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AEW’s Archer still gunning for semi-final as G1 Climax enters home stretch

G1 Climax 32 heads into the home stretch after wrapping up two nights in Hiroshima this week. It’s worth noting that IWGP World Heavyweight champion Jay White, who’s currently undefeated in the tournament and sitting atop B Block, sat out both these shows with “heat stroke-like symptoms”. White was only scheduled to work tag matches on the undercard Aug. 9-10, so his absence didn’t impact New Japan’s tournament.

In G1 action on Tuesday, the big stories involved A Block’s latest hoss fight. JONAH’s win streak was derailed by Lance Archer, and AEW’s Murderhawk Monster stays in the mix for a semi-final berth after JONAH’s second countout loss of the tourney. Tetsuya Naito’s comeback angle also continued. He eliminated KENTA with his third straight win to stay in the running to win C Block.

Yujiro Takahashi def. YOSHI-HASHI via pinfall following SHO interference, a low blow & Big Juice

• SANADA def. Chase Owens via referee stoppage while Owens was trapped in Skull End

Tama Tonga def. Taichi via pinfall after Gunstun

Lance Archer def. JONAH via countout

Tetsuya Naito def. KENTA via pinfall after Destino

Today started with D Block chaos (not to be confused with Kazuchika Okada’s CHAOS stable), as ELP took down the group’s surprising leader and everyone is still gunning for a spot in the semis with only three shows to go. C Block has a logjam of its own in second place, but ZSJ kept his lead — and struck a blow for House of Torture haters everywhere — with a 44 second win over EVIL. Wins by Okada and Tama Tonga set up big final day matches.

El Phantasmo def. David Finlay via pinfall with a crucifix cover

• Tama Tonga def. Great-O-Khan via pinfall after Gunstun

Zack Sabre, Jr. def. EVIL via submission with the Euro Clutch

Kazuchika Okada def. Tom Lawlor via pinfall with a roll-up

Hirooki Goto def. Hiroshi Tanahashi via pinfall after GTR

Here’s the updated standings. Asterisks indicate people who are mathematically eliminated:

A Block

Kazuchika Okada (4-1-0): 8
JONAH (3-2-0): 6
Lance Archer (3-2-0): 6
Jeff Cobb (2-2-0): 4
Bad Luck Fale (2-3-0): 4*
Tom Lawlor (2-3-0): 4*
Toru Yano (1-4-0): 2*

B Block

Jay White (4-0-0): 8
Tama Tonga (4-1-0): 8
SANADA (3-2-0): 6
Taichi (2-2-0): 4
Chase Owens (2-4-0): 4*
Great-O-Khan (1-4-0): 2*
Tomohiro Ishii (1-4-0): 2*

C Block

Zack Sabre Jr. (4-1-0): 8
Hiroshi Tanahashi (3-2-0): 6
Hirooki Goto (3-2-0): 6
Tetsuya Naito (3-2-0): 6
EVIL (2-3-0): 4*
KENTA (1-3-0): 2*
Aaron Henare (1-4-0): 2*

D Block

David Finlay (3-2-0): 6
Yujiro Takahashi (3-2-0): 6
YOSHI-HASHI (2-2-0): 4
Shingo Takagi (2-2-0): 4
Will Ospreay (2-2-0): 4
Juice Robinson (2-3-0): 4
El Phantasmo (2-3-0): 4

Outside of checking Switchblade’s status, this weekend’s shows probably won’t be too consequential for anyone outside D Block, where it’s anybody’s guess at this point. The other groups figure to be decided on Aug. 16 in Budokan with matches like Okada vs. Archer, White vs. Tonga, and Naito vs. Sabre.

You can check out all the remaining matches on the full schedule here, and watch every show with a subscription to the NJPWWorld streaming service here. Key matches from this year’s G1 are also airing Thursday nights on New Japan’s English-language AXS series.

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