NJPW G1 Climax A Block Night 7 Highlights w/ The Chairman
It’s Okada’s G1 Climax to lose at this point. Can Kenta, Evil, Ibushi, and Tanahashi keep up with the Rainmaker? Does Sanada do the unthinkable and put an end to Okada’s winning streak? Who wins in the rematch of last years G1 Climax final and keeps their chances for this year alive between Kota Ibushi and Hiroshi Tanahashi? This and more on night seven of A block.
KENTA (8 pts) vs Bad Luck Fale (2 pts)
Kenta after starting with four wins has cooled off losing his last two matches. He looks to get back on track in a must win match against Bad Luck Fale who looks to play spoiler. Match is your typical Fale match with the shenanigans outside with Master Heater Jado. Chase Owens opts for commentary. As the match progresses, Fale looks for the Grenade, but Kenta turns it into Game Over. Fale taps, but the ref is distracted. Owens comes in with the kendo stick, but Kenta is able to stop him. In all the chaos, Fale steals with win with a rollup pin. Kenta’s G1 Climax chances take a catastrophic turn for the worse and if Okada wins, Kenta is finished.
Zack Sabre Jr (4 pts) vs Lance Archer (4 pts)
Both of these Suzuki-gun wrestlers are eliminated from the G1 Climax, but they’re going to battle for pride here. I guess the one takeaway here is if Archer beats Sabre Jr, Archer could technically claim a title shot against Sabre Jr’s REVPRO British Championship. The match starts with Archer dominating the smaller ZSJ for the most part. One moment Archer wanted the derailer, but Sabre quickly applied a guillotine. Archer kept going for his EBD Claw, but Sabre continued blocking and applying submissions of his own. Archer hit the Black Hole Slam on ZSJ, but ZSJ kicked out just before the ten minute mark. Archer tossed ZSJ down with a chokeslam and cover, but not enough. Archer was looking for Blackout, but the crafty ZSJ rolled up Archer into a pin and stole the win. Archer’s skid continues while ZSJ moves to six points. Sabre Jr has won three of his last four matches, but his slow start cost him the G1 Climax being he’s already eliminated.
Will Ospreay (4 pts) vs EVIL (6 pts)
Ospreay will look to ruin Evil’s chances as Evil is still technically in the G1 Climax. Evil of course is in a must win situation. The story here is Ospreay’s still nursing his neck stinger and Evil of course has focused on that area during the match. The battle was intense between these two. Right around the fifteen minute mark is when things picked up. Evil went for one of his monster lariats only for Ospreay to counter with a Spanish Fly. Ospreay then hit the Oscutter, but Evil survived. He then looked for Stormbreaker, but countered into Everything is Evil, but that’s countered and Ospreay finishes the sequence with the Robinson Special. He’s looking for Super Oscutter, but it’s blocked and Evil suplexes the hell out of Ospreay twice and finishes it with a lariat, but Ospreay kicks out. Everything is Evil follows and Evil moves to eight points keeping his G1 hopes alive. He’s really going to need his LIJ comrade Sanada to pull off the impossible later against Okada. Should this happen, Evil controls his fate because he faces Okada next.
Kota Ibushi (8 pts) vs Hiroshi Tanahashi (8 pts)
The finalist of last years G1 Climax meet in this must win match. Last year these two battled for thirty five minutes. Of course that was because their match was the final. All other G1 Climax matches are only thirty minutes and if both men tie, they only receive one point. There’s more pressure on Tana to win because he already lost to Okada, he can’t afford to lose here. Then again neither can Ibushi. This is one of the most anticipated matches when I seen the G1 schedule and definitely should’ve been the main event being this is a G1 Climax FINAL rematch from last year. Guess Okada and Sanada is more important apparently? The match started off as expected. Tanahashi around the five minute mark started using submissions trying to make Kota give up. Ibushi busted out a quick impressive hurricarana to Tanahashi off the tope when he was perhaps looking for Aces High and tried to steal it, but the Ace kicked out. The battle rages on and right at the fifteen minute mark Ibushi hit the Bomaye and wanted Kamigoye, but Tanahashi escaped. Ibushi though moments later took control and finished the Ace off once in for all with the Kamigoye. Ibushi avenged his loss from last years G1 Climax final moving to ten points. Tanahashi’s G1 Climax chances are not looking good. If Ibushi can defeat Sabre Jr and if either Sanada tonight or Evil can defeat Okada, Ibushi will control his own destiny. He will just have to defeat Okada on the final night of A block.
Kazuchika Okada (12 pts) vs SANADA (4 pts)
Okada can breath a little easier knowing Kenta and Tanahashi are no longer threats to dethroning him from A Block. The only ones still in the hunt are Evil and Ibushi who ironically are Okada’s final two matches in A block. However he can’t overlook Sanada who spoiled Kenta’s chances last time out and will look to do so again here. Back when we made our G1 Climax predictions, I predicted Sanada as a dark horse in the tournament (that didn’t turn out) and one of two men to defeat Okada (I picked Ibushi as the other) so we’ll see if that prediction at least holds true. It was mostly Okada in the early going of this match, however Sanada finally came to life as the match advanced. The first fifteen minutes passed and Okada struck the Rainmaker posed, but it was Sanada who got Skulls End in on Okada. Okada managed to get out and tombstone Sanada and went for Rainmaker, but denied. Okada though made Sanada pay and took him down on his neck. At the twenty minute mark the two men are engaged in a striking battle in the middle of the ring. It looked like Sanada was going to have the advantage, but Okada countered with a series of dropkicks. Okada was looking for Rainmaker, but Sanada avoided it. Sanada wanted Skulls End, but couldn’t lock it so went for a tiger suplex pin. Kicked out. Followed up with a TKO and another cover, Okada kicked out again. Sanada goes for Mutoh moonsault and missed. Sanada kept battling, but eventually got caught with the short armed Rainmaker. Okada wouldn’t let go and took Sanada down with another one. Now Okada goes for the big one, but Sanada counters with a Rainmaker of his own. Back to Skull End and spinning Okada around and has him hooked. Twenty five minutes passed and Sanada still has Skull End locked on. Okada is starting to slip out and desperately trying to reach the ropes. Sanada regains control and locks it on again. Okada quickly breaks out and pins Sanada, but kicked out. Sanada reapplies the Skull End at the three minute warning. Okada starts to fade. Red Shoes is checking to see if he’s finished. Sanada goes for Mutoh moonsault at the two minute warning and Okada gets the knees up to block it in desperation. Final minute and Sanada hooks Okada, but he escapes and dropkicks Sanada. Okada tries Rainmaker, but Sanada gets the TKO instead. Sanada goes up and Mutoh Moonsault. Sanada goes for a second one and connects. Sanada covers Okada and Sanada did it. With twelve seconds left Sanada defeats Okada and ends the undefeated streak of Okada. Sanada may not win the G1, but he did defeat the IWGP Heavyweight Champion meaning he will more than likely be getting another title shot sometime in the future.
Big night in Osaka seeing Okada finally fall. Ibushi, Tanahashi, Evil and Kenta are all still alive in the G1 Climax. Here is what is on tap for night eight of A block.
Sanada (6 pts) vs Lance Archer (4 pts)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (8 pts) vs Bad Luck Fale (4 pts)
Will Ospreay (4 pts) vs KENTA (8 pts)
Kota Ibushi (10 pts) vs Zack Sabre Jr (6 pts)
Kazuchika Okada (12 pts) vs EVIL (8 pts)
Big main event between Okada and Evil. Evil will try to repeat what he did two years ago and defeat Okada in the G1. Doing so gives him an outside chance to win the G1. Ibushi is the closest to Okada and has a match with him on the final night of A block that could decide everything. However he needs to take care of ZSJ first. Tanahashi will try to keep his G1 Climax hopes alive as he faces Bad Luck Fale. Kenta will look to do the same as he faces Will Ospreay. The opener features Sanada and Archer.
After covering the first seven nights of A Block, I will be closing the G1 Climax covering the final two nights of B block while JCWonka will bring you B block tomorrow and finish covering the A block for the final two nights. With that being said, keep it here with us at HTCWrestling.