Night Seventeen Recap of the 2016 NJPW G1 Climax

It was now time for night 17 of the G1 Climax 26, and this was the final night of competition for Block A. The block came down to five men: Bad Luck Fale, Naomichi Marufuji, Hirooki Goto, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Kazuchika Okada. Only one of these men would be going to the G1 Final.

Block A Match- SANADA vs Hiroyoshi Tenzan

Even though the opening match of the night had no implications on the standings, it was a chance for the young SANADA to battle the veteran Hiroyoshi Tenzan. The match kicked off with both men locking up, trading strikes, and exchanging shoulder blocks.

The match began when SANADA took a cheap shot, kicking the ropes as Tenzan was trying to re-enter the ring. Now on the outside of the ring, SANADA threw Tenzan into the steel barricade and then hit him with his signature bat.

Back in the ring now SANADA went to the ground and pound hammering Tenzan with punches. However, Tenzan came back into the match when SANADA bounced off the ropes and he was caught with a spinning heel kick.

Tenzan now hit a clothesline to SANADA in the corner, and then he hit a standing suplex followed by a back body drop. Tenzan then Irish whipped SANADA into the corner, but SANDA hopped over and springboarded back into the ring hitting a missile dropkick.

SANADA now hit a standing moonsault and then a belly to back suplex to Tenzan. SANADA then continued his offence with an enzigiri and then his signature TKO dropping Tenzan on his face.

SANADA then hit a German suplex to Tenzan and went for the dragon sleeper, but he was reversed. Tenzan was able to stop the hold and hit SANADA with a kneeling brainbuster.

Tenzan then went for his diving moonsault from the top rope, but SANADA rolled out of the way. SANANDA then hit a dropkick to Tenzan, but that powered Tenzan up and he then hit many chops and headbutts.

To follow the headbutts Tenzan hit a clubbing forearm to the back of SANADA’s head, followed with a clothesline. Tenzan now locked in the anaconda vice, and then eventually he turned that into an anaconda vice bomb.

Tenzan then went for a suplex, but SANADA blocked it and locked in his dragon sleeper. He held the hold for quite some time, but Tenzan was able to make it to the ropes.

SANADA then body slammed Tenzan and went to the top rope to hit the diving moonsault. SANADA then locked in the dragon sleeper once again and got Tenzan to tap out to close his G1 run.

Winner: SANADA (8pts)

Rating: 6.5/10

Block A Match- Togi Makabe vs Tomohiro Ishii

Up next on the card was another match with pointless results, but it was a hard-hitting bout between Tomohiro Ishii and Togi Makabe. Both men kicked off the match teeing off on each other, they were trading some vicious strikes and took each other out.

Ishii was the first to get up after the strike off and he put Makabe in the corner to hit him with some strong chops. Makabe eventually stopped Ishii’s attack when he did not go down from a forearm, and he then shoulder blocked Ishii down.

Makabe now ran off the ropes to hit Ishii with a clothesline, he then put him in the corner to hit many more clotheslines taking him down. Makabe then hit a northern lights suplex and he then went for a powerbomb, but Ishii flipped him over.

Both men then traded stiff forearms once again, and they were not holding back with these shots. Makabe first took Ishii off his feet and then hit a plethora of more forearms, but that amped Ishii up.

Ishii now hit many more forearms himself, and then took him down by driving him into the corner with a clothesline. Ishii now put Makabe on the top rope and hit a superplex to get a two-count.

Ishii then continued his attack hitting a German suplex, a dragon suplex, and then finally an enzigiri. Ishii then bounced off the ropes, but he was caught by a chop to the neck from Makabe and he then hit three more chops.

Makabe then hit a double-axe handle to the chest of Ishii and then followed that with a powerbomb. Makabe then hit Ishii with three clotheslines to the chest and one to the back to take Ishii down.

Makabe then hit a German suplex on Ishii, and then put him on the top rope to hit an avalanche German suplex. Makabe now went for his signature diving knee drop, but Ishii was able to roll out of the way.

These men then went back and forth exchanging clotheslines until Ishii hit Makabe with two headbutts to take him down. Ishii then bounced off the ropes taking Makabe down with a strong clothesline.

Ishii now hit a seated clothesline and then got Makabe up to hit his finishing brainbuster. This gave Ishii the win, and he finishes the tournament with eight points.

Winner: Tomohiro Ishii (8pts)

Rating: 7/10

Block A Match- Tama Tonga vs Bad Luck Fale

In the third match of the night, it was a battle of Bullet Club between Tama Tonga and Bad Luck Fale. It was expected that Tonga would lie down for Fale so he could book his ticket to the G1 final.

When the match started that seemed to be the case when Tonga lied down, but he shocked everyone when he kicked out at two. Then the match really began and Fale started clubbing Tonga with some strikes to the head.

Fale then lifted Tonga up to hit a Bad Luck Fall to the outside dropping Tonga on to all the Bullet Club members at ringside. Then back in the ring, Fale continued to attack by choking Tonga on the ropes and then standing on his spine.

Fale then began to hit Tonga in the corner with some brutal shots to the skull and then powerfully Irish whipping him into the other corner. Fale then ran for a corner splash, but Tonga moved out of the way and hit his own splash into the corner on Fale.

Tonga now hit Fale with two forearms to the face and then a jumping neck breaker to his much bigger opponent. Tonga then hit a splash on to Fale, but his next move was reversed and Fale hit him with a Samoan drop.

Fale was now able to hit Tonga with the corner splash and he then landed on Tonga with a jumping splash on the ground. Fale followed all this by practically breaking Tonga in half with a brutal spear.

Fale then went for the Bad Luck Fall, but Tonga slipped out and hit Fale with a dropkick and then his leaping legs-wrapped DDT. Tonga was then able to hit Fale with the Gun Stun to get the win and eliminate Fale from the tournament.

Winner: Tama Tonga (8pts)

Rating: 6/10

Block A Match- Naomichi Marufuji vs Hirooki Goto

Up next was the match between Naomichi Marufuji and Hirooki Goto with major implications on the standings. The match started with an exchange of strikes until Goto hit a hip toss and then clotheslined Marufuji to the outside.

On the outside of the ring Marufuji gained control, he threw Goto into the barricade, hit a big boot, and then a bulldog across the barricade. Back in the ring, both men began trading strikes until Goto was knocked down by one of Marufuji’s powerful chops.

Marufuji then continued with his chops in the corner until he ran across the ring with a leaping back elbow to Goto in the corner. Marufuji then hit another chop and then bounced off the ropes, but Goto caught him with a kick to the chest.

Goto then Irish whipped Marufuji into the corner and ran at him to hit the beautiful corner spinning heel kick. He then hit a clothesline in the corner to knock Marufuji to the ground and then went to the top rope to hit the diving elbow drop.

Goto now went to Irish whip Marufuji again, but he cartwheeled out and dropkicked Goto to the outside. He then ran and leaped over the top rope landing on Goto on the outside of the ring.

Goto then thought he was getting away from Marufuji by crawling into the ring, but Marufuji springboarded from the opposite side of the ring drop kicking Goto in the face. Marufuji then started hitting Goto with chops and Goto responded with forearms, this went on until Marufuji hit a superkick that Goto responded from with a head drag into his knee.

Goto then attempted to hit a running corner clothesline, but Marufuji moved out of the way and then hit a bicycle knee to Goto in the corner. Marufuji then hit a superkick and went for sliced bread but he was reversed, and then hit Goto with an enzigiri and another superkick.

Marufuji then hit another knee-superkick combo, but as he went for another bicycle knee Goto caught him with a headbutt. Goto now hit Marufuji with a big roundhouse kick to the chest and then an ushigoroshi.

Goto then went for the GTR, but Marufuji got out and hit two superkicks to the face of Goto and then a bicycle knee. Marufuji then went for his finisher again, but Goto blocked by locking in a rear-naked choke.

Goto held in the hold until Marufuji was practically out and he then hit the GTR for the win. This win puts Goto alone at the top of Block A, and if the main event ends in a draw Goto will be heading to the G1 final.

Winner: Hirooki Goto (12pts)

Rating: 8.5/10

Block A Match- Kazuchika Okada vs Hiroshi Tanahashi

MATCH OF THE NIGHT

The main event of night 17 was Kazuchika Okada against Hiroshi Tanahashi, and whoever won this match would be headed to the G1 final. This was due to both men defeating Hirooki Goto earlier in the tournament, so this would be their tiebreaker.

Goto’s only hope was if the match ended in a draw, he would then be a point ahead of both Okada and Tanahashi. This match started at a very fast pace with Okada hitting a reverse neck breaker, a missile dropkick, and then a diving elbow drop from the top rope.

He then went for the Rainmaker, but Tanahashi reversed and hit a dropkick to the knee of Okada. This gave Tanahashi a slight breather, but Okada recovered quickly and hit a power slam on Tanahashi and then leap over senton from the apron.

Okada then locked in an innovative submission, trapping both Tanahashi’s hands and feet behind him. Okada went for the pin from this hold, but he only got a two count and then Okada went for a big boot.

Tanahashi caught the boot and hit another dropkick to Okada’s knee, and he then began attacking the knee. He hit elbows and threw Okada’s knee into the mat, and he then locked Okada in a kneebar.

Okada eventually got to the ropes breaking the hold and then Tanahashi ran at him, but Okada reversed with a back-body drop. Okada then hit some strikes followed with a back elbow in the corner, and then a DDT to Tanahashi.

Okada followed the DDT by running at Tanahashi hitting a beautiful European uppercut, and then locking in a leg trapped cross face submission. Tanahashi made it to the ropes and then got up to run at Okada hitting a leaping forearm.

Both men then traded some powerful strikes with each other until Okada placed Tanahashi on the top rope. Okada then dropkicked Tanahashi off the top rope sending him to the outside of the ring.

Okada then threw Tanahashi into the barricade outside the ring and then reversed the big boot Okada looked to follow the throw with. Tanahashi then wrapped Okada’s knee on the barricade and hit a dragon screw over the steel.

Tanahashi then went to the top rope and dove on to Okada on the outside of the ring hitting a standing High Fly Flow. Tanahashi then tried to lift Okada up to get him back into the ring, but Okada stopped him and hit a tombstone piledriver on the outside.

Okada now threw Tanahashi back into the ring and went to the top rope to go for a diving missile dropkick, but Tanahashi stepped out of the way. Tanahashi then grabbed the knee of Okada and hit two dragon screws before locking in a cloverleaf submission.

Okada made it to the ropes, but Tanahashi continued to strike the knee of Okada. He then bounced off the ropes, but he was stopped by Okada and Okada lifted him in a fireman’s carry position.

As Okada went for a move in the fireman’s carry hold, Tanahashi reversed in mid-air and turned it into a sling blade on Okada. Tanahashi then hit Okada with a straight-arm German suplex and then went to the top rope, but he was caught by Okada with a strike.

Okada then joined Tanahashi on the top rope, but Tanahashi was able to knock Okada off the ropes on to his back. Tanahashi then went for the finishing High Fly Flow, but Okada rolled out of the way.

Okada now hit a dropkick to the back of Tanahashi’s head and then he hit him with a proper dropkick to the chest. Okada then went for the Rainmaker again, but Tanahashi turned it into a sling blade.

Tanahashi then dragon screwed Okada’s knee over the top rope, and he followed that with a dragon screw over the ring apron. He then locked Okada in the cloverleaf again, but like the first time, Okada made it to the ropes.

Tanahashi continued his offence by bouncing off the ropes and hitting Okada with a reverse sling blade. He then went to the top rope and hit the High Fly Flow to the back of Okada, and then went right back to the top rope.

This time he was going for the classic High Fly Flow, but Okada was able to get his knees up. Okada now went for the tombstone piledriver, however Tanahashi flipped it over and hit Okada with a tombstone.

Tanahashi then hit a different variation of a twisting neck breaker, and he then went to the top rope again. This time Tanahashi went for the standing High Fly Flow, but Okada caught him in mid-air with a dropkick.

Okada then hit a German suplex and held on to try and go for the Rainmaker, but Tanahashi reversed with a strike. However, even with the strike Okada never let go of Tanahashi’s wrist and then pulled him in for the Rainmaker.

He then lifted him back up for a second Rainmaker, however Tanahashi reversed again and hit Okada with a dragon suplex for a two-count. Now with the clock running out on the 30-minute time limit, Tanahashi lifted Okada up, but Okada reversed and hit him with a tombstone for a two-count.

Okada then tried for the Rainmaker three more times, but Tanahashi kept reversing until he hit a sling blade on Okada. He then went to the top rope and hit a standing High Fly Flow, and he then went back to the top and hit the proper High Fly Flow.

However, the 30-minute time limit ran out as he was going for the cover causing the match to end in a draw. This gave Okada and Tanahashi only one point each, meaning Hirooki Goto was the winner of Block A and he was going to the G1 final.

Winner: TIME-LIMIT DRAW

Rating: 9.5/10

This is the end to Block A of the G1 Climax, and to everyone’s surprise, it was my personal favourite Hirooki Goto coming out on top. Goto will now be heading to the G1 final to battle the winner of Block B.

FINAL BLOCK A STANDINGS

Hirooki Goto – 12 Points WINNER

Kazuchika Okada – 11 Points

Hiroshi Tanahashi – 11 Points

Naomichi Marufuji – 10 Points

Bad Luck Fale – 10 Points

Togi Makabe – 8 Points

Tomohiro Ishii – 8 Points

Tama Tonga – 8 Points

SANADA – 8 Points

Hiroyoshi Tenzan – 4 Points

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