New Japan "G1 Climax 25" Day 14
A Review by Kevin Wilson

Date: August 9th, 2015
Location: Tokyo Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 1,738 (Super No Vacancy Full House)

We have reached Day 14 of the longest wrestling tournament in the world. This one is also pro shot so we have that going for us anyway, here is the match line-up:

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

Let’s get rolling.

Karl Anderson vs. Michael Elgin
They waste time to start, shoulderblock by Elgin and he hits a scoop slam before slamming Anderson again to the mat. Elgin lariats Anderson in the corner and then hits a delayed vertical suplex. Elgin goes out to the apron and they trade elbows, Anderson slams Elgin into the turnbuckle and boots him out of the ring. Elgin gets back into the ring, mounted punches by Anderson but Elgin chops him back. Big boot by Anderson and he covers Elgin for a two count. Anderson applies a chinlock but Elgin drives him back into the corner. Sit-down powerbomb by Anderson, and he covers Elgin for a two count. Anderson goes up top but Elgin boots him as he jumps off. Elgin elbows Anderson in the corner, he puts Anderson on the top turnbuckle but Anderson knocks him back. Jumping Codebreaker by Elgin and Elgin hits a German suplex hold for a two count. Elgin chops Anderson but Anderson hits a boot followed by a neckbreaker. Anderson drops Elgin neck-first onto his knee but Elgin hits a hard elbow. Anderson and Elgin trade elbows, Anderson goes off the ropes but Elgin hits a lariat. Anderson rolls out to the apron, Elgin gets on the second turnbuckle and he hits a Falcon Arrow back into the ring. Cover by Elgin, but it gets a two count. Elgin picks up Anderson but Anderson hits a back bodydrop. Elgin elbows Anderson and then random Bullet Club people also, sunset flip by Elgin and he powerbombs Anderson over the top rope and onto random Bullet Club members. Back in the ring, Elgin gets on the top turnbuckle and hits a corkscrew senton for a two count cover. Elgin powerbombs Anderson into the turnbuckle but Anderson hits a jumping boot.  Elgin goes for another powerbomb but Anderson reverses it into a Gun Stun for the three count! This was fun and a good way to start off the G1 Climax. It won’t blow anyone away but it was well worked and the crowd was into it as they are digging Elgin more than I was expecting going into the tournament. Solid through and through even though it wasn’t overly memorable. Mildly Recommended

Satoshi Kojima vs. Yuji Nagata
They trade wristlocks to begin and they go to the mat, but Kojima gets into the ropes and they return to their feet. Nagata and Kojima trade strikes, Nagata dropkicks Kojima in the knee but Kojima blocks the exploder. Kojima targets Nagata’s injured ribs, chops by Kojima and he hits a jumping elbow in the corner. Diving elbow drop by Kojima and he covers Nagata for a two count. Nagata rolls out of the ring but Kojima goes out after him and elbows Kojima around the floor. Kojima returns to the ring with Nagata slowly following, and Kojima elbows Nagata in the ribs. Kojima kicks on Nagata but Nagata knees Kojima in the midsection. Nagata kicks Kojima into the corner and hits a big boot before delivering an exploder. Nagata puts Kojima across the ropes and hits a cyclone neckbreaker for a two count cover. Kojima snaps off a DDT and he drops Nagata with a Koji Cutter. Kojima goes off the ropes but Nagata hits a jumping kick. Jumping knee by Nagata but Kojima blocks the backdrop suplex. Kojima charges Nagata but Nagata grabs his arm and applies the seated armbar. Kojima gets into the ropes to force a break, and Kojima levels Nagata with a lariat, but Nagata barely kicks out of the cover. Brainbuster by Kojima but Nagata blocks the lariat. Heel kick by Nagata and he delivers the Backdrop Hold for the three count! This was too veterans doing what they do. It was smartly structured, a bit slow of course since neither are spring chickens but it didn’t really have any wasted time. Pretty good, not exactly exciting but well done by both men. Mildly Recommended

Kazuchika Okada vs. Yujiro Takahashi
They tie-up to kick things off, but Okada gets the first advantage with a scoop slam and senton atomico. Sliding kick by Okada and he covers Takahashi for a two count. Okada works the chinlock but Takahashi gets away and slides out of the ring. Okada goes out after him but Takahashi throws Okada into the guardrail before hitting the Fisherman Buster on the floor. Hall comes over and beats on Okada while Takahashi literally hides the referee in the corner, after a moment Takahashi goes out after Okada and slides him back into the ring for a two count cover. Mounted elbows by Takahashi and he tosses Okada back out of the ring. Takahashi throws him back in again and applies a chinlock, Takahashi elbows Okada into the corner and rakes him in the face. Irish whip by Takahashi and he kind of elbows Okada in the corner, but Okada boots him in the face and hits a modified neckbreaker. Okada hits a series of elbows and snaps off a DDT, Irish whip by Okada and he puts Takahashi on the top turnbuckle before dropkicking him off the top and down to the floor. Okada goes after him and throws Takahashi into the guardrail, big boot by Okada and Takahashi falls to the other side of the railing. Okada dumps Hall over the rail as well and then hits a crossbody over the rail onto both of them.

Back in the ring, Irish whip by Okada and he drops Takahashi with a flapjack. Okada applies the Red Ink but Takahashi bites his hand to get out of it. Big boot by Takahashi and he nails Okada with a sliding kick. Takahashi drops Okada throat-first on the top rope and hits an Olympic Slam, picking up a two count. Takahashi picks up Okada and goes for the powerbomb into the corner, but Okada reverses it with a back bodydrop. Takahashi hits a lariat, he picks Okada back up and this time he hits the powerbomb into the turnbuckle. Takahashi hits the Miami Shine, cover by Takahashi but Okada barely gets a shoulder up. Okada quickly hits a Reverse Neckbreaker, he picks up Takahashi but Takahashi throws the referee at Okada. This gives Hall a chance to run in and interfere, Irish whip by Hall and Takahashi hits a big boot. Lariat by Hall, Takahashi wakes up the referee and he covers Okada for a two count. Hall holds Okada but Gedo trips Takahashi when he bounces off the ropes. Okada throws Hall out of the ring and he hits a dropkick on Takahashi. Tombstone by Okada, he picks up Takahashi and he delivers the Rainmaker for the three count! I don't particularly like that the referees in New Japan have become the worst referees in professional wrestling, but besides that this match was watchable. A few shaky transitions, Okada sometimes just takes back over here because he wants to, but for a longer Takahashi match the time went by pretty quickly. Probably one of the worst Okada matches of the tournament but still above average.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Tomoaki Honma
Nakamura gets Honma into the ropes after the bell rings but he gives Honma a clean break. Honma applies a side headlock, shoulderblock by Honma and he hits a lariat. Honma picks up Nakamura and chops him into the corner, Irish whip by Honma but Nakamura knees him in the midsection. A second knee sends Honma tumbling out of the ring, Nakamura goes out after him and he tosses Honma over the guardrail. Nakamura hangs Honma over the railing and knees Honma in the chest again before returning to the ring, Honma slowly follows and Nakamura kicks at Honma's head. Kicks to the chest by Nakamura and he applies a chinlock, but Honma gets to the ropes. Snapmare by Nakamura and he drops a knee onto Honma, Nakamura picks up Honma and he applies a guillotine choke. Honma gets out of the hold with a vertical suplex, elbows by Honma and he hits a scoop slam. Honma goes for the Kokeshi but Nakamura rolls out of the way, high kick by Nakamura and he applies the Shaky Leg in the corner. Nakamura goes for a running knee but Honma moves out of the way and hits a jumping elbow. Face crusher by Honma and he finally hits the Kokeshi. Front flip neckbreaker by Honma, and he covers Nakamura for a two count. Honma goes for a suplex but Nakamura knees out of it and hits another high kick. Back up they trade elbows, Nakamura gets Honma to the mat and knees him repeatedly. Front suplex by Nakamura but Honma blocks the Boma Ye and hits a lariat. Honma picks up Nakamura and delivers the brainbuster, cover by Honma but Nakamura gets a shoulder up. Honma goes for the Fire Thunder but Nakamura elbows out of it. Nakamura gets on the second turnbuckle and hits a jumping Boma Ye. Knee by Nakamura to the chest, he charges Honma but Honma ducks the Boma Ye. Kokeshi Rocket to the back of the head by Honma and he hits another Kokeshi. Fire Thunder by Honma, but Nakamura barely kicks out of the cover. Honma goes up top but Nakamura rolls out of the way of the diving Kokeshi. Sliding Boma Ye by Nakamura, but it only gets a two count. Nakamura picks up Honma and hits the inverted powerslam, Nakamura warns up for the Boma Ye but Honma hits a Kokeshi Rocket. Honma goes off the ropes but Nakamura plants him with a standing Boma Ye, and he picks up the three count! This is my favorite match of the night so far. The crowd loving Honma helps these matches, and since the match was shorter there wasn't really any time killing since they had to get to the point. I really liked the end sequence with Honma interrupting Nakamura's move preparation with a Kokeshi Rocket, and Honma did more than enough to make the crowd think he may actually win. Solid action, some drama, and a vocal crowd generally leads to an entertaining match and that was certainly the case here. Recommended

Hirooki Goto vs. Tomohiro Ishii
After the initial feeling out process, Goto clubs Ishii to the mat and hits an elbow drop to get the first advantage. Chinlock by Goto but Ishii gets back up and the pair trade elbows. The elbow exchange lasts awhile, until Ishii chops Goto to the mat. Ishii elbows Goto in the head, vertical suplex by Ishii and he covers Goto for a two count. Ishii slaps Goto and elbows him, but Goto shrugs it off. Hard elbow by Goto and he hits a heel kick in the corner, but Ishii ducks the lariat and hits a backdrop suplex. Ishii puts Goto on the top turnbuckle and hits a delayed superplex. Back up they trade lariats until Goto finally knocks Ishii down, backdrop suplex by Goto and he covers Ishii for two. Goto picks up Ishii but Ishii slides away and hits a release German suplex. They both slowly get up and trade elbows, Goto goes off the ropes but so does Ishii, but Goto gets Ishii on his shoulders and hits the Ushigoroshi. Goto stomps on Ishii, he goes up top but Ishii headbutts him, Ishii joins him up top but Goto clubs him and hits a headbutt. Goto sets up for the Kaiten and he hits hit, picking up a two count cover. Goto picks up Ishii but Ishii elbows out of the Ura Shouten and hits a headbutt. Lariat by Ishii and another one, but Goto fires back. They go back and forth until Ishii finally wins the duel, cover by Ishii but it gets two. Ishii goes off the ropes but Goto ducks the sliding lariat. Ishii gets Goto on his shoulders and hits a Ushigoroshi of his own, sliding lariat by Ishii but it gets a two count. Ishii picks up Goto but Goto gets away and hits a roaring lariat. Lariat by Goto in the corner, he puts Ishii on the top turnbuckle and he nails an avalanche Ushigoroshi! That is what happens when you steal Goto's moves. Goto drags Ishii up but Ishii knees out of the Shouten. Big lariat by Goto and he covers Ishii for a one count. Goto picks up Ishii but Ishii headbutts him. Goto headbutts him back and he delivers the Shouten, picking up the three count! This match was fantastic fun. Ishii has always been hard to put away, so the ending with his little hope spots worked as Goto immediately was cutting them off anyway. Ishii is obviously strike-based but Goto can play that game too, and Ishii bouncing off of him on an attempted elbow legitimately made me laugh. A great way to end the show and my favorite G1 Climax match in several days. Highly Recommended

Final Thoughts:

This is probably one of the better G1 Climax events I have seen so far and definitely the best one in awhile. The pairings lined up perfectly and no match on the show was below average. Even the Takahashi match was perfectly watchable, and Anderson/Elgin was better than I expected. Throw in a great main event and there isn't any reason to skip this show. If you are just bouncing around watching different G1 Climax events, make sure this is one of the ones you watch, you won't be disappointed.

Grade: B

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event reviewed on 8/25/15