NJPW G1 Climax 26: Day 18

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August 13th, 18:30 from Ryogoku Kokugikan (Sumo Hall), Tokyo

The final B Block show and four men are still in the running (if you count crazy ties and such). Elgin faces Nakajima, Shibata faces EVIL and Omega and Naito face off in the main event! It’s the closing weekend of the G1 Climax and this is the second of three nights at Sumo Hall, so let’s get to it.

The story so far: PrimerDay 1Day 2Days 3 & 4Day 5Day 6Day 7Day 8Day 9Day 10Day 11Day 12Day 13Day 14Day 15Day 16, Day 17.

B Block – Current Standings

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

Here we go…

B Block – Round Nine

Yuji Nagata vs. Tomoaki Honma

Nagata     Honma

Nothing to play for with regards to the tournament, but as with Ishii/Makabe yesterday, there was no lack of pride or effort on display. An early slap put Nagata down, although Honma could not capitalise (you know what I’m talking about). Nagata got to work, and applied the Nagata Lock before targeting Honma’s midriff with kicks, but back came Honma with the deadlift suplex. He got on a roll only to be cut off by a knee to the gut and then a rope-hung spinning neckbreaker and Exploder. Nagata followed soon after with a backdrop for two, then Honma delivered a Rocket Kokeshi, but he got caught up top for a super Exploder! Justice knee, then a slap battle ensued, culminating in a German suplex from Nagata. Backdrop Hold countered, Rocket Kokeshi, Fire Thunder Driver. Two-count only. Kokeshi Kai from the top! One, two, three. Fun match, and credit to the Japanese commentary team who always add to the drama. ***1/4

Toru Yano vs. YOSHI-HASHI

Yano     YOSHI-HASHI

A handshake between CHAOS members to start and Yano gave Yoshi a clean rope-break. The guy’s pure class. He tried a cheeky roll-up (“Joke, joke, joke!”), but Yoshi-Hashi hit a rope-hung dropkick before running right into the exposed turnbuckle. Yano smacked Yoshi-Hashi with the turnbuckle pad then delivered a low blow with the referee’s back turned and rolled Yoshi up for the three-count. That’s a shame, actually, because Yoshi-Hashi has had an excellent debut tournament and didn’t deserve to end up at the bottom of the pile. Still, he’s raised his stock considerably and sure this is just the start for him. *1/2

Katsuyori Shibata vs. EVIL

Shibata     EVIL

Shibata went straight for the Sleeper, dumped Evil on his head with a backdrop, but the Penalty Kick was ducked. Evil, as has become customary, took the fight the outside, where he smashed Shibata’s taped shoulder in full view of the referee, then Pillmanized Shibata’s arm on the ringpost! Ouch. Back in, Evil stayed on top with a surfboard stomp, but Shibata fired up and struck a huge elbow (to the detriment of his own). Boots and elbows in the corner and the corner dropkick hit the mark. Half hatch suplex for two and the Cobra Twist was applied. Evil made the ropes, then Shibata countered the STO to one of his own! Double underhook suplex for another two-count, then Shibata nailed Evil with kicks before cinching in the Sleeper. Evil fought out by grabbing Shibata’s arm and dumped him with a nice wrist-clutch backdrop to put both men down. He headbutted the s--- out of Shibata’s shoulder (amazing) then delivered a half-and-half suplex! Shibata charged straight into Evil’s lariat and Darkness Falls connected a near-fall! STO for the win! Hell of a performance from Evil here, maybe his best since he returned to the company. Really fun match. Shibata is now out of the running. ****

Michael Elgin vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima

Elgin     Nakajima

Chops from Elgin and kicks from Nakajima to start, then a shoulder tackle and powerslam put Elgin on top. Nakajima kicked Elgin off the apron, followed with a running apron kick, and targeted Elgin’s taped shoulder on the outside. Back in, Nakajima peppered Elgin’s shoulder with kicks and applied an armbar, but Elgin made the ropes. The Canadian caught a boot in the corner and delivered a German suplex into the turnbuckle and followed with corner clotheslines and a military press slam. Nakajima hit back with a couple of Dragon Screws and a low dropkick, then the Yakuza kick, chest kick and diving dropkick for two, and a spinning heel kick and high-angle backdrop earned a near-fall. Elgin ducked a kick to hit a German suplex and a huge lariat, but Nakajima nailed a dropkick and the Penalty Kick in response! Brainbuster reversed to suplexes, and Elgin put Nakajima on the top-rope. Nakajima fought back, but his dropkick attempt was countered to a powerbomb for a near-fall! Up top went Elgin, but the Big Mike Fly Flow missed. They fought up from the knees with elbows, and Elgin absolutely nailed Nakajima, then another huge lariat landed for a near-fall. He ripped off his shoulder taping and delivered the Cesaroplex Falcon Arrow! 2.9. Bucklebomb from Elgin, but Nakajima rolled-through the follow-up for a two-count. A flurry of kicks from Nakajima, two-count only, then the Brainbuster for the win. This was great. They went a bit silly with the near-falls at the end, but that’s what you get with Elgin matches, and Nakajima really solidified a strong tournament performance with the victory. He and Marufuji have done NOAH proud. ****1/4

Post-match, Nakajima bowed to Elgin and Elgin raised his hand.

Tetsuya Naito vs. Kenny Omega

Naito     Omega

Omega must beat Naito. Any other result and Naito advances to the final.

Naito avoided contact as long as possible, then the opening exchange ended in a stand off and they got into a spitting contest! Low dropkick from Naito and he got to work on Omega’s left leg. Omega managed to knock Naito to the floor, but the follow-up plancha missed and tweaked Omega’s knee further. He succeeded in driving Naito into the barrier, however, then delivered a slam onto the edge of the apron. Fisherman Ushigoroshi back in the ring, and Omega took control. Chops and the Rude Awakening for two. He tweaked the knee again on the kip-up Finlay Roll and Naito took advantage with another low dropkick and spinning neckbreaker, then the slingshot corner dropkick connected for two. Elbows and a chop from Kenny, but Naito nailed yet another low dropkick and applied the figure-four. Omega scrambled and made the ropes.

Leapfrog bulldog from Omega, and he dropkicked Naito from the apron right into the barrier. He looked to hit an apron powerbomb, then dumped Naito through the announce table instead! Omega then followed with a springboard swanton over the barrier and onto Omega! Crazy bastard. Snap dragon suplex onto the apron, then another back in the ring. Two-count only. The deadlift Doctor Bomb was countered to a DDT by Naito and both men were down. Main Event Elbow Battle time, and Omega landed a jumping knee, but Naito struck back with the tornado DDT, then Omega rolled-through the super frankensteiner for a near-fall. Gloria from Naito for another near-fall. Omega flipped out of a German suplex and hurt his knee in the process, but Naito charged straight into a lariat that turned him inside-out. Running knee strike from Omega, One-Winged Angel countered beautifully into the scissored kneebar! Kenny held on as long as he could, then scrambled desperately to the ropes. Shinbreaker from Naito, but a second was countered with a knee strike, and a quick German suplex allowed Omega to hit the Doctor Bomb for a two-count and the crowd was going crazy. V-Trigger! One-Winged Angel countered to Destino! F---! Naito put Omega on top and delivered a super inverted ‘rana! 2.9! Destino countered to a modified tombstone piledriver by Omega! 2.9! Knees to Naito’s face, but Omega could not lift Naito and they unleashed slaps. Croyt’s Wrath’s from Omega! Boma Ye! One-Winged Angel! One, two, three! Omega wins! Wow. Another fantastic block decider. Just a stellar match. *****

Post-match from Omega, and we’re out.

B Block – Final Standings

  • Omega – 12 (B Block WINNER)
  • Naito – 12
  • Shibata – 10
  • Elgin – 10
  • Nakajima – 10
  • Yano – 10
  • EVIL – 8
  • Honma – 6
  • Nagata – 6
  • YOSHI-HASHI – 6

Final thoughts: B Block, I salute you. Each of the pertinent tournament matches delivered in spades and we got yet another upset result in the excellent main event. Omega becomes the first person since Okada in 2012 to reach the G1 final in his debut tournament, and the match will be the first since 2008 not to feature the reigning IWGP champion. Personally, I’m pleased to see New Japan trying something different in the final tomorrow. It’s Omega vs. Goto – who would’ve predicted that? I know who I’m pulling for.

Back tomorrow for the final! Yes, we made it. See you then.

Eighteen down, one to go.