Reviews

NJPW G1 Climax 26 Day 2 Review

Air Date: 22/7/16

It’s time for day 2 of the G1 and the first of our B-block matches.

David Finlay, Juice Robinson, and Captain New Japan vs. TenKoji (Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan) and Manabu Nakanishi

Pretty solid opener here with the veterans beating on the young guys for most of the match. Nothing special besides Nakanishi pulling out a top rope crossbody which is insane to think about. Kojima pins Captain New Japan with a Lariot ** ½

Naomichi Marufuji and CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii and Hirooki Goto) vs. Bullet Club (Tama Tonga, Bad Luck Fale, and Yujiro Takahashi)

Another totally fine but totally skippable tag match. Ishii and Marufuji seemed to be working hard and did well. The most interesting thing about this match is that Tama Tonga looked great when he was only in the ring for a few minutes, so maybe he is better fit in this role than as a singles guy. Marufuji pins Yujiro ** ¾

Jushin Thunder Liger, Togi Makabe, and Tiger Mask (IV) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, KUSHIDA, and Ryusuke Taguchi

This was a hot match, when Tiger Mask has is working boots on you know things are going to be good. Tons of action between the juniors and a little bit of interaction between Makabe and Tanahashi before their G1 match tomorrow. Don’t skip this one. KUSHIDA pins Tiger Mask *** ¼

Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI and SANADA) vs. CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada and Gedo)

These CHAOS/LIJ tag matches always deliver and this was no exception. We got some awesome exchanges between BUSHI and Gedo as well as between SANADA and Okada ahead of their G1 match tomorrow which promises to be very good. BUSHI pins Gedo with MX *** ½

Katsuhiko Nakajima [0] vs Toru Yano [0] (G1 Glimax 26 B-Block)

This was exactly what you would expect from a Yano match, lots of shenanigans and comedy spots. Thankfully it was short. Nakajima pins Toru Yano with a brainbuster ** ¾

Kenny Omega [0] vs. YOSHI-HASHI [0] (G1 Climax 26 B-Block)

What a damn upset this was, I don’t think many people had YOSHI-HASHI winning this match but it came across as completely believable. This match took a little while to get going but once it did it was very good, Kenny kept his cutesy stuff to a minimum and YOSHI-HASHI’s Nakamura tribute act was super fun. Great match. YOSHI-HASHI pins Kenny Omega ****

EVIL [0] vs. Michael Elgin [0] (G1 Climax 26 B-Block)

This was just a great big man hoss fight, lots of strikes and power moves a plenty. The crowd was super into this match and the last few minutes were super intense and manly. There were a couple of times where Elgin or EVIL no sold the others offence which I could’ve done without, but it fit within the context of the match of these two monsters going at it. EVIL pins Elgin with the EVIL STO *** ¾

Tetsuya Naito [0] vs. Yugi Nagata [0] (G1 Climax 26 B-Block)

There were some sparks of brilliance in this match but it was very underwhelming overall. Things never really broke out into the greatness that we saw between these two after their tag match on day 1. Apart from a hot finishing stretch the entire match felt very slow and plodding, almost as if these two were saving themselves for later matches, which is fine if a little disappointing. Nagata pins Naito with a bridging backdrop ***

Tomoaki Honma [0] vs. Katsuyori Shibata [0] (G1 Climax 26 B-Clock)

The trouble with Honma now that he wins matches semi-regularly is that he’s become basically just another guy that hits hard, and frankly there are guys on the roster that do that much better than him. This was a good match, if a little underwhelming again, but Honma’s win here would imply he has another NEVER title match in his near future and I would argue he is better served as a tag team with Makabe. Honma pins Shibata with a top rope Kokeshi Headbutt *** ½

Overall: 5.5

Underwhelming is the word that comes to mind for this show, yes there were a lot of good matches and yes we got a lot of upsets, but no single match really broke out as great. That may be because there are three or four back to back shows coming up this weekend and so the guys were holding back a little bit, but it still lead to a good but not great show. On the bright side, this was a very easy watch and just flew by.

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