NJPW WWW Review Archive (December 2015-July 2017)

NJPW G1 Climax Night 11 Review: Tanahashi and Ishii Tear The House Down

NJPW G1 Climax Night 11

Watch: NJPW World

August 3rd, 2016

Kagoshima, Japan – Kagoshima Gymnasium

(G1 Climax A Block) Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Bad Luck Fale

Tenzan has had a really good tournament so far, but i feared this would be the downturn and it was. To expect Tenzan to be able to carry Fale to a good match at this state wouldn’t be fair. With all my respect to Tenzan, who seemed to want to try here, this match was bad. Skip this match. And poor Tenzan can barely stand on his feet anymore. It looks like his knees will give out any minute.

This match was do or die for Tenzan, as a loss here would eliminate him from the competition. After everything they’ve built this year, i have no clue why Tenzan would be the very first guy to be eliminated from the tournament. And he totally didn’t work this match, like he could be eliminated, which was really odd. Let’s hope Kojima has an ass whopping ready for him soon.

(G1 Climax A Block) Tama Tonga vs. Hirooki Goto

Coming into this match, Tama Tonga was on the verge of elimination as well. If he lost this match to Goto, he’d be eliminated from the tournament. Exactly like all his previous matches, he wrestled like he had no care in the world. I seriously don’t understand why he doesn’t show any passion or fire to be in the G1. Even EVIL sometimes shows he wants to win the G1 and he’s a silly comic book character. Tama Tonga appears like he doesn’t want to be there and he just has to. Every time we’ve seen Gallows or Yujiro and complained, at least they acted like this tournament mattered to them and they wanted to prove their worth.

That was a summary on Tonga’s entire G1. He got eliminated here too. I called before this match that Hirooki Goto would have the best match with Tama Tonga, and he did. Goto is working his butt off during this tournament, to prove that he can still be counted on. This guy actually knows this is do or die and this is the time to step up, unlike someone else. This match was pretty fine actually but nothing i would recommend to go out of your way to watch.

(G1 Climax A Block) SANADA vs. Naomichi Marufuji

Third match on the card and third chance of elimination. If SANADA loses here, he’s out. I would not say that’s a surprise. Despite how good Sanada is, he was expected, and should also be, one of the first guys to be eliminated. He’s still very new and he got a few solid wins and can still play spoiler later. With this win Marufuji took the #1 spot in the block until the main event. As has been the trend with this G1, Marufuji once again proved people wrong and delivered a really good match. I’d recommend this match even though it isn’t one of the most memorable ones. SANADA brings something that the other LIJ guys doesn’t, because SANADA seems very tactical in his approach. Always having lured his opponents offense at all times. SANADA is so fast in all his movement and that played perfect with Marufuji’s kick based offense, as SANADA was always one step behind and able to move out of the way. This is recommended for those enjoying good in-ring storytelling.

(G1 Climax A Block) Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii

Fourth match and this is pretty much an elimination match too. Who would’ve thought Tanahashi would be in this situation going in? I loved this match and it’s in my top 3 matches of the G1 so far. Hiroshi Tanahashi came in like a man possessed, and he knew there were only one way to beat Tomohiro Ishii. And that was to out hoss the best hoss. Tanahashi effectively wrestled a hoss style including headbutts, hard elbows and lots of power moves. Nothing pretty or flashy about him here, as he had to dig down and be grimy and dirty to beat Ishii. But it didn’t matter, regardless of what Tanahashi tried, Ishii could do him one better. Multiple times here it looked like Ishii had Tanahashi down, as Tanahashi couldn’t believe he couldn’t take the big man down. In the end, Tanahashi somehow managed to dig down deep and lay out the beast. The ace is on his way back as the comeback story continues! It’s really not to anyones surprise that this was excellent. These two are both some of the most talented guys to ever lace up a pair of boots. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! This is the quality we’ve come to expect from the G1. The magic is finally here again!

It should be noted that while Ishii is only on 4 points, he can still mathematically make it to the final, with the right results in his favor.

(G1 Climax A Block) Kazuchika Okada vs. Togi Makabe

Pretty hard to get invested in this match, after seeing a true MOTYC caliber match. Both these guys have had a disappointing G1. These guys are at the top of the block and the winner will be the lone guy in the lead after this show is over. Kazuchika Okada plays a cocky young heel here, like we knew him last year and before that. Essentially saying he’s better than this old fart Togi Makabe. The problem with this, is that this is a freakin’ G1 main event and not the time to do that style of match. Especially not when the one guy IS ACTUALLY an old fart. I really cannot say what’s gone into Okada. Personally i’m not one who was down on him before, i feel he’s changed this summer into something different. Lack of motivation and lack of confidence. I can’t pinpoint it, but he doesn’t seem like a man on a mission anymore. More like a man phoning it in. One can wonder if the guy has a signed WWE contract in his pants ready to be mailed to New York once they come back to Tokyo in a week. He wrestles that way.

The match itself was okay. Maybe even good. I wouldn’t call that acceptable for a G1 main event, but taking the match out of context it was a fine match. Okada wins and establishes himself as the top guy in the block. It’ll be interesting to see if Okada loses to Ishii or Fale next, but he has to lose to one of those two if we’re gonna see a block final of Tanahashi vs. Okada.

Overall this may have been the most enjoyable A Block show, but the bar wasn’t set high. The opening day was high quality as well, but all other days have been disappointing. Ishii/Tanahashi drags up as the best A block match so far, and the first real memorable G1 match of the tournament.

Next up is Saturday, where Hiroshi Tanahashi continues his comeback story against Naomichi Marufuji. The Ace of NJPW vs. The Ace of NOAH. I think many people would’ve expected a win for Marufuji here, but that has changed with the current storyline. A Tanahashi defeat will see him eliminated from the G1. You will see both these guys at their absolute most motivated in this main event, and that promises to be an incredible match.

Saturday will also see Kazuchika Okada vs. Tomohiro Ishii. A battle between CHAOS mates and real life friends. We have seen a very unmotivated Okada so far, but regardless of that, Okada will show up out of respect for Ishii, and the other way around as well. This match can be incredible as well. It’s do or die for Ishii as he cannot afford to lose here. Even with a win here, he still gotta depend on a Makabe loss & a Marufuji loss to stay alive.

Other matches include already eliminated Tenzan taking on Goto. It’ll be interesting to see if the tank is empty for Tenzan which i could suspect. Goto is a man on a mission and will try his best. Makabe & Fale fights it out, and if Fale loses he’s eliminated. Lastly we’ll see two eliminated guys going at it, in Tonga & Sanada.

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