Back at Ota Ward Gymnasium in Tokyo for Night 2, this time drawing under the 3,900 mark. This saw B Block action of this years G1 Climax get underway, headlined by IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kenny Omega face off against Tetsuya Naito.
Bullet Club Elite (Chase Owens & Hangman Page) vs Shota Umino & Michael Elgin
Page and Elgin meet tomorrow in Sapporo having both started the G1 with a win albeit under different circumstances. Owens and Page working well as a tandem, cutting off Umino from Elgin. Shota Umino was fired up near the end and showed great fighting spirit but he succumbed to the Jewel Heist from Chase Owens who got the pinfall win.
L.I.J (BUSHI & EVIL) vs CHAOS (SHO & YOSHI-HASHI)
Previewing EVIL and YOSHI-HASHI who face tomorrow, EVIL coming off a loss to Elgin while YOSHI-HASHI despite a good effort lost to veteran Togi Makabe. Los Ingobernables definitely have the tandem advantage, team together much more often than their opponents do. SHO continues to showcase his quality, the guy has enormous upside. EVIL after putting YOSHI-HASHI out of the picture with Everything is Evil, showed his submission capabilities as he submitted SHO with the Banshee Muzzle.
Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & El Desperado) vs Togi Makabe & Toa Henare
Suzuki-gun jump start their opponents as would one expect from a Suzuki-gun match. Minoru Suzuki seems unaffected by yesterdays Inverted Dragon Screw as he brawls with Makabe on the outside. Henare is caught in a Sleeper Hold that is quickly released as Suzuki sets up and hits a Gotch Piledriver on the young Maori and gets the win.
Bullet Club OG (Bad Luck Fale & Tanga Loa) vs CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Gedo)
Okada continuing what I’d consider to be peculiar behaviour, while some say he seems more relaxed without the weight of the belt, I find that maybe Okada is a little broken. The aggressive Tongans have the size and power advantage, the match finishes as Loa takes out Gedo with a Tongan Driver.
CHAOS (Jay White & YOH) vs Hiroshi Tanahashi & David Finlay
Tanahashi has a target painted on his leg after the damage he sustained from his win over Suzuki. White goes to leave the match but on the ramp he decides to return to the ring to inflict more damage on Tanahashi’s leg before they meet tomorrow. White watches on as Finlay Stunner’s YOH and gets the pinfall. YOH had previously refused to follow White’s instructions in using the chair.
Toru Yano vs Tomohiro Ishii
Yano has sworn off his underhanded tactics so we shall see how he fairs against tag team partner Ishii, who is well known for his hard hitting style. Yano actual wrestles for much of it and shows strike for strike with Ishii early on before breaking out an old trick in removing the turnbuckle pad. Before that he went to use a chair but stopped himself after the referee’s warning, but it appears old habits die hard and the removal of the pad was unavoidable perhaps as it’s a go to for Yano. Ishii is hard hitting as usual but Yano actually rocks him with a forearm strike. Yano goes for multiple low blows but is either caught by the referee and stopped or Ishii blocks them. Ishii stooping to Yano’s level, low blows Yano and gets a Cradle pinfall win.
Tama Tonga vs Juice Robinson
First singles appearance for newly crowned IWGP US Heavyweight Champion, Juice Robinson, who is still wearing a cast on his left hand. Tama will be looking to get a win and put himself in line for a title shot but one will suspect that BCOG may use some underhanded tactics on the path to a potential win here as Loa accompanies his brother to the ring. Nice bit of chain early on as Juice needs to avoid the outside that Tama excels at, even shouting at Juice that he doesn’t want to play with him outside. Tonga targets the hand of Juice, which Juice himself aggravates. As he rolls outside he’s attacked by Loa, the referee is distracted with Tama and doesn’t see it. Juice goes for a Pulp Friction but it’s countered into a Gun Stun and Tama picks up the win.
SANADA vs Hirooki Goto
Much like the previous match, SANADA will look to get himself in the title picture with a win over NEVER Open Weight Champion, Goto here. SANADA really takes it to Goto as his explosiveness overwhelms Goto early on. A nasty looking Ushigoroshi gets Goto some breathing space, they go for finishers but all countered until SANADA does a Ushigoroshi of his own that is followed up with a Skull End. He misses a Mutoh style Moonsault and Goto channels former partner Shibata with Headbutts and P-K’s. Reverse GTR from Goto, goes for regular but countered with a roll up, 2. Goto sets up another and finally hits the GTR and gets the win.
Kota Ibushi vs Zack Sabre Jnr
Ibushi has the strength advantage but how will he do against the submission master, much of the match is a fantastic spectacle of ZSJ’s technical prowess repeatedly tying up Ibushi in knots and putting his limbs in positions they are not meant to be in. A technical masterclass with brief interjections of Ibushi strikes and high paced offence but usually succumbing to ZSJ and his Catch as Catch Can style and is knowledge of holds and limb manipulation, dictacting the pace. At one point, as Ibushi springboards in, his knee buckles and ZSJ is immediately on it and at which point, you answer the earlier question of how will he do, he’s not succumbing to the master just yet but it’s not looking good. Ibushi goes for a Sit out Powerbomb but only gets a 2. Followed up with a Dragon Suplex, a side kick to the head but ZSJ rolls him up with a pin, they go through reversals as they retain wrist control which allows Ibushi the ability to finally hit the Kamagoye and gets the win.
Tetsuya Naito vs Kenny Omega
A repeat of last year’s G1 Climax final saw Naito defeat Omega, they currently stand 1:1 in G1 competition as Omega beat Naito on his way to win the competition in 2016, but this is a different Kenny Omega than before, a more confident and stronger Omega that holds arguably the most prestigious belt in wrestling today. They go for broke early on before the match settles as Omega works Naito in a hold but it quickens again as Naito escapes. Naito is excellent at putting a combination of moves together but he’ll need to bring his A game if he wants to beat Omega tonight, he plays to the crowd and remnants of the Stardust Genius seep through tonight.
V-Trigger to back of Naito’s head, One Winged Angel attempt reversed into a Reverse Hurricarana by Naito. Sets it up and gets Gloria, 2, as Omega kicks out. Destino attempt countered, another V-Trigger, Destino, goes for yet another instead of a pinfall and Omega counters into a Tombstone variant. Omega is trying to set up a Dragon Suplex from the middle rope but it’s blocked, attempts to set up the One Winged Angel from the middle but Naito counters with a Powerbomb.
Destino, but Omega kicks out again. Ura-nage, spinning wheel kick from Naito. He sets up for another Destino but Omega counters into a piledriver, followed by another Double Underdook Piledriver, 2. V-Trigger, sets up and hits the One Winged Angel and Naito is done, win for the champion.
Day 2 ends as Omega declares backstage that he will win G1, he will choose his opponent at WK and we all know who that will be.