NJPW G1 Climax A Block Night 4 Highlights w/ The Chairman
The first third of this years G1 Climax is behind us. We’re moving onto night four with big matches as always. Can Kazuchika Okada and KENTA remain undefeated? Does Zack Sabre Jr finally score his points? Do Kota Ibushi and Hiroshi Tanahashi catch fire after their surprising slow starts? Find out here.
Bad Luck Fale (2 pts) vs Zack Sabre Jr (0 pts)
The talk of this match here is the shock that Zack Sabre Jr is on the bottom of A block, but that is the reality of it. This is definitely a must win match for both of these men, more so for Sabre Jr of course. Sabre Jr is trying his best to apply submission holds to the much larger Fale to wear the big man down. Bad Luck Fale at one point early had Sabre Jr in position for Bad Luck Fall, but Sabre Jr countered into an octopus hold. Master Heater at ringside though with a kendo stick struck and this allowed Chase Owens the window to attack. This is where Sabre Jr is missing Taka. Almost surprising Sabre Jr didn’t have one of his other Suzuki-Gun teammates accompany him, but he opted to go alone. The fight then went into the crowd. Fale wanted to powerbomb Sabre Jr into the seats, but he escaped. Owens grabbed Sabre, but Sabre dodged the incoming Fale. Fale then went for the Grenade, but Sabre locked in a submission and wore Fale down in the crowd. As the referee continued the count, Sabre Jr raced to the ring and beat the count. Fale however didn’t make it back in time and Sabre Jr scores his first points of the G1 Climax via countout. The crowd was in approval of this victory. Sabre Jr and Fale remain at the bottom of A block with two points each.
Hiroshi Tanahashi (2 pts) vs Lance Archer (4 pts)
Lance Archer started off with two wins right away, but ran into the buzzsaw Kenta halting his momentum. Archer will look to get back on track against The Ace who Archer is 0-2 against in G1 Climax matches. Tanahashi of course last year’s winner started 0-2 before getting his first points his last match so he will look to build on that momentum. Tanahashi went right after Archer dropkicking the knee several times prompting Archer to go outside. The two men fought outside briefly that ended with apron bomb from Archer. Archer then takes out Tana moments later with a running senton from an apron. Crazy seeing a man this size doing that! The match continues on and Tana hits his Twist and Shout followed by Slingblade combo. He went for Ace Highs, but Archer stops him in his tracks with a chokeslam, but Tana kicked out. Just after the ten minute mark, Archer is teasing the Everybody Dies Claw, but Tanahashi tries to fight it. Eventually Archer gets the claw on, but the veteran Ace gets to the ropes immediately. Archer puts Tanahashi up top looking for the Blackout, instead Tanahashi counters with a victory roll pin and scores a three count. Tanahashi now reaches four points while Archer remains at four points. Last year’s champion is far from finished.
KENTA (6 pts) vs EVIL (4 pts)
Big match here! Can Kenta remain undefeated or will Evil play spoiler? It didn’t take long for this one to go outside. Evil introduced the chairs early and put one around Kenta’s neck and swung for the fences. Evil then takes Kenta further backstage and then into the crowd. Evil created a stack of chairs on the floor, but it was Kenta who suplexed Evil onto them. The fans were not pleased with Kenta being they’re still not accepting of his return. They finally make it back to the ring and Kenta’s delivering kicks to Evil in the corner. Right before the ten minute mark, Kenta went for the double stomp off the top rope, but wasn’t enough to defeat Evil. The battle continues on. Evil managed to his Darkness Falls, but wasn’t enough to beat Kenta. Evil wanted Everything is Evil, but Kenta reversed it into a backslide. Evil continues using his thunderous lariats, but they’re not enough to slow down Kenta. Evil went for another lariat, but received a psycho knee from Kenta instead. Wasn’t enough to beat Evil, so he hits him with a second psycho knee. The action continued briefly before Kenta took advantage. Kenta then went for one of his signature kicks and followed it up with the Go To Sleep. Kenta has defeated Evil moving to eight points and remains on top of the A Block. Evil remains at four points.
SANADA (2 pts) vs Kota Ibushi (2 pts)
Both of these men are chasing and desperately need this win to keep their chances alive, especially just seeing Kenta moving to eight points. Sanada won his first match, but dropped his last two. Ibushi meanwhile lost his first two, but in his last match picked up his first win. Sanada is looking to end his slide while Ibushi wants to keep his momentum. The crowd was loud and evenly split in this one. The first five minutes was mostly quick pins, catering to the crowd, and proving who’s more athletic. Ibushi’s ankle injury of course was the topic of conversation during the match. Later on in the match Ibushi wanted to go for Kamigoye, but it was surprisingly Sanada that hit the Kamigoye. Wasn’t enough to beat Ibushi though. Right at the fifteen minute mark, Ibushi struck Sanada with the bomaye, but it appeared Ibushi hurt himself in the process. Sanada was trying to apply Skull End, but Ibushi was trying to apply his own Skull End. Sanada then was looking to use Ibushi’s lawn dart move on him, but Ibushi countered and hit the lawn dart into the corner on Sanada. After the two men went back and forth with a series of moves, Sanada went for Skull End. Ibushi escaped and the battle raged on. So many counters in this one. Ibushi then went for another bomaye, but Sanada kicked out again. Ibushi then hit Kamigoye and put away Sanada for good. Ibushi moves to four points while Sanada remains at two.
Kazuchika Okada (6 pts) vs Will Ospreay (2 pts)
The main event features two members of Chaos. Okada vs Ospreay. It’s also awesome knowing that we have here a one on one match between the IWGP Heavyweight Champion and IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion. Okada knowing Kenta won earlier means he must win to keep pace. Ospreay meanwhile knows how critical this match is to him. Not only for his G1 Climax chances, but the fact Ospreay has never defeated Okada one on one losing three times to the Rainmaker. If it doesn’t make things any more challenging for Ospreay, Okada is 9-0-1 in his last ten G1 Climax matches going back to last year. The two men battled on, but around the half way point things really started to pick up. Okada over the course of the match was working on the neck of Ospreay. Okada went for the Rainmaker pose, but he never gets it the first time. He went for the tombstone and tried Rainmaker, but Ospreay didn’t allow it. Ospreay followed up with the Robinson Special which sets up Oscutter, but Okada kicked Ospreay off the ropes before he could bounce off. This leads up to the two men fighting on the apron right around the fifteen minute mark. The battle goes to the floor and one moment Ospreay jumped off the barricade and hit the Oscutter to Okada on the floor. As Okada crawled back into the ring, Ospreay with an impressive missile dropkick from almost across the ring. This setup another Oscutter, but Okada somehow kicked out. He went for the Super Oscutter, but Okada counters into a German suplex. Okada goes for Rainmaker and Ospreay reversed into a Spanish Fly followed by shooting star press, but that doesn’t stop Okada. At the twenty minute mark, Stormbreaker is countered, but Ospreay reverses Okada’s tombstone into one of his own. Ospreay with the hook kick then looks for Stormbreaker, but Okada countered into a Rainmaker. Okada somehow still holds the wrist of Ospreay and hits a second Rainmaker. Okada grabs Ospreay for a third, but Ospreay countered into Stormbreaker countered into spinning Rainmaker and then a Rainmaker seals Ospreay’s fate. With this victory, Okada ties Masahiro Chono for best eleven match run in the G1 Climax at 10-0-1. Okada remains co leader of the A Block at eight points and Ospreay remains at two points. The second half of this match was really good.
Kota Ibushi (4 pts) vs Lance Archer (4 pts)
Will Ospreay (2 pts) vs Bad Luck Fale (2 pts)
EVIL (4 pts) vs Zack Sabre Jr (2 pts)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (4 pts) vs SANADA (2 pts)
Kazuchika Okada (8 pts) vs KENTA (8 pts)
We have to wait a week for A block to continue next Saturday, but the main event of this one speaks for itself. Okada vs KENTA where the winner is the undisputed leader of A block. This one is a must see match folks. The rest of the A block will try to catch up proving every match is crucial going forward for everybody else. The key for everyone else will be taking care of business the rest of the way and stopping Kenta and Okada if the opportunity presents itself being those two are the leaders. With that, we’ll do it again next Saturday. Thanks for reading.