Preview: G1 Climax 31 — Day 3 — A Block (9/23/21)

G1 Climax 31 Day 3
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G1 Climax 31 continues with Day 3 of block action. After what was considered a strong opening for the tournament on both Day 1 & Day 2, New Japan Pro-Wrestling will look to keep up the momentum as the A Block returns to competition. On the docket are the 5 block matches with no prelims, making this all killer and no filler in the Ota City Gymnasium.

G1 Climax 31 Day 3 – B Block Full Match Card

Tanga Loa vs Yuji Nagata

Toru Yano vs Great-O-Khan

KENTA vs Yujiro Takahashi

Kota Ibushi vs Tomohiro Ishii

Shingo Takagi vs Zack Sabre Jr.

G1 Climax 31 Day 3 – B Block Preview

Tanga Loa vs Yuji Nagata

Due to the unfortunate injury sustained by Tetsuya Naito, Tanga Loa will automatically receive two points and battle Yuji Nagata in non-tournament action. Despite retiring from the G1 Climax in 2017, Nagata is still a force to be reckoned with and poses a serious threat against his relatively inexperienced singles opponent. Can Nagata throw the Tongan off his rhythm, or will Loa be able to put the 29-year veteran away with the Apesh*t?

Toru Yano vs Great-O-Khan

In the opening bout of the night, the 1-0 Toru Yano will battle the similarly 1-0 Great-O-Khan in their 2nd singles match this year. Going back to the second round of this year’s New Japan Cup, Toru Yano was able to defeat Great-O-Khan via rollup, halting Khan’s momentum following his big win against Tetsuya Naito. Can Khan remain undefeated in his first-ever G1 Climax tournament, or will Yano’s sneak past way up to 4 points?

KENTA vs Yujiro Takahashi

In a Bullet Club vs Bullet Club matchup, KENTA looks for his first tournament win against Yujiro Takahashi. Coming off a huge win over former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and back-to-back G1 Climax winner Kota Ibushi, Takahashi has perhaps the most to prove in this year’s tournament. Defeating his frequent tag partner and friend KENTA would be yet another huge statement, though that is far easier said than done. KENTA got caught up by Toru Yano’s antics in his first tournament matchup and said that he is more than prepared to face his stablemate to make up for that loss.

Kota Ibushi vs Tomohiro Ishii

For the fourth time in the past five G1 Climax tournaments, Kota Ibushi will battle Tomohiro Ishii in block action. Yet another case where both men are fighting for their first tournament win, the history is in Ibushi’s favor as he has won every tournament match he’s had against the “Stone Pitbull.” Ishii will not only be fighting this match to claim his first two points but break his losing streak against the “Golden Star” in the G1 Climax.

Shingo Takagi vs Zack Sabre Jr.

In the main event of the evening, we will see the reigning IWGP World Heavyweight Champion battle one-half of the reigning IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions in block action; Shingo Takagi takes on Zack Sabre Jr. for the first time inside a New Japan ring. Only battling once in Germany over 12 years ago, this pairing will be facing off to see who can stay at the top of the block and who falls to a 1-1 record. While you’d think Takagi would be the clear favorite here, ZSJ has proven himself to be an extremely proficient tournament wrestler throughout his tenure in New Japan. Can the “Submission Master” find a way to defeat the current world titleholder, or will “The Dragon” prove to be too much for ZSJ to handle?

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