Big news broke overnight, in case you haven’t heard. Yes, it’s true. Oh so true, in fact. I have indeed stepped in again to cover day 5 of the G1. I tried to keep it a secret, but eventually gosh darn it, it leaked out. Oh well. On paper, the last two matches look pretty darn good, and Styles/Goto has potential. Interesting storyline for the main event. Okada beat Naito on 1/4 to retain the IWGP title. Can Naito get his win back? Let’s find out!

Tomohiro Ishii vs. Doc Gallows. Might have said this somewhere, but Ishii’s dubbed theme sounds like the Mortal Kombat theme. Ishii looks like a tiny man next to Gallows. The tall guy no sold early to Ishii’s offense, but Ishii slap’s start having an effect on him. He actually plants Gallows with a huge looking suplex. Gallows waffles him with a side head kick followed by a pumphandle slam but Ishii blocks and hits a German suplex. Ishii tries for the lariat and gets it a third time. Bicycle kick and Gallows pole doesn’t get the job done. Ishii blocks a second Gallows pole and starts headbutting and hits a sliding D for a nearfall. Standing enziguri and a brainbuster later and Ishii scores the pinfall. Not a bad match. ***1/4

Lance Archer vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan. Archer worked over him early, but Tenzan mounted a comeback. He locks in the anaconda vice, but Archer kicks out. Tenzan gets clobbered with a chokeslam for a nearfall. Tenzan doesn’t, however, kick out of the blackout. Not bad, but nothing special. ***

Satoshi Kojima vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr. It’s a back and forth match until Kojima starts his offense, including the slaps to the corner and the elbow. DBS cuts him off with a butterfly suplex. Kojima fires back with a roaring elbow, but DBS takes him down and locks in the sharpshooter. Kojima grabs the ropes, blocks DBS and eliminates him over the top rope. Kojima enters and tries for a lariat, but it takes two attempts to land for a two count. Kojima misses a lariat and DBS hits a bridging tiger suplex pin for a nearfall.  DBS then gets clocked with a lariat, but on the second attempt DBS blocks it and quickly lands the seated powerbomb for the pinfall. I really liked that finish. Pretty good match overall. ***1/2

Yujiro Takahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki. Yujiro jumps him right as he enters the ring  and throws him into the barricade. TAKA attacks him, but Yujiro shoves him away, only to get pelted with a chair shot by Suzuki. Suzuki takes him down and puts in a leglock but Yujiro manages to get to the ropes. Yujiro fights back with a deadlift suplex and does a neckbreaker like move only to gyrate. Erm, ok. Suzuki wakes up via a number of slaps thanks to Yujiro and eventually locks in a sleeper, only for Yujiro to counter with a fireman’s carry and then follows that with a lariat. Yujiro misses the Miami Shine and eats a kick to the face and follows with the saka otoshi for the submission. Perfectly fine. ***1/4

Karl Anderson vs. Toru Yano. Anderson immediately jumps him once he’s in the ring. Anderson puts on his robe and does the hand signals. Anderson is the one who undoes the turnbuckle. Yano gets whipped into the exposed turnbuckle and gets thrown onto the floor. He does all his mannerisms, including the shrug. It’s amazing. Yano finally drop toe holds him into the exposed turnbuckle then takes him down by the ears. Anderson hits  a spinebuster and a stun gun for a kickout. Anderson tries for another, but narrowly misses getting shoved into the red, and after switching places with the ref and Yano a few times Anderson gets low blowed and rolled up by Yano for the pin. This was a hilarious match, and an alright one to boot. It was amazing in a lot of ways, honestly. ***1/4

Shelton X Benjamin vs. Katsyuori Shibata. Mat wrestling early. Benjamin breaks free and sends Shibata to the outside where he throws Shibata around like a ragdoll, side first, into two intersecting guardrails. Shelton works him over back in the ring. Shelton hits a splash, and goes for another, but Shibata hits a knee. Shibata pelts him with punches in the corner and hits the running dropkick. Shelton returns with a dragon whip and rolls him up for a nearfall. Shelton actually busts out something new, maybe a delayed butterfly suplex? Shibata takes him down with a vicious headbutt and tries for the GTS but Shelton flows through and hits the ankle lock but Shibata grabs the ropes. Shelton hits another superkick, but Shibata falls to the floor before he could do any more. Another superkick, but Shibata’s starting to no sell. Paydirt attempt, but Shibata reverses into a sleeper. Shelton misses a dragon whip, the submission is back on. A penalty kick to the face, however, does it. Shelton finally lost a match, who would have known. ***1/4

AJ Styles vs. Hirooki Goto. Goto controls AJ early after some mat wrestling. AJ counters and starts working on Goto in the corner and hits a superman punch for the nearfall. A Muta Lock follows. AJ starts stomping on him, but Goto starts to awaken. He hits a running spin kick to the corner but AJ counters with a cool looking facebuster. Goto gets caught in the top rope and Goto turns this into a sunset flip bomb off the top rope. Ok, that woke me up. Shouten kai attempt but AJ lays him out. AJ does his flurry of offense but walks into the neckbreaker but still escapes the shouten kai and hits the bloody sunday DDT. Styles Clash, and that’s it. Great match. ****

Bad Luck Fale vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi. Tanahashi tries to do a clean break, but Fale shoves him, so I guess it’s on. Tanahashi goes to springboard off the top rope, but Fale drags him to the floor. He throws him back in the ring and wears him down with a camel clutch. He follows that by just plain waffling him on the corner with blows. Tanahashi fires back by working over Fale’s leg, giving it a dragon screw and a dropkick. Tanahashi escapes a powerslam and hits an inverted DDT. Fale lays him out and goes for the grenade but Tanahashi counters. He throws him over the top rope, then skins the cat and throws Fale to the floor where he unleashes a high fly flow from the top rope to the floor. Tanahashi hits the sling blade and goes for another high fly flow but Fale grabs Tanahashi from the floor and hits the grenade…for the nearfall! Bad Luck Fall attempt fails as Tanahashi escapes, but a samoan drop and a bad luck fall signals the end for Tanahashi. Very good match. ***1/2

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Tomoaki Honma. Honma grabs him by the hair after Nakamura toys with him for a bit and starts laying it in but misses his headbutt. Nakamura with a running knee on the outside. Nakamura takes him down like a bully and does the shaky leg but Honma fires back with a huge lariat, allowing him to hit the headbutt. Nakamura regains control and fires his corner kick on the ropes for a nearfall. Honma counters with a blockbuster and the quickest piledriver ever for a nearfall. Nakamura fires back with a sleeper, but Honma breaks free, only for Nakamura to counter. Honma hits a shoulder tackle and a brainbuster for a nearfall. Honma misses his headbutt again, however. They fire some shots and trade punches until Nakamura hits a boma ye, then goes for another but Honma rolls him up for a nearfall. The place went bonkers after this. Too bad right after they completely botched a rollup spot, just kind of stood there for a while, then Nakamura strikes him with a knee shot for a nearfall, then another boma ye for the actual pinfall. This was excellent from start to near finish with a hot crowd, great spots and just seemed like above everything else so far in the tournament. ****1/2

Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito. Crowd is super hot for Okada. Wild back and forth to start. Okada plants Naito on top and dropkicks him to the floor, choking him out on the guardrail. Naito makes a comeback, but Okada takes him down as he plants him. He hits the elbow and does the Rainmaker pose. Naito ducks and hits a tornado DDT. Naito follows with a hurricanrana off the top rope, and a bridging suplex for two. Okada dropkicks him in the back and hits the tombstone, but misses the rainmaker and Naito eventually transitions into a dragon suplex. Naito eventually eats a dropkick but counters the rainmaker for an armdrag. Naito bodyslams Okada and hits the stardust press for the victory, getting his win back from the Toyko Dome. Another awesome match. Crowd was hot and everything looked crisp and excellent here. ****1/4

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Another awesome show, slightly behind Day 1 and Day 4 as one of the best cards this year. The top two matches were awesome, with the co-main really standing out above the rest. Nothing worth noting on the undercard, but as it seems to be the trend with most of these shows it picked up after intermission and was all good from there.

Oh, by the way, the two guys that headlined this show and had an awesome match were in TNA for months and were almost never used. How utterly fitting this is given recent developing circumstances. But then again, if you want those lucha libras, you have to go to Japan, eh? Some things never change in professional wrestling, do they?

VOW G1 Climax Pick’em Standings (updated July 28):

Name Total Points
Adam Hastings 34
Jordan Benterman 34
Will Young 34
CRVX 34
Jesse Ewiak 33
Alan Counihan 33
Andrew Bates 33
Dan 33
Bry Musslewhite 33
Dylan Hales 32
Jordan Walp 32
TJ Hawke 32
Paul Cooke 32
Dylan Harris 31
Matt Kennedy 31
Iftar Puja Utama 31
Brandon 31
Jody Plante 31
Guilherme Jaeger 31
Matt McEwen 30
Jon Solomon 30
Larry 30
Derek Drago 30
Jonathan Boyle 30
Lee west 30
Matt Gerardi 30
Richard 30
Dennis 30
Matt Pecolatto 29
Aaron Bentley 29
Case Lowe 29
David Dunn 29
Chris Linay 29
Jamie O’Doherty 29
Zach 29
Rob Viper 29
Mitchel Cowan 29
Jake Glowacki 29
Darrell 29
Sean N 29
Chris Harrington 29
Filip Pejic 28
Tim Kelly 28
Shelly 28
Joe Gagne 28
Greg Johnson 28
sarah kenneally 28
Dusty Anderson 28
Rich Kraetsch 28
Dan Masters 28
Jake 27
Oliver Court 27
Daniel Mason 27
Joe Bailey 27
Kristian Nielsen 27
Chris Griger 27
Eric Barraza 27
Kyle Blevins 27
Gin Malkavar 27
Peter Biancardi 27
Joe Roche 26
Dan Svensson 26
Ryan Clingman 26
Ed Burns 26
Jason Felix 26
John Mulligan 26
Rodrigo 26
Sunflower 26
Kenn Haspel 25
David Penton 25
Nick Probola 25
Travis Kriens 25
Jack Edwards 25
William Fairchild 25
Lasse 25
Gavin Fitzpatrick 25
Andrew Rich 25
Bryan Rose 25
Parker 25
Christmas Benoit 25
Brendan Quinn 25
Jason Woito 25
Blacktus Jack 25
Mario L. Morrison 25
Ben 25
Theo Wilson 25
Ryan Kabacinski 25
Rob Reid 25
Michael McDonald 24
Pip 24
Garrett Kidney 24
Will Housell 24
Wayne Maw 24
Michael Smart 24
Guy 24
Tarek Lababidi 24
Steven Ingrassia 24
minorusan01 23
Matt Rolder 23
George Charalambopoulos 23
Bill Thompson 23
Neil Parthun 22
Kevin hare 21
Julio 20
Jeff Parker 20
Tenese Sarwieh 20