RADICAN’S NJPW G1 Climax Night 10 Review – B Block Chaos continues, Naito vs. Honma main event, Elgin, Omega; Overall Reax

By Sean Radican, PWTorch columnist


G1 Climax 2016 logo (c) New Japan Pro Wrestling

SEAN RADICAN’S G1 CLIMAX 26: NIGHT 10 BLOG
AUG. 1, 2016
KAGAWA, JAPAN
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.

UNDERCARD RESULTS

(1) Juice Robinson & David Finlay & Ryusuke Taguchi beat Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask IV & Captain New Japan in a six-man tag.

(2) Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga & Yujiro Takahashi) beat Tenzan & Kojima & Nakanishi in a six-man tag match.

(3) Hirooki Goto & Naomichi Marufuji beat L.I.J.’s Sanada & BUSHI.

(4) Tanahashi & Togi Makabe & IWGP Jr. Hvt. champion KUSHIDA beat CHAOS (IWGP World Hvt. champion Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii & Gedo) in a six-man tag match.

G1 CLIMAX 26 BLOCK ACTION

(5) YOSHI-HASHI (4 pts.) vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima (6 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. Nakajima hit a big PK from the apron to the floor during the early-going. Nakajima used the guardrail to put leverage on HASHI’s arm and the ref’s count came close to reaching 20, but Nakajima tossed HASHI back into the ring and then slid in to beat the count. He then continued to target HASHI’s arm with a smile on his face.

Nakajima worked over HASHI’s arm for a long period of time. HASHI fired back and hit a basement dropkick to take out Nakajima’s leg before following up with a DDT. HASHI hit a blockbuster off the ropes a short time later and the fans applauded. Nakajima ducked a splash in the corner and hit a superkick. He then hit a Saito suplex, but HASHI no-sold it. HASHI took a tiger suplex. Nakajima then came off the ropes, but HASHI caught him and hit a shoulder breaker over his knee! WOW!

They got up and began exchanging forearms and then kicks. HASHI finally hit a big powerbomb and he floated over into a leverage pin for a near fall! HASHI went for a swanton, but Nakajima got his knees up. Nakajima hit several big kicks and made the cover for a near fall. He then hit the PK and went for his version of the brainbuster, but HASHI slipped out.

Nakajima went for another PK, but HASHI ducked it and then caught him off the ropes with a clothesline! WOW! HASHI then finished him off with Karma for the win.

Winner: YOSHI-HASHI at 12:02 (6 pts.)

Star rating: (***1/2) – This was a great way to kick off the night. These two had a really good back and forth match with some great exchanges late. Both men have made a very positive impression during this tournament, especially HASHI, who has really elevated his stock.

(6) IWGP IC Champion and CMLL Liga Elite Champion Michael Elgin (4 pts.) vs. Yuji Nagata (6 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. They went back and forth during the early going until Elgin hit a discus forearm to the back of Nagata’s head for a 2 count. Elgin hit a leg drop on the apron a short time later and flexed for the fans. Nagata had tome strange looking black dots on his back like Tenzan did recently. Nagata fired back and caught Elgin with a big knee to the gut as he came off the ropes. Nagata hit an exploder a short time later for a 2 count.

Elgin fired back and caught Nagata with a black hole slam variation a short time later for a 2 count. They went back and forth. Elgin absorbed an enzuguri and hit a big clothesline. Nagata then fired back with a Saito suplex and both men were down on the mat. They battled up top a short time later. Nagata kept firing up each time Elgin would nail him with forearms. Nagata went for an exploder off the top and hit it. Holy s—! He then made the cover, but Elgin managed to kick out at the last second.

Elgin caught Nagata charging at him in the corner a short time later and hit a buckle bomb. He went for the Elgin bomb, but Nagata countered it into the white eyes arm bar! Elgin struggled and managed to get to the ropes to break the hold. They went at it on the apron and Elgin eventually hit Nagata with a big DVD! He then hit a dead-lift German with a bridge for a 2 count.

Elgin went up top, but missed a big splash attempt. Nagata then went for a cross-arm breaker only for Elgin to roll on top of him for a 2 count. They went back and forth and Elgin hit a big clothesline. He then hit a buckle bomb and an Elgin bomb for the win.

After the match, Elgin and Nagata shook hands.

Winner: Michael Elgin at 10:35 (6 pts.)

Star rating: (***1/2) – This was a good match. Elgin clearly got the better of Nagata for most of the match. They had some good hard-hitting exchanges and built to a nice finish.

(7) NEVER Openweight champion Katsuyori Shibata (4 pts.) vs. GHC Hvt. Tag Team Champion Toru Yano (2 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. Yano threw water at Shibata when he made his entrance. Shibata wiped his face with a towel and went right after Yano with vengeance in his eyes. He hit his heat seeking missile and a suplex, but only managed a 2 count. Shibata went for a choke and Yano escaped and hit a low blow for a 2 count. Shibata went for another choke and Yano fell backwards over him with a bridging pin for the win.

Shibata sold disgust after the match.

WINNER: Toru Yano at 1:05 (4 pts.) – Yano has now beat Shibata two years in a row during G1.

(8) EVIL (2 pts.) vs. Kenny Omega (4 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. Omega slapped EVIL several times, so EVIL fired back and raked his eyes. Omega sent EVIL to the floor and set up for the Terminator dive, but EVIL got out of the way. Omega laid down in the ring and held up the too sweet sign. EVIL went for a chair on the floor and Omega nailed him with a huge dropkick through the ropes.

They went back and forth on the outside and battled around the chair. EVIL eventually countered Omega on the floor and hit a suplex of his own. EVIL then hit a brainbuster that sent Omega through the chair almost. It looked like Omega got a cut on his back from the chair. Omega fired back and hit his Finlay roll/moonsault combination for a 2 count. Omega went for a rocker dropper a short time later, but EVIL countered it into a backdrop driver and both men were down as the fans fired up!

Omega fired back and hit a snap dragon suplex. He went for the one-winged angel, but EVIL managed to fight out of it. Omega caught EVIL with a big running knee lift a short time later for a 2 count. He then hit a gut-wrench sit-out powerbomb for another 2 count and the fans fired up. EVIL fired back with a release German and a big running clothesline to deck Omega. He then hit a DVD into a spinebuster, but Omega managed to kick out! EVIL went for his STO finish, but Omega blocked it.

They went back and forth and Omega hit a big knee lift to the head and then a poison hurricanrana and the fans gasped. Omega hit a huge running knee to the head against the ropes. He then followed up with the one-winged angel for the win.

WINNER: Kenny Omega at 10:15 (6 pts.)

Star rating: (***3/4) – This was fantastic. Both EVIL and Omega have had a good tournament in the ring so far and they put together a hard-hitting back and forth spring that mixed in a nice brawling segment on the floor as well.

(9) Tetsuya Naito (4 pts.) vs. Tomoaki Honma (4 pts.) in a G1 Climax B Block match. The crowd chanted for Naito and then Honma after the bell rang. Naito hit a big shoulder tackle and Honma wouldn’t go down. They traded shoulder tackles until Naito went down. Naito dodged a kokeshi off the ropes and went on the attack. Naito wrapped Honma’s leg around the guardrail and nailed it with a running dropkick.

They battled up the ramp and Naito went after Honma’s leg and then hit a running basement dropkick a short time later. Honma limped back towards the ring and collapsed. Naito posed in the ring and counted along with the ref, but Honma managed to get into the ring at 19. Naito really went after Honma’s leg and locked in a figure-four. Honma struggled, but managed to get to the bottom rope.

Naito hit some light kicks to Honma’s head and he began to fire up. Naito spit at Honma. They went back and forth and Honma went for a dead-lift suplex. Naito dropped down, but Naito leveraged him back up and then sold his leg. WOW! Honma connected with a diving kokeshi off the ropes a short time later and the fans fired up. Naito fired back and hit his signature dropkick in the corner. They went back and forth and Honma hit a leaping kokeshi to wipe out Naito. WOW!

The fans fired up and chanted for Honma. They went at it in the corner and Honma hit a kokeshi off the turnbuckles. He then hit a HUGE brainbuster, but Naito kicked out at 2. Honma went up top, but Naito cut him off. They traded bombs in the corner. Naito then hit Honma’s injured leg a couple of times to stall his momentum. Naito hit a super hurricanrana, but Honma managed to kick out at the last second. Naito went for destino, but Honma blocked it with a headbutt.

Naito countered a piledriver attempt and grabbed a modified ankle lock. Honma struggled and Naito dragged him back to the center of the ring. Honma went for the ropes once again. He then stood up and kicked Naito’s head several times to break free! Naito went for destino again, but Honma nailed him with a clothesline. Honma hit a leaping kokeshi off the ropes and a big jumping piledriver for a near fall. He went for a top rope kokeshi, but Naito got out of the way at the very last second. WOW!

Both men traded blows on their knees. They got up and continued to exchange. Naito hit several kicks to Honma’s injured leg. Honma fired back with slaps. Naito then hit a big enzuguri and a scorpion death drop for a near fall! Naito went for destino and hit it for the win! WOW!

WINNER: Tetsuya Naito at 20:38 (6 pts.)

Star rating: (****1/4) – This was a fantastic match. Naito worked over Honma’s leg throughout the match and Honma made some great comebacks and countered Destino many times until Naito overwhelmed him in the end. This win was big for Naito to stay in contention near the top of the B block.

Naito cut a second show-closing promo and the fans seemed to be happy with what he had to say. Naito shouted out his fellow L.I.J. members and said we are Los Ingobernables de Japon as the fans chanted along. Naito hit his pose in the ring as the fans chanted his name. I could understand some of what he said because he spoke Spanish.

Overall Thoughts: The B Block continues to deliver quality in-ring action and storytelling, especially compared to the A Block where the direction seems to be pretty much telegraphed at this point outside of who is going to come out of the block between Okada, Marufuji, and Tanahashi. The B Block has six wrestlers stacked on top of each other in the standings with each wrestler hold a record of 3-2 and six points.

Nagata, Elgin, Omega, Nakajima, and Naito all have six points right now. Out of those names, I see the block coming down to Naito, Omega, and Elgin. I felt before the tournament that Naito would win the B Block and win the tournament. The tournament isn’t booked on the fly, so even though Elgin has been a revelation in the ring, I don’t see him winning the B Block. He’s been tremendous, but Naito has to be the pick in my eyes.

Naito won his second main event of the tour and got to close the show once again. Naito seems to be slowly turning face, although that’s just my read on his antics this year compared to last year during G1. He isn’t being as big of a jerk this year. His match with Honma was outstanding. Naito was coming off a show-closing loss to Shibata, so this was a nice way for him to rebound in what turned out to be the match of the night.

The rest of the card was outstanding. Every match was in three-and-a-half star range or higher with the exception of Yano’s quick and cheap win over Shibata, who is still in contention, but has a mountain of people to climb over to get to the top. Omega vs. EVIL really stood out from the pack outside of the main event as a really fun back and forth 10 minute sprint.

After 10 nights of action, it’s clear that the B Block is far more entertaining in the ring and from a storyline standpoint than the A Block, which is surprising as the A Block has the star power and seemed more loaded than the B Block going into the tournament.

For those without a lot of time on their hands looking to squeeze in some G1 action, I recommend the last two matches, although you certainly won’t regret watching the entire second half of the show, as all the matches delivered and one match was a Yano match.

MATCHES TO WATCH

(8) Omega vs. EVIL (***3/4)

(9) Naito vs. Honma (****1/4)

STANDINGS AFTER NIGHT 10

A Block Standings

Togi Makabe (4-1, 8 pts)
IWGP Champ Kazuchika Okada (4-1, 8 pts)
Naomichi Marufuji (3-2, 6 pts)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (2-3, 4 pts)
Tenzan (2-3, 4 pts)
Hirooki Goto (2-3, 4 pts)
Tomohiro Ishii (2-3, 4 pts)
Sanada (2-3, 4 pts)
Bad Luck Fale (2-3, 4 pts)
Tama Tonga (2-3, 4 pts)

B Block Standings

Yuji Nagata (3-2, 6 pts)
IWGP IC champion Michael Elgin (3-2, 6 pts)
Kenny Omega (3-2, 6 pts)
Katsuhiko Nakajima (3-2, 6 pts)
Naito (3-2, 6 pts)
YOSHI-HASHI (3-2, 6 pts)
NEVER Openweight champion Shibata (2-3, 4 pts)
Honma (2-3, 4 pts)
Toru Yano (2-3, 4 pts)
EVIL (1-4, 2 pts)

***

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