New Japan "G1 Climax 25" Day 9
A Review by Kevin Wilson

Date: August 2nd, 2015
Location: Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium
Announced Attendance: 6,500 (Super No Vacancy)

Another day, another G1 Climax show. I am actually dreading this one a bit , as while Block A has five wrestlers I think are great, none here are paired against each other. So basically it is a contest to see what great wrestler can pull the best match out of a wrestler on the bottom half. Let's see who wins!

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

Onto the tournament.

Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Kota Ibushi
After trading wristlocks, Ibushi goes for shoulderblocks but Tenzan shoulderblocks him down. Mongolian Chops by Tenzan as Ibushi bumps in amusing ways for it, and Tenzan chops Ibushi in the throat. Tenzan goes off the ropes but Ibushi dropkicks him and Tenzan falls out of the ring., Ibushi goes for the triangle moonsault but Tenzan moves and Ibushi crashes to the floor. Tenzan throws Ibushi into the guardrail before returning to the ring, with Ibushi following slowly behind. Tenzan stomps on Ibushi as he rolls in and he applies a reverse chinlock. Back up, Tenzan headbutts Ibushi and he delivers a heel kick. Tenzan picks up Ibushi but Ibushi blocks the suplex and hits a vertical suplex of his own. Ibushi goes out to the apron and hits a swandive missile dropkick, kick combination by Ibushi and he kicks Tenzan in the chest to knock him to the mat. Ibushi kicks Tenzan into the corner, Irish whip, reversed, but Ibushi kicks Tenzan back. Lariat by Tenzan and he hits a vertical suplex, cover by the veteran but it gets two. Back on their feet, elbows and lariat attempts by Ibushi but Tenzan levels Ibushi with a lariat of his own. Tenzan goes for a falling headbutt but Ibushi moves out of the way, he goes for a standing moonsault but Tenzan gets his knees up. Ibushi fights back and they trade elbows then headbutts, Mongolian Chops by Tenzan but Ibushi chops him back. Mountain Bomb by Tenzan and he covers Ibushi for a two count. Tenzan applies the Anaconda Vice but Ibushi flips out of it when he goes for the Anaconda Buster. Standing corkscrew moonsault by Ibushi, but it gets two. Ibushi picks up Tenzan but Tenzan reverses the powerbomb attempt with a back bodydrop. High kick by Ibushi, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and he nails the Phoenix Splash, picking up the three count! This was very watchable but non-spectacular. The ending was quite sudden, Ibushi hadn't done a ton to weaken Tenzan but still hit the Phoenix Splash without any issues. Not a long match so Tenzan's control section was short enough that he didn't slow the match down and Ibushi kept things interesting. Not a bad way to kick off the tournament matches. Mildly Recommended

Bad Luck Fale vs. Katsuyori Shibata
Shibata tries the Inoki strategy but crab walking to start but Fale doesn't fall for it, Shibata pushes Fale into the ropes but Fale switches spots with him and chops Shibata in the chest. Fale knocks Shibata out of the ring but Shibata returns after a moment, single leg takedown by Shibata and he applies a figure four leglock. Fale quickly gets to the ropes, Shibata elbows him into the corner but Fale pops up and shoulderblocks Shibata to the mat. Shibata rolls out to the apron but Fale hits a body avalanche, knocking Shibata off the apron and into the railing. Fale exits the ring and stomp on Shibata. Fale throws Shibata into the guard rail and drops him chest-first onto the railing. Fale gets back in the ring and Shibata barely makes the 20 count, Fale picks up Shibata and he elbows him to the mat. Shibata fights back with elbows but Fale scoop slams him. Fale goes for a bodypress but Shibata moves out of the way, Fale crawls to the corner and Shibata dropkicks him in the head. Shibata goes off the ropes, Fale picks him up on his shoulders but Shibata slides off and applies a sleeper. Fale drives Shibata into the corner to get him off, Shibata kicks Fale in the back of the head and gets the sleeper applied again, but again Fale backs into the corner to shake him off. Lariat by Fale, he goes for the Bad Luck Fall but Shibata reverses it in mid-air into a sleeper! Fale can't get Shibata off this time, Shibata releases the hold to hit the PK and he picks up the three count! I loved the ending but that was about it. The match was short and had a decent amount of 'not much' happening, although I don't think I've ever seen a match start off with a figure four leglock before. A pretty skippable match but with a nifty ending.

AJ Styles vs. Doc Gallows
Gallows throws Styles to the mat after they tie-up, Styles gets Gallows's waist but Gallows elbows him off. Styles pushes Gallows into the ropes but Gallows kicks him off, Styles goes for a drop toehold but Gallows blocks it and Styles rolls out of the ring to re-group. Gallows goes out after him but Styles returns to the ring and stomps Gallows when he comes under the ropes. Enzuigiri by Styles and he plants Gallows with a dropkick, sending him out of the ring. Gallows regains the advantage on the floor, Styles goes for a jumping elbow but Gallows catches him and slams Styles onto the ring apron. Gallows throws Styles into the guard rail, he gets back in the ring and Styles makes it in before the count. Gallows throws Styles into the turnbuckle hard a few times, Gallows picks up Styles and he headbutts him, elbow drops by Gallows and he covers Styles for two. Gallows applies a reverse chinlock but Styles elbows out of it, Styles goes off the ropes but Gallows catches him with an elbow. Stomp by Gallows and he hits a leg drop, Gallows picks up Styles in the corner and punches him back down. Irish whip by Gallows but Styles moves when he charges in and hits a chop block. Elbows by Styles and he kicks Gallows in the leg, he goes off the ropes and he hits a jumping lariat. Gallows kicks Styles out to the apron but Styles hits a swandive superman punch. Punches by Gallows but Styles hits him back, Styles goes for a Styles Clash but Gallows back bodydrops out of it. Gallows charges Styles but Styles kicks him back, he gets on the second turnbuckle but Gallows grabs him and slams Styles to the mat for a two count cover. Gallows picks up Styles and puts him on the top turnbuckle, he joins him but Styles knocks him off. Styles quickly applies the Calf Killer but Gallows is too close to the ropes and gets the break. Styles goes for a tornado DDT but Gallows blocks it and hits a Jackhammer for a two. Styles kicks Gallows in the leg and then in the head, Pele Kick by Styles and he plants Gallows with the Bloody Sunday for the three count! Like the last match, this one ended a bit suddenly as most of Styles's work had been on Gallows's leg which wouldn't really make the Bloody Sunday any more painful. Gallows' offense isn't terribly interesting but Styles played a good undersized wrestler role and the dynamic worked well. A decent but forgettable match.

Tetsuya Naito vs. Togi Makabe
Naito takes forever removing his shirt, Makabe gets tired of waiting and charges him with elbows. Naito pulls down the rope to dump Makabe out of the ring, and he throws Makabe into the guard rail. Naito returns to the ring so he can finish disrobing, Makabe gets on the apron but Naito elbows him back down to the floor. He does it a second time, he goes to do a dive but lays down on the mat instead. Naito kicks Makabe to stop him from getting into the ring, Naito goes out after Makabe but Makabe throws Naito into the railing. After more stalling the action finally returns to the ring, as Naito puts Makabe in a chinlock. Irish whip by Naito and he hits a hard elbow followed by a dropkick. Naito throws down the referee for fun and then puts Makabe in a headscissors, he releases the hold after a moment and stomps on Makabe repeatedly while he is on the mat. Makabe gets up and levels Naito with a big lariat, Makabe throws Naito in the corner and hits another lariat followed by mounted punches. Northern Lights Suplex by Makabe, but it only gets a two count. Waistlock by Makabe but Naito blocks the suplex, Makabe goes off the ropes but Naito hits a neckbreaker. Naito goes up top and hits a missile dropkick, Naito trips Makabe in the corner and he hits the slingshot dropkick. Naito goes off the ropes but Makabe catches him with a powerslam, Makabe picks up Naito but Naito connects with the rolling kick.

Naito puts Makabe on the top turnbuckle and joins him, hitting the Frankensteiner. German suplex hold by Naito, but it only gets a two. Hard elbow by Makabe, he then hits a powerbomb but the cover gets a two count. Makabe picks up Naito and hits a rotating Samoan Drop, he goes for the King Kong Kneedrop but Naito rolls out of the way. Both wrestlers slowly get up and trade elbows, Makabe clubs Naito to the mat and then lariats him in the back of the head. Makabe goes off the ropes but Naito quickly rolls him up for a two count. Another quick cover by Naito has no luck, enzuigiri by Naito but Makabe flips him with a lariat. Makabe picks up Naito and hits a German suplex hold, but Naito kicks out at two. Lariat by Makabe in the corner, he puts Naito on the top turnbuckle and drops him with the Spider German. We also can see now that Naito apparently busted himself open, while Makabe quickly jumps off the top turnbuckle with the King Kong Kneedrop, picking up the three count! This one started way too slow to get excited about, but once it got cooking it was a fun match. I just wish I could cut out the first five minutes, this one would really benefit from a good clipping. The offense was just plodding until Naito started trying and it stayed entertaining up to the end, including Naito deciding to bust himself open on the ring post just for extra drama. I like Naito's new character, I just hope he remembers to also put on entertaining matches in the process. Mildly Recommended

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Toru Yano
A Yano match in the main event, so exited. They start with some Yano shtick, reverse crossbody by Tanahashi but Yano rolls through it for two. Tanahashi throws Yano over the top rope, Yano tries to skin the cat but he can't, leading to Tanahashi dropkicking him out of the ring. Tanahashi goes out after him but Yano rakes his eyes and catapults Tanahashi into the railing. Tanahashi elbows Yano while he is against the post, he gets a running start but Yano moves, sending Tanahashi painfully chest-first into the ring post. Yano gets in the ring to remove at turnbuckle pad while Tanahashi is hurt outside the ring, Tanahashi slides back in and Yano stomps on him. Yano throws Tanahashi into the exposed corner, Tanahashi chops him but Yano throws Tanahashi down by his hair. Yano slams Tanahashi into the exposed corner a few more times and rakes his face before throwing him into the corner again. Tanahashi fights back but Yano rakes his eyes, Tanahashi tries to throw Yano into the corner but Yano slams on the breaks. Yano ends up in the exposed corner anyway and Tanahashi hits a jumping elbow followed by a somersault senton for a two count. Irish whip by Tanahashi, reversed, but Tanahashi dropkicks Yano in the knee. Yano falls out of the ring, Tanahashi goes up to the top turnbuckle but Yano crawls under the ring to get away from Tanahashi. Yano emerges on the other side but Tanahashi sees him and hits a baseball slide. Pescado by Tanahashi and they both make it back into the ring before the referee's count.

Scoop slam by Tanahashi, he gets on the second turnbuckle but Yano avoids the somersault senton. Tanahashi charges Yano but Yano drop toeholds him into the exposed corner before sneaking in a school boy for two. Tanahashi goes into the exposed corner again (at least Yano stays focused) and he hits the powerbomb for a two count. Tanahashi slides away from Yano but Yano hits a low blow and applies a backslide for two. Elbows by Tanahashi but Yano blocks the German suplex, so Tanahashi hits the Twelve Six instead. Tanahashi goes up top but Yano pushes the referee into the ropes to knock Tanahashi back down to the mat. Yano goes off the ropes but Tanahashi hits an atomic drop, Yano returns the favor and both wrestlers hold their groins. Yano tries to throw Tanahashi out of the ring but Tanahashi skins the cat and hits the Sling Blade. Tanahashi goes up top but Yano avoids the High Fly Flow. Yano gets a chair, the referee grabs it and Tanahashi hits a dragon screw on Yano which also sends the referee flying. Yano gets the chair and tries to powerbomb Tanahashi onto it, but Tanahashi blocks it and hits a cyclone neckbreaker. Tanahashi goes off the ropes and hits a Sling Blade onto the chair, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and he nails the High Fly Flow, picking up the three count victory! Before I get hate mail from Yano fans - I like Yano. I think he is funny and comedy definitely has a place in wrestling. That being said, in longer matches his comedy just gets to be a little too much. There is only so much I can accept a referee missing things, them somehow always ending up in the exposed corner, etc. I liked the match but it is nothing we haven't seen before, even though Tanahashi's crossbody into the post looked beyond painful. Just a 'fun' match but not really worthy of the main event spot. Mildly Recommended

Final Thoughts:

As I feared when I saw the card, this event had a real uphill battle to put on a 'great' match as the pairings left a lot to be desired. So what we ended up getting was a lot of decent matches but nothing beyond that. Which is fine in a way, nothing was bad so for a casual watch there is nothing wrong with an event like this. They all can't be epic. But in the grand scheme of things this is an event that can be skipped as there will be many other G1 Climax events with at least one match that is better than any match on this card. So probably more for completists than anything else, although New Japan fans probably will enjoy it.

Grade: C-

Back to New Japan Reviews

event reviewed on 8/9/15