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NJPW G1 Climax Tournament 8-8 report: Tanahashi vs. Shibata, Makabe vs. Gallows

By Bryan Rose,

Welcome to this morning’s live coverage of the G1 Climax 25 tournament. From this point on there will be no longer any fixed camera shows, so it’s a multi-camera setup from this point on. Commentary is another story, as some will, some won’t, such as tonight's show.

Satoshi Kojima & Jushin Thunder Liger & Ryusuke Taguchi & Yohei Komatsu vs. Yuji Nagata & Kushida & Mascara Dorada & David Finlay

This was every six man you’ve seen on the tour. These are so formulaic at this point you even know who’s pinning who on every show. It wasn’t bad, just seen it enough. Kojima and Nagata went at it since they’re facing each other soon. Finlay and Taguchi were the ones left in the ring as Taguchi pinned Finlay with the dodon.

Michael Elgin & Jay White vs. Karl Anderson & Cody Hall

Pretty good. Elgin and Anderson had a lot of interaction, and they had good chemistry with one another. White continues to show fire as a young lion babyface. Anderson and White had some good interactions as well. White fell to the stun gun.

Hirooki Goto & Tomoaki Honma & Captain New Japan vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Tomohiro Ishii & Yoshi-Hashi

The usual tag match. Nakamura and Honma had some interactions. The end had Yoshi-Hashi and Captain New Japan doing their usual stuff when Yoshi Hashi cuts him off and pins him with the swanton.

Kazuchika Okada & Gedo vs. Yujiro Takahashi & Tama Tonga

Just a tag team match, nothing special. As you’d expect, Takahashi and Okada were the focus, though Gedo and Tama Tonga had good chemistry together as well toward the end. Tonga pinned Gedo with the waistlock DDT. Yujiro took out Okada why whipping him into the guardrail immediately after the match.

Kota Ibushi vs. Bad Luck Fale

This was ok, but nothing worth noting. Fale got the heat on Ibushi early by throwing him onto chairs on the outside then throwing an entire barricade on his prone body. Ibushi made a comeback with a huge moonsault that took out Fale on the floor. Fale made the comeback with a big lariat and the grenade for a near fall. He went for the Bad Luck Fall but Ibushi tried to counter into a hurricanrana. He failed, as Fale positioned him back for the Bad Luck Fall, hit it and pinned him.

Tetsuya Naito vs. Toru Yano

Not that much of a match competitively, but it was fine for what it was. Naito was on offense for a lot of it, shoving the referee down twice along the way. There were several moments where Yano had control, which involved undoing the turnbuckle and Naito missing a splash, but this was very much Naito’s match. He low blowed Yano twice then pinned him with the Destino. 

Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. A.J. Styles

Good match. Wasn’t completely action oriented but they told a story and psychological this was one of the better matches of the night. Mostly just back and forth early. AJ started to work on Tenzan’s leg, though strangely not the one that bandaged up. He had in the calf killer at one point but Tenzan grabbed the ropes quickly. After working on him a bit, Tenzan mounted his comeback and went for the Anaconda buster but AJ escaped and dropkicked him. Tenzan tries for a moonsault but the leg is too injured as he collapses to the floor. Tenzan knees him low after a lionsault attempt and goes for the Anaconda vise but AJ gets to his feet as they go to the corner. Tenzan is distracted for a bit by talking to the referee which allows AJ to hook Tenzan’s leg and applies the calf killer for the submission.

Togi Makabe vs. Doc Gallows

Fine match, but nothing special. There was a lot of brawling on the outside and into the crowd. Stairs and guardrails were used. Makabe got taken out, and once he came back in was mostly a big guy match with back and forth offense. Gallows hit the Gallows Pole at one point but Makabe kicked out. He went for it again but Makabe hit a lariat, a samoan drop then pinned him with the king kong knee drop.  

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Katsuyori Shibata

Excellent match. This immediately felt like nothing else on the card and felt special. Just good work throughout the entire match. They started off with some mat wrestling. Both worked on each other’s legs early, applying submissions. Just an intense back and forth contest, complete with stiff shots and some excellent moves. Tanahashi went for a charge to the corner but ducked as Shibata tried to hop over him, only for Shibata to foot stomp him on the face. Tanahashi hit the high fly flow, then went for another but Shibata dodged the second one and put him in the sleeper. He misses the penalty kick as he goes for a bridging pin and barely gets it for two. Shibata tries to counter into a rear naked choke but Tanahashi floats over him and pins his shoulders on the mat for the surprise win.  

Block A

Tetsuya Natio- 10

AJ Styles- 10

Hiroshi Tanhashi- 10

Bad Luck Fale- 10

Katsuyori Shibata- 8

Kota Ibushi- 6

Togi Makabe- 6

Toru Yano- 4

Hiroyoshi Tenzan- 2

Doc Gallows- 2

Block B

Kazuchika Okada- 10

Tomohiro Ishii- 8

Karl Anderson- 8

Hirooki Goto- 8

Shinsuke Nakamura- 8

Michael Elgin- 8

Yujiro Takahashi- 4

Satoshi Kojima- 4

Yuji Nagata- 2

Tomoaki Honma- 0