New Japan "G1 Climax 25" Day 5
A Review by Kevin Wilson

Date: July 26th, 2015
Location: Hiroshima Green Arena
Announced Attendance: 3,360

Another day, another G1 Climax event. Remember that I am only doing the G1 Climax matches on these events as the multi-man tag matches get repetitive to me really quick.  Here are the matches on the card:

- Block A: Bad Luck Fale vs. Doc Gallows
- Block A: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Toru Yano
- Block A: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Togi Makabe
- Block A: AJ Styles vs. Kota Ibushi
- Block A: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito

Onto the festivities!

Bad Luck Fale vs. Doc Gallows
Oh boy. This match. They do some test of strength exchanges for the first minute or two, elbows by Fale and he clotheslines Gallows out of the ring. Gallows pulls Fale out and throws him into the railing, they then battle up the aisle as Gallows continues his assault.  Fale turns the tables as they are still out on the floor and he makes it back into the ring first, with Gallows slowly following.  Both wrestlers lariat each other and they end up on the mat, they slowly get up and they trade punches. They choke each other, Gallows blocks the Grenade and he hits a high kick.  Boot by Gallows and he hits a few elbow drops, Gallows goes to the second turnbuckle but Fale hits him from behind.  Fale goes for the Bad Luck Fall but Gallows slides away, high kick by Gallows but Fale catches him with a lariat for the three count!  The results called the final move the Grenade but… not really.  Kind of a Lariat/Grenade hybrid.  I’m not sure what I just watched, to be honest it wasn’t bad, it was just void of things interesting. The brawling outside the ring was done fine but the match ended quite suddenly, there wasn’t a single pinfall attempt until the winning one. For an opener tournament match it wasn’t the worst, too short to be offensive but not enough happened to be exciting.

Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Toru Yano
Yano immediately rolls up Tenzan to start, which pisses off Tenzan so he clubs Yano while he tries to hide in the ropes.  Yano rakes Tenzan’s eyes outside the ring but Tenzan grabs his chair and hits Yano with it.  Yano twists Tenzan’s arm in the railing and wraps him in it, but Tenzan frees himself in time to return to the ring.  Yano takes off a turnbuckle pad and throws Tenzan into the exposed corner.  Yano stomps on Tenzan and rakes his eyes before hitting somewhat sarcastic Mongolian Chops. Tenzan knocks Yano down with a lariat and hits his own Mongolian Chops, headbutts by Tenzan and he lariats Yano in the corner. Vertical suplex by Tenzan and he covers Yano for two.  Tenzan headbutts Yano but Yano throws him down by the hair. Tenzan throws Yano into the exposed corner and he delivers a heel kick. Tenzan goes up top and hits a diving headbutt, however he connected too well and badly busted Yano open (Tenzan is cut open as well).  Blood is everywhere as Tenzan headbutts Yano again and he hits a Mongolian Chop.  Low blow by Yano and he sneaks in a backslide for the three count!  Clearly they had to go straight to the finish as the cut on Yano’s head was just nasty.  Tenzan didn’t fare much better but since it was his fault we won’t feel as sorry for him.  I enjoy some blood in wrestling but Yano was .8 on the Muta scale, even as he left the ring the blood was just pouring out of the cut. He left for the back quickly without celebrating while Tenzan was helped out of the ring as well.  This will be memorable for the accidental headbutt explosion but it wasn’t bad up to that point, just your usual Yano affair.

Katsuyori Shibata vs. Togi Makabe
Makabe lariats Shibata off the bat and shoulderblocks him to the floor. Makabe slides Shibata back in and gets on the apron, but Shibata boots him hard in the face to send Makabe crashing to the floor. Shibata slides Makabe back in and applies a figure four, but Makabe makes it to the ropes. Shibata elbows Makabe but Makabe lariats him in the corner, mounted punches by Makabe and he hits a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. Makabe goes off the ropes but Shibata knees him in the stomach, elbows by Shibata in the corner and he stomps down Makabe. Shibata rakes at Makabe’s face and hits a running facewash, he goes for a dropkick but Makabe levels him with a lariat. Makabe picks up Shibata and he hits a death valley bomb, cover by Makabe but it gets two. Makabe goes up top but Shibata kicks him before he can jump off, and he flops back into the ring. Makabe and Shibata trade elbows as they get up, boot by Shibata but Makabe hits a lariat. Makabe finally knocks down Shibata with a lariat but Shibata quickly gets up and kicks Makabe in the chest. Both wrestlers are on the mat, they slowly get up and Makabe hits a pair of lariats for a two count. Powerbomb by Makabe, but Shibata kicks out of that as well.  Makabe picks up Shibata and gets him on his shoulders, but Shibata knees out of it and applies a sleeper. Makabe can’t reach the ropes as he goes to sleep, Shibata lets go so he can hit the PK, and he picks up the three count! I liked this match quite a bit, this is the perfect way to use Makabe as he can do short strike-based matches with no issues. Lots of hard hits and they both came out of it looking good. Very solid match by these two, probably not memorable in the long run but it worked well in the mid-card.  Mildly Recommended

AJ Styles vs. Kota Ibushi
They start off with some limb work that leads to not much, Ibushi avoids Styles’ dropkick but Styles avoids Ibushi’s PK.  Ibushi kick Styles out of the ring, he goes for a pescado but Styles moves.  Styles flips himself to the apron but Ibushi trips him, face planting Styles into the apron.  Ibushi kicks Styles in the corner, Styles goes for a suplex but Ibushi lands on his feet.  Styles boots Ibushi when he charges in but Ibushi dropkicks him, Ibushi elbows Styles into the corner and stomps him to the mat.  Styles throws Ibushi into the corner, Ibushi flips out to the apron but Styles grabs him as he goes to springboard in and drops Ibushi throat-first onto the top rope.  Ibushi falls out of the ring from the impact of the move and Styles stomps on him out on the floor.  Styles returns to the ring with Ibushi slowly following, and Styles hits a backbreaker.  Styles applies a chinlock and he hits a headscissors takedown, Styles clubs at Ibushi but Ibushi fights back with chops.  Styles elbows Ibushi back and goes for a quebrada but Ibushi avoids it and hits a release German suplex. Ibushi kicks Styles in the chest a few times and hits a standing corkscrew moonsault, picking up a two count.  Ibushi knocks Styles into the corner but Styles kicks him back and hits a lariat from the apron.  Swandive forearm smash by Styles and he hits a pump-handle gutbuster for a two count.

Styles goes out to the apron but Ibushi kicks him in the head, Ibushi grabs Styles from inside the ring but Styles pulls him out onto the apron with him.  Before he can do anything, Ibushi headscissors out of the hold, sending both of them crashing to the mat.  Ibushi gets up on the apron and hits a moonsault off the second turnbuckle down onto Styles.  Ibushi slides Styles back in, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Styles hits the ropes to knock Ibushi off.  Styles gets on the top turnbuckle while Ibushi is on the apron, Ibushi goes for a swandive hurricanrana but Styles blocks it.  Styles hits a diving hurricanrana back into the ring, he goes for the Styles Clash but Ibushi kicks out of it.  Big lariat by Styles, he picks up Ibushi and drills him with the Hollow Point, picking up a two count.  Styles goes to the apron and goes for the Swandive 450, but Ibushi gets his knees up.  Kick by Ibushi but Styles kicks him back until Ibushi hits a Pele Kick.  Styles hits a Pele Kick of his own and he drops Ibushi with the Bloody Sunday for a close two count.  Styles picks up Ibushi and drags him to the corner, Styles goes up top and he pulls Ibushi up with him as he goes for a Styles Clash, but Ibushi reverses it with an Avalanche Frankensteiner.  Ibushi picks up Styles and plants him with a powerbomb, he goes up top and delivers the Phoenix Splash for the three count!  This match was pretty fantastic. I can’t really compare it to their last match as the situations were different, but I liked that this match didn’t have any screwiness at all.  Action packed, lots of 'big spots' as you'd expect from them and they have great chemistry. Worth going out of your way to see. Highly Recommended

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito
They do some mat work to kick things off, Naito punches Tanahashi in the corner but Tanahashi returns the favor. Tanahashi hits a reverse crossbody and a pair of armdrags, leading to Naito rolls out of the ring to re-group. Tanahashi goes up top but Naito walks up the ramp before he can jump off, and Naito lies down to relax. Naito eventually makes his way back into the ring but Tanahashi stomps on him until Naito headscissors Tanahashi over the top rope to the floor. Naito picks up Tanahashi and throws him into the railing, he puts Tanahashi onto a table and hits a neckbreaker onto the table, which naturally doesn't break. Liger looks concerned from commentary. Back in the ring, Naito cranks on Tanahashi's neck and he hits a back elbow followed by a quick dropkick. Headscissors by Naito, but Tanahashi makes it to the ropes. Tanahashi chops Naito as he gets up but Naito kicks him in the face and hits a neckbreaker for a two count. Naito applies a reverse chinlock, but Tanahashi gets out of it and hits a jumping elbow strike. Elbows by Tanahashi, he goes to the second turnbuckle and he hits a somersault senton for a two count cover. Uppercut by Tanahashi and he slaps Naito, but Naito spits in his face. Tanahashi keeps slapping him until Naito falls out of the ring, Tanahashi goes up top and he sails out onto Naito with a High Fly Flow. Tanahashi slides Naito back in the ring and follows him, Tanahashi goes for a Texas Cloverleaf but Naito quickly gets to the ropes. Naito elbows Tanahashi and he drops him with an overhead kick, Naito charges Tanahashi as Tanahashi tries to kick him back, but Naito puts Tanahashi's legs on the second rope and slams him into the ring.

Reverse STO by Naito and he applies the Pluma Blanca. Tanahashi struggles and eventually makes it to the ropes, Naito kicks Tanahashi in the corner and goes for his slingshot dropkick, but Tanahashi catches his leg and hits a dragon screw. Naito goes for an enzuigiri but Tanahashi ducks it and hits another dragon screw. Texas Cloverleaf by Tanahashi but Naito crawls to the ropes and forces the break. Dragon screw by Tanahashi, he jumps up to the top turnbuckle but Naito elbows him before he can jump off. Naito joins Tanahashi up top and they trade elbows, Frankensteiner by Naito and he hits a swandive missile dropkick. Tanahashi elbows Naito off but Naito hits an enzuigiri followed by a German suplex hold for two. Naito grabs Tanahashi but Tanahashi elbows him off, Naito toys with Tanahashi with kicks to the head but Tanahashi snaps off a Sling Blade. Tanahashi jumps up to the top turnbuckle and he hits a diving crossbody, he goes back up again but Naito gets his knees up on the High Fly Flow attempt. They trade elbows on their knees, kicks to the leg by Tanahashi and he hits a release German suplex. Naito goes for a DDT but Tanahashi blocks it and hits a cyclone neckbreaker. Tanahashi goes off the ropes but Naito catches him with his new finisher, the Destino, and picks up the three count! So first let me do the good. This was without doubt an entertaining match from bell to bell and I am loving Naito's new tweak on his character. The bad however is simply that Naito didn't bother do anything to sell the leg unless it was actively being worked on. It just diminished some of what they were doing, they'd have some limb work, trade elbows, limb work, trade elbows, it just wasn't a perfect layout. But the important thing is that even with those issues it was still really fun to watch as Tanahashi is still the king of everything and Naito is really turning it on. So still worth watching, just not without its flaws. Recommended

Final Thoughts:

Top to bottom this was a quality event. The opener was... well what it was, but it wasn't unwatchable and they kept it short. Then we had an unintentional blood bath, which is always unfortunate but fun to watch, and a solid match between Shibata and Makabe. Then we finished off the card with two great matches, with Ibushi/Styles in particular shining. Ibushi/Styles may end up being the best match of the tournament but we'll have to re-visit that later and see how it holds up. Either way this was a fun show and worth checking out, plus it has a multi-cam setup which always helps. Definitely recommended.

Grade: B

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event reviewed on 7/28/15