Block B continues today, putting on incredible matches with layered storytelling and hard hitting moves.
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 SANADA
The match starts off with a strong lockup from both competitors; the two of them grapple on the mat for some time before taking things to the outside. SANADA really needs a win here if he has any chance of making it to the final of the G1.
Once the two of them get back into the ring, from the outside, SANADA makes it his mission to inflict as much punishment onto YOSHI-HASHI as possible, making full use of submission holds and wrestling TOSHI-HASHI down to the mat, in an attempt to tire him out.
After some big power moves and a beautiful Hurrcarrana reversal, SANADA takes control of the match and YOSHI-HASHI, jumping from the top rope and locking in the Skull End, it is something to behold that something so simple can get locked on in so many different ways and out of nowhere. SANADA goes back up to the top rope to hit a Moonsault but YOSHI-HASHI gets his knees up, blocking the move.
It doesn’t take long for the two of them to start trading hard blows and strikes in the middle of the ring, this is the point in the match where things really pick up, both of them doing everything to win, with many near falls to boot.
YOSHI-HASHI hits SANADA with a top rope Karma.
YOSHI-HASHI picks up two points via pinfall.
Zack Sabre Jr vs KENTA
This match starts with KENTA and Zack Sabre Jr trying to work each other out before grappling on the mat, neither being able to lock anything in until ZSJ locks in a leg bar, KENTA reaches the rope easily and the two are back to feeling each other out.
The first true strike is hit by KENTA, who begins using his legs to strike ZSJ in the chest. After Kenta takes it to the outside and throws Zack around for a bit, the two of them get back in the ring and Zack begins bringing it back to KENTA. They are having a slow methodical match, focussing on kicks and wrestling the other man down to the mat, fully embracing the Catch style that ZSJ is so well known for.
This match is a technical masterpiece from these two athletes. KENTA hits a Draping DDT to Zack, who kicks out of the pin attempt. The two of them are giving each other everything they’ve got, the ability that they both have to tie each other up and inflict extreme punishment on one another is incredible to watch. The match ends with KENTA hitting Zack Sabre Jr. with the GTS and pinning him for the win.
KENTA picks up two points via Pinfall.
Juice Robinson vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
Hiroshi Tanahashi starts showing off to the crowed before the bell has even rung, as the ACE of New Japan he knows how to get the crowed going. The match starts off very traditional, lockup into a headlock and then into running the ropes. After a few chops in the corner Juice manages to get Tanahashi into a butterfly hold, stretching his shoulders out, but Tanahashi powers out. Some more back and forth occurs including a Dragon Screw Leg Whip, A Clover Leaf attempt, a Spine Buster and Juice delivering a DDT, spiking Tanahashi.
The match really starts to pick up now, Tanahashi is full of fire and rage, really bringing it to Robinson, hitting a Sling Blade and a High Fly Flow, as Juice is about to hit the Pulp Friction, Tanahashi reverses into a roll up and gets the win.
Hiroshi Tanahashi picks up two points via Pinnfall.
EVIL vs Yano
EVIL comes to the ring accompanied by Dick Togo while Yano comes to the ring alone before beginning to sanitise the area. Yano instantly begins to undo the turnbuckle pads, hitting EVIL with one. Yano’s upper hand didn’t last long as EVIL undoes his own turnbuckle pad and hits Yano with it, before Dick Togo drags him to the outside and attacking. In classic Yano fashion he reverses his fortunes and using athletic tape to tie Togo’s wrist to the barrier.
This entire match is built around the premise of who can out smart and out cheat the other, EVIL and Yano have this strange chemistry and relationship, wherein they bring out the best, and in most cases worst, out of each other. The ending sequence involves a number of low blows, Dick Togo attempting murder and Yano making the big bad heels look altogether foolish and rolling up EVIL for the 3 count and being the first man in the B Block to pick up six points.
Yano picks up two points via Pinfall.
Hirooki Goto vs Tetsuya Naito
When Naito gets to the ring he eyes up Goto before looking at both his belts, smirking and sliding the IWGP Intercontinental title in first, as if to say ‘even if you pin me, you are only worth this one’.
The match starts in the ring but soon enough Tetsuya Naito takes it to the outside, using his environment to his advantage against Hirooki Goto. These two know each other so well that they can counter each other’s moves easily and fluidly. They never go easy on each other hitting moves hard and fast, Naito spend the first half of this match focusing his attacks on Goto’s taped up shoulder and neck, setting up for his finishing move, the Destino. Goto is unrelenting, managing to get Naito up to the top rope for a Suplex.
Naito and Goto have quite a storied history during the G1, both have been in the same block five times with Goto winning their first two G1 match ups and Naito winning the last three. Hirooki Goto is a one time winner of the G1 back in 2008, which was the same year he made his debut and in 2016 he made it to the finals only to lose out to Kenny Omega while Naito has won the tournament twice in 2013 and 2017.
Naito begins attacking Goto’s neck with strong elbow strikes making him collapse onto the mat. Goto stages a comeback only for Naito to hit a Destino, but is unable to capitalise, these two men are giving everything for the win, eventually getting to their feet, and exchanging hard forearms before Goto manages to hit a Ushikoroshi.
Naito tries to hit the Destino but is thawed by Goto who reverses it, Goto then goes for another Suplex only for Naito to reverse it into a Brain Buster following up with a Destino and picks up the win.
After the match BUSHI comes to the ring from the commentary desk and places Naito’s hat on his head, as if it’s a crown for the holder of the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships.
Tetsuya Naito picks up two points via Pinfall.
|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 30th September at 10.30am BST, 6.30pm JST, 5.30am ET, 4.30am CT and 2.30am PT, available on New Japan World.