Arena Reports 8/14 NJPW results in Tokyo: Finals of G1 Climax tournament - MVP, Bernard (A-Train), Hoyt, Anderson, top New Japan heavyweights
Aug 14, 2011 - 10:10:53 AM
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New Japan Pro Wrestling results
August 14, 2011
Report by Christopher Charlton, PWTorch reader
The finals of the NJPW G1 Climax was held at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, to an announced live crowd of 11,500 that was quite lively for the most part.
(1) Hideo Saito beat Yuji Nagata. Saito attacked Nagata backstage before the match and dragged him to ringside, before clocking him with the ring bell. Nagata made a brief comeback with kicks, and attempted a cross arm breaker, but was countered into the Carribean Death Grip for the win.
Saito kept the hold on after the bell, and persisted in attacking Nagata. Nagata eventually rallied and sprayed Saito with a blue mist.
(2) IWGP & GHC tag champion Giant Bernard (formerly A-Train in WWE) beat Toru Yano. This was largely a brawl. Yano started off trying to lift Bernard, but after a couple of failed attempts, took things outside, taping Bernards arm to the guardrail and hitting it with a chair. A ref bump about five minutes in led to both men exchanging low blows for visual falls before Bernard hit the Bernard Driver for the pin.
(3) Lance Archer (formerly Lance Hoyt) beat Yoshihiro Takayama. Takayama looked to be hurt coming into this, as he limped slightly on his way to the ring. The two had a fairly plodding match until Archer hit a moonsault and an Inverse DDT to make short work of Takayama.
(4) Yujiro Takahashi (w/Jado and Gedo) beat Togi Makabe. The crowd really began to come alive in this match, getting behind Makabe, who worked on Takahashi early on before being dropped to the floor and worked over by Jado and Gedo. The finish came when Makabe hit a spider suplex and looked to follow up, but was distracted and hit by a Jado cane shot, which led to Takahashi picking up the win.
(5) Tetsuya Naito beat IWGP Hvt. champion Hiroshi Tanahashi to advance to the G1 Climax Final. The crowd was really into this, with both men being fan favorites, but Naito having the edge with the crowd, leading to Tanahashi doing some heelish work. It was a fast-paced affair, with Naito hitting a solid running dropkick on the floor early before Tanahashi took control of Naito's leg. A good-looking sequence of standing switches and attempted suplexes led to a straightjacket German by Tanahashi for two, but Naito managed to hit a top rope hurricanrana before surprising the champion with a schoolboy to advance to the finals.
(6) Strongman beat Hiroki Goto. This slowed everything back down, with typical shoulderblock and test of strength big man spots. At one point, Strongman powered out of a Goto keylock and hit a chokeslam for a nearfall, before hitting his Torture Rack slam for the win. Strongman got a good reaction on entering and leaving, but the crowd was dead for his actual match.
(7) IWGP & GHC tag champion Karl Anderson beat IWGP Intercontinental champion MVP. This was a fun bout. After some standoffs in ring, they moved to the floor and when Anderson couldn't connect with a powerbomb on the floor, MVP gave him a drive-by kick into the front row. Inside the ring, Anderson got a running powerbomb and a top rope neckbreaker for two, but when looking for the Gun Stun, MVP blocked and proceeded to hit six rolling German suplexes to a strong reaction. Anderson hit a TKO for a two count, and a series of reversed finishes led to Anderson hitting the Gun Stun for the win.
Of note, MVP is steadily building a name for himself among an audience that hasn't necessarily been aware of his WWE work - they reacted well to most of his offense, but didn't really buy into his Ballin' elbow.
(8) Hiroyoshi Tenzan beat Satoshi Kojima. This was heavily anticipated by the crowd, which was solidly behind Tenzan. Early strike exchanges led to Kojima getting the upper hand with a DDT, but Tenzan eventually came back to hit his famous Mongolian chops. Tenzan at one point looked to hit a moonsault, but Kojima cut him off and hit a sick hangman's neckbreaker, dropping Tenzan right on the back of his head.
Tenzan did come back though, first grabbing the Anaconda Vice and turning it into a Uranage for two, before hitting a TTD (cradle Tombstone) for the victory.
(9) Shinsuke Nakamura beat Minoru Suzuki (w/Taichi) to advance to the G1 finals. This match played fairly well into both wrestlers's penchant for an MMA-based style match. Suzuki looked to grapple Nakamura and Nakamura looked for knee strikes. Early interference saw the referee sending Taichi to the back, but when he returned, Nakamura decked him for a pop. A mat struggle lead to Nakamura trying a cross armbreaker; when Suzuki worked his way out of it, Nakamura hit the Boma Ye knee for the three count.
(10) Prince Devitt & Ryusuke Taguchi beat IWGP Jr. Hvt. champion Kota Ibushi & Kenny Omega to retain the IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag Titles. Disappointingly, this was a lot shorter than it could have been, and really about guys getting their signature spots in. Ibushi and Omega looked to hit stereo dives to the floor early, but were cut off by the champs. The two teams exchanged athletic double team spots, ultimately leading to the Black Sunday (elevated implant DDT) by the champions on Omega to retain.
(11) Shinsuke Nakamura beat Tetsuya Naito to win the G1 Climax Tournament. The crowd was solidly behind Naito in this one, and when Nakamura took control fairly early on, he took on a cocky swagger to milk the crowd. About ten minutes in, though, Naito managed to sweep Nakamura and hit a springboard dropkick before targeting the knees, the story of the match being Naito trying to take out the leg and remove Nakamura's Boma Ye. Nakamura hit a backdrop off the top rope about fifteen minutes in, but Naito went back to the knee when he tried to follow up, and hit a pair of bridging German suplexes for two counts. Naito tried to captalize with the Stardust splash, but didn't connect, which led to Nakamura hitting the Boma Ye for a very near fall. Nakamura hit a Death Valley Driver to the knee at 20:00, but Naito kicked out, only to be met with a second Boma Ye for the win a minute later.
The crowd reacted well to Nakamura's victory, but were heavily behind Naito all afternoon, possibly hoping for a relatively less established name to get the nod.
All in all though, it was a solid show, with some decent matches, most notably the main event and Tenzan's bout with Kojima.
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