Block B started today and here is a rundown of how everything that went down. Who has started off strong and whose now a step behind?
Get ready for some of the most exciting and odd, in the case of Toru Yano, wrestling matches you will see all autumn. Those who said the B Block isn’t as stacked as the A Block are about to eat their words.
YOSHI-HASHI vs Juice Robinson
Juice Robinson has returned to New Japan with a whole new look, is he on a mission from God? Or does he just really like that Blues Brothers vibe.
YOSHI-HASHI and Juice Robinson put on a good match here. It starts off with some grappling and submission holds and then builds into the two of them hitting big power moves and attempting to thwart each other with Russian leg sweeps and back elbows.
Juice Robinson hits YOSHI-HASHI with a Hands of God twice followed by a Pulp Friction for the win.
Juice Robinson picks up two points via pinfall.
SANADA vs Toru Yano
This match had everything from SANADA sporting a whole new look, Yano having his wrist tape confiscated, duelling with the turnbuckle pads, a role around the ring while trying to pin spot and some really good solid wrestling.
This is the twos first meeting since the King of Pro Wrestling final on 29th August, when Yano in a surprise result, won the four-way match, pinning the leader of CHAOS Kazuchika Okada.
By the end of the match, it is very clear that SANADA has had enough of Yano and drags him up the entrance to put him in a Paradise Lock, waiting in the ring he sees Yuya Uemura help Yano escape. As if in some cruel twist of fate Yano uses this to his advantage, just like last year with Jon Moxley and Shota Umino, he ties SANADA and Uemura’s legs together before running back to the ring.
Yano picks up two points via count out.
Hirooki Goto vs KENTA
KENTA is back to his short black hair and bringing with him to the ring, the briefcase that holds the opportunity to face Jon Moxley for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship.
KENTA starts the match hot and heavy, with strong strikes and an intensity that brings something else to the match. KENTA is very good at utilising the outside of the ring area to wear down his opponent. This works as KENTA dominates the first half of the match hitting Goto with strikes and focusing on each body part individually. Goto makes a comeback attacking KENTA’s neck before trying to get him to submit, but it doesn’t take long for KENTA to turn the match around and makes Goto tap out to an Omoplata Crossface, also known as the Game Over.
KENTA picks up two points via submission.
EVIL vs Zack Sabre Jr
EVIL comes to the ring accompanied by Dick Togo whereupon they both attack ZSJ before the bell has even rung, this is Bullet Clubs M.O. during the G1 and it looks like this tactic will continue throughout the tournament. The “spoiler” Dick Togo will be a looming presence during this tournament, being by the side of EVIL.
EVIL during this match really focuses on submissions, applying a Single Leg Boston Crab; he is really bringing it to ZSJ, even trying to lock in the octopus hold, a signature Sabre move.
As the match continues EVIL begins hitting big power moves to tire ZSJ, who retaliates with some of the best European uppercuts in the industry. ZSJ begin to really amp it up halfway through the match, focusing his attacks on the arms of EVIL and stretching him out with different submission holds.
A arm drag into a butterfly hold into a pinning predicament, really shows off what ZSJ excels at, catch style submission hold wrestling. At some point, the turnbuckle pad is taken off which results in ZSJ being thrown into referee Red Shoes, who then takes the uncovered turnbuckle straight to the back.
After much interference and a triumphant underdog comeback, it is really a two on one situation here; ZSJ manages to pick up the win after getting EVIL into a pinning predicament, using his legs to hold the shoulders down while arching his body into a bridge.
Zack Sabre Jr picks up two points via Pinfall.
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Tetsuya Naito
The match starts off slow, Tanahashi and Naito have battled many times over the years so the two of them will start off cautious, having each other’s numbers during this match. This is proven when Tanahashi starts working Naito’s knees and legs. Naito focuses on Tanahashi’s neck and arms, in an attempt to soften them up to hit his finisher.
Tanahashi is hitting big power moves on Naito including, a frog splash to the outside, his use of the dragon screw leg whip, always Tanahashi’s go to and is used to great effect, especially across the second rope after Naito begins to enter the ring, just beating the 20 counts. Naito isn’t the kind to give up, even with his back and knees being pushed to their limit by Tanahashi. Holding him in a Clover Leaf, Naito will always try to get to the ropes for a break which he does.
The closest of kick-outs occur when Tanahashi hits Naito with a Northern Lights Suplex, this match builds and builds really showing why Naito is a double champ and Tanahashi the ACE of New Japan.
Tanahashi hits the most vicious Sling Blade in all of the professional wrestling before hitting Naito with the high fly flow (frog splash), he goes for a second one which proves to be his downfall. Naito hits him with a Destino and picks up the win.
Tetsuya Naito picks up two points via Pinfall.
Points Table – B Block
|Zack Sabre Jr||2|
For translations of Tetsuya Naito’s closing comments follow Chris Charlton on twitter @reasonjp
The A Block returns to G1 action on 23rd September at 10.30am BST, 6.30pm JST, 5.30am ET, 4.30am CT and 2.30am PT, available on New Japan World.