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8/11 NEW JAPAN G1 CLIMAX DAY 17 REPORT

By Paul Crockett on 2017-08-11 18:52:00

G1 Climax Night 17 in Tokyo

August 11, 2017

It's the final night for A Block, and barring some type of wild scenario that would have to involve a double countout in the main event, it will be between Naito and Tanahashi to go to the finals in two days.

A BLOCK: Bad Luck Fale (5-3 Record; 10 Points) vs. Yuji Nagata (1-7 Record; 2 Points)

I had chills.  As Nagata came out, everyone was in the crowd holding up paper-sized signs that said "Yuji Nagata: G1 Final Match."  The crowd was very up for him and the atmosphere was incredible.  On the English commentary, they played up Nagata being Fale's mentor when he was at the Dojo.

Fale crushed Nagata against the guardrail on the floor and they teased Nagata losing via countout, but he got back in the ring in time.  Really loud Nagata chants.  Fale got the heat on him until Nagata was able to clip his leg and he started working it over.  Big splash on Nagata for a nearfall.  After teasing it earlier, Nagata hit the Exploder for a big reaction and a nearfall.  Fale went for the Grenade, but Nagata countered into the deadman reverse armbar.  Nagata transitioned into a Nagata lock but Fale got the rope for the break.  Justice Knee in the corner and a Saito suplex, but Fale kicked out.  There were a couple of nearfalls until Fale finished it with the Bad Luck Fall.

Great moment after the match.  Fale stood in the middle of the ring and waited for Nagata to recover and rise.  Fale threw up the Too Sweet Me hand gesture and held it in the air.  Nagata stood across from him and instead of Too Sweeting, he threw up his military-style salute in a sign of respect.  Fale followed that by bowing and leaving the ring.  Nagata's music played, and with tears in his eyes, he soaked up the crowd, bowed to all four sides of the ring and left to a huge ovation.  Fantastic drama.

WINNER: Bad Luck Fale

A BLOCK: YOSHI-HASHI (2-6 Record; 4 Points) vs. Togi Makabe (3-5 Record; 6 Points)

The story of the match was Yoshi trying his best to strike with Makabe and coming up short.  They went back and forth for a while before Yoshi hit his uppercut lariat to finally knock Makabe down.

They had a clothesline battle near the end that Makabe won.  They ended up on the top rope together.  Makabe hit the Spider Suplex followed by the King Kong Kneedrop for the win.  Good match, though it seemed to suffer from an emotional hangover from the match before.

WINNER: Togi Makabe

A BLOCK: Zack Sabre, Jr. (4-4 Record; 8 Points) vs. Tomohiro Ishii (4-4 Record; 8 Points)

It was the hard hitting style of Ishii against the submission mastery of Sabre.  They played up Ishii's various injuries throughout the match.  Ishii was getting the better of everything when Sabre kicked the lariat arm of Ishii and started working that over.  Then Sabre also attacked the knee.  Everytime Ishii hit a lariat from that point on, he would also sell his arm right after.  

Sabre was picking Ishii apart when the "Stone Pitbull" fired up and came back.  It was a see-saw affair from there.  The finish came when Ishii went for the sliding lariat, but Sabre caught him and transitioned into an armbar.  Simultaneously, he also put on a half crab.  Ishii sold this for nearly two minutes before the referee called for the bell because Ishii could no longer continue.  This was a tremendous win for Sabre, especially as he will head into an Intercontinental Title match in the upcoming months.  Ishii also sold this tremendously after the match to make Sabre look like even more of a killer.

WINNER: Zack Sabre, Jr.

A BLOCK: Hirooki Goto (4-4 Record; 8 Points) vs. Kota Ibushi (5-3 Record; 10 Points)

Lots of striking between the two.  Ibushi would occasionally throw in a dynamic high flying/athletic move to mix it up.  Ibushi hit a really impressive box jump to the corner into a hurricanrana.  The finish saw Ibushi go for the double arm hold knee strike, but Goto escaped it and hit the GTR for the win.  Very good match.

WINNER: Hirooki Goto

A BLOCK: Tetsuya Naito (6-2 Record; 12 Points) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (6-2 Record; 12 Points)

The crowd is very hot to start.  Chants for both men, but it was clearly a Naito crowd.

Tanahashi is a genius at reading crowds and going with it.  During the first rope break, he slapped Naito in the face.  He then clinched Naito to allow the crowd to react and boo loudly.  Once they stopped, he back up and slapped Naito again just to ramp the crowd up more.  Tanahashi ended up on the floor and Naito did he tease of a dive into him laying on the mat.  As he did that, Tanahashi snuck in behind him and laid the boots to him, which drew even more heat.  Simple but brilliant.

Naito went after Tanahashi's arm, while Tanahashi went after Naito's knee.  Outside of a few slaps and Tanahashi's High Fly Flow to the floor, they didn't go crazy with moves and ugly strikes and they told an outstanding story and had a killer match doing it.

Two Sling Blades by Tanahashi, followed by a High Fly Flow to a standing Naito.  He went back to the top and went for another High Fly Flow, but Naito got out of the way.  They went back and forth before Tanahashi locked in a Cloverleaf (which was the hold that won him the title at Dominion).  Naito sold this for a long time and the crowd went into a fever pitch.  Playing off the stoppage in the ZSJ-Ishii match, Red Shoes teased stopping the match before Naito finally made the ropes.  Brilliant.

After a couple of swinging DDT's by Naito, the crowd was at its peak.  Tanahashi looked to finish things, but Naito escaped into a Destino that didn't fully connect.  He picked Tanahashi back up and hit another one for the win.  Sumo Hall erupted.  This was an incredible match.

Naito cut a promo after the match.  He said he's in the finals like everyone predicted.  He said it doesn't matter if it's Okada or Omega, because everyone can use their eyes and ears to see that Los Ingobernables de Japon is in full effect.  Thanks to Chris Charlton (@reasonjp) for the translation!

WINNER: Tetsuya Naito

It's onto the B Block final tomorrow with either Omega or Okada facing Naito.  If it can even match this final, it's going to be a hell of an event.

FINAL A-BLOCK STANDINGS

NAITO (7-2; 14 Points)

Tanahashi (6-3; 12 Points)

Fale (6-3; 12 Points)

Goto (5-4; 10 Points)

Ibushi (5-4; 10 Points)

Sabre, Jr. (5-4; 10 Points)

Ishii (4-5; 8 Points)

Makabe (4-5; 8 Points)

Yoshi-Hashi (2-7; 4 Points)

Nagata (1-8; 2 Points)

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