SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
RADICAN’S G1 CLIMAX 26: NIGHT 13 BLOG
AUGUST 6, 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 AND COMMENTARY!
(1) Tiger Mask IV & Jushin Liger beat Ryusuke Taguchi & Captain New Japan.
A video message from ROH World Champion Jay Lethal aired regarding his ROH Title match against Satoshi Kojima on August 14.
(2) L.I.J. (Naito & EVIL & BUSHI) beat Satoshi Kojima & KUSHIDA & Juice Robinson in a six-man tag match.
(3) Bullet Club’s Yujiro Takahashi & Kenny Omega beat Yuji Nagata & Nakanishi.
(4) Katsuhiko Nakajima & YOSHI-HASHI & Gedo & Toru Yano beat Michael Elgin & Shibata & Honma & David Finlay in an eight-man tag match.
G1 CLIMAX 26 BLOCK ACTION
(5) Tama Tonga (4 pts.) vs. Sanada (4 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 A Block match. Both men cheated constantly during the early going. The battle spilled to the floor and Sanada got the upper hand after whipping Tonga into the guardrail. Tonga fired back and tossed Sanada gut first over the guardrail. Sanada fired back with his signature leapfrog dropkick and the fans fired up. Tonga fired back a short time later and hit the modified TKO. Tonga hit a big spinebuster a short time later, but only got a 2 count. Sanada fired back and hit a springboard missile dropkick and both men were down on the mat as the fans fired up!
They went back and forth and Sanada hit a tiger suplex and then held on for a pinning combination for a 2 count. Tonga fired right back with his modified DDT to get a 2 count a short time later. Tonga went for the ace crusher, but Sanada blocked it. They had some crazy back and forth sequences that fired up the fans. Tonga eventually hit a modified face buster for a near fall. Sanada got a backslide for near fall, but Tonga got right up and hit the ace crusher for the win. WOW!
WINNER: Tama Tonga at 10:40 (6 pts.)
Star rating: (***1/4) – The first half of the match was solid, but the finish sequence was amazing, as both men went all-out down the stretch leading into the fantastic finishing sequence.
(6) Bad Luck Fale (6 pts.) vs. Togi Makabe (8 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 A Block match. Fale tore the sleeve off the ring announcer’s jacket before the match began. Makabe charged at Fale as soon as he got into the ring and clotheslined him over the top to the floor. Fale fired back on the outside and they brawled up to the ramp. Fale used a chair on the ramp to choke Makabe. Fale stood on the chair at one point, but the ref got him to break it. Makabe kept trying to fire up, but Fale overwhelmed him with his power.
Makabe eventually ducked a charge in the corner, but Fale recovered quickly and put the boots to him. Fale took a clothesline and staggered into the corner. Makabe hit another big clothesline in the corner followed by his signature punches. Both men went for clotheslines at the same time, but didn’t go down. Makabe finally decked Fale with a running clothesline. Fale fired back and caught Makabe with a Samoan drop and both men were down. Makabe hit a northern lights suplex for a 2 count. He tried to go up top, but Fale cut him off.
Fale went for the bad luck fall, but Makabe managed to get out of it. Makabe hit a kneeling powerbomb out of the corner for a 2 count. He went for a German, but Fale wouldn’t budge. Makabe hit two big lariats, but Fale wouldn’t go down. He went for a third lariat, but Fale hit a spear for a 2 count. Makabe got up and staggered around right into the grenade for the win.
WINNER: Bad Luck Fale at 8:38 (8 pts.)
Star rating: (***) – This was an entertaining match that was very one-sided. Makabe got in some offense, but Fale just overwhelmed him with his power and it was too much for Makabe in the end. Fale is putting on some good performances and has been booked well in this tournament.
(7) Hiroyoshi Tenzan (w/Kojima) (4 pts.) vs. Hirooki Goto (6 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 A Block match. The fans fired up and chanted for Tenzan after the opening bell rang. Tenzan’s knees looked shot when they went for a fast-paced exchange during the early going and he was slow to run around Goto to surprise him with a shoulder tackle. Goto got a head scissor submission a short time later. Tenzan struggled, but managed to get to the ropes. Tenzan mounted a comeback and the fans fired up. He hit a suplex and made the cover for a 2 count. They went back and forth trading blows until Goto decked Tenzan with a kick.
Tenzan fired back and got the anaconda vice. Goto got to his feet and broke free. Goto caught Tenzan coming off the ropes and hit a neck breaker over his knee for a near fall and the fans gasped. Goto lifted Tenzan for the final cut, but he countered it into his signature piledriver. Tenzan was slow to make the cover, but he managed to get a 2 count. Tenzan slammed Goto and went up top for a moonsault, but Goto got out of the way.
Tenzan no-sold Goto’s signature kick. He then no-sold a big running clothesline. Goto caught Tenzan with a kick off the ropes and grabbed a choke. Tenzan managed to drive Goto into the corner to break the choke. Tenzan hit a series of headbutts to ground Goto. He then signaled for a big lariat, but Goto slid around him and grabbed the choke again. Goto eventually let go of the choke and hit the final cut for the win.
WINNER: Hirooki Goto at 10:02 (8 pts.)
Star rating: (***) – Tenzan looks like he’s really feeling the wear and tear of the tournament, but man did he put on a gutsy performance in this match that had the crowd on fire down the stretch. Some of the exchanges weren’t smooth, but this was a gutsy effort from Tenzan.
(8) Tomohiro Ishii (4 pts.) vs. IWGP Hvt. Champion Kazuchika Okada (w/Gedo) (10 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 A Block match. Ishii hit a huge clothesline for a near fall. He then hit a sliding clothesline for another near fall. Ishii went for the brainbuster and Okada tried to counter it into the rainmaker, but Ishii ducked it. Okada then hit his signature neck breaker over his knee and both men were down as the fans went nuts. HOLY S—! Ishii sold his neck before hitting some thunderous chops on Okada that caused the fans to gasp.
Okada set up Ishii for a running uppercut, but he got up and caught him with a powerslam for a 2 count. Ishii continued to assault Okada with headbutts and chops against the ropes. The fans fired up with a chant for Ishii. Okada finally hit a flapjack to halt Ishii’s momentum. Okada set Ishii up and nailed him with a sliding kick off the ropes. He hit a big DDT a short time later and followed up with a diving uppercut for a 2 count.
Okada went up top, but Ishii popped up and Okada jumped over him only to take a suplex. Ishii then got up and went right back on the attack with several more chops and eventually he went to a chop/forearm combination in the corner. Okada ducked a charge in the corner and hit a dropkick that sent Ishii to the floor. Okada followed him to the floor and booted him over the guardrail. He then hit a draping DDT off the guardrail a short time later. Okada dropped his signature elbow off the top and signaled for the rainmaker, but Ishii got right up and nailed him with a huge chop! HOLY S—!
Ishii followed up with another chop and a big release German. He followed up with a powerbomb and folded over on top of Okada for a 2 count. The fans fired up and Ishii went for a clothesline, but Okada blocked it with a kick and hit a DVD that left both men down on the mat! They went back and forth and Ishii held onto the ropes to avoid the too awesome dropkick. Okada then ducked a clothesline from Ishii. Ishii eventually caught Okada with a big dropkick and the fans fired up. Ishii placed Okada up top and hit a big superplex, but Okada kicked out at the last second! Ishii hit another diving lariat, but Okada kicked out at the very last second! OMG ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?
Ishii went for the brainbuster, but Okada blocked it. Ishii went for it again, but Okada slipped out and hit a dropkick to the back of Ishii’s head that left both men down on the mat. WOW! The fans fired up as both men began to stir. THIS IS AMAZING! Okada got up and nailed Ishii with a huge dropkick. He hit a series of sliding kicks on Ishii. Okada made the cover, but Ishii kicked out at 2. THIS IS NUTS!
Okada went for the tombstone, but Ishii tried to fight it. Ishii got out of it and nailed Okada with back and forth elbows. Okada fired back and caught Ishii with the too awesome dropkick and the announcers went nuts. Ishii ducked a rainmaker attempt and hit an enzuguri and the fans went nuts. Ishii went for a clothesline, but Okada ducked it and hit a German. He then went for the rainmaker, but Ishii ducked it twice and went for a rainmaker of his own!
Ishii then hit a pair of headbutts and Okada went down to the mat. Ishii went for the brainbuster, but Okada countered and went for a tombstone. Ishii tried to fight out of it and he eventually lifted Okada and hit A TOMBSTONE! Ishii then followed up with a huge lariat and Okada kicked out at the last second. I SWEAR THIS IS THE BEST MATCH OF ALL TIME! Ishii then hit a brainbuster and it was GOOD FOR THE WIN. MY GOD!
WINNER: Tomohiro Ishii at 18:43 (6 pts.)
Star rating: (*****) – Amazing from start to finish. Ishii went for broke right off the bat and Okada tried to fire back and trade finishers with him. Ishii then took the fight to Okada. I got chills watching this match with Ishii popping up when Okada trying to go for the rainmaker pose and cutting him off with a big slam. The counter sequences late in the match were sick with Ishii trying to counter rainmaker attempts from Okada into rainmaker attempts of his own. Ishii countering the Tombstone late into a tombstone of his own leading to the finish was sick. What a ridiculous match. This was just on another level.
(9) Hiroshi Tanahashi (6 pts.) vs. GHC Hvt. Tag Team Champion Naomichi Marufuji (8 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 A Block match. Tanahashi ducked a kick attempt. He then dragged Marufuji’s feet towards the ringpost and slammed his leg into it. Tanahashi then went on the attack inside the ring and went right after the leg. They went at it near the apron and Marufuji nailed him with a knee to the jaw through the ropes. Marufuji wet up for a piledriver on the apron and hit it. I can’t believe I just saw that. It’s so dangerous. Tanahashi barely beat the 20 count and Marufuji went right on the attack.
Marufuji laid into Tanahashi with some thunderous chops. Tanahashi finally fired back with a forearm off the ropes. Marufuji fired right back and hit a cartwheel into a dropkick. They went at it on the ropes and Marufuji hit a springboard dropkick to send Tanahashi into the barricade. He then hit a big dive to the floor to wipe him out. They traded chops in the middle of the ring. Marufuji’s chops just look 10x more brutal than anyone else’s to take.
They continued to trade chops. Tanahashi told Marufuji to bring it and he nailed him with a huge chop. Marufuji went for a combination of strikes, but Tanahashi blocked a kick and hit a dragon screw and both men were down. WOW! Marufuji ducked a charge in the corner and hit a big knee to the chin.
He hit a crescent kick a short time later for a 2 count. He set up for sliced bread, but Tanahashi shoved him off. Marufuji fired back with several kicks and went for sliced bread, but Tanahashi countered it into a sling blade! WOW! The fans fired up and Tanahashi hit a straightjacket German. Tanahashi hit a sling blade a short time later off the ropes. He went up top for a standing high fly flow, but Tanahashi nailed him with a knee lift to the stomach.
Both men went down and Marufuji appeared to have hurt his leg countering the standing high fly flow. Marufuji hit a big kick from behind Tanahashi to his head. WOW! He picked Tanahashi up, but Tanahashi hit a roll of the dice. They went back and forth and Marufuji hit a crescent kick, but Tanahashi came right back with a sling blade! He then hit a standing high fly flow. Tanahashi went up top and hit a traditional high fly flow for the win. WOW!
WINNER: Hiroshi Tanahashi at 19:01 (8 pts.)
Star rating: (****1/2) – This was amazing. They had a hard act to follow, but boy did Marufuji take the attack to Tanahashi. This reminded me somewhat of his match earlier in the tournament where he took the attack to Okada and countered all his signature offense and got the win. The piledriver on the apron was scary and unnecessary, but this was one hell of a war. It’s amazing the fans could get up for this match after the Ishii-Okada match.
After the match, Tanahashi cut a show-closing promo. He signaled that he had two more matches left to win. He then went into his usual guitar solo routine to close the show as the fans ate it up.
Overall Thoughts: The show got off to a bit of an ordinary start before going to a red hot finish. Okada-Ishii was an amazing MOTYC that’s going to be very tough to beat in 2016. The Osaka crowd was amazing and they provided a fantastic atmosphere for Tanahashi vs. Marufuji.
I’m starting to come around a bit on the A Block after it got off to somewhat of a slow start. I’m really enjoying the rise of Tanahashi after he started the tournament off 0-3. He’s just getting better and better as the tournament goes on and who doesn’t love his show-closing guitar solos?
Okada vs. Ishii put on an insane match. Ishii just had Okada’s number on this night and he had an answer for all of Okada’s signature offense. This was a war for the ages as Okada tried to overcome Ishii, but he just could never get on track. The counter sequences late with Ishii trying to counter a rainmaker attempt into a rainmaker of his own twice was mental. The tombstone counter was one for the ages as well.
Tanahashi and Marufuji had a hard act to follow, but they had the crowd red hot again. Tanahashi did some work on Marufuji’s leg early in the match, but then Marufuji hit a piledriver on the apron, which looked really scary. Marufuji really took the attack to Marufuji from that point forward, but they had a really nice story going where Marufuji would hurt his leg countering Tanahashi. The big spot came when he hurt his leg going for a knee lift when Tanahashi went for a high fly flow. Tanahashi just commanded the ring at times in this match and was fantastic to watch as he took everything Marufuji had to dish out and came out on top, which was something Okada couldn’t do on the first night.
Go out of your way to see the last two matches of this show. They were fantastic! The first three were all solid as well if you have time to watch them.
MATCHES TO WATCH
(8) Ishii vs. Okada (*****)
(9) Tanahashi vs. Marufuji (****1/2)
STANDINGS AFTER NIGHT 12
A Block Standings
IWGP Champ Kazuchika Okada (5-2, 10 pts)
Togi Makabe (4-3, 8 pts)
Naomichi Marufuji (4-3, 8 pts)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (4-3, 8 pts)
Hirooki Goto (4-3, 8 pts)
Bad Luck Fale (4-3, 8 pts)
Tomohiro Ishii (3-4, 6 pts)
Tama Tonga (3-4, 6 pts)
Tenzan (2-5, 4 pts)
Sanada (2-5, 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)
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