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NJPW G1 Climax Tournament 8-9 report: Goto vs. Ishii, Nakamura vs. Honma

by Bryan Rose,

Welcome to today’s coverage of the G1, live in Tokyo at Korakuen Hall. For the first time in what seems like a good while, we’re getting commentary as well.

David Finlay & Jay White vs. Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga

Pretty short, even for these tag matches. Just the typical stuff where everyone got a few spots in. Finlay was pinned quickly with the waistlock DDT by Tama Tonga.

Kota Ibushi & Mascara Dorada vs. Toru Yano & Yoshi-Hashi

This was pretty good. Ibushi was on target as was Yoshi-Hashi and Dorada, who had great chemistry. Dorada only working tags in the last year is such a shame as he’s usually a bright light in these tag team matches. He did some of his usual arsenal, including a corkscrew off the middle rope. Yoshi-Hashi takes him down and pins him with the swanton.

Tetsuya Naito & Ryusuke Taguchi & Captain New Japan vs. A.J. Styles & Doc Gallows & Cody Hall

Bullet Club got the heat on Taguchi when, well, they incapacitated his behind through nefarious methods. Captain New Japan made a hot tag and Taguchi tried to assist him by giving him his hip attack finish on Gallows but it hit CNJ instead. All the Bullet Club isolated CNJ and Gallows pinned him with the Gallows Poll. 

Hiroshi Tanahashi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Kushida vs. Togi Makabe & Katsuyori Shibata & Jushin Thunder Liger

Liger seems to be taking all of Tiger Mask’s dates at this point since he’s been out for a good portion of the tour with a neck injury. The match was a good, action packed six man. A lot of the teasing was between Tanahashi and Makabe. Liger and Kushida worked the last few minutes and were very good together, with Kushida getting the win with the Japanese rolling leg clutch hold on Liger. 

Michael Elgin vs. Karl Anderson

Really great match. This was a fast paced back and forth battle. Both guys worked hard and the crowd was into it. At one point Bullet Club interefered and Elgin sent them packing. Anderson went for the gun stun but Elgin was somehow able to deadlift him and powerbomb him out of the ring and onto the Bullet Club members. They had a intense back and forth battle after that. Elgin hit him with the buckle bomb and tried the spinning powerbomb but Anderson countered the latter into a gun stun for the win. Last few minutes were awesome. 

Satoshi Kojima vs. Yuji Nagata

Good match. Story here was Nagata’s ribs. Kojima worked on them early and several times during the match the referee and medical staff checked on him but he refused to give up. Nagata mounted a comeback that people got very much into and applied the white eyes armbar. Kojima tried for a lariat but Nagata nailed him with a roundhouse kick then pinned him with the back drop hold.  

Kazuchika Okada vs. Yujiro Takahashi

This was pretty good for the most part. Lots of ref bumps and interference but it worked here and the crowd was very much into the match. Yujiro distracted the referee as Cody Hall laid out both Gedo and Okada on the outside. Yujiro worked over Okada, but of course Okada made his comeback. He took Yujiro and Hall out into the stands and did a big running crossbody over the guardrail and into the seats in the audience. Yujiro made a comeback and hit a buckle bomb and Miami Shine for a great nearfall. There was a ref bump where Hall tried to interfere, but Gedo made the save as Okada eliminated Hall. Okada then hit the rainmaker and pinned him. 

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Tomoaki Honma

Good match. Weird in that it was pretty short compared to other G1 matches that night, and most of it was fine, but the last few minutes were excellent. Nakamura took Honma to the outside at one point and just kind of carelessly threw him into the crowd full of people. Nakamura went for a boma ye but Honma blocked it, only for Nakamura to hit it anyway. He went for a second but Honma blocked it and headbutted him. He hit the kokeshi and went for a top rope kokeshi but missed it and Nakamura hit another boma ye for another nearfall. Honma hit another headbutt but Nakamura came back with a standing boma ye and pinned him. 

Hirooki Goto vs. Tomohiro Ishii

Awesome match. I don’t think this was as good as the match they had in November, but this was still pretty damn great. Just the intense, stiff action coupled with the fantastic heat from the audience made this a memorable match. It was what you would expect, a back and forth brawl with lots of lariats, brainbusters, elbows and goading. Ishii cut off Goto on the top rope but Goto countered and hit the code red for a near fall. Lots of great action and it’s a very heated match. Ishii hit the sliding D but Goto kicked out. Goto headbutted him in the back of the head and took him out with a lariat. The crowd is completely into this match at this point. Goto hit a huge reverse neckbreaker off the top rope but Ishii still kicked out. Ishii escaped the shouten kai. Ishii tried to headbutt him but Goto headbutted him back twice and pinned him with the shouten kai. 

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- 12

Karl Anderson- 10

Hirooki Goto- 10

Shinsuke Nakamura- 10

Tomohiro Ishii- 8

Michael Elgin- 8
Yujiro Takahashi- 4
Satoshi Kojima- 4
Yuji Nagata- 4
Tomoaki Honma- 0