NJPW G1 Climax Night 5
July 25, 2016
Watch: NJPW World
Fukishima – Fukishima, Japan
And I’m back y’all, back, back, backity back. It’s nearly 4 in the morning and I’m ready to have some more fun with the 2016 G1 Climax. I’m going into this third A Block show shoot not knowing (basically forgetting due to these last few days being craziness) so that adds to the flavor and excitement. Another day, another show. I’m not going to waste anymore time so let’s get right into it.
(G1 Climax A Block) Bad Luck Fale vs. Tomohiro Ishii
The odds of this being match of the night were exponentially high because Fale killed the ring announcer faster than ever and Ishii is Ishii. One of my favorite sub 10 minute matches this year. Ishii sold like an ABSOLUTE GOD. Maybe even the best selling performance this year. He made Fale look like 10 Ric Flair’s meshed with 7 Big Show’s. Ishii was either on his ass or en route to bump to get there. He got some offense in but it was perfectly placed in between the spots he was getting beaten into the stratosphere. He wasn’t playing easy match night either. Stiff shots to Fale the whole way through. This wasn’t long at all but it told a story and stuck to it. Ishii was ALWAYS making Fale look like a threat, as Fale looked extra good. Ishii kicked out of the Grenade, mounting a comeback to win via brainbuster. So good.
(G1 Climax A Block) SANADA vs. Togi Makabe
Prayed Makabe wasn’t going to phone it in. I liked this a fair good bit more than the usual Makabe G1 matches. However it is still skippable. Don’t take the time out of your day to watch this. SANADA turned this into a mini-good match from an “ughhhh” typical Makabe match. It also helped that it wasn’t a main event or anything, and Makabe seemed to feel a bit more interesting than usual. A lot of the match was still forgetful. SANADA bumped around taking the Makabe trademark offense, including the spider German that nearly destroyed Tanahashi’s neck already. SANADA stayed down and was pinned after a Kong King Knee Drop. Makabe keeps finding success. I’m excited for his match vs. Ishii but continue to expect lackadaisical Makabe.
(G1 Climax A Block) Naomichi Marufuji vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan
I had faith this would be at least good. I knew Marufuji was going to win because well … it was obvious. That didn’t change the fact that this match overdelivered on a good level. I had a feeling this wouldn’t be bad at all. I legitimately spent a majority of the match double tasking, racking my brain for who possibly I could have forgotten from the A Block that was in a co-main or main tonight. It took forever but I realized I forgot about Goto. Better not tell Dustin. These two provided good near falls, good pace, basically everything on an entry-level good surface. Marufuji whiffed on a BOOT but landed all his superkicks. What the hell?! Tenzan managed to kick out of a Ko-oh which was really damn cool. He also headbutted Marufuji’s knee. The moonsault was missed and that led to Marufuji hitting the Shiranui for the first time in the tournament for the win. A positive to look back on for this show.
(G1 Climax A Block) Tama Tonga vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
What a weird match on paper. Once again, I reiterate how weird this match is/was. Tonga. Stop. Wearing. The. Leggings. I mean they’re comfortable but you look like a geek god dammit! I’d go as far as to say this was also, like the match before it, a low-tier good match. It’s between that and just being solid for me. Tama got more reaction than usual because the Fukashima crowd seems lively about that kind of stuff, and it helps he’s working the ace. The two seemed to go through the regular motions more than anything for the first while. It was a tale of two halves. The second half kicked in and it was a hoot. As soon as Tanahashi hit the High Fly Flow and Tama had his knees up I knew what was coming. Tonga got an upset victory that went over extremely “shockingly” well with the live crowd. He rolled Tanahashi up off the impact of the High Fly Flow. Good finish to a solid match. Nothing offensive I’d complain about. Another slight positive that this match was even able to work.
(G1 Climax A Block) Hirooki Goto vs. Kazuchika Okada
If there was ever to be a “formulaic match of the G1” award, this would most likely win it. I was right! Talk about an unimportant, uneventful match. There are 19 shows, that’s fine, but at least have a good match in the main event. That tallies us at two flops thus far in main event slots, one with Tanahashi (Makabe) and now one with Okada. I was being bored to tears here. This was the definitive formulaic overkill match. Literally NOTHING happened for about 10 minutes. All I remember is the few times they went outside and used the barricade. It’s like my memory has been wiped. I just finished watching the match. Like 60 seconds ago. Like usual they then transitioned into better sequences and counters, but it still felt completely flat. The finish saw Goto hit everything but the GTR only for Okada to one up him by hitting the Rainmaker and getting the pinfall victory. Another main event I’d tell you to skip. If you’re looking to be a completion-ist – fine, that’s the only satisfaction you’ll get out of this match. At least the crowd was good for it. I feel as if I’m still being objective with my thoughts too. Just nothing you need to see at all.
Night 5 of the G1 Climax was a lot like Night 3. Not good, not bad. Completely mediocre show. My match of the night is Ishii vs. Fale, not kidding. Everything was passable but nothing broke through to that next level the G1 provides a lot of the time. I feel as if this is the first show that’s truly skippable. I can see people not liking Fale/Ishii as much as I did which is a factor in how the show was as a whole. We got that match as a fantastic surprise and the rest was skip, skip, skip, skip. It’s nothing to be mad over as there’s 14 more shows to be had. If there’s a few ‘meh’s’ along the way that’s completely fine. I don’t expect an “all time” gloating of the tournament by its end though, compared to past years and the incredibly hot starts they’ve gotten.
Togi Makabe (6), Kazuchika Okada (4), Naomichi Marufuji (4), Tomohiro Ishii (4), Tama Tonga (4), Hiroyoshi Tenzan (4), Hirooki Goto (4), Bad Luck Fale (2), SANADA (2), Hiroshi Tanahashi (0)
Tomoaki Honma (4), Yuji Nagata (4), Tetsuya Naito (2), Katsuyori Shibata (2), Kenny Omega (2), EVIL (2), YOSHI-HASHI (2), Katsuhiko Nakajima (2), Michael Elgin (0), Toru Yano (0)