(2) IWGP Jr Htv. Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) beat David Finlay Jr. & Jay White in a non-title match.
(3) Toru Yano & Sakuraba & YOSHI-HASHI & The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Michael Bennett w/Maria Kanellis) beat Bullet Club (A.J. Styles & Doc Gallows & Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga & Cody Hall).
(4) Hiroshi Tanahashi & NEVER Openweight Champion Togi Makabe & NWA Hvt. Champion Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Katsuyori Shibata and IWGP Jr. Hvt. Champion KUSHIDA beat Tetsuya Naito & Kota Ibushi & Manabu Nakanishi & Ricochet & Capt. New Japan in a 10 Man Tag match.
G1 CLIMAX 25: NIGHT 18 B BLOCK RESULTS & ANALYSIS
(5) Yujiro Takahashi (4) vs. Tomoaki Honma (2) in a G1 Climax B Block match. Honma missed a Kokeshi off the ropes early and Takahashi worked him over for a long period of time. Takahashi’s neck and shoulder area looks like it has taken a lot of damage during this tournament. Honma went for another Kokeshi, but Takahashi got out of the way. Honma then leveraged Takahashi up into a suplex a short time later and the fans fired up behind him. Honma finally connected with a Kokeshi off the ropes and then a diving blockbuster for a 2 count. Takahashi got the upper hand and worked Honma over once again. They went back and forth and Honma hit a Kokeshi to Takahashi’s back. He followed up with a brainbuster, but Takahashi kicked out at 2. Honma hit a slam and went up top, but missed a Kokeshi attempt. The fans gasped with both men down on the mat. Honma went for another Kokeshi off the ropes, but Takahashi got out of the way. Honma did a couple of fighting spirit spots and caught Takahashi with a diving Kokeshi. The ref tried to get out of the way when Takahashi shoved Honma towards him, which allowed Takahashi to hit a low blow. He then hit Miami shine for the win.
Honma sold frustration after the match before leaving the ring.
Winner: Yujiro Takahashi (6 pts.) – This match had some fun moments, but overall it was pretty forgettable and Honma once again is on the losing end of a G1 match.
(6) Michael Elgin (8) vs. Tomohiro Ishii (8) in a G1 Climax B Block match. Elgin did a Big Show kick out after taking a big shoulder tackle from Ishii during the early going. They continued to go at it hot and heavy until Elgin grounded Ishii with a big kick to the head. Elgin then deadlifted Ishii into the delayed vertical suplex position for a 2 count. The fans fired up after Ishii kicked out. Ishii fired up and Elgin told him to bring it. Elgin then decked him with a huge forearm for a 2 count. Elgin hit a German suplex into the turnbuckle a short time later. He went up top and connected with a corkscrew press for a 2 count. Elgin went for a buckle bomb, but Ishii eventually hit a backdrop. He then hit a big German and both men were down on the mat. Ishii held Elgin up and hit a delayed vertical suplex of his own and the fans fired up. They went back and forth and Elgin finally decked Ishii with a huge lariat. He then followed up with a big hellavator variation and the fans fired up. Ishii tagged Elgin with strikes a short time later and Elgin kept walking towards him. Elgin then returned fire and hit a series of Germans and then the chaos theory for a near fall! Holy s—t! Elgin hit a DVD on the apron a short time later and followed up with a huge running powerbomb into the guardrail. Wow! Elgin then hit a deadlift falcon from the apron back into the ring, but Ishii kicked out at the last second. Elgin hit a buckle bomb, but Ishii countered the Elgin bomb into an inverted piledriver and both men were down. Wow! Ishii and Elgin began trading blows and Ishii ended a big sequence with an enzuguri that sent Elgin into the corner.
Ishii hit a superplex and Elgin stood right up. Ishii then nailed Elgin with a running clothesline and he kicked out at 1. Ishii followed up with a diving clothesline and Elgin kicked out at the very last second. Elgin fired back and went for a double powerbomb. Ishii fought out and no sold an enzuguri. He eventually blocked a kick and nailed Elgin with a headbutt. He then turned Elgin inside out with a huge lariat for a near fall. Ishii signaled for the finish and then nailed Elgin with a brain buster for the win.
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii (10 pts.)
Star rating: (****1/4) – This was an awesome match from start to finish. Elgin had an unbelievable run of power moves at one point just chaining together one unbelievable sequence after another. They had some great strike exchanges down the stretch leading into the finish. What a tournament for Elgin.
(7) Yuji Nagata (4) vs. IWGP IC Champion Hirooki Goto (12) in a G1 Climax B Block match. Goto is still alive for the finals with a win here. They went back and forth during the early going and Goto grounded Nagata with a kick to his injured ribs. Goto continued to go after Nagata’s ribs to maintain the upper hand. Nagata finally mounted a comeback and went to work on Goto. Goto then caught Nagata with a big clothesline off the ropes to regain the upper hand a short time later. Goto blocked an arm bar attempt and sent Goto to the mat with a kick to the mid-section. Nagata fired right back and hit an exploder into the turnbuckles. Goto then caught Nagata by surprise with a Saito suplex a short time later and both men were down. Goto took control and grounded Nagata with a headbutt to the chest. Nagata then surprised him with his signature arm bar. The fans fired up as Nagata dragged Goto to the center of the ring and sat down on the hold. Nagata rolled his eyes into the back of his head and continued to work on Goto’s arms. Goto struggled, but managed to get the ropes. They went back and forth and Nagata hit a backdrop driver and made the cover for a near fall. Goto blocked a second backdrop driver attempt with a knee to Nagata’s head and then grounded him with a kick to the mid-section. They went back and forth and Nagata hit a kick to Goto’s head and backdrop driver with a bridge for the win. Goto is now out of contention for the finals.
Winner: Yuji Nagata (6 pts)
Star rating: (***) – This was a good match. I suspected Goto would lose here and he didn’t after dominating a lot of the action while working over Nagata’s mid-section. Goto-Nagata would be a fun IC Title feud in the fall.
(8) IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Champion Karl Anderson (12) vs. Satoshi Kojima (4) in a G1 Climax B Block match. Anderson needs a win here to stay alive for the finals. Anderson sent Kojima to the floor and distracted the ref, which allowed Gallows and Tonga to put a beating on him on the floor. Anderson began working over Kojima’s arm, which is a wise strategy. Anderson tossed a chair into the ring and flexed. He then made the cover, but the ref refused to count. I love when Red Shoes refuses to count when a heel tries shady tactics. Kojima ducked a charge in the corner and began nailing Anderson with chops. Kojima then hit the machinegun chops on Anderson. He signaled he was going up top, but sold his elbow. Kojima still managed to hit an elbow off the top, but he only got a 2 count. They went back and forth and Anderson hit a sit-out powerbomb for a 2 count. They went at it on the apron and Kojima hit a DDT before both men collapsed to the floor. They went to a big strike exchange on the floor and had to stop to get back into the ring to avoid the ref’s 20 count. Anderson hit a big neck breaker a short time later. He followed up with a neck breaker over his knee for a 2 count. Anderson then went up top quickly and caught Kojima with a jumping neck breaker for a 2 count. Kojima blocked a gun stun attempt and hit an ace crusher a short time later. Anderson blocked Kojima’s big lariat off the ropes, but he caught him with the other arm for a 2 count. Kojima blocked another gun stun attempt and hit a lariat to the back of Anderson’s head. He then finished Anderson off with a running lariat off the ropes.
Winner: Satoshi Kojima (6 pts.)
Star rating: (***) – Anderson is eliminated from contention for the finals with this loss. The match was good with both guys going back and forth. Kojima was able to block the gun stun several times before picking up the win with his signature lariat off the ropes.
The winner of Okada-Nakamura will now determine who advances to the finals of G1 Climax 25.
(9) Kazuchika Okada (14) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura 12 in a G1 Climax 25 B Block match – winner advances to finals. This is a rematch from the excellent finals of G1 Climax 24 last year. They had a hot sequence early with Nakamura going for Boma ye and then Okada went for the rainmaker before they came to a stalemate. They went at it on the outside and Okada reversed a whip and sent Nakamura into the guardrail. He then nailed Nakamura with a gorgeous suplex that sent him over the guardrail. Wow! Okada followed up with a draping DDT off the guardrail a short time later and Nakamura sold pain on the floor. Okada hit the vibration boot in the corner a short time later which drew a gasp from the fans. Nakamura fired back with a kick from the apron. He then grabbed Okada and draped him over the guardrail for his signature running knee. The fans fired up and Nakamura began working over Okada a short time later. Nakamura hit the vibration boot and several knees to the head. He then caught Nakamura with a big dropkick for a 2 count. They went back and forth and Okada hit a diving uppercut for a 2 count. Okada went up top, but had to jump over Nakamura when he popped up. Nakamura sent Okada into the corner and did a slick roll before nailing Okada with a big knee lift. Okada fired back and hit heavy rain for a 2 count a short time later. Nakamura hit a back stabber and a reverse powerslam a short time later. He went for Boma ye, but Okada got out of the way. He then caught Okada with a Boma ye off the turnbuckles for a near fall.
Nakamura set up for another Boma ye, but Okada turned it into a pinning combination for a 2 count. Okada then countered a charge in the corner, placed Nakamura up top, and sent him to the floor with a dropkick. Okada went for a tombstone on the floor a short time later and the fans gasped when he hit it. Both men were down on the ground after that big spot. Okada broke the ref’s count and tossed Nakamura back into the ring. Okada hit a big elbow drop and signaled for the rainmaker. He went for the rainmaker, but Nakamura countered it. They went back and forth and Nakamura hit a big knee strike to the head that left both men down on the mat. The fans fired up with both men down on the mat. Both men got up and began trading blows. They traded until Nakamura grounded Okada with a combination of strikes. Okada got up and they began trading again, but Nakamura hit an axe kick and another Boma ye, but Okada kicked out at the last second.
Nakamura hit a big sit-out slam variation and set up for the Boma ye in the corner, but Okada surprised him with a big dropkick and both men were down. Okada got up first and signaled for the rainmaker. Nakamura slid out, but Okada caught him with a rainmaker. Okada hit a German, but Nakamura held on and went for an arm submission. Okada then lifted him into a tombstone. Holy s—t! Okada went for the rainmaker, but Nakamura countered it into a flying arm bar. Okada held his hands together and bridged on top of Nakamura, who transitioned into a triangle. Nakamura then got an arm bar and rolled onto his belly, which forced Okada to tap.
Nakamura and Okada bumped fists after the match. Nakamura then cut a short promo to close the show.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura (14 pts.) –Nakamura advances to the G1 25 Finals with this win.
Star rating: (****) – Excellent match. It took a while to pick up, but it got quite good down the stretch. The finishing sequence was incredible, although I think something is missing from Nakamura right now. He just hasn’t been himself lately.
Quick G1 Climax 25: Night 18 Viewing Guide
What to watch: Elgin-Ishii, Nagata-Goto, Kojima-Anderson, Okada-Nakamura
What you can skip: Takahashi-Honma
Best G1 match on the card: Elgin-Ishii (****1/4) honorable mention: Okada-Nakamura (****)
Overall thoughts: This was a very good night of block action. Elgin-Ishii stole the show on the undercard with an incredible back and forth war. They didn’t get a ton of time, but Elgin looked tremendous.
The block matches unfolded the way I suspected they would with Goto losing to Nagata and Anderson losing to Anderson, which eliminated them from contention. Goto’s performances have been up and down during the tournament and I was expecting more with a spot in the G1 finals on the line from him, but the match wasn’t anything special. Kojima-Anderson was good as well, but nothing that will blow you away.
Michael Elgin deserves a ton of praise for what he’s done on this tour and he went out with a bang. His match against Ishii was a great war and I’d love to see them go at it again. Elgin’s sequence of big power moves during this match was insane.
The main event between Okada and Nakamura took a little time to get going, but it was awfully good once it began. Nakamura still seems to be missing something during this tournament, but they had a good match and put together a great finishing sequence. I did like their match last year in the G1 24 finals more.
I’m really looking forward to the G1 Climax 25 Finals tomorrow. This has been a fantastic tournament. There’s already some great matches signed for the card, but I’m hoping Elgin gets a singles match against someone like Shibata or Ibushi from the A block.
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