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Ex-RETRIBUTION member beats former IWGP champ in G1

Or, let’s check in with New Japan’s prestigious tournament with more than half the round robin action in the books.

After the past two days at Korakuen Hall, New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s 33rd G1 Climax tournament is past the halfway mark of the round robin stage (you can find a quick primer on the grueling, prestigious tournament here).

There have several matches worth seeking out since we last checked in with the G1. Last Friday’s Kazuchika Okada vs. Taichi bout, the Tomohiro Ishii vs. Shingo Takagi match from July 23, and July 25’s SANADA vs. Kaito Kiyomiya affair immediately spring to mind. Storylines are also taking shape, including one of Eddie Kingston dealing with the aftereffects of his recent hernia surgery & the grueling nature of the G1 yet never giving up and proving he can hang with NJPW’s best...

As good as Kingston vs. Tomohiro Ishii III was, it probably wasn’t July 26’s best match. For my money, that would be Jeff Cobb’s victory over Zack Sabre, Jr. to remain undefeated and claim the top spot in their Block.

But I couldn’t resist the headline after Shane “SLAPJACK” Haste scored an upset win over Tetsuya Naito in another fun bout during the latest show.

Now once again representing TMDK rather than RETRIBUTION, Haste has a couple wins in the G1 and thinks his victory today proves he belongs with puroresu’s finest:

Each of the 32 competitors has three matches to go before the top two in each Block advance to the quarterfinals. Here’s where that all stands:

A Block

SANADA (4-0-0): 8
Kaito Kiyomiya (2-1-1): 5
Gabe Kidd (2-2-0): 4
Chase Owens (2-2-0): 4
Shota Umino (1-1-2): 4
Yota Tsuji (1-2-1): 3
Ren Narita (0-2-2): 2
Hikuleo (1-3-0): 2

B Block

Kazuchika Okada (4-0-0): 8
Will Ospreay (3-1-0): 6
Taichi (2-2-0): 4
YOSHI-HASHI (2-2-0): 4
KENTA (2-2-0): 4
Tanga Loa (1-3-0): 2
El Phantasmo (1-3-0): 2
Great-O-Khan (1-3-0): 2

C Block

David Finlay (3-1-0): 6
EVIL (3-1-0): 6
Tama Tonga (3-1-0): 6
Eddie Kingston (2-2-0): 4
Shingo Takagi (2-2-0): 4
HENARE (1-3-0): 2
Mikey Nicholls (1-3-0): 2
Tomohiro Ishii (1-3-0): 2

D Block

Jeff Cobb (4-0-0): 8
Zack Sabre Jr. (3-1-0): 5
Hirooki Goto (2-2-0): 4
Shane Haste (2-2-0): 4
Hiroshi Tanahashi (2-2-0): 4
Tetsuya Naito (2-2-0): 4
Alex Coughlin (1-3-0): 2
Toru Yano (0-4-0): 0

Action continues tonight in Tokyo with an Okada/Ospreay match many have had circled since the schedule was released. You can find that schedule here. All shows stream on the NJPWWorld subscription service.

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