A Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: August 8th, 2015
Location: Yokohama Bunka Gymnasium
Announced Attendance: 4,868 (Super No Vacancy)
The good news is plentiful on this event. First of all, it is the Block I prefer anyway. Then it is professionally shot so we can actually see everything that happens. And finally, the main event has the potential to be one of the best matches of the year. Here is the full G1 Climax match line-up:
- Block A: Bad Luck Fale vs. Kota Ibushi
- Block A: Tetsuya Naito vs. Toru Yano
- Block A: AJ Styles vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan
- Block A: Doc Gallows vs. Togi Makabe
- Block A: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Bad Luck Fale vs. Kota Ibushi
Fale punches around Ibushi to start but Ibushi kicks Fale out of the ring. Ibushi goes for the Triangle Moonsault but Fale pulls Ibushi out of the ring before he can jump out of the ring. Fale throws Ibushi out of the ring and into the crowd before returning to the ring, Ibushi slowly follows and Fale stomps on him. Fale clubs on Ibushi and applies a cross-arm submission, cover by Fale but it gets a two count. Fale throws Ibushi back out of the ring and punches him on the floor, he goes for a powerbomb but Ibushi punches out of it. Ibushi hits a quick Asai Moonsault off the ropes, he slides Fale back into the ring and hits a swandive missile dropkick. Kick combination by Ibushi but Fale hits a Samoan Drop. Fale charges Ibushi in the corner and hits a body avalanche, body press by Fale and he gets a two count. Fale goes for the Grenade but Ibushi reverses it with a hurricanrana for a two count. Lariat by Fale and his time he hits the Grenade for two. Fale drags Ibushi to his feet and goes for the Bad Luck Fall, Ibushi tries to reverse it with a hurricanrana but Fale gets him back into position and nails the move for the three count! This was short and not bad, the important thing with Fale matches is to keep them to the point. He showed some good strength at the end and Ibushi showed spunk before going down. A decent way to start off the show.
Tetsuya Naito vs. Toru Yano
Yano puts his robe back on so both he and Naito can very slowly disrobe together, but Yano attacks Naito and chokes Naito with his robe. Naito hits a back elbow and dropkicks Yano out of the ring so he can finally get his shirt and pants off. Naito poses in the ring, Yano then poses on the apron but Naito dropkicks him out of the ring again. Naito slides out of the ring and clubs on Yano but Yano throws Naito into the guard rail. Naito returns the favor and throws Yano back into the ring, neckbreaker by Naito and he gets a two count. Naito rakes Yano’s eyes and throws the referee down, Irish whip by Naito but Yano takes off the turnbuckle pad. Naito runs into the exposed corner but Naito rakes his eyes again. Yano drop toeholds Naito into the exposed corner and he rolls up Naito for a two count. Enzuigiri by Naito and he trips Yano in the corner before hitting the slingshot dropkick. Naito goes off the ropes but Yano hits an atomic drop. Yano catapults Naito into the exposed corner, Yano goes for a powerbomb but Naito slides away. Atomic drop by Naito, Naito kicks Yano low and he nails the Destino for the three count! There wasn’t a hell of a lot to this one, there was almost literally no real offense in the entire match. A little outside of the ring action, a few low blows, and it was over. Their two respective gimmicks just led to something a bit too inactive for my personal tastes.
AJ Styles vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan
They begin things with a tie-up, shoulderblock by Tenzan and he hits Mongolian Chops before throwing Styles out of the ring. Styles throws Tenzan into the guard rail but Tenzan does the same to him as well, Tenzan gets in the ring and he drops Styles with a heel kick. Tenzan stomps on Styles and headbutts him into the corner, but Styles kicks Tenzan in the leg. Styles beats on the referee just for fun and then starts working on Tenzan’s leg. Back up they trade strikes, Styles applies the Calf Killer but Tenzan quickly gets to the ropes. Styles applies a figure four but Tenzan gets to the ropes again, Irish whip by Styles but Tenzan collapses. Mongolian Chops by Styles but Tenzan headbutts him, lariat by Tenzan and he hits a vertical suplex. Styles drops Tenzan with a jumping kick and he hits a jumping elbow for a two count. Styles grabs Tenzan but Tenzan hits a back bodydrop, Mountain Bomb by Tenzan and he covers Styles for two. Headbutt by Tenzan and he applies the Anaconda Vice, but Styles gets a foot on the ropes. Dropkick by Styles and he hits a scoop slam, Styles goes out to the apron but Tenzan headbutts him as he swandives off the ropes. Tenzan goes up to the top turnbuckle but Styles hits him from behind in the knee. Backdrop suplex by Styles, Styles goes for a quebrada but Tenzan gets his knees up. Anaconda Vice by Tenzan and he pushes Styles into the corner, but Styles rolls out of it and applies the Calf Killer. They are in the middle of the ring and Tenzan has to tap out! This match was good but never really went beyond that. Styles’ focus on the leg was well done but Tenzan is just slowing down a bit as the G1 Climax progresses so he didn’t really carrying his own weight. A perfectly acceptable match with a solid story, but that’s about it. Mildly Recommended
Doc Gallows vs. Togi Makabe
Makabe punches Gallows into the corner but Gallows punches him back as the bell rings and hits a body avalanche in the corner. Gallows and Makabe trade shoulderblock attempts until Makabe knocks Gallows out of the ring. Makabe goes out after him and throws Gallows into the guardrail. Back in the ring Gallows shoulderblocks Makabe down, Makabe rolls out to the apron but Gallows superkicks him down to the floor. Gallows chokes Makabe with a chain and hits him in the head with it. Gallows throws Makabe into the guardrail and he chokes Makabe with the chain again. They finally get back in the ring after more ringside assaulting and Gallows punches Makabe in the head. Leg drop by Gallows and he covers Makabe for two. Chinlock by Gallows and he kicks Makabe in the head. Another kick to the head by Gallows and they trade lariat attempts, until Makabe lariats Gallows off his feet. More lariats by Makabe in the corner and he hits mounted punches in the corner. Even more lariats by Makabe but Gallows kicks Makabe while he is on the top turnbuckle. Another kick by Gallows and he covers Makabe for a two count. Makabe and Gallows trade punches, Gallows Pole by Gallows but Makabe barely gets a shoulder up. He goes for it again but Makabe gets out of it and hits a lariat. Samoan Drop by Makabe, he goes up top and he nails the King Kong Kneedrop for the three count! This was pretty much your standard average mid-card brawl. They fought outside the ring, threw a couple lariats, and Makabe wins after hitting a few power moves in a row. It was too short to get boring or anything like that, it just wasn’t particularly exciting or unique either.
Katsuyori Shibata vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
They trade holds to start, Shibata goes for a kick but Tanahashi moves out of the way. They go back to the mat as Shibata stretches Tanahashi, but Tanahashi applies a bow and arrow. Shibata applies a stretch hold and then applies a figure four leglock, but Tanahashi makes it to the ropes. Back up they trade elbows until Tanahashi dropkicks Shibata in the knee. Dragon screw leg whip by Tanahashi and Shibata rolls out of the ring. Tanahashi goes out after him and elbows Shibata some more before dropkicking Shibata against the railing. Tanahashi slides Shibata back in the ring and knocks him into the corner, but Shibata returns fire and they trade shots. Tanahashi goes for a dropkick but Shibata moves and stomps on Tanahashi’s face. Uppercut by Shibata and he dropkicks Tanahashi in the corner, suplex by Shibata and he applies a chinlock. Octopus Hold by Shibata but Tanahashi gets out of it and slaps Shibata. Shibata and Tanahashi trade elbows and uppercuts, and Shibata hits a hard knee. He goes for the PK but Tanahashi catches his leg and snaps it. Tanahashi elbows Shibata in the leg and applies a Texas Cloverleaf, he picks up Shibata and he hits the Twelve Six. Tanahashi jumps up to the top turnbuckle but Shibata kicks him before he can jump off. Shibata joins Tanahashi up top and they trade elbows, Shibata falls off and he kicks Tanahashi again. Shibata goes off the ropes but Tanahashi hits a Sling Blade, and both wrestlers are down. Tanahashi picks up Shibata but Shibata hits a death valley bomb. Shibata goes for the G2S but Tanahashi blocks it and hits a cyclone neckbreaker. Diving crossbody by Tanahashi and he goes for the High Fly Flow, but Shibata gets his knees up and applies a sleeper. Tanahashi elbows out of it but Shibata hits a jumping kick for a two count. Shibata goes for a PK but Tanahashi ducks it and applies Japanese Leg Clutch Hold for a two count. Shibata goes for a sleeper but Tanahashi rolls through it and pins down Shibata’s shoulders for the three count! This was a quality match as they have great chemistry, but it wasn’t exactly the epic that I was hoping for. It started pretty slow and the end was a bit botched (even though they worked through it since they are pros), so it had its flaws. The middle portion was solid though and very smooth, and Tanahashi focusing on the leg went well. A really good main event, hopefully they have another singles match soon. Recommended
The primary positive about this event is there wasn’t anything actively bad on the show. The Makabe/Gallows brawl was by the numbers and Naito/Yano was too gimmick vs. gimmick, but everything was watchable. The main event was particularly entertaining, and even though it was not as good as I was hoping it still is worth seeing for sure. Plus the show was pro-shot which is always appreciated. Overall a solid event but nothing that really blew me away.
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event reviewed on 8/22/15