Monday, August 3, 2015

Weekend brings two more mornings of G1 action

No time to waste as we have a packed weekend report of G1 action!

Image credit: NJPW.
Night 8 started with some preliminaries with little to note outside the return of KUSHIDA to Japan after a US tour that saw him working the first Global Force Wrestling tapings.

Tournament actin kicked off with Yujiro Takahashi and Satoshi Kojima. Kojima beat the holy heck out of Tanahashi for most of the match, but interference by Cody Hall allowed Yujiro to hit a low blow for the win.

Karl Anderson worked super old school against Yuji Nagata, picking him apart before getting the win in one of Nagata's best fights of the tournament.

Michael Elgin took out Tomoaki Honma in a brutal back and forth match. Honma continues to be a top performer in the tournament, but his loveable loser gimmick kept him without points again, as Michael Elgin moves up to four. The show had a bit of delay to get Honma out of the ring. Hopefully this doesn't mean an injury.

Elgin & Honma fought like wildmen.
Credit: NJPW.
Shinsuke Nakamura made his return in the semi-main event as he took on his CHAOS stablemate Tomohiro Ishii. I thought I saw hard-htting matches in this tournament before I saw this one. They may be friends, but neither man was willing to give in to the other. In the end, Nakamura starts his comeback with a win, but neither easily walked from the ring.

The main event gave us a battle of champions as IWGP Heavyweight champion Kazuchika Okada battled IWGP Intercontinental champion Hirooki Goto. The two men were evenly matched in their all out war as both looked to not only gain two points in the tournament but also show their superiority in the ring. Ultimately it was Goto that scored the win in what could only be called an upset to make a four way tie in first with 6 points.

Image credit: NJPW.
Night 9 kicked off with the regular preliminaries including a really good match pitting Michael Elgin and New Japan dojo student Jay White against Yujiro Takahashi and Cody Hall. Probably Cody's best work while Elgin & White really looked great as a team.

Tournament action started with a battle where Kota Ibushi had to try and work Tenzan's much slower style. It never really got out of the gates despite both men's best efforts, but it did end with another win for Ibushi.

Bad Luck Fale had his best match of the tournament so far against Katsuyori Shibata. Shibata has been on fire in the G1, even making Fale look good. Great finish with a Bad Luck Fall reversed into the sleeper and the PK. Shibata becomes the first wrestler at 8 points.

This PK was great to watch. Image credit: NJPW.
AJ Styles and Doc Gallows met in a battle of the Bullet Club. Gallows probably had his strongest showing as Styles knew how to set himself for a battle with the big American. But Gallows couldn't overcome the Club's ace and Styles walked out with the win.

Togi Makabe went up against Tetsuya Naito in the semi. Naito's new methodical blank-faced style worked amazingly well against Makabe's strikes and suplexes. Outside one really terrible botched flying... something, they wrestled a solid battle in a night of style mismatches with Makabe getting a strong win over Naito.

Hiroshi Tanahashi and Toru Yano wrestled a match spotlighted by Yano's over the top antics and Tanihashi's return to more normal haircuts (which has been a theme of the tournament.) It also came with a brutal reopening of Yano's head wound from Night 7. Tanahashi ends the night at 6 points, still 2 behind the leader Shibata on the board.

This Tuesday, Night 10 brings B block back into play with a big rematch main event pitting Goto against Nakamura, but also with four other matches with strong potential. Action kicks off at 5:30 a.m. EST.

More of this comes your way Tuesday. Credit: NJPW.
A Block returns on Wednesday at 5:30 a.m., with another strong main event of Naito and Ibushi. Plus Makabe / Styles and Shibata / Yano.

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