NJPW G1 Climax 25: Day 3

NJPW G1 Climax 25: Day 3


July 24th, 18:30 from Budo Centre, Kyoto City

We’re back to multi-camera today, you’ll pleased to know, after yesterday’s solid but unremarkable B Block show. No commentary though, presumably for TV rights reasons. Thanks for the positive comments so far, it’s good to see there are others on the blog following this mammoth G1 Climax, and Lord knows I’ll need some moral support to get through all these.

A Block – Current Standings

  • Togi Makabe – 2
  • Tetsuya Naito – 2
  • A.J. Styles – 2
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi – 2
  • Hiroyoshi Tenzan – 2
  • Bad Luck Fale – 0
  • Doc Gallows – 0
  • Kots Ibushi – 0
  • Katsuyori Shibata – 0
  • Toru Yano – 0

Here we go…

A Block – Round Two

Doc Gallows vs. Kota Ibushi

gallows     ibushi 

Early on, Gallows nails a super kick to put Ibushi on the apron, then lifts him chokebomb-style and slams him face-first to the floor. Tree of woe dropkick, and Gallows remains in control the next few minutes until Ibushi hits the Pelé kick to turn the tide. A dropkick puts Gallows out on the floor and Ibushi follows up with the triangle asai moonsault! Back in, a springboard dropkick gets two. Huge bridging german suplex for another two-count. Missed charge and a gutbuster drop from Gallows gets two and the crowd are way behind Ibushi. Jackhammer for a near fall, so Gallows signals for his finisher. He lifts Ibushi for the Hangman’s Noose, hurricanrana reversal is blocked, but when he lifts Ibushi once more Gallows gets rolled-up with the sunset flip for three at 9 minutes. A much needed win for Ibushi. This wasn’t bad at all. **3/4

Bad Luck Fale vs. Togi Makabe

fale     makabe 

Shouting, clubbing and more shouting until Fale shoulder-blocks Makabe to the mat and takes him outside. Into the crowd for a bit of business and Makabe makes it back before the count. Fale stays in control and the match slows to a crawl. Oh great, the dreaded Clawhold. Makabe eventually makes the comeback and gets Fale off his feet after a third clothesline. The go back-and-forth for a bit until Fale hits the big splash for two. Makabe blocks the Choke Lariat Slam, but Fale hits the Bad Luck Fall for the win in an interminable 8 minutes. Makabe is helped to the back. Don’t bother. *

A.J. Styles vs. Toru Yano 

styles     yano

Yano is the de facto babyface here. He repeats the ‘Break!’ spot from Monday which is fine by me. Styles whips Yano hard into the barrier, then tries to use the barrier as a springboard, so Yano just throws a chair in his face while he’s mid-air. Styles comes back with a baseball slide and tries to use the chair himself, but the referee stops it. ‘He hit me!’ protests Styles. Styles with the arrogant cover off a knee drop. Red Shoes Unno refuses to count, and A.J. isn’t happy, so he takes it out on poor Yano. With brilliant timing, Yano pushes the referee into the ropes to counter the springboard elbow attempt from Styles. Yano removes the turnbuckle pad and hits Styles with it, but while he’s gloating Styles does hit the springboard elbow strike. Suplex into the exposed turnbuckle gets a close two. Styles blocks the low blow, but moments later Yano successfully distracts the ref and kicks A.J. right in the groin. Roll-up only gets two! A second roll-up is reversed into the Calf Killer by Styles and Yano taps at 10 minutes. An enjoyably intricate comedy match. ***1/2

Tetsuya Naito vs. Katsuyori Shibata 

naito     shibata

Shibata goes at Naito before he’s had the chance to remove his mask and suit. He locks in the figure four, but Naito makes the ropes and hits a low dropkick. Still wearing his shirt and trousers, Naito goes after Shibata’s taped right arm, then ties his leg up in the barrier and dropkicks it from the apron. Naito finally strips down to wrestling gear. Back in, Naito with an inverted figure four, which Shibata escapes, but Naito stays in control. Shibata comes back with kicks and gets some nasty stomps in the corner complete with a facewash. He tears the tape off his elbow in anger. Hatch suplex gets two. Naito comes back with a diving dropkick and a german suplex for two. Cross kneelock from Naito works the leg until Shibata is able to elbow out of it. Slaps all round. Shibata grabs the sleeper! Naito tries to fight it off, but eventually fades to the mat and Shibata finishes him off with the Penalty Kick at 13 minutes. I found this a little disappointing, especially considering the ability of both guys. Whether it was Naito’s not-fully-formed heel persona or a lack of in-ring chemistry, the match just didn’t click for me. The effort was good though. ***1/4

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan

tanahashi     tenzan

When taking notes I use the wrestlers’ initials, so HT and HT is not helpful. Ageing veteran versus Tenzan (see what I did there), let’s go: Hometown hero Tenzan is way over and Tanahashi is content to play heel as he pulls the hair and slaps Tenzan on the chest after a break. Tenzan puts Tanahashi down with a shoulder block and the crowd are loving him. Mongolian chops from Tenzan, complete with hissing, but Tanahashi kicks him away. Outside, a jawbreaker gets Tanahashi back on top and he follows up with uppercuts and elbows as Tenzan is prone on the apron. Hennig snapmare back in the ring and a necklock keeps the heat on. Tanahashi gets his own Mongolian Chops to massive heat until Tenzan dumps him with a back body drop. Anaconda Vice is blocked and Tanahashi grabs a sleeper, transitioning into a dragon sleeper, with Tenzan just about making the ropes. Spinning heel kick from Tenzan and a teardrop suplex for two. Diving headbutt misses! High Fly Flow, but the knees are up from Tenzan. Anaconda Vice is locked in! Tanahashi fights out, impressing the crowd, then gets slammed down with the Anaconda Buster for a close two-count. Anaconda Max now, reversed to a pin by Tanahashi for a near fall. Tenzan goes for the tombstone, Tanahashi blocks with a spinning neckbreaker. Slingblade! Only two. High Fly Flow! One, two, three. Tanahashi gets the win at 14 minutes. They bow to each other in respect. Post-match, Tanahashi does a promo and points to NXT Superstar Jushin Liger for some reason. Enjoyable match with good heat. ****

A Block standings after Round Two 

  • A.J. Styles – 4
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi – 4
  • Bad Luck Fale – 2
  • Kota Ibushi – 2
  • Togi Makabe – 2
  • Tetsuya Naito – 2
  • Katsuyori Shibata – 2
  • Hiroyoshi Tenzan – 2
  • Doc Gallows – 0
  • Toru Yano – 0

Final thoughts: The main event over-delivered and Styles vs. Yano was fun, although the match with the greatest potential underwhelmed me. More varied than yesterday, which was to its benefit, Day 3 was easy watch so long as you ignore Makabe/Fale. Two more shows to come this weekend: Saturday’s B Block – Round Two is headlined by Nagata/Nakamura and Honma/Okada; Sunday’s A Block – Round Three is headlined by Ibushi/Styles and Naito/Tanahashi.

Three down, sixteen to go. Feedback, as always, is welcome. See you again tomorrow.