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Mathew’s NJPW G1 Climax A Block Results & Review: Day 17

The last day for A Block! 4 possible winners…err…3 possible winners and 1 that can make an interesting tied play-in match if needed! Let’s see how interesting the G1 Climax gets today!



This is it, everyone, this is the final day of A Block in our G1 Climax. We had ten participants and we are now down to four who could actually make it to the finals tonight with one of them being incredibly tricky. This has been a wild ride for my block but it’s time we bring it to a close and see who makes it to the finals.

Who will be one step closer to winning the G1 Climax?

Let’s find out as we…dive right in.

Star Rating System:

  • 0 Stars: Dave Meltzer
  • 1 Star: Vince Russo
  • 2 Stars: Tony Schiavone
  • 3 Stars: Eric Bischoff
  • 4 Stars: Bruce Prichard
  • 5 Stars: Jim Cornette

G1 Climax A Block Match
Jeff Cobb vs. Yujiro Takahashi

Review: Time for our first match as we have Jeff Cobb taking on Yujiro Takahashi. Yujiro is the only one in the tournament that has failed to get a single win in this tournament so far, and this is his last chance to at least get one win. Cobb is in the middle but he’s been out for a while now and could win to at least come out strong. Will Yujiro finally get points or does he lose all nine of his matches?

Cobb would have an early advantage in the match, causing Yujiro to try and retreat but he got pulled back in for a headlock as it leads to Yujiro biting his arm to make him let go. Yujiro was trying to get some offense in but it leads to Cobb delivering a Dropkick to Yujiro to get him down. Yujiro was out of the ring and Cobb was running after him, Yujiro getting inside as he tries to hit an Elbow Drop onto Cobb when he saw him attempting to get back in the ring but missed. Cobb dragged him to the outside and it looked like he was going for a Brainbuster but Yujiro reversed it into a Reverse DDT. Despite having some of the weaker matches in the tournament, Yujiro was still fun to see in them, trying to do different ways to win a match despite failing all of them. Cobb did much better here than the previous year but definitely needs to figure something out in New Japan to bring him out to that next level.

Cobb hits Yujiro with a back elbow and goes for the standing Moonsault but Yujiro rolled out of the way and runs the ropes, hitting a Dropkick onto Cobb’s head. Yujiro flipped him with a Snapmare, ran the ropes to try and kick him again but Cobb ducked and would deliver a couple of shoulder tackles before tossing him into the corner, catching him after for a Belly-to-Belly Suplex. Cobb hits Yujiro with a Running Back Suplex but Yujiro kicked out at two. Cobb attempts a German but Yujiro fought off, getting hit with a forearm and as Cobb ran towards him, Yujiro catches him with a Flapjack to make him land on the ropes. Cobb pulled Yujiro off the turnbuckle and catches him for the Athletiplex and Yujiro kicked out at two but hits a standing Moonsault for Yujiro to kick out again. Cobb calls for the Tour of the Islands but Yujiro reverses to attempt a Reverse DDT but now Cobb reverses it to attempt a Brainbuster, but we get another reversal from Yujiro as he rolled him up into a Small Package as Cobb kicked out! Yujiro hits Cobb with the Incolle Slam and picks him up again to hit the Miami Shine but Cobb kicked out at two. Yujiro would get Cobb on his knees as he finally hits the Pimp Juice, giving Yujiro his first victory!

Rating: Eric Bischoff

G1 Climax A Block Match
Minoru Suzuki vs. Shingo Takagi

Review: Time for our next match as Minoru Suzuki takes on Shingo Takagi. Both of these men are eliminated but this match is important to Shingo since he wants payback from Suzuki for taking his NEVER Openweight Championship a few months ago. So if he can defeat Suzuki here, he can get a rematch for the title in the future. Will Shingo be able to get revenge or does the king end his G1 strong?

Soon as the bell rang, they would go towards each other, delivering strikes back and forth to one another and it looked like Shingo had the upper hand until he ran towards him, Suzuki having Shingo’s arm over the rope and applies an Armbreaker between the ropes until he was told to let go. Suzuki dragged Shingo outside and started to beat the crap out of him by the guardrail but Shingo tried to fight back with a couple of headbutts to Suzuki, however, Suzuki gave some headbutts back in return and left the dragon stunned. While Suzuki was dominating Shingo in the match, he also made sure to work on his arm in the process since that’s most of Shingo’s arsenal and wants to weaken it as much as he can to minimize any damage Shingo can do to him later in the match. With this match, you know what they’re capable of doing but at the same time, it’s like they’re saving it for them to go all out in their eventual next encounter should that ever happen. Even with that, it’s still just as physical and leaves you with that wanting of more between them since they did deliver in the Openweight Championship match. Even with Shingo’s right arm being worked on, he makes sure to use his left arm, which is just as strong and can leave damage to Suzuki. Suzuki giving Shingo that sinister stare when they keep hitting each other back and forth, this is why he’s known as scary grandpa because he looks menacing and can back it up at the same time.

It looked like Shingo won the battle of forearms but his arm is hurt badly in the process, so Suzuki would take advantage of that by hitting him and attempts to go for the Gotch Style Piledriver early but Shingo tossed him over. Shingo attempts to hit the Sliding Lariat but Suzuki ducked out of the way and quickly got up to apply the Rear-Naked Choke onto Shingo again, setting up for the Gotch Style Piledriver again as Shingo lifted him up on his shoulders to hit a Death Valley Driver. Shingo delivers a couple of elbows to Suzuki’s neck and hits the Sliding Lariat this time but Suzuki kicked out at two. Shingo runs the ropes to attempt the Pumping Bomber but Suzuki catches his arm and applies the Cross Armbreaker onto Shingo! Shingo trying his best to fight out of it even attempted to lift Suzuki up but was dragged back down into the hold. Suzuki eventually lets go of the hold and kicks his bad arm a few times to hurt him more but Shingo lifted him onto his shoulders, only to let go as Suzuki applies the Fujiwara Armbar to Shingo. Suzuki held onto it tightly, applying as much pressure as he could onto his arm but Shingo would get his leg on the rope to break the hold and save himself in the process. Suzuki chokes him out again but Shingo would deliver a Lariat to Suzuki’s chest, wobbling around but not going down as Shingo hits a couple of more, leading to Suzuki slapping his face a few times, topping it off with a headbutt. Shingo delivered some headbutts of his own and ran the ropes, Suzuki following behind him to choke him from behind again. This lead to Shingo lifting him up to attempt The Last of the Dragon but Suzuki jumped off him to apply the choke once more. Shingo broke free of the hold to hit a stiff forearm, sending the king down and Shingo lifts him up for The Last of the Dragon, pinning him for the victory! Shingo has gotten revenge on Suzuki and when they have their rubber match, it’s gonna be magic.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half

G1 Climax A Block Match
Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay

Review: Time for one of our first deciding matches as Kazuchika Okada takes on Will Ospreay. The winner if this match will be a little bit closer to potentially win the block but one of them is going to have to be eliminated here. Will has failed to defeat Okada every time they fought in singles action, and he looks to finally get that victory. Who will be one step closer?

Ospreay is wasting no time when it comes to Okada, so he knows to hit him as fast as he can, which is what he does when he delivers a Dropkick to Okada right away when the bell rang, sending him to the outside. Ospreay isn’t done as he does his cartwheel flip over the ropes, sending Okada back into the ring to hit the Pip Pip Cheerio as Okada kicked out at two. Ospreay quickly picks Okada soon as he kicked out and goes for the Stormbreaker early as Okada flipped him over. Okada hits Will with a forearm but Ospreay hits him back before calling for the Oscutter, leading to Okada catching him for the Money Clip! Will quickly got to the ropes once it was applied so he could break the hold but Okada wasn’t done as he goes outside to hit Will with the Orton DDT, sending Will crashing into the floor. Quite an explosive beginning to kick things now and things start to finally cool down here after that sequence. Been loving Will’s attitude during the entire tournament with this arrogant amount of confidence in the ring soon as he joined the heavyweight division officially, and felt like this is what he needed to get to that next level to try and defeat Okada. With Okada and his new direction during this time, I’m not fully sure what the payoff is in the long run but for the time being, has been rather underwhelming. Given how these two have changed during the year, they will mesh together well.

Ospreay would take a page out of Okada’s book by having Okada sit on the top turnbuckle, hitting a Dropkick to make Okada fall to the outside. Will would then run toward the corner to jump over it to flip on top of Okada, landing on his feet in the process. Will hits the Pip Pip Cheerio on the back of Okada’s head but kicked out at two. The two start punching each other until Okada goes for a Dropkick, Will hanging onto the ropes to make him drop as he ran in to hit a Running Shooting Star with Okada having his knees up before Will landed. Okada tossed him into the ropes to go for the Dropkick again but Will catches him in the air for a Sitout Powerbomb as Okada kicked out again. Will kicks his head in and would go for the Stormbreaker but Okada reverses it by landing on his feet, hitting a short-armed Lariat. Okada hits the Dropkick this time and picks him up for the Tombstone and hits it, quickly applying the Money Clip right after. Okada went for the Rolling Lariat but Ospreay catches him with the Spanish Fly as Okada kicked out again! Okada went for the Tombstone again but Will catches him with the Reverserana to get Okada down, and then hits the Oscutter finally but doesn’t go for the cover as he isn’t done with him yet. Will picks him up for the Stormbreaker but Okada applies the Money Clip again. Will was getting up as Okada lets go to Backslide him over to hit the Rolling LAriat but Okada ducks, going for the Stormbreaker but Okada reversed to try and hit the move again. Ospreay ducked to hit the Rolling Lariat but Okada duck and hits the Rolling Lariat to get him down. Okada has the Money Clip applied again but what’s this? Bea Priestley is here to cause a distraction to the referee! Okada lets go of the hold to hit a Spinning Tombstone. Okada applies the Money Clip again while Bea distracts the ref but wait, now Tomoyuki Oka aka Great-O-Kharn is here and has a vice grip on Okada’s face and hits him Chokeslam style! Will is confused but picks him up to hit the Stormbreaker and wins the match, finally defeating Okada! After the match, Ospreay gets back in the ring and hits Okada with the Hidden Blade! Will said fuck you to Okada and how he was held back. It looks like Will is done with CHAOS!

Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters

G1 Climax A Block Match
Kota Ibushi vs. Taichi

Review: Time for our semi-main event as Kota Ibushi takes on Taichi. If Ibushi can get a victory here, he’ll be closer to winning while eliminating Will Ospreay in the process. The last time these two fought, Taichi has pinned him on different occasions, and he looks to do it again. Can Ibushi stay in the race or will he be eliminated?

The two would stare each other down in the center of the ring and who knows that they could be thinking during that time. Taichi would deliver a kick to Ibushi but would do the same to Taichi after. The two would then kick each other back and forth until they would eventually break it up, going into their corners. The two go back towards each other and would kick each other’s legs back and forth for the second time and they broke it up again. They would kick each other some more until it turned in the two of them now big booting each other in the face without either of them going down. They ran the ropes each time they did this and it seemed Taichi was the first one to get Ibushi down but Ibushi gets back up to hit the same move to him and they both go down. If you watch NOAH, remember when Katsuhiko Nakajima fought Kenou in the N-1 Victory where it was basically all kicks? This is pretty much the same thing and you know what? I got no complaints from that and the crowd doesn’t seem to care as well. It’s a great example of how you don’t need to do hundreds of moves at 50 miles per hour to make a good match when you could just do simple stuff like this and it’ll sell on its own. It’s basically a good old kick fest and with how well these two kick in their matches, it works and it’s not dull or anything. You can just feel every impact from each kick done to any parts of their body, how they sell it, the emotions during all of this, it’s actually so good.

After they finally kicked each other until they were on the ground for a while, Taichi switches it up by going for the Dangerous Backdrop but Ibushi rolled with it after he landed and is now up on his feet, looking down at Taichi to yell at him. Taichi stands up staring at Ibushi as they went back to kicking each other again. Taichi hits a spinning back kick and Ibushi would do the same, sending Taichi into the corner and love how it’s whatever type of kick one guy does, the opponent would do the same thing just as hard. Taichi kicks Ibushi in the face when Ibushi ran towards him, but would do the same to Taichi when he tried to run into the corner. Taichi hits Ibushi with a Buzzsaw Kick and Kota does the same thing, the two going down again! The two get up and their legs are hurting but they’re still kicking each other despite the amount of pain they’re in. Taichi rips his pants off as they keep on kicking each other’s legs back and forth until Ibushi gets Taichi down with a stiffer kick to his leg. Ibushi attempts to get him up for the Kamigoye but Taichi hits a sweeping kick to Ibushi to get him down! They’re in so much pain that they’re not holding onto each other’s heads while kicking each other still to keep balance. Taichi got Ibushi down and goes for the Buzzsaw Kick but Ibushi catches his leg to hit a stiff kick to the other leg. Ibushi is screaming and hits a Buzzsaw Kick to Taichi to get him down! Ibushi hits the Kamigoye and gets the pinfall victory! Because of this win, Will Ospreay is also eliminated and we are down to two people who can win! Simple and effective, great match!

Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter

G1 Climax A Block Match
Jay White vs. Tomohiro Ishii

Review: It’s now time for our last match of A Block this year as Jay White takes on Tomohiro Ishii. As of right now, Kota Ibushi is in the lead and the only way for that to not happen is for Jay to win here, and he’ll win the block to go to the finals. These two fought in last year’s tournament and Ishii was able to come out the winner. Who is going to A Block? Kota Ibushi or Jay White?

Jay rolled out the ring once the match started and would do this a couple of more times until he decided to slap the pitbull while mocking him like the arrogant prick that he is as Ishii hits him with a forearm, making him go down and roll out the ring for real. Ishii is a mad pitbull now as he followed Jay outside of the ring and gets him back in while Gedo attempts the distracting, giving Jay the opening to kick Ishii into the guardrails. Jay slammed him into the guardrail a few times before tossing him into another one, rolling into the ring while forcing the people to clap. Jay starts to take control of the match but it doesn’t stop him from screwing around as he slaps Ishii on his bald head, which caused Ishii to kick his face but Jay continues to stay on him. The momentum would shift when Ishii catches him for a Powerslam. When it comes to these two, it’s hard to be disappointed since Ishii works well with nearly everybody on the roster and Jay is actually a solid worker while being their best heel on top of it, and they would just work well together with their chemistry in the ring. Ishii slammed him into the corner and would knock Jay down, having him by the apron but Jay used this to slam his neck onto the top rope before getting in to hit the DDT. Looks like Ishii’s taped up leg finally came into play as Jay would hit it before getting him down with a Dragon Screw, applying damage to it once more. Jay continues to hit his leg but Ishii isn’t having any of it, leaving Jay confused when he saw Ishii not selling his hits with an angry look on his face. Ishii hits him into the corner and is all fired up. Ishii ran into the corner but Jay kicks his leg in, getting the pitbull down finally.

Ishii hits a couple of forearms to Jay, causing him to sit down and block his face but Ishii goes for the Sliding Lariat as Jay ducks and hits a Reverse STO on Ishii to get him down. Jay would quickly get behind Ishii to get him with a German Suplex, Ishii folded in half. Jay goes back to taunting Ishii by rubbing his foot on his back, lighting kicking him, provoking him to get up as he hits Ishii with a slap but Ishii hits a forearm to get him down. Ishii ran the ropes to hit a Lariat but Jay ducks to catch him, hitting the Uranagi! Jay attempts the Sleeper Suplex but Ishii pushed him into the corner, leading to Jay to kick his leg out and hits an Underhook Suplex into the corner. Jay attempts to hit the Sleeper Suplex into the corner but Ishii reverses it, hitting a German Suplex into the corner! Ishii gets Jay onto the top turnbuckle and looked like he was going for a Brainbuster off the top but Jay falls to the ring apron to save himself. Ishii attempts to get him back in but Gedo grabbed Jay’s leg to keep him still and once the ref was distracted by Gedo, Jay hits a chop block to Ishii’s leg. Ishii finally gets Jay into the ring and would get him back on the top turnbuckle, hitting the Brainbuster off the second rope. Ishii attempts a Jumping Kick but Jay catches his leg to hit another Dragon Screw. Jay applies a Leglock submission to try and get Ishii to tap out but Ishii gets to the ropes. Jay calls for the Blade Runner but Ishii reverses with a Dragon Screw of his own!

Ishii would get Jay up Fisherman style and makes him land on his knee, hurting himself in the process. Ishii would now apply a submission of his own as he goes for the Ankle Lock to try and make Jay tap out but Jay tries his best to crawl away, causing Ishii to drag him in the middle and locks it in tight when he repositioned himself. Jay grabbed the referee to keep him busy as Gedo gets in the ring to break it up but Ishii grabbed him as Gedo dragged the ref between them, Jay pushing Ishii into them to make Red Shoes go down. Gedo kicks Ishii in the leg and goes for another but Ishii grabs his leg, hitting him with a forearm before going for the Vertical Drop but Jay kicked his leg. Gedo pushed Ishii into Jay as he goes for the Blade Runner but Ishii reversed it, pushing him into Gedo and hits a German Suplex right after! Ishii hits a Sliding Lariat to Jay but he kicked out at two. Ishii goes for the Vertical Drop but Jay gets behind him to hit a low blow, and hits a Regalplex but Ishii kicked out at two also. Jay goes to pick Ishii up but Ishii hits a headbutt to Jay to knock him down! Ishii tries to go for the Lariat again but Jay ducked and hits a Half Nelson Suplex before going for the Blade Runner as Ishii reversed it to attempt the Vertical Drop as Jay got behind him, both turning it around back and forth until Ishii gets him up for the Vertical Drop but turned it into a Stunner instead! Gedo comes in the ring to try and help but Ishii hits a Lariat onto Gedo, turning around to hit a Lariat to Jay as well! Ishii is fired up and hits the Vertical Drop Brainbuster onto Jay and he gets the victory over Jay! Because Ishii has defeated Jay, that means Kota Ibushi is the winner of A Block and will advance to the finals this Sunday! There goes my pick to win it all but still a great match.

Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half

Overall: Quite a few surprises we had for this show but it still went well. Did not expect Ibushi to win a block for a third consecutive year and curious to see who will face him now or if he’ll win it again or lead to a different storyline after. Very fun stuff and thank you all for following me as Andrew will be covering the final after his last B Block day, so be sure to keep an eye on that.

Favorite Match: Jay White vs. Tomohiro Ishii

Least Favorite Match: Jeff Cobb vs. Yujiro Takahashi

Score: 8/10

A Block Standings

  1. Kota Ibushi: (7-2) (14 Points) (Winner)
  2. Jay White: (6-3) (12 Points) (Eliminated)
  3. Kazuchika Okada: (6-3) (12 Points) (Eliminated)
  4. Will Ospreay: (6-3) (12 Points) (Eliminated)
  5. Taichi: (4-5) (8 Points) (Eliminated)
  6. Shingo Takagi: (4-5) (8 Points) (Eliminated)
  7. Tomohiro Ishii: (4-5) (8 Points) (Eliminated)
  8. Jeff Cobb: (4-5) (8 Points) (Eliminated)
  9. Minoru Suzuki: (3-6) (6 Points) (Eliminated)
  10. Yujiro Takahashi: (1-8) (2 Points) (Eliminated)

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