The B Block have their seventh tournament match as New Japan closes out its two day run at the EDION Arena. Toru Yano’s win over Jon Moxley kept the block alive but tonight it’s up to Jay White to keep that door open. The main event sees a first time ever singles clash between LIJ members Tetsuya Naito and Shingo Takagi. Let’s get started!
Tomohiro Ishii (3-3) def. Toru Yano (3-3) @ 9:36 via Brainbuster – ***1/4
Yano is untying all of the buckles before the bell so Ishii rushes in and attacks him from behind. Ishii crashes into the exposed buckle, gets his shirt pulled over his head and pinned twice for two. Yano takes him down with an amateur takeover for another two and bails outside where he sets a chair on the ramp and sits down, telling Ishii to come out there with him. Ishii stands in the ring staring at him while the referee beings the count out. Yano gets flustered Ishii isn’t joining him and runs back in at eighteen. Ishii stomps Yano and chops him into the corner repeatedly. Yano avoids the rush in, sends Ishii into one of the exposed buckles and puts his boot to Ishii’s face. Ishii asks for more, eats forearms, sends Yano to the ropes and catches him with a powerslam. Yano face is stomped into the mat until he fires up and they being trading forearms. One rocks Ishii, he misses a follow up and gets dropped with a second.
Yano rushes in with a lariat, Ishii ducks and catches Yano with a German suplex. When Ishii goes to pick Yano up, Yano sweeps the legs for a two count, avoids Ishii’s charge, sends him face first into the exposed buckle and rolled up for another two. Ishii blocks Yano’s lariat, gets dropped with a second and caught in an overhead throw for a two count. He fights out of a powerbomb, rocks Yano with forearms, Yano fires up but eats a headbutt that sends him crumbling to the mat. Ishii follows with a lariat for two, picks Yano up for a brainbuster, Yano slides free, looks for a low blow but Ishii avoids it, comes up empty with one of his own. They trade pin attempts, a sliding lariat only gets Ishii two but he’s quick to muscle Yano up and drop him with a brainbuster for the win.
Taichi (2-4) def. Juice Robinson (3-3) @ 12:28 via Black Mephisto – ***
Kanemaru attacks Juice on his way to the ring and stomps him into the floor before bringing him in where Taichi connects with a buzzsaw kick for a two count. Juice makes it back to his feet and ducks a lariat into a full nelson bomb for two. He calls for the Juice chants but Taichi bails outside. Juice looks to follow him out with a plancha but Taichi moves and uses Miho Abe as a distraction. Taichi attacks Juice from behind and hooks the arms for Miho to deliver a slap across Juice’s face. He slams Juice into the announce table, hits him with a chair and slides back in the ring for the count out. Juice makes it in at sixteen but Taichi is there to take him by the throat and drives Juice into the corner. Taichi pie faces Juice, snapmares him and delivers a kick across the back. Juice fires up, Taichi hits Juice’s pose and tells him to bring it. Taichi unloads a lariat, his second is cut off as he hits a chop followed by a spinebuster from Juice.
The crowd calls for Juice as he hits his punches. Taichi goes to cut him off with a gemengiri but Juice is waiting for the block. He rushes in, Taichi sidesteps and lands an enziguiri, rips his pants off but the thrust kick is caught. Taichi slides out of Juice Box attempt but is dropped with a leg lariat and Juice follows with a corner lariat and a cannon ball. Taichi slides out of Pulp Friction, connects with a backdrop suplex and a gamengiri followed by an Ax Bomber for a two count. Juice escapes the powerbomb and transitions into Juice Box. He fires up, lands a powerbomb of his own, Kanemaru hops the apron, Juice clears him but Taichi grabs the referee for a distraction. Juice lands a punch, Taichi escapes the Pulp Friction, Juice punches Kanemaru on the apron, whiskey sprays into the air. Taichi grabs the referee again for a distraction, sprays Juice with whiskey followed by the Gedo Clutch for two. He picks Juice up and finishes him with Black Mephisto.
Hirooki Goto (3-3) def. Jeff Cobb (3-3) @ 11:20 via GTR – ***
Cobb takes the headlock, Goto sends him off and they trade shoulder tackles for a stalemate. Goto positions Cobb into the GTR but Cobb sends him off, Goto holds the ropes to avoid the Tour of the Islands for a stalemate. Cobb rushes in, ducks a lariat and shoulders Goto down. Goto sidesteps a corner attack, looks for a backdrop suplex, Cobb escapes and dropkicks Goto who rolls to the floor. Cobb stays on the attack with chops on the outside, brings him back in and drops him with a headbutt. He blocks one from Goto but eats a discuss lariat, hammers free of the backdrop suplex, gets sent in the corner and takes a spin kick followed by the backdrop suplex for a two count. Cobb blocks an Ushigoroshi, catches Goto with a lariat, Goto pops up and gives one of his own, looks for another but Cobb catches him in a swinging backdrop suplex. Corner lariats, forearms and chops, Cobb sends Goto to the opposite corner for a corner uppercut, Samoan Drop and standing Moonsault for a two count.
Cobb puts Goto on the top rope and joins him but Goto fights him with forearms and headbutts before trying to lock in for Kaiten which Cobb turns into a superplex for a two count. Goto gets sent to the ropes but he holds on, sends Cobb off and catches him in an Ushigoroshi. They trade forearms on their knees, fights up to their feet where Cobb goes off with a flurry but Goto catches him with a series of kicks to the chest and block followed up with a reverse GTR for two. Cobb backs Goto to the corner, catches him running in with a thrust kick, wants a suplex but Goto blocks it into a belly-to-belly of his own that gets him a two count. Goto wants a PK, Cobb catches it, sends him to the ropes, Goto fights off and connects with an Ushigoroshi before finishing Cobb with a GTR.
Jay White (3-3) def. Jon Moxley (5-1) @ 15:19 via Bladerunner – ***1/4
Moxley comes out and attacks White from behind. He chops White repeatedly before sending him to the outside and throws White into the rails. Moxley pulls a table out from under the ring and sets it up outside. He goes to drag White to the table but Gedo takes the table and runs it away from Moxley so he bring White back inside. White lands a chop but this only fires Moxley up as he flurries with chops of his own, boots White into the mat and looks to keep him from exiting the ring but White drops Moxley throat first over the ropes and goes on the attack. White wants the Bladerunner but Moxley fights it off so White decides Bladebuster for a two count. He takes Moxley outside and drives him into the rails repeatedly, bounces him off the post and rolls back in but quickly rolls back out to bring Moxley in with him.
Moxley eats a pair of corner uppercuts, the third cut off by a dropkick. He bails, Moxley follows him out with a plancha and takes White into the crowd where the two brawl. Moxley sends White back in, goes out himself and figure fours White’s legs between the post. He joins White back inside, sweeps the legs and applies the Texas Cloverleaf. When White gets the ropes, Moxley transitions into the STF but has to break the hold. White pulls the referee between them for a distraction and catches Moxley with a suplex in the corner followed by a backdrop suplex. Moxley fires up, charges in but gets dropped on a flatliner + deadlift German combo followed by a urange for a two count. White looks for a Kiwi Crusher, Moxley fights out, eats a series of uppercuts but winds up slapping White repeatedly across the face before dropping him with a release vertical suplex for a two count of his own.
Moxley brings White back up to his feet and they trade forearms, the ones from Moxley dropping White again and again but he keeps fighting back. White gets a series of strikes before his lariat is ducked into a urange from Moxley. Gedo warns White to stay down as Moxley sets up for a knee strike. Gedo hops the apron, Moxley punches him off and sidesteps White’s attack into a double arm DDT for two. White pulls the referee in on the Death Ride attempt, causing the referee to collapse. Gedo runs in with the brass knuckles, Moxley tells him to do it but the shot only gets White a two count. White pulls Moxley back up, Moxley fights him into a roll up for two, lands a knee for two. Gedo hops the apron, eats knee from Moxley but White attacks with a Sleeper suplex from behind. He tries to fight back with Death Rider, White fights it off, hits another sleeper suplex, Moxley flips White off before getting dropped with a cross-armed brainbuster and finished with a Bladerunner.
Tetsuya Naito (3-3) def. Shingo Takagi (2-4) @ 27:15 via Destino – *****
Heavy support for Naito as the bell sounds. Shingo goes to lock up but Naito backs away. They finally engage and Shingo backs Naito to the ropes where they trade positions and Naito gives a clean break. Shingo takes offense, tries to land as chop, Naito ducks and applies a headlock. Naito gets sent off, gets an elbow, ducks a sliding lariat, escapes a deadlift German and escapes a head scissors for a stalemate. He throws up the fist which Shingo pulls down and lands a chop. He sends Shingo off, Shingo ducks down early which Naito is able to counter into sending Shingo to the floor and faking out a dive. Shingo pulls a chair out from under the ring in frustration and throws it in. Naito sets it up and catches Shingo in a drop toe hold onto the chair and applies a leg scissors over the arms but Shingo finds the ropes.
Shingo catches the slingshot corner dropkick and hammers in forearms which Naito returns followed by a pie face. Instead of engaging in the test of stretch further, Naito gouges the eyes and spits in Shingo’s face. Shingo catches Naito running in with a back elbow, punch and lariat before sending Naito to the floor with a second lariat. He drives Naito into and over the rails, into the post and kicks him across the back. Shingo picks Naito up to his shoulders and drops him over the apron followed up with a DDT to the floor before bringing him back inside where he drops a knee over the chest. He playfully slaps Naito across the face before dropping him with a shoulder tackle and a vertical suplex, applying a headlock rather than a pin attempt.
Shingo rains down elbows over the neck and drops a knee over the head. Naito fires up with a series of double overhands and catches Shingo with a hurricanrana followed by a dropkick to the back of the head. He fakes out the slingshot corner dropkick, delays the dropkick portion and drops him with a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. Naio boots Shingo over the back of the head and drops some knees. Shingo hoists him up but Naito escapes, looks for the slingshot DDT but Shingo sends that off and catches him in a pop up DVD. Kitchen Sink knee lift, drops Naito over the top rope and an elbow drop off the top for a two count. Naito ducks a sliding lariat, takes Shingo to the top, Shingo slides through and drops Naito over the top of the turnbuckle followed by Noshigami. Naito ducks a lariat and turns it into a slingshot DDT, sets up for Gloria but Shingo turns it into a knee lift, sends Naito to the ropes where he gets dropped with a flying forearm followed by Gloria for a two count.
Naito pops up to Shingo’s shoulders looking for a poison rana but Shingo slides him over and delivers a powerbomb followed by a deadlift German into the corner. Shingo catches a corner boot and dishes out a lariat. He hits the opposite corner and charges in with a second lariat, picks Naito up off the mat onto his shoulders and onto the second rope. Naito fights off the shoulders and rains down forearms. He looks for a rana off the top but Shingo puts the brakes on, wants a powerbomb but Naito turns that into the rana, drills Shingo with a poison rana and charges in for Destino but eats a lariat from Shingo. Naito fights of Made in Japan, eats another lariat and another but ducks a third. Shingo elbows free of a German, catches Naito with a lariat and nails him with a backdrop suplex.
Naito responds with a full nelson suplex, charges in and is caught in Made in Japan for a two count. Shingo follows with a pumping bomber that turns Naito inside out for another two count, fires up and sets up for Last of the Dragon, spins around and Naito uses the momentum to turn it into a Destino variant. The crowd rallies for Naito as the two trade headbutts and forearms on their knees. Naito spits on Shingo and the two trade forearms back on their feet. Shingo flurries with combination forearms, Naito slaps Shingo, Shingo headbutts Naito, Naito turns a vertical suplex into one of his own for two. Shingo fights off the Destino into a lariat and muscles Naito up on his shoulders but Naito fights it off into a destroyer followed by a Destino for a two count. The crowd officially comes unglued. Naito sets up for a second one and finishes Shingo.
Naito takes the mic and says he made the right choice picking Shingo to join LIJ. His G1 is a difficult road but he has his eyes on the prize. Backstage he talks about the first time he met Shingo being nineteen years ago but this wasn’t about nostalgia. He wants to win the G1 Climax and become the first double champion.
As an overall show this wasn’t up to the standard the B Block has created but ended with a bonafide match of the year contender. An absolutely brutal war between Naito and Shingo. This was classic ‘take all of the abuse’ Naito. He let Shingo lay in the grossest of strikes and their heads collided making sickening noises. If you enjoy the gross side of wrestling, this delivered in spades.
Ishii pulled the best match physically possible out of Yano but after that the show plateaued. Taichi starting a match with a beatdown before the bell is reminiscent of his awful title matches with Goto and Naito. People want to cheer for Taichi and you’re doing him no favors by booking his matches this way.
Goto and Cobb had the best match they can possibly have but that’s not much to write home about. Perfectly solid match between two perfectly solid wrestlers but nothing else. The Moxley and White match was good but again, there was very little to sink my teeth into. Everything on this show was perfectly fine until the main event took it to another level.
I cannot stress enough how much I love this main event. Shingo Takagi is making a strong case for wrestler of the tournament as well as wrestler of the year. This was a phenomenal performance. Naito let Shingo treat him like a ragdoll in what was an absolutely gross war in the best way possible. That’s the match to watch from the show. That’s the match of the year.
Naito vs Shingo
White vs Moxley
Ishii vs Yano
Jon Moxley (5-2)
Tetsuya Naito (4-3)
Tomohiro Ishii (4-3)
Jay White (4-3)
Hirooki Goto (4-3)
Juice Robinson (3-4)
Toru Yano (3-4)
Jeff Cobb (3-4) ELIMINATED
Shingo Takagi (2-5) ELIMINATED
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