Preview: NJPW G1 Climax 31 Day 13 – A Block (10/9/21)

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 The G1 Climax 31 is closing in on its final days of block competition, with the A Block still being virtually anybody’s game going into Day 13.

In the past, the 13th show, typically occurring in Osaka, has been one of the most intense nights of tournament action. This year has seen both contention eliminations and huge upsets often taking place. Can we once again see a “Shocker in Osaka” during this year’s G1? Let’s get into the action.

G1 Climax 31 Day 13 Match Card

Zack Sabre Jr. [10] vs KENTA [8]

A strange choice leads off the first tournament match on the card.

The block leader Zack Sabre Jr. will face a man just two points behind him in KENTA. ZSJ has been on perhaps the best run of this year’s tournament. But? KENTA has been a real sleeper in terms of people who can easily steamroll the competition moving forward and win the block. Will Zack utilize his newly established Tesco Meal Plan, or will KENTA put away his Suzuki-Gun adversary?

Toru Yano [6] vs Yujiro Takahashi [4]

In a match that is almost destined to have shenanigans, Toru Yano will look to climb over .500 in his bout against the Tokyo Pimp, Yujiro Takahashi. While Yujiro has made a valiant effort throughout this year’s tournament, the odds have been stacked against him throughout and he hasn’t gotten many good results thus far. This match against Yano does seem like a more winnable match for Yujiro, however, the past indicates that the Sublime Master Thief has defeated Takahashi in five of their six previous meetings. Yujiro will have to overcome those odds if he wants to walk away from Osaka with two more points.

Shingo Takagi [8] vs Tanga Loa [4]

In a match that feels like it has almost too certain of a result, the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion faces off against the Silverback of the Tag Team Division, Tonga Loa. Despite Osaka’s aforementioned reputation of having shocking outcomes, it’s incredibly hard to see Tanga Loa defeat the World Champion in only his eleventh singles match in the duration of his run with the company. Can this be the Shocker that rocks Osaka, or will The Tongan be unable to overcome The Dragon?

Kota Ibushi [10] vs Great-O-Khan [8]

In the main event of the evening, the 5-2 Kota Ibushi battles the 4-3 Great-O-Khan in an attempt to widen the two-point gap between the two wrestlers. While Khan is on the top half of the block, he has gotten to that point via wins over people like Loa and Yano and is still yet to get a defining win in the tournament. Ibushi, on the other hand, is on his way to making his 4th G1 Climax Final in a row, but matches against both O-Khan and KENTA can prove disastrous for Ibushi’s plans to make history in the G1 Climax.


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