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 NJPW G1 Climax 26 Night 12 4/8/16

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PostSubject: NJPW G1 Climax 26 Night 12 4/8/16   Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:21 pm

NJPW G1 Climax 26 Night
Day 12 – August 4, 2016
Fukuoka Civic Gymnasium
Fukuoaka, Japan

– Juice Robinson, Ryusuke Taguchi & David Finlay def. Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask & Captain New Japan. In a huge, shocking twist, Captain screwed it up for his team and Robinson pinned him with the Unprettier. Shocked.

– The Bullet Club (Tama Tonga, Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi) def. Togi Makabe, Manabu Nakanishi & Satoshi Kojima. Tama ducked the wind-up punch from Nakanishi and pinned him with a Gun Stun.

– Kushida, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan def. Naomichi Marufuji, Gedo & Hirooki Goto. This was really good, and not at all your typical G1 undercard match you can write off. Typically they’ll put upcoming G1 competitors together in these tags – in this case, Tanahashi and Marufuji – but they won’t really interact much during the actual match to save as much as possible for the fight that matters. But those two went at it here, and with the great work from Kushida and the crowd getting behind everything it was a really solid six-man match.

– Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada def. BUSHI & SANADA. Ishii pinned BUSHI with a brainbuster. Okada and Ishii worked together and had no post-match scuffle despite their match on the next show. Looks like we’re going to get a clean, hard-hitting CHAOS match from them.

YUJI NAGATA (6) vs. TORU YANO (4)

Yano tried for all his usual comedy spots early but Nagata just beat him down. He got his armbar in but Yano got into the ropes and they fought to the outside. The ref got shoved down and Yano hit Nagata with a low blow and wrapped up his feet with a roll of wrist tape, and the ref counted to 20. I guess if you’re a Yano fan this might have been alright, but I’m past the point of caring about his shtick. Winner: Toru Yano (6).

MICHAEL ELGIN (6) vs. YOSHI-HASHI (6)

The format was the basic New Japan main event style match, starting slow, having Hashi work over Elgin’s shoulder in the opening minutes, and then building into a crazy back and forth with all the nearfalls. The crowd was really into this by the end, and it turned out to be a damn good match. I’m loving Yoshi-Hashi in this tournament, and the crowd is so behind him (there was a girl in the front row crying after he lost) that his popularity out of nowhere has made him one of the better stories in the G1 this year. Let’s not take anything away from Elgin either, who has been on an absolute roll and hasn’t had a bad match in this tournament so far.

Hashi was in control early, and they worked it like Elgin was the strong monster heel he had to slowly chop down while avoiding his big moves. Elgin did a lot, including a plancha into the ring, a Death Valley driver into the turnbuckle, a deadlift front slam from the second rope, and won it with a Bucklebomb and the Elgin Bomb. Hashi also did some really cool spots, including several butterfly locks, a DDT into a butterfly lock, and at one point even picked Elgin off the ropes and powerbombed him. Great match. Winner: Michael Elgin (8).

TOMOAKI HONMA (4) vs. EVIL (2)

This was what you’d expect from two guys that can take a hell of a lot of damage. It wasn’t the strong-style kicks and elbows and headbutt exchanges (well, except from Honma obviously) but rather just big move after big move. It was a good match with an ending that felt a little flat. Honma kicked out of suplex and a falcon arrow, EVIL hit the STO and that was it. Winner: EVIL (4).

KATSUYORI SHIBATA (4) vs. KENNY OMEGA (6)

Outstanding match. It was back and forth from the start, and you could feel the tension of Omega giving it everything as the guy that “should” win the B-Block, and Shibata just struggling to get that win after a week or more of really disappointing losses. It was just a battle with everything but the kitchen sink heading into the end. Shibata had a really great counter to the One-Winged Angel later on, with a wrist lock, taking him down into the armbar. Kenny got to the ropes and lit him up with a huge jumping knee, into a running knee strike for two-and-a-half. He hit another running knee and motioned for the finish, but Shibata countered the One-Winged Angel again into a sleeper, transitioned into a rear naked choke, back into a sleep, then finished him off with a PK. Winner: Katsuyori Shibata (6).

KATSUHIKO NAKAJIMA (6) vs. TETSUYA NAITO (6)

If you only see two matches this week, let it be the incredible Tanahashi/Ishii match from 8/3 and this match right here. When you have two guys like Naito and Nakajima a lot of people might expect them to run a fast paced match with all the kicks and combos and high spots and counters, but they did exactly the opposite. This was slow, methodical, and took its time getting exactly where it wanted to go.

Naito did his usual half an hour entrance (it’s more like two or three minutes but it feels like an eternity) and then refused to lock up with Nakajima, brushing him off two or three times. When they finally did lock up they did do the fast-paced exchange, but they were so good neither of them hit anything, and Naito did the Tranquilo pose, and ended up rolling to the outside and taking multiple 20-counts relaxing. This upset Nakajima and got him off his game, so Naito attacked from behind, put on a rest hold, and by the time they actually got into the back and forth action the crowd was so mad at Naito, and so ready for things to explode that it did. From there the back and forth was just incredible, but still it wasn’t crazy – they took their time getting to each big move, sold everything, and nearly went a full twenty minutes. Naito won it with Destino. Winner: Tetsuya Naito (8).

Updated B-Block Standings:

Naito – 8
Elgin – 8
Yoshi-Hashi – 6
Nakajima – 6
Shibata – 6
Omega – 6
Toru Yano – 6
Nagata – 6
Honma – 4
EVIL – 4

This was supposed to be the show that started breaking up the unbelievably close B-Block, but instead we’re heading into the seventh wave of matches and instead of having a six-way tie for first place, we have a six-way tie for third place! If anything, with the matches we still have left in this Block, things are even more complicated and less predictable as we head towards the finals.

Naito and Omega are the guys that were supposed to win this thing, many had thought, as Naito is the former champ and Omega is the Bullet Club leader they’ve been building towards that top spot; either could easily main event the Tokyo Dome against Okada. But they still have a match against one another, which is going to make things even more down-to-the-wire as the major players in this Block (Yoshi-Hashi, Shibata, Nakajima and Elgin) are basically all fighting each other, Naito and Omega heading into the last three nights!
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NJPW G1 Climax 26 Night 12 4/8/16

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