Two very interesting match-ups today in A block, let’s get right to it:
Doc Gallows defeated Toru Yano in 6:58 via pinfall. Yano will never be the best of workers but he has that rare of making an average match seem entertaining. Gallows needed help from Anderson to win this one. Fun thanks to Yano.
Togi Makabe defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzna in 8:41 via pinfall. Nothing fancy here but a rather enjoyable brawl. Tenzan kept taking Makabe’s offense until he could take no more.
Katsuyori Shibata defeated Kota Ibushi in 13:25 via pinfall. Crowd went crazy for this one, and rightfully so, this was amazing. Fast-paced and super-heated there was some insane offense from both. Go out of your way to watch this, MotY candidate. Japanese strong-style at its very best.
Bad Luck Fale defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi in 13:07 via pinfall. Tanahashi is till one of the very best in the world. The way he carried Fale to a good match, and, especially, the way he effortlessly covered up some of Fale’s mistakes was a joy to watch. A somewhat surprising result, but Fale is still the top gaijin heel monster so he does need a couple of big wins during this tournament. Watch for Tanahashi’s performance.
Tetsuya Naito defeated A. J. Styles in 17:13 via pinfall. A rather strange atmosphere for this match, the crowd didn’t really know what to make of the heel/heel main event at first. A good, technical match between those two. NJPW clearly believes in Naito’s new heel character. And they should, he’s pulling it off beautifully.
Tetsuya Naito – 6
Katsuyori Shibata – 6
Bad Luck Fale – 6
A. J. Styles – 4
Kota Ibushi -4
Hiroshi Tanahashi – 4
Togi Makabe – 4
Toru Yano – 2
Hiroyoshi Tenzan – 2
Doc Gallows – 2
Analysis: In hindsight, Shibata vs Ibushi shold have been the main Event. Crowd was red hot for that one and kinda slowed down after despite good performances from Shibata, Styles and Naito. From the way things stand now, Naito could be plan B if Nakamura’s injury prevent him from continuing. And it’s not a bad plan, a heel Naito vs Okada would certainly work. Most top players avoid each-other on the next day, exept Shibata, who battles Fale. Tanahashi will resume his feud with Yano for one night only.
In other results:
Tiger Mask and Mascara Dorada defeated Jay White and David Finlay.
Yuji Nagata, Yohei Komatsu, Satoshi Kojima and Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Yujiro Takahashi, Karl Anderson, Cody Hall and Tama Tonga.
Tomoaki Honma and Michael Elgin defeated Yoshi-Hashi and Tomohiro Ishii. Honma pinned Hashi and he, Elgin and Ishii had a wild brawl post-match.
Hirooki Goto and Jushin Thunder Liger defeated Kazuchika Okada and Gedo. Liger pinned Gedo.
Next day is on Saturday 08/01 and features the following matches:
Satoshi Kojima vs. Yujiro Takahashi
Yuji Nagata vs. Karl Anderson
Michael Elgin vs. Tomoaki Honma
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Kazuchika Okada vs. Hirooki Goto
Nakamura is still scheduled to face Ishii, which will be a fantastic match. If it happens. It will be interesting to see if Honma can pick up his first win against Elgin and if Goto can stop Okada’s momentum.
See you all Saturday for more G1!