NJPW G1 Climax 26 Day 9 Review

Air Date: 31/7/16

David Finlay and Michael Elgin vs. Yuji Nagata and Tiger Mask (IV)

Elgin and Nagata were so broken down looking in this match, luckily Tiger and Finlay worked their asses off so it didn’t seem like a huge issue. Tiger Mask pins David Finlay ** ¾

Katsuhiko Nakajima and CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI, Toru Yano, and Gedo) vs. Katsuyori Shibata, Manabu Nakanishi, Jushin Thunder Liger, and Satoshi Kojima

Pretty standard undercard tag match. Coming out of this I am actually pretty excited for Shibata/Yano just for the clash of styles. Kojima pins Gedo with a Lariat ** ½

Bullet Club (Kenny Omega and Yujiro Takahashi) vs. Ryusuke Taguchi and Captain New Japan

Taguchi came out singing, no comment. This was a fun little tag match, with the same finish they’ve been doing throughout this tour. Yujiro pins Captain New Japan with Pimp Juice ** ½

Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI, and EVIL) vs. Juice Robinson, Tomoaki Honma, and KUSHIDA

Super fun sprint of a trios match. EVIL pins Juice with the EVIL STO ** ¾

Tama Tonga [2] vs. Tomohiro Ishii [4] (G1 Climax 26 A-Block)

When this match started it looked like Tama was going back to how he was earlier in this tournament, but Ishii beat that shit out of him and we got a solid little match. There’s a part of me that is starting to come around on Tonga so I hope things turn around for him. Tama Tonga pins Ishii with a Gun Stun *** ¼

Bad Luck Fale [2] vs. SANADA [4] (G1 Climax 26 A-Block)

Nice little back and forth match here. Fale has been getting huge pops every time he teases the Bad Luck Fall and got a very nice one when he finally hit it here. I don’t think this loss will hurt SANADA too much as Fale has always been a guy that can beat or lose to anyone. Fale pins SANADA with the Bad Luck Fall ** ¾

Naomichi Marufuji [4] vs. Togi Makabe [8] (G1 Climax 26 A-Block)

Other than Makabe walking through some of his spots and Marufuji completely wiffing some kicks, this was a pretty good little match. Makabe was fired the hell up, which caused Marufuji to get pissed off and so these guys had a god damn fight. Makabe did very well as the unstoppable monster who just screamed in the face of everything Marufuji did. Marufuji pins Makabe with a Sliced Bread *** ¾

Kazuchika Okada (w/Gedo) [6] vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan (w/Satoshi Kojima) [4] (G1 Climax 26 A-Block)

Tenzan hasn’t had the best G1 so far, but this was perhaps his best performance since the Ishii match. The veteran came out here trying to prove he could still hang with one of the best in the company, and while it looked like he had a good shot at times the story of the match was clear, Tenzan has passed his prime. That’s not to say this was a bad match, because it was probably the best on this show so far but it was clearly designed to put over Okada and show that Tenzan is out of his depths now. Okada pins Tenzan with a Rainmaker ****

Hiroshi Tanahashi [2] vs. Hirooki Goto [4] (G1 Climax 26 A-Block)

At first this looked like it was on the way to being another dud of a Goto match, but somewhere along the way Tanahashi forced Goto to fire up and everything seemed to pick up after that. The drama was there, with Goto seemingly having Tanahashi beat at several opportunities, as well as an increased pacing and intensity. Good main event to this show. Tanahashi pins Goto with a High Fly Flow *** ½

Overall: 6.0

All of the tournament matches delivered on this show, with the last three being excellent. Roll on the rest of the tournament.


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