top B Block after last matches before Ryogoku
After eight matches wrestled, Tetsuya Naito and EVIL top B Block in G1 Climax 30 at 12 points, with YOSHI-HASHI at the bottom of the table with two.
KENTA started the night’s block action still with slim hopes of making it to the final as he took on YOSHI-HASHI. KENTA took his opponent somewhat lightly at the outset, staring down YOSHI-HASHI’s staff rather than his opponent, and was quickly taken down with a Headhunter before taking a walk outside. There he drew YOSHI-HASHI’s ire and presence by picking up the Headhunter’s accessory, and quickly took advantage with guardrail shots.
The steel did a number on YOSHI-HASHI’s previously injured shoulder, and KENTA honed in on the area with stretches and some brutally accurate kicks. The CHAOS member’s pride wouldn’t let YOSHI-HASHI die though, and a dropkick and double knees left KENTA rocked until a powerslam turned things back to the BULLET CLUB corner.
Again YOSHI-HASHI fired up in the face of KENTA’s kicks but couldn’t stop a pair of boots in the corner, nor a double stomp to the sternum for two. YOSHI-HASHI continued to dig deep however, and connected with a Liger Bomb before sinking in the Butterfly Lock. When KENTA found the ropes though, a running knee was countered KENTA looked for Game Over , his opponent barely escaping.
YOSHI-HASHI escapes Go2Sleep too, landing a DDT, Snapdragon suplex and a lariat for two. Sensing a win was near, Kumagoroshi scored, but again only scrored a two count. YOSHI-HASHI couldn’t quite convert to Karma, and was countered into Game Over for KENTA’s fourth win.
Wanting two more points out of personal pride more than anything as he went to battle with Zack Sabre Junior, and surprised ZSJ with some impressive grappling in the early going, Sabre first to break gentlemanly conduct with a sharp European uppercut.
Robinson remained in firm control until he looked for a big senton onto his opponent, paying with a Sabre armbar. That created an opportunity for the Briton, who punished the left arm and elbow of Robinson, again cracking down hard when Juice played to the crowd for an instant on the break.
With one arm dangling at his side, Robinson nonetheless found an opening to land his senton and a bodyslam before right hands and a spinebuster found their mark. With heavy damage done to the left limb however, ZSJ had a weakness to exploit when Robinson looked for a superplex, and followed with a flying guillotine, converted into a Cobra Twist that forced Juice to the ropes at the ten minute mark.
Once in firm control, Juice was in bad trouble as he couldn’t land Juicebox and absorbed a penalty kick and brutal swinging DDT from ZSJ, who went right back to the arm. Juice fought back with a slam to Sabre, and battled ZSJ up for Juicebox to score two but once again failed to land Pulp Friction, leading to the two again going to ground where a European Clutch got Sabre victory.
Toru Yano and Tetsuya Naito were next to do battle, Yano looking to play major spoiler to the block’s co-leader. Naito took his time and plenty of it on entering the ring, frustrating his opponent, the match finally getting underway relatively cleanly until Naito and Yano both went to the turnbuckles. Yano the faster man to the ring and in action, he beat Naito to the turnbuckle punch, and when outside blinded both Naito and the ring attending Yota Tsuji with alchohol spray.
Yano used this chance to bind Naito and Tsuji together in hopes of count out victory, but the two formed a brief tag team combination, breaking the referee’s 20 count and clotheslining Yano. An invitation for Tsuji to join LIJ was in jest, as Naito slammed Tsuji onto Yano, and while Yano went for the patented Nichidai American football tackle, he was quickly stopped with a jack knife pin to put Naito on 12.
With 12 points now the leading standard, Hirooki Goto was in an absolute must win position as he faced EVIL in the semi-final of the evening. Goto brought the pace early, knocking EVIL over with a shoulder block and landing stomps, which brought Dick Togo into play. A trip to the outside, and EVIL landed a trademark double chair swing to deal heavy damage to Goto’s G1 chances.
Damaged as they were, Goto’s hopes and pride were still alive, and he kicked out of repeated pinfall attempts to frustrate the King of Darkness. Goto sent EVIL into the exposed steel turnbuckle and kept up the pressure with a backdrop, but EVIL once again drew the referee to prevent an Ushigoroshi.
Goto finally got the move by misdirecting EVIL in the ropes, but the BULLET CLUB member showed his true ability with a mighty lariat and Darkness Falls for two. Goto escaped the EVIL into a snap neckbreaker though, and both men came to center ring, clashing wills until Goto was sent to ringside, only for he and Togo to both eat a Goto plancha.
Togo tried to get revenge for the flying Goto by hitting the ring with his garotte, but got dropped with Ushigoroshi, leaving EVIL alone with the fierce warrior. A mid kick found the mark, but EVIL escaped GTR, getting hit with the reverse version instead for a nearfall. A second attempt though was countered, and EVIL scored to send Goto crashing out the tournament.
SANADA and Tanahashi tied up for the main event with Tanahashi already eliminated and SANADA in need of victory. A tense opening process saw neither with an upper hand. SANADA finally scored the first solid strike with an elbow stamp, Tanahashi responding with a headlock take down. A series of counters still resulted in stalemate, and each man tried to take the other’s leg before Tanahashi finally seemed to have an upper hand with a low dropkick to the leg.
Tanahashi worked over the left knee with an Indian Deathlock, but SANADA responded with a Dragon Screw before a trademark dropkick took the Ace off his feet. A plancha followed and the axis of momentum swung SANADA’s way as the Yokohama crowd applauded, SANADA giving further fan service with a Paradise Lock in ring and over the rope.
As SANADA tried to shift gears though, Tanahashi scored with another low dropkick, and went for the Highest Fly out to the floor on Cold Skull, crashing his own knee into the ringside mats in the process. Still, as both made it back into the ring at the count at 15, it was Tanahashi with the advantage, locking in the Texas Cloverleaf and wrenching back on SANADA.
Cold Skull made the ropes, but Tanahashi still retained control with a pair of Twist and Shouts. SANADA still had the ring awareness to counter a third attempt at the move by lifting Tanahashi up onto the top rope and delivering the Magic Screw, before a TKO gave him a near two.
SANADA tried to press the advantage and go for broke with a moonsault, but as Tanahashi rolled away and Cold Skull landed on his feet, he jammed his knee at the 20 minute mark. Tanahashi took advantage with a straightjacket German for two, but a High Fly Flow met disaster, SANADA sacrificing his hurt knee to bury the joint into the Ace’s midsection.
A flip over the ropes, and SANADA got Cold Skull in fully, sinking in the hooks, but Tanahashi was able to pull his head free. That freedom didn’t last as SANADA again found the hold, Tanahashi again briefly coming free, only to be locked in again. This time, SANADA felt he had the edge for a Moonsault but he too hit the knees of Tanahashi.
The Ace went for the kill with grounded Dragon Screws, and caught a SANADA Frankensteiner attempt with the Texas Clover at 25 minutes. SANADA narrowly escaped, and with three minutes to go countered a series of pin attempts and Skull Ends; Tanahashi landed Slingblade but SANADA landed a TKO out of a High Fly Attack at the 28 minute mark. With the last of his energy, SANADA hit two Moonsaults to get the win in the longest match of the tournament thus far.