RADICAN’S NJPW G1 Climax Night 14 Review – L.I.J. Explodes with Naito vs. EVIL, Omega, Elgin, more in action; Overall Reax


G1 Climax 2016 logo (c) New Japan Pro Wrestling

RadicanSean_profileRADICAN’S G1 CLIMAX 26: NIGHT 14 BLOG
AUGUST 7, 2016
HAMAMATSU, 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) Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask IV & Captain New Japan beat KUSHIDA & Ryusuke Taguchi & David Finlay in a six-man tag match.

(2) Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii beat L.I.J.’s Sanada & BUSHI.

(3) Togi Makabe & Tanahashi & Juice Robinson beat Tenzan & Kojima & Nakanishi in a six-man tag match.

(4) Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi & Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga) beat Kazuchika Okada & Naomichi Marufuji & Gedo in a six-man tag match.

G1 CLIMAX 26 BLOCK ACTION

(5) IWGP IC Champion & Liga Elite World Champion Michael Elgin (8 pts.) vs. GHC Hvt. Tag Team Champion Toru Yano (6 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. Yano wanted a handshake during the early going and the fans applauded. Elgin shook his hand, but then Yano screamed in pain. Elgin then shook Yano’s hand down to the mat. He finally got to the ropes and screamed for a break. He shouted for a break over and over and the fans chanted along with him. He tried to sneak up on Elgin, but Elgin turned around.

Elgin then began punching Yano over and over and he swung like a pendulum on the ropes. Elgin then mocked Yano asking for a break and the fans laughed. They did some comedy with Yano trying to get the turnbuckle pad off. He got it off, but Elgin nailed him with a German. Elgin went to work on Yano and hit a big clothesline. He set up for a buckle bomb into the exposed corner, but Yano slipped out of it. Yano grabbed the ref twice and hit two low blows and it was good for the win.

WINNER: Toru Yano at 4:59 (8 pts.)

Star rating: (**) – This was fine for what it was. I’m certainly stunned Yano has picked up four cheap wins this year.

(6) NEVER Openweight champion Katsuyori Shibata (6 pts.) vs. YOSHI-HASHI (6 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. Shibata booted HASHI off the apron and into the guardrail during the early going. He then took HASHI on a tour of the guardrails on the floor. Shibata got a figure 4 in the middle of the ring. HASHI tried to turn it over, but Shibata wouldn’t allow it. HASHI finally turned it over, but Shibata reversed it. HASHI then got the ropes and the fans applauded. Shibata continued to go after HASIH’s leg. He followed up with the heat-seeking missile a short time later.

They went back and forth trading forearms in the middle of the ring a short time later. HASHI finally caught Shibata with a big clothesline to end the exchange. HASHI went on the attack and hit a powerbomb into a float over pinning combination for a 2 count. He went up top, but Shibata avoided a swanton attempt. They went back and forth and HASHI countered a choke and got his modified shoulder lock. He cranked on Shibata’s taped shoulder. Shibata struggled, but managed to get to the ropes.

HASHI hit a slam and this time he went up and connected with a swanton for a near fall. Shibata fired back and got a reverse full nelson. He then turned it into a double underhook suplex for a 2 count. Shibata then grabbed a choke. HASHI began to fade, so Shibata let go and hit the PK for the win.

WINNER: Katsuyori Shibata at 11:08 (8 pts.)

Star rating: (***1/4) – I was expecting more out of this match. It was good, but I was expecting it to be a little better than it was. Shibata worked over HASHI’s leg during the early going before HASHI mounted a comeback. Shibata eventually got the win he needed stay near the top of the pack.

(7) Tomoaki Honma (4 pts.) vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima (6 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. Honma went for a kokeshi off the ropes during the early going, but Nakajima got out of the way. They went at it on the apron and Nakajima eventually hit a DDT. Nakajima hit a PK from the apron to the floor a short time later. Nakajima got a figure 4 head scissors submission, but Honma managed to get to the ropes. Nakajima continued to cut off Honma’s comeback attempts.

Honma eventually hit his dead-lift suplex and the fans fired up. Honma ran wild on Nakajima and connected with a kokeshi off the ropes and the fans fired up. Nakajima fired back and decked Honma with a big kick to the chest. They began trading blows in the middle of the ring a short time later. Nakajima hit a suplex, but Honma got up and nailed him with a clothesline and both men were down! Honma hit chops and Nakajima fired back with kicks to the chest. The pace quickened as they continued to exchange. Honma blocked a kick and hit a leaping kokeshi to the back. He hit another leaping kokeshi off the ropes and then a big piledriver for a near fall.

Honma went up top for a kokeshi, but Nakajima got out of the way. Nakajima hit a big backdrop driver for a 2 count. He then went for the twisting brainbuster, but Honma slipped out of it. Nakajima caught Honma with a dropkick off the ropes a short time later. He measured Honma and nailed a series of superkicks, but Honma kicked out. Nakajima hit the PK and the brainbuster for the win.

After the match, Nakajima helped Honma to his feet and showed him respect by bowing to him. Nakajima offered a handshake and Honma accepted and they hugged. That was very cool.

WINNER: Katsuhiko Nakajima at 12:34 (8 pts.)

Star rating: (***1/2) – This was a good back and forth match. It took a while to get going, but the second half of the match had some fantastic exchanges.

(8) Kenny Omega (6 pts.) vs. Yuji Nagata (6 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. Omega faked a knee and then kicked low, as he did a variation of Nagata’s fake kick sequence. Omega then went to work on Nagata’s leg. Omega was working over Nagata’s leg on the apron and Nagata managed to use his legs to shove Omega into the guardrail. Omega fired back and continued to work over Nagata’s leg. He did Nagata’s salute before grabbing another leg submission.

Nagata eventually managed to get to the ropes. Nagata fired back and caught Omega with a knee to the gut before selling his leg. Omega went right back after Nagata’s leg and hit a rocker dropper for a 2 count. Nagata fired back and hit a gut wrench suplex. Omega hit a flurry of moves capped by a big running knee to the head for a 2 count. Nagata suddenly got up from the floor and grabbed Omega on the apron and hit an exploder. Both men were down on the floor as the ref counted. Both men made it back into the ring at 19. They battled near the apron and Nagata suddenly hit a twisting neck breaker off the ropes. He then hit a brainbuster for a 2 count.

They traded blows and Omega finished the sequence with a big knee to the head. He set up for the one winged angel, but Nagata countered it into the white eyes arm bar. Nagata went for an exploder off the top a short time later, but Omega blocked it. Omega went over Nagata and went for the one winged angel again, but Nagata slid out of it.

Nagata went for the backdrop driver several times, but Omega blocked. Omega took an exploder, but got right up and hit a running knee to the head for a 2 count. He then hit the one winged angel for the win.

WINNER: Kenny Omega at 14:18 (8 pts.)

Star rating: (***1/4) – Omega dominated most of the action here with Nagata mounting some nice comebacks. This was a good win for Omega, as he controlled a lot of the action and cut off Nagata just about every time he got on track.

(9) Tetsuya Naito (8 pts.) vs. EVIL (4 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. We have L.I.J. members colliding here. Naito sent EVIL to the floor and teased a dive, but ended up hitting his pose on the mat. EVIL rubbed his goatee while Naito urged him to relax. EVIL got into the ring, so Naito went to the floor and made his calm down motions. EVIL got his usual heat on the floor by wrapping a chair around Naito’s head and then nailing him with a chair shot on the chair.

EVIL then went to work on Naito inside the ring. Naito fought out of a fisherman suplex and hit a tornado DDT. Naito went after EVIL’s leg before hitting his signature dropkick in the corner a short time later. Naito spit at the crowd when they started to chant for EVIL. Naito went back after EVIL’s knee and locked in a modified leg lock. EVIL struggled and got to the ropes and Naito made the ref break their legs apart. The fans chanted for EVIL again. Naito went for destino, but EVIL countered it into a fisherman suplex and both men were down. EVIL went up top and hit a big lariat for a 2 count. EVIL hit a big spinebuster out of the DVD a short time later. EVIL set up for the big STO, but Naito countered it and got a modified ankle lock using his legs for extra torque.

The fans fired up behind EVIL, but Naito applied more pressure on the hold and dragged him back to the middle of the ring. EVIL finally got to the ropes and the fans applauded. They battled up top and EVIL had Naito on his shoulders, but Naito countered him with a super hurricanrana for a 2 count! Naito went for destino a short time later, but EVIL countered it into a powerslam and both men were down.

They traded blows in the middle of the ring a short time later. Naito hit a series of strikes and a scorpion death drop for a 2 count. He set up for destino again, but EVIL blocked it with a headbutt and wiped him out with a big clothesline. EVIL went for an STO, but Naito countered it into destino for the win.

BUSHI and Sanada came to the ring after the match. Naito lifted EVIL up by his hair and salute him. EVIL then returned the fist bump before selling his leg. The fans fired up and chanted for Naito as he cut his usual show-closing promo.

WINNER: Tetsuya Naito at 21:29 (10 points).

Star rating: (***1/2) – This was solid. The match was ordinary during the first half, but the second half was really strong. I was expecting Naito to pull a little more out of EVIL than he did here. This really felt flat up until the last quarter of the match or so.

Overall Thoughts: Naito won yet another main event and cut a show-closing promo. He’s had some good matches in this tournament, but hasn’t been what I would call a sizzling performer in big spots like the one he had tonight.

The B Block continues to have a several wrestlers in contention with two nights of block action left, so it will be interesting to see how things shake out. I still see Naito coming out of this block for the finals.

None of the matches are worth going out of your way to see from this night, but Honma-Nakajima and EVIL-Naito are worth checking out if you have the time. Otherwise, I would suggest catching up on some of the fantastic action on some of the prior shows if you haven’t done so yet.

MATCHES TO WATCH

No matches reached three-and-three-quarter starts on this show.

STANDINGS AFTER NIGHT 14

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 (5-2, 10 pts)
IWGP IC champion Michael Elgin (4-3, 8 pts)
NEVER Openweight champion Shibata (4-3, 8 pts)
Kenny Omega (4-3, 8 pts)
Katsuhiko Nakajima (4-3, 8 pts)
Toru Yano (4-3, 8 pts)
Yuji Nagata (3-4, 6 pts)
YOSHI-HASHI (3-4, 6 pts)
Honma (2-5, 4 pts)
EVIL (2-5, 4 pts)

***

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