The G1 Climax 31 B Block continued today in Kochi.
Kazuchika Okada took on Taichi in the main event, while Hiroshi Tanahashi faced EVIL in the semi-main.
SANADA vs. Jeff Cobb, Hirooki Goto vs. Chase Owens, plus YOSHI-HASHI vs. Tama Tonga were the other tournament matches today.
El Desperado vs. Kosei Fujita was the non-G1 opener.
Here are results and a report from the show.
Recommended matches --
- Kazuchika Okada vs. Taichi
- Jeff Cobb vs. SANADA
El Desperado defeated Kosei Fujita (8:27)
This followed the same template as last night's Desperado/Oiwa match, but Oiwa is more advanced and Fujita's offense was simpler.
They traded holds. Desperado got fed up and turned to striking to take control. Fujita came back with a backdrop, then tried to lock on a crab, but couldn't get it.
Desperado used an Indian deathlock for the submission, as he did yesterday.
B Block: YOSHI-HASHI defeated Tama Tonga (w/Jado) (13:14)
Good match, good effort from both guys. They worked it like the second match of the card, meaning they didn't kick out of a bunch of stuff. The story of the match was Tonga going for a Gun Stun to put it away but never being able to hit it.
They traded headlocks and head scissors escapes on the mat. YH hit a back elbow, a tackle and a headhunter. YH draped Tonga across the top strand and hit a dropkick to the back for a near fall.
Tonga turned the tide with a chop and a series of elbow drops. Tama reversed a neckbreaker attempt into a Tongan Twist for a near fall. He used an SRC and his Supreme Flow frog splash for a near fall. YH blocked a Gun Stun with a backstabber.
YH blocked a Gun Stun and hit a lariat and a Kumagoroshi for a two count.
YH blocked another Gun Stun attempt and hit a lariat, then hit Kharma for the pin.
B Block: Hirooki Goto defeated Chase Owens (12:41)
After an upset win over Tanahashi on the last B Block show, they had a built-in story as Owens looked to surprise another veteran. Good match, but they didn't have time to build it into a great one.
Owens hit a shotgun dropkick at the opening bell, then followed with a missile dropkick off the top as he tried to steal an early victory. Goto hit a shoulder block to slow the momentum.
They traded submission attempts. Owens went for a package driver on the apron, but Goto fought it off and sent Owens to the floor. Owens went for the driver in the ring, but Goto blocked with a strike. Owens hit a knee strike into a double down.
Owens hit a jewel heist for a two count. Owens reversed one GTR attempt. Goto looked to set up an ushigoroshi, but used the position to hit the GTR and get the pin.
B Block: Jeff Cobb defeated SANADA (14:17)
Cobb has been booked perfectly. His matches rarely go over 15 minutes, nor should they. This felt like a real athletic contest.
SANADA hit a senton off the apron as he looked to outclass Cobb with his speed. SANADA kicked at Cobb's left knee. Cobb rolled outside. SANADA went for a plancha, but Cobb caught him and powered him into the post.
Back inside, Cobb hit a standing moonsault for a two count. SANADA flipped over the top rope on a whip into the corner, then hit a springboard dropkick and a standing moonsault of his own.
Cobb blocked a TKO. SANADA hit a dropkick to the left leg as he continued to target it. SANADA used Cobb's momentum off the ropes to hit a TKO for a two count. SANADA hit a magic screw, but Cobb reached under the ropes to break the pinfall attempt.
Cobb hit a gutwrench throw. Cobb went for Tour of the Islands, but SANADA reversed into Skull End. SANADA used an O'Connor roll for a near fall. SANADA rolled through on a moonsault attempt as Cobb rolled out of the way.
SANADA tried another moonsault, but Cobb caught him and planted him with Tour of the Islands for the pin.
B Block: EVIL (w/Dick Togo) defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi (17:22)
If we didn't see the same EVIL match every night, this would have been fine. Tanahashi had a much better match with him than anyone else has, but I'm beyond over EVIL. The gimmick and his matches are just brutal.
Tanahashi tried to keep the match in the ring. EVIL sent him to the apron and kicked the rope into his crotch. EVIL sent Tana into the barricade.
Togo exposed a buckle and took the ref. EVIL dragged Tana to the ramp and used a chair on his left knee. Tanahashi made it back in before a countout, but EVIL found his target in the left leg.
Tana fired up, but EVIL used an eye poke to cut him off. Tana fired up, EVIL pulled his hair. Tana then pulled EVIL's hair. Tana hit a flying forearm out of the corner. Tana hit a slam and a somersault senton for a near fall.
EVIL blocked slingblade. Togo interfered and hit Tana. EVIL hit a lariat on the floor. EVIL bumped Tana into the barricade and the ring announcer took a bump. EVIL repeatedly used a scorpion deathlock on the floor. Togo pulled Tana back to the floor for a countout tease.
They traded whips into the exposed buckle. Tanahashi reversed an STO into twist and shout. Tana hit a High Fly Flow to the back. He used his Texas Clover Hold, but Togo pulled the ref out of the ring.
Tana put Togo in the Clover Hold, but EVIL saved. Tana hit Everything is EVIL on Togo. He tried to hit EVIL with his own finish, but EVIL blocked. They traded low blows. The ref was revived as they did a double down after the low blows.
Tana went for slingblade, but EVIL threw the ref in his path as we had our second ref bump.
EVIL hit Darkness Falls, then hit Tana with the IWGP US title belt. EVIL hit Everything is EVIL and covered for the pin.
B Block: Kazuchika Okada defeated Taichi (w/Miho Abe) (23:10)
This was a psychological thriller with one of the best closing stretches you'll see all year.
The thing that Okada does better than anyone ever is to change up the order of his signature spots. These guys have had a million matches, but you've never seen this one before because of the way he sequenced his big moves throughout.
After Okada's obligatory clean break after the opening lockup, they fought to the floor. They traded whips into the barricade. Taichi lifted the floor padding and hit a DDT on the floor to take over.
Back in the ring, Okada came back wit a flapjack. Okada hit a neckbreaker. Taichi answered with a DDT and a gamengiri. Taichi ducked a Rainmaker swing, but Okada blocked Black Mephisto. Taichi hit a chokeslam, but Okada answered with a dropkick.
Okada used the Money Clip, reapplying the hold twice as Taichi tried to fight to the ropes. Taichi fought the hold for a long time, then finally made the ropes just past the 15 minute call.
Okada hit a top rope elbow, then hit his Rainmaker pose. Taichi ducked a Rainmaker and hit a huge thrust kick. They traded strikes.
Okada slid out of Black Mephisto and sat down into a cradle for a two count. Taichi ducked a Rainmaker and hit a dropkick. This sequence was great. Taichi hit a gamengiri and a backdrop suplex for a near fall.
Taichi absorbed a spinning Rainmaker and stumbled into the ropes. Taichi hit an axe bomber. Okada hit another dropkick and a spinning tombstone.
Taichi ducked another Rainmaker and used a Gedo clutch for a near fall. Taichi hit a buzzsaw kick to the head. Okada blocked the three point stance forearm and hit a landslide, then hit the Rainmaker for the pin.
Here is the lineup for the next show:
G1 Climax 31 night 13, Saturday, October 9, 4 a.m. Eastern time on NJPW World --
- A Block: Kota Ibushi vs. Great-O-Khan
- A Block: Shingo Takagi vs. Tanga Loa
- A Block: Toru Yano vs. Yujiro Takahashi
- A Block: Zack Sabre Jr. vs. KENTA
- Tomohiro Ishii vs. Hiromu Takahashi
- El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita