New Japan "G1 Climax 25" Day 8
A Review by Kevin Wilson

Date: August 1st, 2015
Location: Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium
Announced Attendance: 4,523

So I got a few days behind so let's see how quickly I can catch back up. Nakamura has returned from his injury, yay! Here is the full card:

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

Straight to the tournament matches we go.

Satoshi Kojima vs. Yujiro Takahashi
I wonder if Takahashi knows that his offense is boring as hell, does someone tell him? They trade holds to start until Kojima knocks down Takahashi with a shoulderblock.  Kojima applies a reverse chinlock but Takahashi rakes his eyes and throws Kojima out of the ring so Cody Hall can work him over.  Takahashi goes out of the ring too and drives Kojima into the railing before sliding him back into the ring, snapmare by Takahashi and he hits mounted punches.  Big boot by Takahashi and he covers Kojima for a two count. Sliding Kick by Takahashi and he slaps Kojima in the corner, Irish whip by Takahashi but Kojima kicks him back. Rapid fire chops by Kojima in the corner, he hits the jumping elbow followed by a diving elbow drop for a two count cover.  Takahashi and Kojima trade elbows until Kojima hits a roaring elbow, Kojima picks up Takahashi but Takahashi hits a fisherman buster.  Kojima rolls out to the apron but Takahashi goes out after him, he goes for a fisherman buster but Kojima blocks it and hits a DDT. Back in the ring, Kojima punches Takahashi into the corner and he hits an avalanche Koji Cutter. 

Kojima takes off the elbow pad but Takahashi grabs him and hits a release German suplex. Big boot by Takahashi in the corner and he hits a lariat, cover by Takahashi but it gets a two.  Takahashi picks up Kojima but Kojima elbows him, but Takahashi elbows him to the mat.  Takahashi picks up Kojima and powerbombs him into the turnbuckle, Takahashi goes off the ropes but Kojima blocks the lariat.  Koji Cutter by Kojima and he hits a brainbuster, cover by Kojima but it gets a two count.  Kojima goes off the ropes and nails the lariat, cover by Kojima but Hall pulls the referee out of the ring and over the guard rail.  Again, that not being a DQ is really annoying me for some reason.  Hall gets in the ring and punches Kojima around, but Kojima knocks Hall back out of the ring.  Irish whip by Kojima but Takahashi hits a low blow, Takahashi picks up Kojima and he hits the Miami Shine for the three count! Like I said, Kojima having the win but Hall pulling the referee out with no repercussions is stupid; I know New Japan has pretty lax rules outside the ring but no reason that shouldn’t be a DQ. Besides that, the match had shaky transitions as both wrestlers tend to do, but the offensive itself was better than I was expecting. But the non-DQ thing just left a bad taste in my mouth.

Karl Anderson vs. Yuji Nagata
They begin the match trading wristlocks, Nagata gets a cross armbreaker applied but Anderson immediately gets a foot on the ropes.  Anderson throws Nagata out of the ring but Nagata rolls back in when Anderson goes after him.  Nagata stomps Anderson as he returns but Anderson begins working on Nagata’s ribs.  Nagata rolls out of the ring to regroup but Anderson goes after him and throws Nagata into the railing.  Back in, Anderson stomps on Nagata, elbows by Anderson and he covers Nagata for two.  Neckbreaker by Anderson and he hits a scissors kick, scoop slam by Anderson and he goes up top, but Nagata recovers and joins him.  Avalanche exploder by Nagata, cover, but it gets a two count.  Nagata goes for a backdrop suplex but Anderson elbows out of it and they trade shots.  Anderson gets Nagata on his shoulders but Nagata slides away and applies a seated armbar.  Elbows by Nagata but Anderson hits a spinebuster, he goes for the Gun Stun but Nagata blocks it.  Heel kick to the back by Nagata and he hits the jumping kick.  Nagata goes for a backdrop suplex but Anderson reverses it into a Gun Stun and picks up the three count!  This was difficult to get into but it wasn’t bad.  I have issues connecting with Anderson, I am not really sure why but I have trouble getting into his matches for the most part.  Nagata was Nagata, nothing really surprising happened, it was just a normal midcard match. Perfectly watchable but perfectly skippable.

Michael Elgin vs. Tomoaki Honma
Elgin tosses Honma down as soon as the bell rings, he throws Honma into the corner but Honma elbows him. Honma tries shoulderblocks with no luck, he goes for a scoop slam but Elgin reverses it.  Honma avoids Elgin’s elbow drop before hitting his own scoop slam, but Elgin rolls out of the way of the Kokeshi.  Deadlift delayed vertical suplex by Elgin, he picks up Honma and hits hard elbow.  Elgin picks up Honma again and hits a hard chop, Elgin picks up Honma and rams him into both turnbuckles before throwing him to the mat.  Cover by Elgin, but Honma kicks out.  Honma hits a few chops, he ducks the roaring elbow and he plants Elgin with a DDT.  The Kokeshi misses again however, but Honma is able to hit a vertical suplex.  Honma hits a jumping elbow in the corner followed by the face crusher before finally hitting the Kokeshi.  Neckbreaker by Honma, and he covers Elgin for a two count.  Honma picks up Elgin, Elgin gets away and kicks Honma, but Honma ducks the lariat.  Big boot by Elgin, Honma rolls out to the apron but Elgin gets on the second turnbuckle and brings him back in with an avalanche Falcon Arrow.  Cover by Elgin, but Honma gets a shoulder up.  Elgin picks up Honma but Honma punches out of the powerbomb, but it doesn’t matter since Elgin hits him back to the mat.  Elgin powerbombs Honma into the turnbuckles but Honma fires back with a Kokeshi Rocket.  Kokeshi Rocket to the back by Elgin, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Elgin avoids the diving Kokeshi.  Elgin and Honma trade elbows on their knees, then they trade lariats once they get back up until Elgin floors Honma with one.  Elgin picks up Honma, headbutt by Honma but Elgin catches him when he goes for a Kokeshi Rocket and hits a release German suplex.  Elgin powerbombs Honma into the turnbuckles, he then quickly hits the Elgin Bomb and he picks up the three count!  This was actually good, by keeping it relatively short they were able to stay focused.  The crowd loves them some Honma, no doubt about that, and Elgin is keeping it simple for the better.  Not earth shattering but good drama and solid action from start to finish.  Mildly Recommended

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Nakamura gets the first real offensive of the match as he knees Ishii to the mat, kicks to the chest by Nakamura but Ishii returns to his feet and elbows Nakamura in the leg. Side headlock by Ishii but Nakamura Irish whips out of it, shoulderblock by Ishii and he hits a headbutt. Chops by Ishii and he headbutts Nakamura against the ropes. Ishii chops down Nakamura in the corner but Nakamura gets back up and elbows Nakamura but Ishii elbows Nakamura to the mat. Nakamura returns to his feet and they trade slaps, Nakamura elbows Ishii into the corner but Ishii headbutts him. Irish whip by Ishii but Nakamura plants him with a heel kick. Nakamura kicks Ishii into the corner and he charges Ishii, but Ishii hits an elbow. Jumping kick by Nakamura, cover, but Ishii kicks out at two. Nakamura goes for the inverted powerslam but Ishii blocks it, Nakamura goes off the ropes but Ishii drops him with a regular powerslam. Ishii chops Nakamura into the corner, Irish whip by Ishii and he hits a lariat. Vertical suplex by Ishii, he picks up Nakamura but Nakamura hits a back bodydrop. Back up they trade elbows but Nakamura knees Ishii when he charges in and knees him in the ribs in the corner for a two count cover. Nakamura knees Ishii some more and he hits a front suplex. Nakamura charges Ishii but Ishii moves and he hits an inverted powerslam.

Ishii picks up Nakamura and drops him with a powerbomb, but Nakamura kicks out at two. Ishii puts Nakamura on the top turnbuckle and he brings him back down with a superplex, cover by Ishii but Nakamura gets a shoulder up. Ishii goes off the ropes but Nakamura knees him and hits a scissors kick. Ishii and Nakamura trade elbows, Nakamura wins the duel and he hits an inverted powerslam of his own. Sliding Boma Ye by Nakamura, but Ishii barely kicks out in time. Nakamura goes for another one but Ishii blocks it and hits a heel kick. Lariat by Ishii, cover, but it gets a two count. Ishii picks up Nakamura and hits a sliding lariat, he covers Nakamura but it gets another two. Ishii picks up Nakamura, Nakamura slides away however and kicks Ishii in the head before hitting a Boma Ye to the back of Ishii's head. Nakamura gets on the second turnbuckle and delivers the jumping Boma Ye, cover by Nakamura but Ishii gets a shoulder up. Nakamura goes for another one, Ishii blocks it and hits a heel kick but Nakamura catches him arm with a cross armbreaker when Ishii goes for a lariat. Ishii shakes Nakamura off and hits a dropkick, headbutt by Ishii but Nakamura picks him up and hits the Landslide. Standing Boma Ye by Nakamura, and he picks up the three count! I enjoyed this one even if it wasn't awe-inspiring. It was simply laid out but not in a bad way, both had their way of winning and stuck to the game plan so they was no real wasting time with meaningless holds. Nakamura's arm is legitimately hurt, the only way it hindered the match is Ishii couldn't target it when common sense says in a wrestling match you'd go after an injured limb. But since he really is injured there wasn't much he could do. Physical and logical, although not a must-see match. Mildly Recommended

Hirooki Goto vs. Kazuchika Okada
They circle each other to start, wristlock by Goto but Okada trips him and they go to the mat. Back up, Goto hits a shoulderblock followed by an elbow drop before dropping Okada with a neckbreaker for a two count cover. Goto elbows Okada in the top of the head and applies a headscissors, but Okada gets a foot on the ropes. Okada and Goto take it outside the ring, Goto throws Okada into the guard rail but Okada moves when he charges in, causing Goto to go over the railing. Okada then gets a running start and dives over the guard rail with a crossbody onto Okada. Okada drags Goto's feet over the railing and plants him with a DDT onto the floor. Okada returns to the ring with Goto slowly following, with Okada immediately hitting a sliding kick. Cover by Okada but Goto kicks out at two. Okada applies a cross-arm submission but Goto gets a foot on the bottom rope. Okada picks up Goto and hits a neckbreaker, Irish whip by Okada to the corner but Goto moves when he charges in. Goto catches Okada's kick and lariats him to the mat, Goto waits for Okada to get up and kicks him in the chest. Irish whip by Goto to the corner and he hits a jumping heel kick followed by a bulldog. Backdrop suplex by Goto but Okada comes back with the flapjack.

Elbow by Okada in the corner and he delivers a DDT, running uppercut by Okada and he covers Goto for a two count. Okada picks up Goto, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but jumps off when Goto charges in. Lariat by Goto, he picks up Okada but Okada sneaks in a pin for two. Another quick cover by Okada has no luck, he rolls up Goto and he drops him with a reverse neckbreaker. Okada goes for the tombstone piledriver but Goto gets out of it. Dropkick by Okada, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and he hits a diving elbow drop. Okada goes for the Rainmaker but Goto blocks it and hits the Ushigoroshi. Okada picks up Goto and delivers the Ura Shouten, cover by Goto but it gets a two count. Goto picks up Okada but Okada knees him, lariat by Goto in the corner and he puts Okada on the top turnbuckle. Goto puts Okada on his shoulders but Okada elbows out of it and hits a German suplex. Okada goes for the Rainmaker but Goto headbutts him, Goto goes for the Shouten Kai but Okada slides out of it. Okada goes for a lariat but Goto blocks it, headbutts by Goto and he nails the Shouten Kai for the three count! Another good match, these two have good chemistry together. For a match that wasn't really long it probably had a bit too much mat work/submissions but once it got going it delivered. Since they are so familiar with each other the reversals were smooth and I really enjoyed the Rainmaker reversal. It is not a top-end match, but still entertaining. Recommended

Final Thoughts:

Block B is the weaker block overall so the first few matches when it is their turn tend to not be very good. Elgin is probably the biggest surprise in the tournament as he has looked really solid, even if the Honma underdog role is starting to get a bit old to me (the crowd loves it though). The last two matches are both entertaining but neither are must-see matches that someone really needs to go out of their way to see. A somewhat decent show overall that at least was pro-shot, and I am glad Nakamura isn't too injured as otherwise these Block B days would have really dragged.

Grade: C+

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event reviewed on 8/7/15