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NJPW G1:Climax Night 2 Recap and Review

NJPW’s premiere tournament, the G1 Climax is underway and Night 1 gave us some amazing in ring action, block b had a lot to live up to and they did just that with 6 incredible matches.

Back once again in the Osaka Edion Arena; with yet another incredible set of matches to come, with Yoshi-Hashi Vs Juice Robinson, Sanada Vs Toru Yano, Hiroki Goto Vs Kenta, Zack Sabre Jr Vs Evil and Tetsuya Naito Vs Hiroshi Tanahashi. And to kick the night off we were also treated to a young lions match with Gabriel Kid Vs Yota Tsuji.

Opening Match

Young Lions Match

Gabriel Kid Vs Yota Tsuji

  • Yota Tsuji Defeated Gabriel Kid

What a display of wrestling by these two young lions, they may be young lions but they are both big boys and man can they wrestle. This was true exhibition of the skill in wrestling, this match would not be out of place in the current ROH Pure tournament. The mat work was phenomenal the transitions, the holds, just amazing tit for tat wrestling, mixed in with some of the biggest forearms you’re going to see and they did not hold back when peppering each other with shots. Eventually it was Yota Tsuji who managed to get a flurry of offence, then using the same move that he submitted to on night one, he was able to get Gabriel Kid to submit. Both of these guys have great futures ahead of themselves Gabriel Kidd is someone I have followed for some time here in the UK and I have always been a fan.

Match 1

Yoshi-Hashi Vs Juice Robinson

  • Juice Robinson defeated Yoshi-Hashi by pin fall

Juice Robinson has had change in wardrobe supporting a new look that seemed to work for him, having added some size to his frame during the break. Robinson would use this slight size and power advantage he had over Yoshi-Hashi, controlling the majority of the match. Yoshi-Hashi would have periods in which he would get a flurry of offence but they were short flurries with Juice cutting them off quickly. With Yoshi-Hashi unable to maintain any sustained offence he would eventually fall victim to Juice’s right hand of god punch, followed by the Kill Switch getting Juice a pinfall victory and points on the board.

Match 2

Sanada Vs Toru Yano

  • Toru Yano defeated Sanda

This was less of a wrestling match and more just an enjoyable comedic intermission. Okay, okay that is harsh and for all his antics, Toru is the genius of making his competitors underestimate him. That is just what he did here with Sanada falling for Yano’s antics, of which there were plenty, but he also showed how smart and dangerous he is here. For all of the comedy there was also some classic wrestling to enjoy and Yano is a great wrestler and worker, Sanada will be kicking himself for coming up short in this match. He has been on somewhat of downward spiral since his Tag Team partner, Evil betrayed the LIJ. There may be a possible redemption story to tell here, with Sanada fighting his way back and winning the tournament, for now he was defeated by a count out after Yano tied his leg to a young lion standing ringside.

Match 3

Hiroki Goto Vs Kenta

  • Kenta defeated Hiroki Goto by submission

This was tale of two similar yet different style, with speed, precision and technical strikes of Kenta going up against the hard hitting, high impact moves of Goto. Kenta was on point in this match he looked incredible the way he moved around the ring, the transitions and the accuracy of his strikes as he would go to work down Goto by working on his arm. However Goto was not going to go out without fight, as he would constantly fight his way back and even had couple of occasions where it looked like he would pick up the win. In the end though it came down the smooth transitions between holds and reversals that would pay dividends for Kenta as he would use his Game Over submission capatalising on the work he done early on in the match targeting Goto’s arm, picking up the win via submission.

Match 4

Zack Sabre Jr Vs Evil

  • Zack Sabre Jr defeated Evil Pin Fall

As the two typical heels square off, the question was who would be the heel in this match, we got an answer from the off, as Evil gets the jump on Zack thanks to the help of Evil’s cohort Dick Togo. The match heads straight to the out side as Evil throws Zack into the guard barrier followed by side walk slam to the floor, he then distracts the ref allowing Togo to get more shots in on Zack. As Evil heads back in the ring he removes the turnbuckle pads in the corner and once Zack is back in the ring, Evil throws into the exposed the turnbuckles, its clear that Evil is looking to work on Zack’s back. Zack is able to get back into the match due to his incredible technical prowess as he applies an abundance of holds to wear Evil down, his mastery of wrestling is second to none, its just a sight to behold. As Zack has Evil trapped in a Submission, Togo once again creates a distraction allowing Evil back into the match. Evil purposely targets the referee throwing Zack into him, causing the referee to be incapacitated, Togo then gets involved as the two begin to double team Zack. Once the referee is in the ring Evil goes to finish Zack off but out of nowhere Zack hits a reversal and transitions into a European pin, Evil cannot escape and Zack comes away with the win. An incredible match.

Match 5

Main Event

Tetsuya Naito Vs Hiroshi Tanahashi

  • Tetsuya Naito defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi Pin Fall

The Main event marque match up for night 2, the Ace Hiroshi Tanahashi took on the current IWGP championship, Tetsuya Naito may be a face right now but he has no issue playing the heel here. The Early parts of the match saw Tetsuya using his mind games to lure in and frustrate Tanahasi allowing him to gain an adavantage. The 2nd act of this match saw Tanahashi start to work on the injured knees of Naito, getting himself back into the match and take over control, we also saw the first dive of the night as The Ace would fly high of the turnbuckle crashing down on Naito. Tanahashi would continue to work of Naito’s knee, eventually locking him into his patented Texas Cloverleaf submission, it looked like it was Naito who somehow fought back getting to the ropes. The two went to start to trade shots but neither man could seem to get the advantage, with full on back and fourth action. Tanahashi looked as if he was going to take over the match once more when he had Naito down on the mat, he went up to the top rope once more to hit the High Flow splash unfortunately, Naito managed to role out of the way. From there Naito would take control once more as he hit move after move looking to finish Tanahashi, after a couple of near falls including Tanahashi kicking out of the one Destino finisher, he would go on to hit one more even with a bad knee getting rotation, slamming Tanahasi once more to get the pin fall victory.

Final Thoughts

Wow, what an incredible night of wrestling I thought night 1 was amazing and night 2 was just as good if not better, highlighted by the two final matches of the night, Zack Sabre Jr Vs Evil and Tetsuya Naito Vs Hiroshi Tanahashi, they were both astonishing matches. Block B has few interesting dynamics in Block B with 2 members of the Bullet club in Evil and Kenta as well as 2 members of LIJ stable with Sanada and Tetsuya Naito, the two factions have been locked in battle since the J cup. I also what to highlight the young lions Gabriel Kidd and Tota Tusji who had a fantastic match, the two competitors looked like veterans with some classic wrestling and hard shots, it was a great match. I will excuse the antics of Toru Yano his and Sanada’s match may not have been a classic match up but it was very entertaining. I cannot wait for more G1 Climax action, I feel with block B, despite his loss today the top 4 picks to advance would be Kenta, Naito, Sanada and Evil and I’d give Zack Sabre Jr an outside chance.

The Great British Otaku

Andrew More

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