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The Smark Henry G1 2017 Weekly Roundup—Week 3

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Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to our weekly look at arguably the greatest wrestling tournament in the world, the annual G1 Climax Tournament! Now on its third week, the path to the Finals has never been clearer. In fact, it is so clear, you can say that your choices are quite the handful.

And as usual, expect our picks for the 10 matches you should be checking out for Week 3. Let's get right to it!

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A BLOCK

Standings (as of 08/06/2017)

Hiroshi Tanahashi and Tetsuya Naito —12 points

Mathematically Eliminated:

Bad Luck Fale and Kota Ibushi—10
Zack Sabre Jr., Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii—8 points
Togi Makabe—6 points
YOSHI-HASHI—4 points
Yuji Nagata—2 points

Talking Points


The 2017 Tanahashi-Naito Rubber Match

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It was clear as day when it was first announced, but sometimes, the obvious pick is your best choice as the final A Block match. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito will be the determining match to see which competitor goes on to compete in the Finals during the last day of the G1. And given the rest are mathematically eliminated at this point, this is the only bout that matters. Tanahashi punched his ticket by beating Tomohiro Ishii in a fantastic main event, while Naito gave resounding Destino's to Togi Makabe to ensure that these two are the top dogs of their block.

At WK11, Tanahashi lost to Naito in the match for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. At Dominion, Naito tapped out to Tanahashi with a Cloverleaf, losing his championship to the veteran challenger in the process. Now, it's for the most important two points of their 2017 as it will give them a chance to once again win the G1 and main event WK12.

However, there will be complications if by chance, their match ends up in a draw. In the case of a draw, and seeing they have a mathematical advantage regardless of what happens, there is no other choice but to leave it to the flip of a coin. Will this happen once again this year? There's only way to find out.

Ibushi and Fale: Close But No Cigar

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It's unfortunate that we will not have a chance to see a potential Ibushi vs. Omega final, but for a guy who officially came back to NJPW as himself, albeit as a freelancer, he still got 10 points in the tournament. Noting that he recently introduced a new knee finisher called the Kamigoye, this may possibly not be the end of Ibushi's run with NJPW. Of course, only Ibushi will know that, but who knows?

Bad Luck Fale, Bullet Club's monster, has been represented well in the G1, too. In a tournament format, it was the best way to showcase the Underboss as the monster he is presented to be, and true enough, with 10 points, all the showcasing has been valid. Nobody knows what this may mean in the future. But remember, there is a reason why he became one of the OG founders of Bullet Club.

B BLOCK

Standings (as of 08/06/2017)

Kazuchika Okada—12 points
Kenny Omega, EVIL—10 points
Minoru Suzuki—8

Mathematically Eliminated:

SANADA—8
Toru Yano, Michael Elgin—6 points
Juice Robinson, Tama Tonga—4 points
Satoshi Kojima—2 points

Talking Points


Four Ways To Go

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As it stands, there is still a chance for Okada, Omega, EVIL, and Suzuki to make it to Finals day on Sunday. However, that all depends on several key matches, particularly the match between Okada and Suzuki, and if Omega and EVIL can maintain their momentum.

Of course, we all know that the biggest match is expected to be the important determining match of B Block: Omega/Okada III. Omega has the most to gain if he can maintain an undefeated streak from now to the last day, as it would nullify EVIL's undefeated run since Omega defeated EVIL during the tournament, giving Omega a statistical advantage. And speaking of EVIL...

EVERYTHING IS EVIL

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If you thought Okada was going to go for the same record Shinsuke Nakamura had years ago, namely an undefeated G1 block run, you are sorely mistaken as EVIL scored the upset of the tournament in a red hot bout. Not only did EVIL play spoiler to Okada's run, but now he has a legitimate claim to an IWGP Heavyweight Championship match in the future. Can you imagine how red hot their match is going to be if the G1 encounter was of any indication?

Everything is Evil, indeed.

Juice Is A Winner, You Guys

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Okay, seriously, it's not like we expected Juice to have a flawless G1 debut. But, no doubt about it, this entire run solidified his singles run in a big way. He's been provided the biggest stage possible to show how hot a babyface he is and ended up a bigger star than before he entered. For all intents and purposes, he benefited from the G1 Climax the most, and all eyes are on him and his bright future.

Matches To Watch


1. Kazuchika Okada vs. EVIL



2. Juice Robinson vs. Kenny Omega



3. Kenny Omega vs. EVIL



 4. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi



 5. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Yuji Nagata



 6. Tetsuya Naito vs. ZSJ



 7. Michael Elgin vs. Minoru Suzuki



 8. Hirooki Goto vs. YOSHI-HASHI



 9. Satoshi Kojima vs. Minoru Suzuki



 10. Juice Robinson vs. SANADA




What are your thoughts on the G1 as we get closer to its conclusion? Enjoyed it so far? Any early picks for your overall winner? Sound off in the comments!

Images courtesy of NJPW

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