NJPW G1 Climax 26: Day 16

G1 26 logo

August 10th, 18:30 from Yamagata City General Sports Center, Yamagata

Today’s penultimate B Block show features Omega vs. Nakajima, Naito vs. YOSHI-HASHI, Shibata vs. Nagata and Elgin vs. Omega. Let’s get to it.

The story so far: PrimerDay 1Day 2Days 3 & 4Day 5Day 6Day 7Day 8Day 9Day 10Day 11Day 12Day 13Day 14Day 15.

B Block – Current Standings

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

Here we go…

B Block – Round Eight

Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Kenny Omega

Nakajima     Omega

A reluctant handshake, then Nakajima got rolling with the kicks and a high-angle backdrop got a two-count. Kenny slid to the outside, blocked a kick, and delivered a snap Dragon suplex to Nakajima on the floor! The NOAH man just made it in before the count, but Omega stayed on top for several minutes until the middle-rope moonsault hit the knees. Diving dropkick from Nakajima for two. Omega clubbed at Nakajima’s neck then hit the leapfrog bulldog, but Nakajima caught him with a spinning heel kick as he went up top and brought him down with a superplex for two. Omega ducked the Penalty Kick and delivered another couple of Dragon suplexes and the V-Trigger knee strike, but Nakajima slid out of the One-Winged Angel to nail a flurry of kicks for a near-fall. The Penalty Kick connected this time, but Omega slipped out of the brainbuster and hit an inverted ‘rana! Two-count only. One-Winged Angel from Omega – one, two, three. Good stuff. Nice, consistent selling from Nakajima as he was beaten down and they built to strong finish. A couple more minutes would’ve been lovely. ***3/4

Toru Yano vs. EVIL

Yano     EVIL

Evil kicked out of the Akakiri cradle and the hair-pull rollup, then took Yano to the outside for some chair-related fun. Back in, Evil was introduced to the exposed turnbuckle, but fought back to hit the STO for the win. The usual. N/R

YOSHI-HASHI vs. Tetsuya Naito

YOSHI-HASHI     Naito

Yoshi-Hashi went at Naito from the off, but Naito targeted his taped shoulder with a seated dropkick to take control. Outside, Yoshi was rammed shoulder-first into the ringpost and, back in, Naito dissected the arm. A DDT spiked Naito to get Yoshi back into it, and he followed with the running blockbuster and rope-hung dropkick for a two-count. Naito blocked a powerbomb and scored the slingshot corner dropkick, but couldn’t follow up, and Yoshi-Hashi countered the leaping elbow to a Codebreaker! Pinning powerbomb for two. Swanton missed the mark. Diving dropkick from Naito, then the super frankensteiner for a near-fall. Gloria! Two-count only. Spinebuster from Naito, but Destino was reversed to a swinging facebuster to put both men down, and a big-time strike battle culminated in a huge left-armed lariat from Yoshi-Hashi for a near-fall. Swanton! Two-count only. Naito elbowed his way out of Karma, but got caught in the Butterfly Lock. Yoshi dragged him to the middle of the ring, and he faded, but then somehow mustered the energy to scramble to the ropes. German suplex from Naito, no-sold by Yoshi, but the reverse DDT connected (at the second time of asking). Leaping elbow strike, Destino, Naito gets the win. Really fun match. Like Ishii vs. Sanada on the last show, Naito gave his younger opponent plenty of the spotlight and Yoshi-Hashi responded with yet another fine performance. ****1/4

Katsuyori Shibata vs. Yuji Nagata

Shibata     Nagata

These two have fought twice for the NEVER title in recent months, and despite Shibata earning Nagata’s respect, there was no love lost here. Nagata targeted Shibata’s taped shoulder, employing a keylock to keep him under control and attempting armbars on several occasions, then Shibata responded by kicking Nagata’s leg out from under him, and got on a roll until we reached duelling elbows, duelling suplexes and simultaneous kicks to put both men down. Shirome armbar from Nagata, Shibata made the ropes, then Nagata laid in the knees and landed a backdrop for two. Penalty Kick from Nagata! Two-count only. More strikes were met with a dropkick, and a double underhook suplex led to Shibata cinching in the Sleeper. Nagata fought out by using an armbreaker, but Shibata locked it in once more, transitioning to the rear naked choke with bodyscissors, and the referee was forced to call the match. Not up to the standard of their title matches, but decent nonetheless. ***1/4

Tomoaki Honma vs. Michael Elgin

Honma     Elgin

This is Honma’s home prefecture so, as with Makabe on Day 15, he gets the main event slot and plenty of support from the crowd. He was continually overpowered in the opening minutes, occasionally finding a opening but soon shut down. Naturally, the first attempt at a Kokeshi missed, and Elgin delivered a nice Military Press Slam for two. The beatdown continued, Kokeshi No.2 missed, then Honma succeeded in hitting the deadlift suplex. Impressive. Kokeshi No.3 hit, much to the delight of the crowd, and a seated blockbuster earned two. Elgin countered a charge to a belly-to-belly and the Falcon Arrow brought a near-fall. Honma fired up after being dumped with a German suplex, but Elgin put him straight back down with a spinning lariat, then Rocket Kokeshis from Honma earned a two-count and Elgin struck back once more with a spinning sit-out slam. Thankfully, Elgin ensured the Kokeshi to the floor happen, and they fought on the apron where Elgin hit a Death Valley Driver. Powerbomb into the ringpost, followed by the Cesaroplex Falcon Arrow! Two-count only. Big Mike Fly Flow! Another two-count. Bucklebomb, immediate Rocket Kokeshi reply! Main Event Elbow Battle time and Honma’s Fire Thunder Driver got a near-fall, but the Kokeshi Kai missed the mark. Main Event Elbow Battle part two, won by Elgin, followed by a powerbomb and lariat from for two, then the bucklebomb, Elgin Bomb, and the three-count. Elgin is not a heel and that made for an odd dynamic, but despite that and thanks to the crowd support for Honma, the result was a good main event. ****

Short promo from Elgin and we’re out.

B Block standings after Round Eight

  • Naito – 12
  • Omega – 10
  • Shibata – 10
  • Elgin – 10
  • Nakajima – 8
  • Yano – 8
  • EVIL – 6
  • Nagata – 6
  • YOSHI-HASHI – 6
  • Honma – 4

Final thoughts: God bless B Block. These guys must be absolutely shattered and they still delivered a really strong show heading into the final weekend. The first, third and fifth matches here are worth seeing, and leave us with a four-man group who can still win the block. Naito leads the charge.

Back on Friday for the final A Block show and the first of three in Sumo Hall. Five men are still in the running to advance to Sunday’s final and the card is headlined by Okada vs. Tanahashi. See you then. 

Sixteen down, three to go.