Hello to you all and welcome to Wrestle Respawn and another day of G1 Climax 2018 action! Today we’ll be watching the second round matches in A Block. Jay White made a name for himself by defeating stable Kazuchika Okada on Night One of the tournament. Can he continue his momentum by defeating long time “Ace” of New Japan Hiroshi Tanahashi? Let’s read on to find out!
You can get up to date on happenings in A Block by reading the write up of the Night One by clicking THIS link!
All of these matches were held on the 16th of July from Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Centre
A Block – 16/07/2018
Michael Elgin (2 pts) Vs Hangman Page (2 pts)
Kevin Kelley mentions on commentary that Hangman Page was the pick of Masahiro Chono to bring home the bacon here. Considering Chono has won so many G1 tournaments that his nickname is “Mr. August”, that’s one heck of an endorsement! He also says that Elgin and Page have wrestled each other 3 times in ROH, with Elgin winning all of those meetings.
Both men waste no time to throwing strikes, with Page plumping for forearms whilst Egan decides to throw chops. Elgin gets a dropkick to send Page outside and then follows with a suicide dive. Page replies with a neck breaker onto the middle rope and then leaping off the apron with a Shooting Star Press onto his foe. Back inside, Page chops away on Elgin and adds a seated dropkick.
Page goes to a seated abdominal stretch and then transitions to a chin lock. Elgin fights up to his feet and ends up catching Page with a big powerslam following a countering sequence. Nice sequence prior to the slam there. Elgin goes for the hanging suplex but Page knees his way out, only to walk into a Sky High powerbomb from Elgin for two.
Elgin gets some big clotheslines but Page won’t go down and replies with a forearm, super kick and bridging German Suplex for two. Elgin catches a Stinger Splash and delivers a big T-Bone suplex, before unloading with some nasty clotheslines in the corner. Elgin sets Page up top and goes for a superplex, but Page fights him off with a thumb to the eyes.
Elgin replies with a cutter and the Force of Nature for a two count. Elgin sets up for the Elgin Bomb but Page fights him off and the two men go to the fishtails pinning sequence, which ends with Elgin going for a powerslam attempt but Page counters that into a Risk Factor for two. Elgin rolls out and Page preps for a moonsault, but Elgin rushes up top to meet him and tries to superplex him to the floor.
Page fights back, but ends up getting thrown into the ring. Elgin tries to come off the top with something but Page stops that and brings him down with a top rope rana. He follows with a neck breaker off the second rope but Elgin is somehow able to kick out at two. I was buying that near fall! The fans are behind Hangman, as he goes for the Right of Passage, but Elgin slips out and delivers a quarto of kicks and both men are down.
Both men trade forearms like the manly men they are, with Page adding some spit for a good measure, which causes Elgin to take his elbow pad off and hit him back extra hard. We now have both men trading German Suplexes, which Elgin comes out on top with a release Tiger Suplex. Page won’t give up though and tries a springboard rana, but Elgin catches him with one of his own and follows up with Splash Mountain Bomb for two.
Buckle Bomb from Elgin sets up the Elgin Bomb and that’s enough for Elgin to bag himself two more points. Page was hanging in there all the way though and his stock went up considerably even though he eventually ended up looking at the lights.
WINNER: MICHAEL ELGIN
Great start to the second round of matches in A Block there, as Elgin is just a machine at the moment and Page is showing genuine flashes of brilliance. I can’t see either of these guys winning it the G1 overall, but I expect them to each get some more wins on the board before it ends.
A Block – 16/07/2018
YOSHI-HASHI (0 pts) Vs EVIL (0 pts)
Both men lost in the opening round of fixtures, with YOSHI laying down for Togi Makabe whilst EVIL ran afoul of Michael Elgin. Common sense would dictate that EVIL gets off the mark here considering he had such a strong run in 2017, and YOSHI isn’t really a contender. That being said, Kelley mentions on commentary that the previous G1 meeting between them ended with YOSHI picking up the win, so you never know.
YOSHI actually gets the better of the shoulder block challenge in the early going and delivers some chops, but EVIL shrugs those off and clotheslines him to the outside. EVIL goes after YOSHI’s taped shoulder outside by throwing it over the guardrail and then adding a chair shot for added measure. The lax rules are probably the one aspect of New Japan that I struggle to deal with most to be honest, and I can see why it would put others off as well.
EVIL works the arm and shoulder with a Fujiwara Arm Bar back inside, but YOSHI is able to make the ropes to break. EVIL lets YOSHI get back up, but his shots aren’t doing much and EVIL soon knocks him down again. However, he misses a senton back splash though and that gets YOSHI a chance to come back with a running neck breaker and an enziguiri.
YOSHI hangs EVIL up on the top rope and then delivers a running dropkick for two. EVIL blocks a lariat by hitting the arm and then manages to get Darkness Falls (Death Valley to Powebomb) for a two count. YOSHI blocks Everything is EVIL (S.T.O) and then deliver s a back cracker for the double down. Both men collide with clotheslines, which goes EVIL’s way, but YOSHI rips off his own shoulder tape and starts throwing big chops and follows with a big lariat.
YOSHI is fired up and tries a powerbomb but he’s too near the ropes and the momentum sends both men crashing over the top rope to the floor. YOSHI manages to get the powerbomb back inside, but EVIL is able to kick out at two. YOSHI goes to the butterfly lock and EVIL tries to make the ropes but YOSHI pulls him back. EVIL refuses to submit and is eventually able to power his way to the ropes for the break.
YOSHI heads up and gets a Swanton Bomb but EVIL is able to kick out at two. EVIL appears to be dead weight here, as YOSHI tries for his Karma finisher but he’s able to manipulate the right arm to stop him. Undeterred, YOSHI slaps EVIL down to the mat and follows with running double knees for a two count. EVIL slips behind on another Karma attempt, blocks a lariat and then delivers one of his own for two. YOSHI is out on his feet though and Everything Is EVIL finishes things.
Started slow but became a pretty good match as it wore on. Sadly for YOSHI-HASHI it looks like the predictions of him being a makeweight in this tournament could perhaps hold some water to them, as that’s two defeats on the trot for him now. I can’t really see anyone on his side of the bracket that I think he’d be the favourite to win. Makabe, EVIL and possibly Page would be his best chances and he’s lost to two of them already. That’s unless they’ve got a big upset in mind for him in the latter stages…
A Block – 16/07/2018
Togi Makabe (2pts) Vs Minoru Suzuki (0 pts)
Makabe splatted YOSHI-HASHI with his King Kong Knee Drop in his first match whilst Suzuki lost a bout to Tanahashi after dominating for large periods. Tanahashi delivered a pretty gnarly looking dragon screw to Suzuki towards the end of that match so it will be interesting to see if that plays into this contest as Suzuki was limping pretty badly at the bouts conclusion.
It’s a slugfest right from the off, as both of these men are no nonsense and aren’t afraid to swing their fists. Suzuki actually laughs at Makabe’s shot and delivers some uber stiff forearms in response. Makabe fires right back with some of his own though, and actually manages to make Suzuki sink into the corner.
A shoulder block from Makabe sends Suzuki outside and he follows to continue the brawl. Both men keep bringing the stiff shots and then up the ante by duelling with chairs. The referee takes a bump during this and both men deicide to get back inside and start swinging. Desperado (Suzuki’s second) passes his boss a chair and he gets some shots in before the ref wakes up and disarms him.
Out we go again, where Suzuki takes the fight over to the commentary desks and adds some more chair shots before shoving the ref over the guardrail. Somehow that isn’t a disqualification, although I think the ref has plenty of grounds to end it at that point. Suzuki leaves Makabe a broken wreck by the commentary area and heads back in happy to take the count out, but Makabe pulls himself up and gets back inside the ring to break the count.
Suzuki lays the bad mouth on Makabe, but actually allows him get back up and throw some forearms, because fear is just a four letter word when you’re Minoru Suzuki! Makabe amazingly starts fighting back and gets the ten punch in the corner. Suzuki keeps coming though with a running boot in the corner followed by a Penalty Kick on the mat, but Makabe is able to fire back with a powerslam.
We have more forearm trading, with Suzuki coming out on top but he neglects to go for the kill whilst he has his opponent down. Makabe tries a desperation lariat but Suzuki counters it to the sleeper and locks it in. Once he’s happy Makabe is out he goes for the Gotch Style Piledriver, but Makabe is able to hold on and deny him. Suzuki goes for it again but Makabe is able to counter with a Death Valley Driver and then delivers a big lariat to the back of the head followed by a standard one to the front.
I don’t think I’ve seen one cover in this match. Both men just seem content to beat the stuffing out of one another without really even trying that hard to win. Makabe sets Suzuki on the top rope and brings him down with the Spider German Suplex. Suzuki gets back up but Makabe hits him with two King Kong Knee Drops and that’s enough for the upset victory!
WINNER: TOGI MAKABE
Woah! I was not expecting that! I would have put money on Suzuki winning there after losing his opening match, especially to a guy like Makabe that I don’t think many expect to go all the way. The match itself was a stiff brawl between two men who like to work that style and it was good fun as consequence.
A Block – 16/07/2018
Kazuchika Okada (0 pts) w/ Gedo Vs Bad Luck Fale (0 pts) w/ Tanga Loa
Both men lost to stablemates in their opening matches, Okada to fellow CHAOS member Jay White whilst Fale lost to Bullet Club’s Hangman Page. That being said, there’s a good chance that White and Fale might not be long for their respective groups, with White possibly breaking out on his own whilst Fale seems to have aligned with Loa and Tama Tonga in the Firing Squad.
Fale has beaten Okada on more than one occasion, both in G1 matches as well as some tag contests, so there’s every chance he could do it again here. That being said, I’d be shocked if they did back to back upsets like that, but who knows eh? That’s what’s so great about Gedo’s booking, you honestly can’t call what’s going to happen, but if an upset does happen then it doesn’t hurt anyone because the mid carders in New Japan are treated with respect and aren’t killed by 50/50 booking in short TV matches.
Okada makes the mistake of slapping Fale early on, which serves only to annoy him. Okada flees outside and sends Loa into Fale before taunting back in the ring. Fale tries to bring a chair in, and whilst the ref is dealing with him, Loa drags Okada outside and slams him on the floor. Fale hammers Okada around ringside and whips him into the seats as the fans flee in fear.
Okada manages to beat the count back inside, but gets stood on by Fale for his troubles. Okada fires up after taking some shots from Fale but gets mowed down with a shoulder barge when he tries to build some momentum. Fale wins bonus points from me by going to a camel clutch to wear Okada down, which is a move that makes use of his size and isn’t a lazy one like the nerve pinch.
Okada fights out and goes for a Tombstone Piledriver on Fale but can’t get him up. Fale misses a charge in the corner and Okada is able to deliver a body slam, but looks to have jarred his back in the process. DDT sets up a near fall for Okada and he heads to the top rope but Fale dodges it, only to get clotheslined over the top to the outside. Okada follows with a dive out on to Fale and Loa, but his back seems to be bothering him.
Okada drops a top rope elbow and then calls for The Rain Maker (Inverted Short Arm Clothesline) but Fale is able to counter it with a Samoan Drop. Fale hits a big splash, as the commentators mention that Okada has lost three big single matches in a row. Okada manages to slip out of a powerbomb but Fale splats him with a big clothesline for two.
Fale heads to the top rope (!) but Okada stops him and tries to bring him down with a superplex but Fale fights him off so Okada has to be content with just throwing him off Flair style. Okada gets a front missile dropkick and then goes for the Tombstone, but Fale blocks it and tries the powerbomb. Okada slips out and hits two Rain Maker’s, but Loa causes a distraction and gets knocked off the apron.
Okada gets a standing dropkick as only he can, and tries The Rain Maker again but Fale fights him off. Okada dropkicks Fale in the back and causes him to stumble into the referee in the corner. As both Fale and ref are stunned in the corner, Tama Tonga runs in and hits Okada with The Gun Stun (Diamond Cutter) which allows Fale to hit the Bad Luck Fall (Last Ride) to pick up the win!
WINNER: BAD LUCK FALE
Wow, yet another upset! Something tells me all of these upsets could bode poorly for Jay White, but I guess we’ll find out. This was decent enough, as Fale is somewhat limited in the ring but plays his role as monster heel well and Okada entered his usual strong performance.
A Block – 16/07/2018
Hiroshi Tanahashi (2 pts) Vs Jay White (2 pts)
White beat his stablemate Okada in the first round of matches and then attacked fellow stablemate YOH in a tag match on 15/07/2018, so it looks like his time in CHAOS could potentially be numbered. Meanwhile, Tanahashi got tortured by Suzuki in his first match but managed to pull out a last gasp victory. However, will his knee hold up for the rest of the tournament following that brutal assault?
Tanahashi works the arm early on with wrist locks and arm bars, but White pulls the hair to get out of that, so Tanahashi returns the favour in a funny bit. Don’t mess with The Ace’s hair Jay, I hope you learnt a valuable lesson! Tanahashi stays on top of White but, when he goes up for a second rope moonsault, White clips his knee and it buckles instantly.
White goes after the right knee, slamming it into the mat, and then slams it into the apron. White introduces the knee to the ring post a couple of times but the referee won’t count the pin off cheating like that so White has to go the reverse figure four instead. Tanahashi makes the ropes from that but it sounds like a fair amount of damage has been done to the knee in the process.
Tanahashi slips out of a body slam but, when he lands on the mat, his knee completely buckles again and he sinks into the corner in pain. Tanahashi keeps fighting however and manages a flying forearm to buy himself some time. Tanahashi delivers some forearms and manages a body slam and then heads up to the second rope with a somersault senton.
Tanahashi gives White a little taste of his own medicine with a dragon screw and then goes to an elevated Texas Cloverleaf but White makes the ropes to break. White gouges Tanahashi’s eyes whilst standing on the apron but Tanahashi won’t let that stop him and then dragon screws him over the second rope. However, White comes back with a Complete Shot and then gets a big release German Suplex for the double down.
White dishes out some chops but Tanahashi fights through the pain, so White goes after the knee again and that has more success. White gets a sleeper hold suplex and then goes for The Blade Runner (Sister Abigail) but Tanahashi slips out, only to end up on the wrong side of a White lariat before he can build some momentum.
White ferociously rams the back of Tanahashi’s head into the turnbuckle pad, causing a dazed Tanahashi to roll outside. White gets the Saito Suplex out on the floor, as Tanahashi might now have neck issues to go with his knee problems. White slams Tanahashi into the guardrail numerous times and The Ace is an utter rag doll by the end of it. That was such a simple yet brutal spot. I’ve never seen anyone get more out of throwing someone into the guardrail than White does.
White hits a duo of head and arm suplexes back inside, and the ref checks in with Tanahashi and looks to be considering stopping the match. White gets a twisting suplex and then gets a Ki Krusher for two. Frustrated, White heads outside and brings a chair into the ring, but Tanahashi ducks it and gets the Sling Blade. Tanahashi grabs his own chair, as we get the twenty minute warning. Tanahashi decides not to use the chair, which allows White to go to the eyes and follows up with a low blow.
White tries the chair again but the ref stops him and gets shoved down, which allows Tanahashi to get his own low blow for the double down. I wonder if that was a shout out to AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura? Tanahashi delivers another Sling Blade for two and then heads up top with a cross body. White rolls through however and goes for the Blade Runner but Tanahashi counters with a straightjacket suplex for two.
Tanahashi heads up again but White drags the referee into the ropes, which causes Tanahashi to be crotched on the top, and then grabs the chair again. With the ref down, White throws the chair into Tanahashi’s face and then gets The Blade Runner for another set of two points here in this year’s G1.
WINNER: JAY WHITE
White is really coming into his own now, with his more aggressive ring style making him stand out. Tanahashi was his usual brilliant self here, selling for his opponent big time and making White look like the real deal. White cuts a good promo post-match, denouncing the values of New Japan and saying that this is his G1.
So after night three, A Block looks like this;
Jay White, Togi Makabe and Michael Elgin on 4 points, Bad Luck Fale, Adam Page, Hiroshi Tanahashi and EVIL on 2 points, Kazuchika Okada, Minoru Suzuki and YOSHI-HASHI on nil points.
Thanks for reading
So that’s us done for another night of G1 action. I hope to see you all for Night Four! Have you enjoyed reading these? Do you think you’d like to try this New Japan stuff out for yourself? Well then why not sign up at New Japan World for just 999 Yen a month? It’s an absolute steal!
Whilst you’re here, why not take a goosey gander at Jes’ review of RBI Baseball 18? You can read it by clicking right HERE