I was pretty excited to see Kota Ibushi and Hiroshi Tanahashi battle it out in the G1, but I was most surprised by the endurance Kazuchika Okada and SANADA exhibited, nearly running out of time during their main event match!
The A-Block has shaped up to be filled with emotional upsets, so get ready to journey with me through the fighting and drama presented perfectly on Night 13.
A note: if you possibly can, track down the illegal broadcast warning with Yota Tsuji, Tomoaki Honma, and Ryusuke Taguchi. It beats every other illegal broadcast warning I've ever seen! But the fighting was yet to come, so let’s get to it!
G1 Climax is a yearly 19-night tournament held by NJPW (New Japan Pro Wrestling) to determine the most tenacious member of the roster. For the first time, all of the events will be available legally outside of Japan without a time delay via the NJPWWorld streaming service and with a delay on AXS TV.
There are two blocks with 10 fighters per block. Each fighter will have a match with every other fighter in their block, and they are awarded 2 points for a win, 1 for a draw, and none for a loss.
The highest scoring fighter from each block will face off at the Finale. Night 13 was an A-Block night, opening as usual with 4 short feature tag matches featuring the B-Block competitors.
Juice Robinson & Toa Henare vs. Ren Narita & Yota Tsuji
Henare and young lion Narita locked up first as Robinson fired the crowd up. Their grappling led to Narita’s hold and though Tsuji helped Narita, Henare kicked out of the first pinfall attempt of the night.
Robinson was tagged in and he held Narita in a long vertical suplex that took the wind out of him. Narita grappled his way from from Robinson’s dominance, but he couldn’t escape the results of a hot tag from Henare.
When Narita finally tagged Tsuji in, the young lion was fresh and ready to throw Henare around like a grunting ragdoll. Though he nearly locked in a Boston crab hold, Robinson broke them up. Robinson took a textbook spear from Tsuji, but it was Tsuji who needed his partner to break up the subsequent pin.
Narita came through, but Tsuji couldn’t kick out of a the legal man Henare’s leg hook pinfall.
Result: Juice Robinson & Henare def. Ren Narita & Yota Tsuji via pinfall
Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Toru Yano, Jeff Cobb & Tomoaki Honma
Hey look, it's Honma! Yano proved on Night 12 that he was once more the best and most creative foil within his block, and their union was rounded out by the wall known as Jeff Cobb.
Did Rocky Romero truly pay 10,000 JPY for Yano's trick DVD? Would the team of Ishii, Goto, and YOSHI-HASHI take Honma, Cobb, and Yano down? Would there be shenanigans? These are the truly important questions about life and wrestling.
Yano's turnbuckle pad removal was turned against him by Ishii, and YOSHI-HASHI was tagged in as Yano tagged Cobb in. YH was sly and used his energy wisely to avoid Cobb's suplex.
YH finally ate a suplex and Cobb tagged Honma in. The former hardcore legend failed to connect the Kokeshi to YH, but a second Kokeshi put everyone on notice.
YH returned the favour and made Honma tap in quick fashion.
Result: Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI def. Toru Yano, Jeff Cobb & Tomoaki Honma via submission