NJPW G1 Climax 26 Day 8 Review

Air Date: 30/7/16

David Finlay vs. Ryusuke Taguchi

Very good opening match here, Taguchi has really gotten the balance right between comedy and serious wrestling. Finlay was absolutely awesome in this, he showed a lot of the same fire and aggression that made his dad famous. Great stuff. Taguchi pins David Finlay *** ¼

Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi, Bad Luck Fale, and Tama Tonga) vs. Satoshi Kojima, Manabu Nakanishi, and Captain New Japan

Another damn fun trios match, everyone worked hard which is uncommon in these undercard tag matches. Nakanishi, Kojima, and Tonga were the highlights of this match by far. Yujiro pins Captain New Japan with Pimp Juice ***

Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA and BUSHI) vs. Juice Robinson and KUSHIDA

Another very fun tag match, there’s an obvious pattern here with the matches not involving very many tournament participants being the most fun. BUSHI and KUSHIDA obviously had some great interactions and Juice looked like an absolute star, I’ve said this before but he has a very bright future. SANADA makes Juice submit to the Dragon Sleeper ***

Naomichi Marufuji and CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto, and Gedo) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Togi Makabe, Jushin Thunder Liger, and Tiger Mask (IV)

This was back to standard undercard tags with each guy taking turns having interactions with their next opponent. A fun match but a marked step down from the previous three matches on this show. Tiger Mask submits Gedo ** ¾

Toru Yano [0] vs. Tomoaki Honma [4] (G1 Climax 26 B-Block)

This was a fun Yano sprint with everything that comes with a Yano match. As a quick, undercard act Yano is starting to grow on me for sure. Toru Yano pins Tomoaki Honma with a backslide ** ½

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

You can tell these guys are starting to break down as the early portions of this match were very slow and safe. However we got a hot finishing stretch which more than made up for the start. YOSHI-HASHI has been a pleasure to watch in this tournament with all of his matches being at least good so far. YOSHI-HASHI pins EVIL with Karma ***

Katsuhiko Nakajima [4] vs. Yuji Nagata [6] (G1 Climax 26 B-Block)

Hot start to this match with Nakajima immediately going after Nagata. The story of this was very much the old Nagata trying to show up the punk kid Nakajima, and these guys just kicked the ever living shit out of each other. Things got a little boring once or twice, but the match was short enough that it didn’t matter. Nakajima pins Nagata with a Brainbuster ****

Kenny Omega [4] vs. Michael Elgin [2] (G1 Climax 26 B-Block)

Kenny Omega has started to become more serious in this tournament and is having some really great matches, which is why his goofy character is so frustrating to me. This match felt like these two guys really hated each other, which makes sense given they’ve been feuding, with throwing everything at each other, including their opponents finisher. Michael Elgin is having an amazing run with two of my favourite matches of the entire tournament so far, his selling of his injured arm here was great. This was really special and I suggest everyone go out of their way to watch it. Michael Elgin pins Kenny Omega with an Elgin Bomb **** ½

Tetsuya Naito [4] vs. Katsuyori Shibata [2] (G1 Climax 26 B-Block)

Another very good match here built around Naito going after Shibata’s injured knee and shoulder. This obviously meant we got a lot of limb work by Naito which was sold expertly by Shibata. Naito passing out here instead of tapping out is interesting as it shows they still want to put over Shibata while still protecting Naito, which is great for Shibata who deserves every success he is getting. Shibata wins as Naito passes out ****

Overall: 7.0

This was a great show, with three ****+ matches and every match being about *** at least. This is a very strong Show of the Year contender for me.



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