The fourth night of B Block action comes to us from the Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall and once again offers to be a big night of G1 action. On the card tonight, we have the next collision between Tomohiro Ishii and Tetsuya Naito, Taichi taking on a former NEVER Title foe in Hirooki Goto and the ultimate Big Boy Battle between Shingo Takagi and Jon Moxley. Plus, Jay White needs to score some points and Yano could steal another win. It all looks promising but can anything really beat the sight of a flying Ishii during Night 6. Let’s get into it and find out.
Chase Owens, Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi defeated Yuya Eumura, Tomoaki Honma & Will Ospreay via Pimp Juice to Eumura
Zack Sabre Jr, Lance Archer & Minoru Suzuki defeated BUSHI, SANADA & EVIL via Gotch Style Piledriver to BUSHI
Shota Umino & Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Ren Narita & Kota Ibushi via Slingblade to Narita
Toa Henare, Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI defeated Clark Connors, Karl Fredericks & KENTA via Butterfly Lock to Connors
B Block Match: Juice Robinson vs Toru Yano
This time, the only thing the sublime master thief stole was defeat. Yano has had a penchant for shocking his opponents during the G1 and he was certainly up to his tricks here. Juice was attacked with tape and the exposed turnbuckle but was never tricked hard enough to stay down or out. Yano was able to avoid most of Juice’s attacks but could never score the fatal low blow and roll up combo that wins him most of his matches. Instead, all roll-ups were kicked out of and even sent Juice towards that exposed turnbuckle. Yano even tried to use the referee as a shield to avoid the Left Hand of God. It was only temporarily successful as a few seconds later he took the punch in the mouth and ate Pulp Friction. It was a valiant effort from Steel Chair’s favourite son but Juice Robinson took the win and is now at six points. This was yet another sub five-minute Yano match that was a lot of fun to watch given how little patience Juice has had all tournament.
B Block Match: Taichi vs Hirooki Goto
Taichi didn’t wait for the match to start hurting people as he went right for the LA Dojo Young Lion’s as a way to get at Goto. From the get go Taichi was in heelish, shortcut mode as he tried to cut Goto off at every hurdle with ref grabs, distractions and just plain nastiness. However, since this was a Goto match, we got the inevitable comeback that saw the LA Dojo obsessive get into the fight and trade some stiff strikes with Taichi. It was entertaining enough to watch and left you wondering if Taichi was going to go for the Iron Fingers of Iisuka to win his match. He didn’t and instead settled for hitting Goto in the balls and rolling him up with a Gedo Clutch. This wasn’t Taichi’s strongest match by a long shot but since this wasn’t a NEVER Openweight match, the pair had some decent chemistry and the added LA Dojo lion attack just prodded Goto on. Plus, this match gets bonus points for Taichi actually winning.
B Block: Jon Moxley vs Shingo Takagi
This was everything I wanted it to see, a hoss fight between one of the best all rounders in wrestling, Shingo Takagi and probably one of the most unpredictable, Jon Moxley. This match saw Moxley switch from weapons to wrestling holds like flipping a switch. He locked onto Shingo’s knee and refused to let up attacking it until the match was won. He used chairs on it, a ring post assisted Figure 4 leg lock and eventually submitted Shingo with a Cloverleaf. Despite being on one leg, Shingo still managed to go down swinging. He answered back every time Mox attacked. He was able to hit Noshigami, nearly put Mox out with a Pumping Bomber and murdered him with Made in Japan. Unfortunately for him though, Mox was like a shark smelling blood in the water. He found a weak spot, attacked and has now handed Shingo his first submission loss and has made it to 8 points in B Block. Moxley is continuing to prove just how held back WWE made him. This explosive mix of classic and weapons-based wrestling makes him a unique contender in this tournament and the way they’ve built him so far makes him seem unstoppable. Oh, and it seems official now that the traditional Dirty Deeds does nothing these days. It’s all about the Death Rider now.
B Block: Jay White vs Jeff Cobb
So, I am automatically biased here as I am a massive fan of Jay White and was over the moon to finally see the Blade Runner land and 2 points finally appear next to White’s name. It wasn’t easy though as White was at a distinct power disadvantage to Cobb. He had to retreat and come back, or slither off as commentary liked to call it. Well, that and use his good friend Gedo to distract Cobb when it matters. Everything seemed to be against the Switchblade but that seems to be the situation where he thrives most. He lost to every Chaos member he has fought across the way in this year’s G1. His first act of redemption came at the expense of one of the block’s outsiders. Again, this was a solid match that wasn’t as entertaining as the one before it but definitely had its moments. Cobb continues to impress with his feats of strength and athleticism, he just can’t get much in the way of points. I do hope we get a Jay White winning streak now.
B Block Match: Tetsuya Naito vs Tomohiro Ishii
This was nothing short of a war. The battle of necks rages again as Naito had his sights set on breaking Ishii’s neck. Since it was a do or die match for him, there was an added edge to everything he did. Ishii was a rock, taking an exceptional amount of abuse and dishing it back in kind. You saw Neck Breakers galore and all sorts of head drop spots as Naito realised Ishii refused to go down easy. To talk in detail about this match would spoil it more than necessary. Just know that it took more than one Destino to knock the Stone Pitbull out for three. This and the Mox match were stand outs of the show. Ishii is incapable of having a bad match with anyone. A motivated Naito is deadly and matches like this are the result. Hiroshima is Naito’s adopted home so it was imperative that he pick up the big win there. He is now in a better position in the B Block at 4 points dragging him out of last place. He isn’t out of the woods though as his next opponent is someone even more deadly, Jon Moxley. Can he be the first person to defeat the block leader?
So, there you have it, another night of G1 action put to bed. B Block continues to deliver high quality shows without all of the big stars. Moxley is the block leader, with rival Juice Robinson nipping at his heels. Naito has finally reached four points and White finally got a win after being stuck in a slump. Everyone now has points on the board and is still in the running. Jeff Cobb is going over massive with the NJPW crowd despite losing most of his matches and looks set to be a massive star in Japan should he ever decide to make his tenure there more prominent. Now is the time when the tournament gets even more competitive as right now only Juice could potentially tie points with Moxley. Let’s hope the momentum keeps up as this has been one of the best G1 tournaments to date.
Jon Moxley- 8 (4-0-0)
Juice Robinson- 6 (3-1-0)
Taichi- 4 (2-2-0)
Tetsuya Naito- 4 (2-2-0)
Shingo Takagi- 4 (2-2-0)
Tomohiro Ishii- 4 (2-2-0)
Toru Yano- 4 (2-2-0)
Jay White- 2 (1-3-0)
Hirooki Goto- 2 (1-3-0)
Jeff Cobb- 2 (1-3-0)
All images courtesy of njpw1972.com