New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax 2019 – Night Three – 14/07/2019

Hello You!

Here we are with some more G1 Climax action! I’ve actually been a bit rough today so this took a bit longer than I’d liked, but hopefully this reaches you well and you’ve had a good weekend. As mentioned in Night Two, there’s sadly no tag matches on this one because I didn’t really have time to fit them in, so this is just the five tournament matches.

Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy these and I’ll have Mondays B Block matches hopefully up after I get home from work tomorrow.

Oh, and on an unrelated note, Cricket can be bloody exciting when it wants to be can’t it?

 

These matches took place at Ota Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan on 14/07/2019

Calling the action for us English speaking grapple fans are Kevin Kelley and Havana Pitbull Rocky Romero

G1 GLIMAX A BLOCK – Round 2
Bad Luck Fale (2 PTS) w/ Jado Vs Lance Archer (2 PTS)

Kevin noting that he has a plastic folder for his notes in preparation for Archer’s water spitting antics is pretty funny. It’s the running of the bulls to start, with neither man budging, so Archer tackles Fale through the ropes to the outside and the brawl is on. Jado tries to help his man, but Archer no sells his Singapore cane shot. However, the distraction is enough for Fale to jump him from behind and fling him into the seats at ringside.

Archer rises from the ruins however and charges back in to the ring, only to get promptly stood on by Fale. Fale misses an elbow drop eventually though, which lets Archer fight back with some clothesines before getting the Bull Buchanan cross body for two. Archer heads up for the rope walk, but Fale grabs the ref so he can’t see Jado trip Archer up. Fale brings Archer down with the superplex, which is sold great by the referee who falls over upon them hitting the mat, but Archer is able to kick out at two.

Fale goes for his own rope walk, but Archer cuts him off, only to take a grenade for two. Fale goes for the Bad Luck Fall, but Archer blocks it and goes for a choke slam. Jado breaks that up, but Archer shrugs it off and gets DA POUNCE (Period) and a choke slam for two. However, Archer isn’t done and goes to THE CLAW to pick up the pin on Fale.

WINNER: LANCE ARCHER (4 PTS)
RATING: ***

I probably went higher than most for that one, but I really enjoyed it. It was a fun brawl and some of the moves were really impressive when you consider the size of both men. I like how they’re trying so hard to get THE CLAW over by actually having it beat people. In WWE he’d never win with it but they’d still act like it was a big move and it would have zero chance of getting over.

G1 CLIMAX A BLOCK – Round 2
SANADA (2 PTS) Vs Will Ospreay (O PTS)

Here’s something I don’t get, if you don’t have the rights for Ospreay’s music anymore, then why not have him enter to his generic theme in the building so you don’t have to dub out the crowd? That’s the worst thing about dubbed music for me; as the crowd reactions contribute massively to my enjoyment of what I’m watching.

Lightning fast chain wrestling leads to the mandatory stand-off, as you can really feel the excitement in the crowd for this. In a funny moment, Ospreay goes for the Paradise Lock on SANADA, but he’s not quite sure how to apply it and SANADA kicks him off before going to it himself, only for Ospreay to flip out of it! SANADA replies doing the Paradise Lock over the ropes next time and Ospreay definitely can’t get out this time, which allows SANADA to hit him with a running dropkick.

Ospreay replies with an handspring Pele kick and then gets the 619, which leads to a standing SSP for two. SANADA rolls outside, which leads to the Space Flying Tiger Drop and a flying forearm back inside for two. SANADA replies with a dropkick to send Ospreay outside and then follows with a dive. Back inside, both men trade strikes, which leads to them reversing big moves, which is supposed to end with SANADA countering the Os Cutter into the TKO, but they don’t quite pull it off as smoothly as they would like. It was a good idea though and they covered it reasonably well. More strikes come next, which leads to an incredible sequence that ends in Ospreay getting a sit out powerbomb on SANADA for two.

Ospreay heads up and gets a Shooting Star Press, but Ospreay is able to kick out once again at two. Ospreay goes for the Storm Breaker but SANADA fights it off at first and then counters it to Skull End. Stupidly though he lets go to go for a moonsault, which of course leads to Ospreay rolling out of the way and delivering a C4 for two. Just leave the hold on and win you fool! Anyway, Robinson Special looks to set up the Os Cutter, but SANADA blocks it and that leads to a wild succession of moves and counters which eventually pays off with Ospreay getting the Os Cutter and holding on into the Storm Breaker for the winning pin.

WINNER: WILL OSPREAY (2 PTS)
RATING: ***3/4

This one was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it, with some of the counters being incredibly fluid and exciting. Not everything was perfect, but overall the match delivered on the promise of these two going in there.

G1 CLIMAX A BLOCK – Round 2
Zack Sabre Jr (0 PTS) Vs Kazuchika Okada (2 PTS)

Zack’s plan here is to beat Okada and then demand a Title match for the London show on 31/08/2019. Rocky on commentary says that he knows Okada is taking things seriously today, as he had a beef bowl earlier in the day. Shame for Zack that, if Okada had only had the chicken then he might have had a chance…

We start out with some top class technical wrestling from both men, as Okada looks to be favouring his left arm and shoulder. Zack gets a series of pinning holds out of nowhere to try and get a flash pin, but Okada manages to kick out, so he goes to an excruciating series of submission holds instead until Okada is finally able to make the ropes. Zack makes the mistake of toying with Okada though, which allows Okada to get back to his feet and hit a running back elbow.

Okada drops Zack with DDT for two and then heads up top for his elbow drop, but Zack dodges it and then goes to a guillotine choke, which Okada is able to counter into a neck breaker. Okada gets the elbow drop on the second attempt and it’s now time for THE RAINMAKER POSE!! Zack blocks the Rainmaker with a kick, but then walks into a dropkick and gets Tombstoned. Okada tries the Rainmaker again, but Zack counters it to an Octopus Hold. Okada sells the move big but is eventually able to make it to the ropes.

Zack stomps and kicks away at Okada, whilst also selling his neck from the Tombstone. Okada fights back and gets a beautiful dropkick before going for the Rainmaker again, only to get caught in the European Clutch for two. Zack somehow slips out of a Tombstone and goes to yet another wacky submission hold. Seriously, how does he keep coming up with these things? Okada manages to get out however and two Rainmakers finally end the bout.

WINNER: KAZUCHIKA OKADA (4 PTS)
RATING: ****

Great professional wrestling there, as Zack was his usual awesome submission machine self, whilst Okada was his usual consummate athlete self and the result was one heck of a contest. I’m incredibly biased in favour of Zack’s style though, so your own personal mileage may vary.

G1 CLIMAX A BLOCK – Round 2
EVIL (0 PTS) Vs Kota Ibushi (0 PTS)

We get the big strike exchange to open things up, which ends with Ibushi flooring EVIL with a big kick, only for EVIL to then flatten him with a shoulder block before going after Ibushi’s injured ankle. Bronco Buster in the corner gets two for EVIL, but he transitions straight to an ankle lock. Hey, check EVIL bringing the moveset!

Ibushi’s selling really is fantastic, as he has a great expressive face that helps him get across the torment he’s feeling in his ankle excellently. Ibushi finally manages to get some offence by kicking EVIL down and then getting a standing moonsault for two. EVIL blocks a German Suplex and then chops Ibushi down for a senton back splash for two. Ibushi replies with a powerslam then moonsaults from the second rope for two, although his ankle slowed him down there.

Ibushi heads up again, but EVIL james the ropes to crotch him and then brings him down with a big superplex. A big lariat looks to end things, but Ibushi kicks out at two. Everything Is EVIL gets countered into a German Suplex, but EVIL no sells it to hit one of his own, only for Ibushi to no sell THAT. A double lariat sends both men down to the mat for a double down. I loved that as both men just kind of sunk down to the mat rather than taking big snappy bumps. It really got across how draining the match has been.

More stiff strikes follow when both men get to their feet, so EVIL goes after the ankle again, but when he tries the Scorpion Deathlock Ibushi makes the ropes. Ibushi comes back with some strikes, which causes EVIL to shove the ref down in frustration. This means there is a delay when Ibushi hits a lariat and EVIL is able to kick out at two. Ibushi strikes the Kame-Go-Ye, but EVIL counters it into the Scorpion Deathlock, which makes Ibushi fight to make the ropes. EVIL heads up top and goes for a big back senton splash, but Ibushi moves out of the way and then Bom-Ba-Ye’s EVIL in the back before adding one from the front for two. Kame-Go-Ye is blocked by EVIL and he flattens Ibushi with a lariat and then hits Darkness Falls for two. Everything Is EVIL finally finishes things straight after though.

WINNER: EVIL (2 PTS)
RATING: ****1/4

That just kept building and building and ended up being a really great match by the end. Great selling from both men, as it looks like the ankle injury couldto end up being Ibushi’s out for not winning the tournament this year.

GL CLIMAX A BLOCK – Round 2
KENTA (2 PTS) Vs Hiroshi Tanahashi (0 PTS)

Katsuyori Shibata is the common link between both these guys, as he was one third of the “New Musketeers” with Tana and Naofumi Yamamoto, whilst he’s also loaned KENTA some of his Young Lions for the tags in this year’s tournament. KENTA wastes no time slapping the taste out of Tana’s mouth, and that leads to both men trading strikes. Start as you mean to go on I guess…

The fight heads outside, where Tana whips KENTA into the railings, only to receive that back in return from KENTA, along with some stiff kicks. KENTA adds a DDT to the floor. KENTA continues to work Tana over back inside, aggressively throwing kicks and trying to wear The Ace down with holds. Tana makes the odd sporadic comeback, but KENTA is always able to remain in control.

Tana is finally able to catch a kick and goes to the Dragon Screw to get himself back in to the match. Flipping senton splash from the second rope, but KENTA replies with a powerslam and both men are down. KENTA gets a springboard front dropkick, followed by another dropkick whilst Tana sits in the corner. Double stomp from the top looks to end it, but Tana is able to kick out at two.

Tana fights off the Go To Sleep, and when that doesn’t work he catches the leg instead and goes back to the Dragon Screw to wreck KENTA’s leg. Elevated Texas Cloverleaf comes next, but KENTA is able to counter it into a small package for two. KENTA gets a hanging DDT on Tana and both men are down again, showing the wear and tear from this contest. KENTA tries for the Busaiku, but Tana sees it coming and counters it to the Sling Blade at the last moment.

Both men trade big shots in classic Japanese manly style, but KENTA manages to counter Tana with a strike mid throw and then tries the GTS, but Tana counters again and gets a trio of neck breakers. Another Sling Blade gets two for Tana, so he heads up and comes down with a cross body before heading up again for the High-Fly-Flow, but KENTA gets his knees up to block it. Tana tries another Sling Blade, but KENTA counters to a sleeper and then delivers a PK Shibata style, only for Tana to block it. KENTA gets a big knee to counter the Dragon Screw and follows up with the PK and the Go To Sleep to pick up the win.

WINNER: KENTA (4 PTS)
RATING: ***3/4

Good solid work there, as the match built gradually and really came across as two men having a contest. KENTA has had two strong matches in G1 so far and you also kind of feel there might even be a higher gear he can kick in to later on. Tana was his usual great self, overcoming his litany of ailments to have a great match. There is genuinely no wasted movement with him and I enjoy his matches a lot. One of, if not the best, wrestler of my lifetime, and that includes 89 Era Flair.

So as it currently stands in A Block, KENTA, Lance Archer and Kazuchika Okada are all on 4 points, SANADA, Will Ospreay, Bad Luck Fale and EVIL all have 2 points, whilst Kota Ibushi, Zack Sabre Jr and Hiroshi Tanahashi are all stuck on zero.

In Conclusion

Five more good matches there, with everyone bringing something different to the table. EVIL Vs Ibushi is the stand out, but all the other matches delivered at differing levels as well, so I have zero complaints.