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Andrew’s NJPW King of Pro Wrestling Ratings & Analysis: 10/14/2019

King of Pro Wrestling has a few big stories coming to a head! SANADA/Okada, Liger/Suzuki and Moxley/Robinson! Can SANADA dethrone Okada?

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King of Pro Wrestling has a few big stories coming to a head! SANADA/Okada, Liger/Suzuki and Moxley/Robinson! Can SANADA dethrone Okada?

So they announced before the show that Zack Sabre Jr and Jon Moxley couldn’t make the show because of Typhoon Hagibis. Card subject to change shows up with a vengeance! Sucks a little for Moxley since he had to vacate the title, but it’s probably not the last we see of him in New Japan.

Now let’s get to the show and find out how everything shakes out!

Ratings:

  • El Desperado & Yoshonobu Kanemaru vs Roppongi 3k (SHO & YOH): Despy wins via Pinche Loco @10:45 – ** 3/4
  • Most Violent Players (Toru Yano & Togi Makabe) vs Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomoaki Honma: Tanahashi wins via High Fly Flow @9:45 – ** 1/2
  • Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito vs Taichi w/Miho Abe & DOUKI: LIJ wins via DQ @9:00 – ** 3/4
  • Jyushin Thunder Liger vs Minoru Suzuki: Suzuki wins via Gotch Style Piledriver @17:40 – ****
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion: Will Ospreay (c) vs El Phantasmo: Ospreay retains via Stormbreaker @28:00 – **** 1/4
  • Jay White, KENTA & Yujiro Takahashi w/Pieter vs YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto: Goto wins via GTR @12:25 – *** 1/4
  • VACANT IWGP United States Championship NoDQ Match: Lance Archer vs Juice Robinson: Lance Archer wins via EBD Claw Hold @15:00 – *** 1/4 – TITLE CHANGE!!!
  • Wrestle Kingdom Rights Holder Contract: Kota Ibushi (c) vs EVIL: Ibushi retains via Kamigoye @24:05 – ****
  • IWGP Heavyweight Championship: SANADA vs Kazuchika Okada (c): Okada retains via Rainmaker @36:20 – *** 3/4

 

Analysis:

El Desperado & Yoshonobu Kanemaru vs Roppongi 3k (SHO & YOH) – Despy was out for 6 months after suffering a broken jaw outside of New Japan. So this is his return match, and it’s a prelude to the Junior Tag League. Sadly, this started off very flat, Despy feigned his broken jaw, typical heel stuff, slow build and the crowd wasn’t really into it. Can’t blame the crowd, since the match wasn’t really at an expected pace. The last minute or so was pretty solid, but nothing surprising. It was a decent opener, and nice to see Despy get a win in his first match back.

Most Violent Players (Toru Yano & Togi Makabe) vs Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomoaki Honma – This match is to commemorate Tanahashi’s 20th anniversary in wrestling. Makabe was one of his opponents in the debut match and even Wataru Inoue came out to be in Tanahashi’s corner as a callback to that first match. This was the type of match you’d expect from all four, but it had a little more heart and built in story because of the 20th anniversary. Good stuff all around, the happy finish and we even saw a few Kokeshi’s hit pay dirt. So a generally enjoyable match.

Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito vs Taichi w/Miho Abe & DOUKI – Getting adjusted because of the card changes, we see a straight forward tag match between Taichi, who’s been on the rise, and two members of LIJ who aren’t doing great at the moment. We got some really good work from all four men. Taichi got his hands on Naito as often as possible and it looked like Shingo was going to hit Last of the Dragon on DOUKI, but Taichi hit him with the microphone stand. Suzuki-Gun gets obviously disqualified, but then they beat the hell out of LIJ and Taichi made a bold statement.

Jyushin Thunder Liger vs Minoru Suzuki – Liger comes out in his “Battle Liger” outfit, which we only see during serious rivalries. The first few minutes of the match referenced their Pancrase match quite heavily. Liger showing his mat/submission technique was better than it was 17 years ago and even surprised Suzuki with a Triangle Choke at one point. We got a bit of brawling outside with weapons, which was right up Suzuki’s alley, but this whole match was like a clip show of their history. Suzuki kept imploring Liger to hit him harder, get up stronger, keep trying, and it was just a match with a lot of heart and story. Suzuki clearing out the Young Lions with a chair just to take a moment to bow to Liger and show a small moment of respect helped to get over what this match meant. To the random observer, they may find this to be a slow match with old veterans, but for fans with any clue of what went on between them…it was very fitting and sentimental.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion: Will Ospreay (c) vs El Phantasmo – So this was a great match. Of course being a Junior match with Ospreay it was heavy on spots. But many spots were callbacks or really helped to elevate the story of how much these two disliked one another. Phantasmo hit a few Bullet Club leader classics like Styles Clash, V-Trigger and nearly pulled off the One Winged Angel. Ospreay on the other hand went for a lot of high impact moves like a Shooting Star Press, Sasuke Special and Avalanche Liger Bomb. Eventually Taiji Ishimori interferes and looks like he’ll cost Ospreay the match, but Robbie Eagles makes the save and we get a clean finish to the great match. Also yes, I appreciated the nod to Arisa Hoshiki.

If you followed the Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix coverage, you’d know that Hoshiki bet Ospreay on Twitter that if she beat his girlfriend (Bea Priestley), she could have one of his moves. Apparently it worked both ways, cause she debuted her version of the Oscutter the same day Will uses the Brazilian Kick to set up for the finish. Fun wrinkle for those of us who follow way too much. Aside from an overly coordinated Apron Cutter, this was great without many spots to complain. Just fun and fantastic to watch.

Jay White, KENTA & Yujiro Takahashi w/Pieter vs YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto – Battle lines were drawn pretty well here. Goto and Jay have issues since Jay doesn’t want to give him the shot, so Goto needs the momentum. It also looks like Ishii is pushing after KENTA, so Ishii is probably the next contender for the NEVER. The match told the feuds well, the work was solid and it was enjoyable. Feel a little bad that Yujiro was only in this match to eat the pin, but it wasn’t bad.

VACANT IWGP United States Championship NoDQ Match: Lance Archer vs Juice Robinson – Since Jon Moxley couldn’t make it to the show because of the Typhoon, he was stripped. Anyone claiming that’s wrong, doesn’t realize that’s how New Japan works. We’ve seen it before, first one that comes to mind is when Togi Makabe had the flu and couldn’t defend the NEVER Openweight in 2015 so it was Ishii vs Honma for the Championship. If you can’t make a scheduled defense, you can’t be champion. There may be a clause where you have to defend within 6 months, this has nothing to do with it. It’s purely “If you can’t make a scheduled title defense, the belt is vacated”.

We still got a hell of a spectacle match, that Archer was calling the Murderhawk Mansion. Tables, Chairs, and general hard hitting destruction. It looked like Juice dislocated or broke a finger about halfway through the match, but that didn’t stop him from giving a spirited fight. Juice slips on chairs when going for Pulp Friction, so that gives Archer the opening to set up Blackout on the stack of chairs, and then eventually winning with the Everybody Dies Claw Hold.

-David Finlay came to make the save when Archer was continuing the beat down to…well, a polite reaction. Given the Finlay return, I’m guessing Moxley would’ve won anyway, so maybe we see Moxley versus Archer at Wrestle Kingdom once he dispatches of Finlay cause…come on, it’s David Finlay.

Wrestle Kingdom Rights Holder Contract: Kota Ibushi (c) vs EVIL – What can really be said? This was a great match where EVIL wrestled his style of match, and even though Kota looked a bit more fluid between his moves, EVIL kept up with him nicely. However, even though the matches preceding this did a good job at building EVIL up, he’s still not a big enough name to headline Wrestle Kingdom. So the suspension of disbelief wasn’t really there, even for the live crowd.

Great transitions and ring work in general. Kota hit the Springboard Frakensteiner and it took 2 Kamigoye’s but EVIL eventually went down. The Golden Star is finally getting his time to shine at Wrestle Kingdom.

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: SANADA vs Kazuchika Okada (c) –  This was a little too much like SANADA’s challenge after Okada regained the belt from Jay White. The story of the match was to show that they are equals, and even though he doesn’t have much success against Okada (1-6 going into this match), SANADA is on Okada’s level. Okada is also having difficulty hitting his Million Dollar Dropkick on SANADA. So SANADA’s proving himself and Okada is showing a few more flaws than usual.

The pacing was very slow in this match, and I feel like that hurt it a lot. SANADA absorbed a bunch of offense including the Diving Crossbody over the barricade, and when he finally strung together his Dropkick and Plancha, the crowd popped hard. Some of the exchanges were awkwardly long and this match went over 35 minutes, and you felt most of it. The crowd started trying to will SANADA toward the victory, especially the two occasions when Okada was in Skull End for a few minutes each. SANADA is known to be the type of wrestler to go with the flow, and Okada tends to like to wrestle to his opponents strengths. It’s just amusing that they have their best matches, away from the actual title matches.

As the match went long, Okada was able to land the Million Dollar Dropkick, and that helped bring him back into the match. Also during the usual locomotion Tombstone Piledriver counters, Okada stopped SANADA mid counter and dropped him in a Fire/Thunder style driver (which I’ve never seen him do). That set up the Rainmaker and another successful defense for Okada.

 

Overall Score: 7/10

We had a pretty good show, however, I feel the main events fell a little short with Liger/Suzuki and Ospreay/ELP earlier in the card. It was also a little curious that New Japan really placed a few cool down matches after the two matches I mentioned. We also saw a bit of a story telling hiccup with New Japan. That being, even when you try to elevate someone like SANADA to Okada’s level, it’s not really bought. Okada has had a stranglehold on the main event for the last 7 years, and I appreciated that Ibushi even made mention of it when he came out at the end of the show to make the Wrestle Kingdom challenge official.

With how everything is being built up, and the stories of Suzuki wanting out, next year could be a year of change for New Japan. Ibushi could usher in a new era, we could get a new leader of Suzuki-Gun and someone may finally cash in on this double champion dream. So again, the show was quality matches top to bottom, it just didn’t end as strongly as one has come to expect.

Should be interesting to see if Power Struggle mixes things up at all.


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Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 31 Results & Report! (10/20/21)

B Block’s final round!

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NJPW G1 Climax 31

It all comes down to this!

NJPW’s traditional round robin is closing, but it’s not over yet! Will the Rainmaker rise? Or will Jeff Cobb go 9-0 in the 31st G1 Climax?

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.

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • YOSHI-HASHI VS Chase Owens; Hashi wins.
  • Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado; Goto wins.
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Taichi w/ Miho Abe; Taichi wins.
  • SANADA VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo; Evil wins.
  • Kazuchika Okada VS Jeff Cobb; Okada wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Here are the current B Block standings!

Jeff Cobb: 8-0, 16 points
Kazuchika Okada: 7-1, 14 points
EVIL: 6-2, 12 points [ELIMINATED]
Hiroshi Tanahashi: 4-4, 8 points [ELIMINATED]
SANADA: 4-4, 8 points [ELIMINATED]
Tama Tonga: 3-5, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
Hirooki Goto: 2-6, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
YOSHI-HASHI: 2-6, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
Chase Owens: 2-6, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
Taichi: 2-6, 4 points [ELIMINATED]

 

YOSHI-HASHI VS Chase Owens!

The Headhunter fell to The Ace but the Crown Jewel just got a win over the Holy Emperor! Will Hashi #GetBackUp and finish strong? Or will the Texas Heavyweight Champion add another champion to his win column?

The bell rings and fans rally up as the two circle. They tie up, Chase wrenches the arm to a wristlock but Hashi wrenches back. Hashi has the wristlock, Chase rolls to slip through and wrench back. Hashi wrenches and hammerlocks to a headlock but Chase powers out, only for Hashi to run him over! Fans rally behind Hashi as he wrenches Chase again, and elbows the elbow! Hashi wrenches and wrenches and wrenches, but Chase pulls hair to put Hashi on ropes. The ref calls for the break, but Chase HOTSHOTS Hashi! Hashi goes to the floor, Chase goes out to stomp him down. Chase whips Hashi hard into railing and Hashi falls in a heap!

Chase puts Hashi in the ring, climbs up the corner and drops ax handles on Hashi’s back. Chase drags Hashi up but fans rally up. Chase headlocks then punches Hashi down! Chase whips Hashi to a corner then snapmares him down for an uppercut to the back! Cover, TWO! Chase keeps focus and he goes right up top. Chase leaps but into a mule kick! Fans fire up as Chase drags himself up the ropes. Chase brings Hashi up but Hashi fires off forearms! Chase knees low, whips Hashi to ropes, but Hashi dropkicks Chase’s leg out! Fans rally up again as Chase clutches his bad knee. Hashi fires up and throws more forearms and elbows.

Hashi whips, Chase reverses but Hashi ducks and dodges to HEADHUNTER! Chase staggers to a corner, Hashi runs in and CHOPS! Hashi whips Chase to CHOP him again, then brings him around to hang him out to dry! Chase fights to get down and then he BOOTS Hashi! Hashi SUPERKICKS Chase in return! Chase is stuck in the ropes, Hashi runs to dropkick him down! Then he adds a basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up more as Hashi suplexes, but Chase fights out of Head Buster to cravat knee smash! Chase mule kicks then hits a NECKBREAKER! Fans fire up while both men are down again.

Chase watches Hashi and runs corner to corner to forearm smash! Then short arm LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Chase is annoyed but he drags Hashi up. Chase fireman’s carries but Hashi fights free to waistlock. Chase switches, Hashi switches, repeat! They go around and around, Chase swings but Hashi ducks. Chase blocks the kick then ducks the spinning heel kick to SHINING WIZARD! Chase drags Hashi up, tucks him in, but Hashi fights the package driver and back drops free! Chase staggers to a corner, runs in, but Hashi blocks Shi Trigger to LARIAT! And fisherman and a flip to a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!!

Hashi hurries to get Chase up, half nelson and pump handle, but Chase turns that into a cradle! TWO!! Hashi CHOPS Chase and fires forearms! CHOP! Hashi runs but Chase SHI TRIGGERS! Chase fires up and so do the fans as he drags Hahsi back up. Chase reels Hashi in, says BANG, but Hashi arm-drags out of the package! Chase fires off strikes but Hashi SUPERKICKS! Chase rebounds but into Hashi’s LARIAT! Hashi drags Chase up, half nelson and pump handle, KARMA!! Cover, Hashi wins!

Winner: Yoshi-Hashi, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Chase earns 0)

No more #ChampionKiller for Chase here! The NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Champion stands tall over the Texas Heavyweight Champion! Will this help Hashi and his trio #StayGold?

 

Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!

The Fierce Warrior fell to the Cold Skull but the Good Bad Guy is riding high off his win over the Rainmaker! Will Goto bring Tama back down? Or will the final around be Too Sweet, too?

The bell rings and the two circle. Tama runs but he stops himself, just keeping Goto on his toes. They approach, tie up, but Tama runs and Goto follows! Tama dodges and they stand off again. Tama takes off the vest to get serious and fans fire up. Goto and Tama feel out the grapple but Goto kicks low. Goto runs, Tama follows and runs Goto over, but Goto avoids the elbow drop. Goto headlocks, Tama powers out but Goto runs him over! Things keep moving, Goto turns hip toss into hip toss! Tama gets up and kicks back, puts Goto on ropes to whip, but Goto reverses, follows and LARIATS!

Goto drags Tama up to CLUB him, then whips him to ropes. Back elbow, cover, ONE! Goto clamps on with a chinlock! He digs his knee into Tama’s back but Tama pries at the hold. Goto digs an elbow into Tama’s head then drives it in! Goto stomps Tama, Jado coaches Tama up. Goto drags Tama up and suplexes but Tama slips out to waistlock. Goto throws elbows to get free, but Tama hurdles and hurdles and HAKU CHOPS! Tama stomps then drops an elbow! And then drops another elbow! And another! And another LEAPING elbow! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Goto gets to a corner. Tama is after him with haymakers!

Tama back elbows again and again, then cravats to snapmare. Tama clubs away on Goto’s chest then drives an elbow into Goto’s head! Fans rally as Tama paces, and Tama wraps a chinlock on Goto now. Goto endures as Tama thrashes and cranks the hold. Goto fights up, throws elbows, and is free, but he runs into a SLEEPER! Goto reaches out but Tama keeps him from ropes. Tama squeezes tight, Goto pulls at Tama’s hair but the ref reprimands. Goto fights up to throw Tama, but Tama holds on and brings Goto down! Tama squeezes tighter on the sleeper as fans rally harder. Goto fights up, but Tama drags him down and has body scissors!

The ref checks as Goto fades but he gets a second wind! Goto fights out of the scissors, throws body shots, then RAMS Tama into a corner! Goto is free, but Tama runs in! Goto deflects the boot to DISCUS LARIAT! Both men are down and fans rally up while Jado coaches Tama. Goto gets up, runs at Tama in the corner, MURAMASA! And BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Fans are fired up and Goto takes aim, and he KICKS Tama in the chest! Jado shouts to Tama and Tama fires up, only to get another KICK! Tama gets up again, Goto KICKS again! And again! And again! Tama feeds off them then forearms back! Tama whips Goto to a corner but Goto comes back to run him over!

Tama bails out but Goto aims, only for Tama to drag him out and whip. Goto reverses and Tama hits railing! Goto POSTS Tama and Tama hits the floor! Goto digs his heel into Tama but the ref reprimands. Goto stops at 4, drags Tama up and CLUBS him on the neck. Tama flounders, Goto drags him back up and into the ring. Fans cheer as Goto fires up and climbs the corner. Tama stops Goto with forearms and haymakers! Tama climbs up now, Goto resists but Tama throws body shots. Goto hits back, they brawl up top and Goto headbutts Tama down! Goto adjusts but Tama GAMANGIRIS! Tama brings Goto out off the top, Goto fights, but Tama still hits the TONGAN TWIST!

Fans are still fired up as both men are down. Goto and Tama stagger up, Tama runs corner to corner to SPLASH! Tama keeps moving, Goto ducks and dodges but runs into a COMPLETE SHOT! Tama gets Goto back up, fireman’s carry, ROLLING DEATH VALLEY! Tama goes up top and aims, SUPREME FLOW! Cover, TWO! Goto survives but Jado tells Tama to keep focus. Tama watches Goto as fans reach a thunderous level! Tama drags Goto up, tucks him in, but Goto fights! Tama CLUBS and throws body shots, tries the lift but Goto powers up! Tama stops the back drop, clubs Goto more, but Goto fireman’s carries to USHIGOROSHI!

Tama and Goto go to opposite corners again. Tama runs in but Goto avoids the splash! Goto clotheslines from behind, then hoists Tama up top! DRAPING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Tama survives but Goto drags him up. Goto dragon sleepers but Tama fights back! Goto grabs the arm, spins Tama around for knee after knee, then URA GTR! Goto runs, to LARIAT Tama inside out! Both men are down again and fans reach a thunderous level! Goto fires up and drags Tama up. Goto powers up but Tama flops over! The ref checks on Tama and Jado coaches him up. Goto dares Tama to rise as he powers up again. BUZZ- NO! Tama blocks and GUN-

NO! Goto powers out and follows but Tama redirects! Goto redirects, Tama leaps but no Gun Stun! Goto powers out, fireman’s carries, but Tama slips out to a dragon sleeper! Goto spins it around so he has the dragon sleeper but Tama spins around to suplex! Goto fights that off, wrenches and HEADBUTTS! But Tama ENZIGURIS! Tama gets Goto up, BRAINBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Goto survives that fast and furious exchange but Tama is fired up! Tama pounds the mat, fans rally behind him and Tama waits for Goto to rise. GUN- NO! Goto turns it to a RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP, and GOTOSHIKI! Goto wins!!

Winner: Hirooki Goto, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Tama earns 0)

The Fierce Warrior finds a way to win in the blink of an eye! Is it still too soon before the Good Bad Guy can stand on his own? Are the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Champions slowly gaining power in their own right?

 

Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Taichi w/ Miho Abe!

The Ace is 4-4 while the Holy Emperor is 2-6, both rather shocking records for these two champions. Will the IWGP US Champion use love and energy to finish above 500? Or will the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champion find a way to finish strong?

Miho helps Taichi with his things while Tanahashi shows off his muscles and fans cheer. Fans rally “Let’s Go, Ace!” at the bell and the two stare down. They slowly circle, tie up, and Tanahashi headlocks, but Taichi hits DANGOUERS SAIDO!! Cover, TWO!! OFF COME THE PANTS?! Already?! Taichi sits Tanahashi up to BUZZSAW! And then Taichi goes for the Alabama, but his bad ribs hold him back. Taichi runs to AX BOMBER! Taichi tries again, but he can’t maintain the Alabama! Tanahashi throws a body shot to the bad ribs! Fans fire up and Taichi staggers to a corner. Tanahashi shakes out the cobwebs and slowly gets up.

Tanahashi runs in but blocks a boot to throw a hard body shot! Taichi drops to his knees and Tanahashi stomps him down! Tanahashi stands on Taichi’s ribs at the ropes but the ref counts. Tanahashi lets off, drags Taichi by a leg and stomps it, then stomps Taichi’s bad ribs! Tanahashi drops down on the leg for a toehold but Taichi pulls at Tanahashi’s hair. The ref reprimands, Taichi endures, fans rally up and Tanahashi turns Taichi over. Tanahashi ties up the legs and fires up as he has the deathlock. Miho coaches Taichi as he endures, but Tanahashi drops back for a MUDA LOCK! Taichi claws at the chinlock and fans rally up harder!

Tanahashi pulls Taichi back, lets go of the chinlock but keeps on the legs. Fans rally, Taichi claws his way around but Tanahashi digs knuckles into his back! Tanahashi stands up and drops back to snap the deathlock! Taichi still endures, powers up and claws his way forward. Miho is there calling to him, and Taichi reaches out, but Tanahashi drops back again! Taichi still gets the ROPEBREAK! Tanahashi undoes the leglock and fans fire up again. Tanahashi stalks Taichi but Taichi kicks back. Taichi gets up but Tanahashi blocks the kick. Taichi still kicks Tanahashi away, then kicks him again. Tanahashi eggs Taichi on and catches the next kick, to throw another body shot!

Taichi falls, fans rally and Tanahashi whips, only for Taichi to wrench and DANGEROUS HOOK KICK! Fans fire up as both men are down. Taichi rises, sits Tanahashi up and gives him Kowata Kicks! Then he snapmares Tanahashi to KICK him in the back! Taichi wants Tanahashi to rise, BUZZSAW but Tanahashi ducks! Tanahashi throws another body shot, Taichi goes to a corner and Tanahashi runs in, but Taichi dodges to GAMAN- No! Tanahashi ducks, and he puts Taichi in the Tree of Woe! Tanahashi throws more body shots, the ref reprimands and counts. Tanahashi backs off, to dropkick Taichi down! Taichi falls out of the Tree and fans rally up.

Tanahashi goes to bring Taichi up but Taichi kicks him away! And again! Tanahashi keeps trying but Taichi KICKS him! Taichi eggs Tanahashi on now, then sobats! Tanahashi fires fast hands but Taichi GAMANGIRIS! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Taichi fires up and goes to the corner. He takes aim, TENSHO- But Tanahashi blocks to a DRAGON SCREW! Then he ties up the legs for the TEXAS CLOVER HOLD! Taichi endures and Miho shouts to him, but Tanahashi pulls back harder! Taichi grabs at the ref and slowly makes his way forward, to get the ROPEBREAK! Tanahashi lets go and fans are rallying, “Let’s Go, Ace!” “TA-I-CHI!”

Miho holds onto Taichi’s hand and one of the medics asks Taichi how he’s feeling. Taichi refuses to give up, so Tanahashi runs, SLING- NO, Taichi slips around, but he can’t get Tanahashi up in the saido! Taichi BOOTS, ducks and gets around, but Tanahashi slips out! Taichi BOOTS, DANG- SLINGBLADE! But Taichi’s right up?! DANGEROUS SAIDO!! But Tanahashi is right up, too, into TENSHO JUJIHO!! Both men are down and fans are thunderous!! Taichi crawls to the cover, TWO!! The Ace survives but the Holy Emperor grits his teeth and fights through the pain. Taichi strikes a three point stance in the corner, but runs into a SHOTEI!

Taichi comes back with a HARD RIGHT ELBOW! Taichi roars and fans are thunderous again! Taichi drags Tanahashi up and manages the the Alabama! But Tanahashi fights free to TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Tanahashi runs, to SLINGBLADE! Cover, TWO!! Tanahashi goes right up top, to HIGH FLY ATTACK! And then he goes right back to the corner, for the HIGH FLY FLOP!! TAICHI SHIKI GEDO CLUTCH! TAICHI WINS!!

Winner: Taichi, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Tanahashi earns 0)

Now that’s how you finish strong! Taichi found a way to power through and he trumped The Ace! Will this Dangerous Tekker look to take the IWGP US Championship from Tanahashi in the future?

 

SANADA VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo!

So what if these two are out of the running? This is about pride, and the past that was thrown away in betrayal! Will the Cold Skull bring a Skull End to his former tag partner? Or will Darkness Fall when Everything is Evil?

The bell rings and fans rally up for “SA-NA-DA!” Evil gets annoyed and bails out. Evil gets a mic from the timekeeper, and says that Sanada isn’t worth his time! Evil rings the bell? He’s trying to make this a no contest as he and Dick leave! But Sanada pursues and CLUBS Evil down! Sanada puts Evil back in the ring, and rings the bell again as if to say the match is back on! But Evil kicks and whips Sanada on the return, only for Sanada to duck and dodge and dropkick the leg, to then dropkick Evil out of the ring! But Sanada goes up top just as Evil tries to turn the corner for the ramp! Dick distracts Sanada and Evil slides in to CLAW Sanada’s back!

Evil CLAWS Sanada at the ropes, and then again in the corner! The ref reprimands, Evil tell shim to shut up, but Sanada whips Evil corner to corner. Dick undoes the buckle pad behind Evil’s back, Sanada runs in but Evil takes the pad away! Sanada hits bare buckles and the ref reprimands Evil. Evil throws the pad away to then choke Sanada with his House of Torture shirt! The ref reprimands, Evil lets off and kicks Sanada out of the ring. Evil drags Sanada up, has media clear out and whips Sanada into railing! Evil brings chairs out from under the ring while Dick distracts the ref! Evil JAMS Sanada with the chair, wraps the chair around his head and HOME RUN!

Takagi is on commentary and he argues that wasn’t even close, but Evil tells him to shut up. Evil leaves the chair behind, goes into the ring and the ring count begins. Fans rally up for “SA-NA-DA!” but the count is already past 10 of 20. It gets to 15 before Sanada sits up, and he staggers into the ring at 17. Evil covers, TWO! Evil argues with the ref but the count was fair. Evil drags Sanada up, Sanada throws forearms! Evil knees low, throws Sanada back out, and Dick ROCKS Sanada! Dick puts Sanada back in, Evil covers, TWO! Another try, TWO! A third try, TWO! Evil is frustrated but fans fire up for Sanada. Evil stands on Sanada’s face and taunts him.

Evil gives Sanada toying kicks and even stands on Sanada’s head again. Sanada gets up to CHOP and CHOP and CHOP! Evil rakes Sanada’s eyes! The ref reprimands, Evil reels Sanada in but Sanada blocks the suplex. Evil keeps trying, but Sanada turns it into his own suplex! Both men are down but fans rally up again. Sanada kips up and goes to a corner. Sanada runs and rallies on Evil with forearms, arm-drag and atomic drop! Evil springs off into buckles, then Sanada trips Evil up to put him in Paradise! Dick gets on the apron but Sanada slingshots him into the ring! Dick wants mercy but instead gets Paradise! Fans fire up for Sanada more as he puts Evil and Dick side by side!

Sanada encourages the fans to get louder and they oblige. Sanada then runs to DOUBLE DROPKICK Evil and Dick out of Paradise! Cover, TWO! Fans rally harder than ever and Sanada drags Evil up. Evil blocks the fireman’s carry to throw elbows, but Sanada blocks and gives the foot to the ref! Sanada dropkicks Evil down! Evil bails out after tasting some of his own medicine, and Sanada aims to PLANCHA! Evil gets clear and RAMS Sanada into the timekeeper! Down goes Abe-san! Will Evil ever stop targeting him? Fans rally up for “SA-NA-DA! while he and Evil are both down on the outside. The ref checks on both men but they’re stirring as the Young Lions help Abe-san.

Evil gets in the ring but then goes back after Evil! He puts on the SHARPSHOOTER as the ring count climbs! Dick taunts Sanada, Evil lets off at 10. Sanada grits his teeth and Evil distracts the ref from seeing Dick trip Sanada up! The count is 18, but Sanada springs up and in at 19.5! Evil is furious and he drags Sanada up for a fireman’s carry. DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives and Evil is arguing the count! The count was fair and fans are thunderous for “SA-NA-DA!” Evil slashes his throat and drags Sanada up. Evil spins him around but Sanada fights the STO off! Evil kicks low, whips but Sanada stops himself and then sends Evil into bare buckles! BIG back suplex!

Fans fire up again as both men crawl for corners. Evil drags himself up, as does Sanada. Sanada runs in but Evil BOOTS him! Evil runs in but Sanada fireman’s carries! Evil slips off to a waistlock but Sanada elbows free. Sanada runs, avoids Evil’s lariat from the corner, then goes up, out and springboards to MISSILE DROPKICK Evil down! Sanada fireman’s carries to a TKO! Cover, TWO! Sanada goes to the corner but Dick has a chair! He throws it at Sanada and the ref sees that! They argue, Sanada puts the chair down and dropkicks Dick! Then he still catches Evil for a fireman’s carry to dragon sleeper! SKULL END!

Evil endures while caught in the body scissors! Fans rally hard as ever, Evil grabs at the ref but he’s fading! Sanada lets Evil go to go to the corner! ROUNDING BODY PRESS onto knees! Evil saves himself and fans rally up again! Sanada sits up first, then brings Evil up. Sanada EuroUppers but Evil stays on his feet! Sanada throws another EuroUpper and Evil drops to his knees! Sanada stands Evil up so he can EuroUpper him again! Evil flounders against ropes and flops back down. Sanada eggs Evil on, Evil gets up and fakes the chop to rake the eyes! The ref reprimands, Evil tells him to shut up, and he stands Sanada up, but Sanada ROLLING SOBATS!

Sanada runs, Evil uses the ref as a shield, then kicks Sanada low. Evil gets Sanada up and uses the ref again, but the ref lets Sanada down, no Magic Killer! Sanada kicks but Evil blocks, and THROWS the foot into the ref! The ref goes down and Dick gets in, he and Evil still fail to Magic Killer! Wait, Sanada puts Evil on Dick’s shoulder, NOW MAGIC KILLER! Cover, TWO!! Fans rally up as Sanada dragon sleepers for the SKULL SWING! But Evil grabs at the ref to LOW BLOW! And then EVERY- NO! Sanada shoves Evil at the ref and then LOW BLOWS in return! O’Conner Roll BRIDGE! Dick drags the ref out!! Sanada would’ve won! But Dick gets his SPOILER CHOKER!!

Sanada fights it off! Sanada arm-drags Dick, ducks Evil’s chair shot, it’s hot potato with the chair and Dick gets caught with it! Sanada dropkicks the chair into Dick! The ref is busy with Dick, Evil THROWS the other chair at Sanada’s head! EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! Evil wins!!

Winner: Evil, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Sanada earns 0)

And now Evil uses the SPOILER CHOKER to torment Sanada! Young Lions gets in and stop Evil, but the damage is done! And he talks trash to Takagi on his way out, too. Is this how little those days in Los Ingobernables de Japon mean to him? Will Evil use this last win in the G1 as momentum on to something big down the line?

 

Kazuchika Okada VS Jeff Cobb!

Here it is! The main event of the ninth and final round that determines it all! Kota Ibushi is already making history from the A Block, will the United Empire’s Hulk do the same by going in with a spotless record? Or will Okada make it rain into the G1 finals?

The bell rings and fans rally up already. Cobb rushes in but Okada dodges to fire off forearms! Cobb shoves him away, Okada comes back to ROCK Cobb! Okada runs to forearm again, then runs, but into a LARIAT! Cobb gets Okada up, whips and scoops him, but Okada frantically fights free! Cobb throws a hard body shot and Okada ends up in a corner, Cobb runs in and SPLASHES! But Okada turns that into an Alabama for a REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Fans rally up, “O-KA-DA!” “JEFF COBBU!” as Okada goes to the far corner. Okada watches Cobb stand up and clutches his neck. Okada resets and the two circle.

Cobb kicks low, whips again but Okada reverses and BOOTS! Okada snapmares Cobb, runs and basement dropkicks! Cobb sits up in a daze but Okada takes a moment to catch his breath before bringing Cobb up. Okada turns Cobb for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, ONE! Fans still rally as Okada clamps on a chinlock and grinds Cobb down. Cobb endures, pries at the hold, stands up and throws elbows. Okada CLUBS Cobb on the back, whips him but Cobb holds ropes to block. Okada throws forearms, whips but Cobb reverses. Cobb dodges Okada’s elbow to come back and CLOBBER Okada with an elbow! Fans fire up as both men are down.

Cobb storms over to Okada, turns him over and jumps onto his back! Cobb surfs on Okada with his own Rainmaker pose! Cobb hops off, Okada bails out and Cobb goes out to pursue. Cobb stands Okada up to ROCK him with a right. Cobb then stands Okada up to ROCK him in the back! Now Cobb stands on Okada at the railing and also points to Takagi. Cobb goes back to the ring and fans rally up as Okada is down on the ground. A ring count starts, and it reaches 10 before Okada sits up. Okada stands at 12 and gets in the ring, but Cobb is right on him with a CHOP LARIAT in the corner! And another! And another!

Okada sits down, Cobb drags him back up and brings him around to suplex. Cobb walks around with Okada for a count of 10 before he TOSSES Okada! Cover, TWO! Cobb’s a bit surprised by that but fans keep rallying. Cobb drags Okada up, clinches and Belly2Belly suplexes! Cobb holds on to Belly2Belly again! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up as Okada survives but Cobb claims it is “JEFF COBBU!” Cobb JAMS his knee into Okada’s back, and again, then uppercuts him in the back! Cover, TWO! Okada throws body shots and forearms but Cobb headbutts! Okada stays up so Cobb RAMS him into a corner! And takes him corner to corner, and back again!

Cobb picks Okada up for a RUNNING BACK SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! GACHIMUCHI MOONSAULT FLOPS as Okada narrowly avoids it! Fans rally up as Okada brings Cobb over. Cobb knees low, runs, but Okada FLAPJACKS! Fans rally up again and Okada dares Cobb to get up. Okada throws forearm after forearm, then whips. Cobb reverses, Okada ducks and dodges and CLOBBERS Cobb with an elbow! Okada whips Cobb to the corner, runs in and back elbows! Okada then kicks low and hits the DDT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up harder and Okada drags Cobb up to wrench and MONEY CLIP! Cobb RAMS Okada into the corner and is free!

Cobb runs back in but Okada dodges! Okada puts Cobb up top to dropkick him to the floor! Fans fire up and Okada aims. PLANCHA, but Cobb catches him! And pops him up, but Okada sips out to kick and- NO! NORTHERN LIGHTS! Both men are down and the ring count starts. Cobb gets up at 7, takes a moment to bring Okada up, and puts him in at 14. Okada get sup, Cobb kicks, EuroUppers and DROPKICKS! Okada goes to a corner, Cobb runs in and back elbows! Cobb scoops and runs but Okada slips off to waistlock. Cobb elbows free, runs but is sent through ropes! Okada runs in but into a shoulder! He comes back to SHOTGUN Cobb off the apron!

Cobb slowly gets up, Okada builds speed and FLIES! Direct hit at the ramp and down goes Cobb! Fans are thunderous nd rally up as both men stir with the new ring count. Okada drags Cobb up and puts him in at 10 of 20. Okada then climbs a corner and watches Cobb stand. MISSILE DROPKICK! Fans fire up and Okada drags Cobb up to scoop and SLAM! Standard formula, Okada goes to the corner and climbs up. MACHO ELBOW DROP! And now, Rainmaker Pose! Okada drags Cobb up, ripcords but Cobb reels Okada in for an ATHLETIC PLEX! Both men are down again and fans rally back up!

Cobb hobbles over, drags Okada up, scoops him and RAMS him into a corner! OKLAHOMA STAMPEDE! Cover, TWO! GACHIMUCHI MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Okada survives being smashed but Cobb drags him up. Cobb whips, Okada holds ropes and then boots back! Okada blocks the superkick to ripcord, but Cobb gets around, SNAP GERMAN! Cobb hurries to whip Okada again, scoops him, TOUR OF- NO! Okada slips out to gut wrench! But Cobb’s weight tips things in his favor! TOMBSTONE! But Cobb holds on to bring Okada back up, SPINNING TOMBSTONE! But Cobb can’t make the cover, and fans are thunderous again!

Cobb copies the Rainmaker, he’s the #Tourmaker! Cobb ripcords and reels Okada in, but Okada slips out! ROLLING LARIAT! Fans rally up and Okada crawls over to get the wrist. Okada drags Cobb up and brings him around, but Cobb BOOTS! Okada hold son so Cobb BOOTS again! And again! Cobb ducks the lariat but Okada dropkicks him down! MONEY CLIP! Cobb fights to stay up, Okada keeps him from ropes, then gut wrenches to SPINNING TOMBSTONE!! Okada drag Cobb back up to the MONEY CLIP!! Cobb endures, scoots around, reaches out, but Okada drags him from ropes! Cobb gets up but Okada turns him for the back2backbreaker!

But Cobb rolls off! Cobb reels Okada in to a backslide but Okada rolls through, and ducks the lariat to backslide Cobb! Cobb rolls off and HEADBUTTS Okada down!! Cobb gets Okada up to whip and scoop, TOUR OF- NO! Okada slips off, ripcord but Cobb ducks to ripcord Okada! Okada back drops and sits for a cover, TWO!!! Okada gets to a corner, fans are thunderous, and Cobb runs in, but Okada pops him up to the Alabama! Cobb fights that to powerbomb lift, but Okada fights and gets to the top rope. Okada kicks Cobb but Cobb DROPKICKS Okada! Okada tumbles into a Tree of Woe position! Red Shoes hurries to help Okada and Okada gets down to the apron.

Cobb goes to the corner as fans rally back up. Cobb drags Okada up, and deadlifts him to the top! Okada throws body shots and forearms to knock Cobb down, but Cobb HEADBUTT UPPERCUTS! Cobb climbs back up, brings Okada up, SUPER DDT?!?! Okada turns things around on Cobb at the very last second!! Cobb is dazed, Okada grits his teeth and fans are electric! Okada roars, drags Cobb back up and ripcords, but Cobb gets around again! Okada elbows away to get free, and he goes to gut wrench. Cobb gut wrenches instead, pops Okada up, but Okada slips out of the Tour to DROPKICK again! But Cobb’s right up?! He runs into Okada’s SIT-DOWN TOMBSTONE!!

Okada drags Cobb back up, RAINMAKER!!! Cover, Okada wins!!!

Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Cobb earns 0)

And Okada is heading to the finals!! His win may be the only loss on Cobb’s G1 record, but it is the most important loss! And now we have our finals set as Ibushi VS Okada! Okada takes a moment then gets the mic. “BUDOKAN~! Tomorrow, this record setting hot Autumn will come to a close. It’s not important what I say right now, tomorrow is winner takes all. So for now, let’s end it here. Go home, wash your hands, gargle. After work, come right back here, and enjoy the G1 Climax FINALE! Thank you for your enthusiasm today! I’m going to make it rain on this G1 Climax!” A straightforward message with a straightforward mission! Will Okada stop the Golden Star from having his threepeat?

 

Here are the FINAL B Block standings!

Kazuchika Okada: 8-1, 16 points [Heading to G1 Climax 31 Finals]
Jeff Cobb: 8-1, 16 points [ELIMINATED]
EVIL: 7-2, 14 points [ELIMINATED]
Hiroshi Tanahashi: 4-5, 8 points [ELIMINATED]
SANADA: 4-5, 8 points [ELIMINATED]
Hirooki Goto: 3-6, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
Tama Tonga: 3-6, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
YOSHI-HASHI: 3-6, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
Taichi: 3-6, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
Chase Owens: 2-7, 4 points [ELIMINATED]


My Thoughts:

Another great round for the G1 Climax, with even the matches that have no effect on the outcome being a lot of fun. Fans really got into Goto VS Tama and that was a very good match with things fast and furious right from the start. Tanahashi VS Taichi was also great stuff, and it felt really big for Taichi to win. Evil wanting to just skip his match with Sanada was a great little character bit, and I’m surprised Evil won after that. I suppose Sanada still isn’t ready to be a singles guy in the eyes of NJPW management.

And of course, Okada VS Cobb was awesome stuff, and I really thought Cobb had it at a few different moments. I personally thought the history of Ibushi’s fourth finals in a row and Cobb going in undefeated in the block would’ve really made the finals huge on its own, but I suppose that’s too big even for the G1. Ibushi VS Okada is still going to be awesome stuff, and with it being Ibushi VS Okada, it really could go either way.

My Score: 9.2/10


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Andrew’s G1 Climax 31 Day 18 Results & Match Ratings: 10.20.2021

Last day for B Block! Jeff Cobb is on an undefeated run, but it comes down to him versus Okada for access to the Finals! Who will face Kota Ibushi?

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Last day for B Block! Jeff Cobb is on an undefeated run, but it comes down to him versus Okada for access to the Finals! Who will face Kota Ibushi?

Well B Block has been a little more interesting this year, but let’s be honest, this has not been a G1 to write home about. With the understanding that even Japanese fans are cooling on their tolerance of Kota Ibushi, it’s hard to think Cobb is winning this block. Kazuchika Okada is polarizing for different reasons, but also on his Rainmaker Redemption tour.

So even though I picked Cobb at the beginning of the tournament, I can’t see Cobb vs Ibushi making any sense. Let’s get to the show and see if I’m surprised or correct.

Ratings:

  • YOSHI-HASHI vs Chase Owens: HASHI wins via Karma @8:27 – ** ¼
  • Tama Tonga vs Hirooki Goto: Goto wins via Goto Shiki @15:19 – *** ¼
  • Taichi vs Hiroshi Tanahashi: Taichi wins via Gedo Clutch @14:58 – *** ½
  • SANADA vs EVIL: EVIL wins via Everything is Evil @17:47 – *
  • Kazuchika Okada vs Jeff Cobb: Okada wins via Rainmaker @23:35 – **** ½

 

Results:

They try to make this night seem big by bringing JAM Project out to perform the Max the Max song live before the first match. Kinda cool, and JAM Project are well known to fans of older anime (DBZ, Slayers, Mazinger, and Revolutionary Girl Utena, to name a few) or video games.

Maybe this will be continue the vibe from the last few shows by feeling like a day belongs in the history of the G1 Climax.  

YOSHI-HASHI vs Chase Owens

I love that when they scan to the crowd as HASHI is coming in, there’s one girl scrolling on her phone. That girl feels the same as me.

Chase went on the offensive quickly, but eventually gets caught going for the Slingshot Spear. This leads to HASHI’s stupid Draping Dropkick, and then he’s generally unimpressive offense. We know the rest of this story, HASHI shakes out of the Package Piledriver, hits Karma and picks up his third win. So Chase is the basement of the block at the moment!

Tama Tonga vs Hirooki Goto

Goto rocks Tama early and Tama tries to fire. It takes a little time but the Double Leapfrogs into the Haku Chop gives him some life. After a brief moment in control, Goto powers through and just imposes his will on Tama. Goto does his Kicks to the kneeling opponent spot as you hear Jado trying to motivate Tama.

Tama eventually fires again, gets one over on Goto, pulls him to the outside, but Goto turns it around. This whole match is just Tama getting a small opening but Goto fighting through. It’s not until Goto goes to the top rope that Tama gets chances to take back over. Eventually he pulls Goto down and hit a Tongan Twist for a small reprieve.

We see a great exchange between both where each goes for different misdirections, two different Gun Stun attempts from Tama, but he doesn’t hit it. A Pele Kick leads to a Bloody Sunday, and Tama gets a near fall. Tama starts hunting for the Gun Stun, but Goto blocks it and utilizes the Goto-Shiki for the cradle win!

Taichi vs Hiroshi Tanahashi

They go for the lockup, but Taichi immediately hits the Dangerous Backdrop for a near fall. The pants come off mere seconds into the match. He tries Black Mephisto, but his ribs won’t allow him to get Tanahashi all the way over. Axe Bomber and Taichi tries again, but still can’t execute Black Mephisto. So Tanahashi starts working on Taichi’s ribs.

Tanahashi stomps, and strikes the ribs, even applying the Muta Lock to bend Taichi at the ribcage. Tanahashi has Taich in the Cloverleaf and you can hear Miho screaming for him to grab the rope. Tanahashi gets Taichi in the Tree of Woe, and is generally relentless. The pain Taichi is in, is palpable beyond just Miho and the doctor’s concern, but Taichi selling and screaming in the ring.

The crowd is supporting the Holy Emperor, Tanahashi is trying to put him away and get his 10th point. Taichi has a few flashes, hits the Sumo Tackle, almost pulls off Black Mephisto again but still can’t do it. Tanahashi goes for High Fly Flow, Taichi moves, Gedo Clutch….and TAICHI WINS!

Tanahashi went from 2011-2019 scoring double digits (and when he only got 9 in 2010, it was because it was a 16 man field and he still won his block), to ending on 8 two years in a row. I know I said it a few times over this G1, but we need to be approaching the twilight of the “Ace Age”. His matches are significantly slower and very very similar. We’ll probably have to deal with a few more years because quarantine messed up storytelling, but it’s bad when Kojima looks to have more gas than Tanahashi.

SANADA vs EVIL

Oh it’s an EVIL match… *walks away to make a sandwich*, hey look I missed a few minutes but it’s the same old cheating and guardrail usage stuff. I guess they really wanted to give fans the opportunity to spend more time at the concessions.

Double Paradise Lock of course, SANADA tries the Plancha, the whole miss into the next spot is sloppy and it’s into the poor timekeeper as per usual. I’m waiting for the time EVIL tries that and Abe pulls out a gun or something.

OH-speaking of guns and more fun things to talk about. Squid Game is not a bad miniseries. I’d say it’s a little overhyped, but still a relatively solid watch. Why did it come to mind? Well the gun comment and the idea of EVIL playing these childish games all the time. Plus I’d rather write about that than anything involving 2021 EVIL.

As soon as I look at the match, there’s a stupid Dick Togo spot where he hands SANADA a chair and tries to point it out to the referee. SANADA drops the chair and decides to Dropkick Togo, but it barely connects and took too damn long. This match is booked like an AEW match, stupid spots that don’t transition well or sound better in theory than execution. This is actually terrible.

Stupid match, stupid finish, insert Randy Orton saying “Stupid, Stupid, Stupid”. EVIL throws a chair, hits an Everything is-you know how this goes. Ugh.

Kazuchika Okada vs Jeff Cobb

Cobb charges, Okada dodges and they fight around a little as Okada turns things into his Three Quarters Neck Breaker, and Cobb is dinged up by it. He comes up favoring his left side, shaking his head, and seems really off. Okada being the meticulous Rainmaker he is, takes time to assess the situation instead of charging in.

When Cobb starts getting some offense in, there’s a noticeable tick or beat that Cobb needs between spots. But you can see as Cobb puts moves together, he starts favoring his injuries less and less. Okada starts to get thrown around, back to back Belly to Belly Suplexes. Cobb’s first misstep was going for the Gachimuchi Standing Moonsault, and he misses. Okada takes advantage of the miss, goes for the Money Clip, but Cobb moves to the corner. Okada perches him, hits the Corner Dropkick and then goes for a Plancha. Cobb catches the Rainmaker, tries to Brainbuster him on the outside, Okada slips out, tries to hit the DDT, but gets dropped over Cobb’s back as both guys lay out for a while.

Cobb charges and misses, but catches himself on the apron. Okada hits the Shotgun Dropkick, sends Cobb off the apron and Okada pulls off a Tope con Hilo. Okada sends Cobb back in, perches and unleashes the Stalling Missile Dropkick that he makes look so nice but we haven’t seen much of lately. Macho Man Elbow, Rainmaker pose with the Zoom Out. Rainmaker attempt turned into Spin Cycle from Cobb!

That gets followed up by the Stampede and Gachimuchi from Cobb for a near fall. Snap German from Cobb, into a Tour of the Islands attempt, Okada gets out, gets Cobb up for the Tombstone but Cobb holds, reverses and pulls off his own Tombstone. He also holds it, stands back up, and does the Jumping Tombstone for a big round of applause.

Aloha-Maker attempt from Cobb, but Okada counters it and lays out Cobb. Money Clip, into the Jumping Tombstone, back into the Money Clip from Okada. Cobb keeps fighting, the crowd is trying to will Cobb out of it, and Cobb stands up. A series of counters, backslides, and it ends with a big Headbutt from Cobb. Tour, no, Rainmaker, no, Double Legged Cradle…and Cobb kicks out.

Cobb Powerbomb perches Okada in the corner, a big Corner Dropkick of his own and Okada falls over but his leg is caught in the ropes! Okada pulls himself back up barely, they fight on the top, Cobb looks for an Avalanche Tour of the Islands, and Okada turns it into an Avalanche DDT. Cobb counters the Rainmaker, tries a Tour, Okada rolls back and catches a charging Cobb with the Dropkick. Cobb fires, but gets caught in the Landslide which then gets turned in the Rainmaker and OKADA WINS!

Overall Score: 7/10

Well as much negativity as I have over Tanahashi’s matches, him and Taichi put on a compelling match. So it saved this show from being a one match event. That main event though, is easily on par with anything anyone already thought was the best match of this year’s G1. Cobb did great, Okada looks like the old Rainmaker and it’s really the only thing that makes sense with Ibushi winning A Block.

Now because Wrestle Kingdom is 3 days, you never really know what could happen. But out of Kota Ibushi vs Kazuchika Okada, I’m saying Okada makes more sense winning. Ibushi has proven he’s not the man, and assuming Shingo doesn’t drop the title between now and Wrestle Kingdom; Shingo vs Okada is a big money match. Especially a Returning Rainmaker.

So let’s check out the final standings for B Block and look forward to what NJPW does leading to Wrestle Kingdom.

B Block:

  1. Kazuchika Okada / 8-1 / 16 Points – WINNER
  2. Jeff Cobb / 8-1 / 16 Points – Eliminated
  3. EVIL / 7-2 / 14 Points – Eliminated
  4. Hiroshi Tanahashi / 4-5/ 8 Points – Eliminated
  5. SANADA / 4-5 / 8 Points – Eliminated
  6. Tama Tonga / 3-6/ 6 Points – Eliminated
  7. Taichi / 3-6 / 6 Points – Eliminated
  8. Hirooki Goto / 3-6/ 6 Points – Eliminated
  9. YOSHI-HASHI / 3-6/ 6 Points – Eliminated
  10. Chase Owens / 2-7/ 4 Points – Eliminated


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