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NJPW G1 Climax 31 night five results: Ibushi vs. Sabre

The G1 Climax 31 A Block continued today at Kobe World Hall. 

Kota Ibushi took on Zack Sabre Jr. in the main event, while Tomohiro Ishii faced KENTA in the semi-main. 

Great-O-Khan vs. Yujiro Takahashi and Tanga Loa vs. Toru Yano were the other tournament matches today. IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Shingo Takagi faced Yuji Nagata in a special singles match, while Master Wato took on Kosei Fujita in the opener. 

Here are results and a report from today's show. 

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Recommended matches --

  • Shingo Takagi vs. Yuji Nagata
  • Tomohiro Ishii vs. KENTA
  • Kota Ibushi vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

Report --

Master Wato defeated Kosei Fujita (6:21)

I'm not an anti-Wato guy, I think some of his stuff is good, but these Young Lion openers probably benefit him as much as Fujita and Oiwa. Wato could use the ring time and practice on fundamentals. 

Wato got the best of a brief chain wrestling sequence, then took control with kicks. Fujita hit a great desperation dropkick to create separation and locked on a crab, but Wato fought to the ropes. 

Wato hit a backdrop and used a Boston crab for the submission. 

Shingo Takagi defeated Yuji Nagata (16:51)

This was terrific. 

Shingo had his right arm taped up, selling the damage from his match with Sabre last week. 

They began by trading holds, then traded strikes. Shingo hit a knee lift and backed Nagata into the ropes. They slipped to the apron. Each teased a move on the apron, but Nagata jumped to the floor. Shingo tried a diving chop off the apron, but Nagata caught him and hit an exploder on the floor to take control of the match. 

Back inside, Nagata began targeting the arms. He wrenched on the left arm, then the taped right arm. Nagata hit kicks to the arms, then barred the left arm. Shingo forced  a break, then hit a vertical suplex.

Shingo caught a kick attempt and hit a DVD. Nagata hit a knee strike and caught Shingo in a Nagata Lock. Nagata transitioned to pin attempt, but Shingo kicked out. Shingo hit a dragon screw. 

Nagata fought off a figure four attempt, then caught a sliding lariat attempt and slapped on another variation of the Nagata Lock. Shingo escaped and hit a diving forearm strike. Nagata hit the Justice knee in the corner. Shingo tried to fight off a superplex, but Nagata hit a top rope exploder for a near fall. 

Shingo blocked a back suplex and dumped Nagata on his neck with a back suplex. Shingo hit a lariat. Nagata countered with a back suplex. They traded forearm blows. Nagata hit an enzuigiri, but Shingo answered with an immediate sliding lariat. 

Shingo hit a Pumping Bomber for a near fall, then used Last of the Dragon to score the pin. 

Shingo cut a promo after the match and promised to deliver Shingo vs. Naito as soon as possible. That was the originally scheduled main event for tonight before Naito's knee forced him to withdraw from G1.

A Block: Great-O-Khan defeated Yujiro Takahashi (w/Pieter) (14:15)

This lacked intensity and the pacing was slow, but it was better than I expected. 

O-Khan wanted to amateur wrestle on the mat, but Yujiro didn't want any part of that. They brawled to the floor. Yujiro used his walking stick on O-Khan on the ramp to take over. O-Khan made it back in after a countout tease. 

Yujiro used a legdrop, a slam and another legdrop for a pair of near falls. O-Khan came back with a back suplex, then tied Yujiro to the tree of woe and hit a sliding dropkick. They traded chops. O-Khan hit a belly-to-belly to set up a head and arm choke, but Yujiro forced a break. 

Yujiro hit a fisherman buster and an Angle slam for a two count. Yujiro hit Miami Shine for another near fall. O-Khan blocked Pimp Juice. Yujiro escaped the Eliminator and hit a lariat for a two count. 

O-Khan escaped Big Juice and used a sheep killer to set up the Eliminator for the pin.  

A Block: Toru Yano defeated Tanga Loa (w/Jado) (10:46)

They didn't go full comedy or full serious match with this one and the result was a bad mix of both. 

Yano produced a bag before the opening bell. The referee emptied the bag and it was full of handcuffs and rolls of tape. 

Loa got the better of a striking battle. Loa pulled Yano's shirt over his head and tried to win by countout, but Yano beat the count back in. 

They traded suplexes for near falls. They had a plodding brawl. Yano exposed a buckle. Loa used the OJK, but Yano rolled to the ropes. Yano cradled Loa for two. Loa used a cradle for a near fall.

Yano hit a slingshot into the exposed buckle. The ref blocked Yano as he went for a low blow. Loa bumped Yano into the ref. Jado climbed in with a kendo stick. Yano got the kendo stick and threw Loa into the buckle, then threw the stick to Jado. 

Yano used the distraction to low blow Loa and schoolboy him for the pin.  

A Block: KENTA defeated Tomohiro Ishii (21:08)

This was very good and KENTA's best match in quite some time.

KENTA tried to roll outside to stall, but Ishii dragged him back in and hit a tackle. KENTA again rolled outside. Ishii went after him and sent him into the barricade. KENTA hit Ishii with the bell to turn the tide in his favor. 

KENTA posted Ishii's right arm and sent him into the barricade arm-first. Back in, KENTA continued to work over the right arm. KENTA exposed a buckle, but Ishii sent KENTA into the exposed steel. Ishii hammered away with chops and forearms in the corner. KENTA answered with a diving clothesline off the top.

KENTA caught Ishii coming in and tried for Game Over, but Ishii rolled to the ropes. Ishii got to the apron and teased a suplex to the floor, but KENTA hit a draping DDT. KENTA hit a running boot and a stalling dropkick. 

Ishii avoided a double stomp off the top and hit a German suplex into the buckle. They exchanged strikes. KENTA hit a clothesline, then connected with a double stomp off the top for a near fall. 

KENTA used Game Over. Ishii fought his way to the ropes after a long submission tease. Ishii blocked a penalty kick and dropped KENTA with a German suplex. Ishii hit a superplex for a two count. 

KENTA hit a short knee. Ishii escaped a GTS attempt and hit a lariat, but KENTA hit two Busaiku knees for a near fall. KENTA hit a series of palm strikes to the face. Ishii escaped a GTS and hit a headbutt to the chest. Ishii hit a sliding lariat for a two count at the 20 minute mark. 

Ishii went for the Vertical Drop. KENTA reversed into a GTS attempt. Ishii slid out and hit an enzuigiri. Ishii hit a lariat for another near fall. 

KENTA escaped a Vertical Drop attempt and rammed Ishii into the exposed turnbuckle, then used a schoolboy with the trunks for the flash pin. 

A Block: Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Kota Ibushi (19:55)

This was Ibushi's best match since his return. The G1 is turning into the Zack Sabre Jr. Invitational. 

Sabre broke cleanly after the opening lockup. Sabre escaped a head scissors on the mat and again broke cleanly. Ibushi tried to break cleanly after another lockup, but Sabre piefaced him. Ibushi swung and missed on a high kick as Sabre rolled to the floor to reset. 

Sabre reversed a whip, then tried a backslide, but Ibushi blocked. Ibushi missed on another high kick attempt as Sabre rolled out of the way. Ibushi went after Sabre's left leg with a series of kicks. Sabre used a submission in the ropes to go after Ibushi's left arm, then kicked the left arm on the break. 

Sabre continued to go after Ibushi's left arm on the floor, hitting a stomp. Sabre kept up the arm work as Ibushi got back in. Ibushi came back with a striking combo, then hit a standing moonsault for a two count. 

Sabre hit another kick to the left arm, but Ibushi answered with a snap rana and a plancha. Ibushi escaped a submission attempt on the left arm by rolling to the ropes. Sabre hit a series of short kicks to the arm. Ibushi dropped Sabre with a mid kick. 

They traded kicks. Ibushi got the better of the strikes. Ibushi used a backslide to set up a lariat. Sabre hit a flying mid kick and a last ride. Sabre trapped the left arm, but Ibushi made the ropes for a break. 

Ibushi hit a German and a powerslam. Ibushi tried to go for a moonsault, but Sabre hit a kick to the legs to halt the attempt and Ibushi crashed to the mat. Sabre hit a PK and used a stack cover for a near fall. 

Sabre used an ankle lock. Ibushi broke the hold with a palm strike to the chest. Ibushi hit a Bomaye. 

Ibushi teased Kamigoye, but Sabre blocked and used Clarky Cat for the submission. 

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Here is the lineup for the next show: 

G1 Climax 31 night six, Wednesday, September 29, 5:30 a.m. Eastern time on NJPW World --

  • B Block: Kazuchika Okada vs. YOSHI-HASHI
  • B Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tama Tonga
  • B Block: Hirooki Goto vs. Jeff Cobb
  • B Block: SANADA vs. Chase Owens
  • B Block: Taichi vs. EVIL