NJPW G1 Climax 31, 10.9

NJPW G1 Climax 31, 10.9NJPW G1 Climax 31, 10.9

From October 09, 2021

Suzuki-gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) vs. Kosei Fujita & Ryohei Oiwa - 6.5/10

This was short, but I love seeing the Young Lions team up against established talent, because even if they're incredibly underpowered, a gang of YLs can still make some damage, but still, at the end, once you single them out, all it takes is a Numero Dos and they immediately tap out.

Tomohiro Ishii [6] vs. Hiromu Takahashi - 8.5/10

Talk about a blessing in disguise, I don't think we would have ever seen this match if not for Naito getting injured and New Japan deciding to replace his matches with exhibition matches instead of replacing him in the G1. This was in a way a dream match opening a random G1 show in the middle of the tournament.

The match was great, really stiff looking, both Hiromu's kicks and Ishii's lariats were looking really stiff towards the end. Story of the match was that Ishii started with the upper hand thanks to his strength advantage, so he pushed Hiromu to bring it, and Hiromu brought it hard. They went back and forth with a good mix of both men's styles until the end were Hiromu started getting a couple of near falls, but ended up falling to a Brainbuster from Ishii.

it was unfortunate that we knew there was no way Ishii was losing to a Jr. Heavyweight and someone not in the tournament.

G1 Climax 2021 Block A Match
KENTA [8] vs. Zack Sabre Jr. [10] - 8/10

Really good match. It was mostly a Sabre match, that KENTA kept trying to get away from and lure Sabre into a KENTA match. Sabre made the mistake of doing so and it hurt him, but he still had the submission advantage, but fortunately for KENTA, he had exposed a turnbuckle earlier in the match, where he threw Sabre into, giving him the opening to land the GTS and put out Sabre instantly. This match made Sabre look better than KENTA, but KENTA has a move that trumps his opponent's technique.

G1 Climax 2021 Block A Match
Toru Yano [6] vs. Yujiro Takahashi [4] (w/Pieter) - 6/10

Well shit, this match started with a dive from Yujiro, catching Yano unprepared, using his gimmicks on him. Yujiro removed all the turnbuckles and whipped Yano into each one. Yujiro used his walking stick while Pieter distracted the referee. Everything was going ok for Yujiro until for some reason that was lost in translation for me, the referee stopped Yujiro to lariat Yano from behind. I didn't see a weapon, but maybe that was it.

Eventually both men ended getting under the ring, but the referee immediately started counting, only to reveal at the end that Yano had handcuffed Yujiro, so Yano made the count and won via count out. When it comes to Yano shenanigans lately, this was better than the blindfold stuff.

G1 Climax 2021 Block A Match
Shingo Takagi [8] vs. Tanga Loa [4] (w/Jado) - 8/10

This was really good, it did tons for Loa, making him look like a really strong competitor, just not experienced enough, not in full control of his energy, and not technical enough to counter out of moves, which ended up being his downfall with Shingo easily hitting the Last of the Dragons as soon as he went for it.

There was a REALLY SCARY spot where Loa almost killed Shingo by accident, he was on the second rope with Shingo on his shoulders, and he slipped, he managed to rotate Shingo enough so that he came down mostly on his back, but it was a millimeter from going head first, a second from reacting differently and thankfully, Shingo reacted by trying to rotate too.

G1 Climax 2021 Block A Match
Kota Ibushi [8] vs. Great-O-Khan [6] - 9/10

We've seen O-Khan mat wrestle with Sabre, get in a striking match with Ishii, do comedy with Yano, and now he went against Ibushi and had a worked MMA match. Anyone denying his ability at this point just comes off as stupid.

Like I mentioned, the match was worked as an MMA style match with striking and mat wrestling and the mostly went back and forth. O-Khan would hurt Ibushi with submissions and Ibushi would come back with strikes and so forth until Ibushi made a strong comeback and started going for Kamigoye. At one point, O-Khan blocked a Kamigoye with the claw, but Ibushi escaped, hit Kamigoye and won.


Good show, solid card bell-to-bell, the weakest match was Yano's and for what it was, it was better than some of the Yano matches this tournament.

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