G1 Climax Day 2, Korakuen Hall, July 22:
Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Manabu Nakanishi defeated Captain New Japan, Juice Robinson & David Finlay
This was a fun short opener. Finlay & Robinson fought valiantly against the veterans before Captain ate a TenKoji Cutter and a Kojima Lariat to finish the match.
Naomichi Marufuji, Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii defeated Yujiro Takahashi, Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga
Fale manhandled the ring announcer and then went on to manhandle Marufuji ahead of their G1 match tomorrow. That looks like it could be a very good match. Goto & Tonga had a great exchange with Tonga slithering around and hitting the ropes behind Goto every time he tried to move. The finish saw Marufuji hit kicks and knees to Yujiro before winning with the Shiranui.
KUSHIDA, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Tiger Mask IV, Jushin Thunder Liger & Togi Makabe
There wasn’t much to this. We had a brief preview of tomorrow’s Makabe/Tanahashi match. Makabe was having none of Taguchi’s ass antics. KUSHIDA pinned Tiger with a Japanese leg roll clutch.
BUSHI & SANADA defeated Gedo & Kazuchika Okada
We had the renewal of the CHAOS vs LIJ series here. As usual this was fun. It wasn’t as long as other matches between the teams in the past but there was plenty of good stuff on this. SANADA looked great. Gedo got a great near fall on BUSHI with the Gedo Clutch. SANADA locked Okada in Skull End while BUSHI pinned Gedo after the diving Codebreaker.
Block B: Katsuhiko Nakajima defeated Toru Yano
This was a great strong win for Nakajima to kick off his G1 campaign. Yano immediately tried to steal the win as quickly as possible and hilariously dodged the kicks of Nakajima. There was a great near fall after a Yano hair pull. Nakajima got the decisive win with a Brainbuster.
YOSHI-HASHI defeated Kenny Omega
What a match this was! An absolute show stealer with three big matches still to come on the show. YOSHI was the ultimate underdog and the crowd were going crazy for him against the dastardly Omega. Omega was on top form here and it was great to see him wrestle a clean match. There were so many incredible near falls in this, several of which that had me buying it. YOSHI countered out of a One Winged Angel into a roll up for the first of the huge near falls. He countered the move a second time after some knee strikes with a DDT. Omega first blocked a Swanton Bomb. YOSHI then hit it, again for a big near fall. YOSHI locked in the Butterfly Lock, again this had Korakuen Gall going nuts. They thought the submissions was a sure thing, but Omega clawed to the ropes. YOSHI also pulled out a Boma Ye, again, it wasn’t enough. We saw more back and forth drama until YOSHI pulled out a Made in Japan to score what has to be considered a major upset and one of the biggest wins of his career. Both guys impressed in their G1 debuts. YOSHI straight out of the blocks grabs two points and will not be having a Honma run.
EVIL defeated Michael Elgin
This was another upset and a major win for EVIL that puts him in line for an IC title shot. This was a really hard hitting affair, right from the beginning when EVIL straight away nailed a big lariat. They traded heavy blows and big power moves. Elgin hit a couple of major lariats late in the match, as did EVIL. EVIL hit Darkness Falls and a half and half suplex, but of which looked impressive on Elgin. EVIL got an extremely decisive win when he hit the STO. This was a statement from EVIL and another big stature enhancing win for the LIJ member.
Yuji Nagata defeated Tetsuya Naito
Another huge upset here! This was absolutely great. These guys had a really good solid, logical match. Naito went after the leg of Nagata. He worked it over with submission holds, some of which looked like Nagata might submit from. Some of Naito’s expressions when he knew he had Nagata in pain were great. Nagata went after an arm for the Nagata Lock and an armbar. There was lots of great counters towards the end. The exchanged kicks and slaps. Nagata got a near fall when he dropped Naito on his head with a back drop driver. He then hit a backdrop hold to get the pin fall win. Excellent stuff. Korakuen Hall loved this.
Tomoaki Honma defeated Katsuyori Shibata
The G1 tradition of a Honma losing streak isn’t happening this year. This was a huge win for Honma and yet another upset. As you’d expect from this two, this was as a stiff as hell. It was probably better than their Kizuna Road match. It had a blistering start. Honma this time connected with several Kokeshi’s. There was a series where both guys kept kicking out of big moves at one. There were lots of stiff strikes. Shibata used a guillotine choke, but Honma turned it into a piledriver. The finish saw Honma slap the hell out of Shibata, the opposite of Kizuna Road, hit some sort of piledriver I’ve never seen before and a top rope Kokeshi to pick up a major win. After the match Honma threw Shibata out of the ring, a direct turn around of what Shibata did at Kizuna Road. Honma has likely earned a NEVER title match with this.This was a great show, but not as blow away as day 1. All the G1 matches are worth your time, especially Omega/YOSHI, Nagata/Naito & Shibata/Honma.
This show is available for FREE to anyone at NJPWWorld.com. You don’t even need an account to watch it. It is available here on demand: http://njpwworld.com/p/s_series_00396_3_1
The card for tomorrow’s show:
7/23/2016, Machida Municipal Gymnasium in Tokyo, 18.30JST (5.30AM EST/10.30AM UK)
– Satoshi Kojima, Manabu Nakanishi, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask IV vs. KUSHIDA, Juice Robinson, David Finlay & Captain New Japan
– Katsuyori Shibata & Tomoaki Honma vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima & YOSHI-HASHI
– Toru Yano & Gedo vs. Kenny Omega & Yujiro Takahashi
– Michael Elgin, Yuji Nagata & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Tetsuya Naito, EVIL & BUSHI
A BLOCK : Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Tama Tonga
A BLOCK : Naomichi Marufuji vs. Bad Luck Fale
A BLOCK : Tomohiro Ishii vs. Hirooki Goto
A BLOCK : Kazuchika Okada vs. SANADA
A BLOCK : Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Togi Makabe