Date: 20th July, 2015
    Venue: Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center
    City: Toyohira-ku, Sapporo, Japan
    Capacity: 8,000


    BACKGROUND

    The New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 this year will have 20 participants, and be staged over 19 shows (July 20th and run through August 16th) making it the longest G1 Tournament to date. The NJPW tradition goes back to 1975, previous winners include Hulk Hogan, Antonio Inoki, Andre The Giant, to the modern day participants like Okada, Tanahashi, and Nakamura.

    In these updates, we will be running down the G1 Tournament Matches themselves while monitoring the other matches on the card. The true focus will be on the tournament and we’ll be providing Daily/Bi-Daily updates depending on which days the shows are on whilst updating our results/tables so you will know who has the best chance and is in the lead of the tournament so far! 2pts for a win, 1pt for a draw. This year, the G1 tournament shows began in Sapporo, Japan. We have 4 matches as pertains to the tournament itself, and 4 matches that are not.

    We open with your standard NJPW 8 Man Tag, with Liger/Nagata/Tiger Mask/Komatsu and Dorada/Finlay/White & Honma.  Nagata picked up the win on Finlay with a Back Suplex after an awesome Belly to Belly. Crowd was into Honma because he’s the cult favourite, and everybody had chance to do their spots. Obviously not the match we’re here for, but very fun for what it was. Dorado was fun to see, and is a great Luchador. Apparently he’s facing KUSHIDA eventually. Dave Finlay is Fits son and it was nice to see Jushin Liger, appear… Nagata & Honma will face each other in the G1 later.

    Moving onwards to more tag matches, was this fine match. Goto & Captain New Japan faced Takahashi & Hall. Goto got the quick front cradle for the pin over Cody Hall. Bullet Club’s Hall & Taka, reminding us that not all the BC are huge stars. Cody is obviously Scotts son, Goto clearly resting up for his future G1 matches but he’s one of the best in the company. Goto & Takahashi will be happening during the G1, which should be really fun too. Hard to have a bad match with IC Champion Goto really, the same with the next match featuring the Bullet Club vs Nakamura & Yoshi-Hashi… We’ll have Anderson/Nakamura in the Main Event on the next night. Really good tag team match, probably better than most the stuff you’ll see on RAW/anywhere else. Big Karl Anderson might be my favourite NJPW Gaijin. Nakamura hits the Bomaye onto Tonga for the win, Karl looked really good in this one but if you’ve ever seen KA or Nakamura before, you don’t need to see me praise them. Good match!

    In the last match before the G1 kicks off, Kojima/Taguchi and Elgin (who gets his own entrance) faced Ishii/Gedo & The IWGP Champ Okada. This is arguably the most important month of Elgins career really, but it starts of with a loss as Okada pins Taguchi for the win after a forever beautiful Dropkick, an elbow, and then the RAINMAKER!. Elgin didn’t do all that much, and his big moment was picking up Okada & Iishi at the same time and slamming them. Most of the stuff included Koji & Iishi, and they had a brawl after the match. Gedo pointed at Okada a bunch too.

    g1_climax_25____the_fighter_by_tapla-d9227kw

    THE G1 TOURNAMENT

    Gallows faced Tenzan, in the first match of the G1. Tenzan is a massive veteran of the G1, he’s been in 20 of them and is the current NWA Champion. Doc is in his 2nd… So a slight experience difference. You’ll see in this tournament that we’ll have some unique match-ups, and stuff we don’t normally get to see. Nothing really to say about this one, both guys have a role to play in the Tournament, but they’re outsiders. Gallows looked good overall, considering he’s been a tag team wrestler for most of his career. Doc tapped out to the Anaconda cross for the submission.

    Moving On. Makabe & Yano didn’t exactly have a Five Star classic either. Yano played the heel and it was a very slow match. Yano used the ring turnbuckles, a chair, a low blow, and many other heel tactics. Really forgettable. And it didn’t get much better with Naito & Bad Luck Fale after them two poor efforts took the shine off the show somewhat. Fale dominated most of the match, but didn’t look good and Naito can do better. Naito won with a cradle, and much like his gimmick… it was very lazy.

    Thank Goodness for AJ Styles & Shibata. A really interesting match, as we return to what I said earlier about unique matches… Styles picked up the win, in a really hard match with Shibata. Hard Hitting Vs Jr Heavyweight, featuring some awesome action. AJ spent most of the match working the leg, and this was a really physical context. Shibata went nose to nose with AJ at one point, after AJ was getting heat with some clotheslines. Shibata used his mouth to keep a sleeper hold locked in, because he’s insane but it was all for nothing, as Styles hits the Bloody Sunday & finished Shibata with the Styles Clash.  First match of the G1 to be a “YOU MUST WATCH THIS, LAD!” match.

    The Main Event tonight, was Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kota Ibushi. It was awful and boring…Yeah. Right. Like these 2 can put on a bad match. Easily one of the best matches of the year, and the finishing sequence was out of this world. Tana worked over the right leg most of the match, which led into moves like a Dragon Screw and leg locks. Ibushi looked rusty, but he’s heads and shoulders above most wrestlers.  All sorts of near falls and moves in the last part of the match, in a traditional NJPW fashion. Tana eventually won with the High Fly Flow, for the victory. A really awesome match, and something you should go and see… another one for the “YOU MUST WATCH THIS, LAD!” section.

    Ibushi sending Tanahashi to スープレックス市

     RESULTS AND TABLES

    Yuji Nagata, Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask IV & Yohei Komatsu defeated David Finlay, Tomoaki Honma, Jay White & Mascara Dorada

    Hirooki Goto & Captain New Japan defeated Cody Hall & Yujiro Takahashi (Bullet Club)

    Shinsuke Nakamura & YOSHI-HASHI (CHAOS) defeated Tama Tonga & Karl Anderson (Bullet Club)

    Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii & Gedo (CHAOS) defeated Ryusuke Taguchi, Michael Elgin & Satoshi Kojima

    g1_climax_25___a_block_by_tapla-d920pqe

    G1 Climax Block A
    Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Doc Gallows

    G1 Climax Block A
    Togi Makabe defeated Toru Yano Tetsuya

    G1 Climax Block A
    Naito defeated Bad Luck Fale

    G1 Climax Block A
    AJ Styles defeated Katsuyori Shibata

    G1 Climax Block A
    Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Kota Ibushi

    blockA chart

    SPECIAL THANKS

    http://tapla.deviantart.com/ @D_TaPla for the Amazing Graphics
    http://wrestlingprospectus.com/ @LuchaTemple for supplying the English Commentary
    Eric Cholminski for providing us with all the NJPWWorld.com help including free trial.