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NJPW G1 Climax 31 night three results: Shingo vs. Sabre

The G1 Climax 31 A Block continued today in Tokyo at the Ota City General Gymnasium. 

IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Shingo Takagi and Zack Sabre Jr. face off in the main event, while Kota Ibushi took on Tomohiro Ishii in the semi-main. 

Tanga Loa earned two points by way of Tetsuya Naito forfeiting their G1 match due to injury. Instead of a tournament bout, Loa faced Yuji Nagata in a special singles match in the opener.

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

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Recommended matches --

  • Shingo Takagi vs. Zack Sare Jr.
  • Kota Ibushi vs. Tomohiro Ishii

Report --

Tanga Loa (w/Jado) defeated Yuji Nagata (15:35)

This was a good opener. Nagata was moving well today and everything they did made sense. 

After some chain wrestling, Loa used a right hand to the throat to take over. He hit an axe handle off the apron to the floor and sent Nagata into the barricade. 

Loa maintained the advantage with brawling offense in the ring. Loa used a blue thunder bomb for a two count, then used a chinlock. Nagata fought back with punches and a kitchen sink. 

Nagata began working on Loa's legs with kicks and a dropkick to the knee, then used a butterfly suplex for a two count. Nagata used a heel hook, but Loa forced a rope break. 

Loa hit a flatliner and slapped on the OJK. Nagata escaped the hold and used an ankle lock. Nagata grapevined the legs, but Loa crawled to the ropes. Nagata hit some more kicks to the leg and an exploder suplex. 

Loa hit a hotshot across the top rope, then used a spear and a powerslam for a two count. Nagata escaped Apesh*t and hit a German. Loa rolled through on landing, but Nagata hit another kick for a near fall. 

Nagata hit an enzuigiri, but Loa answered with an immediate lariat and hit Apesh*t for the pin. 

A Block: Great-O-Khan defeated Toru Yano (11:30)

These two had a blood feud earlier this year where Yano tied O-Khan's hair to the barricade and O-Khan was forced to cut one of his braids off to escape. O-Khan also tried to stab Yano with scissors at some point. O-Khan saved the braid that was cut off six months ago and brandished it as Yano made his entrance. 

I appreciate the continuity here, but the match was hot garbage.

O-Khan attacked Yano as he entered and choked him with the braid. O-Khan pounded on Yano and used an Anaconda Vice. Yano forced a rope break. 

Yano sprayed hand sanitizer in O-Khan's eyes. O-Khan produced a pair of handcuffs. Yano exposed a buckle. They fought over the corner pad. O-Khan bumped the ref with the corner pad. Yano hit a dragon screw and wrestled the corner pad away. 

Yano tried to cuff O-Khan to the barricade, but O-Khan reversed and cuffed Yano to the barricade. Yano freed himself by prying the barricade apart and beat the count back in. 

O-Khan fought off two cradle attempts and hit the Eliminator for the pin. 

Yano hit a low blow after the match and ran to the back. O-Khan chased after him with a chair, so this feud must continue. 

A Block: KENTA defeated Yujiro Takahashi (w/Pieter) (15:48)

KENTA is smart and picks his spots for when to work hard. Tonight was not one of those spots.  

I will always pop for Kevin Kelly explaining Pieter's interpretive dance.

Yujiro and Pieter both refused Too Sweet hand gestures from KENTA. 

They brawled in slow-motion. Yujiro gained the upper hand as they fought to the floor. Yujiro danced in front of Pieter. KENTA hit a DDT on the floor and could have won by countout, but threw Yujiro back in. 

KENTA hit some stomps and mocked Yujiro's dancing. KENTA hit some kicks and used a front facelock. Yujiro fought back with strikes and a sliding dropkick. KENTA answered with a DDT and a diving clothesline off the top for a two count. 

KENTA used an STF. Yujiro forced a break. Yujiro avoided one double stomp off the top, but KENTA hit it on his second try and earned a near fall. 

Yujiro reversed a GTS into a DDT. Yujiro hit an Angle slam and Miami Shine for a pair of two counts. KENTA used a jackknife and a rollup for two near falls of his own. 

KENTA hit a Busaiku knee. Yujiro blocked GTS and tried a low blow, but KENTA caught the arm and used it to set up Game Over for the submission.  

They made amends and hugged and did the Too Sweet after the match. 

***** 

A PSA for saving lions aired with Togi Makabe and a player from the Seibu Lions. This was the best thing on the show to this point. 

*****

A Block: Kota Ibushi defeated Tomohiro Ishii (17:42)

If these guys wrestled ten times, they would probably have a better match than this one nine of those times. I'm giving this a mild recommendation because of who these guys are, but this was not the classic you would expect. 

Ibushi tried to break cleanly against the ropes of the opening collar and elbow, but Ishii slapped him across the face. Ibushi kipped up after a shoulder tackle, but Ishii took him down with another tackle. 

Ibushi got dropped with a forearm strike. Ishii hammered away with chops, dropping Ibushi against the ropes. They had a slap fight, then Ibushi scored his first significant offense of the match with a mid kick at the five minute mark. 

Ibushi sent Ishii outside with a snap rana. He followed with a plancha, then a powerslam and a moonsault as the fight returned to the ring. Ishii answered with a backdrop suplex. Ishii no-sold a dropkick and hit a diving shoulder tackle. 

Ishii hit a delayed superplex for a two count. Ishii missed with an enzuigiri. Ibushi missed on a standing moonsault and almost landed on the top of his head. Ishii missed a sliding lariat. Ibushi hit a mid kick into a double down. 

They traded strikes. Ibushi ducked under a lariat and hit a German suplex. Ishii sprawled to avoid a last ride attempt. They traded strikes. Ibushi hit a lariat into another double down. 

Ibushi hit a powerbomb for a two count. Ibushi called for the Kamigoye, but Ishii fought it off. Ibushi hit a head kick, but Ishii immediately countered with a headbutt into another double down. 

Ibushi kicked away a lariat, but Ishii hit a clubbing forearm and a German. Ibushi landed on his feet out of the suplex, but then was dropped with a clothesline. Ishii hit another lariat and Ibushi took a flip bump. Ishii got a two count. 

Ibushi slid out of a Vertical Drop Brainbuster attempt and hit a high kick. Ishii blocked Kamigoye and hit a clothesline. Ibushi missed a v-trigger. Ishii tried a lariat, but Ibushi blocked with a v-trigger. 

Ibushi hit two Kamigoyes and scored the pin. 

A Block: Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Shingo Takagi (27:17)

Great psychology in this match. Shingo worked on Sabre's right leg, while Sabre worked on Shingo's right arm the entire match. Sabre won out. 

Sabre avoided an early lariat attempt. They traded arm drags and each escaped from holds on the mat. Shingo missed a sliding lariat, but hit a shoulder tackle and Sabre rolled outside. Shingo teased a dive, but did Naito's Tranquilo pose instead. 

Shingo missed on a senton and Sabre used a neck twist. Shingo rolled outside to collect himself, but Sabre went right after him and threw him back in to keep the pressure on. 

Sabre blocked a hip toss and used a cobra twist. Shingo fought out and hit a DDT. Shingo hit a clothesline in the corner, then turned to chops. Sabre blocked a chop, avoided a DVD, then used an octopus hold in the ropes. 

Sabre began to attack the right arm. Shingo caught a PK and hit a dragon screw. Sabre blocked a sliding lariat and twisted on the right arm with his legs. Sabre stomped on the right arm. Shingo hit noshigami and a diving forearm strike to Sabre's right leg. 

Sabre used a triangle choke. Shingo hit a powerbomb out of the hold, then used an inverted STF. Sabre forced a break. Sabre blocked Made in Japan and hit a German, but Shingo rolled through and answered with his own. 

Sabre blocked multiple lariat attempts with the right arm with kicks. Shingo kicked at Sabre's right leg and hit a sliding lariat. Sabre used a cradle and a Euro clutch for two near falls. Sabre hit a PK, but Shingo popped right up and hit a lariat. 

Sabre cut Shingo off as he went for a superplex and used a wristlock. Sabre hit a swing DDT, then hit a La Mistica. Sabre transitioned to the Clarky Cat submission hold just past the 20 minute mark. Shingo rolled to the ropes to force the break. 

Sabre wrenched on the right arm. He blocked a pop-up DVD attempt and tried a guillotine, but Shingo escaped and hit a diving forearm strike. Sabre blocked a Pumping Bomber and hit the Zack Driver for a near fall. 

Sabre hit a series of elbows to the neck. Shingo ate all of them and powered through to finally hit the DVD he had been trying to land all match. Sabre escaped a choke. Shingo blocked a PK and turned it into Made in Japan for a near fall at the 25 minute call. 

Shingo hit the Pumping Bomber, but sold the work to his right arm and could not follow with a cover. Sabre blocked Last of the Dragon. Shingo hit a right hand, then tried Last of the Dragon again. Sabre blocked with a choke. 

Sabre switched to a crucifix hold, then slipped to a triangle choke. Shingo tried to power out, but Sabre kept the hold applied and Shingo tapped out. 

Sabre taunted Shingo with the IWGP World title after the match. 

**********

Here is the lineup for the next show: 

G1 Climax 31 night four, Friday, September 24, 5:30 a.m. Eastern time on NJPW World --

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