The G1 continues its Korakuen Hall run as the B Block graces the famous hall. Tonight’s action saw Jon Moxley square up with Tomohiro Ishii, Taichi continues his war against LIJ by taking on Shingo Takagi and Hirooki Goto going one on one against Tetsuya Naito. These matches are bolstered by Juice Robinson vs Jeff Cobb, Jay White taking on Toru Yano and the usual slew of undercard tag matches and previews. With that exciting card on display let’s get into it.
Chase Owens & Bad Luck Fale defeated Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Zack Sabre Jr via Grenade to Kanemaru
Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer defeated Tomoaki Honma & Hiroshi Tanahashi via EBD Claw to Honma
SANADA, EVIL & BUSHI defeated Clark Connors, KENTA & Kota Ibushi via MX to Connors
Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI defeated Toa Henare & Will Ospreay via Kumagoroshi to Henare
B Block Match: Shingo Takagi vs Taichi
What a match to start off the tournament half of the card. Shingo came out hot to avenge an attack last night and went out of his way to murder Taichi. However, a mic stand shot and some outside brawling knocked Shingo down and put the match on even footing. From there it was a back and forth slugfest of Lariats, kicks and everything in between. An Axe Bomber was reversed into Noshigami, Taichi kicked out of the Made in Japan and in the end when his dirty tricks failed him, succumbed to the Last of the Dragon.
This was one of Taichi’s best matches and although he lost, he took Shingo to the limit and made himself look strong in defeat. There was plenty of good old Japanese Strong Style to enjoy as both men beat the p*ss out of each other for nearly 15 minutes. It was fast furious and full of unexpected moments. Many people baulked at the idea of Taichi being involved in the tournament but this match could easily prove his worth. Shingo was pretty good too but then again, he always is.
B Block Match: Juice Robinson vs Jeff Cobb
Jeff Cobb finally got a win! The debutant ROH juggernaut had to fight his way through some seriously stiff Juice offence but finally clawed two points onto the board. This was another match that felt more like a fight than a match for a lot of it. The two went at each other hard with Juice striking like a madman and throwing in some new moves throughout the course of the match. Cobb withstood and slowly started coming back into the match with amazing catch reversals and Suplexes. His power came out more and more as he realised the match could be his. About five Pulp Friction reversals later he finally hit the Tour of the Islands and put down Juice. Once again, Juice Robinson brings out the best in his opponents and the newfound intensity he has brought to the ring makes me appreciate him all the more. Cobb finally getting some points is just the right feel-good moment to bring out of this match, Juice certainly made him earn them.
B Block Match: Toru Yano vs Jay White
Yano steals another win, this time from Bullet Club leader Jay White. This was not a match but a three minute or so cheat-off that saw Yano get the better of White and Gedo. There were low blows, interference, roll up attempts and water sprays as both guys tried to ignore “fair play” and win quickly. Unfortunately, it was Yano who succeeded, throwing White into Gedo and rolling him up for the win. It was quick and disappointing to the Jay White fanboy in me. However, in terms of entertainment value, it was pure gold. It wasn’t allowed to drag on and offered a funny, little change of pace after two serious slugfests.
B Block Match: Tetsuya Naito vs Hirooki Goto
Goto did not come to play tonight. He instantly went after Naito, even choking him out with his shirt and working him over. It wouldn’t be until a vicious apron assisted leg snap that Naito really got into the match. This saw him going after the leg of Goto and working his way into more of his signature attacks. Goto, however, would continue to surprise as he got back into the match on multiple occasions and reverse big moves into the Ushigoroshi. He put on another strong showing. As someone who has had struggles watching Goto in the past, he’s really come into this tournament with a new fire and it’s genuinely fun to watch. Ultimately, this fire wouldn’t be enough to win him the match and two Destinos finished him off but it was still an excellent match and it gave Naito his first points on the board.
B Block Match: Tomohiro Ishii vs Jon Moxley
Be careful what you for Ishii or you just might get it. Ishii had made comments about the legitimacy of Moxley as a mad dog and challenged him to something more hardcore than a standard match. Once the bell rung, Moxley was more than happy to oblige by throwing him all around Korakuen Hall and introducing some chairs and tables into the mix. Because of said table we got the rare sight of a flying Tomohiro Ishii. Alongside that were chair duels, more forearms than you could count and a whole lot of headbutts.
This was a fight, not a wrestling match, a fight. They never let up the whole twenty minutes the match lasted. Neither man refused to give in or stay down, continuously getting up to batter one another some more. Moxley went from brawler to technical and back throughout the course of this match. In the end, a knee strike into a Death Rider put the Stone Pitbull down and gave Moxley the win. Ishii has once again brought out the best in his opponent and once again proves he’s one of the best in the company. With this big victory, Moxley now leads B Block. He is the only one undefeated person left in the block.
So, there you have it, another night of the G1 behind us. Yet again B Block has delivered another exceptional show full of high-quality matches and shocking results. That main event has made this one of if not the best B Block show to date. The Shingo/Taichi match was another stand out as it proved Taichi has worth in the tournament and Shingo scored some more points on the board. B Block is continuing to stand out despite being overshadowed by the roster of A Block. Hopefully, the next collection of B Block matches is just as good as most of the ones featured today. Oh and Jay White finally gets some points, this losing streak is killing me.
Jon Moxley- 6 (3-0-0)
Shingo Takagi- 4 (2-0-1)
Juice Robinson– 4 (2-0-1)
Toru Yano- 4 (2-0-1)
Tomohiro Ishii- 4 (2-0-1)
Taichi- 2 (1-0-2)
Jeff Cobb- 2 (1-0-2)
Hirooki Goto- 2 (1-0-2)
Tetsuya Naito- 2 (1-0-2)
Jay White- 0 (0-0-3)
All images courtesty of njpw1972.com