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


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):

NameTotal Points
Adam Hastings34
Jordan Benterman34
Will Young34
Jesse Ewiak33
Alan Counihan33
Andrew Bates33
Bry Musslewhite33
Dylan Hales32
Jordan Walp32
TJ Hawke32
Paul Cooke32
Dylan Harris31
Matt Kennedy31
Iftar Puja Utama31
Jody Plante31
Guilherme Jaeger31
Matt McEwen30
Jon Solomon30
Derek Drago30
Jonathan Boyle30
Lee west30
Matt Gerardi30
Matt Pecolatto29
Aaron Bentley29
Case Lowe29
David Dunn29
Chris Linay29
Jamie O’Doherty29
Rob Viper29
Mitchel Cowan29
Jake Glowacki29
Sean N29
Chris Harrington29
Filip Pejic28
Tim Kelly28
Joe Gagne28
Greg Johnson28
sarah kenneally28
Dusty Anderson28
Rich Kraetsch28
Dan Masters28
Oliver Court27
Daniel Mason27
Joe Bailey27
Kristian Nielsen27
Chris Griger27
Eric Barraza27
Kyle Blevins27
Gin Malkavar27
Peter Biancardi27
Joe Roche26
Dan Svensson26
Ryan Clingman26
Ed Burns26
Jason Felix26
John Mulligan26
Kenn Haspel25
David Penton25
Nick Probola25
Travis Kriens25
Jack Edwards25
William Fairchild25
Gavin Fitzpatrick25
Andrew Rich25
Bryan Rose25
Christmas Benoit25
Brendan Quinn25
Jason Woito25
Blacktus Jack25
Mario L. Morrison25
Theo Wilson25
Ryan Kabacinski25
Rob Reid25
Michael McDonald24
Garrett Kidney24
Will Housell24
Wayne Maw24
Michael Smart24
Tarek Lababidi24
Steven Ingrassia24
Matt Rolder23
George Charalambopoulos23
Bill Thompson23
Neil Parthun22
Kevin hare21
Jeff Parker20
Tenese Sarwieh20