G1 Climax 2015 Day 5 (A. J. Styles, Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tetsuya Naito)

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Day 5 of the G1 Climax tournament, and it opens up with some bad news. Shinsuke Nakamura has been pulled out of the card (he  was scheduled to compete in one of the tag team matches) due to an elbow injury. How serious that injury is remains to be seen. let’s hope the disicion was just to avoid Shinsuke taking risks in a meaningless tag match and to aloow him some day of rest before tuesday (next day of competition for B Block).

Meanwhile the wrestlers from A2 Block worked their third day of competition:

Bad Luck Fale defeated Doc Gallows in 8:43 via pinfall. Nobody expected this one to be good and it wasn’t. Both lumbered and plodded towards the finish with Fale thankfully putting us out of our misery.

Toru Yano defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan in 6:38 via pinfall. Usual Yano antics until Tenzan screwed up an head-butt and split both Yano and himself open. Yano was bleeding badly here. They then went straight to the finish with Yano surprising Tenzan with a low blow and roll up for the win. Tenzan hasn’t looked very good thus far in this tournament.

Katsuyori Shibata defeated Togi Makabe in 9:35 via pinfall. Good, hard-hitting match-up between those two, that could have been even better with some more time. Shibata has looked great thus far.

Kota Ibushi defeated A. J. Styles in 19:10 via pinfalll. Many were wondering if they could equal their Invasion Attack match. Not only did they equal it but they even surpassed it! An amazing match both went full trootle from the start and didn’t slow down until the finish. Innovative offense and reversals, incredible near-falls, and Ibushi finally finishing Styles off with the Phoenix Splash, this one had it all. Big, big win for Ibushi who replaces himself amongst the favorites. And Styles is just incredible nowadays. Go out of your way to watch this one! Match of the tournament (and MotY candidate) thus far.

Tetsuya Naito defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi in 24:14 via pinfall. Naito went full-on heel here, continuously disrespecting legend Tanahashi. Great back-and-forth match with tanahashi once again proving those who were doubting his ability to be at 100% during this tournament wrong. But the revelation is Naito being so comfortable with his heel persona. Also great story being told with Naito working Tanahashi’s neck throughout the match and finishing things off with a neck-breaker. Great stuff.

Standings:

A. J. Styles                        4
Kota Ibushi                      4
Tetsuya Naito                  4
Hiroshi Tanahashi         4
Katsuyoari Shibata        4
Bad Luck Fale                 4
Hiroyoshi Tenzan          2
Toru Yano                       2
Togi Makabe                   2
Doc Gallows                    0

Analysis: There is in se nothing wrong with Fale picking up some wins here and there. He is NJPW’s resident Monster Gaijin Hell after all. If only he wasn’t so limited in the ring. Tenzan really struggles in the opening part of this G1, Yano is certainly not a difficult guy to wrestle against and he still screwed up. I hope he can rebound but he just doesn’t seem to be in good shape unfortunatly. The last three matches went from great to awesome. Underdogs Shibata, Ibushi and Naito rejoin Styles and Tanahashi at the top, which is great booking from NJPW. It’s anyone’s ballgame now and we have no less 5 viable winners. Bets Day of the tournament so far thanks to the last three matches.

In other results:

Hirooki Goto, Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask and Yohei Komatsu defeated Tomoaki Honma, Ryusuke Taguchi, Máscara Dorada and David Finlay Jr. (Tiger Mask pinned Finlay)

Yuji Nagata and Captain New Japan defeated Yujiro Takahashi and Cody Hall. (Nagata made Hall submit)

Karl Anderson and Tama Tonga defeated Tomohiro Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI. (Anderson pinned YOSHI HASHI)

Satoshi Kojima and Michael Elgin defeated Kazuchika Okada and Gedo. (Kojima pinned Gedo, Okada wasn’t well pleased)

 

Next day (Tuesday 07/28) in B Block:

Yuji Nagata vs. Yujiro Takahashi
Hirooki Goto vs. Tomoaki Honma
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Karl Anderson
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Michael Elgin
Kazuchika Okada vs. Satoshi Kojima

Thee big questionmark is of course Nakamura’s elbow injury. Let’s hope it’s nothing too serious. If Nakamura makes it this will be a standout day with Honma seeking to score his big win against IC champ Goto, Anderson and Ishii who will want both to keep their streak alive (watch out for this one, this should be brutal), Nakamura having to clear a serious roadblock in the person of Michael Elgin and Okada seeking to make it 3 wins in a row against the always difficult to handle Kojima. G1 2015 is picking up speed and has no intention of slowing down!

See you all on Tuesday!

 

 

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