NJPW G1 Climax 25: Day 14

NJPW G1 Climax 25: Day 14

August 9th, 18:30 from Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

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This is the first of three consecutive shows at Korakuen Hall and we’re treated to commentary for the first time in ages. Goto/Ishii and Honma/Nakamura top the bill today.

B Block – Current Standings

  • Kazuchika Okada – 10
  • Karl Anderson – 8
  • Michael Elgin – 8
  • Hirooki Goto – 8
  • Tomohiro Ishii – 8
  • Shinsuke Nakamura – 8
  • Satoshi Kojima – 4
  • Yujiro Takahashi – 4
  • Yuji Nagata – 2
  • Tomoaki Honma – 0

Here we go…

B Block – Round Seven

Karl Anderson vs. Michael Elgin

anderson     elgin

Early on, Elgin countered Anderson’s sneaky shenanigans at every turn with his crowd-pleasing offense, but Anderson got his Stun Gun Gun Stun and jumping kick to turn things back in his favour. Anderson displayed his own strongman credentials with an impressive powerbomb out of the corner for a two-count. Elgin fought back with an enziguri and diving Codebreaker, followed by a deadlift german suplex for two. Late on, he downed Anderson with a lariat and hit a Cesaroplex Falcon Arrow that had the crowd biting on a near fall. Then he vanquished the Bullet Club, powerbombing Anderson from inside the ring to the outside, right on top of them! A rolling senton from the top got two, but the Revolution Elgin Bomb was countered to the Gun Stun, and Anderson picked up the win at 13 minutes. These two had good chemistry and the crowd were into Elgin. ***3/4

Satoshi Kojima vs. Yuji Nagata

kojima     nagata

A few minutes in, Kojima took the easy way out and went after Nagata’s midriff. They even had a ringside doctor check on Nagata a couple of times to sell the injury. He managed to fight back with kicks, an exploder suplex and a rope-hung spinning neckbreaker, but that only got a two-count. Kojima hit a Koji Cutter but couldn’t follow up, with Nagata countering a lariat into the Shirome armbar. Kojima broke the hold and dumped Nagata with a lariat, but Nagata got the win soon after, ducking the lariat and nailing the Backdrop hold for the three-count. They shook hands post-match. This was good, solid wrestling from a couple of veterans who’ve probably faced each other hundreds of times. ***1/4

Kazuchika Okada vs. Yujiro Takahashi

okada     takahashi

Bizarrely, they had an interviewer talking to Yujiro’s ladyfriend throughout – that’ll teach me to ask for commentary. The match began with Takahashi in control and I considered returning to bed. He hit Okada with a fisherman buster on the floor and Cody Hall stepped in to continue the assault. The so-called Ladies’ Man stayed on top with a bevy of forgettable moves before Okada did his WWE-style comeback sequence and the match really picked up. Outside, Okada hit a running crossbody over the barrier to Takahashi and Hall and followed up in-ring with a flapjack and Red Ink. Takahashi bit the fingers to escape the hold then got an Olympic Slam and a buckle bomb, before hitting the Miami Shine for a really close two-count! A ref bump led to Cody Hall hitting his discuss lariat and Takahashi nearly got the win. Gedo stopped the Bullet Club party and Okada hit The Dropkick, a tombstone piledriver and the Rainmaker for the three-count at 15 minutes. The second half was crazy hot and they honestly got me on some of the near falls. ***1/4

Tomoaki Honma vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

honma     nakamura

I don’t know if Nakamura was caught in the opening exchanges, but he kept checking his jaw throughout the match and dumped Honma over the barrier in a really nasty fashion. He mimicked the Kokeshi with a kneedrop and tried wearing Honma down with a facelock, but Honma came back with the deadlift suplex and a Kokeshi (at the second attempt). An elbow battle was won by Nakamura and the gourdbuster setup Boma Ye, but Honma countered to a lariat and spiked a brainbuster for two. A Jumping Kokeshi/Kokeshi/Fire Thunder Driver sequence got a close two-count, but the top rope Kokeshi that followed missed the mark. Not long after, the Boma Ye got the win for Nakamura at 11 minutes. The King of Strong Style has been way below his best this tournament, even before the elbow injury; loose and lazy work has plagued his matches. This was no exception. A meandering first half gave way to a typically hot closing stretch, but this has to be considered a disappointment. ***1/4

Hirooki Goto vs. Tomohiro Ishii

goto     ishii

They had an epic Main Event Elbow Battle within minutes of the match starting, and it was Ishii who got the better of it. Goto decided he was tired of being Ishii’s bitch, but that lasted about half a minute and Ishii soon hit a delayed superplex for two. Both men spoiled the other’s lariats before Goto finally put Ishii down on the mat. Ushigoroshi was blocked and Ishii dumped Goto with a german suplex. Main Event Elbow Battle: Part Two eventually resulted in Ishii getting caught with the Ushigoroshi and Goto hit Kaiten off the top rope for a very close two. They hammered each other over and over with lariats until Goto kicked out at one! Ishii hit the Ushigoroshi(!) and followed with a sliding lariat for two! The brainbuster was blocked and a desperation discuss lariat from Goto had both men down. Goto put Ishii up top and hit a top rope Ushigoroshi for two! Shouten Kai blocked, headbutt from Ishii, lariat from Goto. One count! Headbutts, crazy crazy headbutts. Shouten kai! Goto with the win at 18 minutes. What a match this was. It started lean and mean and just kept building. For some this will be too stiff and you certainly can’t have this type of match all the time, but this had tremendous flow to go with the brutality. Should I? Shall I? Yes, I think I will: *****

Promo from Goto, the commentators discuss the standing, and we’re out.

B Block standings after Round Seven

  • Kazuchika Okada – 12
  • Karl Anderson – 10
  • Hirooki Goto – 10
  • Shinsuke Nakamura – 10
  • Michael Elgin – 8
  • Tomohiro Ishii – 8
  • Satoshi Kojima – 4
  • Yujiro Takahashi – 4
  • Yuji Nagata – 4
  • Tomoaki Honma – 0

Final thoughts: Fun show! Everything here surpassed my expectations aside from Honma/Nakamura and even that was decent. We’re on course for the Nakamura/Okada match in the penultimate show to be the block decider, but Anderson and Goto might yet have a say.

Fourteen down, five to go. The Finals are a week today. Back on Tuesday.