Best Match: Tanahashi vs. Styles
Very good show, even the matches Gallows and Yano matches were good for what they were, particularly Gallows and Shibata. Tanahashi and Styles had a unique match for this tournament in using eachother’s finishers and hitting their own multiple times. It definitely worked, and felt like a big match. Looking forward to Saturday to see who Tanahashi will be up against.
Best Match: AJ vs Tanahashi
Worst Match: Yano vs Fale
Dave this Sumo Hall show was a very fun and easy to watch show for me from top to bottom. Even though the building wasn't close to sold out this crowd was rabid for the main event. Everything built up slowly until it was all out excitement for the last 5-10 minutes. Everyone knew there was only a 30 minute time limit and the closer they got to that time limit the more rabid the crowd got especially when the announcer announced 25 minutes past. I don't think there is a single wrestler walking the face of the Earth in 2015 who is better in ring than AJ Styles. This was an absolute classic match. Between the crowd, AJ kicking out of the Styles Clash, Tanahashi kicking out of AJ's frog's splash, and the final few minutes this was a 5 star match if I ever saw one. One of the greatest G-1 matches you will ever see.
San Antonio, TX
Thumbs way, way up
Best Match: Tanahashi/Nakamura
Worst Match: Bullet Club vs Ishii, Yano & Sakuraba
1) Opening six-man (**3/4)
2) TenKoji & Captain vs Naga-nishi & Jay White (***)
3) Michael Elgin def YOSHI-HASHI: Really good match, a great way to end Big Mike's New Japan tour. He'll be back. (***1/2)
4) Bullet Club vs Ishii, Yano & Sakuraba (**1/2)
5) The Greatest Trios Team Ever vs Tetsuya Naito, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma: Really good six-man that built up two great matches for down the road. Shibata/Naito was the best pairing. (***1/4)
6) IWGP Jr. Tag Team Championship: reDRagon def The Young Bucks (c): I wasn't a big fan of this match, and I haven't really liked the Bucks run in New Japan in general. The timing and structure of their matches just doesn't click with me or the Japanese fans. reDRagon were great though. (**3/4)
7) IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship: KUSHIDA (c) def Ricochet: Super fun match with lots of great high-flying and back and forth. Ricochet, unlike the Young Bucks, is actually great in New Japan. Hope to see him back soon. (****)
8) AJ Styles, Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows def The Kingdom & Kazuchika Okada: This was what it was, and it set up Okada/Styles for the title pretty well. More than straight runners-up singles match? That's debatable. (***)
9) G1 CLIMAX 25: Hiroshi Tanahashi def Shinsuke Nakamura: Unbelievable match from start to finish. Usually I'd be disappointed by all the finisher kick-outs but it totally suited the style of this match and the story behind it. To me, these are the two best professional wrestlers in the world today without a doubt, and this was a fitting end to what will go down as one of the greatest tournaments in wrestling history. This may be overrating it, but I came away from my first full G1 tournament with such positive feelings I can't give this anything less than (*****).
The tournament in general was excellent. The tags were tiresome by the end, but the singles matches almost all delivered, with 10 matches at least reaching ****1/2 in my books.
G1 MVP: 4-Way Tie: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, Tetsuya Naito, Michael Elgin
Worst Wrestler: Yujiro Takahashi
Match Of The Tournament: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Shinsuke Nakamura (Finals)
Also, special shout-out to BRYAN ROSE, for his fantastic coverage of the G1. I've already thanked him twice on Twitter but really, he did an absolutely sensational job.
I flew to japan, spent two nights sitting on the hard floor of a masu seki and then paid scalpers prices to sit in the nosebleeds for the finals. And I regret NOTHING.
That's how good the shows were.