Other PPVs RADICAN'S NJPW "G1 Climax 25: Night 1" Blog 7/20: Results & star ratings for tournament matches, viewing guide, overall thoughts, more!
Jul 20, 2015 - 5:01:38 PM
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By Sean Radican, Torch columnist
RADICAN’S “G1 CLIMAX 25: NIGHT 1” BLOG
JULY 20, 2015
AIRED LIVE ON NJPWWORLD.COM
I’m not watching the tag matches on the undercard this year, but I will include the results. If anything noteworthy happens in a particular tag match, I will watch it.
(1) Yuji Nagata & Tiger Mask IV & Jushin Thunder Liger & Yohei Komatsu beat Honma & Mascara Dorada & Jay White & David Finlay in an eight-man tag opening match when Nagata pinned Finlay.
(2) IWGP IC champion Hirooki Goto & Captain New Japan beat Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi & Cody Hall).
(3) Shinsuke Nakamura & YOSHI-HASHI beat Bullet Club (Karl Anderson & Tama Tonga) when Nakamura pinned Tonga after a Boma Ye.
(4) IWGP World Hvt. champion Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii & Gedo beat Satoshi Kojima & Ryusuke Taguchi & Michael Elgin in a Six Man Tag match when Okada pinned Taguchi after a rainmaker.
G1 CLIMAX 25: NIGHT 1 A BLOCK RESULTS & ANALYSIS
(5) NWA Hvt. Champion Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Champion Doc Gallows in a G1 Climax 25 A Block match. They went back and forth during the early going. Tenzan sent Gallows to the floor with a clothesline. They went at it on the floor and Tenzan hit several double chops, but Gallows fired back and choked him with his rope. Gallows dominated the action once they got back into the ring. Gallows final went up top for an elbow, but Tenzan got out of the way. Tenzan hit a series of his signature double chops, but when Gallows reversed a whip he collapsed to the mat. Tenzan fired back with a suplex and made a cover, but only got a 2 count. Gallows got the upper hand and hit a choke bomb, but Tenzan managed to kick out. Tenzan fired back and grabbed the anaconda vice on Gallows. Gallows tried to fight out of it from the standing position, but Tenzan lifted him up and slammed him to the mat for a 2 count. Tenzan then reapplied the anaconda vice and Gallows tapped.
Winner: Hiroyoshi Tenzan (2 points)
Star rating: (**1/2) – the match was rather boring with Gallows in control, but they picked up the pace nicely during the second half of the match. The final moments of the match were nicely put together with Tenzan working an anaconda vice submission to get the win.
(6) NEVER Openweight Champion Togi Makabe vs. Toru Yano in a G1 Climax 25 A Block match. Yano got a near fall early by rolling up Makabe, who he had riled up by throwing water at him why he made his entrance. Yano played his usual mind games on Makabe, but eventually baited him into get tripped into a chair. Yano then rolled Makabe up for another near fall. Yano went after Makabe on the outside with his signature red chair. Yano then tossed Makabe into the guardrail on the outside. Yano nailed Makabe with a huge chair shot to the back and went back to the ring to undo the turnbuckle padding. Makabe took a beating inside the ring and then began to fire up. He told Yano to bring it and no-sold several punches. Makabe then mounted a comeback and went to town on Yano. Makabe included his signature baby punches in the corner from the mount, but Yano slipped out from under him. Yano fired back and was doing his signature pose and Makabe tried to clothesline him from behind, but he ducked. Yano went to do his pose again, but Makabe caught him with a big clothesline. Yano went for his signature low blow/dirty pin, but Makabe kicked out at the very last second. Makabe wiped him out with a big twisting DVD. He then finished Yano off with the King Kong knee dropoooooo for the win.
Winner: Togi Makabe (2 points)
Star rating: (**) – This was every Yano match I’ve seen in the past, although that’s not to say it wasn’t entertaining at times.
Naito came out to face Bad Luck Fale wearing a suit and a silver skull mask. I think he might have stolen Tomasso Ciampa’s mask. Naito sauntered down to the ring and took off his mask. He then began to take off his suit and he had his normal except there was some black pattern in it along the front and on his knee pads.
(7) Bad Luck Fale vs. Tetsuya Naito in a G1 Climax 25 A Block match. Naito went after Fale and then shoved the ref away when he tried to break them apart against the ropes. Naito turned his attention t the ref and Fale wiped him out from behind. They brawled into the crowd, although it was pretty funny that Naito appeared to be casually walking away from Fale until he caught up with him. Apparently NJPW uses the old ROH trick of having all their seats tied together, as Naito went flying into the chairs, but they did not break apart. Naito casually got up and then made his way back to the ring to break the count before sliding back to the floor. Naito then got back into the ring, but Fale put the boots to him. Fale worked over Naito for a long period of time until he began to mount a comeback. Naito eventually hit a dropkick to Fale’s leg. Naito smiled and then slowly got up before nailing Fale with another dropkick to the leg. Naito then hit his signature dropkick in the corner and applied a variation of the figure 4 on Fale. Fale got the ropes and Naito pretended he couldn’t release the hold. Fale finally managed to free himself. Fale mounted a comeback and went for the bad luck fall. Naito countered and they went back and forth. Fale nailed Naito with a clothesline, but he managed to counter the bad luck fall. Naito then caught Fale with an atomic drop and rolled him up for the win.
Naito shoved the ref away after the match and then shoved the camera a couple of times as well when leaving the ring.
Winner: Tetsuya Naito (2 points)
Star rating: (**3/4) – The action was good. I mostly enjoyed Naito’s new character here. I love his whole I don’t give a f—k demeanor in the ring. The way Naito one the match was strange with a low atomic drop and then flipping through head first into Fale’s mid-section to roll him up for the win.
(8) A.J. Styles vs. Katsuyori Shibata in a G1 Climax 25 A Block match. Shibata worked a headlock early and there was definitely more of a sense of drama to it than the typical WWE headlocks I saw last night on Battleground. The matches in NJPW are usually worked so that everything builds to something and therefore the moves get a favorable reaction, especially holds you would normally consider rest holds when watching WWE. Shibata and Styles jockeyed for position after Shibata got an abdominal stretch. They slipped around each other until Styles got to the ropes and Shibata offered a clean break. Shibata ended up nailing Styles with a running kick on the apron that sent him flying into the guardrail. Shibata followed Styles to the floor and continued to nail him with kicks until he sent him over another section of the guardrail with a big kick to the chest. Shibata went for a kick on the outside again a short time later, but Styles got out of the way and he kicked the guardrail. Styles then dropped Shibata leg-first over the guardrail a short time later. Styles went to work on Shibata’s leg back inside the ring a short time later. Shibata fired back with a knee to Style’s mid-section a short time later, but it was clear he hurt his own knee. Shibata went for a knee strike and shook off his leg, which allowed Styles to catch him with a dropkick as he came off the ropes. Shibata fired up after Styles nailed him with several forearms in the corner. He walked at Styles and went head-to-head with him. They began exchanging strikes until Shibata cut him off with a kick to the head. He then nailed Styles with a huge dropkick in the corner. The fans fired up and chanted for Shibata.
Styles countered Shibata and suplexed him into the turnbuckle padding a short time later. Styles rolled through on Shibata and went for the Styles clash but he kicked his way out of it. Styles then rolled through on Shibata out of the corner and crabbed the calf killer. Shibata screamed and tried to get to the ropes and teased tapping, but eventually got to the ropes as the fans gasped. Styles went for the Styles clash again, but Shibata countered it into a big DVD and both men were down. Shibata grabbed a sleeper in the middle of the ring. Styles tried to get the ropes, but Shibata continued to drag him away. Styles then broke out of it and went after Shibata’s injured arm. Shibata then went after Styles’ fingers as he bit them while holding the choke sleeper. Styles ducked the penalty kick and hit a Pele kick. He then hit the bloody Sunday DDT and the Styles clash for the win. Wow!
Winner: A.J. Styles (2 points)
Star rating: (***3/4) – This was fantastic. Styles worked over Shibata’s leg and the match seemed to be really going somewhere when Styles teased going after Shibata’s injured arm, but they ended the match shortly after that sequence. It seemed the match was going to go to another level when it ended.
(9) Kota Ibushi vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi. This is just a huge match in the tournament in terms of having a rising star like Ibushi take on Tanahashi at this stage of his career. Tanahashi teased a clean break against the ropes, but then nailed Ibushi with a chop and told him to bring it. Ibushi surprised Tanahashi popping up after a shoulder tackle. Ibushi went on the attack and went for a standing moonsault, but Tanahashi got his knees up. Ibushi began selling his leg after that spot and Tanahashi went on the attack working over his leg. Ibushi tried to fire back with kicks, but ended up hurting his own leg. Tanahashi then went on the attack and kicked at Ibushi’s leg before nailing him with several strikes. Tanahashi set up for a springboard a short time later, but Ibushi nailed him with a dropkick that sent him flying over the ringpost to the floor. Ibushi then got a running start and hit his signature moonsault to the floor. Ibushi followed up inside the ring with a huge missile dropkick. Ibushi fired back a short time later and hit a dropkick to Ibushi’s knee. Ibushi ended up rolling to the floor and Tanahashi went up top and hit the high fly flow to the floor and the fans fired up big time! Tanahashi went after Ibushi’s leg as he tried to get back inside the ring and hit several dragon screws. Ibushi rolled around on the mat in pain after Tanahashi’s attack. Ibushi ended up surprising Tanahashi with a running kick as he came off the ropes, but both men were down after and Ibushi sold his leg on the mat.
Both men got up and began trading blows. Tanahashi eventually kicked at Ibushi’s leg, but he didn’t go down. Ibushi then fired back with some vicious kicks to Tanahashi’s chest. Tanahashi finally blocked a kick and hit a dragon screw. Tanahashi then applied a Texas cloverleaf. Ibushi struggled and Tanahashi got a really high angle on the submission. Ibushi then managed to fight his way to the ropes. Tanahashi followed up with a straightjacket German, but Ibushi kicked out at 2. Tanahashi sidestepped a kick and then hit a sling blade for a 2 count as the announcers fired up. Tanahashi went up top and hit a standing high fly flow on Ibushi. He went up top again for the high fly flow, but Ibushi got his knees up and the fans gasped. Holy s—t! Tanahashi tried to block a kick, but Ibushi turned it into a hurricanrana. He then followed up with a lawn dart in the corner. Ibushi set up for a dragon suplex on the apron back into and nailed it. The ref made the count, but Tanahashi kicked out at the last second and the fans gasped! Holy s—t! The fans fired up as Ibushi got to his feet. He dragged Tanahashi into position for the last ride, but he slipped out. Ibushi nailed Tanahashi with a huge roundhouse kick to the head a short time later. He went up top for the Phoenix splash, but Tanahashi rolled out of the way. Good lord this is amazing! The fans fired up with both men down on the mat. Tanahashi then went up top, but Ibushi nailed him with a Pele kick. Ibushi then hit a springboard hurricanrana, but Tanahashi kicked out at the very last second. Wow! Tanahashi blocked the last ride again and Ibushi went for a Pele kick a short time later, but Tanahashi caught his leg and snapped it down onto the mat. Both men began exchanging strikes, but Tanahashi caught Ibushi with a dragon suplex and he kicked out at the last second. He then hit the high fly flow for the win. Wow! This was incredible!
Tanahashi was announced as the winner after the match. Ibushi slowly began to recover and he fell into Tanahashi. He eventually left the ring as Tanahashi posed up top. Tanahashi then did his traditional post-match celebration much to the delight of the fans with his air guitar routine.
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi (2 points)
Star rating: (****3/4) – This was an amazing match from start to finish. Tanahashi kept pecking away at Ibushi’s leg, but he would cut him off and mount these incredible athletic comebacks. Tanahashi unloaded his entire arsenal out on Ibushi before eventually getting the win. This match was bonkers. The counter wrestling was incredible and Ibushi’s kicks and strikes are brutal, but it was clear Tanahashi’s vacation was over after feuding with Yano for the last few months.
Overall thoughts: Without watching the tag matches, which are imminently skippable, the second half of this show was very good. The show closed with two fantastic matches in Styles-Shibata and then Tanahashi-Ibushi resulting in a high-end MOTYC.
I really am enjoying Naito’s new character and just his mannerisms during his match against Fale make their match worth watching. Under other circumstances, I would call it a skippable match, but you need to keep an eye on his performances in this tournament. I think Naito is someone that could surprise a lot of people by making a deep run in this tournament.
Styles-Shibata seemed to be on the verge of really going somewhere, as Styles worked over Shibata’s leg for most of the match. With that strategy not working, it looked like the match was going to kick into high gear with Styles going after Shibata’s injured arm, but they only teased it with Styles winning the match a short time later.
Ibushi-Tanahashi is a must-see match. These two had an incredible outing. Tanahashi really put on a great performance going after Ibushi’s knee. As he tried to peck away at Ibushi’s knee, Ibushi would just power up with incredible fiery comebacks. The fans were really hot for this match and they had a ton of fantastic back and forth sequences down the stretch with some great near falls leading into the finish. What a way to end the first night of G1 Climax 25!
Quick G1 Climax 25: Night 1 Viewing Guide
What to watch: Naito-Fale, Styles-Shibata, Tanahashi-Ibushi
What you can skip: Everything else on the card
Best G1 match on the card: Ibushi-Tanahashi (****3/4)
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