NJPW G1 Climax 26: Day 14

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August 7th, 16:00 from Act City Hamamatsu, Shizuoka

The story so far: PrimerDay 1Day 2Days 3 & 4Day 5Day 6Day 7Day 8Day 9Day 10Day 11Day 12, Day 13.

B Block – Current Standings

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

Here we go…

B Block – Round Seven

Michael Elgin vs. Toru Yano

Elgin     Yano

You know the score. Elgin actually outsmarted Yano for most of the match, but as he went for a bucklebomb onto the exposed turnbuckle he was twice low-blowed and Yano rolled him up with the Akakiri cradle for the three-count. *1/2

Katsuyori Shibata vs. YOSHI-HASHI

Shibata     YOSHI-HASHI

There was an intense post-tag match brawl between these two yesterday and they picked up right where they left off. Yoshi-Hashi threw some elbows, but Shibata soon tired of that and started slapping him around before applying the figure-four. Yoshi made the ropes, but Shibata kept stomping away at his leg then smashed him with the corner dropkick. The chops and elbow shots from Yoshi began to make some headway, and a lariat knocked Shibata down and was followed with a rope-hung dropkick. Powerbomb pin for two. The swanton missed, but Yoshi slipped out of the Sleeper and into his Butterfly Lock. Nicely done. Shibata broke the hold, but Yoshi struck with another lariat for two and this time the swanton connected. Two-count only. Karma was blocked and now Shibata applied the Butterfly Lock. Double underhook suplex for two, then straight into the Sleeper and the Penalty Kick was nailed to give Shibata the win. A decent, lean wrestling match in which Yoshi-Hashi was shown to be on a par with Shibata. ***1/4

Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Tomoaki Honma

Nakajima     Honma

They found themselves on the apron early on, where Nakajima delivered a DDT and followed with a running kick before whipping Honma into the barrier. Back in, Nakajima cinched in headscissors. Honma broke the hold, but was spiked with another DDT for two, then they fought over a suplex, with Honma winning. Hard chops, bulldog, Kokeshi! Nakajima managed a Dragon Screw then a Yakuza kick, chest kick, and a nice diving dropkick for two. Honma fired up, then Nakajima blocked elbows with kicks until Honma was able to connect with a lariat. Chops vs. kicks, and it was a score draw before Honma twice connected with the Rocket Kokeshi. Fire Thunder Driver for a near-fall, then the Kokeshi Kai hit nothing but canvas and Nakajima replied with a spinning heel kick and a high-angle backdrop for two. No brainbuster, but a dropkick hit and a flurry of kicks earned two. Penalty Kick, brainbuster, three-count. I continue to enjoy Nakajima’s work. ***1/2

Yuji Nagata vs. Kenny Omega

Nagata     Omega

Nagata used his smarts to earn an early advantage (wily, grumpy veteran Nagata is my favourite), but Omega went to Nagata’s leg to gain control. He dissected Nagata’s leg in a Bret Hart-like fashion, and applied the Nagata Lock to rub it in. A knee to the gut stopped Omega’s run and Nagata fired away with kicks and hit an Exploder for two. Back to the knee went Kenny and the leapfrog bulldog connected for two, as did the Finlay Roll into middle-rope moonsault. Gutwrench suplex from Nagata, snap Dragon suplex from Omega, and a jumping knee strike earned another two-count. The V-Trigger knee strike was delivered, but it sent Nagata outside where he caught Omega with an Exploder to the floor! Rope-hung spinning neckbreaker and a brainbuster for a near-fall. Elbow strikes back-and-forth, and another jumping knee looked to set up the One-Winged Angel, but Nagata countered to the Shirome armbar from which Omega made the ropes. A couple of armbreakers, Justice Knee, and Omega was setup for a super Exploder, but he fought out, and then a series of blocked finishers led to Omega hitting another jumping knee for two, followed by the One-Winded Angel for the three-count. This was good and they worked really hard, but the crowd weren’t all that into it and the leg work went nowhere. Can’t fault the effort though, and Kenny’s extra seriousness in the last couple of shows has benefitted him; it’s good to see him moving up the block. ***1/2

Tetsuya Naito vs. EVIL

Naito     EVIL

There was some tension between these two yesterday, which added some intrigue to this. Evil was content to stroke his beard as Naito removed his suit, then the master seemed reticent to make contact with his protege, so Evil struck first with a lariat on the apron, then the swinging chair routine had the crowd behind him (this being his home prefecture helped). Back in the ring, he stomped Naito face-first into the mat, then landed a senton for two. Naito blocked the fisherman buster and nailed the tornado DDT to get back into it, then a hiptoss, low dropkick and neckbreaker led to the slingshot corner dropkick. He worked over Evil’s left leg before applying a figure-four, but Evil made the ropes and eventually managed to deliver the fisherman buster. Diving clothesline for two, then a half-and-half suplex and lariat dumped Naito right onto his head for a near-fall. Darkness Falls – near-fall. Naito rolled-through into the scissored kneebar and Evil strained and stretched but did make the ropes. Up top, Naito reversed the Darkness Falls to a super frankensteiner mid-air and delivered Gloria for a near-fall. Evil blocked Destino to land an Emerald Flowsion, then it was Main Event Elbow Battle time. Naito hit his reverse DDT for two, but Evil fired back with a rolling elbow, a huge lariat, and the STO… was countered to Destino by Naito! One, two, three. Evil is eliminated from the running, but the performance will have done him no harm at all, and it helped that he was getting the hometown support. This was slow to start with a fair bit of stalling, but finished strong and Naito made sure his boy came out of the match looking good. ****

Los Ingobernables de Japón reassemble post-match – a little reluctantly in Evil’s case, and Naito gets the promo to take us home.

B Block standings after Round Seven

  • Naito – 10
  • Elgin – 8
  • Nakajima – 8
  • Omega – 8
  • Shibata – 8
  • Yano – 8
  • Nagata – 6
  • YOSHI-HASHI – 6
  • EVIL – 4
  • Honma – 4

Final thoughts: Naito ascends to the top of the block, but the chasing pack remain in a strong position. A bunch of good matches and a very good main event made for a solid show, but on paper the it didn’t look like matching yesterday’s, and that turned out to be the case.

Tomorrow: A Block again, and Ishii will continue to try and stay in the running as he faces SANADA See you then. 

Fourteen down, five to go.