Other PPVs CALDWELL'S NEW JAPAN G1 CLIMAX FINALS REPORT 8/16: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Tanahashi-Nakamura G1 Finals, plus IWGP Jr. Hvt. & Tag Title matches
Aug 16, 2015 - 5:00:47 AM
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New Japan G1 Climax Finals Report
August 16, 2015
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
[ FYI: The finale is airing live on the pay New Japan World video streaming service. Full Schedule of G1 Events HERE ]
(1) David Finlay, Jr. & Mascara Dorada & Ryusuke Taguchi beat Jushin Liger & Sho Tanaka & Yohei Komatsu at 6:12. After doing his funky weapon routine, Taguchi scored the pin for his team with a sliding hip attack. Fun opener and the crowd is super-hot for the start of the big show.
(2) Satoshi Kojima & Tenzan & Captain New Japan beat Yuji Nagata & Nakanishi & Jay White at 6:44. Late in the match, white ran into a 3D from Kojima and Tenzan. Tenzan followed with the Anaconda Vice submission on White for the tap-out.
(3) Michael Elgin beat YOSHI-HASHI at 9:23. The crowd loved this match. YOSHI played the underdog trying to absorb Elgin's power offense, including kicking out of the deadlift suplex from the ring apron back into the ring. YOSHI went for a top-rope Swanton late in the match, but Elgin moved. Elgin followed with a Bucklebomb into the Elgin Bomb for the pin and the win. Very nice conclusion to Elgin's G1 tournament run.
(4) Sakuraba & Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano beat Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi & Tama Tonga) at 8:54 in a six-man tag match. Yano neutralized Bullet Club's heel activity with his craftiness, then Ishii hit a brainbuster suplex on Tonga for the win. Fun match continuing to build to the bigger matches of the show.
(5) Kota Ibushi & Shibata & IWGP IC champion Hirooki Goto beat Honma & Naito & NEVER Openweight champion Togi Makabe at 10:45 in a six-man tag match. Honma sure found himself on an interesting team. Makabe and Ibushi resumed their current issue, with Makabe calling for Ibushi to start the match against him. Naito then resumed his issue with Shibata by attacking him from the ring apron, drawing loud boos. Shibata just abused Naito once he tagged in, but Naito continued his "I don't care" routine by acting like he enjoyed the beating. Chaos broke out, so Shibata tried to choke out Naito with a cable cord on the outside. Back in the ring, Ibushi nailed the Phoenix Splash on Honma for the pin and the win.
After the match, Shibata had to be pulled away from Naito. Meanwhile, Makabe tried to attack Ibushi, but Ibushi fought back with a kick to the head on Makabe, KO'ing the NEVER champion. Naito eventually recovered, walked onto the ring apron, and fell down on the ring apron to casually pose in front of Shibata. Naito took off, then Shibata & Goto & Ibushi posed together in the middle of the ring.
- Before the next match, New Japan officially announced Wrestle Kingdom 10 on January 4, 2016 at the Tokyo Dome.
- Suddenly, Genichiro Tenryu walked out to ringside. The crowd went wild for Tenryu appearing at a New Japan show. Tenryu walked up to Gedo, who was on commentary, and challenged him to meet him in the ring. Gedo spoke on behalf of "Rainmaker" Kazuchika Okada, who eventually walked out to the ring in his warm-up gear. They had a back-and-forth exchange focusing on Tenryu's age difference, then had a staredown. It looks like Tenryu's retirement match in November will include Okada as an opponent. The crowd was on the edge of their seats for this big exchange.
6 -- IWGP Jr. Hvt. tag champions YOUNG BUCKS (NICK & MATT JACKSON w/Cody Hall) vs. REDRAGON (KYLE O'REILLY & BOBBY FISH) -- IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag Title match
ReDragon dominated early on, then the match moved to the floor. On the outside, Cody Hall picked up O'Reilly, put him on his shoulders, and walked to the back to temporarily remove O'Reilly from the match. Young Bucks then worked on Fish while O'Reilly was somewhere backstage after being abducted. Young Bucks could not put away Fish, though, with the numbers advantage.
O'Reilly returned to the ring about five minutes later and took a hot tag from Fish. O'Reilly got in a round of offense, but then he took Young Bucks's signature double-team moves. O'Reilly responded with a rebound lariat into a brainbuster into an armbreaker on Nick, but Matt came flying off the top rope to break up the submission hold.
The ref was nearly bumped, so Nick low-blowed O'Reilly and hit Fish with a belt shot. Matt then tagged in for their spike Tombstone Piledriver on Fish, but Fish kicked out of a pin. On the outside, ReDragon caught Matt with Chasing the Dragon on the floor, taking him out of the match. Back in the ring, ReDragon hit Chasing the Dragon on Nick for the pin and the win. New tag champs.
WINNERS: ReDragon at 17:38 to capture the IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag Titles. Very nice, entertaining tag match. The teams work really well together.
7 -- IWGP Jr. Hvt. champion KUSHIDA vs. RICOCHET -- IWGP Jr. Hvt. Title match
Very hot start with high-flying and athleticism from both wrestlers. KUSHIDA then went to work on Ricochet's left arm and shoulder, looking to set up the Hoverboard Lock later in the match. Ricochet shook it off and hit a combination that ended with a standing moonsault for a two count. Ricochet then hit a combination ending with a running Shooting Star Press for another nearfall.
They went back-and-forth until KUSHIDA intercepted a springboard swan dive with the Hoverboard Lock. Ricochet fought the hold, then decided to counter with a lift-up powerbomb. But, KUSHIDA responded with a top-rope Swanton for a two count. Ricochet answered with a strike to the face, then he climbed to the top rope for a big Shooting Stress Press, but KUSHIDA kicked out of a pin. KUSHIDA came back with the Hoverboard Lock, Ricochet was unable to get the ropes, KUSHIDA re-applied the hold in the middle of the ring, and Ricochet had to tap out. Afterward, Ricochet showed KUSHIDA respect and raised his hand.
WINNER: KUSHIDA at 17:30 to retain the IWGP Jr. Hvt. Title. Strong singles bout. Lightning-fast counters and reversals throughout the match to keep the crowd engaged throughout.
8 -- IWGP World Hvt. champion KAZUCHIKA OKADA (w/Gedo) & THE KINGDOM (MIKE BENNETT & MATT TAVEN w/Mariw Kanellis) vs. BULLET CLUB (A.J. STYLES & IWGP tag champions DOC GALLOWS & KARL ANDERSON w/Tama Tonga) -- six-man tag match
The big guns of Styles and Okada started things off to resume their rivalry over the IWGP World Title. The crowd showed respect to Styles after his battle with Tanahashi on Friday with an early "A-J Styles" chant. An "Okada, Okada" chant followed. Styles then extended his hand for a show of respect, but Okada brushed it off and too-sweeted Styles's forehead. Amazing. Styles angrily charged Okada, who answered by tossing him high into the air with a back drop. Okada is on-fire right now.
Okada tagged in Taven, who was isolated by Bullet Club. Styles tagged in and nailed a textbook flying dropkick to answer Okada's signature dropkick. Anderson then tagged in and Maria suddenly hopped onto the ring apron to distract Anderson. Styles tried to get Anderson to focus on the match, but Anderson got him to lose focus. Doc had enough and scared Maria off the ring apron, then all three turned around to take stereo kicks from OkadaKingdom.
The match broke down until tags were made to Styles and Okada for another mid-ring battle. Okada pulled off a sweet sequence leading to a top-rope elbow, but Styles moved out of the way. Bennett then entered and took the Magic Killer from Doc and Anderson. Taven took a Gun Stun, then Okada avoided the Magic Killer because he's Okada. And it came back to Styles vs. Okada. Okada nailed his textbook dropkick, then tried the Rainmaker lariat, but Styles ducked. Okada responded with the Tombstone Piledriver, then called for the Rainmaker again. Styles ducked, then hit a Pele Kick. Styles then ducked another Rainmaker into an attempted Clash. He connected, then pinned Okada for the win.
Post-match, Styles posed over Okada, then he picked up the IWGP World Hvt. Title belt and held it up int he air. Styles smirked, then placed the belt back on Okada, who remained KO'ed on the mat. Long sell by Okada, who was eventually helped out of the ring while Maria sold concern at ringside.
WINNERS: Styles & Doc & Anderson at 11:20. Perfectly fine tag match that continued the Styles-Okada issue and set up the main event.
- Before the main event G1 Climax finale, Masahiro Chono was introduced to ringside to join commentary. Keiji Mutoh (Great Muta) was also introduced to a big reception. Mutoh and Chono sat down next to each other as the crowd roared for their appearances to make this feel even bigger. Chono and Mutoh were interviewed at ringside over the P.A. system for the crowd to hear what they had to say.
Big-time ring entrances for Tanahashi and Shinsuke Nakamura, formal ring introductions, the crowd was buzzing, and the bell sounded to begin the main event...
9 -- HIROSHI TANAHASHI (A Block Winner) vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA (B Block Winner) -- G1 Climax 25 Final Match
Tanahashi, who had an extra day of rest after winning on Friday, went after Nakamura's injured elbow in the early-going, but Nakamura pulled away to a neutral corner to avoid further damage. Tanahashi did a little air-guitar pose after another lock-up, then the mega-stars paced the ring before locking up again. Tanahashi remained the aggressor, then tossed an imaginary air guitar into the crowd. Nakamura then gained the upper hand for a bit as they continued to feel each other out. Tanahashi then chop-blocked Nakamura to begin working over his left knee.
Tanahashi got a little excited and went to the top rope, but Nakamura surprised him with a kick to the head, which sent Tanahashi crashing to the floor. Nakamura took advantage by attacking Tanahashi on the outside. Back in the ring, Nakamura worked on Tanahashi with a headlock. Nakamura then toyed with Tanahashi with light kicks to the head, almost taunting him. That woke up Tanahashi, who responded with kick strikes into a leaping elbow drop to the chest. Tanahashi followed with a flip splash from the second rope for a nearfall.
Tanahashi did not follow up, though, allowing Nakamura to catch him in the corner for vibration feet. But, Tanahashi grabbed Nakamura's foot on the second round and turned it into a Dragon screw leg whip, sending Nakamura to the outside. Tanahashi did not wait in the ring, as he climbed to the top rope and nailed High Fly Flow on a standing Nakamura on the outside. Both men made it back into the ring before the 20-count and the match continued.
Back in the ring, Tanahashi and Nakamura exchanged big forearm smashes, rocking both men. Nakamura then caught Tanahashi with a running knee in the corner, but Tanahashi blocked a Boma Ye knee with a dropkick to Nakamura's injured knee. Tanahashi followed with another Dragon screw leg whip, then applied a Texas Cloverleaf, bridging like Chris Jericho's Walls of Jericho. Nakamura fought the hold, then finally got the bottom rope for a break at 20:00.
After the submission attempt, Tanahashi went to the top rope looking for High Fly Flow, but Nakamura moved, then blasted Tanahashi in the back of the head with a Boma Ye knee. Both men sold on the mat. Nakamura was the first man to his feet and he nailed a Boma Ye from the second rope, rocking Tanahashi. Nakamura wanted a running Boma Ye from the corner, but Tanahashi intercepted with a roll-up for a two count. Now it's on.
Nakamura suddenly charged Tanahashi and nailed a sliding Boma Ye, but Tanahashi kicked out just a split-half-millisecond before three, wowing the crowd. Nakamura tried to follow, but Tanahashi slipped off Nakamura's shoulders and nailed a facebuster. Slingblade followed. Tanahashi wanted a top-rope High Fly Flow, and he connected on a standing Nakamura. Tanahashi wanted another one, and he connected. Tanahashi covered, but Nakamura kicked out. Both men sold on the mat as the crowd roared.
Tanahashi came to his feet and picked up Nakamura looking for a suplex, but Nakamura elbowed out. Slaps and punches followed, then Nakamura hit a cradle driver for a close two count. Both men recovered on the mat as the crowd cheered and chanted. Nakamura came to his feet first and forearmed Tanahashi in the mouth. Tanahashi no-sold, then another forearm battle broke out. Nakamura suddenly yanked down Tanahashi, kneed him in the head, and took another Dragon screw from Tanahashi. But, Nakamura came back with his cross arm-breaker finisher. Tanahashi blocked the full application, though, and escaped. But, Nakamura came flying at him with another Boma Ye knee. Nakamura covered, but Tanahashi rolled a shoulder out of the pin just before three.
Big reset at 30:00. Nakamura slowly picked up Tanahashi, who sold being lifeless. Nakamura put Tanahashi on the top turnbuckle, then gripped him for a top-rope move, but Tanahashi came to life and elbowed out. A big top-rope battle broke out, then Tanahashi hit a leaping High Fly Flow on Nakamura. Tanahashi followed with a Tiger Suplex with a bridge for a two count.
Tanahashi then climbed to the top and nailed High Fly Flow on Nakamura's back. Tanahashi sprung back to the top and nailed another High Fly Flow, this time to Nakamura's stomach. Tanahashi covered for the pin and the win. Tanahashi wins G1 and the entire world. Wow.
WINNER: Tanahashi at 32:17 to win the 2015 G1 Climax. This was five stars before the bell sounded. Just epic, big-time pro wrestling between two of the best in the world at what they do. Right now, it's Tanahashi challenging Okada for the IWGP World Title at the Tokyo Dome, which would flip things around from earlier this year when Okada challenged Tanahashi for the IWGP World Title.
Post-match, both men sold on the mat as they were tended to with ice packs and water bottles. The crowd was mixed in their emotions, some supporting Tanahashi and others disappointed that Nakamura did not win. Tanahashi eventually made it to his feet and received polite applause. Nakamura also made it to his feet and went face-to-face with Tanahashi. Nakamura extended his hand and Tanahashi shook, then Nakamura lifted Tanahashi's hand in the air to conclude this chapter of their long-standing rivalry.
Chono and Mutoh were shown standing at the announce table, then Nakamura slipped out of the ring, leaving the stage to Tanahashi. Maso Chono entered the ring to present Tanahashi with a flag for his victory, Mutoh presented a check, former Japanese football star Gon Nakayama presented the trophy, and they posed in the ring for photos.
Tanahashi then took the mic to celebrate his victory. Tanahashi handed out lots of thank-yous as the crowd applauded. Tanahashi started to say good-bye, but the crowd called him back into the ring for a victory celebration. Air guitar-style, of course. Tanahashi did the full routine, concluding with streamers shot out of a cannon to fill the ring and arena floor. Tanahashi posed with all of his goodies in the ring, turning the flagpole into a guitar. Oops, the flagpole broke. Tanahashi fell down on the mat selling disbelief, then he tried to screw the pole back together to make the save. Tanahashi then grabbed his trophy and took a full victory lap around ringside to close out the tournament.
And so concludes another great G1 Climax summer tournament. Tanahashi was Tanahashi, Okada continued to stand out as top champion, Nakamura fought through the elbow injury, Michael Elgin had a career resurgence, Honma finally won a G1 tournament match, and now it's on to the second-half of 2015 leading to the Tokyo Dome.
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