So here we are. After my 500 day absence, it’s the G1 Climax 25 Finals Results and Coverage of the amazing as balls G1 tournament. Firstly I’d like to apologise for the spotty coverage. It turns out that emigrating to Spain keeps you a lot busier than you’d expect, also one day I just didn’t want to do it because the main event had The Near Invisible Flange Toru Yano. Whilst I’ve been away we’ve had a few match of the year candidates and I’ve been forced to eat my words more than once. So as much as it pains me to do it I’ll just come out with the admission right now:
MICHAEL ELGIN ISNT AS AWFUL AS I WOULD HAVE EARLIER LED YOU TO HAVE BELIEVED
There?!? Are you happy now??
Despite looking like Porky Pig fucked a boulder and only having a passing relationship with the notion of charisma he has been consistently excellent this tournament. Absolutely check out his match with “The Adorable Pain Mountain“ Ishii as soon as you can. He’s really won over the local Japan crowds and at no point did he look like he didn’t fit in. The other real standouts in the tournament were my boy Shibata, which goes without saying. Tanahashi as per usual. But the biggest performer this year had to be AJ Styles. Night after night he’s gone out and either had the best match on the card, or dragged a much better match than you would expect from a limited opponent. His match with Fale in particular sticks in the mind, the two of them had the crowd into it from bell to bell.
Match of the tournament so far for me is either Ishii vs Elgin, Shibata vs Ibushi, or Tanahashi vs Styles. All three matches are completely different but all of them are must see matches and will be in the running for Match of the Year.
So to today’s show. The G1 has whittled its competitors down to Nakamura vs Tanahashi. These two lads will be going all out to have the best match of the tournament and they are capable of delivering. On the undercard however is Kushida vs “Too Good For NXT” Ricochet, so Tana & Nak may not even have the best match on the night. Add to this reDRagon vs The Young Bucks and we have a stacked top of the card.
G1 CLIMAX 25 FINAL!
JUSHIN LIGER & YOHEI KOMATSU & SHO TANAKA VS. RYUSUKE TAGUCHI & MASCARA DORADA & DAVID FINLAY
“Somehow evading the law” Taguchi pinned Komatsu via threatening to sneak into his sister’s room at night
HIROYOSHI TENZAN & SATOSHI KOJIMA & CAPTAIN NEW JAPAN VS. YUJI NAGATA & MANABU NAKANISHI & JAY WHITE
Tenzan with the Anaconda Vise on White
YOSHI-HASHI VS. MICHAEL ELGIN
Elgin won with his Elgin Bomb. Crowd were really into the wee guy.
TORU YANO & TOMOHIRO ISHII & KAZUSHI SAKURABA VS. BAD LUCK FALE & YUJIRO TAKAHASHI & TAMA TONGA
Ishii pinned Yujiro after a brainbuster, which frankly is what he deserved for replacing Mao with Bet Lynch from Coronation Street
TOMOAKI HONMA & TETSUYA NAITO & TOGI MAKABE VS. HIROOKI GOTO & KATSUYORI SHIBATA & KOTA IBUSHI
Ibushi pinned Honma after a Phoenix Splash. Everyone fucking hated Naito.
Tenryu came out for a little chat and it seems we’re getting Tenryu vs Okada down the line. I don’t speak Japanese but I assume it’ll be at his retirement show in November.
YOUNG BUCKS VS. BOBBY FISH & KYLE O’REILLY FOR IWGP JR. TAG TITLES.
Do you like convoluted double team spots? Do you like questionable retro facial hair? Do you like Cody Hall interference leading to his eventual comeuppance? If like me you answered yes to all of those things then this is the match for you! Very fun match that won the crowd over after a quiet start. Young/Old Bobby Fish kicked out of Springboard Flipping Martinete at one point. Finish came after reDragon hit the Chasing the Dragon on one Buck on the floor and then on the other in the ring. A lot of fun.
Rating: Refusing to call a move by its actual name
KUSHIDA VS. RICOCHET FOR IWGP JR. TITLE.
This was not the mat-based catch-as-catch-can classic I’d been hoping for. Match started with the floor section from your local gymnastics meet. Which makes almost no sense. Both lads tried to win this battle for the title by doing pretty flips sort of near each other. I’m exactly the wrong person to review this because I fucking hate watching Ricochet matches. He frustrates the hell out of me because I always enjoy it when he starts trying to hurt his opponent but there’s always that 5-10 minutes at the start where he’s trying out for the Olympic team in a different sport that bugs the shit out of me. So anyway when this picked up it got pretty great. Both lads did huge dives over the post, Big Ric’s being the more impressive of the two, Kushida looked like he was coming up slightly short. Too many spots to list except to mention that Ricochet has a very pretty shooting star press. The finish was Ricochet missing a 630 Splash and Kushida immediately clamping in the Hoverboard Lock.
Rating: Depends how much you like flips?
KAZUCHIKA OKADA & MICHAEL BENNETT & MATT TAVEN VS. A.J. STYLES & KARL ANDERSON & DOC GALLOWS.
It’s nice of New Japan to keep hiring Taven & Bennett just so they can film Bennett’s missus in a soft porn style. Okada’s brown hair looks so much better, being blond made his face look fat for some reason. Fucks sake, I know they have RoH talent in but why is this match now? Shit like this is supposed to be pre-intermission so I can eat breakfast during it.
“Hey New Japan how was your semi-main at your biggest show of the summer?”
“Great! It had Matt Taven & Festus”
“I have to leave right now, immediately”
So Maria wiggled her bum for a bit, distracting a couple of the Bullet Club lads. Doc scared her off, and then a wrestling match ensued. Okada has a new spot where he rolls an Alabama slam into an Emerald Frosien style neckbreaker over his knee and it is sweet as fuck. The finish came after a sequence of reversals led to a Styles Clash on Okada, I genuinely panicked as Okada only seemed to get his head and neck into the right position at the last second. I’m still not sold on that move.
Rating: Maria Kanellis’ bum
HIROSHI TANAHASHI VS. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA
FOR THE G-1 TROPHY
Crowd firmly behind Tanahashi and his glorious hair here. The start of the match had a shocking lack of meaningless flips. Did they learn nothing from Ricochet? Tanahashi attacking the greatest man alive’s legs early, so Nakamura decided to kick his cunt in. The crowd getting into Nak as he hits his signature spots, they’re super into this match. Tanahashi hit Nak with a dragon screw sending him to the floor and then hit a massive High Fly Flow to the outside. How the hell is this guy doing that move so frequently without being completely broken down? Lovely wee strike exchange from the lads reminded me of the time I had one with Barry Murphy of the Chairshot Podcast in Dublin one time. That boy does not pull his forearms. I however work lighter than vintage Jerry Lawler. Tanahashi countered a dragon whip into a dragon screw, tried for the High Fly Flow but Nak moved and hit the Boma-Ye to the back of the head. Nak climbed the ropes and hit a leaping Boma-Ye, tried to follow it up with another but Tanahashi rolled him into a pinning attempt. Tanahashi then kicked out from a sliding Boma-Ye and the crowd started coming unglued. Tremendous match now. Tanahashi hit the slingblade, standing High Fly Flow and then another to the downed Nakamura but could only get a two count. The lads have a strike exchange until Nak hits the landslide. Both take forever to get to their feet and have the most dramatic strike exchange of the tournament. Nak takes him down and hits huge knees to the head but Tanahashi is back with another dragon screw. Tanahashi tries for a slingblade but Nak switches it to a struggle for an armbar, then a triangle. Tanahashi escapes by standing on his head but Nak hits a Boma-Ye for a two count. This is my match of the year so far as long as they keep this up, or just go home now. A struggle on the top rope leads to a strike exchange and a very unique High Fly Flow. Tanahashi hits him with a dragon suplex straight to his neck. Two High Fly Flows later and it’s all over.
Rating: 5 Stars