The A Block returns after a few days away with three first-time singles matches from Hiroshima Sun Plaza. The main event of this card was meant to be Tetsuya Naito vs. KENTA in a rematch of their bloody IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championship match at New Beginning 2020, but Naito’s early tournament injury catapulted Tomohiro Ishii and Great-O-Khan into the main event slot. In the only rematch of the night, Shingo Takagi will look to get back into the win column as he steps into the ring with the always tricky Toru Yano. In the second G1 Climax match of the night, Zack Sabre Jr. looks to move to 5-1 as he takes on Yujiro Takahashi, and the tournament action will begin with Kota Ibushi, looking to capitalize on momentum he created by defeating Shingo Takagi in night nine’s main event will take on Tanga Loa, also coming off of his first G1 Climax victory.

The undercard will feature Hiromu Takahashi stepping in for his Los Ingobernables De Japon pal Tetsuya Naito, and stepping up to KENTA, and Ryohei Oiwa continuing his Young Lion experience tour as he jumps into the ring with El Desperado in what is sure to be a Best of The Super Junior tuneup match for Despy.

In daily preview posts, I am dissecting each tournament matchup, including 2021 and recent singles performance, individual head-to-head histories, and miscellaneous applicable research. Round robin tournaments are great equalizers for data: each wrestler competes in the same schedule throughout the tournament by facing each other wrestler once. So, as the tournament goes on and data points become more relevant, I’ll be including some advanced metrics and probabilities for each card as well. I’ll also help to dissect the complicated tiebreakers and other tournament nuances as they come up.

Find interactive tables for NJPW’s 2021, detailed results and statistics of all 1581 G1 Climax matches to date, and This Year’s Tournament at SportOfProWrestling.com, and you can let me know what you find when you drill down by dropping me a line on Twitter @TheChrisSamsa.

Find a full pre-tournament preview for A Block HERE

NJPW G1 Climax 31 Night Eleven (A Block)
Date: October 7, 2021
City: Hiroshima
Venue: Hiroshima Sun Plaza
Time: 6:30pm JST
Watch: NJPWWorld (With Live English Commentary)
Local Time Conversions:

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G1 Climax 31: A Block Results To Date

Elimination Scenarios

All of these elimination scenarios say they can “essentially eliminate” the other wrestler, meaning the best the losing wrestler could do is tie the block leader at the end of the tournament. Of course, there are three+ way ties and things of the sot that could happen, but in straight up one on one tie breakers, the losing wrestler would be unable to win the block.

  • Zack Sabre Jr can essentially eliminate Yujiro Takahashi with a win over him. With a loss, Yujiro’s maximum points would be 10 and Zack would be at 10 points, holding the direct tiebreaker.
  • Kota Ibushi can essentially eliminate Tanga Loa with a win over him. With a loss, Tanga Loa’s maximum points would be 10 and Kota Ibushi would be at 10 points, holding the direct tiebreaker.
  • Great-O-Khan can essentially eliminate Tomohiro Ishii with a win over him. With a loss, Ishii’s maximum points would be 10 and Great-O-Khan would be at 10 points, holding the direct tiebreaker.

G1 Climax 31: A Block Table

Main Event
G1 Climax 31 A Block Match
Tomohiro Ishii [6] vs. Great-O-Khan [8]

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Tomohiro Ishii and Great-O-Khan began their tournaments on entirely different trajectories. Through three matches, Great-O-Khan hadn’t yet lost a match, and Tomohiro Ishii hadn’t yet lost a match. As their paths converge, they meet closer to the middle. Ishii enters with a two match winning streak, Great-O-Khan with a two match losing streak. Ishii looks to keep his tournament hopes alive and extend both streaks in the main event from Hiroshima, while early-favorite Great-O-Khan looks to get back on track and set himself up for a chance to win the block.

  • Tomohiro Ishii’s 20 minute and 21 second average match Length is third-highest in the A Block, and it is just about 5 minutes longer than his all-time G1 average.
  • Ishii’s 19:11 average match length in last year’s G1 Climax tournament was the longest in the A Block.
  • Ishii’s average win is 4 minutes and 46 seconds shorter than his average tournament loss. That is the best win/loss differential in the tournament.
  • Great-O-Khan’s win/loss differential of 3 minutes and 2 seconds is the second best in the A Block.
  • Ishii and Kota Ibushi are the only wrestlers in the A Block on winning streaks, both have won two straight.
  • Tomohiro Ishii is streaky in G1 Climax competition. 2021 marks the fifth G1 Climax in nine tournaments that Tomohiro Ishii has lost three matches in a row. Ishii has also won three in a row in four separate tournaments.

Recent History – 2021 Singles

Recent History – Last 365 Days Singles

Recent History – 2021 Individual Overall

  • Great-O-Khan’s 67 total victories are the most in NJPW this year.

Head To Head History

  • This will be the first singles match between Tomohiro Ishii and Great-O-Khan.

History in Hiroshima Sun Plaza

  • Tomohiro Ishii is 2-2 in singles matches in Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall including a 1-1 record in G1 Climax matches.
  • Ishii’s singles history in Hiroshima also includes one of his two IWGP Heavyweight Championship losses – his 2018 loss to Kenny Omega.
  • Great-O-Khan lost to Tetsuya Naito on April 26 at Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall. Prior to O-Khan’s G1 Climax losses to Zack Sabre Jr and KENTA, that was O-Khan’s most recent singles loss.

 

G1 Climax – All Time

Individual G1 Climax Tournament Schedules

Great-O-Khan
(W) September 18, EDION Arena Osaka: Great-O-Khan vs. Tanga Loa
(W) September 23, Ota City General Gymnasium: Great-O-Khan vs. Toru Yano
(W) September 26, Kobe World Hall: Great-O-Khan vs. Yujiro Takahashi
(L) September 30, Korakuen Hall: Great-O-Khan vs. Zack Sabre Jr
(L) October 3, Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium: Great-O-Khan vs. KENTA
October 7, Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall: Great-O-Khan vs. Tomohiro Ishii
October 9, EDION Arena Osaka: Great-O-Khan vs. Kota Ibushi
October 13, Xebio Arena Sendai: Great-O-Khan vs. Shingo Takagi
(W-forfeit) October 18, Yokohama Budokan: Great-O-Khan vs. Tetsuya Naito

Tomohiro Ishii
(L) September 18, EDION Arena Osaka: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Shingo Takagi
(L) September 23, Ota City General Gymnasium: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Kota Ibushi
(L) September 26, Kobe World Hall: Tomohiro Ishii vs. KENTA
(W) September 30, Korakuen Hall: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Tanga Loa
(W) October 3, Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Zack Sabre Jr
October 7, Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Great-O-Khan
(W-forfeit) October 9, EDION Arena Osaka: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Tetsuya Naito
October 13, Xebio Arena Sendai: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Yujiro Takahashi
October 18, Yokohama Budokan: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Toru Yano

Match Five
G1 Climax 31 A Block Match
Toru Yano [6] vs. Shingo Takagi [6]

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Shingo Takagi and Toru Yano will meet in the only tournament rematch of the night in the semi-main event. Shingo was able to fend off Yano in their 2019 match for his first ever G1 Climax victory. Since then, The Dragon has only gotten better, and arguably more familiar with crafty wrestlers, so certainly he will look to create some space between himself and Toru Yano as we head into the back third of the tournament.

G1 Climax 31 – Tournament To Date

  • Shingo Takagi’s 25 minute and 47 second average match length is on pace for the longest average in G1 Climax history. The elimination of his scheduled match with Tetsuya Naito means it is unlikely he will have the single longest G1 Climax tournament in history.
  • Toru Yano’s 9 minute and 22 second average match length is 1 minute and 10 seconds longer than his all-time G1 average and 3 minutes longer than his 2020 tournament average.
  • Yano’s last 5 tournament average match lengths: 2020-6:22, 2019-4:55, 2018-6:40, 2017-6:06, 2016-4:21
  • Shingo Takagi’s shortest loss of 23:57 is the highest in the A block, the second highest in the tournament.

Recent History – 2021 Singles

  • Shingo Takagi’s 17 singles victories are the most in NJPW this year.
  • Shingo Takagi is likely on pace to overtake Will Ospreay’s 2019 for the most NJPW singles match length in one modern calendar year (Ospreay had 11 hours, 21 minutes, and 35 seconds of singles match length that year. Ospreay participated in 33 singles matches that year)

Recent History – Last 365 Days Singles

  • Shingo Takagi’s 21 singles victories are the most in NJPW over the last 365 days.
  • Takagi’s 10 hours, 24 minutes and 15 seconds are the most in NJPW in the last 35 days.

Recent History – Last 90 Days Singles

  • Shingo Takagi is averaging one singles match every 8.18 days over the last 90 days.

Recent History – 2021 Individual Overall

  • Shingo Takagi’s +41 fall differential is the second best in NJPW this year. Only Jeff Cobb’s fall differential is better than Shingo’s.

Head To Head History

History in Hiroshima Sun Plaza

  • Shingo Takagi is 1-1 in singles matches in Hiroshima Sun Plaza. Both matches were G1 Climax matches. He defeated Kota Ibushi in last year’s tournament and he submitted to Jon Moxley in 2019’s tournament.
  • Toru Yano is 0-4 in singles matches in Hiroshima Sun Plaza. He is 0-3 in G1 Climax matches.

G1 Climax – All Time

  • Shingo has scored 8 points in each of his first two G1 Climax tournaments. The IWGP Heavyweight Champion has averaged 12.2 points in over the last 10 G1 tournaments.
  • In the A Block, only Toru Yano (.429) and Yujiro Takahashi (.328) have lower all-time G1 Climax winning percentages than Takagi’s .478.
  • With just 21 G1 Climax matches, only the tournament debuts of Great-O-Khan and Tanga Loa have less G1 Climax experience than Shingo.
  • Shingo Takagi’s 18 minute and 56 second average G1 match length is the highest ever among wrestlers with over 10 G1 matches and is the longest among this year’s field.
  • This is Toru Yano’s 16th G1 Climax, tying Masahiro Chono for the fourth-most G1 Tournaments. Only Hiroyoshi Tenzan (21), Hiroshi Tanahashi (20), and Yuji Nagata (19) have participated in more G1 tournaments than Yano.
  • Over the last ten G1 Climax tournaments, Toru Yano has averaged 7.8 points per year. He has not scored less than 6 and he has not scored more than 10.
  • Toru Yano’s 124 G1 Climax matches are fourth most all-time.
  • Toru Yano’s 70 G1 Climax losses are the most all-time.
  • Toru Yano’s 53 G1 Climax victories are the eighth most all-time.

Individual G1 Climax Tournament Schedules

Toru Yano
(W) September 18, EDION Arena Osaka: Toru Yano vs. KENTA
(L) September 23, Ota City General Gymnasium: Toru Yano vs. Great-O-Khan
(W) September 26, Kobe World Hall: Toru Yano vs. Tanga Loa
(L)September 30, Korakuen Hall: Toru Yano vs. Kota Ibushi
(W-forfeit) October 3, Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium: Toru Yano vs. Tetsuya Naito
October 7, Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall: Toru Yano vs. Shingo Takagi
October 9, EDION Arena Osaka: Toru Yano vs. Yujiro Takahashi
October 13, Xebio Arena Sendai: Toru Yano vs. Zack Sabre Jr
October 18, Yokohama Budokan: Toru Yano vs. Tomohiro Ishii

Shingo Takagi
(W) September 18, EDION Arena Osaka: Shingo Takagi vs. Tomohiro Ishii
(L) September 23, Ota City General Gymnasium: Shingo Takagi vs. Zack Sabre Jr
(W-forfeit) September 26, Kobe World Hall: Shingo Takagi vs. Tetsuya Naito
(W) September 30, Korakuen Hall: Shingo Takagi vs. KENTA
(L) October 3, Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium: Shingo Takagi vs. Kota Ibushi
October 7, Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall: Shingo Takagi vs. Toru Yano
October 9, EDION Arena Osaka: Shingo Takagi vs. Tanga Loa
October 13, Xebio Arena Sendai: Shingo Takagi vs. Great-O-Khan
October 18, Yokohama Budokan: Shingo Takagi vs. Yujiro Takahashi

Match Four
G1 Climax 31 A Block Match
Zack Sabre Jr [8] vs. Yujiro Takahashi [4]

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Tomohiro Ishii finally stopped Zack Sabre Jr’s submission streak by pinning the submission master in Aichi, but lucky for ZSJ, he draws the traditionally less challenging Yujiro Takahashi in Hiroshima. Zack looks to keep himself atop the block as he takes on the Tokyo Pimp.

G1 Climax 31 – Tournament To Date

  • Zack Sabre Jr. has labored through his victories thus far in G1 Climax 31. His Average winning match length is second highest in the A Block and his win/loss differential of -3:46 is the worst in the block.
  • Yujiro Takahashi’s 13:33 average match length is the second shortest in the entire tournament, only shorter than Toru Yano.
  • A Yujiro Takahashi loss would effectively eliminate him. Zack Sabre Jr. would be at 10 points and Yujiro would have a maximum of 10 points available to him.
  • Zack Sabre Jr. has won all four of his G1 Climax matches this year by submission.
    • Shingo Takagi’s most recent submission loss prior to G1 Climax 31 occurred on July 29, 2019, against Jon Moxley
    • Kota Ibushi’s most recent submission loss prior to someone other than Zack Sabre Jr. occurred on July 4, 2014, against KUSHIDA
    • Tetsuya Naito’s most recent submission loss to someone other than Zack Sabre Jr. occurred on June 11, 2017, against Hiroshi Tanahashi
    • Great-O-Khan’s submission to Zack Sabre Jr was his first submission loss in NJPW since returning from excursion.
  • Yujiro Takahashi has lost 4 matches by submission thus far in 2021.

Recent History – 2021 Singles

Recent History – Last 365 Days Singles

Recent History – 2021 Individual Overall

  • Zack Sabre Jr’s 14 submission winning falls are the most in NJPW this year. Kazuchika Okada is second with 11.

Head To Head History

  • This will be the first singles match between Zack Sabre Jr and Yujiro Takahashi.

History in Hiroshima Sun Plaza

  • Zack Sabre Jr. is seeking his first singles win in Hiroshima Sun Plaza. He lost to SANADA in Hiroshima during last year’s G1 Climax and he lost to Hiroshi Tanahashi in an Intercontinental Championship match at 2017’s NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima.
  • Yujiro Takahashi is also seeking his first singles win in Hiroshima Sun Plaza. He is 0-3 all time including one G1 Climax loss.

G1 Climax – All Time

  • Zack Sabre Jr’s thirteen G1 Climax submission victories are fifth-most all-time.
    • Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Minoru Suzuki are the last two wrestlers to win three straight G1 Climax matches via submission, both in 2014.
  • This is one of two first time matchups for Zack Sabre Jr. in this year’s G1 Climax tournament.
  • Zack Sabre Jr has averaged 10 points in his four previous G1 Climax appearances. His 10 point average is the third highest in his block, only behind Tetsuya Naito (12), and Kota Ibushi (11.6)

Individual G1 Climax Tournament Schedules

Zack Sabre Jr.
(W) September 18, EDION Arena Osaka: Zack Sabre Jr vs. Tetsuya Naito
(W) September 23, Ota City General Gymnasium: Zack Sabre Jr vs. Shingo Takagi
(W) September 26, Kobe World Hall: Zack Sabre Jr vs. Kota Ibushi
(W) September 30, Korakuen Hall: Zack Sabre Jr vs. Great-O-Khan
(L) October 3, Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium: Zack Sabre Jr vs. Tomohiro Ishii
October 7, Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall: Zack Sabre Jr vs. Yujiro Takahashi
October 9, EDION Arena Osaka: Zack Sabre Jr vs. KENTA
October 13, Xebio Arena Sendai: Zack Sabre Jr vs. Toru Yano
October 18, Yokohama Budokan: Zack Sabre Jr vs. Tanga Loa

Yujiro Takahashi
(W) September 18, EDION Arena Osaka: Yujiro Takahashi vs. Kota Ibushi
(L) September 23, Ota City General Gymnasium: Yujiro Takahashi vs. KENTA
(L) September 26, Kobe World Hall: Yujiro Takahashi vs. Great-O-Khan
(W-forfeit) September 30, Korakuen Hall: Yujiro Takahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito
(L) October 3, Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium: Yujiro Takahashi vs. Tanga Loa
October 7, Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall: Yujiro Takahashi vs. Zack Sabre Jr
October 9, EDION Arena Osaka: Yujiro Takahashi vs. Toru Yano
October 13, Xebio Arena Sendai: Yujiro Takahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii
October 18, Yokohama Budokan: Yujiro Takahashi vs. Shingo Takagi

Match Three
G1 Climax 31 A Block Match
Kota Ibushi [8] vs. Tanga Loa [4]

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Kota Ibushi finally got his signature victory over Shingo Takagi the other night in Aichi and now he looks to essentially eliminate Tanga Loa from contention in the first tournament match of the night from Hiroshima.

G1 Climax 31 – Tournament To Date

  • Kota Ibushi’s last four tournament average match lengths: 2020-18:13, 2019-19:33, 2018-19:48, 2017-16:49.
  • Ibushi’s 15:14 average match length is nearly 3 minutes shorter than his 2020 average, over 4 minutes shorter than his 2019 average, and over 4 and a half minutes shorter than is 2018 average.
  • A loss to Kota Ibushi would effectively eliminate Tanga Loa. His max points would move to 10 and Ibushi would move to 10 points with the tiebreaker in hand.

Recent History – 2021 Singles

  • Only Shingo Takagi has more singles victories this calendar year than Kota Ibushi.

Recent History – Last 365 Days Singles

  • Only Shingo Takagi has more singles victories on the last 365 days than Kota Ibushi’s 17.

Recent History – 2021 Individual Overall

Head To Head History

  • This will be the first singles match between Kota Ibushi and Tanga Loa.

History in Hiroshima Sun Plaza

  • Kota Ibushi is 3-1 in singles matches at Hiroshima Sun Plaza, including his 2015 New Japan Cup Final victory over Hirooki Goto and a successful defense of the IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Championships against SANADA earlier this year.
  • This will be Tanga Loa’s first singles match in Hiroshima Sun Plaza. He is 3-3 in tag matches here, including an IWGP Tag Team Championship DQ win earlier this year and a NEVER Openweight six man championship victory in 2018.

G1 Climax – All Time

  • Ibushi has reached the finals in his last three G1 Climax tournaments. He is the only wrestler to ever reach three consecutive finals.
  • Ibushi won the last two G1 Climax tournaments, he is one of three wrestlers (Chono, Tenzan) to ever go back to back in the prestigious tournament.
  • Ibushi’s .619 G1 winning percentage is the highest in A Block.
  • Ibushi’s 16:59 average G1 winning match length is the second highest in the A block, only behind Shingo Takagi.
  • Kota Ibushi’s stamina and conditioning has been impressive through the last three G1 tournaments. His 2018, 2019, and 2020 tournaments are three of the six longest individual tournaments in G1 History. His average match length of 16:10 in this year’s tournament is over 3 minutes per match lower than his previous three tournaments’ combined average.

Individual G1 Climax Tournament Schedules

Kota Ibushi
(L) September 18, EDION Arena Osaka: Kota Ibushi vs. Yujiro Takahashi
(W) September 23, Ota City General Gymnasium: Kota Ibushi vs. Tomohiro Ishii
(L) September 26, Kobe World Hall: Kota Ibushi vs. Zack Sabre Jr
(W) September 30, Korakuen Hall: Kota Ibushi vs. Toru Yano
(W) October 3, Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium: Kota Ibushi vs. Shingo Takagi
October 7, Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall: Kota Ibushi vs. Tanga Loa
October 9, EDION Arena Osaka: Kota Ibushi vs. Great-O-Khan
(W-forfeit) October 13, Xebio Arena Sendai: Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito
October 18, Yokohama Budokan: Kota Ibushi vs. KENTA

Tanga Loa
(L) September 18, EDION Arena Osaka: Tanga Loa vs. Great-O-Khan
(W-forfeit) September 23, Ota City General Gymnasium: Tanga Loa vs. Tetsuya Naito
(L) September 26, Kobe World Hall: Tanga Loa vs. Toru Yano
(L) September 30, Korakuen Hall: Tanga Loa vs. Tomohiro Ishii
(W) October 3, Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium: Tanga Loa vs. Yujiro Takahashi
October 7, Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall: Tanga Loa vs. Kota Ibushi
October 9, EDION Arena Osaka: Tanga Loa vs. Shingo Takagi
October 13, Xebio Arena Sendai: Tanga Loa vs. KENTA
October 18, Yokohama Budokan: Tanga Loa vs. Zack Sabre Jr

Match Two
KENTA vs. Hiromu Takahashi

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Hiromu Takahashi steps in to defend the honor of his Los Ingobernables De Japon unit-mate as he steps up to KENTA in a bout that will absolutely be contested at the same intensity of a G1 Climax tournament match. KENTA, a former three-time GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion may need to tap back into the speed and agility that he showed during his Pro Wrestling NOAH days to keep up with Hiromu.

Recent History – 2021 Singles

Recent History – Last 365 Days Singles

Recent History – 2021 Individual Overall

History In Hiroshima Sun Plaza

  • Hiromu Takahashi is 1-0 in Hiroshima Sun Plaza He defeated SHO in a 35 minutes and 38 second IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match earlier this year.
  • KENTA is 0-1 in singles matches in Hiroshima Sun Plaza. He lost to Hiroshi Tanahashi here during last year’s G1 Climax.

Individual G1 Climax Tournament Schedule

KENTA

(L) September 18, EDION Arena Osaka: KENTA vs. Toru Yano
(W) September 23, Ota City General Gymnasium: KENTA vs. Yujiro Takahashi
(W) September 26, Kobe World Hall: KENTA vs. Tomohiro Ishii
(L) September 30, Korakuen Hall: KENTA vs. Shingo Takagi
(L) October 3, Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium: KENTA vs. Great-O-Khan
(W-forfeit) October 7, Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall: KENTA vs. Tetsuya Naito
October 9, EDION Arena Osaka: KENTA vs. Zack Sabre Jr
October 13, Xebio Arena Sendai: KENTA vs. Tanga Loa
October 18, Yokohama Budokan: KENTA vs. Kota Ibushi

Match One
El Desperado vs. Ryohei Oiwa

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El Desperado begins to warm up for the Best Of The Super Junior Tournament with what is sure to look like a tune-up match with newcomer Ryohei Oiwa. Oiwa already lost to El Desperado’s tag partner, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, earlier in the tournament. We will see if Oiwa learned anything about the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champions from his battle with Kanemaru, or if he is still in over his head, stepping in between the ropes with the former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.

Recent History – 2021 Singles

Recent History – Last 365 Days Singles

Recent History – Last 180 Days Singles

Recent History – 2021 Individual Overall