Reviews

NJPW G1 Climax 26 Day 4 Review

Air Date: 24/7/16

Juice Robinson vs. David Finlay

Here’s some trivia for you, this is the first singles non-tournament match on any of these shows so far. These two had a very good little match with some awesome selling and facial expressions from Juice. I may be alone in thinking this but he is the best of the current crop of young lions. Finlay did well too but he is lacking that little bit of charisma which makes Robinson better. Juice Robinson pins David Finlay *** ¼

Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA and BUSHI) vs. Togi Makabe and Ryusuke Taguchi

Perfectly fine tag match, luckily the juniors worked the majority of the match so it wasn’t a complete waste. Makabe pins BUSHI with the King Kong Knee Drop ** ¼

Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, and Yujiro Takahashi) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, KUSHIDA, and Captain New Japan

This was actually a surprisingly fun tag match. Everyone got some time to look good, you never got the impression that the tournament participants were slumming it and even the interaction between Yujiro and Captain New Japan didn’t bore me. Yujiro pins Captain New Japan ***

Naomichi Marufuji and CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii, and Gedo) vs. TenKoji (Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan), Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask (IV), and Manabu Nakanishi

This was so much more fun than it had any right to be, just lots of action from start to finish. Liger and Tiger got a lot of offence in on Goto which was surprising. Because of the number of people in this match no one had to carry the bulk of it, meaning no one felt like they were holding back as they only had to work a minute or two each. Do not skip this match. Goto pins Tiger Mask (IV) with the GTR *** ½

YOSHI-HASHI [2] vs. Tomoaki Honma [2] (G1 Climax 26 B-Block)

Fun match, although it felt very meandering at times and took a little while to get going. YOSHI-HASHI didn’t look as good in this match than he has in previous, and the same is true to a lesser extent of Honma. Honma pins YOSHI-HASHI with a rop rope Kokeshi *** ¼

EVIL [2] vs. Yuji Nagata [2] (G1 Climax 26 B-Block)

This match felt a little bit off. Like the first match things were very meandering and you never got the impression either of these guys were giving there all in this match, which is a shame because on paper this looked like it could be a lot of fun. Nagata pins EVIL with a backdrop ***

Kenny Omega (w/Yujiro Takahashi) [0] vs. Toru Yano [0] (G1 Climax 26 B-Block)

I wrote in my review yesterday that this was the match I was least excited for, and while it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting it was not at all what I want from a tournament like this. Total comedy from beginning to end. Kenny Omega pins Toru Yano with a BomaYe **

Katsuhiko Nakajima [2] vs. Katsuyori Shibata [0] (G1 Climax 26 B-Block)

This is a rematch ten years in the making and one of the big matches people were excited for when the blocks were first announced, and oh boy did it deliver. Nakajima was in control for the early portions of the match, but then pissed off Shibata by using his own corner dropkick against him which led to an absolute war between the two. Some crazy stiff exchanges between the two followed, which were really helped by some great facial expressions and selling by both men. Nakajima came into this trying to prove his toughness and he did that in spades. Shibata pins Nakajima with the PK **** ½

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

Another very good match on this show. Lots of great counter wrestling and limb work by Naito which was enhanced by Elgin’s selling. Naito went after Elgin’s legs in the match, which led to Big Mike not being able to perform some of his trademark moves. Once Naito stopped going for the legs, Mike gained control however he quickly lost it when Naito went back for the leg. Perfect storytelling. Elgin is a guy that’s been having a very good year and he needed a big time match like this to put him in the conversation for wrestler of the year. Naito pins Michael Elgin with a Destino **** ¼

Overall: 6.5

This might have been the best G1 show since opening day, two classic matches and a completely watchable undercard.

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