A Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: July 29th, 2015
Location: Fukuoka International Center
Announced Attendance: 2,640
I did not want to fall too far behind on the G1 Climax or I knew I would never catch back up again, so let's dive into Day 7 of the tournament! A couple of these matches look really good, and again just a reminder that I am only reviewing the tournament matches themselves. Here are the tournament matches:
- Block A: Doc Gallows vs. Toru Yano
- Block A: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Togi Makabe
- Block A: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Kota Ibushi
- Block A: Bad Luck Fale vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
- Block A: AJ Styles vs. Tetsuya Naito
Onto the fun!
Doc Gallows vs. Toru Yano
Aww Yano's face is all busted up due to Tenzan not liking it.
Elbows by Yano but Gallows elbows him back and hits a shoulderblock. They shake hands with Gallows squeezing Yano's but Yano gets to the ropes to force a break. Yano hits Gallows in the back of the head and hides in the ropes, but Gallows clubs Yano and knocks him out of the ring where the Bullet Club jumps him. Yano rolls back in, stomps by Gallows and he stands on Yano near the ropes. Eye rake by Gallows and he punches Yano in the corner and he rakes on Yano's injured face. Yano finally gets Gallows away from him and removes a turnbuckle pad, Gallows runs into the exposed corner but Gallows attacks Yano from behind. Yano throws Gallows into the exposed corner again but Yano is more shtick than substance as he keeps gloating instead of fighting. Superkick by Gallows and he hits a body press, picking up a two count. Gallows runs into the exposed corner again and Yano rolls him up for a two count, Hall gets on the apron but Gallows accidentally knocks him off. He then does the same to Tonga, Yano goes for a low blow but Anderson grabs his arm. Magic Killer to Yano, and Gallows covers him for the three count! I will not pretend that I enjoyed this match. Way too much cheating with a clueless referee, Yano went 150% with his gimmick to the point it was silly, and it just wasn't good. Mad props to Yano for fighting with busted up face, but respect a good match does not make.
Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Togi Makabe
Tenzan's face is still busted too but since it was his fault we don't feel sorry for him. They trade shoulderblock attempts until Makabe finally succeeds, Mongolian Chops by Tenzan and he chops Makabe in the throat. Tenzan goes for a suplex but Makabe promptly reverses it, Tenzan throws Makabe into the corner but Makabe moves when he charges in. Tenzan rolls out of the ring but Makabe goes out after him and throws Tenzan into the railing followed by the ring post. Makabe gets back in the ring and waits for Tenzan, Tenzan eventually returns and Makabe applies a leglock. Stomps by Makabe, Tenzan fights back but Makabe elbows him and throws Tenzan into corner. Short range lariats by Makabe and he hits mounted punches, Makabe goes off the ropes but Tenzan catches him with a heel kick. Mongolian Chops by Tenzan and he throws Makabe into the corner, lariat by Tenzan and he hits a vertical suplex. Cover by Tenzan but it gets a two count. Makabe kicks Tenzan but Tenzan grabs him and hits the Mountain Bomb. Anaconda Vice by Tenzan and he hits the Anaconda Buster, cover by Tenzan but Makabe gets a shoulder up. Tenzan goes off the ropes but Makabe drops him on his head with a powerslam. Back up they trade lariats, a battle which Makabe naturally wins, another lariat by Makabe and he hits a Samoan Drop. Makabe goes up top and nails the King Kong Kneedrop, picking up the three count! This wasn't particularly good either, it takes a special wrestler to have an entertaining match with Makabe and Tenzan is not that wrestler. A bit lethargic, iffy transitions, nothing really memorable. Skippable match.
Katsuyori Shibata vs. Kota Ibushi
They trade kick attempts to start and go to the mat, but neither can get a clear advantage.
Shibata goes for a kick but Ibushi bails to the apron, Shibata uppercuts him however when he goes for a springboard move and he boots Ibushi off the apron to the floor. Shibata throws Ibushi into the railing and then boots him over it, Shibata slides Ibushi back in and applies a figure four leglock. Ibushi gets to the ropes to force a break, elbows by Shibata but Ibushi elbows him. More elbows by Shibata but Ibushi hits a big boot and hits a series of elbows of his own. Dropkick by Ibushi but Shibata elbows Ibushi back and stomps him down into the corner. Facewashes by Shibata and he dropkicks Ibushi in the head. Takedown by Shibata and he applies a stretch hold, but Ibushi makes it to the ropes. Kick by Shibata but Ibushi snaps off a dropkick and Shibata falls out of the ring. Ibushi goes out to the apron and he hits a moonsault off the ring post down to the floor. Ibushi rolls Shibata back in and kicks him in the ribs, more kicks by Ibushi and he hits a standing corkscrew moonsault for a two count.
Ibushi picks up Shibata but Shibata catches the PK attempt, elbows by Ibushi but Shibata elbows him back. Shibata goes for a PK but Ibushi ducks and kicks Shibata in the head. Ibushi goes for the Pele Kick but Shibata catches his leg and applies a STF. Ibushi wiggles to the ropes and forces a break, Shibata applies a choke sleeper but Ibushi gets to the ropes again. Backdrop suplex by Shibata but Ibushi pops back up and hits a German suplex. They trade kicks and pin attempts until Shibata levels Ibushi with a lariat, and both wrestlers are hurt on the mat. Both wrestlers slowly get up, Ibushi hits a lariat and he covers Shibata for two. Ibushi picks up Shibata but Shibata gets Ibushi on his shoulders and hits a death valley bomb. Shibata and Ibushi trade elbows on their knees, they keep trading as they get up and Shibata gets the sleeper locked in. Shibata releases the hold and hits the PK, and he gets the three count! This was a great match but it almost felt like a preview of what they could do with more time and in a more important setting. They have great chemistry together and did the most with the time they had, with a lot of great strike exchanges and suplexes. I didn't mind the 'fighting spirit' section as it fits their characters anyway and it was sold appropriately right afterwards. Overall a fun match that needs to be seen, even if I wish it could have gone a bit longer. Recommended
Bad Luck Fale vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
They begin with a tie-up but break cleanly, Tanahashi goes for a stretch hold but Fale hiptosses out of it. Elbows by Tanahashi but Fale keeps knocking him to the mat, dropkick to the knee by Tanahashi but Fale lands on top of him when he goes for a scoop slam. Fale throws Tanahashi out of the ring where Tonga stomps on him, Fale takes the opportunity to untie one of the turnbuckle pads as Tanahashi rolls back in the ring. Fale stands on Tanahashi near the ropes and he throws him into the exposed corner. Fale throws Tanahashi into the exposed corner again and he applies a double neck grip of death.
Tanahashi elbows out of it but Fale chokes him and tosses Tanahashi to the mat. Fale goes for a body press but Tanahashi rolls out of the way, uppercuts by Tanahashi in the corner and he hits a jumping elbow. Scoop slam by Tanahashi and he hits an elbow drop followed by a somersault senton for a two count. Tanahashi goes for a crossbody but Fale pulls the referee in front of him, making Tanahashi run into the referee. Tanahashi lariats Fale out of the ring anyway, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and dives out onto Fale, Tonga, and Hall. Tanahashi rolls Fale back in, Fale tries to throw him out of the ring but Tanahashi skins the cat. Shoulderblock by Fale and he hits a body avalanche in the corner, cover by Fale but it gets two.
Fale goes for the Grenade but Tanahashi ducks it and hits a Sling Blade. Tanahashi goes up top and hits a diving crossbody, he goes up top again and he hits the High Fly Flow, but the referee is pulled out of the ring. That isn't a DQ of course as Tanahashi stomps on Fale, waistlock by Tanahashi but Fale elbows him off. Samoan Drop by Fale and he covers Tanahashi, but Tanahashi kicks out. Fale picks up Tanahashi but Tanahashi gets out of the Bad Luck Fall, Tanahashi goes off the ropes but Fale kicks him. Tanahashi gets out of the Bad Luck Fall again and hits a Cyclone Neckbreaker, Tanahashi goes off the ropes but Fale catches him with a lariat. Body press by Fale, but Tanahashi barely kicks out. Fale picks up Tanahashi and hits the Grenade, but again Tanahashi kicks out. Fale goes up to the top turnbuckle and delivers the Flying Coconut (diving body press), and he gets the three count! I actively dislike the rules changing depending on the match, no reason the referee getting pulled out of the ring didn't get Fale DQed. Besides that it wasn't a bad match, Tanahashi gets more out of Fale than most wrestlers can. Fale never slowed down the match and the offense stayed varied, so it never dragged. Aside from the silly interference this was a decent match, Tanahashi is a miracle worker. Mildly Recommended
AJ Styles vs. Tetsuya Naito
Tie-up to kick things off but they break relatively cleanly and Naito rolls out of the ring. He returns after a moment and Styles applies a side headlock, but Naito Irish whips out of it. They roll to the mat and Styles applies a chinlock, Styles hits an armdrag when they get back up and he applies a wristlock. Naito pushes Styles against the ropes and chops him in the chest, he goes off the ropes but Styles catches him with a dropkick. Naito falls out of the ring, but Styles goes out after him with a pescado. Styles slides Naito back in and he hits a backbreaker. Naito kicks Styles in the leg but Styles hits a headscissors, they trade elbows back up and Naito tosses Styles out to the apron. Styles grabs Naito and pulls him onto the apron with him, but Naito drops him with a neckbreaker. Back in the ring, Naito stomps on Styles in the corner and he hits a sliding kick. Naito applies a neck crank but Styles gets into the ropes, Styles elbows Naito but Naito stomps him back down. Styles returns to his feet and elbows Naito, they trade shots back and forth until Styles hits a hard lariat. Styles drops Naito with a high kick, Naito throws Styles into the corner but Styles kicks him back before hitting a swandive elbow smash. Styles gets Naito on his shoulders and hits a side slam, cover by Styles but it gets two.
Styles picks up Naito but Naito drives him into the corner and he delivers a neckbreaker. Naito goes up top and delivers a missile dropkick, Naito trips Styles in the corner and hits the slingshot dropkick for a two count. Styles quickly hits a jawbreaker and he faceplants Naito for a two count cover. Tornado DDT by Naito off the ropes and he hits a reverse STO before applying the Pluma Blanca! Styles gets a foot on the ropes to force a break, Naito picks up Styles and elbows him into the corner, Naito puts Styles on the top turnbuckle and slaps him hard in the chest. Naito joins Styles and goes for the Frankensteiner, but Styles catches him. Naito kicks out of the Styles Clash attempt but Styles blocks the tornado DDT and suplexes Naito into the turnbuckles. Styles picks up Naito but Naito hits an enzuigiri, jumping kick by Styles and both wrestlers are down. Back up they trade elbows until Styles floors Naito, Naito hits an atomic drop and he rolls up Styles for a two count. Styles kicks Naito, he picks him up and goes for the Bloody Sunday but Naito blocks it before hitting the Destino! Cover by Naito and he gets the three count. This was an entertaining match, even more important than Naito's new character (which I like) is how he is now magically a more focused wrestler. Since his new finisher targets the neck, he does more neckbreakers and things like that to lead up to it which is a big plus. Styles is of course Styles, very smooth and I liked the throwback to how Styles beat Naito the first time. A fun way to end the show even though the crowd was a bit quiet. Recommended
As far as G1 Climax shows go, this is about as good as it will probably get until we get to the Finals. The wrestlers are starting to get a little worn out but not too bad yet, there weren't any epic-level matches on this card but some really good ones that I can easily recommend. Shibata/Ibushi is great as you probably imagined, I am looking forward to them having a longer match in the future, and the main event is definitely worth watching. The rest is a bit more hit and miss but I can't complain about any event that has two matches that are more than worth the trouble of tracking down. Solid show overall.
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event reviewed on 8/3/15