Here we are on Night Ten of G1 Climax 2018, with more B Block action on the docket. The main event of today’s show will be Kenny Omega taking on surprise package SANADA. SANADA got a huge win over Kota Ibushi back on Night Eight and is now in an excellent position to go on to win B Block. However, in Omega he faces an opponent who has yet to lose in this year’s G1. Also, Juice Robinson will try to finally get some points on the board against perennial spoiler Toru Yano. He couldn’t lose again could he? Let’s read on to find out!
If you’d like to get caught up on B Block you can read my recap of Night Eight by clicking right HERE
All of the following matches took place on the 28th of July 2018 from the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium in Aichi
B Block – 28/07/2018
Tama Tonga (2 pts) w/ Tanga Loa Vs Zack Sabre Jr (4 pts) w/ TAKA Michinoku
Zack got an impressive submission win over Tomohiro Ishii in the last round of fixtures whilst Tonga fell to Tetsuya Naito following copious amounts of interference from the Firing Squad and Los Ingobernables De Japon.
Tanga Loa mocks TAKA’s ring introduction before the match. This guy has some really great mic skills, so of course WWE made him heavy for Hunico and never allowed him to talk. Classic. Zack tries to take Tonga down right from the off, so Tonga wisely tries to keep his distance. When he does finally decide to lock up, Zack puts him straight into a double wrist lock which causes Tonga to SPRINT to the ropes to break, whilst loudly yelling at the referee to break it up. That was awesome heel behaviour!
Tonga has better luck with a knuckle lock, but Zack eventually counters out of that, so Tonga decides to throw strikes instead. Zack tries some strikes of his own but gets tripped by Loa. As the ref reads Loa the riot act, TAKA decides to trip Tonga, which causes the fight to spill outside. Both of the seconds get splatted on the outside, which leads to Tonga throwing Zack into the guardrail.
Back inside, Tonga works Zack over with punches and even a blatant choke. Hey, he’s had the best luck so far of neutralising Zack’s submission skills, so it’d be hard to question his tactics. Zack finally gets back into things by sweeping Tonga’s legs and then goes after his left arm with brutal stomps. Tonga tries to come back with a Stinger Splash, but Zack moves and gets a roll up for two.
Tonga replies with the Tonga Twist (Roll of the Dice) and a face buster but Zack is able to kick out at two. Zack goes for an arm but Tonga counters to an O’Connor Roll for two. TAKA and LOA go at it outside the ring again, whilst Zack applies a triangle choke. He transitions into a cross arm breaker, but bumps the ref in the process which allows Loa to come in with a side slam.
Surely Suzuki-gun will run down to help Zack here seeing as, unlike Jay White, Zack’s stablemates actually seem to like him? Tonga Gun Stun’s Loa by mistake and then gets put in a submission hold and taps out, but the ref is still down. As the ref comes wakes up, Tonga gets a school boy for two but the Gun Stun is countered to a gnarly looking arm bar, but Bad Luck Fale runs down for the DQ before Tonga can tap out.
WINNER: ZACK SABRE JR BY DISQUALIFICATION
I personally think that Tonga could have survived a clean submission loss, but hey-ho. This was actually quite a fun match, as Tonga did his best to take Zack out of his element only for Zack to still pull off the usual submission goodness.
B Block – 28/07/2018
IWGP United States Champion Juice Robinson (0 pts) Vs Toru Yano (2 pts)
Juice is the only person without any points left in the G1 at this stage and has stated he will vacate the title should he end the tournament pointless. Juice gives Yano a clean break early, which Yano is very happy about and actually reciprocates right after, much to Juice’s surprise. The old Yano rears his head soon after though as he kicks Juice in the gut following a handshake, so Juice unloads with some right hands to send him scurrying outside.
Outside, Yano tapes Juice to the guardrail and then hits his injured left hand with a chair. Juice beats the count back in, but Yano targets the hand back inside by wrapping it around the ropes. Both men end up having a sword fight with the turnbuckle pads which leads to Juice delivering a BIG airplane spin. Both men sell the dizziness and then collapse to the mat. I don’t know what it is about Yano but he’s one of the few comedy wrestlers who can regularly make me laugh.
Juice and Yano trade strikes, which ends with Yano going to the eyes, but Juice counters the follow up clothesline with a back suplex and back senton splash for two. Juice sends Yano into the exposed turnbuckle but Yano comes back with an inverted atomic drop and then catapults him into the corner. The referee stops Yano doing a low blow and Juice takes off the cast on his left hand, which means he’s allowed to deliver a punch, but Yano blocks it. Juice replies with the Pulp Friction (Tomikaze/Unprettier) and that’s enough to finally get him two points on the board.
WINNER: JUICE ROBINSON
The usual Yano comedy show™, but I enjoy the Yano comedy show ™ so that’s fine with me.
B Block – 28/07/2018
Tomohiro Ishii (4 pts) Vs Kota Ibushi (4 pts)
Ishii suffered a rare submission loss to Zack Sabre Jr in the previous round of fixtures, whilst Ibushi lost in the main event to SANADA last time out so both men will be desperate to get back to winning ways here.
Both men waste no time throwing strikes to start but are able to dodge most of the others attacks leading to a stand-off. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon really did a lot to inspire professional wrestling strike battles that’s for sure. Ishii gets the better of Ibushi with some forearms and head butts before delivering some chops in the corner. Ishii lets Ibushi up to hit him back, but shrugs off his attacks and then delivers more punishing chops and forearms that send Ibushi sinking to the mat.
Ibushi tries to fire back once again, but he has no answer for Ishii’s stiff forearm strikes. A dropkick finally buys Ibushi a bit of time and he follows up with a rana to send Ishii outside. Ibushi dives over the top rope onto Ishii on the outside and then takes the fight into the crowd. It looks like Ibushi’s plan is to possibly dive off the upper deck onto Ishii, and indeed he moonsaults off onto Ishii in an absolutely insane spot!
Whelp, Ibushi has been watching his Super Crazy tapes again hasn’t he?! Goodness me!! Ibushi puts Ishii back inside and hits a dropkick to the back of the head and follows up with a half nelson suplex for two. Ibushi delivers some stiff kicks to Ishii’s chest, and Ishii decides to demand he hit him harder because
Ibushi makes the mistake of letting Ishii get back up and ends up eating a big forearm strike as consequence. Ishii puts Ibushi up on the top rope and pulls out the hanging second rope brain buster from there. Looks like Ishii has also been watching some old ECW tapes. Heck, maybe they both watched Super Crazy vs CW Anderson together before putting this match together?
Ibushi amazingly no sells the big brain buster and replies with a Pele Kick to send both men down to the mat. They both get back up and trade strikes again, with Ibushi getting an especially stiff slap to the chest before lawn darting Ishii into the corner. Ibushi taunts Ishii with short kicks, which only serves to fire him up and we have a Slap Fight! Slap Fight, Slap Fight, Slap Fight!!!
Ishii replies to the slaps with some brutal knife edge chops to the throat before slapping Ibushi around in the corner. However, he then allows Ibushi to get back up, and Ibushi makes him pay by punching him in the throat and delivering a big lariat followed by a sit out powerbomb for two. Ibushi almost lost Ishii there but managed to rescue the move, although it ended up looking a bit sloppy.
Ishii delivers a head butt but Ibushi replies with one of his own before getting a straightjacket suplex for two. Ibushi prepares a knee strike but Ishii counters it and replies with one of his own before hitting a BIG powerbomb for two. Wow, I thought that was it! Ishii turns Ibushi inside out with a lariat but it still only gets him a two.
Ishii goes for a brain buster but Ibushi counters with one of his own, only for Ishii to no sell it and reply with a an enziguri, only for Ibushi to no sell THAT and knee him in the face for one. Yes, one. One!!! Ibushi weather s few more strikes from Ishii and finally delivers another knee strike for the win. “Jesus, what a war!” declares Kevin Kelly on commentary. Couldn’t have said it better myself!
WINNER: KOTA IBUSHI
It’s ridiculous how many great matches I’ve seen in this year’s G1, and there are still nine more shows to go after this one as well! This was a fabulous display of manliness as both guys beat the life force out of one another until one of them just couldn’t get up any longer.
B Block – 28/07/2018
NEVER Openweight Champion Hirooki Goto (4 pts) Vs Tetsuya Naito (6 pts)
Goto and Naito are almost diametrically opposed as personalities, with Goto being a proud fighter whilst Naito is an arrogant douche. Naito teases giving Goto a clean break on the ropes, but it’s a ruse and he kicks away at him before sending him outside. However, Goto indignantly comes back inside before Naito can follow up with a dive.
Goto goes to a chin lock inside the ring and fires off an elbow for good measure in the style of the late Mitsuharu Misawa. Naito bails to the apron and tries to suplex Goto outside but Goto blocks it, so he drags him onto the apron with him and hits a neck breaker out there. Naito sends Goto into the railings and rolls back in, but Goto is able to beat the count back inside.
Naito works Goto over back inside with another neck breaker but he doesn’t hook the leg on the follow up pin and Goto is able to kick out at two. Naito actually busts out a cravat to work over Goto’s neck, but Goto keeps coming with slaps, only for Naito to spit in his face. Goto replies with a clothesline in the corner, followed by a spinning wheel kick and Saito Suplex for two.
Goto goes for the Ushigoroshi but Naito slips out and hits another neck breaker followed by a dropkick to the back of the head. Naito adds another dropkick whilst Goto is slumped in the corner and puts him up on the top rope before bringing him down with a rana for two. Naito goes for a tornado DDT but Goto pushes him off and then turns him inside out with a clothesline.
Goto gets the Ushigoroshi but Naito is able to kick out at two. Goto goes for the GTR (Reverse DDT Back Breaker) but Naito counters it with a released German Suplex and follows with a flying forearm off the ropes. Naito tries the Destino but Goto blocks it and replies with a reverse GTR for the double down.
Goto kicks away on Naito and goes for the GTR, but Naito counters it and goes for the Destino, but Goto blocks that and then goes for the GTR again but Naito counters THAT and manages to hit the Destino for two. Excellent sequence there. Undeterred by the kick out, Naito calmly gets back up and delivers another Destino to pick up the win.
WINNER: TETSUYA NAITO
Solid match there with some good counter wrestling, but it didn’t feel as epic or exciting as the match that preceded it. Still, a good effort from both men and I enjoyed it.
B Block – 28/07/2018
IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega (8 pts) Vs SANADA (6 pts)
SANADA scored a huge win over Ibushi in his last outing and would blow B Block wide open if he could beat Omega here. Part of me keeps thinking Omega is due to lose every time he has a match at this G1 as I really don’t think they’d have the IWGP Champ win the tournament, but this could be one of the rare years that he does.
Omega taunts SANADA early on and even messes up his hair!!!
Yeah!!! Anyway, despite that horrible deed taking place, SANADA is able to calm himself and keep wrestling. After a nice wrestling sequence, SANADA low bridges Omega outside and then follows up with a fake out dive before letting the Champ get back inside. Omega then jumps SANADA as he gets back in and kicks away at his left leg. Well, SANADA’s mentor is Great Muta, so it makes sense he’d know how to sell a leg well.
Omega takes the fight outside, where he drops SANADA knee first onto the ring apron. Kenny you monster, that’s the hardest part of the ring (Outside of the ring posts and metal turnbuckles of course). Back inside, Omega stays on the leg and knee area but SANADA fires back with some forearms, only for Omega to stop his momentum by kicking the leg again.
SANADA is able to shake off the pain to get two leap frogs before dropkicking Omega outside and following with a dive, but he moves gingerly following it to show that the leg is still bothering him. SANADA can’t escape a rolling fireman’s carry but he does manage to get his knees up to block the Quebrada, which ends up hurting both men.
Omega rana’s SANADA to the outside and follows with a big dive. Upon landing he asks himself “Why do I do these things?” which is a funny line for those paying attention. Omega puts SANADA back inside and gets a face buster for two before going for a brain buster. This leads to a fantastic sequence where they both counter the others suplex attempts and ends with Omega countering a springboard dropkick into a sit out powerbomb for two.
Omega heads up top and dropkicks a kneeling SANADA in the side of the head before following up with a snap dragon suplex for two. Omega knees SANADA in the side of the head a couple times, but decides not to go for the cover and drag SANADA to his feet. This allows SANADA to fire off some strikes and then elbow Omega in the back of the head before hitting a Tiger Suplex for two. SANADA tries for Skull End, but Omega fights him off and hits him hard with a V-Trigger and Jay Driller for two.
Omega hits another V-Trigger and goes for the One Winged Angel, but SANADA counters that into the Skull End and then heads up for a moonsault, but Omega dodges it. SANADA should have hung on for longer there. SANADA goes back to Skull End and gets the hooks in this time to really wrench it in. With Ibushi, SANADA waited for him to go out and then hit the moonsault to win. He tries that here but Omega is once again able to dodge the moonsault.
Both men trade strikes, with the fans cheering each one, and SANADA gets a stiff European uppercut, only for Omega to reply with a knee strike. SANADA tries Skull End again but Omega is able to slip out and counters with a modified Tombstone Piledriver for two. Omega goes for the One Winged Angel, but SANADA counters to a reverse rana. However, Omega keeps coming and eventually manages to get it on the third attempt to pick up the win.
WINNER: KENNY OMEGA
Another excellent match from SANADA in this G1, as he has been one of the standout stars this year. Still, that win puts Omega on 10 points now and he would have to be the favourite to go all the way in B Block. The question is, will Omega go the whole tournament without losing?
So following those matches, B Block now looks like this;
Kenny Omega on 10 points, Tetsuya Naito on 8 points, SANADA, Zack Sabre Jr and Kota Ibushi on 6 points, Tomohiro Ishii and Hirooki Goto on 4 points with Tama Tonga, Toru Yano and Juice Robinson on 2 points.
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