NJPW “G1 CLIMAX 26” Final Day 8/14/2016 Review
NJPW “G1 CLIMAX 26 : Final Day
NJPW “G1 CLIMAX 26” Final Day, Sunday 8/14/2016 @ Ryōgoku Kokugikan/ Sumo Hall in Tokyo.
1) Tiger Mask & Jushin Thunder Liger vs. David Finlay Jr. & Rysuke Taguchi.
⚫ This was a nice fast-paced opener, where in the end Liger caught Taguchi in the Romero Special and Tiger Mask IV scored the win (5:15) following an Avalance Double Arm Suplex on Finlay Jr.
2) “Bullet Club Hunters” Captain New Japan & Yoshitatsu vs. Jado & Gedo.
⚫ Capt. NOAH, er…Jado won (5:39) with the Jado Cross Face on Captain NJ in what was actually a pretty bad match.
How Yoshitatsu has fallen since coming back from injury, ugh.
3) “Great Bash Heel” Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe vs. “CHAOS” YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii.
⚫ A pretty good tag match that saw the former champions square off against the two CHAOS-members that were most impressive during this year’s G1.
This was what you would expect though, stiff and hard-hitting. It was YOSHI-HASHI who secured the win (9:10) following his Pumphandle Half Nelson Driver, the Karma, on Honma.
4) Special 8-man Tag Team match: Team New Japan – NEVER Openweight Champion Katsuyori Shibata, Manabu Nakanish, Yuji Nagata & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Team NOAH – Go Shiozaki, Shuhei “Maybach” Taniguchi & “The Aggression” Katsuhiko Nakajima & Masa Kitamiya.
⚫ I was actually stunned to see Misawa’s student, former All Japan Triple Crown Champion Go Shiazaki, in an NJPW ring after all these years (yes he was at Lions Gate, but still), so understandably team NOAH got heavily boo’ed by the diehard New Japan crowd. Even though Nakajima, who has more than impressed during this G1 tournament, was on the same team.
This ‘surprise’ match was insane, as it involved loads and loads of hard-hitting action, at one point Shibata even busted himself open from giving a sickening Headbutt to Nakajima. Just crazy.
Near the end, Shiozaki hit Nakanishi with a Lariat, then Taniguchi flew halfway across the ring to hit a big Splash, which gave Nakajima the opportunity to secure the win (10:54) following a Vertical Drop style Brainbuster on the veteran.
After the match a brawl ensued, with Shibata aiming for Nakajima, so hopefully another match between them is coming somewhere down the line.
5) IWGP World Heavyweight Tag Team Championship atch: “The Briscoes” Mark & Jay Briscoe (c) vs. “Bullet Club” Yujiro Takahashi & “Hangman” Adam Page.
⚫ It was a decent match, that seemed a bit rushed near the end. Yujiro scoring all the pin-falls in recent G1 tag matches, became nullified when Mark Briscoe won (15:21) following the Doomday Device on Page for a first successful title defense. So much for the Tokyo Pimp’s push.
During the intermission, it was announced that WrestleKingdom 11 will take place on Wednesday Jan. 4th at the Tokyo Dome.
At the end of the interval, they played a Y2J-like countdown, announcing that a Time Bomb will blow in 1991 hours. That is on 11/5 at NJPW “Power Struggle 2016” from Osaka to be precise. Who will it be?
6) ROH World Heavyweight Championship match: Jay Lethal (c) vs. Satoshi Kojima.
⚫ Kojima was a house on fire here. He went in with a lot of Tenzan moves, in honor of his comrade, who wrestled his last G1 this year, and was in his corner to support him.
Lethal definitely had a hard time with the seasoned veteran, who seemed to have an answer for almost any offensive move by the champion. One Lethal Injection attempt was blocked with a Cozy Lariat, but Lethal grabbed the referee and hit Kojima with a Mule Kick, then another Lethal Injection for the win (10:46), thus retaining the title going into ROH’s “Death Before Dishonor” event this Friday.
7) IWGP Intercontinental Champion Michael Elgin, IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion KUSHIDA, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Juice Robinson vs. “Los Ingobernables de Japón” Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI, EVIL & SANADA.
⚫ This was a great 8-man tag with lots of typical L.I.J quick tags and blatant double teaming against lots of high-flying and power moves by the opposing team.
During the match, Elgin showed incredible strenght by double slamming Naito ánd EVIL. He even repeated the Samoan Drop Fallaway Slam combo to SANADA and BUSHI, wow!
At the conclusion of the battle, Elgin was taken out by a Naito & EVIL Press Slam. Then Robinson ran into a big Lariat by EVIL, who won the match for his team (11:32) following his STO, the EVIL, on Juice.
After the match Naito “tranquilo’d” Elgin and mocked him, before kicking the Intercontinental title belt out of the ring, which indicates, they could be heading towards clash for the IC belt.
8) IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada & GHC World Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Naomichi Marufuji & Toru Yano vs. “Bullet Club” Bad Luck Fale & “Guerrillas of Destiny” Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa.
⚫ Fun match, that saw the GHC Tag champs team up with the IWGP Champion and BC’s Underboss tagging with the former IWGP Tag champs. It was short though, with everybody showing some of their stuff here.
The end came when the ring filled with a brawl. Okada did a Dropkick on Fale, who was going for his Grenade, and clotheslined him out of the ring. Okada won (9:10) for his team, following the Rainmaker on Tanga Loa.
After the match Okada issued the challenge to a future title match to Bad Luck Fale, for losing to the big guy during the tournament. He also offered Marufuji a shot at his IWGP belt (Okada lost to the NOAH veteran on the first night of G1), to which Maru wanted to seal the deal with a handshake, only for Okada to disrespectfully walk away and leave the ring.
9) G1 Climax 26 Final match: A Block nr.1 – Hirooki Goto vs. B Block nr.1- Kenny Omega.
⚫ This was the culmination of the 19 day journey this year’s G1 Climax took, with block round matches in 14 different cities in Japan. Both blocks produced several 5-star classics to determine today’s final and there was a lot of expectation for two guys that , beforehand, not many people expected to even make it to the final.
G1 Climax 26 rolled to a close tonight as Kenny Omega faced off against Hirooki Goto in this year’s tournament finals, fighting for the coveted contract that would guarantee them a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at WrestleKingdom 11.
This year’s G1 Climax was wrapped up with another 5-star outing, as Omega and Goto literally tore down Ryōgoku Sumo Hall. The roar of the crowd lasted from the beginning till the end of the match, something that hasn’t been seen or heard since the days of Mutoh, Chono and Hashimoto.
The match was simply amazing, as they were literally trying to kill each other in the ring and outside of the ring. I’m not going to call this match move for move here, but believe me, it was glorious.
Much credit to Goto as well for putting up one the best matches of his career here, throwing everything he had at Omega with the Shouten Kai, Ura Shouten and GTR among others. All to no avail though, as Goto’s frustration at not being able to put Omega away showed more and more during this bout. These two told one hell of a story here. Omega even broke out a Hayabusa-like Phoenix Splash, a nod to (former tag partner) Kota Ibushi with a Last Ride Power Bomb and paid tribute to former Club leaders Devitt (Finn Bálor) & Styles with the Bloody Sunday and the Styles Clash. followed by The One Winged Angel to win. But it was his own finishing move that got the job done: Kenny Omega won (26:49) following the One Winged Angel.
He did it! Omega wins the 26th edition of the G1 Climax, becoming the first (gaijin) Western winner ever, gaining the privilege to challenge, whomever holds the IWGP Championship at that time, for a title match at on Jan 4th at the Tokyo Dome.
After the match, Omega celebrated the win with his Bullet Club partners. Omega took the trophy, but dropped the traditional G1 Climax flag and instead waved the Bullet Club flag. Omega then cut a post-match promo, before the confetti came down to close out the show.