Budokan Hall is home to the final three nights of the G1 Climax, with tonight's show deciding the winner of the A Block. It was relatively simple: whoever won tonight's main event between Kota Ibushi and Kazuchika Okada would advance to Monday's finals.
- Jon Moxley and Shota Umino defeated Juice Robinson and Ren Narita
Umino pinned Narita with a fisherman’s suplex.
- Jeff Cobb and Toa Henare defeated Toru Yano and Tomoaki Honma
Cobb defeated Honma with the Tour of the Islands.
- Minoru Suzuki and Taichi defeated Tomohiro Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI
Suzuki pinned YOSH-HASHI with the Gotch-style piledriver.
- Shingo Takagi, BUSHI and Tetsuya Naito defeated Jay White, Yujiro Takahashi and Chase Owens
Takagi pinned Yujiro following the Made in Japan.
A Block: Lance Archer defeated EVIL
A pretty sold, well-executed match. Archer worked hard all the way until the end, as did EVIL. Both had a really great tournament.
They charge at each other once the bell rings and exchange hard shots. EVIL, on the floor, was wiped out by a standing moonsault to the floor by Archer.
Exposing a turnbuckle, Archer suplexed EVIL into the exposed post. He tried to follow that with a rolling senton off the middle rope, but EVIL rolled out of the way. EVIL caught Archer off-guard and hit a bronco buster. EVIL soon followed with a superplex.
EVIL tried to pass Archer’s leg to the ref, but instead kicked him in the gut and set him reeling to the floor. Archer cut off EVIL and set up a chair in the exposed ring post. EVIL stopped, grabbed a running Archer and threw him into the chair and hit a rope-assisted magic killer.
EVIL went for Everything is EVIL but Archer blocked and hit a chokeslam and an F5. He motioned for the EBD claw. EVIL blocked it momentarily, but Archer latched on with the EBD claw and pinned him.
A Block: Bad Luck Fale defeated SANADA
This was the usual Fale match, but the action (when it did happen) was pretty good. Fale did not have a good tournament but I admire these last few finishes he’s had where he’s found different ways to pin people.
Fale started off strong. SANADA tried to bodyslam Fale, but he was too big. Fale grounded him with nerve holds. Fale missed an elbow, then missed a clothesline as SANADA cut him off with a dropkick to the leg, clotheslined him to the outside, following that with a pescado to the floor.
Everyone at this point ran in to interfere, but SANADA gained the upper hand, getting rid of Owens and Jado. A TKO attempt by SANADA was futile as Fale squashed him as a counter. He went for the grenade but SANADA kicked out.
Fale went for the Bad Luck Fall but SANADA countered with a bodyslam and did connect with a TKO for a two count. Chase pulled the ref out of the ring as both he and Jado interfered, and were both put in the paradise lock. Fale came back but was taken out by a missile dropkick to the floor.
SANADA went for the cold skull but out of nowhere Fale countered with a small (big?) package and got the win.
Block A: Zack Sabre Jr. defeated KENTA
This was great, a fine technical match with a fantastic, hard-earned finish by Sabre. It’s exactly the kind of match you want to see between these two.
They started off tepidly, with KENTA in control with some stiff kicks. Sabre came back with some of his own but was taken down by a big boot. KENTA continued to ground him with rest holds, but Sabre counters and works on KENTA’s surgically repaired arm. KENTA cut him off and went for a double foot stomp, but it missed.
Sabre cut him off with a northern lights suplex and worked on the arm, trying to get it straight. He ends up getting it, but KENTA made it to the ropes at the same time. Sabre wrenches the arm but KENTA fought back with punches. Sabre countered with some of his own, then went for a penalty kick but KENTA cut him off.
KENTA connected with the double foot stomp and went for the GTS but Sabre cut him off with a sweep. They exchanged more shots, with KENTA getting the better of it, striking him down with palm strikes. Sabre cut off KENTA by bringing him down as the two exchange holds on the floor, with KENTA locking in the Game Over. Sabre made it to the ropes.
KENTA connected with the running knee as he went for the GTS but Sabre took him down with a guillotine. KENTA tried to roll him up, but Sabre got the better of him by putting him in a double chickenwing, kicking him straight in the head until he submitted.
Block A: Will Ospreay defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi
This was excellent. Not up to par with some of the best matches of the tournament I feel, but it’s up there. Still, that really says something about the high quality of matches we’ve seen for the last month. The heat for this toward the end was crazy, probably some of the best of the entire tournament.
Things started off with some good back and forth, with Ospreay sending Tanahashi to the outside. Tanahashi countered by grabbing his leg and laying in a dragon screw. He works over the knee on the ground, then both get back up as they start to exchange strikes.
Ospreay dumps Tanahashi to the floor as he flew off with the Sasuke special, taking down Tanahashi. He followed that with a standing shooting star press and a 619, but Tanahashi targeted the knee again as Ospreay launched off the top rope. He tried for the cloverleaf, but cut him off. Tanahashi went right back to the leg, taking him down with another dragon screw and the cloverleaf.
Ospreay catches Tanahashi with a rollup then followed with the Robinson special. He went for the Oscutter but Tanahashi countered with what kind of looked like a half sling blade. Ospreay cut off a full one with a spanish fly and followed with a shooting star press and the Oscutter but Tanahashi kicked out.
Ospreay went for the stormbreaker, but Tanahashi countered with the slingblade, then another. Tanahashi went for the high fly flow, but Ospreay rolled over. Ospreay cut off another slingblade attempt with a hook kick, then landed the elbow to the back of the head. Ospreay then pinned Tanahashi with the stormbreaker.
A Block: Kota Ibushi defeated Kazuchika Okada
This was also an excellent match, exactly the kind of classic you’d see between these two. I think both have had better matches, but this was a fine main event with some real nice counters and moves toward the finishing stretch. And again -- given the quality level that we've seen in this tournament, it's kind of unfair to say "I've seen better" to this match, because it really was excellent.
After some standard back and forth, Okada started to dominate the match, laying Ibushi out with a DDT to the floor. He took him back to the ring and worked him over. Ibushi cut him off, sent Okada to the outside and hit a pescado, tweaking the ankle he injured at the start of the tour.
Okada cut him off back in the ring and landed another DDT. Ibushi fought back as the two started to exchange punches. Ibushi laid out Okada and went for a moonsault, but Okada got the knees up and hit a flapjack. The two fight at the top rope as Ibushi goes for a butterfly suplex. He didn’t get it, but did connect with a big time super rana.
Ibushi hit the press powerbomb as he motions for the kamigoye. Okada immediately comes back to life and drills Ibushi with a German suplex, then another. Okada hit the dropkick and tried for the tombstone, but Ibush countered and landed a package tombstone piledriver.
At the 20 minute mark, the two start exchanging strikes again. Okada cut him off with a shotgun dropkick but Ibushi popped right back up and laid him out with a lariat. The two exchanged reversals until Okada hit the rainmaker, retaining wrist control.
Okada followed with another, then went for a third and hit a straightjacket suplex. Okada blocked the kamigoye and dropkicked Ibushi right in the back of the heat. Okada went for that looked like a hurricanrana but instead Ibushi countered with a very cool powerbomb for a nearfall.
Okada knocked off Ibushi with a dropkick but Ibushi countered Okada with a high kick but Okada escaped the kamigoye again. Ibushi connected with a knee to the face and hit the kamigoye but Okada kicked out. Ibushi hit another and got the win.
Kota Ibushi wins the A Block with this win, and will face whoever wins the B Block tomorrow, which is still up in the air. Even if Ibushi doesn’t win the finals, it’s likely they’ll do this one again relatively soon as he has pinned the IWGP champion.
Ibushi finishes the show with a promo, saying he will be representing the A Block and will fight until the bitter end.
G1 STANDINGS --
- Kota Ibushi 14 - WINNER
- Kazuchika Okada 14 (eliminated)
- EVIL 8 (eliminated)
- KENTA 8 (eliminated)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi 8 (eliminated)
- SANADA 8 (eliminated)
- Zack Sabre Jr. 8 (eliminated)
- Bad Luck Fale 8 (eliminated)
- Will Ospreay 6 (eliminated)
- Lance Archer 6 (eliminated)
- Hirooki Goto 10 (holds tiebreaker over White, Moxley)
- Jon Moxley 10 (holds tiebreaker over Naito)
- Tetsuya Naito 10 (holds tiebreaker over Goto)
- Jay White 10 (holds tiebreaker over Moxley)
- Tomohiro Ishii 8 (needs to beat Taichi and needs Goto, Moxley, Naito to lose)
- Toru Yano 8 (needs to beat Cobb, needs Ishii and Goto to lose and White vs. Naito to end in a double DQ/countout)
- Juice Robinson 6 (eliminated)
- Jeff Cobb 6 (eliminated)
- Taichi 6 (eliminated)
- Shingo Takagi 6 (eliminated)