For the first time in this year's G1 Climax, the B Block takes us to Tokyo's Korakuen Hall.
Gabriel Kidd defeated Yuya Uemura
The match began with a brief scramble which Kidd came out on top of. Kidd took to targeting the arm of Uemura in his early groundwork and continued to do it throughout the match.
After multiple Uemura transitions, Kidd would ultimately return his attention to the arm. After a test of strength and a show of athletics favoring Kidd, Uemura secured a takedown and began working a headlock. Only after an extended period under the control of Uemura would Kidd break free with a rope break and a dramatic dropkick.
Kidd and Uemura then traded advantage, first with Kidd laying boots into a cornered Uemura followed by Uemura doing the same to Kidd. Uemura tried to further his lead with a return to the headlock but Kidd landed a slam effectively resetting the match.
After an exchange of strikes, Uemura took the match back to the mat and locked in the Boston crab. A submission soon followed, leaving Uemura the victor.
Crisp work from both men but especially Uemura.
G1 Climax B Block: YOSHI-HASHI defeated SANADA
SANADA and YOSHI-HASHI started the match with a brief in-ring struggle that spilled to the outside. YH gained an early advantage in the outside brawl but after SANADA drove YH into the barricade, the match became all SANADA. After barely beating the referee’s count YH was brought to the mat. He stayed there for some time under the control of SANADA.
After a neckbreaker, YH was in the driver seat. This was followed by a short offensive streak that was cut short by a SANADA dropkick. Likewise, SANADA’s offense was short-lived, as it was cut short by a YH lariat.
YH landed a powerbomb before attempting a Swanton. SANADA’s knees found YH’s back during his descent. SANADA took advantage of his damaged adversary by locking in the Skull End. After YH had seemingly faded from consciousness, SANADA ascended to the top rope and tried for a moonsault but found himself in the knees of YH.
With both men on equal footing, it was a struggle to find a finish. SANDA teased a second try for Skull End but instead was nearly rolled up by YH.
YH landed a double knee and secured a near fall. YH then landed Kharma and pinned SANADA in what must be considered an upset.
This match was nothing to write home about. Its shining moments featured YH’s determination to hold on, he truly is a gem.
G1 Climax B Block: KENTA defeated Zack Sabre Jr.
KENTA lured Sabre to the ground by giving up his guard in the opening moments. Sabre unsurprisingly came out on top, triggering KENTA stalling. Sabre returned KENTA’s favor this time, but instead of engaging in grappling, KENTA took to striking his prone opponent. KENTA kicked Sabre inside the ring and out before Sabre caught a kick and nearly submitted KENTA.
Sabre then took time to kick at a downed KENTA, an action that KENTA mimicked after withstanding the storm. Sabre and KENTA traded blows for a while, with noting feeling meaningful. KENTA eventually landed a flying forearm and a fisherman buster before returning to the mat. More striking followed their rise
A KENTA lariat left him in control long enough to land a hangman’s DDT which he followed with a pair of dropkicks. KENTA rose to the top rope and landed a double foot stomp and a near fall. A running knee resulted in another two count.
Sabre resisted as KENTA tried for the GTS. KENTA dropped Sabre with a chop but was caught by Sabre as he attempted to follow up. A ground struggle favoring Sabre followed. Sabre tried for a quick pin and some strikes but a surprise knee from KENA led into the GTS which Sabre did not kick out from.
This match’s luster was outweighed so much by its pacing that it’s hard to forgive. It was slow. Both men’s striking and groundwork felt like filler instead of a logical progression to a finish. When the finish finally came there was no feeling, no emotion, just a change in standings.
G1 Climax B Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Juice Robinson
Tanahashi and Robinson had a feeling out that did nothing more than to reassure viewers of both men’s charisma. Robinson gained a leg up early as he landed a backdrop which he followed with a full nelson. Tanahashi fought out but Robinson reasserted his lead with a headbutt to the upper back of Tanahashi. It took a quick dropkick for Tanahashi to start playing catchup.
Enter Tanahashi dragon screws. After two leg whips, Tanahashi tried for the cloverleaf but an aware Robinson rolled Tanahashi up, nearly pinning him. Robinson then hit the stunned Tanahashi with a spine buster and a flurry of strikes. Robinson tried for a standing suplex but left himself open for another dragon screw, this time of the neck variety. Robinson did not let this set him back for long as he regained the full nelson and landed a lariat mere moments later. Robinson set up in the corner and landed the cannonball.
Tanahashi was positioned on the top rope where a struggle ensued. Robinson held on to his lead, landing a super-standing suplex followed immediately by a mat-bound standing suplex. Down come the straps of Robinson’s tank top just in time for a Tanahashi sling blade. After a second sling blade, Tanahashi tried for a pin. After Robinson kicked out, Tanahashi tried for a crossbody but found himself being pinned after Robinson rolled through it.
A strong strike from Robinson nearly left him the victor but Tanahashi’s limp body forced him to lean in too far. Instead of Robinson following up, Tanahashi rolled Robinson up and commandeered his first block victory.
A very fun watch with tons of energy. A perfect collision of character that left everything else on the card feeling gray by comparison.
G1 Climax B Block: Toru Yano defeated EVIL
Yano’s antics started as soon as the bell sounded. The turnbuckle padding was immediately removed from every corner and subsequently used as a weapon by EVIL. Dick Togo tried to interfere on behalf of EVIL but was taped to the barricade as soon as Yano was given the chance. Yano tried to do the same to EVIL but was forced to re-enter the ring as the 20 count inched near.
EVIL landed multiple Irish whips into the exposed buckle after returning to the ring. Yano returned the favor. Before Yano could follow up, Togo revealed he was free from Yano’s trap. Togo extended the turnbuckle padding just in time to save the back of EVIL. EVIL was then aided as Togo distracted the referee long enough for an EVIL eye rake and a low blow. Yano was seemingly unbothered and landed a low blow of his own.
Togo hit a low blow on Yano but Yano immediately returned the favor. Yano again hit EVIL in the nether regions before rolling him up for the win.
A Yano match bell to bell -- after all, what else could it be? Yano’s continual B Block dominance is an interesting road to a horizonal cliff.
G1 Climax 30 B Block: Tetsuya Naito defeated Hirooki Goto
Goto took to a headlock as soon as the bell sounded. After fighting free, Naito turned his attention to the taped shoulder of Goto, whipping it downwards. Goto retreated to the outside where he fell victim to Naito’s malice. After being whipped shoulder first into the barricade Goto was choked against the blue steel.
Once the contents returned to the ring, Naito continued to target the shoulder. A neckbreaker with a slight tilt left Goto to crash against the same shoulder. Naito strikes seemed to hit Goto’s shoulder without fail. At every turn, Naito had one target in mind.
After ducking an elbow, Goto landed a backdrop to reset the match. He took advantage with a bulldog but soon after was again on the receiving end of Naito’s targeting. Goto’s resistance was proving to be futile as Naito went after that elbow.
Naito drove Goto back-first into the corner before ascending to the top rope. Goto was able to stun Naito during his ascent, leading to a top rope standing suplex that reset the match in his favor.
Goto took to the skies with a plancha before landing an elbow drop on Naito. Goto’s offense was not enough however as a well-placed kick from a dazed Naito left Goto reeling.
Naito was able to regain control with a simple strike and further his lead with a barrage of elbows to the shoulder. Naito moved his attention further up as his strikes were soon finding the side of Goto’s head. A top rope frankensteiner cemented Naito’s change in target.
Naito had victory in his sight when he tried for Destino. Goto was able to catch Naito in the middle of his finish and prevent doom. Goto had a brief offensive stint before lifting Naito into the fireman’s carry. Naito fell from the carry driving Goto into the mat at the same time.
A last-ditch strike exchange left both men winded. Naito tried for a slam of sorts but instead was reversed into a ushigoroshi. Goto slowly lifted Naito to his feet and was hit with a surprise Destino. During Naito’s attempt for another Goto reversed, driving Naito to the mat.
A well-placed kick found the chest of Naito. Naito was lifted back to his feet but he reversed Goto with Valentia. Naito then landed another Destino and pinned Goto for the win.
A very good match. Goto was excellent playing from underneath. Likewise, Naito being anything short of commanding would have been out of place. The execution was fantastic as well. This without question was the best match of the night.
G1 Climax 30 Standings --
- Jay White - 6 points (3-0)
- Taichi - 6 points (3-0)
- Will Ospreay - 4 points (2-1)
- Kota Ibushi -4 points (2-1)
- Minoru Suzuki - 4 points (2-1)
- Kazuchika Okada - 2 points (1-2)
- Jeff Cobb - 2 points (1-2)
- Shingo Takagi - 2 points (1-2)
- Tomohiro Ishii - 0 points (0-3)
- Yujiro Takahashi - 0 points (0-3)
- Tetsuya Naito -- 6 points (3-0)
- Toru Yano -- 6 points (3-0)
- Juice Robinson -- 4 points (2-1)
- KENTA -- 4 points (2-1)
- Hirooki Goto -- 2 points (1-2)
- Zack Sabre Jr. -- 2 points (1-2)
- EVIL -- 2 points (1-2)
- YOSHI-HASHI -- 2 points (1-2)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi -- 2 points (1-2)
- SANADA -- 0 points (0-3)