by Bryan Rose, WrestlingObserver.com
Welcome to this morning’s coverage of the last G1 Climax show before the finals late tonight/Sunday morning. Hiroshi Tanahashi won the A block, beating AJ Styles in a great main event last night, but tonight there are several variables that will either allow Shinsuke Nakamura, Karl Anderson or Kazuchika Okada to advance.
Sho Tanaka & Yohei Komatsu vs. Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly
Didn’t last long, but this was pretty good and heated while it lasted. Typical match where Tanaka and Komatsu would get the occasional offense, but reDragon would cut them off. They laid out Komatsu then pinned Tanaka with the Chasing the Dragon.
The Young Bucks immediately ran in after the bell rant and laid out their challengers tomorrow with the titles. David Finlay and Jay White ran in, and their match immediately started.
Young Bucks vs. Jay White & David Finlay
Also a solid, short match. White and Finaly were on offense for a while and looked pretty good. At one point both Bucks missed Stinger splashes and did Sting’s mannerisms and everything. Matt pinned White after hitting the Indytaker.
Toru Yano & Kazushi Sakuraba & Yoshi-Hashi & Michael Bennett & Matt Taven vs. A.J. Styles & Doc Gallows & Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga & Cody Hall
Another solid tag match. The Kingdom worked a lot of this match. AJ Styles and Sakuraba were in at one point and AJ had him in the calf killer but Sakuraba transitioned into an armbar before it was broken up. After Toru Yano distracted Tama Tonga, taking him out Benett hit a twist of fate on Hall and Yoshi Hashi hit the swanton bomb for the win.
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Togi Makabe & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Katsuyori Shibata & Kushida vs. Tetsuya Naito & Kota Ibushi & Manabu Nakanishi & Captain New Japan & Ricochet
Solid match. It was basic, but it was fun and again Ricochet and Kushida were the highlights of the match. They also had Ibushi pair off with Makabe as that seems to be the NEVER title fall program. Naito also antagonized Shibata on the apron early in the match, perhaps a tease of a feud between these two as well. He took him out again towards the end as everyone exchanged offense again. Tanahashi, who was not in the match much at all, took out NCJ with the sling blade then pinned him with the high fly flow.
Shibata and Naito had a confrontation after the match, with Shibata putting him in a sleeper. Shibata enters the ring and goads Naito on but he bails. Seems like this is a match for tomorrow or for next month.
Yujiro Takahashi vs. Tomoaki Honma
Good match. A lot of the story was based on if Honma could get another win to start a streak. He got in a lot of offense and hit many kokeshis. Good back and forth stuff between the two throughout. Honma kicked out of a fisherman’s suplex at one and tried for a Bernard driver but Yujiro low blowed him and hit the Miami Shine for the win. I thought that was Toru Yano’s thing?
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Michael Elgin
This was a completely insane match and without a doubt one of the best matches of the year. Think of all the insane matches Tomohiro Ishii has had over the last few years and double it and you have this match. Just insane in terms of brutality and stiffness. Some people won’t like this match because of that but this was better than Honma/Ishii from this year and Ishii/Goto from last year. Just some insane spots here and the place went crazy towards the end. Elgin gave Ishii a death valley driver on the apron then gave him a running powerbomb into the guardrail. He followed that up with the deadlift falcon arrow superplex but Ishii mounted a comeback. He blasted him with a lariat and a sliding D but Elgin kicked out. He kept kicking out of everything Ishii gave him, including another lariat. Elgin deadlifted him with a powerbomb but Ishii fought back and gave him a massive headbutt, another lariat (which Elgin kicked out of) then pinned him with a brainbuster. Have I said this match was insane?
Hirooki Goto vs Yuji Nagata
Good match. Started off slow, but told a nice story and became pretty good towards the end. Story of this match was Goto completely dominating Nagata for most of the bout, dishing out offense and working on Nagata’s ribs, which has been a problem for him throughout the tournament. Nagata finally made a comeback by sinking in the white eyes armbar out of nowhere. Goto didn’t tap out and from here it became more of an even contest. They traded forearms but Goto cut him off. Nagata came back with a spinning heel kick and pinned him with the back drop hold. This puts Goto out of the tournament.
Karl Anderson vs. Satoshi Kojima
This was fine, but nothing special. Good heat towards the end. Kojima laid him out during the match with a DDT on the apron. Anderson made the comeback and hit a cutter off the top rope. Kojima came back with one of his own. He went for the lariat (Anderson had worked on his arm earlier and sold it before going for it) but Anderson went for the Gun Stun. Kojima blocked it and hit the lariat to pin him and eliminate him from the tournament. From here, whoever wins in the main event advances to the finals.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kazuchika Okada for the B block championship
This was awesome. I think it was close to their finals match from last year, if not a bit better. Just a different feeling for this one from the get go. Okada took over early by giving Nakamura a huge dropkick through the barricade then gave him a draping DDT from the barricade onto the mat. Good, solid back and forth. Okada’s playing the somewhat subtle heel by mocking Nakamura here and there. Nakamura hits the boma ye but misses another and Okada takes it to the outside where he tombstones Nakamura on the floor. Nakamura came back but Okada kicked out of another boma ye and a death valley driver. He charged for another but Okada hit a huge dropkick. Nakamura avoided the rainmaker once but Okada backslided him and hit the rainmaker. He gave him the tombstone but Nakamura avoided the rainmaker and transitioned into the armbar. He shifted to a gogoplata, then flattened him on his back and continued to wrench on the arm until Okada submitted. The last few minutes were incredible with the counters and the heat from the audience.
So that makes it Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for tomorrow’s G1 championship match.
Hiroshi Tanahashi- 14
AJ Styles- 12
Tetsuya Naito- 10
Bad Luck Fale- 10
Katsuyori Shibata- 8
Togi Makabe- 8
Kota Ibushi- 8
Toru Yano- 8
Hiroyoshi Tenzan- 6
Doc Gallows- 6
Shinsuke Nakamura- 14
Kazuchika Okada- 14
Karl Anderson- 12
Hirooki Goto- 12
Tomohiro Ishii- 10
Michael Elgin- 8
Yujiro Takahashi- 6
Satoshi Kojima- 6
Yuji Nagata- 6
Tomoaki Honma- 2