NJPW was in Aichi this morning after a few nights off for night 9 of G1 action. We return to the A Block, with Kazuchika Okada facing KENTA for the first time ever in the main event.
- Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Taichi defeated Jeff Cobb, Yota Tsuji and Ren Narita
Kanemaru pinned Tsuji with the deep impact DDT.
- Jay White, Chase Owens and Yujiro Takahashi defeated Juice Robinson, Toa Henare and Tomoaki Honma
Owens pinned Henare with the package piledriver.
- Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano defeated Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI
Toru Yano rolled up YOSHI-HASHI for the win.
- Tetsuya Naito and Shingo Takagi defeated Jon Moxley and Shota Umino
Takagi pinned Umino with the pumping bomber.
Block A: Kota Ibushi defeated Lance Archer
This was good, and it continues Archer’s streak of great matches. I don’t want to say he’s the MVP of the tournament thus far, but he’s really upping his game here and it shows.
Ibushi went for a hurricanrana early but Archer blocked it. He countered by sending him to the floor. Archer cuts him off and throws him into the barricade, working on his leg.
Archer took him back to the ring and works on him for a good while. Ibushi gets a burst of energy, and although struggles, connects with a middle rope moonsault. Archer cut him off as he was climbing to the top rope but Ibushi slides under and hits the last ride powerbomb.
After both get up, Archer hits a flipping senton then lands a giant chokeslam for a near fall. Ibushi cuts off Archer and hits the boma ye, then goes for the kamigoye. Archer responds with a knee flush to the face for a near fall. Archer went for a moonsault, but Ibush rolled out of the way.
Ibushi charged toward Archer and walked right into a blackout attempt. Ibushi cut him off and hit another boma ye, then connected with a kamigoye...but Archer doesn’t fall down. Ibushi hit a second and pinned Archer for the win.
Block A: Will Ospreay defeated Bad Luck Fale by DQ
Bad. Fale is not having a good tournament at all. The finish was kind of funny at least, but it also shows that very rarely do the NJPW referees act competent when it comes to distractions and interference.
Chase Owens attacked Ospreay before the bell rang as Fale distracted the referee. Fale then went to grab Ospreay but he countered with a springboard elbow. Jado then hit Ospreay with the kendo stick, so you know what kind of match this is.
Fale proceeded to do rest holds for a while until Ospreay connected with a springboard kick then followed that with a shooting star press and the Robinson special. He attempted the oscutter, but Chase Owens got involved. Ospreay took him out with a superkick, but Jado distracted him long enough for Fale to connect with the grenade.
A long ref bump allowed Ospreay to kick out. Fale went for the bad luck fall, but Ospreay escaped and tried for the stormbreaker, which didn’t work. He followed with the elbow to the back to the head then hit the oscutter but Chase Owens dragged the referee out of the ring.
Jado came in with the kendo stick, but Ospreay cut him off. Owens hits the package piledriver as Fale goes for the cover. Red Shoes runs in, starts to count, but stops before 3. He flips off Fale and ends the match via disqualification.
Block A: EVIL defeated Zack Sabre Jr.
This was a good battle. I don’t think it will wind up being a memorable match, but that’s because there’s a sea of bigger and better matches out there. This was perfectly good stuff, and both men told a good back and forth story.
They start off with some back and forth, but it quickly turns into a technical style of reversals and transitions until Sabre gets the better of EVIL. He soon focused on the wrist and neck. EVIL escapes and charges Sabre in the forner with a seated senton.
EVIL gave Sabre a hanging neckbreaker on the floor. Once they get back in the ring, Sabre cut off EVIL following a darkness falls attempt. EVIL threw Sabre’s leg at the referee and went for a superkick, but Sabre latched on to EVIL’s leg instead and took him to the ground.
EVIL escaped and went for Everything is EVIL but Sabre countered, pinning EVIL with the Gedo clutch for a nearfall. After some wrangling, EVIL hit the Darkness Falls and tried for the Everything is EVIL but Sabre countered again. Eventually he ran out of counters as EVIL finally connected with the Everything is EVIL for the win.
A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated SANADA
This was real good, and the heat was very strong throughout. I wouldn’t say it was a blowaway bout, but the work was great and up to this point was easily the best match of the night.
Heat for this one was strong at the start, with everyone supporting SANADA. Things start off pretty slow, but start heating up after SANADA dropkicks Tanahashi into one of his legs, which gets things started. SANADA sends Tanahashi to the floor and hits a big crossbody to the floor.
Tanahashi cuts him off with two twist and shout neckbreakers, but when he tries for a third gets cut off as SANADA connected with an ego trip. Tanahashi survived, cut him off and tried for the high fly flow, but SANADA rolled out of the way and went for a moonsault, but also failed to connect.
Tanahashi went for a bridging pin but SANADA countered and transitioned into the cold skull. Tanahashi manages to escape by hitting something resembling a standing sliced bread. After exchanging some chops, Tanahashi hit a dragon suplex and went for the high fly flow, connecting. He hit another and that was it.
Block A: Kazuchika Okada defeated KENTA
Excellent match. It’s every big match Okada main event you’ve ever seen. That isn't a knock, as they always deliver in a big way. They almost went for the full 30 minutes, which helped build the drama after the 25 minute mark.
After some early back and forth, KENTA gets the better of things and kicks Oakda out of the ring. He takes him back and unleashes hard kicks, with Okada goading him to kick him some more. Okada cuts him off but runs into a powerslam by KENTA. He follows that up by draping Okada’s neck against the ropes and hits a flying forearm.
Okada cuts him off with a flapjack as the two start exchanging strikes. Okada sent KENTA to the floor and sent him through the barricade with a kick. KENTA fired right back by draping Okada on the barricade and jumping off the apron with a giant foot stomp that sent Okada crashing to the floor.
KENTA hits a running dropkick to the corner but misses a stomp that allows Okada to hit a shotgun dropkick. KENTA cuts off Okada as he climbed to the top rope. Okada initially threw him off, but KENTA grabbed the arm upon Okada’s landing and went for a crossface. He followed that with two running knees and capped it off with a foot stomp, but Okada kicked out.
KENTA transitioned into the GTS but Okada grabbed his leg and hit the dropkick, then another. He followed that with the tombstone, but didn’t connect with the rainmaker as KENTA struck Okada with a discus lariat. At the 25 minute mark, both men were exchanging strikes.
KENTA tore into Okada with some vicious palm strikes but Okada grabbed his arm and went for a rainmaker. KENTA countered into a sleeper, but Okada dropkicked him as he was going for the penalty kick. KENTA lifted him for the GTS, but Okada countered into the spinning tombstone then the rainmaker for the win.
Okada finished the show with his usual promo.
- KENTA 8
- Kazuchika Okada 10
- EVIL 6
- Hiroshi Tanahashi 6
- Kota Ibushi 6
- Lance Archer 4
- Will Ospreay 4
- SANADA 2
- Zack Sabre Jr. 2
- Bad Luck Fale 2
- Jon Moxley 8
- Juice Robinson 6
- Tomohiro Ishii 4
- Shingo Takagi 4
- Toru Yano 4
- Taichi 4
- Tetsuya Naito 4
- Jeff Cobb 2
- Hirooki Goto 2
- Jay White 2