New Japan “G1 Climax 2014” Day 8

Date:  August 3rd, 2014
Location:  Osaka Bodymaker Colosseum
Announced Attendance:  7,000 (Super No Vacancy Full House)

This is one of the "big" events of the G1 Climax, in front of a sold out crowd in Osaka, Japan.  The main event is a big one, with Tanahashi facing off against his eternal rival Shinsuke Nakamura.  Here are the 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]

Tonight’s line-up:

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

Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Elbows and punches by Ishii to start the match but Smith elbows him back, knee by Smith and an Irish whip, but Ishii hits a jumping elbow.  Ishii goes off the ropes and hits a second one, Ishii goes for a suplex but Smith blocks it and hits a suplex of his own.  Smith kicks Ishii in the midsection and applies a stretch hold, and then a reverse chinlock.  Smith knees Ishii but Ishii slaps him back and they trade blows back and forth.  A hard knee by Smith sends Ishii to the mat, cover by Smith but it gets a two count. Neck grip by Smith and he stomps Smith while he is against the ropes.  Smith picks up Ishii, side headlock by Smith but Ishii elbows out of it.  Ishii hits a vertical suplex and chops Smith into the corner, Irish whip, and Ishii hits a lariat in the corner.  Smith knees Ishii back, Irish whip by Smith, reversed, but Smith hits a jumping knee.  Smith picks up Ishii and hits a capture suplex.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Smith picks up Ishii and goes for a suplex but Ishii lands on his feet.  Elbow by Ishii, Irish whip, reversed, and Smith hits a powerslam.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Smith picks up Ishii and hits a backdrop suplex.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Smith picks up Ishii and hits a knee, he goes for a powerbomb but Ishii back bodydrops out of it.  Smith charges Ishii in the corner but Ishii moves and Smith boots Ishii to the mat.  Ishii puts Smith onto the top turnbuckle, Ishii joins Smith and he hits a superplex.  Ishii goes off the ropes and hits a lariat, then a jumping kick.  Sliding lariat by Ishii, cover, but it gets a two count.  Ishii goes off the ropes, big boot by Smith and Ishii hits a lariat, but Smith levels Ishii with a lariat of his own.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Smith picks up Ishii and goes for a powerbomb, he gets Ishii up and hits the powerbomb but Ishii barely gets a shoulder up.  Smith can’t pick up Ishii so he covers him again, but it gets another two count.  Back up, elbows by Ishii but Smith knees him in the stomach.  Smith picks up Ishii and hits a tiger suplex hold, but again he gets a two.  Smith picks up Ishii and goes for the Bulldog Bomb but Ishii gets out of it with a hurricanrana.  Smith goes for a big boot but Ishii blocks it and hits a headbutt.  Lariat by Ishii, cover, but it gets a two count.  Ishii picks up Smith and Ishii hits the brainbuster.  Cover, and he gets the three count.  Your winner:  Tomohiro Ishii

Match Thoughts:  Ishii actually separated his shoulder during the match, but still hit the brainbuster anyway which is crazy.  Smith was really good here as well, he used his strength which is all I ask for but showed he is more than just a power wrestler as he hit moves like the tiger suplex.  They kept the action up throughout and didn’t waste any time outside of the ring.  A fun match and a good way to open up the show.  Score:  6.5

Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Toru Yano
Yano throws water at Tenzan before the match can even start, kick by Tenzan and he elbows Yano against the ropes.  Tenzan picks up Yano and chops him against the ropes, Irish whip by Tenzan but Yano pulls him down by his hair.  Yano unties a turnbuckle pad, he picks up Tenzan and throws Tenzan into the exposed corner.  Yano picks up Tenzan and he hits a Mongolian Chop.  Yano goes off the ropes but Tenzan catches him with a heel kick.  Mongolian Chops by Tenzan into the corner, Irish whip by Tenzan and Tenzan hits a lariat.  Tenzan goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits the calf branding, cover, but it gets a two count.  Stomp by Tenzan, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits the diving headbutt.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Tenzan picks up Yano and Tenzan hits a scoop slam.  Tenzan goes up to the top turnbuckle but Yano pushes the referee into the ropes to send Tenzan crashing back to the mat.  Irish whip by Yano to the corner, reversed, but Yano drop toeholds Tenzan into the exposed corner.  Cover, but it gets a two.  Headbutt by Tenzan and he hits a Mongolian Chop, and Tenzan applies the Anaconda Vice.  Yano gets up and Tenzan hits the Anaconda Buster, but Yano takes out the referee in the process.  Yano taps, Tenzan lets go because he doesn’t see the referee is down.  Now he does, Yano gets a steel chair but Tenzan lariats it into Yano’s face.  Tenzan picks up Yano, Yano goes for a low blow but the referee blocks Yano’s arm, and then Tenzan hits a low blow instead.  Tenzan applies the Anaconda Max, and Yano quickly taps out.  Your winner:  Hiroyoshi Tenzan

Match Thoughts:   This is my favorite Yano match of the tournament so far.  Tenzan not only foiled Yano’s cheating, but cheated himself, which only seemed fair.  The bit where Tenzan releases the hold because Yano tapped, not knowing the referee was knocked out, was great as well.  As far as ‘comedy’ matches go this one was really good as they went straight to the point.  Really good stuff here.  Score:  7.5

Shelton Benjamin vs. Yuji Nagata
Nagata kicks Benjamin as soon as the match starts, Benjamin quickly applies an ankle hold but Nagata kicks him off.  Dropkick to the knee by Nagata but Benjamin pushes him off and both men return to their feet.  They lock knuckles, elbow by Benjamin but Nagata elbows him back.  Punches by Nagata but Benjamin catches him with a side slam.  Nagata rolls out of the ring, but Benjamin goes out after him.  Irish whip by Benjamin into the guardrail and he kicks Nagata in the jaw.  Benjamin goes for a vertical suplex but Nagata blocks it, knee to the stomach by Benjamin and he slides Nagata back into the ring.  Mounted punches by Benjamin and he chokes Nagata against the bottom rope.  Kick by Benjamin but Nagata gets back up, elbow by Nagata and they trade shots.  Nagata goes for a backdrop suplex but Benjamin reverses it into a DDT for a two count.  Benjamin applies a side headlock but Nagata inches to the ropes to force a break.  Benjamin picks up Nagata, knees by Benjamin and Benjamin hits a double underhook slam.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Benjamin picks up Nagata but Nagata elbows him and the two trade strikes.  Irish whip by Benjamin, reversed, and Nagata hits an overhead suplex.  Kicks to the chest by Nagata into the corner, Irish whip, and Nagata hits a big boot followed by an exploder.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Nagata grabs Benjamin, elbows by Benjamin but Nagata knees Benjamin, Irish whip, reversed, and Nagata hits an enzigieri.  Nagata picks up Benjamin and goes for the backdrop suplex, but Benjamin blocks it and applies the ankle hold.  Nagata almost taps but he makes it to the bottom rope to force a break.  Nagata kicks Benjamin off but Benjamin delivers a superkick.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Benjamin picks up Nagata and hits a German suplex hold, but that gets a two as well.  Benjamin charges Nagata but Nagata hits an overhead kick.  Nagata and Benjamin trade elbows, and Benjamin hits the swinging kick.  Benjamin goes for the Paydirt but Nagata avoids it and applies the seated armbar.  Benjamin gets out of it and re-applies the ankle hold, but Nagata rolls out of it and applies the Nagata Lock IV, Benjamin tries to roll out of it but Nagata keeps it locked on and Benjamin finally taps out.  Your winner:  Yuji Nagata

Match Thoughts:  Aside from the usual issues I have with Benjamin matches (his offense isn’t very focused, since he uses an ankle hold but doesn’t do any other work on the ankle), this was a fine match.  Nagata seemed to win a bit too easy since Benjamin was controlling the match, but the Nagata Lock IV is a solid finisher so it didn’t seem too much of a stretch that Benjamin would tap out to it.  This didn’t blow me away or anything and they were coasting at times, but it was solid.  Score:  6.0

Doc Gallows vs. Satoshi Kojima
Tie-up, and Gallows shoves Kojima down to the mat.  Tie-up, side headlock by Gallows, Kojima Irish whips out of it and Gallows shoulderblocks out of it.  Kick by Kojima and he applies a side headlock, Kojima goes off the ropes but Gallows doesn’t go down.  Scoop slam by Gallows, he goes off the ropes but Kojima rolls out of the way of the body press.  Koji Cutter by Kojima and he lariats Gallows out of the ring.  Gallows gets up on the apron but Kojima elbows him back out to the floor.  Kojima goes to the ropes and goes for a pescado, but Gallows moves out of the way while punching him in the process.  Gallows stomps on Kojima and throws him into the guardrail.  Gallows slides Kojima back into the ring and goes in as well, and Gallows hits an elbow drop.  A second elbow drop by Gallows and he hits a third.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Gallows elbows Kojima in the chest and applies a reverse chinlock.  Kojima gets a foot on the bottom rope and Gallows hits a leg drop.  Cover, but Kojima kicks out.  Gallows boots Kojima in the back of the head, Irish whip by Gallows and Gallows hits Kojima in the stomach.  More punches by Gallows, Irish whip, but Kojima moves when Gallows charges in.  Chops by Kojima in the corner, Irish whip, and Kojima hits a jumping elbow in the corner.  Snapmare by Kojima, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving elbow drop.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Back up, Gallows and Kojima trade chops up on their feet.  Scissors kick by Gallows, he picks up Kojima and he hits a scoop slam in front of the corner.  Gallows goes up to the second turnbuckle but Kojima gets his feet up when Gallows goes for the reverse splash.  Kojima goes for a suplex but Gallows blocks it.  Gallows goes for a suplex but Kojima lands on his feet, and Kojima hits a DDT.  Kojima picks up Gallows and delivers a brainbuster, cover, but Gallows barely gets a two count.  Kojima takes off the elbow pad and goes off the ropes, but Gallows kicks his arm.  Gallows Pole by Gallows, cover, but it only gets a two count.  Gallows throws Kojima into the corner and Gallows hits an elbow.  Gallows goes off the ropes but Kojima blocks the lariat, and Kojima lariats Gallows in the back of the head.  Kojima goes off the ropes and levels Gallows with a lariat, cover, and he picks up the three count.  Your winner:  Satoshi Kojima

Match Thoughts:   This was fine, I guess.  Too short to be offensive but not a whole lot happened here.  Some time wasting but nothing epic, although Gallows only had one near fall and it seemed most of the match like it was Kojima’s to lose.  Which makes sense, since he is Kojima.  Nothing really wrong with it but you’ll forget it about ten seconds after watching it.  Score:  5.0

Hirooki Goto vs. Tetsuya Naito
They circle each other to start, tie-up, Goto pushes Naito into the ropes, Naito switches positions with him and Naito slaps Goto in the chest.  Goto chops him back and they trade chops back and forth.  Kick by Goto, he goes off the ropes and Naito delivers a dropkick.  Chop to the chest by Naito and he elbows Goto, Irish whip, reversed, and Goto hits an armdrag.  Goto hits a hard lariat that sends Naito out of the ring down to the floor.  Goto goes outside of the ring, he picks up Naito and Goto elbows Naito in the back of the head.  Another elbow by Goto, he picks up Naito and Irish whips him into the guardrail.  Big boot by Goto and he elbows Naito into the stands.  Goto throws Naito into the crowd before returning to the ring, with Naito slowly following.  Goto stomps on Naito, he picks him up, side headlock takedown by Naito but Goto reverses it into a headscissors.  Naito gets a foot in the ropes to break it up, Goto picks up Naito and hits a vertical suplex.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Goto applies a reverse chinlock and elbows Naito in the head.  Back up, elbows by Naito but Goto knocks Naito into the corner.  Stomps by Goto, he picks up Naito, Irish whip, and Goto hits a heel kick to Naito.  Backdrop suplex by Goto, cover, but it gets a two count.  Goto picks up Naito, Goto puts Naito on his shoulders but Naito slides off, kick by Goto and he goes for a lariat but Naito ducks it and hits a swinging neckbreaker.  Naito picks up Goto, Irish whip, and Naito hits a hiptoss followed by a dropkick.  Senton by Naito, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick.  Naito charges Goto but Goto boots him back.  Elbows by Naito, kick by Goto and he puts Naito on his shoulders but Naito slides off.  Naito goes off the ropes, Goto gets Naito on his shoulders and this time he hits the Ushikoroshi.  Back up they trade elbows, Naito picks up Goto and hits a kick in the corner followed by a slingshot dropkick.  Naito picks up Goto, he puts Goto up on the top turnbuckle and joins him, hitting a Frankensteiner.  Naito picks up Goto and hits a German suplex hold, but it gets a two count. Naito picks up Goto and hits a side slam, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Goto rolls out of the way of the Stardust Press.  Both wrestlers slowly get up and Naito rolls up Goto for a two count.  Enzigieri by Naito, Irish whip by Naito, reversed, Goto gets Naito around the waist but Naito elbows out of it.  Headbutt by Goto, he picks up Naito and he hits a modified Ura Shouten.  Cover by Goto, but Naito gets a shoulder up.  Goto picks up Naito and nails the Shouten Kai, cover, and he picks up the three count.  Your winner:  Hirooki Goto

Match Thoughts:  This match was missing something.  I admit this tournament isn’t doing my any favors for my opinion of Naito, watching so many singles matches of his in a row is exposing his flaws.  Goto also had his issues, like he was hell bent on hitting the Ushikoroshi and when he finally hit it…. it meant nothing, both men were up on their feet at the same time.  It felt more like connecting the spots than a war, which is different than most the matches that New Japan has been putting on lately.  It wasn’t unwatchable, it just wasn’t engaging and was lacking in too many areas.  Score:  4.0

AJ Styles vs. Lance Archer
They circle each other to start, waistlock by Styles but Archer throws Styles to the mat.  Archer leaves the ring but returns after a moment, kick by Archer and he clubs Styles in the back.  Irish whip by Archer, bodyscissors by Styles but Archer shrugs him off.  Archer goes outside the ring but Styles jumps out onto him with a pescado.  Styles gets back into the ring with Archer following him, kicks by Styles, Irish whip attempt but Archer hangs onto the rope.  Styles goes off the ropes but Archer catches him with an elbow.  Styles goes off the ropes, he goes for a hurricanrana but Archer powerbombs him.  Archer picks up Styles, Irish whip, but Styles elbows Archer in the back of the head.  Big boot by Archer, Styles rolls out to the apron but Archer clubs Styles while he is in the ropes.  Archer goes off the far ropes and hits a lariat.  Archer stomps on Styles and chokes him with his boot.  Knee by Archer in the corner and he clubs Styles in the back.  Archer picks up Styles and throws him over his head by his ears.  Archer picks up Styles, elbow by Archer but Styles slides away and kicks Archer from behind.  Styles goes out to the floor and he applies a figure four on Archer around the ring post.  Styles gets on the apron and hits a swandive elbow smash.  Kicks to the leg by Styles but Archer shoves him off.  Archer throws Styles over his head but Styles lands on the turnbuckles, he goes for a crossbody but Archer catches him.  Styles slides away from Archer and he dropkicks him in the knee.  Elbow drop to the leg by Styles and he drops a leg onto Archer’s knee.  Styles kicks Archer in the leg and kicks Archer in the midsection.  Styles applies a figure four leglock,  but Archer gets to the ropes to break the hold.  Styles kicks Archer in the chest, he goes off the ropes but Archer catches him, he goes for the Blackout but Styles gets away and hits a chop block.  Styles grabs Archer by the leg but Archer kicks him off.  Styles charges Archer but Archer catches him with a lariat.  Dropkick to the knee by Styles but Archer hits a full nelson slam.  Archer charges Styles and he knocks Styles to the mat.  Archer picks up Styles, strike combination by Styles but Archer hits a chokeslam.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Archer picks up Styles and throws him into the corner, Archer puts Styles on the top turnbuckle and he hits a few elbows.  Archer positions Styles for the Blackout but Styles punches him.  Styles gets on Archer’s shoulders, he then hops off and hits a Pele Kick.  Bloody Sunday by Styles, cover, but it gets a two count.  Styles grabs Archer and goes for the Styles Clash, but Archer blocks it.  Club to the back by Styles and he chops Archer, he goes for a side headlock takedown but Archer catches him and slams Styles to the mat.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Archer goes up to the top turnbuckle but Styles rolls out of the way of the moonsault.  Styles gets on the apron but Archer catches him when he goes for a swandive move.  Styles catches Archer with the Calf Killer, and Archer taps out.  Your winner:  AJ Styles

Match Thoughts:   Styles switching back to ‘underdog babyface’ was interesting, there are so many factions in New Japan that act like heels that the lines get blurred a lot.  I am glad Styles had worked over the leg the entire match, while the Calf Killer came out of nowhere at least there was a basis for it so it didn’t come across as unrealistic.  Archer managing to find a new way to set up the Blackout was impressive, so there is that, but he is still crazy boring on offense.  So a mixed bag but certainly not horrible which is high praise for an Archer match in this tournament.  Score:  5.5

Minoru Suzuki vs. Togi Makabe
Suzuki kicks Makabe to start things off, elbows by Makabe and they trade blows.  Knees by Suzuki, Irish whip, reversed, and Makabe hits a lariat.  Suzuki falls out of the ring and Makabe goes out after him, throwing Suzuki into the guardrail.  Suzuki is given a chair and he hits Makabe repeatedly in the back with it.  Suzuki picks up Makabe and knees him in the chest.  Suzuki twists Makabe’s neck in the guardrail and pulls back on his head, he then slides Makabe back into the ring.  Suzuki stomps Makabe in the back and knees him in the chest.  Stomps by Suzuki and he elbows Makabe into the corner, Irish whip, and Suzuki hits a big boot in the corner.  Snapmare by Suzuki, he goes off the ropes but Makabe had fallen back over as he holds his jaw.  Suzuki applies a reverse chinlock and he elbows Makabe in the head.  Suzuki picks up Makabe but Makabe elbows him back.  Knees by Suzuki, elbow by Makabe but Suzuki knees him in return.  Makabe elbows Suzuki into the corner, rapid fire lariats by Makabe in the corner and he then hits a running one.  Makabe throws Suzuki into the corner but Suzuki boots him as he charges in.  Suzuki goes out to the apron, he then grabs Makabe’s arm when he charges him to apply an armbar over the top rope. Makabe punches his way out of it, and Suzuki flops down to the floor.  Makabe picks up Suzuki but TAKA attacks him from behind.  Makabe throws TAKA into the railing and then lariats him over it.  Suzuki charges Makabe but Makabe moves out of the way, and Makabe kicks the rail while Suzuki’s leg is trapped in it.  Makabe gets a chair but the referee stops him, Makabe picks up Suzuki and slides him into the ring.  Makabe stomps Suzuki in the leg but Suzuki returns to his feet.  Makabe kicks Suzuki in the leg, he picks him up and goes for a suplex but Suzuki lands on his feet and applies a sleeper.  Makabe gets Suzuki on his shoulders but Suzuki slides off and applies the sleeper again.  Makabe drives Suzuki back into the corner to get him off, and Makabe clubs Suzuki in the leg.  Makabe applies a leg submission hold to Suzuki and he punches Suzuki while keeping him in the hold.  Suzuki inches to the ropes and forces a break, Makabe picks up Suzuki and he hits a lariat.  Makabe picks up Suzuki and puts him on his shoulders, and he hits a Samoan Drop.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Makabe picks up Suzuki and goes for a powerbomb but Suzuki slides down his back and goes for the sleeper.  Suzuki throws him off and they… I don’t know what happened, Makabe goes off the ropes and Suzuki connects with a dropkick.  Suzuki picks up Makabe and Suzuki punches Makabe in the head.  Running boot to the face by Suzuki and he applies a sleeper hold.  Makabe fights for a moment but eventually he goes to sleep and the referee calls for the bell.  Your winner:  Minoru Suzuki

Match Thoughts:  Ok that miscommunication at the end was by far the worst of the tournament, you don’t really appreciate how good these guys are the bulk of the time until they mess up that bad.  Anyway even besides that, the match was subpar.  The match was all over the place, random submission holds with some just being long and not being productive (such as Makabe’s long leg submission hold that went nowhere).  I almost think they didn’t have time to plan, they went outside the ring a few times, Suzuki casually went out to the apron for his apron armbar spot, it just seemed poorly constructed.  No good.  Score:  3.0 

Katsuyori Shibata vs. Tomoaki Honma
They trade elbows to start the match, Shibata goes off the ropes but Honma catches him with an elbow.  Boot by Shibata, both men go off the ropes and Honma shoulderblocks Shibata down.  Honma goes for a headbutt but Shibata moves out of the way, but Honma avoids the PK.  Kick to the stomach by Shibata and he kicks Honma out of the ring.  Shibata goes out after him and throws Honma into the guard rail before hitting a big boot.  Shibata goes to do it again but Honma reverses it which sends Shibata into the rail, then Honma hits a lariat.  Honma rolls back into the ring and Shibata slowly follows.  Honma picks up Shibata and Honma elbows Shibata back into the corner.  Honma picks up Shibata and Honma elbows Shibata into the corner.  Shibata gets the better of it as Honma slumps over, elbow by Shibata and he knocks Honma back into the corner.  Shibata elbows Honma down but Honma jumps out of the corner and hits an elbow.  Shibata comes back with a big boot but Honma levels Shibata with a lariat.  Honma charges Shibata and hits a jumping elbow followed by a face crusher, but Shibata rolls out of the way of the headbutt.  Shibata goes for a kick to the chest but Honma catches it, and Honma hits a falling headbutt.  Honma picks up Shibata and throws him into the corner, Shibata kicks Honma back but Honma hits a lariat.  Honma goes up to the second turnbuckle but Shibata kicks Honma in the face.  Elbows by Shibata in the corner, he gets a running start and he delivers a dropkick.  Shibata picks up Honma and he hits a suplex, cover, but he gets a two count.  Shibata picks up Honma and tries to put him on his shoulders, but Honma elbows out of it.  Honma goes for a suplex but Shibata gets Honma on his shoulders, Shibata goes off the ropes but Honma delivers a headbutt.  Honma picks up Shibata and he hits a brainbuster.  Cover, but Shibata barely gets a shoulder up.  Honma picks up Shibata but Shibata slides down his back and Shibata applies a sleeper.  Honma makes it to the ropes but Shibata kicks him in the chest, he goes for the PK but Honma catches his foot.  Slaps by Shibata but Honma slaps him back.  Honma picks up Shibata  and hits the Fire Thunder Driver, cover, but it only gets a two count.  Honma picks up Shibata and he hits a scoop slam, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Shibata gets his foot up when Honma goes for the diving headbutt.  Honma charges Shibata but Shibata knees him in the stomach, kick to the chest by Shibata and a cover, but it gets a one count.  Shibata goes off the ropes but Honma catches him with a lariat, cover but it gets a two count.  Honma picks up Shibata but Shibata hits a spinning slap.  Shibata picks up Honma, he puts him on his shoulders and he hits the Go 2 Sleep.  PK by Shibata, cover, and he picks up the three count.  Your winner:  Katsuyori Shibata

Match Thoughts:  A somewhat simple match but it was fine.  Honma has fallen a bit into the trap of doing the same spots in every match, and the first half was more of the same but the second half saw him do some different things to try to pick up the upset.  A good match but nothing more than that here. Shibata is the man but time was a bit limited so it wasn't the epic brawl that he has had in other matches during the tournament.  Score:  6.0

Kazuchika Okada vs. Yujiro Takahashi
Takahashi attacks Okada before he can even get into the ring and slams him into the ring post.  Takahashi slides Okada into the ring and he stomps on Okada.  Kick to the stomach by Takahashi and he chops Okada in the chest.  Takahashi drops Okada throat-first on the top rope and he applies a reverse chinlock, Okada gets back up and goes off the ropes but Takahashi catches him with a back elbow.  Takahashi slaps Okada in the head, elbows by Takahashi and he hits Okada into the corner.  Takahashi picks up Okada, Irish whip from the corner but Okada kicks him as he charges in.  Okada picks up Takahashi and puts him on the top rope, but Takahashi kicks him back when he goes for the dropkick.  Snapmare by Okada but Takahashi bails out of the ring.  Okada goes out after him but Takahashi delivers a lariat.  Takahashi picks up Okada and drops him chest-first onto the guardrail.  Takahashi picks up Okada and rolls him back into the ring.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Takahashi picks up Okada and applies a side headlock, elbows by Okada, he goes off the ropes but Takahashi hits a big boot.  Takahashi goes off the ropes but Okada catches him with a flapjack.  Back elbow by Okada and he hits the DDT.  Irish whip by Okada from the corner, reversed, but Okada avoids Takahashi’s charge.  Okada puts Takahashi up on the top turnbuckle and then dropkicks him out to the floor.  Okada picks up Takahashi and throws him into the guardrail before connecting with the big boot.  Okada puts Takahashi’s legs over the guardrail and hits a DDT on the floor.  Okada slides Takahashi back into the ring before returning as well, scoop slam by Okada and he hits the top turnbuckle diving elbow drop.  Okada grabs Takahashi and goes for the Rainmaker but Takahashi ducks it and rakes Okada in the eyes.  Okada charges Takahashi but Takahashi moves, big boot by Takahashi and he hits the Fisherman Buster.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Takahashi picks up Okada and tries to put him on his shoulder, but Okada elbows out of it.  Kick by Okada, Irish whip, reversed, and Takahashi hits an Olympic Slam.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Takahashi picks up Okada but Okada hits the Schwein onto his knee.  Okada picks up Takahashi and puts him on his shoulders, and he hits a vertical suplex.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Okada picks up Takahashi and goes for the tombstone but Takahashi blocks it.  Low blow by Takahashi and he hits a lariat.  Takahashi picks up Okada and hits a German suplex hold, but it gets a two count.  Takahashi picks up Okada and gets him on his shoulder, and he hits the Tokyo Pimps.  Cover, but Okada barely gets a shoulder up.  Takahashi picks up Okada and goes to powerbomb him into the turnbuckles, but Okada reverses it with a hurricanrana.  Dropkick to the back of the head by Okada, he picks up Takahashi and they trade elbows.  Takahashi rakes Okada in the eyes and goes off the ropes, but Okada hits the dropkick.  Tombstone Piledriver by Okada, he picks up Takahashi and he delivers the Rainmaker.  Cover, and he picks up the three count.  Your winner:  Kazuchika Okada

Match Thoughts:   I’ll give Takahashi some credit here, he seemed more focused than he has been in other matches and did all he could to pick up the big win.  They limited the strike exchanges which is a nice change of pace and everything flowed together really well.  No awkward moments or anything, just a good solid match from start to finish.  It lacked a ‘moment’ or anything special, but beyond that it was a lot of fun.  Score:  7.0

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
They circle each other to start, tie-up, waistlock by Tanahashi and Nakamura applies a wristlock.  Armdrag by Tanahashi and he keeps a hold of the arm on the mat, but Nakamura flips out of it and reverses the hold.  Side headlock takedown by Tanahashi, Nakamura returns to his feet but Tanahashi takes him back down.  They trade holds and both men end up back on their feet.  Kick by Tanahashi, snapmare, but Nakamura lands on his feet and kicks Tanahashi.  Nakamura tries to kick Tanahashi but Tanahashi ducks and returns to his feet.  Knees by Nakamura, Irish whip to the corner but Tanahashi kicks Nakamura back.  Elbow by Tanahashi and he hits a reverse crossbody followed by a dropkick.  Tanahashi charges Nakamura, Nakamura goes for a kick but Tanahashi catches it.  Jumping kick by Nakamura, he picks up Tanahashi, Irish whip to the corner, reversed, and Nakamura hits another jumping kick.  Nakamura nudges Tanahashi out of the ring, he goes outside of the ring and knees Tanahashi against the guardrail.  Nakamura puts Tanahashi on the apron with his head hanging over the edge, and he hits a running knee.  Back in the ring, snapmare by Nakamura and he applies a reverse chinlock.  Tanahashi gets back up and elbows out of it, but Nakamura forces Tanahashi to the mat and drops a knee on his face.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Nakamura toys at Tanahashi, he picks him up but Tanahashi chops back off.  Knee by Nakamura, Irish whip, reversed, but Nakamura ducks when Tanahashi dives in.  Nakamura goes for a knee, Tanahashi slides out to the apron and he elbows Nakamura.  Tanahashi gets back in the ring, Irish whip, reversed, but Tanahashi hits a jumping elbow smash.  Tanahashi picks up Nakamura and hits a scoop slam, he goes up to the second turnbuckle and hits a somersault senton.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Nakamura gets up in the corner, stomps by Tanahashi but Nakamura catches one and throws Tanahashi into the corner.  Nakamura chokes Tanahashi with his boot, he picks up Tanahashi and puts him across the top turnbuckle and then hits a running knee to the ribs.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Tanahashi elbows Nakamura off, knee by Nakamura and he goes for a high kick but Tanahashi catches it and hits a dragon screw leg whip.  Both wrestlers slowly get up and they trade elbows, kick to the leg by Tanahashi and he goes for a dragon screw leg whip, but Nakamura drops down and applies a triangle choke.  Tanahashi eventually is able to get out of it and applies a modified crab hold, but Nakamura gets into the ropes.  Tanahashi picks up Nakamura and hits a dragon screw leg whip.  Tanahashi waits for Nakamura to get up and goes off the ropes, but Nakamura hits a Backstabber.  Inverted powerslam by Nakamura, he waits for Tanahashi to get up but Tanahashi hits the Sling Blade.  Tanahashi goes up to the top turnbuckle but Nakamura rolls out of the way of the High Fly Flow.  Nakamura picks up Tanahashi and hits a front suplex, he waits for Tanahashi to get up but Tanahashi hits another Sling Blade.  Back up they trade elbows, Tanahashi slaps Nakamura but Nakamura slaps him back.  Tanahashi gets behind Nakamura and goes for a suplex, Nakamura gets him off but Tanahashi hits a chop block.  Reverse Sling Blade by Tanahashi, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving crossbody.  He then goes back up top again but Nakamura gets his knees up when he goes for the High Fly Flow.  Nakamura gets up on the second turnbuckle and hits a jumping Boma Ye to the back of Tanahashi’s head, cover, but it gets a two count.  Nakamura charges Tanahashi, Tanahashi goes for a dragon screw leg whip but Nakamura steps through it and hits a Boma Ye.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Nakamura waits for Tanahashi to get up but Tanahashi hits a drop toehold, Japanese Leg-Roll Clutch Hold by Tanahashi and he picks up the three count.  Your winner:  Hiroshi Tanahashi

Match Thoughts:  A good match, but I have to question the ending.  Yes anything can happen in the G1 Climax and odd endings are normal, but this was the main event in front of 7,000 people.  Tanahashi had done a good job weakening the leg, twice he went for the High Fly Flow unsuccessfully so there was a story there, but he won with a pin most commonly used by Osamu Nishimura.  It was just anti-climactic.  Up to that point the match was a good back and forth match, had a few different things like the Reverse Sling Blade that I don’t remember seeing (at least not recently).  But the ending of the match can leave a lasting impression and after 17 minutes of work in front of a very large crowd, I didn’t enjoy it and it was a bit deflating.  Score:  6.0

Current Standings:

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

Final Thoughts:

Best Match: Kazuchika Okada vs. Yujiro Takahashi. This is probably evidence that there was really no stand out match on this card, as I am not a big fan of Takahashi.  But he was a lot more focused here than he has been in past matches, and Okada is of course the man and was doing his usual thing.  There were a ton of near falls and the crowd was really into it.  Really solid match.

MVP:  Tomohiro Ishii. Ishii is a beast.  Not only did he keep his hopes alive in the tournament, but the dude separates his shoulder during a match and just keeps on trucking.  I’ve seen wrestlers dislocate shoulders and keep wrestling, but Ishii didn’t even stop doing any of his normal moves.  The man was in obvious pain but he never quit.

Overall: For an event that I thought would be a ‘big card’ due to where the event was being held, I was disappointed.  Nakamura/Tanahashi was probably the worst of their matches I have seen in recent memory, I know Tanahashi is hurting but it just wasn’t up to their usual standard.  A lot of the other matches were solid but none went above that, and a few of the pairings today just did not seem very comfortable with each other at all.  When the top two rated matches had Yano and Takahashi in them, you know something is amiss.  It is still not a bad show, it just wasn’t up to the standard set the night before.

Grade: C+

review completed on 8/5/14