So after a strong first day it’s onto day 2 with the first lot of B block matches, headlined by Omega/Suzuki!
-I’m gonna be focusing on the Block matches this time, but I thought Sabre/Despy vs. Ibushi/Kawato was fun with Kawato continuing to show lots of spirit.
B Block Match – Satoshi Kojima vs. Juice Robinson
Solid start to the B Block matches, very back and forth contest that escalated well with a fun finishing stretch. Kojima’s definitely looking in good shape and came super close to getting the victory but Juice managed to get him with Pulp Friction to get the win. Good start to Juice’s G1 as he continues to prove himself well in New Japan.
Winner: Juice(Pulp Friction) ***1/2
B Block Match – Tama Tonga vs. Michael Elgin
Another solid back and forth contest. It can be difficult to see someone like Tonga getting far in the G1 but he can be quite good when given the chance and looked very motivated here, even getting the surprise win after reversing a firemans carry off the top into a cutter. It’s a match that got better as it went along and was worked well with Tonga’s agility matching up with Elgin’s power.
Winner: Tonga(via Gunstun) ***1/2
B Block Match – EVIL vs. SANADA
Two LiJ members face off in a really good match. SANADA was super impressive, utlising his agility and skill to great effect and getting the win with the moonsault. It was still a good effort from EVIL though, he used a few underhanded tactics as well as some of his power and he certainly got close, but Sanada was the real star getting some great reactions for his stuff. Really enjoyed this match.
Winner: SANADA(via moonsault) ***3/4
B Block Match – Toru Yano vs. Kazuchika Okada
Pretty fun match-up, a little longer than the usual Yano affair but still enjoyable with Yano up to his usual tricks, he came close with some of his roll-ups but ends up tapping out to Red Ink, which makes a change, I guess Okada didn’t want to hurt is team mate too much. Perfectly fine stuff.
Winner: Okada(via Red Ink) ***
Main event – B Block Match: Minoru Suzuki vs. Kenny Omega
Great main event between these two. Minoru kept his focus on Omega’s leg working on it throughout which Kenny sold well as he fought hard to stay in things, showing great resilience. there’s only a small bit of Suzuki-gun interference when Omega accidentally takes out Red Shoes with a V-trigger, but it’s over quickly as Fale comes to make the save and then Omega takes them out with a springboard crossbody plancha. That’s the only involvement they have which didn’t detract from the match at all and was a fun little bit. Despite all the punishment though Omega gets the win with a One winged Angel putting him off to a good start to get back into the finals again. Kenny actually tries an inverted rana at the end but MiSu is not one to take extravagant bumps, so it doesn’t go well, but Kenny sells his leg straight after it which was a good cover up. Still it was a really good effort from both guys and I really enjoyed how they worked it overall.
Winner: Omega(via One Winged Angel) ****
Not as strong as day 1, but still a solid start to B Block. Would definitely recommend SANADA/EVIL and Suzuki/Omega, but the rest was still enjoyable if nothing blow away. Good stuff all in all.