Will there be any 4-0 starts in G1 Climax 30?
There are NO 4-0 entrants in A Block, but what about B Block? Will Tetsuya Naito still be Tranquilo against one of his own Ingobernables?
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 – Juice Robinson VS Toru Yano; Robinson wins.
- B Block – Hirooki Goto VS Zack Sabre Jr; ZSJ wins.
- B Block – Hiroshi Tanahashi VS YOSHI-HASHI; Tanahashi wins.
- B Block – KENTA VS EVIL; EVIL wins.
- B Block – Tetsuya Naito VS SANADA; SANADA wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Here are the current B Block standings!
Tetsuya Naito: 3-0, 6 points
Toru Yano: 3-0, 6 points
KENTA: 2-1, 4 points
Juice Robinson: 2-1, 4 points
YOSHI-HASHI: 1-2, 2 points
Hiroshi Tanahashi: 1-2, 2 points
EVIL: 1-2, 2 points
Hirooki Goto: 1-2, 2 points
Zack Sabre Jr: 1-2, 2 points
SANADA: 0-3, 0 points
B Block – Juice Robinson VS Toru Yano!
The Flamboyant One fell to The Ace while the Producer keeps finding ways to win! Will Mr. KOPW 2020 keep on going and be the first to go 4-0?
Yano has the ref hurry through the check but the ref has reason to be wary of Yano’s tricks. Yano grows impatient with Juice as he takes off his Blues Brothers costume. Juice gets the shirt off and carefully sets it down, and the bell rings. Fans fire up as Yano offers Juice a YTR shirt. Does Juice want it? Juice accepts, looks it over, and Yano wants him to put it on. Now? Yes! Fans cheer, they wouldn’t mind that, either. Juice starts to put it on, Yano rolls him up! TWO, Juice gets the shirt all the way on and Yano apologizes. It’s just a joke! Juice is still pissed and he rushes Yano. Yano dodges, pushes the ref and SPRAYS Juice with that disinfectant! Roll up, TWO!! Juice flounders out of the ring, eyes stinging from the spray! Yano asks if Juice is okay, even though it was his fault.
The ref starts a ring count as Juice keeps going around the way. Juice gets water to wash his eyes out, Yano hurries after him but Juice kicks and SMACKS Yano with the bottle! Juice grabs Yano’s spray bottle, takes the top off and pours out the stuff onto Yano’s face! The ring count is past 15 of 20, Juice gets in at 18! Yano is in at 19.5! Yano writhes, Juice is pissed, and Juice brings Yano up to bump off buckles. Juice stomps Yano over and over, then slaps the “BAKA!” Juice whips Yano corner to corner hard, but Yano goes after the buckle pad! Juice CLUBS Yano and ties the pad back on. But Yano goes after the other corner! Yano has the pads, Juice rolls him up! TWO, and Juice stops himself from running into bare buckles!
Juice grabs the legs, Yano swings the pad but Juice blocks! Juice takes the buckle pad from Yano, swings on Yano but Yano gets out of the ring! Fans cheer, Yano apologizes but Juice calls him an a-hole! Yano still apologizes, but Juice hulks out of the Yano shirt! And flosses his butt with it, and stomps it on the mat! Yano is saddened, but he refuses to get in the ring. Juice shouts, “C’mon!” But Yano says “You c’mon!” Juice says, “No, YOU c’mon!” and this repeats for a few times. The ref tells Yano to get in, but Juice goes out after Yano! Juice swings on Yano but Yano atomic drops, trips Juice up, and has tape! He DID have a roll hidden in his trunks! Yano ties up Juice’s legs, then leaves him behind on the ramp!
The count begins, Yano is in at 5, but Juice crawls and hops! Juice makes it back to ringside at 15, trips, but gets up and in at 17! Fans cheer as this match continues. Yano laughs at Juice and eggs him on. Juice gets up, hops at Yano but Yano keeps running around him. Yano kicks Juice low, fires up, but Juice catches him for a FULL NELSON SLAM! Fans cheer and Juice starts undoing the tape! Juice’s legs are free and he pumps up. Fans rally behind him as he JABS! And JABS! JAB! JAB! Juice powers up but Yano ducks the left hand and drags Juice down by that hand for a cover! TWO!!
Yano dodges again, grabs the ref to underhook his arms, but Juice blocks the low blow kick! LEFT HAND O’ GOD! Juice reels Yano in, chicken wings but no Pulp! Yano tries the school boy, Juice stays up, Yano tries to victory roll but Juice sits down on the cover! JUICE WINS!
Winner: Juice Robinson, by pinfall; gains 2 points, Yano earns 0
Yano does NOT go 4-0! Juice has pinned Mr. KOPW 2020 and the IWGP United States Championship title match contract holder! Will both prizes be ripe for the picking after the G1?
B Block – Hirooki Goto VS Zack Sabre Jr!
The Fierce Warrior was Tetsuya Naito’s third win in a row, but that doesn’t make him that different from the Submission Master, who was Naito’s second. But which one of them breaks even at 2-2 at the G1’s halfway point?
The bell rings and ZSJ circles with Goto. They approach, feel out the grapple, and ZSJ goes for a leg. Goto stays low to defend, they both stand up and ZSJ gets the waistlock. Goto pries free, wrenches but ZSJ gets away. Fans cheer the exchange as the two circle again. They feel out another grapple, ZSJ jumps on to drag Goto down to an armbar but Goto clasps hands. ZSJ gets them apart but Goto gets the ropebreak! ZSJ holds on until the ref counts 3, and then he stomps and kicks away at Goto on the ropes! The ref reprimands but ZSJ pushes him away to go after Goto more! The ref comes back and pulls ZSJ away from Goto, Goto grits his teeth and clutches his arm, but ZSJ comes right back!
ZSJ facelocks, Goto breaks free and knees low! Goto CHOPS and CHOPS with his good arm, ZSJ BOOTS the bad one! ZSJ waistlocks, Goto elbows free and runs, but ZSJ goes the other way. ZSJ comes back, gets around and gets the IRON OCTOPUS! ZSJ wrenches the bad arm around and shifts in and out of different armbars in the Octopus. Goto endures, pries free, fireman’s carries but ZSJ fights off to PELE the arm! Goto spins, ZSJ boots the bad arm and sweeps the leg! Fans fire up as ZSJ Penalty Kicks! Goto is right up to LARIAT! Both men are down and the fans are fired up! Fans rally up as Goto fires himself up. Goto grits his teeth, drags ZSJ up to a fireman’s carry, USHIGOROSHI!
Goto’s bad arm slows him down but he’s back on his feet and powering up again! BUZZSAW! ZSJ flounders, Goto dragon sleepers but ZSJ victory rolls to EUROCLUTCH! ZSJ WINS!?!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by pinfall; gains 2 points, Goto earns 0
The shock isn’t that he won, it’s that ZSJ already won! He got Goto so fast, that might be a G1 record! Will the ZSJ even need to tap someone out to win the block?
B Block – Hiroshi Tanahashi VS YOSHI-HASHI!
Both the Once in a Century and the Head Hunter finally got on the board last round, but there’s still a long way to go before they’re G1 finalists! Will it be #GOACE or #GetBackUp that wins the day?
The bell rings and fans rally already as Hashi and Tanahashi circle. They tie up, Tana waistlocks but Hashi pries free to standing switch. Tana drop toeholds and hops on to go after the arm. Hashi endures as Tana cranks on the arm. Tanahashi wrenches to a wristlock but Hashi rolls to wristlock back. Tanahashi spins through, wrenches back, but Hashi reverses right back! Hashi cranks on the wrist but Tanahashi wrenches Hashi back! Hashi wrenches, Tana rolls but Hashi avoids the boots to drop down on a cover. Tana headscissors but Hashi pops out, and the fans cheer the technical exchange. Hashi and Tanahashi circle as fans rally up again. They tie up again, Tana wrenches back to the wristlock but Hashi throws forearms!
Hashi backs Tana down, throws more forearms in the corner, then whips him corner to corner. Hashi runs in but Tana elbows back then springboard crossbodies! Tana strums the air guitar before going back to Hashi. Fans rally up, Tana throws forearms and whips, but Hashi reverses. Tana kicks but Hashi blocks to DRAGON SCREW! Fans fire up for Hashi as he goes back after Tanahashi. Hashi stomps the leg then SMASHES the knee! Hashi drags Tanahashi around, has a standing toehold and wrenches the leg. Tanahashi endures so Hashi leans on the leg. Tana uses his good leg to push back but Hashi twists the ankle. Tana gets a hand in a gap, but Hashi spins around to KNEEBAR!
Tanahashi sits up to try and relieve pressure, then he gets around to get the ropebreak! The fans cheer as Hashi lets go. Hashi stomps Tana’s leg, throws forearms, but Tana throws forearms back. Tana backs Hashi down now, throws EuroUppers, but Hashi CHOPS back! Hashi CHOPS again, whips Tana corner to corner but Tana comes back, only to miss the basement dropkick! Hashi brings Tana up, Tana throws forearms but Hashi gives them back! Hashi CHOPS, whips but Tana flying forearms! Tanahashi fires up with the fans. Hashi gets to a corner and the fans rally up. Tana runs corner to corner but blocks Hashi’s boot! DRAGON SCREW! Now things are even between them! Fans clap, “GET BACK UP!” as Tanahashi drags Hashi up.
Tana scoop slams Hashi to a drop zone, hops up for the second rope somersault senton! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps his cool and gets his bad leg working again. Fans rally up as Tanahashi waits for Hashi to stand. Tana runs, Hashi CHOPS him first! Tana fires up to keep going, but Hashi CHOPS him again! Hashi talks some trash but Tana CHOPS away on him! Hashi CHOPS again! Hashi runs in to CHOP Tana at the corner! Hashi brings Tana up in a suplex, sets him down, but Tanahashi elbows out of the Bunker Buster neckbreaker! Tanahashi swings, Hashi ducks to spinning back kick! And SUPERKICK! Tanahashi wobbles, Hashi brings him around and lifts, RUNNING BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Tanahashi survives and fans fire up more!
Hashi gets up, drags Tana to his feet, fisherman, but Tana fights out to full nelson! Hashi breaks free but Tana traps the arms! STRAITJACKET GERMAN! Bridging cover, TWO!! Hashi survives and the fans fire up as Tanahashi gets up. Tana fires up, runs, but Hashi CHOPS him again! Hashi runs, into a SLING BLADE! Tanahashi hurries up top and leaps, HIGH FLY FLOW onto knees!! Tana and Hashi are down but fans rally up! Both men stir and slowly rise. Tanahashi is at the ropes, he heads for Hashi and Hashi throws a forearm. Tana throws it back, so Hashi throws another! Tana fires up to throw another forearm! Hashi throws a forearm back! Tana hits him again, so Hashi hits back! Tana throws two, Hashi throws two! Tana throws three, Hashi throws three!
Tana throws several strikes, Hashi gives them back with a CHOP! Tanahashi palm strikes, Hashi palm strikes! Tanahashi wobbles and fans are thunderous! Hashi powers up and runs, to LARIAT! But Tana stays up, ROCKS Hashi and runs, but Hashi dodges to LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!! Hashi drags Tana back up as the fans are thunderous, BUTTERFLY LOCK! Tanahashi endures, reaches with his legs, but Hashi leans on the hold. Tana refuses to give up, fans keep on rallying, and Tanahashi drags himself and Hashi over. Hashi manages to turn Tana from the ropes! Tanahashi kicks and flails, fans keeps rallying for him, and Tanahashi heads the other way! Hashi keeps turning Tana from ropes, and manages to grab the free arm’s wrist! Hashi adds a double wristlock to the butterfly!
Tana endures the Kimura-Fly, reaches out with a leg, and scoots his way over. Hashi shifts to a SLEEPER! Hashi then hits a BACKSTABBER! Fans are thunderous as Hsahi drags Tana up, half nelsons and pump handles, but Tana pops out of Karma to TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Both men are down, fans rally back up, and the two stir. Tana goes after Hashi, gets a leg and cranks on the heel! GROUND DRAGON SCREW! And then another the other direction! Hashi clutches the leg while Tana gets to his feet. Fans still rally as Tana fires up and drags Hashi by his legs. Tana laces the legs up, CLOVERLEAF! Hashi reels Tana in to a cradle, TWO!! Tana escapes but barely, and Hashi is right after him again! Tana fights off the butterfly to victory roll, TWO!! Tana gets the leg, DRAGON SCREW!
Fans rally again as Tana rises. Tana waits for Hashi to stand, then he runs to Sling- NO! DRAGON SUPLEX from Hashi!! Hashi runs, METEORA! Cover, TWO!! Hashi fires up with the fans as he drags Tana back up. Fisherman, lift and shift, KUMAGOROSHI!! Cover, TWO!?! Tanahashi survives the Bear Cutter?! Hashi can’t believe it but he won’t let that stop him! Fans are thunderous again as Hashi drags Tana back up. Half nelson pump handle but Tana fights out of Karma! Tana rolls with wrist control, but Hashi CHOPS! Hashi reels Tana in, Tana SLING BLADES! Cover, TWO!! Hashi barely escapes but Tana goes up top! HIGH FLY CROSSBODY! But he isn’t done there, he’s right back up for a HIGH FLY FLOW!! Cover, Tanahashi wins!!
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by pinfall; gains 2 points, Yoshi-Hashi earns 0
The Head Hunter could not #GetBackUp after that, and The Ace is high! Will Tanahashi manage to make a comeback in the second half of the G1?
B Block – KENTA VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo!
What is this? Bullet Club VS Bullet Club? Will this even be a match? Or will Fang Revived refuse to accept Everything is Evil?
Being they’re all Bullet Club, Kenta, Evil and Dick throw up the Too Sweet, but Evil only Low Sweets Dick. The bell rings, fans rally as the two stare down, but then Kenta bails out. Evil gives him his space as Kenta goes around the corner. Kenta gets back in slowly, Evil approaches, but Kenta goes back out. Kenta rolls in, but then rolls right back out! And he whispers something to Dick, but Dick wags his finger, “No no no.” Bullet Club may be Bullet Club, but Dick’s on Evil’s side. Kenta gets in and circles with Evil. Evil kicks and clubs Kenta, wrenches the bad arm then whips. Kenta ducks and dodges to BOOT Evil down! Evil bails out but Kenta pursues to RAM Evil into railing! Kenta whips Evil into more railing!
Evil goes down in a heap and fans actually cheer for Kenta. Or maybe they’re just cheering someone who isn’t Evil. Kenta stomps Evil, Dick protests but Kenta says he should be joining in. Kenta POSTS Evil, looms over him, then drags him up. Kenta keeps saying Dick should hit Evil but it seems Kenta is the one who doesn’t understand how this works. Kenta puts Evil in, fans cheer as Kenta covers, ONE! Kenta stomps Evil, sits him up and KICKS him in the back! Kenta gives a thumbs up to Dick as if this is still part of some plan. Kenta kicks Evil while he’s down and fans cheer. Kenta gets them to clap and rally up, and then he does his weird rhythm again. Kenta stomps Evil, brings him up and hits a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!
Kenta drops knees on Evil’s head, then jumps, to simply scuff Evil. Fans cheer but Evil gets up to swing on Kenta! Kenta spins Evil around to DDT! Cover, TWO! Dick is relieved and fans rally up again. Kenta keeps giving that thumbs up as he brings Evil around to whip. Evil reverses, Dick trips and drags Kenta out! Does that make it clear whose side he’s on? Kenta glares at Dick, Evil slides out to CLUB Kenta! Evil wrenches and whips Kenta into railing! Kenta hobbles and drops, Dick distracts Red Shoes while Evil gets a chair! Evil puts the chair around Kenta’s arm to then POST Kenta! Kenta staggers and stumbles away, clutching the bad arm. Dick eggs Kenta on while Evil goes into the ring. Evil unties the blue corner, Bullet Club’s favorite move these days.
Kenta gets in but Evil goes back and brings him up. Evil wrenches, Kenta throws haymakers but Evil wrenches again! Evil CLUBS the bad arm and covers, ONE! Evil smirks and fans cheer as Evil brings Kenta back up. Evil wrenches, hammerlocks and throws Kenta’s bad arm into bare buckles! Kenta writhes and rolls out of the ring and Red Shoes checks on him. Kenta says he’s okay so Evil mockingly applauds. The ring count begins, Kenta gets in at 10 of 20 but Evil is on the bad arm! Evil scoops and slams Kenta, covers, TWO! Evil is right on the bad arm with a Fujiwara! Evil bends the fingers, Kenta endures, drags himself around, but Evil really tortures the hand! Kenta crawls, reaches, and gets the ropebreak! Evil lets go at 3 but keeps his cool.
Evil gives toying kicks to the bad arm then claps to get the fans rallying. Evil kicks the bad arm more, eggs Kenta on, and Kenta fires off forearms! Evil wrenches and YANKS the bad arm! Evil taunts Kenta, runs, but into a boot! Kenta runs, boots again, but Evil comes back, into Kenta’s POWERSLAM! Fans rally up as Kenta drags Evil up to kick and kick and kick! FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! Kenta keeps his cool as fans rally more. Kenta drags Evil back up, waistlocks, but Evil elbows free. Evil runs in but Kenta boots! Kenta goes up, reels Evil in, and tornado hotshots! Kenta goes back up top, leaps, flying clothesline! Cover, TWO! Evil rolls away but Kenta stalks him. Kenta kicks and stomps Evil at the ropes but lets up as Red Shoes reprimands.
Kenta brings Evil up through the ropes, Dick gets on the apron but Kenta backs him down. Evil gets the arm to hotshot it off the ropes! Fans rally up again as Evil catches his breath and Kenta clutches his arm. Evil gets in, drags Kenta up by the bad arm, hammerlocks and sends him back into the bare buckles! Evil corner clotheslines and FISHERMAN BUSTERS! Cover, TWO! Evil argues the count but he goes back after Kenta. Evil fireman’s carries but Kenta fights out. Evil still gets Kenta up but Kenta slips down and shoves Evil at Red Shoes! Kenta runs in, Evil turns things around and Red Shoes gets clobbered! Kenta DDT’s Evil down but there’s no one to count the cover!
Kenta tells Dick to get the briefcase. Dick refuses, so Kenta gets it himself. Dick wants Kenta to give it to him, so Kenta does, by CLOBBERING Dick! Kenta goes after Evil with strikes, then grabs the briefcase! Evil gets up, Kenta CASE SHOTS him! Red Shoes returns as Kenta climbs up top. Fans rally up as Kenta DOUBLE STOMPS Evil down! Kenta sits Evil up, runs, PSYCHO KNEE! Cover, TWO!! Evil survives, fans fire up and Kenta slashes the throat! Kenta fireman’s carries Evil, Evil kicks free and ends up in the corner. Evil baits Kenta in, Kenta gets bare buckles! And DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Kenta survives but Evil is too tired to be frustrated.
Fans rally up as both men slowly rise. Evil is up first, he runs, and LARIATS Kenta down! Cover, TWO!! Kenta still lives and Evil grows frustrated. Evil slashes the throat and drags Kenta up. Evil spins Kenta, but Kenta slips out of the STO to fire off haymakers and DECK Evil! Kenta fires up now, drags Evil up to the fireman’s carry, but Dick distracts! Kenta hip tosses Dick in and Dick begs for mercy! He tries to low blow but Kenta fireman’s carries Dick up. Dick grabs Red Shoes, Evil LOW BLOWS Kenta! Evil hobbles around, brings Kenta in, EVERYTHING IS EVIL! Cover, Evil wins!!
Winner: Evil, by pinfall; gains 2 points, Kenta earns 0
This was indeed a match, and a nasty one at that! But the King of Darkness pins the IWGP US Championship challenger! Will Kenta be willing to put that contract briefcase up to get his revenge? What will the rest of Bullet Club think about what just happened?
B Block – Tetsuya Naito VS SANADA!
Speaking of faction members facing each other, it’s LIJ VS LIJ! Naito wanted to face Sanada most of all, but will the Cold Skull end the champion’s hot streak?
The fans rally already and the two are just taking off their elaborate entrance attire. Sanada knows Naito well, so he patiently waits for Naito to finish. The fans cheer as both men are finally ready and the bell rings. The fans fire up with the “SA-NA-DA!” “NA-I-TO” rhythm clapping as the two circle. Naito and Sanada tie up, Sanada waistlocks but Naito pries free and switches. Sanada wrenches, Naito rolls to trip Sanada to a toehold but Sanada tries to block. Sanada uses a leg to bring Naito down but Naito clasps hands together to resist the armbar. Naito powers Sanada to a cover, Sanada resists so Naito gets a headlock. Sanada headscissors, Naito pops free and fans cheer as the two stand off. Sanada and Naito reset, fans rally again, and the two approach.
Naito and Sanada knuckle lock, Naito drops and rolls to wrangle Sanada into a keylock. Sanada stays up so Naito cranks on the hold. Sanada spins through, hammerlocks and headlocks, but Naito powers Sanada to ropes. Red Shoes calls for a break but Sanada turns things around. Sanada lets off clean and fans cheer. But Naito kicks low, throws Sanada out and runs, but Sanada knows this trick! Sanada trips Naito before the tranquilo roll, drags Naito out and then gets in to slingshot! Naito moves but Sanada was faking him out! Sanada slingshots back in to stand tall. Naito smirks, admitting Sanada got him. Fans are fired up as Naito takes his time returning. Sanada waits in a corner, Naito rolls in, and the two reset. They approach, Naito kicks and clubs Sanada then headlocks.
Sanada throws body shots, powers out but Naito holds ropes. Naito boots back, Sanada knees back. Sanada runs into Naito’s shotgun boot! Sanada bails out, Naito follows and bumps Sanada off apron, then RAMS him into railing, repeat! Red Shoes reprimands but Naito whips Sanada into more railing! Sanada is down while Naito gets in the ring. The ring count begins and climbs to 10 of 20 before Sanada sits up. Sanada stands at 17 and gets in at 18, and fans cheer as this continues. Naito stomps Sanada, drags him up and whips him to ropes. Naito gets Sanada in the sleeper hold and squeezes tight. Naito draogn sleepers for the backbreaker into the leg hook full nelson. Fans rally as Sanada endures and kicks around.
Sanada moves around, Naito pulls Sanada’s hair, but Sanada still gets the ropebreak. Red Shoes tells Naito to let go but Naito again claims he needs help. Red Shoes frees Sanada, Naito whips Sanada to the corner. Rocket kick and leg sweep, then COMBINACIAN CABRON! Fans cheer while Naito poses, then Naito kneels on Sanada for a cocky pin. Red Shoes won’t count that so Naito actually covers, TWO! Naito stands on Sanada’s head but Red Shoes counts. Naito stops to toy with Sanada. Naito scrapes him with his shoes then stands on Sanada’s face. Fans rally up, Naito gives the LIJ fist, but he does step off of Sanada’s head. Naito brings Sanada up for a cravat and neck wrench. Sanada endures, throws body shots, but Naito CLUBS him!
Naito turns Sanada but Sanada elbows out of the neckbreaker! Naito kicks Sanada, runs but Sanada dropkicks the legs out! Fans fire up as both men are down! Sanada stands first and heads over. Sanada throws forearms on Naito, whips him but Naito reverses to throw an elbow. Naito runs, Sanada hurdles and hurdles and dropkicks! Naito bails out, Sanada PLANCHAS for real! Direct hit and Sanada encourages the fans to cheer more. The fans do cheer more and he wants even more. Sanada goes back to Naito, puts him in the ring, and brings him up to a fireman’s carry. Naito resists, clubs Sanada back, then kicks low. Naito whips Sanada to a corner, Sanada elbows back and hops up. Naito gets under the moonsault, things speed up again, Naito elbows Sanada down and hits a basement dropkick!
Fans rally again as Naito drags Sanada back up. Naito rams Sanada into a corner, then rams him again! And again! Naito kicks, reels Sanada in and hits the neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Naito keeps his cool, and gives more toying kicks. Fans rally up and Naito says it’s for him. Naito drags Sanada up, hammerlocks, half nelsons, but Sanada resists the lift! Naito CLUBS Sanada, whips him but Sanada reverses. Sanada catches the jumping elbow, spins around and Shiranui, but Naito slips out of Sliced Bread to spin Sanada around. Naito goes to suplex, Sanada suplexes first, and he puts Naito on the ropes for MAGIC SCREW! Fans cheer as both men are down again. Fans build to another rally as Sanada sits up first.
Sanada brings Naito up, double chicken wings but Naito resists the lift. Sanada keeps trying, he gets Naito up but Naito arm-drags and elbows back! Naito hits the atomic drop, and the tornado DDT! Both men are down and fans cheer again. Fans build to another rally as Naito sits up. Naito drags Sanada up, puts him in a corner and hoists him up top. Naito climbs up to join him but Sanada resists. Naito clubs Sanada on the back over and over, and over and over. Fans rally as Naito stands but Sanada pops out! Sanada dropkicks Naito onto the post! Sanada catches his breath while fans rally up, and he climbs up behind Naito. Sanada sits Naito up, headlocks, then hits a SUPER BACKBREAKER!! Naito writhes but Sanada drags him up! TIGER SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Naito narrowly escapes and fans fire up! Sanada vows to end this as he brings Naito up. Sanada dragon sleepers, drops back, but Naito rolls off the back to get Sanada for a SPINE BUSTER! Both men are down again, fans rally up and Red Shoes checks on them. Naito sits up, Sanada follows, and the two get to opposite corners. Sanada runs corner to corner but Naito elbows him away. Sanada tries again but misses. Naito fires off elbow after elbow to sit Sanada down. Naito drags Sanada up as fans rally. Naito throws elbow after elbow on Sanada and Sanada drops to a knee. Fans rally as Naito brings Sanada up for more elbows. Sanada drops to a knee again but Naito drags Sanada back up.
Naito throws even more elbows and lets Sanada fall to the mat! Fans still rally as Naito brings Sanada back up. Naito hoists Sanada up top, climbs up to join him, and SUPER STEINERS! Cover, TWO! Sanada still lives but Naito is still calm. Naito drags Sanada back up, hammerlocks, but Sanada resists again. Naito reels Sanada out ot elbow, then hammerlocks, but Sanada slips out of Gloria to dragon sleeper! Naito spins Sanada to a dragon sleeper of his own, then shoves Sanada for the ESPERANZA! Naito aims from a corner as Sanada rises and the fans rally. Naito runs in, hops up, inverted DDT! Then tilt-o-whirl, but Sanada counters to a TKO!! Both men are down and fans are fired up! Fans rally up as both men stir.
Naito sits up first but Sanada follows. Sanada heads for Naito but Naito throws a forearm. Sanada throws a forearm back, so Naito gives another. Sanada throws another forearm, Naito hits him again, and fans start to rally with them. They trade forearms to their feet, Sanada hits then Naito hits back. They pick up the pace, are fast and furious, and Naito gets the edge, but Sanada fires off many more! Sanada spins, Naito whips him away but Sanada elbows back. Sanada QUEBRADAS into the dragon sleeper! Naito starts to fade, but Sanada gives him a SKULL SWING! Drop down, SKULL END! Sanada has the body scissors on tight and Naito endures being bent back! Fans are thunderous, Naito gets his head free but Sanada grabs him with the other arm!
Sanada squeezes tighter on Skull End, Naito scoots around but is fading! Red Shoes asks him but Naito refuses to quit. Naito gets his head free again, Sanada sits him up to get the dragon sleeper back! Sanada drags Naito from ropes to drop back down with the body scissors! Naito is caught but he still endures as fans still rally! Red Shoes asks, Naito is slow to respond, so Sanada drops him to go up top! MOONSAULT! But Naito moves and Sanada flops! Fans rally up as Naito gets to the corner. Naito sits up, watches Sanada stir and the fans rally harder. Sanada rises, Naito runs in, tilt-o-whirl but no Destino! SKULL END, but Naito slips out fast to try again, DESTINO HITS!! Cover, TWO!?!? Sanada survives and the fans are thunderous again!
Naito drags Sanada up, wrenches and tilt-o-whirls, but Sanada blocks Destino to flip Naito into the dragon sleeper! Naito slips through to suplex, Sanada kicks back, Valentia is just a normal brain buster now! But that still has Sanada in a daze and fans rally up again. Naito and Sanada head for each other, Naito gets a leg to then throw elbows and an enziguri! Naito drags Sanada back up, tries Valentia again, Sanada steals DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives but Sanada fires back up! Sanada goes up top, MOONSAULTS Naito on the back! Sanada goes again, MOONSAULT to Naito’s chest!! Cover, Sanada wins!!!!
Winner: SANADA, by pinfall; gains 2 points, Naito earns 0
Sanada’s first win in this year’s G1 is perhaps the most important one! He may be 1-3, but he is the 1 in Naito’s 3-1! Has Sanada just jumped the line to earn himself an IWGP Heavyweight Championship match? But being LIJ, Sanada offers the fist bump, and Naito… returns it! The LIJ captain respects what his teammate was able to do, though he might be frustrated with himself. Will Naito be able to rebound and still take the block?
Sanada grabs the mic and says, “Nagaoka, it’s been awhile, but shall we give it a try?” The fans clap, he encourages them to keep going, and it’s time for a special spotlight. The fans have their phones out to be twinkling stars. “To thank everyone for being here, with everything that’s going on, this is my gift to you.” Nagaoka is the one place in Japan Sanada loves the most. “See you next time!” Short and sweet, the Cold Skull is focused on the next round! Can he make a massive comeback to be much more than just a spoiler?
Here are the NEW B Block standings!
Tetsuya Naito: 3-1, 6 points
Toru Yano: 3-1, 6 points
Juice Robinson: 3-1, 6 points
Hiroshi Tanahashi: 2-2, 4 points
EVIL: 2-2, 4 points
KENTA: 2-2, 4 points
Zack Sabre Jr: 2-2, 4 points
SANADA: 1-3, 2 points
YOSHI-HASHI: 1-3, 2 points
Hirooki Goto: 1-3, 2 points
This was perhaps the most shocking part of the G1 yet! No one in either block makes it to 4-0, which is fine, because how those win streaks ended were amazing! Juice gives as good as he gets in the comedy from Yano, and now he and Yano are tied at 3-1! Juice could use this to get ahead of Yano in the end! Plus, Juice’s options are open. I’d love to see if he challenged for the KOPW 2020 and the IWGP US Championship briefcase in turn to really propel those stories forward. And what a great first win for Sanada in the G1 this year than to get a win over the IWGP Heavyweight Champion and it being Naito. Sanada’s post match promo is really more the visual than the words, the phones being the stars and the backlighting on Sanada looked incredible. I really look forward to a rematch with the title on the line at Power Struggle in November.
I was definitely surprised by ZSJ beating Goto so quickly. I feel like that was legit, that Goto’s beat up arm couldn’t do enough to help him kick out or something, and ZSJ wins much faster than he was meant to. Kenta and Evil was really good, and makes me want a new Bullet Club Civil War. Real-life business got in the way of Firing Squad VS The Elite, but maybe if this ends up split between the King of Darkness and “King Switch,” that’d be some great story for the faction. And Tanahashi VS Yoshi-Hashi was incredible, probably the match the fans were the most fired up for from the sound of it. Tanahashi wins to climb up the block a bit, there’s still a chance he becomes a finalist, but having lost to Naito in the first round, he might not be able to unless Naito really falls off.
My Score: 9.5/10