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NJPW on AXS G1 2015 report: Naito vs. Tanahashi; Ishii vs. Nakamura

We got two hours to cover this week of G1 2015 coverage, so let’s not waste any time!

July 26, 2015 in Hiroshima:

Katsuyori Shibata vs. Togi Makabe

This, of course, was super stiff, but nothing out of the ordinary. Good, not great. Shibata got the win with the penalty kick.

AJ Styles vs. Kota Ibushi

This was good stuff. I loved the sequence near the end where Kota tried a hurricanrana off the top rope, but AJ blocked hit and hit a hurricanrana just for Ibushi to counter with a rollup, but AJ countered with a Styles Clash attempt. I keep saying this like a broken record, but Ibushi is so great; the last place he needs to be is in IGF where there’s like zero buzz. The burnout is totally understandable, but at the same time I feel like his eccentricities are getting the best of his career. Kota wins with the phoenix splash in a really great match.

Tetsuya Naito is interviewed. He went to Mexico in May (2015) and mentioned how he met people like La Sombra and Rush and how they wrestled freely; he was jealous. As he teamed with them in matches he felt a sense of joy, so he wanted to bring that to Japan. He felt that he needed to stick to his own style. But after wrestling in Mexico, he realized he needed to branch out. He could say he has no feelings regarding Tanahashi, but that would be a lie. He doesn’t have much more to be say regarding him.

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito

A great showcase for the new Naito here. He took his time taking off his suit (he’s replaced that with just taking a very long time getting to the ring and harassing Milano Collection AT), posed during matches and even took his time brawling around the ring, including a neckbreaker onto a table. In fact, a lot of this match was the two just brawling around, with Naito getting the upper hand. They eventually make their way back to the ring and bust out a ton of great offense.

I really liked the work on Naito’s knee (he was out for a long period of time a couple of years prior due to a blown out knee) including the two high fly flows on it. Naito got the somewhat surprising win with his new finisher, Destino (a standing sliced bread).

In a post match promo, he told the Japanese people to calm down. No one can stop him now, He finished off his short promo saying LOS INGOBERNABLES!

Tanahashi says this was one of his top 5 disappointing matches as he’s helped out backstage. He said the match was what it was - it was destiny. At first, no one could even pronounce los Ingobernables, but as the tournament went on he gained more confidence. He wants Los Ingobernables to gain strength in New Japan.

Shinsuke Nakamura welcomes us to the second hour of New Japan on AXS.

This footage is from August 1 in Osaka.

Karl Anderson vs. Yuji Nagata

Pretty decent match. I liked the work in the beginning where Anderson worked on Nagata’s ribs while Nagata worked on the arm. Anderson got the win after a gun stun out of nowhere.

Anderson told Nagata in a very rude manner to make him some food and do his laundry. Nagata didn’t have much response.

Tomoaki Honma vs. Michael Elgin

Elgin was such a fresh face in this tournament -literally everyone else was in the tournament a year prior, so seeing some new match ups here was pretty great. Elgin proved just how great a talent he really is by doing some of the best work of his career in this tournament, and prove a lot of his haters wrong with some terrific offense that really got Elgin over.

This was a great match. People were super into both guys and wanted Honma to get the big win. My favorite spot was the deadlift falcon arrow onto the apron to the mat - such a great spot! Elgin gets the win with the buckle bomb and a sitout powerbomb. Great match.

Elgin says he’s back on track and how he’s on his way to the finals, because that’s just how good he is. Honma was amazed by Elgin’s power; he really wanted to win, but he will be happy with a win next time.

Nakamura mentions his elbow injury that kept him off some of the G1 shows and mentions how he wanted to get back in the ring very quickly. He stayed on tour during his injury, saying he would go to different hospitals to get the treatment he needed. It was tough for him to get his way back, and wasn’t until Osaka where he was finally able to return.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Tomohiro Ishii

This was really great. Just built up really well from start to finish and the crowd was totally into it from start to finish. Both guys worked super hard. I loved the spot near the end where Nakamura went for another boma ye, Ishii stopped him but countered with the flying armbar scissors. Is that not the coolest move in pro wrestling? Both guys are awesome and they had, in fact, a really tremendous match. Nakamura got the win after a boma ye.

Nakamura says he had to give his all against Ishii, and glad he was able to face him. He was also happy he only missed one G1 match due to injury so he’s still in the game. In his reflective interview, he says he was very eager to face Ishii. Each one of their hits was full of passion. He appreciated that Ishii never tried to attack his elbow. He had to bring out everything he had, or he wouldn’t be able to stand. He felt that, even though saying this was weird, that it was a great comeback story.

Lots of great action on these shows; be sure to check them out!