G-1 Climax report 8-3 Osaka

Tomohiro Ishii vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.

Crowd is already into this big time. They exchange a flurry of offense once the bell rings. DBS tears him down and works him over. Ishii breaks it with a huge slap to the face and follows with a big suplex. DBS hits a jumping knee and continues working on him until he’s cut off again. Ishii goes to the top rope and hits a huge superplex. Ishii goes for a lariat but DBS hits a big boot, only for Ishii to no sell it until DBS finally takes him down. He hits the bulldog bomb, but Ishii kicks out at two. Ishii’s selling is awesome. DBS hits a tiger suplex but Ishii kicks out. Another bulldog bomb attempt, but Ishii counters this with a hurricanrana and hits the lariat...for 2! A brainbuster finally ends it, Ishii wins. A fantastic match with insane heat. ****1/4

Ishii seems to have separated his shoulder during the match, with doctors popping it in after. Not a good sign for him, unfortunately.

Toru Yano vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan

I have to see this one. Tenzan jumps him at the bell. Yano takes him down and starts doing the mongolian chops. Tenzan hits a spinning heel kick Tenzan follows with the knee drop and follows with the headbutt for a nearfall. Tenzan goes for the moonsault but Yano shoves the ref into the ropes, causing Tenzan to fall to the floor. Yano gets on offense for a bit, but Tenzan headbutts him in the chest and follows with a anaconda vice slam for the submission...but the ref is down. Yano takes out Tenzan when he revives the ref, but Tenzan gets up, and when the ref tries to take something away from Yano, Tenzan low blows him and gets a submission, outsmarting him. I liked the finish, and Tenzan looked good here, but not a whole lot. **

Shelton X Benjamin vs. Yuji Nagata

Shelton jumps Nagata at the bell and tries an ankle lock but Nagata escapes. Benjamin whips Nagata into the barricade.  Shelton takes him back to the ring and works him over. They do an exchange in which Shelton wins but Nagata soon takes him out with a release belly to belly suplex. He tries a backdrop suplex but Shelton counters it with the ankle lock. Shelton has it locked on, but eventually Nagata grabs the ropes. Nagata takes out Benjamin with a rolling kick and they engage in another punch battle with Benjamin taking him down with the dragon whip. Benjamin tries the paydirt, but Nagata grabs his arm and goes for the armbar. Shelton somehow escapes and hits the ankle lock but Nagata counters into another submission and bridges it into a pin, no dice. Nagata tries a crossface, and that time he gets it. This was pretty good. ***1/4

Satoshi Kojima vs. Doc Gallows

They start off hot and exchange blows, with Kojima clotheslining Gallows to the floor. Kojima actually does a tope to the floor, but Gallows just walks away and misses. That did not look fun at all. Gallows works over Kojima with a sleeper. Kojima eventually fights back and does his comeback but gets cut off with the bicycle kick. Kojima counters the Vader bomb and hits a DDT. Tries for the lariat, but Gallows boots him and hits the Gallows pole for a nearfall. Kojim fires back with a lariat to the back of the head and hits another for the three count. Simple enough match, nothing beyond that. **3/4

Tetsuya Naito vs. Hirooki Goto

Crowd was super into this as the bell rang. Naito ends up doing a clean break, but then slaps Goto on the chest, causing fans to boo. Goto takes over, slapping Naito in the chest and takes him to the outside where he gets thrown into the barricade. Goto takes him into the crowd and throws him into a bunch of chairs full of people who are wearing lion mark shirts. Hmm. Naito beats the count, but Goto remains in control until Naito takes him out with a neckbreaker. Naito hits a flurry of offense including his big splash and a missile dropkick. Naito misses Goto’s neckbreaker move the first time, but misses the second and Goto nails him. Naito fights back and levels Goto with a hurricanrana off the top rope, then hits a bridging German suplex for a nearfall. Gloria is executed, then goes for the stardust press but Naito misses, hurting his knee in the process. Naito rolls him up for a nearfall, Goto misses and tries a German but Naito stops him, only to headbutt him. Another neckbreaker for a nearfall. Shouten kai is executed and that’s it. This was a great match, and the crowd was electric. ****

Lance Archer vs. AJ Styles

AJ clotheslines Archer over the top rope and follows that with a tope, starting control of the match. Archer quickly counters with a powerbomb. Archer hangs him up on the ropes and unleashes a lariat that sends him to the floor. He follows that with an overhead suplex that sends him to the turnbuckle. Archer starts the punches in the corner but AJ glides under him and pulls him to the floor, then locks in a figure four in the corner. AJ tries to crossbody, but Archer counters, only for AJ to send him back to the floor by working on his knee. AJ locks in another figure four, this time in the middle of the ring. Archer breaks free and tries to cut him off but AJ clips the leg again. Archer kicks AJ into the corner and when he rebounds he clocks him with a lariat. AJ tries to fight back with a flurry of offense, but Archer chokeslams him then takes him to the top rope where he tries to go for the blackout but AJ counters with a pele pick and the bloody sunday DDT for a nearfall. Archer counters with a huge blue thunder bomb for a nearfall. Archer tries a moonsault but he misses. AJ tries for the superman punch but Archer gets him in the chokeslam, but AJ manages to transition this into the calf killer on Archer’s bum leg and he taps out. Awesome match. ****1/4

Minoru Suzuki vs. Togi Makabe

Starts out as a slugfest with both pummeling one another with Suzuki getting the better of it. They go on the outside where Suzuki pummels him with a chair and starts working him over. Makabe fires back with some lariats to the corner, but Suzuki grabs his arm on the ropes, only to get hit with some punches until he finally lets go. TAKA tries to interfere, but Makabe destroys him, sending him to the barricade and clotheslining him. Suzuki goes for a big boot but Makabe sidesteps and he walks into the barricade with Makabe working on his leg. He continues to work it over in the ring Suzukii manages to get in the sleeper, but Makabe quickly counters and locks in a toe hold. Suzuki’s in it forever, but manages to get to the ropes. Makabe motions for the powerbomb, but Suzuki counters with a sleeper but it’s to no avail, but a running dropkick to the face does. Suzuki hits the running kick to the face and hits the saka otoshi submission. Makabe doesn’t tap, but passes out and that’s it.Awesome finish to a great match. ****

Katsuyori Shibata vs. Tomoaki Honma

They charge at each other at the bell and start wailing on each other. Honma takes him down and tries the headbutt, but nope. Shibata throws him into the barricade and responds with a huge boot to the face. Honma gets back in and counters with a clothesline that sends him to the floor. They go back and forth. Shibata tries to  do the running kick to the corner but Honma responds with a forearm shot and lariat. Tries the headbutt again to no avail, but does nail it after a second time.  Honma tries to go to the top rope but Shibata takes him down and hurls some big elbows to the corner, then follows up with the running dropkick. Shibata gets taken down and Honma hits a headbutt and follows with a brainbuster for a nearfall. Shibata reverses with a sleeper but Honma gets to the ropes, but Shibata immediately tries the penalty kick, only for Shibata to respond with a huge slap and follows that with a sitout piledriver for a huge nearfall. Shibata keeps trying to pin Honma with strikes but it’s to no avail. Another strike sends him down, and a GTS and penalty kick later sends Honma down again for the pinfall. Incredible heat for this match, which was a hard hitting awesome affair. ****1/2

Kazuchika Okada vs. Yujiro Takahashi

Yujiro jumps him before he could even make it to the ring, attacking him and sending him to the ropes, giving him snake eyes. Okada gets some offense in, but Yujiro bails on the outside then attacks Okada as he goes back to the floor and sends him to the guardrail. Yujiro works on him some more, but Okada fires back with some offense, taking him out then following that with a dropkick that sends him spiraling to the outside. Another barricade spot. Okada hits the draping DDT. Okada does the rainmaker pose, meaning he’s ready to wind it up, but Yujiro works on him some more, hitting a perfectlex for a nearfall. Okada gets nailed with an olympic slam but kicks out at two. Yujiro goes for a move but Okada manages to transition it into a shoulderbreaker. Yujiro tries to avoid the tombstone, but low blows kada while the ref got distracted after being shoved. Deadlift german suplex doesn’t get it. Tokyo Pimps is actually executed but Okada kicks out for a cool nearfall. Yujiro goes for a powerbomb but Okada counters with a hurricanrana then dropkicks Yujiro into the turnbuckle. Okada hits the tombstone and hits the rainmaker and that’s it. Another good match. ***1/2

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi

They start off with some chain wrestling. Tanahashi hits a crossbody and follows with a dropkick, which both kind of looked off to be honest. Nakamura gains control and hits a flying knee. Nakamura misses his knee to the corner and Tanahashi takes him down, following with the senton. He actually does the shaky leg to the corner, but Nakamura immediately gets up, takes him down with elbows and shows him the right way. Tanahashi rallies back and manages to dragon screw Nakamura’s leg. Nakamura manages to counter and puts Tanahashi in what looks like the gogoplata. Tanahashi manages to get back to his feet and counters with a cloverleaf. Nakamura fits out, hits the reverse exploder and tries the boma ye, but Tanahashi hits the sling blade. He tries a high fly flow, but Nakamura counters. He gets up and goes for the boma ye again, but Tanahashi again hits the sling blade. Tanahashi dropkicks him in the knee, hits a reverse sling blade, then hits sling blade, goes for another but Nakamura gets the knees up. Nakamura gets up and hits a boma ye in the back of the head for a nearfall. Ouch. Nakamura goes for another boma ye, but Tanahashi grabs him...only to spin away and hit it...for a nearfall! Tanahashi grabs Nakamura and rolls him up in a bridging pin...for the pinfall. Huh. That felt anticlimactic. But I guess it’s a different finish. Another great match to close off the show. ****1/4

FINAL THOUGHTS: 6/10 matches I gave **** or more to, so I’m pretty sure this is another card of the year candidate. The crowd was awesome and the workrate was awesome as well, with many memorable bouts witnessed here tonight. This G1 has already outpaced last years G1 in being one of the best tournaments of all time to the point where the comparison is not even close. If you were to tell me that a couple of weeks ago I would have called you crazy, but yet here we are! Fantastic show.

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