Other PPVs RADICAN'S NJPW "G1 Climax Night 5" Blog 7/26: Styles-Ibushi classic, Naito heel greatness, results & analysis of all G1 matches
Jul 28, 2015 - 2:05:09 PM
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By Sean Radican, Torch columnist
RADICAN’S “G1 CLIMAX 25: NIGHT 5” BLOG
JULY 26, 2015
AIRED LIVE ON NJPWWORLD.COM
I’m not watching the tag matches on the undercard this ear, but I will include the results. If anything noteworthy happens in a particular tag match, I will watch it.
Note: This show has full production with multiple cameras and commentary.
(1) Hirooki Goto & Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask IV & Yohei Komatsu beat Honma & Ryusuke Taguchi & Mascara Dorada & David Finlay, Jr. in an eight-man tag match.
(2) Yuji Nagata & Captain New Japan beat Bullet Club (Cody Hall & Yujiro Takahashi).
(3) Bullet Club (Karl Anderson & Toma Tonga) beat YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii.
(4) Kojima & Michael Elgin beat IWGP World Hvt. champion Kazuchika Okada & Gedo. This match was supposed to include Shinsuke Nakamura in a six-man tag, but New Japan said Nakamura has an elbow injury.
G1 CLIMAX 25: NIGHT 5 A BLOCK RESULTS & ANALYSIS
(5) IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Champion Doc Gallows (0) vs. Bad Luck Fale (2) in a G1 Climax 25 A Block match. Block matches are opening tonight with a battle of members of The Bullet Club. They did some typical big man spots during the early going. The action eventually spilled to the floor and both men brawled into the crowd. They went back and forth on the floor before the action returned to the ring. Both men went for clotheslines, but neither man would go down. They finally went to a double clothesline spot and both men were down. Gallows blocked the grenade and nailed Fale with a big running kick. He then dropped several elbows on Fale. Gallows went up top, but Fale cut him off and went for the bad luck fall. Gallows managed to slip out, but Fale caught him with a grenade off the ropes.
Both men left together after the match.
Winner: Bad Luck Fale (4 pts.)
Star rating: (**) – This was a standard big man vs. big man match.
(6) NWA Hvt. Champion Hiroshi Tenzan (0) vs. Toru Yano (2) in a G1 Climax 25 A Block match. Yano sprayed Tenzan with his water bottle right after the opening bell and went for a rollup for a 2 count. Yano ducked a charge on the floor and Tenzan went into the guardrail. Yano tied Tenzan to the guardrail with wrist tape, but he was able to free himself before the ref’s count reached 20. Yano drove Tenzan into an exposed turnbuckle several times and he collapsed to the mat. Yano then got a rope and choked Tenzan with it before making a cover for a 2 count. Yano continued to go after Tenzan with eye rakes. He then mocked him and did some ridiculous looking double chops. Tenzan got mad and fired back with a leaping lariat. Tenzan then began nailing Yano with double chops. They went back and forth and Tenzan caught Yano with a leg lariat for a 2 count. He then went up top and hit a diving headbutt. Yano began pouring blood immediately after Tenzan connected. Tenzan was busted open as well. Yano ended up grabbing the ref after blocking a double chop. He then hit a series of low blows and got a backslide pinning combination for the win.
Winner: Toru Yano (2 pts.) – There wasn’t much to this match, but Tenzan connecting head-to-head with a diving headbutt looked absolutely brutal, as both men were busted open after connecting head-to-head. Yano really looked to be in bad shape after the match and was bleeding a ton.
(7) Katsuyori Shibata (2) vs. NEVER Openweight Champion Togi Makabe (2) in a G1 Climax 25 A Block match. Makabe went on the attack right after the opening bell, but Shibata fired back and nailed him with a running kick. Shibata dominated the action for a long period of time until Makabe surprised him with a clothesline in the corner. Shibata hit a running kick in the corner and set up for another, but Makabe popped up and surprised him with a clothesline and a twisting DVD for a 2 count. Both men were slow to get up, but when they did they began exchanging blows. They continued to exchange hitting moves off the ropes. Makabe finally took down Shibata with a clothesline off the ropes, but he kicked out at 1. Shibata then wiped out Makabe and covered him for a 2 count and both men were down on the mat once again. Makabe hit another running lariat off the ropes a short time later after another big exchange for a 2 count. Makabe got Shibata on his shoulders, but Shibata slid around him and grabbed a sleeper. Makabe began to fade after struggling. Shibata then dropped him into the seated position and hit the penalty kick for the win.
Winner: Katsuyori Shibata (4 pts.)
Star rating: (**3/4) – This was a good back and forth match, although it never really grabbed me until some good exchanges down the stretch. Shibata picks up his second consecutive win with his sleeper/penalty kick combination.
(8) A.J. Styles (4) vs. Kota Ibushi (2) in a G1 Climax 25 A Block match. This is one of the biggest matches of the entire tournament. Ibushi vs. Styles had an amazing match earlier this year that saw Ibushi come up just short of beating Styles for the IWGP Hvt. Championship when he was still champion. Styles went for his signature dropkick during the early going, but Ibushi held onto the ropes. Ibushi eventually nailed Styles with a kick that sent him to the floor. They went back and forth teasing dives until Ibushi kicked Styles legs out from under him from the floor and Styles crashed face-first into the apron. They went back and forth inside the ring a short time later and Ibushi caught Styles with a dropkick as he came off the ropes. Styles eventually caught Ibushi coming off the turnbuckles and dumped him neck-first over the top rope. Ibushi then spilled to the floor and Styles followed him to the outside a short time later. Styles blocked a punch from Ibushi and launched him into the guardrail with an uranagi. Styles then hit a big back breaker on Ibushi back inside the ring. They went back and forth and Styles spiked Ibushi into the mat with a sick head scissors takedown from his back. Ibushi tried to fire up with some big strikes and Styles fired back. They went back and forth and Ibushi bounced Styles off the rope into a German that left both men down on the mat.
Ibushi went to work on Styles a short time later and landed an incredible standing twisting corkscrew press for a 2 count. Styles fired back a short time later and hit a big clothesline. He then followed up with his signature springboard elbow and the announcers fired up. Styles followed up with a pump-handle gut buster, but Ibushi managed to kick out at 2. The fans fired up and chanted for Ibushi. Ibushi set up for his German off the ropes but Styles fought out of it. Styles teased a tombstone to the floor but Ibushi turned it into a hurricanrana. Holy crap! Styles tried to sweep Ibushi’s legs on the apron, but he jumped over them and hit a springboard moonsault to the floor. Ibushi went up top for a Phoenix splash, but Styles ran into the ropes and crotched him. They battled on the turnbuckles a short time and went to an incredible back and forth sequence that saw Ibushi land on his feet after Styles blocked a super hurricanrana. Styles then went for a hurricanrana off the top and Ibushi tried to roll through, but Styles nearly caught him in the Styles clash. Ibushi fought out, but Styles hit a big lariat and the hollow point DDT for a near fall. The fans and announcers both went insane with both men down on the mat. Holy crap! Styles went for a springboard 450, but Ibushi got his knees up and then rolled Styles up for a near fall. They went back and forth exchanging blows. Styles hit a Pele kick and the bloody Sunday DDT for another near fall. Holy crap! The announcers freaked out as the fans went nuts and chanted for Ibushi. Styles dragged Ibushi up top for a super Styles clash, but Ibushi countered it into a super hurricanrana for a near fall. Ibushi hit a big powerbomb and went up top. This time he was able to land the Phoenix splash for the win. Holy crap!
Winner: Kota Ibushi (4 pts.)
Star rating: (****1/2) – This was an amazing match. The counter wrestling down the stretch was outstanding. The spot where Styles hit a Pele kick followed by the bloody Sunday DDT was a great near fall. Ibushi’s counter of Styles late in the match with a hurricanrana off the top was tremendous as well. This was an incredible match.
(9) Hiroshi Tanahashi (4) vs. Tetsuya Naito (2) in a G1 Climax 25 A Block match. Both men went back and forth trading blows in the corner. Tanahashi got the upper hand and hit a couple of arm drags and Naito rolled to the floor. Tanahashi went up top, but Naito casually walked up the aisle and then took a rest on the entrance ramp. Naito looked disinterested as he made his way back into the ring only to slip back out to the floor. Naito went after the camera man before rolling into the ring and right back out again when Tanahashi went after him. Naito slowly rolled into the ring and this time Tanahashi put the boots to him. They battled near the ropes and Naito used a head scissors to send Tanahashi flying over the top to the floor. Naito went on the attack and tried to set up a table near ringside. Naito put Tanahashi on the table and climbed up top with him. Naito then hit a neck breaker on the table but it didn’t break. Naito slowly made his way back into the ring as the official checked on Tanahashi. Naito took another rest inside the ring and acted like a jerk moving his feet around while lying on his back. Tanahashi crawled towards the ring and barely beat the 20 count. Tanahashi smiled and got back up to his feet. Naito got a head scissors on the mat and Tanahashi made the ropes, but he acted like he couldn’t release the hold without the help of the ref. They went back and forth off the ropes, but Naito caught Tanahashi with another neck breaker. Tanahashi tried to mount a comeback, but ate a punch and then Naito spit on him.
Tanahashi mounted a comeback with a jumping forearm off the ropes a short time later. He then hit a big slam and hit his signature senton off the second turnbuckle for a 2 count. Tanahashi slapped Naito across the face several times and Naito spit in his face. Naito then began smiling after each slap that Tanahashi delivered. Tanahashi eventually hit a basement dropkick a short time later and Naito rolled to the floor. Tanahashi climbed up top and hit the high fly flow to the outside and the fans and announcers fired up. Tanahashi then wrapped Naito’s leg around the barrier on the floor and hit a dragon screw. Tanahashi went for a Texas cloverleaf inside the ring, but Naito blocked it. He eventually caught him with a rolling kick and smiled. He got a variation of the Koji clutch a short time later. Tanahashi struggled to get to the ropes and once against Naito acted like he couldn’t release the hold when the ref called for a break. Naito went for his signature dropkick in the corner, but Tanahashi caught his leg and hit a dragon screw. Tanahashi continued to target Naito’s leg and he rolled around in pain. Tanahashi went up top a short time later, but Naito popped up and cut him off. They battled up top and Naito ended up hitting a super hurricanrana. Tanahashi sold his neck and Naito set up behind him and hit a missile dropkick to his back.
They went back and forth and Naito hit a German with a bridge for a 2 count. They went back and forth and Naito grounded Tanahashi with a punch. He then nailed him with several light kicks to the head and smiled. Tanahashi countered Naito a short time later and hit the sling blade. He went up top and hit a standing high fly flow. Tanahashi then went right back to the top for the high fly flow, but Naito got his knees up. Both men exchanged forearms from their knees. They got up and continued to exchange blows. Tanahashi spit at Naito and nailed him with several forearms. Naito told him to bring it and he nailed him with more forearms. Tanahashi got the upper hand and countered a tornado DDT into a neck breaker. Naito fired right back and hit a sliced bread variation for the win. Holy crap!
Naito shoved the ref and beat up one of the young boys after the match. He then stood over Tanahashi and put over Los Ingobernables. He also said that nobody could stop him, not even Tanahashi, who is the ace of NJPW. Naito hit his new pose opening his eye and raising his fist to the sky before putting the boots to Tanahashi and leaving. Tanahashi was eventually helped to the back by several attendants.
Winner: Tetsuya Naito (4 pts.)
Star rating: (****1/4) – This was an excellent match. Naito was fantastic here furthering his heel character. It felt like things got really personal between Tanahashi and Naito down the stretch when Tanahashi stopped to Naito’s level and began spitting at him while they were exchanging. The counter sequences in this match were crazy and both men really did a good job of telling an excellent story.
- 2014 winner IWGP World Champ Okada (4 pts.)
- IWGP tag champion Karl Anderson (4 pts.)
- Tomohiro Ishii (4 pts.)
- IWGP IC Champ Hirooki Goto (2 pts.)
- Shinsuke Nakamura (2 pts.)
- Satoshi Kojima (2 pts.)
- Yuji Nagata (2 pts.)
- Yujiro Takahashi
- ROH's Michael Elgin
Overall thoughts: The first three block matches didn’t do much for me, but the last two block matches were excellent on night 5. Ibushi-Styles was a red hot match that the crowd ate up and Naito further cemented himself as a rising heel with a huge win over Tanahashi.
The Ibushi-Styles match was expected to be great and boy did it deliver. They had some great counter sequences and at one point Styles hit the hallow point DDT and I thought the match was over, but it wasn’t. Later on it looked like the match was once again over after Styles hit the Bloody Sunday DDT, but Ibushi managed to kick out. The finish was sick with Styles going for what appeared to be a super Styles clash only for Ibushi to counter it into a super hurricanrana before getting the win with a Phoenix splash a short time later.
Besides watching Tanahashi put on great performances on in G1 so far, one of the biggest highlights has been watching the evolution of Naito’s heel character. Naito’s arrogance cost him in his last block match against Shibata, but this time around Naito managed to beat Tanahashi, despite attacking like an arrogant cocky a—hole the entire match. Naito has been a blast to watch and this match was fantastic, although I didn’t see the sliced bread variation finisher coming from Naito.
This was the strongest close to a G1 Climax 25 show I’ve seen so far. Yano and Tenzan both getting busted open in their block match was gross, as Yano was gushing blood everywhere after Tenzan hit him with a diving headbutt off the top. Tenzan appeared to be cut as well, but Yano sure as heck took a stiff flying headbutt. Hopefully the NJPW talent decides to just stop doing them as they’re dangerous enough when they land correctly. Go out of your way to see the last two matches on this show.
Quick G1 Climax 25: Night 5 Viewing Guide
What to watch: Ibushi-Styles, Naito-Tanahashi
What you can skip: Fale-Gallows, Shibata-Makabe, Yano-Tenzan
Best G1 match on the card: Ibushi vs. Styles
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