NJPW G1 Climax 29 A Block Night 3 Highlights w/ The Chairman
We’re kicking off the third night of A Block in the G1 Climax and we got some big matches on the table. Who remains undefeated between Lance Archer and Kenta? Can Kazuchika Okada remain undefeated and continue his quest to become the first IWGP Heavyweight Champion to win the G1 Climax in years? Will Kota Ibushi and Hiroshi Tanahashi finally end their surprising losing streak? Who wins in the battle of L.I.J. teammates EVIL and SANADA? Here’s how it went down.
Lance Archer (4 points) vs KENTA (4 points)
We’re starting off with two of A Block’s undefeated wrestlers right out of the gate. Kenta goes right to his arsenal of kicks early that have assisted him in racking up wins from the get go. However, he is going to be battle tested against a much larger Lance Archer. Archer continued to impress in this one as early on he throws Kenta off the apron into some Young Lions and then everybody dies when he took them all out with a running senton off the apron. When the battle went around the outside, Archer stole the microphone from the announcer when he started the twenty count and told him to shut up. Archer then started taunting Kenta calling him Hideo. I’ll say it, Lance Archer has been one of the highlights in this G1 Climax so far. Archer was dominant for quite some time, but Kenta with a surprising powerslam got himself back into things. This led to a series of running kicks into the corner followed by the double stomp from the top, but Archer kicked out at two. At the ten minute mark, Kenta tried the Go To Sleep, but Archer escaped and locked on the Claw, but Kenta quickly reached the ropes. Archer was able to his a muscle buster, but Kenta kicked out. Archer then tried a powerbomb, but Kenta kicks out again. Archer the goes for a chokeslam, but Kenta counters into a triangle choke that transitioned into Game Over and Archer tapped out. Kenta remains undefeated moving to six points while Archer remains at four points.
EVIL (2 points) vs SANADA (2 points)
One of the top tag teams in NJPW find themselves facing each other in this one. Knowing Kenta just reached six points, it’ll be even more crucial to win this match being either man can’t afford to fall further behind. Sanada wasted no time hitting dropkicks on Evil right out of the gate. Evil then used a chair to introduce a distraction to get himself back into the match. Sanada tried several times to lock Evil into his signature Paradise Lock, but turns out Evil is the one that applied the Paradise Lock. The two men take the action to the outside and start whipping each other into the barricades. The action continued inside the ring with Sanada finally getting that Paradise Lock on Evil using the ropes for assistance. The action continued on and right at the ten minute mark Evil took Sanada down with the Magic Killer using the referee to assist in the move unwillingly of course. Evil then takes Sanada down with a superplex from the top, but wasn’t enough to put away Sanada. Sanada gets back the momentum and looks for the Mutoh Moonsault, but Evil got the knees up and quickly went for a pin, but wasn’t enough. Both men are struggling to their feet as their match approaches the fifteen minute mark. Evil and Sanada then start exchanging blows, but eventually Sanada hits the tiger suplex, but not enough for the three count. Sanada goes for Skull End and has Evil locked in. Evil then goes for the small package and almost stole it there. Evil then takes Sanada down with a lariat followed by Darkness Falls, but Sanada stays alive. Evil looks for Everything is Evil, but Sanada with an inside cradle, but Evil kicked out. Evil hits a lariat and Sanada kicked out at ONE! Evil goes for another massive lariat, but Sanada kicked out again. Evil then plants Sanada with Everything is Evil and Evil finally gets the win. Evil moves to four points and Sanada stays at two.
Kazuchika Okada (4 points) vs Bad Luck Fale (2 points)
Well this one started off with a shock as Bad Luck Fale brings a beaten Okada to ringside along with Chase Owens and Jado. The fans are not happy and the brawl continues outside with Fale slamming Okada into the barricade. I pretty cringed when this match started because I absolutely can’t stand Fale matches. Fale throws Okada in the ring and hits a big splash, but Okada kicked out. Now Jado hits Okada in the ribs on the outside with Owens holding him while Fale distracts the ref. The referee starts the count as a beaten Okada recovers, but he finally gets back in the ring. Fale continues working on Okada in the ring as the five minute mark passes. Okada finally comes to life and takes out everyone at ringside. Okada has dropped two G1 matches to Fale over the years so he knows he has his work cut out for him. The action gets back in the ring and Okada hits a neckbreaker on Fale in the ring, but Fale kicks out. Okada hits the Rainmaker pose, but Fale drags Red Shoes into the path. This opens the door for Chase Owens to ambush Okada. Owens throws Okada to Fale who hits the Grenade. This is followed up with the Bad Luck Fall, but Okada escapes and dropkicked Fale in the back of the head. Okada then takes Owens down with a dropkick. Okada then tries the tombstone, but Fale is too much. Okada gets hit with a kendo stick, but wasn’t enough to phase him. Okada ended up getting Fale pinned down by holding his legs and stealing the match. Okada remains perfect with six points while Fale stays at two.
Hiroshi Tanahashi (0 points) vs Zack Sabre Jr (0 points)
With Kenta and Okada up top at six points, this is a must win match for both of these guys. Historically excellent tournament wrestlers, it’s a shock seeing Tanahashi and Sabre Jr are scoreless. Of course the talk now is Tanahashi too old for the G1 Climax? Kind of a ridiculous theory being he won it last year, but either or here we go. The match starts off as a submission battle between the two. Sabre Jr of course focusing on Tana’s injured arm as we all know. If you remember at the MSG show a few months back. It was Sabre Jr that initially injured the elbow when he defeated Tanahashi in their REVPRO British Heavyweight Championship match. The two men continue with their submissions and quick pins over the course of the match. Inside cradle sequences galore. The two men know how desperately they need this win and can’t afford a long grueling match. Tana hits the Twist and Shout, but Sabre Jr changes the momentum quickly locking the Ace in a octopus hold. Tana though escapes using his dragon screw. Now the two men start exchanging uppercuts which may not be a smart strategy for the smaller Sabre Jr. The two men are trying to backslide on another, but Tana hits the slingblade instead right at the ten minute mark. The two men continue their submission battle countering and escaping each other. Sabre Jr though finally gets Tana in a nasty stretch working the surgically repaired arm. Tana though with his ring awareness gets his leg on the rope to force a break. Sabre Jr goes to kick Tanahashi, but he grabs the leg. Sabre Jr with rapid slaps to the face trying to escape, but Tanahashi hits a dragon screw. Then another drago screw setting up Aces High and connects. Tanahashi goes up again for the frogplash, but Sabre Jr blocks into a triangle, but Tanahashi somehow rolls Sabre Jr up and gets the win. Tanahashi is finally on the board with two points. Sabre Jr remains at the bottom at zero. Sabre Jr of course is having a tantrum at ringside afterwards and he needs to win his final six matches in a row to hit the magic number of twelve points. This has never been done before by the way.
Will Ospreay (2 points) vs Kota Ibushi (0 points)
The main event puts Will Ospreay against Kota Ibushi. Both of these men are perhaps two of the most athletic in NJPW and both of them are not 100%. There was talk of Ospreay missing this match with a neck injury, but he was cleared. Ibushi of course is nursing an ankle injury he suffered on opening night of A block. The two went right to work. Ospreay got the advantage early on by racking Ibushi on the barricade and then smashing the ankle using the ringpost. Ospreay is targeting Ibushi’s injured ankle that could potentially limit his high flying moves. Ospreay keeps focusing on the ankle, but eventually Kota gets some offense in.The match continues on and Ospreay keeps wearing down Kota. One moment in the match, Ospreay bounced off the ropes flying into Kota, only for Kota to catch and German suplex Ospreay. The fifteen minute marked passed and the two men start striking each other. Kota is going to have the advantage here, especially if he works the injured neck of Ospreay. The action continued on and Ospreay was looking for Stormbreaker, but Ibushi countered and dropped Ospreay on his head/neck. Ibushi follows up with the Last Ride, but Ospreay survives despite his neck being heavily favored. Ibushi goes up top, but Ospreay knocks him down. Ibushi falls into Stormbreaker position, but countered by Kota, but Ospreay rolls him up. Ospreay then hits a twisting powerbomb. Kota kicked out again though. Ospreay is to his feet first, but Ibushi is grabbing his ankle as we reach the twenty minute mark. This point Kota is on his knees glazed and Ospreay beats him down before going for Super Oscutter, but Ibushi pushed him off the turnbuckle. Ospreay is hanging upside down in the corner and the men start slapping each other. Kota though starts kicking Ospreay in the head/neck area as Ospreay is defenseless. Ibushi then takes Ospreay up top and the crowd gasps. Ospreay managed to get Ibushi down, but Ibushi uses a backflip kick to knock Ospreay off the top rope. Ibushi then stands on the middle rope and deadlift German suplex to Ospreay, but Ospreay lands on his feet. Ospreay then hits the Hidden Blade on Kota. Ospreay goes for the cover, but a glazed Kota reached for the rope to stop the count. Ospreay measures up Ibushi and then pulls him to his feet. Ospreay starts kicking him and Ibushi slumps to the ground. Ospreay looks for the Robinson Special and connects. Goes for Oscutter, but blocked by Ibushi. Ospreay tries the Oscutter again and hits, but Kota somehow kicked out. The twenty five minute call is made, only five minutes left. Ospreay is looking for Stormbreaker, but Ibushi escaped and has Ospreay for Kamigoye, but denied. Ibushi though hits the Michinoku Driver, but another kickout by Ospreay. Ospreay hits a Spanish Fly, but Kota kicked out. Ospreay takes the elbow pad off and is measuring up Kota. HIdden blade blocked by Kota with an elbow to the head followed by a huge lariat. Kota Ibushi exposes the knee and hits the Bomaye, but kickout by Ospreay. Three minutes left as Kota looks for Kamigoye and delivers and secures his first points of the G1 Climax. Both men have two points. What a match!
A Block returns Saturday and here’s what is on tap!!!
Zack Sabre Jr (0 points) vs Bad Luck Fale (2 points)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (2 points) vs Lance Archer (4 points)
KENTA (6 points) vs EVIL (4 points)
Kota Ibushi (2 points) vs SANADA (2 points)
Kazuchika Okada (6 points) vs Will Ospreay (2 points)
What a main event putting Chaos stablemates against each other in what could be one of the best matches of the entire G1 Climax. Okada wants to remain perfect, Ospreay wants to remain in the hunt. Another big match is KENTA vs EVIL. Kenta like Okada wants to remain perfect. EVIL however is hot right now and cooling off Kenta would keep his G1 chances well alive. Tanahashi is on the board and will try to put down Lance Archer who took a step backwards against Kenta. Ibushi finally got his first two points and will look to takedown Sanada who’s been struggling as well. And then there’s Bad Luck Fale and Zack Sabre Jr which should be interesting since they both have completely different in ring styles. That does it for me, keep it here with us at HTCWrestling for your G1 Climax coverage.