NJPW G1 Climax Night 10
Watch: NJPW World
August 1st, 2016
Takamatsu, Kagawa, Japan – Takamatsu City Gymnasium
For those that listened to the latest D&T Block show, you know how giddy I was coming in to this match. Two guys who have had very good tournaments so far just went out there and tore it up as I expected them to. A consistent story in YOSHI-HASHI’s matches so far has been his selling of and his opponents working over his taped up shoulder. This match maybe had YOSHI-HASHI’s best selling of the tournament and Nakajima was really good working over his arm in the early portions of the match. YOSHI-HASHI has become one of my favorite guys to watch mount a comeback in a match. Something about his offense and where he places certain moves just works for me. Loved the finishing sequence in the match. After YOSHI-HASHI kicked out of multiple kicks to the face, Nakajima would hit a PK and pick him up for a brainbuster. YOSHI-HASHI would counter, dodge another PK and hit Nakajima with a lariat and finally the Made In Japan for the win. Maybe it’s because I love Shingo Takagi so much, but I’m glad YOSHI-HASHI has picked up that move as a finisher. Extremely cool looking move. Very fun opener.
Maybe it’s my expectations, but this match was a bit of a let down. Totally fine and watchable, but from what I’ve seen from Elgin in this G1 tour, this was his weakest match. Not putting all that blame on Elgin. Nagata seemingly hasn’t “woke up” yet this tourney. There’s always that one match a year in the last few G1s where Nagata turns back time and really kicks it in to high gear. This match wasn’t it and I’m not sure if it’ll come this year. I did enjoy Nagata taking it to Elgin right off the bat and his facial selling after Elgin hit him with a DVD on the apron, but those are the only two Nagata moments that stuck out here. Fine match, but pretty skippable.
On paper, this is one of the more interesting matchups of the tourney because it’s such a radically different pair of personalities facing off.
Toru Yano, the eternal trickster of NJPW going against the straight laced, no nonsense asskicker, Katsuyori Shibata.
Shibata from the jump is killing Yano. He’s not dealing with any of that bullshit. But just like that, Yano still gets him. After Yano shenanigans that involved a low blow and an exposed turnbuckle, Yano pinned Shibata after reversing his rear naked choke with some kind of ankle pick/pin combo. Match literally went on for like a minute.
Yes, Kenny Omega and EVIL, my two favorite guys in the tournament so far, went out there and delivered. What’s new?
I enjoyed everything about this match. It flew by, almost in a way where it didn’t feel like the co main event of a G1 show. That’s not a bad thing. The start with Omega slapping EVIL around, the fighting on the outside that resulted in Omega getting a nasty gash on his back after a backdrop on a chair. The one thing that stuck out the most to me was how much Kenny was playing/feeding off of the crowd in this match. He was very clearly positioned as the babyface and it worked very well. One cool moment was when Omega was getting ready to do a dive, but then role in to a pose a la Tetsuya Naito. Just that little action got me even more excited for the impending clash between Omega and Naito. EVIL and Omega had really good chemistry as far as their sequences went. Omega (predictably) kicked out of the EVIL Bomb, which is rapidly becoming my favorite nearfall move in wrestling. Omega would pick up the win with the One Winged Angel after a couple of V Triggers in this competitive match. Both guys can add this to their growing lists of fun G1 performances.
Even with Honma having a very good selling performance in the early portions, it took me awhile to get in to this match. This was a 20 minute match where it felt every bit of those 20 minutes. It’s become a dead horse at this point, but it still stands that the Honma magic has gone missing and it does hurt my enjoyment of the match somewhat. Beyond that, I still thought this was a good main event with a really odd and abrupt finish. The match never hit a crescendo and when Naito hit Destino to get the win it just felt like a “that’s it?” sort of thing. The last few minutes before the finish was great stuff. While I love the calm, collected, or “tranquilo” nature of Naito, I love it even more when he gets down to the nitty gritty, with his mouth bloodied and starts throwing bombs with guys just to show he still has that violent edge. A good match, somewhat of a let down, but that’s it. Nowhere near close to the best stuff from either guy in the tourney.
This was a show with nothing blow away, but everything here is at the very least enjoyable. I can see this show being kind of a let down for people. It doesn’t reach the highs that other B Block co mains/main events have.
Kazuchika Okada (8), Togi Makabe (8), Naomichi Marufuji (6), Tama Tonga (4), Tomohiro Ishii (4), Hiroshi Tanahashi (4), Bad Luck Fale (4), Hirooki Goto (4), SANADA (4), Hiroyoshi Tenzan (4)
Tetsuya Naito (6), Yuji Nagata (6), Katsuhiko Nakajima (6), Kenny Omega (6), YOSHI-HASHI (6), Michael Elgin (6), Tomoaki Honma (4), Toru Yano (4), EVIL (2)