Will NJPW’s Double Champion keep winning?
Tetsuya Naito won to start his G1, but will he keep winning? Or will Zack Sabre Jr. make the IWGP Double Champion #JustTapOut?
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.
- B Block – Hirooki Goto VS SANADA; Goto wins.
- B Block – Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Toru Yano; Yano wins.
- B Block – Juice Robinson VS KENTA; Robinson wins.
- B Block – YOSHI-HASHI VS EVIL; EVIL wins.
- B Block – Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr; Naito wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Here are the current B Block standings!
Tetsuya Naito: 1-0, 2 points
Juice Robinson: 1-0, 2 points
KENTA: 1-0, 2 points
Zack Sabre Jr: 1-0, 2 points
Toru Yano: 1-0, 2 points
SANADA: 0-1, 0 points
YOSHI-HASHI: 0-1, 0 points
EVIL: 0-1, 0 points
Hirooki Goto: 0-1, 0 points
Hiroshi Tanahashi: 0-1, 0 points
B Block – Hirooki Goto VS SANADA!
The Fierce Warrior and Cold Skull both lost and are looking to redeem themselves! Perhaps Sanada more than Goto, as Toru Yano used the tape to tie him to a Young Lion and win by count-out! Will Goto avoid a Skull End or continue to stall out in the G1?
The bell rings, the fans cheer and the two circle. Sanada and Goto tie up, Goto waistlocks but Sanada standing switches. Goto wrenches out, Sanada rolls and wrenches back to a hammerlock. Goto reverses the hammerlock onto Sanada, shifts to a headlock, but Sanada powers out. Goto runs Sanada over, fans cheer, and things speed up. Sanada hip tosses but Goto blocks to hip toss back! Goto runs but Sanada dumps him out! Sanada runs but fakes Goto out, but Goto avoids the moonsault! Goto kicks and whips but Sanada reverses to send him into railing! Sanada runs in but Goto boots him back. Goto swings but Sanada dodges, and Goto’s arm hits POST! The right arm is already in bad shape from Kenta’s Game Over crossface last round!
The ref checks on Goto but Sanada wrenches the bad arm and wraps it around railing. The ref reprimands Sanada, he lets up but then BOOTS the bad shoulder! Sanada goes to the ring and the ref checks on Goto. Goto is okay to continue so fans rally up. The ring count begins, climbs to 5 of 20, then 10 of 20 before Goto rises. Goto gets in at 14, but Sanada is on him and the bad arm! Sanada bends the arm back, Goto gets a ropebreak so Sanada slams the bad arm down. Sanada paces, Goto grits his teeth and stands, but Sanada clubs the bad arm. Goto leans on ropes, Sanada whips him and elbows him down. Goto avoids the standing moonsault but Sanada lands on his feet to basement dropkick from behind! Cover, TWO!
Sanada keeps his cool and goes after the bad arm again. Goto endures, fights his way up, throws body shots, then throws forearms. The bad arm can still hit, but Sanada hits the bad arm! Sanada grabs Goto but Goto blocks the back suplex and elbows away. Goto shoves Sanada away, Sanada runs back at the corner, but Goto dodges! SAIDO! Goto grits his teeth as he shakes out the bad arm and Sanada gets away to a corner. Goto runs in, windmill heel kick! Goto headlocks for the BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Goto brings Sanada back up. Goto fireman’s carries, Sanada kicks free but Goto elbows his waistlock away. Goto runs but Sanada hurdles, hurdles and dropkicks! Fans cheer while Goto bails out, Sanada PLANCHAS!
Fans cheer and Sanada encourages them to get louder. Sanada then goes back for Goto, brings him up and puts him in the ring. Sanada aims as Goto rises, springboard but Goto intercepts to a fireman’s carry! USHIG- NO! Sanada lands on his feet, knees low and runs but Goto follows! Sanada dodges, Goto follows again but Sanada side steps to O’Conner roll him! Goto fights out of the cover but ends up in the dragon sleeper! Sanada drops back, SKULL END! Goto endures, reaches, kicks around, and gets the ropebreak with a foot! Sanada lets go quickly and keeps his cool as he brings Goto back up. Sanada fireman’s carries now, but Goto fights out. Goto dodges the boot to DISCUS LARIAT! Both men are down because Goto’s bad arm is bothering him but the fans are rallying again.
Goto grits his teeth, drags Sanada back up, and has his own dragon sleeper! But Sanada denies GTR by spinning Goto into a dragon sleeper! But Goto spins back, but Sanada goes up and over to get the dragon sleeper back! Goto endures the standing Skull End, Sanada drops down but Goto rolls back to get a normal sleeper! Sanada snapmares out, gets Goto for a headlock but Goto slips out to sleeper! Sanada drops down but Goto shifts to ISSHIKI CRADLE! TWO, and Sanada rolls Goto to a ghost pin! TWO, Sanada runs into the fireman’s carry, Ushigoroshi to dragon sleeper! But Sanada victory rolls before the GTR! TWO!! Goto escapes by a narrow margin! Goto runs into Sanada’s fireman’s carry, Sanada STEALS USHIGOROSHI!!
The fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to continue. Sanada drags Goto up, puts on the dragon sleeper, but Goto spins around to suplex! Sanada fights that off, and again! Sanada suplexes Goto, puts him on the ropes, MAGIC SCREW! Sanada goes up top, MOONSAULT but misses! Goto avoids Sanada but both men are down as fans rally up again. Goto gets to the corner, Sanada sits up and fans rally more. Goto fires up, runs corner to corner at Sanada, but Sanada elbows him away! Sanada Quebrada to dragon sleeper! Goto slips around again, puts Sanada up, DRAPING INVERSE GTR! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives but Goto won’t let up now!
Goto drags Sanada back up, aims and kicks, but Sanada blocks! Goto headbutts, Sanada spins, but into the fireman’s carry! G T W!! Goto fires up as Sanada rises, BUZZSAW! Then dragon sleeper, TRUE G T R!! Cover, Goto wins!!
Winner: Hirooki Goto, by pinfall; gains 2 points, Sanada earns 0
Redemption favors Chaos’ Fierce Warrior! Does Goto still have a fighting chance in the block, bad arm and all?
B Block – Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Toru Yano!
Speaking of the tentative Mr. KOPW 2020, he only has one point for taking his shortcut! Will he trump The Ace and get a full two points? Or will the Once in a Century Talent rebound from losing to the IWGP Double Champion?
The ref is much more thorough with his check of Yano given all the secret tape rolls last time. Yano’s clean this round, but is upset that the ref even questioned him. The bell rings, Yano and Tanahashi circle as the fans rally. Yano bails out and dares Tanahashi to come get him. Tanahashi tells him to come back in, but Yano keeps insisting Tanahashi follow him outside. The ref says Yano has to get back in but Yano argues back. The ring count begins, Tanahashi strums the air guitar, and Yano storms back into the ring. Yano says, “Okay, okay,” and he circles with Tanahashi. They approach, Yano shoots in and brings Tanahashi to the mat with a waistlock. Tanahashi switches, Yano switches back, and repeat.
Yano wrenches the arm, Tanahashi wrenches the arm and headlocks for the takeover, but Yano headscissors. Tanahashi pops out and the fans cheer as the two stand off. Yano and Tanahashi resets, but Yano shouts, “GOMENASAI! (I APOLOGIZE!)” as he goes for the buckle pad! Tanahashi clubs Yano before he’s done untying the pad. Tanahashi unties the pad himself?! And Yano grabs the other one! The ref only stops Tanahashi, but it seems Tanahashi learned to be ready from watching Yano VS Sanada. The ref tells Yano to get rid of the buckle pad, so Yano tosses it at Tanahashi! Yano dares the ref to tell Tanahashi the same. Tanahashi uses the pad as a guitar!
Tanahashi tosses the pad back to Yano, and fans cheer, so Yano considers strumming, too. But he just swings on Tanahashi instead! Tanahashi dodges the pad shot, grabs the pad, and DRAGON SCREWS the pad!? Yano goes flying either way! Yano bails out as fans fire up, and he flounders around the way. Tanahashi hurries after but Yano kicks low and sends Tanahashi into railing. Yano brings Tanahashi up the ramp but Tanahashi hits back. Yano whips Tanahashi into railing, the ref pursues to tell Yano to come back. Yano and Tanahashi return to the stage right by the entrance! The ring count begins, the two men brawl with forearm after forearm, and the count reaches 10 of 20! They keep brawling!
Yano rakes eyes and runs for it! Tanahashi hurries after, and we’re at 15! Tanahashi slides into home at 18! And Yano uses the AKAKIRI! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer while both men are down, catching their breath. Yano is up first, drags Tanahashi up but Tanahashi throws forearms! Tanahashi backs Yano down into a corner, whips him corner to corner, but Yano reverses! This is the safe corner to Tanahashi rebounds and forearms Yano down! Fans fire up with Tanahashi as he brings Yano up. Tanahashi scoops and slams Yano then goes to the second rope, for the sunset senton! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi waits for Yano to rise, but Yano grabs hair! Tanahashi breaks free but Yano kicks. Tanahashi catches that, DRAGON SCREW!
Yano bails out because this time his leg was the victim. Yano checks the knee but Tanahashi slingshots, but Yano dodges and the Plancha crash lands! Yano drags Tanahashi up, whips him into railing, and then goes looking for something. Yano finds tape! But Tanahashi kicks him first! Tanahashi stomps Yano down, takes the tape for his own, and uses it to blindfold Yano! The ring count climbs back to 10 of 20 and then 15 as Tanahashi finishes blinding Yano! Tanahashi is in, Yano flounders about, but gets in at 19.69! Tanahashi gives Yano a TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Fans fire up with Tanahashi as Yano stands up.
Tanahashi runs but Yano senses what’s coming! Yano grabs and finds the ref, and uses him as a shield! Are Yano’s other senses heightened without his sight? Tanahashi bails out of Sling Blade, the ref doesn’t see Yano kick and LOW BLOW!! Then URAKASUMI! Cover, YANO WINS?!?
Winner: Toru Yano, by pinfall; gains 2 points, Tanahashi earns 0
How?! Is Yano the Japanese Daredevil? Spider-Man? Some kind of psychic?! Either way, Yano gets one over on Tanahashi and keeps on winning! Will he somehow find a way to become not just Mr. KOPW but the G1 Climax 30 winner? Is there still time for Tanahashi to rebound in his own run?
B Block – Juice Robinson VS KENTA!
The Flamboyant One and the Fang Revived are hot off wins in the opening round, but only one can keep that fire going! Who will be burning brighter and who will be cooling off in round two?
The bell rings and Juice is ready but Kenta stays back. Kenta stays in the ropes as a defense but Juice backs off. Kenta comes out but backs away again as Juice approaches. Juice backs off again and Kenta finally leaves the corner. The two circle, fans rally up, and Kenta bails out. Juice grows annoyed but that’s the point. Juice slides out but Kenta slides in. Juice gets in but Kenta fires off punches and stomps! The ref counts, Kenta stops and whips but Juice kicks back! Juice hits the headlock takeover and grinds Kenta down. Kenta keeps his shoulders up, pulls hair and brings Juice to a headscissors. The ref reprimands but Juice pops free. Juice blocks the kick and JABS! Kenta bails out before Juice can get more.
Kenta paces, pats his IWGP United States Championship contract briefcase for reassurance, and gets back in the ring just as Juice goes out. Kenta rushes at Juice but Juice throws a forearm first! Juice shoulders in but Kenta KICKS and KICKS him! Kenta goes up while Juice is stuck, for a GUILLOTINE KNEE! Fans can’t help but cheer that one as Kenta goes back to Juice. Kenta stands on Juice’s head but lets up at the ref’s count. Juice is on the apron, Kenta drags him back in and whips. Kenta runs Juice over with an elbow, covers, ONE! Kenta keeps right on Juice with a chinlock. Kenta digs his knee into Juice’s back but Juice endures. Juice reaches back but Kenta cranks Juice’s neck to stop Juice from doing the same. Kenta snapmares Juice and KICKS him in the back!
Kenta mocks the fans applauding much like Jay White did the other day. Kenta drops knees on Juice’s head, then drags him back up. Kenta turns Juice for a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Kenta wraps Juice right up in a chinlock and grinds Juice down. Fans rally up, Juice fights up, but Kenta throws Juice down by his hair! Kenta sits Juice up to KICK him again! Juice writhes, Kenta covers, TWO! Fans cheer but Kenta toys with Juice now. Kenta kicks at Juice, Juice sits up and Kenta KICKS! And KICKS! Juice grits his teeth but Kenta KICKS him down! Kenta stands on Juice for a cocky cover, TWO! Kenta clamps onto Juice with another chinlock but Juice endures. Fans rally up, Juice gets a second wind and fights up. Juice throws body shots, is free and runs, but Kenta gets the sleeper!
Juice powers up to back suplex high and hard! Both men are down and fans fire up again. Juice gets up, pumps up and JABS! And JABS! JAB! JAB! Juice faces Kenta with the left to DDT instead! Cover, TWO! Juice keeps his focus as he brings Kenta up. Juice fireman’s carries but Kenta rakes eyes! Kenta shoves and SPINNING POWERSLAMS Juice down! Kenta starts his own weird clap rhythm that no one can follow, and then he stomps Juice more. Kenta kicks and kicks and kicks! He fisherman suplexes Juice and lateral presses, TWO! Kenta grows annoyed with Juice as he drags Juice back up. Kenta whips Juice corner to corner but Juice reverses. Juice runs in but Kenta boots him away! Juice comes back, blocks this boot, but Kenta thumbs Juice’s eye!
Kenta goes up, reels Juice in, tornado hotshot! Juice staggers about, Kenta hits a flying lariat! Cover, TWO! Kenta keeps his cool as he drags Juice up. Kenta waistlocks, Juice elbows but Kenta clubs him. Kenta runs but into a FLAPJACK! Juice LEG LARIATS! Both men are down again but the fans rally up. Kenta rolls to one side while Juice is on the other. Juice runs at Kenta in the corner and clotheslines! He goes corner to corner but Kenta follows and clotheslines! Kenta goes corner to corner but Juice follows to clothesline back! Juice runs, Kenta follows but Juice dodges and Kenta only gets buckles! Juice LARIATS point blank! Kenta sits down, Juice goes corner to corner again and CANNONBALLS! Cover, TWO! Juice grows frustrated but the fans still rally.
Juice stomps and claps, and the fans follow. We Will Rock You as Juice puts Kenta up top. Juice CHOPS Kenta, climbs up to join him, but Kenta blocks the superplex! Kenta throws body shots, then rakes Juice’s eyes! Kenta headbutts over and over and sends Juice down! Juice flounders up to his feet, Kenta leaps, missile dropkick! Juice ends up in the other corner, Kenta runs in to BOOT! And then corner to corner for the HESITATION DROPKICK! Juice is down, Kenta goes back up! DOUBLE STOMPS! Cover, TWO!! Juice survives Kenta’s coup de grace but Kenta drags Juice up for more. Kenta fireman’s carries, Juice blocks and elbows away. Kenta back kicks, reels Juice in and puts him through the ropes! DRAPING DDT! Cover, TWO!! Juice survives again but Kenta has him on the ropes.
Kenta runs to knee Juice in the back! And he keeps going, but Juice gets around to FULL NELSON SLAM! Both men are down and the fans rally up. Kenta rises but Juice grabs at Kenta, too. They both stand, Kenta throws a forearm! Juice throws one back, so Kenta forearms again. They brawl, Juice gets the edge, then ROCKS Kenta! Kenta stays up and gets in Juice’s face. Juice ROCKS him again! Kenta shakes it off to ROCK Juice! Juice ROCKS Kenta, and again, and again! Juice headbutts, Kenta forearms and back hands! And back hands! But Juice LARIATS back! Fans fire up with Juice as he drags Kenta up into the fireman’s carry. JUICE BOX GUTBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Kenta survives but Juice grits his teeth.
The fans rally up as Juice brings down the straps. Juice fires up and brings Kenta up for chicken wings. PULP- NO! Kenta rolls Juice up, TWO! Juice swings, misses, Kenta ROCKS Juice over and over with slapping rights! Juice goes down, Kenta fires up! Kenta drags Juice up and into a fireman’s carry but he can’t get Juice up. He tries again, has Juice up, but Juice slips out! Juice has the arms, turns Kenta but Kenta slips out for the fireman’s carry! GO TO- NO! Juice blocks the leg and ROCKS Kenta with that right! LEFT HAND OF GOD!! Juice drags Kenta back up, underhooks and turns him, PULP FRICTION!! Cover, Juice wins!!
Winner: Juice Robinson, by pinfall; gains 2 points, Kenta earns 0
Not only is this a HUGE win for Juice in the G1, he just pinned the current IWGP US Championship #1 contender! Does Juice have the juice to take that contract from Kenta in the near future?
B Block – YOSHI-HASHI VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo!
The Head Hunter looks to #GetBackUp from being knocked down by Juice, and the King of Darkness was shocked by Zack Sabre Junior! Will Yoshi-Hashi see Everything Is Evil? Or will darkness fall to the vindicated Six Man Tag champion?
As Hashi hits the ring, Evil has a chair! Evil swings on Hashi but Hashi hits him with his staff first! Hashi also runs Dick out of the ring! And then he goes after Evil again! Red Shoes gets the chair out of the ring but tells Hashi to let up. Hashi does, takes off the jacket and the bell rings to put this on record. Hashi fires off forearms over and over and over and over in the corner! Hashi stops at Red Shoes’ count, but brings Evil up to CHOP him! Fans cheer as Hashi whips Evil corner to corner. Evil reverses but Hashi comes back with a CHOP! Hashi runs and runs Evil over! Dick is furious as Hashi stomps Evil. Evil gets to ropes, Hashi stomps him more. Hashi stands Evil up to CHOP him and fans cheer.
Hashi whips Evil but Evil holds ropes to block. Hashi elbows Evil, CHOPS him, and whips him again. Evil reverses, gets in Red Shoes’ face, and Dick trips Hashi up! Dick whips Hashi to railing! Hashi spasms and writhes but Dick digs his boot into him! Evil goes out and grabs chairs! Red Shoes tells him to stop but Evil leaves the chairs on the ground. Evil brings Hashi up, to snap suplex onto the chairs!! Hashi writhes again as Evil gets in the ring. Red Shoes keeps his eyes on Dick but Evil is untying the blue corner’s pad. Dick leaves Hashi be and fans build to a rally. Hashi gets up and in and fans cheer his toughness. Evil drags Hashi around to stomp his back. Evil drags Hashi up, scoops and slams him, and then covers. TWO!
Evil and Dick are annoyed but Evil toys with Hashi. Evil taunts the fans but they cheer for Hashi. Evil pushes Hashi around but Hashi fires back with forearms! Evil whips Hashi to the blue corner, and the bare buckles! Evil drags Hashi up, clubs him on the back then shoves him to club him more. Evil scoops Hashi for the BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Evil tries again, TWO! Again, TWO!! Evil is frustrated and fans rally up. Evil looms over Hashi, drags him up, and suplexes, but Hashi blocks! Hashi suplexes Evil but Evil fights it off. They fight over suplex control, and it’s Hashi who gets Evil up and over! Fans cheer and rally as Hashi gets up. Hashi waits for Evil to rise, and he throws palm strikes and CHOPS! Hashi whips, Evil reverses but Hashi dropkicks low!
Hashi CHOPS Evil in the corner, whips and CHOPS and then mule kicks! Hashi reels Evil in to scoop but Evil slips out the back. Evil shoves but Hashi dodges his clothesline to hit the BLOCKBUSTER! Fans fire up with Hashi as he WRECKS Dick with the baseball slide! Hashi CHOPS Evil at the ropes, brings him around and suplexes to hang Evil out to dry. Hashi runs and dropkicks Evil down! Then he keeps going to basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Hashi keeps his focus as he has the fans rallying behind him. Hashi goes up top, but Evil trips him up! Hashi lands on his short staff! Evil CHOPS Hashi, climbs up top, but Hashi fights back with body shots. Evil still tries the superplex but Hashi keeps fighting back! Evil rakes eyes!
Evil goes up even higher, for the SUPERPLEX!! Cover, TWO!! Hashi lives and Evil is furious! Fans rally up, Evil stands first and drags Hashi up. Evil fireman’s carries but Hashi blocks it off, but not for long! Hashi silps out the back, Evil elbows him away then whips him to a corner. Hashi reverses but Evil reverses and Hashi hits bare buckles! Evil whips Hashi back into the bare buckles! And then fireman’s carries, DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Hashi survives and Evil is losing his cool! Evil drags Hashi up, slashes the throat, and spins Hashi around, but Hashi fights the STO off. Evil still tries but Hashi gets away! Hashi baits Evil in, Evil stops himself from running into bare buckles, but Hashi bumps him off them! And then whips him into them! Evil staggers, Hashi SUPERKICKS!
Both men are down but the fans fire up! Evil checks his face but he’s not bleeding. Evil drags Hashi up, Hashi throws forearms! Evil CHOPS, Hashi CHOPS, Evil spins but Hashi SUPERKICKS! Hashi runs, Evil goes to the corner, but Hashi still LARIATS him down! Fans fire up and Hashi fisherman BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Hashi keeps going, and puts Evil in the BUTTERFLY LOCK! Evil endures, Dick is on the apron, but Hashi DECKS him! Evil CLUBS Hashi, wants Dick to help out but Red SHoes warns them not to! Hashi reverses to whip and Evil bumps into Dick! BACKSTABBER, to BUTTERFLY LOCK! Evil endures, reaches out, scoots, but Hashi cranks him away from the ropes!
Fans rally, Evil reaches around and grabs Hashi’s ear! Evil pulls, but Hashi CRANKS the lock! Hashi leans on Evil and Evil starts to fade. Evil comes so close but refuses to giving up! Evil gets his second wind and scoots around, but Hashi drags him away again!? The fans rally as hard as they can, Red Shoes checks on Evil but Evil keeps fighting! Evil keeps trying, but Hashi gets that arm for a double wristlock! Butterfly Chicken combo!! Evil uses his leg to get the ropebreak!! Hashi lets go but a lot of damage was done! Fans rally again as Evil sputters. Hashi drags Evil up, Evil pushes Red Shoes, but Hashi catches the low blow! Hashi SLAPS Evil, runs, but into a LARIAT! Evil evens things and both men are down!
The fans rally back up and the two stir. Evil is up first, he drags Hashi around, spins him, but still no STO! Pump handle but no Karma! No STO either, SNAP DRAGON SUPLEX! Hashi runs, for the METEORA!! Cover, TWO!?! Evil survives but Hashi will not stop! The fans are thunderous as Hashi slams Evil and climbs up! Hashi leaps, for the SWANTON BOMB!! Cover, TWO!?!? Hashi’s Loose Explosion didn’t end it!! Hashi drags Evil back up, tries another full nelson, but Evil grabs at Red Shoes! Dick SMACKS Hashi with a chair!! Evil keeps Red Shoes away and the SPOILER CHOKER hooks Hashi!
Hashi is caught at the ropes but fans rally and he fights it off!! Hashi frees himself and DECKS Dick! Evil runs into the mule kick! Hashi runs and LARIATS!! Cover, TWO!!! The fans can’t believe this as Hashi pump handles, but no Karma! Evil shoves Hashi at Red Shoes then LOW BLOWS!! EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! Cover, EVIL WINS!
Winner: Evil, by pinfall; gains 2 points, Hashi earns 0
Hashi put up perhaps the best fight in this G1, but he could not stop the combination of Evil and Dick! Will the King of Darkness rise back to the IWGP Heavyweight Championship? Will Hashi still have time to #GetBackUp in the block?
B Block – Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr!
The IWGP Double Champion made a promise to add the G1 Climax trophy to his collection, but every match is an opportunity for someone to punch their own golden ticket! Will Naito stay Tranquilo? Or will he #JustTapOut to ZSJ?
Naito sets the belts down on the mat before getting in, but ZSJ steps on them and kicks them over to Naito’s corner! As if Naito doesn’t abuse those belts enough on his own… Naito takes off his elaborate entrance attire much quicker this time, but not so quick as not to annoy ZSJ. The bell rings and fans cheer already as the main event of round 3 begins. The claps are either for “NA-I-TO” or “Z-S-J,” but Naito doesn’t really mind either way. The two circle, feel out the grapple, and Naito avoids ZSJ shooting in. Naito shoots back but ZSJ uses a leg guard to get the arm. ZSJ wrenches but keeps his distance and lets Naito go. Fans cheer the exchange as the two reset.
Naito and ZSJ try again, Naito facelocks and drags ZSJ down. ZSJ slips out, gets the arm for a hammerlock but Naito powers his way to a cover. ZSJ chinbars back, Naito slips out to hammerlock, shoot the half and cover, ONE! Naito stays on ZSJ but ZSJ rolls through to get the leg. Naito gets the ropes, ZSJ lets off fast and Naito bails out to walk it off as fans cheer again. ZSJ waits as Naito walks around the way. Naito slow rolls back in and resets with ZSJ. They circle, tie up, and are in a deadlock. ZSJ gets the arm for a wrench, but Naito rolls and wrenches back. Naito has the wristlock, cranks on it, and ZSJ rolls to bridge and step through for another wrench. ZSJ trips Naito up to then have control. ZSJ twists the wrist, bends fingers, but Naito scrambles to get the ropebreak.
ZSJ backs off and lets Naito up. The two go again, Naito gets a leg but ZSJ has a clinch. Naito goes under the leg, waistlocks but ZSJ switches. Naito grabs the ropes, ZSJ lets go but leans on Naito to mock the Tranquilo. Fans cheer, admitting they like that. Naito shrugs it off and circles with ZSJ. ZSJ knuckle locks, spins and wristlocks to arm-drag Naito down. ZSJ has the keylock but Naito endures, even as ZSJ digs a knee into his chest. Naito rolls back, ZSJ cranks the arm, but Naito rolls again. Naito is up, ZSJ cranks the arm but Naito grabs the ropes. ZSJ spins through to wristlock but Red Shoes counts. ZSJ lets Naito go clean but then whips. Naito reverses and arm-drags ZSJ! Naito kicks, runs and huricanranas! ZSJ bails out, Naito builds speed but fakes ZSJ out to Tranquilo.
ZSJ gets in to use the arm in a ghost pin! TWO, ZSJ tries La Magistrol! TWO, ZSJ tries Oklahoma roll to a jackknife! TWO!! Naito barely escapes and even he is surprised! Naito kicks ZSJ and puts him in a corner! They clinch, Red Shoes calls for the break, but Naito snapmares to put ZSJ in a chinlock. Naito drags ZSJ into a modified triangle hold but ZSJ manages to headscissor Naito at the same time. Naito pops out to crank on ZSJ’s head! ZSJ endures, kicks his way over and gets the ropebreak with a foot. Red Shoes counts, Naito lets go at 3 but brings ZSJ around. Naito puts ZSJ on the ropes, and CLUBS him down! And again! Naito whips ZSJ, ZSJ counters the hip toss to chicken wings but Naito resists, so ZSJ goes for the cobra twist!
Naito hip tosses free, but ZSJ bridges up to snapmare and NECK TWIST Naito! And ANOTHER! ZSJ sits down to catch his breath while fans cheer. ZSJ stalks Naito to ropes, brings him up on the apron and through the ropes for a HANGING GUILLOTINE! Red Shoes counts, ZSJ lets go and pushes Naito off the apron! Naito crashes into railing! ZSJ drags Naito up as fans rally and puts him back in. ZSJ even resets the railing for commentary’s sake. ZSJ has Naito in the necklock now, and digs knuckles in where he can before he CRANKS on the hold! ZSJ also grabs an arm and has Naito folded up! ZSJ has BOTH arms, this is almost Hurrah but Naito gets a leg on the ropes! ZSJ lets him go and fans cheer the technical exchange. Naito sits up, ZSJ brings him up but Naito throws haymakers!
Naito backs ZSJ down, whips him corner to corner but ZSJ puts him on the apron and sweeps the legs! Naito tumbles down to the floor! Red Shoes starts a ring count and it climbs to 10 of 20 before Naito sits up. Naito slowly stands at 15, and gets in at 17. ZSJ stands on Naito’s head at the ropes, Red Shoes reprimands and counts, but ZSJ lets up at 3. ZSJ toys with Naito giving those weak kicks. Naito gets up but ZSJ rocks him with a EuroUpper! Naito boots back but ZSJ EuroUppers again. Naito boots, ZSJ EuroUppers and snapmares! ZSJ has a cravat but Naito pushes ZSJ in the face over and over. ZSJ grabs that other arm to add it to the hold, but Naito kicks his legs to get up. ZSJ keeps the cravat but Naito throws body shots!
ZSJ cranks and snapmares but Naito bridges up to spin ZSJ and hit a neckbreaker! Both men are down and fans cheer again. Fans rally up as ZSJ and Naito sit up. Naito stands first but ZSJ follows. Naito throws haymakers and kicks then whips to run ZSJ over with an elbow! Naito whips ZSJ to a corner, and runs in for a rocket kick! Leg sweep and swinging dropkick, COMBINACION CABRON! Naito poses, covers, TWO! ZSJ sits up and checks his face but Naito keeps his cool. Naito brings ZSJ up, ZSJ swings on him but into the backbreaker and leg hook full nelson! ZSJ endures but manages to hook a leg on Naito’s arm. Naito fights that off and cranks harder, but ZSJ kicks and moves around. ZSJ reaches, rolls and gets the ropebreak! Naito claims he needs help so Red Shoes helps free ZSJ.
Naito stomps ZSJ in a corner, digs his heels in, then drags ZSJ back up. Naito cravats ZSJ now and cranks on the hold. ZSJ endures, digs forearms in Naito’s face and throws body shots. ZSJ rolls to throw Naito away but Naito boots him away! Naito dodges, ZSJ goes up and TORNADO DDT’s! Fans rally up as both men are down. ZSJ sits up, drags Naito up, and throws a EuroUpper! ZSJ full nelsons but Naito arm-drags free. ZSJ comes back with a huricanrana! He uses it to drag Naito down into a triangle hold! ZSJ squeezes tight and Naito is already red! ZSJ has the arm for a hammerlock, fans rally up and Naito starts to fade! ZSJ keeps shifting the arm around and then drives elbows into Naito’s head! Naito manages a ropebreak with a foot! ZSJ lets go and Naito can breathe again.
ZSJ undoes his wrist tape and makes sure his own arms are still alright. Naito sits up and fans rally again. ZSJ drags Naito up, throws EuroUppers over and over, then BOOTS Naito! Naito stays up so ZSJ tries again. Naito blocks the boot to sweep the leg! Naito brings ZSJ out from the apron for a DRAPING NECKBREAKER! Both men are down on the outside and fans cheer. Red Shoes checks and ZSJ is okay to continue. Fans rally, Naito sits up first as the ring count begins. The count reaches 10 of 20 before Naito drags ZSJ up. The count reaches 13, Naito puts ZSJ in at 14. Naito slowly follows but ZSJ rolls and crawls to a corner. Fans keep rallying as Naito aims at ZSJ. Naito runs in, ZSJ boots but Naito blocks to elbow back!
Naito drags ZSJ up to elbow him again, and again, and again! Fans cheer as ZSJ is down. Naito drags ZSJ up again for more elbows, ZSJ flounders and falls. Naito looms over ZSJ and kicks at him toyingly now. Naito drags ZSJ up, throws more elbows, ZSJ staggers into a corner! Naito RAMS ZSJ into the buckles, hoists him up top, and climbs up to join him. Naito sits ZSJ up, SUPER STEINER! ZSJ slowly rises as fans cheer again. Naito runs at ZSJ, but ZSJ elbows him away. ZSJ headbutts, uppercuts and whips, but Naito reverses to TORNADO DDT! Cover, TWO! Into the PLUMA BLANCA! ZSJ endures Naito’s take on the Koji Clutch and starts to pry at the hold. Naito squeezes tighter, but ZSJ uses his own legs to grab at Naito’s.
ZSJ is almost free but Naito holds on as best he can! ZSJ fights and rolls to the ropebreak! The fans cheer as both men continue to show such great technical prowess. Naito gets up first and fans rally up. Naito drags ZSJ up, hammerlocks and half nelsons, but ZSJ denies Gloria. Naito still tries, but ZSJ grabs hair. Naito clubs away on ZSJ, tries again, but ZSJ slips out to PELE the arm! Naito enziguris back! Naito whips, ZSJ reverses but Naito leaps, into the IRON OCTOPUS! ZSJ has Naito caught, pulls and wants Hurrah, Another Year! Naito endures as ZSJ keeps shifting through variations! Naito falls over, ZSJ moves him around, ground octopus! Fans rally more, Naito fights but ZSJ pulls on the arm as hard as he can! Naito kicks with his legs but he’s fading!
The fans rally harder as Red Shoes checks on Naito. ZSJ CRANKS again, brings Naito back, but Naito pushes and rolls into the ropes! The fans cheer again as Naito is free. ZSJ catches his breath while thinking what else he has to try in order to win. ZSJ brings Naito up but Naito throws a haymaker! Naito wobbles but stands up tall. ZSJ dares Naito to hit him again so Naito does. Naito hits ZSJ again, ZSJ throws EuroUpper after EuroUpper! ZSJ runs, ducks Naito’s punch to scoop! Naito fights out of the Zack Driver, but ZSJ tries again! Naito fights out, suplexes but ZSJ slips out to try the Octopus again! Naito pops out the back, Naito tilt-o-whirls for DESTINO! But Naito isn’t done with one, he wrenches and tilt-o-whirls, into ZACK DRIVER!! But ZSJ can’t cover, he falls over exhausted!
Fans are thunderous again as both men stir. ZSJ sits up first and fires himself up as he drags Naito up. ZSJ cranks on a facelock, then adds an arm! Naito endures as ZSJ cranks his head again. ZSJ scoops but Naito blocks and clubs back. Fans rally more as Naito clubs and whips. ZSJ gets under, pulls Naito into the EUROCLUTCH! TWO!! Naito kicks, his enziguri misses, ZSJ body scissors to the JAPANESE CLUTCH! TWO!?! Naito and ZSJ are up, ZSJ uppercuts but Naito rolling kicks! ZSJ rebounds to PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ can’t believe Naito keeps surviving!
Fans rally again, ZSJ watches Naito close and scoops him! Naito kicks free to DESTINO! Cover, TWO!?! ZSJ survives but Naito says he’ll end it! Naito brings ZSJ up again, wrenches and tilt-o-whirls, for another DESTINO!! Cover, Naito wins!!
Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall; gains 2 points, ZSJ earns 0
Another match worthy of the title everyone is after, even though this is still only the G1! Naito keeps rising in the block, will he fulfill that promise he made in Osaka?
After having his turn with the ice pack, Red Shoes raises Naito’s hand in victory. Naito catches his breath, gets his baseball cap, and gets the mic. “Buenas noches, SAPPOROOOOO~!” Another round of A Block and B Block, did everyone here like their bit of NJPW and G1 Climax? The fans applaud because they surely did. They were supposed to be in Sapporo in July but COVID caused that to be canceled. It would’ve been NJPW’s first Hokkaido tour in seven YEARS, but it just couldn’t be helped. Naito thought he wouldn’t be able to show them his wrestling this year. “However, I’m glad that I was able to wrestle in front of all of you tonight. That makes me truly happy.” To all who came here today, “Gracias, amigos.”
Naito says the G1 continues all the way until October 18th. Until the final result is rendered, TRANQUILO! Please be patient and enjoy the ride! And of course, we end this in traditional fashion. Even though the fans can’t shout out loud, please join along in your hearts. “So, until the next time I see you all here, with big smiles…” For the second time, the G1 Climax finishes with the role call! “BUSHI! SANADA! Hiromu! Takagi! Y Naito! NOSOTROS! Los Ingoberrrrrrrnableeeees~! DE! JA! PON!” Yes, two main events and two wins for Naito, will he continue all the way to the end?
Here are the NEW B Block standings!
Tetsuya Naito: 2-0, 4 points
Juice Robinson: 2-0, 4 points
Toru Yano: 2-0, 4 points
EVIL: 1-1, 2 points
Hirooki Goto: 1-1, 2 points
KENTA: 1-1, 2 points
Zack Sabre Jr: 1-1, 2 points
SANADA: 0-2, 0 points
YOSHI-HASHI: 0-2, 0 points
Hiroshi Tanahashi: 0-2, 0 points
What another great night for NJPW in the G1, but NJPW is always great anyway. I was definitely surprised Sanada didn’t rebound, but maybe he finally wins in the third round. I am also very surprised Tanahashi hasn’t rebounded, but his match with Yano was incredibly entertaining. Yano is the only one with just 3 points, which again can be a very interesting detail to the story of the B Block. And much in the way that anyone who beats Naito gets a shortcut to a title shot, the first person to beat Yano could have claim to the KOPW 2020 trophy. How wild would it be if Naito beats Yano on his way to his promise of winning the G1, and the KOPW story ties in with the double title story? I am actually rather excited for how that match will turn out.
I also like that Kenta lost and Juice now has quick claim to the IWGP US Championship challenger’s contract. There’s still a lot to sort out with how Jon Moxley has that title but is also AEW World Champion. I’m going to need to keep a closer eye on NJPW Strong in case Moxley surprises everyone by even just sending a video message in. Moxley VS Kenta and Moxley VS Juice would both be great matches, and a rematch of Kenta VS Juice would be a great lead in for that. And perhaps a surprise in its own way was Hashi putting up such a great fight against Evil and Dick. It feels like Hashi is finally getting some shine, even though he’s still just a Six Man Tag champion. Maybe he gets a pivotal win to be someone’s spoiler loss to add to the drama.
My Score: 9.5/10