Preview: G1 Climax 31 — Day 5 — A Block (9/26/21)

G1 Climax 31 Day 5
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The first four days of the G1 Climax 31 are now in the books as we look ahead to Day 5 of New Japan Pro-Wrestling‘s biggest tournament of the year. Tetsuya Naito‘s unfortunate injury continues to show its effects on the A Block with Day 5’s scheduled main event of Tetsuya Naito vs. IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Shingo Takagi being canceled and replaced by point leader Zack Sabre Jr. taking on former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kota Ibushi in the main event. Without further ado, let’s get right into the show.

G1 Climax 31 – Day 5 – A Block Match Card

Master Wato vs Kosei Fujita

Yuji Nagata vs Shingo Takagi

Yujiro Takahashi vs Great-O-Khan

Toru Yano vs Tanga Loa

Tomohiro Ishii vs KENTA

Zack Sabre Jr. vs Kota Ibushi

G1 Climax 31 – Day 5 – A Block Tournament Matches

Yujiro Takahashi (4) vs Great-O-Khan (6)

In the first bout of block action on Day 5, the undefeated Great-O-Khan will battle Yujiro Takahashi, who is looking for his 2nd win in the tournament. While O-Khan has yet to lose a G1 match and is currently leading the pack with an undefeated record of 2-0, Yujiro Takahashi suffered a defeat on Night 3 to his stablemate and friend, KENTA, in an impressive bout. With his Day 1 win over Kota Ibushi still being at the forefront of many Takahashi fans, can “The Tokyo Pimp” rebound from his recent loss and continue his impressive tournament run?

Toru Yano (4) vs Tanga Loa (2)

In the second tournament match of the night, the 1-1 Toru Yano will battle the similarly 1-1 Tanga Loa in what will likely be a match full of shenanigans and mischief, possibly from both parties. While Loa’s record is incredibly barren as a singles wrestler, his past against Yano in tag action is well documented, as Guerillas of Destiny have been forced to deal with Yano in tag team action for years now. While the Bullet Club duo has more often than not defeated Yano in tag action, the question of whether or not Loa can deal with Yano’s behavior on his own will be the biggest factor in who walks out victorious.

Tomohiro Ishii (2) vs KENTA (4)

In yet another clash between CHAOS & Bullet Club, Tomohiro Ishii will face KENTA in the semi-main event of the evening. The pair have been rivals ever since KENTA’s 2019 arrival in NJPW, with KENTA holding two singles victories of Ishii in their bouts over the NEVER Openweight Championship. In more recent times, KENTA got to trolling Ishii by posting #TOMO on Twitter with accompanying pictures of Ishii because of unknown reasons. Ishii needs these points to keep up with the pack, but KENTA is off to a strong start and might prove to be hard to stop.

Zack Sabre Jr. (4) vs Kota Ibushi (4)

In the main event of Day 5, we will see the 8th singles matchup between Kota Ibushi and Zack Sabre Jr in the past four years. A reoccurring fixture in both the G1 Climax and New Japan Cup, Kota Ibushi has a record of 4-2 against Sabre in tournament matches, with his 5th win coming in an IWGP Intercontinental Championship match in 2019. Can Sabre fight back against his losing record and carry on his string of momentum in this year’s tournament, or will Ibushi put an end to Zack Sabre Time and move up to two wins in the G1 Climax 31?

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