Kizuna Road continued yesterday into night 5, when the wrestlers travelled to Kuki in Saitama in the build-up to the G1 Climax!
In match 7, Chaos (Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI & Kazuchika Okada) took on the Suzuki-Gun team of (Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi & DOUKI). The teams came out viciously against each other and when Okada and Suzuki got into the ring, it was clear that his rage against NJPW and all its shibboleths was still boiling. At point he countered a Rainmaker into a sleeper hold and threatened to choke out Okada, only for Okada to escape and counter the onslaught with a drop-kick. It was YOSHI-HASHI though that earned the victory for Chaos, seeing off Suzuki, Sabre and DOUKI at the same time and pinning DOUKI after a Karma.
Post match, YOSHI-HASHI once again got on the mic and demanded that Zack put his G1 spot on the line in Sendai. This time however, Zack seemed more contemplative. Although he said he wasn’t a gambling man and there wasn’t much to gain from putting his spot in the G1 on the line he we was confident that it wouldn’t happen (adding that he had not lost to YOSHI-HASHI in singles matches in the last 3 years) that he was considering it. He left the audience and the NJPW fanbase worldwide wondering what he was going to do.
Match 6 was between SHO, YOH, Ryusuke Taguchi, Toa Henare & Hiroshi Tanahashi and BULLET CLUB (Gedo, Taiji Ishimori, El Phantasmo, Yujiro Takahashi & Jay White). The fight was a chase for the new IWGP Jr. Tag Team Champions to see their predecessors again after winning the titles from them on June 16. Needless to say, El Phantasmo made sure to rub his ill-gotten gains in Roppongi 3K’s faces. Hiroshi Tanahashi proved the man of the match, barreling through his opponents like they were nothing and proving the doubters as to his physical condition wrong. Although BULLET CLUB tried to use their usual tactics to try and draw the match out, SHO & YOH were able to pull off the 3K on Gedo and secure the win.
Match 5 – Ibushi teamed up with Shota Umino to take on his bete noir, Tetsuya Naito who was teaming with Shingo Takagi. L.I.J. dominated the match and were able to take the offensive pretty much through the whole fight. Although Umino did not qualify to be in the G1, he was able to hold his own against two of the strongest wrestlers in New Japan. Ibushi however seemed somewhat distracted by the presence of the IWGP Intercontinental belt that Naito had brought with him to the ring. It was Takagi who finished the match with a pumping bomber to Umino. Post match, Umino begged backstage to be allowed into the G1.
In match 4, Jyushin Thunder Liger, Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe took on Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL & SANADA). L.I.J once again dominated this match, promising a successful tournament for their faction in the G1 Climax. Although Honma was able to hit EVIL with a bodyslam and a Kokeshi, he eventually tapped out to EVIL’s scorpion deathlock. Post match, EVIL & SANADA stared at each other got out on different sides of the ring, hinting that tensions were running high in advance of their G1 match-up. Post match, EVIL preemptively asked his stable-mates to forgive him.
Match 3 was between Ren Narita, Mikey Nicholls & Juice Robinson and BULLET CLUB (Chase Owens, Tanga Loa & Tama Tonga). Tensions continued to rise between Nicholls & Robinson and G.o.D. as the IWGP Tag Team Championship seems to be in their sights. Although Narita fought well, he eventually succumbed to a package piledriver from Owens. Owens for his part said backstage that he wanted to lead another charge against the NEVER 6-man belts.
In match 2, Yota Tsuji & Tiger Mask faced Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Lance Archer. Archer continued his strong run of form, dominating the match. He tossed tiger mask around like he was a Young Lion, and as for the Young Lion, he reserved his new finishing move, the EBD (EveryBody Dies) claw. Backstage, Archer was confident about his chances promising a similar fate as that of poor Tsuji, to his G1 opponents.
The opening match was between TenCozy (Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan) and Yuya Uemura & Yuji Nagata. It was a real treat to see the greatest tag team in IWGP history in TenCozy still strong after injuries and time. Although Uemura & Nagata fought hard, TenCozy had too much experience working together and it was Tenzan who emerged victorious. Backstage, Tenzan and Kojima reflected on their histories of injury and teamwork and spoke at length about how much their team and their friendship meant to each other.