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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: King of Pro-Wrestling 2019 Part 2!

The Wrestle Kingdom main event could change!



NJPW King of Pro Wrestling 2019

The Right to Challenge is on the line!

The Golden Star doesn’t have a briefcase, but he has a contract! However, will he still have his golden ticket after facing The King of Darkness?



  • Minoru Suzuki VS Jushin Thunder Liger; Suzuki wins.
  • IWGP Heavyweight Championship Right to Challenge Contract Match: Kota Ibushi VS EVIL; Ibushi wins and retains the Right to Challenge.


NJPW and AXS set the scene for this second part of Sports Day!

After making New Japan his wrestling home, the Golden Star returned to the G1 Climax Finals, and finally took the coveted prize! Kota Ibushi is hoping to make it to Wrestle Kingdom 14 to take the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, but he must risk that right along the way. Ibushi dodged a bullet going against KENTA, but now he might be left in the dark as EVIL comes calling. Evil was the other man to beat Ibushi during the G1, and now wants Ibushi’s ticket to the title. Will Darkness Fall on Ibushi’s road to the top? Or will he shine brighter than ever before?

But first! After pushing the limits of what he could do to the living legend, Minoru Suzuki awoke something dangerous within Jushin Thunder Liger. The road to retirement brings about one more rematch, and the Warrior Beast, Kishin Liger, has returned! This fight will not be about records but about survival! Suzuki was laughing before, but will he even be standing by the end?


Minoru Suzuki VS Jushin Thunder Liger!

The fans are thunderous for this match right away, and Liger stares Suzuki down. They circle, approach, and feel out the grapple. Liger backs off, and the two circle again. Suzuki smirks while fans rally up again. Suzuki tests a kick but Liger stays clear. They tie up and Liger wrenches. Suzuki breaks free but Liger SPITS at him! Liger wants Suzuki to bring it, and even sits down to give him a target. Suzuki rushes in and Liger keeps him away, and the two scramble about before separating. The fans love the exchange as the two go again. Liger drop toeholds but Suzuki blocks anything more. Suzuki has the arm and rolls Liger to attempt the Kimura! Suzuki even has Liger’s leg, but Liger manages to roll around. Suzuki cranks on the arm! Liger endures, and gets the ropebreak! Suzuki glares as he lets go.

Liger stands, but now Suzuki dares him to bring it by sitting down. Suzuki goes to kick from the mat but Liger stays clear. Liger gets in between the leg guard and keeps one leg down while grabbing the other. Suzuki resists, and the two tangle with leg locks. Suzuki stands and attempts something, but Liger drags him into a triangle! Suzuki kicks and turns, but Liger holds on tight! Suzuki reaches back with a foot to get the ropebreak, and Liger holds on until 4! Then he gets Suzuki again! The ref counts and Liger lets up, to then basement dropkick Suzuki out! Liger hurries after Suzuki as he staggers around. Liger whips Suzuki into barriers! Liger kicks Suzuki at the railing, and whips him back the other way! Suzuki hits hard and falls to the floor.

Liger gets a chair! He already breaks the seat off on the railing! The referee stops him, and Suzuki BOOTS Liger down! Suzuki has a chair of his own now! Suzuki leaves it where he found it, though, to whip Liger up into railing! Suzuki goes looking for more things, and finds more chairs. Suzuki SMACKS Liger on the back! And again! And again! And again! The chair shots ring out while fans boo and jeer! The ref lets this all slide, if only because there needs to be a real winner. Suzuki wraps Liger’s arm around railing and pulls! The ref counts this but Suzuki lets up, while also shoving the ref away. Suzuki has the ref by his collar, but the ref threatens disqualification this time. Suzuki lets him go so he can go back to Liger. And goes after the mask! Liger is already down to his third mask, Suzuki wants to humiliate Liger in his farewell!

The ref reprimands Suzuki but Suzuki trash talks Liger. Liger gives the trash talk back, but Suzuki plays with the mask. Liger CHOPS back! And CHOPS! Suzuki throws forearms back, then gets in the ring to keep the count from climbing too high. Liger slowly gets in but Suzuki drags him up by his mask! Suzuki still wants to rip that mask apart! The ref stops him, but Suzuki gets Liger in a triangle hold on the ropes! Suzuki lets go at 4, and lets Liger flop as we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns, and Suzuki eggs Liger on to stand up. The ref checks on Liger and fans rally up for the legend, but Suzuki starts kicking at him. Suzuki toys and taunts Liger as he rises. Liger gives more CHOPS, but Suzuki gives one back. Liger knees low, runs but into a boot! Suzuki grabs the mask again to stand Liger. He whips Liger corner to corner to boot him down! Then he runs, but the Penalty Kick is blocked! Liger clubs the leg, whips Suzuki now, and hits a big corner clothesline! But Suzuki just shouts at him! Suzuki fires off forearms, but runs into Liger’s SHOTEI! Suzuki stands and Liger hits a rolling kick! Liger drags Suzuki up, suplexes, but Suzuki escapes to a sleeper hold! Liger fades already, and Suzuki lets him go?! Suzuki wants to make Liger suffer, but he gets caught into a LEBELLE LOCK! Then the Rings of Saturn!!

Suzuki endures, shouts and screams as Liger pulls way back on the hold! Will Pancrase be reversed today?! Suzuki fights forward, flips over, and gets the ropebreak! Liger sits Suzuki up to kick away, but then wrenches to a shoulder breaker! Liger spins Suzuki around for another shoulder breaker! Suzuki falls against the ropes, clutching that arm. Liger stands Suzuki up and wants another, but Suzuki counters to a sleeper hold! Liger starts fading again, but he manages to throw Suzuki! But Suzuki holds on! Liger sits up, fans rally up, and the ref checks. Liger’s arm falls once! But then he revives! Suzuki spins him around, Gotch hold, but Liger resists the piledriver! Suzuki keeps trying, he gets Liger up, but Liger powers out to a back drop! Fans cheer as Liger Thesz Presses to a cover, TWO! Liger keeps going, suplex to BRAIN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Suzuki survives!

Both men are down and the fans are thunderous! Suzuki and Liger slowly rise, and Liger powers up. Liger runs, into a dropkick! Suzuki drags Liger up by his mask again, and throws furious palm strikes from all sides! Suzuki SLAPS Liger, but Liger powers up! Suzuki dares Liger to give it all back, and Liger does! Liger slaps away, but Suzuki just sticks out his tongue. Suzuki comes back with more palm strikes, and Liger staggers! But Liger powers up again! Only to wobble over and give a faint chop. Suzuki wants the fans to make noise, and they certainly make noise for Liger to stand. Liger stands and CHOPS, but Suzuki still just takes it. Liger powers up, slaps away, but Suzuki isn’t satisfied. Liger wobbles again, grits his teeth, and slaps. Suzuki comes back to ROCK Liger with a right. The ref checks on Liger on the mat, but Suzuki brings him up. Liger chops again, but Still Suzuki stays up.

Liger keeps trying, and Suzuki keeps daring Liger to try. Liger does try, but Suzuki rocks him again! And then brings Liger in, Gotch… Wait for it… PILEDRIVER! Suzuki wins!!

Winner: Minoru Suzuki, by pinfall

And there it is! One more match between these two, and the Meanest Man in the World gets one last win over Liger. And yet Suzuki doesn’t seem satisfied. He grabs a chair and uses it on the Young Lions by Liger’s side! Suzuki raises that chair high over Liger, only to toss it aside?! Fans are surprised to see Suzuki kneel and bow to Liger!! The ultimate symbol of respect, and fans show their respect to Suzuki for that.


IWGP Heavyweight Championship Right to Challenge Contract Match: Kota Ibushi VS EVIL!

The G1 Climax 29 winner still had scores to settle, and he naturally put up his prize as part of it. The Golden Star got his loss back from KENTA, but now he must try again against the King of Darkness. Evil wants to be the one going to Wrestle Kingdom 14’s main event, even if it could be against Los Ingobernables de Japon amigo, Sanada. Will the WK14 card change in part tonight? Or will Ibushi solidify his road to the spotlight?

The introductions are made, the contract is presented and put in the new custom case fitting Ibushi’s specifications, and this match will begin after the break.

NJPW on AXS returns with the bell, and the fans duel as the two men stare down. Ibushi and Evil slowly start circling, but Ibushi is wary. They approach and Evil kicks low to then wrap on a headlock. Ibushi works against the hold but Evil just cranks harder. Ibushi keeps trying but Evil wrangles him back in. Evil grinds, and holds on even as Ibushi tries to push free. Ibushi tries again but Evil still holds on tight! Ibushi fights back now with elbows, and then powers Evil, only for Evil to run him over! But Ibushi kips up right away! Ibushi goes to headlock, but Evil slips out to get his headlock back on! Evil throws Ibushi with the takedown, but Ibushi keeps out of a cover. Evil grinds but Ibushi works his way up. Ibushi throws body shots and elbows, and powers out again. Things speed up and Ibushi dropkicks Evil down!

Fans rally up as Ibushi catches his breath. Ibushi stands and aims a swift kick into Evil’s chest! And another! Evil falls over but rises back up, and Ibushi gives him another kick! Evil falls over again and Ibushi wants to give more. Evil sits up, blocks that kick, gives it to Red Shoes and mule kicks Ibushi back! Then clotheslines him out of the ring! Evil takes a moment to catch his breath after going out to fetch Ibushi. Evil wrenches then whips Ibushi into barriers! Evil drags Ibushi up and whips him back the other way but Ibushi reverses, only for Evil to reverse and send Ibushi into railing even harder! Ibushi writhes but Evil won’t let him rest. Evil drags him up by the ears and puts him in the ring. Fans duel as Evil looms over Ibushi. Evil stands Ibushi up, turns him around and drops him with a neckbreaker! Cover, ONE, but Evil is not upset.

Evil grabs the arms for the half surfboard, digging his knee in Ibushi’s back. Ibushi endures and fights his way to his feet. Ibushi works to turn things around, literally, but Evil cranks harder! Ibushi keeps trying, going the other way now. Evil manages to hold Ibushi back! Ibushi won’t quit, he keeps turning, and he gets Evil around! Only for Evil to keep it going all the way back around! Ibushi falls to his knees and fans rally up again. Ibushi grits his teeth and stands up, to dropkick back! But Evil dodges! Evil leaps for a senton, but Ibushi dodges him now! Both men are down, catching their breath. Evil stands first, shaking his head. Ibushi throws forearms but Evil kicks low. Evil whips, Ibushi dodges, and Ibushi hits a flying kick! Both men are down again, but Ibushi rises first.

Ibushi stands Evil up, ducks a punch to fire off a strike fest! But he runs into Evil’s boot! Evil runs out, into Ibushi’s spinning powerslam! Ibushi moonsaults immediately, hits and covers, TWO! Fans rally and duel again while both men are down. Ibushi is up first, and he fires himself up. He waistlocks Evil but Evil resists the lift. They standing switch and Evil shoves, but Ibushi dodges in the corner. Ibushi runs in, but is put on the apron. Ibushi counter punches, then springboards, but Evil gets under. Evil runs in, blocks boots and spins Ibushi around to club him on the back! Ibushi is stuck in the ropes, Evil jumps up to STOMP Ibushi down! Fans rally up again as Evil takes in the energy. Evil drums the mat and the fans follow along. Evil runs at Ibushi corner to corner, but into DOUBLE STOMPS! Both men are down again, but Ibushi stands first.

Evil is on the apron, and Ibushi climbs the ropes. Ibushi brings Evil up in and into the waistlock, but Evil fights out! Evil hotshots Ibushi down! But they’re both down and catching their breath as we go to break!

NJPW on AXS returns again as Evil starts looking for things under the ring. He of course finds several chairs, and then brings Ibushi out to join him. Evil knees low but Ibushi fires haymakers. Evil CHOPS and Ibushi sits down! Evil has the chairs but Red Shoes reprimands him. Evil puts one chair around Ibushi’s head, shoves Red Shoes aside, and has the other chair! Evil SWINGS the chair against the other! That’s a home run for Evil! Red Shoes reprimands Evil again, but Evil has no shame. Evil drags Ibushi up and into the ring, and prepares his arm. Fans rally up as Ibushi rises in the corner. Evil winds up, runs in corner to corner, for a BIG corner clothesline! Evil roars and fans fire up as Evil has Ibushi up. He hoists Ibushi to the top rope, climbs up to join him, and hits the SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi still lives and fans cheer!

The dueling continues as Evil stands over Ibushi. Evil drags Ibushi up, reels him in, but Ibushi resists the fireman’s carry! Ibushi elbows Evil in the head, but Evil CHOPS back! Evil whips, Ibushi reverses, but Evil denies the dropkick by holding ropes. Evil has his arm at the ready again, runs, but Ibushi dodges. Evil follows, but Ibushi knows about the misdirection and hits a huricanrana! Ibushi grits his teeth as fans rally again. He looms over Evil now as they end up in the corner. Ibushi hoists Evil up top now, and throws forearms before climbing up. They’re on the very top, but Evil resists! Ibushi throws big forearms on Evil, but Evil headbutts back! Ibushi sits down and Evil shoves him to the apron. Evil sits up but Ibushi springboards up for a SUPER STEINER! Cover, TWO!! Fans duel again as both men are down.

Ibushi is up first and drags Evil up. Ibushi has both hands but Evil resists! But Ibushi still forces him to sit up, but Evil gets the fireman’s carry! Ibushi slips out, scoops Evil, but Evil slips out to German Suplex! Ibushi lands on his feet! And runs in to LARIAT! But Evil stays up!? Evil hits a rolling elbow and a LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Both men are down but fans are fired up even more! Evil sits up, frustrated but still focused. He goes back to Evil, has him up in the fireman’s carry, DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi still lives and angers Evil. Evil slashes the throat, vowing to end this! He drags Ibushi up, reels him in, spins him around, but Ibushi wheelbarrows to a victory roll! TWO, and Ibushi scoops Evil! Ibushi hooks the arms, PACKAGE TOMBSTONE! But he’s too tired to cover! Evil only survives because Ibushi can’t finish!

Ibushi drags Evil up and has a powerbomb lift, LAST RIDE! Cover, TWO!? Evil survives that one on his own merits! But Ibushi goes to a corner and calls upon the King of Strong Style with his “YAO~!” He runs at Evil, into a LARIAT! Both men are down again but the fans are still fired up! Evil gets up, runs, and LARIATS again! Cover, TWO?! Evil is seething but he is not through with Ibushi yet! He drags Ibushi up, reels him in, spins him around, but Ibushi dodges the STO to get a full nelson! Evil breaks free, but Ibushi just makes it a straitjacket German! Bridging cover but it wobbles off before a count can be made! Ibushi keeps the wrists, but Evil dodges Kamigoye to hit a HALF ‘N’ HALF! Ibushi flops around but Evil drags him right up into another Half ‘n’ Half! Fans are thunderous as both men are down! Evil fires himself up, he can feel how close he is! He throws off the elbow pad, runs in, but Ibushi LARIATS!

Ibushi roars while Evil is dazed! Ibushi sits Evil up with the wristlocks, but Evil dodges! EVERYTHING- No, Ibushi slips out, but Evil headbutts! Ibushi headbutts, but his roundhouse is blocked! Evil spins, into Ibushi’s V-TRIGGER! KAMIGOYE!! Cover, TWO!?! Evil shocks Ibushi but he won’t stop. KAMIGOYE AGAIN! Cover, now Ibushi wins!!

Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; retains the Right to Challenge contract

The Golden Star shines in the darkness and keeps his golden ticket! That also means he gets to keep his new briefcase. Will Ibushi still make it to the main event? And who will he meet there, Rainmaker or Cold Skull?


NJPW Media Backstage Interviews

Ibushi sits with his briefcase, and says “This is what I came here for today.” He was fighting to protect the briefcase. He is fulfilling not just his dream, but everyone’s dream. At this point, who could he lose? This was no surprise, but he does admit it was very close. “I still haven’t shown the best of Kota Ibushi. So you all still have a lot to look forward to.” Ibushi himself wonders who he will meet in the WK14 main event. But he can’t afford to worry about that. Ibushi will gladly face Evil again, “that was fun.” Will Ibushi and Evil meet again, but as champion and challenger?



My Thoughts:

A great and fast-moving episode for NJPW on AXS here. Suzuki VS Liger was pretty good, and seemed over so fast. It was quite an interesting finale to the history between these two. And on top of the win, it was such a great moment for Suzuki to bow and show respect to Liger one last time. Then the main event of the hour, Ibushi VS Evil was pretty great. There was a lot of story, especially at the start, and commentary made sure to plug that Evil had been on a streak against Ibushi in the tag team matches leading up to this. Ibushi was therefore worried to start, but then things got going and it was another great chapter for a growing rivalry. But in the end, it made a lot of sense for Ibushi to win. With the chance that Sanada wins the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, NJPW wasn’t going to set up an LIJ VS LIJ match, certainly not at this point. Ibushi winning keeps us in suspense for Okada VS Sanada, but either possibility of Ibushi VS Okada or Ibushi VS Sanada will be amazing.

My Score: 8.7/10

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Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 31 Results & Report! (9/26/21)

Round three, A Block!



NJPW G1 Climax 31

The G1 Climax rolls on!

The G1 Climax rolls on deeper into the Fall! Zack Sabre Jr. has defeated two top names in NJPW in a row, will he make it a third?

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.


  • Great-O-Kahn VS Yujiro Takahashi w/ Pieter; Khan wins.
  • Toru Yano VS Tanga Loa w/ Jado; Yano wins.
  • Tomohiro Ishii VS KENTA: Kenta wins.
  • Kota Ibushi VS Zack Sabre Jr; ZSJ wins.


Here are the current A Block standings! (Adjusted for Naito’s absence)

Great-O-Khan: 3-0, 6 points
Zack Sabre Jr: 2-0, 4 points
Shingo Takagi: 2-1, 4 points [has special singles bye]
Kenta: 2-1, 4 points
Yujiro Takahashi: 2-1, 4 points
Toru Yano: 2-1, 4 points
Kota Ibushi: 2-1, 4 points
Tanga Loa: 1-1, 2 points
Tomohiro Ishii: 1-2, 2 points


BONUS CONTENT: Takagi speaks after his win over Yuji Nagata.

“I’m HERE! I’ve returned to Kobe. Unfortunately, the scheduled main event, Takagi VS Naito, couldn’t happen as planned. But I’ll do my part to make sure that we get to see Shingo Takagi VS Tetsuya Naito very soon!” In order to do that, Takagi promises to win the G1! And that’s all he has to say about that. So now, the Dragon’s mission to make history has even more fuel for the fire! Will Takagi take the block, take the G1 trophy and name Naito as his Wrestle Kingdom challenger?


Great-O-Kahn VS Yujiro Takahashi w/ Pieter!

The Dominator technically leads the block given the allotted Naito points, but he still has to earn the other victories! Will the Tokyo Pimp get back up in the G1 with another shocking win?

The bell rings and Khan stares Yujiro down. Then he drops to dare Yujiro to take on his leg guard. Pieter thinks this is a trick but Yujiro walks up to try it. Yujiro gives kicks but Khan keeps his guard up. Yujiro kicks again but gets caught to a KNEEBAR! Yujiro scrambles to the ropebreak and Khan lets go. Khan waits on Yujiro and they reset. They feel out the grapple, Khan gets a leg then a waistlock then drags Yujiro down. Khan shifts to an arm but Yujiro wrenches. The two separate, tie up again, and Khan waistlocks for another takedown. Khan rolls but Yujiro prevents the cover. Yujiro gets a facelock but Khan counters with a takedown. Cover, ONE, and fans cheer the exchange.

Khan and Yujiro reset again, feel out a new grapple, and Khan has a facelock. Khan throws Yujiro over to a lateral press, ONE, but Khan keeps on with the facelock. Yujiro fights up, and BITES Khan’s hand! The ref counts, Khan grabs Yujiro’s ear with the claw! Khan CLUBS Yujiro’s ear, then kicks. Yujiro blocks to throw Khan down and he basement boots Khan away! Yujiro kicks Khan out of the ring then goes out to bring him up for a low knee. Yujiro CLUBS Khan, has Pieter bring him his cane, and then Pieter distracts the ref while Yujiro brings Khan up the ramp. Yujiro gets space to CANE SHOT Khan back down the ramp! Khan tumbles all the way to ringside!

Yujiro struts his way back and tosses the cane aside. Yujiro goes into the ring to let the ring count take care of Khan. Khan clutches his back as the count climbs all the way to 10 of 20. Khan manages to stand at 14 but with help of railing. Khan crawls and gets in at 19.5! Fans cheer but Yujiro drags Khan up by his beard. Yujiro snapmares Khan and then throws haymakers. Pieter’s almost dancing as Yujiro runs and basement boots Khan back down! Cover, TWO! Yujiro smirks while Khan tries to get feeling in his lower back. Yujiro drops a leg, drops an elbow and drops a headbutt. Cover, TWO! Yujiro grows annoyed but he gives toying kicks and head slaps.

Khan throws body shots and forearms but Yujiro SLAPS him! Yujiro scoops and SLAMS Khan, then runs to drop a leg, brother! Cover, TWO! Yujiro is again annoyed but he stomps Khan down. Fans rally up for Khan but Yujiro stomps him at the ropes. Yujiro brings Khan up but Khan CHOPS him! And CHOPS! And then throws forearms! Yujiro knees low, whips Khan to a corner and runs in to BOOT him! Yujiro runs but Khan kicks. Yujiro blocks, throws Khan down again but Khan avoids the basement boot! Khan returns the favor with the kick block and throw! Dead lift gut wrench suplex! Both men are down and fans rally up!

Khan and Yujiro slowly rise, and Khan reels Yujiro in. Yujiro throws forearms in return, but Khan RAMS Yujiro into a corner! Khan fires himself up and whips Yujiro corner to corner to then clothesline from behind! Khan hoists Yujiro up top, puts some stank on his hands and MONGOLIAN CHOPS Yujiro in the back! Yujiro falls into the Tree of Woe and then Khan makes sure Pieter is watching as he toys with Tokyo Pimp. Khan goes to the far corner, hits a three point stance and runs in to SLIDING BOOT Yujiro out of the Tree! Cover, TWO! Khan keeps his cool, and he starts taunting Yujiro back with toying kicks.

Khan asks Pieter what’s up with Yujiro but Yujiro springs up to CHOP! Khan CHOPS back! Khan eggs Yujiro on, Yujiro CHOPS back! They CHOP and CHOP, then Yujiro mule kicks! MONGOLIAN CHOPS and an URENAGE from Khan! Cover, TWO! KATAGATAMI! The head ‘n’ arm triangle squeeze the air out of Yujiro as Khan pushes up! Yujiro reaches out and gets a ROPEBREAK with a foot! Khan holds until the ref counts 4, and fans rally up as Khan slashes his throat! Khan drags Yujiro up, dragon sleepers and suplexes but Yujiro slips out! FISHERMAN BUSTER! Fans fire up as both men are down on the mat! Yujiro stirs as fans build to another rally and Khan slowly rises.

Yujiro runs at Khan to BOOT, then he runs to dodge a boot! Yujiro reels Khan in, INCOLLE SLAM! Cover, TWO! Khan is still in this but Yujiro still has tricks to try. Khan flounders to ropes, Yujiro storms over and brings him up. Yujiro has Khan lean on the ropes for his BOOT! Yujiro then reels Khan in for a fireman’s carry, MIAMI SHINE! Cover, TWO!! Khan still lives and Yujiro grows frustrated! Yujiro drags Khan up, reels him in, but no Pimp Juice! IRON CLAW SLEEPER!! Khan then spins Yujiro around but Yujiro slips out of the Eliminator to LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Khan again survives, but Yujiro roars! Fans fire up with Yujiro as he goes back to Khan!

Yujiro drags Khan up, reels him in, IMP- NO! No Impaler as Khan whips, but DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Neither man falls so Yujiro roars again! But he runs into the KITSUJIGOROSHI!! And ELIMINATOR SLAM!! Cover, Khan wins!!

Winner: Great-O-Khan, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Yujiro earns 0)

The Dominator IS dominating the block! With the Naito forfeit giving him bonus points, he’s already at 8! Will Khan continue to run away with the lead? As for Yujiro, will he be able to get another win as good as his first?


Toru Yano VS Tanga Loa w/ Jado!

The Clown Prince was dominated by Great-O-Khan while the Silverback got a Blue Justice bye. Who gets back into the swing of things with round three?

Yano’s long introduction finishes and Loa Low Sweets with Jado. But Yano again gets impatient as the ref checks him for things. What is that bag that is suspiciously labeled as if it weren’t suspicious? It’s Yano’s stash of extra wrist tape AND handcuffs! Yano claims those are harmless but the ref gathers them all up and confiscates them. The bell rings and Loa still wants to make sure Yano has nothing else. Yano says it’s fine, they’ll wrestle. They tie up, Loa powers Yano to ropes and Yano calls for the ropebreak. Loa frisks Yano for himself, then lets off as he’s satisfied there are no tricks up Yano’s tights. Loa then dares Yano to bring the fight. Yano throws a forearm, Loa gives one back!

Fans like the serious look on Yano’s face as he and Loa keep throwing forearms back and forth! They pick up speed, Yano gets the edge but Loa DECKS him! Loa gets Yano up to DECK him again but he’s not satisfied. Loa ROCKS Yano again, “This is the G1!” He wants to see that fight! Yano rakes Loa’s eyes! Yano runs but Loa runs him over! Yano bails out but Loa goes out after him. Loa CLUBS Yano on the back, follows him around the way then CLUBS him again. Loa whips Yano but Yano reverses to send Loa into railing! Yano paces, the ring count starts, Yano goes after Loa’s shirt! Loa stops Yano from making this a hockey scrum, only to do the same to Yano!

Yano can’t see and Loa leaves him floundering around as the count climbs! We’re past 15, Loa shoves a Young Lion into Yano for good measure! Loa gets in at 17, Yano keeps floundering, but he gets his shirt down at 19 to get in at 19.9! Loa applauds then stomps Yano at the ropes. Loa drags Yano up, RAMS him into a corner, and then RAMS into him more and more. The ref counts, Loa lets off and fans rally up. Loa takes a few bows then drags Yano back up. Snapmare and run for a basement boot! Cover, TWO! Loa argues the count but the ref says it is fair. Loa pulls on an arm but Yano is dead weight. So Loa CHOKES Yano! The ref counts, Loa stops at 4, and “apologizes.”

Loa drags Yano up, whips him corner to corner and clotheslines! Then whip and redirect into the corner for another clothesline! Loa then reels Yano in for an EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer as Yano stays in this but Loa is annoyed. Loa CHOKES Yano again! the ref counts, Loa lets off and he sits Yano up for a chinlock. Yano endures as Loa leans on the hold. Yano throws elbows and gets free! But Loa headbutts Yano back! Loa whips, Yano holds ropes and taunts Loa, to then dodge and SLAP him! Loa runs at Yano but Yano dodges to clinch and BELLY2BELLY! Fans fire up and rally behind Yano as he gets up. Yano goes to a corner to untie the buckle pad!

Yano has the liberated pad but the ref grabs at him. Yano shoves the ref away to PAD SMACK Loa! Loa just grimaces so Yano SMACKS him again! Loa flexes, Yano SMACKS again but Loa roars. Yano freaks out, Loa kicks and whips, but Yano stops himself from running into bare buckles. Loa runs in, Yano sends him into the bare buckles! Fireman’s Carry Takeover! Fans fire up with Yano and he drags Loa up. Yano reels Loa in but Loa blocks the suplex. Loa wrenches, kicks and knees to ENZIGURI! Yano wobbles, Loa reels him in for a BLUE THUNDER BOMB! Cover, TWO! Yano survives but Loa is right on him with a CROSSFACE!

Yano endures the #OGKiller even as Loa cranks way back! Yano moves around, reaches out, but Loa thrashes him around! Yano keeps moving and gets the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Loa lets off but he asks Yano, “Why!? I want the two points!” Loa drags Yano up, reels him in, but Yano turns it into a gator roll! TWO, and Yano hurries up! Loa runs at him to SPEAR! Cover, TWO!! Loa hurries to get Yano up, scoops him but Yano fights free! Yano hits an atomic drop then a trip to a CATAPULT into the bare buckles! Loa staggers, Yano goes to low blow but the ref stops him! The ref won’t let Yano cheat right in front of him!

But then Loa shoves Yano into the ref! And LARIATS Yano down! Jado gets in because the ref is down! He drags Yano up, holds him for Loa, and Loa has the kendo stick! Yano fights free, dodges the stick and shoves Jado into the buckles! KENDO SMACK on Loa, then Yano plays dead like Jado hit him! Loa acts like he had no idea what Jado was doing, but the ref is distracted and Yano LOW BLOWS Loa! Schoolboy, Yano wins!!

Winner: Toru Yano, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Loa earns 0)

#YTRFTW! He keeps his chances alive while Loa flounders near the bottom! If not for those Naito points, Loa wouldn’t have anything! Can the Silverback rebound and finally earn his first two G1 points?


Tomohiro Ishii VS KENTA!

The Stone Pitbull is the one NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Champion with points, but only because Naito is out. As for Fang Revived, he defeated a fellow Bullet Club member without ruining the team dynamics. Will Ishii scratch the itch and earn himself a win? Or will Kenta take a bite out of him and keep his own chances alive?

Kenta taunts Ishii, waving his shirt like a bullfighter. The bell rings and Ishii stares Kenta down. Kenta mocks Ishii’s hunched posture and then bails out of the ring. Ishii stays patient as Kenta paces on the outside. Kenta takes his time returning, then again mocks the raging bull before he bails out again, “Ole~!” Kenta paces around again, slowly returns, then bails out as Ishii storms over. “Ole~” but then Ishii drags Kenta in from the apron! Ishii throws haymakers then whips, but Kenta holds ropes. Ishii runs in to clothesline, then keeps going to run Kenta over! Kenta bails out but Ishii is right out after him! Ishii drags Kenta up and whips him into railing!

Kenta flounders around and Ishii stalks him. Ishii drags Kenta up as fans rally, and Ishii whips Kenta into more railing! Kenta staggers closer to the timekeeper’s area and he grabs the ring bell! Ishii storms over to get a RING BELL SHOT! Kenta then POSTS Ishii, bad arm first! The ref reprimands and checks on Ishii, but what about the bell? Kenta drags Ishii up, wrenches the arm to an ELBOW BREAKER, then hammerlocks to RAM Ishii into railing! The ref wants this to get back in the ring but now he has to check on Ishii again. Kenta stomps Ishii, the ref tells him to back off, and Kenta smooths his hair. Kenta drags Ishii up and into the ring and fans cheer that this continues.

Kenta stomps Ishii around, but Ishii gets up as he snarls. Kenta KICKS the bad arm and Ishii falls over. Ishii kicks from below but Kenta stomps him down. Fans rally for “I-SHI-I!” but Kenta wrenches to an ELBOW BREAKER! Ishii clutches his arm but Kenta grabs it for an armlock. Kenta pulls it into a Fujiwara but Ishii endures, even as Kenta talks trash. Kenta keeps on the arm but Ishii crawls his way over to get a ropebreak. The ref counts, Kenta lets go with one hand but still uses leverage to crank the arm. The ref counts again, Kenta lets off to stomp Ishii. Kenta kicks the bad arm again but Ishii keeps getting up. Ishii even eggs him on!

Kenta KICKS more but Ishii fires forearms! Kenta gets the arm again, ELBOW BREAKER! Kenta rains down forearms but the ref has him back off. The ref checks on Ishii but Kenta copies Yano by undoing a buckle pad. Kenta drags Ishii up, whips him over but Ishii reverses! Kenta hits bare buckles and falls in a heap! Fans rally again as Ishii stands. Ishii gives toying kicks to Kenta and Kenta end up in a corner. Ishii CHOPS and CHOPS, fighting through the pain in his bad arm to hit Kenta again and again. Ishii then CHOPS and forearms again and again and again! Kenta falls down, Ishii only stops because his arm finally hurts too much.

Ishii goes back to Kenta, drags him up and whips him corner to corner. Kenta reverses but Ishii bounces off the corner to CLOBBER Kenta! Ishii drags Kenta up and reels him in but Kenta fights the lift. Kenta standing switches but Ishii elbows him away. Kenta BOOTS from the corner, climbs up and TORNADO HOTSHOTS Ishii! Kenta climbs, for the FLYING CLOTHESLINE! Cover, TWO! Kenta snarls but he kicks at Ishii. Ishii gets mad, swings on Kenta but Kenta catches the arm for a takedown! Kenta wants the Fujiwara again but Ishii gets a ropebreak! The ref counts, Kenta lets go, and Ishii gets to the apron.

Fans rally up but Kenta stomps Ishii down. Kenta then drags Ishii up through the ropes but Ishii throws body shots. Ishii suplexes but Kenta fights it! Kenta throws body shots then HOTSHOTS the arm! Kenta has Ishii through ropes, DRAPING DDT! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Kenta is annoyed but he slithers away to the far corner. Ishii gets up, Kenta runs in to BOOT Ishii down! Then he goes corner to corner again, HESITATION DROPKICK! Fans fire up as Kenta climbs up top! Ishii avoids the double stomps, then avoids the boot to waistlock and CORNER GERMAN! Fans cheer as both men are down again. They rally up for “I-SHI-I!” as he and Kenta stir.

Ishii fires himself up as he stands, and he runs back in at Kenta to clothesline! Kenta growls and throws a forearm! Ishii growls and they brawl with forearm after forearm! They each egg the other on as they go, no guard and no slowing down! Ishii ROCKS Kenta, and again, but Kenta LARIATS! Ishii doesn’t flinch! Ishii gives boxing elbows, Kenta BACK HANDS, but Ishii HEADBUTTS! Kenta DISCUS LARIATS! Both men are down again and fans rally up! Kenta drags himself over to ropes and then to the apron. Kenta climbs up the corner, leaps, DIVING DOUBLE STOMPS!! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives Kenta’s coup de grace but Kenta drags Ishii back up.

Ishii gives low headbutts but Kenta KNEES him right back down. Kenta runs the ropes to KNEE Ishii against them! Kenta runs again but into a BIG shoulder tackle! Fans fire up as Ishii growls and roars! Ishii shakes out the bad arm, brings Kenta back up and reels him in. Ishii lifts, but Kenta fights out to KICK the bad arm! Kenta drags Ishii down into the omoplata and the crossface, GAME OVER! Ishii endures and fans rally up as Kenta pulls back harder! Ishii moves around, trying to find ropes while Kenta’s hands are in his eyes and blinding him! Kenta pulls back even harder and Ishii flails! Ishii kicks around and gets a ropebreak with a foot!

Fans cheer but Kenta shoves the ref away as he drives elbow after elbow into Ishii! Kenta sits Ishii up and runs to PENALTY KICK! But Ishii blocks it! Ishii gets up, Kenta fires off hands, but Ishii spins Kenta around for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Both men are down again but fans still rally. Ishii gets up, slaps feeling into his bad arm, and then drags Kenta back up. Kenta throws forearm after forearm but Ishii DECKS him with one! It was the bad arm, though, so Ishii is again clutching it in pain. Ishii drags Kenta back up, puts him on the top rope and climbs up to join him. Ishii gets Kenta up for the STALLING SUPERPELX! Ishii crawls to the cover, TWO!!

Fans fire up and build to another rally as Kenta survives. Ishii goes to a corner and watches Kenta rise. Ishii runs corner to corner but Kenta gets around for a sleeper! Ishii back suplexes but Kenta slips free! Kenta runs but Ishii LARIATS him down! Ishii roars and shakes the bad arm out before he runs again. BUSAIKU KNEE!! Kenta fires up and aims from a corner, runs in and BUSAIKU KNEE!! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives two running knees but Kenta doesn’t get frustrated just yet. Fans rally for “I-SHI-I!” but Kenta drags Ishii back up. Fireman’s carry but Ishii throws elbows to hold it off. Kenta cross counters and fires off slapping palm strikes! Ishii falls and Kenta takes down his knee pad!

Kenta fireman’s carries, GO TO- NO! Ishii lands on his feet to HEADBUTT! Both men fall over and fans are thunderous! Ishii crawls his way over to Kenta to sit him up. Ishii builds speed for the SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Kenta lives and Ishii roars in frustration! Ishii powers up, drags Kenta up but Kenta fireman’s carries! GO TO- NO! Ishii facelocks but Kenta slips out of the suplex to SUPERKICK! Ishii swats the roundhouse to ENZIGURI! Kenta falls and Ishii fires up with the fans! Ishii runs to LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Kenta survives and fans are thunderous again as Ishii gets him back up! Suplex to-

No, Kenta knees free then bumps Ishii off bare buckles! Roll up, Kenta wins!!

Winner: Kenta, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Ishii earns 0)

Did Fang Revive just pick up something from a Yano-esque tactic? Kenta also rubs in that he just seems to have Ishii’s number. Will Kenta keep things going until he’s number one with a bullet? As for Ishii, are his G1 chances already up in smoke?


Kota Ibushi VS Zack Sabre Jr!

The Golden Star is shining bright again after his win in round two, but he’s going against the Submission Master! ZSJ made Tetsuya Naito and Shingo Takagi #JustTapOut, will he make it a hat trick to start his G1 run?

The bell rings and the two circle. They feel out the grapple, Ibushi shoots in to waistlock but ZSJ switches to then go for arms. Ibushi moves around, ZSJ stays on top of him with a facelock but they end up in ropes. ZSJ lets off cleanly and fans cheer the sportsmanship. Ibushi and ZSJ circle again, feel out this exchange, and Ibushi drops down. ZSJ is ready again and goes for arms. Ibushi flips over, ZSJ gets a lateral press but no cover as Ibushi keeps moving around. ZSJ goes for an arm, Ibushi headscissors and pushes up for leverage. ZSJ bridges back, moves around and pops free to then pat Ibushi and back off. Ibushi keeps cool as he and ZSJ reset again.

They approach, feel out a new grapple and Ibushi puts ZSJ on ropes. Red Shoes calls for the break, ZSJ unhooks and Ibushi backs off with a pat of his own. But then ZSJ pie faces Ibushi, and ducks the roundhouse! ZSJ bails out and wants Ibushi to calm down. Ibushi waits and ZSJ slides back in to circle with him again. They knuckle lock, ZSJ steps over to trap the arm and then has a cravat. He shifts to a headlock, grinds Ibushi down, but Ibushi fights up to power out. Things speed up, ZSJ turns hip toss into a spin but Ibushi fights the backslide! Ibushi avoids the arm Pele and ZSJ avoids kick after kick! The fans cheer as even Red Shoes has to get out of the way when ZSJ goes to ropes for safety.

Fans rally for “I-BU-SHI!” as he waits on ZSJ. They reset and feel out another grapple. Ibushi then KICKS ZSJ in the leg, and ZSJ walks it off. ZSJ comes back, he and Ibushi again feel things out, but again Ibushi KICKS his leg. ZSJ shrugs it off as he and Ibushi go again. ZSJ gives a kick but Ibushi KICKS his leg out! Ibushi eggs ZSJ on but ZSJ circles around, guarding that left leg. ZSJ knuckle locks, rolls, wrangles Ibushi down but Ibushi kips up to KICK the leg! ZSJ eggs Ibushi on so Ibushi gives more kicks. ZSJ pays for egging Ibushi on but he gives back forearms. Ibushi KICKS the leg! ZSJ crumples but Ibushi runs in to BOOT him out of the ring!

Ibushi waits for ZSJ to stand and slingshots but ZSJ slides in. Ibushi forearms, but slingshots into a DRAPING GUILLOTINE! ZSJ then makes it a HANGING ARMBAR, but lets off as Red Shoes counts! ZSJ then wrenches and PELES the arm! Ibushi falls over as he clutches his arm, but ZSJ goes out after him, ZSJ twists the wrist and bends the fingers before he traps the arm and STOMPS it! Ibushi clutches his wrist while ZSJ goes into the ring. The ring count begins and Ibushi gets up at 5 of 20. ZSJ is after Ibushi as soon as he’ sin, but they’re in the ropes so Red Shoes calls for the break. ZSJ still tortures Ibushi’s arm to STOMP it again!

Fans rally up as ZSJ paces around. ZSJ kicks Ibushi’s bad arm but Ibushi dares him to keep going. ZSJ traps the arm for a TWIST! Now Ibushi’s the one for egging ZSJ on. Fans rally up as ZSJ says Ibushi’s arm is suffering for ZSJ’s leg. ZSJ gives little hip bumps and swift kicks, so Ibushi ROCKS him with a right! And again! And again! ZSJ gets the arm for an ELBOW BREAKER and a DOUBLE WRISTLOCK! ZSJ drags Ibushi down into body scissors as he keeps on the Kimura but Ibushi gets a ropebreak. ZSJ lets go to drag Ibushi back towards center. ZSJ wrenches the arm, twists elbow, wrist and fingers as he pushes towards the top wristlock! And he STOMPS it!

Fans cheer the technical savagery as ZSJ drags Ibushi up again. ZSJ wrenches but Ibushi ROCKS him with a right! ZSJ holds on to wrench again, so Ibushi forearms again! Ibushi fires off more forearms then whips but ZSJ reverses to wrench and ARM SNAP! ZSJ runs but into Ibushi’s FLYING KICK! Ibushi rallies the fans and he gets up. Ibushi dares ZSJ to stand, and then he fires off a strike fest! KICK to STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps the fans going as he drags ZSJ up in a half nelson. ZSJ uses a leg to break free then he KICKS Ibushi’s bad arm! ZSJ whips, Ibushi goes up and over and rolls to RANA!

ZSJ bails out, Ibushi fires fans up and he PLANCHAS! Both men are down on the outside but fans fire up! Ibushi gets ZSJ into the ring and then aims from the apron. ZSJ stands, Ibushi springboards and missile dropkicks ZSJ down! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his focus as he gets back up. Ibushi stands ZSJ up and reels him in but ZSJ blocks the bomb lift. ZSJ wrenches the bad arm to WRING it out into the mat! “There we go! Now we’ve got Ibushi going!” ZSJ drags Ibushi up as fans rally. ZSJ half nelsons then full nelsons but Ibushi powers out with an arm-drag. ZSJ EuroUppers, runs but fakes out the dropkick to then roll Ibushi to a headscissors ARMBAR! But Ibushi gets a ROPEBREAK!

ZSJ lets go but gives Ibushi toying kicks. Ibushi eggs ZSJ on so ZSJ gives him more. ZSJ stands up and dares Ibushi to follow. Ibushi sits up but ZSJ gives more swift kicks. Ibushi KICKS ZSJ off his feet! Ibushi eggs ZSJ on now and ZSJ gets up. ZSJ KICKS but Ibushi doesn’t seem bothered. Ibushi KICKS ZSJ and he staggers away to the corner! ZSJ comes back to KICK, but Ibushi shakes his head. Ibushi KICKS, ZSJ staggers but stays up this time. ZSJ KICKS, Ibushi KICKS! ZSJ still gets up and they go forehead to forehead. ZSJ fires EuroUppers but into a backslide! ZSJ slips through but into a short arm LARIAT!

Fans are thunderous as ZSJ gets to ropes. Ibushi runs but ZSJ hits a FLYING KICK! Almost like Ibushi’s earlier! ZSJ gets Ibushi up, SIT OUT BOMB! Also like Ibushi! Cover, TWO, but into a leg hook nelson and armlock! Ibushi endures partial Clarky Cat and moves around to get a ROPEBREAK! ZSJ lets go quickly and is too tired to be frustrated. ZSJ isolates Ibushi’s arm and STOMPS it again! Fans rally up hard as ever as ZSJ drags Ibushi up. ZSJ reels Ibushi in, scoops but Ibushi slips out to HALF ‘N’ HALF SUPLEX! ZSJ flounders away and Ibushi gets up as fans rally again. Ibushi roars and runs into the corner but ZSJ BOOTS him! ZSJ runs but into a POWERSLAM!

Ibushi rolls to the corner but ZSJ SHOTGUNS his legs out before the moonsault! Ibushi falls in a heap but ZSJ is also down, catching his breath. Fans rally for “I-BU-SHI!” “Z S J!” as ZSJ watches Ibushi sit up. PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO, into an ANKLE LOCK! ZSJ stands up but Ibushi turns to stand. Ibushi fires forearms but ZSJ CRANKS the ankle! ZSJ leans on the hold but Ibushi still endures. Ibushi fights up again to DECK ZSJ with a straight shot! ZSJ sputters away and Ibushi crawls over that way. Ibushi powers up, runs, but ZSJ BOOTS the lariat away to wrench and PELE the other arm! BOOT but Ibushi V-TRIGGERS!! KENNY~!

ZSJ sits up slowly as Ibushi fires himself up. Ibushi calls upon the powers of Nakamura to BOMAYE! Cover, TWO! But Ibushi gets the wrists, only for ZSJ to pop him into an armbar! Ibushi clasps hands, ZSJ fights for control, they roll and Ibushi has a wrist for a BUZZSAW! Ibushi sits ZSJ up with double wrists, but ZSJ tilt-o-whirls around to an IRON OCTOPUS! ZSJ drags Ibushi down to the floor and gets the leg, a triangle modification of Napalm Death! Ibushi shifts around but he’s caught!! Ibushi VERBALLY quits, ZSJ wins!!!

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission (gains 2 points; Ibushi earns 0)

INCREDIBLE! The Submission Master sidelines Naito, slays the Dragon, and even makes the back-to-back G1 winner #JustTapOut!! And since he earned his points off Naito, you could even say he’s the REAL leader of A Block! And he makes sure Ibushi knows it, too! Is there any chance the Golden Star can still make it back to a fourth G1 finals in a row? Or is this just not his year?

As for ZSJ, he of course gets on the mic. “Oi. Everyone, good evening. Thank you so much for today. In this G1, I will do my very best!” ZSJ takes a bow before saying he’s OF COURSE joking with them. Bunch o’ idiots! He’s takin’ a piss, obviously. “Do your best? I don’t need to do my best, I’m beating these pricks on autopilot!” A Block is the one that needs to do their best! No one has an answer for the Soy Boy Tekker! “14 stone, Vegan technical wizard, smashing everyone in this bloody tournament. My word.” The G1 Climax is Zack’s! Take the bracket and throw it in the bin with Naito’s knees.

Oh and speaking of Naito, too bad for him. He was supposed to be in tonight’s main event. ZSJ looks right in the camera to talk to Naito cuz he knows he’s watching. Como estas, amigo? How you doing? Bien? Yeah? Well ZSJ’s MUY BIEN! Y’wanna know why? Cuz ZSJ will win the G1 while Naito’s ass is stuck on the couch! And while on the subject of dickheads, three down and six to go, “as you were.” ZSJ had perhaps the toughest opening schedule in the block, is it smooth sailing from here on out? Or will running into the Dominator next round change ZSJ’s tune?


Here are the current A Block standings!

Great-O-Khan: 4-0, 8 points
Zack Sabre Jr: 3-0, 6 points
Kenta: 3-1, 6 points
Toru Yano: 3-1, 6 points
Shingo Takagi: 2-1, 4 points [won special singles bye]
Yujiro Takahashi: 2-2, 4 points
Kota Ibushi: 2-2, 4 points
Tanga Loa: 1-2, 2 points
Tomohiro Ishii: 1-3, 2 points

My Thoughts:

Another great night for NJPW here. For one, Takagi adjusting his mission statement is pretty cool. Takagi VS Naito is definitely one we were all hoping to see but can’t with Naito’s knee injury. Looking ahead to Wrestle Kingdom in January is a positive sign since that gives a four month time table, but that’s all dependent on the plan being Takagi winning. Khan VS Yujiro was a good match but naturally Khan wins to keep his streak going. Yano VS Loa was a lot of fun and I like that Loa even brought up that he’s growing desperate for points. Yano stays strong so he perhaps could be a strong runner-up that makes things tricky for the block leaders.

Ishii VS Kenta was really good stuff, and I’m really surprised Kenta won with the dirty finish. Kenta is also in the same spot as Yano where his win-loss record could put pressure on one of the others in the final round. And the adjusted main event, Ibushi VS ZSJ, was awesome stuff, especially given the stories going into it. Ibushi’s record may say 2-2 but he’s been up and down in the G1, with tonight being a drop back down. This was the story I was expecting them to go with and it’s working out well, putting pressure on each match for him to get back up. ZSJ’s own story is that he is reminding everyone of his singles skills. ZSJ VS Khan in the next round is THE one to watch, that is going to say a lot about where A Block is going.

My Score: 9.1/10

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