New Japan "G1 Climax 25" Day 4
A Review by Kevin Wilson

Date:  July 25th, 2015
Location:  Takamatsu City Gymnasium
Announced Attendance:  2,070

Still rolling with the G1 Climax, it is going to be a long summer if you don't like New Japan as there are a whole lot of New Japan events over the next few weeks that I'll be reviewing. To make matters worse, this is probably one of the 'smaller' shows they will have in terms of matches with potential to be special, and on top of that there is just a one hard camera set-up for this show. Here are the G1 Climax matches on the card:

 - Block B: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Yujiro Takahashi
 - Block B: Michael Elgin vs. Satoshi Kojima
 - Block B: Hirooki Goto vs. Karl Anderson
 - Block B: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Yuji Nagata
 - Block B: Kazuchika Okada vs. Tomoaki Honma

Onto the review!

Tomohiro Ishii vs. Yujiro Takahashi
Ishii rakes Takahashi in the eyes and elbows him against the ropes, but Takahashi bails out of the ring. Ishii gets tired of waiting and goes out after him, and he throws Takahashi into the railing a few times. Ishii gets attacked at ringside by Bullet Club while Takahashi distracts the referee in obnoxious fashion, Ishii is slid back into the ring and Takahashi hits a scoop slam. Sliding kick by Takahashi, Ishii starts fighting back but Takahashi knocks him down with an elbow. Takahashi throws Ishii into the corner and hits a big boot, he goes off the ropes but Ishii catches him with a powerslam. Chops by Ishii in the corner and he hits a lariat, vertical suplex by Ishii and he covers Takahashi for two. Headbutt by Ishii but Takahashi hits a big boot followed by another sliding kick. Takahashi picks up Ishii and he hits the fisherman buster, picking up a two count cover. Takahashi elbows Ishii into the corner and he hits a big boot, but Ishii fires up and starts absorbing Takahashi's elbows. Ishii gives Takahashi a hard elbow of his own, he goes off the ropes but Cody Hall grabs Ishii from the apron. Takahashi charges in, he hits Hall by accident but still drops Ishii throat-first on the top rope before hitting a lariat for a two count.

Takahashi picks up Ishii and tries to powerbomb Ishii into the turnbuckles, but Ishii blocks it. Headbutt by Ishii and he powerbombs Takahashi into the corner. Both wrestlers lariat each other, big lariat by Ishii and he hits a folding powerbomb for a two count. Ishii picks up Takahashi but Takahashi slides away, Takahashi throws Ishii into the referee and he hits a low blow. Jackknife cover by Takahashi, but Ishii gets a shoulder up. Takahashi nails the Tokyo Pimps on Ishii, but again Ishii kicks out of the cover. Takahashi goes for the Miami Shine but Ishii elbows out of it, kick by Takahashi and he goes off the ropes but Ishii catches his boot and hits a jumping kick. Boot by Takahashi, he picks up Ishii but again Ishii slides away. Takahashi goes for another low blow but Ishii blocks it and nails a headbutt. Ishii picks up Takahashi and he hits the sliding lariat, picking up a two count. Ishii picks up Takahashi and drills him with a brainbuster, and he picks up the three count! This match felt like it lasted forever. I am not sure if it was the fact Takahashi is a bit boring on offense or that I hate the one camera set-up, but either way I just couldn't get into this one at all. I guess 'flat' would be the way to describe it, the action was acceptable, it just wasn't interesting. A skippable way to begin the tournament matches.

Michael Elgin vs. Satoshi Kojima
They tie-up to start, Kojima goes for a shoulderblock but can't knock down Elgin. Elbows by Kojima but Elgin shoulderblocks Kojima to the mat and out of the ring. Back in, Elgin picks up Kojima but Kojima slides away and hits the Koji Cutter. Kojima elbows Elgin and clubs him in the back, but Elgin rolls away from Kojima and hits a footstomp to his back. Elgin picks up Kojima and he hits his delayed vertical suplex for a two count cover. Elgin slams Kojima to the mat and goes off the ropes, but Kojima avoids the elbow drop. Kick by Kojima and he goes off the ropes, but Elgin trips him and slides out to the apron. Slingshot body press by Elgin, and he covers Kojima for two. Elgin throws Kojima into the corner but Kojima avoids his charge and he chops Elgin in the corner, jumping elbow by Kojima and he hits the diving elbow drop for the two count. Kojima picks up Elgin and hits some elbows, but Elgin delivers a roaring elbow to send Kojima to the mat. Another elbow by Elgin, he covers Kojima but Kojima kicks out. Elgin grabs Kojima around the waist but Kojima elbows out of it and delivers a DDT. Kojima charges Elgin but Elgin hits an enzuigiri, short range lariats by Elgin in the corner but Kojima turns him around and hits rapid fire chops. They take turns with strikes, Elgin goes off the ropes but Kojima blocks the lariat. Elgin also blocks Kojima's lariat, Elgin gets Kojima on his shoulders but Kojima slides away. Deadlift powerbomb by Elgin, cover, but Kojima gets a shoulder up.

Elgin is a strong dude. Kojima rolls out to the apron, Elgin grabs him from the second turnbuckle and he goes for a suplex, but Kojima punches him off. Kojima goes up top but Elgin delivers a jumping kick, sending Kojima back to the apron. Elgin goes out to the apron with him and goes for a powerbomb, but Kojima blocks it and hits a DDT on the apron. Kojima gets back in the ring and he hits a brainbuster, he goes off the ropes but Elgin blocks the lariat. Elgin powerbombs Kojima into the turnbuckles but Kojima comes back with a short range lariat. Kojima charges Elgin but Elgin catches him with a lariat, picking up a two count. Elgin picks up Kojima, he goes up to the second turnbuckle and tries to drag Kojima with him, but Kojima elbows out of it. Elbows by Elgin and he jumps off the second turnbuckle, but Kojima catches him in mid-air with a lariat! Cover by Kojima, and he picks up the three count. This was definitely a step up, Elgin looked really solid here and Kojima did his spots that he always does. Elgin's biggest attribute is his strength which he showed off several times here, and even though it was a bit too strike-oriented at points that is what you are going to get from these two. Not without its slow parts but still a solid match. Mildly Recommended

Hirooki Goto vs. Karl Anderson
Goto pushes Anderson into the ropes to begin the match, side headlock by Goto but Anderson gets out of it and they trade holds. Anderson elbows Goto but Goto shoulderblocks him to the mat. Anderson rolls out of the ring but Goto goes out after him and twists him in the guard rail. Anderson regains the advantage and he powerbombs Goto onto the apron. Anderson returns to the ring, he grabs Goto when he gets on the apron and elbows him while he is in the ropes before hitting a big boot. Back in the ring, Anderson hits mounted punches and applies a side headlock. Jumping kick by Anderson, cover, but it gets a two count. Goto recovers and trades elbows with Anderson, but Anderson knocks him into the corner. Irish whip by Anderson, reversed, but Anderson moves when Goto charges in. Goto avoids Anderson's charge as well and he hits a lariat, elbows by Goto in the corner and he hits the spinning heel kick. Anderson goes for a sleeper but Goto gets out of it with a backdrop suplex. Goto goes off the ropes but Anderson dropkicks him in the knee. Fisherman neckbreaker by Anderson, cover, but it gets two. Goto rolls out to the apron but Anderson elbows him, Anderson pulls Goto up the turnbuckles with him but Goto headbutts him. Kaiten by Goto, he picks up Anderson but Anderson hits a jumping neckbreaker. Back up they trade elbows, uppercut by Anderson and he hits a boot. Anderson goes for a cutter but Goto pushes him off, Anderson blocks the lariat but Goto goes off the ropes and hits the lariat anyway. Ushigoroshi by Goto, he picks up Anderson but Anderson reverses the Shouten Kai into a Gun Stun for the three count! The crowd was certainly surprised by this result, Goto has been pretty solidly built up the last year or so and it seemed like he went down pretty easy. The Gun Stun has been more effectively lately though and they certainly appear to be building up Anderson in the tournament. The match itself was fine, nothing really memorable but nothing bad either. Certainly watchable but not a really focused match, a lot of the moves just seemed random. Not bad for a tournament match though. Mildly Recommended

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Yuji Nagata
They dance around to start off before trading wristlocks, they both go for strikes but neither can connect. Nakamura gets Nagata to the mat but after a moment they return to their feet, Nakamura pushes Nagata into the corner and he delivers a knee. Shaky Leg by Nakamura but Nagata grabs it and gets out of the corner. Slaps and knees by Nagata and he hits a big boot, sending Nakamura to the mat. Nagata elbows Nakamura against the ropes but Nakamura gets Nagata out to the floor. Nakamura knees Nagata around the floor before returning to the ring, Nagata follows and Nakamura hits a knee drop. Nakamura stomps on Nagata and knees him into the corner, Nakamura applies an abdominal stretch, he rolls up Nagata but it gets a two count. Nakamura kicks Nagata in the chest but Nagata catches one and elbows Nakamura in the leg. Nagata knees Nakamura in the stomach, elbows by Nagata and he hits a big boot in the corner. Nagata hits another boot and hits an exploder into the turnbuckles. Nagata puts Nakamura's legs over the top rope and he hits a cyclone neckbreaker, Nagata Lock II by Nagata, he picks up Nakamura and kicks him in the chest. Nagata picks up Nakamura, Nakamura slides down his back however and knees Nagata in the ribs. Running kneelift by Nakamura in the corner, cover, but it gets a two count. Nakamura knees Nagata in the ribs some more and he drops him with a front suplex.

Overhead belly to belly suplex by Nagata and he applies a seated armbar. Nakamura gets up, Nagata grabs him and goes for a backdrop suplex but Nakamura elbows out of it. Release German but Nagata but Nakamura lands on his feet and hits a jumping front kick. Elbows by Nakamura but Nagata elbows him back, sleeper by Nakamura but Nagata drops backwards to get out of it. Inverted powerslam by Nakamura and he goes for the Boma Ye, but Nagata sidesteps it and hits a heel kick to Nakamura's back. Backdrop suplex by Nagata, cover, but Nakamura gets a shoulder up. Nagata waits for Nakamura to get up but Nakamura kicks him in the leg and hits a sliding Boma Ye for a two count. Second turnbuckle Boma Ye, he waits for Nagata to get up but Nagata kicks him back. Standing Boma Ye by Nakamura, and this time he gets the three count! Apparently I am going to find every match on this event "good but not great" as this one fell in that category also. The action itself was good, it was just a bit disjointed and some of the transitions between who was in control were iffy. Almost like they didn't have a lot of time to figure things out and just decided to wing it, which can still lead to a good match but not always a logical one. The end stretch was quality though, and overall it was solid. Mildly Recommended

Kazuchika Okada vs. Tomoaki Honma
They tie-up start but they break cleanly, they trade holds until Okada hits a shoulderblock. Hiptoss by Honma and they trade elbows back up. Honma wins the exchange, Irish whip by Honma and he hits a back elbow. Scoop slam by Honma but Okada avoids the Kokeshi, kick by Okada and he hits a DDT. Okada throws Honma out of the ring where we can't really see, he throws Honma into the railing and hits a running kick. Okada returns to the ring with Honma very slowly following, snapmare by Okada and he applies a chinlock. Cross-arm submission by Okada but Honma gets a foot onto the ropes. Sliding kick by Okada, Honma fights back with slaps to the chest but Okada elbows him in the back of the head. Okada puts Honma in the corner but Honma avoids the jumping elbow and hits a vertical suplex. Honma chops Okada, Irish whip to the corner and Honma hits a jumping elbow followed by a face crusher. Falling Kokeshi by Honma and he applies a single leg crab hold. Back up, Honma goes off the ropes but Okada hits a flapjack. Jumping elbow by Okada in the corner but Honma avoids the reverse neckbreaker, Okada applies the Red Ink but Honma is too close to the ropes and gets a break. They get back up and Honma knocks down Okada with a lariat, and both men are down on the mat. The slowly get up and trade elbows, Okada wins the battle and he hits an uppercut.

Honma slaps Okada back and avoids Okada's dropkick, headbutt by Honma and he hits a front flip neckbreaker for a two count. Honma goes for a tombstone but Okada blocks it, knees by Honma but Okada kicks him back. Honma drops Okada with a brainbuster, cover, but Okada kicks out. Scoop slam by Honma, he goes up top but Okada hits him before he can jump off. Okada grabs Honma and hits a Samoan Drop into a neckbreaker, reverse neckbreaker by Okada and he covers Honma for two. Okada picks up Honma and goes for the tombstone, but Honma blocks it. Headbutt by Honma but Okada dropkicks him when he goes off the ropes. Diving elbow drop by Okada, he picks up Honma but Honma reverses the Rainmaker with a Kokeshi. Fire Thunder Driver by Honma, but Okada kicks out of the cover. Honma goes for the diving Kokeshi, but Okada rolls out of the way. Okada dropkicks Honma in the back of the head, school boy by Honma but Okada kicks out. Uppercut by Okada, Honma goes off the ropes but Okada catches him with a German suplex. Rainmaker by Okada, and he picks up the three count! This was the best match of the night, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Honma wasn't beating Okada, we all knew that, but he had some close calls and in a tournament setting there is always that 'maybe!' voice in the back of your head. But the action was really smooth, loved Honma's reversal to the first Rainmaker, and they kept a good pace. Not a MOTYC or anything fun like that, but still an entertaining match. Recommended

Final Thoughts:

Up to the main event this was a really skippable event. Some good matches, but nothing memorable that needed to be sought out. The main event did help out quite a bit, even though I hate the single cam set-up I was still able to get invested in the match as Honma is such a good underdog and Okada is so good in general. Still as a full show I can't give it much of a recommendation, it was just a smaller show and there will be much better G1 Climax events. Safe to skip unless you are a completist or big Honma fan.

Grade: C-

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event reviewed on 7/26/15