Time for some more G1 action from day 3 and 4, featuring KENTA/Tanahashi and Taichi/Naito in the main events.
A Block Match – Bad Luck Fale vs. Lance Archer
Pretty solid match. Has a good start followed by a bit of pointless outside tumbling but picks up again once they’re in the ring with some nice big lads stuff. Jado gets involved a couple of times but in the end Archer locks in Iron Claw and pins down Fale with all his weight to get the three count.
Winner: Lance Archer  (via Iron claw) ***
A block Match – Will Ospreay vs. SANADA
Really solid match. Lot of smooth counters on the go as you’d expect from these two, although there was one convoluted sequence that looked like a mess. They had some good stuff on the going on though with Ospreay getting the win with the Storm breaker.
Winner: Ospreay  (via Stormbreaker) ***1/2
A Block Match – Kazuchika Okada vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
This was really good. Zack had is usual approach of going for submissions and he switches his focus on different parts of Okada throughout as Okada does his best to counter him.
There’s one particularly real good submission struggle in there involving a modified Manjigatame and some great nearfalls for Zack from pinning clutches.
The finishing sequence does get a bit clunky though, but leads to Okada hitting the Rainmaker to win.
Winner: Okada  (via rainmaker) ***3/4
A block Match – EVIL vs. Ibushi
Another really good match. Ibushi apparently injured his ankle in the previous match, so despite them going at from the bell, you do notice them taking a little too much time before certain things and Ibushi being a little more grounded.
They also don’t go outside at all which is very rare for these guys. But they definitely worked the match well with some solid action and whilst Ibushi’s was never really much of a focus of EVIL’s attack, he still goes after it somewhat and manages to get the win for himself in the end too.
Winner: Evil  (via evil) ***3/4
A Block Main Event – KENTA vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Great match. KENTA controls some of it, looking focused, and then they go into some very nice back and forth which ends with KENTA getting the big win over Tana. I think this was a overall much better showing for KENTA, he was really consistent and very on the ball which was great to see. He gave Tana a good struggle and I think there’s a real big possibility of him making the finals
Winner: Kenta  (via GTS) ****
Onto day 4
B Block Match – Toru Yano vs. Shingo Takagi
Fun match. None of Yano’s tactics were really working out including utilising a shirt again and trying for a countout victory.
His last ditch effort was throwing a chair to Shingo and trying to convince the ref that Shingo hit him with it. Shingo pleads his case though and then BUSHI is on the apron to plead to the ref too and Shingo takes advantage of the distraction to actually throw the chair in Yano’s face and follow it up with a pumping bomber to get the win. Really liked that finish, Yano’s tactic really blew up in his face. Good stuff.
Winner: Shingo  (via Pumping Bomber) ***1/4
B Block Match – Hirooki Goto vs. Juice Robinson
Really solid match. Just some straight up good competitive back and forth, they didn’t try anything fancy or epic, just went at it and worked it well. Juice wins with the Pulp Friction. Still too early to lose hope for Goto.
Winner: Robinson  (via Pulp Friction) ***1/2
B Block Match – Jeff Cobb vs. Jon Moxley
Good match. Moxley ends up pretty much dominating throughout, working on Cobb’s left shoulder somewhat and stopping Cobb wherever he could. Cobb really didn’t get much offense in at all and after a bit of a fight on the apron hits a kneee and grabs Cobb for a hanging variant of the Deathrider to get the win. Great display from Moxley really liked how he worked around Cobb.
Winner; Moxley  (via Deathrider) ***1/4
B Block Match – Jay White vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Great match. White has tidbit of control thanks to Gedo who helps out on a couple of occasions, but Ishii doesn’t let him keep it, staying in the fight with his brute force despite Jay’s continual targeting of his head and neck. Ishii was just relentless and stopped all attempts of the Bladerunner, hitting a brainbuster in the end to get he victory. Certainly a very different start to White’s G1 this year, eating two straight losses.
Winner: Ishii  (via Brainbuster) ****
B Block Main Event – Tetsuya Naito vs. Taichi
Really good main event. Taichi gets some control from a low blow, but Naito does well enough to stay in the fight. There end up being two ref bumps with both guys trying for underhanded tactics with Naito in particular coming to close to victory from a low blow and running Destino. Taichi wasn’t going down easy and kept trying to finally use the metal hand he acquired from Iizuka and after two failed attempts, the third time’s the charm as he hits Naito in the throat with it and hits a big folding Last Ride to get the win. Always enjoy these two going at it and this was no different, nice big win for Taichi too and I’m sure that metal claw will continue to be a big factor throughout the tournament.
Interestingly this also means that the two former IWGP champs in B block are currently at the bottom of the table to begin, though I’m sure that’ll change as it goes on.
Winner: Taichi  (via Last Ride) ***3/4
These were two good days overall with some interesting results on the go. I wouldn’t say anything was flat-out fantastic but it was mostly all solid to great with Ishii/White, Tana/Kenta and Okada/ZSJ being favourites of the days.
Thanks for reading.