From The Shelf- NJPW G1 Climax 24 Day One
Posted by Dylan Diot on 07.21.2014
Well, here we go again......
NJPW G1 Climax 24 Day One
Iím beyond excited for this tournament after last year. Bring on the twelve show review marathon!!!! Hopefully this gets done in less than three months this time.
This yearís format is ten matches per show before the finale with two wrestlers getting a day off each show and they are spacing out the shows so we get a day off everyone once in awhile. Smart idea to reduce the number of injuries this year. Tonight, both members of the Killer Elite Squad, Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer, are off.
Block A- Bad Luck Fale vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Chops by Ishii have no effect and Fale knocks him down with a forearm. Forearms by Ishii and Fale runs him over to stop the momentum. Fale stomps away and he steps on Ishii. Fale charges in the corner but eats boot and Ishii attempts a suplex. Fale blocks and slams Ishii for 2. Elbow drop by Fale gets 2 and Ishii catches him with a DDT. Lariats by Ishii but Fale wonít go down. Brainbuster by Ishii!!!! He covers for 2. Forearms and chops in the corner by Ishii and again, Fale overpowers Ishii to come back. Fale hammers the midsection of Ishii and he knocks him down. Fale tosses Ishii into the corner and he hits an avalanche in the corner. Big splash to the back by Fale gets 2. Ishii escapes a suplex an dhe hits a lariat for 2. Forearms by Ishii and Fale catches him with a slam. Big splash by Fale gets 2. Ishii blocks the Samoan Spike and hits an enzuigiri. He rams Ishii into the corner and he hits a Spear for 2. Ishii escapes the Razorís Edge and he hits a Release German suplex to Fale!!! Basement lariat by Ishii gets 2!!! Fale blocks a Brainbuster attempt and he snake eyes Ishii. Ishii throws head butts but Fale ends that with a lariat for 1!!! Forearms by Ishii but Fale peppers back at him. More head butts by Ishii but Fale catches him with the Samoan Spike for 2!!! Razorís Edge by Fale gets 3. Winner- Bad Luck Fale ***1/2 ( Great opener! This had a fun dynamic where Ishii is strong and tough enough to throw Fale around but still played the role of underdog to perfection, drawing big reactions for his near falls and power spots on Fale. )
Block A-Doc Gallows vs. Shelton X Benjamin w/Taka Michinoku
Forearms in the corner by Benjamin and Gallows knocks him down to come back. Hip check in the corner by Gallows and he hits a leaping shoulder tackle. They go to the floor and Gallows charges but misses and hits the post. Benjamin charges but misses and crashes into the railings. Gallows sends Benjamin into the railings and works him over in the crowd. Gallows drives a chair into the midsection and back of Benjamin and he heads back in. Benjamin beats the twenty count back in and Gallows stomps away on Benjamin. Gallows steps on Benjamin and he hits a suplex. Elbow drops by Gallows and he covers for 2. Gallows clubs the chest of Benjamin and he goes to the rear chinlock. Benjamin fights out so Gallows catches him with a high kick. Gallows works over the midsection of Benjamin in the corner and Benjamin comes back with a Release German suplex. Forearms by Benjamin and he trips Gallows into the Ankle Lock. Gallows fights out and he hits a sidewalk slam for 2. Forearms by Benjamin and Gallows catches him with a fall-a-way slam for 2. Avalanche by Gallows but Benjamin comes back with a superkick. Benjamin covers for 2. Benjamin goes up and leaps but Gallows catches him. He goes for the Gallows Pole but Benjamin blocks and hits Pay Dirt for 3. Winner- Shelton X Benjamin **1/4 ( Match had little heat as there are two lower tier heels in the promotion and they didnít do anything to engage the crowd or make them care. Gallows put in a decent effort but Benjamin has to figure something out cause his in ring work is continuing to regress. )
Block B-Karl Anderson vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Anderson stomps away and hits some rights on Tenzan. Shoulder chops by Anderson but Tenzan comes back with a spinning heel kick. Head butts by Tenzan and he throws some shoulder chops at Anderson. Dropping head butt by Tenzan gets 1. Chinlock by Tenzan but Anderson comes back with a dropkick to the leg. Anderson stomps on the leg of Tenzan and he dumps Tenzan to the floor. Anderson works over the leg of Tenzan against the railings and he hits a bicycle kick to the leg of Tenzan. Back in, Anderson works the leg of Tenzan and he goes to the chinlock. Tenzan fights out and he charges in the corner but misses. Bicycle kick in the corner by Anderson and he goes for a powerbomb but Tenzan backdrops out. Shoulder chops in the corner by Tenzan and he hits a corner lariat. Tenzan goes up and hits the standing knee drop off the top for 2. Suplex by Tenzan gets 2. Anderson rakes the eyes and Tenzan throes a head butt to the midsection. Uppercut by Anderson but Tenzan catches him with a Samoan Drop for 2. Slam by Tenzan and he goes up. Moonsault off the top misses and Anderson hits the Sick Kick. TKO by Anderson gets 2. Tenzan blocks the Gun Stun and throws a head butt. Tenzan goes up and hits a diving head butt for 2. Anaconda Vice by Tenzan and Anderson fights out. Head butt by Tenzan and he hits a Side Effect. Tenzan goes back to the Anaconda Vice and Anderson gives!!! Winner- Hiroyoshi Tenzan **1/2 ( Tenzanís limitations are going to get smaller and smaller as the tournament progresses but here he was fine and capable of a decent match. Anderson is one of the best in the company so he bumped like crazy for Tenzan and made his victory believable. )
Block A- Yuji Nagata vs. Satoshi Kojima
Kojima overpowers Nagata but Nagata comes back with a big boot. They trade strikes and they begin slapping each other. Kicks to the chest by Nagata and Kojima knocks him down with a forearm. They go to the floor and Kojima sends Nagata into the railings. Back in, Kojima stomps away in the corner. Knee to the gut by Nagata and he throws a kick to the back of Kojima. Total Anarchy by Nagata and he works on the leg of Kojima. Figure-4 by Nagata but Kojima goes to the ropes to break. Forearms by Kojima but Nagata kicks the bad leg of Kojima to come back. Kicks to the chest by Nagata and Kojima comes back with rapid chops in the corner. Corner forearm by Kojima and he goes up. Flying elbow drop by Kojima gets 2. Forearms by Kojima and Nagata ends that with a knee to the midsection. Dragon screw leg sweep by Kojima and he hits a DDT. Ace Crusher by Kojima and he goes for a Brainbuster but Nagata blocks. Dropkick to the leg by Nagata and he hits an exploder suplex. Figure-4 by Nagata but Kojima goes to the ropes to break. Kicks to the leg by Nagata and he goes for the enzuigiri but Kojima blocks. Discus lariat by Kojima and both men are down. Release German suplex by Nagata and he hits a big boot. Saito suplex by Nagata gets 2. Kojima blocks a second one and he catches Nagata with a Brainbuster. Forearms by Kojima and Nagata hits a big boot. Spinning heel kick by Nagata but Kojima comes back with a hard forearm. Lariat by Kojima gets 3!!! Winner- Satoshi Kojima ***1/2 ( Damn good match. Nagata stayed focused on the leg but when he left his strategy to exchange strikes and power moves with Kojima, Kojima got the better of him which cost Nagata the match. )
Block B- Minoru Suzuki w/Taka Michinoku vs. Toru Yano
Suzuki attacks at the bell and they head to the floor. Suzuki sends Yano into the railings and he nails Yano in the back with a chair. Back in, Suzuki exposes the corner and Yano hits some forearms. Knee to the midsection by Suzuki and he sends Yano into the exposed corner. Suzuki charges but Yano drop toe holds him into the exposed corner. Suzuki rolls through a roll-up attempt and boots Yano in the face. Suzuki goes to use the chair but misses and Yano goes low. He shoves Suzuki into Michinoku and rolls Suzuki up for 3!!!! Suzuki beats up a young boy out of frustration after the match. Winner- Toru Yano * ( Well, that was quick. I need to see the rest of the tournament to figure out the end game of this two minute match was. Was it to build up the idea of Yano getting quick fluky wins or will it build up to an aggressive, angry Suzuki throughout the tournament. )
Block B- Yujiro Takahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito
Yujiro gets some cheap shots in early and he dumps Naito to the floor. Back in, Yujiro bites the hand of Naito and he rakes the eyes. Yujiro stomps away and Naito hits a dropkick. Naito works the arm of Yujiro and Yujiro hot shots Naito in the ropes. Yujiro botches a gordbuster spot in the ropes and Naito takes an ugly spill. Big boot by Yujiro knocks Naito off the apron and he drops Naito on the railings. Back in, Yujiro stomps away on Naito in the corner and he rakes the eyes of Naito. Yakuza kick in the corner by Yujiro and he hits a swinging neckbreaker for 2. Chinlock by Yujiro and he hits a basement dropkick for 2. Yujiro toys with Naito and they trade slaps. Hanging neck breaker by Naito and he hip tosses Yujiro into a basement dropkick. Snap mare and Naito hits a summersault senton. Naito goes up and hits a missile dropkick on Yujiro. Yujiro puts Naito on top and follows up with an overhead belly to belly superplex for 2. Naito blocks a Fishermanís suplex and he misses an enzuigiri. Fisherman Buster by Yujiro gets 2. Olympic Slam by Yujiro gets 2. Northern lariat by Yujiro and Natio catches him with a wheelbarrow roll-up for 2. OíConnor roll with a bridge by Naito gets 2. Yujiro rakes the eyes and he goes for Tokyo Pimps but Naito escapes. Capo kick by Naito and he hits the flying forearm. German suplex by Naito gets 2. Pump handle sidewalk slam by Naito and he goes up. Stardust Press misses and both men are down. Chops by Yujiro and they trade forearms. Yujiro hits a big boot and he goes for Miami Shine but Naito escapes. Enzuigiri by Naito and he goes for the flying forearm but misses. Yujiro presses him into a German suplex for 2. Buckle Bomb by Yujiro and he hits Miami Shine for 3. Winner- Yujiro Takahashi ***1/2 ( Yet another very good match. Yujiro is finally coming into his own as a worker but still has those slip ups where he looks like heís going to seriously hurt someone. These guys have had so many matches with each other that itís easy to at least put on a good match and this is one of their best efforts together. )
Block B- Hirooki Goto vs. Togi Makabe
They trade forearms to start and Makabe snap mares Goto before hammering him on the mat. Goto returns the favor and Makabe clotheslines Goto to the floor. Makabe sends Goto into the railings and back in, they trade forearms. Goto sends Makabe to the floor and he sends Makabe into the railings. Goto sends Makabe into the post and back in, Goto stomps away. Forearms in the corner by Goto and he drives his knee into the face of Makabe. Suplex by Goto gets 2. Chinlock by Goto and he drives an elbow into the face of Makabe before he breaks. Goto throws some kicks to the chest at Makabe and Makabe catches Goto with a lariat to come back. Corner lariat by Makabe and he hits some punches in the corner. Northern lights suplex by Makabe gets 2. Goto blocks a German suplex attempt so Makabe hits another lariat for 2. Lariat by Goto and he hits a spinning heel kick into the corner. Saito suplex by Goto gets 2. DVD backbreaker by Goto gets 2. Goto blocks a Samoan Drop attempt and Makabe catches him with a powerbomb for 2. DVD by Makabe and he goes up. King Kong Knee Drop misses and Goto hits a basement Northern lariat. Reverse Ushikoroshi by Goto gets 2!!!! That was a great spot considering Makabeís jaw issues. Makabe escapes a Brainbuster attempt and they have a lariat battle. Makabe DESTROYS Goto with a lariat for 2!!! Another lariat by Makabe and Goto throws a head batt at the face of Makabe!!!! Shouten Kai by Goto gets 3!!! Winner- Hirooki Goto **** ( Man, they hit each other hard. This match was awesome and the final stretch where Goto did horrible things to Makabeís injured jaw was just fantastic.)
Block A- Tomoki Honma vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Honma is Kota Ibushiís replacement who has to miss the G1 with a concussion. They battle for control on the mat to start and we reach a standstill. Chops by Honma and he stomps away in the corner. Honma charges in the corner but eats elbow and Tanahashi hits a springboard crossbody. Back elbow by Honma and he slams Tanahashi. Honma misses a dropping head butt and Tanahashi misses a dropkick. Dropping head butt misses again and Tanahashi goes to the cravat. Snap mare into a knee drop by Tanahashi gets 1. Slam by Tanahashi and he goes up. Second rope summersault senton gets 2. Chops by Honma but Tanahashi comes back with an uppercut. Dropkick by Tanahashi and Honma bails. Slingshot pescado to the floor by Tanahashi and Honma hammers the back of Tanahashi on the apron. They battle for a suplex and Honma ends up winning the battle. Chops by Honma and he hits a corner forearm. Bulldog by Honma and he hits the dropping head butt. DDT by Honma and he hits a basement Blockbuster for 2. Back elbow by Honma and Tanahashi comes back with a dropkick. Lariat by Honma and both men are down. Lariat by Honma and he hits a Brainbuster for 2!!! Honma goes up and misses a diving head butt. They trade forearms and this fires Honma up!!! Straight Jacket suplex by Tanahashi gets 2. Cradle by Honma gets 2!!! Dragon screw leg sweep by Honma and Tanahashi comes back with a release Dragon suplex. Slingblade by Tanahashi and he goes up. High Fly Flow gets 3. Winner- Hiroshi Tanahashi ***3/4 ( Excellent match. I loved the way they built up crowd excitement with some of the spots like the suplex battle and the missed dropping head butts. Also, the way they put together spots where the crowd thought Honma was gonna possibly pull this off was a thing of beauty. )
Block A- Katsuyori Shibata vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Oh boy. Crowd is hot for this one. They feel each other out and Shibata throws kicks but Nakamura is able to avoid them. They grapple on the mat and Shibata slaps Nakamura. They trade forearms and Shibata fires away in the corner. Nakamura comes back with the Sick Kick and he puts Shibata on top. He works the midsection and goes for the corner knee lift but misses. Sleeper by Shibata and he dumps Nakamura to the floor. Shibata sends Nakamura into the railings and he hits a Yakuza kick k nocking Nakamura into the front row. Shibata sends Nakamura into the post and he hits a suplex on the floor. Back in, Shibata grabs a Figure-4 and Nakamura attempts to turn the hold over but Shibata holds on. Nakamura finally makes the ropes to break. They trade forearms and Nakamura rocks him. Enzuigiri by Nakamura and he goes for a corner knee strike but misses. He puts Shibata on top and hits the corner knee lift for 2. They go to the floor and Nakamura hits a running knee strike from the floor. Back in, Nakamura grabs a standing front facelock and he converts it into the sleeper. Shibata blocks the Release Back suplex and he hits a knee to the gut of Nakamura. Sleeper by Shibata but Nakamura goes to the ropes to break. Back suplex by Shibata and he hits a hard kick to the chest. Shibata peppers Nakamura with forearms in the corner and he hits the corner basement dropkick. Butterfly suplex by Shibata gets 2. Release German suplex by Nakamura but Shibata returns the favor. Lungblower by Nakamura and he goes back to the sleeper. Release back suplex by Nakamura and he goes for Boom Ye! But Shibata catches him with a dropkick. They trade forearms and they trade sleeper attempts. Shibata locks it in and he releases when he thinks Nakamura is weakened. Penalty Kick misses and Nakamura goes up. Second rope knee strike by Nakamura and he hits Boom Ye! for 2!!! Nakamura goes for another one but again Shibata catches him with a dropkick. Backfist by Shibata and he hits the GTS. Penalty Kick gets 3!!! Winner- Katsuyori Shibata ****1/4 (Phenomenal match. They threw everything they had at one another and withstood the onslaught of the other. Just a tremendous back and forth match that lived up to the expectations of it. )
Block B- AJ Styles vs. Kazuchika Okada w/Gedo
Both men target the arm to start and Styles goes to the ropes to end that. Styles goes for the Styles Clash but Okada blocks. Styles escapes the Rainmaker and we are at a standstill. Forearms by Okada and he hits a backdrop. Okada stomps away in the corner and he hits a slam. Hilo by Okada and he grabs a cross arm chinlock. Styles goes to the ropes to break and he catches Okada with a dropkick. Okada bails and Styles follows out. Slam on the floor by Styles and back in, Styles hits a back breaker for 2. Forearms by Okada but Styles pokes the eye to stop that. Slam by Styles and he hits a knee drop. Chinlock by Styles but Okada fights out. Cravat by Styles and Okada comes back with a back elbow. Big boot by Okada and he hits the flap jack. Snap mare and Okada hits a basement dropkick. Okada charges in the corner but misses and so does Styles. Okada puts Styles on top and he dropkicks Styles to the floor. Okada goes to send Styles into the railings but Styles leaps into the crowd to avoid it so OKADA DDIVES INTO THE CROWD ONTO STYLES!!!! What an awesome spot. Styles makes it back in at 18 and Okada hits a DDT. STF by Okada but Styles makes the ropes to break. Slam by Okada and he goes up. Okada leaps but misses and Styles suplexes Okada into the corner!!! Styles grabs the Torture Rack and turns it into the Torture Rack Bomb for 2. Springboard 450 misses and they trade forearms. Styles fires away at Okada but Okada hits an uppercut. Styles comes back with an enzuigiri and he goes for the Styles Clash but Okada blocks. Dropkick misses and Styles goes for a Tornado DDT but Okada blocks, sending AJ crashing into the ref!!! Air Raid Back Breaker by Okada and both men are down. Slam by Okada and he goes up. Flying elbow drop by Okada and Yujiro comes out and attacks Okada. Lariat by Yujiro and he goes for Tokyo Pimps but Okada blocks. Yujiro rakes the eyes and Okada hits a dropkick. Springboard forearm by Styles and he hits a Release German suplex. Pele by Styles and he goes for the Styles Clash but Okada COUNTERS INTO THE TOMBSTONE!!!! German suplex by Okada gets 2 and he hits the Rainmaker for 3!!! Winner- Kazuchika Okada ****1/4 ( Excellent main event. Some of the sequences in this match were incredible and I didnít mind the ref bump since it made Okadaís win even bigger, surviving the interference to finally get his win back on Styles. Great ending to an amazing show. )
Block A: Fale (2), Benjamin (2), Kojima (2), Tanahashi (2),Shibata (2), Smith Jr. (0), Ishii (0), Gallows(0), Nagata (0), Honma (0), Nakamura (0)
The 411: Well, NJPW made one hell of a statement about how good this tournament could be compared to last year. The first show of the tournament is one of the best wrestling shows of 2014!!! The second half of the show was as good as any wrestling show I have watched all year, including Wrestlekingdom, with three match of the year candidates along with incredible performances from the likes of Honma and Ishii. There is only one match I consider mediocre and I'm reserving judgement on Yano/Suzuki until the bigger picture unfolds. This is a must watch show and it looks like we are in for one hell of a ride in the G1 this year.