NJPW G1 Climax A Block Night 6 Highlights w/ The Chairman
A Block action is back and the big story is Kazuchika Okada. Can Okada remain undefeated? Does Kenta rebound after losing to Okada or can Sanada pull off the upset? Kota Ibushi looks to continue his surge after his slow start, does he keep his G1 hopes alive? We also have a big main event between Hiroshi Tanahashi and Evil where the winner still keeps their hopes alive while the losers dreams are shattered. Here is what happened in this sixth night of A block action.
Bad Luck Fale (2 pts) vs Kota Ibushi (6 pts)
Let’s get Fale out of the way early, I’m totally okay with this. I’d be okay if he never wrestled in a G1 Climax ever again. Anyways he met Ibushi two years ago in their only singles match and defeated him in the G1 Climax. Ibushi looks to keep his three match winning streak in tact. Fale has the least amount of ring time so far of A block wrestlers while Ibushi has the most. No surprise there at all considering the wrestlers we’re talking about. Fale of course has his goons Chase Owens and Master Heater Jado with him. Fale attacks early and they brawl outside for a bit. The bigger Fale dominants the match from the early going. Ibushi attempted to make a comeback, but Jado strikes with the kendo stick from behind allowing Fale to hit the Grenade. Kota however kicked out. Fale then attempted Bad Luck Fall, but Kota escaped. The stooges at ringside tried helping Fale, but almost cost him the match when he fell and Kota went for the rollup. Kota then went for Bomaye and delivered it and finished Fale off with the Kamigoye. Bad Luck Fale has been officially eliminated from the G1 Climax and Kota Ibushi’s surge continues to eight points. Circle that final A Block date where Ibushi collides with Kazuchika Okada, could be a huge match.
Zack Sabre Jr (2 pts) vs Will Ospreay (4 pts)
Sabre Jr will try to fight for his tournament life against a familiar foe in fellow countryman Will Ospreay. Sabre Jr has a 4-2 advantage in singles matches against Ospreay, but this is their first one on one encounter in New Japan. Ospreay is heavily taped around his neck and you know Sabre is going to target that area during this match. The two men battled for quite some time. It was anybody’s match. The match started somewhat slow, but the second half is when things picked up. Ospreay nailed an Oscutter, but that didn’t finish off ZSJ. Ospreay went for Hidden Blade, but missed and ZSJ wrapped Ospreay into one of his many submissions. Ospreay wisely reached the ropes before it was too late. The two men battle on and this time ZSJ locks a guillotine choke in, only for Ospreay to escaped with a brainbuster. Ospreay wanted Stormbreaker, but ZSJ almost stole it with another unique pin. Ospreay tried a reverse Bloody Sunday, but that couldn’t keep ZSJ down. Ospreay goes up for a shooting star press, but is caught in a triangle hold by Sabre Jr. Ospreay fights out of the hold somehow and followed up with a shooting star press and delivers. Goes for a pin but not enough. Ospreay then hits a hook kick and goes for Stormbreaker, but ZSJ escapes and applied a Octopus Hold right at the twenty minute mark and Ospreay tapped out. Zack Sabre Jr continues his personal domination on Ospreay and scores his first submission victory of G1 Climax 29 in his sixth match.
Kazuchika Okada (10 pts) vs Lance Archer (4 pts)
Remember when Archer was undefeated in A block? Three matches and three losses later, Archer finds himself in a hole. He takes on the A block leader and IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada in what’s pretty much a must win match for Archer if he plans on having a chance. Archer didn’t waste any time getting the jump on Okada when he wasn’t expecting it. Five years ago to the day Okada met Archer and of course Okada is 3-0 all time against Archer. Archer took the fight to Okada outside in the early going and dominated the champ for the first five minutes. It was pretty much the same up until the ten minute mark. Okada got very little offense in, it was all Archer. Archer chokeslammed a half beaten Okada, but wasn’t enough. This set up Blackout and Okada realized he was close to the ropes and got his leg there just in time. Archer was looking for the EBD Claw, but Okada dodged it and hit a dropkick to Archer. Okada is just trying to survive at this point. Archer comes in charging, but Okada hit another dropkick to stop Archer in his path. Archer gets Okada in the corner and looks for a superplex, but Okada fights Archer off. Okada hits Archer with a missile dropkick from the top. Okada then looks for the tombstone, but Archer reverses and wants Blackout. Okada escapes however and hits spinning Rainmaker. Archer isn’t phased and tries the EBD Claw, but Okada dodges and hits the Rainmaker putting Archer down. Okada remains undefeated and on top of the A Block. Okada survived. Okada has also eliminated half of the A block with this victory reaching twelve points.
KENTA (8 pts) vs SANADA (2 pts)
Sanada is one of unfortunate wrestlers that was eliminated thanks to Okada’s victory, however he can play spoiler here against Kenta. Kenta knows he needs to beat Sanada since Okada just won if he’s to have any chance to continue in his chase. The match becomes a battle outside for a bit in the early going. For the first five minutes, it’s pretty much all Kenta. Sanada however started to show signs of life at this point and battled back into the match, but Kenta for the most part dominated still. Kenta had Sanada in the corner and unleashed his signature dropkicks into the corner. Kenta went for the double stomp, but Sanada kicked out. Kenta was looking to finish the match with Go To Sleep, but Sanada is doing what he can to survive. Kenta however locks on the Game Over submission trying to end things. Sanada however refused to give up and fought to reach the ropes with his leg and forced the rope break. Kenta went for the Psycho Knee, but Sanada blocked it and took down Kenta with the TKO and a cover, but not enough. Sanada goes for the Mutoh Moonsault, but Kenta got the knees up to block it. The two men keep battling it out, but Kenta eventually gains momentum. He delivers the Psycho Knee, but only a two count. Kenta looks for Go To Sleep right at the fifteen minute mark, but Sanada escapes again. Sanada finally gets things going his way by locking Skulls End. Sanada follows up with the Mutoh Moonsault and Sanada plays spoiler. Sanada defeats Kenta. This definitely causes a shake in the foundation of the A block. Kenta’s G1 Climax chances are in jeopardy now after such a hot start.
Hiroshi Tanahashi (6 pts) vs EVIL (6 pts)
Big main event here between the Ace and the King of Darkness. Knowing Okada is cruising at twelve points, this is a must win match for both men. The winner stays in the race, the loser is pretty much finished. With both men tied at six, the winner gets eight points which would tie Kota Ibushi and Kenta who realistically are the only ones who still have a shot at winning the A block other than Okada. Pending how this one ends, Evil has an advantage over Tana. Evil hasn’t faced Okada yet. Tanahashi lost to Okada on opening night. Evil was one of the many men that fell victim to Tanahashi’s impressive G1 Climax run last year so we’ll see who is victorious in 2019. Fairly evened match in the early parts of the match. Tana takes a big risk right after the ten minute mark and hits a flying crossbody towards Evil on the outside. Tanahashi however injured his knee coming down. Tana is hobbling around at ringside not giving up. Evil used one of the Young Lions at ringside to assist him in delivering the Magic Killer to Tana on the outside. Red Shoes starts the count and both men barely make it back in before twenty. The battle continues for some time. Evil takes Tana down hard with a clothesline right at the fifteen minute mark. It was said that the longer the match goes, the odds goes down for Tanahashi being his wins have come quick and his losses are in the matches that drag out. Evil gets Tanahashi with a huge superplex from the top rope, but wasn’t enough for the pinfall win. Darkness Falls follows up, but Tana kicks out again. Evil is going for Everything is Evil, but Tana fights out. Tana dodges a big lariat from Evil and delivers the Twist and Shout sequence. This opens the door for the slingblade, but Evil kicks out. Tana goes up to the top for the frogsplash, but Evil blocked it and rolled up the Ace. Tanahashi kicked out to survive. The two men engage in strikes in the middle of the ring right at the twenty minute mark. Evil takes Tanahashi down with a lariat, but not enough. Evil delivers another lariat, but Tana kicks out again somehow. Evil tries Everything is Evil, but Tana blocks it again. Evil with a vicious headbutt drops the Ace. Evil goes for Everything is Evil, but Tana counters into a dragon suplex pin. Evil kicked out. Tana takes advantage and goes up top. Tanahashi hits Aces High and knocks Evil down. Tanahashi goes back up top and delivers the Frogsplash and finally puts Evil away. Tanahashi’s G1 Climax is still alive as he moves to eight points.
Another series of A block matches in the books. Somewhat annoying that Okada has a monster lead on everybody and half the A block has been eliminated only 66% into the tournament. Is what it is however and this is what is on tap Saturday.
KENTA (8 pts) vs Bad Luck Fale (2 pts)
Zack Sabre Jr (4 pts) vs Lance Archer (4 pts)
Will Ospreay (4 pts) vs EVIL (6 pts)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (8 pts) vs Kota Ibushi (8 pts)
Kazuchika Okada (12 pts) vs SANADA (4 pts)
The big match here is Tanahashi vs Ibushi. A rematch of last years G1 Climax final. Let alone whoever wins this match still has a chance to keep pace with Okada by moving to ten points. Blows my mind this isn’t the main event opposed to Okada and Sanada, especially when Sanada is all but eliminated. However since Sanada just beat Kenta, it appears he has spoiler momentum on his side. Kenta will try to keep chase in the A block when he faces Bad Luck Fale. Other matches include Suzuki-gun teammates Archer and Sabre Jr in a battle of bragging rights I guess and Ospreay meets Evil. Keep it here with us at HTCWrestling for all your wrestling needs.