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 411mania » Wrestling » TV Reports

Views from the Hawke's Nest: NJPW G1 Climax 2014 Blog #5 (Days 9, 10, & 11)
Posted by TJ Hawke on 08.08.2014

As I explained in Blog #1, I'm not watching (much less recapping) the entire 2014 G1. The 2013 G1 taught me there is too much filler and too much repetition within the tournament for my liking. Instead, I'm going to be watching some select matches and reviewing them here. As some of the commenters pointed out though, I should have included the full results from each day, and I will be doing so going forward. My bad. I will also be linking to all of Dylan Diot's reviews, as he is actually recapping every single match:
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7

My coverage can be found here, here, here, and here.

Bossman Csonka's coverage is here and here.

Day 9

August 4, 2014
Nagoya, Aichi, Japan

Katsuyori Shibata [10 Points] vs. Bad Luck Fale [8 Points]
Fale dominated from the start. Shibata fought back and got Fale briefly on his knees with the Kitchen Sink. Shibata then took him down with an ankle lock. Fale survived and then got back control of the match. He went for the Bad Luck Fall, but Shibata escaped and hit many forearms. Corner Dropkick of Doom & Destruction! Fale came back with a Samoan Drop. He teased a Bad Luck Fall to the floor, but Shibata avoided certain death. He then ate a Samoan Spike on the apron though. Shibata tried to get back in the ring, but Fale shoved him back onto the guardrail. The referee counted to twenty. Yep, Fale won via countout.

This was a pile of a shit with an awful finish. I know people get very defensive about NJPW booking, but there is no reason on earth that the man who defeated Tanahashi and Nakamura in the G1 should then lose to Bad Luck Fale (and I'm a Bad Luck Fale supporter!). That is just stupid.
Match Rating: *

Satoshi Kojima [8 Points] vs. Shinsuke Nakamura [10 Points]
They were taking their time to get going. Kojima got a decisive advantage on the floor and he worked Nakamura over in the ring. This match needs some energy. Nakamura fought back soon enough and brought Kojima down with a dropkick. Kojima came back with a DDT and his Ace Crusher. Kojima called for the lariat, but Nakamura hit a backstabber and then applied a sleeper. Funplex from Nakamura. He then called for Boma Ye, but Kojima avoided it. Middle rope Ace Crusher from Kojima: 1…2…NO! Nakamura came back and hit a diving Boma Ye for a nearfall. Kojima avoided another one and hit a lariat. Brainbuster from Kojima: 1…2…NO! Nakamura blocked one lariat, but then ate another for a nearfall. Nakamura fired back with a jumping Boma Ye out of nowhere on a standing Kojima: 1…2…3

The finish was a lot of fun and capped off a good finishing sequence that salvaged an otherwise disappointing match. Both men seemed tired; Nakamura's cocaine shakes even seemed half-hearted. It was hard to care about this one much. This whole show is missing energy.
Match Rating: **1/2

Karl Anderson [6 Points] vs. AJ Styles [10 Points]
I strongly believe Anderson is going to win this, but that probably just means AJ is going to win.

Anderson seemingly was allowing AJ to pin him, but then he did a small package. They shook hands to make up, but AJ went for a schoolboy. Anderson then tried to win via countout after an apron powerbomb. AJ then tried to win via countout after a suplex into a guardrail. AJ worked Karl over after that. The NJPW crowds really like AJ's dropkick spot. Anderson came back with a spinebuster. He then hit AJ with a diving neckbreaker for a nearfall. This show has no energy. AJ came back with the springboard forearm. Anderson came back with a middle rope TKO for a decent nearfall. They traded a bunch of strikes. AJ hit the Pele. Anderson couldn't connect on the Gun Stun, and then they both went down after a double lariat spot. They hit some kicks in the corner. AJ went after the leg Anderson injured on the guardrail. Anderson avoided the Clash again, but AJ then applied the Calf Slicer. Anderson escaped, but AJ just applied it again. Anderson got to the ropes. Anderson came back with the sitdown tombstone. AJ avoided a Gun Stun and hit Bloody Sunday. Styles Clash: 1…2…3

This match was moderately enjoyable, but I would lower your expectations if you were excited for it. I appreciated that an early leg injury came back into play late into the match, and there were a few good moments. Overall though, this was fairly forgettable. The crowd is dead, and the wrestlers are not doing anything to win them over.
Match Rating: **3/4

Hiroshi Tanahashi [10 Points] vs. Shelton Benjamin [8 Points]
This is my first Shelton match in some time, as I've pretty much given up on him being interesting again.

Tanahashi went for an early pescado, but Shelton blocked it. Shelton then worked Tanahashi over. Shelton applied an abdominal stretch and then played air guitar on Tanahashi. Okay, Shelton is winning me over. That goodwill lasted only seconds though as Shelton then went to a bearhug. Shelton has been targeting the midsection. Maybe that will lead to something. Tanahashi managed to hit a leaping forearm and then made a comeback. Shelton came right back though pretty much and applied an ankle lock. Tanahashi escaped and went for a Sling Blade, but Shelton reversed it into a German. Tanahashi avoided Paydirt and hit a Strait Jacket German. Shelton fired back with a superkick. Shelton avoided the first High Fly Flow attempt. Tanahashi hit a Sling Blade though. He then hit a High Fly Flow to a standing Shelton! Regular High Fly Flow: 1…2…3

I found it nearly impossible to care about any aspect of this match. It was an acceptable match, but I wouldn't recommend that anyone watch it. Shelton is not an interesting performer right now, and the crowd was really did not provide the necessary environment for them to overcome that.
Match Rating: **1/2

Kazuchika Okada [10 Points] vs. Hirooki Goto [8 Points]
Okada and Goto have had two non-G1 main events since 2012, and I found both to be underwhelming given the standard of Okada PPV main events. Between that and the dead crowd this show seems to have, I would say we're not getting something memorable here.

Goto sent Okada to the floor early, but Okada hit a guardrail-assisted DDT on the floor. Goto managed to not get counted out, but Okada worked him over once he got back into the ring. Goto came back with a lariat. Okada seemed knocked loopy by a forearm. Goto then got a nearfall with a backdrop driver. Goto had the momentum, but Okada got the Air Raid Crash on the thigh to slow him down. Okada hit the diving elbow and then called for the Rainmaker. They did a cool sequence that finished with Goto avoiding the Rainmaker and hitting Ushikoroshi. Okada came back with Heavy Rain. Goto hit a big lariat and the Reverse Ushikoroshi. Okada avoided a brainbuster and hit a dropkick. He backdroppedGoto from the top rope, hit a dropkick to the back of the head, a tombstone, and called for the Rainmaker. Goto reversed it into a headbutt. Okada reversed the brainbuster into his picture perfect German. Okada then hit the Rainmaker: 1…2…3

This was a fine main event. The best thing they managed to do was that they created a genuine sense of unpredictability. Unfortunately, the environment for this day just did not allow them to create something special.
Match Rating: ***1/4

Full results and update points totals (credit to cagematch.net)
G1 Climax 2014 Block A Match
Davey Boy Smith Jr. [8] defeats Tomoaki Honma [0] (8:53)
G1 Climax 2014 Block B Match
Yujiro Takahashi [6] defeats Lance Archer [6] (9:00)
G1 Climax 2014 Block A Match
Doc Gallows [6] defeats Yuji Nagata [8] (7:53)
G1 Climax 2014 Block B Match
Togi Makabe [8] defeats Hiroyoshi Tenzan [8] (8:22)
G1 Climax 2014 Block B Match
Minoru Suzuki [10] defeats Tetsuya Naito [8] (12:16)
G1 Climax 2014 Block A Match
Bad Luck Fale [10] defeats Katsuyori Shibata [10] by Count Out (7:14)
G1 Climax 2014 Block A Match
Shinsuke Nakamura [12] defeats Satoshi Kojima [8] (12:51)
G1 Climax 2014 Block B Match
AJ Styles [12] defeats Karl Anderson [6] (14:33)
G1 Climax 2014 Block A Match
Hiroshi Tanahashi [12] defeats Shelton Benjamin [8] (12:32)
G1 Climax 2014 Block B Match
Kazuchika Okada [12] defeats Hirooki Goto [8] (15:34)

Day 10

August 6, 2014
Takamatsu, Kagawa, Japan

Katsuyori Shibata [10 Points] vs. Tomohiro Ishii [8 Points]
Ishii got a dislocated shoulder on Day 8, and it's taped up now. As you would guess, they started the match by trading a lot of strikes. They gave each other free kicks to the back. Shibata delivered a series of forearms, but Ishii then took him down with a single forearm strike. Shibata hit the Corner Dropkick of Doom & Destruction, but Ishii fired right back with a lariat. More trading forearms. Shibata seemed to be getting the advantage, and he went for a cross armbreaker on the injured arm. Just as Shibata got it extended, Ishii got to the ropes. Ishii basically tried to stay on the floor, but Shibata repeatedly brought him back to the ring. Shibata held his own left arm behind his back to make it even. They traded forearms. Ishii managed to hit a release German and lariat, but Shibata was barely phased. Shibata came back with a Penalty Kick. Ishii fired back with a headbutt and a lariat for a nearfall. Ishii avoided the sleeper but then ate the backfist. Ishii avoided the GTS, and then they gave each other headbutts. Shibata hit another backfist and then hit the GTS. Penalty Kick: 1…2…3

I liked the story they told here, but the match did not have much of a chance to fulfill its potential in front of this dead crowd. Ishii's arm injury stopped them from doing the "hitting each other harder and harder" style that I am growing tired of. It's unfortunate that this match could not happen on a different day.
Match Rating: ***1/4

Full results and update points totals (credit to cagematch.net)
G1 Climax 2014 Block A Match
Satoshi Kojima [10] defeats Tomoaki Honma [0] (6:55)
G1 Climax 2014 Block A Match
Bad Luck Fale [12] defeats Davey Boy Smith Jr. [8] (7:10)
G1 Climax 2014 Block B Match
Tetsuya Naito [10] defeats Hiroyoshi Tenzan [8] (10:23)
G1 Climax 2014 Block B Match
Karl Anderson [8] defeats Minoru Suzuki [10] (8:35)
G1 Climax 2014 Block B Match
Toru Yano [8] defeats Togi Makabe [8] (2:48)
G1 Climax 2014 Block B Match
AJ Styles [14] defeats Yujiro Takahashi [6] (8:36)
G1 Climax 2014 Block B Match
Kazuchika Okada [14] defeats Lance Archer [6] (11:05)
G1 Climax 2014 Block A Match
Hiroshi Tanahashi [14] defeats Yuji Nagata [8] (12:34)
G1 Climax 2014 Block A Match
Katsuyori Shibata [12] defeats Tomohiro Ishii [8] (12:24)
G1 Climax 2014 Block A Match
Shinsuke Nakamura [14] defeats Doc Gallows [6] (11:35)

Day 11

August 8, 2014
Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan

Tomoaki Honma [0 Points] vs. Shelton Benjamin [8 Points]
Honma's desperation for a win was really showing. He went for a ton of pinning combinations early and hit a diving headbutt to the floor. Shelton came back with a back suplex on the guardrail. Shelton worked him over after that. Honma eventually came back. He hit the falling headbutt! Honma ate two shitty Stinger Splashes, but got the Gannasuke Clutch for a nearfall. Shelton caught him with a superkick. Paydirt: 1...2...3?

I'm really glad I woke up at 5:30am to watch that live. What is gained by Shelton winning this match? Granted, I don't think the fans cared or believed Honma could win based on their reaction to the match. I'm sure he'll get some meaningless win in a tag match on Day 12, but NJPW dropped the ball here.
Match Rating: **1/4

Shinsuke Nakamura [14 Points] vs. Bad Luck Fale [12 Points]
Fale can still make the finals if he wins and Tanahashi loses. Nakamura is in the same scenario.

Fale got control early and actually whipped Nakamura with a belt. That seems gratuitous. Nakamura eventually came back. Fale got a nearfall with a splash. He called for the Samoan Spike. Nakamura avoided it and hit a gourd buster. Samoan Spike: 1...2...NO! Superplex from Nakamura! Fale came back with a spear, but Naka avoided the Bad Luck Fall and hit a backstabber. Fale avoided one Boma Ye, but Nakamura connected on a second: 1...2...NO! BOMA YE: 1...2...3!

This was a solid match, but I don't think it was as good as either of their main events this year. Nakamura now has 16 points and will make the Finals if Tanahashi loses (he's not losing).
Match Rating: ***1/4

AJ Styes [14 Points] vs. Togi Makabe [8 Points]
AJ got control early and worked Makabe over. Makabe started to fight back, but AJ took him down with a lariat. Makabe caught him with a folding powerbomb for a nearfall. OH FUCK. AJ took the Spider German on the back of his neck and then rolled away. That looked almost fatal. He still managed to pull off the Pele. He hit a second Pele and then hit the Styles Clash: 1...2...3

I thought these two would have a better dynamic down the stretch to make up for the slow beginning. That awful bump for the spider German really took me out of the match and made the closing minutes awkward and clunky.
Match Rating: **3/4

Hiroshi Tanahashi [14 Points] vs. Davey Boy Smith, Jr.[8 Points]
When Tanahashi wins, he's going to the finals.

Smith briefly had control, but it did not amount to much. Smith avoided the High Fly Flow to the floor, but Tana managed to catch him with a pescado. Smith finally cut him off with a snap powerslam on the floor. Tanahashi kept firing back though. He hit The Final Cut and Sling Blade. Smith crotched him on another High Fly Flow attempt. Smith was back in control after a superplex. Smith got a couple of nearfalls on pinning attempts, but Smith eventually hit the Liger Bomb: 1...2...3! WOW!

I'm completely shocked by this result (despite predicting a Nakamura/Okada finals before the tournament). The match itself was perfectly fine, but I still do not get the hype about Smith's supposed improvement. Much like this match, he's perfectly fine but nothing to get excited about.
Match Rating: ***

Kazuchika Okada [14 Points] vs. Minoru Suzuki [10 Points]
Well, Okada needs to win this get into the finals. If he loses, it's AJ and Nakamura in the finals.

Suzuki was going after Okada's Rainmaker arm. In fact, he was relentlessly targeting it. The best part of Suzuki is that he is so confident that he expects to win every single match he is in. As a result, he's also completely crushed and furious when he loses. He's amazing. Okada fought back and hit a Yakuza on the floor. In a tremendous moment, Okada called for the Rainmaker, but Suzuki just kicked his Rainmaker arm. Suzuki got an armbar, but Okada just managed to get to the ropes. Okada came back and managed to apply Red Ink. Okada can't normally use that move when his arm has been worked over. Meh. Okada got a weak nearfall with Heavy Rain. Suzuki came back with a dropkick and a sleeper. Okada managed to avoid the Gotch Piledriver twice and hit the Air Raid Crash on the knee. They went back and forth. Okada eventually hit the motherfucking GOTCH Tombstone: 1...2...NO! Suzuki blocked the Rainmaker and knocked him down! Brutal! Dropkick from Okada. RAIN FUCKING MAKER: 1...2...3! Suzuki took that on his dome.

This was a great main event and possibly the best match these two have had against each other. However, I think Okada dropped the ball in a couple of key moments when it comes to selling his arm. He should not have been able to apply Red Ink, and his arm injury should have prevented him from some big moves down the stretch. I wouldn't consider those nitpicks. I consider them flaws that hold the rating of the match down. Okada is normally better about that stuff, which makes it even more puzzling. Regardless, I'm glad he won.
Match Rating: ****

Full results and update points totals (credit to cagematch.net)
G1 Climax 2014 Block A Match
Shelton Benjamin [10] defeats Tomoaki Honma [0] (8:08)
G1 Climax 2014 Block B Match
Yujiro Takahashi [8] defeats Toru Yano [8] (2:56)
G1 Climax 2014 Block B Match
Lance Archer [8] defeats Hirooki Goto [8] (8:52)
G1 Climax 2014 Block B Match
Karl Anderson [10] defeats Tetsuya Naito [10] (7:51)
G1 Climax 2014 Block A Match
Tomohiro Ishii [10] defeats Yuji Nagata [8] (11:46)
G1 Climax 2014 Block A Match
Doc Gallows [8] defeats Katsuyori Shibata [12] (6:30)
G1 Climax 2014 Block A Match
Shinsuke Nakamura [16] defeats Bad Luck Fale [12] (11:08)
G1 Climax 2014 Block B Match
AJ Styles [16] defeats Togi Makabe [8] (11:33)
G1 Climax 2014 Block A Match
Davey Boy Smith Jr. [10] defeats Hiroshi Tanahashi [14] (12:57)
G1 Climax 2014 Block B Match
Kazuchika Okada [16] defeats Minoru Suzuki [10] (17:14)

Thanks everybody for reading! You can send feedback to my Twitter or to my email address: Shabang728@gmail.com. Also, feel free to check out my own wrestling website, FreeProWrestling.com. Also, check out my Best of Chikara blog and an archive of all my 411 video reviews.

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