New Japan “G1 Climax 2014” Day 5

Date:  July 28th, 2014
Location:  Sendai Sun Plaza Hall 
Announced Attendance:  2,850 (Super No Vacancy Full House)

I am running out of things to say in the intro, which is bad since there are still a whole bunch of days left in the G1 Climax. Here are the standings going into the event:

Block A: Block B:
Shelton Benjamin  [8]
Hiroshi Tanahashi  [6]
Bad Luck Fale  [4]
Katsuyori Shibata  [4]
Satoshi Kojima  [4]
Shinsuke Nakamura  [4]
Tomohiro Ishii  [4]
Davey Boy Smith Jr.  [2]
Doc Gallows  [2]
Yuji Nagata  [2]
Tomoaki Honma  [0]
Hirooki Goto  [6]
Kazuchika Okada  [6]
Tetsuya Naito  [6]
Hiroyoshi Tenzan  [4]
Togi Makabe  [4]
Toru Yano  [4]
AJ Styles  [2]
Karl Anderson  [2]
Lance Archer  [2]
Minoru Suzuki  [2]
Yujiro Takahashi  [2]

Today's matches:

- Block A: Doc Gallows vs. Tomohiro Ishii
- Block B: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Lance Archer
- Block A: Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Satoshi Kojima
- Block B: Minoru Suzuki vs. Yujiro Takahashi
- Block B: Karl Anderson vs. Toru Yano
- Block A: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Shelton Benjamin
- Block B: AJ Styles vs. Hirooki Goto
- Block A: Bad Luck Fale vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
- Block A: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Tomoaki Honma
- Block B: Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito

Doc Gallows vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Ishii faces off with Gallows to start and kicks Gallows in the stomach, chops by Ishii but Gallows just absorbs the blows.  Ishii goes off the ropes but he can’t knock Gallows down, Gallows goes off the ropes and he hits a shoulderblock.  Gallows throws Ishii into the corner but Ishii kicks Gallows back, another kick by Ishii and he goes off the ropes but Gallows catches him and hits a powerslam.  A trio of elbow drops by Gallows, cover, but it gets a two count.  Gallows elbows Ishii in the chest and Gallows headbutts Ishii.  Gallows punches Ishii in the head but Ishii chops him back.  Elbow by Gallows and he stands on Ishii near the ropes.  Gallows picks up Ishii and knees him, another knee by Gallows but Ishii elbows him back.  Ishii ducks a kick and slaps Gallows into the corner, chops by Ishii, Irish whip, reversed, Ishii moves when Gallows charges in and he goes for a brainbuster but Gallows blocks it and hits a vertical suplex.  Gallows goes for a body press but Ishii rolls out of the way.  Lariat by Ishii in the corner, he picks up Gallows and this time he gets up Gallows and hits a vertical suplex.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Ishii grabs Gallows around the waist, but Gallows elbows him back and punches Ishii in the face.  Gallows picks up Ishii and hits fallaway slam, body press by Gallows but it gets a two count.  Gallows picks up Ishii, Irish whip to the corner and Gallows hits a body avalanche.  Gallows goes up to the second turnbuckle but Ishii gets his feet up when he goes for a reverse splash.  High kick to the head by Gallows, he picks up Ishii and hits a pump-handle slam.  Cover, but Ishii gets a shoulder up.  Gallows picks up Ishii and gets him on his shoulders but Ishii slides off, club to the back by Ishii and he hits a release German suplex.  Ishii goes off the ropes and hits a lariat but Gallows doesn’t go down.  He goes off the ropes again and hits a second lariat with no luck, he goes off a third time but Gallows hits a boot.  Gallows goes off the ropes but Ishii levels him with a lariat, cover, but it gets a two count.  Ishii picks up Gallows but Gallows elbows him off, big boot by Gallows, he picks up Ishii and hits the full nelson slam.  Cover, but Ishii barely kicks out.  Gallows picks up Ishii and grabs him by the throat, but Ishii knocks him back.  Headbutts by Ishii, he goes off the ropes and hits a lariat to a seated Gallows.  Cover, but it gets two.  Ishii picks up Gallows and goes for a brainbuster, Gallows blocks it and goes for a suplex but Ishii lands on his feet.  Kick by Ishii, he grabs Gallows and he nails the brainbuster.  Cover, and he picks up the three count.  Your winner:  Tomohiro Ishii

Match Thoughts:   This was fun.  It is nice that just a Ishii headbutt is enough to change the course of a match but he gives the headbutts so well.  Gallows did well here as well, this is the right type of match for him as it was mostly just two people slugging it out… with one person being half the size but not particularly caring about that fact.  Good opener.  Score:  6.5

Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Lance Archer
Archer pushes Tenzan to start the match but Tenzan pushes him back.  They trade chops to the chest, then they trade elbows.  Mongolian Chops by Tenzan but Archer chops him back.  Headbutt by Tenzan and he hits some more chops, Irish whip by Tenzan, reversed, and Tenzan hits a shoulderblock.  Tenzan stomps on Archer and hits a headbutt, he goes out to the apron but Archer snaps his neck over the top rope.  Archer picks up Tenzan and he throws him to the guardrail.  Stomp by Archer, he picks up Tenzan and clubs him in the back.  Archer slides Tenzan back into the ring, he waits for him to get up and hits a shoulderblock.   Archer picks up Tenzan and hits a short arm lariat, cover, but it gets two.  Camel clutch by Archer but Tenzan elbows out of it and chops Archer into the corner.  Headbutts by Archer, Irish whip by Tenzan, reversed, Tenzan elbows Archer when he charges in and kicks Archer back, and Tenzan floors Archer with a lariat.   TAKA gets on the apron but Tenzan knocks him off, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and he hits the calf branding.  Cover, but it barely gets one.  Back up, Archer gets Tenzan around the throat but Tenzan headbutts him.  Archer knees Tenzan but Tenzan hits a Mountain Bomb.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Tenzan goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving lariat.  Cover, but it gets another two.  Tenzan applies the Anaconda Vice but Archer muscles out of it.  Tenzan goes off the ropes but Archer catches him with a sidewalk slam.  Archer applies a crab hold but Tenzan gets a hand on the ropes.  Archer picks up Tenzan and clubs him in the back, Archer goes off the ropes but Tenzan hits a heel kick.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Tenzan goes up to the top turnbuckle but Archer rolls out of the way of the moonsault attempt.  Archer waits for Tenzan to get up and he hits a chokeslam.  Cover, but Tenzan gets a shoulder up.  Archer puts Tenzan in the corner, elbow by Archer and he puts Tenzan up on the top turnbuckle.  Archer joins Tenzan up top but Tenzan headbutts Archer off.  Big boot by Archer, he grabs Tenzan and he delivers the Blackout.  Cover, and he picks up the three count.  Your winner:  Lance Archer

Match Thoughts:  Archer just has boring offense, I have trouble getting into his matches.  Shoulderblocks, chokes, lariats, basic submission holds….. nothing very quick or hurty.  He just hits a move, looks angry, hits a move, looks angry, repeat.   Also his finisher just needs so much setup, apparently he can’t do it without putting his opponent on the top turnbuckle first.  Tenzan was good here when he was on offense but he wasn’t on offense much.   Not that great.  Score:  3.5

Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Satoshi Kojima
They circle each other to start, tie-up, waistlock by Smith and he puts Kojima in the ropes before giving a clean break.  Tie-up, armbar by Smith and he hits an armbreaker.  Wristlock by Smith into a hammerlock, but Kojima hits a side headlock takedown.  Kojima gets out of it pretty quick and they both return to their feet.  Tie-up, side headlock by Kojima, Smith Irish whips out of it and they collide with neither man going down.  Kojima goes off the ropes and it happens again, then Smith shoulderblocks Kojima.  Smith picks up Kojima and hits an elbow, Smith goes off the ropes but Kojima catches his big boot attempt.  Kojima goes off the ropes and hits a shoulderblock.  Kick by Smith and he throws Kojima out of the ring.  Smith throws Kojima into the guardrail and then drives him backwards into them.  Kojima gets on the apron but Smith lariats his legs from the floor before hitting a DDT on the apron.  Kojima rolls back into the ring with Smith slowly following, chops by Kojima and he goes for a snapmare, but Smith rakes his eyes.  Sidewalk slam by Smith and he kicks Kojima in the stomach.  Smith picks up Kojima and hits an uppercut.  Smith picks up Kojima and hits a delayed vertical suplex.  Cover, but it gets a two.  Smith applies a neck grip and then a stretch hold, but Kojima gets a foot on the ropes.  Irish whip by Smith from the corner but Kojima moves when Smith charges in.  Chops by Kojima in the corner, Irish whip, and he hits a jumping elbow smash.  Diving elbow drop by Kojima, cover, but it only gets two.  Kojima picks up Smith and chops him in the chest, but Smith elbows him back.  Elbows by Kojima but Smith kicks him in the stomach, and Smith hits a butterfly suplex.  Cover, but Kojima kicks out at two.  Smith waits for Kojima to get up but Kojima elbows him back. Roaring elbow by Kojima, he goes off the ropes but Smith catches him with a jumping knee.  Smith picks up Kojima and he hits a backdrop suplex.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Smith applies a Sharpshooter but Kojima gets into the ropes to force a break.  Smith goes off the ropes but Kojima blocks the lariat and hits one of his own, sending Smith out of the ring.  Kojima gets Smith and slides him back in the ring, and Kojima hits a Koji Cutter.  Cover, but it only gets a two count.  Kojima goes off the ropes but Smith ducks the lariat, but Kojima hits one anyway.  Cover, but Smith gets a shoulder up.  Kojima picks up Smith and goes for a suplex but Smith blocks it.  Smith goes for the Bulldog Bomb but Kojima punches out of it and hits a snap DDT.  Kojima takes off the elbow pad but gets distracted by ringside commotion, allowing Smith to hit a Tiger Suplex Hold for a two count.  Both wrestlers slowly get up and Kojima knocks down Smith with a lariat.  Kojima goes off the ropes but Smith catches Kojima with a powerslam, he quickly picks up Kojima and he hits a Bulldog Bomb.  Cover, and he picks up the three count.  Your winner:  Davey Boy Smith Jr.

Match Thoughts:   This was a really solid match.  Smith’s offensive can be dull when he wastes time with rest holds, but when they are up on their feet the match was really fun.  Smith is a big dude so it doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility that he can withstand a few Kojima lariats and not get knocked out.  Good hard hitting match between the two.  Score:  6.0

Minoru Suzuki vs. Yujiro Takahashi
Takahashi attacks Suzuki before the match starts, snapmare by Takahashi and he hits a sliding kick.  Takahashi stomps on Suzuki’s face and Suzuki rolls out of the ring.  Takahashi slams Suzuki into the apron, and he throws Suzuki into the guardrail.  TAKA attacks Takahashi from behind which gives Suzuki time to get a steel chair, and he hits Takahashi in the back with it.  Suzuki picks up Takahashi, knee by Suzuki to the stomach and Suzuki throws Takahashi into the guardrail.  Suzuki twists Takahashi’s head around the guardrail, he picks him up and punches Takahashi in the face.  Suzuki throws Takahashi back into the ring, and Suzuki rakes at Takahashi’s face.  Takahashi punches Suzuki in the stomach, and Suzuki knees Takahashi in the stomach.  Suzuki picks up Takahashi and chops him in the chest, knee by Suzuki and he hits an elbow.  Headbutt by Suzuki, he picks up Takahashi but Takahashi slaps him.  Elbow by Takahashi but Suzuki catches a kick and applies a cross kneelock on the mat.  Takahashi eventually makes it to the ropes, and Suzuki kicks Takahashi in the leg.  Kick by Takahashi and he goes for a suplex, but Suzuki blocks it and applies a front facelock.  Takahashi gets out of it with a vertical suplex, chops by Takahashi but Suzuki chops him back.  Takahashi kicks Suzuki in the corner, Irish whip attempt but Suzuki throws Takahashi in the corner and chops him in the chest.  Eye rake by Takahashi and he elbows Suzuki in the corner.  Irish whip by Takahashi and he hits a big boot in the corner.  Takahashi grabs Suzuki out of the corner and goes for a neckbreaker but Suzuki blocks it.  Kick by Takahashi and he slaps Suzuki in the head.  Suzuki slaps him back hard, Suzuki picks up Takahashi and knees him in the stomach.  Irish whip by Suzuki and he hits a big boot in the corner.  Snapmare by Suzuki, he goes off the ropes and goes for the PK but Takahashi catches his foot.  Eye rake by Takahashi, he goes off the ropes but Suzuki also goes off the ropes and he applies a sleeper hold.  Takahashi gets out of it with a backdrop suplex, cover, but it gets a two count.  Takahashi goes off the ropes and he hits a lariat, cover, but Suzuki kicks out.  Takahashi picks up Suzuki and puts him on his shoulders, but Suzuki knees out of it.  Slaps by Suzuki and he hits a running boot to the face, Suzuki applies the rear-naked choke and Takahashi quickly taps out.  Your winner:  Minoru Suzuki

Match Thoughts:  A pretty average match… not really bad but nothing really good about it either.  Takahashi continues to not impress me and Suzuki is a deliberate wrestler that needs just the right foil.  He can have great matches but if he isn’t against the right opponent his matches tend to just be kinda slow paced with random strikes.  Nothing really to see here.  Score:  4.5

Karl Anderson vs. Toru Yano
Anderson kicks Yano before the match starts, he takes of Yano’s rope and keeps stomping on him.  Anderson puts on Yano’s rope and poses with it, mocking Yano.  Anderson throws it out of the ring and stomps on Yano but Yano rakes him in the eyes.  Yano goes off the ropes but Anderson hits a jumping kick to the face.  Anderson hits Yano from behind, and he removes one of the turnbuckle pads.  Anderson throws Yano into the exposed corner and hits Yano as he crawls near him.  Anderson picks up Yano and throws him out of the ring, Anderson goes out after him and stomps Yano.  Anderson throws Yano into the guardrail before rolling back into the ring.  Yano returns after a moment, and Anderson stomps on Yano.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Anderson throws Yano into the exposed corner again, he picks up Yano and does it a third time.  Anderson applies a reverse chinlock to Yano, he picks up Yano and hits an uppercut.  Anderson tries to Irish whip Yano into the corner, Yano reverses it, but Anderson moves when Yano charges in.  Anderson charges Yano but Yano drop toeholds him into the exposed corner, cover, but it gets a two.  Anderson elbows Yano but Yano ducks the third elbow and pulls on Anderson’s ears.  Yano goes off the ropes but Anderson hits a spinebuster.  Anderson picks up Yano and put him on his shoulders, and he hits the swivel Gun Stun.  Cover, but Yano gets a shoulder up.  Anderson goes for the Gun Stun but Yano blocks it and monkey flips Anderson into the corner.  Yano goes for a powerbomb, Anderson gets out of it and trips Yano, kicking him in the back of the head.  Anderson goes for the Gun Stun again, Yano gets out of it and he finally is able to hit a low blow onto Anderson.  Akakiri by Anderson, and he gets the three count.  Your winner:  Toru Yano

Match Thoughts:   The one thing I like is that Yano’s opponents know exactly how he is going to win and do everything they can to prevent it.  Anderson knew Yano was going for the low blow and got out of it a few times, but Yano was just too determined and he eventually was able to get it.  Of course it is silly that a wrestler can only win after a low blow and basically a roll-up, but that is just what Yano is right now, a bizarre comedy wrestler.  Anderson mocking Yano was fun though and for a mid-card comedy match it was acceptable.  Score:  5.5

Katsuyori Shibata vs. Shelton Benjamin
They circle each other to start, they jockey for position on the mat, Benjamin gets Shibata into the ropes and he gives a clean break.  Waistlock by Shibata, he applies a headscissors but Benjamin gets into the ropes, and Shibata gives a clean break as well.  Side headlock by Shibata, Benjamin tries to Irish whip out of it but Shibata keeps the hold applied.  Benjamin elbows out of it and applies an ankle hold but Shibata quickly gets into the ropes.  They trade elbows, kick by Shibata but Benjamin catches one and slams Shibata to the mat.  Shibata rolls out of the ring, Benjamin goes out after him and throws Shibata into the guardrail.  Benjamin picks up Shibata and swings him back and forth into the guardrails.  Benjamin gets back in the ring and Shibata makes it back as well, stomps by Benjamin, Irish whip by Benjamin to the corner and Shibata collapses on impact.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Benjamin picks up Shibata and knees him in the back.  Benjamin clubs Shibata in the back and hits a snap suplex.  Cover, but it gets another two count.  Benjamin applies a sleeper, but Shibata gets a foot on the ropes.  Benjamin picks up Shibata, Irish whip to the corner and he hits a Stinger Splash.  Benjamin goes off the ropes but Shibata catches him with a jumping knee.  Elbow by Shibata but Benjamin elbows him back and they trade blows.  Shibata elbows Benjamin into the corner, he gets a running start and delivers a dropkick.  Shibata picks up Benjamin and he hits a single arm suplex.  Cover, but it gets two.  Shibata picks up Benjamin, but Benjamin fights him back and hits a swinging kick.  Cover, but Shibata kicks out at two.  Benjamin picks up Shibata and he hits a double arm slam.  Benjamin goes for a superkick but Shibata swats his foot away and they trade elbows.  Shibata wins that battle with a spinning chop, he picks up Benjamin and puts him on his shoulders, but Benjamin blocks the Go 2 Sleep and applies an ankle hold.  Shibata inches to the ropes and finally reaches them to force a break on the hold.  Knee by Benjamin and he goes for a suplex, but Shibata lands on his feet.  German suplex by Shibata but Benjamin avoids the PK and knocks Shibata to the mat.  Superkick by Benjamin and he goes for the Paydirt, but Shibata avoids it and applies a rear naked choke.  Sleeper by Shibata but Benjamin drives him back into the corner.   Benjamin goes for a swinging kick again but Shibata ducks it and applies the sleeper.  The sleeper puts Benjamin down to a seated position, Shibata releases the hold and he nails the PK.  Cover, and he gets a three count.  Your winner:  Katsuyori Shibata

Match Thoughts:   Benjamin did a better job here than I was expecting, I knew he wouldn’t be eating the moves Tanahashi did the night before but he wasn’t a slouch either.  Some of the reversals looked really nice, I have no idea when they have time to practice these things but it was a very fluid match from start to finish.  There was a little wasted time but generally they stayed on point and overall it was a very good match.  Score:  7.0

AJ Styles vs. Hirooki Goto
Styles and Goto circle each other to start, tie-up, waistlock by Goto and they trade holds, but Goto gets into the ropes.  Styles goes for Goto’s leg and Styles applies a leg lock, Goto reverses it but Styles gets into the ropes.  Tie-up, side headlock by Styles and he takes down Goto, but Goto applies a headscissors.  Cover by Goto but it only gets two and Styles rolls out of the ring.  Styles gets back in, kick by Goto and he applies a side headlock.  Styles tries to Irish whip out of it but Goto keeps the hold applied.  Styles Irish whips out of it but Goto hits a shoulderblock.  Goto goes for an elbow drop but Styles rolls out of the way.  Irish whip by Styles to the corner, reversed, Goto goes for a suplex but Styles lands on his feet.  Styles goes for a splash but Goto moves out of the way and hits a hiptoss.  Elbow smash to the side of the head by Goto and Styles gets out of the ring to re-group.  Goto chases Styles but Styles snaps Goto’s neck over the top rope.  Slingshot elbow drop by Styles, he picks up Goto and he hits a vertical suplex.  Styles picks up Goto and throws him into the corner and Styles hits a shoulderblock.  Styles picks up Goto and throws him into the corner, and a running elbow in the corner.  Cover by Styles, but it gets a two count.  Styles grabs Goto’s legs and kicks him in the stomach before applying the Muta Lock.  Goto gets into the ropes to force a break, Styles picks up Goto and elbows Goto in the back of the head.  Chops by Goto and the two trade elbows, Goto goes off the ropes but Styles drops him with a dropkick.  Styles applies a reverse chinlock into a side headlock, Goto elbows out of it but Styles delivers a high kick.  Another kick by Styles but Goto returns to his feet, elbows and chops by Styles and he goes off the ropes but Goto does as well and hits a lariat.  Goto elbows Styles into the corner, Irish whip, and Goto hits a jumping heel kick.  Backdrop suplex by Goto, cover, but it gets two.  Goto picks up Styles and puts him on his shoulders, but Styles elbows out of it and hits a facebuster.  Cover, but it only gets a two count.  Styles picks up Goto and goes for the Styles Clash but Goto blocks it.  Styles clubs Goto in the back and chops Goto in the corner, Styles puts Goto up on the top turnbuckle and joins him, but Goto elbows him off.  Styles gets back up there and goes for a superplex but Goto elbows him and hits the Kaiten.  Cover by Goto but Styles gets a shoulder up.  Goto picks up Styles and goes for the Shouten but Styles lands on his feet and hits a Pele Kick.  Styles elbows Goto, he goes off the ropes, Goto goes for a lariat but Styles ducks it and hits a strike combination.  Styles goes off the ropes but Goto catches him and hits a fireman’s carry slam on his knee.  Goto goes for a Shouten but Styles blocks it and hits the Bloody Sunday.  Styles picks up Goto and drops him with the Styles Clash, cover, and he picks up the three count.  Your winner:  AJ Styles

Match Thoughts:  A little slow in the middle but not bad.  Goto busting out the Kaiten was nice since after watching these wrestlers so many days in a row I appreciate when someone does something different.  The end stretch was really good, I just wish the middle portion had a bit more focus as not a whole lot happened but they had really good chemistry together.  Solid match.  Score:  6.0

Bad Luck Fale vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Fale and Tanahashi circle each other, tie-up, Fale pushes Tanahashi into the ropes and goes for a lariat but Tanahashi ducks it.   Fale lands in the ropes, Tanahashi goes to give a clean break but Fale shoves him back.  Fale asks Tanahashi to lock knuckles, Tanahashi does and Fale gets Tanahashi to his knees.  Hammerlock by Tanahashi and he applies a side headlock, Fale Irish whips out of it and they collide with no result.  Fale goes off the ropes, drop toehold by Tanahashi and he dropkicks Fale while he is on the mat.  Tanahashi stands on Fale’s back near the ropes, and Fale rolls out of the ring.  Tanahashi goes to the ropes but Fale pulls him out of the ring and punches Tanahashi against the guardrail.  Fale Irish whips Tanahashi into the guardrail and hits a lariat.  Fale picks up Tanahashi and slides him back into the ring, he gets in the ring as well and he stands on Tanahashi’s back using the ropes for leverage.  Fale then stands on Tanahashi’s chest, he picks up Tanahashi and hits a scoop slam.  Cover, but it only gets a two.  Fale pulls on Tanahashi by the hair and twists on his head, then he elbow drops Tanahashi in the back.  Fale drops another elbow onto Tanahashi’s back and he applies a camel clutch.  Fale releases the hold and covers Tanahashi, but it gets a two count.  Fale picks up Tanahashi but Tanahashi punches him, but Fale clubs Tanahashi to the mat.  Fale throws Tanahashi into the corner, punches by Fale and he clubs Tanahashi in the corner.  Fale chokes Tanahashi with his boot, Irish whip, Fale charges Tanahashi but Tanahashi moves.  Tanahashi punches Fale in the stomach, uppercut by Tanahashi, Irish whip, reversed, and Tanahashi dropkicks Fale in the knee.  Dragon screw leg whip by Tanahashi and he punches Fale, he goes for a slam but Fale blocks it.  Fale picks up Tanahashi but Tanahashi gets down his back and hits a Final Cut.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Tanahashi waits for Fale to get up and goes off the ropes, but Fale shoulderblocks him down.  Fale waits for Tanahashi to get up and Fale hits a body avalanche.  Body press by Fale, cover, but it gets a two count.  Fale waits for Tanahashi again and goes for the Grenade, but Tanahashi blocks it and slaps Fale.  Tanahashi goes off the ropes but Fale throws him out of the ring, Tanahashi skins the cat and gets Fale around the neck, pulling Fale out of the ring.  Tanahashi goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a plancha down to the floor.  Tanahashi picks up Fale and slides him back into the ring, waistlock by Tanahashi but Fale elbows him off.  Tanahashi goes off the ropes and he hits a Sling Blade.  Tanahashi goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits the High Fly Flow, but Fale gets Tanahashi around the neck and hits the Grenade.  Cover, but Tanahashi gets a shoulder up.  Fale picks up Tanahashi and gets Tanahashi up, but Tanahashi slides down his back.  Fale hits a Samoan Drop, he picks up Tanahashi and nails the Bad Luck Fall.  Cover, and he gets the three count.  Your winner:  Bad Luck Fale

Match Thoughts:   This wasn’t bad.  It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t the worst Fale match I have seen.  Tanahashi’s effort here was A+, he got all that anyone can get out of Fale.  My major complaint is the spot where the High Fly Flow turned into a choke, it was just really stupid.  I mean he basically no-sold the move that Tanahashi has used to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, I am not sure who thought that was a good idea.  Besides that it was a fine match but very skippable.  Score:  5.0

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Tomoaki Honma
Tie-up, Honma pushes Nakamura into the ropes, Nakamura switches positions with him but Honma chops him back.  Irish whip by Honma and he hits a back elbow.  Scoop slam by Honma but Nakamura gets back up, and Honma hits another scoop slam.  Nakamura avoids the falling headbutt, kick by Honma and he hits a shoulderblock.  Nakamura lands on the apron, he goes down to the floor and pulls Honma’s head over the apron so he can hit a kneelift to the chest.  Nakamura then goes up to the apron and drops a knee on the back of Honma’s head.  Nakamura slides Honma back into the ring and returns as well, and he toys with Honma.  Honma chops Nakamura but Nakamura kicks Honma in the chest.  Snapmare by Nakamura and he hits a kneedrop.  Cover, but it only gets a two.  Kneedrop by Nakamura, he picks up Honma and hits a knee.  Knees by Nakamura in the corner, he gets a running start but Honma is up and hits a lariat on Nakamura.  Chops by Honma, Irish whip to the corner and Honma hits a jumping elbow smash followed by a face crusher.  Falling headbutt by Honma, cover, but it gets a two.  Honma picks up Nakamura but Nakamura knees him and connects with a spinning heel kick.  Nakamura kicks Honma in the chest, Honma catches one but Nakamura hits a heel kick.  Nakamura puts Honma up in the corner and delivers a running knee to the midsection.  Cover, but it only gets a two count.  Nakamura picks up Honma and applies a front facelock, he goes for the inverted powerslam but Honma blocks it and hits a DDT.  Neckbreaker by Honma, he picks up Nakamura and he hits a piledriver.  Cover, but it gets two.  Honma picks up Nakamura and goes for a slam but Nakamura gets away and applies a sleeper.  Backstabber by Nakamura, he picks up Honma and hits an inverted powerslam.  Nakamura waits for Honma to get up but Honma hits a jumping shoulderblock.  Honma picks up Nakamura and drops him with a brainbuster.  Cover, but Nakamura gets a shoulder up.  Honma goes up to the top turnbuckle but Nakamura moves out of the way of the falling headbutt.  Nakamura picks up Honma and they trade elbows, headbutt by Honma and he charges Nakamura in the corner, but Nakamura boots him back.  Punch by Nakamura and he hits a jumping knee of the second turnbuckle.  Nakamura waits for Honma to get to his knees and charges him, but Honma rolls him up for a two count.  Honma is up first, he picks up Nakamura and hits a headbutt, but Nakamura hits a jumping kick.  Boma Ye by Nakamura, cover, but Honma barely kicks up.  Honma gets to his feet but Nakamura promptly hits another Boma Ye, cover, and he gets the three count.  Your winner:  Shinsuke Nakamura

Match Thoughts:  Sometimes I think that the crowd makes Honma matches seem better than they actually are, but this was certainly a very fun match.  The near falls were really well done and it felt a few times like Honma may actually be pulling off the upset.  Nakamura is going to make it less special when people kick out of the Boma Ye though if everyone is doing it.  The strikes were on point, the drama was there, and Nakamura was more serious than goofy.  Overall a really entertaining match.  Score:  7.5

Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito
They circle each other to start, tie-up, waistlock by Naito and he applies a wristlock, Okada rolls out of it and applies a hammerlock, but Naito gets into the ropes.  Irish whip by Okada and Naito eventually hits a dropkick.  Snapmare by Naito and he applies a reverse chinlock, he applies a side headlock and Naito elbows Okada into the corner.  Okada elbows him back, kicks by Naito but Okada puts him onto the top turnbuckle and dropkicks him out of the ring to the floor.  Okada goes out after Naito and twists his neck in the guardrail.  Okada picks up Naito and slides him back into the ring, scoop slam by Naito in front of the ropes and he hits a slingshot senton.  Cover by Okada, but it gets a two count.  Okada picks up Naito and throws him into the corner, stomps by Okada but Naito punches him back.  Knee by Okada, snapmare, he goes off the ropes and delivers a sliding kick.  Okada picks up Naito and he hits a snap DDT.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Okada throws Naito into the corner, elbows by Okada, Irish whip, but Naito moves when Okada charges in.  Okada kicks Naito back but Naito puts Okada’s legs in the ropes and he hits a neckbreaker.  Irish whip by Okada, hiptoss by Naito and he delivers a dropkick.  Snapmare by Naito and he hits a senton, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick.  Naito goes for his slingshot dropkick in the corner, but Okada catches him and hits a Schwein onto his knee.  Scoop slam by Okada, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving elbow drop.  Okada picks up Naito and goes for the Rainmaker, but Naito ducks it.  Tornado DDT by Naito off the ropes, he waits for Okada to get up and kicks Okada in the corner.  Slingshot dropkick by Naito, he puts Okada up on the top turnbuckle, hitting a Frankensteiner.  Naito picks up Okada and he hits a German suplex hold for a two count.  Naito picks up Okada but Okada elbows him off, Irish whip by Naito, reversed, but Okada ducks Naito’s attack and dropkicks Naito in the back of the head.  Okada picks up Naito and he hits a tombstone piledriver.  Okada picks up Naito and goes for the Rainmaker, Naito blocks it but Okada elbows him off.  Enzigieri by Naito and he hits a release tiger suplex.  Naito and Okada trade elbows, Irish whip by Okada, reversed, and Naito hits a jumping elbow smash.  Naito goes off the ropes but Okada catches him with a dropkick.  Okada picks up Naito and goes for the Rainmaker but Naito ducks it and hits a uranage.  Naito kicks Okada on the side of the head, scoop slam by Naito and he goes up to the top turnbuckle.  Stardust Press by Naito, cover, and he picks up the three count.  Your winner:  Tetsuya Naito

Match Thoughts:  A step down from the last match but I enjoyed it.  It had a great ‘big match’ feel which main events should and helped elevate it a bit from the average G1 Climax match.  Both wrestlers were pulling out all the stops, and I liked that Naito was able to avoid the Rainmaker (which he knew would beat him) again and again until he finally got Okada down.  From start to finish just a logical and well-paced match, Naito’s offense is a bit light at times but Okada makes up for it and them busting out different moves makes watching these matches back to back to back less repetitive.  Score:  7.0

Current Standings:

Block A: Block B:
Shelton Benjamin  [8]
Bad Luck Fale  [6]
Hiroshi Tanahashi  [6]
Katsuyori Shibata  [6]
Shinsuke Nakamura  [6]
Tomohiro Ishii  [6]
Davey Boy Smith Jr.  [4]
Satoshi Kojima  [4]
Doc Gallows  [2]
Yuji Nagata  [2]
Tomoaki Honma  [0]
Tetsuya Naito  [8]
Hirooki Goto  [6]
Kazuchika Okada  [6]
Toru Yano  [6]
AJ Styles  [4]
Hiroyoshi Tenzan  [4]
Lance Archer  [4]
Minoru Suzuki  [4]
Togi Makabe  [4]
Karl Anderson  [2]
Yujiro Takahashi  [2]

Final Thoughts:

Best Match: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Tomoaki Honma. There really wasn't a match on this event that screamed "THIS IS THE BEST MATCH!" but I have to give Honma/Nakamura the nod. The crowd loving it really helps, I've always said a really vocal crowd can make a bad match seem good and a good match seem great. But there were a lot of nearfalls and it was exciting throughout. I had my doubts about Honma being able to stay relevant all the way through the tournament but so far, so good.

MVP:   Tomoaki Honma. As long as Honma keeps the crowd, which at this point I don't doubt that he will, he will make at least one match on every card at least somewhat memorable. I mean the crowd loves him, and every near fall he gets has such a loud reaction because everyone is wondering if he will get any wins in this tournament. If they were smart they'd wait until the last day to give him a win, that way his G1 Climax would end on a high note and the crowd will no doubt go bonkers for it. He will never be at the top of the New Japan ladder, but he is one of the most entertaining wrestlers right now in New Japan.

Overall: This was a really, really solid day of action. There were a slew of good to great matches with not a lot of bad, my only complaint is that there wasn't really a stand-out match and I doubt any of these matches will end up in the Top 5 for the whole tournament. But from the opener to the main event there was a lot of entertainment here, and it is one of the most complete cards of the tournament even if it didn't have that one special must-see match.

Grade: B+

review completed on 7/30/14