NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING G1 CLIMAX 26
AIRING ON NJPWWORLD.COM
Wrestling's greatest tournament has reached the home stretch. These are the final 3 days of the Grade One Climax Tournament. Today's action features the five final A block matches. Today's results will determine the winner of the A block and the man who will get the opportunity to wrestle in the G1 final on sunday.
THE BRISCOE BROTHERS DEFEATED YOSHI TATSU & CAPTAIN NEW JAPAN IN 3:07
The current IWGP tag team champions, Jay and Mark Briscoe make their first G1 appearance by making quick work of Tatsu and the Captain when The Briscoes in tandem hit the redneck boogie followed by the Jay driller on Tatsu and then a flying elbow drop by Mark on The Captain for the win. These last 3 shows of the G1 will feature ROH talent in the ring as well as on commentary with Kevin Kelly, Steve Corino and Rocky Romero doing the english commentary on New Japan World.
YUJI NAGATA, JUSHIN THUNDER LIGER, TIGER MASK IV & MANABU NAKANISHI DEFEATED TOMAKI HONMA, RYUSUKE TAGUCHI, JUICE ROBINSON & DAVID FINLAY IN 4:40
Chaotic 8 man tag with the team featuring New Japan icons getting the win when Jushin Liger rolls up Finlay in the ground cobra twist. The shorter these undercard matches are. The more you get the feeling that extra time is being reserved for The A block matches later.
MICHAEL ELGIN, KATSUYORI SHIBATA, SATOSHI KOJIMA & KUSHIDA DEFEATED TORU YANO, YOSHI-HASHI, KATSUHIKO NAKAJIMA & ATSUSHI KOTOJE IN 8:28
Kojima with the lariat on Kotoje to get his team the victory. Buildup for tomorrow's crucial final B block match with Michael Elgin facing off against Nakajima with a trip to the G1 final potentially at stake.
KENNY OMEGA, YUJIRO TAKAHASHI, TANGA ROA & HANGMAN PAGE DEFEATED JAY LETHAL, TETSUYA NAITO, EVIL & BUSHI IN 7:40
Star studded 8 man tag with members of The Bullet Club, Los Ingobernables and the current ROH champion Jay Lethal. This match was a preview of tomorrow's pivotal B block match pitting Omega against Naito. They provided some great moments in this match. Jay Lethal was impressive here as well. Contributing in the ending sequence with a Lethal Injection on Roa as all hell breaks out in the ring. The finish saw Hangman Page hit the "rite of passage" on Bushi.
G1 CLIMAX 26 TOURNAMENT
SANADA DEFEATED HIROYOSHI TENZAN IN 12:12
The swan song for New Japan legend Hiroyoshi Tenzan in this year's G1. Sanada gets the victory in a tightly contested battle with The Skull End submission on Tenzan. Surprising result considering this could be Tenzan's final ride in the G1. The veteran warrior survived this tournament rather than thrived in it but that in and of itself is an accomplishment. This was a solid match but the energy from the crowd was not there. With very little at stake for both competitors and the wind being set out of Tenzan's sails. This Sumo Hall crowd felt deflated.
TOMOHIRO ISHII DEFEATED TOKI MAKABE IN 12:33
Battle of New Japan's resident tough guys. The Stone Pitbull and The Unchained Gorilla. Ishii gets the win with the brainbuster. Exactly what you would expect from these two. A 12 minute slugfest. Hard hitting with neither man standing down. Both men had strong showings in this tournament despite making it to the last day eliminated from final contention.
TAMA TONGA DEFEATED BAD LUCK FALE IN 8:39
Throughout this entire tournament. Stable mates were forced with the task of facing each other and in every single case. A competitive war ensued rather than the heel factions taking the easy way out and perhaps laying down for each other. The Bullet Club was at ringside for this one and they were expecting Tonga to buck the trend and go with the Bullet Club's plan. Tama Tonga lays down for Fale in the middle of the ring to a chorus of boos from the crowd. As Fale goes to make the cover, Tonga flips the script and attempts to pin Fale. This stuns the crowd but more importantly his stable mates in The Bullet Club. Tonga is given a second chance to do the "right thing" for Fale and the Club. He again lays down for Fale but changes his mind again. This infuriates Fale who begins to unleash unholy hell on Tonga for this act of betrayal. Fale puts Tonga in the Bad Luck Fall and throws him outside the ring onto The Bullet Club members at ringside.Tonga beats the 20 count back into the ring. Which further infuriates Fale, who needed a win here to have a chance to go to the G1 final. Throughout the entire match, The Bullet Club continued to yell at Tonga to change his mind and lay down. Fale dominates the majority of this match until Tonga rallies late and hits the Gun Stun on Fale for the victory stunning Fale, The Bullet Club and everyone in attendance.
Post match saw a confrontation in the ring with a surprising turn of events. Rather than a full beatdown by The Bullet Club and a potential excommunication of Tonga. Fale gives Tonga The Too Sweet gesture and the Club all leave the ring together. Tough to decipher this one whether The Bullet Club are going to be faces in the future or if this is just a tease for potentially a split down the road. Either way, Fale is officially eliminated from G1 final contention with this loss.
HIROOKI GOTO DEFEATED NAOMUCH MARUFUJI IN 13:17
Both these men came into today tied atop the A block leader board. Both needing a win and some help. Huge implications for tonight's main event as well. With Okada watching closely. Kazuchika Okada needed a Goto win to still have a chance to advance to the final because Marufuji held the victory and tie breaker over him. This was a high stakes match and both these men delivered on this big stage. Good physical battle with a lot of strong style striking. Eventually, Marufuji wore down from all the punishment delivered by Goto. Goto gets the victory with the GTR over Marufuji and keeps his slim final hopes alive. With this victory, Goto stands at 12 points but he needs an Okada-Tanahashi draw to earn a spot in the G1 Climax final. Something that has taken place before only 3 years ago. Can lightning strike twice?
KAZUCHIKA OKADA VS HIROSHI TANAHASHI
Last years G1 winner and The Ace of NJPW, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs The IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, Kazuchika Okada. This has been the best top star rivalry in all of wrestling since perhaps The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin. These are arguably the two very best wrestlers on the planet and the stakes can't get any bigger than this. Just another in a long list of high profile matches between these two.
The match begins with a feeling out process between the two. A lot of grappling with counters and reversals. Going against character, The action heats up when Tanahashi slaps Okada. Okada goes on the offensive with strikes, followed by an elbow drop from the top rope. He then attempts to end the match with the Rainmaker but it is countered by Tanahashi for a near fall. An angry Okada begins targeting Tanahashi's injured shoulder. Applying submission holds on Tanahashi's shoulder to try and get the victory. Tanahashi finally battles back and both men are temporarily knocked down. The action then spills to the outside when Okada dropkicks Hiroshi off of the top rope.
Tanahashi blocks an Okada running knee on the outside of the ring. He then hits a dragon screw on Okada into the barricade. Tanahashi then climbs to the top rope and hits a High Fly Flow on Okada on the outside. Tanahashi rolls into the ring and the count begins to 20. Refusing to get the countout victory. Hiroshi attempts to throw Okada back into the ring but as he approaches him. Okada tombstone piledrives Tanahashi on the outside. Both men barely make it back into the ring beating the 20 count.
Back in the ring, Both men on their feet. Okada attempts a missile dropkick off the top rope but he misses. Tanahashi then hooks the Clover Leaf on Okada for a near submission. Hiroshi is in control at this point. Looking to win the match. Tanahashi rises to the top rope to attempt The High Fly Flow when Okada suddenly rises to his feet and runs full speed and hits Tanahashi with a European uppercut. This now turns into a slugfest in the middle of the ring where Tanahashi gets the upper hand and knocks Okada down. He then tries another High Fly Flow attempt. Okada rolls out of the way. Great spot. Okada tries to end it with the Rainmaker but it is countered with a sling blade by Tanahashi. Both men are back on their feet trading blows now. This time, They get to the apron. Tanahashi hits a dragon screw on the apron and then applies the Clover leaf submission in the ring on Okada. Okada eventually gets to the ropes to break the hold. Okada misses a dropkick and Tanahashi hits the sling blade. He then goes to the top rope and connects with the High Fly Flow. Rather than cover Okada. Hiroshi decides he needs to do another one. Okada raises his knees at the last second and both men are laying in pain. As time is running out on this match.
Okada and Tanahashi both attempt tombstone piledrivers on each other. Each one countering the other one's attempt but not being able to finish executing the tombstone. Tanahashi hits the sling blade on Okada and again heads to the top rope to attempt the High Fly Flow. This time, Okada suddenly rises as Tanahashi makes his leap and hits a dropick on Tanahashi in mid-air. Two straight lariats by Okada setting up for the Rainmaker. Tanahashi counters with a dragon suplex for a near fall. Okada goes for the rainmaker again. Tanahashi counters by slapping Okada in the face. An angry Okada grabs Tanahashi and hits a tombstone pilederiver on him for an extremely close near fall. Frantic rush as time is expiring. Tanahashi hits a sling blade on Okada, followed by a cross body and then heads to the top rope and connects with the High Fly Flow. The ref counts to 2 and the bell rings.
KAZUCHIKA OKADA AND HIROSHI TANAHASHI BATTLE TO A 30 MINUTE TIME LIMIT DRAW
What a match. You expect it from these two but that was as dramatic of a scenario as can be. A new chapter written in their great history between each other. You might have to invent a 6th star for their matches. It feels like an insult to call their matches 5 stars at this point.
By virtue of this result. Hirooki Goto has won the A block and advances to the G1 final on sunday to face the winner of tomorrow's B block finale. The 37 year old Goto has won several IWGP titles including winning the 2008 G1 Climax tournament but he has never won the IWGP World Title. This is his maybe his last chance to get another shot at achieving his ultimate goal.
UPDATED G1 STANDINGS
FINAL A BLOCK STANDINGS
*HIROOKI GOTO-6-3 (12 POINTS)*
KAZUCHIKA OKADA- 5-3-1 (11 POINTS)
HIROSHI TANAHASHI- 5-3-1 (11 POINTS)
NAOMICHI MARUFUJI- 5-4 (10 POINTS)
BAD LUCK FALE- 5-4 (10 POINTS)
TOGI MAKABE- 4-5- (8 POINTS)
TOMOHIRO ISHII- 4-5 (8 POINTS)
TAMA TONGA- 4-5 (8 POINTS)
SANADA- 4-5 (8 POINTS)
HIROYOSHI TENZAN-2-7 (4 POINTS)
TETUSUYA NAITO- 6-2 (12 POINTS)
MICHAEL ELGIN- 5-3 (10 POINTS)
KENNY OMEGA- 5-3 (10 POINTS)
KATSUYORI SHIBATA- 5-3 (10 POINTS)
KATSUHIKO NAKAJIMA- 4-4 (8 POINTS)
TORU YANO- 4-4 (8 POINTS)
YUJI NAGATA- 3 -5 (6 POINTS)
YOSHI-HASHI- 3 -5 (6 POINTS)
TOMOAKI HONMA- 2 -6 (4 POINTS)
EVIL- 3 -5 ( 6 POINTS)
FINAL A BLOCK STANDINGS
*HIROOKI GOTO-6-3 (12 POINTS)*
KAZUCHIKA OKADA- 5-3-1 (11 POINTS)
This is tomorrow's lineup with the final tournament matches in the B block. 4 competitors in this group have a shot at advancing to sunday's final against Hirooki Goto.
8/13/2016, Ryogoku Kokugikan (Sumo Hall) in Tokyo, 18.30 JST (5.30AM EST/10.30AM UK)
- Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask IV vs. Yos--tatsu, Captain New Japan, Ryusuke Taguchi & David Finlay
- Togi Makabe & Juice Robinson vs. Tomoaki Honma & Naomichi Marufuji
- Hiroshi Tanahashi, Satoshi Kojima & KUSHIDA vs. SANADA, BUSHI & Jay Lethal
- Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, Gedo, & The Briscoes vs. Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Yujiro Takahashi & Hangman Page
B BLOCK : Toru Yano (8 points) vs. YOSHI-HASHI (6 points)
B BLOCK : Michael Elgin (10 points) vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima (8 points)
B BLOCK : Yuji Nagata (6 points) vs. Tomoaki Honma (4 points)
B BLOCK : Tetsuya Naito (12 points) vs. Kenny Omega (10 points)
B BLOCK : Katsuyori Shibata (10 points) vs. EVIL (6 points)
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