Day 9 and 10 mark the halfway point for the G1 and it’s been quite a good tournament so far. These shows feature Okada/KENTA and Moxley/Naito in the main events.
A Block Match – Lance Archer vs. Kota Ibushi
This was really good. Archer gets a bit of control early on after attacking Ibushi’s ankle,. He doesn’t continue to focus on it though, instead just opting to try and keep Ibushi down. Ibushi is soon back in the fight though relying quite heavily on strikes to get down the big man, but also managing to hit the Golden Star Bomb. Archer also had a couple surprises up is sleeve as well including a cool almost springboardlike rolling senton.
Finish was pretty cool too as Ibushi hits a Boma-ye and follows it up with the Kamigoe, but it doesn’t take Archer down and he starts to laugh it off, so Ibushi exposes his knee and hits a second one to put him down and get the win.
Winner: Ibushi  (via Kamigoe) ***3/4
A Block Match – Will Ospreay vs. Bad Luck Fale
Worst match Ospreay has had this year in fact this is the only bad match I’ve seen Ospreay in this year. Now usually I don’t mind he BC involvement but this was way too much, they pretty much get involved throughout right from the get go, before Ospreay is even in the ring. There’s no way a guy the size of Fale needs that much help.
The rest of it was very bog standard from Fale’s control to Ospreay’s come back. They kept it simple and threw in all the BC BS.
At the end the ref is knocked out, so Chase ends up hitting the Package Piledriver on Ospreay. Fale goes for the cover and the ref starts making the count, but as he gets to two, he gives Fale a big fuck you, flipping him the bird and disqualifies him.
I’ll admit I did get a laugh from that finish, but I really did not enjoy this much. I usually enjoy Fale but this is one of the worst G1 runs he’s had.
Winner: Ospreay  (via DQ) *3/4
A Block Match – EVIL vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Great match. Zack of course does his usual strategy of trying for submissions wherever he can, but EVIL has a strength advantage that allows him to power out of them quite quickly, though as the match wears on, it gets a little more difficult for him too. It made for a real nice back and forth match that flowed really well and there was a lovely counter sequence at the end which lead right into EVIL hitting Evil to win the match. Yeah enjoyed the hell out of this one.
Winner: EVIL  (via EVIL) ****
A Block Match – SANADA vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Really good match. Very even contest with both guys taking a similar approach to things which brought out some nice little counters and including an interesting little back and forth struggle with them both trying for dragon sleepers, where a couple of reversals didn’t go the smoothest, but I still liked the struggle they had going on.
In the end though Tana manages to get the win using the High Fly Flow to do it for the first time in this tournament.
Winner: Tanahashi  (via High Fly Flow) ***3/4
A Block Main Event – KENTA vs. Kazuchika Okada
Great main event. This was of course a battle to lead the block and I actually almost thought it would end up as a draw, alas it did not, but it still goes over 25 minutes nonetheless.
KENTA gets some control in the first half, which includes him wrenching Okada’s neck in a few holds. They actually keep things quite steady and gradually pick up the pace, with everying being a little spaced out but still flowing pretty well.
They do get some good back and forth going and whilst there are a few things that don’t quite go so smoothly, they still follow through and recover well, so its never bothersome.
In the end it’s Okada that manages to hit the Rainmaker to the get win, making the main champ the leader of the block.
Winner: Okada  (via Rainmaker) ****
onto Day 10 and B Block.
B Block Match – Toru Yano vs. Hirooki Goto
Another super short Yano match, this one was a lot funner than the Juice one though. Yano tries to shows enthusiasm to his CHAOS team mate early on and gets the audience to start chanting. Goto gets on the second rope to egg it on, but Yano then tries to use the distraction to his advantage doing the shirt over the head roll-up trick. It fails though and from there he tries a few roll-up attempts including one involving the exposed turnbuckle, but Goto ends up locking Yano’s legs up and turning it into a unique pinning clutch to get the victory.
Winner: Goto  (via pinning clutch) **3/4
B Block Match – Juice Robinson vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Absolutely terrific match. They went right at it from the get go with some back and forth shoulder clashes and from there just kept at it, with very little down time. Lots of big counters and moves and it was just very exciting to watch. Juice really put up a good fight, but in the end Ishii drops him with a brainbuster to win.
Winner: Ishii  (via brainbuster) ****1/4
B Block Match – Taichi vs. Jeff Cobb
Decent match. Early on Taichi gets control using a distraction and hitting Cobb with the mic stand and does some of his pretty standard heel Taichi stuff.
Cobb soon back in the fight though and Taichi’s back to relying on normal offence although he struggles to match up with Cobb’s power for quite a bit of it.
In the end Taichi shoves the ref and goes for a low blow, but Cobb blocks it and hits a sequence of offence that ends with Tour of the Islands to get Cobb the win. Match felt a bit stale to begin but it picked up well enough.
Winner: Cobb  (via Tour of the Islands) ***
B Block Match – Shingo Takagi vs. Jay White
Great match. Jay a gets little overwhelmed at first, but Gedo of course gets involved giving him a bit of control. From there the playing field is evened and we get some really nice back and forth with some lovely little counters going on. Jay kept trying different ways to stop Shingo and in the end succeeds in hitting the Blade Runner to win the match.
Winner: Jay White  (via Bladerunner) ****1/4
B Block Main Event – Jon Moxley vs. Tetsuya Naito
And we finish with a terrific main event. Naito tries to play it cool and steady in beginning, Moxley doesn’t want to wait around and ends up beating him around outside, getting some control for himself in the process. Naito manages to come back when Moxley’s attempt to use chairs backfires, as the ref takes one of the chairs from him and Naito ends up using the other one against him. This leads to them having some good back and forth on the go which ends with Moxley wining with Death Rider.
Man Moxley really is unstoppable at this point, who’s gonna take him down. Another great match from him though.
Winner: Moxley  (via Death Rider) ****1/4
Another good couple of days, Day 10 in particular had three great matches that are definitely worth your time.
Thanks for reading.