G1 Climax 2015 Day 13 (Tetsuya Naito, A. J. Styles, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Katsuyori Shibata)

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Seventh day of competition for A Block. And someone will see his dreams of winning crushed today. Let’s see what happened:

Bad Luck Fale defeated Kota Ibushi in 8:30 via pinfall. Last chance match for Ibushi who got overwhelmed by Fale almost immediately. Fale used brute force outside of the ring by hurling Ibushi into some chairs and then throwing a barricade on him for good measure. Ibushi made a comeback, but, in the end, he couldn’t slay the monster.

Tetsuya Naito defeated Toru Yano in 8:01 via pinfall. Heel vs heel, dirty tricks vs dirty tricks, this was quite fun to watch. While Yano would have the initiative on occasion this was Naito’s match from start to finish. Naito used Yano’s own tactics against him by low blowing him and then finishing him off with the Destino. Naito continued beating on Yano after the bell and then attacked pretty much everything in sight (referee and cameraman).

A. J. Styles defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan in 13:29 via submission. Great storytelling in this one with Styles working on Tenzan legs to cut off his offense. Tenzan made a very good effort and was desperate to prove he could beat Styles but, in the end, The Phenomenal One was simply too strong. Tenzan lost focus and argued with the referee, allowing Styles to put him in the  Calf Killer for the submission win. Great stuff.

Toogi Makabe defeated Doc Gallows in 8:55 via pinfall. This could be nothing else then a brawl, but it wasn’t a bad one. Both went back and forth and even brawled into the crowd for awhile. But there was no way Gallows would beat the NEVER champion and, in the end, Makabe landed the King Kong Knee Drop for the win.

Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Katsuyori Shibata in 21:20 via pinfall. Awesome match between those two. very intense from start to finish with them going through the entire panel of moves. From kicks and strikes to submission to big spots, everything was there. Shibata fought like a man possessed but fell to a Tanahashi counter after a rear naked choke attempt. Watch this one if you can, it’s a masterclass.

Standings:

Tetsuya Naito – 10
AJ Styles – 10
Hiroshi Tanahashi – 10
Bad Luck Fale – 10
Katsuyori Shibata – 8
Togi Makabe – 8
Kota Ibushi – 6
Toru Yano – 4
Hiroyoshi Tenzan – 2
Doc Gallows – 2

Analysis: Ibushi is out of the running, Shibata and Makabe still have a small chance, but they need a miracle. Shibata is in better position since he has to fight Gallows and Tenzan on the last two days while Makabe faces Tanahashi and Ibushi, but I don’t see either of them making a comeback. Three of the four with 10 points have a pretty tough program. Styles has to battle Fale and Tanahashi, Fale fights Styles and the always tricky Toru Yano and Tanahashi faces Makabe and Styles. Which leaves Naito with the easiest program against  Tenzan and Gallows. On paper that means Naito is all of a sudden favorite in this block, since the others could easily eliminate each-other and I don’t see him losing to either of his opponents at this point. Or they decide to go for a tie between Naito and, most likely, Styles. In that case they can  add semis to their Finals card which is a possibility since Nakamura and Okada might very well tie in B Block too. Or they can decide to look at the head to head confrontations to determine the winner and that would be great for Naito since he holds victories over the three others. Any option is possible, but kudos to Naito who went from barely acknowledged outsider to firm favorite during the course of this tournament.

In other results:

Satoshi Kojima, Jushin Thunder Liger, Ryusuke Taguchi and Yohei Komatsu defeated Yuji Nagata, KUSHIDA, Mascara Dorada and David Finlay Jr. (Taguchi pinned Finlay)

Karl Anderson and  Cody Hall defeated Michael Elgin and Jay White. (Anderson pinned White)

Shinsuke Nakamura, Tomohiro Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI defeaated Hirooki Goto, Tomoaki Honma and Captain New Japan. (YOSHI HASHI pinned Captain new Japan)

Yujiro Takahashi and Tama Tonga defeated Kazuchika Okada and Gedo. (Tonga pinned Gedo)

 

Tomorrow (08/09) is the seventh day of competition for B Block, with the following matches:

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

Very interesting match-up between Anderson and Elgin. Since Elgin has momentum on his side, I go for him. Kojima should defeat Nagata based on his string of strong performances. Okada should have no troubles against Takahashi. As much as the crowd will be behind Honma, I can’t see him taking the win against Nakamura. Finally Goto vs Ishii is one that is quite difficult to call. Given Ishii has been on a roll and could be a viable challenger for Goto’s IC title later, I go for him.

See you all tomorrow for more G1!

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