Kenny Omega vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima
Winner: Kenny Omega
Omega started off exuberantly, feeding off cheers from the crowd and even offering a handshake to Nakajima which Omega almost completed honorably before spitting in Nakajima’s face and landing a series of cheap shot kicks. Nakajima took this about as well as anyone who can murder you with his feet would, landing a high kick to Omega’s face then a baseball slide to the outside. Nakajima followed after sending Omega into the guardrail but then had his running front kick blocked and was devastatingly German suplexed on the outside floor before barely beating the ref’s count at 19.
Omega greeted Nakajima’s reentry with a reverse standing neck breaker and then went to work with a grinding neck wrench on Nakajima. Both men were back up on their feet, and Omega delivered a blistering chop to Nakajima’s chest which he followed up with a cover that only got two. Omega continued attacking Nakajima’s neck and shoulders with chops and overhand fists. He then delivered the rolling fireman’s carry slam to Nakajima but caught two knees on the rebound second rope moon sault. Nakajima took advantage of the opening and landed a high front snap kick to Omega’s face then a top rope shotgun drop-kick which got a cover for a two count.
Omega fought off a rear waist lock from Nakajima then attacked with a running basement dropkick to Nakajima’s shin followed by a Kotaro Krusher. Omega tried to go to the top rope but was cut off by a spinning heel kick from Nakajima. The two then battled on the top rope for a few moments before Nakajima executed a successful super plex. His PK attempt missed, however, and Omega was able to land a full nelson suplex. Nakajima sought to fight back with a German of his own, but Omega flipped out, landed on his feet and delivered another full nelson suplex followed by the V Trigger then a failed One-Winged Angel attempt.
Nakajima recovered and landed numerous superkicks to Omega’s face but was only able to get a two count. He then called for the brainbuster, but Omega wriggled out, landing a second very fortunate V Trigger. Nakajima responded by hitting the running PK but again had his brainbuster attempt blocked when Omega reversed it with a reverse hurricanrana. That set up the One-Winged Angel for an Omega three-count victory.
EVIL vs. Toru Yano
Oh, Toru. I know I’ve been rough on the guy, but he’s had one hell of showing this G1 even if all of his wins have been more crooked than a mafia accountant’s ledger book. But hey, it’s all about the booze and cash right? Yano started this one out like most of his other G1 matches, running to the corner to remove the turnbuckle pad and engaging in acts of silly distraction to score another quick roll-up pinfall. EVIL diffused the trickery and soon the fight was on the outside with Yano suffering two trips into the guardrail and one into the ring post with a chair wrapped around his head.
If I’m honest, I enjoyed seeing Yano finally take some licks. Back inside, however, Yano recovered by hitting an inverted atomic drop then slingshotting EVIL into the exposed turnbuckle. EVIL responded with a big lariat and after an unsuccessful STO attempt, got ahold of Yano again, this time, hitting the STO and scoring a win via pinfall.
Tetsuya Naito vs. YOSHI-HASHI
Winner: Tetsuya Naito
B BLOCK points leader Tetsuya Naito walked to the ring with his typical swagger only this time with the added confidence of man drawing ever closer to his supposed destiny of winning the G1 and earning another IWGP Heavyweight Championship match.
And while he leads in points he still needs to win out to prevent any late stage heroics from the other competitors who trailed him. Despite the necessity of urgency, Naito was Tranquilo as always, calmly removing his suit and stalling a bit before the bell rang. HASHI wasted no time in going on the attack, landing an early series of opening offensive attacks before Naito gained the advantage on the outside by violently throwing HASHI into the guardrail then sending him taped-shoulder-first into the steel ring post.
HASHI beat the count at 16 only to be met with slow, deliberate kicks to his taped shoulder once he was back in the ring. Naito locked in a Fujiwara armbar on HASHI’s left arm and continued to pound on the appendage after the rope break. HASHI broke up Naito’s attack with a basement dropkick to the knees followed by an Impaler DDT. HASHI then landed some hard chops, a float over neck breaker and his signature dropkick to Naito’s back while Naito was hung up on the top rope.
Naito fought back, though, hitting a slingshot corner drop. The two had an exchange of reversals of which HASHI got the better, landing a double-knee facebreaker on a running Naito then a bridging powerbomb that got a count of two. HASHI then went for and missed his top rope senton and Naito capitalized by connecting with a top rope shotgun dropkick. Naito followed that with a top rope hurricanrana for a count of two then his GLORIA side slam but that also only received a two count. He then landed a spine buster and attempted DESTINO, but HASHI countered with a reverse sit out rear mat slam.
The two then stood back up and traded thudding elbow and forearm strikes which HASHI broke up with a big running lariat. He then delivered a front slam to Naito and then hit the top rope senton but only got a two count. Sensing victory, HASHI attempted the KARMA, but Naito countered only for HASHI to counter again by applying his “dreaded” butterfly lock. Naito fought out by getting his foot to the bottom rope and HASHI again attempted the butterfly lock, but Naito resisted and hit him with a German suplex which HASHI no sold and caught a rolling wheel kick for his troubles. HASHI responded with a superkick but was knocked backward by a running attack from Naito who then connected with DESTINO and got the victory, bringing him within one win of total victory in the B BLOCK.
Yuji Nagata vs. Katsuyori Shibata
Winner: Katsuyori Shibata
This match was a bit of a rekindling of the feud these two men had over the NEVER Open Weight Championship from earlier this year only this time with added respect and abundant foreknowledge of what the other is capable. That familiarity was on bright display as they battled in and out of tentative lockups for a few moments before breaking out into strikes and running kicks on the outside. Neither man wanted to give up anything to the other, and both were nearly counted out while engaging in a forearm and elbow smash fight before sliding back into the ring at 18.
Nagata immediately locked in a Fujiwara armbar once Shibata had made his way back into the ring and then proceeded to attack Shibata’s taped right arm again with a key lock and cross arm breaker attempt. Shibata then invited Nagata to a test of toughness via kicks and gained the upper hand with a high front kick and running basement dropkick to a prone Nagata sitting in the corner. After that, Nagata postured in the way of Strong Style and the two traded blows, German suplexes and finally knocked each other down with simultaneously connecting front kicks.
Shibata seemed to have the advantage, but Nagata suckered him long enough to reverse his sleeper attempt into a sit-down armbar. Nagata’s eyes rolled back to the delight of the crowd as Shibata threw out his leg to find the bottom rope. Nagata’s assault continued with an arm breaker, kicks in the corner, running knee lift followed by a giant side suplex that only got two. Adding insult to injury, Nagata set up and successfully connected with a running PK.
An angered Shibata dared the elder Nagata to charge at him with kicks which Shibata effectively absorbed before fending him off with a standing drop kick then locking in his patented rear naked choke hold. Nagata continued to fight, however, separating the arm he had worked earlier from Shibata’s grip but the release was short-lived as Shibata again locked onto the hold only tighter this time and with the fully wrapped body scissors. Nagata passed out within moments, and Shibata was declared the winner.
Michael Elgin vs. Tomoaki Honma
Winner: Michael Elgin
The two brutes (and I use the term endearingly) started off with the expected customary shoving and chopping as is the way for two wrestlers of their particular style and persuasion. Elgin seemed impervious to Honma’s attacks at first, but he was able to get Big Mike down if for only a brief moment before Elgin responded with crushing strikes. A missed running splash from Elgin gave Honma an opening for a bodyslam though he failed to connect with the running headbutt follow-up and Elgin responded with a gorilla press power slam followed by a slingshot body press that got a two count. He followed that with clubbing blows to Honma’s back and thudding chops into the corner before dropping Honma with an enormous Irish whip. Honma fought back by connecting with an Impaler DDT but again failed to hit one of his signature headbutts, and Elgin was quickly back on the offensive or so it seemed as Honma blocked his vertical suplex attempt and reversed it into a suplex of his own.
Honma then tried to fell the big gaijin with shoulder tackles to no avail but did get him down with a big body slam followed by a running corner clothesline, bulldog, headbutt combo and running reverse neck snap. Elgin had little trouble regaining the advantage, though, catching Honma in mid air and delivering a belly to belly overhead suplex which he followed up with successive running corner lariats and a vertical suplex slam. Elgin then seemed to be setting up his Elgin Bomb, but Honma fought it off and came back from the ropes with a running shoulder tackle only to be caught in mid-air once again and dealt a delayed German suplex from Elgin.
Both men then engaged in a lariat battle which Elgin consummately won, but Honma fought back with his signature headbutt attacks, landing two on two instances but failing to get a three-count. Elgin responded resoundingly with a step up enzuigiri and over-the-shoulder-side slam but could only get a two count. He then made his way to the top rope but was cut off by Honma’s forearm smashes and headbutt attacks sending Elgin to the outside. Honma hit a top rope diving headbutt on the dazed standing Elgin as he reentered the ring followed by a brainbuster but again Honma only got two. Honma then ascended again but this time but was cut off as Elgin struck him down sending him crashing onto the ring apron.
Elgin attempted what looked to be an apron piledriver or powerbomb but was blocked by Honma’s trusty headbutt. Elgin landed a successful running front kick though and followed that up with a vicious apron DVD and ring post powerbomb. Back on the inside, Elgin slapped the turnbuckle and hoisted Honma from the second rope up off the apron, over the top rope and down for a delayed sit-out slam, but somehow only got two. The next top rope splash still only got two, and as Elgin looked toward the end game, hitting a buckle bomb, Honma charged back with a diving headbutt from out of the corner.
The men stood up to trade forearm and elbow smashes with Honma gaining the advantage via Lariat, diving headbutt, and KOKESHI THING that barely missed a three count. He then missed his top rope headbutt attempt, and the two exhausted men struggled to their feet as the crowd shouted for Honma. Once they were back vertical, they resumed trading thudding blows to the chants of the crowd. Elgin landed a discus forearm and a sickening spinning back fist directly to Honma’s throat.
Elgin again signaled for the end, lifting up Honma into the powerbomb position, but Honma countered by flipping Elgin over. Elgin hung on, however, and the two ended up in a sunset flip predicament with Elgin powering up Honma into a powerbomb then landing a soul crushing lariat that unbelievably only got two. The follow-up buckle and Elgin Bombs, however, effectively delivered the victory to Big Mike.