Day #4 (7/24/16 – Block B):

Juice Robinson defeated David Finlay

This match was better than expected. Robinson is already an improvement over CJ Parker, and if he would drop the screeching and annoying voice, he’d be even better.

Ryusuke Taguchi & Togi Makabe defeated Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI & SANADA)

Let’s be clear. Makabe defeated LIdJ. BUSHI and SANADA are a really good team, despite the loss. Makabe and SANADA meet in the next round, so their interactions pushed the hoss fight to come. BUSHI largely made Taguchi look stupid, which is as it should be.

The Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, & Yujiro Takahashi) defeated Captain New Japan, Hiroshi Tanahashi, & KUSHIDA

Tanahashi meets Tonga in the next round, seeking a desperately-needed win. KUSHIDA looked visibly annoyed when Tanahashi eventually tagged in Captain New Japan, and their team lost. One of these days, KUSHIDA is going to snap. It will be glorious.

CHAOS (Gedo, Hirooki Goto, Kazuchika Okada, & Tomohiro Ishii) & Naomichi Marufuji defeated Jushin Liger, Manabu Nakanishi, TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima), & Tiger Mask

Poor Goto ate both a Liger Bomb and a Tiger Driver, but persevered and got the win for his team. Another CHAOS versus CHAOS match looms in the next round, with Goto facing the stable leader and champion, Okada. The two shook hands, but with Goto being new to the faction, it could be the calm before the storm.

Tomoaki Honma defeated YOSHI-HASHI

In the Battle of the Lovable Underdogs, YOSHI-HASHI clearly wanted it more. He’s on fire in the ring, showing greater intensity, and taking everything more seriously. Honma, not so much. Honma still won. With this match, Honma, whose entire persona is defined by losing matches, has two G-1 victories in a row. If you listen to the audience, they don’t know how to react to this. The whole thing is just awkward, and not in a good way.

Yuji Nagata defeated EVIL

This match was kind of there. Both guys are capable of better, and Nagata’s victory puts him at 2-0.

Kenny Omega defeated Toru Yano

Most NJPW fans don’t watch it for comedy wrestling. Omega even Tweeted out a promise to avoid all comedy and be completely serious in the match. To say that he spoke falsely is an understatement. I usually can’t stand Yano, and this match was hilarious. Omega got a needed win, Yano got the spotlight for his shenanigans, and the fans got a laugh.

Katsuyori Shibata defeated Katsuhiko Nakajima

He may be a fan favorite in NOAH, but Nakajima reeked of douchebaggery here. Shibata needs to kick his head into the 10th row. Nakajima controlled most of the match, targeting Shibata’s heavily-wrapped shoulder and arm. The “Oh, no, you DIDN’T!” moment came when the Boy Wonder ripped off Shibata’s hesitation dropkick in the corner and Penalty Kick. That’s sacrilege. Shibata agreed, and came back to show everyone how those moves are done, scoring the win with a real PK. Even before G-1 started, Shibata has been fighting from underneath more often than he used to. Longtime fans are accustomed to seeing him dominate, and getting the worst of it for most of a match is a new thing for him.

Tetsuya Naito defeated Michael Elgin

Match of the tournament so far, hands down. This match is long, but you just need to watch it. Right now. The current IWGP Intercontinental champion is 0-2 right now, but this match was a fantastic performance for him, and he could certainly rebound as the tournament progresses. Losing to Naito isn’t exactly shameful.



Night 1
Night 2
Night 3
Night 4
Night 5
The Big Picture of Week #1

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