NJPW G1 Climax Night Ten: Results & Review (Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. KENTA, YOSHI-HASHI vs. Tetsuya Naito)
The second night of a grueling four day stretch of G1 action features the B-Block of course. Unlike the A-Block who entered the midway point with five leaders, B-Block just has Tetsuya Naito, Toru Yano & Juice Robinson at six points, with this one much more uncertain. Many are bubbling just underneath with four points, and the future will become clear after tonight.
G1 Climax 2020 Block B Match: Toru Yano vs. Hirooki Goto
Hirooki Goto isn’t having a great tournament, and seems to be injured as well, if his blink and you’ll miss it match with Zack Sabre Jr. on Night Eight was an indication. Thankfully, he just has block leader Toru Yano on this night, who he’s faced ten times previously, with a perfect 5-5 record. Goto might be looking to stay out of the ring away from the exposed turnbuckles that come with Toru Yano, which could leave him open to Yano’s traps.
However, Yano can only trap you if you let the match go more than twenty seconds. Yano offered Goto a T-Shirt, Goto threw it in his face, hit a lariat with the bad arm, and rolled up Yano for the quick victory. Blink and you would have missed this one, but it’s exactly what it needed to be at this point of the tournament. Goto no longer has the fastest loss in the G1, and that’s a big win for him this year. At 18 seconds, it was the shortest match in G1 Climax history.
Match Rating: 1.5/5 (* ½)
G1 Climax 2020 Block B Match: Zack Sabre Jr. vs. SANADA
SANADA just got on the board with a huge win over Tetsuya Naito, and he just needs to win five in a row. This climb to the finals starts with Zack Sabre Jr, where he has three previous wins and two losses, but a perfect record in G1 Climax matches. ZSJ is also flying high after beating Goto in just four minutes, while SANADA had a twenty-seven minute war with Tetsuya Naito, so it’s clear who is more healthy. They’re both incredible wrestlers, and this was going to be a treat.
This was very much a typical ZSJ match, but SANADA proves to be a great opponent for him. They went back and forth in a flurry of submissions and pinfalls, up until SANADA hit a rope assisted cutter and his signature moonsault for another win in this tournament. He moves to four points, and has finally found his flow.
Match Rating: 3.25/5 (*** ¼)
G1 Climax 2020 Block B Match: Juice Robinson vs. EVIL
Juice Robinson has been on a roll in this G1, only dropping one match to Hiroshi Tanahashi, and being the only one to not get Yano’d. Meanwhile EVIL has a record of 2-2, and is a force to be reckoned with thanks to Dick Togo and an attitude change, but mainly Togo who was instrumental in EVIL’s two wins. Can Juice continue his best run ever, and use his smarts to overcome pure EVIL?
EVIL & Togo would quickly get Robinson to the outside, and start a concentrated attack on the lower back. Robinson would be thrown into the barricade, suplexed on a pile of chairs, and then thrown into an exposed turnbuckle in the corner. This all set up a masterful babyface comeback from Robinson, who gave all that punishment back to EVIL with interest. However, even the best comeback can be stopped by a low blow after your manager distracts the referee, and the STO would push EVIL up to six points.
Match Rating: 3.75/5 (*** ¾)
G1 Climax 2020 Block B Match: Tetsuya Naito vs. YOSHI-HASHI
Up to this point, Naito has been in the main event of B-Block shows, but facing YOSHI-HASHI will drag anyone down the card. Historically, he’s faced YOSHI-HASHI six times, and has a perfect win record against him, but YOSHI-HASHI has been giving some of his best performances ever, so if Naito takes him lightly on his way to eight points, it could end with him looking up at the lights.
YOSHI-HASHI came to win in this one, giving Naito all he could handle and taking everything Naito threw his way as well. It was another great underdog performance from YOSHI-HASHI, who nearly got Naito with the Butterfly Lock on two seperate occasions. However, Naito would rally back after the twenty minute mark, and finish this one with a big Destino.
Naito moves to eight points, and YOSHI-HASHI remains at two. With every point he earns, Naito gets more and more cocky, setting up a potentially major fall in the next few shows. Meanwhile, YOSHI-HASHI has a terrible record, but has had some of his best matches ever during this tournament.
Match Rating: 4.25/5 (*** ½)
G1 Climax 2020 Block B Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. KENTA
At one point in history, KENTA & Tanahashi were the two names at the top of the two biggest companies, making their 2019 G1 clash a dream match. KENTA won that match, and the crowd booing this victory might have been crucial in him joining BULLET CLUB and betraying Katsuyori Shibata at the end of the tour. Now, KENTA is a vicious heel, while Tanahashi is still the purest babyface NJPW has. It’s a classic story to be told, and they’re both at 2-2 after four matches, who will reach six points first?
Given the talent involved, it was always going to be a fantastic match. Both men played their roles perfectly, and Tanahashi getting some revenge for his old friend & rival Katsuyori Shibata using his basement dropkick alone made this one awesome. It was a back and forth war, where despite KENTA’s cheating ways and a briefcase shot to the head, Tanahashi fought. He’d hit the Twist & Shout, Slingblade, High Fly Flow and applied the Texas Cloverleaf for a definitive victory over KENTA.
Match Rating: 4.5/5 (**** ½)
What was your favorite match of Night Ten of G1 Climax action? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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