G1 Climax 31 night 11 (October 7) preview 【G131】

A Block hits Hiroshima



As the tournament enters its second half, A Block hit Hiroshima less than a fortnight away from their final matches in Yokohama on October 18. 

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Main event: Great-O-Khan (4-2) vs Tomohiro Ishii (3-3)

After two straight losses for United Empire’s Dominator, and two straight wins for CHAOS’ Stone Pitbull, Tomohiro Ishii and Great-O-Khan head into their first singles match together in Hiroshima. Great-O-Khan has made it a point to adapt himself to the different styles of his opponents throughout this tour. That may mean trying to go toe to toe with Ishii, rarely a good idea for any competitor. Yet O-Khan’s reach may be enough to negate the Stone Pitbull’s knock out power Thursday night. Can the Dominator get back on track, or will it be Ishii, brimming with confidence after stopping Zack Sabre Jr.’s submission streak, out on top?

5th Match: Toru Yano (3-2) vs Shingo Takagi (3-2)

Singles record: 1-0 Takagi

After his tapout loss to Zack Sabre Jr., Shingo Takagi battled back to a hard fought victory despite injured arm against KENTA in Korakuen. Aichi saw his momentum stalled once again however, a Kamigoye seeing Ibushi to his third win and Takagi to his second loss (and potentially second key tiebreaker when chips are down late in the tournament). Now, Yano presents very different opposition. At the best of times, Yano presents a manhole that countless competitors have fallen into over the years, and there’s no doubt that he’s of considerable danger to the Dragon tonight in Hiroshima. Will the Dragon’s ascent begin once again? Or will Yano have the last laugh?


4th Match: Zack Sabre Jr. (4-1) vs Yujiro Takahashi (2-3)

Sunday night in Aichi saw Zack Sabre Jr.’s submission streak finally snapped, Tomohiro ishii withstanding incredible pain and punishment to come out with a pinfall victory and bring ZSJ to 4-1. The question now is how the Briton, still atop A Block can reset and move on with his campaign.

Yujiro Takahashi presents a winnable match for the Submission Master, and a chance to reassert dominance, but ZSJ cannot afford to be complacent. Kota Ibushi has already learned the dangers of taking the Tokyo Pimp lightly, and Yujiro is hungry for another victim, especially one sitting at the top of the standings. 

3rd Match: Kota Ibushi  (4-2) vs Tanga Loa (2-3)

 Momentum is a word often parroted through wrestling circles, but its significance to a competitor can never be underestimated. Momentum serves as currency in a microcosm of society where the rich tend to get richer, and the poor poorer. The haves and have nots are often clearly delineated, but here tonight, both Tanga Loa and Kota Ibushi walk in with bags of that currency, ready to wager. 

After doubts circled around Kota Ibushi’s early G1 performances, the two time winner unveiled an inverted Kamigoye against Toru Yano, and used it on the way to victory over IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Shingo Takagi. Ibushi is now on a growing streak, and most important has pinned the champion, completing a difficult return to the front lines after his struggles with aspiration pneumonia. 

Those struggles included a loss to Yujiro Takahashi, a man Tanga Loa beat last week in Hamamatsu to finally score his first career G1 win not via forfeit. Loa has become increasingly focused with each of his performances in this tournament, and the potential for him to string several wins together is certainly present; if he could upset Ibushi, the sky is the limit for the Silverback. 

2nd Match: KENTA vs Hiromu Takahashi 

Originally scheduled to be Tetsuya Naito facing KENTA in block competition, Hiromu Takahashi will be Naito’s LIJ replacement in tournament action, and a bout that could well steal the entire show in Hiroshima. Hiromu has been determined to show the unique worth and strength of the junior heavyweight division, and will no doubt do just that when best of the Super Jr. 28 gets underway this November. But here the Time Bomb gets a unique chance to bring the fight to heavyweight compeititon, and will not be planning to take his foot off the gas. 

1st Match: Ryohei Oiwa vs El Desperado

Another Young Lion test match sees Ryohei Oiwa kick off the action tonight against El Desperado. With both Oiwa and Kosei Fujita falling to Yoshinobu Kanemaru in around seven and a half minutes this weekend, how will Oiwa fare against kanemaru’s tag partner tonight?