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Preview: NJPW G1 Climax 31 Day 9 — B Block (10/4/21)

G1 Climax 31 Day 9

Monday is G1 Climax 31 Day 9 as the B Block continues to work towards the final in what looks to be a top-heavy block this year. Two men remain undefeated, spicing up what could be a major final day between the two combatants as they look to solidify their legacies with a G1 Climax win. Here’s what to expect from Day 9 of the major tournament.

Hiroshi Tanahashi [6] vs. Chase Owens [0]

Hiroshi Tanahashi shows match after match that even if people want to believe he is almost done, he remains one of the best in the world. The IWGP United States Champion sits at six points, leaving him tied for third place behind the two undefeated competitors. He was able to defeat SANADA in the main event of his last bout, picking up the major win that leaves him in serious contention to win this year. Chase Owens remains winless, however, an upset over Tanahashi is as big as it would get.

EVIL [6] vs. Tama Tonga [2]

EVIL versus Tama Tonga is an interesting battle as it will be two men who consider themselves “upper management” of Bullet Club. Tonga has been very open about his mindset after calling out Jay White for his previous words about the state of the group. As one of the “OGz,” Tonga isn’t likely to be okay with the House of Torture. EVIL was able to stunt one of his fellow Bullet Club members when he faced Owens last, some expect him to find success against Tonga as well.

Taichi [4] vs. Jeff Cobb [8]

Jeff Cobb is one of the two men still undefeated and will look to keep going strong in a huge matchup against Taichi. Cobb has been a killer in his matches, not hesitating to destroy whoever opposes him in an orderly fashion. The majority of his matches haven’t even reached 15 minutes. A matchup with the reeling Taichi feels like another win for The United Empire monster. That being said, Taichi has not been an easy win for anyone, making us believe that this could be the match that finally takes Cobb to the limits that he has avoided thus far.

Hirooki Goto [0] vs. YOSHI-HASHI [2]

The winless Hirooki Goto has entered the point in his career where he is no longer even in contention to win the G1. The former winner will go against his NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Championship teammate in YOSHI-HASHI, who was able to pick up his first win in his last outing against Taichi. Goto has reached desperation mode which could spell trouble for YOSHI-HASHI in this semi-main event.

Kazuchika Okada [8] vs. SANADA [4]

“The Rainmaker” is fully back as Kazuchika Okada cannot be stopped in the G1 Climax. Okada was able to vanquish his CHAOS stablemate in Goto to earn his seventh and eighth points, leaving him at 4-0. Truthfully, SANADA feels like the only one who could stop Okada from heading into the final day undefeated. After all, “The Cold Skull” has had Okada’s number before but that still remains rare. The last time they faced off in singles action was in 2019 when Okada defended his title against SANADA. The last time they competed in G1 action, SANADA defeated him with 13 seconds to go. Okada versus SANADA could very well decide who wins the B Block, making this the biggest match of the tournament to this point. If SANADA loses, he may be out altogether.

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