NJPW G1 Climax Tournament 8-12 live coverage: Ishii vs. Honma, Okada vs. Nagata
By Bryan Rose, WrestlingObserver.com
Welcome to tonight’s New Japan G1 coverage, live from Korakuen Hall for the third day in a row. This card looks stronger than the other two, with Tomohiro Ishii and Tomoaki Honma headlining. They have already had a match of the year candidate earlier this year, so it’ll be very interesting to see what kind of match they’ll have in this venue in the main event.
Jushin Thunder Liger, David Finlay Jr. & Jay White vs. Ryusuke Taguchi, Yohei Komatsu & Sho Tanaka
This is Sho Tanaka’s first match back since working the NOAH Jr. tournament earlier this month. Solid tag team match that was fine, but nothing special. All the young lions looked good, so was Liger and Taguchi, the latter of whom worked a lot of the match. He pinned White with the dodon.
Toru Yano & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga
They were teasing interactions with Bad Luck Fale and Toru Yano. I have a morbid curiosity to see that match when it goes down. Just a match. Yano made a comeback by undoing the turnbuckle and dodged when Tonga went for a splash. Heels made a comeback but Yano low blowed Fale, shoved him into Tonga then schoolboyed up Tonga for the win.
Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Togi Makabe & KUSHIDA vs. Tetsuya Naito, Kota Ibushi & Mascara Dorada
Naito and Tenzan went at it since they’re facing off soon. Naito spit on Tenzan which didn’t like that one bit. This was better than the other two matches, just seemed like there was more, and everyone worked well together. Dorada again was impressive, doing a huge dive on the outside, a ropewalk crossbody and a super hurricanrana off the top rope on Kushida. He went for his cool springboard into a forward roll but Kushida reversed it and got the win.
Naito and Tenzan brawled after the match. Naito re-entered the ring and took off his Los Ingobernables t-shirt and waved it to like as if he were a real live bull. They had to be separated, as well as Makabe and ibushi.
Hiroshi Tanahashi, Katsuyori Shibata & Captain New Japan vs. AJ Styles, Doc Gallows & Cody Hall
Another just there match, though the crowd was into it towards the end. Tanahashi and AJ had their showdown, as well as Gallows and Shibata. Captain New Japan was worked on for a lot of the match, and it worked out for Bullet Club as he was the one pinned after a Gallows Poll.
Karl Anderson vs. Yujiro Takahashi
All the Bullet Club came out together all buddy buddy. But like last night, there was tension as Anderson was way too interested in Yujiro’s scantily clad lady which Yujiro didn’t like. They had some back and forth for a minute then Yujiro wanted to give him the wolfpac sign, but Anderson bit him instead. From there they had an okay back and forth match. The crowd was mostly dead for it though there were a few good spots. Anderson won with the stun gun. All the Bullet Club made up afterwards. This was virtually identical to the angle they did the day before with Fale and AJ.
Hirooki Goto vs. Michael Elgin
Great match. Elgin was super over in that Korakuen went crazy whenever he did his power spots and it added a ton to the bout. He was the most over guy in the building up to this point in the show. He controlled a lot of the match. Goto made a comeback but Elgin continued to have a back and forth with him until Goto tripped him down and used a interesting roll up maneuver for the win.
Satoshi Kojima vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Another great match. Crowd wasn’t totally into this at first, but were totally into it by the end. This was a story of two guys going back and forth for the entire match trading near falls. Nakamura hit two boma yes at one point and also did the spinning armbar but Kojima kicked out each time. He went for his lariat, but Nakamura hit him with the boma ye again and pinned him.
Kazuchika Okada vs. Yuji Nagata
Awesome match, probably the second best of the show so far. Nagata, who’s been ok to good on this tour, looked awesome here in being the old babyface veteran who was showing the new kid that he still had it. Just a awesome match in terms of heat and storytelling.The best part of this match early on was the starting back and forth between the two. If you’ve seen the opening video for each of these shows you see Nagata limboing in a goofy outfit to prepare for the G1. It seemed silly, yes, but when Okada went for a clothesline Nagata, in fact, dodged it as if he were limboing and the crowd popped huge for it and chanted his name, which was funny because the crowd immediately sided with Okada early on. Nagata pelted Okada with kicks early. Okada made his comeback and did the rainmaker pose but Nagata took him down and got the white eyes armbar in. Okada escaped but Nagata hit the backdrop driver for a great near fall. Nagata avoided the tombstone with a gutwrench suplex but Okada hit him with the dropkick, tombstone, then pinned him with the rainmaker.
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Tomoaki Honma
Another great match. Not as good as their Febuary match, I don’t think, but still great. Crowd, of course, was behind Honma. They slapped each other’s chest a TON of times. They had a great, stiff back and forth match. Ishii’s selling is either incredible or he destroys himself every time he’s in the ring. Probably both. Honma kicked out of two sliding d’s and got a nearfall with a brainbuster. Honma hit 3 kokeshis in a row but Ishii still kicked out. Two more followed, then he hit the big one off the top rope and pinned Ishii. So the storyline that had been building for close to two years came to it’s apex here as Honma finally scored a win in the G1 tournament. Crowd popped huge for this and chanted his name after the match. Great moment.
AJ Styles- 12
Tetsuya Naito- 10
Hiroshi Tanahashi- 10
Bad Luck Fale- 10
Katsuyori Shibata- 8
Kota Ibushi- 6
Togi Makabe- 6
Toru Yano- 6
Hiroyoshi Tenzan- 4
Doc Gallows- 4
Kazuchika Okada- 14
Karl Anderson- 12
Hirooki Goto- 12
Shinsuke Nakamura- 12
Tomohiro Ishii- 8
Michael Elgin- 8
Yujiro Takahashi- 4
Satoshi Kojima- 4
Yuji Nagata- 4
Tomoaki Honma- 2