On Saturday, New Japan Pro Wrestling held its first of three consecutive cards at Budokan Hall with the final night of the A Block matches.
The main event saw Kota Ibushi pin IWGP heavyweight champion Kazuchika Okada after executing two Kamigoyes and pining the champion in 25:08.
The win sends Ibushi to Monday’s final where he will take on the B Block winner, which will be determined on Sunday’s card from Budokan Hall. The B Block is down to Jon Moxley, Tetsuya Naito, Jay White, and Hirooki Goto, who all have ten points.
Ibushi and Okada tied with 14 points and Ibushi advancing based off the tiebreaker.
The other major story was Will Ospreay pinning Hiroshi Tanahashi clean after hitting the Hidden Blade and Storm Breaker in 17:13. It continued the story of Tanahashi’s decline throughout the tournament his least amount of points since 2008 when it was a smaller field that consisted of six round-robin matches compared to nine. Both Ospreay and Tanahashi finished with eight points.
On the show, Zack Sabre Jr. submitted KENTA by hyperextending the arm that he worked on throughout the match. They both end the G1 with eight points, as well.
Bad Luck Fale upset Sanada by countering the Skull End with a small package as Fale ended with eight points, as did Sanada.
In the opener, Lance Archer pinned EVIL with the EBD Claw and finished in last with six points.
Here are the final standings for the A Block:
*Kota Ibushi – 14 points (winner)
*Kazuchika Okada – 14
*Will Ospreay – 8
*Hiroshi Tanahashi – 8
*EVIL – 8
*KENTA – 8
*Zack Sabre Jr. – 8
*Sanada – 8
*Bad Luck Fale – 8
*Lance Archer – 6
The final B Block matches will take place Sunday morning at 5 am Eastern with the following card:
*Shota Umino & Ren Narita vs. Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura
*EVIL, Sanada & Bushi vs. Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens & Yujiro
*Kota Ibushi, Tomoaki Honma & Toa Henare vs. KENTA, Clark Connors & Karl Fredericks
*Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Will Ospreay & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr., Lance Archer & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
*Jeff Cobb (6) vs. Toru Yano (8)
*Taichi (6) vs. Tomohiro Ishii (8)
*Jon Moxley (10) vs. Juice Robinson (6)
*Shingo Takagi (6) vs. Hirooki Goto (10)
*Tetsuya Naito (10) vs. Jay White (10)
Below is a report on the undercard matches from listener Omri Schejtman:
Jon Moxley and Shooter Umino vs Juice Robinson and Ren Narita
Moxley and Juice started the match with Moxley taking Juice down. They had a chop battle and then a big back and forth with lariats and strikes. Both tagged out and the young lions had a really fiery exchange with Narita taking the advantage. Narita went for his leg lace Boston Crab and Mox came in to stop it. Juice threw him out of the ring and gave him a pescado to the floor, which injured Juice’s knee further after the match with Jay.
Umino won with a heart attack into a fisherman suplex hold on Narita. After the match, Moxley gave Juice a chop-block and put him in a figure four.
Jeff Cobb and Toa Henare vs Yano Toru and Honma Tomoaki:
Kevin Kelly was trying to sell tomorrow’s match as a meeting between two amateur wrestling stars. Henare and Cobb had the advantage of Honma in the beginning. Yano and Cobb tagged in. Yano tried to shoulder tackle Cobb three times without any effect, so he gave up and wrecked the eyes. Cobb went for the Gachi-Muchi-sault but Yano rolled him up for two. Cobb won with a spin cycle and tour of the islands on Honma.
Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Taichi vs Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI
Suzuki-gun attacked before the bell. Goto and Kanemaru started the match in the ring with Suzuki immediately putting him in the hanging armbar on the apron. Taichi was choking Ishii with the bell hammer. Suzuki-gun had the advantage of Goto. Taichi tagged in and got a big mixed reaction from the crowd. Ishii tagged in and had a really nice strike exchange with Taichi. Suzuki and YOSHI-HASHI tagged in, and YOSHI-HASHI and Goto got the advantage with some interesting double team moves. In the end, Suzuki won with the choke and Gotch style piledriver on YOSHI-HASHI. After the match, Taichi stepped on the NEVER championship and kicked it towards Ishii.
Jay White, Yujiro Takahashi and Chase Owens vs Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, and BUSHI
BUSHI and Chase started the match. After a long control period on BUSHI, Naito and Jay tagged in. Kelly was putting an emphasis on the question “which weapon of Naito will Jay decide to eliminate tomorrow?”. Shingo won with a Pumping Bomber and Made In Japan on Yujiro. After the match, Naito got into White’s face and White told him that he is the last one he needs, that Naito is Jay’s Destino