NJPW G1 Climax 25: Day 8

NJPW G1 Climax 25: Day 8

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August 1st, 17:00 from Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium, Osaka

Nakamura is back, the Osaka crowd is always loud, and B Block finally get the full camera setup with commentary. Good card too, with Ishii/Nakamura and Goto/Okada topping the bill.

B Block – Current Standings

  • 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

Here we go…

B Block – Round Four

Satoshi Kojima vs. Yujiro Takahashi

kojima     takahashi

After headlining Day 6 with Okada, Kojima is back down to earth with an opener versus Yujiro. A tentative handshake is followed by a clean break, Takahashi is demonstrating how honourable he is. Kojima with a couple of shoulder knockdowns, then Takahashi rakes the eye. Ah, there’s the Yujiro we know and… are ambivalent about. Cody Hall gets the shots in on the outside and Takahashi stays in control. Kojima eventually comes back with machine-gun chops and heads up top. Diving elbow hits. Two-count only. Elbow/chop battle, Kojima wins. He goes for the brainbuster, reversed to the fisherman buster by Takahashi. They roll to the apron where Kojima hits a DDT! Back in, Kojima lifts Takahashi to the top rope and hits a Koji Cutter! He signals for the lariat, but Yujiro gets a german suplex. Yakuza kick and a lariat from Takahashi get two. Buckle bomb and Kojima is struggling to get off the mat. He manages a Koji Cutter, however, and follows with a brainbuster for two. The lariat hits and the referee… is pulled out of the ring by Hall. Takahashi sneaks a low blow, hits Miami Shine, and gets the three-count at 13 minutes. Serviceable, with something of a surprise result.  **1/2

Karl Anderson vs. Yuji Nagata

anderson     nagata

Nagata gets the armbar early, Anderson makes the ropes. Chest kicks follow, then an over-the-shoulder armbreaker. Anderson catches a kick and takes control. Outside, he whips Nagata into the barrier stomach-first, continuing his stablemate’s work on Day 6. Back in, Anderson mocks Nagata’s pose and stomps on his gut. Nagata gets back into the match with a knee and some kicks. Exploder suplex gets two. Anderson retaliates with a neckbreaker. Scissor kick in the corner and Anderson heads up top. Nagata follows and uses FIGHTING SPIRIT to ward off elbow strikes. Top rope exploder suplex! Two-count only! Shirome armbar from Nagata and Anderson just gets a rope break. Spinebuster from Anderson. Gun Stun blocked! Enziguri from Nagata. Backdrop is reversed mid-air to the Gun Stun! Anderson picks up the win at 12 minutes. I like that the tournament format allows for continuity with selling and it was well utilised here. ***

Michael Elgin vs. Tomoaki Honma 

elgin     honma

The do some power spots early with Elgin proving himself the hossiest hoss. Kokeshi attempt No.1… misses. Elgin follows with a delayed vertical suplex and the crowd applaud. Oklahoma Stampede from Elgin gets two. Discuss lariat blocked, DDT from Honma and the Kokeshi… misses again. He stays on top with a deadlift suplex, however, gets a bulldog and this time the Kokeshi hits! Seated blockbuster gets two. A corner charge is blocked by Elgin and he hits a diving Codebreaker for two. Cesaroplex Falcon Arrow gets two! Elgin gets a buckle bomb at the second attempt, but Honma immediately retaliates with a jumping Kokeshi! And again. Up top, diving Kokeshi… misses. Elbow battle up from the knees. A slap rocks the Canadian. Kokeshi charge from Honma, but Elgin hits a huge lariat that only gets two! German suplex, powerbomb, buckle bomb No.2 and, finally, the Revolution Elgin Bomb get the win in an action-packed 10 minutes. Honma is distraught. His gear may be low rent, but Elgin has some impressive strength and the crowds have been digging him during this tournament. A typically fun Honma match. ***1/2

Tomohiro Ishii vs. Shinsuke Nakamura 

ishii     nakamura

Return of the Nak. With his left elbow taped, Nakamura is on top early on, until Ishii catches a kick and wrenches a side headlock. A shoulder block and some big chops follow. Nakamura comes back with elbows, but one from Ishii and he’s down on the mat. Spin kick from Nakamura and he gets the Shaky Leg Thing in the corner. Powerslam from Ishii gets things back in his favour. Elbows and chops in the corner, and a vertical suplex gets two. Nakamura fights out of a powerbomb attempt, and we get an elbow battle with extra sass. A high knee in the corner from Nakamura gets two. Grounded knee strikes and a gourdbuster follow. Boma Ye misses and Ishii hits an inverted powerslam. Powerbomb pin gets a close two-count. A big superplex from Ishii gets another two. Nakamura with a kick to the back of Ishii’s head and both men are down. Elbow battle, Ishii finally goes down, and Nakamura gets an inverted powerslam of his own. Sliding knee gets two. A huge lariat from Ishii turns Nakamura inside out, but it only gets two! Sliding lariat and another near fall. Brainbuster is avoided and Nakamura hits the Boma Ye but can’t capitalise. Diving Boma Ye! Only two! A series of reversals, including Nakamura’s armbar lariat-counter, lead to a dropkick(!) from Ishii. A punch from Nakamura then a headbutt from Ishii. Landslide from Nakamura. Boma Ye! The King of Strong Style wins at 15 minutes. Post-match, Nakamura checks on his CHAOS stablemate. This picked up very nicely. ****

Hirooki Goto vs. Kazuchika Okada

goto     okada

Champion versus champion here, and it’s Intercontinental title-holder Goto who gets the better of the early going. Okada eventually fights out of a headscissor and, outside the ring, avoids a charge and leaps over the barrier to hit a crossbody. He follows up with a draping DDT off the barrier and Goto just makes it in before the count. Goto tries to fight back with chops, but Okada gets a neckbreaker. Goto does find an opening, however, and hits a lariat, a spinning heel kick in the corner, and a bulldog. Backdrop gets a two-count. Okada hits a flapjack off a charge, follows with a DDT, then hits a sliding European uppercut for two. Scoop and a slam. Okada heads up top, dives off to avoid Goto, but eats a lariat anyway. A sequence of pinning combinations ends in a really close two-count for Goto. Reverse neckbreaker form Okada gets two. The Dropkick hits! Beautiful diving elbow and Okada signals the Rainmaker. It’s reversed to an Ushigoroshi! Ura Shouten (a spinning wheelbarrow facebuster) gets a near fall. Shouten Kai blocked. Corner clothesline from Goto has Okada reeling. Both men up top, Okada slides out and hits a german suplex. He holds on and rolls through, goes for the Rainmaker, but it’s blocked with a headbutt!  Shouten Kai avoided, Rainmaker ducked, headbutt from Goto! And again! Shouten Kai! One two three! Goto gets the win at 17 minutes. An excellent main event match that built and built to a frenzied climax (no pun intended). The heat was off the charts in those final few minutes. ****1/2

Goto gets the closing promo and we’re out.

B Block standings after Round Four

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

Final thoughts: A terrific B Block show today. They got the full production and they delivered in the ring with every match topping the last. I was concerned that should B Block lose Nakamura to injury, their shows would slip way behind A Block’s. Thankfully, that hasn’t happened, and G1 25: Day 8 was a winner. Highly recommended.

Eight down, eleven to go. More to come tomorrow.

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