SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
SEAN RADICAN’S G1 CLIMAX 26: NIGHT 12 BLOG
AUG. 4, 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) Juice Robinson & David Finlay & Ryusuke Taguchi beat Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask IV & Captain New Japan.
(2) Bullet Club (Tama Tonga & Yujiro Takahashi & Bad Luck Fale) beat Togi Makabe & Satoshi Kojima & Nakanishi in a six-man tag match.
(3) Tanahashi & Tenzan & KUSHIDA beat Naomichi Marufuji & Hirooki Goto & Gedo in a six-man tag match.
(4) CHAOS’s Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii beat L.I.J.’s Sanada & BUSHI.
G1 CLIMAX 26 BLOCK ACTION
(5) GHC Hvt. Tag Team Champion Toru Yano (4 pts.) vs. Yuji Nagata (6 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. Yano baited Nagata into chasing him to the floor. Nagata held the ropes and open and motioned for Yano to come back into the ring. Nagata nailed Yano with a running boot on the apron. He then tossed him back into the ring and began working him over. Nagata went right to work on Yano’s arm.
Yano kept trying to grab the ref, but Nagata fended off his cheating attempts and got the white eyes arm bar. Yano managed to get his foot on the bottom rope to break the hold. They went at it on the floor a short time later. Yano ducked a kick and hit a low blow. He then used his wrist tape to tie Nagata’s feet together. Yano ran back into the ring, but Nagata couldn’t free himself and got counted out. Holy s—! After all these count-out teases, they finally did a count-out.
WINNER: Toru Yano at 4:22 (6 pts.)
Star rating: (**) – This was pretty good by Yano standards. I loved that he won by count-out after tying Nagata’s feet together on the outside.
(6) IWGP IC champion & CMLL Liga Elite World Champion Michael Elgin (6 pts.) vs. YOSHI-HASHI (6 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B block match. Elgin missed a clothesline on the outside and ended up hitting the ringpost. HASHI went right after his arm on the floor and wrapped it around the barricade before nailing it with a kick. HASHI continued to work over Elgin’s arm inside the ring a short time later. Elgin fired back and hit a slingshot splash before selling his arm. Elgin caught HASHI with a slingshot German and then a wheelbarrow German for a 2 count.
They went back and forth and HASHI finally decked Elgin with a clothesline for a 2 count. HASHI hit a powerbomb out of the corner a short time later and floated over into a bridging pin for a 2 count. Elgin fired back and hit a Blu-Ray. He made the cover for a 2 count and the fans applauded. Elgin grabbed HASHI off the apron a short time later and hit a dead-lift falcon arrow for a near fall!
HASHI fired back and hit a back stabber. He then locked in his shoulder lock submission. Elgin stood up, but HASHI nailed him with a DDT and applied the hold again! Elgin struggled, but managed to get his foot on the bottom rope. HASHI went up top and hit a swanton, but Elgin kicked out at the very last second! They went back and forth and Elgin hit a huge running clothesline, but HASHI kicked out at the last second. Elgin then hit a buckle bomb and the Elgin bomb for the win. WOW!
Afterward, Elgin pulled HASHI to his feet after the match and showed respect before leaving the ring.
WINNER: Michael Elgin at 9:49 (8 pts.)
Star rating: (***3/4) – This was an awesome match that went under 10 minutes. They beat the holy hell out of each other and it was great. These two had a fun match at the G1 finals last year and this was a shade better than that.
(7) Tomoaki Honma (4 pts.) vs. EVIL (2 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. EVIL and Honma quickly went to the floor. EVIL went after Honma with a chair. He wrapped it around his head and nailed him with another chair. OUCH! EVIL worked over Honma inside the ring. Honma finally fired back and dead-lifted EVIL into a suplex. Honma hit a diving headbutt off the ropes a short time later and the fans applauded. They went back and forth. Honma no-sold a German and they continued to go at it.
EVIL finally turned Honma inside out with a clothesline, but he kicked out at 1. EVIL hit a fisherman suplex a short time later for a 2 count. Honma countered a STO attempt and they went back and forth. Honma finally caught EVIL with a leaping kokeshi off the ropes. He hit a big jumping piledriver for a near fall. Honma went up top for the kokeshi, but EVIL got out of the way. EVIL hit a big DVD into a spinebuster for a 2 count. He signaled for the finish and hit the STO for the win.
WINNER: EVIL at 9:49 (4 pts.)
Star rating: (***) – The match didn’t have a lot of heat, but this was a good back and forth match. After a hot start to the tournament, Honma is now on a four-match losing streak.
(8) Kenny Omega (6 pts.) vs. NEVER Openweight champion Katsuyori Shibata (4 pts.) in a G1 Climax B Block match. Shibata hasn’t been bringing his title to the ring for some reason. Omega offered a clean break and then went after Shibata’s arm. Shibata beat the crap out of him and nailed him with a running kick in the corner. Shibata got a choke on the apron, but had to let it go. He then nailed Omega with a dropkick that sent him to the floor. Omega got the upper hand on the floor and dumped Shibata knee-first over the timekeeper’s table. Shibata managed to get back into the ring at 18.
Omega went right after Shibata’s shoulder that was taped up when he got into the ring. He then went after Shibata’s leg with a stretch muffler. Omega stood while applying the stretch muffler and the fans began chanting for Shibata. Shibata struggled, but managed to get to the ropes. Omega hit several forearms in the corner and this only made Shibata mad. He fired up with two big running kicks to the head. He then hit a heat seeking missile. They went back and forth in the middle of the ring. Omega grabbed a choke. Shibata broke free, but Omega got it right back. Shibata then hit a backdrop driver to break free.
Omega hit a German and Shibata fired back with one of his own to counter a one-winged angel attempt and both men were down momentarily. Omega countered Shibata a short time later and got an ankle lock with a grapevine. Shibata struggled, but managed to get to the ropes. They went back and forth and Omega hit a running knee to the jaw for a 2 count. He went for the one-winged angel, but Shibata grabbed his arm and turned it into an arm bar. Omega managed to get to the ropes and Shibata wrapped his legs around Omega’s head while cranking on his arm. Once again, Omega managed to get to the ropes.
Shibata sold his arm as they traded blows in the middle of the ring. Omega clocked Shibata with two big slaps. Shibata tried to fire back, but Omega cut him off with a big knee to the chin. Omega hit a HUGE running knee a short time later for a 2 count. He went for a one-winged angel, but Shibata slipped behind him and grabbed a choke. Omega tried to escape, but Shibata rolled through and held on to the choke. Shibata eventually let go of the choke and nailed Omega with the PK for the win.
WINNER: Katsuyori Shibata at 12:28 (6 pts.)
Star rating: (****1/4) – This was really good. Omega went after Shibata’s taped shoulder and leg, but just couldn’t get him up for the one-winged angel. I really enjoyed this match, as both guys brought the fight to each other from bell-to-bell. This pretty much drops Omega out of contention at 2-4 with 4 points. Shibata is still alive with the win, as the B block continues to shake out.
(9) Tetsuya Naito (6 pts.) vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima (6 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. They had a crazy back and forth exchange that ended in a stalemate when Naito rolled around to avoid Nakajima and hit his pose in the ring. Naito kept rolling in and out of the ring to troll Nakajima after the exchange. Nakajima offered to hold the ropes open for Naito, but he waved him off. Naito then told the fans to calm down. Nakajima tried to nail him with a big running kick on the apron, but Naito avoided it and hit a dropkick to his leg.
Naito then began working over Nakajima’s leg inside the ring. He worked over Nakajima’s leg for a long time, but Nakajima finally caught him with a leg sweep on the apron before dropkick him to the floor. Nakajima hit a penalty kick from the apron to the floor and the fans gasped. Nakajima sold his leg before going after Naito. Nakajima went to town on Naito on the floor before dropping him leg-first over the barrier. Naito barely beat the ref’s count.
Naito fired back and hit his signature dropkick in the corner a short time later. They went back and forth and Nakajima caught Naito with a big kick when he went for a flying forearm. Nakajima then shook the pain out of his knee and hit a backdrop driver for a 2 count. Nakajima grabbed an ankle lock and some fans tried to rally behind Naito. Naito eventually countered it and got a modified trailer hitch. Nakajima struggled, but eventually got to the ropes. Naito went for destino, but Nakajima blocked it and hit a big DVD! The fans gasped and Nakajima draped an arm over Naito for a 2 count.
Both men traded bombs in the middle of the ring. Nakajima kicked Nakajima’s leg and went for a tornado DDT, but Nakajima blocked it, placed Naito up top, and nailed him with a spinning kick! He followed up with a Saito suplex for a 2 count and the fans gasped.
Naito fired back, but Nakajima caught him with a dropkick off the ropes. He followed up with a PK, but Naito kicked out at the last second! Naito countered a brainbuster attempt from Nakajima and hit Destino. He then hit a second Destino for the win. WOW!
Naito posed in Nakajima’s face after the match. Nakajima glared at him before rolling to the floor.
WINNER: Tetsuya Naito at 19:08 (8 pts.)
Star rating: (****) – Naito really knows how to command the ring as a heel and he did a great job of baiting Nakajima during the early going before eventually doing a ton of work on his leg. The action really picked up late with both guys going back and forth with some nice counter wrestling leading into the finish. Naito also gets another show-closing promo, which is usually a big statement in this tournament.
Naito cut a show-closing promo and the fans began chanting his name loudly. He talked about L.I.J. and the fans applauded. He hit his tranquillo catch phrase and the fans applauded. He then spoke in Spanish that he, EVIL, Sanada, and BUSHI were L.I.J.! Naito hit his pose in the middle of the ring laying down and the fans chanted his name.
Overall Thoughts: The show was carried by three really good matches. Elgin-HASHI, Omega-Shibata, and Naito-Nakajima all delivered big in the ring. The crowd was really hot for Shibata-Omega, which was excellent, but they also got into Naito-Nakajima as well.
The B Block is still crowded on top of the standings with everyone having three matches left in the tournament. Naito and Elgin sit on top of the B Block with 8 points each at 4-2. Both men have had a tremendous tournament, but Naito seems to be the pick here as the booking has really spotlighted him.
Elgin had a really good match with HASHI that the crowd fired up for as they went back and forth leading into Elgin simply overpowering HASHI in the end. Elgin has varied his offense during this G1 and it was cool to see him hit the dead-lift falcon arrow for a pop in this match, as he hasn’t gone to it often or at all after using it in nearly every G1 match last year. It’s just a nice move from Elgin to vary his offense and still keep the fans gasping at his power moves.
Naito-Nakajima was really good, but I had Omega-Shibata as the match of the night. Shibata needed a win to realistically stay in contention and he’s now tied for second place with three matches to go. He and Omega put on a fantastic match. Omega has had some fantastic matches in this tournament so far.
Overall, the B Block continues to shine in this tournament. The booking has been good and the wrestling has been fantastic. Make sure you check out my recommended matches below if you’re pressed for time.
MATCHES TO WATCH
(6) Elgin vs. HASHI (***3/4)
(8) Omega vs. Shibata (****1/4)
(9) Naito vs. Nakajima (****)
STANDINGS AFTER NIGHT 12
A Block Standings
IWGP Champ Kazuchika Okada (5-1, 10 pts)
Togi Makabe (4-2, 8 pts)
Naomichi Marufuji (4-2, 8 pts)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (3-3, 6 pts)
Hirooki Goto (3-3, 6 pts)
Bad Luck Fale (3-3, 6 pts)
Tenzan (2-4, 4 pts)
Tomohiro Ishii (2-4, 4 pts)
Sanada (2-4, 4 pts)
Tama Tonga (2-4, 4 pts)
B Block Standings
Naito (4-2, 8 pts)
IWGP IC champion Michael Elgin (4-2, 8 pts)
NEVER Openweight champion Shibata (3-3, 6 pts)
Kenny Omega (3-3, 6 pts)
Katsuhiko Nakajima (3-3, 6 pts)
Yuji Nagata (3-3, 6 pts)
YOSHI-HASHI (3-3, 6 pts)
Toru Yano (3-3, 6 pts)
Honma (2-4, 4 pts)
EVIL (2-4, 4 pts)
Please click HERE and click “like” to join the Radican’s Wrestling Community Facebook fan page.
Follow Sean on Twitter @SeanRadican.