It’s Day 9 as we reach the halfway point of A Block matches, headlined by Ishii/Naito which is sure to be a corker.
A Block Match 1 – Yuji Nagata vs. Togi Makabe
Nagata’s G1 struggle continues in a very solid match. Makabe seems to get the best of him throughout as Nagata appears to have problems with his neck. He does get a nice little comeback towards the end where he really goes ham on Makabe and gets close to victory but Makabe manage to thwart him and in the end despite his efforts, a king kong knee drop keeps him down. Sadly this means that Nagata is mathematically eliminated and has no way of winning now as he stays on the same path that Liger had on the BOTSJ.
Winner: Makabe  (via King Kong Knee-drop) ***1/2
A Block Match 2 – Bad Luck Fale vs. Kota Ibushi
This was really good and probably the best Fale match of the tournament so far. In the early part Fale gets control and tries going after Ibushi’s leg, but Ibushi comes back and tries hard to match up with Fale which leads to him hitting a moonsault of the balcony like the mad bean that he is. At the end Ibushi seems like he has a good chance to beat Fale, but makes the huge mistake of punching above his weight and trying to go for the Golden Star Bomb, but it doesn’t work out at all and leads to his demise, with a Grenade and Bad Luck Fall keeping him down for a 3 count. Very Enjoyable match that escalated nicely.
Winner: Fale  (via Bad Luck Fall) ***3/4
A Block Match 3 – Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Hirooki Goto
Another really good match. Sabre continues his usual strategy of picking apart his opponent and going for submissions where-ever he can whilst Goto came at Sabre with heavy offence wherever he could. Despite Sabre’s attempts Goto’s offence seemed to be more effective, so he managed to get the win. Tough fought contest that I really liked.
Winner: Goto  (via GTR) ***3/4
A Block Match 4 – Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. YOSHI-HASHI
Solid back and forth contest. Tana focuses alot on YOSHI-HASHI legs which he doesn’t really sell all that much, but he was the underdog here, trying hard to get that second win which he just can’t seem to manage. It was a good effort but just not enough, as Tana get the win and leads the block with the most points.
Winner: Tanahashi  (via High Fly Flow) ***1/2
A Block Main Event – Tetsuya Naito vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Awesome match to end the day. These are another two guys who are guaranteed to deliver against each other and this is no different. Naito got control early and worked on Ishii’s head and neck area, which has seemed to be his strategy this whole tournament, but it makes sense since he’s weakening them up for the Destino. things slowly get more intense as the match goes on, leading into a great finishing stretch with Ishii even managing to kick out of an unexpected Destino and eventually getting the win with a brainbuster, which stops Naito being at the top of the block along with Tanahashi. Superb stuff.
Winner: Ishii  (via Brainbuster) ****1/4
Another really solid day for A Block. Definitely recommend Ishii/Naito and Sabre/Goto, Fale/Ibushi are worth checking out too, but at at the end of they day it was all very enjoyable, as the G1 keeps consistently delivering.