Night two of the G1 saw the B Block show that they have the star power to be the best group of the tournament. So, on night three, Block A had something to prove. Even though I did not think it was possible, all the stars of Block A really delivered and managed to top night two.
Block A Match- Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Tama Tonga
Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Tama Tonga put on a fairly boring matchup to start the show. With no big spots, nothing about the match was great. The match was just a lot of lock-ups and forearms with nothing more exciting than that.
A few of my favourite spots were Tonga’s hangman rolling neck breaker on Tenzan and then Tenzan’s anaconda vice bomb that he hit Tonga with at the end of the match.
Tenzan seemed to be in control for the majority of the matchup, and he closed the match fairly easily. He power slammed Tonga and hit his moonsault to land the one, two, three.
Winner: Hiroyoshi Tenzan (4pts)
Block A Match- Tomohiro Ishii vs Hirooki Goto
MATCH OF THE NIGHT
Tomohiro Ishii and Hirooki Goto was a battle of two absolute beasts, and I loved everything about it. With the power that these two men put behind their moves it looked like they were out there to kill each other.
I knew it was going to be good right from the opening bell as both men had a forearm competition hammering each other in the face. Then to follow that up, these competitors had a chop off leaving both men’s chests beet red.
Goto’s corner spinning heel kick and Ishii’s enziguri were also great things to see from such big men. Even these large men completing a super-plex was another good touch, to show the skill of two heavyweights.
Ishii’s high spots in the closing moments of the match were dropping Goto with a devastating powerbomb, and turning him inside-out with a strong lariat. However, it was Goto owning the end of the match.
He would drop Ishii face-first onto his knee from a suplex position and then would hit his signature GTR to finish the match and get his fourth point of the tournament.
Winner: Hirooki Goto (4pts)
Block A Match- Bad Luck Fale vs Naomichi Marufuji
I had some low expectations for this match because of Bad Luck Fale’s first match and his limited move-set, however, Naomichi Marufuji carried Fale to a very enjoyable match. Most of the entertaining points of the bout had Marufuji on the offense.
Parts of the match like Marufuji landing a suplex on Fale and his array of kicks on the big man were also very electric. The powerful superkicks, the bicycle knees, and the corner boots to the face were all great ways to take down the very large Fale.
Despite Marufuji shining, it was Fale’s size and power that gave him the edge in the matchup. Fale was too big to get a finisher on, and he was swatting Marufuji out of mid-air. It all came to a close when Fale finally hit his finishing chokeslam for his first two points.
Winner: Bad Luck Fale (2pts)
Block A Match- SANADA vs Kazuchika Okada
SANADA and the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kazuchika Okada, put on the second amazing match of this show. They tore into each other and had me on the edge of my seat for the entirety of the match.
SANADA started the match by utilizing the outside of the ring and effectively hurting Okada without being disqualified. He did things like drop Okada rib first on the steel barricade and choked him with the wires from the cameras.
Okada’s high moments included his reverse neck breaker, dropkick, and his diving elbow across three-quarters of the ring. However, I found SANADA dominating most of the match and there were many times where I thought he was going to make Okada tap out.
SANADA came very close, but when Okada hit the German suplex and followed it with the Rainmaker lariat, I knew the match was over. The champion picked up his first win of the G1.
Winner: Kazuchika Okada (2pts)
Block A Match- Togi Makabe vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
Togi Makabe and Hiroshi Tanahashi was the main event of night three, and it was a match that started slow but once it picked up it did not disappoint. The match began very technically, and Makabe held Tanahashi to the ground for a long period of time.
Once Tanahashi began to pick up momentum, I was very entertained with moves like his diving senton and rolling neck breaker. I also loved the way he no-sold Makabe’s lariats and got energy from the hard hits he was receiving.
The sequence where Tanahashi hit a straight arm German suplex that Makabe followed with a German suplex of his own was also very cool. It was these two moves that led to the closing moments of the match.
Makabe had Tanahashi backward on the top rope and drove his head into the ring post, with Tanahashi stunned he delivered the top rope German suplex. Once Tanahashi was down, Makabe hit his diving knee drop for the upset on his opponent.
That was back-to-back losses for The Ace, Tanahashi, and I am now interested to see how he will come back in the tournament, or even if he will.
Winner: Togi Makabe (4pts)
With night three now finished, I must say every match delivered in its own way and blew me away. Block A’s stars really proved to me that they match up well with the stars of Block B. Special shout out to Hirooki Goto, the guy is a dominant force and a star in my opinion. I now look forward to when I see Block A again.
BLOCK A STANDINGS
Hiroyoshi Tenzan – 4 Points
Togi Makabe – 4 Points
Hirooki Goto – 4 Points
SANADA – 2 Points
Naomichi Marufuji – 2 Points
Kazuchika Okada – 2 Points
Bad Luck Fale – 2 Points
Hiroshi Tanahashi – 0 Points
Tama Tonga – 0 Points
Tomohiro Ishii – 0 Points