Over halfway through the G1, and both blocks have a single leader. Block A is fighting to catch their leader, Kota Ibushi, and take the spot for themselves. Even with one eliminated in their ranks, every match still counts, as anyone can play spoilers for the others in the G1. Block A action highlighted Night 11 of the G1 tournament!

The Young Lions started out with Yuta Tsuji taking on Gabriel Kidd. They stand even at 1 to 1 to 1 and both Young Lions had no issue rushing into blows at the bell, but it was a hip toss that gave Gabriel the advantage. He pressed that advantage, showering Tsuji with strikes. Tsuji changed his luck with a dropkick, followed by a big splash seeing him leap almost half the ring. Gabriel was right back on the attack, able to powerslam Tsuji and take back over. But Gabriel’s butterfly suplex (which I have mistakenly reported previously as a Dragon Suplex) was blocked by Tsuji, who capitalized with a running powerslam of his own. From there, a huge spear from Tsuji was enough to lock Gabriel into the Boston Crab and get the tap out victory.

Block A kicked off with Tomohiro Ishii facing the winless Yujiro Takahashi. While Yujiro is eliminated mathematically from the tournament, he is still able to play spoiler to those still trying to take the block for themselves. Yujiro attacked Ishii before the bell, taking the fight to the outside to start. A reverse DDT onto the floor allowed Yujiro to take the advantage early. Strikes from Yujiro kept Ishii off balance, but not enough to stop Ishii from reversing a fisherman buster into a vertical suplex. But Yujiro had no issues going for the eyes and biting Ishii to keep his advantage. For each time Ishii began to build a head of steam, Yujiro was able to start shutting it down. It was a german suplex into the turnbuckle that finally allowed Ishii to turn things around. Yujiro was able to make the most of opportunity, stopping a powerbomb attempt with a Alabama Slam. It was Ishii’s fighting will that saw him escape the Pimp Juice, reversing it into another german suplex. But the wear and tear of the G1 takes its toll, with Ishii struggling to get Yujiro up for his Brainbuster. Yujiro tried to get the quick victory with a few cradles, but Ishii still escaped, and rallied his last reservoirs of energy to get Yujiro up for the Brainbuster and the win.

The second Block A match would pit Jeff Cobb against Kazuchika Okada. This was the first time they would face off in singles competition. Cobb’s power was on full display, catching Okada in a leapfrog and pressing him up into a vertical suplex. Okada would have to rely on his skill and quickness, managing to turn the tides with three neckbreakers. Targeting the neck was good strategy on Okada’s part, weakening it for the Money Clip submission. It was Cobb’s slams and suplexes that were perfect offence for Cobb, attacking the injured lower back of Okada. When opportunity presented itself, Okada tried a rolling Rainmaker, but Cobb didn’t leave his feet. The move must have dazed the big man, because Okada was able to twist and turn Cobb, surprising him with a cradle that jeff couldn’t kick out from! Okada moves to eight points to tie the leader! Despite Jeff’s losing efforts, he has been an absolute pleasure to watch in Block A.

The third match would have the Never Openweight Champion, Minoru Suzuki against Rev Pro’s British Heavyweight Champion, Will Ospreay. Either man to win would be in line to challenge the other for their championship, Suzuki having been a former British Heavyweight champion. It was the first time these two would face in singles competition and they didn’t wait to feel the other out, going straight to blows at the bell. Will’s speed allowed him to take the early advantage, sending Suzuki to the floor. Will would follow by launching himself over the ropes onto Suzuki. But an attempt at Pip pip cheerio would present Suzuki Will’s arm, as he tried to rip off the limb from Will’s body. Suzuki wasn’t shy on the strikes as well, with blistering overhand chops that opened Will’s chest. It was a quick kick and standing shooting star press that would allow Will to get some breathing room. He went for Pip pip Cheerio a second time and found himself in the waiting clutches of Suzuki again. The two went to exchanging strikes, Will forced to use his left arm to avoid damaging his right even more. Will was finally able to connect the Pip pip Cheerio on the third attempt, followed by some kicks to keep Suzuki off guard. Suzuki was relentless on the arm, which he allowed him to get Will set up in the sleeper hold. When Suzuki went to spin Will around for the Gotch Style Piledriver, Will leapt up, landing a kick to daze Suzuki. Will escaped a second sleeper and reversed it into the Stormbreaker for the win! It was an exciting, hard hitting match, that is well worth the watch.

The fourth match would have Jay White take on Taichi. Both men were tied at 6 points and were looking to advance to 8. Both tried to exit the ring before even locking up. Taichi had a quick advantage, choking Jay on the outside with a camera cable. But Gedo would distract Taichi, allowing Jay to run Taichi into the steel post. Jay was all talking and mocking while he was in charge, but a head kick silenced Jay quite quickly. Yet Jay’s cunning allowed him to cut down Taichi’s leg, allowing Jay to steal the advantage. A deadlift german suplex and Uranage saw Jay set up for the Bladerunner, but Taichi avoided it with his dangerous backdrop suplex. The two exchanged strikes, but it was Taichi who would take the advantage, rolling Jay up in the Gedo Clutch, much to the actual Gedo’s enragement. The real Gedo tried to storm the ring, distracting the ref long enough for Jay to push Taichi into the ref. But Taichi was used to fighting dirty, blocking Jay and Gedo’s lowblows, and firing some of his own on each man. Taichi began his rally, but Jay was able to sidestep the thrust kick and hit the blade runner for the victory.

The main even featured Block A leader Kota Ibushi, at 8 points going into the match, against Shingo Takagi. They never have faced off in a match, making this match the first encounter between the two. While Shingo was the aggressor, neither man found footing in the opening salvo. It would be Ibushi who took control using his strikes to hold off Shingo. But when Ibushi went to fly, Shingo caught him ans sent him throat first into the ropes. Taking the fight to the floor, Shingo would score a DDT onto the wooden gym floor for the advantage. Ibushi was never one to back down, though, and the two went back to exchanging strikes. It was Ibushi that came out on top with his combo, allowing him to finally soar over the ropes to take Shingo down. Neither man wanted to stand down to the other, continuing to exchange and absorb each other’s strikes. It would take 3 attempts before Shingo was able to land his Noshigami. Exchanging suplexes and strikes once again, Shingo looked to take the advantage with a fierce forearm combo. But Ibushi would roll through a german suplex, nearly decapitating Shingo with a kick to the back of the head. Reversing each others finishers, Shingo managed to pull ahead with his Made in Japan. Ibushi was then turned inside out with a Pumping Bomber, shocking Shingo when he kicked out. Ibushi was able to fire himself up with a running knee from the corner, but was shocked himself when Shingo caught the Kamigoye and pulled Ibushi up for the Last of the Dragon. Shingo landed the move and pulled out the victory to grab the two points!

Block A:

  • Jay White: 8 points
  • Kota Ibushi: 8 points
  • Minoru Suzuki: 6 Points
  • Taichi: 6 Points
  • Kazuchica Okada: 8 points
  • Shingo Takagi: 6 points
  • Tomohiro Ishii: 6 points
  • Jeff Cobb: 4 points
  • Will Ospreay: 8 points
  • Yujiro Takahashi: 0 points

Block B:

  • EVIL: 6 points
  • Hirooki Goto: 4 points
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi: 6 points
  • Juice Robinson: 6 points
  • KENTA: 4 points
  • SANADA: 4 points
  • Tetsuya Naito: 8 points
  • Toru Yano: 6 points
  • YOSHI-HASHI: 2 points
  • Zack Sabre Jr.: 4 points

Unoffical “Block C”

  • Yuya Uemura: 7 points
  • Yuta Tsuji: 10 points
  • Gabriel Kidd: 5 points

Block A has returned to a tight race, as Ibushi is joined by three others to be tied for the lead at 8 points. With only three more shows to go, it’ll take a a daring dash down the homestretch, as well as a bit of luck, if anyone wants to take Block A.

Featured Image Credit: Matthew Boyce/Game Changer Sports Network

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