On to Day 5 with the third lot of A Block matches who have had a strong showing so far, lets see if they can keep it up.
A Block Match 1 – YOSHI-HASHI vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Good match, nothing spectacular but solid enough. Sabre spends the majority of the match working on YOSHI-HASHI’s arm, with YOSHI-HASHI fighting back hard, but ultimately getting caught in an octopus stretch, which Zack then modified to add pressure on YOSHI-HASHI arms, making him tap out.
Winner: Sabre  (via modified octopus stretch) ***1/4
A Block Match 2 – Yuji Nagata vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
These two were in the G1 final 10 years ago which Tana ended up winning. Now here they are against each other in Nagata’s final G1 and it’s a very solid match-up. Tana was a little dickish here and garnered some boos from the crowd who really wanted Nagata to get his first win. There were some really hard slap exchanges too, with Nagata’s cheek even getting busted open. Nagata put in a valiant effort but ultimately fell victim to the High Fly Flow, as he continues to struggle to get his first win and lies at the bottom of the table.
Winner: Tanahashi  (via High Fly Flow) ***3/4
A Block Match 3 – Tetsuya Naito vs. Bad Luck Fale
Decent match-up, a little slow early on when Fale gets a little control and there are a few niggles here and there, but it was perfectly fine contest. Weakest match for both men so far, who seemed to be taking it easy for the night.
Winner: Fale  (via Bad Luck Fall) **3/4
A Block Match 4 – Tomohiro Ishii vs. Kota Ibushi
This was pretty darn awesome with both guys really going at it, so there was lots of stiff strikes being thrown at each other. It was just a straight up war, with Ibushi successfully trying to match the toughness of Ishii and getting his second win. Superb stuff from both guys and match of the night.
Winner: Ibushi  (via Golden Star Bomb) ****1/4
A Block Main Event – Hirooki Goto vs. Togi Makabe
Here’s another two that were in a G1 final together, this time in 2008. Really good main event between these two, very similar to Makabe/Ishii in it’s physicality and strike and lariat exchanges, Goto is another guy that works well with Makabe, so it made for a very enjoyable back and forth match, though not quite great.
Winner: Makabe  (via King Kong knee drop) ***3/4
Not as strong as the previous two A Block nights but still solid overall, Ibushi/Ishii was definitely the best match but I’d also recommend Tana/Nagata and Makabe/Goto(depending on how much you like the two guys). Good stuff.