We move on to day two of Block A, day three over all, of one of the best wrestling tournaments in the world.
Get ready for some of the best high quality matches you will see all autumn. The A Block is stacked this year but after today the field is still wide open.
Shingo Takagi vs Jeff Cobb
Takagi and Cobb start off strong, locking up and trying to knock the other down, both are determined to show they are the strongest athletes in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Both men as well as being incredibly strong are also exceptionally quick on their feet and athletic. They are mirror images of each other and can truly create magic in the ring.
After some big power moves, lots of hard hitting action and plenty of near falls, Jeff Cobb defeats Shingo Takagi with his finisher Tour of the Islands.
Jeff Cobb picks up two points via pinfall.
Yujiro Takahashi vs Kazuchika Okada
The match starts off with a basic lockup, Okada taking Yujiro to the ropes, before patting him on the chest, resulting in a clean break. Okada often does this to his opponents to get into their heads and it looks like that’s exactly what he is doing with Yujiro.
These two have a lot of history and have faced each other a number of times during the lockdown era of wrestling. This should be an easy win for Okada, but Yujiro is bringing it to the former five time IWGP Heavyweight Champion. The beauty of Okada is that over the years he has learnt not to underestimate anyone and be less cocky going into his tournament matches, that change came about because of the Bullet Club and Gedo’s betrayal. Okada vs Bullet Club really feels like, a “we will do this forever kind of situation”.
Yujiro’s tactics are a little more underhanded with his ability to coax Okada out of the ring to deliver neckbreakers on the hard unforgiving floor and biting Okada’s hand to escape from an attempted submission hold.
Okada defeats Takahashi with the Money Clip, he does hit the Rainmaker first but hasn’t been finishing his matches with it as of late. Does Okada want to prove to himself and the world that he is more than the finishing move that’s made him famous?
Kazuchika Okada picks up two points via Submission.
Taichi vs Minoru Suzuki
Suzuki entered the ring and without missing a step, went straight for Taichi and wrapped his hand around his throat, Taichi does the same before they are rolling all over the ring hitting each other with heavy forearms.
Within a minute the ref has been knocked down and the two of them are battling each other using chairs. Soon enough the action spills out of the ring, Suzuki using the barriers to great effect. Soon enough Taichi has turned the match around and starts dishing out punishment to Suzuki by chocking him with a power cable and using chairs on the ramp area.
Eventually the match moves back into the ring and becomes a traditional match, including strong strikes. Minoru Suzuki dominates until the ten minute mark, where Taichi starts his triumphant comeback, the match from here on out is very much a back and forth affair, the two Suzuki-gun members knowing each other inside and out, having counters for all their big moves.
Taichi hits the Black Mephisto on Minoru Suzuki to win the match and become the first person in the tournament to hit four points.
Taichi picks up two points via Pinfall.
Will Ospreay vs Tomohiro Ishii
This match seems to be a chance for Will Ospreay to prove himself in the heavyweight division against one of the most consistent and feared wrestlers in all of New Japan, Tomohiro Ishii.
This is an interesting match up a highflying heavyweight up against a guy who can take a lot of punishment and hits hard. Ishii being the in ring veteran seems to be one step ahead and able to move swiftly and avoid almost everything that Ospreay throws at him.
Tomohiro Ishii gets hit with the Stormbreaker resulting in Will Ospreay picking up the win.
Will Ospreay picks up two points via Pinfall.
Jay White vs Kota Ibushi
Jay White enters the ring accompanied by Gedo. Kota Ibushi on the other hand enters the ring alone, full of confidence. This is a rematch of the G1 Climax 29 final from last year, Kota Ibushi came out on top but lost to Jay White in the Tokyo Dome on the 5th January 2020, who will pick up the win here and show who the better man is?
Jay White starts the match with the same tricks he normally does, rolling out of the ring, avoiding his opponent and this time even taking the mic to taunt the crowd, he soon rolls into the ring but Ibushi is waiting for him with a huge hard kick to the chest.
The match really starts to get going now, the two of them picking up the pace slowly, Ibushi showing off his stiff kicks and strength while White begins focusing on Ibushi’s knees and legs with submission holds and targeted attacks.
Ibushi attempts a second rope German Suplex, but is stopped by interference from Gedo on the outside, Red Shoes is obviously not having any of that, distracting Ibushi for long enough for Jay White to hit him with dragon screw leg whip, it ricocheting off of the second rope.
The match is a real back and forth between two of the best young stars New Japan has right now, a pure babyface vs heel match, who know each other so well that they are able to avoid each other’s most devastating moves over and over again. This match is a true story of resilience and ruthlessness.
After a near tap out from Ibushi courtesy of Jay White applying a Leg bar and a weak kick out just before the three count from White, after Ibushi hits him with the Last Ride, it seems Ibushi has snapped. The switch in his brain has gone on and he has gone from the resilient baby face to one that is somewhat ruthless, as if out of nowhere Jay White hits Kota Ibushi with the Blade Runner, spiking him on the top of his head, to defeat him clean.
Jay White picks up two points via Pinfall.
The backstage comments will be online over at the NJPW YouTube channel with English subs 24 hours after the G1 airs.
The B Block returns to G1 action on 24th September at 10.30am BST, 6.30pm JST, 5.30am ET, 4.30am CT and 2.30am PT, available on New Japan World.