RESULTS: N-1 Victory tournament, standings for each block

Originally published at RESULTS: N-1 Victory tournament, standings for each block

Pro Wrestling NOAH’s N-1 Victory tournament continued Monday with four block matches representing each of the groups.

This year’s format includes four blocks with four wrestlers per block meeting each other. Each of the block winners will compete in the semi-finals and final on October 3rd at Korakuen Hall.

Monday’s card was the penultimate series of round-robin matches with the final round-robin matches set for this Sunday at Korakuen Hall.

Kaito Kiyomiya defeated Takashi Sugiura to jump to the front position of the A Block with four points and eliminates the GHC National Champion from advancing. The block will come down to Kiyomiya and Muto, who meet on Sunday and will be their third singles match. Muto has defeated Kiyomiya in both of their previous matches.

In the B Block, Masaaki Mochizuki was victorious over Kendo Kashin with Mochizuki leading the block with four points.

The C Block match featured Kazushi Sakuraba and Masato Tanaka going to a time limit draw and each earning one point. The two are tied for first in the block with three points each.

Finally, the D Block featured Masakatsu Funaki defeat Masa Kitamiya. The win puts Funaki in a tie with Kazuyuki Fujita for first place in the block with four points each and the two are set to meet on Sunday.

Here are the updated standings:

A BLOCK: Kaito Kiyomiya (4), Keiji Muto (3), Takashi Sugiura (1), Manabu Soya (0)

B BLOCK: Masaaki Mochizuki (4), Kendo Kashin (2), Kenoh (2), Daiki Inaba (0)

C BLOCK: Masato Tanaka (3), Kazushi Sakuraba (3), Katsuhiko Nakajima (2), Kotaro Suzuki (0)

D BLOCK: Masakatsu Funaki (4), Kazuyuki Fujita (4), Akitoshi Saito (0), Masa Kitamiya (0)

The final round robin matches are this Sunday with the following line-up to determine the final four:
*Block D: Akitoshi Saito vs. Masa Kitamiya
*Block D: Masakatsu Funaki vs. Kazuyuki Fujita
*Block C: Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima
*Block C: Masato Tanaka vs. Kotaro Suzuki
*Block B: Kenoh vs. Masaaki Mochizuki
*Block B: Kendo Kashin vs. Daiki Inaba
*Block A: Takashi Sugiura vs. Manabu Soya
*Block A: Kaito Kiyomiya vs. Keiji Muto

Monday’s show was pretty fun but apart from that there has been a lot of poor-to-middling stuff to fight through to find this tournament’s worthwhile matches. Like I think you and WH said, John, there are -a lot- of long in the tooth guys in these blocks, and they’re not all capable of defying age the way Sugiura and Tanaka have.

Putting Mutoh in those lengthy matches at the top of the cards went about as well as could be expected, which is to say, not at all. Even assuming Kiyomiya defeats him, a relatively low-profile win like that doesn’t do much to rebuild Kiyomiya.

I’m kind of surprised by how poorly Kitamiya has fared in terms of wins/losses. His cage match win over Nakajima felt like a big step up for him, but that needs to be followed up. I don’t think NOAH will have any trouble putting guys like Nakajima and Kenoh (the “present” talent) in the spotlight when the time’s right, but their continued focus on over-the-hill guys is starting to really hamper the talent who should be being primed to take over (Kiyomiya and Kitamiya).