WADE KELLER PODCAST - Royal Rumble preview with Sam Roberts
(Search "wade keller" to subscribe in podcast app or CLICK HERE to subscribe in Apple Podcasts.)
SEAN RADICAN’S G1 CLIMAX 26: NIGHT 16 BLOG
AUGUST 10, 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) Rysuke Taguchi beat David Finlay.
(2) Bullet Club (Tama Tonga & Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi) beat Kojima & Nakanishi & Juice Robinson in a six-man tag match.
(3) Sanada & BUSHI beat Tenzan & Captain New Japan.
(4) Naomichi Marufuji & CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto & Gedo) beat Tanahashi & Jushin Liger & KUSHIDA & Togi Makabe & Tiger Mask IV in a 10-man tag match. Goto pinned Liger.
G1 CLIMAX 26 B BLOCK ACTION
(5) Katsuhiko Nakajima (8 pts.) vs. Kenny Omega (8pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. Omega shook hands with Nakajima and then spit in his face. Nakajima fired back with a big kick to the head and backdrop driver for a 2 count. Omega fired back on the floor a short time later and hit a snap dragon suplex. Nakajima stumbled around ringside before getting back into the ring at 19. Omega began working over Nakajima inside the ring. Omega went for his Finlay roll/moonsault combination, but Nakajima got his knees up.
Nakajima hit a dragon screw a short time later and went on the attack. Omega mounted a comeback and hit the rocker dropper for a 2 count. They battled up top and Nakajima hit a superplex, but Omega fired back a short time later with another snap dragon suplex. Omega hit another snap dragon suplex after a fast exchange a short time later. He hit a big running knee and went for the one-winged angel, but Nakajima slid out of it. Nakajima hit a huge kick in the corner. He then hit several more kicks to Omega’s head.
Nakajima measured Omega in the middle of the ring and hit a big superkick for a 2 count. Nakajima hit a penalty kick and went for a brainbuster, but Omega countered it into a poison hurricanrana for a near fall. Omega then hit the one-winged angel for the win.
WINNER: Kenny Omega at 10:29 (10 pts.)
Star rating: (***1/2) – A great way to kick off block action. These two had a great fast-paced back and forth match. Nakajima is officially eliminated from contention, but he had a really nice showing in the block.
(6) GHC Hvt. Tag Team champion Toru Yano (8 pts.) vs. EVIL (4 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. Yano tried to undo the turnbuckle pad before the bell rang, but EVIL cut him off. He then got it off and EVIL ran right into it. Yano went for a dirty pin, but EVIL kicked out at the last second. Yano dragged EVIL down to the mat by his hair and went for a leverage pin, but EVIL once again managed to kick out. EVIL fired back on the outside and used Yano’s own signature red chair against him before putting it on his head and whipping him into the ringpost. EVIL hit a huge clothesline and signaled for the STO, but Yano rolled him up for a 2 count. Yano went for a low blow, but the ref stopped him. EVIL then turned him around right into the STO for the win.
WINNER: EVIL at 2:57 (6 pts.)
Star rating: (**1/4) – This was short and sweet, but fun while it lasted.
(7) YOSHI-HASHI (6 pts) vs. Tetsuya Naito (10 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. HASHI wasted no time and went right on the attack. Naito took a big slam and rolled to the floor. Naito ran back into the ring and wiped out HASHI with a sliding dropkick. Naito went after HASIH’s arm on the floor and tossed him shoulder-first into the ringpost. He then went after HASHI’s arm once the action returned to the ring. HASHI fired back and caught Naito with a big DDT and both men were down.
HASHI hit a blockbuster off the ropes a short time later. Naito was draped over the ropes a short time later and HASHI nailed him with a huge dropkick and the fans fired up. Naito suddenly fired back and went after HASHI’s arm. He then hit his signature dropkick in the corner and the fans gasped. Naito went for a flying forearm a short time later, but HASHI countered it into a lung blower! HASHI hit a big powerbomb and floated over into a bridging pin on Naito for a near fall. The fans fired up for that sequence. HASHI went up top for a swanton, but Naito rolled out of the way.
Naito hit a springboard missile dropkick a short time later. Naito hit a super hurricanrana a short time later, but HASHI kicked out at 2. Naito hit an arm trap side slam, but HASHI kicked out at 2 once again. Naito set up for destino, but HASHI blocked it only to eat a spinebuster. Naito went for destino, but HASHI countered it into a TKO and both men were down. WOW!
The fans fired up huge as both men struggled to get to their feet. They went to a big exchange of blows and the fans fired up as both men tagged it other. HASHI finally ended the exchange with a huge lariat on Naito as he came off the ropes for a near fall. HASHI went up top and hit a swanton for a near fall and the fans gasped. WOW!
HASHI got his one-arm shoulder lock cinched in on Naito. HASHI really cranked on the hold as Naito tried to get to the ropes. Naito continued to struggle to get to the ropes and he stopped moving. He then fired up and got his foot on the bottom rope. WOW! HASIH tried to apply the hold again and Naito struggled to block it. Naito got to his feet and nailed HASIH with a big German, but HASHI got right to his feet!
Naito hit a rolling kick and an enzuguri. He went for a maneuver, but misfired and he simply dropped HASHI before hitting a scorpion death drop for a 2 count. HASIH fired back and blocked destino with a headbutt. Naito fired back and hit for the win. MY GOSH WHAT A MATCH!
WINNER: Tetsuya Naito at 15:01 (12 pts.)
Star rating: (****1/4) – This was the performance of HASHI’s career. He took the attack to Naito from start to finish and hit all his signature offense, but he just couldn’t get Naito to tap out at the end of the match. HASHI no-selling a German late in the match and then later blocking destino with a headbutt before falling short was just incredible.
(8) NEVER Openweight champion Katsuyori Shibata (8 pts.) vs. Yuji Nagata (6 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. Both men went at it inside and outside the ring during the early going. Nagata hit some kicks in the ring and Shibata rolled to the floor selling his shoulder, which was heavily taped. He continued to work over Shibata’s arm once he got back inside the ring. Nagata went for a cross-arm breaker and got it, but Shibata got his foot on the bottom rope quickly to break the hold.
Shibata fired back a short time later and went on the attack. He hit the heat seeking missile a short time later and the fans applauded. Nagata fired up and they began to exchange blows in the middle of the ring. Nagata hit an exploder, but Shibata got right up and hit a German. Nagata got right back up and both men hit running kicks to the face at the same time and went down. WOW!
Nagata slipped around Shibata when they got up and got the white eyes arm bar. Nagata really cranked on the hold and rolled his eyes again, but Shibata got his foot on the bottom rope. Nagata hit several big knees to the chest in the corner. He measured Nagata and hit big running knee to the chest and followed up with a backdrop driver for a near fall. Nagata then lifted Shibata up and hit the PK for another near fall.
Nagata went for another backdrop driver, but Shibata blocked it. Nagata nailed Shibata with a series of strikes, but he fired right back with a dropkick. Nagata tried to slip out of the choke, but Shibata turned it into a rear naked choke. Nagata then tried to break free by going after Shibata’s arm. He finally broke free, but Shibata got the choke again. Shibata went to a rear naked choke. The ref checked Nagata’s arm and called for the bell.
WINNER: Katsuyori Shibata at 12:17 (10 pts.)
Star rating: (***3/4) – This was really good. Nagata gave Shibata a run for his money and went after his injured shoulder, but Shibata kept working the choke late in the match and savagely choke him out.
(9) IWGP IC champion & CMLL Liga Elite World champion Michael Elgin (8 pts.) vs. Tomoaki Honma (4 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. Yamagata is Honma country, so this was a big test for Elgin. The opening bell rang and the fans chanted for Honma. It took four attempts, but Honma finally took Elgin down with a shoulder tackle off the ropes. Elgin fired back with a big right and posed for the fans, which drew some boos.
Honma went for a diving kokeshi off the ropes, but missed. Elgin then lifted Naito over his head and hit a big power slam. Holy s—t! Elgin hit a slingshot splash a short time later, but only got a 2 count. Honma took a beating for a long time, but he finally hit a DDT. He went for another kokeshi off the ropes, but Elgin got out of the way again. Honma countered a suplex from Elgin and then he managed to dead-lift Elgin up and hit a suplex of his own! WOW!
The fans fired up after Honma countered Elgin and hit a big slam. Honma went for another diving kokeshi off the ropes and he connected. The fans fired up and Honma hit a seated blockbuster for a 2 count. Elgin fired back and hit a big belly-to-belly suplex a short time later to cut off Honma’s momentum. Honma blocked a buckle bomb attempt, but Elgin caught him leaping off the ropes and hit a German.
Honma fired up and both men began hitting clotheslines at the same time. Honma finally blocked a clothesline, but Elgin hit a discus clothesline with his other arm to wipe out Honma. Honma suddenly fired up and hit a big flurry of kokeshi’s for a near fall! WOW!
They went back and forth and Elgin hit a big rolling elbow to the back of Honma’s head. He then hit a big spinning slam for a 2 count and the fans applauded when Honma kicked out. The crowd then broke out in a big Honma chant. Elgin went up top, but Honma cut him off.
They battled near the apron and Honma sent him to the floor with a jumping kokeshi. Honma then went up top and Elgin rolled into the ring and he hit him with a leaping kokeshi off the top. Honma hit a big suplex and went up top for the big kokeshi, but Elgin popped up and cut him off. Elgin finally kicked Honma and he landed on the apron. The fans fired up again and chanted for Honma.
They went at it on the apron and Elgin hit a DVD on the apron. He then powerbombed Honma into the ringpost. Elgin placed Honma on the apron and set up for the dead-lift falcon arrow and landed it! WOW! Elgin made the cover, but Honma kicked out at 2 and the fans gasped. Elgin went up top and hit a big splash, but Honma kicked out at 2. Elgin then hit a buckle bomb, but Honma fired right back out of the corner with a leaping kokeshi and both men were down. WOW!
The fans fired up and chanted for Honma. Both men got up and traded blows. Honma finally caught Elgin with a leaping kokeshi. He then hit the big jumping piledriver for a 2 count. WOW! Honma went up for the big kokeshi, but Elgin rolled out of the way at the last second. The fans fired up and chanted for Honma. Both men got up and traded forearms. Elgin hit a pair of huge strikes and Honma went down.
Elgin set up for the buckle bomb, but Honma escaped. Elgin then rolled through on Honma and hit a big powerbomb and a clothesline for a near fall. Elgin then hit the buckle bomb and the Elgin bomb for the win. OH MY GOD! Kokeshi is not happy tonight. What an effort by Honma.
After the match, Elgin stopped Honma from leaving and grabbed the mic. He got on the mic and said Honma just gave him the fight of his life. Elgin then clapped for Honma. Elgin said he is the Liga Elite World Champion and the IWGP IC Champion. Elgin said soon he would be the G1 Climax 26 Champion. Elgin then held up his titles for the crowd. Honma and Elgin shook hands once Honma recovered.
WINNER: Michael Elgin at 18:43 (10 pts.)
Star rating: (****1/4) – This was awesome. Honma gave Elgin everything he had and dished out a serious kokeshi party, but he just couldn’t hit the big one. The sequence late in the match where Elgin hit all sorts of big moves capped by a buckle bomb only for Honma to pop out and hit a kokeshi was just incredible. The crowd was very pro-Honma and this match delivered big.
Elgin was shown backstage. He said he hoped Omega beat Naito. He said everyone knows Nakajima is good, but on Saturday he has to be great when he faces Elgin. Elgin was talking about how he needs Omega to beat Naito to stay alive for a G1 Finals birth. Honma was then shown cutting a promo backstage. He said something about kokeshi not being happy on this night.
Overall Thoughts: Both blocks have really been good during the second half of the tournament. There have been some lulls, but overall as the tournament has gone on, I’ve found myself really impressed with G1 this year.
The block action was good overall with the exception of Yano’s match. The last three matches really delivered big. HASHI has been so impressive and he delivered huge against Naito in a heated contest. Nagata vs. Shibata was a really good hard hitting contest with a savage finish, as Shibata choked Nagata out instead of finishing him with a PK.
The main event was great. It was clear that Yamagata is Honma country. The fans were really behind Honma during this match. Elgin dominated the action and put a hell of a beating on Honma, but Honma made some great comebacks and finally got on track with a series of kokeshies that really fired up the crowd. They built to a great spot late where Elgin just brutalized Honma on the floor and then hit a dead-lift falcon arrow off the apron back into the ring before hitting a buckle bomb only for Honma to fire back with a kokeshi out of the corner. Elgin got the win and Honma’s slide continues as he’s not lost six matches in a row after opening the tournament with two wins.
Overall, this was a really good night of in-ring action. The three matches I recommended below are worth going out of your way to check out. This show sets up what should be a fun final night of B Block action on Saturday. I’m betting Naito comes out on top, but they’ve made it really interesting with Elgin, Shibata, and Omega in contention for tie breakers below him should he lose.
MATCHES TO WATCH
(7) HASHI vs. Naito (****1/4)
(8) Shibata vs. Nagata (***3/4)
(9) Elgin vs. Honma (****1/4)
STANDINGS AFTER NIGHT 15
A Block Standings
IWGP Champ Kazuchika Okada (5-3, 10 pts)
Naomichi Marufuji (5-3, 10 pts)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (5-3, 10 pts)
Hirooki Goto (5-3, 10 pts)
Bad Luck Fale (5-3, 10 pts)
Togi Makabe (4-4, 8 pts)
Tomohiro Ishii (3-5, 6 pts)
Tama Tonga (3-5, 6 pts)
Sanada (3-5, 6 pts)
Tenzan (2-6, 4 pts)
B Block Standings
Naito (6-2, 12 pts)
IWGP IC champion Michael Elgin (5-3, 10 pts)
NEVER Openweight champion Shibata (5-3, 10 pts)
Kenny Omega (5-3, 10 pts)
Katsuhiko Nakajima (4-4, 8 pts)
Toru Yano (4-4, 8 pts)
Yuji Nagata (3-5, 6 pts)
YOSHI-HASHI (3-5, 6 pts)
EVIL (3-5, 6 pts)
Honma (2-6, 4 pts)
Please click HERE and click “like” to join the Radican’s Wrestling Community Facebook fan page.
Follow Sean on Twitter @SeanRadican.