This was the first night for B-Block, A-Block having got underway the previous Saturday in Dallas, Texas.
The tournament matches got off to a great start with Juice Robinson taking on Shingo Takagi. Juice looks to be taking the G1 seriously and put his all into this match. It was interesting to see Shingo look small against someone, I’m so used to seeing him against Juniors where he always looked like a monster! Not that his size matters, he’s still one of the best in the tournament. He also brought everything to the plate and as a result, we got a fantastic match to open the block. Juice picked up the surprise victory after getting Shingo with two Left Hands of God and Pulp Friction for the pin. I’m not sure Shingo losing his first big Heavyweight tournament match was a good call, but it was a great win for Juice to have.
Jon Moxley’s tournament also got off to a great start with a dominating performance against Taichi. A highlight of the night for me was seeing Taichi get slammed through a table, I still don’t like that guy! Also of note is that Moxley’s taken Young Lion Shota Umino under his wing, with Shota accompanying him to the ring and carrying his belt. It’s a nice touch after Moxley helped Umino to the back following their singles match a couple of weeks ago.
Next up we saw a huge upset s the man Kevin Kelly calls the “Ultimate Spoiler” beat Tetsuya Naito by pulling the referees t-shirt over his head and hitting a low blow on Naito for the pin. With Shingo’s surprise lost earlier in the night, this hasn’t been a great start for Los Ingobernables de Japon in B-Block.
Jeff Cobb v Tomohiro Ishii was a great hard-hitting strikefest as you would expect, definitely one to watch if you’re into that stiff style of wrestling.
The main event was one I had been looking forward to with Hirooki Goto coming back from training in the LA Dojo with Shibata to try to finally get a victory over Jay White. This was easily the match of the night for me, with great storytelling in the ring and Goto looking the best he has since I started watching a couple of years ago. I’ve always liked Goto but he took it to another level here. I’ve been into the story of White and Goto, so was really happy to see Goto pick up the hard fought victory!