The penultimate night of A Block action rocked into Hamamatsu with 4 guys (Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay, Jay White and Kota Ibushi) still in contention to win the block. By the end of the night we would see who would have the advantage going into the final night of A Block action on Friday at Ryogoku Sumo Hall in Tokyo. All 4 would stay in contention but it gets complicated. Make sure to check out the Bodyslam preview of night 17 for details later on!
Until then here’s a quick run through of night 15’s results:
Yuya Uemura defeated Gabriel Kidd by pinfall
Jeff Cobb (8pts) defeated Will Ospreay (10pts) by pinfall
Kota Ibushi (12pts) defeated Yujiro Takahashi (0pts) by pinfall
Taichi (8pts) defeated Shingo Takagi (6pts) by pinfall
Jay White (12pts) defeated Minoru Suzuki (6pts) by pinfall
Kazuchika Okada (12pts) defeated Tomohiro Ishii (6pts) by submission
Gabriel Kidd v Yuya Uemura
Uemura and Kidd battle it out for the second to last time in a nice technical showcase to start the evening. This was in stark contrast to the bruising match Kidd had with Tsuji a couple of nights prior. Uemura would use his Kannuki Suplex for the win though to take him top of the unofficial C Block by 1 point over Yota Tsuji:
11pts – Yuya Uemura
10pts – Yota Tsuji
9pts – Gabriel Kidd
Jeff Cobb v Will Ospreay
Our first A Block match turned out to be a biggie. Ospreay defended his NEVER Openweight Championship against Cobb in the opening match at Madison Square Garden in the G1 Supercard last year. Cobb wound up winning the match and the championship as a member of the Ring of Honor roster. Times have now changed though. Cobb is now a New Japan full timer while Ospreay is officially in the heavyweight division with Cobb.
Despite Cobb’s mixed results so far he pulled out a huge win to really derail The Assassin’s G1 hopes. A Tour of the Islands won this fab match which now gives Ospreay a mountain to climb on the final night as he takes on Okada.
Yujiro Takahashi v Kota Ibushi
Yujiro carries on raising his game in losing efforts. This was a cracking little match with a number of nasty looking moments. Ibushi almost landing a heavy double footstomp on Yujiro’s throat and an awesome middle rope Fisherman’s DDT from The Tokyo Pimp were match highlights. But a cheeky V-Trigger and Kamigoye gave the Golden Star the expected win as he moves on to 12 points.
Taichi v Shingo Takagi
Essentially the sleeper match of the show as this one was all about the in ring spectacle as both men were out of G1 contention on 6 points apiece. They of course delivered. Taichi started dirty on the outside using the ring bell hammer (his current favourite weapon) but as the match wore on Taichi took the Dragon on face to face more. As the 2 went back and forth it would be a Black Mephisto that gave The Holy Emperor the win and a big smile on Miho Abe’s face as she watches her man from home.
Jay White v Minoru Suzuki
Back to matches with G1 final implications for the semi and main event. The leaders of Bullet Club (for now anyway) and Suzuki-gun went at it tooth and nail (almost literally) in the semi. King Switch knew a win was needed to give himself a good chance of winning the block after Ibushi’s win earlier. This looked a tall order as the King of Wrestling dominated a good portion of the match trying to torture Jay White as much as possible. White’s openings came whenever he targeted Suzuki’s leg. Although Gedo was too scared to physically confront Suzuki he did provide enough distractions including preventing the ref from seeing White tap out to a Cross Armbreaker and the Switchblade’s opportunity for a low blow and Bladerunner to get the crucial win.
Tomohiro Ishii v Kazuchika Okada
The battles between the 2 Chaos stablemates always end up physical and bruising wars and this was no exception. In fact, the Stone Pitbull does have a G1 win over the Rainmaker a few years ago but tonight was not to be. Ishii pulled out everything from his arsenal including those nasty looking throat chops. The highlight of the match was when Okada hit his dropkick on Ishii while Ishii was perched on the top rope only for Ishii to absorb it and come off the top with a Togi Makabe-like King Kong Kneedrop for the two count. However, it would be the Money Clip that would get the win for Okada as Ishii slipped into unconsciousness.
Maybe I’m overselling the point but the Money Clip sucks. I’m sorry but it does. You can feel the energy in the crowd die down every time he hooks his opponent with it. It’s fine as a regular move but this is like Randy Orton replacing his RKO as a finisher with one of his dreaded chinlocks. It’s great that Okada is experimenting with new moves instead of just using the Rainmaker but maybe this particular experiment is a failure?
A Block standings with one night remaining:
12pts – Kota Ibushi, Jay White, Kazuchika Okada
10pts – Will Ospreay
8pts – Jeff Cobb, Taichi
6pts – Shingo Takagi, Minoru Suzuki, Tomohiro Ishii
0pts – Yujiro Takahashi
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