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 411mania » Wrestling » Video Reviews

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Views from the Hawke's Nest: NJPW G1 Climax Day Four 2013
Posted by TJ Hawke on 01.18.2014



August 4, 2013
Osaka, Japan



After three days of competition, here are the tournament standings:

Block A
Satoshi Kojima: 4 Points
Lance Archer: 4 Points
Prince Devitt: 4 Points
Katsuyori Shibata: 4 Points
Hirooki Goto: 4 Points
Togi Makabe: 2 Points
Davey Boy Smith Jr.: 2 Points
Tomohiro Ishii: 2 Points
Kazuchika Okada: 2 Points
Hiroshi Tanahashi: 2 Points

Block B
Kota Ibushi: 6 Points
Yujiro Tanahashi: 6 Points
Karl Anderson: 4 Points
Yuji Nagata: 4 Points
Shelton Benjamin: 2 Points
Shinsuke Nakamura: 2 Points
Minoru Suzuki: 2 Points
Hiroyoshi Tenzan: 2 Points
Tetsuya Naito: 2 Points
Toru Yano: 0 Points



Block B
Toru Yano [0 Points] vs. Yujiro Takahashi [6 Points]
Before Yano got into the ring, Yujiro hit a yakuza and a tope suicida. Yujiro was in control for a while after that. Is Yano抯 finish the DVD? It really should be if it isn抰. Yano finally came back, but Yujiro almost immediately cut him off with a release fisherman suplex. Yano got a nearfall with a schoolboy. Yujiro took out a chair. Yano pretended to be hit with it to distract the ref. Yano then hit a low blow: 123

This crowd made this absolutely watchable, which surprised me greatly. With that in mind, this was not something that I will ever think about ever again (hopefully). I抦 glad Yujiro lost. Yano now has two points.
Match Rating: *1/2



Block B
Karl Anderson [4 Points] vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan [2 Points]
Ok, this show is not off to the greatest start. The face/heel dynamic of this should be strong at least.

Anderson briefly worked Tenzan over. Tenzan made a comeback after a spinning heel kick. They went back and forth for a bit. Anderson got a nearfall with a TKO. The crowd was very happy Tenzan kicked out. Anderson went for the Gun Stun, but Tenzan reversed it into a side slam and an Anaconda Vice. Anderson tried to stand up, but Tenzan slammed him down and kept the hold. Anderson finally made the ropes. Anderson avoided Tenzan抯 moonsault. Tenzan avoided a Gun Stun. Anderson reversed a side slam into a Gun Stun: 123

This was far more enjoyable than I expected. The Bullet Club vs. well, anyone (apparently) dynamic is so darn easy that it makes Tenzan fun to watch. I was afraid Tenzan would go over here, and I抦 glad my fear went unrealized. Karl Anderson is so damn good right now. He should be a regular main event for NJPW for years and years to come. Anderson now has six points.
Match Rating: **1/2



Block B
Shelton Benjamin [2 Points] vs. Yuji Nagata [4 Points]
While Nagata was posing on the turnbuckle during his entrance, Shelton leaped to meet him and hit a super exploder suplex. That got a nearfall. Shelton at least looks motivated right now. Shelton then hit the diving blockbuster: 12匩O! Nagata eventually recovered and made a big comeback. Shelton finally managed to put a stop to his momentum with his spinning heel kick and a German suplex. Shelton botched this basic roll through move where he blatantly just ran into a post on purpose. Nagata hit a saito suplex for a nearfall. Shelton came back with an ankle lock. Shelton managed to get it grapevined, and Nagata was forced to tap. Wow.

The dynamic of this match with the crowd was not as fun, but they managed to do some enjoyable sequences. Nagata still has a lot to offer right now. I抦 hoping he and Okada can main event a PPV one of these days. Shelton now has four points.
Match Rating: **1/2



Block A
Satoshi Kojima [4 Points] vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr. [2 Points]
Kojima looked to have the advantage after an apron DDT, but TAKA Michinoku interfered and gave Davey the advantage. Davey was in control for a while after that. Kojima made a comeback. He knocked TAKA off the apron and got a nearfall with an elbow drop. Smith came back, but Kojima caught him with an Ace Crusher and then a brainbuster: 12匩O! Davey got a nearfall with a bridging Tiger suplex. Kojima hit a couple of lariats, but Smith survived them. Smith avoided a running lariat and hit a Liger Bomb: 123!

Well, as much as I do not care for Smith, there is no denying that this was the best match of Day 4 so far. Kojima really has stepped up his game so far in the G1. I抦 suddenly way more excited for his PPV main event that would happen a month later. Smith now has four points.
Match Rating: ***1/2



Block A
Katsuyori Shibata [4 Points] vs. Tomohiro Ishii [2 Points]
Ok, if this match can live up to the hype匢 will be impressed.

They started HOT and heavy. They traded strikes. They asked each other for chops and kicks. Shibata won that exchange. Shibata destroyed Ishii with his corner dropkick. These guys. Sheesh. Ishii came back and nailed Shibata in the face with a spinning heel kick. Shibata locked in a Boston Crab of all things. Ishii eventually escaped. They traded Germans. They traded forearms. They kicked out at one after some nasty strikes from each other. They both went down after a Shibata headbutt. Shibata got a sleeper. Ishii escaped and hit two big lariats. The crowd is rabid. BRAINBUSTER: 123!

Well, this was quite great, but the MOTY hype seems a tad over the top. Regardless, these two continue to prove over and over again that they are two of the best performers in the world. I knew that about Shibata earlier this year, but Ishii抯 work in this G1 has been the great surprise of the tournament. Ishii now has four points.
Match Rating: ****1/4



Block A
Hirooki Goto [4 Points] vs. Lance Archer [4 Points]
Hopefully, this match is made better by the crowd like almost everything else on this show.

Archer got control with a cunning use of flags barricade attacks. He almost won by countout, but Goto got back in the ring. Archer was in control after that though for a while. Goto hit a lariat and promptly made a professional wrestling comeback. Archer hit a reverse DDT for a nearfall. Archer hit a jackknife powerbomb for another nearfall. Goto came back with a discus lariat and a pinning combination: 123

Well, at least it was not a long match! As Hoyt walked to the back, I noticed he has a tramp stamp that makes it seem like he has a permanently bad case of whale tale. So, it turns out this match was not a complete waste of time. Goto now has six points.
Match Rating: **



Block B
Minoru Suzuki [2 Points] vs. Tetsuya Naito [2 Points]
Ermagawd, I love Suzuki抯 entrance music so gosh darn much. I will write about that almost every time I watch him. Suzuki got the advantage by going after Naito抯 injured right knee. He dominated Naito for a while. Naito finally came back with a slingshot, corner dropkick. Naito went after the injured knee again to get the advantage back. Suzuki used a sleeper for a bit, but Naito managed to avoided the Gotch piledriver twice. Naito made a brief comeback and then hit the Stardust Press: 123. Naito was definitely channeling babyface BxB Hulk with his selling there at the end.

So, the whole match was Suzuki working over Naito抯 knee, Naito then made a comeback that finished with a flipping top rope move. Derpa derp. It抯 very hard to feel like a match was worth watching if the whole substance of the match was just going to be ignored at the end. This may be the most disappointing match so far. Naito now has four points.
Match Rating: **3/4



Block A
Prince Devitt [4 Points] vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi [2 Points]
Tanahashi came out on Captain New Japan抯 shoulders. Devitt was offended. Devitt attacked him before the match with a guitar. Tanahashi quickly came back as the match got going. Bad Luck Fale blatantly interfered. Captain New Japan returned the favor. They ended up on the floor. Devitt did a springboard double stomp from a barricade. Devitt was in control after that. He undid a turnbuckle pad. Tanahashi eventually got sent into it. Tanahashi came back and hit a High Fly Flow onto Devitt and Fale on the floor. Devitt got the advantage back with chair shots from him and Fale and then a double stomp: 12匩O! Tanahashi came back with a Sling Blade. He then got a nearfall with a High Tension suplex. He then hit the High Fly Flow to the back of Devitt. He went for a second one, but Fale interfered. The good Captain made the save. Devitt got his knees up on the second High Fly Flow. Karl Anderson ran in and hit the Gun Stun! BLOODY SUNDAY: 123!

The interference here was way over the top. The beauty of a lot of the Bullet Club interference fests has been that the interference often didn抰 directly cause the finish. Here, the finish made the referee look stupid for not enforcing the rules and directly lead to the finish. Other than that, it was fun. The crowd was definitely riled up during it. Devitt now has six points.
Match Rating: ***



Block A
Kazuchika Okada [2 Points] vs. Togi Makabe [2 Points]
These two had an awesome PPV main event in June. I doubt this will be as good, but the crowd will likely get very behind Makabe.

Okada eventually got the advantage by going after Makabe抯 taped up ribs. This went on for a bit. Okada working over a body part is always awesome. Makabe eventually caught him with a snap slam and lariat before making a comeback. Okada came back and called for The Rainmaker. Makabe avoided and hit another big lariat. Makabe got a nearfall with a German. He got another nearfall with a folding powerbomb. Makabe managed to hit a spider German, but Okada avoided the knee drop. Makabe avoided another Lariat and hit a rolling DVD: 12匩O! Bridging Dragon Suplex from Makabe: 12匩O! Makbe hit another lariat and called for the knee drop. He connected: 123!!!! WOW!

I did not see that result coming at all. They had the crowd with them from the opening bell, and they rewarded them with a strong effort. The match would have been better if the rib work earlier in the match played into the finishing sequence. Even without that though, this was a really good match. Makabe now has four points.
Match Rating: ***1/2



Block B
Kota Ibushi [6 Points] vs. Shinsuke Nakamura [2 Points]
This is the closest we抣l ever come to watching Spiderman vs. The Joker in real life.

There was a fair amount of feeling out at the start. Ibushi went for his moonsault to the floor, but Nakamura had it scouted. Nakamura branched out and hit a couple of knee strikes. It抯 good to mix up your moveset every once in a while. Nakamura stayed in control for a while, but Ibushi eventually caught him with a Pele Kick. Ibushi made a comeback. He hit a corkscrew Asai Moonsault, which is just about the most ridiculous thing ever. Nakamura came back with some more knee strikes of all things. He then locked in a sleeper. He eventually transitioned that into a Funplex and called for the Boma Ye, but Ibushi avoided it. Ibushi made a flippy comeback. Ibushi got a number of great nearfalls. His Last Ride version of the Liger Bomb had the people thinking it was potentially over. He went for the Phoenix Splash, but Nakamura got his knees up and then a Boma Ye!!! Nakamura attacked him in the corner. Ibushi came back with a number of palm strikes and then a massive lariat! Ibushi hit a buzzsaw kick for a nearfall. Nakamura came back with TWO Boma Yes and then a regular Boma Ye: 1匩O!!!! WTF! BOMA YE: 123!

That was a fantastic main event. Both guys wrestled like it was the Wrestle Kingdom main event. Ibushi proved here that he can be a main eventer for NJPW if they allow him to be. He is the type of athlete that we need to cherish, because people like him don抰 come around that often. Nakamura continues his incredibly consistent 2013. Nakamura now has four points.
Match Rating: ****1/2


After four days of competition, here are the tournament standings:

Block A
Prince Devitt: 6 Points
Hirooki Goto: 6 Points
Satoshi Kojima: 4 Points
Lance Archer: 4 Points
Katsuyori Shibata: 4 Points
Togi Makabe: 4 Points
Davey Boy Smith Jr.: 4 Points
Tomohiro Ishii: 4 Points
Kazuchika Okada: 2 Points
Hiroshi Tanahashi: 2 Points

Block B
Kota Ibushi: 6 Points
Karl Anderson: 6 Points
Yujiro Tanahashi: 6 Points
Tetsuya Naito: 4 Points
Yuji Nagata: 4 Points
Shelton Benjamin: 4 Points
Shinsuke Nakamura: 4 Points
Minoru Suzuki: 2 Points
Hiroyoshi Tenzan: 2 Points
Toru Yano: 2 Points



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.


The 411: Day 4 got a lot of show of the year hype, and it pretty much lived up to a being a contender for that award. I think some of the praise for certain matches (and really the show itself as a result) is completely over the top, but there抯 no denying that best wrestling promotion in the world put on a must-see show for all wrestling fans. Highest recommendation.
411 Elite Award
Final Score:  8.8   [ Very Good ]  legend





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