SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
RADICAN’S G1 CLIMAX 26: NIGHT 6 BLOG
JULY 27, 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 features a full camera shoot, but no commentary.
(1) Kojima & Tenzan & Nakanishi beat Togi Makabe & Juice Robinson & David Finlay in a six-man tag match.
(2) Naomichi Marufuji & Goto beat L.I.J. (Sanada & BUSHI).
(3) Tanahashi & KUSHIDA & Ryusuke Taguchi beat Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask & Captain New Japan in a six-man tag match.
(4) Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga & Yujiro Takahashi) beat CHAOS (IWGP World champion Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii & Gedo) in a six-man tag match.
G1 CLIMAX B BLOCK ACTION
(5) YOSHI-HASHI (2 pts.) vs. Yuji Nagata (4 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. Nagata went after HASHI’s arm during the early going. HASHI eventually mounted a comeback and worked over Nagata on the floor. HASHI had the upper hand for a long period of time until Nagata caught him coming off the ropes with a big knee to the mid-section. Nagata hit several big kicks on HASHI a short time later to send him down to the mat.
HASHI eventually hit a big DDT and went up top, but Nagata managed to pop up from the mat and cut him off. HASHI ended up slipping under Nagata in the corner. He then hit a powerbomb and rolled over on top of Nagata for a near fall. HASHI then hit the swanton, but Nagata kicked out at the last second. HASHI applied a shoulder crank Nagata. Nagata struggled big time to get to the ropes and break the hold. The fans got loud and Nagata teased tapping several times. He then got to the ropes and the fans gasped! That was great selling from Nagata. WOW!
Nagata suddenly countered HASHI and got the white eyes arm bar! HASHI managed to get out of it, but Nagata continued to target his arm with strikes and then a big knee in the corner. They went back and forth and Nagata caught HASHI with a leg lariat and a suplex for a 2 count. He then hit the backdrop driver with a bridge for the win!
WINNER: Yuji Nagata at 11:56 (6 pts.)
Star rating: (***1/2) – This was an excellent way to open the show. Nagata worked over HASHI’s arm during the early going. They delivered some quality back and forth action leading into a great submission spot with some tremendous selling by Nagata. Nagata going 3-0 to start the tournament is certainly surprising.
(6) Katsuhiko Nakajima (2 pts.) vs. EVIL (2 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. EVIL went after Nakajima with a chair on the outside. The ref tried to stop him, but EVIL shoved him away, put the chair around Nakajima’s head, and whipped him into the ringpost. The action went back into the ring and EVIL continued to dominate the action. Nakajima finally mounted a comeback and hit a dragon screw. He decked EVIL with one of his signature kicks to the chest a short time later. He followed up with a BIG missile dropkick, but EVIL kicked out at 2.
EVIL tried to fire up out of a suplex, but Nakajima nailed him with several big kicks. EVIL then suddenly countered him and hit a leg capture suplex and both men were down! WOW! They got up and traded big forearms. EVIL blocked a kick and hit two big forearms and then he turned Nakajima inside out with a clothesline. He then hit a big sit-out slam out of the DVD position for a near fall! EVIL duked a kick and hit a headbutt. He then bounced off the ropes, but ran right into a dropkick from Nakajima. Nakajima hit a big running kick to his chest and then a brainbuster for the win.
WINNER: Katsuhiko Nakajima at 10:31 (4 pts.)
Star rating: (***3/4) – This was an excellent back and forth contest that featured some great hard-hitting action. EVIL mounted some great comebacks throughout the match and he hit a nice sit-out slam out of the DVD position at one point, but ultimately Nakajima pulled out the win.
(7) Tetsuya Naito (2 pts.) vs. GHC Hvt. Tag Team champion Toru Yano (0 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. Naito kept teasing locking up and then he would end up walking away from Yano. The place fired up for Yano screaming for a clean break against the ropes from Naito. Naito went to undo one of the turnbuckles, but Yano cut him off. Yano then undid a turnbuckle and hit Naito with it while he was trying to undo another turnbuckle. Naito fired back and hit his signature dropkick in the corner.
Yano fired back and hit a slingshot into the exposed corner. He then undid another turnbuckle pad that he eventually tossed at Naito before rolling him up for a 2 count. Naito kept trying to spit at Yano. Yano ducked and the spit hit the ref. Yano then hit a low blow and rolled up Naito for a near fall. Naito fired back and hit a low blow and then destino for the win.
WINNER: Tetsuya Naito at 4:54 (4 pts.)
Star rating: (**3/4) – This was a fun match with some comedy, but there wasn’t a whole lot to it other than the fun back and forth cheating spots.
(8) Tomoaki Honma (4 pts.) vs. Kenny Omega (2 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. Honma went for an early kokeshi on the apron, but missed. Honma went for a kokeshi on the floor a short time later, but Omega got out of the way once again. Omega then put Honma under the pads on the outside and nailed him with a slingshot double stomp. Honma barely beat the 20 count. Omega immediately made the cover, but Honma managed to get his foot on the rope to break the count. They went back and forth as both men tried to hit a suplex. Honma finally hit a suplex and when they got back up he went to town on Omega. Honma finally connected with a diving kokeshi off the ropes and the fans fired up.
Honma hit a blockbuster out of the corner a short time later and it was good for another 2 count. Omega fired back and hit a big rocker dropper variation for a 2 count. Omega went for his signature second rope moonsault sequence in the corner, but appeared to slip. He sold a knee injury before going for the moonsault, but Honma got his knees up. Omega hit a German and Honma no-sold it. Honma then no-sold a German and eventually hit a diving kokeshi to the back of Omega’s head for a 2 count.
Honma hit a big jumping piledriver for a 2 count. He then slammed Omega and went up top, but ended up missing the kokeshi. Omega then nailed him with a huge running knee to the head for a 2 count. Omega set up for another running knee and connected. He lifted up Honma for the one winged angel, but Honma fought out of it and nailed him with several slaps. They went back and forth and Honma went for a leaping kokeshi, but Omega caught him and dead-lifted him into a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall! WOW!
The fans fired up and chanted for Honma. Omega set up and went off the ropes, but Honma nailed him with a clothesline and a brainbuster for a 2 count. Omega surprised Honma with a superkick, but Honma fired right back with a leaping kokeshi and both men were down. WOW!
They got up and began trading chops. The fans fired up as they continued to trade chops. They went back and forth and Honma went for a leaping kokeshi, but Omega nailed him with a knee strike and a dragon suplex with a bridge for a near fall. Omega nailed Honma with a huge running knee and hit the one-winged angel and it was good for the win.
WINNER: Kenny Omega at 13:59 (4 pts.)
Star rating: (****) – This was excellent. They built to a big spot with both men no-selling German suplexes. The spot later in the match with Omega blocking a leaping kokeshi and eventually turning it into a deadlift powerbomb was nuts. They had some great back and forth action down the stretch and Honma’s downfall was that Omega had the various kokeshi situations well scouted.
(9) NEVER Openweight champion Katsuyori Shibata (2 pts.) vs. IWGP IC champion & CMLL Liga Elite World Champion Michael Elgin (0 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. Elgin escaped and arm submission by lifting Shibata up and placing him on the top turnbuckle like he was placing a new Pop doll on the mantel at his house. Shibata kneeled and invited Elgin to chop him. Elgin chopped him and Shibata smiled. Elgin then returned the favor and got on a knee and took a big kick from Shibata.
They continued to go back and forth. They then went head-to-head and began trading forearms. They continued to go back and forth until Elgin sent Shibata to the floor with a big kick to the arm. Elgin set up Shibata and whipped him shoulder-first into the ringpost. Elgin tossed Shibata back into the ring and continued to go after his taped shoulder. Shibata told Elgin to bring it with the chops and Elgin obliged. Shibata fired up and began to hit some big forearms. He eventually grounded Elgin in the corner and nailed him with the heat seeking missile and the fans fired up.
Shibata grabbed a guillotine choke a short time later, but Elgin lifted him up. Shibata then applied the hold tighter and Elgin went back down to the mat. Elgin then lifted Shibata up again and hit a big vertical suplex to get out of the guillotine. WOW! Elgin went on the attack and hit a big overhead toss for a 2 count. Elgin caught Shibata going for a kick and eventually hit a big slam. He went for a slingshot splash, but Shibata got out of the way and applied a crossface. Elgin managed to get to the ropes to break the hold.
Shibata lit up Elgin with several kicks to the back and chest, but Elgin stood up and fired back with a German. Shibata hit a German and Elgin got right up. They went back and forth and Elgin caught Shibata with a big clothesline. Shibata then rolled to the outside to avoid the pin.
Elgin followed Shibata to the outside and he powerbombed him into the ringpost. He then picked Shibata up again and hit another powerbomb into the ringpost. Elgin hit a powerbomb inside the ring and made the cover, but Shibata kicked out right into a triangle. Shibata kept transitioning the hold as Elgin tried to escape. Elgin eventually picked up Shibata and tossed him into the turnbuckles. Shibata countered the Elgin bomb and grabbed a choke. WOW!
Elgin tried to fight out of it and eventually got to the ropes. Shibata let go and hit a big kick before applying the choke again. He then hit a choke sleeper suplex for a near fall and the fans fired up. WOW! Elgin cut off Shibata coming off the ropes with a big clothesline and he kicked out at 1. They went back and forth and Shibata tried to fire up, but Elgin decked him with a huge clothesline. Elgin then hit a clothesline to Shibata’s back and decked him with a clothesline to the front. Elgin finally finished off Shibata with a buckle bomb and an Elgin bomb for the win.
WINNER: Michael Elgin (2 pts.)
Star rating: (****1/2) – Elgin is just killing it in this tournament. Coming out with a win finally is huge for him from a storyline perspective, as he had opened up the tournament with two losses. This was just an amazing hard-hitting war with tons of fighting spirit spots mixed in. Elgin is a beast!
Elgin cut a promo after the match and warned the fans he doesn’t speak much Japanese. He said he doesn’t get to see home a lot, but there’s no place in the world he’d rather be than in a NJPW ring and in front of the fans in the crowd. The crowd gave him a polite applause. Elgin said tonight he got his first 2 points in G1. Elgin said that’s not the only 2 points he will get. He said from here on out, nobody beats Michael Elgin. The fans applauded Elgin to close the show as he tried to pose with his titles.
Overall Thoughts: This was a great night in the ring for the B Block. The matches on the card were all good to great. Nagata and HASHI put on a good opener. The surprise of the B block so far is Nagata getting off to a fast start and sitting alone on top of the B block after three nights of block action, as Honma was unable to match him when he lost to Omega later on in the show.
Nakajima and EVIL had a really good match that was only thwarted by somewhat of a slow start before they really cranked it up leading into the finish. The last two matches on the show were both excellent. Omega got off to a bit of a rough start in the tournament losing to HASHI, but he’s rebounded with two wins. Omega put a stop to Honma’s surprising 2-0 start by countering a ton of kokeshi’s. They had a fantastic match and told a really good story with Omega simply having Honma’s number on this night.
Michael Elgin continued to show why he was born to wrestle in NJPW. He’s perfect for this style and can have great matches with a variety of different opponents. From a storyline standpoint, Elgin had gotten off to a slow start going 0-2, but he unloaded on Shibata in this match and they had some crazy striking exchanges. Elgin hit a series of big powerbombs into the ringpost on the outside. He then hit several traditional buckle bombs, but Shibata continued to fire up until Elgin finally put him away with a great buckle bombe/Elgin bomb combination.
Overall, this show didn’t feature a ton of surprises, but it was very good from an in-ring standpoint. This tournament continues to be very unpredictable and it’s hard to get a read on what the plan is for the long run.
Something is missing from the tournament this year with the loss of A.J. Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, and KArl Anderson who were all key players in the tournament in recent years and could put on good matches, especially Styles and Nakamura, who really carried the load, although last year Nakamura didn’t have the greatest tournament inside the ring until pulling off a classic performance in the G1 final. This year, Elgin is doing his best to step up and deliver in the ring. He’s worth keeping an eye on as the tournament progresses to see if he can become a credible top-tier player in the promotion.
MATCHES TO WATCH
(6) Nakajima vs. EVIL (***3/4)
(8) Honma vs. Omega (****)
(9) Elgin vs. Shibata (****1/2)
STANDINGS AFTER NIGHT 6
A Block Standings
Togi Makabe (3-0, 6 pts)
Tenzan (2-1, 4 pts)
Hirooki Goto (2-1, 4 pts)
IWGP Champ Kazuchika Okada (2-1, 4 pts)
Naomichi Marufuji (2-1, 4 pts)
Sanada (1-2, 2 pts)
Bad Luck Fale (1-2, 2 pts)
Tomohiro Ishii (1-2, 2 pts)
Tama Tonga (1-2, 2 pts)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (0-3, 0 pts)
B Block Standings
Yuji Nagata (3-0, 6 pts)
Honma (2-1, 4 pts)
Katsuhiko Nakajima (2-1, 4 pts)
Kenny Omega (2-1, 4 pts)
Naito (2-1, 4 pts)
IWGP IC champion Michael Elgin (1-2, 2 pts)
NEVER Openweight champion Shibata (1-2, 2 pts)
YOSHI-HASHI (1-2, 2 pts)
EVIL (1-2, 2 pts)
Toru Yano (0-3, 0 pts)
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