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NJPW G1 Climax Tournament 8-14 live results: Styles vs. Tanahashi to determine A Block winner

by Bryan Rose, WrestlingObserver.com

Welcome to today’s coverage of the G1 Climax tournament. Only three shows left, all taking place at Sumo Hall in Tokyo, Japan. Tonight’s show will determine the A block winner between AJ Styles and Hiroshi Tanahashi. Tomorrow we’ll find out the winner of the B Block, and on Sunday morning we’ll see the finals. Very interesting next few days.

Satoshi Kojima & Tomoaki Honma & Mascara Dorada vs. Karl Anderson & Yujiro Takahashi & Tama Tonga

Pretty good six man, though nothing exceedingly memorable about it. The usual tropes are here including Dorada doing a great dive out to the floor on Tama Tonga. They’re isolated but Tonga cuts him off and pins him with the waistlock DDT. Kojima and Anderson had words after the match while Yujiro jumped and laid out Honma after the bell rang, since these four are scheduled to have their last matches together tomorrow.

Michael Elgin & Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly vs. Young Bucks & Cody Hall

Good match. This felt like a breath of fresh air with reDragon and Young Bucks involved. The highlight again was Elgin, who was super over and did all of the stuff that’s gotten him over on the tour. At one point he even did a crazy tope con hilo to the outside wiping out the Bullet Club. Everyone looked good here, including Hall who continues to improve. He and Elgin were the ones trading offense towards the end. Elgin impressively deadlifted him with a powerbomb then pinned him with his sitout powerbomb.

Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi & Kushida vs. Hirooki Goto & Ricochet & Captain New Japan

Another good tag team match. Ricochet mostly worked with Kushida and they had some really great back and forth. Ricochet is a guy who excels in everything he does in terms of presentation, in ring ability and precision, it’s amazing. Nakanishi wasn’t in there long. It was left between Captain New Japan and Nagata. Goto broke up a pin at one point, but Nakanishi ran in and gave him the torture rack while Kushida took out Ricochet on the outside with a tope con hilo. Nagata then submitted CNJ with the white eyes armbar.

Shinsuke Nakamura & Tomohiro Ishii & Kazushi Sakuraba & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Kazuchika Okada & Gedo & Michael Bennett & Matt Taven

Interesting dynamic here as it’s CHAOS against CHAOS. Turned out to be another good tag team match. Much of the story was between Okada and Nakamura, who headline tomorrow’s show. They went at it briefly and had some good exchanges. Maria distracted Sakuraba which let Yoshi-Hashi superkick him as Gedo tried to put him in the Gedo clutch, but Sakuraba transitioned into the kimura and submitted him. Okada and Nakamura had a staredown after the match.

Doc Gallows vs. Katsuyori Shibata

I liked this match. It was solid for the most part with Gallows taking out Shibata at one point with a chokeslam on the apron. He hit the Gallows Poll but Shibata kicked out and applied the sleeper. Gallows cut him off and hit a bicycle kick, a superkick then pinned him with the Gallows Poll. Weird they went with this decision. 

Toru Yano vs. Bad Luck Fale

Eh, this wasn’t very good, though the ending was funny. Yano jumped him before the bell him, squirted him with the water bottle and attacked him with his DVD. Fale made his comeback and spent much of the match working him over. They were on the outside when Fale teased giving him the Bad Luck Fall into the crowd. Yano jumped back down, low blowed him and Tama Tonga and made it to the ring right before 20 so Fale was counted out. 

 Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Tetsuya Naito

This was interesting. The storyline here is that Naito was completely unimpressed with Tenzan leading to and during the match. So Tenzan is on offense for a lot of the match and Naito seems rather unimpressed despite being on defense, smirking and spitting at Tenzan whenever he had a chance. Naito made a comeback but Tenzan cut him off with a huge headbutt and locked in the anaconda vise, with Naito eventually tapping out. Great match in terms of storytelling, and the action was good as well.

Kota Ibushi vs. Togi Makabe 

I thought this was a good match, but nothing that really stood out. Both guys looked good and did their usual stuff, and given the two's talents they had a good match out of that. It didn't feel like anything special in the end. Ibushi pinned Makabe after Makabe went for the spider German suplex but Ibushi landed on his feet, kicked him in the back of the head and hit the phoenix splash for the win. Looks like this is the next NEVER title program.

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. AJ Styles for the A Block Championship 

Excellent match. This started out slow, and was just good at the start, but amped up toward the end and became pretty great. A lot of the match was good back and forth between the two, with Tanahashi doing his high fly flow to the floor and AJ doing his springboard reverse DDT. There was a ref bump along the way that allowed AJ to low blow Tanahashi, but Tanahashi came back and low blowed him. AJ put the calf killer on him and people freaked out as Tanahashi sold it for a good while until finally making it to the ropes. Tanahashi made a comeback and tried for the Styles Clash but AJ blocked it. Tanahashi came back and nailed him with it but AJ kicked out. AJ got his knees up when Tanahashi hit a high fly flow and hit one of his own and a Bloody Sunday DDT but when he went for the Styles Clash dragon screwed his leg twice then hit the high fly flow twice for the win.

Block A:

Hiroshi Tanahashi- 14

AJ Styles- 12

Tetsuya Naito- 10

Bad Luck Fale- 10

Katsuyori Shibata- 8

Togi Makabe- 8

Kota Ibushi- 8

Toru Yano- 8

Hiroyoshi Tenzan- 6

Doc Gallows- 6

Block B:

Kazuchika Okada- 14

Karl Anderson- 12

Hirooki Goto- 12

Shinsuke Nakamura- 12

Tomohiro Ishii- 8

Michael Elgin- 8

Yujiro Takahashi- 4

Satoshi Kojima- 4

Yuji Nagata- 4

Tomoaki Honma- 2