The greatest tournament of all time (I can safely say this without hyperbole) continues as we venture onto day 9. Tonight’s main event is Hirooki Goto taking on Kazuchika Okada. Sounds great! There’s also AJ Styles against Karl Anderson, intriguing! And Tetsuya Naito takes on Minoru Suzuki. Interesting! Will we have another card of the year contender tonight? Can anything top Minoru Suzuki vs. AJ Styles? It’s quite possible!

Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Tomoaki Honma: They wind up on the outside quickly and DBS throws him into the barricade, then chokes him with some wiring. DBS wears him down in the ring but Honma fires back with some chops and dodges a big boot that sends DBS on the apron. DBS cuts him off and tries a suplex, but Honma counters and gives him a lariat that sends him to the floor. Standing headbutt off the top rope onto DBS on the floor. Back in the ring, Honma hits the headbutt and tries a suplex but DBS reverses. Bulldog bomb attempt, but Honma cuts him off and smashes him with a forearm. Goes for the headbutt off the top rope, but misses. Bulldog bomb attempt, but Honma counters with a rollup for a nearfall. But DBS hits an exploder suplex and follows with a bulldog bomb, and it’s another loss for Honma. Quite the fun little opener. ***1/4

Yujiro Takahashi vs. Lance Archer: Yujiro charges him at the bell and start to clip and work on his leg, calling back to his match with AJ Styles from yesterday. Archer kicks him out of the ring, but he clips his leg again and goes back to working on it. Archer reverses a crab and puts on one of his own. Archer starts a comeback, including taking him down with a charging tackle. Tries the blackout, but Yujiro counters with a fireman’s carry slam. Yujiro tries the perfectplex but Archer breaks out and hits a tornado slam for a nearfall. Yujiro breaks free of another blackout attempt, then follows with two low blows (managing to distract the ref twice) and rolls him up for the pinfall. It was fine, but nothing memorable. **1/2

Yuji Nagata vs. Doc Gallows: They do a test of strength early, and Doc uses it to gain advantage and starts working over Nagata for the bulk of the match. Nagata fires back with some kicks to the leg, wearing down Doc and follows with an exploder for a nearfall. Gallows cuts him off and manages to hit the Gallows poll, but it’s a nearcount. Nagata avoids another Gallows poll and locks in the armbar. Tries to go for the back suplex, but Gallows avoids it, only to get nailed with a huge German suplex. Gallows manages to hit a bicycle kick, however, and a second Gallows poll gives him the win. Nothing wrong with this, but felt it never really went past the point of just being alright. **3/4

Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Togi Makabe: They start by giving one another lariats, with Makabe starting off with the heat, but Tenzan starts doing the Mongolian chops. They wind up on the outside and sure enough, Tenzan gets clotheslined over the barricade and onto the floor. He beats a 19 count but makabe starts working him over, but it soon turns into a forearm fest with Tenzan being taken down.  He mounts a comeback, mongolian chops included, but is again taken down, this time with a powerslam. He goes for a huge lariat, but Tenzan replies with a spinning heel kick. Headbutt connects. and an anaconda vice is implemented, but when Tenzan goes for the slam Makabe breaks free and there’s a back and forth until Tenzan goes down. Makabe hits the kneeling powerbomb, then follows with the king kong knee drop and he secures the pinfall. Pretty fun match. ***1/2

Minoru Suzuki vs. Tetsuya Naito: Suzuki does a clean break early, but slaps Naito, so it’s indeed on. Naito does his fun offense that sends Suzuki to the floor. TAKA grabs his leg, allowing Suzuki to hits his running boot off the apron and starts brawling with Naito on the outside, throwing him into the guardrail and starts choking him with his towel. Naito so sells some of Suzuki’s kicks and starts doing his comeback, including a missile dropkick from the top rope. Suzuki grabs Naito by the leg as he does his springboard dropkick off the apron and works it into a half crab, then takes him down inside the ring and starts working on his leg. Naito breaks free with an enziguri and goes to the top rope, but Suzuki punches him off and locks in an amazing armbar on the top rope and lands seamlessly on the floor to execute. Naito puts his foot on the rope but Suzuki traps him in a sleeper. He breaks free, hits an inverted DDT but misses a stardust press. Suzuki catches Naito as he was rolling for a rollup and transitions into the saka otoshi, with Naito eventually tapping out. A fantastic match, highlighted by Suzuki’s excellent submission transition as well as Naito’s offense. ****1/2

Bad Luck Fale vs. Katsuyori Shibata: At the very least, this sounds intriguing. Fale starts off right at the start, taking him to the corner and pummeling him. He works on him early, but Shibata rolls into a leglock, taking him down to the ground. Doesn’t last long as Fale immediately goes to the offensive again, hitting a big splash. Bad Luck Fall attempt, but Shibata rolls him up in a sunset flip, takes him to the corner and hits the running dropkick. Another bad luck fall attempt, but it turns into a sleeper for Shibata. Fale counters with a samoan drop and looks for the bad luck fall again…but Shibata lands back on his feet and lands a HUGE boot to the face that sends Fale to the floor. Fale grabs him as he exits the ring, however, and takes him down. When he tries to get him back up, Fale clotheslines him to the floor…and I guess Fale wins by countout? I guess Fale needed to win here, and they didn’t want a clean win over Shibata. So uh…I dunno. Weird finish to a pretty alright match. **3/4

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Satoshi Kojima: They chain grapple to start. Nakamura gains the advantage and takes him down to the outside and they brawl. Kojima breaks free and stomps on Nakamura, eventually starting his comeback offense, including the clothesline in the corner and the elbow. Nakamura rallies back and does his comeback. Kojima reverses the reverse exploder and hits a DDT followed by a diamond cutter.Tries for the lariat, but Nakamura hits a backstabber and goes for a sleeper. Boma ye attempt fails, and Kojima gives him a lariat followed by a top rope diamond cutter for a nearfall. Nakamura reverses, hits a spinning heel kick and a boma ye for a nearfall. Kojima blocks a second and hits a lariat but falls to the floor. Kojima hits a brainbuster but still only a nearfall. Nakamura blocks a lariat attempt, but Kojima strikes him with another at the rebound for a nearfall, again! Kojima attempts a lariat one more time, but gets stunned with a superkick (that’s what it looked like) for the pinfall. A great match. ****

AJ Styles vs. Karl Anderson: Anderson laid down for AJ at the start, but rolled him up. Maybe they were trying to recreate Hogan/Nash there, except they didn’t kill the promotion dead with that spot. Then AJ does the same. They go to the outside where AJ does his flying over the turnbuckle spot, but Anderson grabs him and powerbombs him on the apron. Anderson goes to suplex him through the guardrail onto the floor but AJ counters and suplexes him into the guardrail, ouch. AJ works on him for a good while until Anderson cuts him off and loudly proclaims “BRAINBUSTER” but AJ cuts him off again and goes to the top rope. Anderson fights him off and hits a reverse gun stun for a nearfall. AJ hits a superman punch after escaping a TKO by Anderson and tries for the Styles Clash but Anderson reverses it, only to eventually fall to a reverse DDT for a nearfall. They both fights on the top rope until Anderson unleashes a gun stun from the middle rope for a nearfall. Back and forth counters from both and they both end up on the floor after a pele kick by AJ. Anderson misses a bicycle kick in the corner and AJ works on him a bit, but he manages to hit it after a second attempt. AJ counters  with a rollup into a Styles Clash but  Anderson escapes, only for AJ to roll into a calf killer. Anderson manages to get to the ropes then follows with a sitout piledriver for a nearfall. AJ retaliates with the bloody sunday DDT, then the styles clash and that’s it. Another really good match. ***3/4

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Shelton Benjamin: Tanahashi flies off for a high fly flow attempt but Benjamin uppercuts him and that’s where he starts working him over. Tanahashi cuts him off and hits the senton. Shelton throws him to the outside, but skins the cat and throws Shelton out, only for Shelton to skin the cat as well and manages to lock in the ankle lock. Tanahashi tries to escape, succeeding by rolling out of it. Shelton tries to take him to the top but Tanahashi knocks him off and tries the high fly flow, only to miss and Shelton transitions into the ankle lock again but Tanahashi escapes, takes him out and hits a high fly flow from the top rope, then hop on the other side and hits the second for a nearfall. Fun match with some nice spots. ***1/2

Kazuchika Okada vs. Hirooki Goto: Quick offense to start. Goto clotheslines him to the floor. Okada takes him and sends a big boot to the floor then follows that with the draping DDT to the floor. Back and forth from here. Okada hits a big boot, but Goto clocks him with a lariat for the nearfall. Okada counters that with the neckbreaker on the knee. Okada does the rainmaker pose, but Goto escapes and hits the knee facebuster. Shouten kai attempt fails, but Goto refuses to get rainmakered. Okada dropkicks him then tries to do something off the top rope, but Goto headbutts him and tries the sunset flip bomb but Okada counters that with a huge back body drop to the floor. He follows that with a tombstone, then tries for the rainmaker again, but Goto counters with a headbutt , shouten kai attempt, but Okada reverses it into a huge German suplex then hits the rainmaker and scores the pinfall. Hell of a ending stretch to a super match. ****1/2

Final Thoughts:

Probably one of the weaker shows in the G1 thus far. But then again, there was two awesome matches on this card (as opposed to like 4 or 5 on other cards) so by normal standards this was still a great card all things considered. Main event delivered big time as one would expect. Suzuki/Naito was tremendous with Suzuki’s excellent submission offense and Naito pretty much just being Naito. Another great card as we head to the finals.

Voices of Wrestling G1 Pick’em Standings (updated August 4):

NameTotal Points
Andrew Bates61
Guilherme Jaeger60
Paul Cooke59
Jesse Ewiak59
Matt McEwen58
Chris Harrington58
Derek Drago58
Will Young57
Dylan Hales57
Jordan Benterman56
Gin Malkavar56
Matt Gerardi56
Mitchel Cowan56
Joe Bailey56
Bry Musslewhite55
Dylan Harris55
Eric Barraza55
Bryan Rose55
Chris Griger55
Joe Gagne54
Adam Hastings54
Kristian Nielsen54
Iftar Puja Utama53
Jody Plante53
Matt Pecolatto53
Greg Johnson53
Sean N53
Travis Kriens53
Peter Biancardi53
Jon Solomon53
Jason Felix52
Filip Pejic52
Jordan Walp52
Matt Kennedy52
Rich Kraetsch52
Theo Wilson52
Lee west52
Ryan Kabacinski52
Rob Reid52
Jonathan Boyle51
Alan Counihan51
sarah kenneally51
David Dunn51
Andrew Rich51
Jake Glowacki51
Rob Viper51
Gavin Fitzpatrick51
Tim Kelly51
Christmas Benoit51
Case Lowe50
Chris Linay50
Jamie O’Doherty50
Jason Woito50
Garrett Kidney50
Tarek Lababidi50
TJ Hawke49
Aaron Bentley49
Kyle Blevins49
Oliver Court49
Ed Burns49
David Penton49
Steven Ingrassia49
Kevin hare49
Dan Svensson48
Dusty Anderson48
Brendan Quinn48
Dan Masters47
George Charalambopoulos47
Will Housell47
John Mulligan47
Jack Edwards47
Matt Rolder47
Nick Probola47
Mario L. Morrison46
Wayne Maw46
Daniel Mason45
Michael McDonald45
Blacktus Jack44
Joe Roche44
Neil Parthun44
William Fairchild44
Bill Thompson44
Jeff Parker43
Kenn Haspel42
Ryan Clingman42
Michael Smart39
Tenese Sarwieh36