New Japan "G1 Climax 25" Day 11
A Review by Kevin Wilson

Date: August 5th, 2015
Location: Iwate Industrial Bunka Center Apio
Announced Attendance: 2,396 (No Vacancy)

Are we halfway done yet? I think we are halfway done. I'm way past having anything witty to say in these intros, but these pairings are not filling me with hope until the main event which sounds great. But this is a hard cam show which as you know I am not a big fan of. Buy an extra camera New Japan, you can afford it. Here are the G1 Climax matches on the show:

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

Let's hop to it.

Bad Luck Fale vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Fale and Tenzan tie-up, punches by Tenzan and he hits Mongolian Chops. Tenzan lariats Fale out of the ring and goes out after him but Fale gains the advantage out on the floor. They return after a moment as Fale punches on Tenzan, one foot cover by Fale but it gets two. Fale applies a neck nerve hold, they get back up and Tenzan chops Fale in the chest. Fale slams Tenzan to the mat but Tenzan avoids the body press attempt and dropkicks Fale. Tenzan lariats Fale in the corner and hits a headbutt, Mongolian Chops by Tenzan and he goes for a suplex, but Fale blocks it. Lariat by Tenzan and he hits a falling headbutt, cover by Tenzan but it gets a two count. Tenzan goes up top but Tonga punches him from the apron while the referee isn't paying attention. Running body press by Fale to Tenzan, but the cover only gets two. Fale grabs Tenzan but Tenzan headbutts him, more chops by Tenzan but Fale hits a big boot. Heel kick by Tenzan and he goes for the Anaconda Vice, but Tonga gets on the apron to distract him. Tenzan knocks Tonga off the apron and then applies the Anaconda Vice to Fale, but Fale gets out of it. Body avalanche by Fale and he hits a lariat. Fale goes up top and he nails the Flying Coconut, and he picks up the three count! Fale isn't very good. It takes him so long to get to the top turnbuckle that poor Tenzan has to sell a lariat for 20 seconds which doesn't make him look very strong. It was just a plodding match, since neither fight with a lot of urgency. Short and with limited redeemable qualities.

Katsuyori Shibata vs. Toru Yano
Shibata immediately attacks Yano in the corner, elbows by Shibata and he hits the running dropkick. Kicks by Shibata but Yano rolls him up for a two count. Shibata goes for a PK but Yano ducks it, quick cover by Yano but it gets two. Yano bails out to the apron but Shibata boots him to the floor. Shibata goes out after him but Yano throws Shibata into the guard rail. Yano returns to the ring with Shibata making the count in time, Yano throws Shibata into an exposed corner and Shibata collapses to the mat. Yano tries it again but Shibata slams on the breaks, elbows by Shibata but Yano throws Shibata into the exposed corner anyway. Elbows by Yano but Shibata elbows him back and applies the sleeper. Yano gets to the ropes to force a break, Shibata goes like he is going to do a PK but applies a cross armbreaker instead. Yano rolls up Shibata just as the armbreaker is applied and he picks up the three count! Yano needs to occasionally win matches like this to make his gimmick work, so I have no issue with it. That being said it was still a four minute match so it isn't something I could really recommend even though I thought it worked fine.

Doc Gallows vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Tanahashi gets Gallows in the corner to start but Gallows kicks him away. Tanahashi gets in the corner and jumps off when Gallows charges in, headlock by Tanahashi and he takes Gallows to the mat. Gallows gets back up, he catches Tanahashi and puts him on the top turnbuckle. Gallows joins him but Tanahashi elbows him off. Big boot by Gallows, and Tanahashi topples out of the ring to the floor. Gallows goes after him and he throws Tanahashi into the guard rail before he returns to the ring. Tanahashi gets back in too and Gallows chokes Tanahashi with his knee. Gallows punches Tanahashi in the corner, Irish whip by Gallows and Tanahashi collapses when he hits the turnbuckle. Tanahashi goes for a sunset flip but Gallows blocks it and punches Tanahashi in the head. Gallows hits a leg drop, cover by Gallows but it gets two. Gallows boots Tanahashi and punches him back to the mat before hitting an elbow drop. Gallows gets on the second turnbuckle but he kinda falls off as Tanahashi moves out of the way. Gallows boots Tanahashi in the corner but Tanahashi hits a dragon screw leg whip.

Elbows by Tanahashi and he dropkicks Gallows in the knee, he goes off the ropes and Tanahashi hits a jawbreaker. Gallows goes to throw Tanahashi out of the ring but Tanahashi skins the cat. Jumping elbow by Tanahashi and he hits an elbow drop. Senton by Tanahashi and a cover, but he gets two. Tanahashi gets up on the top turnbuckle but Gallows catches him when he jumps off and hits a chokeslam. Gallows picks up Tanahashi but Tanahashi gets out of the suplex attempt, high kick by Gallows and he slams Tanahashi to the mat for a two count. Gallows picks up Tanahashi but Tanahashi blocks the chokebomb and hits a DDT. Tanahashi goes off the ropes and he hits a Sling Blade. Tanahashi goes up top but Gallows gets his knees up when he goes for a High Fly Flow. Gallows charges Tanahashi but Tanahashi kicks him back. Big boot by Gallows and he delivers a Jackhammer for a two count cover. Gallows picks up Tanahashi but Tanahashi gets on his shoulders and applies a front cradle for the three count! This was a decent big man vs. little man match (I know Tanahashi isn't little but that is how they played it), mostly hurt by the poor camera view since nothing looked painful. Some of it wasn't smooth but they kept it interesting as I wasn't bored at any point during the match. Solid but nothing more than that. Mildly Recommended

AJ Styles vs. Togi Makabe
Styles pushes Makabe in the corner and hits an elbow, but Makabe elbows him back. Shoulderblock by Makabe but Styles snaps off a dropkick and poses to the crowd. Back bodydrop by Makabe but Styles dumps Makabe out of the ring. Styles joins him but Makabe throws Styles to the railing. Styles jumps off the rail and tries to jump off of it, but Makabe pushes Styles to the floor. Makabe throws Styles over the other railing and then returns to the ring with Styles following behind. Styles hits a DDT out of the corner to regain control, elbows by Styles and he kicks Makabe in the back. Styles applies a chinlock and he hits a kneedrop, stomps by Styles and he stomps on Makabe when he tries to hulk up. Styles charges Makabe in the corner but Makabe moves and hits a backdrop suplex. Punches by Makabe and he hits a pair of lariats in the corner. Makabe goes for a suplex but Styles reverses it and suplexes Makabe into the turnbuckle. Styles gets on the top turnbuckle but Makabe blocks the tornado DDT and hits a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count.

Styles goes off the ropes but Makabe catches him with a lariat, but that gets a two as well. Styles hits a quick reverse DDT, he goes for a Styles Clash but Makabe blocks it and drives Styles into the corner. Powerslam by Makabe, he picks up Styles and puts him onto the top turnbuckle. Makabe joins Styles but Styles blocks the Spider German and knocks Makabe to the mat. Styles hits a swandive elbow smash, cover by Styles but it gets two. Strike combination by Styles but Makabe nails a lariat for a two count. Makabe goes up to the top turnbuckle but Styles moves out of the way of the King Kong Kneedrop. Styles goes for the Bloody Sunday but Makabe blocks it, Pele Kick by Styles and he delivers the Styles Clash for the three count! Styles managed to make a match with Makabe in it interesting, I am not sure how but here Makabe didn't do his usual spamming of moves. Granted it wasn't long but they stayed on point and it was a good back and forth match. It never really reached the next level as some of the transitions were shaky but it is the best match on the card so far. Mildly Recommended

Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito
Naito takes off his jacket really slowly and admittedly its hilarious as it annoys his opponents to no end. Ibushi gets tired of waiting and pushes him against the ropes but he gives a clean break. Naito gets Ibushi in the ropes and punches him to the mat, Irish whip by Naito and he bails out of the ring. Ibushi runs out and boots Naito as they fight near the crowd, but Naito rakes his eyes and throws Ibushi around. After a few they return to the ring, Naito drops Ibushi onto the apron and hits a hard elbow. Naito joins Ibushi on the apron, he elbows Ibushi in the leg and he hits a neckbreaker onto the apron which sends Ibushi to the floor. Ibushi eventually rolls back in but Naito hits an elbow followed by a dropkick. Stomps by Naito and he hits another neckbreaker, cover by Naito but Ibushi kicks out. Chinlock by Naito but Ibushi elbows out of it and stomp on Naito's chest when Naito goes for a sliding kick. Elbows by Ibushi and he kicks Naito in the chest for a two count cover. Ibushi picks up Naito but Naito elbows him off and hits a tornado DDT off the ropes. Naito goes up to the top turnbuckle and he hits a missile dropkick, Naito trips Ibushi in the corner and delivers the slingshot dropkick. Waistlock by Naito but Ibushi elbows out of it, Naito goes off the ropes but Ibushi snaps off a hurricanrana. Naito falls out of the ring, Ibushi charges the corner and he hits the triangle moonsault down to the floor.

Ibushi slides Naito back in and kicks him in the chest, but Naito hits an enzuigiri followed by a reverse STO. Pluma Blanca by Naito, but Ibushi gets a foot on the ropes to force a break. Naito puts Ibushi on the top turnbuckle and joins him, but Ibushi slides off and clubs Naito from behind. Ibushi then goes up top and applies a full nelson but Naito elbows out of it. Naito gets on the ropes and hits a really ugly and painful looking avalanche reverse hurricanrana, cover by Naito but Ibushi kicks out. That could have been the ending. Gloria by Naito, but that gets a two as well. Naito picks up Ibushi but Ibushi slides away and hits a release German suplex. Naito goes for a bodyscissors but Ibushi catches him and he drops Naito right on his head. Ibushi picks up Naito and delivers a sit-down powerbomb, but Naito kicks out of the cover. Ibushi goes up top but Naito rolls out of the way of the Phoenix Splash. Naito elbows Ibushi as they get back up but Ibushi elbows him back. Ibushi goes for a big punch, Naito ducks it and goes for a suplex but Ibushi lands on his feet. Overhead kick by Naito and he hits a dragon suplex hold for a two count. Naito picks up Ibushi and he nails the Destino, picking up the three count! I really enjoyed this one, it was a fun match from start to finish. I was never one of the Naito-haters in the first place but I have been enjoying his G1 Climax run a lot. He is stepping it up not just in the character department but in the wrestling department as well. Ibushi of course is great and he sells everything like death, if I was a wrestler planning new moves I'd demand my first opponent be Ibushi. Stiff action from both and very little downtime, they stayed focused throughout. Definitely worth checking out. Recommended

Final Thoughts:

It is not really surprising that the middle of the tournament can drag a bit. The first few days you have the excitement of the tournament and the wrestlers aren't banged up yet. At the end you have the excitement of seeing which wrestler will make the finals. The middle is really about just making the points work for the planned final and sometimes leads to the wrestlers going through the motions as they are getting sore but still have half a dozen matches left. Makabe/Styles was fine, and I really enjoyed the main event quite a bit. But beyond that this is a skippable event, really as long as you watch the main you have seen all that really needs to be seen. But they did deliver though and helped save this event from just being completely forgettable, even though I still hate the one hard cam and will continue to hate it forever.

Grade: C

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event reviewed on 8/17/15