Thursday, June 30, 2016

New Japan Pro-Wrestling - G1 Climax 25: Nights 9 & 10 Review

Hiroshi Tanahashi battles his rival Toru Yano, while Shinsuke Nakamura takes on Hirooki Goto!

NJPW G1 Climax 25: Night 9
Nagoya, Japan 8/2/15

1.) G1 Climax - Block A - NWA World Heavyweight Champion Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Kota Ibushi: ***1/4

2.) G1 Climax - Block A - Katsuyori Shibata vs. Bad Luck Fale: ***1/2

3.) G1 Climax - Block A - "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles vs. IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Doc Gallows: ***1/4

4.) G1 Climax - Block A - NEVER Openweight Champion Togi Makabe vs. Tetsuya Naito: ***3/4

5.) G1 Climax - Block A - Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Toru Yano: ***1/2

Overall: 7.5/10

As a whole, I’d say this was one of calmer nights of the G1 Climax. There was really no standout match (none of the tournament matches were able to reach ****), but all five matches were all pretty good. No match was lower than ***1/4, but nothing surpassed ***3/4. The best of those matches was easily Togi Makabe vs. Tetsuya Naito. A very good back & forth match between those two. Katsuyori Shibata vs. Bad Luck Fale was also very good, but I’d say it was just below Makabe vs. Naito. The Main Event of this show, Tanahashi vs. Yano, was actually really good. I’d say it was definitely better than their match at Dominion 2015. It was just a really entertaining match from start to finish. We then had two more tournament matches that, while they weren’t as good as the others that night, were still relatively solid. One of those was a Bullet Club vs. Bullet Club match with AJ Styles vs. Doc Gallows. I’m always a little weary of these battles between stable members, but this was actually a lot better than I was expecting. I really enjoyed that match. It’s no surprise that AJ Styles got that good of a match out of Doc Gallows. Then we had the opening tournament match of the night, Kota Ibushi vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, which was a solid match, and just a unique encounter in general. That’s the beauty of the G1 Climax. You get a tone of different singles matches involving guys who might not normally face off with one another.

NJPW G1 Climax 25: Night 10
Sendai, Japan 8/4/15

5.) G1 Climax - Block B - "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. Yujiro Takahashi: ***1/2

6.) G1 Climax - Block B - Satoshi Kojima vs. Tomoaki Honma: ***3/4

7.) G1 Climax - Block B - Tomohiro Ishii vs. Yuji Nagata: ****1/4

8.) G1 Climax - Block B - IWGP Heavyweight Champion "Rainmaker" Kazuchika Okada vs. IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Karl Anderson: ***1/2

9.) G1 Climax - Block B - IWGP Intercontinental Champion Hirooki Goto vs. Shinsuke Nakamura: ***3/4

Overall: 8.0/10

Much like Night 9, this was a very consistent show. The difference with this particular show compared to Night 9, however, was that the matches were much more consistent. We started off with Michael Elgin taking on Yujiro Takahashi. Honestly. I thought this was Yujiro’s best match of the entire tournament, and it should be no surprise that it was against #BIGMIKE. I just think this shows how good Elgin has been throughout this tournament. We then had Kojima vs. Honma, which was very good, but just shy of being great. Once again, Honma failed to get his first G1 victory. The award for the best match of the night easily goes to Tomohiro Ishii vs. Yuji Nagata. A fantastic hard-hitting match between these two, as you would expect. Ishii was as great as he always is, and Nagata was awesome as well (he’s another guy, like Kojima, who’s still manages to be consistently good, despite his age). Then we had Okada taking on Karl Anderson, which ended up being a very good match. The action was solid, we saw some good counters, and it was just entertaining to watch. We then had the Main Event, which was the third singles encounter in 2015 between Goto & Nakamura. While it wasn’t as great as their matches at Wrestling Dontaku 2015 or Dominion 2015, this was still a very good match. The finish was very different, as Nakamura countered a clothesline from Goto into an arm bar for the submission victory (which was actually a very cool finish). This win was particularly big for Nakamura, as it would lead to him getting another shot at the IWGP Intercontinental Title later that year.


Block A

Katsuyori Shibata (4-1-0) - 8 Points
Tetsuya Naito (3-2-0) - 6 Points
Hiroshi Tanahashi (3-2-0) - 6 Points
Kota Ibushi (3-2-0) - 6 Points
"The Phenomenal" AJ Styles (3-2-0) - 6 Points
Bad Luck Fale (3-2-0) - 6 Points
Togi Makabe (3-2-0) - 6 Points
Hiroyoshi Tenzan (1-4-0) - 2 Points
Doc Gallows (1-4-0) - 2 Points
Toru Yano (1-4-0) - 2 Points

Block B

"Rainmaker" Kazuchika Okada (4-1-0) - 8 Points
Tomohiro Ishii (4-1-0) - 8 Points
Shinsuke Nakamura (3-2-0) - 6 Points
Hirooki Goto (3-2-0) - 6 Points
Karl Anderson (3-2-0) - 6 Points
"Unbreakable" Michael Elgin (3-2-0) - 6 Points
Satoshi Kojima (2-3-0) - 4 Points
Yujiro Takahashi (2-3-0) - 4 Points
Yuji Nagata (1-4-0) - 2 Points
Tomoaki Honma (0-5-0) - 0 Points

Non-Tournament Matches To Watch

G1 Climax 25: Night 10 (8/4/15) - Tetsuya Naito & IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion KUSHIDA vs. Kota Ibushi & Mascara Dorada: ***1/2

G1 Climax 25: Night 10 (8/4/15) - CHAOS (Toru Yano & Yoshi-Hashi) vs. Katsuyori Shibata & Yohei Komatsu: ***1/4  

G1 Climax 25: Night 9 (8/2/15) - CHAOS (IWGP Heavyweight Champion "Rainmaker" Kazuchika Okada & Gedo) vs. The Bullet Club (IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Karl Anderson & Tama Tonga): ***

G1 Climax 25: Night 9 (8/2/15) - Six-Man Tag - Satoshi Kojima, IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion KUSHIDA, & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Tomoaki Honma, Mascara Dorada, & David Finlay: ***

G1 Climax 25: Night 9 (8/2/15) - Six-Man Tag - IWGP Intercontinental Champion Hirooki Goto, Yuji Nagata, & Captain New Japan vs. CHAOS (Shinsuke Nakamura, Tomohiro Ishii, & Yoshi-Hashi): ***

G1 Climax 25: Night 9 (8/2/15) - "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin & Jay White vs. The Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi & Cody Hall): ***

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