NJPW G1 Climax 25: Day 6

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NJPW G1 Climax 25: Day 6

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July 28th, 18:30 from Beppu City B-Con Plaza, Oita

The big news for today’s show is that Shinsuke Nakamura is off the card because of an elbow injury. He was due to face Michael Elgin in the semi-main. New Japan have stated that he is not out of the tournament, however, and the hope is that he will be ready to go by Saturday. B Block finally get the full camera setup today, but there’s no commentary. Ah, B Block, will you ever win?

B Block – Current Standings

  • Karl Anderson – 4
  • Tomohiro Ishii – 4
  • Kazuchika Okada – 4
  • Hirooki Goto – 2
  • Satoshi Kojima – 2
  • Yuji Nagata – 2
  • Shinsuke Nakamura – 2
  • Michael Elgin – 0
  • Tomoaki Honma – 0
  • Yujiro Takahashi – 0

Here we go…

B Block – Round Three

Yuji Nagata vs. Yujiro Takahashi

nagata     takahashi

“Ladies Man” Yujiro has no ladies with him today, only Cody Hall. Nagata has the better of the early going until Hall involves himself, then Takahashi gets to work on the midriff. Nagata comes back with some seriously hard chest kicks and a yakuza kick in the corner. Belly to belly gets two. Nagata can’t get the suplex because his gut hurts and Takahashi hits the fisherman buster for two. He tries to follow up, but Nagata reverses to an exploder suplex into the turnbuckle. Jumping knee in the corner then a brainbuster for a close two-count. Backdrop is reversed and a low blow from Takahashi gets a close two. Lariat for a near fall. Dropkick to the gut, Miami Shine (inverted Death Valley bomb) and Takahashi gets the win at 12 minutes. Mildly interesting because you don’t see the stomach worked on very often, and Nagata sold well, but Takahashi is deathly boring on offence. **

Hirooki Goto vs. Tomoaki Honma

goto     honma

Honma goes for a Kokeshi early and misses, naturally. Goto with a neckbreaker and Honma gets his foot on the rope because he’s close (nice to see, actually). Goto locks in a headscissors and Honma is groaning like a disgruntled bear. He fights out, and they engage in an elbow battle that lasts almost a minute! Honma finally gets his delayed deadlift suplex to the crowd’s delight and follows up with a Kokeshi! Single leg crab, but Goto makes the ropes. Honma charges and Goto clotheslines him to the mat. Spinning heel kick in the corner follows and a sequence of reversals ends with Goto getting a backdrop. Honma gets irish-whipped but nails the Jumping Kokeshi! Seated blockbuster gets two. Top rope Kokeshi… misses. Goto lariats Honma for a one-count! Ushigaroshi gets two. Shouten Kai reversed to a small package for a close two! A nasty headbutt from Honma angers Goto, who hits a lariat for two and follows with the Shouten Kai for the three-count at 12 minutes. Some enjoyable intensity here. ***1/2

Karl Anderson vs. Tomohiro Ishii 

anderson     ishii

Karl and Cody make fun of Ishii in the corner. Seems like a bad idea. They begin by avoiding every one of each other’s signature moves before Anderson takes control with a scissor kick off the apron. Anderson goes for multiple counts off a couple of knee drops and goads Ishii, who gets back into the match with a powerslam. Chops and elbows in the corner from Ishii, who mocks Anderson’s ‘Come on!’. Vertical suplex gets two, but Anderson turns the tide with a low dropkick and Fisherman neckbreaker, seeming tweaking Ishii’s shoulder. Neckbreaker gets two. An impressive top rope diving neckbreaker gets a close two. Ishii manages a german suplex, Anderson quickly retaliates with a jumping front kick. Ishii is down, selling the shoulder, but Anderson’s elbows in the corner have a reviving effect and Ishii levels him. Delayed superplex from Ishii gets a close two-count. Lariat for another near fall. The sliding lariat is ducked and Anderson dropkicks the shoulder. Running sit-out powerbomb gets two. Swivel Gun Stun follows for a close two-count. Gun Stun is blocked, sliding lariat hits, and both men are down. Let the Elbow Battle commence! Anderson headbutts Ishii and only hurts himself. A second sliding lariat gets two. Brainbuster. Three-count and a win for Ishii at 17 minutes. ***3/4

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Michael Elgin

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Didn’t happen, but they confirmed that Elgin got the win via “the two sweetest words in the English language”: default. (I guess, technically, it was Japanese and they used the term ‘forfeit’, but otherwise the Simpsons reference is perfectly cromulent.)

Satoshi Kojima vs. Kazuchika Okada

kojima     okada

Kojima gets a big chant before the bell. Things are even in the early going with Okada giving Kojima a patronising slap on the chest at the break. Outside, Kojima gets the knockdown with a shoulder block and grabs a chinlock once back in the ring. Kojima starts with the chops and Okada decides he doesn’t like it one bit, so he puts Kojima on the top rope and dropkicks him to the floor. Draping DDT from the barrier and Okada gets to work on the neck. Kojima fights back with elbows and shoulder blocks, then nails a DDT. Machine-gun chops in the corner, but Okada comes back with a DDT of his own. He goes for the reverse neckbreaker, but Kojima hits a Koji Cutter and the Main Event Elbow Battle is on. Kojima knocks Okada down and hits a diving elbow drop for two. Big suplex and Kojima looks to finish things. Top rope Koji Cutter! He signals for the lariat, but when he lifts Okada the champ collapses to the mat. Okada somehow gets the reverse neckbreaker out of the corner, hits the diving elbow, then does the Rainmaker pose. Rainmaker gets blocked, but Heavy Rain hits for a close two. Kojima avoids a tombstone and The Dropkick and nails the lariat! Both men are down. Kojima is up first, but this time Okada hits The Dropkick! Rainmaker misses the first time, connects the second time, and Okada picks up the win at 18 minutes. They wrestled the match like an epic, but didn’t put the work in early on and it was marred by some unusually suspect selling from Okada. An impressive outing from Kojima, however, who wrestled like a man ten years his junior. ***3/4

Promo from Okada, hype from Gedo, and we’re out.

B Block standings after Round Three

  • Tomohiro Ishii – 6
  • Kazuchika Okada – 6
  • Karl Anderson – 4
  • Hirooki Goto – 4
  • Michael Elgin – 2
  • Satoshi Kojima – 2
  • Yuji Nagata – 2
  • Shinsuke Nakamura – 2
  • Yujiro Takahashi – 2
  • Tomoaki Honma – 0

Final thoughts: Both Anderson/Ishii and Kojima/Okada were grazing ****, but I just didn’t feel them for whatever reason. Your mileage may vary. Nakamura being out today was obviously a downer and let’s hope this is the only show he has to miss, because without him I can see B Block struggling. By most standards, today was a good show, but it was always going to pale in comparison with Sunday’s A Block spectacular. Worth checking out, but no MOTY candidates today, sorry.

Six down, thirteen to go. Feedback welcome, but no spoilers in the comments section, please. More to come tomorrow.