The B Block heads to the Hiroshima Sun Plaza for its fourth night of tournament action. Jon Moxley comes into the night as only member of the block to remain undefeated, Jay White is the only man without a win and Naito squares off with Ishii in the main event. This is an absolutely loaded card, let’s get started!
Juice Robinson (2-1) def. Toru Yano (2-1) @ 4:30 via Pulp Friction – ***
Yano offers his hand before they start. Juice smiles and shakes his head but Yano promises friendship so Juice obliges only to get rolled up for two. Yano runs and unties the turnbuckle pad, eats a couple of punches from Juice but manages to get the pad up to block further attack. Juice throws the pad out of the ring, gets rolled up again, kicks out and they go to the floor. Yano sends Juice into the rails and tries using the wrist tape to tie Juice to the rails.
Juice avoids being tied, they get back into the ring and Juice points to the referee that Yano has tape. The referee takes the tape from Yano who demands the referee check Juice too and uses the distraction to roll up Juice for two and sends him face first into the exposed buckle for another two. Yano grabs the referee to stop Juice’s punch, ducks one punch but can’t duck a second. He tries countering out of Pulp Friction but Juice hooks him up and finishes Yano with Pulp Friction.
Taichi (1-2) def. Hirooki Goto (1-2) @ 12:11 via Gedo Clutch – ***1/2
While Goto’s music plays, Taichi attacks LA Dojo member, Karl Fredericks and pulls his LA Dojo shirt off. He locks eyes with Goto on the ramp and stomps on the shirt. Goto rushes in and attacks Taichi, grounding him with stomps into the mat. He picks Taichi up, gets his eyes gouged but charges in and lands a spin kick that takes Taichi to the floor. Goto sends Taichi into the rails repeatedly and stomps him into the floor. Taichi throws Miho Abe between them to cause a distraction, grabs Karl Fredricks and throws him into Goto as well. He slams Goto head first into the announce table and slides into the ring while the referee begins the twenty count.
Goto rolls in at eighteen where Taichi pulls him off the mat by the throat, puts the boot to the throat and gouges the eyes. Firing up with a series of overhands, Goto is cut off with a series of up kicks but catches Taichi running in with a lariat. The crowd rallies behind Goto as he rushes in with another lariat, Tiachi fights off the Ushigoroshi but eats a spin kick and a backdrop suplex for a two count. Taichi fights off the shoulders again, wants a powerbomb but Goto fights that and refuses to go down to a lariat. Taichi too refuses to fall to a lariat and drops Goto with an enzuigiri followed by the rope assited variety and the buzzsaw kick for a two count of his own.
The pants are ripped off, Taichi goes for a thrust kick which Goto catches and pulls Taichi up for an ushigoroshi. They charge at each other with lariats, Goto sidesteps a kick and grounds Taichi with a discuss lariat and lands a series of kicks to the chest. Taichi follows with a series of up kicks, goes for an enzuigiri which Goto counters iwth a headbutt, lands a reverse GTR, wants the standard version but Taichi fights it off. Taichi throws the referee into Goto and lands a backdrop suplex. He grabs the mic stand, Goto rips it free and connects with a kick to the chest. Goto wants the GTR but Taichi grabs the referee for the distraction and Goto lets go of the hold, gets kicked low and rolled into the Gedo Clutch where Taichi steals the win.
Jon Moxley (3-0) def. Shingo Takagi (2-1) @ 14:46 via Texas Cloverleaf – ****1/2
Moxley comes in and pushes his forehead against Shingo’s. They trade forearms before the bell sounds and Moxley bites Shingo’s forehead and backs him into the corner. They take turns trading forearms in the corner and trade shoulder tackles. Shingo bails outside, Moxley looks to follow him out with a tope suicida but Shingo catches the dive and drops Moxley with a DVD. Moxley regroups quickly, sends Shingo into the rails and sets up a table on the floor. He brings Shingo to the apron and looks for a powerbomb through the table but Shingo fights it off and sets up for a DVD but Moxley slides off the shoulders. Moxley hits a chop block to Shingo’s knee and brings him back inside where he locks in a figure four.
Shingo makes it to the ropes, fights off a Death Rider, catches a boot and lands a pair of corner lariats followed by a vertical suplex for a two count. Moxley fights off the Noshigami, catches a sliding lariat, eats a back elbow but kicks the knee out from under Shingo to take control. He drives Shingo’s knees into the post before applying the figure four around the post and running back in for a lariat. Moxley wants another but gets caught in a German suplex from Shingo. Moxley returns the favor with a German of his own and they battle with lariats that eventually ground Moxley. They fight to their feet, trade forearms, Moxley lands a dragon screw, sets up for a figure four but Shingo cradles him for two.
Moxley follows with a sliding lariat that gets him a two count of his own and drapes Shingo’s knee over the second rope, lands a series of stomps. When he goes to send Shingo to the corner, Shingo collapses. Moxley rushes in only to get caught with a Noshigami followed by a lariat and a Pumping Bomber for a two count. Shingo wants Last of the Dragon, Moxley cuts him off and connects with a double arm DDT for two. The crowd rally for Shingo who fights off another Death Rider but Moxley takes him outside. He drives Shingo knee first into the table before wrapping a chair around his leg and smashes it with a second chair.
The referee gets to nineteen before Shingo makes it back in the ring where Moxley is waiting with a knee strike. Shingo fights off a third Death Rider, lands a headbutt and drops Moxley with Made in Japan for two. Moxley kicks out the knee, fights off a Last of the Dragon, lands a pair of knee strikes for two before applying the Texas Cloverleaf to force the submission.
Jay White (0-3) def. Jeff Cobb (1-2) @ 15:48 via Bladerunner – ***1/4
The bell sounds and White bails outside. He slides back in and charges at Cobb who catches him, sends White off and shoulders him to the mat. White bails again, takes a lap and comes back in to lock up with Cobb. He backs Cobb to the ropes and lands a few stomps, Cobb ducks his lariat and lands a dropkick. Cobb throws White across the ring and again White rolls to the outside but this time Cobb follows and lands a series of forearms. He looks for a powerslam but Gedo pulls White off his shoulders. With Cobb distracted by Gedo, White attacks him from behind and drops Cobb with a draping neckbreaker to the floor.
The referee refuses to count Cobb out so White drives Cobb into the rails until the referee begins the count. White drives Cobb throat first over the bottom rope but the referee refuses to count the pin. White drops Cobb with a neckbreaker and applies a stranglehold. Cobb fights it off and catches White running in with a Samoan Drop. White pulls Cobb down by the hair on a nip up and follows with another neckbreaker. He picks Cobb back up and gets pulled into an overhead belly-to-belly. The crowd rallies for Cobb as White fights off a German but eats a pair of chops. White gets an elbow up, rushes in but get popped up into a backdrop.
Cobb follows with a back elbow and hoists White up into a vertical suplex followed by a standing moonsault for a two count. White holds onto the ropes to avoid the Tour of the Islands, drops Cobb throat first over the top drop followed by a DDT. He catches Cobb rushing in with a flatliner but Cobb fights off the German suplex. Cobb eats a second flatliner, looks to fights another German but White turns it into a Saito suplex and a urange for a two count. White hammers elbows to the back of the neck, eats a couple of forearms that drop White to the mat. Cobb picks White up for a swinging backdrop, White gouges the eyes but gets caught in a swinging suplex followed by a corner lariat.
Cobb flings White into the air and hits another suplex, sets White up on the top rope but Gedo causes a distraction which does White no good as he’s still dropped with a superplex. White gets his shoulder up, is sent into the ropes, fights off the Tour of the Islands and runs into the referee. Gedo uses the opportunity to run in with the brass knuckles, Cobb blocks his attack, takes low blow from White who pulls the referee back up and sets up for a Bladerunner. Cobb turns it into a German suplex, sends White to the ropes for Tour of the Islands but White transitions into a Bladerunner to score his first win of the tournament.
Tetsuya Naito (1-2) def. Tomohiro Ishii (2-1) @ 18:59 via Destino – ****1/2
Naito lays out his IC title in the middle of the ring on his entrance and Ishii does the same with the NEVER title on his entrance. The crowd erupts in Naito chants as the bell sounds. He lands a boot and rains down elbows. Ishii sends him to the ropes and shoulders Naito down before kicking him across the back. Naito fights back up and the two have an extended forearm battle, hit the ropes, Naito lands a hip toss and kicks Ishii across the back. Ishii bails outside and Naito fakes out a dive before hitting the LIJ pose. Before Ishii can make it through the ropes, Naito hammers down more elbows to the back of the neck and applies a cravat that takes Ishii to the mat.
Naito boots Ishii across the back of his head and lands a series of forearms that Ishii encourages him to continue. Naito hits the ropes and is caught in a powerslam. Ishii picks him up and throw a series of chops that Naito tries fighting off with forearms but gets dropped with a chop. Scrapping his boots across Naito’s face, Ishii fires Naito up who hits flurry and blocks a backdrop but eats another chop. Naito catches Ishii in an atomic drop and charges in with a single leg dropkick to the face. He pulls Ishii back up to his feet, hits more forearms, lands a hurricanrana followed by a dropkick to the back of the neck and a slingshot dropkick.
Naito takes Ishii to the top rope for a frankensteiner but Ishii slides through and looks for a powerbomb but Naito fights it off and slaps Ishii across the back of the head. Ishii stares a hole into Naito and takes a spray of spit across his face for the glare. He drops Naito with a forearm, pulls him back up and hits a combination of chops and forearms in the corner, pulling Naito up to his feet and continuing the attack before screaming in his face. Naito charges in for a forearm, Ishii ducks it and connects with a backdrop suplex for a two count. Naito frankenstieners out of a powerbomb, misses an enzuigiri, takes a German but catches Ishii with a slingshot DDT.
Ishii cuts off a springboard dropkick, keeps Naito on the top rope where he wants a superplex but Naito hammers the back of the neck and drops Ishii off the second with a neckbreaker, puts him back up on the ropes and lands a frankensteiner for two. Ishii fires back with combination forearms, gets taken down with a flying forearm followed by Gloria for another two count. He fights off Destino, takes a German, fires up, misses a lariat and is dropped with a poison rana but drops Naito running in with a lariat. With both men down, the crowd erupts into Naito chants. Ishii makes it to his feet first, misses lariat and eats an enzuigiri.
Naito takes to the top rope but Ishii jumps up and delivers huge headbutt that staggers Naito, giving Ishii the time to meet him on the top and hit a superplex off the top for a two count. Naito blocks a lariat, slaps Ishii, eats a headbutt followed by a lariat for another two. Ishii signals for the brainbuster, Naito slides out and hits a rolling kick but Ishii comes back with an enzuigiri. Naito rushes back in and connects eith Destino for a two count. He looks for a second, Ishii catches it and pulls Naito up for a brainbuster but Naito drops him with a DDT. Ishii pops right back up and lands a sliding lariat for two. Naito fights him off, lands Valentia and finishes Ishii with Destino.
Naito takes the mic and says a 2-2 record is a tough spot but he’s going to start turning his tournament around. His next opponent is Moxley who may be a superstar but he’s going to show him that NJPW is the best wrestling in the world.
This turned out to be an absolutely insane show with two blow-away matches. Ever since I started following New Japan it has been a lock that if Ishii has a singles match, he steals the show. I’m not sure that happened tonight. Moxley and Shingo went out there and blew the roof off the place with a simple but effective story that wasted no time and never lost its focus. Big ups to this show as a whole. Nothing touched twenty minutes, everything felt to the point and this may be the best New Japan show of the year.
They started off with another creative Yano match that stayed under five minutes with a nice pace that never let up. After that was the best Taichi versus Goto match yet. Again, the pace was kept high and nothing dragged which is a staple of non-main event Goto matches. He knows not to overstay his welcome and I always appreciate that from him. The focus of the knee in the Shingo versus Moxley match was great. Like the Kanemaru match during BOSJ, Shingo showed New Japan fans that he can in fact do it all. He can perform the blow away main event style, he sprints with the best of them and can tell nice limb-based stories. He’s proving to be the best wrestler in his block. Step aside Ishii.
If there’s one match you can call a down note, it’s Cobb versus White. But again, everything was kept so on point tonight that even a slower match like this didn’t go long enough to drag the show down. Like every other match it was focused and ended before it felt too long. The main event was blow away as expected. Big ups to those guys going out there and giving everything they could in under twenty minutes. This is what I love about wrestling. Keep everything from feeling overblown and know the exact mark to hit. I felt every match succeeded in that here tonight. I couldn’t be more pleased with this show.
Moxley vs Shingo
Naito vs Ishii
Taichi vs Goto
White vs Cobb
Jon Moxley (4-0)
Juice Robinson (3-1)
Tetsuya Naito (2-2)
Toru Yano (2-2)
Shingo Takagi (2-2)
Tomohiro Ishii (2-2)
Hirooki Goto (1-3)
Jay White (1-3)
Jeff Cobb (1-3)