SEAN RADICAN’S G1 CLIMAX 26: NIGHT 18 BLOG
AUG. 13, 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 English commentary from Steve Corino, Kevin Kelly, and Rocky Romero live at Sumo Hall. This set up will be in place for the rest of the tournament.
(1) Tenzan & Nakanishi & Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask IV beat Yoshitatsu & Ryusuke Taguchi & Davis Finlay & Captain New Japan when Tenzan got the win on the Captain.
(2) Naomichi Marufuji & Honma beat Togi Makabe & Juice Robinson.
(3) ROH World champion Jay Lethal & L.I.J.’s Sanada & BUSHI beat Tanahashi & KUSHIDA & Kojima in a six-man tag match. BUSHI pinned KUSHIDA.
(4) Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi & Bad Luck Fale & Hangman Page & Tama Tonga & Tonga Loa) beat IWGP World tag champions The Briscoes & CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto & Gedo) in a 10-man tag match.
G1 CLIMAX 26 BLOCK ACTION
(5) Yuji Nagata (6 pts.) vs. Tomoaki Honma (4 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. Honma hit a slap early against the ropes instead of offering a clean break and Nagata collapsed. Nagata fired back and targeted Honma’s broken rib after he missed a kokeshi. Nagata hit some insane kicks to Honma’s chest. Honma fired up and went for his deadlift suplex and hit it! WOW! Honma hit a kokeshi and then a diving blockbuster for a 2 count. Nagata fired back and hit total anarchy and the fans gasped. Honma no-sold an exploder suplex and eventually hit a huge lariat and both men were down on the mat. Nagata blocked a clothesline and got the white eyes arm bar as the fans fired up.
Honma struggled, but managed to get to the bottom rope. Nagata hit a backdrop driver, but Honma kicked out at the last second. Honma hit a leaping kokeshi off the ropes. He went up top, but Nagata got up and cut him off. Nagata eventually hit a top rope exploder, but Honma kicked out at 2. They traded some big shots in the middle of the ring. Both men began slapping each other in the face. WOW!
Nagata finally hit a big German. He went for a backdrop driver, but Honma dropped down on top of him for a 2 count. Honma then hit another diving kokeshi! Honma hit a jumping piledriver, but Nagata kicked out at 2! Honma went up top and hit a KOKESHI! KOKESHI HAPPY!!! Honma made the cover and it was good for the win.
WINNER: Tomoaki Honma at 10:29 (6 pts.)
Star rating: (***1/2) – This was really good with Nagata working Honma’s injured rib. They had a really good hard-hitting m atch and it was nice to see Honma end his losing streak in this tournament.
(6) YOSHI-HASHI (6 pts.) vs. GHC Hvt. Tag Team champion Toru Yano (8 pts.) in a G1 Climax B Block match. Neither man is alive in the tournament. Corino said Romero has to be proud of HASHI and he agreed. Yano teased throwing his water bottle at HASHI before tossing it into the crowd. Yano offered HASHI a handshake and rolled him up for a near fall. He got up and said it was a joke, but then he tried to rip off the turnbuckle pad. HASHI cut him off and went to town on him.
Yano dragged HASIH to the mat by his hair and undid the turnbuckle. He then ducked a charge in the corner and HASHI ran into it. Yano hit his pose and then ducked an attack from behind from HASHI without looking. Yano tossed the pad to HASIHI and got another pad. He hit HASHI with it and the ref took it away, which allowed HASHI time to recover and hit the other pad. Yano then used a ref distraction to hit a low blow on HASHI that was good for the win.
WINNER: Yano Toru at 3:31 (10 pts.)
Star rating: (**) – HASHI had a really good tournament with a standout win over Omega. Of course, this was just a typical Yano match. It was fun.
(7) EVIL (6 pts.) vs. NEVER Openweight champion Katsuyori Shibata (10 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. Corino said EVIL wants to spoil Shibata from getting to the finals to help Naito. Shibata went for a choke and then hit a backdrop driver. He went for the PK, but EVIL rolled to the floor. EVIL fired back on the floor and nailed Shibata’s arm with a chair shot, as it was wrapped around the barricade. He then put the chair around Shibata’s head before whipping him into the ringpost. Corino said Shibata needs Elgin and Naito to lose to advance to the finals.
EVIL kicked Shibata’s taped up shoulder and Shibata told him to bring it. Shibata fired up and decked EVIL with a big forearm. Shibata hit the heat seeking missile in the corner and the fans fired up. EVIL tried to fire up and hit the STO, but Shibata countered it and hit one of his own. Shibata hit some absolutely brutal kicks on EVIL. EVIL finally blocked one and they exchanged blows before Shibata grabbed the choke once again. EVIL finally broke free by grabbing Shibata’s arm before hitting a backdrop driver and both men were down! Wow!
EVIL hit several headbutts to Shibata’s injured arm. He blocked a lariat and dropped Shibata right on his injured shoulder with a half-and-half suplex. Shibata shoved the ref aside and ran right into a clothesline from EVIL. EVIL hit a big DVD into a spinebuster, but Shibata kicked out. EVIL then hit the STO for the win. WOW!
WINNER: EVIL at 9:42 at (8 pts.)
Star rating: (***3/4) – This was a big win for EVIL. Not only did he end Shibata’s chances of winning the block, but he comes out of the tournament at 4-5 with some big wins under his belt.
(8) IWGP IC Champion & CMLL Liga Elite World Champion Michael Elgin (10 pts.) vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima (8 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. Nakajima caught Elgin with a big boot to send him to the floor. He then hit a PK from the apron to the floor. Corino mentioned that Elgin has a pec injury after he got kicked. Nakajima went after Nakajima’s arm on the floor. Nakajima hit several kick to Elgin’s taped up arm. He hit the kicks to the front and the back of the arm before grabbing an arm submission.
Elgin blocked a running kick a short time later and hit a big German into the corner. The announcers mentioned that Elgin needs to win and he also needs Kenny Omega to win to advance to the finals. Elgin caught Nakajima in a military press and hit a powerslam for a 2 count. Elgin went for a kick a short time later, but Nakajima caught him with a dragon screw. Nakajima hit a second dragon screw and continued to go after Elgin’s leg. Nakajima hit a big missile dropkick a short time later. Nakajima continued to overwhelm Elgin and he hit a Saito suplex for a near fall!
Nakajima blocked Elgin’s first lariat attempt, but Elgin obliterated him with a western lariat. Nakajima fired back with a dropkick and the PK. Elgin countered the brainbuster and hit two suplexes while hanging onto Nakajima. Elgin placed Nakajima up top, but he tried to fight out of it. Nakajima came off the top, but Elgin caught him and hit a big powerbomb for a near fall! WOW!
Elgin went up top, but he took a long time. Elgin ended up missing a big splash attempt and he grabbed his injured peck. Both men began exchanging blows from their knees. Elgin told Nakajima to hit him and he BLASTED him with a huge forearm. Nakajima fired back with a HUGE kick. Elgin then lit him up with left and right forearms. He then blasted Nakajima with another HUGE forearm. Nakajima ducked an enzuguri and came off the ropes, but Elgin turned him inside out with A GIGANTIC LARIAT. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Nakajima then kicked out at the last second!
Elgin then hit the dead lift falcon arrow! Nakajima kicked out once again at the last second. MY GOD! Elgin hit the buckle bomb. He went for the Elgin bomb, but Nakajima rolled him up for a near fall. Nakajima hit two superkicks. They went back and forth and Elgin hit two huge discus elbows. Nakajima blocked a powerbomb attempt and kicked Elgin’s arm. He then hit a big superkick for a near fall! Nakajima then hit the brain buster for the win. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Elgin is eliminated.
After the match, Nakajima bowed to Elgin. Elgin then raised his hand and walked away.
WINNER: Katsuhika Nakajima at 16:52 (10 pts.)
Star rating: (****3/4) – Amazing match. Nakajima went after Elgin’s injured arm and pec throughout the match as well as his leg. He managed to overcome all of Elgin’s power offense and hit the vertical brainbuster late in the match to put Elgin away and eliminate him from the tournament. This was one hell of a war and Nakajima capped a great G1 with an incredible match.
(9) Tetsuya Naito (12 pts.) vs. Kenny Omega (10 pts.) in a G1 Climax 26 B Block match. The winner of this match goes to the finals against Goto. If they got to a draw, Naito wins the block. Naito kept walking away from Omega when he wanted to lock up, so Omega jumped Naito from behind. They went back and forth and came to a stalemate and Naito hit his pose. Omega mocked the fans chanting for Naito. Omega then mocked Naito’s pose and spit at him. They kept spitting back and forth at each other. They went back and forth and Naito hit a basement dropkick off the ropes. Naito went right after Omega’s knee with another sliding dropkick. The announcers said Naito should do whatever he could to advance. Mentioning that a count-out win would also advance him to the finals.
Omega went for a springboard splash to the floor, but Naito got out of the way and hit a dropkick to his leg. Naito tried to whip Omega into the guardrail, but he couldn’t make it to the guardrail because of his leg. Omega suddenly drove Naito into the guardrail twice. He then slammed Naito onto the ring apron. Omega hit a cross-legged neck breaker over his knee, but ended up hurting himself in the process. Omega made the cover, but only got a 2 count. Omega hit a Ravishing Rick Rude style neck breaker a short time later for a 2 count. Omega hit two huge chops and got a 2 count. Omega went for his Finlay roll/moonsault combination, but his leg gave out. Omega tried to hit the moonsault, but Naito nailed him with a dropkick to the legs as he was on the turnbuckles. Naito hit a slingshot dropkick in the corner, but he only got a 2 count.
Naito continued to target Omega’s leg and got a modified figure 4. Omega managed to get to the ropes, but Naito waited until 4 to break the hold. Omega fired back and hit a big bulldog. Naito rolled to the floor and Omega struggled, but managed to hit a big boot that sent Naito into the guardrail off the apron. WOW! Omega teased an apron bomb, but then powerbombed him through a table that was behind the guardrail. Omega then set up and hit a springboard flip dive over the guardrail to wipe out Naito. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? Omega landed right near Corino on commentary.
Omega got back into the ring. Omega broke the ref’s count and grabbed Naito on the apron and hit a dragon suplex! Omega hit another dragon suplex with a bridge, but he couldn’t hold it because of his leg and only got a near fall. HOLY S—! Omega blocked a hurricanrana attempt, but Naito eventually got a big DDT and both men were down! WOW! The fans fired up as both men were down on the mat. They got up and began exchanging blows. Omega caught Naito with a jumping knee as he came off the ropes. WOW! Naito fired back and hit a tornado DDT and both men were down again. WOW!
Naito placed Omega up top and pounded on his leg. He then went for a hurricanrana off the top, but Omega rolled through for a near fall! Naito got up and hit a series of kicks. He went for the pump-handle side slam, but Omega KICKED OUT AT 2!
They went back and forth and Omega landed on his feet taking a German. Naito smiled as Omega sold the leg. Omega then turned Naito inside out with a HUGE clothesline. Omega hit a huge running knee lift to the head. He went for the one winged angel, but Naito countered it into a knee bar. WOW! Omega nearly got to the ropes, but Naito dragged him back to the middle of the ring! Omega teased tapping and the ref freaked out. Omega then jolted forward and grabbed the bottom rope. OH MY GOD!
The fans fired up and chanted for Naito. Naito went after Omega’s leg once again and smiled as Omega writhed in pain. Omega hit a deadlift German. Naito staggered around and Omega hit a gut wrench powerbomb for a near fall! WOW! Omega hit a HUGE RUNNING KNEE against the ropes. He went for the one winged angel, but Naito countered it into destino and both men were down! Naito couldn’t even muster the energy to cover Omega. That’s just INSANE!
They announced there were five minutes left in the time limit. Naito set up for a poison super hurricanrana and hit it, but Omega kicked out at 2! Naito went for Destino, but Omega turned it into a reverse dude buster for a near fall. OH MY GOD. THIS IS INSANE!!! Omega hit a pair of short knees to Naito’s head. He went for the one-winged angel again, but his leg gave away. With four minutes left, Naito slipped out of another one-winged angel attempt! Both men went back and forth trading slaps to the face.
Omega blocked a flying forearm with a huge knee to the head. He went for the one-winged angel. Naito tried to fight out of it, so Omega went to a German with a bridge for a near fall. Omega then hit another jumping knee for a near fall. With about under 2 minutes left, Omega hit the one-winged angel for the win. MY GOD. I don’t know how this match will be topped in 2016. That was insane!
WINNER: Kenny Omega at 28:12 (12 pts.)
Star rating: (*****) – AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING. This was truly Omega’s star-making performance. His selling and facial expressions were tremendous. He was just on fire in this match and didn’t oversell things. Naito’s selling was great as well, especially hit vacant stares when Omega hit him with a big knee. Omega’s selling of his knee was tremendous here and the action down the stretch had the fans going nuts. What a win for Omega!
Omega was officially announced as the winner of the B Block by virtue of his win over Naito even though they are tied on top of the B Block.
Omega grabbed a mic after the match and the fans fired up with a chant for him. Omega said as the match went on and got more and more physical, he started to notice some changes. He said he noticed changes in the way he they felt about him and changes in the way he felt about him. He said when he needed support, all he could hear Naito. Then only when he won did he hear chants of Kenny. Kenny said he’s in Japan and why he didn’t leave like the other guys because he felt like Japan was his home. He stopped the fans from applauding. He said he gave them his heart, soul, knee, and his neck. He said he’s the MVP of G1 and the fans applauded. He said tomorrow when he beats Goto, they can cheer for him. Omega said if he was a betting Omega, he would bet on Kenny Omega. Omega said good night and bye and fired his imaginary gun to conclude the promo!
Overall Thoughts: I never thought I’d say this even a week ago, but this might be my favorite edition of G1 that I’ve seen so far. I know there’s one night left, but this was a killer show with some INCREDIBLE storytelling. I highly urge you to go out of your way to watch this show on NJPWWorld.com. The first two matches on the card didn’t mean anything, but the last three matches had a lot of drama because they all impacted who could come out of the B Block.
EVIL knocked off Shibata in a really good match to knock him out of the running to win the B block. That was the first domino to fall. Next, it was Nakajima’s chance to play the role of spoiler, as Elgin was still alive to win the block. They had an EPIC match that featured some insane hard-hitting action. Nakajima worked over Elgin’s injured arm and pec and then began to work over his leg as well. They had some incredible exchanges leading to a fantastic finish where Nakajima knocked Elgin out of the tournament.
The main event is the best match I’ve seen in 2016. It might be one of the top G1 matches I’ve ever seen. I didn’t think Okada vs. Ishii from earlier this week could be topped, but Naito and Omega had an incredible match. Naito brutalized Omega’s knee and Omega did a hell of a job selling it before winning an epic war with the one-winged angel.
Now the problem heading into the final show is that I have my doubts about Goto since his gimmick is he never wins the big one. If Omega beats Goto, I think he’ll be fine for the Tokyo Dome, but it’s not that huge signature win that you usually see out of G1 to propel the winner to the biggest show of the year for NJPW. I’m really interested to see how this tournament plays out, as Gedo threw a wrench in the whole thing and booked a shocking and unexpected final match. What a show this was! Watch it now!
MATCHES TO WATCH
(7) EVIL vs. Shibata (***3/4)
(8) Elgin vs. Nakajima (****3/4)
(9) Omega vs. Naito (*****)
STANDINGS AFTER NIGHT 18
A Block Standings
Hirooki Goto (6-3, 12 pts) (A BLOCK WINNER)
IWGP Champ Kazuchika Okada (5-3-1, 11 pts)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (5-3-1, 11 pts)
Naomichi Marufuji (5-4, 10 pts)
Bad Luck Fale (5-4, 10 pts)
Togi Makabe (4-5, 8 pts)
Tomohiro Ishii (4-5, 8 pts)
Tama Tonga (4-5, 8 pts)
Sanada (4-5, 8 pts)
Tenzan (2-7, 4 pts)
B Block Standings
Kenny Omega (6-3, 12 pts) (B BLOCK WINNER)
Naito (6-3, 12 pts)
IWGP IC champion Michael Elgin (5-4, 10 pts)
NEVER Openweight champion Shibata (5-4, 10 pts)
Katsuhiko Nakajima (5-4, 10 pts)
Toru Yano (5-4, 10 pts)
EVIL (4-5, 8 pts)
Yuji Nagata (3-6, 6 pts)
YOSHI-HASHI (3-6, 6 pts)
Honma (3-6, 6 pts)
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