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RADICAN’S G1 CLIMAX 26: NIGHT 4 BLOG
JULY 24, 2016
AIRED LIVE ON NJPWWORLD.COM
I’m only watching the Block action once again this year for my G1 Climax coverage. I will also include a guide at the end of each show I review with recommended matches if you’re only looking to watch the best action from each show.
This show sees NJPW return to Korakuen Hall. NJPW has a full camera shoot and commentary for this show.
(1) Juice Robinson beat David Finlay.
(2) Togi Makabe & Ryusuke Taguchi beat L.I.J. (BUSHI & Sanada).
(3) Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga & Yujiro Takahashi) beat Tanahashi & IWGP Jr. Hvt. champion KUSHIDA & Captain New Japan.
(4) Naomichi Marufuji & CHAOS (IWGP World Hvt. champion Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto & Gedo) beat Jushin Liger & Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima & Nakanishi & Tiger Mask in a mega-10-man tag match.
G1 CLIMAX TOURNAMENT ACTION
(5) Tomoaki Honma (2 pts.) vs. YOSHI-HASHI (2 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. Honma missed a diving kokeshi early and HASHI went on the attack. Honma finally countered HASHI and hit a big vertical suplex. He went for another diving kokeshi a short time later, but once again HASHI got out of the way. HASHI fired back and hit a blockbuster variation a short time later. He then flipped Honma over his shoulder and hit a neck breaker for a 2 count. Honma fired back with a German and then he finally connected with a diving kokeshi off the ropes. Honma hit a big jumping piledriver a short time later for a near fall. Honma went up top for a kokeshi, but HASHI managed to just barely roll out of the way.
They went back and forth and Honma staggered HASHI, but he surprised Honma with a lariat as he came off the ropes for a 2 count. HASHI grabbed a sleeper and then hit a back cracker when Honma went limp. He eventually locked in a shoulder crank. Honma struggled, but managed to get his foot on the bottom rope. HASHI hit a shoulder breaker over his knee. He locked in another submission that worked on Honma’s shoulder, but Honma got to the ropes. Honma then surprised HASHI with a leaping kokeshi off the ropes and the fans fired up. He hit a reverse jumping piledriver on HASHI. He then hit the top rope kokeshi for the win! WOW!
Honma stood over HASHI before he was dragged to the back by several attendants.
WINNER: Honma at 13:07 (4 pts.)
Star rating: (***1/2) – A very nice way to start block action. HASHI worked over Honma’s shoulder down the stretch and then Honma managed to mount a comeback and get the win! This is certainly a big departure from Honma’s G1 losing streak storyline. This was also a bit of a surprise because HASHI was coming off a big win over Kenny Omega.
(6) EVIL (2 pts.) vs. Yuji Nagata (2 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B block match. EVIL jumped Nagata as soon as he got into the ring. He tossed Nagata to the floor, but Nagata got right back into the ring and told him to bring. Nagata hit several big kicks on EVIL and rolled through into a guillotine choke. EVIL fired back on the outside a short time later and went after Nagata’s leg. EVIL then went and got a chair and drove it into Nagata’s leg. He ended up putting the chair around Nagata’s neck a short time later before whipping him into the ringpost.
Nagata managed to make it back into the ring at 19, but EVIL went right back after his leg. Nagata finally fired back with a running boot out of the corner after taking a sustained beating from EVIL. Nagata nailed EVIL with a series of big kicks. EVIL managed to stay on his feet for several kicks, but eventually collapsed to the mat. Nagata faked a dropkick and hit a basement dropkick to EVIL’s knee. They went back and forth trading forearms a short time later. EVIL kicked at Nagata’s knee. They continued to go back and forth until EVIL blocked a kick and hit a leg capture suplex that left both men down on the mat.
EVIL hit a DVD into a sit-out spinebuster for a 2 count. Nagata suddenly fired up and got the white eyes arm bar as the fans fired up! Nagata transitioned into a cross-arm breaker, but EVIL managed to get to the ropes. EVIL fired back and hit a big German. He then followed up with a huge running lariat off the ropes for a near fall! EVIL signaled for the end, but Nagata surprised him with a slap and then a spinning kick. He followed up with a backdrop driver for a near fall and the fans gasped. Nagata hit a second backdrop driver with a bridge for the win! WOW!
WINNER: Yuji Nagata at 10:54 (4 pts.)
Star rating: (***1/2) – This was another very good match. It was a bit slow at times during the early going with EVIL working over Nagata’s leg, but they really came on nicely during the second half of the match with some good back and forth action. The fans seemed pleased with Nagata’s win, but it is quite surprising to see him off to a 2-0 start after seemingly having had his last big run as a singles champion before Shibata beat him to recapture the NEVER Openweight title.
(7) Kenny Omega (0 pts.) vs. GHC Hvt. Tag Team Champion Toru Yano (0 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B block match. Omega came down to the ring spraying his deodorant can. He gave his broom and spray to Takahashi. Yano made Omega do a dance during the early going by teasing his hands for a test of strength. The fans loved that and chanted break, break, break with Yano as he ducked through the ropes. Yano went after Omega with the turnbuckle padding and hit him with is several times. He then tossed it to Omega and rolled him up for a near fall. The ref took the pad away from Yano, who rolled up Omega for another near fall. Omega fired back and sprayed Yano with deodorant in the eyes from the floor as he was leaning through the ropes. Omega then went to work on Yano back inside the ring. Omega then wound up his chainsaw and rubbed his forearm on Yano’s head over and over.
They went back and forth and Yano finally whipped Omega into the exposed turnbuckles. Both men used dirty tactics on each other and went for the hair. Yano finally dragged Omega down by his hair and hit his pose, but Omega nailed him from behind with a big face buster. Yano slipped out of the one-winged angel attempt. Both men threw the ref at each other. Omega finally hit a low blow with the ref distracted. He then got some water from Takahashi and threw it at Yano. Yano then hit a low blow as Omega was drinking water and he spit the water in the ref’s face. That was hilarious. Both men sold their crotches before trading blows.
They did another spot with the ref and Omega eventually tossed the ref at Yano and hit a big knee lift. He went for the cover, but Yano surprised him and got a leverage pin for a near fall. Omega got right up and hit a huge running knee for the win.
Takahashi sprayed down Omega’s groin after the match.
WINNER: Kenny Omega at 9:05.
Star rating: (***1/4) – This match was a total comedy match and it was hilarious. They did a great job with the ref spots and I loved both guys trying to win dirty.
(8) Katsuhika Nakajima (2 pts.) vs. NEVER Openweight champion Katsuyori Shibata (0 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B block match. Shibata did not have his belt with him. This should be a great match, especially with both guys so versed in their hard kicking strikes. Nakajima backed Shibata up against the ropes and offered a clean break. Both men went for huge kicks during a fast exchange, but neither man connected and they came to a stalemate. Shibata went for a triangle and got it, but Nakajima managed to get his foot on the bottom rope quickly. Shibata set up Nakajima’s elbow at a bad angle and stomped down on it. Nakajima fired back and knocked Shibata off the apron to the floor with a big running kick. He then nailed him with a big kick to the chest from the apron a short time later.
Nakajima set up Shibata’s arm around the guardrail before nailing it with a big kick. Nakajima hit several Shibata style forearms in the corner. He then set up and hit a big heat seeking missile and the fans booed. WOW! That’s disrespectful. The fans chanted for Shibata who fired up out of the corner. He told Nakajima to bring it as he hit strike after strike. Shibata tossed Nakajima into opposite corners of the ring and hit a pair of big running kicks following him into the corner. Shibata then returned the favor and hit his own heat seeking missile and the fans chanted his name. Nakajima fired back and decked Shibata with a huge kick to the chest. He went up top and hit a big missile dropkick for a near fall. Shibata no-sold a back drop driver and hit a German. Nakajima popped right up and both men hit big running boots to the face at the same time and they went down to the mat! WOW!
Both men began trading blows from their knees before getting to their feet and continuing to exchange. They went back and forth trading big running kicks in the corner. Nakajima set Nakamura up on the top turnbuckle and nailed him with a spinning kick. He then hit a HUGE German suplex into the turnbuckles. The fans fired up and chanted for Shibata. Shibata slipped out of a suplex attempt.
They went back and forth. Nakajima went after Shibata’s arm and then nailed him with three big kicks to the head and Shibata finally went down. He went for the penalty kick, but Shibata blocked it. Nakajima hit several forearms, but Shibata obliterated him with a slap, cinched in the choke, and let go and hit the PK for the win. WOW! Nakajima got a nice applause after Shibata left the ring.
WINNER: Katsuyori Shibata at 14:08 (2 pts.)
Star rating: (****1/4) – This was an excellent match. Nakajima tried to show up Shibata at times by doing his signature offense and it ended up costing him in the end when Shibata blocked a PK attempt and won the match with a choke and then the PK. This match featured some great hard-hitting action that the crowd was into.
(9) Tetsuya Naito (0 pts.) vs. IWGP IC Champion & CMLL Liga Elite World Champion Michael Elgin (0 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B block match. The fans chanted for both men after the opening bell. Naito stalled, so Elgin mocked Naito’s pose. Naito smiled at Elgin’s antics. Naito fired back and went after Elgin’s leg. He then hit his pose on the apron. Elgin caught Naito charging at him and hit a big slam out of guerrilla press. WOW! Naito tried to block a suplex attempt, but Elgin managed to hold on twice. He then hit a suplex, but only got a 2 count. Naito fired back and went after Elgin’s leg again. Naito hit a big running dropkick a short time later on Elgin’s leg on the floor. He then worked over his leg against the barrier a short time later.
Elgin barely managed to beat the 20 count as Naito mugged for the camera. Naito continued to work over Elgin’s leg inside the ring as he locked in a trailer hitch variation. Naito taunted Elgin with some slaps to the head and he fired up. Naito laughed at Elgin after he hit a few big forearms. Naito then kicked at Elgin’s leg. They went back and forth and Elgin favored his leg, but still managed to hit a whip. Naito went for a tornado DDT, but Elgin blocked it and eventually suplexed Naito over his head and both men were down. Elgin went on the attack when they got up. Naito hit another leg kick, but Elgin elevated him to the apron a short time later and nailed him with an enzuguri. Elgin then sling-shotted Naito back into the ring right into a power slam for a near fall. Elgin hit a series of clotheslines to Naito’s chest and back, but Naito fired back and hit a basement dropkick to Elgin’s leg. He then grabbed another leg submission, but Elgin got to the ropes.
Elgin blocked Naito’s signature dropkick in the corner. They went back and forth trading bombs. Naito ducked a lariat and went for a swinging DDT, but Elgin held on for a big vertical suplex! Elgin hung on and turned it into another vertical suplex. It looked like he was going for the three amigos, but he put Naito on the top turnbuckle and sold his leg. They battled up and Naito tried to knock Elgin down to the mat. He sent Elgin down to the mat finally and hit a sloppy tornado DDT. Both men were slow to get up. Naito got up first and went after Elgin, but Elgin fought him off with a big backwards elbow. They went back and forth and Elgin eventually caught Naito and hit a Blu-Ray into the corner! WOW! Both men were down after that exchange. The fans chanted for Naito, but Elgin got up first and favored his leg before going up top. ELGIN THEN HIT THE BIG MIKE FLOW, but only got a 2 count! Holy s—!
Elgin set up for a buckle bomb, but Naito slipped out and went after his leg. Elgin managed to fight him off and went up top, but Naito cut him off. Naito went for a super hurricanrana, but Elgin blocked it and hit a SUPER ELGIN BOMB for a near fall. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The fans chanted for Naito as Elgin sold his knee. Elgin signaled for the buckle bomb and hit it. HE then set up for the Elgin bomb, but Naito countered it into a poison hurricanrana. HOLY S—! Both men were slow to get up after that exchange. The fans chanted for Naito as he went after Elgin. Naito hit several big forearms, but Elgin fired back with some huge forearms of his own. Naito blocked a lariat and went for destino, but Elgin nailed him with a clothesline with his other arm! They went back and forth and Naito caught Elgin with a series of kicks and went for destino. Elgin blocked it, but Naito got a modified leg submission. Elgin teased tapping, but grabbed his own hand to stop himself from tapping out. Elgin then turned around and lifted Naito out of the submission. He went for a vertical suplex, but Naito countered it into destino! Naito then hit a second destino for the win. MY GOD!
Naito cut a promo after the match. He said good night Korakuen in Spanish. Naito cut a crowd-pleasing promo to close the show before hitting his pose.
WINNER: Tetsuya Naito at 22:12 (2 pts.)
Star rating: (****3/4) – This was an incredible match with Naito going after Elgin’s leg throughout the entire match. Elgin’s power offense was sick here, but Naito’s counter offense down the stretch was purely mental. He countered an Elgin bomb into a poison hurricanrana at one point. He then countered Elgin again late in the match, as he blocked a vertical suplex and turned it into destino. He then hit a second destino for the win. This was simply an amazing match.
The announcers talked to close the show with a little boy in L.I.J. gear hitting Naito’s pose behind them. That was hilarious.
Overall Thoughts: This was a really good night of block action. The first three matches were good, but the last 2 matches blew the roof off, as Nakajima vs. Shibata and Elgin vs. Naito were incredible, especially Naito vs. Elgin, which was just purely mental down the stretch between Elgin’s power offense and Naito’s counters.
There were no big upsets on the card, but it is surprising to see Honma at 2-0 at this point. It’s even more surprising that he beat HASHI after HASHI beat Omega. It seems like NJPW is going for unpredictable after four nights of this tournament and they’re definitely doing that. The main event was simply a blow-the-roof off match that you should go out of your way to see.
MATCHES TO WATCH
(8) Nakajima vs. Shibata (****1/4)
(9) Elgin vs. Naito (****3/4)
STANDINGS AFTER NIGHT 4
A Block Standings
Togi Makabe (2-0, 4 pts)
Tenzan (2-0, 4 pts)
Hirooki Goto (2-0, 4 pts)
IWGP Champ Kazuchika Okada (1-1, 2 pts)
Sanada (1-1, 2 pts)
Naomichi Marufuji (1-1, 2 pts)
Bad Luck Fale (1-1, 2 pts)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (0-2, 0 pts)
Tomohiro Ishii (0-2, 0 pts)
Tama Tonga (0-2, 0 pts)
B Block Standings
Yuji Nagata (2-0, 4 pts)
Honma (2-0, 2 pts)
EVIL (1-1, 2 pts)
Katsuhiko Nakajima (1-1, 2 pts)
NEVER Openweight champion Shibata (1-1, 2 pts)
YOSHI-HASHI (1-1, 2 pts)
Naito (1-1, 2 pts)
Kenny Omega (1-1, 2 pts)
IWGP IC champion Michael Elgin (0-2, 0 pts)
Toru Yano (0-2, 0 pts)
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