G1 Climax 2015 Day 9 (A.J. Styles, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, Katsuyori Shibata, Tetsuya Naito, Togi Makabe)

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We’re already half-way for A Block and their fifth day of competition saw the following results:

Kota Ibushi defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan in 11:14 via pinfall. Very enjoyable match with an excellent Ibushi and a Tenzan who looked a lot better than in previous outings. Ibushi is always a joy to watch when allowed to go in full-on offense mode, while Tenzan’s timing was spot-on. Phoenix Splash from Ibushi to end this one. Great stuff.

Katsuyori SHibata defeated Bad Luck Fale in 7:51 via pinfall. Any match were Fale is supposed to dominate is better kept short. This was the case here, with the spectacle being in the finish. PK from Shibta to slay the monster and end an average match on a high note.

A. J. Styles defeated Doc Gallows in 10:14 via pinfall. The big guy-small guy formula is known, but when the small guy just happens to be A. J. Styles you’re in for a treat. Good story-telling here with Styles gradually wearing Gallows down. He also effortlessly carried him to a good match while he was at it. Good stuff.

Togi Makabe defeated Tetsuya Naito in 15:45 via pinfall. Excellent match-up between those two. Heel Naito continues to shine and entertain with his new-found arrogance, and Makabe  had fun trying to stomp it out of him. Naito got busted open in the end, after Makabe introduced his head to the ring-post. The result might seem surprising, but don’t forget Makabe is still NEVER Open champion. They can’t have him lose to everybody. Watch this one, you won’t regret it.

Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Toru Yano in 14:59 via pinfall. Repeat of their feud but in reverse as, this time, it was Tanahashi who had Yano’s number. Yano opened his usual (and always entertaining) bag of tricks, but Tanahashi was having none of it and kept foiling Yano’s plan’s. High Fly flow to end this. Its seems the cut Yano suffered during his match with Tenzan got reopened during this match.

Standings:

Katsuyori Shibata  – 8
Tetsuya Naito – 6
Bad Luck Fale  – 6
A. J. Styles – 6
Kota Ibushi  -6
Hiroshi Tanahashi – 6
Togi Makabe – 6
Toru Yano – 2
Hiroyoshi Tenzan – 2
Doc Gallows – 2

Analysis: Pretty good day, with most matches being good to excellent and even the Shibata/Fale outing providing some spectacle. It’s still pretty much everyone’s ballgame with  six wrestlers tied up for second place. Shibata is not a favorite to win this block, but he looks stronger and stronger, so they might surprise us. For the rest, everyone had their working boots on and did all they could to entertain us. What more can one want? Naito vs Ibushi is next, don’t miss that one!

In other results:

Satoshi Kojima, KUSHIDA and Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Tomoaki Honma, Mascara Dorada and David Finlay Jr. (KUSHIDA makes Finlay submit)

Yujiro Takahashi and Cody Hall defeated Michael Elgin and Jay White. (Takahashi pinned White)

Shinsuke Nakamura, Tomohiro Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI defeated Hirooki Goto, Yuji Nagata and Captain New Japan. (YOSHI HASHI pinned Captain New japan)

Karl Anderson and Tama Tonga defeated Kazuchika Okada and Gedo. (Tonga pinned Gedo)

 

Next day is on Tuesday 08/04 and it will be the fifth day of competition for B Block with the following matches:

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

Ishii has been looking stroong so far so I expect him to win against Nagata. Elgin has also impressed so Takahashi should be no problem for him. Can’t wait for Kojima vs Honma because you just know that one will be a riot. Can Honma win? I don’t even dare to make a prediction anymore, but if he does the Miyagi Sun Plaza hall will explode. Okada vs Anderson will no doubt be excellent, but the real question is: can Anderson score an even bigger upset than the ones against Nakamura and Goto? Your guess is as good as mine. Nakamura vs Goto will be about Nakamura wanting a measure of revenge against the man who took is IC belt. But it will also be about Nakamura’s elbow injury. Is it getting better or worse? Let’s all hope for the former.

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