Thursday, June 30, 2016

New Japan Pro-Wrestling - G1 Climax 25: Nights 7 & 8 Review

Ibushi & Shibata put on an Instant Classic in Block A, while Block B rocks Osaka!!

NJPW G1 Climax 25: Night 7
Fukuoka, Japan 7/29/15

1.) G1 Climax - Block A - IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Doc Gallows vs. Toru Yano: *3/4

2.) G1 Climax - Block A - NEVER Openweight Champion Togi Makabe vs. NWA World Heavyweight Champion Hiroyoshi Tenzan: ***

3.) G1 Climax - Block A - Katsuyori Shibata vs. Kota Ibushi: ****3/4

4.) G1 Climax - Block A - Bad Luck Fale vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi: ***1/4

5.) G1 Climax - Block A - "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles vs. Tetsuya Naito: ***3/4

Overall: 8.0/10

When it comes to the tournament matches, this show really felt like a roller coaster. We started off with what will, in fact, be known as the worst match in this tournament. Gallows vs. Yano wasn't an appetizing match to begin with, but then there was A TON of Bullet Club interference. Tama Tonga & Cody Hall got involved, which distracted the referee long enough for Karl Anderson to run in and help Gallows hit the Magic Killer on Yano for the win. Things got a litter bit better from there, as Makabe vs. Tenzan was actually a bit better than I expected. Then we had arguably the best match of the entire tournament (up to this point) with Katsuyori Shibata vs. Kota Ibushi. This match was incredible!! These two just worked together so well, as we saw some nice grappling, hard-hitting action (including a lot of kicks, as you would expect), and a number of nasty looking German Suplexes. By the end of the match, the crowd was really into it, as they should have been. This was just an awesome match, and I enjoyed every second of it. I feel like it may have gotten lost in the shuffle by year’s end, but make no mistake, this was easily one of the best New Japan matches in 2015. The show then came back down a little bit with Tanahashi vs. Bad Luck Fale. That’s not to say that this was bad, by any means. This was actually pretty solid. Fale is someone who can have a great match or, at the very least, an entertaining match if put in their with the right guy. Tanahashi is one of those guys, and they managed to have an entertaining bout, with saw Fale get the big win over Tanahashi. There was a bit of interference, but it didn’t bother me as much as it did in the Gallows/Yano match. Then there was the Main Event, which was actually a rematch from Wrestle Kingdom 9. While it was just shy of being great, I thought it delivered. I feel like the crowd may have been a little unsure of who to cheer for, since AJ Styles is a heel and Tetsuya Naito has begun his heel turn. Still, there was a lot to like about this match, and both guys worked very hard. Naito defeated Styles with the Destino which, once again, really put over this new finisher as being a match-ender.

NJPW G1 Climax 25: Night 8
Osaka, Japan 8/1/15

1.) G1 Climax - Block B - Satoshi Kojima vs. Yujiro Takahashi: ***1/4

2.) G1 Climax - Block B - IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Karl Anderson vs. Yuji Nagata: ***1/4

3.) G1 Climax - Block B - Tomoaki Honma vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin: ****1/4

4.) G1 Climax - Block B - Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Tomohiro Ishii: ****

5.) G1 Climax - Block B - IWGP Heavyweight Champion "Rainmaker" Kazuchika Okada vs. IWGP Intercontinental Champion Hirooki Goto: ****1/2

Overall: 8.5/10

Night 8 of the G1 Climax took place in Osaka, which has garnered a reputation over the last few years for having awesome shows during the tournament. That theme seemed to be true again this year, as Night 8 was an incredible show!! I would definitely say that it was, at this point, the best show of the tournament, when it comes to the actual tournament matches (I feel like I’m saying that a lot, but it really changes from show to show). Yujiro Takahashi had (easily) one of his best match of the tournament against Satoshi Kojima. While it could have been a little bit better, Anderson vs. Nagata was a very enjoyable match. Then we got into the real “meat & potatoes” of the show’s tournament matches. Elgin vs. Homna was awesome!!! Elgin looked great once again, and he just had an action-packed match with Honma, who was still searching for that elusive G1 win. Then we had Nakamura’s return from injury against fellow CHAOS member Tomohiro Ishii. While this match wasn’t nearly as good as the match these two had in Korakuen Hall in the 2014 G1 Climax, this was still a great match. If Nakamura had been 100% healthy, I’m sure it would have been even better, but still, they did a great job under those circumstances. The show came to a close with a thrilling champion vs. champion match, which saw Hirooki Goto give Kazuchika Okada his first loss of the tournament. This was obviously a big moment for Goto, who now holds big singles victories over both Okada & Nakamura in 2015.


Block A

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

Block B

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

Non-Tournament Matches To Watch

G1 Climax 25: Night 7 (7/29/15) - Tomoaki Honma & "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Yoshi-Hashi): ***1/2

G1 Climax 25: Night 7 (7/29/15) - IWGP Intercontinental Champion Hirooki Goto & Jushin "Thunder" Liger vs. CHAOS (IWGP Heavyweight Champion "Rainmaker" Kazuchika Okada & Gedo): ***

G1 Climax 25: Night 8 (8/1/15) - Six-Man Tag - NEVER Openweight Champion Togi Makabe, NWA World Heavyweight Champion Hiroyoshi Tenzen & Yohei Komatsu vs. Tetsuya Naito, Kota Ibushi & Mascara Dorada: ***

G1 Climax 25: Night 8 (8/1/15) - Six-Man Tag - Hiroshi Tanahashi, IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion KUSHIDA, & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. CHAOS (Toru Yano, Yoshi-Hashi & Gedo): ***

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