The A Block portion of the G1 Climax concluded Friday morning at Budokan Hall with the tournament coming down to Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada, and Jay White alive going into the show.
In the penultimate match of the day, EVIL defeated Jay White to eliminate White from the tournament. White had victories over Tanahashi and Okada so in the event of a tie, he would have won. A win by White over EVIL would have eliminated Okada before the main event.
In the main event of the show, the two flag bearers of New Japan’s renaissance this decade featured another classic with the two going to a 30-minute draw, just as they did in their last G1 meeting in 2016.
The atmosphere was electric for the final minutes with the story that Tanahashi would advance in the event of a draw and the pressure was on Okada. After ducking several Rainmaker clotheslines, Tanahashi hit a dragon suplex for a near fall. Okada held onto the waist of Tanahashi, who broke free and landed a High Fly Flow onto Okada’s back in the closing seconds, Okada kicked out and time expired.
Tanahashi wins the block with 15 points and Okada finishes with 13.
Tanahashi will face the winner of Saturday’s B Block winner with Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi, and Tetsuya Naito still alive. Omega and Ibushi will face off in the main event while Naito faces Zack Sabre Jr. The block winners will meet on Sunday’s final G1 card at Budokan Hall.