NJPW G1 Climax Night 9
Watch: NJPW World
July 31, 2016
Gifu Industrial Hall – Gifu, Japan
We’ve reached the halfway point of the 2016 G1 Climax as our coverage on Wrestling With Words continues. Check out our Super J-Cup Cards & Information post alongside our audio preview. Also be sure to check in with our written coverage tag to catch up on the backlog of articles as well as our G1 index page with links to audio as well. A reminder that I am too cranky to cover the undercard. Too bad so sad!
(G1 Climax A Block) Tomohiro Ishii vs. Tama Tonga
This was Tama Tonga’s best match in the G1 yet, but it still didn’t get to that next level. Some may argue the Tanahashi match was good-great but I didn’t think so. Tama came out in his “mint toothpaste” leggings/paint combo. Even though this was a helluva lot more fun/exciting to watch than his other bore-fests this G1, this still somehow didn’t get to another level than those. This is Tomohiro freaking Ishii in the G1 and you can’t have a good-great match with him. Tonga still didn’t possess that heel-ish intensity needed. Tama stuck to a strategy. We got an awesome sequence with the two running circles around each other with Tama whiffing on the dropkick. Dammit. This all leads to Tonga avoiding Ishii’s Sliding D only to hit a Headshrinker DDT for a near fall. Ishii was weakened and a Gun Stun was hit for the win. I’ll still give it a solid because it was a lot better than other Tonga matches. An understandable step down for Ishii’s G1 run.
(G1 Climax A Block) SANADA vs. Bad Luck Fale
Fale continues to merk the ring announcer. These two delivered a good solid match. Some of us on staff were buzzing about this matchup and how it was so weird on paper. These two had better chemistry than expected and ran through some generic yet effective match points. We got the little man being worked over till the 15 count hit and he hauled ass back into the ring. We had agility beat strength at times, but SANADA ended up being no match for “Nature Boy” Bad Rack Whare. Fale bumped around much more often and hard than expected for SANADA. This was a match of expectations being thrown up a level, as I really enjoyed this for how short it was. SANADA even took the shirt off at a point. Fale speared him though. He got out of the first Bad Luck Fall but ended up being hit with the Grenade … and subsequently the Bad Luck Fall. The streak of matches without a Bad Luck Fall happening has ended at five. A good short match in which both guys benefited. Fale continues his super fun, over-delivering G1.
(G1 Climax A Block) Togi Makabe vs. Naomichi Marufuji
I wouldn’t even say this was bad. It was just the more dis-interesting thing by far and wide so far in the tournament. The first few minutes were absolutely brutal to sit through but it actually developed into a decent match. Maurfuji worked hard to not whiff anything and destroy Makabe. Makabe brought out a few neat moves but for the most part was that same old Makabe we all know and hate. By the time the podcast comes around this will be the type of match that’s more interesting to talk about than write about. It took about five kicks and a Ko-oh, but after that Makabe was nearly out of the loop. The Shiranui was hit and Makabe was pinned. Marufuji adds a win to the column literally and figuratively. Makabe was brought through the paces to provide something not horrific as it seemed to be on paper.
(G1 Climax A Block) Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Kazuchika Okada
I was telling people today this was going to be the co-main. I ain’t wrong. This was not Miracle Match Tenzan nor World Champ caliber Okada. This felt like a midcard match in the co-main event. This didn’t nearly live up to the hype. There were some fun sequences but my goodness if that’s the only takeaway from this, that is sad. I fully expected Tenzan to win to gain a title shot but come to think of it with both’s W/L record needing fluctuating I wasn’t surprised when Okada got the win. This didn’t go that long at all to boot, about 12-13 minutes. I wish we got more of the cocky prick Okada as the crowd was completely behind Tenzan. Okada only did one or two heelish things. The rest was a blur for the most part if I were to be honest. Tenzan did headbutt counters to the Rainmaker though so that made up for everything. A moonsault was set up but Okada ran-up to Tenzan and German’d him from that position. A Rainmaker followed and the rest is history. Under-delivering: The Story of Kazuchika Okada in the 2016 G1 Climax.
(G1 Climax A Block) Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Hirooki Goto
Absolutely. No. Substance. If you want to show someone a phoned in match, you show them this one. No match has sucked the life out of me like this did, this year. My goodness I can’t get over how utter shit this professional wrestling match was. There was nothing to enjoy. I recall about two things about it. The pinfall just happened on my screen. I have shame in thinking this was going to deliver. Because this chucked itself right into the wrestling garbage bin as one of the worst worked matches of 2016. I’d rather watch the Asylum match from Extreme Rules than this again. Both guys sucked the life out of me in more ways than one. I couldn’t pay attention if my life depended on it and the match had absolutely no meaning. It didn’t help that it’s July 31st and we know how the A Block is going to play out. I knew Tanahashi was going to win. What I didn’t know was that this match was going to push itself into a cliff and do subsequent damage to me by subjecting my early morning eyes to such. What an awful main event. Never watch this, ever.
Holy hell was this show bad. It is, and I mean is, B Y F A R the worst G1 show so far. I don’t think anything will be as bad as this was. And frankly, I’m not even sure if I’ve seen a worse show based on match quality and performances this year. I didn’t watch the undercard but that wouldn’t change much. It’s incredibly deflating to find out SANADA and Tenzan are now out of contention for the A Block if you do your thinking right (factoring in upcoming matchups as well as them losing tiebreakers). Why do the Tenzan story in the first place if you kill it partway through having the champ beat him? What good does that do? I’m okay with a Fale win but it sucks to have SANADA out this early, unless if some LSD type booking comes into effect. However we all know it’s going to be Tanahashi/Okada and Omega/Naito to decide both blocks. Fale/SANADA is my match of the night and it’s like a ***1/4 match. Maybe not even that. I don’t know how to feel about a lot of things, but I definitely know my true feelings about this show. I cannot stress this enough.
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)
Yuji Nagata (6), Katsuhiko Nakajima (6), Tetsuya Naito (4), Katsuyori Shibata (4), Kenny Omega (4), Michael Elgin (4), Tomoaki Honma (4), YOSHI-HASHI (4), EVIL (2), Toru Yano (2)