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From The Shelf- NJPW G1 Climax 23 Day Nine
Posted by Dylan Diot on 12.22.2013



NJPW G1 Climax 23 Day Nine
8-11-13
Tokyo, Japan


Tomohiro Ishii and Kota Ibushi get forfeit wins due to Tenzan and Goto’s injuries but both men were out of contention before the show so it doesn’t matter.

Block B- Yujiro Takahashi (8) vs. Yuji Nagata (8)
Yujiro slaps Nagata to start but Nagata comes back with slaps of his own. Snapmare followed by a kick to the back by Nagata. Nagata works over the left shoulder of Yujiro and he grabs a cross Arm breaker but Yujiro goes to the ropes to break. Yujiro bails to recover but Nagata follows and hits some kicks to the chest. Nagata is reversed into the railings and Yujiro catches him with a suicide dive. Back in, Yujiro chops away and hits some forearms in the corner. Yakuza kick by Yujiro gets 2 and he grabs a chinlock. He rakes the face of Nagata and hits some forearms. Another Yakuza kick by Yujiro but Nagata comes back with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Kicks to the chest by Nagata and he hits a Yakuza kick of his own. Yujiro rakes the eyes once more but Nagata comes back with a dropkick to the leg. Big boot by Nagata and he goes for a suplex but Yujiro reverses into his own. They trade forearms and Nagata hits a knee to the gut. Yujiro comes back with the Olympic Slam for 2. Big boot by Nagata but Yujiro catches him with a lariat. Slam by Yujiro and he goes up. Moonsault off the top by Yujiro (that he overshoots) gets 2. Fisherman’s Buster by Yujiro and he goes for Tokyo Pimps but Nagata counters into the Fujiwara arm bar. Yujiro gets his foot on the ropes to break. Yujiro blocks a Saito suplex attempt and Nagata hits a release German suplex. Saito suplex by Nagata gets 2. Exploder of Justice by Nagata gets 3.
Winner- Yuji Nagata *** ( Solid opening match as it moved at a surprisingly fast pace and it made for an exciting contest to kick off the show. )

Block B-Minoru Suzuki (10) vs. Toru Yano (6)
Suzuki can win the block with a win here. Suzuki attacks to start and he hits a big boot. He hits a second big boot and stomps away on Yano, forcing Yano to bail. Suzuki follows out and he gets reversed into the barricades. Suzuki grabs a grapevine from the apron and he wraps the leg of Yano around the barricade. Suzuki hits a running boot into the leg of Yano and he continues to throw shots at the bad leg. Back in, Suzuki grabs a toe hold before going back to the grapevine. Yano makes it to the ropes to break and Yano fires back with forearms. He takes Suzuki down by the hair and sends Suzuki into the exposed corner. Suzuki snap mares Yano and hits the running kick to the chest for 2. Half crab by Suzuki and he again goes back to the grapevine. Yano makes the ropes once more and Suzuki hits a big boot. Grapevine again by Suzuki and yet again Yano makes the ropes. Yano rakes the eyes but Suzuki catches him with the sleeper. Suzuki avoids the low blow attempt and goes for the Gotch Piledriver but Yano holds the ref to block. They trade counters and Suzuki gets a small package for 2!!! Yano goes lpw pn Suzuki and he rolls him up for 2!!! Small package gets 2!!!! Dropkick by Suzuki and he goes for the sleeper but Yano counters into a roll-up for 3!!!
Winner- Toru Yano ***1/4 ( This was not the greatest match in world. In fact, three quarters of the match was a Suzuki squash. However, the little details made this match great. Suzuki being relentless on the leg and preventing Yano’s usual antics early in the match showed he knew the importance of winning the match in the bigger picture. It also made the last few minutes incredibly exciting and the crowd was going nuts. I’m impressed. )

Block B- Shelton Benjamin w/Taka Michinoku (8) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (10)
Nakamura now has a chance to win the block with a win and Anderson loss following the Suzuki loss. Benjamin attacks Nakamura to start and he hits some forearms on Nakamura. Nakamura fights back and Benjamin drives the leg of Nakamura against his shoulder. They go to the floor and Benjamin is sent into the barricade. Nakamura charges with a Yakuza kick but misses and he hits the railing. Benjamin nails Nakamura with the Intercontinental Title, knocking Nakamura into the front row. Nakamura makes it back in before the 20 count and Benjamin hammers away. Indian Deathlock by Benjamin but Nakamura makes the ropes to break. Nakamura nails Benjamin in the head from the apron and hits a running knee lift from the floor. Knee drop off the apron to the back of Benjamin by Nakamura and back in, Nakamura chokes Benjamin with his boot. He hits some knee lifts to the midsection in the corner for 2. Knees to the midsection by Nakamura and he hits a Gordbuster. Benjamin blocks a release back suplex attempt and Benjamin hits a swinging neckbreaker for 2. Superkick by Benjamin and he hits a German suplex for 2. A second German suplex by Benjamin gets 2. Spinning heel kick by Nakamura and he hits a Lungblower. Release Back suplex by Nakamura and he goes for the Boom Ye but misses. Second rope Boom Ye by Nakamura and he goes up. Taka crotches him which allows Benjamin to springboard up and hits a butterfly superplex. Knees to the midsection by Benjamin and he hits a spinning heel kick for 2. Benjamin goes up and hits the Blockbuster off the top for 2!!! They trade counters and Benjamin grabs the Ankle Lock. Nakamura breaks with an enzuigiri but he walks into the Pay Dirt for 3!!!
Winner- Shelton Benjamin ***1/2 ( This was a damn solid wrestling match. These two complement each other well and the result was a crisp, very entertaining match. This show is off to one hell of a start. )

Block B- Tetsuya Naito (8) vs. Karl Anderson (10)
Winner of this match wins the block and advances to the finals tonight. Both men look to gain the upper hand early and Anderson stomps Naito in the face to block a monkey flip attempt. Anderson bites the head of Naito and he hits a bicycle kick knocking Naito off the apron. Anderson follows out and he drops Naito on the railings sternum first. Back in, Anderson hammers Naito on the mat for 2 and he rakes the face of Naito. Slam by Anderson and he hits a back senton for 2. Chinlock by Anderson but Naito fights out and connects with a swinging neck breaker. Hip toss followed by a basement dropkick by Naito. Standing summersault senton by Naito and he hits a slingshot dropkick in the corner. Naito goes up and he hits a missile dropkick to Anderson. Naito charges in the corner but eats elbow and Anderson hits a corner bicycle kick. Running sitout powerbomb by Anderson gets 2. Naito escapes a Screwdriver attempt and Anderson stomps away. Flying forearm by Naito and he hits an enzuigiri. Shining Wizard by Naito and he hits a release German suplex. Naito goes up and he misses the Stardust Press. They trade forearms and Anderson hits some uppercuts. Sick Kick by Anderson and he goes up but Naito stops him and follows up. They slug it out on top and Anderson bites the leg of Naito’s. Sick kick by Anderson and he follows back up. SUPER TKO BY ANDERSON GETS 2!!!!! Screwdriver by Anderson gets 2!!! Naito blocks the Gun Stun and he gets the Victory roll for 2!!! Naito blocks another Gun Stun and rolls Anderson into the Koji Clutch. Anderson taps!!! Naito wins the block and advances to the finals!!!
Winner- Tetsuya Naito ***3/4 ( Hell of a sprint between these two. If this match was stretched out to about twenty minutes this would have been a classic. The battle of the top rope was sensational and the final stretch was nuts. )

Block A- Davey Boy Smith Jr. (8) vs. Lance Archer (6)
Smith Jr. keeps himself in contention with a win against his tag partner. Both men look to overpower the other to start and Archer wins that battle with a big boot. Corner clothesline by Archer and he clotheslines Davey to the floor. Back in, they trade forearms and Davey hits some head butts. Facebuster by Archer and he catches Smith Jr. with the Black Hole Slam. Archer works over Davey in the corner and he goes OLD SCHOOL~!!!! Camel Clutch by Archer but Davey starts to fight out so Archer hits an Avalanche in the corner. He misses a second one and Davey hits a belly to belly suplex for 2. Powerslam by Smith Jr. and he hits a leg drop. Sharpshooter by Smith Jr. but Archer makes the ropes to break. Archer escapes a powerbomb attempt and both men look for a Chokeslam. Davey wins the battle and connects with the Chokeslam for 2. Reverse DDT by Archer gets 2. Archer goes up and he hits a moonsault off the top for 2. Archer puts Smith Jr. on top and goes for the Blackout but Smith Jr. escapes. Tiger Suplex by Smith Jr. gets 2. Sit-out Full Nelson slam by Archer gets 2. They clothesline each other and both men are down. Powerbomb by Smith Jr. gets 2 and they trade counters until Smith Jr. hits a Saito suplex for 2. Smith Jr. puts Archer on top and follows up. Archer blocks a superplex attempt and goes for a super powerbomb but Smith Jr. blocks by back dropping him off the top. Archer blocks Smith Jr. and follows up. Smith Jr. dumps Archer to the floor but Archer comes back in and hammers away on Smith Jr. Blackout by Archer gets 3.
Winner- Lance Archer **1/2 ( Eh, the action was OK but the crowd was not all that into it and they lacked chemistry with each other as opponents. )

Block A- Prince Devitt w/Bad Luck Fale (8) vs. Togi Makabe (10)
Makabe could put himself in a nice position with a win. Fale attacks Makabe from behind before the match but Devitt runs into a back elbow. Corner clothesline by Makabe and he hits a slam. Fale distracts Makabe on the floor, allowing Devitt to hit a knee strike from behind off the apron. Fale sends him into the railings for good measure and back in, Devitt chops away. Makabe fires back with forearms but Devitt breaks that up with a knee to the midsection. Abdominal stretch by Devitt and he chokes Makabe in the ropes. Fale chokes Makabe in the ropes as well and Devitt hits some double axe handles to the back off the second rope. Makabe fights back with some corner clotheslines and he hits some punches in the corner. Devitt blocks a Northern lights suplex attempt but walks into a lariat. Fale distracts Makabe and Devitt charges with a chair but Makabe punches the chair back in Devitt’s face. He hits Devitt in the back with the chair and he clotheslines Fale to the floor. Slam by Makabe and he goes up. King Kong Knee Drop misses and Devitt goes up. Double Stomp off the top to the back of Makabe by Devitt gets 2. They trade counters and Fale nails Makabe in the back with the chair. Samoan Drop by Fale and Devitt nails Makabe a few times with the chair. He puts multiple chairs on Makabe and he goes up. Double stomp off the top onto the chairs by Devitt gets 2!!! Makabe sends Devitt into the ref by mistake and he connects with a lariat. Powerbomb by Makabe and he covers but there is no ref. Fale goes for the Samoan Spike but Makabe blocks. Fale finally catches him with the Samoan Spike and Devitt hits Bloody Sunday for 3.
Winner- Prince Devitt ** ( There was too much interference here, even for the usual Devitt match. They got killed with time so they packed too much overbooking in a short amount of time. This just didn’t work. )

Block A- Kazuchika Okada (9) w/Gedo vs. Satoshi Kojima (6)
Feeling out process to start and Okada mocks Kojima at every term. Kojima finally overpowers Okada and he hits an elbow drop. He hammers away on the mat and Okada is forced to bail. Kojima follows out and Okada sends him into the railings. Yakuza kick by Okada knocks Kojima into the front row. Hanging DDT on the floor by Okada and back in, Okada snapmares Kojima into a basement dropkick. Swinging dropkick by Okada gets 1. Bow tie chinlock by Okada but Kojima makes the ropes to break. Back elbows in the corner by Okada and he charges in the corner but misses. Saito suplex by Kojima and he hits rapid chops in the corner to Okada. Corner forearm by Kojima and he goes up. Flying elbow drop off the top by Kojima gets 2. They trade forearms and chops until Okada catches him with a DDT. Back elbow in the corner by Okada and he hits a Bowtie neckbreaker for 2. Slam by Okada and he goes up. Flying elbow drop by Okada and he goes for the Rainmaker but Kojima blocks. Shoulder chops by Kojima and he hits a DDT. He goes for the Ace Crusher but Okada blocks and hits the Air Raid backbreaker. They exchange strikes and Kojima hits a rolling elbow. Brainbuster by Kojima gets 2. Okada ducks the lariat and he hits a dropkick to the back of Kojima. Kojima blocks a Tombstone attempt and he hits an Ace Crusher. Dropkick by Okada and he goes for the Rainmaker but misses. They exchange counters until Kojima catches him with the lariat. Another lariat by Kojima gets 3.
Winner- Satoshi Kojima ***1/2 ( This was a really good match where they didn’t go overboard on false finishes or exchanges but just had as good of match as you can expect out of these two. )

Block A- Katsuyori Shibata (10) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (9)
Winner of this match wins the block and faces Naito in the finals. They trade forearms to start and Tanahashi misses a dropkick. He avoids kick attempts from Shibata and bails to avoid the onslaught. Back in, they battle on the mat for control and neither can gain the upper hand. Snapmare and Shibata hits a kick to the back. Figure-4 by Shibata and they trade slaps while in the hold. Tanahashi makes the ropes to break and Shibata hits a side Russian leg sweep. Grapevine by Shibata and Tanahashi goes to the ropes to break. Kicks to the leg by Shibata and he snapmares Tanahashi into another kick to the back. Kicks to the chest by Shibata but Tanahashi fires back with uppercuts. Uppercuts by Shibata and he hits some forearms in the corner. Basement dropkick in the corner by Shibata and he hits a suplex. Tanahashi blocks a back suplex attempt and he hits a Dragon screw leg sweep. A second one by Tanahashi and he hits the flying forearm. They trade forearms and Tanahashi catches him with a head butt. Shibata returns the favor but Tanahashi catches him with the Slingblade. Slam by Tanahashi and he goes up. High Fly Low eats knees and Shibata grabs the sleeper. Tanahashi makes the ropes to break and Shibata hits a DVD backbreaker. He goes back to the Sleeper and then releases to hit a knee to the gut. Running kick to the chest by Shibata and he goes for the GTS but Tanahashi counters into the small package for 3!!! Tanahashi wins the block!!!!
Winner- Hiroshi Tanahashi ***3/4 ( An excellent match between these two with Tanahashi with standing Shibata’s vicious onslaught and catches Shibata at just the right time to pull out the win. Give these two more time on a bigger stage and I think they can produce a classic. )

Kota Ibushi, Akebono, and Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Takashi Iizuka, YOSHI-HASHI, and Tomohiro Ishii
Iizuka spray paints the announcer face to continue his abuse. Iizuka chokes Sakuraba with his shirt on the floor to start and back in, he chokes away on Sakuraba. He charges in the corner but misses and Sakuraba pounds away on Iizuka in the corner. Iizuka bails and his teammates doump Sakuraba to the floor. Akebono overpowers them and both men bail. Ibushi hits a springboard crossbody to the floor onto both of them!!! Back in, Ibushi and Ishii trade forearms and Iizuka goes after the announcer again. Ibushi misses a dropkick but connects on the second attempt. Kicks to the chest by Ibushi and he trades forearms with Ishii again. Ibushi wins the battle but Ishii hits a head butt. Hurricanrana by Ibushi and he hits a standing SSP. Springboard moonsault by Ibushi gets 2. Lariat by Ishii and his partners take Akebono and Sakuraba off the apron. Iizuka pounds away on both Akebono and Sakuraba with a chair. In the ring, Ishii hammers away on Ibushi in the corner and YOSHI-HASHI tags in. He chokes Ibushi with his boot and he hits a Gordbuster in the ropes. Dropkick to the back by YOSHI-HASHI gets 2. Tag to Iizuka and he chokes Ibushi with some rope. He hangs Ibushi over the top rope with the rope and back in, Ibushi gets worked over in the opposing teams’ corner. Ibushi and Iizuka battle for a suplex and Ibushi wins the battle. Tag to Akebono and he hits some Avalanches in the corner to Iizuka. Elbow drop by Akebono gets 2. Big splash misses and YOSHI-HASHI tags in. Forearms by YOSHI-HASHI and Akebono nails both him and Ishii with a double clothesline. Avalanche in the corner to YOSHI-HASHI and Sakuraba tags in. Sakuraba kicks away at YOSHI-HASHI and he overshoots a double stomp attempt. Kimura by Sakuraba but Iizuka breaks it up. Lariat by Ishii to Sakuraba and Iizuka puts on the spiked glove. He misses Sakuraba and he knocks him out of the right with a straight right. Ibushi dropkicks Ishii out of the ring and hits the slingshot Asai moonsault to the floor!!! Sakuraba pounds away on YOSHI-HASHI in the corner and he grabs the Kimura. YOSHI-HASHI taps.
Winners- Kota Ibushi, Akebono, and Kazushi Sakuraba *** ( Fun, wacky match to get the crowd back into the show after intermission and to give Naito and Tanahashi time before the main event. )

G1 Climax 23 Finals- Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Feeling out process to start and they reach a standstill. Shots to the midsection by Tanahashi but Naito comes back with a dropkick. Snapnmare and Naito grabs a chinlock. He converts it to the headscissors and then goes back to the chinlock. Elbows to the neck by Naito and he charges in the corner but eats elbow. Springboard crossbody by Tanahashi and he chop blocks the bad leg of Naito. Tanahashi drives Naito’s leg into the mat and he stomps away on the bad leg. Naito collapses on the Irishi whip attempt so Tanahashi drives his knee into the leg of Naito a few times. Figure-4 by Tanahashi but Naito makes the ropes to break. Tanahashi stomps away on the leg and he wraps Naito’s leg in the ropes. Tanahashi slaps away on Naito and he charges in the corner but misses. Tornado DDT by Naito and he hits a swinging neckbreaker. Hiptoss into a basement dropkick by Naito. Standing summersault senton by Naito and he hits a slingshot dropkick to the back of Tanahashi in the corner. Reverse DDT backbreaker by Naito and he hits a dropkick to the back. Rear chickenwing by Naito but Tanahashi makes the ropes to break. Naito hammers the back of Tanahashi and Tanahashi hits a dropkick to the leg of Naito. Naito bails so Tanahashi goes up and hits the crossbody to the floor onto Naito!!! Tanahashi hits the Dragon screw leg sweep in the ropes and back in, Tanahashi goes for the Texas Cloverleaf but Naito makes the ropes to block. Tanahashi tries it again but Naito catches him in a small package for 2. Roll-up by Naito gets 2 and he hits the Shining Wizard. They trade forearms and Tanahashi ends that with an uppercut. Naito overshoots the flying forearm and both men are down. Naito hits some forearms while Tanahashi stomps on the leg of Naito. Slaps by Naito and Tanahashi comes back with the Straight Jacket German suplex for 2. Slingblade by Tanahashi and he goes up. High Fly Low misses and Naito goes up. Missile dropkick to the back by Naito and he hits a German suplex for 2. Tanahashi blocks a Dragon suplex attempt and Naito hits an enzuigiri. Flying forearm by Naito and he hits a hammerlock sidewalk slam. Naito goes up and misses the Stardust Press!!!!! Tanahashi drives Naito’s leg into the mat and hits a Dragon screw leg sweep into the mat. Texas Cloverleaf by Tanahashi but Naito makes the ropes to break!!! Dragon screw leg sweep by Tanahashi but Naito rolls him into the Koji Clutch. Tanahashi gets his foot on the ropes to break!!! Naito puts Tanahashi on top and follows up with a Frankensteiner but Tanahashi rolls through for 2!!! Styles Clash by Tanahashi and he goes up. High Fly Low to the back of Naito and he goes up again. High Fly Low eats knees!!!!! Dropkick to the leg by Tanahashi and Naito comes back with the SLINGBLADE!!!!! Dragon suplex by Naito gets 2!!! Hammerlock sidewalk slam by Naito and he goes up. Stardust Press by Naito gets 3!!!!!
Winner of the G1 Climax 23- Tetsuya Naito ****1/2 ( What an amazing match to cap off an incredible tournament. Tanahashi works over the leg of Naito relentlessly but Naito’s determination and will overcame Tanahashi’s assault and he pulled off the upset. A phenomenal main event to end the tournament on a high note. )

Final Standings:
Block A:
Tanahahsi (11),Shibata (10), Devitt (10), Makabe (10), Okada (9), Smith Jr. (8), Goto (8), Archer (8), Kojima (8), Ishii (6)
Block B: Naito (10), Anderson (10), Benjamin (10), Nakamura (10), Suzuki (10), Nagata (10), Takahashi (8), Ibushi (8), Yano (8), Tenzan (6)


The 411: The 2013 G1 Climax is up there with the 2011 DDT4 as one of the best overall tournaments I have ever watched. Almost every night produced quality wrestling with Night 4 and Night 8 being up there as two of the best shows I have ever watched. Night nine was a solid conclusion to the tournament, with some really good matches topped off by an absolutely incredible finale between Naito and Tanahashi. The finals of the tournament showed Naito is a main event star in the making and Tanahashi's run through the tournament shows he is the best wrestler in the world. I highly recommend the final night and I can not recommend the entire tournament enough.
411 Elite Award
Final Score:  8.5   [ Very Good ]  legend





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