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RADICAN'S NJPW "G1 CLIMAX 24: NIGHT 5 REPORT 7/28 - excellent show including Shibata-Benjamin, Nakamura-Honma standout matches, Naito-Okada MOTYC

Jul 29, 2014 - 7:54:03 PM

By Sean Radican, Torch columnist


JULY 28, 2014

(1) IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Champion Doc Gallows vs. Tomohiro Ishii in a G1 Climax Block A match. Gallows no-sold chops from Ishii during the early going before gaining the advantage. The crowd seems to be really hot tonight. The crowd booed Gallows as he stood on Ishii near the ropes. Ishii got pissed and mounted a comeback. He went for a suplex, but Gallows blocked it and hit one of his own. Ishii got out of the way of a splash attempt and went after Gallows with a big clothesline in the corner. He then lifted up Gallows and hit a big vertical suplex and the fans applauded. Gallows fired back and sent Ishii to the ground with an uppercut to the throat. He then got a 2 count with a running splash in the middle of the ring. Every time it looked like Ishii was going to make a comeback, Gallows would cut him off right away. Ishii fired back once again and connected with a big release German. The fans fired up, but Ishii could not move Gallows with a pair of running clotheslines, but he finally decked Gallows with a clothesline as he came off the ropes. Gallows hit a double hand spinebuster for a near fall. The fans chanted for Ishii. Gallows went for the same move again, but Ishii fought him off with a head butt. Ishii countered another double hand spinebuster again and hit a running kick for a near fall. Both men tried to get a vertical suplex. Ishii finally hit a big kick to Gallows’s head followed by a brainbuster for the win.

Winner: Tomohiro Ishii

Star rating: (***1/4) – This was a very good opener. Ishii had to fight from behind the entire match and was at a huge size disadvantage. His facial expressions are tremendous and the crowd was really hot for him winning the match.

(2) Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Lance Archer in a G1 Climax Block B match. Tenzan had the upper hand early after a battle of double chops, but Taka Michinoku distracted him and Archer worked him over on the floor. Tenzan mounted a comeback and put the boots to Archer. He knocked Michinoku off the apron and the fans applauded. Tenzan dominated the action and went up top and nailed Archer with a leaping clothesline. He then applied the anaconda vice, but Archer fought out of it. He then nailed Tenzan with a side slam and applied a Boston crab. Tenzan struggled, but managed to get the ropes. Tenzan fired back and went for a moonsault off the top, but Archer got out of the way. He hit a huge chokeslam on Tenzan, but he kicked out at the last second. The fans chanted for Tenzan as Archer placed him on the top turnbuckle. Tenzan fought out of a suplex attempt and knocked Archer to the mat, but Archer nailed him with a running kick to the head. Archer then hit a crucifix bomb for the win.

Winner: Lance Archer

Star rating: (***) – The crowd carried the match with good heat behind Tenzan. They had some good exchanges throughout the match and built to a nice near fall towards the end when Archer hit the choke slam before eventually finishing Tenzan off.

(3) Satoshi Kojima vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr. in a G1 Climax Block A match. They did some chain wrestling early and came to a stalemate on the mat. They went back and forth trading shoulder tackles until Smith finally sent Kojima down to the mat. Kojima fired back and went after Smith’s leg before taking him down with a shoulder tackle. Smith fired back and the action spilled to the floor. Smith whipped Kojima into the guardrail several times. Smith jawed with the fans on the apron, which allowed Kojima to sweep his legs out from under him. He then nailed Smith a big DDT on the apron. Smith fired back and hit a side slam. Smith then hit a one arm delayed vertical suplex on Kojima that popped the crowd for a 2 count. Kojima ducked a charge in the corner from Smith and lit him up with Kobashi chops in the corner. The fans fired up as Kojima went up top. He fought off Michinoku on the apron and dropped a big elbow off the top for a 2 count. They went to a big strike exchange and Smith eventually connected on a double underhook suplex for a 2 count.

Kojima fired back and hit a rolling elbow, but Smith caught him with a running knee as he came off the ropes. Smith applied the sharpshooter on Kojima, but he eventually managed to get the ropes. Kojima blocked a clothesline attempt from Smith and clotheslined him to the floor. Kojima broke the ref’s count and went to the floor and tossed Smith back into the ring. Kojima hit a big ace crusher, but Smith kicked out at the last second. Smith punched through a clothesline attempt, but Kojima caught him with a left handed clothesline. Smith fired back and went for a powerbomb, but Kojima slipped out and kicked his leg before nailing him with a DDT. Kojima tossed off his elbow pad, but ended up going after Michinoku. Smith then ran up from behind and nailed him with a dragon suplex with a bridge for a 2 count. Kojima nailed Smith with a huge lariat and he collapsed slowly to the mat. Kojima went for another clothesline, but Smith turned it into a huge powerslam and followed it up with a sit out powerbomb for the win.

Winner: Davey Boy Smith Jr.

Star rating: (***1/2) – This was a good match. The crowd was hot behind Kojima and they had some really good exchanges and strike battles. The counter sequences down the stretch were also very well done. I really am high on Smith right now. He’s really good in the ring and he’s showing a lot of personality.

(4) Minoru Suzuki vs. NEVER Openweight Champion Yujiro Takahashi in a G1 Climax Block B match. Takahashi jumped Suzuki as he got in the ring while making his entrance. The action spilled to the floor and the ref held back Michinoku. Suzuki grabbed a chair and nailed Takahashi with some big chair shots to the back. Suzuki grabbed a leg lock and Takahashi could not get to the ropes. Suzuki held him in the hold for a long period of time, but Takahashi finally got the ropes. Suzuki finally managed to hit a suplex and both men were down. Takahashi worked over Suzuki in the corner. He then grinded around while going for a neck breaker, but Suzuki broke free. Takahashi hit some light slaps to Suzuki’s head, so Suzuki reared back and hit a huge slap to the face. Takahashi caught a running kick attempt and they went to an exchange off the ropes. Suzuki got a sleeper, but Takahashi turned it into a suplex for a 2 count. Takahashi caught Suzuki with a big clothesline a short time later as he came off the ropes for another 2 count. Susuki lit up Takahashi with huge slaps to the face before grabbing a sleeper. He then slung him over and wrenched back on the sleeper and Takahashi tapped.

Winner: Minoru Suzuki

Star rating: (***1/4) – The match was a bit slow at times, but when Suzuki got angry, he came across like a very bad man. I loved the finish with Suzuki basically saying screw this guy, I’m going to kill him. The slaps to the face by Suzuki were brutal and his submission finish looked legit.

(5) Toru Yano vs. IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Champion Karl Anderson in a G1 Climax Block B match. Anderson jumped Yano as soon as he got into the ring and put the boots to him. He put on Yano’s jacket, which drew an ovation from the crowd. Anderson then mocked Yano’s mannerisms, which was hilarious. Yano must avenge this! Yano tried to undo the turnbuckle pad, but Anderson cut him off. Anderson then undid the turnbuckle pad himself and whipped Yano into them. Yano staggered and went for a low blow, but Anderson shoved him away. Anderson played to the crowd and they booed. The action spilled to the floor and Anderson whipped Yano into the barricade and mocked Yano’s mannerisms again. Gedo and Jado could be seen laughing in the commentary booth. Anderson whipped Yano into the exposed turnbuckles again, as Yano continued to take a sustained beating. Yano ducked a charge in the corner a short time later and Anderson went into the exposed turnbuckles. He then rolled up Anderson for a near fall.

Anderson fired back and hit a big spinebuster and a choke slam for a 2 count. The fans fired back behind Yano, who countered an ace crusher and catapulted Anderson into the exposed turnbuckles for a 2 count. Yano tried several times to drag the ref in the way, but Anderson managed to avoid the low blow. Anderson slipped behind Yano, who grabbed the ref. Yano then hit a low blow and rolled up Anderson for the win.

Winner: Toru Yano

Star rating: (***) – Tremendously entertaining match for what it was. They did a lot of comedy with Anderson dominating the action and mocking Yano. Yano kept going for the dirty pin and finally got it in the end. Awesome.

(6) Katsuyori Shibata vs. Shelton Benjamin in a G1 Climax Block A match. The fans chanted for Shibata before the match began. Both men offered clean breaks against the ropes during the early stages of the match. Benjamin got an ankle lock early in the match, but Shibata was able to get to the ropes quickly. Shibata went for a kick, but Benjamin caught his leg and hit a big spinebuster. Shibata rolled to the floor, but Benjamin followed him and tossed him into the guardrail. Benjamin then lifted up Shibata by the legs and swung him back and forth into the guardrails in the corner on the floor. Ouch! Shibata sold death on the outside as the ref counted, but managed to get back into the ring in time. Benjamin worked over Shibata for a long period of time, but Shibata caught him by surprise with a running knee out of the corner. They began exchanging strikes in the middle of the ring. Shibata forearmed Benjamin into the corner. Benjamin slumped in the corner and Shibata landed a series of vicious elbows. He then nailed Benjamin with a running dropkick in the corner and the fans applauded.

Benjamin fired back and hit an impressive double underhook slam for a 2 count. Shibata shrugged off a superkick attempt. They went to a strike exchange and Shibata obliterated Benjamin with a spinning back fist. Good lord! They showed a slow motion replay. Don’t try this at home folks. Benjamin then countered the GTS and applied an ankle lock. The fans fired up and chanted for Shibata. They showed some great angles of Benjamin working the ankle lock. Shibata finally managed to get the ropes. Shibata slipped behind Benjamin and grabbed a sleeper. Benjamin went for the ropes, so Shibata slipped under him and hit a German. Benjamin fired back and decked Shibata with a superkick. He then waited for Shibata to get up and he hit another superkick, but Shibata wouldn’t go down. Benjamin charged for the pay dirt, but Shibata grabbed a sleeper. Benjamin finally drove Shibata into the corner to break the hold. Benjamin went for his spinning kick, but Shibata grabbed the sleeper again. Benjamin dropped to the mat and the ref checked his arm. It dropped twice, but Shibata released the hold and nailed him with the penalty kick for the win. Wow. That was one heck of a match.

The fans started a big chant for Shibata after the match.

Winner: Katsuyori Shibata

Star rating: (****) – This was a really good match with Benjamin dealing out a savage beating on Shibata. They had some great strike sequences and Shibata comes across like a legit tough guy in the win. This is a big win for Shibata after he beat Tanahashi in the main event of the previous show.

(7) IWGP Hvt. Champion A.J. Styles vs. Hirooki Goto in a G1 Climax Block B match. Goto grabbed a headlock that Styles couldn’t free himself from early in the match. Styles finally shot Goto off the ropes, but he decked him with a shoulder tackle. Styles flipped out of a German attempt and landed on his feet, but missed a charge in the corner a short time later. Goto nailed him with a big diving forearm and Styles rolled to the floor. Styles tried to run away from Goto, who chased him to the apron. Styles ended up snapping his neck over the top rope and he went on the attack. Styles set up in the opposite corner and hit his signature running clothesline on Goto. Styles got the last chancery on Goto. Goto tried to get to the ropes and Styles grabbed his arm, but Goto eventually fought free and grabbed the bottom rope. They went to a strike exchange and Styles eventually hit his signature dropkick as Goto came off the ropes. Goto took a big kick to the head, but ended up glaring at Styles. Styles continued to nail Goto with strikes and he told Styles to bring it. Goto finally surprised Styles with a big running clothesline off the ropes.

Styles fired back and lifted up Goto before slamming him face-first into the mat. He then covered him and grabbed a handful of tights for a near fall. They ended up battling up top. Goto shoved Styles away, but Styles got up and crotched him up top. They battled up top once again. Goto hit several forearms and a head butt. He then got on top of Styles and nailed him with a code red off the top for a near fall. Styles ducked a clothesline a short time later and nailed Goto with the Pele kick and both men were down. They went to a big exchange in the middle of the ring. Goto countered Styles and hit a big neck breaker over his knee. Styles fired back a short time later and caught him with a double underhook brainbuster. He then finished him off with the Styles clash.

Winner: A.J. Styles

Star rating: (***1/4) – The match was slow during the first half. It picked up late and they had some good strike and counter exchanges down the stretch that fired the crowd up. Goto’s code red off the top was insane.

(8) Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. IWGP IC Champion Bad Luck Fale in a G1 Climax Block A match. The fans chanted for Tanahashi before the match started. He offered Fale a clean break against the ropes, but Fale shoved him to the mat. Tanahashi tripped Fale as he came off the ropes and then nailed him with a dropkick. Tanahashi set up for a slingshot to the outside, but Fale grabbed him and slammed him into the guardrail. Fale dominated the action on the outside before wiping out Tanahashi with a big clothesline. Fale tossed Tanahashi back into the ring and began working him over. The fans tried to rally behind Tanahashi while Fale had him in a chin lock on the mat. Fale began nailing Tanahashi with a series of clubbing blows in the corner. Tanahashi finally ducked a charge in the corner and began lighting up Fale with strikes in the corner. He caught Fale with a dropkick to the leg a short time later and followed up with a dragon screw. Tanahashi went for a slam, but Fale blocked it. Tanahashi slipped out of a slam attempt and then held onto Fale’s neck before clotheslining him down to the mat. Fale fired back a short time later and hit a running splash in the corner and then a big running splash off the ropes for a 2 count.

Fale grabbed Tanahashi by the throat, but Tanahashi fought his way out. Tanahashi skinned the cat and used his legs to toss Fale to the floor and the fans fired up. Tanahashi went up top and hit high fly flow to the floor and the fans fired up and chanted his name. Both men were slow to get to their feet, but Tanahashi tossed Fale back into the ring before the count reached 20. Tanahashi hit the spiral tap on Fale and went up top. He followed up with the high fly flow, but Fale caught him by the neck and lifted him up for the big thumb spike to the neck, but Tanahashi kicked out at the last second. He set up Tanahashi for the border toss, but Tanahashi fought out of it. Fale went right back on the attack and went for the border toss and hit it this time for the win.

Once again, Tanahashi was carried to the back by several attendants.

Winner: Bad Luck Fale

Star rating: (***1/4) – The match dragged at the beginning with Fale dominating Tanahashi at a methodical pace. Once Tanahashi mounted a comeback, the match really picked up. Tanahashi has now lost two matches in a row in G1.

(9) Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Tomoaki Honma in a G1 Climax A Block match. Honma didn’t appreciate the way Nakamura rubbed up against him when they ended up against the ropes, so he lit him up with chops. Honma missed a running headbutt and Nakamura fired back on the apron. He set Honma up head-first over the apron and nailed him with a running knee strike from the floor and then a jumping knee strike off the apron. Nakamura worked over Honma back inside the ring and targeted his mid-section with knees to the gut. He then hit his signature boot choke in the corner, but Honma surprised him with a clothesline out of the corner. Honma worked over Nakamura in the corner before hitting a running headbutt and the fans fired up. Nakamura fired back and caught Honma with a spin kick to the head. He then nailed Honma with some kicks to the chest before putting him over the top turnbuckle and nailing him with a running knee strike to the gut for a 2 count. Nakamura worked a front face lock, but Honma fired back and hit a DDT. Honma hit a series of maneuvers on Nakamura capped by a piledriver for a 2 count.

Nakamura slipped behind Honma and grabbed a sleeper. Honma fired up, but Nakamura hit a back stabber and a suplex. He set up or the Boma Ye kick, but Honma popped up and nailed him with a flying headbutt. He followed up with a brainbuster for a near fall. The fans went nuts as Honma went up top for a diving headbutt, but Nakamura rolled out of the way. They got and began trading forearms. Honma staggered Nakamura with a pair of headbutts. Honma charged Nakamura in the corner, but he got his boot up and hit a flying kick off the turnbuckles. Nakamura went for the Boma Ye, but Honma rolled him up for a 2 count. Honma went for a backslide next, but they messed up the spot. Honma lifted Nakamura and nailed him with a headbutt. Nakamura fired back and hit the Boma Ye, but Honma kicked out. Nakamura then caught Honma with a second Boma Ye for the win.

The fans chanted for Honma as he was carried to the back.

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

Star rating: (****) – This was a really good match. The crowd was once again very much behind G1 darling Honma, who refused to go down and gave Nakamura one heck of a battle. They had some great exchanges down the stretch before Nakamura finished off Honma for the win.

(10) Tetsuya Naito vs. Kazuchika Okada in a G1 Climax Block B match. The fans were hot before both men locked up to start the match. The pace picked up with a crazy exchange off the ropes that ended with Naito nailing Okada with a dropkick. Naito hit Okada with some big forearms. Okada fired back and Naito told him to bring it. Okada fired back a short time later and sent Naito off the top turnbuckle to the floor with a standing dropkick. The action went to the outside where Okada worked over Naito with a chin lock using the barricade for leverage. He then nailed Naito with a kick to the head. Okada tossed Naito into the ring and began working him over. Okada cut off Naito’s comeback at one point and nailed him with a running dropkick to the head against the ropes. He followed up with a spiked DDT, but Naito kicked out at 2. Naito shoved Okada’s legs over the ropes when he tried to kick him out of the corner and then hit a big DDT. Naito hit a running dropkick and then a senton. Naito went up top and hit a missile dropkick and the fans fired up. Naito went for a slingshot dropkick in the corner, but Okada caught him and turned it into a variation of the kryptonite crunch. Okada went up top and hit a big elbow drop. He signaled for the rainmaker. Naito ducked it and eventually hit a tornado DDT off the ropes and the fans applauded.

Gedo tried to fire up the fans from the outside. Naito got a running start and hit his signature slingshot dropkick on Okada in the corner. He placed Okada on the top ropes and hit a super hurricanrana. He followed up with a German with a bridge, but Okada kicked out at the last second. Naito hit a big slap on Okada after he countered a suplex attempt. Okada fired back and hit a dropkick to the back of Naito’s head. Okada hit a big tombstone and signaled for the rainmaker once again. Naito countered and finally managed to slip behind Okada. Naito hit a dragon suplex and both men were down as the fans went wild. This is incredible with the crowd going insane chanting for Naito. Both men got up and began exchanging forearms. The crowd cheered with each blow. Both men appeared to be getting tired from exchanging blows. Okada finally hit several uppercuts, but Naito caught him with a flying forearm off the ropes. He ducked a clothesline from Okada, but ended up eating a big dropkick. Naito ducked a third rainmaker attempt and hit a spinning Rock bottom. The fans fired up and Naito obliterated Okada with an enzuguri. He went up top and the fans went insane. Naito then connected with the Phoenix splash for the win. OH MY GOD.

Naito cut a promo after the match and the fans went crazy. Naito said he was going to win G1 Climax. The fans roared once Naito finished his promo.

Winner: Tetsuya Naito

Star rating: (****3/4) – This was an amazing match from start to finish. The match had a huge atmosphere and Naito’s performance here was insane. He countered the rainmaker three times before finally finishing off Okada as the fans went nuts the entire time. Naito seems to be back and better than ever after his knee injury earlier in the year. He’s really over right now.

Overall thoughts: (9.0) – This was a great show with a great crowd. The way the tournament has been booked has definitely kept you guessing with Okada standing tall two out of the first three nights to end the show only to suffer two straight losses. Tanahashi, who stood tall at the end of night 3, suffered his second straight loss in the tournament. On the other hand you have someone like Shibata, who beat Tanahashi in the main event of night 4, continuing his wave of momentum by defeating the previously undefeated Shelton Benjamin in an excellent match.

This show was right up there with night from a match quality standpoint. There were a number of good matches with nothing falling under three stars. I hadn’t been impressed with Shelton Benjamin up to this point, but he matched up really well with Shibata and they had an outstanding match with a hot finish.

The last two matches were excellent and well-worth going out of your way to see. Honma has really been an anchor in the tournament through the first five nights. Although, he’s lost all of his matches, the crowd has been into his performances and if he finally does win a match, I have a feeling the building will explode. His match against Nakamura had some good near falls that had the fans believing Honma could escape with the win and it took two Boma Ye kicks from Nakamura to put him away in the end.

The main event between Naito and Okada was amazing. Both men are fan favorites, but the crowd really got behind Naito during this match as he mounted a comeback and the match was built around giving the fans a sense that Naito was going to win as he overcame every obstacle Okada threw in his way. Naito ended up blocking three rainmaker attempts before putting Okada away with the star dust press.

This show was on par with night 1 and is definitely a must-see given the quality of action up and down the card. The main event between Okada and Naito was the best match of the tournament so far and that’s saying a lot given the quality of action on the other shows to date.

You can purchase the NJPW G1 Climax 24 Tournament on VOD by clicking HERE.


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