G1 Climax 2015: The Final (Hirooki Tanahashi vs Shinsuke Nakamura + KUSHIDA vs Ricochet)

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Show opens with ROH’s Delirious doing an interview. He states ROH presents the best wrestling in the States while NJPW presents the best wrestling in Japan. Together, they present the best wrestling in the world. He further announces that ROH will be promoting shows in Japan in 2016.

Mascara Dorada, Ryusuke Taguchi and David Finlay Jr defeated Jushin Liger, Yohei Komatsu and Sho Tanaka.

Fine opener, but the limited amount of time they had made it seem rushed. That being said everything was spot on and the six worked well together. The end came with Finlay and Dorada wiping out Liger and Tanaka with dives on he outside while Tagushi took care of Komatsu.

Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima and Captain New Japan defeated Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi and Jay White.

Same observation as for the first match. Fine but felt rushed at times. Also, while I have the utmost respect for Nakanishi and his career, isn’t it time for him to call it quits and allow his battered body some rest? I mean he makes Big Show look fast and agile nowadays. Tenzan and Kojima used the 3-D on White and then Tenzan made him submit to the Anaconda Vise. i still say we’ll see more of TenCosy in the coming months.

Michael Elgin defeated YOSHI-HASHI

Those familiar with NJPW’s way of doing things know that having Elgin compete in a singles match means something. The fact that it is against a CHAOS member is probably not a coincidence either. Good match between those two, with the crowd firmly behind Elgin. Some good stuff form YOSHI-HASHI, including a couple of near falls but, in the end, he got overwhelmed by Elgin’s hard-hitting offense. Spinning Elgin Bomb to finish things. I’ve said it before but it’s amazing how quickly the Japanese crowds took to Elgin. I really hope he sticks around for more (and longer) matches against NJPW’s top stars.

Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano and Kazuchi Sakuraba defeated Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi and Tama Tonga.

Mao-Chan’s (Takahashi’s girlfriend) Catwoman costume was the highlight of this match and that should tell you all you need to know. One rather amusing moment was Yano low-blowing Takahashi and Mao Chan rushing to Yujiro’s side to check out the damage and then making the X sign. More low blows from Yano to Fale and Takahashi and Ishii finished the later off with a brain-buster. Takahashi has done his best during this g1 but Mao-Chan’s costumes are more over than him.

Hirooki Goto, Kota Ibushi and Katsuyori Shibata defeated Tetsuya Naito, Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma.

Fun, but one could have expected more given the talent involved. Ibushi again sought out Makabe while Shibata and Naito continue to develop their feud. Ibushi nailed Honma with the Phoenix Splash to finish things. Shibata and Naito continued to taunt each-other after the match. tons of heat for those two this feud so this should be good.

Nice surprise next as wrestling legend Genichiro Tenryu made his return to NJPW to hype his upcoming retirement show (in early November). Tenryu argued with Gedo and none other than IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika okada came out next. Okada basically tolfd Tenryu that he should count himself lucky the Rainmaker wasn’t around when Tenryu was in his prime. Tenryu told Okada to put his money where his mouth his. And just like that Okada vs Tenryu for the later’s retirement show was on. Past vs Future, looking forward to that one.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight tag Team Title Match: ReDragon (Bobby fish and Kyle O’Reilly) defeated The Young Bucks (Nick and Matt Jackson)(c) with Cody hall

After lots of multi-team matches it was rather nice to see those two teams go at it in a regular match. Well as regular as any ReDragon vs Young Bucks match can be. Very fast paced action, tons of creative spots from both teams, this was a joy. Cody hall interfered a lot and at one point even carried O’Reilly to the back, leaving Fish in a 2 on 1 situation. O’Reilly eventually made it back to the ring and he and Fish unleashed enter the Dragon, first on Matt (on the floor), then on Nick for the win and to regain their titles. Great stuff from both teams, I enjoyed this more than some of the multi-team tag matches where things are simply too hectic to follow.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match: KUSHIDA defeated Ricochet.

This was very good but I was expecting more to be honest. Maybe it was the fact that, while we knew Ricochet had issued a challenge in early July, the match itself cam a bit suddenly, I don’t know what it was, but something was lacking. Still very enjoyable, don’t get me wrong. Both worked well together and had some amazing spots (including an amazing running flip dive from Ricochet over the ring post). After the match they shook hands and Ricochet seemed to say “one more match”. If they put a little more time and build into it, I’m all for it.

Bullet Club (A.J. Styles, Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows) defeated CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Michael Bennett and Matt Taven with Maria).

Might as well count The Kingdom as part of CHAOS at this point. Good match with the stories between Styles and Okada (yeay!) and Bullet Club and the Kingdom (oh dear…) far from finished. The crowd went wild each time Okada and Styles were in the ring together. Maria interfered (unsurprisingly) and Anderson fell to her charms (again). Even Styles seemed mesmerized for awhile (after Anderson urged him to “look at her!”. Come on guys, that ass isn’t THAT spectacular. Gallows woke everybody up and, surprisingly, Styles picked up the win after a Styles Clash on Okada. Didn’t I say things were far from finished between those two?

In what I thought was a very nice touch, NJPW brought out the inaugural winner, Mr G1 himself, Masahiro Chono. The losing finalist of that first G1, Keiji Muto came out as well for a great moment. While the crowd welcomed Chono warmly, the reaction to Muto was off the charts. Legends? Two of them right there in the ring, folks!

Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Shinsuke Nakamura.

I’ve been writing for Inside Pulse for 8 months and my passion for Japanese wrestling should be obvious by now. If you ever wondered why I’m so passionate about it, watch this match. It will give you all the answers to that question. Tanahashi and Nakamura went all out for 32 minutes and gave us a performance that will undoubtedly be in most MotY lists in December. yes, it was THAT good. A more than fitting finale to what has been a pretty great G1, this match had it all. No-stop action, dramatic near-falls, a fantastic crowds and two of the best wrestlers in the world. What more could you want. Tanahashi finally pinned Nakamura after a couple of high Fly Flows and both showed respect and shook hands afterwards. Chono then handed the G1 flag over to Tanahashi while the crowd roared it’s approval. Awesome match, awesome moment.

And that was the Final card of this year’s G1 tournament. I can certainly recommend this show, more than enough good or fun matches to keep everybody happy. Standout was, fittingly, the big finale between Tanahashi and Nakamura. I can use up all the superlatives in the world and I probably still won’t come close when it comes to this one. Like I said, you wanna find out what Japanese puroresu is all about? Start there, you won’t be disappointed.

 

Metalhead’s Riff will be back tomorrow with my final thoughts on G1 2015 and a look forward at what NJPW has in store for us the rest of this year. Until then!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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