New Japan “G1 Climax 2014” Day 7

Date:  August 1st, 2014
Location:  Tokyo Korakuen Hall 
Announced Attendance:  2,015 (Super No Vacancy Full House)

Trucking along to Day 7 now, headlined by Nakamura vs. Ishii! Here are the standings going into the event:

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

Today's matches:

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

I hope business picks up some, Day 6 was a bit lackluster for me.

Satoshi Kojima vs. Shelton Benjamin
They circle each other to start, tie-up, wristlock by Benjamin into a hammerlock but Kojima applies a side headlock takedown.  Benjamin returns to his feet and pushes Kojima into the ropes, giving a clean break.  Side headlock by Kojima, Benjamin Irish whips out of it and they collide with no result.  They do it again, Benjamin goes off the ropes and he shoulderblocks Kojima down.  Benjamin picks up Kojima but Kojima kicks him and hits the Koji Cutter.  Benjamin rolls out of the ring, but he trips Kojima and brings him out with him.  Benjamin drives Kojima back-first into the apron and then drops Kojima back-first onto the guardrail.  Benjamin picks up Kojima and hits a scoop slam on the floor before rolling back into the ring.  Kojima gets back in as well, stomp by Benjamin and he hits a series of mounted punches.  Benjamin picks up Kojima, Irish whip to the corner and Kojima collapses upon impact.  Benjamin stands on Kojima’s back near the ropes, he picks him up and hits a delayed vertical suplex.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Benjamin applies a reverse chinlock, Kojima elbows out of it and goes off the ropes, but Benjamin catches him with a spinebuster.  Benjamin picks up Kojima and punches him into the corner, Irish whip, and Benjamin hits the big splash.  Benjamin slaps at Kojima, Irish whip, but this time Kojima avoids the splash and hits the rapid fire chops in the corner.  Irish whip by Kojima, and he hits a jumping elbow smash.  He goes to go up the top turnbuckle but Benjamin knocks him down to the floor.  Benjamin goes out after him and goes to Irish whip Kojima into the guardrail, but Kojima reverses it and then hits a DDT.  Kojima gets back in the ring with Benjamin slowly following, Kojima picks up Benjamin and chops him but Benjamin chops him back and they trade blows.  Elbows by Kojima but Benjamin ducks the roaring elbow and hits a German suplex.  A second German suplex by Benjamin and he rolls through it again, hitting a third for a two count.  Benjamin grabs Kojima and goes for a suplex but Kojima lands on his feet and hits a DDT.  Kojima calls for the lariat, he goes off the ropes but Benjamin trips him and applies the ankle hold.  Kojima gets to the ropes to force a break, Irish whip by Benjamin but Kojima collapses due to his ankle.  Benjamin goes off the ropes but Kojima knocks away his lariat and lariats Benjamin in the back of the head.  Kojima waits for Benjamin to get up and goes off the ropes but Benjamin catches him with a superkick.  Cover, but Kojima gets a shoulder up.  Both wrestlers slowly get up and they trade elbows, and Benjamin hits the swinging kick.  Benjamin waits for Kojima to get up and goes for the Paydirt, but Kojima pushes him away and hits the lariat.  Cover, and he picks up the three count.  Your winner:  Satoshi Kojima

Match Thoughts: A solid opener, I can already tell this crowd is going to be hot for this event. Gotta love Korakuen. I liked here that they were breaking up each other's 'normal' spots, if I know what is coming next they should too, and I liked the relative simplicity of Kojima winning after just one big lariat. Not every opponent should need multiple lariats, save that for special opponents, one was just fine here. Benjamin is such a good athlete still that he makes some of the transitions look flawless, and Kojima is still holding up just fine, even taking a sick drop onto the guardrail back-first. Overall a good way to start out the show. Score: 6.0

Lance Archer vs. Toru Yano
Yano throws his water bottle at Archer to start the match and the bails out of the ring. Archer goes chasing after him but Archer kicks him and tries to throw Archer into the guardrail. Archer reverses it but Yano avoids the big boot and Archer ends up straddling the guardrail. Yano runs back in the ring to remove a turnbuckle pad, he kicks Archer as he gets in the ring and tries to throw him into the exposed corner, but Archer reverses it. Shoulderblock by Archer and he stomps on Yano. Club to the back by Archer and he kicks Yano in the ribs. Archer goes for the chokeslam but Yano gets out of it, big boot by Archer and he charges Yano but Yano moves and Archer runs into the exposed corner. Archer kicks Yano from behind while he is celebrating, he picks up Yano and goes off the ropes but Yano pulls him down by the hair. Yano goes off the ropes but Archer catches him with a sidewalk slam, splash by Archer but it gets a two count. Archer picks up Yano and chops him in the corner, he puts Yano up on the top turnbuckle and goes for the Blackout, but Yano goes down his back. Yano tosses a chair to Archer, the referee yells at Archer, which gives Yano time to hit a lot blow. Schoolboy by Yano, but it gets a two count. Yano gets the steel chair and goes to hit Archer with it, but Archer punches it back into his face. Archer picks up Yano and puts him on the top turnbuckle, he grabs Yano and nails the Blackout. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Lance Archer

Match Thoughts: A short comedy-esque match. I still don't understand why in a four minute match it was necessary to have a slow stomping beat down segment, I mean I've seen Archer wrestle before and know he is more capable of more than that. They should have just kept it going like Goto/Yano instead of briefly pretending it was going to be a long and normal match. The crowd enjoys Yano's antics, just a shame they have made him into such a one trick pony as even though he has always been a cowardly heel he used to have a more wide range of ways to win. Still though, too short to be offensive. Score: 5.0

Karl Anderson vs. Yujiro Takahashi
Tie-up to star, side headlock by Takahashi, Anderson Irish whips out of it but Takahashi hits a shoulderblock. Takahashi goes off the ropes but Anderson hits an armdrag, Takahashi gets out of it and both men return to their feet. Eye rake by Takahashi and a kick, he applies a side headlock takedown but Anderson gets out of it, takedown by Anderson but Takahashi gets out of that and they return to their feet again. Anderson pokes Takahashi in the eyes, side headlock by Anderson but Takahashi bites his hand and pushes him away. Takahashi picks up Anderson and throws him out of the ring, he goes outside after him but Anderson kicks Takahashi in the stomach. Anderson picks up Takahashi and drops him chest-first onto the guardrail, Anderson elbows Takahashi around the ring but Takahashi picks him up and drops Anderson on the rail. Takahashi picks up Anderson and slides him back into the ring, stomp by Takahashi and he chops Anderson in the chest. Takahashi picks up Anderson, Irish whip, and Takahashi hits a back elbow. Takahashi applies a reverse chinlock, he goes off the ropes and hits a sliding kick. Cover, but it gets a two count. Takahashi applies a reverse chinlock, Anderson gets to his feet and punches out of it before hitting a backdrop suplex. Chops and uppercuts by Anderson and he hits a scoop slam. He goes off the ropes and hits a senton, he waits for Takahashi to get up but Takahashi kicks him back. Takahashi goes off the ropes but Anderson hits a leg lariat. Anderson throws Takahashi into the corner, reversed, Anderson moves when Takahashi charges in but Takahashi avoids the big boot. Takahashi hits a boot of his own, Takahashi pulls Anderson to the middle of the ring and goes for the Fisherman Buster but Anderson gets out of it. Takahashi punches Anderson to the mat, he picks him up and this time he hits the Fisherman Buster. Cover, but it gets a two count. Takahashi picks up Anderson and puts him on his shoulders but Anderson knees out of it, Anderson gets Takahashi up and goes for the Swivel Gun Stun but Takahashi gets out of it. Anderson goes off the ropes and goes for the Gun Stun again but Takahashi blocks it. Takahashi goes off the ropes and hits a German suplex hold, but it gets a two count. Takahashi picks up Anderson and puts Anderson on his shoulders, but Anderson slides down his back and nails the Gun Stun. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Karl Anderson

Match Thoughts: This was the personification of "decent". There was nothing really wrong with it, the action was solid from start to finish. It just was not exciting or memorable in the least, they both just did their normal thing and seven minutes later the match ended. I realize not every match can be special, and I like that even 'friends' are still having competitive matches and then still being nice after the match is over, it just didn't do a lot for me. Like the last match, too short to be offensive or anything, it was just 'there.' Score: 5.5

Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Doc Gallows
Tie-up to start but they quickly break cleanly. Tie-up again, Smith gets Gallows into the ropes and into the corner and he gives a clean break. Kick by Gallows and he applies a side headlock, Smith Irish whips out of it and they collide with neither man going down. Smith goes off the ropes and they collide again, this time they both go off the ropes but still both stay up. They go off the ropes again, shoulderblock by Smith and he applies a wristlock followed by an armbreaker. Punches by Gallows but Smith yanks on his arm. Eye rake by Gallows, he picks up Smith and goes for a suplex, but Smith blocks it and hits a delayed vertical suplex of his own. Gallows rolls out of the ring but Smith goes out after him and kicks Gallows. Smith tries to throw Gallows into the guardrail but Gallows reverses it and then hits a scoop slam. Gallows gets a steel chair and hits Smith in the back with it before throwing it at Smith and returning to the ring. Smith makes it to the ring before the count, and Gallows stomps him on the back. Punches by Gallows but Smith headbutts him in the stomach. Gallows elbows Smith in the back of the head and hits a snap suplex, cover, but it barely gets a two count. Gallows applies a reverse chinlock on the mat, Smith gets back to his feet and elbows out of it, but Gallows punches Smith into the corner. Irish whip by Gallows but Smith avoids the running elbow and hits a sidewalk slam. Back up they trade punches, knees by Smith and an Irish whip, and Smith hits the jumping knee. Leg drop by Smith, cover, but it barely gets a two count. Smith picks up Gallows and goes for a capture suplex, Gallows blocks it so Smith hits a scoop slam instead. Smith goes for the Sharpshooter but Gallows quickly gets into the ropes. Smith goes for the powerbomb but Gallows back bodydrops out of it. Running elbow strike by Gallows and a lariat, cover, but it gets a two count. Gallows picks up Smith and hits the Gallows Pole, cover, but again it gets two. Gallows waits for Smith to get up and goes for the chokeslam but Smith punches out of it. Gallows goes for the high kick but Smith catches his leg and hits a capture suplex. They trade lariat attempts on each other, big boot by Gallows and he goes for a powerbomb but Smith trips him and applies the Sharpshooter in the middle of the ring. Gallows holds on for a moment but eventually has to tap. Your winner: Davey Boy Smith Jr.

Match Thoughts: This wasn't horrible, but it had the opportunity to be so much better. Smith is stupid strong, which he no doubt gets from his father (hopefully more natural in his case), but after the initial impressive vertical suplex spot he really didn't show it. The beginning and stretch run were great, and what the whole match should have been, but the middle was flat and the ending was disappointing since I really wanted to see Smith hit a powerbomb or similar to win the match. The crowd stayed more into it than I thought as for the most part they were doing good big-man offense, the end result was just lacking. The potential was there, they unfortunately just didn't pull it off. Still, definitely some good here, Smith is a beast and should show that off more in matches like these. Score: 4.5

Hirooki Goto vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Tie-up to start but they break cleanly. Tie-up, side headlock by Tenzan, Goto Irish whips out of it and they collide with no result. Goto goes off the ropes but he can't knock Tenzan down, kick by Goto, Irish whip, reversed, and Goto hits a shoulderblock. Goto pick up Tenzan but Tenzan kicks him and hits a few Mongolian Chops. Chop to the throat by Tenzan, he picks up Goto and chops him, he goes off the ropes but Goto does as well and hits a lariat. Goto cranks on Tenzan's neck before applying a headscissors, but Tenzan inches to the ropes and forces a break. Goto picks up Tenzan and hits a vertical suplex. Cover, but it gets a two count. Reverse chinlock by Goto and he elbows Tenzan in the head. Tenzan headbutts Goto in the midsection but Goto elbows Tenzan. Goto picks up Tenzan and throws him into the corner, stomps by Goto and he chokes Tenzan with his boot. Elbows by Goto in the corner, Irish whip, and Goto hits a heel kick. Backdrop suplex by Goto, cover, but it gets a two count. Goto picks up Tenzan and tries to put him on his shoulders, but Tenzan clubs out of it. Goto goes off the ropes and both wrestlers lariat each other. Goto fires back with another lariat, cover, but it gets a count two. Goto picks up Tenzan and gets him up but Tenzan elbows away again, Goto goes off the ropes but Tenzan hits the Mountain Bomb. Mongolian Chops by Tenzan into the corner, Irish whip, and he hits a lariat. Tenzan then goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits the calf branding. Stomps by Tenzan, he picks up Goto and applies a waistlock but Goto elbows out of it. Goto goes off the ropes but Tenzan connects with the heel kick. Cover, but it gets a two count. Tenzan goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits the diving headbutt. Cover, but Goto gets a shoulder up. Tenzan applies the Anaconda Vice but Goto gets into the ropes and forces a break. Tenzan picks up Goto and goes for the TTD but Goto blocks it. Headbutts by Tenzan, he goes off the ropes and ducks a Goto lariat before hitting another headbutt. Tenzan goes off the ropes but Goto catches him and hits the Ushikoroshi. Cover by Goto, but Tenzan gets a shoulder up. Goto tries to pick up Tenzan, he can't, so he covers him again for another two count. Goto gets Tenzan up and goes for the Shouten, but Tenzan blocks it. Elbows by Goto but Tenzan elbows him back. They trade elbows, Mongolian Chops by Tenzan but Goto headbutts him. Goto goes off the ropes and goes for a PK but Tenzan catches his leg and hits two headbutts of his own. Tenzan picks up Goto and hits the TTD. Cover, but Goto gets a shoulder up. Tenzan grabs Goto from behind and hits an Anaconda Buster. Tenzan applies the Anaconda Max, and Goto has no choice but to tap out. Your winner: Hiroyoshi Tenzan

Match Thoughts: A good match made better by a boisterous crowd. Tenzan went from 'death' to 'winning' a little quicker than I'd prefer, but one of the downsides of the shorter matches in the tournament is they really don't have time to really flesh out matches. The Anaconda Max has worked out well as a new finisher for Tenzan as it does look like an upgraded version of the Anaconda Vice, and the move was set up well with the TTD followed by the Anaconda Buster. They also didn't do anything outside the ring which I think is a first in the tournament for a match that was longer than three minutes. Aside from the slow start and Tenzan's quick recovery, this was an entertaining back and forth match. Score: 6.5

Bad Luck Fale vs. Tomoaki Honma
Tie-up, Fale pushes Honma into the ropes and he goes for a swing, but Honma ducks and chops Fale. Irish whip by Honma, reversed, and Fale hits a shoulderblock. Fale goes for an elbow drop, Honma moves and goes for the headbutt but Fale rolls out of the way. Fale clubs Honma in the back and he stands on Honma near the ropes. Fale picks up Honma, Irish whip, and Fale throws Honma to the mat. One foot cover by Fale but it barely gets two. Fale picks up Honma and punches him in the stomach. Chops by Honma but Fale punches him in the stomach again. Irish whip by Fale but Honma hangs onto the ropes and kicks Fale back. Fale goes for a lariat but Honma ducks and Fale lands on the apron. Honma snaps Fale's neck on the top rope and then knocks Fale from the apron down to the floor. Honma goes up to the top turnbuckle and jumps down onto Fale, headbutting him in the process. Honma slides Fale back into the ring before returning as well, and Honma hits a jumping elbow in the corner followed by a face crusher and falling headbutt. Honma picks up Fale and goes for the brainbuster but Fale blocks it and hits a scoop slam. Fale picks up Honma, Irish whip to the corner and Fale hits a body avalanche. Body press by Fale, cover, but it only gets a two count. Fale picks up Honma and goes for the Bad Luck Fall but Honma slides down his back and rolls up Fale for a two count. Jawbreaker by Honma, he goes off the ropes and hits a lariat but Fale doesn't go down. Honma hits a second lariat, he goes off the ropes and a third finally sends Fale to his back. Honma goes up to the top turnbuckle but Fale rolls out of the way of the diving headbutt. Both wrestlers charge each other, but Fale levels Honma with a lariat. Fale picks up Honma and hits the Grenade, cover, but it only gets two. Fale picks up Honma and kills him with the Bad Luck Fall, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Bad Luck Fale

Match Thoughts: Fale isn't the most interesting wrestler to have on offense, but Honma played the role of spunky underdog well. Fale dropped Honma really bad on the finisher, I don't blame him for the spot, it is just an easy move to not get just right. He wrestled the next day so I assume Honma was fine. Anyway aside from Fale being plodding this was fine and Honma did have some quality nearfalls that had the crowd really into it. Not the worst big man vs. underdog match but not great either. Score: 5.5

Tetsuya Naito vs. Togi Makabe
Tie-up to start, wristlock by Makabe but Naito reverses it. Hammerlock by Makabe, reversed by Naito into a side headlock, Makabe Irish whips out of it and they collide with no result. Naito goes off the ropes for the same result, Makabe goes off the ropes and Naito delivers a dropkick. Makabe rolls out of the ring to re-group, Naito goes off the ropes and goes for a baseball slide but Makabe moves. Naito clubs down Makabe, Irish whip attempt to the guardrail but Makabe reverses it. Makabe slams Naito into the ring post before returning to the ring. Naito slowly follows, stomps by Makabe and he picks up Naito, hitting a scoop slam. Makabe picks up Naito, snapmare, and he applies a reverse chinlock. Naito elbows out of it but Makabe hits a kneelift. Punches by Makabe in the corner, he lets Naito get up and hit a vertical suplex. Cover, but it gets a one count. Another cover but again it gets a one. Makabe applies a reverse chinlock but Naito gets a foot on the ropes to force a break. Stomp by Makabe, he picks up Naito and punches him but Naito keeps coming back. Elbows by Naito but Makabe knees him in the stomach. Makabe goes off the ropes, Naito goes for a dropkick but Makabe ignores it. Swinging neckbreaker by Naito, Irish whip by Makabe, reversed, and Naito hits a hiptoss followed by a dropkick. Naito picks up Makabe, snapmare, and he hits a senton. Naito goes up to the top turnbuckle and delivers a missile dropkick. Naito waits for Makabe to get up and goes for a slingshot dropkick in the corner but Makabe catches him and slams Naito in the corner. Lariats by Makabe, Irish whip, and he hits another lariat in the far corner followed by mounted punches. Makabe goes for a suplex but Naito clubs out of it, Makabe goes off the ropes but Naito hits a drop toehold followed by a kick to the side of the head. Naito waits for Makabe to get up in the corner and delivers the kick followed by a slingshot dropkick. Naito puts Makabe up on the top turnbuckle and joins him, hitting the Frankensteiner. Waistlock by Naito and he hits a German suplex hold for a two count. Naito picks up Makabe but Makabe punches him off, and Makabe levels Naito with a lariat. Makabe picks up Naito and they trade elbows, Irish whip by Makabe and Naito goes for a jumping elbow, but Makabe avoids it and hits a lariat. Makabe picks up Naito and delivers a powerbomb, cover, but it gets a two count. Makabe picks up Naito and puts him on his shoulders, hitting a Samoan Drop. Cover, but it gets another two. Makabe picks up Naito but Naito elbows him off, Makabe lariats in the back of the head and goes off the ropes, but Naito rolls him up for a two count. Enzigieri by Naito, Irish whip, reversed, and Makabe hits Naito in the mouth. Lariat from behind by Makabe, he puts Naito on the top turnbuckle before joining him, and Makabe hits the spider German suplex. Makabe stays up top and hits the King Kong Kneedrop, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Togi Makabe

Match Thoughts: Crowd was actually booing Naito, guess he isn't so popular in some parts of Tokyo. This was probably the best Makabe match of the tournament, I enjoyed it quite a bit. He still hit tons of lariats but it sprinkled in some other moves too, and the fact he only wins with the King Kong Kneedrop now implies he is aware the lariat won't really work as a finisher at this point. Naito's offense still looks soft, I can see why the crowd doesn't love him as Makabe's lariats all made loud smacking sounds while Naito's elbows and kicks didn't really have the same impact. But the match never really slowed down and overall it was fun from start to finish. Score: 7.0

AJ Styles vs. Minoru Suzuki
They face off to start and Suzuki slaps Styles. Irish whip by Styles and he drops Suzuki with a dropkick. Suzuki rolls out of the ring, Styles goes off the ropes but Suzuki avoids the baseball slide. Suzuki throws Styles into the guardrail but Styles jumps over it and hits a jumping elbow off the rail. Styles picks up Suzuki and slides him back into the ring, elbow to the back of the head by Styles and he elbows Suzuki in the face. Styles kicks Suzuki in the chest but Suzuki absorbs the blows, scoop slam by Styles and he hits a jumping knee drop. Styles picks up Suzuki and hits a vertical suplex. Cover, but it gets a one count. Styles picks up Suzuki and he hits a backbreaker. Styles grabs Suzuki, Irish whip from the corner but Suzuki drops Styles on the apron when he charges in. Styles goes for a swandive move but Suzuki pushes him back out to the apron and applies an armbar over the top rope. He releases the hold after a moment, Styles falls out to the floor and Suzuki kicks him from the apron. Suzuki knees Styles in the stomach and throws him into the guardrail. Suzuki twists Styles's arm in the rail, he gets the ring bell hammer and throws it towards the ring. Suzuki takes Styles up in the crowd and twists Styles's arm in a steel chair. Suzuki returns to ringside and gets back into the ring, with Styles following behind him. Styles rolls in, Suzuki picks him up and elbows Styles in the arm. Kicks to the ribs by Suzuki and he applies a Fujiwara Armbar. Suzuki knees Styles in the arm and starts cranking on it some more, Suzuki then applies a crossface before picking up Styles and kicking him in the arm. Another kick to the arm by Suzuki but Styles rolls out of the armbar attempt and suplexes Suzuki into the corner turnbuckles. Splash by Styles in the corner and he stomps down Suzuki. Styles goes for a splash again but Suzuki pulls the referee in the way. TAKA runs in the ring and stomps on Styles but Gallows and Anderson come down to get rid of TAKA. Smith and Archer come down then and the two factions take it outside the ring and brawl to the back. Suzuki picks up Styles and hits an elbow, but Styles elbows him back and they trade blows. Slaps by Suzuki but Styles hits an enzigieri, and both men knock each other down. Kick to the stomach by Suzuki and he punches Styles against the ropes. Irish whip by Suzuki, reversed, and Styles kicks Suzuki in the face. Styles picks up Suzuki but Suzuki gets back up and twists on Styles's fingers until Styles gets in the ropes. Suzuki charges Styles but Styles kicks him back, Styles goes for the swandive elbow smash but Suzuki catches his arm and applies the Fujiwara Armbar. Suzuki twists on Styles's fingers while he has him in the hold just for good measure, but Styles gets a foot on the ropes. Suzuki picks up Styles and kicks him in the chest, knee by Suzuki but Styles knees him back. Styles goes off the ropes but Suzuki does as well and Suzuki applies the sleeper. Suzuki goes for the Gotch-style Piledriver but Styles blocks it, knee by Suzuki but Styles catches his kick and goes for the Styles Clash. Suzuki reverses it into an ankle hold but Styles reverses that into an ankle hold of his own. Suzuki reverses it back and he then applies a cross armbreaker, but Styles fights it off and hits a Styles Clash, but he is too hurt to make a cover. Both wrestlers slowly get up and they trade chops to the chest and then slaps. Right punch by Suzuki, the referee yells at him but Styles hits a Pele Kick. Styles picks up Suzuki and hits the Styles Clash, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: AJ Styles

Match Thoughts: I was concerned going in this may be a cluster but it worked out just fine in the end. Styles wrestled more Suzuki's style of match, which meant hard strikes and submissions, and whenever he did try to do a high flying move it generally didn't work out for him anyway. The brief faction tussle made sense, TAKA has been interfering here and there throughout the tournament so naturally Bullet Club would come down to help. I thought Suzuki's offense was a bit all over the place, the arm work was great but then he started going for ankle holds and he had that cross armbreaker locked in for way too long. On an already injured arm the cross armbreaker should have been the kiss of death, not just another move. But it was very exciting throughout and the time flew by, so I'd still recommend it, it just wasn't without its flaws. Score: 7.5

Katsuyori Shibata vs. Yuji Nagata
They circle each other to start and jockey for position, Nagata pushes Shibata into the ropes and he give a clean break.  Shibata goes for a single leg but Nagata blocks it, armbar by Nagata but Shibata quickly gets out of it.  Shibata pushes Nagata into the ropes and he slaps Nagata on the top of the head before backing off. Knees by Nagata and he throws Shibata out of the ring.  Nagata goes out after him and he throws Shibata into the guardrail before hitting a big boot.  Knee by Nagata and he stomps Shibata in the head.  Irish whip by Nagata to the rail but Shibata reverses it and hits a big boot of his own.  Shibata picks up Nagata and goes for a vertical suplex on the floor but Nagata blocks it, elbows by Shibata and Nagata returns fire.  They keep trading until the count hits 19 and then quickly roll back into the ring.  Knee by Shibata, snapmare, and he kicks Nagata in the back.  Nagata gets back up, another snapmare and he kicks Nagata in the back and then in the chest.  Reverse chinlock by Shibata and he applies a reverse chinlock.  Headscissors by Shibata but Nagata gets a foot in the ropes.  Back up Shibata slaps Nagata but Nagata slaps him back.  Shibata elbows Nagata into the corner, he goes to charge Nagata but Nagata comes out of the corner and hits a big boot.  Shibata gets Nagata into the corner again and hits an uppercut, kicks to the chest by Shibata but Nagata knees Shibata in the stomach.  Kicks to the chest by Nagata, he picks up Shibata but Shibata elbows Nagata and they trade elbows again.  Shibata goes off the ropes and hits an elbow but Nagata comes back with a trio of boots.  Nagata goes off the ropes but Shibata knees him in the stomach and then kicks Nagata in the chest.  Dropkick by Shibata in the corner, he picks up Nagata and hits a suplex.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Shibata applies a reverse chinlock but Nagata gets to the ropes and forces a break.  Kick to the chest by Shibata and he goes for the PK but Nagata ducks it and hits an exploder.  Shibata responds with a German suplex and both men are on the mat.  Shibata picks up Nagata and puts him on his shoulders, but Nagata slides away.  Spinning chop by Shibata and he applies a sleeper, but Nagata hits an armbreaker.  Seated armbar by Nagata but Shibata inches to the ropes and forces a break.  Nagata picks up Shibata but Shibata snaps off a backdrop suplex.  Nagata pushes Shibata into the ropes and hits a release German suplex but Shibata blocks his kick and hits a release German of his own.  On their knees they trade elbows, they get up to their feet and keep trading blows.  Nagata ducks the spinning slap and hits Shibata down to the mat. Nagata picks up Shibata and goes for the backdrop hold, but Shibata elbows out of it.  Shibata and Nagata trade slaps, Shibata goes off the ropes but Nagata hits him with another slap.  Nagata picks up Shibata and hits the backdrop driver, cover, but Shibata kicks out at two.  Nagata grabs Shibata and hits the backdrop hold, and he picks up the three count.  Your winner:  Yuji Nagata

Match Thoughts:  Lots of ‘fighting spirit’ in this match, for better or worse.  A little too much for my taste, too much trading big moves without selling or very delayed selling, I don't mind it in spurts but it was a bit excessive here. Lots and lots of slaps and elbows, so if that is your sort of thing you will love this match. Shibata oddly never felt like he was about to win, he never really had any near falls and it never felt like he had Nagata on the cusp of defeat. It was just trading moves until Nagata hit two big ones at the end to win the match. So a bit odd, lots of strike exchanges, but lots of energy and emotion. Score: 6.5

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Tie-up to start but they break cleanly with Nakamura stumbling away. Tie-up, Ishii pushes Nakamura into the ropes and he gives a clean break. Waistlock by Nakamura, reversed by Ishii but Nakamura applies a wristlock. Ishii reverses it but Nakamura pushes him into the ropes and he gives a clean break. Ishii slaps Nakamura, Irish whip by Nakamura, reversed, and Ishii hits a powerslam. Ishii goes for a lariat, Nakamura ducks and goes for a Boma Ye, but Ishii avoids it. Kick by Ishii and he elbows Nakamura, but Nakamura elbows him back and they trade blows. Nakamura knees Ishii into the corner and chokes him with his boot but Ishii gets up and elbows Nakamura back. Irish whip by Ishii but Nakamura knees him when he charges in and puts Ishii in the corner, but Ishii slides out to the apron. Nakamura grabs Ishii and hits a DDT between the ropes back into the ring. Nakamura stomps Ishii in the corner but Ishii gets back up, elbows by Nakamura and Ishii elbows him back. Knee by Nakamura and he kicks Ishii into the corner, Nakamura puts Ishii across the corner and hits a running knee to the ribs. Cover, but it gets a two count. Irish whip by Ishii from the corner and he hits a lariat. Ishii puts Nakamura up on the top turnbuckle and joins him, hitting a delayed superplex. Cover, but it gets a two count. Ishii picks up Nakamura and drops him with a powerbomb, cover, but it gets two. Ishii goes off the ropes but Nakamura catches him with a sleeper. Ishii gets out of it but Nakamura applies a front headlock, knee by Nakamura and he hits the inverted powerslam. Ishii dropkicks Nakamura while he is powering up in the corner, and back up they trade elbows. Ishii charges Nakamura in the corner but Nakamura knocks him back and his a jumping knee from the corner. Nakamura charges Ishii but Ishii plants him with a lariat. Lariat to the back by Ishii and he hits an inverted powerslam of his own, cover, but it gets a two count. Ishii goes off the ropes but Nakamura ducks the lariat, waistlock by Nakamura but Ishii elbows out of it and throws Nakamura over his head. Cross armbreaker takedown by Nakamura and he keeps the hold applied on the mat, but Ishii gets a foot on the ropes. Kicks to the chest by Nakamura and he hits an enzigieri. Nakamura goes off the ropes but Ishii catches him with a lariat. Another lariat by Ishii, cover, but Nakamura gets a shoulder up. Ishii picks up Nakamura and goes for a brainbuster but Nakamura reverses it into a front suplex. He goes for the Boma Ye but Ishii avoids it and headbutts Nakamura. Sliding lariat by Ishii, cover, but it gets a two count. Ishii picks up Nakamura and goes for the brainbuster but Nakamura blocks it, elbow by Ishii and he charges Nakamura but Nakamura elbows him back and hits a kick to the back of the head. Backstabber by Nakamura and he hits a Boma Ye to the back of Ishii's head. Back up, lariat by Ishii but Nakamura stays up and they trade elbows. Jumping kick by Ishii but Nakamura fires back with a Boma Ye, cover, but it barely gets a two count. Nakamura goes up to the second turnbuckle and hits a Boma Ye, cover, but Ishii barely gets a shoulder up. Nakamura waits for Ishii to get up and goes for a third but Ishii blocks it and hits a headbutt. Nakamura fires off the ropes and hits a final Boma Ye, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

Match Thoughts: This was good but I can't help but be distracted by Nakamura using the Boma Ye way too much. He has effectively killed the aura of the move, not that I mind him still winning matches with it, it just doesn't have that 'wow' factor anymore. They also had too many elbow exchanges, maybe it is just fatigue as the last two matches had a lot of elbow exchanges as well, it just felt like that is what half of this match was. But there was a ton of emotion here, everything was crisp and the crowd loved it. Score: 6.0

Current Standings:

Block A: Block B:
Shinsuke Nakamura  [10]
Bad Luck Fale  [8]
Hiroshi Tanahashi  [8]
Katsuyori Shibata  [8]
Shelton Benjamin  [8]
Davey Boy Smith Jr.  [6]
Satoshi Kojima  [6]
Tomohiro Ishii  [6]
Yuji Nagata  [6]
Doc Gallows  [4]
Tomoaki Honma  [0]
AJ Styles  [8]
Kazuchika Okada  [8]
Tetsuya Naito  [8]
Hirooki Goto  [6]
Hiroyoshi Tenzan  [6]
Karl Anderson  [6]
Lance Archer  [6]
Minoru Suzuki  [6]
Togi Makabe  [6]
Toru Yano  [6]
Yujiro Takahashi  [4]

Final Thoughts:

Best Match: AJ Styles vs. Minoru Suzuki. This was a war, and was brutal from start to finish. It wasn't perfect, but it is hard not to like this match as both put so much effort and emotion into it. The strike exchanges were all hard and the match was exciting with very little wasted time. Suzuki is a special wrestler that needs the right opponent, and Styles was up to the challenge here.

MVP:  AJ Styles. I think going into the tournament a lot of people were unsure of how Styles would do adapting to the New Japan style, especially against so many different types of wrestlers. Styles is more than proving that he is capable of keeping up with the New Japan stars, and on this event he went toe to toe with Suzuki, looking very good in the process. Styles is a veteran and has shown that he brings a new exciting element to New Japan, and in particular to the G1 Climax.

Overall: Definitely a step up from the last show, and the hot Korakuen Hall certainly helped. There were a slew of entertaining matches here and not a lot of bad mixed in to hold it back. Makabe, Naito, Suzuki, and Styles all had one of their best matches of the tournament on this card, and the last two matches were good as well. I have it a step down from Day 1 as I still think that Day 1 had the best overall match, but still a really good show from start to finish.

Grade: B+

review completed on 8/3/14