Night three of this year’s G1 Climax took place this morning, once again in Korakuen Hall as the venue hosted A Block action.
Prelim results —
– EVIL & Hiromu Takahashi defeated Juice Robinson & David Finlay when EVIL submitted Finlay with the Banshee Muzzle.
– Minoru Suzuki & Taichi defeated SANADA & BUSHI when Taichi pinned BUSHI with a roll-up after a microphone stand shot.
– Kenny Omega & Yujiro Takahashi defeated Tama Tonga & Chase Owens after Takahashi pinned Owens with the Pimp Juice DDT.
– Michael Elgin, Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano & Gedo when Tenzan submitted Gedo with the Anaconda Vise.
A Block matches —
Hirooki Goto defeated Yuji Nagata
They started off slow, with basic grappling and back and forth. Nagata caught Goto and pelted him with some stiff kicks. He followed that with an exploder for a near fall.
Goto came back with a spinning heel kick to the corner and then landed an ushigiroshi. Nagata escaped the GTR, but Goto continued the assault. Nagata eventually caught him and locked in the armbar.
Nagata continued, hitting an ego trip and landing a brainbuster. He went for the exploder but landed an enzuigiri after Goto resisted. He then hit the exploder for a good near fall. They battled, exchanging fierce strikes and kicks until Nagata landed a spinning heel kick.
Goto fired back with a headbutt, then landed the GTR for the win. This was an awesome match. Nagata without a doubt is always the most underrated guy in the G1 even though he’s consistently very good in big matches.
Tomohiro Ishii defeated Togi Makabe
It began as one would expect — back and forth assaults on one another. Ishii took it to the outside where he threw Makabe into the guardrails not once, but twice with fierce force.
A lot of this match consisted of hard shots against one another. Ishii would fire back, then Makabe, and so on. Makabe started to gain momentum with two lariats, but Ishii still kicked out. They fought to the top rope, where Makabe fought off Ishii, sent him to the floor, and went for the King Kong knee drop, but Ishii dodged it.
They continued battling. Ishii dropped Makabe with a few lariats, then a huge one for a near fall. He followed with the brainbuster for the win. This was good, but it reminded me a lot of their previous matches. There were better ones than this one, but this was still a good back-and-forth battle.
Kota Ibushi defeated Zack Sabre Jr.
Sabre started early, taking down Ibushi and taking it to the ground. After a bit of a striking session by Ibushi, Sabre took him down again and focused on one of Ibushi’s legs, then worked on other parts of the body, taking control of Ibushi’s wrists.
Ibushi was caught in a chokehold by Sabre, but he transitioned out of it and actually reversed it. He let go and struck Sabre with a vicious kick that put him in control. Ibushi went for a standing moonsault, but Sabre caught him with a triangle. Ibushi immediately went to the ropes to escape.
Sabre put Ibushi in the octopus hold and tried to follow with a sunset flip, but Ibushi responded with a double foot stomp instead. Both on the floor, they started striking each other and continued to do so as they got up. Ibushi went for a Pele kick, but Sabre grabbed his ankle and wrapped him in an inverted STF.
Sabre caught him as they both got up, but Ibushi controlled Sabre’s wrists and hit a knee straight in his face. Sabre went for a triangle until Ibushi deadlifted him and hit the press powerbomb for the win. Great match that encapsulated both men’s styles. This may have been better than Sabre’s match with Tanahashi from the opening night.
Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Bad Luck Fale by countout
The story of this match was that every time Tanahashi would gain a modicum of momentum, Fale would fire right back and keep him grounded. After dominating during the early portion of the match, Fale threw him to the apron, but Tanahashi skinned the cat (favoring his arm) only for Fale to counter with a spear.
Tanahashi countered with a clothesline before launching off with the High Fly Flow as both men fell to the outside. Tanahashi then hit a slingblade and made it to the ring right at 20 for the countout win. This was pretty good while it lasted.
Tetsuya Naito defeated YOSHI-HASHI
They kept it mostly even early. Naito got the advantage until YH cut him off with the headhunter neckbreaker. Naito tried for the satellite DDT, but YH not only dodged that, but also an enzuigiri as he hit a double foot stomp.
YOSHI-HASHI hit a shoulderbreaker, though Naito took him down and tried for Gloria. It didn’t work as YH blocked it before hitting an enzuigiri as Naito brought him up. Naito fired back, taking him to the corner and unleashing a super rana. He followed that with Gloria for a near fall.
Naito went for the Destino, but YH countered out of it. They both struggled to get up, but when they did, they exchanged punches and kicks until YH laid out Naito with a codebreaker. He followed that up with the butterfly lock, then a senton for a near fall.
YOSHI-HASHI went right back to the butterfly lock again. Naito tried to make it to the ropes, but YH pulled him back in. He continually struggled until he finally got a leg on the ropes. YH tried for Karma, but Naito fought out of it and hit the koppo kick. YH followed with a big lariat.
YOSHI-HASHI went for Karma, but Naito hit the Destino in mid-air. YH kicked out, then Naito hit another for the win. That was an awesome finish to a great, heated match.
Naito cut a promo to end the show. All five G1 matches delivered and were fun in their own way. The match of the night probably goes to Sabre and Ibushi, but there were plenty of great matches to choose from.
Current standings —
Tetsuya Naito — 4
Hirooki Goto — 4
Zack Sabre Jr. — 2
YOSHI-HASHI — 2
Bad Luck Fale — 2
Tomohiro Ishii — 2
Kota Ibushi — 2
Hiroshi Tanahashi — 2
Yuji Nagata — 0
Togi Makabe — 0
Kenny Omega — 2
Tama Tonga — 2
Kazuchika Okada — 2
SANADA — 2
Juice Robinson — 2
Satoshi Kojima — 0
EVIL — 0
Toru Yano — 0
Michael Elgin — 0
Minoru Suzuki — 0