REN NARITA vs. YUYA UEMURA - 6/10
A solid young-boy match... but even the f*cking young-boys are pushing the referees down with impunity now.
KOTA IBUSHI, TOA HENARE, & TOMOAKI HONMA vs. BULLET CLUB (Chase Owens, Bad Luck Fale, & Yujiro Takahashi) - 5.5/10
SHOTA UMINO & CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada,YOSHI-HASHI, & WILL OSPREAY) vs. SUZUKI-GUN (Minoru Suzuki, Lance Archer, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, & Zack Sabre Jr.) - 5.5/10
A smooth start with Zack and Ospreay turns into the usual bullsh*t once YOSHI-HASHI and Suzuki get tagged in. Suzuki-Gun win, then beat people up at ringside because aside from Zack, they're all just a big cheap heat act.
HIROSHI TANAHASHI, KARL FREDERICKS, & KENTA vs. LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON (Sanada, BUSHI, & EVIL) - 4.5/10
BLOCK B MATCH:
Hirooki Goto vs. Toru Yano - no rating, okay segment
Yano tries some of his usual stuff but Goto has it scouted and rolls Yano up with Goto Shiki for the win.
BLOCK B MATCH:
Juice Robinson vs. Tomohiro Ishii - 8/10
I never realized how much taller Juice is than Ishii. They had an excellent hard-hitting match.
BLOCK B MATCH:
Jeff Cobb vs. Taichi (w/Miho Abe & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) - 4.25/10
HOLY CRAP! Taichi didn't jump Cobb on the handshake! He seemed to sense Taichi going attack him on a later handshake as well and didn't fall for it... so Taichi said "hey, Miho! Hop up on the apron and show this guy how hot you are." And dumbf*ck Cobb managed to fall for that one.
And, of course, we wound up on the floor with no count-outs and got the "Taichi uses Miho as a human shield" spot to set up the heat, because all Taichi matches in this tournament are the same. Taichi hits Cobb with all manner of weapons. At one point Red Shoes walks over to Taichi choking Cobb with a chair and just gives him a quick pat on the arm, as if to say "come on, buddy. Get back in the ring." What happened to the Red Shoes who ran in on a match someone else was officiating to call a DQ yesterday?
Taichi brought Cobb back to the ring and started to choke him so Red Shoes counted to four and then just stopped counting even though Taichi did not stop choking Cobb. Once they stopped all of the cheat crap the match got good and Cobb eventually won. This was the same as just about every Taichi match, with the same exact bad first seven minutes or so getting in the way of what the rest of the match proves could have actually been something good.
BLOCK B MATCH:
Shingo Takagi vs. Jay White (w/Gedo) - 5/10
We start off with a solid minute of Jay White stalling on the outside. Shingo eventually gets annoyed and tries to go after him, walking right into White's trap. Shingo got the advantage less than thirty seconds later, so what was the point of all of this?
Gedo interfered right in front of Red Shoes but was neither disqualified nor even ejected from ringside. White took advantage of this to get the advantage, then rolled into the ring and demanded that Red Shoes count him opponent out. Red Shoes did so, despite this exact same situation arising in White's previous G1 match and Red Shoes refusing to count. White pulled Shingo to the outside again and whipped him into a barricade, then brought him into the ring again after some posing, and went for a pin... and this time Red Shoes won't count. In fact, not only did he not count, but he signified that he wouldn't count by turning his back to the match and putting his hands over his face so he couldn't see. This sort of sh*t is everything a referee is not supposed to be doing, both in kayfabe and in terms of being a good pro wrestling referee and not calling attention to yourself.
White then locked in what Rocky Romero thought was just a rear chinlock, but based on Red Shoes' refusal to engage after White demanded that he ask Shingo if he wanted to give up or not (accompanied by Red Shoes putting his hands behind his back, because he's an overdramatic attention whore), I guess must have been an illegal air choke rather than a blood choke or a rear chinlock. Meanwhile, WHITE IS STILL APPARENTLY APPLYING AN ILLEGAL AIR CHOKE, AND RED SHOES ISN'T DOING ANYTHING TO STOP IT!
They did stuff for a bit but it wasn't very engaging. We got YET ANOTHER spot where Gedo interfered right in front of Red Shoes with no punishment, and this one made absolutely no difference in the match. Gedo grabbed Shingo's leg when he was going for the big lariat. Using this distraction White... took the time to rest and collapse into the corner, where Shingo hit him with a big lariat.
Shingo dominated until we got a tremendously stupid spot where Shingo had White up for Last of the Dragons but White was able to free himself by grabbing on to Red Shoes' shirt... which he was only able to do because Red Shoes pointlessly wandered into the White's reach when there was zero reason for him to do so. This led to Gedo running in but Shingo knocked him out, then reversed White's attempt at Blade Runner into Made in Japan for a nearfall, so once again Gedo's interference doesn't even do anything for the match. They reversed each other's finisher attempts until White hit a Dragon Suplex and then Blade Runner for the win. This was very disappointing.
BLOCK B MATCH:
Tetsuya Naito vs. Jon Moxley (w/Shota Umino) - 6/10
So many times in pro wrestling you see guys roll to the floor and the announcers put it over as "mind games" even though it's really just stalling. If you want to understand how to do that spot and make it actually feel like mind games, watch the beginning of this match. There is a story being told here that progresses along until someone finally cracks.
But then they erased all the good will that unique and well-crafted start had built up with me by immediately doing the "whip each other into the barricades" into the "brawl outside forever without being counted out" into the "use weapons right in front of the referee without getting DQed" into the "count-out rules suddenly apply now because we want to do a count-out tease."
They did some good stuff in the ring before Moxley went to the outside to get some chairs. Red Shoes just stood there and watched while Moxley wrapped one around Naito's ankle, but sprung into action to count when Moxley began choking him. So, I guess chairs are allowed this match? Apparently not, as Red Shoes jumped in from of Moxley when eh made it clear he was about to hit Naito with one. Good. Now explain to me why he didn't do sh*t when Moxley hit Shingo in the knee with a chair during his last match? Or when he hit Ishii with a chair earlier in this tournament? Or when he hit Naito with a barricade earlier in this very match? Kevin Kelly would later say that this was Red Shoes saving Moxley from "what would have been a certain disqualification," even though every weapon shot we've had in this tournament other than one has not been a DQ. I really, truly, would love to know whether everyone involved here realizes how stupid they make sh*t or not. Do they realize that they are creating or reporting on these ridiculous contradictions? Or do they just think we're all too stupid to notice them?
Naito managed to Van Daminator Moxley while Red Shoes was putting the other chair back. They proceeded to fight on the outside forever without getting counted out. They finally got back into the ring and had a pretty good match from there on out, but not enough to overcome the problems in the middle part.
Yet another night of disappointment from Block B.