Photography via New Japan Pro-Wrestling
Three wrestlers remain in contention to see who advances from B Block in G1 Climax 30. EVIL and Tetsuya lead in the standings, with each having 12 points, going into the final round of their block. SANADA is just behind them at 10 points.
The points race tightened after night 16 of the tournament on Wednesday from Yokohama Budokan in the Kanagawa Prefecture. SANADA defeating Hiroshi Tanahashi headlined the eighth round of B Block matches held in Yokohama.
SANADA kept his hopes of winning alive by beating Tanahashi. In other tournament matches in Yokohama, EVIL maintains his standing atop B Block with a win over Hirooki Goto. Naito pinned Yano to maintain his position. Those outcomes put SANADA, Naito and EVIL in the running to advance.
Although Zack Sabre Jr. can possibly tie the others on points, secondary tie-breakers would eliminate him from advancing in the tournament. Sabre still defeated Juice Robinson on Wednesday to move up in the standings. The only other G1 match on the card in Yokohama was KENTA beating YOSHI-HASHI.
The stage is now set for the final round of B Block matches on Saturday. EVIL is in the proverbial driver’s seat. If he wins on Saturday, he advances to the final. Beforehand in Tokyo at Ryogoku Sumo Hall on Saturday, EVIL faces SANADA in a match that will likely decide who wins B Block.
SANADA must win against EVIL, and he also needs Naito to lose in order for SANADA to advance. Naito must win, and SANADA has to lose or draw for Naito to advance to the tournament final. Naito faces KENTA on Saturday.
SANADA Pins “The Ace”
Hiroshi Tanahashi seemingly continues to defy time and modern medical science. “The Ace” delivered another outstanding performance in G1. Nevertheless, he lost to SANADA clean in the middle of the ring. SANADA had dropped his first three matches in the tournament, but his run has clearly turned around with him winning his last five matches.
They grappled at the start. They had hold of each other’s leg, and they both agreed to let go. SANADA heeled instead, and he attacked Tanahashi. “The Ace” targeted a leg to shut down a surge from SANADA. Tanahashi worked the leg for several minutes.
SANADA rallied with a series of leap frogs and a dropkick. He followed with a plancha, and then SANADA tied Tanahashi in the Paradise Lock. “Ace” went back to targeting the leg to cut off SANADA.
Tanahashi applied a Texas Cloverleaf. He later executed Twist & Shout. SANADA answered back with a draping neckbreaker. Tanahashi escaped when SANADA first attempted a Dragon Sleeper, but SANADA with a counter launched into a springboard missile dropkick. SANADA went for a moonsault, but Tanahashi moved. SANADA landed on his feet after attempting the “rounding body press” (as the Japanese announcers call SANADA’s moonsault), but he sold his leg.
Tanahashi with back-to-back nearfalls. The second after straight jacket German suplex, and then Tanahashi went for a finisher. SANADA got his knees up to block High Fly Flow. That led to a double down.
SANADA transitioned from a Dragon Sleeper into Cold Skull. “Ace” went after the injured leg to break the submission hold. SANADA reapplied Cold Skull, and then he went for a moonsault press. This time it was Tanahashi getting his knees up to block the move.
Tanahashi worked the leg some more. Blocking a Frakensteiner, Tanahashi again applied a Texas Cloverleaf. SANADA reached a rope to break the hold. Counters and reversals in the closing moments.
Tanahashi caught SANADA in his own version of a Dragon Sleeper, and then Tanahashi landed a sling blade. As Tanahashi leapt off the top going for High Fly Flow, SANADA popped up to catch Tanahashi in a Diamond Cutter.
SANADA with a moonsault press to Tanahashi’s back. A second moonsault, and SANADA covered Tanahashi for the pinfall.
SANADA with the win improves his record to five wins and three loses, giving him 1o points headed into the final round of block matches. Tanahashi dropped to three wins and five losses for six points.
EVIL Over Goto
Although Dick Togo interfered several times during the match, EVIL on his own countered Goto for the finish. Goto shined in the early portion of the bout, until Togo tripped Goto. Togo baited Goto into a trap where EVIL jumped him in a sneak attack. EVIL with a Conchairto gave way to him working over Goto.
The heels in a ploy removed a turnbuckle cover, exposing metal hooks. Goto took a bump into the exposed turnbuckles, but later he reversed a whip to send EVIL into the exposed metal. Goto with a running bulldog during a rally, and then he delivered an ushigoroshi. Nevertheless, EVIL cut him off.
Goto kicked out after taking Darkness Falls, and he fought back. They traded strikes, and Goto was clotheslined EVIL over the ropes to the floor. Togo tried to interfere again, but Goto gave him an ushigoroshi instead. Goto measured for a kick, followed by a near fall.
They countered and reversed each other down the stretch. Everything Is Evil, and EVIL covered Goto for a pinfall.
EVIL sets atop the block in the proverbial driver’s seat with a 6-2 record, giving him 12 points. Goto moves to an even record at 4-4, with eight points heading into the final round.
Naito Gets Past Yano
Tetsuya Naito defeated Toru Yano in a match with a lot of gaga. Yano at the start was impatient, and Naito was tranquilo. The comedy continued with more stalling. Turnbuckles pads came off, and Naito was hit with a pad. Naito took Yano’s hidden roll of tape from him.
Yano sprayed Naito in the eyes with disinfectant. Yano then sprayed Yota Tsuji, who was at ringside as an attendant. With them blinded, Yano taped them together with a guardrail between them. Tsuji had to squeeze through the guardrail, and he had to get into the ring along with Naito. Still bound by the wrist, Naito used Tsuji for a double clothesline on Yano.
After finally freed from Tsuji, Naito offered a fist bump. It was a trap, and Naito bodyslammed Tsuji on Yano. Naito teased slamming the referee, but thought better of it. They traded low blows, and Naito was able to cradle Yano for a flash pinfall.
Naito heads into the final round with a 6-2 record, giving him 12 points. Yano falls to a 3-5 record for six points.
Sabre Catches Juice In A Clutch
Juice Robinson had a game plan against Zack Sabre Jr., but ZSJ still managed to catch Robinson in the European Clutch for a pinfall. Sabre was dropped on his head during an armbar spot. He finished the match and seemed okay, but it was frightening to watch.
Sabre had Juice in a triangle. The crowd helped to fire up Juice, and he went on a rally. Robinson with a cannonball, and he went for Pulp Friction. Sabre countered into an octopus hold. Robinson escaped to deliver a Juice Box. Sabre escaped a second attempt at Pulp Friction. More counters and reversals on cradles until Sabre caught Robinson in the European Clutch to score a three count.
Sabre improves his record to 5-3, totaling him 10 points going into the final round. Robinson falls to a 3-5 record for six points.
KENTA Submits YOSHI-HASHI
Although the standings might not reflect his performance, YOSHI-HASHI continues his run of great matches. He reddened and blistered KENTA’s chest with chops throughout the match. KENTA still managed to submit YOSHI-HASHI in the end.
KENTA took control to set up a double foot stomp. YOSHI-HASHI fought back to drop KENTA with a kicks, and YOSHI-HASHI broke out a running Liger bomb. KENTA struggled when trapped in a submission hold, and then YOSHI-HASHI locked in a sleeper. He turned that into a backstabber, but KENTA blocked running knees.
Kicks from KENTA only served to fire up YOSHI-HASHI. They trade strikes and kicks. KENTA hits him with a few spinning back fists, but YOSHI-HASHI had a counter to a DDT. Dragon Suplex and lariat netted YOSHI-HASHI a two count. Kharma for another near fall. YOSHI-HASHI landed a superkick, yet KENTA countered him to apply Game Over. KENTA won via submission.
KENTA moves to an even 4-4 record for eight points. YOSHI-HASHI drops to 1-7 with only two points.
Young Lions With Another Great Opener
The card itself opened with Young Lions in a non-tournament match. Yota Tsuji submitted Yuya Uemura in a great opener. Uemura worked an arm early on, and he went for a key lock. Tsuji with a deadlift to counter the hold, and Tsuji exploded into a senton/body press combo to get a two count.
Uemura sought shelter in the ropes when Tsuji went for a Boston crab, and Uemura went back to working the arm. Tsuji rolled through to apply a Boston crab, but Uemura again got a rope break. They trade strikes, and Uemura fired up. He was then cut down by a spear from Tsuji.
A giant swing from Tsuji, and he sank in on a Boston crab. Uemura was trapped in the middle of the ring, and he tapped out.
The tournament continues this weekend for the final round of matches during three nights at Ryogoku Sumo Hall in Tokyo. Final round of block matches on Friday and Saturday, leading to the G1 final on Sunday.
G1 Standings After Night 16:
- Jay White — 12 points (6-2 record)
- Kota Ibushi — 12 pts. (6-2)
- Kazuchika Okada — 12 pts. (6-2)
- Will Ospreay — 10 pts. (5-3)
- Taichi — 8 pts. (4-4) *
- Jeff Cobb — 8 pts. (4-4) *
- Tomohiro Ishii — 6 pts. (3-5) *
- Shingo Takagi — 6 pts. (3-5) *
- Minoru Suzuki — 6 pts. (3-5) *
- Yujiro Takahashi — 0 pts. (0-8) *
- EVIL — 12 pts. (6-2)
- Tetsuya Naito — 12 pts. (6-2)
- SANADA — 10 pts. (5-3)
- Zack Sabre Jr. — 10 pts. (5-3)
- Hirooki Goto — 8 pts. (4-4) *
- KENTA — 8 pts. (4-4) *
- Hiroshi Tanahashi — 6 pts. (3-5) *
- Juice Robinson — 6 pts. (3-5) *
- Toru Yano — 6 pts. (3-5) *
- YOSHI-HASHI — 2 pts. (1-7) *
* = eliminated
Night 16 Results:
- SANADA defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi
- EVIL defeated Hirooki Goto
- Tetsuya Naito vs. Toru Yano
- Juice Robinson vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
- YOSHI-HASHI vs. KENTA
- Yota Tsuji vs. Yuya Uemura (non-tournament)
Next Shows: Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Ryogoku Sumo Hall in Tokyo
October 16th starting at 2:30 AM PDT/5:30 AM EDT/10:30 AM BST:
- Jay White vs. Tomohiro Ishii
- Kota Ibushi vs. Taichi
- Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay
- Shingo Takagi vs. Minoru Suzuki
- Jeff Cobb vs. Yujiro Takahashi
- Yota Tsuji vs. Gabriel Kidd (non-tournament)
October 17th starting at 1:00 AM PDT/4:00 AM EDT/9:00 AM BST
- SANADA vs. EVIL
- Tetsuya Naito vs. KENTA
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
- Juice Robinson vs. Hirooki Goto
- Toru Yano vs. YOSHI-HASHI
- Yuya Uemura vs. Gabriel Kidd (non-tournament)
October 18th lineup for the G1 final TBA