NJPW G1:Climax Night 8 Recap and Review
We are back with some Block B action for night 8 of the G1 Climax, NJPW’s Premiere annual tournament, in what can only be named as the battle of the stable mates, with two of the matches on this card see stable mates face off against each other. There is still plenty to play for in a tightly congested pack. Two contenders remain undefeated unsurprisingly Naito is one of them and surprisingly so is Yano. Sanada is the only contender to remain without a win. Juice Robinson and Kenta are steady at 4 points. Goto, Tanahashi, Yoshi-hashi, Evil and Zack Sabre all have 2 points. Yesterday’s block A clashes saw the whole group get turned on it’s head, would today's match results have the same affect?
Night 8 Block B
Another round of key clashes tonight all kick off with a young lions match as Yota Tsuji faces Gabriel Kidd for the third time on this tour, each of them has one victory over the other how will tonight’s match finish? In the Clash of Stable mates LIJ members Tetsuya Naito faces Sanada in the main event and in the co-main event, Bullet Club stable mates Evil and Kenta face off. Tanahashi goes up against Yoshi-hashi each competitor with only one win, which ever one of them looses could see them fall too far behind. Goto takes on Sabre, both competitors need wins for different reasons, Goto to catch the front runners and Sabre needs the win to keep himself in with a shot.
Gabriel Kidd Vs Yota Tsuji
Time Limit Draw
Both of these young lions are more like young bulls, the two are evenly matched in strength but Kidd has technical wrestling advantage having spent more years training and competing on the Brit Wres scene. Both of these guys are well trained though its clear to see with the mat wrestling transitions and reversals it’s Kidd who keeps coming out on top when they lock up. Kidd didn’t give Tsuji any time to rest and recover continuing to press the advantage until Tsuji landed a couple of hard slams. Tsuji took control and started relentlessly attacking Kidd’s leg, before locking in a single leg crab, Kidd did manage to escape, Tsuji attempted a suplex which was blocked by Kidd who followed up with a big slam of his own. Kidd beckoned the crowd for support before going for his Vertical Double Arm Suplex but is blocked by the strength of Tsuji, the two young lions battle hard, Kidd attempts a Boston crab but Tsuji incredibly managed to escaped. The match became frantic as the time limit drew near each doing their best to finish of the other but it came down to the wire but neither could get the job done as the time ran out, causing our first time limit draw of the tournament. The two have faced off three times now with one win, one draw and one loss each, can anything separate these two?
Toru Yano (3W 0L 0D 6Pts) Vs Juice Robinson (2W 1L 0D 4Pts)
Juice Robisnon defeated Toru Yano via pin fall
Yano started his antics the moment the bell rang, first encouraging Juice to wear a Yano t-shirt and as Juice tried to put it on, Yano attempted a roll up pin, when that didn’t work he pushed the referee out of position squirting Juice with his disinfectant spray. Juice got his revenge on the outside pouring the bottle of disinfectant in Yano’s eyes. The antics don’t stop there though as they use the turnbuckle pad on the outside, Yano then ties Juice’s legs up, although Juice managed to beat being counted out. Finally back in the ring and free of the tape around his legs, Juice is able to take control trapping Yano in a pinning predicament getting 1, 2, 3. Juice wins by pitfall winning his third match of the tournament and handing Yano his first loss.
Hiroki Goto (2W, 1L, 0D 4Pts) Vs Zack Sabre Jr (1W, 2L, 0D 2Pts)
Zack Sabre Jr defeated Hiroki Goto by pin fall
This is bad match up for Goto, still suffering a shoulder injury from his match with Kenta which is now a massive target for the submission master Zack Sabre Jr who immediately goes after it. The opening minutes is a fast paced scramble with Goto doing all he can despite his injury, but Zack is relentless then out of nowhere Zack traps Goto with a pin 1, 2, 3. Zack Sabre picks up his second win of the G1 Climax in a really quick match, now on equal points with Hiroki Goto.
Yoshi-Hashi (1W, 2L, 0D 2Pts) Vs Hiroshi Tanahashi (1W 2L 0D 2Pts)
Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Yoshi-hashi by referee stoppage
They showed each other plenty of respect in the opening minutes, with Yoshi-Hashi and Tanahashi both needing a second win to stay in touch with the front runners. Yoshi-hashi starts to target Tanashi’s leg, knowing the years of knee issues Tanahashi has suffered in his long career. Tanahashi is on fine form though, fighting his way back into the match he starts to take control, his young charge, Yota Tsuji, leading the crowd in their support of the Ace. The momentum swings again with Yoshi-hashi landing a running power bomb but the ace kicked out of the pin attempt. They continued to trade back and forth neither maintaining control for long. Ace had a chance to hit his high flow splash but Yoshi-hashi got his knees up. Yoshi locked up Tanahashi in a reverse nelson submission, then a kimura but couldn’t get the Ace to tap. He lands a back cracker but he can’t put Tanahashi away no matter what he tries. Tanahashi just kept kicking out time after time Yoshi-hashi hit a meteora, no luck, he hits a brain buster, no luck, the frustration built. Tanahashi took advantage of this by hitting his High Flow Splash after a switch blade counter and a crossbody, winning the match by Pinfall. Tanahashi is now on a two match winning streak and Yoshi-hashi misses out on picking up more points.
Evil (1W 2L 0D 2Pts) Vs Kenta (2W 1L 0D 4 Pts)
Evil defeated Kenta by Pin fall
Evil snubbed kenta’s attempt at a two sweet, Kenta returns the favour playing mind games refusing to engage and Dick Togo made his presence felt early. When they do lock up Evil has the power advantage but a big boot to the face forced Evil to retreat outside, Kenta follows up slamming evil into the guard rail. Back in the ring Kenta unleashes his arsenal of strikes and a DDT gets a near fall on Evil. Togo finally gets involved, hooking Kenta’s leg giving Evil an opening to try and break Kenta’s arm with a chair as Togo distracted the referee. In the ring Evil took control continuing to asualt Kenta’s arm, Evil was relentlessly Evil in his attack not letting up for a moment, even using the exposed turnbuckles. Evil grew over confident though allowing Kenta to start striking, after some boots to the face, Kenta landed a powerslam giving him a moment to recover. Now back in the match Kenta unleashes a variety of offence. Togo again provided the distraction as Evil goes back to the attack of Kenta’s arm, hitting a fisherman buster for a two count. The referee inevitably took a bump with Kenta in the ascendency clocks Togo with his no. 1 contenders breifcase then clocks evil followed up by running Knee, Evil managed to kick out the pin attempt. Kenta crashes into the exposed turnbuckles allowing Evil to hit Darkness falls but his pin attempt was unsuccessful, Evil goes for Everything Is Evil, blocked by Kenta who unleashes with strikes. Kenta went for his GTS but Togo is there to save Evil again in the ensuing melee, Evil hit a low blow followed up by Everything is Evil and picking up the win by pin fall, Evil now joins his Bullet Club stable mate on 2 wins.
Sanada (0W 3L 0D 0Pts) Vs Tetsuya Naito (1W, 2L, 0D 2Pts)
Sanada defeats Naito via Pin Fall
The two LIJ members showed each other much more respect than the bullet club members, Sanada has the early edge with his superior wrestling technique but Naito’s has wild flurry taking advantage on outside of the ring. It seemed Sanada was in his own head and low on confidence as Naito dominated much of the opening 5 to 10 minutes, Sanada just struggled to get out of the gate, a well placed dropkick to knee allowed Sanada to start building offence however. The crowd seemed to get behind Sanada, desperate for him to get his first win but Naito once again silenced the crowd as he once again took control of the match. With the match beginning to swing back and forth, an incredible scramble would see Sanada hit a huge twisting neck breaker but he could not follow up with a pin attempt. Sanada then hit an even harder top rope neck breaker dropping Naito’s neck across his knee followed by a tiger suplex with a bridge pin which gets a two count, Sanada doesn’t let up, attaching his dragon sleeper but Naito managed to escape. The two battle hard and Naito starts stringing attacks together once again, a super frankenstiener gets a two count. Naito looked to finish the match with a destino but Sanada counters it into a TKO cutter, battling up from their knees unleashing strikes back and forth, Sanada back flips over Naito locking him in a dragon sleeper again and dragging him to the mat. Naito tried to slip out but Sanada locks him in again and goes for a moonsault but Naito moved out the way, Naito hits a Destino but Sanada kicked out the pin, Sanada hits Naito with the Destino but Naito kicks out. Sanada pressing his advantage heads to the top rope for a Moonsault this time it lands and Sanada gets the pin fall, Sanada gets his first win simultaneously giving Naito his first loss.
What an incredible night, just as last night the whole group dynamic has changed, at the top of the group are Naito, Yano and Juice with 6 points. Evil, Kenta, Goto, Tanahashi and Sabre Jr have 4pts and at the bottom of the table is Sanada and Yoshi-hashi who only have 2 points. Some great clashes starting with the young lions in epic time limit draw, the next two matches were both short and sweet but things really pick up in the second half. The main event between Naito and Sanada was a truly excellent encounter with a great story. I called it on my night 6 article that this is the beginning of a great comeback story. In the other clash of Stable mates, Kenta Vs Evil, was some superb story telling, something big is in the works, possibly a Kenta babyface turn. Tanahashi and Yoshi-hashi was also a fantastic match with Tanahashi on fine form. Block B is back in action from Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall with every thing to play for so expect another round of great matches.
The Great British Otaku