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 411mania » Wrestling » Video Reviews

Views from the Hawke's Nest: NJPW G1 Climax Day Eight 2013
Posted by TJ Hawke on 01.22.2014

August 10, 2013
Tokyo, Japan

Block A
Hirooki Goto: 8 Points
Prince Devitt: 8 Points
Kazuchika Okada: 8 Points
Hiroshi Tanahashi: 8 Points
Katsuyori Shibata: 8 Points
Togi Makabe: 8 Points
Davey Boy Smith Jr.: 8 Points
Satoshi Kojima: 6 Points
Tomohiro Ishii: 4 Points
Lance Archer: 4 Points

Block B
Shinsuke Nakamura: 10 Points
Minoru Suzuki: 8 Points
Karl Anderson: 8 Points
Yujiro Tanahashi: 8 Points
Kota Ibushi: 6 Points
Tetsuya Naito: 6 Points
Yuji Nagata: 6 Points
Shelton Benjamin: 6 Points
Hiroyoshi Tenzan: 6 Points
Toru Yano: 6 Points

Captain New Japan & KUSHIDA vs. CHAOS (Takashi Iizuka & YOSHI-HASHI)
CHAOS started the match by brawling with that poor commentator. KUSHIDA wiped them out with a dive.

CHAOS cheated to get the advantage and then worked the good Captain over for a while. Captain eventually escaped. KUSHIA made a hot tag. He did a lot of nifty shit and the crowd was responsive to it. Captain tagged back in and didn抰 screw up. Iizuka took out the Iron Finger. YOSHI-HASHI used a stick on the Captain and then hit a White Russian Legsweep: 123

CHAOS attacked after the match. Kazushi Sakuraba made the save for some reason. I love Sakuraba.

KUSHIDA was the only worthwhile thing about the match.
Match Rating: *1/2

Block A
Prince Devitt [8 Points] vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr. [8 Points]
I feel like Smith is going to win for multiple reasons. NJPW likes to have small guys lose to big guys, and Smith had Day 7 off because Goto had to forfeit.

Smith initially overpowered Devitt, but the Real Shooter managed to come back and get control of the match. Smith was making a comeback. Bad Luck Fale interfered. TAKA Michinoku really failed in his attempt to make a save. Devitt used a chair on Smith. He hit a chair-assisted ghetto stomp: 12匩O! They went back and forth. Smith eventually managed to send Devitt into Fale and then hit a beautiful, bridging Tiger Suplex: 12匩O!!! LIGER BOMB: 123!

I抦 still very bitter towards Bullet Club interference at this point, but there抯 no doubt it worked here. This was an effective opener. Smith now has ten points.
Match Rating: ***

Block B
Yujiro Takahashi [8 Points] vs. Karl Anderson [8 Points]

Some of the rudo vs. rudo matches in this tournament have not worked for me at all. This appears to be another such match. Machine Gun got control and worked Yujiro over for a bit. Yujiro made a comeback. The crowd went mild. Anderson slowed him down with a spinebuster. They traded forearms. Yujiro avoided the Gun Stun and hit the Drunk Slam. Anderson eventually caught him with a Gun Stun.

The crowd was into Anderson to a degree. This match was not very good though. Anderson now has ten points.
Match Rating: *

Block A
Satoshi Kojima [6 Points] vs. Lance Archer [4 Points]
Zero fucks will be given by me. The crowd is going to have to save this one.
Archer got control of the match. Kojima抯 shoulder is still taped up. Kojima eventually came back with the Kobashi chops. Archer fought back, but Kojima dropped him and his stupid tramp stamp on the apron. He followed that with a DDT on the apron. Kojima avoided a chokeslam and hit another DDT. Archer came back with a chokeslam. Archer hit the frog splash and called for 揹eath. Death was apparently a shitty reverse DDT, which caused a nearfall that got a great reaction. Kojima escaped Blackout and hit an Ace Crusher. Kojima hit a lariat to the back of the head. Archer came back with a F5, but Kojima survived by getting his foot on the ropes. Archer managed to hit Blackout: 123

This match managed to overachieved, but I think it could have seriously benefitted from some tightening up. Still though, this was enjoyable enough with a good crowd. Archer now has six points.
Match Rating: **3/4

Block B
Shelton Benjamin [6 Points] vs. Toru Yano [6 Points]
Er ma gawd, I swore this match already happened. This is definitely the last time I watch all of a G1.

I may not like Toru Yano much, but his gimmick (constantly schilling his DVD) is genius. Shelton attacked him before the bell. I guess Yano is going to be working tecnico here, which is the far better option of the two. They brawled on the floor and in the crowd. Shelton got the advantage. He was in control until he Stinger Splashed into an exposed turnbuckle. Yano kept celebrating his successful cheating. Shelton caught him with a superkick. Yano slowed him down again by sending him into the exposed turnbuckle. Shelton came back with a diving lariat. There was then a ref bump during a German. Yano threw a chair in his face. Shelton hit a low blow. Yano went for a low blow, but Shelton caught him with an ankle lock. Yano eventually tapped out.

This was far more amusing than I would have guessed. It wasn抰 exactly good, but there were definitely a handful of moments that made me chuckle. Shelton now has eight points.
Match Rating: **

Katsuyori Shibata came out and cut a promo. The crowd responded well to it. I抦 going to try to track down a translation of it. (I failed.)

Block A
Tomohiro Ishii [4 Points] vs. Togi Makabe [8 Points]
I抦 optimistic about this one. I抳e become a big fan of Ishii during this tournament.

They bent back and forth for a bit. Ishii was somewhat in control though. Makabe made a comeback, but Ishii caught him with a snap suplex. He then got a nearfall with a saito suplex. They traded lariats and both went down after hitting a lariat at the same time. Ishii hit a release German, but Makabe then hit a lariat. He then botched a powerbomb that dropped Ishii on his neck. Fuck that! Makabe seemed to be in control, but Ishii came back with a middle rope brainbuster. That was one of those botched spots that actually enhanced a match. They traded lariats but neither man went down. Ishii hit a folding powerbomb for a nearfall. Makabe hit his rolling DVD. Ishii hit a buckle bomb and then a big enzuigiri: 12匩O! Ishii hit a big lariat: 12匩O! Makabe kicked out at one after another big lariat. Bridging dragon suplex from Makabe: 12匩O! Ishii kicked out at one after a big lariat. The crowd has been loving this by the way. They抳e gone a bit overboard for me, but this is definitely working. Makabe hit a few more big strikes and then the diving knee drop: 123!

This match did not exactly come out of nowhere, but man, it definitely exceeded my expectations. The substance of the match did not engross me a great deal, but the environment and the style made for a good combination. Makabe now has ten points.
Match Rating: ***3/4

Block B
Minoru Suzuki [8 Points] vs. Kota Ibushi [6 Points]
This is one of the more interesting matchups of the whole tournament. It was definitely the matchup that jumped out at me the most when the brackets were announced.

Kota botched the Mysterio springboard super 憆ana. Suzuki somewhat salvaged it by putting him in a single leg crab from the turnbuckle. Suzuki started going after the injured knee. I predict some BxB Hulk-level selling from Kota. After a few minutes of Suzuki going after the knee, Kota came back with his classic moonsault to the floor. He then hit a springboard dropkick. Suzuki avoided a Liger Bomb and hit some slaps. Kota fought back with some strikes and a couple of buzzsaw kicks. Kota then hit a bridging German for a nearfall. Kota went for the Phoenix Splash, but Suzuki rolled out of the way. They traded a lot more strikes. Kota escaped one sleeper attempt, but Minoru got a second one and then hit the Gotch Piledriver: 123!

As I predicted, the leg work was a complete waste of time that only brought down the match. As always, I don抰 demand every match be worked in a way that requires lots of selling. However, if you抮e going to work a fucking leg, make sure you sell the leg! It seems simple enough.

With all of that in mind, these guys managed to put on a fun match after they stopped doing that stuff. The match could have just been even better. Suzuki now has ten points.
Match Rating: ***1/2

Block B
Shinsuke Nakamura [10 Points] vs. Tetsuya Naito [6 Points]
Sadly, I pretty much know who wins this match based on knowing who wins the whole tournament.

The match started out slowly. Nakamura drew first blood (metaphorically) with a few knee strikes. It feels like they抮e going to be going long. They really are taking their time. After Nakamura was in control for a bit, Naito managed to halt his momentum with a missile dropkick. Nakamura came back with more knee strikes. He then hit a funplex. Naito came back with a koppou kick. Nakamura hit a diving Boma Ye out of nowhere. Naito avoided the proper Boma Ye and hit a swinging neckbreaker. Nakamura avoided a Stardust Kick and then hit a diving kick. Naito hit a sliding kick and a bridging German for a nearfall. Bridging Dragon got Naito another nearfall. Naito hit a second Gloria and then finally connected on the Stardust Press: 123

The crowd seemed a little disappointed with the result. I knew it was coming, but I couldn抰 help but feel that the lesser man won (and I抦 not the absolute biggest Nakamura fan, but Naito has lost my interest during this tournament). Despite getting off to a slow start for no real rhyme or reason, they managed to put on a very entertaining affair. Naito now has eight points.
Match Rating: ***3/4

Block A
Kazuchika Okada [8 Points] vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi [8 Points]
I am so ready for another classic between these two.

Things started relatively slowly. It picked up when Tana started going after Okada抯 Rainmaker arm. Okada managed to slow him down with a hanging DDT. Okada then dropkicked Tana to the floor. Okada brought him back to the ring and started going after the neck.Tanahashi started to come back. He went after Okada抯 left leg. Okada fell to the floor, and Tana hit him with a High Fly Flow. Tanahashi relentlessly stomped Okada抯 injured leg. Okada was really struggling, but he managed to hit a spiked DDT and Heavy Rain. Okada hit the Hail to the King and then called for the Rainmaker. Tana avoided it and hit the Florida Key. Okada came back with the Air Raid Crash on the knee. Tana blocked a dropkick and then hit two nasty dragon screws on the injured knee. Tana locked in the Texas Cloverleaf. Okada made the ropes. Tana mocked the Rainmaker pose and actually got some heat for it. Tana went for High Fly Flow, but Okada avoided it. Okada sloppily applied Red Ink, and Tanahashi got to the ropes quickly as a result. Okada managed to hit a tombstone. Tana avoided the Rainmaker, and then hit one of his own!!! Tanahashi hit a Styles Clash and went for High Fly Flow again, but Okada got his knees up at the last second. Okada re-aggravated his injured knee. Both men were on the struggle bus. Okada connected on a dropkick and went for the Rainmaker, but Tanahashi avoided it. The thirty minute time limit promptly expired.

The lack of finish knocks this one down a peg or two, but it抯 nonetheless my favorite match of the whole G1. These two are at a whole different level compared to everyone else in NJPW, which is saying something. Each man gained one point for the draw, and they both have nine points now.
Match Rating: ****1/2

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

Block A
Katsuyori Shibata: 10 Points
Togi Makabe: 10 Points
Davey Boy Smith Jr.: 10 Points
Kazuchika Okada: 9 Points
Hiroshi Tanahashi: 9 Points
Prince Devitt: 8 Points
Hirooki Goto: 8 Points
Satoshi Kojima: 6 Points
Lance Archer: 6 Points
Tomohiro Ishii: 4 Points

Block B
Shinsuke Nakamura: 10 Points
Minoru Suzuki: 10 Points
Karl Anderson: 10 Points
Yujiro Tanahashi: 8 Points
Tetsuya Naito: 8 Points
Yuji Nagata: 8 Points
Shelton Benjamin: 8 Points
Kota Ibushi: 6 Points
Hiroyoshi Tenzan: 6 Points
Toru Yano: 6 Points

The 411: Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada are just two of the three best wrestlers in the world (Daniel Bryan) right now. It is pure magic to see these two men in the same ring together. Every show they wrestle each other on automatically becomes a show that needs to be tracked down. On top of that, there were four other really strong matches on the show, which helped to make this one of the stronger shows of the whole tournament. Big thumbs up for Day Eight.
Final Score:  8.3   [ Very Good ]  legend


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