NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING G1 CLIMAX 26
AIRING ON NJPWWORLD.COM WITH ENGLISH COMMENTARY PROVIDED BY RING OF HONOR'S KEVIN KELLY, STEVE CORINO & ROCKY ROMERO
New Japan Pro Wrestling's 26th annual Grade One Climax ends it's nearly month long run today. It started with 20 participants. 180 tournament matches over the course of 18 separate events. Today represents the climax of what is essentially a Pro Wrestling Marathon. The final two competitors are longtime NJPW veteran Hirooki Goto and what is referred to in Japan as a Gaijin in Kenny Omega. Kenny Omega is a true outsider in every sense of the word. For someone like him to be in this lofty position is unique and a first. Kenny Omega flies in the face of tradition and his style has arguably changed the culture of New Japan Pro Wrestling. He has the opportunity today to make history. Hirooki Goto has a built in story that spans nearly a decade of being one of the most recognizable and popular mainstays of the promotion. Part of his story is despite his long time success. He has always been the bridesmaid and never the bride. The winner of today's G1 final will earn a IWGP World Title match at the biggest show, Wrestle Kingdom 11 on January 4th at The Tokyo Dome.
JUSHIN THUNDER LIGER & TIGER MASK DEFEATED DAVID FINLAY & RYUSUKE TAGUCHI IN 5:15
Fast paced match that features four wrestlers who have been on the undercard for the entire duration of these events. It ends rather quickly with Tiger Mask pinning Finlay with a double armed superplex. Post match saw all four men shake hands and receive an applause from the Sumo Hall crowd.
GEDO & JADO DEFEATED YOSHI TATSU & CAPTAIN NEW JAPAN IN 5:39
Gedo and Jado are the bookers of NJPW and NOAH respectively. Jado gets the win over Captain New Japan with the crossface submission. Tatsu walked out on his teammate. Something many of the Captain's partners have wanted to do to him during the entire G1. This was a bowling shoe ugly match. At least it was quick. Just a bad comedy match ironically with two bookers going over.
TOMOHIRO ISHII & YOSHI-HASHI DEFEATED TOGI MAKABE & TOMOAKI HONMA IN 9:10
The team of Ishii and Yoshi-Hashi get the win when Yoshi-Hashi pinned Honma after a pump handle falcon arrow. Ishii and Yoshi-Hashi are expected to be future challengers for The IWGP tag team titles.
KATSUHIKO NAKAJIMA, MASA KITAMIYA, MAYBACH TANIGUCHI & GO SHIOZAKI DEFEATED HIROYOSHI TENZAN, KATSUYORI SHIBATA, YUJI NAGATA & MANABU NAKANISHI IN 10:54
Team NOAH defeats Team New Japan when Nakajima pinned Nakanishi with a brainbuster. This was an excellent 8 man tag and the crowd was heavily anti-NOAH in this faction war. The star of this match was Katsuyori Shibata. Words don't do this justice. Shibata was incredible. Kind of pushing the boundaries of strong style wrestling. His vicious striking style is a danger to his opponents and himself. As evidenced in this match when Shibata split his own head open after connecting with some sick headbutts. Post match saw an all out brawl between The Noah group and The New Japan group. Shibata went crazy after this match targeting Nakajima and Shiozaki with life threatening strikes. That's not an exaggeration. Go out of your way to watch this match if you haven't already. Very intense stuff.
THE BRISCOES DEFEATED YUJIRO TAKAHASHI & HANGMAN PAGE TO RETAIN THE IWGP TAG TEAM TITLES IN 15:21
The Briscoes retain the titles when they hit the Doomsday Device on Hangman Page. Very physical tag team match with The Briscoes going out of their way to make a strong impression on the New Japan crowd. Both were busted open during this match. This was a tough spot for these 4 guys following the intense war that proceeded this. Just couldn't get the crowd going after Shibata fired up and set the whole arena on fire basically.
JAY LETHAL DEFEATED SATOSHI KOJIMA TO RETAIN THE RING OF HONOR WORLD TITLE IN 10:46
Jay Lethal retains his championship with The Lethal Injection on Kojima. Very good match. Lethal despite now being a face in ROH played the role of heel in this one against crowd favorite, Kojima. With Lethal defending the ROH world title next Friday in Vegas at The Death before Dishonor PPV against Adam Cole. North American observers knew that Lethal would go over in this one but this particular crowd actually treated this match as if they expected Kojima to win.
TETSUYA NAITO, EVIL, BUSHI & SEIYA SANADA DEFEATED HIROSHI TANAHASHI,MICHAEL ELGIN, KUSHIDA & JUICE ROBINSON IN 11:32
The Los Ingobernables De Japon faction goes over when Evil hits the STO on Robinson. Frantic action in this 8 man tag with the surging in popularity LIJ faction getting the victory. Post match angle saw a challenge by Naito who is now setting his sights on The IWGP Intercontinental Title held by Michael Elgin.
KAZUCHIKA OKADA, NAOMICHI MARUFUJI & TORU YANO DEFEATED BAD LUCK FALE, TAMA TONGA & TANGA ROA IN 9:10
Okada's team defeats the Bullet Club when Okada hits the rainmaker and pins Tanga Roa. Post match saw Okada get on the mic and address the crowd, Marufuji and Fale. Okada asked the crowd, who they want to challenge him for his IWGP World Title. He pointed out Fale and Marufuji who beat him during the G1 tournament. The fans cheered loudly for the potential of a Marufuji challenge of Okada's title. Marufuji played to the crowd, offered a handshake to Okada who refused it and walked off.
Out to announce the G1 Climax 26 main event is Mr. August himself, Masahiro Chono. He receives a great reaction from The Sumo Hall crowd. Chono has earned the label of Mr. August by virtue of the fact that he won the first 2 G1 tournaments and has won 5 overall G1 tournaments. The most by any wrestler in it's 26 year history.
G1 CLIMAX 26 FINAL
KENNY OMEGA DEFEATED HIROOKI GOTO IN 26:49 TO WIN THE G1 TITLE
Incredible match with an even more incredible result. Kenny Omega becomes the 1st ever North American and Canadian to win the G1 tournament. This is a monumental victory in New Japan's storied history. Great showing once again by Goto in this match but he was over shadowed by Kenny Omega. The entire story and drama of the match was Omega's journey to victory. Omega battled with two bad knees and sacrificed himself and potentially his career to win this match. He pulled out all the stops and eventually overcame the odds and beat Goto in just under 27 minutes with The One Winged Angel.
Post match. Kenny Omega once again defying tradition and time honored conventions by refusing to wave the G1 flag in his celebration. Instead, He hoisted The Bullet Club flag and waved it. Omega then gave a great winning speech in English and Japanese which I will try to paraphrase and quote here.
Omega stated that a lot of people said the Bullet Club was over and should disband. Omega says, The Bullet Club is never over, It's 4 life. Without the Elite, Wrestling is boring and sucks. Days like this, like today they happen once in a lifetime, Don't be afraid to dream, Don't be afraid to reach for the stars. But when you're about to reach for that and get it, someone like me is going to swoop in and take it away because I'm more talented, have more drive, more determination I'm not like any one of you but I wrestle for you. He then acknowledged all the wrestlers in Orlando (referring obviously to NXT), who are watching saying you can use his matches in G-1 as a study lesson. He then challenged Okada. Omega said "I've never beaten you because I've never wrestled you," and said facing Okada is the likely scenario.
Kenny Omega started speaking Japanese to the crowd and got a great response. Here is the translation of what Kenny Omega said to the crowd in Japanese.
"You don't understand! So I'll speak Japanese from now. You're surprised, right? Sorry, but I can speak Japanese. I'm a heel" "if you don't support me, I hate you! like me or not, Japan is my home, New Japan is home" So whatever happens, I won't go there"
This got the entire crowd going in a loud Kenny chant. Amazing promo and moment in wrestling. A must see for any wrestling fan.
For those of you who followed along the journey of the G1 early mornings here on Wrestling Inc. Thanks. The die hard fans are always the best fans. Even if they are part of a small minority. For those of you who are casual New Japan fans. You really should go out of your way to check out this show. NJPW is presented as a sport and this G1 is worth going out of your way to sample and experience.
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