NJPW G1 Climax 26: Day 12

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August 4th, 18:30 from Fukuoka Citizen Gymnasium

The story so far: PrimerDay 1Day 2Days 3 & 4Day 5Day 6Day 7Day 8Day 9Day 10, Day 11.

B Block – Current Standings

  • Elgin – 6
  • Nagata – 6
  • Naito – 6
  • Nakajima – 6
  • Omega – 6
  • YOSHI-HASHI – 6
  • Honma – 4
  • Shibata – 4
  • Yano – 4
  • EVIL – 2

Here we go…

B Block – Round Six

Yuji Nagata vs. Toru Yano

Nagata     Yano

Yano was not having a good time, so he lured Nagata to the outside then tied his legs together with some tape he’d obtained under the ring. Nagata couldn’t make it to his feet and got counted out! Yano’s on the run of his life. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Michael Elgin vs YOSHI-HASHI

Elgin     YOSHI-HASHI

The crowd was seemingly in awe of Elgin, and they oohed for most of his offence. That worked out even better for Yoshi-Hashi, because they didn’t seem to think he had a shot and were all the more into the match when he started making inroads. At the midway point, Yoshi-Hashi delivered a powerbomb out of the corner for a near-fall, impressing the crowd in the process, but missed with the swanton, and this allowed Elgin to hit a dangerous-looking DVD into the turnbuckle. He followed with the Cesaroplex Falcon Arrow for a near-fall that really had the crowd going. Yoshi twice applied the Butterfly Lock, but Elgin reached the ropes, then the swanton connected for yet another near-fall. A battle of strikes led to a lariat from Elgin then the bucklebomb and Elgin Bomb finished the job. The crowd was hot throughout, and they even showed a woman (YH’s wife?) crying because Yoshi-Hashi lost. Both guys are having a great G1 and they continued the trend here with a very good match. ****

Tomoaki Honma vs. EVIL

Honma     EVIL

Seriously, how much is Evil paying the referees that he gets to use chairs with no consequences? And it was two chairs today, like he was flaunting his DQ immunity. Anyway, he stayed on top with an eye rake and senton, but Honma countered the fisherman buster to a deadlift suplex and went on a run that culminated in a Kokeshi. Evil fought back with a rolling elbow, then hit a nice diving clothesline for two. A German suplex had no effect, and a lariat only got a one-count, but the fisherman buster landed this time for two. Honma found an opening to hit a Rocket Kokeshi and the Fire Thunder Driver spiked Evil for a close two-count. Up top he went, but Kokeshi Kai missed the mark. A back-and-forth allowed Evil to hit a half-nelson suplex and Darkness Falls for a near-fall, then the STO connected to give the Los Ingobernables man his second win of the tournament. No lack of effort, but they had a hard job coming after the last match. Honma’s in a weird position now because Yoshi-Hashi’s taken all his underdog heat. I’m not sure where he goes from here. ***

Katsuyori Shibata vs. Kenny Omega

Shibata     Omega

Omega went after Shibata’s taped right shoulder, but Shibata immediately fired back with kicks. A dropkick sent Omega to the floor, where he was eventually able to drop Shibata with a shinbreaker onto the timekeeper’s table. Back in, Kenny applied the Brock Lock (into a standing position) and Shibata made the ropes, but Omega ran him knee-first into the turnbuckle. Shibata fought back with kicks, the corner dropkick and half-hatch suplex for two, before Omega reversed a Sleeper to one of his own. Shibata nailed him with a high-angle backdrop, then after some strikes each man connected with a German suplex. Heel hook from Omega, but Shibata once again made the ropes. Knee strike for two, but Shibata blocked the One-Winged Angel and transitioned to an armbar and now it was Omega’s turn to reach for the ropes. They exchanged kicks to the arm, then Omega floored Shibata with jumping knee. Boma Ye for two. V-Trigger knee strike, but the One-Winged Angel was countered again, this time to a Sleeper, and Shibata followed with the Penalty Kick for the win. A strong effort, but perhaps my expectations were too high. The closing stretch was fun, but I felt the rest of the match was fairly disjointed, and for whatever reason I just couldn’t get into it as much as I would’ve liked. ***3/4

Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Tetsuya Naito

Nakajima     Naito

Naito trolled Nakajima early on, culminating in his trademark reclining pose after a sequence of counters. One guy in the crowd got a little feisty, so Naito told him to Tranquilo. Back in the ring, he went after Nakajima’s knee to continue the leg work that’s been a constant in this tournament, and which is a particularly smart strategy against his kick-heavy opponent. Nakajima did eventually find an opening with the kicks, but it was clearly hurting him to deliver them. On the ouside, he dropped Naito knee-first onto the barrier, then back in, a diving dropkick connected for two. Naito fought back with an atomic drop and the slingshot corner dropkick, but Nakajima blocked Gloria to dumped Naito with a backdrop for two. He grabbed an ankle lock and dragged Naito to the middle of the ring, but Naito rolled-through to apply the scissored kneebar and Nakajima scrambled to make the ropes. Up top, and the super frankensteiner connected for two, then Gloria landed for another two-count. Destino blocked and Nakajima hoisted Naito onto his shoulders to hit a Death Valley Driver for two. Main Event Elbow Battle time. Nakajima blocked the tornado DDT and put Naito on the top-rope to hit a spinning heel kick, then followed with a backdrop for a near-fall. Side kicks from Nakajima, enzuigiri from Naito, huge dropkick from Nakajima then a Penalty Kick for two! Brainbuster countered to Destino, then Destino again from Naito and the three-count was academic. Despite this being Nakajima’s hometown, the crowd was fully behind Naito and it meant they were a little slow to get into the match itself. Still, Naito and Nakajima stuck with it, built steadily and peaked at just the right time. ***3/4

Post-match promo from Naito and we’re out.

B Block standings after Round Six

  • Elgin – 8
  • Naito – 8
  • Nagata – 6
  • Nakajima – 6
  • Omega – 6
  • Shibata – 6
  • Yano – 6
  • YOSHI-HASHI 6
  • Honma – 4
  • EVIL – 4

Final thoughts: B Block remains up for grabs with everyone still in contention. My ratings of the final two matches are measured against my expectations to some extent, so you may well enjoy them more than I did. In any case, it was another solid showing from the workhorse block of the tournament.

I’m back on Saturday for a promising A Block show which features Tanahashi vs. Marufuji and Okada vs. Ishii. See you then. 

Twelve down, seven to go.