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Best Block is back with G1 Climax 28 day twelve! This night is loaded with what should be some insane match-ups in tournament action – SANADA/Juice should be fun and good if not great, Naito/YTR should be the same, and Omega/ZSJ or Ibushi/Goto are the clear front-runners for match of the night. Can anything top Ibushi/Ishii from day ten? It’s a hard goal to achieve but I’m not putting it past those four dudes to pull out some ridiculous performances. We’re still looking to see if Omega can complete his G1 Fun Run undefeated and Zack Sabre Jr is the man to put him to the test tonight!
Bad Luck Fale & Tanga Loa vs Mike Elgin & Shota Umino
Bad Luck Fale more like Bad Match Fale amirite. The only person I care about in this match is Shota Umino and I know he’s going to eat the pin after Apeshit from Loa. Loa thankfully spares us his slam poetry sesh but I have a sinking feeling he’s just saving it for Tama Tonga later on. When you couldn’t care less about 3/4 of the people in a match, do you actively pay attention to the match or take pictures of your dogs people adorable together?
The choice was easy. Fale and Loa win with Apeshit on Umino, who deserves much better than to be stuck with the muscle baby.
Togi Makabe & Toa Henare vs Hangman Page & Chase Owens
Page and Makabe tear each other apart on the arena floor while Chase and Toa keep things in the ring. Chase controls Toa enough to tag in Page for a BC double-team with the knee drop and standing shooting star press combo. The duo make quick tags as they work Toa over in their corner while taunting Makabe on the apron. A spear on Page gives Toa enough time to tag in Makabe who rushes Chase off of the apron before connecting with the ten corner punches to Page. Makabe works Page over until getting caught with a quick Death Valley Driver for two. Makabe rebounds just as quickly with a clothesline to drop Page before tagging Henare back into the match. Henare hits an impressive double-deadlift suplex on Page but Owens breaks up his pin attempt. After sone shenanigans with Makabe and Owens, Page connects with the flipping slingshot clothesline and follows up with the Rite of Passage on Henare for the win.
Jay White & YOH vs YOSHI-HASHI & SHO
Poor SHO, having to not only battle his RPG3k tag team partner but do it knowing he has a much worse tag team partner in YOSHI-HASHI. YOSHI, to his credit, has put on some real bangers with Tanahashi and Okada lately but I’m not sure how much of that is really YOSHI and how much of it is two of the best wrestlers on the planet. I mean, I think I know but, y’know. Jay starts off by telling YOSHI that nothing matters in this match today and that they should take it easy. He lays down to allow YOSHI to take an easy win but YOSHI refuses before walking away from White. White leaps up and attacks YOSHI from behind letting him know “you made me do this” as he pounds away on his Chaos brother. Switchblade tags YOH in and backs up the ramp yelling at YOH to get in the ring. YOSHI responds by tagging SHO into the match. MY SWEET BOYS 🙁 🙁 🙁
YOH finds himself with the upper hand using his speed to take advantage over SHO. After hitting a double stomp to his partner, White tags himself back into the match before pulling SHO to the floor and whipping him back and forth into the guard rail and apron. Back in the ring, White tags in a reluctant YOH who refuses to take a cheapshot at SHO as he’s being held by White. YOH steps to White and gets in his face eventually shoving the would-be leader of Chaos before SHO capitalizes on the distraction and dropkicks White from behind. He tags YOSHI back into the match and White intercepts YOSHI’s dropkick attempt on YOH before, once again, taking SHO outside and whipping him hard into the railing. White tries to use a chair on SHO on the floor but YOH takes it from him which allows YOSHI to try and sneak up on him. After a couple of near falls from YOH, YOSHI locks in the Butterfly Lock while Switchblade slides into the ring and screams at YOH that he should have listened to him. Offering his partner no help, YOH has no choice but to tap out causing White to bail from the ring as YOSHI shouts down at him.
Hiroshi Tanahashi & David Finlay vs EVIL & BUSHI
This is building to the fight between the two men with, perhaps, the nicest hair in B Block. Not necessarily the best haircuts or the best style or anything, but just the hair that looks the nicest and softest. There’s a lot riding on this one. Finlay almost scores a shock cover here after shoving EVIL into a hard slap from Tana and following up with a roll-up. EVIL gets out at two and as Finlay looks to put him away with Prima Nocta, EVIL is able to counter and reverse into the EVIL STO for the win. EVIL and Tana stare each other down post-match before going face-to-face, both men likely marveling at how the other keeps his hair in such healthy condition. Tana, even in defeat, is gracious enough to share his sweat with the fans on his way back to the locker room. He truly is the Ace of New Japan.
Kazuchika Okada & Gedo vs Minoru Suzuki & El Desperado
You know, I wrote the words in the heading for this match but I don’t think I really fully grasped that we’re about to see Okada and Suzuki not only here but also in tomorrow night’s main event. Holy shit. Suzuki is having none of the god damn balloon fun and attacks Okada as he poses on the second rope while Despy rails away at Gedo at the same time. This starts off with standard Suzuki-gun fare as MiSu and Despy drag their victims to the crowd to beat them on, around, and under chairs and portions of the railing. Suzuki tries to blind, or otherwise murder, Okada with a pen as Gedo struggles to make it back into the ring before the twenty count.
Suzuki becomes legal and miscue on a running boot to Gedo in the corner allows Okada to be tagged in. He rallies against both opponents briefly until Suzuki is able to beat him back into the corner with forearms and stomps. Okada rises out from under Suzuki who eggs Okada on until he starts trading forearms in the center of the ring. Suzuki is able to catch Okada in the rear naked choke but the Rainmaker counters the Gotch-style piledriver with a reverse neckbreaker. Desperado and Gedo become legal and trade moves and pinfall attempts until Suzuki pulls Gedo off with a rear naked choke. Okada rushes the ring and his Rainmaker attempt is countered into the choke while Despy puts Gedo away with Pinche Loco. After the match a group of young boys stop Suzuki from piledriving Okada, so Suzuki does the next best thing and piledrives a young boy. Okada eventually recovers to stare down Suzuki-gun as they exit through the curtain.
Tomohiro Ishii vs Tama Tonga
Loa is out with his damn Road Dogg intro and I just want Ishii to show up and headbutt them both into another dimension. Judging by his lengthy post-match interview after day 11, Ishii might do just that. I’m giving this one two minutes from the opening bell before Loa interjects himself by tripping Ishii or doing something equally annoying. I am proud to say I was right on god damn schedule. At just about two minutes into this one, Ishii is on the outside and while the referee is distracted by Tama, Loa takes the chance to lay in a few shots to the Stone Pitbull before rolling him back into the ring. Tama was able to enjoy a brief advantage before being caught in a powerslam by Ishii who followed up with forearms and chops in the corner. After Loa trips him as he hits the ropes, an irate Ishii pulls Loa into the ring and begins to beat the hell out of him, too! The numbers begin to catch up with Ishii but he’s able to temporarily stop Tama with a brainbuster. As he pulls the Tongan up for a powerbomb he grabs a hold of the ref and drags him to the mat to begin the customary Firing Squad fuckaround as Tama and Loa double-team Ishii.
Ishii looks to put Tama away with a brainbuster on the chair but Tama is able to reverse it into a spinning DDT for two. As he attempts the full Gun Stun, Ishii holds on and lifts him back to his feet for a German suplex followed by a lariat for another two count. After connecting with the sliding lariat Loa once again inserts himself into the match by pulling the referee out of the ring. This brings out everybody’s favorite, Bad Luck Fale, who hits the Grenade on Ishii and pulls Tama on top of him… for a two count! Ishii seems to be having none of this bullshit as Tama attempts another Gun Stun – Ishii reverses it into a brainbuster attempt which itself is, sadly, countered into a successful Gun Stun for the three count. Boo.
Juice Robinson vs SANADA
If anyone can lift my spirits after that sorry display it’s one of my Spooky Boys~ and Juice! These two show themselves to be on fairly equal footing through the opening portion of the match until Juice connects with a clothesline that sends SANADA over the top and to the floor before following with a slingshot senton. SANADA is able to turn things around and send Juice into the railing on the outside before locking in a sort-of Skull End but moreso a standing Dragon Sleeper that he uses to drag Juice into the crowd. Back in the ring SANADA takes Juice to the mat as he works over the left arm. Back on their feet Juice catches SANADA in a full nelson slam to take the advantage once more. SANADA’s dropkick and senton buy him a short reprieve from Juice’s assault until the US Champion reverses the Skull End complete with dropping to the mat and leg-scissoring the body of SANADA. Juice wrenches on the hold and then releases to attempt a moonsault which SANADA avoids. SANADA looks for one of his own but lands on his feet as Juice rolls out of the way. Juice counters a hurricanrana attempt into a powerbomb for a long two count.
For the second time in the tournament we see Juice unwrap his left hand, making it a legal weapon, as he signals to the crowd. He misses a big swing with the left and as SANADA comes off of the ropes he locks Juice in the Skull End which is reversed once again. After releasing the hold, Juice finds himself in the hold once more but as SANADA drops and pulls back on the hold, Juice is able to roll through and break out. He lifts SANADA to his feet where both men attempt to hit Pulp Friction unsuccessfully. As they break away from one another Juice finally connects with the left hand before driving SANADA into the mat with Pulp Friction for the three count! Juice has already been mathematically eliminated from winning the tournament but here he plays spoiler for SANADA in keeping him from earning another two points.
Tetsuya Naito vs Toru Yano
Naito has a chance to step into double digits with a win against Yano which would either tie him with Omega in first place or put him into second depending on what happens in Omega/ZSJ later on. Yano, on the other hand, is unable to win the tournament and any victories he picks up at this point are purely for pride. YTR finds himself frustrated with the speed at which Naito disrobes before the match and puts his t-shirt back on in protest before stomping around the ring in anger. YTR is knocked to the floor early on and Naito pulls the dive fake-out causing Yano to crawl under the ring. He pops up behind a posing Naito in the ring, shrugs, and lays into Naito with boots before pulling back to the arena floor to work him over. Naito rakes the eyes of Yano before giving him a taste of his own medicine by taping Yano to the guardrail. Yano can’t undo the tape in time and instead, tears the guard rail apart and slides into the ring with the railing still attached to his arm to avoid the countout.
Adding insult to insult, Naito clobbers Yano with his own DVD as they fight outside of the ring some more. Inside the ring Naito controls the pace as he punishes Yano. Yano buys a moment to remove the turnbuckle pad but can’t use it, instead feeling a boot from Naito before the corner slingshot dropkick. Naito continues to work Yano-style as he swings hard and knocks it out of the park as he clubs Yano in the chest with the turnbuckle pad. Naito hits the exposed corner hard three times in a row but is able to kick out of Yano’s pin attempt. Yano gets super close with another two count and follows it up with a belly-to-belly rebound suplex before wrapping his t-shirt around Naito’s face. After pulling Red Shoes’ shirt over his head, Yano goes for a low blow but Naito counters and returns a shot of his own for a two count. From there it’s academic as Naito hits Destino for the three. Naito puts himself on the same plane as Kenny Omega with this victory while Yano is now the lowest-scoring member of B Block. Poor Yano 🙁
Kenny Omega vs Zack Sabre Jr
Zack Sabre Jr has the chance to ruin Kenny Omega’s G1 Fun Run if he can upend the IWGP Heavyweight Champion with just over a week left in the G1 Climax. ZSJ could find himself skipping past a handful of names to prop himself up with 8 points behind Omega and Naito as we head into the final stretch. Or, The Best Bout Machine continues to run through the entire block and continue his perfect record. I’m going to put the computer aside and watch this one a bit more intently and might not take as many notes during the match because this is one that I’m supremely excited to see.
Both men find themselves in control early on in this one trading the advantage back and forth as they attack with different styles. Omega is at his best when overpowering Sabre and flying with a moonsault off of the railing and into the crowd while Sabre holds his own with submission holds applying pressure to Omega’s leg all over the ringside area. Omega begins to overpower Sabre again in the ring, especially with strikes, but finds his You Can’t Escape rolling stomach breaker first countered into a choke before connecting with the move but finding his follow-up moonsault countered into a submission. Omega quickly reaches the ropes as both men look to regain their composure.
Omega is able to connect with a V-Trigger knee but Sabre turns the attempted One Winged Angel into a submission which Omega, in turn, counters into the snap dragon suplex. Omega fails once again at the OWA leading to a Sabre near-fall. On another attempted V-Trigger Sabre catches the knee and transitions into a half-crab into a heel hook. Omega finds a way out of the hold only to find himself on the receiving end of a penalty kick before Sabre pretzels him into another leg submission in the center of the ring. Omega is somehow able to sustain and roll his way to the ropes to break the hold. Back on their feet Omega attempts another V-Trigger but finds it blocked yet again before finally hitting his mark. Omega rolls Sabre up tight with a pin and, after only getting two close to the ropes, gets the win in the center of the ring. Omega continues his streak and is now in the lead with 12 points!
Kota Ibushi vs Hirooki Goto
Goto does a great job at keeping Ibushi grounded and under his thumb for the first chunk of this match. As Ibushi gains control and sends Goto to the floor he prepares to the Golden Triangle moonsault, but Goto is there to slide back into the ring and clobber Ibushu with a clothesline that sees the Golden Star dumped onto the back of his head on the apron. Goto maintains control over Ibushi for several minutes in the ring after this until Ibushi is able to break free from his grip and connect with a dropkick to send the NEVER Openweight Champion back out to the floor. Here, with Goto more weakened, Ibushi is able to hit the Golden Triangle before tossing Goto back inside and nailing him with a missile dropkick to the back of the neck. Fighting through the pain, Goto is able to rebound off of the ropes with another hard lariat sending Ibushi flying through the air and to the mat. A spin-kick in the corner and backdrop driver get Goto a two count.
After being lifted to his feet Ibushi begins to fight back with forearms but Goto stops him with a kick to the chest. Ibushi flips out of the Ushigoroshi and comes back with a Pele kick that sends both men into recovery mode on the mat. Once both men recover they trade blows in the center of the ring until Ibushi breaks the cycle with a series of slaps and kicks. The flurry is short-lived as Goto is able connect with the Ushigoroshi on his second attempt. The two spend some time in the corner as Goto rises to the second rope with Ibushi on his shoulders. Ibushi is able to slip out but finds himself in Goto’s grip again as he attempts a sunset bomb from the second rope. Ibushi flips out of the hold and the two men meet in the middle with a pair of clotheslines before Ibushi sends Goto to the mat with a driving lariat. Ibushi locks in and delivers the straightjacket German suplex but can’t connect with the Kamigoye – Goto is there to block it and follow up with a headbutt.
With both men drained Goto drops Ibushi with a standing lariat before driving him into his knee with a chest-first GTR. He sets Ibushi up for the GTR proper but Ibushi counters the hold as the two men trade sleeper holds. Goto locks the Golden Star in tight in the center of the ring but as he lifts his prone body back to his feet he’s still unable to connect with the GTR. Goto pulls the Shouten Kai out of his book as he counters Ibushi’s suplex attempt for a two count. Both men again struggle to get to their feet with Goto first up. He sends a rising Ibushi back to the mat with a kick but finds another attempted GTR countered into a victory roll for two. Ibushi fights back with strikes and kicks to bring Goto to the mat before hitting a running knee for a two count. A follow-up sitout powerbomb also nets Ibushi 2, but the Kamigoye is finally able to keep Goto down for the three as Ibushi finds himself with 8 points. Another hard-hitting match from Ibushi who had promised to go full throttle from here on out. He has delivered.
A Block is back on August 2 with Okada/Suzuki, Tanahashi/EVIL, and a match I will likely fall asleep or smash my head against a wall during with Fale/Elgin. Until then, let’s check out the standings for B Block until August 4!
Kenny Omega: 12 (Possible Total Points: 18)
Tetsuya Naito: 10 (PTP: 16)
Kota Ibushi: 8 (PTP: 14)
SANADA: 6 (PTP: 12)
Zack Sabre Jr: 6 (PTP: 12)
Tomohiro Ishii: 4 (PTP: 10)
Hirooki Goto: 4 (PTP: 10)
Tama Tonga: 4 (PTP: 10)
Juice Robinson: 4 (PTP: 10)
Toru Yano: 2 (PTP: 8)