NJPW G1 Climax A Block Night 5 Highlights w/ The Chairman
We’ve had a brief hiatus from A block being it’s been a week since our last taste of A block action. However we’re back and there’s some big matches on tap of course. The big one of course being the undefeated A block leaders Kazuchika Okada and KENTA facing off to see who truly is the leader of the A block. Find out who wins this epic encounter and who else stays in the hunt.
Lance Archer (4 pts) vs Kota Ibushi (4 pts)
Lance Archer started the A block hot, but fell on some hard times his last few matches. Meanwhile Kota Ibushi started the exact opposite by losing his first couple matches, but then turned things around his last two matches. Definitely a must win match for both of these wrestlers to keep their A block chances alive. Archer early wanted to powerbomb Ibushi over the ropes early, but Ibushi countered with a hurricarana saving his own skin. The action went outside briefly before returning to the ring. The bigger Archer dominated this contest early. Kota made his comeback though. At one point he hit a powerslam followed up by a second rope moonsault, but wasn’t enough to put down Archer. The two men were fighting in the corner later on and it was Ibushi who mustered the strength to powerbomb Archer, yes you read that right. Archer followed up with a flipping senton from the ropes to take Kota down, yes you also read that right. Archer then chokeslams Ibushi all the way to hell, but Ibushi somehow kicked out. This point Archer teases the EBD Claw and locks it in. Kota though was fortunate enough to get to the ropes. Kota makes his comeback with a rollup pin, but Archer kicked out. Kota then unloads with a bomaye to the head. Kota wanted to go for Kamigoye, but it was Archer with a devastating knee of his own to the face of Ibushi right before the ten minute mark. Ibushi starts to get momentum with a head kick to Archer that stuns him. Ibushi goes for bomaye and this of course sets up Kamigoye. Shocking to everyone, including Ibushi, Archer took the Kamigoye and didn’t go down. Kota went for a second Kamigoye that finally put an end to Archer. Kota keeps his G1 Climax chances alive with his third victory in a row moving to six points. Archer meanwhile is going the other direction and remains at four points.
Will Ospreay (2 pts) vs Bad Luck Fale (2 pts)
Bad Luck Fale isn’t having the best G1 even with his henchmen Chase Owens and Master Heater Jado accompanying him. Even though Will Ospreay has been making 2019 his year, I don’t even think he can make a great match involving Fale. We’ll see though. Of course Fale’s goons try to get the jump on Ospreay early, how surprising. Over the course of the match Fale is targeting the neck of Ospreay and Ospreay of course has to deal with Owens and Jado on the outside. Ospreay at one moment looked for the Oscutter, but Fale shoved the referee into Ospreay. This gave Fale and his goons a chance to beat down Ospreay. Fale hit the Grenade, but with no referee a count couldn’t be made. Ospreay tried the Stormbreaker moments later, but couldn’t so settled for Hidden Blade. He then hit the Oscutter, but the referee was pulled out by Chase Owens. Jado tried a sneak attack with the kendo stick, but Ospreay blocked it. Ospreay went for Fale, but Owens of course got involved and hit the Package Piledriver after a scuffle between the two. Fale covered Ospreay, but the original referee Marty Asami was still down. Red Shoes slides in making the count. He only counted to two and flipped off Fale and disqualified him. Ospreay gets the two points and rightfully so. Ospreay at four points is still in the game. Fale of course remains at two and more than likely will try to injure superstars at this point knowing his G1 chances are toast.
Zack Sabre Jr (2 pts) vs EVIL (4 pts)
ZSJ not having the best G1, but he did finally get his first two points his last time out. He takes on EVIL who looks to gain another victory here. It was brought up that Sabre Jr has had Evil’s number, we’ll see if this holds true here. The match was back and forth in the early going. Nobody really dominated or could gain momentum. Evil relied on his power while Sabre Jr relied on his submission arsenal. Don’t know why, but I had a hard time getting into this match. In the end it was Evil hitting Everything is Evil on Sabre Jr moving himself to six points. Sabre Jr remains at the bottom with two.
Hiroshi Tanahashi (4 pts) vs SANADA (2 pts)
Last year’s winning Tanahashi knows this is a must win match if he plans on going back to back. With Okada and Kenta sitting up top of the leaderboard and with Ibushi and EVIL all moving to six points puts even more pressure on him. Of course you can say the same about Sanada, a loss here all but ends his G1 pursuit. Big match stakes here for both men. Sanada is 2-1 against the Ace in singles matches so the Cold Skull has that going for him. The first five minutes were even, but right at this point Sanada finally gets his beloved Paradise Lock on Tana. I’ll never understand this move. The two men battled on and Sanada looked for Skull End, but Tanahashi went for Twist and Shout twice, but Sanada countered with one of his own. The two men battled on and Tana hit the slingblade, but wasn’t enough to beat Sanada. Tanahashi went for his frogsplash, but missed. Sanada tried a Mutoh moonsault, but Tana moved. This match was full of back and forth action. Tana is using Sanada’s Skull End just after the fifteen minute mark only for Sanada to put the Ace in the move, but Tana escapes taking Sanada down. Tanahashi went for a dragon suplex pin and almost had Sanada there. Tana then went up for the Aces High and connected. Tanahashi went back up and hit the frogsplash to put away Sanada. Tanahashi continues his surge to six points while Sanada remains at two points. My dark horse picking isn’t looking good anymore.
KENTA (8 pts) vs Kazuchika Okada (8 pts)
There’s nothing I really need to say here you already know. This is one of the most anticipated matches of A block and rightfully so. You have the two leaders of A block facing off in a major match. The winner takes sole control of A block while the loser takes a step back. Does Kenta continue to shock the world and continue his domination in his return to Japan or will Okada continue his pursuit to becoming the first IWGP Heavyweight G1 Climax winner in a very long time. The two men started slow playing the games with each other. Kenta took control from there for the most part. Okada though wasn’t going to go down quietly. The ten minute mark passed and it was Okada in the drivers seat. The battle continued as Kenta was looking for a triangle choke to wear down Okada, but it was Okada who countered with a flapjack. The two men just started beating each other with strikes in the middle of the ring from there. Okada then dropkicked Kenta off the turnbuckle to the floor to buy himself some time. The fifteen minute call and we have the two men fighting outside. Kenta has Okada drapped over the barricade unleashing his kicks and then the double stomp off the apron to the back of Okada’s neck. The Rainmaker is in trouble here as he reaches the ring at the eighteen count. Kenta unleashes his arsenal of running boots and dropkicks into Okada in the corner. The stomp from the top from Kenta missed and Okada strikes with the shotgun dropkick knocking Kenta into the corner. Okada has a Kentaesque running dropkick into the corner of his own to Kenta. The match continues on and Kenta finally manages to get Okada locked into Game Over right at the twenty minute mark, but Okada gets his foot on the rope. Kenta then hits the Psycho Knee, but Okada kicks out. Kenta hits a second Psycho Knee, but Okada kicked out again. Kenta goes up top and hits the double stomp and connects, Okada though barely kicks out. Kenta looks for Go To Sleep, but Okada fights out and looks for the tombstone. Kenta fights out though and looks for Go To Sleep, but Okada blocks it and then dropkicks Kenta down. Okada then whips Kenta and hits another dropkick. OKada then goes for the tombstone and connects perfectly. The Rainmaker is next from Okada, but Kenta dodges and hits the spinning lariat instead. Both men at this point are gassed and just hitting strikes to each other on their knees right as twenty five minutes pass. Kenta starts unloading palm strikes. Kenta and Okada battle continues on back and forth. Counters galore, but Okada manages to hit the spinning tombstone. Okada hits the Rainmaker and this finishes Kenta off. Okada is the first to ten points while Kenta remains at eight.
Well it’s official, Okada is the man to beat in A block now. Who will step up and defeat the Rainmaker? Or does the A block already belong to the Rainmaker? Night six is coming up Tuesday and we’ll see what’s next.
Kota Ibushi (6 pts) vs Bad Luck Fale (2 pts)
Will Ospreay (4 pts) vs Zack Sabre Jr (2 pts)
Kazuchika Okada (10 pts) vs Lance Archer (4 pts)
KENTA (8 pts) vs SANADA (2 pts)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (6 pts) vs EVIL (6 pts)
The A block is definitely separating itself. Fale, Sabre Jr, and Sanada are pretty much eliminated. Ospreay and Archer aren’t too far behind. It’s realistically a five man race and honestly it’s going to be tough to see Okada losing the A block at this point. The big match of night six is between Tanahashi and Evil. Both men are tied at six points and the winner will propel himself to eight points staying in the hunt. Evil does have an advantage over Tanahashi though should he win and that is the fact he hasn’t faced Okada yet. Therefore he could somewhat have more control of his destiny compared to Tanahashi who lost to Okada on the A block opener. Regardless though, between Tanahashi and Evil, the loser is pretty much finished. Kota Ibushi is also another one to keep your eyes on. He’s been scorching his past three matches and looks to make a run until the end. Keep in mind on the final night of A block he faces Okada which could prove to be a major match. Of course Ibushi has to get thru Fale first. Kenta will try to stay behind Okada as he faces Sanada, but knowing he can’t tie Okada now, he is going to need some help. Find out Tuesday where A block goes next and keep it here with us at HTCWrestling for the latest.