Day #5 (7/25/16 – Block A):

YOSHI-HASHI defeated David Finlay

Everyone isn’t into the story of YOSHI-HASHI this year, but the flaws are what make it work. Yes, he looks uncertain, even afraid, and almost surprised when he wins. Yet he is determined to soldier on, and it’s that determination in spite of the fear of going it alone that makes him so compelling. YOSHI has a heavily-wrapped shoulder after his match with Honma as well. He and Shibata are either helping sell Honma’s finisher as really damaging, or this is a sign that Honma is going to seriously hurt someone by the time that G-1 ends. Whatever “Loose Explosion” means, wearing it across your buttocks is not helping you to be taken seriously. Please change that.

Katsuyori Shibata, Jushin Liger, Manabu Nakanishi, Satoshi Kojima, & Yuji Nagata defeated Michael Elgin, Ryusuke Taguchi, KUSHIDA, Tiger Mask, & Juice Robinson

KUSHIDA and Tiger Mask double-teamed Nakanishi at several points. They failed more often than they succeeded, but the plan was good. Shibata and Elgin meet in the next round, so obviously Shibata must provoke Elgin by running across the ring and kicking him in the face. Post-match, the two stare down to the point that Liger has to drag Shibata away. Nagata will face YOSHI-HASHI in the next round, but he isn’t here right now. Kojima pinned Robinson for the win, by the way. Kojima is extremely over. Apparently Shibata is back to leaving the ring as soon as the referee raises his hand.

Bullet Club (Kenny Omega & Yujiro Takahashi) v Tomoaki Honma & Captain New Japan

Omega doesn’t want to be here. He tells us so as he enters. I think that we all know how this goes. Takahashi pins Captain New Japan. As a side note, Takahashi looks more and more like Eddie Guerrero. Coincidence? Honma and Omega talk trash after the match, as they meet in the next round.

Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, & BUSHI) defeated Katsuhiko Nakajima & CHAOS (Gedo & Toru Yano)

This match was just plain fun. The entrance alone tells you everything that you need to know. Naito sat down on the ramp and laughed at everyone in the ring. When he finally got there, he insisted that the referee hold the ropes open for him. This did not happen. Gedo argued with Naito to quit wasting time and get in the ring. Naito teased entering the ring, but didn’t, then started to do it, and froze in mid-step for a ridiculously long time. If you don’t love this, then you are clearly a Lizard Person. The best parts were when Yano’s in-ring shenanigans had no effect on Naito, who proceeded to outdo him in that field. Yano was seriously thrown, and it was beautiful. BUSHI pinned Gedo, and LIdJ wins.

Tomohiro Ishii defeated Bad Luck Fale

The image of Ishii flying at Fale and bouncing off to the mat is impressive. Ishii is a tank, a legit powerhouse, but Fale looks like an absolute giant against him. The collective gasp from the audience when Ishii lifted up Fale for a brainbuster was great. Ishii needed this win.

Togi Makabe defeated SANADA

Boo. The audience loves him, but the Unchained Gorilla just bores me. He’s now at 3-0. Everything about “Cold Skull” SANADA is just, well, cool. He’s definitely proving that he can work comfortably with the top guys in the company, and not just as part of his stable.

Naomichi Marufuji defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan

This was Tenzan’s first loss in his quest. Marufuji’s chops are absolutely brutal, as Tenzan’s chest looked like it was actually bleeding. Great post-match respect shown by both men. Tenzan’s missed moonsault allowed Marufuji to come back with kicks and chops, and his Shiranui clinched the win. Good match.

Tama Tonga defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi

Wow. The audience went almost silent at the three-count, with a smattering of polite applause, but not much. After loudly backing Tanahashi for the entire match, they completely died here. A clean win from somebody like Tama Tonga was not expected, and it certainly wasn’t well-received. Tanahashi’s angry outbursts as he left the ring made it clear that he wasn’t very happy either.

Kazuchika Okada defeated Hirooki Goto

This was expected, though the match was extremely good. Counters on top of counters from both men, and Goto made an excellent showing against his group leader. Okada’s post-match promos are shoutier than they used to be.



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

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