This past Saturday night the world watched as Kota Ibushi not only defeated the current IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada, but in the process of doing so, won the A Block of the G1 Climax 29 tournament. It seemed doubtful that Ibushi would win A Block as he had suffered a knee injury in his first match against Lance Archer in Dallas. However, as the G1 kept rolling on so did Ibushi’s momentum. Will this continue against his B Block opponent?
With four competitors tied at 10 points each, The Golden Star has to plan for four entirely different matchups in the G1 Finals –
Jon Moxley vs. Juice Robinson
Jon Moxley and Juice Robinson have a long history together that started on the other side of the globe. Recently, Moxley defeated The Flamboyant One to capture the IWGP United States Championship. With that piece of gold around his waist and a young lion that he took under his wing, the Death Rider has his eyes set on the finals. Juice, on the other hand, will do whatever it takes to stop Moxley’s drive in advancing within the G1. Whatever happens, this story is not yet done.
Hirooki Goto vs. Shingo Takagi
In a similar situation, Shingo Takagi plays the eliminator in this matchup. Los Ingobernables de Japon’s newest member has impressed the New Japan audience with his power moves including the ever-awesome Pumping Bomber. What he lacks is experience in a high-pressure environment like the B Block finals may be his weakness. Hirooki Goto is always on the verge of breaking out. Often compared to a pre-LIJ Tetsyua Naito, Goto needs that extra something to get him to that lofty stature. This contest may be the push Goto needs to send him to the finals against Kota Ibushi.
“Switchblade” Jay White vs. Tetsuya Naito
The main event of the evening features two former IWGP Heavyweight Champions who can also qualify to enter the G1 finals. Jay White promised he was going to win the G1 and go on to main event Wrestle Kingdom and win back the championship he believes he rightfully deserves. One thing we have seen with White is that everything he has said he was going to do, he has done. On the verge of elimination in this year’s G1, Switchblade changed up his strategy and figured out a way to defeat all of his opponents in an incredible comeback story. He only needs to win twice before challenging for the championship on the biggest show on the year.
Tetsuya Naito is on a similar path but with a different agenda in mind. Naito wants to be New Japan’s first ever dual-champion. The current IWGP Intercontinental Champion traded wins with Kota Ibushi throughout the year, including a swap of the strap back and forth; A Naito/Ibushi finals would be rich in current history. To get to that showdown Naito will need to takedown Jay White this Saturday night. Experience vs. Technique. LIJ vs. Bullet Club. Anyone can win.
The finals of B Block are this SATURDAY NIGHT. The winner faces Kota Ibushi in the G1 Finals the following week on AXS TV. The winner of that match goes on to challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at the Tokyo Dome on January 4th, 2020, at Wrestle Kingdom 14. Immortality hangs in the balance as we approach the final night of B Block. Catch these matches and much more THIS SATURDAY NIGHT 9/8c
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