Every day leading up to the G1 Climax I’ll be making predictions and today we’re onto the B Block’s eighth night of the tournament, set to take place on August 8th in Yokohama. Like all block nights of the G1, there will be five tournament matches. Let’s get started!
Taichi (3-4) vs Toru Yano (2-5)
A clash between the two shenanigan mammoths of pro wrestling! Yano and Taichi have met in tags for well over a decade now but their lone singles encounter came in 2014 at a TAKA/Taichi produced show. There’s no one quite as frustrating to watch than these two as they look at avoid any in-ring wrestling as much as physically possible. Both guys live to get under their opponent’s skin which will make this encounter in particular more fun to watch play out than their usual matches against typical opponents. I have Yano one-upping Taichi with one of his tricks to even out their records heading into their final tournament match.
Prediction: Toru Yano
Tetsuya Naito (4-3) vs Jeff Cobb (3-4)
To date, Naito and Cobb have never been in the same ring together. Obviously throughout the G1 they’ll meet in tags so they’ll have something to build on coming into this match but their lack of reps may be why this match is so low on the card. I don’t have Cobb set up for the most positive run in the G1 but his wins over Ishii and Shingo should make him look strong enough coming into this match to be somewhat of a threat to Naito. It’s a little known trend that since 2015 the winner of the G1 always winds up winning their second to last block match too. That’s probably a crackpot way to make your picks but you look for anything when you’re trying to make the most accurate predictions possible for this tournament.
Prediction: Tetsuya Naito
Jon Moxley (5-2) vs Hirooki Goto (4-3)
Coming in with a two match winning streak over both Ishii and Cobb, Goto faces off with Moxley who suffered just his second loss of the tournament the night before. I have Moxley steamrolling the majority of this tournament, only falling to the biggest players. Goto isn’t one of those guys. I’m not sure what either man gains by having Goto beating Moxley. No one is interested in watching Goto have a title program with Moxley, that would be a complete waste of having Moxley on your roster. How I have this playing out is Moxley comes into the final block night at 6-2 which means he’s locked into the G1 final if he either wins or draws his last match. It’ll be up to Juice Robinson to save the day by defeating Moxley and keeping the tournament alive for both Naito and White. Hail Juice!
Prediction: Jon Moxley
Jay White (5-2) vs Juice Robinson (3-4)
Like Cobb, how I have booked Juice’s tournament so far is a little weak. He comes in with a losing record and no chance of winning the tournament but he managed to defeat Naito and now faces off with another rival in Jay White. These two had one of New Japan’s best matches last year when they fought for the IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship in San Francisco. The match saw Juice come out with the victory, earning his first singles title and robbing White of his. Since then, Juice has gone on to become the first ever two-time holder of the title. White, on the other hand, went on to capture the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Last year it looked like Juice had leapfrogged White but as it turns out, it went the other way. There’s no love lost between these two young lion dojo mates. This is one of the best natural rivalries in New Japan today and another win for Juice would start putting doubt into White’s head about who is the top of the class.
Prediction: Juice Robinson
Tomohiro Ishii (3-4) vs Shingo Takagi (3-4)
One of the most exciting clashes in this year’s tournament sees Shingo Takagi get a crack at the NEVER Openweight Champion, Tomohiro Ishii. The fact that this was positioned in a main event is wild. Both these guys show up no matter where they are on the card but this match closing out a show in Ishii’s home prefecture will create a crazy environment. If New Japan is adamant about keeping Shingo in the junior division, a feud with the NEVER champion is the best option right now. Hopefully we’re getting a slow climb into the heavyweight pool for Shingo and a win over Ishii would go a long way to show that they’re intending to bring him in fulltime soon. The match will be wild and there’s a huge chance it steals the tournament. Prediction: Shingo Takagi
Jon Moxley (6-2)
Tetsuya Naito (5-3)
Jay White (5-3)
Hirooki Goto (4-4)
Shingo Takagi (4-4)
Juice Robinson (4-4)
Tomohiro Ishii (3-5)
Jeff Cobb (3-5)
Toru Yano (3-5)