Fantastic day with a huge moment so, without further ado:
Karl Anderson defeated Yujiro Takahashi in 10:04 via pinfall. Anderson was more interested in playing around with Takahashi’s scantily clad girlfriend than with having a match with the man himself. Can’t really say I blame him. This caused more tension within Bullet Club, and though everybody reconciled (again) after the match, knowing NJPW this will most definitely lead to something. Not a bad match to start, thanks to Anderson.
Hirooki Goto defeated Michael Elgin in 11:41 via pinfall. Very good, physical match. It’s amazing how quickly Elgin has won the Japanese crowds over, they went wild for everything he did. Elgin controlled the first part of the match with Goto then making a comeback and them switching to hard-hitting back and forth action from then on. Goto surprised Elgin with well timed roll-up to win this. The two showed respect towards each-other after the match, much to the approval of the crowd. Great stuff.
Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Satoshi Kojima in 11:24 via pinfall. Another very good one, with Kojima and Nakamura blending their own, distinctive styles into a well-paced, well-structured and very enjoyable back and forth match. The outcome was never really in doubt of course, everybody knows it’s about Nakamura vs Okada on the last day, but all the more kudos to them for drawing the crowd and viewers into their story anyway.
Kazuchika Okada defeated Yuji Nagata in 18:14 via pinfall. Fantastic match. The story was about the veteran wanting to prove he still had it against the young Superstar. And it worked like a charm with Nagata fighting like a man possessed and taking Okadato his limit. Amusing detail: in the opening video of these shows, you see, amongst other things, Nagata preparing for the tournament by doing some limbo dance. Looks a bit silly, but when Okada when for a clothesline and Nagata limboed out of the way, the crowd went wild and started chanting his name. Attention to details, folks, that’s also what makes great matches. As much as I really, genuinely enjoyed Nagata during this match, there could be only one winner, and the rainmaker proved too difficult to overcome. Still the 47 year old veteran showed that he still has it against the right opponent and Okada was his usual, awesome self. Just fantastic stuff from start to finish. WATCH!
Tomoaki Honma vs Tomohiro Ishii in 16:13 via pinfall. Wow. Just Wow. I couldn’t even describe the atmosphere during this one to you, You’ll have to watch for yourself. Ishii and Honma have assembled so many fantastic matches these last few years that their series is right on the verge of becoming the stuff of legends. This one was no different with Honma fighting desperately to finally score that one, elusive win and Ishii’s selling being absolutely top-notch. The sheer intensity of this one was mind-blowing. As the match progressed everybody started to feel that something special was going to happen. Could it be? Was it finally going to be Honma’s moment? Series of kokeshi’s only got a two count, more kokeshi’s and finally, Honma went to the top rope, nailed his flying kokeshi and… 1… 2… 3… The Korakuen Hall exploded! I’m not even exaggerating the crowd went absolutely crazy. Hell, I went crazy too and I’m not ashamed to admit I even shed a tear, because it was such a well-told story, such a great moment to finally see Honma get a win over his arch-nemesis. Just a great, fantastic, awesome moment. I don’t care what Vince Russo or anyone else is saying this is the kind of wrestling I wanna see, THIS is why I watch wrestling. Please watch this!! After the match an emotional Honma stated how much he loves pro-wrestling and thanked the crowd from the bottom of his heart for their support. Awesome.
Kazuchika Okada – 14
Karl Anderson – 12
Hirooki Goto – 12
Shinsuke Nakamura – 12
Tomohiro Ishii – 8
Michael Elgin – 8
Yujiro Takahashi – 4
Satoshi Kojima – 4
Yuji Nagata – 4
Tomoaki Honma – 2
Analysis: What a great tournament day. Four matches ranging from very good to absolutely awesome and the fifth continuing an intriguing story-line. Pro-wrestling is dead? Not in Japan it isn’t. Unlike A Block whee it’s between Styles and Tanahashi on the last day, B Block remains very open. If Okada wins against Nakamura, well then he goes to the finals. If Nakamura wins then the head-to-head confrontation come into play. Obviously if Nakamura wins, he has every chance to go trough. But Goto (who battles Nagata) and Anderson (who fights Kojima) can both tie too. Goto holds a win over Okada but has lost against Nakamura, while Anderson holds wins over Goto and Nakamura but has lost to Okada. So there could still be a surprise somewhere, making Saturday’s event that much more interesting. I could make the calculations for you but I’m exhausted after all those amazing matches and I am still chanting “Honma” with my cats so I’ll tell you all about it on Saturday.
In other Results:
Ryusuke Taguchi, Yohei Komatsu and Sho Tanaka defeated Jushin Thunder Liger, David Finlay Jr. and Jay White. (Taguchi pinned White)
Toru Yano and YOSHI-HASHI defeated Bad Luck Fale and Tama Tonga. (Yano pinned Tonga)
Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Togi Makabe and KUSHIDA defeated Tetsuya Naito, Kota Ibushi and Mascara Dorada. (KUSHIDA pinned Dorada) After the match Naito fought with Tenzan and Ibushi squared of against Makabe. naito walked away with a smile on his face, while Ibushi looked pissed off.
AJ Styles, Doc Gallows and Cody Hall defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Katsuyori Shibata and Captain New Japan. (Gallows pinned Captain new Japan) Styles and Tanahashi had a stare-down after the match.
Final day on competition is this Friday 08/14 with the following matches:
Toru Yano vs. Bad Luck Fale
Katsuyori Shibata vs. Doc Gallows
Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs, Tetsuya Naito
Togi Makabe vs. Kota Ibushi
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs AJ Styles
As said before, this is the big one between Styles and Tanahashi, the one that will determine who goes trough to the final. My pick? Styles. Ibushi will want to redeem himself against Makabe and, possibly, earn a shot at the NEVER Openweight title. Naito has already started toying with Tenzan, no doubt he will want to end a very successful tournament, especially character-wise, on a high note. Same for Shibata who needs a win after a series of losses thes last few days. Yano vs Fale is simply the continuation of the CHAOS/Bullet Club feud.
Tags: G1 climax, Hirooki Goto, Karl Anderson, kazuchika okada, Kojima, Michael Elgin, njpw, Satoshi, shinsuke nakamura, Tomoaki Honma, Tomohiro Ishii, Yuji Nagata, Yujiro TAkahashi