The G1 Climax 31 B Block continued today at Korakuen Hall.
Kazuchika Okada faced SANADA in the main event, while Hirooki Goto took on YOSHI-HASHI in the semi-main.
Taichi vs. Jeff Cobb, EVIL vs. Tama Tonga, plus Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Chase Owens were the other tournament matches today.
Here are results and a report from the show.
Recommended matches --
- Kazuchika Okada vs. SANADA
- Hirooki Goto vs. YOSHI-HASHI
- Jeff Cobb vs. Taichi
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Chase Owens
B Block: Chase Owens defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi (10:58)
You have to see this if only for the result.
They opened with some grappling. After trading holds, Owens hit a dropkick. Tana came back with a crossbody off the second rope. Owens answered with his own crossbody. As Tana went for a flying forearm, Owens hit a dropkick to the left leg to take control of the match.
Owens continued to attack the left leg with holds and strikes. Tana managed a flying forearm, but Owens cut him off again by going after the leg. Owens hit a short clothesline in the corner and a jewel heist for a near fall.
Owens went for the package piledriver, but Tana hit a backdrop and sent him to the apron. Tana hit a dragon screw in the ropes, then connected with a slingblade.
Tana hit a standing High Fly Flow. He went for another High Fly Flow, but Owens got his knees up. Owens used a schoolboy with his feet on the ropes for a two count. Owens used a backslide for another near fall.
Tana blocked a v-trigger with a palm strike. Tana went to hit the ropes, but Owens hit two more v-triggers to block. Owens hit the package piledriver and pinned Tanahashi.
Chase Owens pinned Hiroshi Tanahashi clean in the middle.
Owens draped Tanahashi's IWGP US belt across the fallen Ace's chest after the match to set up a future title match.
NJPW seems to think that the American audience only wants to see Americans holding or challenging for the United States title. I think the Americans would much rather see the best guys and the best matches possible regardless of nationality. No offense intended to the Chase Owens and David Finlays of the world.
B Block: EVIL (w/Dick Togo) defeated Tama Tonga (w/Jado) (13:47)
We were this close to finally getting a good match out of EVIL. Then the finish happened.
All four did the too sweet hand gesture before the match to signify that they would be adhering to the Bullet Club code of honor.
Tonga hit some classic Haku offense early. EVIL rolled outside to collect himself. Togo exposed a turnbuckle and Tonga missed a splash into the steel. Togo tried to interfere, but Jado wandered over to stop him.
Tonga dodged a charge and EVIL ran into the buckle. Tonga hit a neckbreaker and three dropkicks as he turned the bout in his favor. Tonga whipped EVIL into the exposed buckle. Tonga hit a splash in the corner for a two count.
EVIL blocked a Tongan Twist with a rake of the eyes and hit a ref-assisted mid kick. EVIL went for a scorpion deathlock. Tonga used a Tongan death grip to block, then used his own scorpion deathlock. EVIL forced a rope break.
Tonga went up top, but aborted whatever he had planned as EVIL grabbed the referee. EVIL pulled the ref in Tonga's path and hit a ref-assisted Magic Killer for a two count. EVIL got the scorpion deathlock applied, but Tonga got to the ropes.
Tonga blocked Everything is EVIL and hit a Tongan Twist for a two count. EVIL blocked a Gun Stun. Tonga blocked a low blow and hit a death valley driver. Tonga hit a top rope splash for a two count.
Tonga called for the Gun Stun, but the lights went out. When the lights came back on, Togo was choking Tonga with his ligature and the ref was out. Jado used a kendo stick on Togo.
EVIL hit Everything is EVIL and revived the ref, then covered Tonga for the pin.
SHO came to the ring after the match for the big reveal that he had turned the lights out.
B Block: Jeff Cobb defeated Taichi (w/Miho Abe) (15:15)
These guys had a banger. Great stuff.
Cobb broke cleanly against the ropes after locking up. Cobb threw Taichi to the mat after another lockup. Taichi needed a new plan, so he went after Cobb's taped left leg with kicks. They fought to the floor and Taichi sent Cobb into the barricade and choked him with camera cables.
Back inside, Cobb blocked a gamengiri in the corner and launched Taichi across the ring with a throw. Cobb stayed on offense and drove Taichi into the corner pads, just ragdoll-ing him around the ring. Taichi sold his back. Taichi came back with a high kick, then a gamengiri in the corner.
Taichi removed his trousers. Cobb hit a dropkick for a two count. Taichi hit an enzuigiri, then hit a series of mid kicks to the chest. Cobb dared him to fire more kicks, but Taichi kicked his leg out of his leg instead.
Cobb blocked an axe bomber and hit his own clothesline. Cobb hit a spin cycle and a standing moonsault for a pair of near falls. Taichi blocked a Tour of the Islands. His back gave out as he went for a backdrop suplex, selling the damage of the match.
Taichi blocked another attempt at Tour of the Islands with an illegal choke, then hit his backdrop suplex for a near fall. Cobb blocked a thrust kick and hit a thrust kick. Taichi hit a gamengiri and used a Gedo clutch for a near fall.
Taichi went for Black Mephisto. Cobb blocked and hit strikes to the lower back. Cobb dropped Taichi with a forearm strike. Taichi blocked Tour of the Islands with an axe bomber. Cobb avoided Black Mephisto and another high kick and hit a German.
Cobb then finally connected with Tour of the Islands and got the win.
B Block: Hirooki Goto defeated YOSHI-HASHI (16:57)
This was a great brawl. Great intensity from both guys. The crowd was alive tonight which helped greatly.
They had a striking battle at the outset. They brawled in the ring, then brawled to the floor. YH had the upper hand after a neckbreaker on the floor. Goto made it back in after a countout tease.
YH remained in control until Goto hit a lariat to cut him off. YH avoided a misdirection lariat, but Goto hit a throw and an ushigoroshi to get a near fall. Goto hit an inverted GTR, but YH kicked out. Goto went for a standard GTR, but YH reversed into Goto's own Shouten Kai move.
They exchanged strikes. YH fired off chops. Goto threw a kick, but YH caught it and hit a headbutt. YH hit double knees for a near fall. YH hit a dragon suplex. Goto no-sold, but YH hit him with a thrust kick and a kumagoroshi for a two count.
YH used a sleeper at the 15 minute mark. Goto blocked Kharma and hit a headbutt. After a double down, Goto hit a GYW and a GTR for the pin.
B Block: Kazuchika Okada defeated SANADA (29:14)
A great main event to cap what was probably the best night of the tournament so far.
They did some basic mat wrestling. Headlock takeovers, head scissor escapes and the like. Okada broke cleanly against the ropes after teasing a strike. Okada hit a big boot and an elbow drop. SANADA hit a dropkick five minutes in.
Okada avoided the paradise lock on the first attempt. SANADA used a frankensteiner to set up a second attempt and got the paradise lock on. SANADA broke it with a dropkick and got a two count. SANADA used a chinlock, Okada forced a rope break.
SANADA hammered at Okada's neck with elbows. He hit a snap suplex for a two count as Okada sold his back. SANADA hit a back elbow, but missed a standing moonsault. Okada hit a running back elbow.
Okada hit a running back elbow in the corner, then a DDT out of the corner for a two count. SANADA blocked a tombstone attempt, but Okada hit a neckbreaker. Okada used a neck tie with SANADA's own arms. SANADA forced a break at the 10 minute call.
Okada hit a sliding dropkick. SANADA avoided a senton and Okada sold his back again. SANADA hit a basement dropkick to the left knee and kipped up. SANADA hit an arm drag, a back breaker and a plancha.
Okada sent SANADA from a seated position on the top rope to the floor with a dropkick, then hit a DDT on the floor. SANADA beat the count back in at 18. Okada used the Money Clip. SANADA broke it quickly. Okada avoided a moonsault. SANADA landed on his feet and sold his right knee giving out on landing.
Okada hit a knee breaker and continued to go after the bad leg. Okada used the Money Clip again. After a long submission tease, SANADA fought to the ropes for a break.
Okada hit a slam and an elbow off the top. He hit his Rainmaker pose. SANADA ducked a Rainmaker and used Skull End. Okada immediately got out of the hold, but SANADA hit a TKO for a two count.
SANADA used a spinning Skull End and applied a body scissors with it on the mat at 20 minutes. SANADA gave up the hold as he always does against Okada. It's a total logic break when he does that. SANADA went for a moonsault. Okada rolled out of the way and SANADA landed and sold his knee.
SANADA used a Destino to set up Skull End with the body scissors again. Okada made the ropes after teasing tapping out.
Okada avoided a magic screw. SANADA avoided a Rainmaker, but Okada hit his dropkick. SANADA hit a pop-up TKO and a moonsault. Okada kicked out at two. We heard the 25 minute call.
Okada used the threat of an air raid crash to use his sit-down cradle for a near fall. Okada hit a spinning tombstone into a double down. They traded strikes at the 27 minute call. SANADA no-sold a shotgun dropkick. Okada hit a German. SANADA used an O'Connor roll for a near fall at 28 minutes.
SANADA blocked the landslide and got Skull End again. Okada escaped. SANADA ducked a Rainmaker. Okada hit the landslide, then hit a Rainmaker. Okada covered for the pin.
Each gave the other a thumbs up after the match.
Here is the lineup for the next show:
G1 Climax 31 night 11, Thursday, October 7, 5:30 a.m. Eastern time on NJPW World --
- A Block: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Great-O-Khan
- A Block: Shingo Takagi vs. Toru Yano
- A Block: Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Yujiro Takahashi
- A Block: Kota Ibushi vs. Tanga Loa
- Hiromu Takahashi vs. KENTA
- El Desperado vs. Ryohei Oiwa