This has all the makings of a solid card. However, nothing is overly intriguing, beyond the main event.
In the third day of B Block action, I suppose the major stories are: SANADA is on the verge of being irrelevant, Yano, Naito and Juice could remain undefeated, and if Juice does, The Ace would be 0-3 as well.
So who rises, who falls, and can Yano figure out a fun way to prove why he’s the Sublime King of Thieves?
- YOSHI-HASHI vs SANADA: HASHI wins via Karma @15:15 – *** ¼
- Zack Sabre Jr vs KENTA: KENTA wins via Go 2 Sleep @15:46 – *** ¾
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Juice Robinson: Tanahashi wins via Cradle @14:16 – *** ½
- Toru Yano vs EVIL: Yano wins via Locomotion Low Blows @4:33 – ** ¼
- Tetsuya Naito vs Hirooki Goto: Naito wins via Destino @21:58 – **** ¼
YOSHI-HASHI vs SANADA
SANADA is on the receiving end of a lot of early offense. A Running Frankensteiner followed by a Karate Chop sends SANADA to the outside. It isn’t until SANADA catches HASHI with a reversal, that he can pull off a guardrail assisted Neckbreaker for a small reprieve.
There’s a normal back and forth with each man trying to get the best of the other. Both focus strikes and Neckbreakers, since each man’s submission finish puts pressure on the neck. HASHI gets some space and a small comeback after a Headhunter, but a long Skull End attempt and a TKO look to have momentum for SANADA. As SANADA goes to lock the Skull End back in, HASHI rolls out and hits his Fisherman Buster.
HASHI goes for Karma, but SANADA turns it into a Dragon Sleeper with a Giant Swing. HASHI sneaks a Small Package, and then we see a strike trade. A Headbutt from HASHI stuns SANADA, Running Meteora and only a 2 count. HASHI hits Karma though right after, and grabs the victory.
While SANADA isn’t mathematically out yet, 0-3 is awful and he’s definitely within shouting distance of elimination. Sure Jay White made a great run last year after starting 0-3; but it’s very unlikely.
Zack Sabre Jr vs KENTA
KENTA plays the beginning smart by getting down into the Inoki style guard, to frustrate ZSJ, so by the time he can grab a Heel Hook, KENTA is already at the ropes. KENTA powders and when he comes back in ZSJ tries the similar guard, but it doesn’t work well against relentless kicking strikes. So KENTA takes an early advantage with striking to the head and chest. ZSJ does go hunting for a Knee Bar again, but KENTA gets out and keeps up the kicks.
KENTA tries to display some of his submission work with the Front Neck Lock, but that gives ZSJ the opening to get his style in. Every time ZSJ gets a few things going, KENTA drops him with a strike, shakes off his offense and then goes at the vegan bendy man. KENTA applies an STF to the mostly prone ZSJ, but as we’ve seen, whenever he tries to mat wrestle, Zack finds an opening.
Both struggle taking occasional moments of offense, KENTA tries to lock in Game Over, ZSJ counters and slaps on the Young Boy Killer. Fast paced back and forth with a few KENTA strikes, ZSJ tries to slow it down by grabbing a limb, but KENTA connects with a knee and then tells ZSJ to Go 2 Sleep.
Highlights from “#G1CLIMAX30 Night6” (Sep 29th)
Watch full matches on New Japan World!
Who walks away with two points as G1 action continues?
— njpwworld (@njpwworld) September 29, 2020
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Juice Robinson
The beginning of this match is a little back and forth with counter rolls, glancing blows and a stare down. But Juice starts to get things going with a Senton, Headlock and a few Backdrops. Simple offense that is quite effective, as we start to see a spark of the same Juice we saw in the New Japan Cup a year or two ago (covid time makes everything fuzzy), where he seems determined to surpass the Ace.
Tanahashi spends a lot of time trying to fight out of holds and swing back at Juice, but Juice keeps the offense going. He hits his punch combination, Tanahashi tries to Paint Brush back, but Juice dodges and spikes him with a DDT. For every Tanahashi counter attempt, Juice seems to have a bigger answer.
Tanahashi eats the Cannonball and slowly comes back with a flurry of Elbows and a Slingblade, but again, Juice slows down the Ace and rocks him with a Jackhammer. Pulp Friction attempt, countered by a Slingblade, another Slingblade invigorates Tanahashi and he heads up for High Fly Flow. Juice takes it as a crossbody and rolls back into a pin, but only two. Juice hits the Left Hand of God, sets up for Pulp Friction again, but Tanahashi drops and grabs the ankle. When Juice turns, Tanahashi Cradles and picks up the win.
Toru Yano vs EVIL
Well this I suppose is a battle of cheat philosophies. EVIL does it maliciously, Yano does it mostly playfully. Yano takes off all the turnbuckle pads, except one that EVIL was working on. So EVIL blindsides Yano, Dick Togo gets involved and we see a few Yano staples. Yano tapes Togo to the guardrail and tries to do the same to EVIL, but EVIL fights it off and they get back in the ring.
A few amusing spots, but Togo distracts Red Shoes, so EVIL Low Blows Yano, then goes for Everything is Evil, but Yano shoves EVIL, so Red Shoes cowers, now we get to the gif/meme part. Yano hits EVIL in the nuts, Togo hits Yano in the nuts and chokes him, Yano back kicks Togo in the nuts, shoves Togo into EVIL so they’re side by side, Double Nut Shot, then he Rolls Up EVIL for the win. The Nut Shot train was pretty damn funny.
— njpwworld (@njpwworld) September 29, 2020
Tetsuya Naito vs Hirooki Goto
The matchup that should be the main event of the show! Lots of history between the two, and we all know Goto has a tendency to perform well in tournaments but choke in big moments. Naito’s former stigma wasn’t all that different, but he’s overcome most of his demons to achieve a lot of boyhood dreams. Will this be the continuation of Naito’s dream world or does Goto get some well-deserved momentum?
In a very interesting turn of events, Naito takes pretty solid control early on. Forces things to the outside, beating Goto up with the rail enough to nearly get a Count Out. Then when Goto beats the count, Naito stays on him with strikes and a Double Wristlock. When Naito attempts the Combinacion Cabron, Goto shows some life and fights back with some boots and an Uranage. Water Wheel Kick in the corner followed by a Bulldog give Goto his first near fall of the math. Goto’s momentum is halted by a well-timed Back Elbow and a small breather.
Combinacion Cabron gets countered again, but Naito has a counter for the counter. An interesting swing and miss from Goto, leads to Naito wrenching the arm, bringing Goto down and applying Puma Blanca. Goto breaks the Puma Blanca, and then wrestle toward the corner and up to the top rope. What looked to be a chance for Naito to hit an Avalanche Frankensteiner, turned into Goto hitting a Superplex followed up by a Plancha to the outside (okay, Goto doesn’t fly much).
Goto rolls Naito back in, hits the Flying Elbow, but only a two count. GTW is attempted, Naito slides out, then there’s a little rope run dodging, Naito tries to grab and arm, but eats a Lariat for his trouble. When Goto tries to continue, Naito grabs a hold of the head for a quick Swing DDT. They both struggle to their feet and Naito batters Goto with three sets Back Elbows and tries to keep Goto down. Naito takes Goto to the top turnbuckle again, hits the Avalanche Frakensteiner and looks for the Running Destino.
Goto counters the Running Destino with a Reverse GTR, into a hanging Reverse GTR, but only a two. GTR attempted, fought out of, Goto then tries for GTW, but Naito counters with a Destino, and both men are down. Elbow exchange that Naito gets the best of, Goto counters with Ushigoroshi, Naito counters the next with a short Destino, and then Goto counters another Destino with GTW. Goto looks for the Round Kick, but Naito hits Valentia, then the Arm Wringer version of Destino, for the pinfall!
Overall Score: 7.25/10
Now, this was a solid day of action, but in the grand scheme of emotion and intrigue, it was really a one match show. KENTA tapping back into more of “old” KENTA, is very nice to see, also nice to see that the initial vitriol of New Japan fans, is slowly coming around to respect. Juice’s growth and determination helped to show him as a legit threat to the main event, soon. Yano’s crazy run has yet to lose it charm, SANADA being the ass of Gedo’s jokes however, that’s old. I don’t know if SANADA and Gedo made a bet that he lost, but SANADA is someone that could be in a much better position than he is.
Goto and Naito, of course delivered well. Naito showing some power and resilience was a slight tweak on his usual attempt at just being more clever and finding his openings. This is a weird year, so I guess it’s not a surprise that Yano is tied with Naito at the top of the block so far.
B Block Standings:
- Tetsuya Naito: (3-0) – 6 Points
- Toru Yano: (3-0) – 6 Points
- Juice Robinson: (2-1) – 4 Points
- KENTA: (2-1) – 4 Points
- Zack Sabre Jr: (1-2) – 2 Points
- EVIL: (1-2) – 2 Points
- Hirooki Goto: (1-2) – 2 Points
- Hiroshi Tanahashi: (1-2) – 2 Points
- YOSHI-HASHI: (1-2) – 2 Points
- SANADA: (0-3) – 0 Points