Night Nine Recap of the 2016 NJPW G1 Climax

Night nine of the 2016 G1 Climax was another mediocre night, nothing too spectacular or too bad happened. I was very excited about the main event between Hirooki Goto and Hiroshi Tanahashi.

Block A Match- Tama Tonga vs Tomohiro Ishii

The bout between Tama Tonga and Tomohiro Ishii was nothing too special in my opinion, and it was somewhat boring. There was a lot of rest holds and striking, and not much more.

No spots in the match really stuck out to me, but there was the very sloppy sequence where Tonga was going for his off the ropes slide. They tried to set up the move four times until they finally got it off properly.

Tonga took over to close the bout hitting his reverse rolling cutter and then an Alabama slam on the bigger Ishii. Tonga then went for his leg wrapped DDT, but Ishii reversed into a suplex.

Ishii then hit a powerbomb, and then a very strong clothesline turning Tonga inside out. However, Tonga came back by hitting his leg wrapped DDT, and he later reversed Ishii’s brainbuster into a cutter in mid-air.

After that Tonga would hit a second cutter, and get the win to bring him to four points in the tournament.

Winner: Tama Tonga (4pts)

Rating: 6/10

Block A Match- SANADA vs Bad Luck Fale

SANADA and Bad Luck Fale did not impress me too much in this matchup, and Fale continues to be the boring big man of the tournament. It was just another bout with Fale overpowering his opponent, by using his size with not much wrestling ability.

Surprisingly to kickstart this match it was actually SANADA in the offence and he was outsmarting Fale with his speed. SANADA drove Fale into the steel barricade and then choked him with his baseball bat on the outside.

However, Fale did get the control and beat up his opponent on the outside by burying him under the steel barricade. He then continued to use his size in the ring, until SANADA hit a dropkick and a dive on to Fale on the outside.

Once back in the ring, Fale hit a devastating splash on to Fale and then went for his throat spike. However, SANADA reversed this and hit a beautiful hurricanrana on Fale and then hit a springboard missile dropkick.

Sanada then went off the ropes, but Fale hit him with a spear to take him out. He then hit his throat spike and then a Razor’s edge type move for his second win of the tournament.

Winner: Bad Luck Fale (4pts)

Rating: 5/10

Block A Match- Naomichi Marufuji vs Togi Makabe

To kickstart the match between Naomichi Marufuji and Togi Makabe we saw something that has become a regular in Marufuji matches, a chop off. Both these men laid into their opponent’s chests and gave it their all to echo the slaps through the arena.

The match then reached a bit of a standstill with a lot of striking and rest holds, until Marufuji got some offence in. He cartwheeled out of an Irish whip and sent Makabe to the outside with a dropkick, he then dove over the top on to his opponent.

Marufuji then hit his very pretty corner back elbow to the face of Makabe, and then went for his finisher but he was pushed off and taken out with a clothesline. These men then resulted back to the way they started the match with a chop off, and it was Marufuji getting Makabe to the ground using his chops.

He followed his chops with a superkick right to the face of Makabe, but his attack was stopped. Makabe then hit a power slam and followed it with a German suplex for a two count.

Marufuji eventually hit a bicycle knee to Makabe in the corner, he then attempted his plethora of superkicks, but got power bombed by Makabe. Makabe then went for a clothesline, but was reversed and got hit with Marufuji’s many superkicks.

Marufuji was then able to hit the sliced bread two and pick up another win in the G1 Climax.

Winner: Naomichi Marufuji (6pts)

Rating: 7/10

Block A Match- Kazuchika Okada vs Hiroyoshi Tenzan

Kazuchika Okada and Hiroyoshi Tenzan put on a very entertaining matchup on night nine, and both men looked great. The match kicked off with some back and forth striking until they made it outside the ring.

Okada hung Tenzan on the barricade and landed a spike DDT, driving Tenzan face-first into the ground. Once back in the ring Okada hit his over the top senton on to his opponent.

Tenzan hit some strong slaps to the chest and face of Okada and then a spinning heel kick to the face of his opponent. Tenzan also hit a multitude of chops to the neck of Okada, but Okada came back with his big corner elbow and then a DDT.

With Tenzan down, he then hit his vintage European uppercut to the jaw of his opponent. Then Okada went to the top rope and landed his big diving elbow drop, followed by his reverse neck breaker.

Tenzan then got Okada up in suplex position and dropped him into a piledriver, head first. He then hit a side effect and locked in his anaconda vice submission hold, he later hit a plethora of headbutts to Okada.

Tenzan now went for his diving moonsault, but Okada caught him on the top rope with a dropkick. He then took his down for a German suplex and then the rainmaker, for his fourth win of the tournament.

Winner: Kazuchika Okada (8pts)

Rating: 8/10

Block A Match- Hirooki Goto vs Hiroshi Tanahashi

MATCH OF THE NIGHT

The bout between Hirooki Goto and Hiroshi Tanahashi was the match I was most anticipated for, and they lived up to my expectations. They delivered the match of the night.  

The match kicked off with Tanahashi hitting a springboard crossbody, and then he did some damage to Goto on the outside using the barricades. Back in the ring, it was Goto taking control and unleashing some offence on Tanahashi.

He locked in some rest holds and hit some vicious kicks to the chest of Tanahashi. Tanahashi then had an attack of his own and he landed a diving senton from the second rope.

Goto then had the beautiful sequence where he hit the strong corner spinning heel kick and then a belly-to-back suplex. He then hit a springboard crossbody to the outside and followed it with a diving elbow drop back in the ring.

Later on, Goto had Tanahashi in a fireman’s carry position that Tanahashi reversed out of into a sling blade. Goto then rolled out of the ring and Tanahashi hit a diving crossbody from the top rope on to his opponent.

Both men then traded blows, hitting dozens of stiff forearms to one another’s jaws. Tanahashi won this bout of forearms and then hit a straight arm German suplex to Goto; he then went for the frog splash, but Goto rolled out of the way.

Goto now got some offence in hitting a kick to the chest of Tanahashi, then his suplex to knee lift move, and finally an ushigoroshi. Goto then went for the GTR, but Tanahashi reversed into his rolling neck breaker.

Tanahashi finally hit a sling blade, a crossbody, and then finally the High Fly Flow for the win. Tanahashi picked up his second straight win, after losing his first three matches.

Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi (4pts)

Rating: 8.5/10

This wraps up the ninth night of the 2016 G1 Climax, and it was a night that had two great matches to close the show. Goto continues to impress me, while Okada and Tanahashi keep proving why they are stars.

BLOCK A STANDINGS

Togi Makabe – 8 Points

Kazuchika Okada – 8 Points

Naomichi Marufuji – 6 Points

Hiroyoshi Tenzan – 4 Points

Hirooki Goto – 4 Points

SANADA – 4 Points

Tomohiro Ishii – 4 Points

Bad Luck Fale – 4 Points

Tama Tonga – 4 Points

Hiroshi Tanahashi – 4 Points

Night Eight Recap of the 2016 NJPW G1 Climax

The eighth night of the 2016 G1 Climax was definitely the best night of the tournament yet. The show was stacked top to bottom, and there was a lot of dream matchups on the card.

Block B Match- Toru Yano vs Tomoaki Honma

As I expected with this match between Toru Yano and Tomoaki Honma, it was the snooze fest of the night. Yano’s tricks are not entertaining, and he is extremely boring at this point.

He continues to do the same things with the turnbuckle pads, the exposed turnbuckles, and low blows. He uses the same tactics, but this was the only match he used them effectively.

After his comedy act was over, he was able to get a roll-up on Honma and land the one, two, three. I am shocked that Yano actually got a win in this tournament.

Winner: Toru Yano (2pts)

Rating: 4/10

Block B Match- EVIL vs YOSHI-HASHI

The match between EVIL and YOSHI-HASHI was a match that intrigued me on paper, especially due to HASHI. The match kicked off with EVIL’s usual tricks and he drove HASHI into the ring post with the chair around his neck.

Once back in the ring EVIL spent a good amount of time working on the injured shoulder of HASHI. HASHI would get some offence in when he hit the suplex into neck breaker and then followed that with a somersault neck breaker.

HASHI also hit a powerbomb to EVIL, along with some strong kicks and forearms to the face of his opponent. EVIL stopped HASHI’s attacks by getting his knees up when HASHI went for a senton.

EVIL would then hit two strong kicks to the chest of HASHI, followed by a clothesline turning HASHI inside out. EVIL then his fireman’s carry into powerbomb move for a two count on HASHI.

The match also had a very nice sequence where HASHI hit a superkick, then EVIL hit a forearm and then a German suplex right after. HASHI came back from that by landing his senton and then a backstabber.

HASHI would then get EVIL up and hit his finishing move, Karma, for his second win of the tournament.

Winner: YOSHI-HASHI (4pts)

Rating: 7/10

Block B Match- Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Yuji Nagata

Katsuhiko Nakajima battling against Yuji Nagata started off very quickly, with Nakajima attacking Nagata before the bell. He took him outside the ring, threw him into the barricade, and eventually kicked Nagata in the chest from the apron.

Nakajima would maintain control for some time, but Nagata would get some control using his striking. He would lay into the back and chest of Nakajima using his powerful knees and kicks.

Nakajima utilized his own striking as well, hitting a corner big boot and then a strong kick to Nagata’s chest. He would then go to the top rope and hit a diving missile dropkick to take out Nagata. Nagata did reverse Nakajima’s next move with a belly-to-belly suplex.

I also really enjoyed the sequence when Nakajima climbed the ropes and hit a spinning kick to the back of Nagata’s head. He then hit a strong belly-to-back suplex dropping Nagata on his neck.

Both men also had a very vicious slap off, slapping the taste out of each other’s mouths so powerfully. Nagata then got Nakajima in the corner, hitting a plethora of knees to his chest and then one to the face.

Nagata then hit two different suplexes, that Nakajima came back from by hitting two superkicks. With Nagata now stunned, Nakajima hit his brainbuster and handed Nagata his first loss of the G1.

Winner: Katsuhiko Nakajima (6pts)

Rating: 7.5/10

Block B Match- Kenny Omega vs Michael Elgin

MATCH OF THE NIGHT

The battle between IWGP Intercontinental Champion, Michael Elgin, and Kenny Omega started before the bell. Omega had one of his fellow Bullet Club members attack Elgin, and then Omega flipped over the top rope landing into Elgin.

The battle continued outside the ring, Elgin hit a bicycle kick on Omega and then arm dragged him onto the ground. He then got Omega back in the ring and hit a diving shoulder tackle from the top rope.

Omega then spent a lot of time working on Elgin’s bandaged shoulder and utilized things around the ring to hurt his opponent. Elgin reversed one of Omega’s attacks and drove Omega into the turnbuckle with a German suplex. Elgin also landed the very pretty slingshot into power slam on Omega.

Omega hit Elgin with his float over bulldog and then attempted his gut-wrench powerbomb. However, Elgin reversed that and hit a gut wrench suplex on Omega.

My favourite sequence of the match was when Elgin hit a buckle bomb that Omega bounced out of with a V-trigger. Elgin then hit a spinning forearm and went for a German suplex, but Omega flipped out of it and hit a superkick. Omega then bounced off the rope, but Elgin hit a strong clothesline turning Omega inside out.

Omega, later on, hit Elgin with two dragon suplexes and then a poisonrana, dropping Elgin on his head. Omega then went for a superplex, but Elgin reversed and hit an air-raid crash from the top rope.

These men then traded buckle bombs, and then Omega hit a sit-out powerbomb for a two count. He then hit a V-trigger and went for a one-winged angel, but Elgin reversed and hit a one-winged angel of his own.

Elgin then hit multiple clotheslines, and then finally his sit-out powerbomb for his second win of the tournament. This was my favourite match of the tournament so far.

Winner: Michael Elgin (4pts)

Rating: 9.5/10

Block B Match- Tetsuya Naito vs Katsuyori Shibata

The bout between Tetsuya Naito and Katsuyori Shibata started with Shibata laying into Naito. It started with a big boot to Naito, and then him getting thrown into all the barricades outside the ring. Shibata then booted Naito on the apron of the ring and sent him into the barricade.

Naito then gained control outside the ring and trapped Shibata’s knee in the barricade, he then dove from the apron dropkicking Shibata’s trapped knee. He then laid into the limbs of Shibata, working on his injured knee and shoulder.

Shibata then started to attack Naito with his strikes, hitting his Irish whip big boots and dozens of forearms. Once he had Naito seated in the corner, he hit his hesitation dropkick right to the face of Naito.

Naito did return from this by locking Shibata in a kneebar, and then he hit a springboard missile dropkick. He then tried to go for his corner dropkick sequence, but when leaping back in the ring Shibata hit a European uppercut.

Shibata then laid into the jaw of Naito with many forearms, that looked so devastating. He then hit a sleeper hold suplex dropping Naito on the top of his head, but Naito kicked out and went for a Destino. However, that was reversed and he was hit with a headbutt to the face.

Shibata then locked Naito in a sleeper hold and held him in that hold until he was passed out. Giving Shibata his second win of the tournament, in a very technical match.

Winner: Katsuyori Shibata (4pts)

Rating: 8.5/10

Night eight of the 2016 G1 Climax was just absolutely amazing, and the last four matches all delivered. The battle between Omega and Elgin really blew my mind and was great top to bottom.

BLOCK B STANDINGS

Yuji Nagata – 6 Points

Katsuhiko Nakajima – 6 Points

Tomoaki Honma – 4 Points

Michael Elgin – 4 Points

Kenny Omega – 4 Points

Tetsuya Naito – 4 Points

YOSHI-HASHI – 4 Points

Katsuyori Shibata– 4 Points

EVIL – 2 Points

Toru Yano – 2 Points

Night Seven Recap of the 2016 NJPW G1 Climax

Night seven of the 2016 G1 Climax was definitely not my favourite night of the tournament by far, the matches were nothing too special. I also thought to have Bad Luck Fale in the main event hurt the show as a whole.

Block A Match- Togi Makabe vs Hiroyoshi Tenzan

The matchup between Togi Makabe and Hiroyoshi Tenzan was a fairly average bout between two big men. Both competitors looked strong at times, but I was not overly impressed.

The bulk of the start of the match was a lot of striking, rest holds, and many clotheslines. One highlight from the beginning of the bout was Tenzan’s impressive spinning heel kick.

Some other high spots included Tenzan’s diving headbutt to the back of Makabe, which he followed with the anaconda vice submission hold. Tenzan also had his plethora of headbutts, that left Makabe groggy for a good portion of the match.

Makabe did not have too much control in the match, but the close to the bout was all him. He hit a twisting Samoan drop and then went to the top rope for his diving knee drop and the win.

Winner: Togi Makabe (8pts)

Rating: 6/10

Block A Match- Hirooki Goto vs SANADA

Coming into this match I had very high expectations since Hirooki Goto has performed every night of the tournament and SANADA has been a force himself. I must say my expectations were not lived up too, but it was still a great match.

To kickstart the match, Goto hit his signature corner spinning heel kick and then SANADA had his springboard splash to the outside. SANADA also tried to end the match fairly early by locking in his dragon sleeper, but Goto made it to the ropes.

Goto then hit a devastating sunset flip powerbomb from the top rope for a two count. Goto also pulled SANADA by the hair dropping the back of his head on his knee and followed that with a powerful kick right to the chest.

SANADA did not crumble from this attack from Goto, and he made a comeback hitting a TKO to Goto. He would then lock Goto into the dragon sleeper once again, and take him to the point of practically passing out.

Once Goto was out on the mat, SANADA went to the top rope and hit the diving moonsault. This was enough for SANADA to get his second win of the tournament.

Winner: SANADA (4pts)

Rating: 7/10

Block A Match- Tomohiro Ishii vs Naomichi Marufuji

MATCH OF THE NIGHT

Tomohiro Ishii and Naomichi Marufuji put on quite the clinic of a wrestling match and completely destroyed each other. The match began with both men showcasing their strong chopping and striking capabilities.

The chops these two men were laying on one another echoed through my screen, and I could almost feel their pain. Then there were Ishii’s powerful forearms, that put Marufuji right on his back.

Marufuji would get back up and put Ishii on the outside, he would then leap over the top rope on to his opponent. Once back in the ring, Marufuji would hit his corner back elbow that looks so nice and painful at the same time.

These two men would then have their second chop off of the match and by the end of it, Ishii’s chest looked like ground beef. Marufuji has some of the most powerful chops I have ever seen, they look and sound so painful.

Later in the match Ishii would hit a powerbomb, and then put Marufuji on the top rope for a super plex. However, the super plex was reversed into a reverse neck breaker in mid-air.

These men then showcased their striking, Ishii hit a powerful seated clothesline and then Marufuji came back with multiple superkicks. Marufuji thought he was closing in on victory and went for the bicycle knee, but Ishii reversed with a headbutt.

After the headbutt, Ishii hit a powerful clothesline and turned Marufuji inside out. This was followed by Ishii’s finishing brainbuster and the win.

Winner: Tomohiro Ishii (4pts)

Rating: 8.5/10

Block A Match- Tama Tonga vs Kazuchika Okada

The IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kazuchika Okada, and Tama Tonga delivered a fairly entertaining matchup. Tonga has been disappointing this whole tournament in my opinion, but the champion got a good match out of him.

The first great moment of the match was when Tonga reversed an Okada springboard into a cutter on the ropes. He followed that by dropping Okada ribs first on the steel barricade.

Okada came back from this by hitting his strong corner elbow and then his beautiful European uppercut. However, Tonga would then hit his reverse rolling cutter and a diving clothesline from the second rope.

Tonga would try to continue his offence, but he was reversed and got hit with Okada’s signature reverse neck breaker. Okada then landed his diving elbow drop and a breathtaking dropkick.

Nearing the end of the match Tonga hit a very nice move, it was a leg wrapped DDT to Okada dropping him on his head. However, that was not enough and when he went for his finishing cutter he was reversed by the champion.

To close this match Okada finally hit a German suplex, and then got him up for the rainmaker lariat; giving Okada his third win of the tournament.

Winner: Kazuchika Okada (6pts)

Rating: 7.5/10

Block A Match- Bad Luck Fale vs Hiroshi Tanahashi

The main event of night seven was Bad Luck Fale against Hiroshi Tanahashi, and I think it was a bad booking decision. Fale is a boring big man and I do not enjoy much about his character or move set.

The match started with Fale using his power on Tanahashi by dragging him into the crowd and beating him with a piece of the barricade. This was an effective attack, but I did not understand how this was not a disqualification.

Once back in the ring, Fale would crush his opponent by dropping down into a seated position on the chest of Tanahashi. Fale was simply just overpowering Tanahashi, and he hit Tanahashi with a throat spike sending him to the outside of the ring.

As I said before, Fale has not impressed me much, but he did impress me with his baseball slide into Tanahashi on the outside. He would also hang Tanahashi in a tree of woe position and splash on to him in the corner.

It was not until the final few minutes of the match that Tanahashi got some offence in, he would reverse a powerbomb into a hurricanrana to start. He then managed to deliver to a German suplex to the much larger Fale, and then a sling blade.

With Fale down Tanahashi went for two frog splashes, but on the second one Fale got his knees up for the reversal. However, Tanahashi would still continue his offence and that led to a very uncomfortable botch. Tanahashi would go for a crossbody, but Fale caught him on his shoulder and lost his footing; this caused Fale to flip onto the top of his head.

The two men did recover from this botch quite well, and we saw the final moments of the bout. Fale went for his throat spike and then tried to hit a razor’s edge, but Tanahashi reversed this into a roll-up for his first win of the tournament.

Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi (2pts)

Rating: 7/10

This wrapped up night seven of the 2016 G1 Climax tournament, and this night was not too bad or over the top amazing. The night had a good balance, and Ishii battling Marufuji really stole the show.

BLOCK A STANDINGS

Togi Makabe – 8 Points

Kazuchika Okada – 6 Points

Hiroyoshi Tenzan – 4 Points

Hirooki Goto – 4 Points

Naomichi Marufuji – 4 Points

SANADA – 4 Points

Tomohiro Ishii – 4 Points

Bad Luck Fale – 2 Points

Tama Tonga – 2 Points

Hiroshi Tanahashi – 2 Points

Night Six Recap of the 2016 NJPW G1 Climax

Night six of the G1 Climax was another solid night of this tournament, highlighted specifically by the skills of Kenny Omega, Michael Elgin, and Katsuyori Shibata.

Block B Match- YOSHI-HASHI vs Yuji Nagata

The matchup between YOSHI-HASHI and Yuji Nagata started off very slow but really began to pick up for the final few minutes of the bout.

The match started with a lot of rest holds, Irish whips, and simple kicks; it was nothing too entertaining. However, all this slowness was made up for with the end of the match.

The tide changing in the match started when Nagata started laying into HASHI with his devastating kicks, he left HASHI’s chest a bright red.

Some other great points were HASHI’s somersault neck breaker, HASHI’s reversal on Nagata that led to a powerbomb, and HASHI also had his diving senton. Nagata had the arm breaker submission he put on HASHI, and during this hold, Nagata gave a look to the camera like he was going to rip his opponent’s arm off.

The close to the match saw Nagata hit a spinning heel kick, a brainbuster, and then finally his finishing belly to back suplex. This would give Nagata his third straight win in the tournament.

Winner: Yuji Nagata (6 pts)

Rating: 7/10

Block B Match- Katsuhiko Nakajima vs EVIL

EVIL and Katsuhiko Nakajima put on a very average matchup, and I am actually becoming less and less impressed with EVIL as the tournament goes on.

He continues to start every match the same way and does the chair spot where he puts it over his opponent’s head every time. It was a cool moment the first time I saw it, but now it is too predictable.

Nakajima on the other hand had some cool moments, like his corner big boot followed by the kick to the chest. He also had the very pretty missile dropkick he delivered to EVIL.

I also really loved it when Nakajima hit EVIL with a plethora of superkicks. He hit four kicks in a row and they all looked so devastating, as they hit directly to EVIL’s jaw.

EVIL had the spot when he had Nakajima in a death-valley driver position and turned it into a powerbomb. It looked as though he was building towards the win, but Nakajima made the comeback.

He hit EVIL with a penalty kick to the chest, and then picked him up for the brainbuster. This was enough for the one, two, three.

Winner: Katsuhiko Nakajima (4pts)

Rating: 6.5/10

Block B Match- Toru Yano vs Tetsuya Naito

As I expected, once again Toru Yano produced the worst match of the night. In this bout with Tetsuya Naito, he was up to his same old boring tricks.

The match had Yano take off the turnbuckle pad once again, use the padding as a weapon and also throw Naito into the exposed turnbuckle. He also hit Naito with a low blow followed by a roll-up, for the two count.

After all this nonsense, Naito finally hit Destino for the win and Yano remained winless in the tournament.

Winner: Tetsuya Naito (4pts)

Rating: 3/10

Block B Match- Kenny Omega vs Tomoaki Honma

Kenny Omega and Tomoaki Honma put on a fairly solid match, and in the first few moments, it was Omega really shining. He really kicked off the match when he trapped Honma under the mats and springboard foot stomped on to him on the outside.

Honma had the cool moments where he hit his falling headbutt, and he followed that with a blockbuster from the second rope. Omega came back from these moves by hitting his leap over bulldog.

My favourite sequence of the match was when Omega hit the German suplex that Honma no sold, Honma then hit his own German suplex. Omega followed that with a dragon suplex, which made Honma spring off the ropes and hit a headbutt to Omega.

Honma eventually hit his inverted piledriver, dropping Omega right on the top of his head. He tried to follow that with his diving headbutt, but he missed and Omega followed that with three V-triggers.

Omega also hit a gut-wrench powerbomb, that Honma came back from with a brainbuster that Omega kicked out of. The close to this match was amazing, and my favourite part of the whole bout.

Honma went for a leaping headbutt that Omega reversed with a V-trigger, he then hit him with a dragon suplex. With Honma down Omega hit another V-trigger, and finally, his one-winged angel to get his second win of the tournament.

Winner: Kenny Omega (4pts)

Rating: 8/10

Block B Match- Katsuyori Shibata vs Michael Elgin

MATCH OF THE NIGHT

Katsuyori Shibata and Michael Elgin stole the show on night six of the G1 Climax, and both men went out there ready for war. It was a battle of two hard-hitters that both wanted this win very badly.

The start of the match had one of my favourite moments when the two men engaged in a chop off. Elgin would hit a ton of chops, while Shibata was hitting a bunch of kicks to the chest of his opponent. These guys even hit many powerful forearms to the jaws of each other, which ended with a big boot from Shibata.

Shibata hit his powerful hesitation dropkick, which Elgin came back from with an enzigiri of his own. Elgin also had many showcases of his power, like his belly to belly suplex and catching Shibata in mid-air for a suplex.

There was also the great sequence which Shibata started with many kicks to Elgin’s chest, followed by a strong forearm from Elgin, and then both men traded German suplexes. After Shibata hit his suplex he landed a big boot on Elgin, and then Elgin hit a powerful left armed clothesline.

Elgin then took Shibata outside the ring and delivered two buckle bombs to Shibata on to the outside ring post. This then led to a buckle bomb back inside the ring, which Shibata came back from with a sleeper hold suplex.

However, that was not enough to keep Elgin down and he came back with his close to the match. He hit a plethora of clotheslines, followed by a buckle bomb, and then finally a sit-out powerbomb for the win.

Winner: Michael Elgin (2pts)

Rating: 8.5/10

In conclusion, night six had three very quality matches including Nagata vs HASHI, Omega vs Honma, and Elgin vs Shibata. I really enjoyed this night, and Block B continues to shine.

BLOCK B STANDINGS

Yuji Nagata – 6 Points

Tomoaki Honma – 4 Points

Katsuhiko Nakajima – 4 Points

Kenny Omega – 4 Points

Tetsuya Naito – 4 Points

YOSHI-HASHI – 2 Points

EVIL – 2 Points

Katsuyori Shibata– 2 Points

Michael Elgin – 2 Points

Toru Yano – 0 Points

Night Five Recap of the 2016 NJPW G1 Climax

Night five of the G1 Climax did not sound too amazing on paper, despite the main event. I was very excited to see Kazuchika Okada match up with my MVP of the tournament so far, Hirooki Goto.

Block A Match- Tomohiro Ishii vs Bad Luck Fale

Tomohiro Ishii and Bad Luck Fale did not put on a memorable matchup by any means, and it was just a battle of powerhouses. A good chunk of the match was just Fale overpowering and manhandling Ishii, with no spectacular moves.

There were a lot of power slams, big boots, and chokeholds; nothing I will remember in a few months. The only part that really looked devastating, was a vicious forearm shot to the head of Ishii that laid him out.

However, Ishii was the one that had better spots, in my opinion, the first spot was when he hit the much larger Fale with a German suplex. Then the enzigiri and seated clothesline sequence looked powerful and cool at the same time.

The close to the match was very impressive, as Ishii got Fale up for a brainbuster and his first win of the tournament.

Winner: Tomohiro Ishii (2pts)

Rating: 6/10

Block A Match- Togi Makabe vs SANADA

The bout between SANADA and Togi Makabe was a fairly above-average matchup that saw both men thrive at particular points. SANADA definitely owned the first half of the match with his great heel-work and sneaky ways of attacking his opponent.

He really utilized the outside of the ring without getting disqualified and found ways to use a chair and the barricade. He wore down Makabe very effectively and I really thought he was finally having his moment.

Makabe did make his comeback however, it all started with a strong northern lights suplex for a two count. He followed that with a vicious powerbomb that really took out SANADA.

SANADA’s response to this powerbomb would be a TKO to drop Makabe. He would then make his way to the apron and hit a springboard missile dropkick.

However, none of that was enough to keep Makabe down and it was him that got the last laugh. He got SANADA up to the top rope for the avalanche German suplex, followed by his diving knee drop to remain undefeated in the tournament.

Winner: Togi Makabe (6pts)

Rating: 7/10

Block A Match- Naomichi Marufuji vs Hiroyoshi Tenzan

This was without a doubt my second favourite match of the night, and Naomichi Marufuji really showed me how powerful his chops are in this match. Marufuji and Hiroyoshi Tenzan were both out there with the intention of hurting their opponent.

As I mentioned already, Marufuji’s chops really stole this match and just watching him delver them to Tenzan made my chest hurt. Seeing Tenzan’s chest get brighter red with some slight blood showing was so devastating and I could only imagine how that felt.

Marufuji’s corner elbow is another one of my favourite moves as it is so simple, but he makes it look so much better. Tenzan also has a couple of moves like this, with his headbutts and his diving headbutt.

Tenzan would eventually go for his finishing moonsault, but it was reversed as Marufuji rolled out of the way. This allowed Marufuji to get a lot of momentum, and land a plethora of knees and kicks.

The close to the match saw Marufuji hit a superkick to the face of Tenzan followed by his finishing sliced bread number two for the pinfall.

Winner: Naomichi Marufuji (4 pts)

Rating: 7.5/10

Block A Match- Tama Tonga vs Hiroshi Tanahashi

Just like Tama Tonga’s first two matches of the tournament, this match with Hiroshi Tanahashi was also very underwhelming. It was a very safe match with sloppy technical work.

Tonga did have the one cool spot where he delivered a TKO variation that made Tanahashi land on the barricade ribs first. There was also the nice reverse rolling cutter to inflict damage on Tanahashi.

Tanahashi’s higher moments included a sling blade on Tonga, and also a trapped arm German suplex. However, everything went downhill for Tanahashi when he went for the frog splash, but Tonga got the knees up.

Tonga would then deliver his leaping cutter, to hand Tanahashi his third consecutive loss.

Winner: Tama Tonga (2pts)

Rating: 6/10

Block A Match- Kazuchika Okada vs Hirooki Goto

MATCH OF THE NIGHT

As I expected, Kazuchika Okada and Hirooki Goto delivered the match of the night in the main event of night five. Both men tore into each other and stole the whole show with this bout.

The match had its first jaw-dropping moment when Okada delivered a hangman’s DDT to Goto off the barricade to the floor. The thud of Goto’s head off the ground looked brutal to kick-start this match.

Goto then hit Okada with his corner spinning heel kick and also a powerful kick right to the chest of Okada. Okada had a powerful strike of his own as well when he hit a European uppercut on Goto that echoed through the screen.

Okada also had the very entertaining leaping crossbody over the barricade on to Goto in the stands. He would then bring Goto back into the ring and hit his diving elbow drop into the center of the ring.

Goto would then make a comeback, hitting the suplex into a knee to the face move, followed by having Okada in a Death Valley driver position and dropping him on his knee. Okada came back from this by hitting a German suplex and going for his finisher, but Goto reversed that by dragging Okada headfirst into his knee.

However, this did not put Okada away and Okada would end up hitting a dropkick to the back of Goto’s head, followed by a regular dropkick right to the face of his opponent. Then he landed a tombstone piledriver, and finally a rainmaker lariat for his second win of the tournament.

Winner: Kazuchika Okada (2pts)

Rating: 8/10

Overall, night five was nothing too special and only two matches on the card really entertained me. I was very shocked to see Tanahashi lose once again, he is now the only person in Block A without a single point and I think he may be too far out to make a comeback.

BLOCK A STANDINGS

Togi Makabe – 6 Points

Hiroyoshi Tenzan – 4 Points

Hirooki Goto – 4 Points

Naomichi Marufuji – 4 Points

Kazuchika Okada – 4 Points

SANADA – 2 Points

Bad Luck Fale – 2 Points

Tama Tonga – 2 Points

Tomohiro Ishii – 2 Points

Hiroshi Tanahashi – 0 Points

Night Four Recap of the 2016 NJPW G1 Climax

Night four of the G1 Climax saw Block B put on a solid show, with two amazing matchups to close the night. Tetsuya Naito and Katsuyori Shibata really shined as stars on this show.

Block B Match- Tomoaki Honma vs YOSHI-HASHI

The matchup between Tomoaki Honma and YOSHI-HASHI was not amazing or horrible at the same time, it was a very mediocre battle. It was actually quite slow, before the final few minutes.

The early stages of the match were slightly hard to stay focused on, and due to so many lock-ups, I found myself in a state of boredom. The slowness did eventually turn into some entertainment when we got to the end of the match.

HASHI’s somersault neck breaker was the beginning of the end, as we then saw some entertaining superkicks from HASHI as well. Honma had his own moments with his plethora of headbutts, that impacted HASHI greatly.

The close to the bout saw Honma drop HASHI on his head as he had him over his shoulder. Once HASHI was out, Honma finished the match with his diving headbutt for the win.

Winner: Tomoaki Honma (4pts)

Rating: 5.5/10

Block B Match- EVIL vs Yuji Nagata

The battle between EVIL and Yuji Nagata would have been the weakest match of night four if it was not for the comedy matchup that followed it. Nagata and EVIL put on an extremely boring matchup with a very weird ending.

The entire match consisted of EVIL attacking Nagata’s weak knee, and he focused on that the whole time. He used different knee locks, elbows to the knee, and even a chair to the knee at one point.

EVIL had control up until the final thirty seconds, where he surprisingly lost. Nagata hit a spinning heel kick, and two of his belly-to-back suplexes to get the win after being destroyed for 10 minutes.

Winner: Yuji Nagata (4 pts)

Rating: 5/10

Block B Match- Kenny Omega vs Toru Yano

The bout between Kenny Omega and Toru Yano was easily the weakest match of the night, as it was just a comedy bout. There was no wrestling, just a bunch of spots trying to make the crowd laugh.

There was hitting with the turnbuckle pad, use of the exposed turnbuckle, spraying freezing spray into Yano’s eyes, a lot of eye pokes, and excessive hair pulling. Then both men would trade low-blows behind the referees back.

I personally do not enjoy matches like this, as it just takes from the wrestler’s skill. If two men can put on a good match, I cannot understand doing something like this.

The close to this match had the referee being thrown back and forth by the opponents until Omega finally hit a v-trigger on Yano. After the first v-trigger, Omega hit another to get the pin-fall.

Winner: Kenny Omega (2pts)

Rating: 4/10

Block B Match- Katsuyori Shibata vs Katsuhiko Nakajima

Katsuyori Shibata and Katsuhiko Nakajima put on a fantastic match, that had some hard-hitting and great wrestling. Both men showcased their educated hands and feet very well.

Nakajima had control of the match at the start and was able to get some good damage on Shibata. He hit him with dozens of stiff forearms and also hit an amazing hesitation dropkick in the corner.

Shibata came back in the match when he was taking forearms and started begging for more. He followed that with many forearms of his own, and then his own hesitation dropkick. His dropkick was much more devastating, as he drove both his feet into Nakajima’s face.

There was also the great sequence where Nakajima hit a belly-to-back suplex that Shibata got right back up from and hit a German suplex of his own. Nakajima also got right up and then both men went for a big boot taking each other out.

Nakajima got some momentum when he hit a German suplex on Shibata into the corner, and followed that with two superkicks. However, Shibata did not let this finish him, and he used that as motivation.

Shibata would lock Nakajima in with a sleeper hold, bringing him to the ground and then hitting the PK for his first win of the tournament.

Winner: Katsuyori Shibata (2pts)

Rating: 8/10

Block B Match- Tetsuya Naito vs Michael Elgin

MATCH OF THE NIGHT

The main event of the evening was a great match that showcased Michael Elgin’s power and Tetsuya Naito’s tricky way of working his opponents. Elgin took Naito out with many big moves, and Naito worked Elgin’s knee perfectly.

Naito worked so well as a heel in this match, finding multiple different ways to take out the leg of his much bigger opponent. Trapping Elgin’s leg in the barricade was great, as well as catching him in the ropes to hurt the knee.

Elgin had many instances to showcase his power, like with his slingshot catching powerslam that he beautifully delivered. He also hit Naito with a running death valley driver into the corner, the moved looked so brutal.

Elgin did not only showcase his power but his agility as well. He hit multiple enzigiris, a diving splash, and the avalanche sit-out powerbomb from the top rope.

However, Naito would be the one that stole the show with his sequence to end the matchup. He first reversed a buckle-bomb from Elgin into a poisonrana, dropping Elgin on his head. He followed that with a rolling wheel-kick to stun Elgin.

Elgin would make a small comeback, but Naito was able to reverse his stalling suplex into a Destino. He then hit a proper Destino right after and picked up the two points.

Winner: Tetsuya Naito (2pts)

Rating: 8.5/10

Overall, night 4 started off fairly slow but the final two matches really saved the show as a whole. I am also very interested in seeing what happens with Michael Elgin since he is the IWGP Intercontinental Champion and lost both his matches. I want to see his bounce back from this slow start.

BLOCK B STANDINGS

Yuji Nagata – 4 Points

Tomoaki Honma – 4 Points

Katsuhiko Nakajima – 2 Points

YOSHI-HASHI – 2 Points

EVIL – 2 Points

Kenny Omega – 2 Points

Tetsuya Naito – 2 Points

Katsuyori Shibata– 2 Points

Michael Elgin – 0 Points

Toru Yano – 0 Points

Night Three Recap of the 2016 NJPW G1 Climax

Night two of the G1 saw the B Block show that they have the star power to be the best group of the tournament. So, on night three, Block A had something to prove. Even though I did not think it was possible, all the stars of Block A really delivered and managed to top night two.

Block A Match- Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Tama Tonga

Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Tama Tonga put on a fairly boring matchup to start the show. With no big spots, nothing about the match was great. The match was just a lot of lock-ups and forearms with nothing more exciting than that.

A few of my favourite spots were Tonga’s hangman rolling neck breaker on Tenzan and then Tenzan’s anaconda vice bomb that he hit Tonga with at the end of the match.

Tenzan seemed to be in control for the majority of the matchup, and he closed the match fairly easily. He power slammed Tonga and hit his moonsault to land the one, two, three.

Winner: Hiroyoshi Tenzan (4pts)

Rating: 5/10

Block A Match- Tomohiro Ishii vs Hirooki Goto

MATCH OF THE NIGHT

Tomohiro Ishii and Hirooki Goto was a battle of two absolute beasts, and I loved everything about it. With the power that these two men put behind their moves it looked like they were out there to kill each other.

I knew it was going to be good right from the opening bell as both men had a forearm competition hammering each other in the face. Then to follow that up, these competitors had a chop off leaving both men’s chests beet red.

Goto’s corner spinning heel kick and Ishii’s enziguri were also great things to see from such big men. Even these large men completing a super-plex was another good touch, to show the skill of two heavyweights.

Ishii’s high spots in the closing moments of the match were dropping Goto with a devastating powerbomb, and turning him inside-out with a strong lariat. However, it was Goto owning the end of the match.

He would drop Ishii face-first onto his knee from a suplex position and then would hit his signature GTR to finish the match and get his fourth point of the tournament.

Winner: Hirooki Goto (4pts)

Rating: 9/10

Block A Match- Bad Luck Fale vs Naomichi Marufuji

I had some low expectations for this match because of Bad Luck Fale’s first match and his limited move-set, however, Naomichi Marufuji carried Fale to a very enjoyable match. Most of the entertaining points of the bout had Marufuji on the offense.

Parts of the match like Marufuji landing a suplex on Fale and his array of kicks on the big man were also very electric. The powerful superkicks, the bicycle knees, and the corner boots to the face were all great ways to take down the very large Fale.

Despite Marufuji shining, it was Fale’s size and power that gave him the edge in the matchup. Fale was too big to get a finisher on, and he was swatting Marufuji out of mid-air. It all came to a close when Fale finally hit his finishing chokeslam for his first two points.

Winner: Bad Luck Fale (2pts)

Rating: 6/10

Block A Match- SANADA vs Kazuchika Okada

SANADA and the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kazuchika Okada, put on the second amazing match of this show. They tore into each other and had me on the edge of my seat for the entirety of the match.

SANADA started the match by utilizing the outside of the ring and effectively hurting Okada without being disqualified. He did things like drop Okada rib first on the steel barricade and choked him with the wires from the cameras.

Okada’s high moments included his reverse neck breaker, dropkick, and his diving elbow across three-quarters of the ring. However, I found SANADA dominating most of the match and there were many times where I thought he was going to make Okada tap out.

SANADA came very close, but when Okada hit the German suplex and followed it with the Rainmaker lariat, I knew the match was over. The champion picked up his first win of the G1.

Winner: Kazuchika Okada (2pts)

Rating: 7.5/10

Block A Match- Togi Makabe vs Hiroshi Tanahashi

Togi Makabe and Hiroshi Tanahashi was the main event of night three, and it was a match that started slow but once it picked up it did not disappoint. The match began very technically, and Makabe held Tanahashi to the ground for a long period of time.

Once Tanahashi began to pick up momentum, I was very entertained with moves like his diving senton and rolling neck breaker. I also loved the way he no-sold Makabe’s lariats and got energy from the hard hits he was receiving.

The sequence where Tanahashi hit a straight arm German suplex that Makabe followed with a German suplex of his own was also very cool. It was these two moves that led to the closing moments of the match.

Makabe had Tanahashi backward on the top rope and drove his head into the ring post, with Tanahashi stunned he delivered the top rope German suplex. Once Tanahashi was down, Makabe hit his diving knee drop for the upset on his opponent.

That was back-to-back losses for The Ace, Tanahashi, and I am now interested to see how he will come back in the tournament, or even if he will.

Winner: Togi Makabe (4pts)

Rating: 7.5/10

With night three now finished, I must say every match delivered in its own way and blew me away. Block A’s stars really proved to me that they match up well with the stars of Block B. Special shout out to Hirooki Goto, the guy is a dominant force and a star in my opinion. I now look forward to when I see Block A again.

BLOCK A STANDINGS

Hiroyoshi Tenzan – 4 Points

Togi Makabe – 4 Points

Hirooki Goto – 4 Points

SANADA – 2 Points

Naomichi Marufuji – 2 Points

Kazuchika Okada – 2 Points

Bad Luck Fale – 2 Points

Hiroshi Tanahashi – 0 Points

Tama Tonga – 0 Points

Tomohiro Ishii – 0 Points

Night Two Recap of the 2016 NJPW G1 Climax

On night one of the G1 Climax, Block A put on a great show with three quality matches. On night two it was Block B’s time to shine, with their stars being Kenny Omega, Tetsuya Naito, and Katsuyori Shibata; I had very high expectations.

Block B Match- Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Toru Yano

This matchup between Katsuhiko Nakajima and Toru Yano was by far the most underwhelming bout of the tournament so far. It did not even last five minutes and the only high spot was Yano’s heelwork.

Yano coming into the ring throwing water into the face of Nakajima showed how devious he can be and got him some good heat from the crowd. However, other than Yano’s character, this match could have easily been skipped.

All there was, was some strong kicks, throwing into the barricades, and the use of an exposed turnbuckle. This went on for about three minutes until Nakajima hit Yano with a brainbuster and put an end to the boredom. This is not a match I recommend watching.

Winner: Katsuhiko Nakajima (2pts)

Rating: 4/10

Block B Match- YOSHI-HASHI vs Kenny Omega

MATCH OF THE NIGHT

Saying I went into this match with above-average expectations is an understatement, I was very excited to see my first Kenny Omega match in NJPW. Coming out of Japan many people considered Omega to be the best wrestler in the world, and this was my first chance to see all the hype.

Once the bout came to a close the only thought I had was that all the hype about Kenny Omega was exactly correct. Omega and YOSHI-HASHI stole night two and put on the match of the night.

There was no slowness to this match and these two men went back-and-forth for fifteen solid minutes. Omega worked great as a heel as well, doing things like trapping HASHI under the outside mats and diving onto him; this was such an innovative way to get heat.

My other favourite spots of the match were Omega’s v-triggers, HASHI’s diving senton, HASHI’s running knee on a grounded Omega, and also his somersault neck breaker. The neck breaker specifically was a breathtaking move, and in my opinion, Omega’s v-trigger is one of the best moves in wrestling.

The close to the match was the upset of the night, YOSHI-HASHI would get Omega and land his signature move, Karma. This was enough to put Omega away and land the pin-fall, giving YOSHI-HASHI the two points.

Winner: YOSHI-HASHI (2pts)

Rating: 9/10

Block B Match- EVIL vs Michael Elgin

The matchup between EVIL and current IWGP Intercontinental Champion, Michael Elgin, was a collision of two heavyweights. The match was not too breathtaking, but it was not bad by any means.

EVIL’s technical and heel work shined greatly. Elgin really impressed me with his strength and agility. He hit like heavyweight and flew like a junior-heavyweight, it was a sight to see.

My high-spots of the match would be Elgin’s springboard, his diving splash, and his buckle-bomb. I also loved the way EVIL got heat by finding ways to use a chair without being disqualified.

EVIL’s finisher was also quite good, as he made a simple STO look so effective and devastating. That STO was how EVIL put Elgin away and achieved his first win of the tournament.

Winner: EVIL (2pts)

Rating: 5.5/10

Block B Match- Tetsuya Naito vs Yuji Nagata

Before I get into covering this specific match, I must say I absolutely love Tetsuya Naito’s in-ring style and more specifically his strong character work. He constantly works for the crowd and his entrance is pure gold, including the suit he wears.

Now for the match itself, Naito and Yuji Nagata put on a fairly entertaining bout. As I already said Naito was my favourite part of the match, his work taking out Nagata’s knee and taunting him while in a figure-four-leg lock was great.

Naito had another sequence while Nagata was in the corner, which was a beautiful string of moves. He flew over the top rope while kicking Nagata in the face, then swept his legs while on the apron, and finally he leaped back into the ring landing a dropkick into the sitting Nagata’s chest.

However, surprising to me Nagata would be the shining point of the finish to this match. He delivered some of the strongest kicks I have ever seen and left Naito’s chest stinging for sure. His kicks would lead to his finishing belly to back suplex, dropping Naito on his neck and ending the match.

Winner: Yuji Nagata (2pts)

Rating: 7.5/10

Block B Match- Katsuyori Shibata vs Tomoaki Honma

First thing I need to say is that I could not believe how over Katsuyori Shibata was in front of the Japanese crowd, he got a pop showing that he was the fan-favourite of NJPW.

Shibata also has such a clean martial-arts style to his in-ring work that I really enjoyed, and it made him look like a real hard-hitter. His kicks and forearms were some of the swiftest I have seen, and I could tell he was a seasoned veteran.

Tomoaki Honma’s style was very different in comparison to Shibata, and it did not appeal to me all that much, but he still had some big spots. Overall, the match was very good and had some very entertaining moments.  

The first being Shibata taking chops and kicks while in his cross-legged seated position and not reacting at all, he was instead begging for more. My jaw also dropped when Honma dropped Shibata on his head with a reverse piledriver, such a devastating move.

I also loved the final sequence of the match, Honma demolished Shibata for the close. He hit some strong slaps right across Shibata’s face, followed by placing him over his shoulder and dropping him right on the top of his head again. Honma would then get to the top rope and hit his final diving headbutt, to secure the upset victory over Shibata.

Winner: Tomoaki Honma (2pts)

Rating: 7/10

That was the end to the second night of the 2016 G1 Climax, and my main takeaway from the show was that I absolutely love Tetsuya Naito. I personally preferred night two over night one, so I hope to see block A redeem themselves on night three.

BLOCK B STANDINGS

Katsuhiko Nakajima – 2 Points

YOSHI-HASHI – 2 Points

EVIL – 2 Points

Yuji Nagata – 2 Points

Tomoaki Honma – 2 Points

Toru Yano – 0 Points

Kenny Omega – 0 Points

Michael Elgin – 0 Points

Tetsuya Naito – 0 Points

Katsuyori Shibata– 0 Points

Night One Recap of the 2016 NJPW G1 Climax

I have been a professional wrestling fan my entire life, but I have rarely watched outside of WWE. So, for my first time experiencing New Japan Pro Wrestling, I was told the perfect place to start was the 2016 G1 Climax. After just one night I am already impressed, the Japanese strong style of wrestling, as they call it, creates hard-hitting contests that made me much more invested in the matches.

Block A Match- Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Tomohiro Ishii

Night one would kick off with Hiroyoshi Tenzan locking horns against Tomohiro Ishii. Tenzan and Ishii are two big men that hit very hard and they had a great back-and-forth contest.

I was not too familiar with either of these men, but I had seen videos of Ishii’s powerful chops, and all those videos were very accurate. The echo heard when Ishii lashed out over his opponent’s chest is deafening.

In this match, I also got to hear my first iconic, “BRAINBUSTAAA,” from the Japanese commentary team. I had placed Ishii as the favourite in this match due to knowing more about him previously, so I was surprised by the close of this match.

Tenzan would drop Ishii with a power slam and climb to the top rope, landing a moonsault onto Ishii and getting the pin. Giving Tenzan the win and his first two points of the tournament.

Winner: Hiroyoshi Tenzan (2pts)

Rating: 7/10

Block A Match- Togi Makabe vs Tama Tonga

Photo via Wikimedia

The next match saw Togi Makabe matching up with Tama Tonga. This match was nothing too special. It was a very average contest between two technical heels it seemed.

The matchup only lasted about 10 minutes and had no big spots and the final 20 seconds of the match was the only part that made me really watch the screen. Makabe would land a top rope belly-to-belly suplex to Tonga followed by a diving knee drop, giving him the win and the two points.

Winner: Togi Makabe (2pts)

Rating: 5/10

Block A Match- Hirooki Goto vs Bad Luck Fale

The next match of the card did two things for me; it made me very invested in Hirooki Goto and uninterested in Bad Luck Fale. Goto has some serious skill in the ring, and the way he moves for a man his size amazed me.

Fale, on the other hand, made me think of every other big man in wrestling history, having a very limited move set and not taking bumps too well. I cannot see him being a successful singles star, but instead being a smaller star’s muscle.  

Goto had some high spots in this match, specifically his corner spinning heel kick and his powerful finishing move, the GTR. This move dropped Fale’s neck right on to his knee while clubbing his chest at the same time was outstanding, and gave him his first two points of the tournament.

Winner: Hirooki Goto (2pts)

Rating: 5.5/10

Block A Match- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs SANADA

After watching this bout, I can now truly understand why Hiroshi Tanahashi is “The Ace” of NJPW and why people view SANADA as such an underrated competitor.

Tanahashi showed his technical skill throughout the matchup, and SANADA worked so well as the heel. He wore him down throughout the match, and constantly working on The Ace’s left arm was great heelwork.

Tanahashi’s momentum boost at the end was such an entertaining moment, he was hitting SANADA from every angle. Hitting the trapped arm suplex and going to the top rope for his iconic high fly flow, only to be caught with a cutter in mid-air by SANADA.

SANADA followed up the cutter with back-to-back diving moonsaults from the top rope and then locking in the dragon sleeper, to submit Tanahashi for the huge upset victory. I am now very excited to see what SANADA will do for the rest of the tournament.

Winner: SANADA (2pts)

Rating: 7.5/10

Block A Match- Naomichi Marufuji vs Kazuchika Okada

MATCH OF THE NIGHT

Photo via Courtney Rose/Wikimedia

With Kazuchika Okada coming into this tournament as the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, he was the clear favourite for the whole tournament. Therefore, this match had a very shocking result.

Naomichi Marufuji and Okada stole the show with this matchup and they kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Okada may be the best bout machine, but Marifuji took the spotlight in this one in my opinion. His strong kicks and his few high-flying attacks really amazed me.

But, that’s not to take away from the great work Okada did in this match too. He does his moves so cleanly that it all looks so brutal but beautiful at the same time. Specifically, his German suplex, diving elbow drop, and his reverse neck breaker where he drops the opponent on his knee.

The close of the match was a highlight reel, Marufuji hitting the superkick, followed by a bicycle knee, and finally finishing the match with his signature move, the pole shift. Marufuji landed the huge upset, knocking off the champion in his first match of the tournament.

Winner: Naomichi Marufuji (2pts)

Rating: 8.5/10

This concludes night one of the 2016 G1, and it was a great event. We saw upsets like Tenzan, SANADA, and Marufuji; along with strong showings from Makabe and Goto. I am very excited to see what is in store for the next night of the tournament, and NJPW has really built my interest.

BLOCK A STANDINGS

Hiroyoshi Tenzan – 2 Points

Togi Makabe – 2 Points

Hirooki Goto – 2 Points

SANADA – 2 Points

Naomichi Marufuji – 2 Points

Kazuchika Okada – 0 Points

Hiroshi Tanahashi – 0 Points

Bad Luck Fale – 0 Points

Tama Tonga – 0 Points

Tomohiro Ishii – 0 Points