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Eddie Kingston’s New Japan streak ends as G1 rolls on

Over the past couple days, New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s 33rd G1 Climax tournament has seen all 32 men in this year’s field wrestle their second Block match (you can find a quick primer on the grueling, prestigious tournament here).

The action on Tuesday (July 18) in Yamagata didn’t produce any matches we’d call must see, but Will Ospreay did rebound from his opening match loss with another enjoyable performance — and more importantly a win over YOSHI-HASHI.

Yesterday also saw G1 33’s second draw, again featuring two of the men New Japan’s dubbed the Reiwa Three Musketeers for Japan’s current imperial era. Shota Umino, Ren Narita and Yota Tsuji are the third trio to be linked as “Musketeers” in the promotion’s history, following the 1980’s “Fighting Spirit” originals (Masahiro Chono, Shinya Hashimoto and Keiji Muto) and the aughts’ “New” edition (Hiroshi Tanahashi, Shinsuke Nakamura and Katsuyori Shibata).

No pressure.

That pressure may be getting to them, because after Umino and Narita’s time limit draw over the weekend, Narita and Tsuji couldn’t pin or submit each other in 20 minutes on Tuesday.

Here’s all the results from Yamagata City General Sports Center:

A Block

• Kaito Kiyomiya def. Chase Owens
• Gabe Kidd def. Hikuleo
• Ren Narita vs. Yota Tsuji ended in a time limit draw
• SANADA def. Shota Umino

B Block

• KENTA def. Great O-Khan
• Taichi def. Tanga Loa
• Will Ospreay def. YOSHI-HASHI
• Kazuchika Okada def. El Phantasmo

Today’s show in Sendai was stronger across the board. Noteworthy for American/AEW fans, Eddie Kingston dropped his first match in a New Japan ring since he & Okada lost to Bullet Club (now Gold)’s Jay White & Juice Robinson at last October’s Rumble on 44th Street in New York City — a steak of six matches that saw him end White’s NJPW run, win the Strong Openweight title, and start his first G1 with a victory. He didn’t have an answer for the House of Torture shenanigans that come with facing EVIL, however.

Folks’ mileage varies on Toru Yano, but his loss to Zack Sabre, Jr. on this show was a lot of fun. In my book anyway, where I also have Shingo Takagi and HENARE’s match as main event-worthy. However you grade it, it definitely left Takagi still looking for his first points of the tournament.

Here’s today’s full results from Xebio Arena:

C Block

• David Finlay def. Mikey Nicholls
• EVIL def. Eddie Kingston
• HENARE def. Shingo Takagi
• Tama Tonga def. Tomohiro Ishii

D Block

• Zack Sabre Jr. def. Toru Yano
• Jeff Cobb def. Alex Coughlin
• Hiroshi Tanahashi def. Shane Haste
• Tetsuya Naito def. Hirooki Goto

All of which gives us the following standings after everyone’s wrestled twice:

A Block

SANADA (2-0-0): 4
Kaito Kiyomiya (2-0-0): 4
Chase Owens (1-1-0): 2
Gabe Kidd (1-1-0): 2
Ren Narita (0-0-2): 2
Yota Tsuji (0-1-1): 1
Shota Umino (0-1-1): 1
Hikuleo (0-2-0): 0

B Block

Kazuchika Okada (2-0-0): 4
Taichi (2-0-0): 4
Tanga Loa (1-1-0): 2
YOSHI-HASHI (1-1-0): 2
Will Ospreay (1-1-0): 2
KENTA (1-1-0): 2
El Phantasmo (0-2-0): 0
Great-O-Khan (0-2-0): 0

C Block

David Finlay (2-0-0): 4
EVIL (2-0-0): 4
Eddie Kingston (1-1-0): 2
Tama Tonga (1-1-0): 2
HENARE (1-1-0): 2
Mikey Nicholls (1-1-0): 2
Shingo Takagi (0-2-0): 0
Tomohiro Ishii (0-2-0): 0

D Block

Zack Sabre Jr. (2-0-0): 4
Jeff Cobb (2-0-0): 4
Hirooki Goto (1-1-0): 2
Shane Haste (1-1-0): 2
Hiroshi Tanahashi (1-1-0): 2
Tetsuya Naito (1-1-0): 2
Toru Yano (0-2-0): 0
Alex Coughlin (0-2-0): 0

The G1 resumes Friday (July 21) in Niigata more A & B Block action. C & D Block have until Sunday (July 23) in Nagano before their next tournament action. You can find the card of tournament matches for those shows and the full G1 match schedule here. All shows stream on the NJPWWorld subscription service.

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