NJPW G1 Climax 25
July 20, 2015 (Night 1)
Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center
Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
Watch: NJPWWorld.com

This miraculous day has finally fallen upon us. Today, my friends, is the opening day of 25th annual G1 Climax tournament. In recent years, it’s become one of the biggest tournaments of the year in professional wrestling, drawing big crowds in Japan and is one of the bigger topics of discussion in America when it comes to Japanese wrestling. This year is very different than the other tournaments, however – since there are 19 shows, that means more of the tournament matches are spread out, meaning there’s slots open for other matches. So that means a lot of tag team matches on the undercard. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but when you’ve seen as many six man New Japan tags as I have…eesh.

But let’s not put a damper on this. We still have Hiroshi Tanahashi taking on Kota Ibushi in the main event, which sounds really interesting and exciting. And not only does the co-main, AJ Styles vs. Katsuyori Shibata also sound exciting but I’m sure it’s bound to be painful for one Mr. Styles. We might not have easy cards of the year like in previous years, but this G1 tournament promises plenty of fresh matches, just not all on the same day.

Yohei Komatsu & Tiger Mask & Jushin Liger & Yuji Nagata vs. Tomoaki Honma & Mascara Dorada & David Finlay & Jay White

Soo….we open with the normal six man NJPW tag match. Match seemed to be aimed around Honma and Nagata. They opened things up, then left it to the others. Honma did hit a kokeshi on Nagata at one point. Good, but nothing memorable. Jay White’s hair is certainly interesting at this point, though. Nagata pins David Finlay with the backdrop hold. Nagata and Honma faced down one another after the match. They face off on the next show on 7/23. **3/4

Hirooki Goto & Captain New Japan vs. Cody Hall & Yujiro Takahashi

Most of this match was Captain New Japan being worked on by the heels. He tried to do a test of strength with one point. Astonishingly, Cody Hall was in fact, stronger that Captain New Japan and took control of the match. Largely uninteresting. The babyfaces were being worked upon until CNJ and Goto cradled both heels and got the pin simultaneously. Well at least they went for a different finish. **

Shinsuke Nakamura & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Karl Anderson & Tama Tonga

Solid match. People were very into the CHAOS team. When Yoshi-Hashi was doing his comeback on Anderson people were very into it. He’s one of those who are perhaps more over than their push. Nakamura made a hot tag and took out Anderson, then eventually pinned Tama Tonga with a boma ye. **3/4

Michael Elgin & Satoshi Kojima & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii & Gedo

This was a very interesting match because again, it teased a lot of interesting upcoming bouts. Kojima/Ishii, Elgin/Ishii…and well, anything involving Ishii or Kojima, really!  Elgin got his own entrance and everything, he fit in very well, including doing a huge delayed vertical suplex. Several people tried to break it up but he no sold it. He also deadlifted Ishii with a German that people popped for. Okada is tagged in and pins Taguchi with the rainmaker for the win. Very good stuff; not only was the work solid but it built up to some future matches. ***1/4

Kojima and Ishii got into it big time after the match, continuously brawling and and had to be separated repeatedly.

A Block: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Doc Gallows

Gallows actually choked out Tenzan with the gallows he carries to the ring. I don’t recall the last time he actually did that. They tried, but this felt very sluggish and was just there. Wouldn’t have went with this match to open the G1 tournament. Gallows hit the Gallows poll for a nearfall. Tenzan came back and hit the mongolian chops then went for the Anaconda buster for another nearfall. Still locked in, Gallows eventually taps. **


A Block: Togi Makabe vs. Toru Yano

Yano immediately blindsides Makabe with a roll up, the most devastating maneuver of 2015, for a near fall. A chair is introduced quickly, and it is quickly introduced into Makabe’s face when the referee is distracted. There was a turnbuckle removed somewhere and Makabe ran into it. Yano went to do his catchphrase, but Yano actually DUCKED and pointed to his head. That was amazing. He nearly had the match won with a low blow and backslide but Makabe came back with a lariat and pinned Yano after the king kong knee drop. A fun few minutes. **3/4


A Block: Tetsuya Naito vs. Bad Luck Fale

Naito came out wearing a suit and skull mask, I guess a callback to his Los Ingobernables crew over in Mexico. I recall La Sombra wearing something similar during the Fantasticamania tour in January. This match was largely ok. Naito worked hard but Fale just seemed slow and the finish was all sorts of messed up. Fale went for the Bad Luck Fall, Naito counters into a hurricanrana but it just kind of fell apart there when Naito was dropped back to the floor. Naito hit an enziguri then did his flash pin, hooking both legs. Again, largely just ok. **1/4


A Block: A.J. Styles vs. Katsuyori Shibata

This is where the show finally picked up. Shibata just pelted him with kicks early, including kicking him so hard he went through the barricade to the floor. That had to smart. Shibata’s arm, I should note, was totally bandaged up. Not sure what kind of injury he has but it doesn’t look fun in the least bit. Regardless, this was a fantastic match. Styles looked incredible here, his offense looked awesome and the work on the leg was a nice touch. Shibata looked great with his kicks and together they had a awesome back and forth match. Shibata missed the penalty kick, which allows AJ to hit the Bloody Sunday DDT and the Styles Clash for the victory. First great match of the tour. ****


A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi

This was another match where the leg was extensively worked on. Tanahashi targeted it early and became the main source of his offense. And if you’re wondering why he’s been feuding with Yano for six months, it’s because so he can do high fly flows off the apron like he did here. Ibushi came back here and there, including doing his moonsault and the standing corkscrew press.Tanahashi went for two high fly flows but Ibushi got the knees up on the second. Ibushi’s response to this was to grab Tanahashi and throw him into the turnbuckle as if he was a lawn dart. Ouch. He follows with the deadlift German suplex off the apron for another nearfall.

From here Ibushi unleashes a ton of offense, including a huge deadlift German off the apron. After completely missing a top rope hurricanrana, Tanahashi cuts him off and dragon screws his bum leg. Ibushi still fights back but walks into a Dragon suplex then follows with the High Fly Flow for the win. Excellent match with the last few minutes just being damn awesome. Tanahashi’s still got it when he needs to have it and Ibushi is really great at giving it his all in these kind of match situations. Add the fact the crowd was really into this made this a great, great match. ****½



Final Thoughts: The co-main and main events are worth watching. Skip everything else. Not that I was expecting blow away shows with these kind of cards, but before the top two matches started this was shaping up to be a pretty bad card actually. The last four saved the show. My hopes are that there will be better overall cards than this one down the road, but if there’s at least one main event that’s as good as the one we saw here tonight than these next eighteen shows will be fine.


NJPW G1 Climax 25 Pick’em Standings  – Updated after Day 1
(Visit our Pick’ems sponsor at IVPvideos.com)

NameTotalBonusNight 1Night 2Night 3Night 4Night 5Night 6Night 7Night 8Night 9Night 10Night 11Night 12Night 13Night 14Night 15Night 16Night 17Night 18
August Baker7712454454242522444442
Dylan Waco7715435243244444532522
Josh Walther7715335533343424452324
Allen Vick Jr7615444404344514441443
Bastian Sauer7615544433224534442431
Bonski McBonski765435333435555553424
Rob Rodriguez7615434522443535340235
David Dunn7515334432435424323443
Graeme Touchdown7510444442244444353424
Joshua Robinson7515243354344534311542
Ed Burns7413334343145525542431
Alex K.7310444523334435432424
Dan Atwood7310454444144434532512
Ewen MacDonald7313345223324444351524
Siva Punisamy7313344444324444342322
Aaron Bentley7215443323223433442335
Ben Pitchford7210534334134534442433
Chris Maffei725434352344535452434
J. Michael7215334412135455232334
Jake Barry7215344322244425432414
James Starkey7210245443234445432432
Kenny Ortiz726544354234534444422
Marcus Origer7210235441243524445424
Matt Audet7210445434335422443422
Matt Love725434353354543443334
Morten Hansen7213343324234253434433
Skylar Hinnant7211443334253544342431
Barry Meijer7115544441134514432412
Evan Speciner7110444524145333442414
Len Liu7115324233253435424322
Matt Wheal7113345433134534432322
Oliver Court7110543243342434443333
Olivier Tremblay7115345433214422353431
Scott Barker7115533343124434432422
Adam Watkinson7013443333244534133422
Cameron Krusemark708443432244544343414
Capu Random7010334323234534344244
Christopher Duarte708335242343544143444
Doug Nunnally708444432325544433422
Kevin George705544442444444252405
Paco Silva Martínez705445554434424232433
Rob Reid705353433354535451423
Robert Palmer7010445423224544253322
Seth Chodosh7010434523132444454431
Taylor Mitchell706434432244534552424
Alejandro Giménez Gómez695345344243444433424
Andrew Chupurdy6910445432224534433313
Bryn Edwards Gunn6913533322343445332421
D Chong6910434332134433542434
Jody Plante6913235312124545433513
John Carroll6910343443422524352414
Mark Shaw695534443325433443433
Matt Trebby695454344244434342424
Paul Volsch698353334322524543244
Richard Jaeger697445353214445242424
Rob McCarron6910543312235544351432
Samuel DiMascio697425524344333442514
Santiago Tomasi6910544523133333442433
Tony Albicocco698544434223544351422
Brian Jackson686344344244344341353
Chad Campbell688433343143545442323
Chris Smith687245252324544333433
Goncalo Monteiro6810143412344545432333
James Baldwin685344424423454442532
John Mulligan688455334244444141332
Joseph Remy685445334334434243433
Keenan Carnegie6810524524414124343523
Mario Morrison688545442234525331332
Nnaemeka Odunze687345353244535322323
Paul Leazar6810444522254335332421
Rich Kraetsch6810433432334424342424
Robert Dougherty688435133334335343433
Ryan Smith685234543235554342423
Ryan Wilson6813134434323354223324
Sean Sedor6810334424224445243323
Tomek Cherek6810434433124424442532
Alexander Panos675444423244435342415
Benson Sam673245542343444443414
Brady Livingston675544343334534242333
Chris Bacon676333344353425432424
Jake Daniel675445353334515452312
Joe Gagne675435314344343443424
Kelly Harrass677344432245534352412
Michael Quealy678544443134534432321
Mike Spears678444333134434432523
Ru Gunn675444424134535352414
TJ Hawke6710545523533213222442
Tye Liddell675533433333534342425
Wyatt Eddy675445424444533332422
Ajay Sameer668534322134534432532
Aled M665443432324435442334
Andy Clark668343432134534541540
Azri Firman665324254243535354223
Brandon Howard6610443423234534431313
Brian Ubben665544453144544313412
Daniel Mason665434453215354333243
Dave Taylor665345323144535154423
Dylan Harris668445222343544331423
Ed Mills6610343332244433423432
Edgar Morales665144343344544433431
G Brett Williams663435443155534432431
Gregory Davis668455233234453232233
Heather Christianson665443343245434432423
Izzac Mackenroth667444333234324244325
Jason Bullock665444353224445252431
Jeff Tillery665435543234425542204
Martijn Winkel6610344323115443244333
Matt Kennedy665445314434334443323
Matt Rolder665443333334335343424
Niall Hallinan667442443225444144323
Paul Cooke665445333324544341423
Sean Flynn667244423333542451442
Sean N663445354133433553422
Antonio Garza657443433143435433313
Benjamin Good6510344113254444332422
Brian Brennan6510543222234424142434
Chris Burnett655444443134233423534
Christopher Griger658434243124324532434
Darren Lyne657545434124434322413
Dominick Gonzalez655544323234535323522
Erin Hotovy655434432324423432544
Filip Pejic655443332344533443305
Frederick Cholowski655544432243534352502
Jake Glowacki655534542125344332325
Jeremy Sexton657344424044434342423
Joe Estrada6510342432144534432412
Kevin Hare655343433234544443502
Lucas McFadden658455223523443233322
MacLean Craig657245333334524333413
Mitch Cowan658544423144434322413
Monty Rimorin655344334345313242444
Riley Hansen655535352233434432522
scott glover6510544453134335232112
Sean Spencer655444324145525351512
Travis McNeill655443413244344352424
Adam Joyce645345433234435332422
Brandon Gordon645335311234554343343
David Mora645434333234444433422
Dee H645153234344444332424
dillon burgess647433333134535432413
Eddy Collazo6410333314225244143424
Greg P645444342244434241523
Jason Lee6413335323233432443031
Kevin Lyon645344332424544452402
Luuk van Egeraat645344354324453214521
Mark Edward Dowling645324343414234443524
Martin Foster647143543343423442332
Michael Zavala646443312423545343323
Michelle Burkey6415333424114422322225
Parker Holland645344433034335544403
Robert Pannell645244343334534442421
Sherman Lee645233423243435433344
Tanner Teat645444333234333333434
Victor Zoest645444332234534442224
Warren Taylor648533432125524243422
Alessandro Tucci635544433224443350323
Andrew Carpenter6310441422242444342412
Andrew Perkins636244332242533332444
Ayaash M637445242233533232522
Ben Gordon635243433245524443411
Bill Knust633434433333434443422
Darren Lynch638342424334324231353
David Penton635433233425543441323
Ferdinand Meyer635534154224434252233
Gabriel Perez637345433424534321411
Guilherme Jaeger635444323422234442425
James Hagan635234233243434344334
Jamie Mohan635343343314333442533
Jeff Chase635434234244435432322
João Vitor Silveira Passos633444444333333441513
lawrence obrien633042442255435445322
Lou Pickney635344323234433453512
Mark Aasal635343332133355343343
Mark Berlowitz635434543135233442413
Matt Brown635444333233535422413
Matt McEwen635444532233534431413
Matthew Bray633343334344525432314
Phil Williams633433432254434423442
Samuel Cooke637343343344424222522
William Housell Jr.637334442253434241341
William Young635344524245424232323
Zach Smith633544344134344244214
Aaron Lomas6211432313243435342311
Benoit Brunette623544442423343332225
Brady Vincent623234443324534534402
Chris Adams625254224344523333422
Dave Christian625544532334442241412
David Neild623334343244534242522
Edward Miguez625334432144535322423
Garrett Kidney628433233253324332432
Hugh Little625244433324434342413
Jacob K Randlett623235423243534452314
Jamie ODoherty623535543234424053412
Jason Woito625444444342422341314
Jesse Carey625444442342234442412
Jordan Greenhalgh625444342234534342312
Kevin Gombau625444342234534342312
Kevin S627444323034434533321
Lee Thomas625334434243432343242
Mark Smith625433542233424442413
Michael Levy625325544223324242343
Peter Weinstein625433432335424442412
Rob Barry627435453123323242423
Ryan Tulleth625345443134334233332
Thomas Green625243233254424352432
Andrew Bates615444332423435232323
Andy Doran615235512234444442412
Antonio Edwards613343333134544232524
Charles Humphreys615244333224544232423
Evan Grady-Troia613544323135534352312
joe mills613543432135534433213
Lucas Zamarín615353333223535242224
manny kang615234443244525223313
Mary Robinson615224452224345233522
Matthew Nielson610533444334435442411
Mike Fuller613334422134333453533
Phil OConnor616233423443433433331
Sean Garmer615344322134444433413
Thomas Jayroe615435422143224424433
Alfred Arriola605545333343423332212
Brian Stafford605234432234243441415
Bryan Rose605334443232434433222
Chris Boothroyd607244322122434442415
Christian Renoe6010423223234434322421
Collin Miller603434332344534352311
David Woodley603245333234425442322
Derek Drago605434433223244422432
Francis Lane605342432334444432303
Jason Ryan603444324233424342423
Jesse B603344333254434332313
Joel Zewski607443322135434422412
Jonathan Parsons605332422334434432432
Jordan Benterman605224424134434253413
Keith Campbell605443232234434234413
Keith Harris605245322234435340333
Kenneth Butler603244423244523442422
Kevin Held605445422234424231432
Matthew Brown605243323134434443224
Michael McDonald605233342224332552424
Mike Bate605433323333445232422
Rodrigo Garcia605233532324334252423
The Mosayat605444323234433332413
Will True605544432124435252221
Abrasive Obelisk593435423044423341424
Alan Counihan593433343125344253313
Brandon Simms593534232423434434411
Dan Mullooly595544412123424353403
Dan Tiller597254142251522233324
Darrell Chess595434434213234242423
Drew Wardlaw595343413224334333522
Kelly Corcoran593244344334434332402
Kent Sinkler595445413444312243132
Markus Herter595354442333414232232
Martin Bentley593434432134424332433
Rancho King592335422244435243412
Richard Benson597535441223421232432
Rogers Hudson595243323124533442414
Tenese Sarwieh595444442222325432412
Tim Evans590444333234434441441
Travis Kriens595443312234534441412
Aaron Richards585242443333543152122
Angela Stephens585445432233434232401
Brendan Creecy585434232234444322403
Brennan Bajdek585334322324424342422
cal hodges587233323213435241433
Chris Steffensen585334323234435332402
Joseph Roche580444413342433253432
Karl Grant585334422224434352402
Neil McNerlan585244434143423323421
Peter Gardner580534342434323242433
Alexander Kaiser575235413134345332312
Dakota Schmidt573435513243334331223
Danny Kuchler573345442134434321313
David Neil Rapp575134422024433443423
Jon Burr575441304224522352333
Joseph Atwood575444331334242441411
Alex Giardini565345303123444223512
Andrew Moll567234332223524231512
Andrew Rich563133524124525342412
Bill Thompson563244543222313332424
Brian Sanders565344324222523333420
George T565234414204453342312
Greg Johnson563444112445433333122
Jack Beckmann565433453023324242313
Jake Polustine563324123234434333423
Jamie Sessions560544342214332352423
Jeremy Weimer565544424122444123302
Julian Perez565243323132335352421
Michael A. DeSota565533332135413152313
Mitch Parcells560343352243445332411
Mitch Thomas568434322134322333312
The Jonathon Hunt Experience560335222334434252441
Ben Crooty555433313224215432413
Johnny Marlow550423424224412345225
mark pierson II555422302234433432324
Mike A. Roonie555243233124232522523
Richard Fann555445402123443232124
Sarah kenneally553332432234233234423
Sebastian Zamf555245314224441332321
Stefan Kuschnig555334314233134341224
T.C. Carroll550443443233234352411
Aidan Daly543445443223233332220
John Boyle543343233204332252532
Matt Pecolatto545434321304333331522
Peter Richards543334343033444430321
Allan Blackstock533242423224432342214
Jared Welch532244444123414432221
Lucha Max533344423024343132413
Tim Kelly530334413124525332422
Tommy Livingstone533043423134434233412
Wayne Maw535342424032233342241
Alex Silva520433222243235442520
Case Lowe523433221223533253501
Christian Laputka520434424221434333321
George Andrew525334322131433522213
Niel Jacoby524244343103434132322
Jack Smith510345344114325132411
Kuba Fineczko515235432113234233302
Andrew J. DeYoe502133525125223412331
No One Nation504234441124222113523
Trent Williams505243502014333441321
Adrian Gaskin493343322124433331113
David R. Curington490334322133324252313
Kristin Barry462323321043422333141
Kyle Henke445422321214241022232