Every day leading up to the G1 Climax I’ll be making predictions and today we’re onto the A Block’s third night of the tournament, set to take place on July 18th in Tokyo, Japan. Like all block nights of the G1, there will be five tournament matches. Let’s get started!
KENTA (0-2) vs Lance Archer (0-2)
KENTA makes his Korakuen Hall return and it’s against…Archer? Odd choice but it’s definitely a match KENTA will be able to win. I have Archer going on this losing streak so that he can go and destroy Tanahashi the following night at Korakuen. It makes sense that the bottom of a card has two guys with the lowest record so I like how my predictions are lining up to this point.
SANADA (1-1) vs EVIL (1-1)
This will be the third time EVIL has clashed with his LIJ stablemates in the G1. He lost to Naito in 2016 and lost to SANADA in 2017. This will be SANADA’s third time as well, beating EVIL in 2017 but falling to Naito in 2018. If you look at both guys it’s clear to see who has the most focus in terms of character progression. SANADA seems to update his look every season while EVIL has remained the same going on four years now. I think that says something for their pecking order within the faction. Since it seems painfully obvious who has the office’s attention, I’m calling for the upset win from EVIL. I think he’s become an after thought in his faction and will go out there to try and change people’s minds.
Kazuchika Okada (2-0) vs Bad Luck Fale (1-1)
Fale has made it a habit of beating Okada in tournaments. He defeated Okada in the 2015 New Japan Cup and both the 2016 and 2018 G1. Okada on the other hand has won three non-tournament singles and a match for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Fale is one of the most legitimate threats to guys like Okada and Tanahashi, always seemingly beating them in the G1. Since Okada has the IWGP Heavyweight Championship this year I hope Fale’s trend comes to an end. We don’t need Fale title challenges, that era is hopefully over. If Okada is going to lose, have him lose to guys you want to see him wrestle again.
Prediction: Kazuchika Okada
Hiroshi Tanahashi (1-1) vs Zack Sabre Jr. (0-2)
This is where I have Sabre picking up his first win and kicking off a Tanahashi losing streak that will go on for a few nights. These two are tied at 1-1 this year and Sabre has the edge overall with a record of 3-2. Very few have winning records over Tanahashi but Sabre’s style fits perfectly into what’s been causing Tanahashi’s decline. Sabre further injuring Tanahashi will give Tanahashi more outs to start going on a losing streak and makes Sabre come off as ruthless. There’s no way Sabre would go 0-3 to start off the tournament and this lines up perfectly with both men’s history.
Prediction: Zack Sabre Jr.
Kota Ibushi (2-0) vs Will Ospreay (2-0)
These two had a dream match at this year’s Wrestle Kingdom, a match that ended scary when Ibushi was knocked unconscious. Now they have a second chance to have a classic that won’t end with you feeling dirty. This match being the main event at Korakuen Hall is really cool. The crowd should be going insane, the match should rule, there’s a lot to be excited about. I don’t see Ospreay getting a second win over Ibushi just yet but it’ll be a huge milestone in his career to main event a show at the G1 Climax. Ibushi will close out the show being one of two to remain undefeated.
Prediction: Kota Ibushi
Kota Ibushi (3-0)
Kazuchika Okada (3-0)
Will Ospreay (2-1)
Zack Sabre Jr. (1-2)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (1-2)
Bad Luck Fale (1-2)
Lance Archer (0-3)