Block A returns to action! The field is now split in half, with wrestlers now trying to jockey for position to either pull ahead, or not fall behind. Now that Block A has had some time to think about the start of their G1, they return tonight to hopefully get closer to the finals a winner. Night 3 of the G1 begins!
Once again, the night started off with an exhibition from the Young Lions. This match had L.A.’s Dojo Gabriel Kidd against Yuya Uemura, both competing in their second match in the tournament. Both Lions looked smooth and adept in their chain wrestling, but it was Yuya who managed to take the upper hand with the use of creative reversals. Gabriel, perhaps frustrated, transitioned to strikes to take over. The tides turned back to Yuya with a beautiful placed drop kick. But, when Yuya went back to the striking game, it allowed Gabriel to fight back. With impressive power, Gabriel was able to hit a Dragon Suplex on Yuya for the pin. All three Young Lions now have a 1-1 record in the exhibition matches.
Block A then kicked off, with Shingo Takagi vs Jeff Cobb. Both men were looking for their first points in the G1 and neither wanted to fall behind so early in the tournament. They wasted no time to get locked up, getting right into the action. With hard strikes, toughness, and speed, Shingo had the early advantage. Cobb, on the other hand, had the power, and managed to derail Shingo with a belly to belly suplex, hitting it when Shingo’s feet were not touching the mat. The power of Cobb was able to see him ragdoll Shingo with multiple gutwrench suplexes. Shingo managed to fight back with a hard Lariat, and even hit Made in Japan for a two count. Yet, Cobb was able to kick out and eventually catch Shingo for a Tour of the Islands, and pin him for the win and his first points of the year.
The second match for A block would see Kazuchika Okada against Yujiro Tanahashi. It was another match up of two wrestlers with no points yet. Okada would go in the heavy favorite to win, but it was possible he was still exhausted from his last bout with Kota Ibushi. Okada’s lower back was taped up, showing the early toll that the G1 can take on the body. The match started and Okada seemed more than capable of starting strong, but Yujiro escaped a headlock by biting Okada’s thumb. Yujiro directed the fight to the outside of the ring, hitting a neck breaker on the ground to take advantage. A drop kick (perhaps the best in the wrestling world) by Okada and an unexpected Palanche gave Okada the advantage again. Fighting back with some well timed reversals and willingness to go for the eyes, Yujiro looked to be in position to win the match several times. Okada hit the rolling lariat, allowing him to lock in the Cobra Clutch for his first win.
Match 3 of the G1 would pit the Leader of Suzuki-Gun Minoru Suzuki against one of its members, Taichi. Both had won their first matchand now had the chance to be the first with four points in the G1. As well as the points, a win for Taichi would allow him to challenge Suzuki at a later time for the Never Openweight title. Suzuki didn’t wait for the bell, instead walking straight for Taichi and grabbing his throat. Even when the bell rang, the ref could do little to stop the two, as they went right for each other. The ref got crushed in the corner for his efforts allowing the two to go to war without rules, dueling with chairs wherever they could. Suzuki had the early lead, but it was taken from him as they entered the ring and the recovered ref managed to wrestle a chair from him. Taichi took the opportunity to hit Suzuki with his mic stand, and went to town in brutal fashion as the ref went down again. When it came to striking, both were pretty even, Suzuki’s legendary forearms strikes echoing in the arena, against Taichi’s kicks that never seemed to miss the head. Suzuki went for the Gotch Style Piledriver, but Taichi reversed it into his Black Mephisto, getting him the win!
The fourth match would once again be stable mates fighting it out, this time from the faction Chaos. Tomohiro Ishii would face Will Ospreay, in a match that had two very different styles of wreslting clashing head to head. Will looked to start with a handshake, but Ishii’s no nonsense approach was motivation enough to go right in for the attack. Will did well in trying to wrestle the match in Ishii’s hard hitting style, but he still looked more comfortable and more successful when he took to the air. Blending both styles had Ishii backpedaling, letting Will nearly win the match via count out after hitting an Oz Cutter off the barricade. Devastating strikes kept Ishii in the match as he managed to keep up with counters against Will. With hard, quick hits, Will was able to hold his own in the match. Reversing many big moves, Will was able to set Ishii up for the Storm Breaker and collect the win.
The main event of the night saw Kota Ibushi in another rematch from a Wrestle Kingdom opponent in Jay White. Ibushi, having lost both matches at Wrestle Kingdom, was looking to make a sweep off his previous opponents. The defending G1 winner was on the early attack, after Jay left the ring to mock the crowd. Jay, though, used the ring to his advantage by jamming Ibushi’s knee into the apron. That allowed him to take the upper hand, and left Ibushi disadvantaged the remainder of the match. Even when Ibushi looked to gain the advantage, going for his deadlift German suplex off the second rope, Gedo would interfere, saving Jay from the devastating move. from there, Jay was able to continue to pour on punishment, going for the knee of Ibushi. Yet Ibushi fought on. Sinking into an almost killer mode, Ibushi became almost unfazed by Jay’s attacks. But when Gedo tried to distract him again, Ibushi responded with a high kick to the head, sending Gedo down to the floor. Jay was able to use the distraction to hit the Switch Blade and get the pin, keeping him perfect in his first matches for the G1.
- Jay White: 4 points
- Kota Ibushi: 2 points
- Minoru Suzuki: 2 Points
- Taichi: 4 Points
- Kazuchica Okada: 2 points
- Shingo Takagi: 0 points
- Tomohiro Ishii: 0 points
- Jeff Cobb: 2 points
- Will Ospreay: 4 points
- Yujiro Tanahashi: 0 points
- EVIL: 0 points
- Hirooki Goto: 0 points
- Hiroshi Tanahashi: 0 points
- Juice Robinson: 2 points
- KENTA: 2 points
- SANADA: 0 points
- Tetsuya Naito: 2 points
- Toru Yano: 2 points
- YOSHI-HASHI: 0 points
- Zack Sabre Jr.: 2 points
With Block A now two nights down, the point gap is beginning to matter. While no one is mathematically eliminated yet, those with zero points are facing an uphill climb. Those who have managed to win their matches have to keep the intensity up, as the desperation comes out in those with lower points. The G1 always manages to deliver on excitement, and Night 3 was no exception.
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