The B Block has their second match in front of 6,946 fans at the Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center. The main event is a rematch from February’s New Beginning in Sapporo main event, Tetsuya Naito versus Taichi. Also on the card is a first time ever singles clash between Jay White and Tomohiro Ishii. Let’s get started!
Shingo Takagi (0-1) def. Toru Yano (1-0) @ 6:17 via Pumping Bomber – ***
Because of how Naito lost, Shingo demands Yano remove his shirt before they start. With the shirt over his head, Shingo goes on the attack and lariats Yano into the corner. Yano gets his shirt back on and removes the turnbuckle pad. Shingo charges in, Yano moves and Shingo collides into the exposed buckle and gets rolled up for a two count. Yano bails outside, sits on a chair and tells Shingo to follow him out. Shingo obliges, attacks Yano and walks back to the ring but before he can make it to the ring, Yano goes on the attack and sets up a barrier between the entryway and ringside.
As Shingo is sprinting back in, Yano throws a turnbuckle pad but Shingo still manages to make it in a nineteen. Once in, Shingo knocks Yano down with a lariat, Yano pops back up and they trade forearms. Yano get dropped with a punch, tries for a low blow but rolls up Shingo instead. Shingo kicks out and drops Yano with a series of overhand chops. He charges in but Yano pulls the referee before them and Shingo can’t put on the brakes in time. Yano pulls out his chair, throws it to Shingo and gets the referee’s attention. Before the referee can make the call, BUSHI hops up to the apron to distract him and Shingo throws the chair at Yano’s face and with a Pumping Bomber finishes Yano.
Juice Robinson (1-0) def. Hirooki Goto (1-0) @ 12:24 via Pulp Friction – ***1/4
They lock up, Juice takes the head, Goto fights it off and they trade headscissors for a stalemate. Again locking up, they trade wristlocks and Juice takes Goto down but gets caught in another headscissors before having a second stalemate. They trade shoulder tackles, neither man going down until Juice lands a leg lariat and follows with a corner lariat. Goto cuts off the cannonball, takes Juice to the top rope and hits a draping neckbreaker. Juice bails outside but Goto follows him out and throws Juice into the rails, drops a series of elbows on the neck and brings Juice back in for a one count.
More elbows from Goto to the neck followed by a vertical suplex for a two count. Goto stays on Juice by applying a chinlock and a headscissors but Juice makes the ropes. Juice fights up to his feet and lands a series of forearms followed by a boot, ducks Goto’s lariat and drops him with a flapjack. He gets a two count with a Full Nelson Bomb and calls for the punches. Goto blocks the left hand and a lariat, charges in the corner with forearms followed by a spin kick and a backdrop suplex for a two count. Juice fight back up and they trade forearms until Juice gets a knee lift and a headbutt. Goto catches Juice running in and wants the Ushigoroshi but Juice flips free.
They trade lariats, both refusing to go down until Juice finally breaks and Goto follows with an Ushigoroshi. He sets up for GTR, Juice breaks free only to eat a headbutt that takes him to the mat. Goto connects with a series of kicks to the chest all while keeping a hold of the wrist but as he sets up to unload with a final kick, Juice collapses. Goto picks Juice up and sets up for a reverse GTR but Juice takes control and lands a jackhammer for a two count of his own. Juice fires up, looks for Pulp Friction but Goto reverses into GTR. Juice rolls up that attempt but only gets two. Goto blocks a punch with a headbutt, Juice blocks a headbutt with a punch and Juice connects with his own headbutt before finishing Goto with Pulp Friction.
Jon Moxley (1-0) def. Jeff Cobb (0-1) @ 8:57 via Draping DDT – ***
They lock up, Moxley hits the ropes but his shoulder tackle has no effect on Cobb. He gets taken down, they change position and Moxley walks Cobb to the ropes where he delivers a pair of chops. Moxley hits the ropes again where he gets caught with a belly-to-belly suplex. Moxley bails, Cobb goes to follow but just as Cobb reaches the apron, Moxley pulls him down by the arm and delivers a couple of boots before bringing Cobb back inside. In the ring, Moxley keeps focus on the arm but Cobb finds the ropes.
Moxley brings Cobb back to his feet and hits a series of chops which fire Cobb up but before he can flurry, Moxley grabs the arm and pulls Cobb down shoulder first. Cobb bails, Moxley follows him out with a tope suicida, looks for a table under the ring but comes up empty. He takes Cobb up the ramp, charges in and they both collide with lariats and collapse. They walk dow the entryway trading forearms, Moxley drives Cobb into the apron and breaks the count, goes back out and attacks Cobb’s arm before bringing him back inside where he hits an elbow for a two count.
Cobb muscles Moxley up but his arm gives way, Moxley can’t muscle Cobb up for Deathrider so he hits the ropes where Cobb catches him in a German suplex followed by a standing moonsault for a two count. Cobb charges in but gets dropped by a lariat and Moxley removes his kneepad and hits a strike for two. They battle on the apron, Cobb wants to suplex Moxley to the floor but Moxley hangs onto the ropes so Cobb sends him back inside. Before Cobb can join him, Moxley rushes in to finish Cobb with a draping DDT.
Tomohiro Ishii (1-0) def. Jay White (0-1) @ 19:14 via Brainbuster – ***3/4
White bails outside as the bell sounds. Ishii follows but White rolls back in so Ishii grabs Gedo to bring White back out. They fight back inside, Gedo takes a swing at Ishii from outside but Ishii regroups quickly with a pair of shoulder tackles on White who again bails but Ishii goes on the chase and sends him into the rails. Ishii grabs a chair and throws it at White but White moves. Gedo distracts Ishii which gives White a chance to throw Ishii into the post and rails. He waits for Ishii to meet him back in the ring and fires off a series of chop followed by an uppercut in the corner for a two count.
Ishii fights back up with headbutts to the chest, puts the brakes on a suplex but gets taken down with a swinging neckbreaker for another two. White again tries for a suplex, Ishii reverses it into one of his own and delivers his own series of chops. White laughs him off and boots Ishii in the face asking what Ishii is going to do. Ishii picks White back up and dishes out more chops and boots White across the face for good measure. White catches Ishii running in but Ishii escapes off the shoulders only to get caught with a DDT followed by a suplex into the corner and a spinning brainbuster for two.
Ishii fights out of the Kiwi Crusher, takes a couple of elbows to the back of the neck and eats a couple of lariats before dropping White with one of his own. White quickly charges back in with a forearm, gets caught the second time in a powerslam. Ishii is staggered as he continues to eat forearms but asks for more. They begin trading forearms until White is dropped. Ishii hits the ropes, White catches him in the flatliner + deadlift German combination and rains down forearms on the grounded Ishii. White stomps on the back of Ishii’s head until the referee pulls him away to check on Ishii. White scrapes his boot across Ishii’s head which fires him up.
Ishii begins eating the forearms and showing no effect, even leaning into them. White catches Ishii in a backdrop suplex but Ishii pops right back up and floors White with a forearm before taking him to the second rope for a superplex that gets him a two count. Ishii wants a powerbomb, White blocks but Ishii still manages to drop him in a backdrop suplrx. They duck each other’s strikes until Ishii connects with a headbutt. He charges right into White’s urange followed up with the Kiwi Crusher for two. Ishii fights out of the Bladerunner, White rains down elbows and stomps Ishii into the mat.
They begin trading strikes, White ducks and hits a sleeper suplex, Ishii pops up and lands a backdrop suplex as the crowd rallies for Ishii with both men down. Ishii eats a boot, hits a lariat, follows with a second and signals for the end. He stacks White with a powerbomb but only gets two, rushes in for a sliding lariat but White collapses to a chorus of boos. As Ishii goes to hit the ropes, White grabs his leg and Gedo hops up on the apron. White pulls Ishii into position for Bladerunner but Ishii slides out and hits an enziguri. He wants a lariat, White collapses so Ishii hits the ropes again and lands a sliding lariat for two. White fights out of two brainbusters, slides Ishii into position for Bladerunner but Ishii turns it into a flatliner and follows with a lariat for another two count. He picks White up and drops him with a brainbuster for the win.
Taichi (0-1) def. Tetsuya Naito (0-1) @ 21:02 via Last Ride Powerbomb – ***1/2
Naito comes out looking over his shoulder, a callback to their February match where Takashi Iizuka came out from behind and attacked Naito before the match. No Iizuka today but Taichi reveals Iizuka’s satchel holding the Iron Fingers from Hell. Both fake out locking up and instead walk by each other. Naito steps forward so Taichi stands through the ropes. Naito lays down and invites Taichi to make the first move. As Taichi walks forward, Naito rolls him into a cradles for two, hits his pose and bails outside. Naito teases rolling back in a couple of times and tells Taichi to tranquilo. Once Naito is on the apron, Taichi charges in but Naito sweeps his leg and lands a slingshot dropkick.
Taichi bails outside, Naito follows and sends him into the rails. Naito grabs the mic stand, the referee pulls it away, Taichi pulls Miho between him and Naito and Kanemaru is there to make sure Naito doesn’t attack her. Taichi waits inside the ring where he connects with a kick and sends Naito back outside and over the rails. He grabs a chair and hits Naito across both the face and back before sending him back inside but the referee refuses the count. Taichi kicks Naito across the back, stands on his throat and hits the LIJ pose before gouging the eyes. He scrapes his boot across Naito’s head and slaps him on top of the head.
Naito fires up with overhand chops but Taichi cuts him off by gouging the eyes again. Naito spits in his face but gets booting to the corner. He manages to catch Taichi running in with a single-leg dropkick and sends him to the ropes for a hiptoss, a dropkick to the back of the head and a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. Naito traps Taichi is an armbar but Taichi finds the ropes, Naito stays on the attack with elbows to the back of the neck. Taichi elbows free on a suplex, sidesteps Naito’s charges and lands a kick to the back of Naito’s head. Naito catches the buzzsaw but is caught with a gamengiri and Taichi removes his pants.
Naito ducks the thrust kick, eats a boot but turns a powerbomb into a hurricanana. Taichi responds with a backdrop suplex for a two count and grabs the satchel. The referee sends the young lions to the back to get help. Taichi slides on the fingers but Naito dropkicks Taichi’s knees and the fingers go flying. Naito takes Taichi to the top rope for a frankensteiner followed by Gloria for two. Taichi shoves off of Destino and lands a headkick. Naito tries fighting out of a powerbomb but Taichi holds on and drops Naito followed by a lariat to the back of the head and a gamengiri for another two count. Naito fights out Black Mephisto catches Taichi low and lands Destino but Taichi kicks out.
Naito sets up for a second, Taichi puts on the brakes and drops Naito with Black Mephisto. Naito catches the thrust kick, lands a German but as he’s flying in for a forearm, Taichi pulls the referee between them and gets wiped out. Kanemaru hops up to the apron with the mist but Naito blocks the spray. Taichi comes from behind with the iron fingers, Naito avoids the attack and drops Taichi with a reverse brainbuster but the referee is down. Naito helps the referee back up, charges in and is caught with a thrust kick. Taichi puts on the iron fingers, connects with a strike to the throat and finishes Naito with a Last Ride powerbomb.
Taichi takes the mic and taunts the fans for leaving before his speech. He tells them to go home and no matter how many times he says it, nobody seems to listen to him. He says this is the win both he and Iizuka fought for and even though Iizuka isn’t here today that doesn’t mean he won’t be some other time.
Night four was another good show but didn’t quite reach the highs of any of the previous three shows. Your millage on Taichi will vary. I hated their last match but they built on that encounter tonight and gave more of a cohesive story to sink your teeth into. Taichi has unleashed the power of the Iron Fingers from Hell which isn’t something I want out of my wrestling and I will probably hate every time he pulls them out but in this match it made sense so I’ll be forgiving this time.
If you’re new to the G1, Ishii stole the show. That’s what the guy does each and every year. It doesn’t matter where he is on the card, he’s going to give the best performance. The match between Cobb and Moxley was the weakest of the show. While still a good match, the finish out of nowhere gave it a flat ending. Goto and Juice had yet another strong match. They have a rivalry that slides under the radar but they deliver each time they’re in the ring together. The dynamic between Shingo and Yano was fun and didn’t overstay its welcome. Yano has started his tournament off on the right foot.
While I wouldn’t say any of the matches were blow-away, three were really strong and the Yano match had nice energy and flow throughout the entire six minutes. Cobb and Moxley was the weakest match but since it went under ten minutes there’s no big harm in checking it out if you’re curious. Overall a good show but not quite great.
Ishii vs White
Naito vs Taichi
Juice vs Goto
Tomohiro Ishii (2-0)
Jon Moxley (2-0)
Juice Robinson (2-0)
Shingo Takagi (1-1)
Toru Yano (1-1)
Hirooki Goto (1-1)
Tetsuya Naito (0-2)
Jay White (0-2)
Jeff Cobb (0-2)