Round 6 of G1 Climax B Block action! We’ve got a few people on the proverbial bubble, and most of them are facing each other. HASHI is most likely out, but one more loss and it’s definitely the case, but Goto is also just barely hanging on. SANADA and KENTA is the other match where whoever loses is looking at very likely being out.
With all that said, we get to see if EVIL can overcome The Ace and if Juice can upset the current double champion.
Let’s see what happens!
- YOSHI-HASHI vs Hirooki Goto: Goto wins via GTR @14:12 – *** ¾
- Zack Sabre Jr vs Toru Yano: ZSJ wins via Figure Four @12:20 – ***
- KENTA vs SANADA: SANADA wins via Japanese Leg Clutch @11:24 – *** ¼
- Tetsuya Naito vs Juice Robinson: Naito wins via Destino @25:01 – ****
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs EVIL: EVIL wins via Everything is Evil @19:58 – *** ¼
YOSHI-HASHI vs Hirooki Goto
Goto comes in with his right upper arm and shoulder heavily taped up and HASHI focuses that early with Arm Wringers and Driving him into the turnbuckle arm first. Shortly after HASHI starts slapping Goto and trying to rile him up, since I guess he’s not appreciating the effort shown so far. Goto starts to fight off a Brainbuster, shoves YOSHI-HASHI into the corner and hits a Saito Suplex on the rebound.
A Water Wheel Kick and Bulldog from the corner give Goto his first near fall, but HASHI stems the tide with a Head Hunter. A few strikes from HASHI, he hits the ropes and gets caught with an Ushigoroshi. They both fire, meet in the middle with colliding Lariats, re-fire and go again, but HASHI gets the best of it and floors Goto. HASHI cinques in the Butterfly Lock and Goto struggles for a while, HASHI does the usual Hammerlock application, but Goto eventually fights out; a quick follow up with the Fisherman Buster is still only good enough for 2. YOSHI-HASHI looks to finish things with Karma, but Goto buys himself some time with a GTW.
Goto goes for the PK, HASHI catches and hits the lariat. He tries to take advantage of the dazed Goto and goes for Karma, but Goto reverses to a GTR, HASHI fights that off; strike exchange and a well-placed Headbutt give Goto the upper hand. GTR lands flush and Goto picks up the hard fought win! This officially eliminates YOSHI-HASHI, but he’s been putting up a valiant fight against everyone.
Zack Sabre Jr vs Toru Yano
ZSJ starts by saying he doesn’t trust Yano, so Yano states he’s a clean fighter and starts to throw away four rolls of hidden tape. After trading clean rope breaks, Yano throws away another roll of tape hidden on his person. They follow amateur wrestling rules for early on with a lot of counter holds and then Yano assumed the down position after losing an exchange.
Clean fighter lasts only so long when Yano tapes ZSJ’s wrist to a chair between the bars of the barricade and it takes ZSJ until 18 to figure out how to get out of it. Yano says “Gomen Nasai, Japanese Sorry” so it’s nice he’s such a clean fighter and a Japanese teacher. But ZSJ drags Yano out and up the entrance ramp in an Ankle Lock, looking for the count out himself; but Yano limps in by 19.
After a combination of amateur wrestling takedowns and cradles from Yano, mixed with a little cheating, Zack’s relentless applications of submissions caught up with Yano when Zack goes from a Knee Bar into a Figure Four, and Yano eventually submits.
KENTA vs SANADA
KENTA starts quick by tossing the briefcase in the air for Marty Asami to catch and attacking SANADA. KENTA stays on the offensive for a good bit of the early game, before the attempts at Sleeper Holds bite him. SANADA twists out of one, KENTA tries to apply it again, but now we see SANADA being more resilient. He fights back and gets the advantage to the degree that KENTA gets caught in the Paradise Lock, and the fans rejoice.
After breaking the Paradise Lock, SANADA moves at his usual SANADA pace while KENTA falls back to the corner. This bites SANADA and KENTA catches him with a boot, that Tornado Neck Whip off the top rope and the Diving Lariat for a near fall. One of these days SANADA will learn a sense of urgency. SANADA fights out of a German Suplex attempt, dumps KENTA out, goes for a Dive, KENTA moves, so SANADA changes it to the Misawa Feint, and KENTA just throws his leg out from under him. No Misawa style moves against the former face of NOAH.
Green Killer back into the ring, SANADA gets set in the corner for the Running Boot, Hesitation Dropkick and then Double Foot Stomp for 2. KENTA looks for Go 2 Sleep, SANADA counters with a Dragon Sleeper, KENTA rolls back and tries to apply Game Over, SANADA fights, KENTA changes it to a Triangle Choke, then Game Over attempt but he can’t quite grab SANADA’s head and SANADA gets to the ropes before it’s sunk in.
KENTA shoves SANADA into Marty, tries to use the briefcase, but SANADA ducks and Dropkicks it into KENTA’s face. Moonsault attempt, but KENTA gets his knees up, Small Package kick out, Go 2 Sleep counter, Dragon Sleeper counter, Small Package again kick out, follows KENTA to the ropes, O’Connor Roll into Japanese Leg Clutch for the win! While no matter the next outcome KENTA isn’t mathematically eliminated, more than 3 losses is usually the end of the road.
Tetsuya Naito vs Juice Robinson
The early goings of this match is very playful. Naito feigns the lockup, so Juice returns the favor, they play to the crowd to find which they prefer, and it sways depending on the moment in the match. After a small tie up, they break and pander. It’s a slow start, but it’s not rest holds, so that makes it a little more engaging since we’re seeing character work in lieu of a headlock.
They go to the outside, Juice throats Naito on the barricade and then throws him into a different one and rolls back in for a count out. Naito beats the count of course, but when Naito rolls in, you can hear the 5 minutes elapsed announcement. So it takes 5 minutes for the action to start to pick up, at this rate, I’m not going to be surprised if it’s a slow build for a Draw. But once back in, Naito fires back with a few strikes, then goes back out and drives Juice into the barricade a few times and returns the favor in looking for a count out.
Juice beats the count, and the weird mocking and slower pace continues. Naito puts Juice in a Double Chicken Wing Leg Scissors and starts mocking him with the “Juice” arm motion, which of course is just to get the crowd to try and rally Juice. The hold breaks and Naito takes him to the corner for some Back Elbows and continues to mock until Juice makes a bit of a push. Leg Lariat, a few punches, the Fake Out causing Naito to duck and then catch him with a DDT. Juice keeps up the momentum until they go back to a corner and Naito is able to quickly dodge, hit a Hanging Reverse DDT and then get Juice in Puma Blanca.
Juice retreats to ropes, Naito goes back to the mocking, tries to Irish Whip, it gets reversed, Naito goes for the Flying Forearm, but Juice catches him in a Full Nelson, and then the Full Nelson slam gives Juice time to breathe. This starts the moment in time where they both start doubling down a little. Lots of back and forth strikes, trading of bigger moves, but nothing huge. Naito goes for the Tornado DDT, Juice catches it, tries to hit a Brainbuster but Naito counters that with Destino for a near fall. Naito goes for Destino again, Juice counters with a Powerbomb and they’re both down for a little while.
They get up for the Fighting Spirit moment with a twist, as they both go back to mocking each other’s motion while taking a swing. Juice aims for Left Hand of God, misses, misses with the right, Naito hits an Enzuigiri and Juice lays him out with a desperation Lariat for 2. Left Hand of God connects, Pulp Friction attempt is pushed off, running Destino gets the near fall, so arm wringer Destino gives Naito the win!
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs EVIL
This starts off like most EVIL matches; he gets a small advantage, Togo gets involved, lots of referee distractions and chair/barricade use. Slight difference is Yota Tsuji eats a suplex onto the chairs since he was in the way, and in typical Tanahashi fashion, he starts to fire back when back in the ring. Togo interferes again, EVIL looks to dump out Tanahashi, but Tana Skins the Cat and EVIL hits a German Suplex for his troubles.
Tanahashi typical never dying stuff, a Dragon Screw in the ropes, Cloverleaf attempt, Scorpion Deathlock from EVIL and Tanahashi fights out of it. Tanahashi counters Darkness Falls with a Sling Blade, goes to the top, High Fly Flow to EVIL’s back, flips him over and goes up again, but Togo tosses him a chair in the worst Sabu attempt ever. Then when Tanahashi hands the chair to Red Shoes, Togo crotches him, which buys enough time for EVIL to come back, Darkness Falls hits but only 2. EVIL goes for…and wait, he hits Everything is Evil! EVIL WINS!
Overall Score: 7.5/10
This was a very consistent day, however, I am growing tired of the paint by numbers Tanahashi matches in this G1. It was probably amplified since EVIL has had a similar predictable formula, so that doesn’t really lend for excitement or intrigue when you’re sitting there going “Okay, here comes the Sling Blade counter and fire, then Togo interferes somehow…yup there it is”. Goto made YOSHI-HASHI look more believable then his previous big matches against Naito and Tanahashi, KENTA is struggling every time he tries to cheat, Juice looked awesome and even Yano’s ‘clean fighter’ gimmick was pretty awesome.
All in all the day was fun, solid and doesn’t fall off much quality wise, just landed flat with a formulaic match, which some may like more, just wasn’t keeping my interest. After looking at the remaining matches, KENTA is mathematically out of it. He would need to beat Naito when they meet up and have most of the top end go on a losing streak. But since EVIL still has to face Naito, and EVIL already beat KENTA so he has the tie breaker, and a Draw would make Naito 5-3-1 so he still edges KENTA. Should be interesting to see if KENTA or HASHI play spoiler along the way.
B Block Standings:
- Tetsuya Naito: (5-1) – 10 Points
- EVIL: (4-2) – 8 Points
- Toru Yano: (3-3) – 6 Points
- Juice Robinson: (3-3) – 6 Points
- Hiroshi Tanahashi: (3-3) – 6 Points
- Zack Sabre Jr: (3-3) – 6 Points
- SANADA: (3-3) – 6 Points
- Hirooki Goto: (3-3) – 6 Points
- KENTA: (2-4) – 4 Points (Eliminated)
- YOSHI-HASHI: (1-5) – 2 Points (Eliminated)