G1 Climax update: night 13 【G131】

Ibushi tops the table at 12 as A Block approaches conclusion

G1 hit Osaka on October 9, with the seventh A Block matches seeing an increasingly desperate struggle for the top of the block as we enter the final fortnight of action. 

The night’s main event would see Great-O-Khan in need of a win to stay in the running as he battled Kota Ibushi. O-Khan wanted to test himself in the standup with Ibushi and the opening of the match had a kickboxing like feel before the Dominator was able to shoot in; as Ibushi rallied from his back, neither man had a clear edge after five minutes. 

O-Khan would finally get a back heel trip on Ibushi to bring his foe to the mat and find an Achilles hold, the calm cockiness of the Dominator finally emerging at the ten minute mark. Trapping the right shoulder and head, O-Khan brought Ibushi to the mat and struck at the downed G1 winner, but Ibushi would fire up with furious leg kicks and a figure four. 

O-Khan would find his feet, and respond with a straight right fist that blasted Ibushi. Rolling through, the United Empire wanted the Achilles again, but when Ibushi wouldn’t allow the hold, instead opened up with heavy strikes. All that did was awaken the aggression in Ibushi, who douled O-Khan up with a solebutt and then landed a Boma Ye, but O-Khan would again grab the Achilles hold. 

Ibushi would escape, and fired back with a rattling right fist of his own; as O-Khan tried to shoot in once again, he was blasted with a knee. O-Khan evaded Kamigoye, but not a right roundhouse for two, and after one last attempt to counter Kamigoye, it connected on the third attempt to give Ibushi victory and force O-Khan out.  

Out of the running for A Block contention, Tanga Loa still had something to prove as he wrestled Shingo Takagi in the semi main event. Loa tried to match power with power in the opening, and when Shingo got an early opening, the Silverback would change his gameplan up, connecting with a big dropkick and then dropping his opponent on the apron with a suplex.

With athleticism to match his strength, Loa hit a standing moonsault and kept up the pressure, locking in OJK to send the World Champion to the ropes. Shingo would respond with a Ryukon lariat and then a DDT,  but Loa would duck the Pumping Bomber to get a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. The BULLET CLUB member stayed strong under heavy offense from Takagi, landing a sit out powerbomb for two, before looking for Apesh*t off the top, almost scoring a shock victory. Having had enough, Takagi drilled Loa with a sliding lariat, a superplex and then looking for Pumping Bomber, only receiving a spear in return. 

Takagi would block a follow up powerbomb with a Frankensteiner before finally landing the Pumping Bomber, but Loa still stayed in the running, drawing a Takagi style GTR from Shingo before the Last of the Dragon finally landed emphatically.  

Yujiro Takahashi entered the fray in Osaka also out of the mathematical running, but looking to spoil Toru Yano who needed a win to stay in the hunt. Setting to work early, Yujiro would surprise with a tope suicida, before attempts to tie his opponent up with tape didn’t work, Yano making it into the ring in time. Yujiro was clearly inexperienced with removing the cornerpad as well, but nonetheless was able to send Yano into the steel, as well as level the producer with his stick. 

Going high while his opponent went low, Yano landed a belly to belly on Yujiro, but when a rollup wasn’t counted due to a downed ref, Yujiro would capitalize with a low blow. Sensing the need of a change in tact, Yano would dive under the ring, baiting Takahashi to join him. As the referee applied his 20 count, Yano handcuffed Yujiro under the ring, picking up his fourth win as a result.  

Starting off the night’s tournament action was Zack Sabre Jr., aiming to get to 12 points against KENTA, one win off the pace. Reminiscent of their Korakuen clash in last year’s tournament, the two traded heavy strikes from the bell, before Zack got a heel hook to quickly force the BULLET CLUB member to the ropes. Sabre would continue to pressure his opponent, targeting the left knee before KENTA responded with a heavy kick to send the Briton to the floor where he would take control. 

KENTA would punish Sabre’s back, removing the turnbuckle pad to inflict extra punishment, before a take down and dropkick to the back of the head saw ZSJ change levels to the head and neck. A pair of neck twists had KENTA stunned, and the Briton would bait KENTA into trying Green Killer to employ an Octopus through the ropes and then a sickening jumping stamp on the left shoulder. 

Backfists from KENTA would see an overhead kick in response, but Sabre could not escape a second Green Killer and sickening dropkick in the corner. KENTA would look for Go2Sleep, countered to a Cobra Twist before the Tag Champion countered Game Over attempts into Clarky Cat. The BULLET CLUB member would make the ropes though, and strikes grew ever more violent, a Busaiku Knee scoring for KENTA before a second attempt saw Sabre roll through into the heel hook he wanted at the start of the bout. With no signs of a submission, or KO after stinging openhand rights, Sabre countered a PK attempt into a devastating alternate version of Orienteering With Napalm Death, Osaka intensely clapping on both combatants at the 20 minute mark.  

ZSJ rattled off brutal kicks to the injured leg of KENTA before a European Clutch still didn’t end the match. Swinging from the hip, KENTA would find seven consecutive overhand rights before looking again for Go2Sleep, first countered into another heel hook before finally landing flush. 

A Block’s eighth night sees action in Sendai on Wednesday, where Great-O-Khan will face Shingo Takagi in the main event. The tournament continues Tuesday, where B Block action is headlined by Jeff Cobb vs Hiroshi Tanahashi.