishii brings him up as fans rally, and Ishii DECKS Yano with a forearm. Ishii stomps Yano again, gives him toying kicks and even stands on Yano’s head. Ishii lets off and slaps Yano around as fans rally again. Ishii stands Yano up but Yano rakes eyes! Yano whips, Ishii reverses but Yano holds ropes. Ishii clotheslines Yano against the ropes! Yano flops down and fans rally up again. Ishii drags Yano up, pulls his shirt up and CHOPS him against the ropes. And again! And again! And again! Ishii stands Yano up tall to CHOP him again! Yano falls over again and the ref checks on him.
Ishii drags Yano around and wants the ref to check. Fans rally up as Yano is somehow okay to continue, so Ishii KICKS him in the back! Yano stands up and throws a forearm! Ishii gives it back and fans rally as Yano brawls with him! They go back and forth with forearms, Yano gets the edge but Ishii DECKS him with one! Ishii drags Yano back up and suplexes high and hard! But Yano is back up? Fireman’s carry takeover, leg trip, and then a clinch for the Belly2Belly! Fans fire up as Yano shows what he can do when he gets serious! Yano brings Ishii up, whips him to the corner, but Ishii reverses! Yano avoids the bare buckles but Ishii CLUBS him on the back!
Ishii CHOPS Yano again and again, then whips him corner to corner. Yano reverses, Ishii bounces off buckles, but Yano stays up as they ram shoulders! Yano whips but Ishii reverses and Yano hits bare buckles! Ishii reels Yano in for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Both men are down and fans rally up again. Ishii stands and waits for Yano. Ishii then runs, but Yano ducks the lariat to get a waistlock! Ishii switches, but Yano trips him up to a cover, TWO! Yano swings but Ishii spins him, only for Yano to fisherman cradle! TWO! Ishii runs but into an atomic drop! Yano then catapults Ishii towards the bare corner, but Ishii stops himself! Ishii sidesteps and Yano hits bare buckles!
Ishii runs back in but Yano drop toeholds him into buckles! Yano rolls Ishii up, TWO!?! Ishii escapes and fans cheer again! Yano fires up and fans rally behind him. Yano drags Ishii up, hoists him up, but Ishii fights the bomb! Ishii waistlocks, Yano grabs at the ref, but Ishii catches the mule kick! Ishii spins Yano but he gets around to shove Ishii at the ref! But Ishii uses the ref as a shield so Yano can’t low blow! Ishii shoves the ref at Yano, Yano pushes the ref aside but Ishii again blocks the low blow! ENZIGURI! Down goes Yano and fans fire up! Ishii crawls over to Yano, sits him up, and runs to SLIDING- NO! Yano catches to a cradle, TWO! SLIDING LARIAT!
Fans rally up while both men are down. Ishii roars and gets back up, Yano flounders and Ishii runs. LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Yano survives but Ishii fires up more! Ishii drags Yano up, suplexes, but Yano fights to wrench, only for Ishii to headbutt! But Yano dodges to hook Ishii’s arms! Yano also grabs at the ref so he can get away with the LOW BLOW! BACKSLIDE! Yano wins!!
Winner: Toru Yano, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Ishii earns 0)
And at the end of their G1, it is the Producer standing tall! Will Ishii let this slide? Or will he forgive his friend for simply using his usual tactics?
Shingo Takagi VS Yujiro Takahashi w/ Pieter!
The Dragon could make history as the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, but only if he takes the block! Will Tokyo Pimp spoil everything in the very last round?
Before Takagi can even get in the ring, Yujiro DIVES out onto him! Direct hit and Takagi goes into railing! The bell rings and this is on record as Yujiro stomps Takagi against the railing. The ref starts a ring count, too, and Yujiro throws forearms on Takagi. Yujiro reels Takagi into a cobra twist, but Takagi powers out to hip toss him down! The count is 15 already but Takagi puts Yujiro in at 17. Takagi puts Yujiro in the corner, fires off forearms, then JABS and CHOPS on repeat! Takagi headbutts Yujiro, then again and again until the ref counts. Takagi lets off, whips Yujiro corner to corner then runs, but blocks the boot to clothesline through!
Fans fire up as Takagi whips Yujiro to ropes and knees him against them! Takagi keeps moving and he runs Yujiro over! Takagi suplexes Yujiro high and hard, then covers, TWO! Yujiro bails out and fans rally for “TA-KA-GI!” as he goes out after him. Takagi CLUBS Yujiro, bumps him off the apron, then bumps him off the apron again. Takagi has media move to whip Yujiro into railing! Yujiro goes down in a heap and Pieter is there to check on him. Takagi storms over but Pieter stands in his way. The naughty little bunny has little effect on the Dragon, and he pushes past her, only to get a CANE SHOT from Yujiro! Yujiro has the ref go back to the ring so they can start the count.
Yujiro stomps Takagi at the railing as the count goes past 5 of 10, then digs his knee in. Yujiro lets off at 12 of 20, rains down fists, then goes back to the ring at 15. Takagi staggers up at 17, gets in at 18, and Yujiro is annoyed. Yujiro storms over and brings Takagi up to knee low against the ropes. Yujiro stands Takagi up to run and BOOT him! Yujiro keeps moving to LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Yujiro argues the count but the ref defends it was fair. Fans rally up again as Yujiro brings Takagi up for a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Yujiro keeps cool as he brings Takagi back up, but Takagi throws forearms! Yujiro kicks low, reels Takagi in, FISHERMAN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!
Takagi goes to the ropes and Yujiro chokes him against them. The ref reprimands and counts, Yujiro lets off at 4. Yujiro drags Takagi up but Takagi fights the fireman’s carry! Yujiro throws body shots and low knees, then whips. Takagi reverses to ELBOW! JAB! YUKON LARIAT! Fans fire up and Takagi roars, then he brings Yujiro up. Takagi hooks the arms but Yujiro fights the Gory Especial, so Takagi spins him. Yujiro fights the suplex and BITES the hand! The ref reprimands, Yujiro stops to fisherman, but Takagi literally bites back! The ref reprimands Takagi now and he stops. Takagi points out he has the mouth guard, his bite can’t actually hurt.
Yujiro swings on Takagi but he spins Yujiro around to the Gory Especial, NOSHIGAMI! Fans rally up and Takagi reels Yujiro into a WHEELBARROW GERMAN! Fans fire up but Pieter is worried as Takagi runs to SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Takagi fires up with “OI! OI! OI!” and fans clap along. Takagi says he has his eyes on Pieter while he goes to Yujiro. Takagi wants more from the fans and shows off the dancing pecs, and the fans get louder. Takagi reels Yujiro in but he fights the back suplex with elbows! Takagi LARIATS from behind, Yujiro ends up on ropes, Takagi runs in but into a FLAPJACK HOTSHOT!
Yujiro gets up and runs but Takagi follows to clothesline! Takagi runs but Yujiro BOOTS him! Yujiro reels Takagi in but it takes him a couple tries before the INCOLLE SLAM! Both men are down and fans rally up. Takagi gets to ropes, Yujiro stands and heads over. Yujiro fireman’s carries, MIAMI SHINE! Cover, TWO! Takagi is still in this and Yujiro is annoyed again. Yujiro roars and calls for the end. But Takagi fights Big Juice! Yujiro CLUBS Takagi, throws forearms, then reels him back in. BIG- NO! Takagi lands on his feet, wrenches, but Yujiro shoves him to ropes. Takagi boots back then PUMPING BOMBER! Takagi fires up and so do the fans!
Takagi drags Yujiro up, pump handles but Yujiro fights back with forearms. Takagi throws boxing elbows in return! Yujiro drops to a knee, Takagi stands him up but Yujiro rakes eyes! Yujiro mule kicks, reels Takagi in but no Pimp Juice! Takagi blocks the mule kick, tanks the jabs, and reels Yujiro in, MADE IN JAPAN! Cover, TWO!! Yujiro survives and shocks Takagi! Fans fire up and Takagi drags Yujiro up to pump handle and torture rack. Yujiro BITES Takagi’s hand again! The ref reprimands, Yujiro CLUBS Takagi’s arm but Takagi JABS back! Down goes Yujiro and he rolls to the apron. Takagi runs in but Yujiro dumps him out!
Yujiro gets Takagi up to RAM him into railing! The ring count starts, Takagi gets Yujiro at 5 of 20 but Yujiro RAMS him into more railing! Yujiro rakes eyes, whips Takagi but Takagi reverses! Yujiro hits railing as Takagi gets in at 17! Yujiro hurries, and gets in at 19, to drag Takagi back out! Takagi CLUBS Yujiro, Yujiro throws body shots and whips Takagi into railing. But Takagi comes back, DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Neither man falls, Yujiro roars but he runs in for Takagi to spin him. Yujiro fights the Gory Especial, makes it a backslide, and gets PIMP JUICE to the floor! Fans are fired up and Yujiro gets himself into the ring! The ring count is 13 of 20 but Takagi rises up!
Takagi fireman’s carries, bumps Yujiro off the apron then DEATH VALLEY DRIVER to the floor! Takagi wants in at 17 but Yujiro anchors his feet! Takagi can’t get in and the count is 20!! It’s a DRAW!!
Double Count Out Draw, no one gains points
The Tokyo Pimp still accomplished the spoiler! This draw ruins Takagi’s chances of getting into the finals! How will the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion be able to live this one down?
Zack Sabre Jr. VS Tanga Loa w/ Jado!
And the path is clear! The Submission Master just needs to win and he’s in! But will Bullet Club’s Silverback look to spoil things just like Tokyo Pimp did?
The bell rings and ZSJ rushes Loa to BOOT and EuroUpper! Loa DECKS ZSJ but ZSJ gets up to come back with another BOOT! ZSJ runs to BOOT again, then BOOT Loa on the rebound! Loa swings but ZSJ gets around then wraps Loa up in the IRON OCTOPUS! Loa powers up, ZSJ keeps pulling on the arm, but Loa gets the ROPEBREAK! ZSJ lets go to KICK that arm! ZSJ runs but Loa runs him over with a shoulder! Fans fire up as Loa stands ZSJ up to throw him out of the ring hard. Loa goes out to stomp ZSJ, throw forearms, CLUB him down, then RAM him into railing! The ref wants this back in the ring and Loa brings ZSJ up, only to whip him to railing!
But ZSJ stops himself to jump back and GUILLOTINE FACELOCK! Loa stays standing, the ref reprimands all of this, but Loa powers out to a suplex! ZSJ slips out and reels Loa in for a cobra twist! Loa pulls at ZSJ’s hair and paws at his face, the ref reprimands them both for all this outside action, but Loa powers out to HIP TOSS ZSJ down! ZSJ writhes while fans cheer and the ref insists they get this in the ring. Loa stomps ZSJ around, drags ZSJ up and scoop SLAMS him to the floor. Loa catches his breath before he looms over ZSJ. Loa drags ZSJ up, bumps him off the apron, and then “apologizes” to the ref.
Loa stomps ZSJ then digs his boot in at the railing! ZSJ spins around to hook the leg! HEEL HOOK! The ring count is climbing, Loa claws ZSJ’s eyes and is free! They’re at 12 of 20 but Loa drags ZSJ up and gives him an APRON BACK SUPLEX! ZSJ flops down hard to the floor and the ref pauses the count to reprimand. Loa wants to throw hands, the ref reprimands again, but Loa stands ZSJ up to DECK him! Loa drags ZSJ up and CLUBS him, then puts him in the ring. Cover, ONE!! ZSJ is showing real grit but Loa digs his boot into ZSJ in the corner. The ref counts, Loa lets off at 4, and then Loa goes out to put ZSJ on the apron. Loa CLUBS ZSJ against the edge!
Loa gets back in the ring as ZSJ crawls away. Loa drags him up, ROCKS him with a forearm, then stalks ZSJ to ropes. The ref has Loa back off and ZSJ sits up. Loa CLUBS ZSJ down again, but ZSJ EuroUppers in return! Loa likes the fighting spirit as ZSJ throws more EuroUppers. Loa ROCKS ZSJ again, talks some trash then ROCKS him again. ZSJ EuroUppers from the corner but Loa DECKS him with a haymaker. Loa stomps ZSJ in the corner, ZSJ grabs at the leg but the ref counts the ropebreak. ZSJ lets go at 4 and Loa backs off. They stand up, ZSJ kicks away on Loa’s leg then throws EuroUppers. Loa kicks low, whips ZSJ to ropes, then dropkicks ZSJ down!
Fans fire up as Loa hits a STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! But to the OG KILLER! ZSJ endures the crossface but Loa rolls him away from ropes! Loa pulls back on the hold but ZSJ rolls around. Loa pulls even harder on the crossface but ZSJ refuses to quit! ZSJ reaches and gets a ropebreak with a foot! Loa lets go and ZSJ goes to the apron. Loa dares ZSJ to get up and fans rally. Loa claps along, swings on ZSJ but into a SLEEPER! ZSJ has Loa in the ropes but the ref counts! ZSJ lets go and Loa sputters, things speed up and ZSJ tilt-o-whirls for a takedown and NECK TWIST, then basement dropkick! Fans cheer while both men are down again!
ZSJ crawls back to Loa and goes after an arm. Loa resists but ZSJ keeps pulling on the arm. ZSJ breaks the grip to omoplata and ARM TWIST! Then he isolates Loa’s other arm to STOMP it! Fans rally up for “Z S J! Z S J!” as he gives toying kicks to Loa. Loa gets mad as ZSJ eggs him on, and he blocks a kick! ZSJ EuroUppers, runs, but Loa catches him for a SPINEBUSTER! Fans rally up again while both men are down. Both men sit up, and Loa throws a forearm. ZSJ eggs Loa on, even while he’s down. Loa headbutts ZSJ, then dares him to come back. ZSJ EuroUppers, Loa falls over but sits up to forearm back!
Loa stands, ZSJ gets up to EuroUpper! And again! Loa kicks low, whips ZSJ to a corner but ZSJ goes up to jump! Loa blocks the tornado to RAM ZSJ into the corner! Loa brings ZSJ out to EXPLODER! Fans fire up, Loa goes to a corner and climbs up top. DIVING HEADBUTT! Cover, TWO! ZSJ survives but Loa grins. Fans rally as Loa fireman’s carries but ZSJ slips out to full nelson! Loa breaks that but ZSJ GERMAN SUPLEXES! But Loa’s right up to get ZSJ for a GERMAN SUPLEX! ZSJ ends up in a corner, Loa runs corner to corner and clotheslines! Then he whips ZSJ corner to corner but ZSJ dodges this time! ZSJ goes up and jumps to TORNADO DDT! But Loa’s right back up?!
ZSJ BOOTS Loa, uses a roundhouse to kick away the clothesline, then does it again! Loa LARIATS on the third try! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up while both men are down again. Loa drags ZSJ up, scoops him, but ZSJ slips around to a SLEEPER! ZSJ is a backpack but Loa pops him up to an Electric Chair! And then spins him, blocks ZSJ’s rana, and swings him back up, only for ZSJ to get the GUILLOTINE! Loa powers out to have ZSJ on his shoulder, APE- NO! ZSJ lands on his feet, ghost pin! TWO and Loa carries ZSJ, only for ZSJ to IRON OCTOPUS! Loa endures again and reaches out for ropes. Fans rally as ZSJ pulls on the hold and steers Loa away.
Loa manages to stay on his feet, walks his way over, and gets the ROPEBREAK! ZSJ lets off fast and fans fire up. ZSJ KICKS the arm, ROUNDHOUSES the chest, then runs, into a LARIAT! Loa staggers, drags ZSJ up and reels him in, SIT OUT POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ is still in this and Loa grows a bit frustrated. Fans fire up and Loa joins in. Loa runs in to corner clothesline, then he whips ZSJ out, but ZSJ reels Loa in! Iron Octopus to a DESTROYER! Cover, TWO!! Loa survives that sudden shift and fans fire up again! ZSJ drags Loa up, isolates the arm and STOMPS it, then KICKS Loa down, to PENALTY KICK! Cover, ONE?!?
Loa is roaring and he runs corner to corner, into a boot! ZSJ catches the lariat to then jump in, but Loa powers up, only for ZSJ to wrench and PELE the arm! ZSJ fires off EuroUppers but Loa DECKS him with a forearm! Fans are thunderous as both men are down again! Loa gets to his feet and ZSJ throws more EuroUppers! Loa DECKS him with another forearm! Loa dares ZSJ to bring it so ZSJ throws another EuroUpper! Loa ROCKS ZSJ with a forearm, eggs him on, and ZSJ boots! ZSJ ducks the enziguri, body scissors and JAPANESE BRIDGE! TWO, Loa has the O’Conner Roll! LOA WINS?!?!
Winner: Tanga Loa, by pinfall (gains 2 points; ZSJ earns 0)
Is this it?! Is this the moment Loa’s been waiting for?! He just got a win over the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champion, and just sunk ZSJ’s G1! Will Guerrillas of Destiny have those titles back in the aftermath of the Climax?
Kota Ibushi VS KENTA!
This is it! The Dragon and the Submission Master are out of the way! The one man with seven wins in A Block goes to the finals! Will the Golden Star make history by going to his fourth in a row? Or will Fang Revived ruin that streak and make the G1 Too Sweet?
The bell rings and fans rally up already as the two stare down. Kenta and Ibushi slowly circle, approach, but then Kenta bails out. Kenta walks around the way as fans rally for “I-BU-SHI!” Ibushi waits on Kenta to return, and Kenta takes his time. Kenta steps in, circles with Ibushi, then test the waters with kicks. Kenta tries a combo of palm strikes but Ibushi throws kicks in return. They keep testing the other’s guard with their kicks and palm strikes. Ibushi pushes through to clinch but they end up on ropes. Red Shoes calls for the break but Kenta turns things around and pulls hair to get the headlock! Kenta hits a takeover, holds off Ibushi’s headscissors, and grinds the hold.
Ibushi endures, fights up to his feet, and powers out to speed things up, JUMPING KICK! Kenta bails out and fans fire up as Ibushi claps along. Ibushi takes aim but Kenta drags him out and whips him into the POST! Red Shoes reprimands, Kenta drags Ibushi up and whips, but Ibushi reverses! Kenta hits railing and hobbles around the way. Ibushi drags Kenta up to wrench and RAM into railing! The ring count climbs, Kenta RAMS Ibushi into the apron! Ibushi RAMS Kenta into railing back! The count is 10, Kenta stomps Ibushi down then throws hands. We’re past 15, Kenta keeps raining down rights! The count is 19, Ibushi is in at 19.9!!
Kenta stomps Ibushi in frustration then goes to untie a buckle pad. The fans rally but Kenta has bared the corner. Kenta drags Ibushi up to EuroUpper! And again! Kenta has Ibushi in a corner, whips him corner to corner, and Ibushi hits bare steel! Ibushi falls and writhes, Kenta covers, but Red Shoes won’t count because of the obvious shenanigans. Kenta protests but Red Shoes stands firm. Kenta drops a knee on Ibushi’s head, stands him up and hooks him for a RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer but Kenta clamps onto Ibushi with a headscissor hold! Ibushi endures the squeeze as fans rally up. Ibushi moves around, reaches out, and gets the ropebreak!
Red Shoes counts, Kenta turns Ibushi away from the ropes! Kenta still lets Ibushi go, and he grabs at Ibushi. Ibushi throws hands from below but Kenta KICKS him down! Kenta gives toying kicks and talks trash as he stands on Ibushi’s face. Ibushi pushes him away but Kenta gives more kicks. Ibushi stands, Kenta blocks a kick to takedown and an STF! Ibushi endures, drags himself and Kenta around, and gets the ropebreak! Kenta lets off slowly as Red Shoes counts, and Ibushi goes to the corner. Kenta stands Ibushi up to RAM his shoulder in. And again! And again! Kenta lets off to go corner to corner, but Ibushi goes up and over! Kenta runs into a RANA!
Kenta bails out as fans fire up behind Ibushi. Ibushi runs to the corner, for the GOLDEN- NO! Kenta trips Ibushi up and Ibushi tumbles to apron then floor! Kenta drags Ibushi up, whips him into railing and Ibushi tumbles over and out! Kenta goes out there to drag Ibushi up and throw haymakers. Kenta stalks Ibushi but Ibushi hits back! The spotlight does its best to follow as the two brawl further towards the back. Red Shoes tells them to go back to the ring but Kenta KICKS Ibushi down. Kenta drags Ibushi up to ram him into the wall! Ibushi falls over, Kenta kicks at him and drags him back up, to then throw out the entryway! A ring count starts while the two brawl backstage!
The ring count is 10 of 20 while fans rally up! The count continues, Kenta returns at 13! He jogs back into the ring at 16 but what happened to Ibushi? Ibushi is in, he runs as fast as he can, to slide in at 19.999!! And Kenta is in disbelief! Kenta whips Ibushi into the bare corner! Ibushi staggers and flops over! Fans rally up, Kenta sits Ibushi up to KICK him in the back. Ibushi is defiant so Kenta KICKS him again! And again! And even while Ibushi’s down! Kenta then drags Ibushi up into a CAMEL CLUTCH! Ibushi endures and fans rally up. Ibushi has one arm free, but Kenta cranks on the chinlock part of the hold!
Ibushi still drags himself and Kenta forward, only for Kenta to turn him around! Ibushi fights up, throws elbows, but Kenta throws Ibushi down! Kenta drags Ibushi up, turns him for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Kenta clamps right back on with the chinlock and squeezes tight. Ibushi still endures, grits his teeth as he fights back up, and throws more elbows. Kenta knees low, runs, but Ibushi dropkicks him down! Fans fire up while both men are down, and Kenta goes to a corner. Ibushi runs in but into a boot! Kenta runs but into a POWERSLAM! Ibushi somersaults to the second rope, MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Ibushi grows frustrated but he still has more to try.
Fans rally up for “I-BU-SHI! I-BU-SHI!” and he drags Kenta up. Ibushi half nelsons but Kenta elbows free to standing switch. Ibushi elbows free and Kenta goes to a corner. Ibushi runs in, Kenta boots him back! Kenta reels Ibushi in for a TORNADO HOTSHOT! Kenta climbs, leaps, FLYING CLOTHESLINE! Cover, TWO! Kenta gives toying kicks but Ibushi just glares at him. Ibushi gets up, forehead to forehead, but Kenta rolling sobats him down! Kenta drags Ibushi back up to fire off fast hands, URAKEN! Kenta runs but Ibushi goes Matrix! Ibushi kips back up to mule kick and HALF ‘N’ HALF! Fans fire up while both men are down again!
Ibushi gets up and calls upon the powers of Strong Style! “YAO~!” Ibushi runs but Kenta avoids the Bomaye to get around and shove Ibushi at Red Shoes! Kenta then runs in, but Ibushi gets himself and Red Shoes out of the way, sending Kenta into buckles! Ibushi kicks, Kenta ducks and waistlocks, to RAM Red Shoes into the bare buckles!! Red Shoes goes down, Kenta hits a SPIKE DDT! Everyone is down and fans fire up again! Fans rally up but Kenta goes out to get a chair from under the ring! Kenta takes aim and he SMACKS Ibushi on the back! But Ibushi doesn’t fall?! Kenta is a bit stunned to see Ibushi stand up tall! Kenta swings again but Ibushi dodges to kick low!
Ibushi gets the chair, and he threatens to hit Kenta! Kenta begs for mercy, Ibushi tosses the chair, to BUZZSAW Kenta down! Ibushi wags his finger, then goes out to check under the ring. Ibushi brings out a TABLE! “Kowai” Ibushi is raising the stakes! Fans rally up as Ibushi drags Kenta to the ropes! Ibushi waistlocks and drags Kenta up! Kenta fights for his life, knocks Ibushi down, then goes out to the apron to join him! Kenta kicks Ibushi low, reels him in and aims, but Ibushi fights off the powerbomb! Fans rally, Ibushi back drops Kenta! Kenta flops from apron to floor and Ibushi goes after him. Ibushi LARIATS Kenta onto the table, then rallies the fans up.
Ibushi goes to the apron, Kenta sits up but gets another BUZZSAW! The table’s leg falls, but Ibushi doesn’t care as he climbs up the corner! FALLING BODY PRESS onto the table! The table doesn’t break but both men bounce off the floor! Fans fire up and rally as both men writhe on the outside. A ring count begins, both men stir at 5 but still don’t sit up by 10. The count is 15 but still both men are down! Kenta gets up at 18 and in, Ibushi’s again in at 19.999! Fans rally up as Ibushi hobbles over to Kenta. Ibushi brings Kenta up but he turns things around and puts Ibushi in ropes, BRAIN KILLER! Both men are down from the draping DDT as fans rally back up.
Kenta crawls to one corner, Ibushi is in the other. Kenta runs corner to corner for the HESITATION DROPKICK! Kenta goes up top, DIVING DOUBLE STOMPS! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi survives the coup de grace but Kenta roars! Kenta drags Ibushi up, fireman’s carry, but Ibushi slips off, only for Kenta to CROSS COUNTER! Kenta fires off more and more and more slapping strikes, then fires up, only for Ibushi to ROUNDHOUSE! Ibushi gets Kenta by the wrists, to KAMIGOYE!! Cover, TWO!?! Kenta survives but Ibushi just brings down the kneepad! Ibushi gets the wrists again, sits Kenta back up, but Kenta reels him in to go after the bare corner! But Ibushi stops the bump!
The two go around, Kenta throws Ibushi down with a sayanagi! Cover, TWO! Kenta snarls, drags Ibushi around, omoplata and GAME OVER CROSSFACE! Ibushi endures, fans fire up and Ibushi moves around to reach out and get the ROPEBREAK! Kenta lets go, drags Ibushi up but Ibushi ROUNDHOUSES! Ibushi gets the wrists again, but Kenta sidesteps to RAM Ibushi into bare buckles! Roll-up, TWO!! Kenta is furious with Red Shoes but he runs at Ibushi to BUSAIKU KNEE!! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi survives again but Kenta slashes his throat! Fireman’s carry, GO TO- NO! Ibushi blocks to V-TRIGGER! KENNY~!
Ibushi has the wrists from behind, BLINDSIDE KAMIGOYE!! Ibushi then gets Kenta back up, FRONTSIDE KAMIGOYE!!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Kenta earns 0)
The Golden Star has done it!! He has taken the top spot in A Block and is going on towards history!! Ibushi takes a moment to show Kenta the respect he’s earned, and then gets the mic.
“Everyone. Thank you very, very much. And, Kenta-san, thank you for everything you just gave me. I really appreciate it. I really, really am so grateful. Thank you very much.” And now, Ibushi has a chance to win this! He’s going to his fourth straight finals, and he won’t let this opportunity slip away! Ibushi vows to get his third straight finals win! As always, he ends with his promise to not run away, not lose, not give up, and not betray the fans! “Thank you very much!” Ibushi drops the mic and bows deeply to the fans. Will the Golden Star shine brighter than ever before in the 31st G1 Climax finals?
Here are the FINAL A Block standings!
Kota Ibushi: 7-2, 14 points [Heading to G1 Climax 31 Finals]
Kenta: 6-3, 12 points [ELIMINATED]
Zack Sabre Jr: 6-3, 12 points [ELIMINATED]
Shingo Takagi: 6-2-1, 12 points [ELIMINATED]
Toru Yano: 5-4, 10 points [ELIMINATED]
Tomohiro Ishii: 5-4, 10 points [ELIMINATED]
Great-O-Khan: 4-5, 8 points [ELIMINATED] [won special singles bye]
Tanga Loa: 3-6, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
Yujiro Takahashi: 2-6-1, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
A great ninth round for A Block this G1! Yano and Ishii had a fun match, as all Yano matches are, and pretty impressive for Yano to improve his standing in the very last round. Three matches affecting the finals is a great way to book this, and what a great shocker for Yujiro to force a double count out with Takagi. Takagi winning wouldn’t have affected things given ZSJ and Ibushi each had a win over him, so it was actually really clever that they let Yujiro get something from this. ZSJ VS Loa was great stuff, and Loa winning was also a great shocker. Again, I’m betting Guerrillas of Destiny get after the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships at some point.
Ibushi VS Kenta was also how the main event for this should be. It was two wrestlers fighting for that final spot because they had the same record and they really put a lot into the match. Ibushi going through with the top rope dive to the table was pretty wild, since that then became a fall right to the floor. Ibushi winning is still pretty surprising, I did not think he’d get four straight finals like this. Now, I don’t know if he’ll win the finals since B Block is sending either Okada or Jeff Cobb, but it will be awesome stuff to see.
My Score: 9.2/10
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