You’re wishing for another one of those three-day layoffs, aren’t you? We warned you this wouldn’t be easy but hey look on the bright side, there’s only 16 more to go.
The New Japan crew travels three hours southwest to the Takamatsu City Gymnasium in the Kagawa Prefecture for G1 Climax 25 – Night 4.
Night 3 was, in my opinion, the best of the G1 Climax shows thus far as the A Block has knocked it out of the park. The A Block hasn’t been without faults but they’ve certainly had a better show than the B Block side which had a largely disappointing opening.
Can the B Block roster step it up on their second try? Tomorrow morning’s card certainly looks good on paper, so I have a lot of faith. There’s only one problem: remember that single-camera, no commentary production from Night 2? Well, it’s back. Yes, I’m afraid to tell you that this is yet another bare-bones production meaning no commentary, no cuts and a stationary camera. Let’s hope at the very least the camera is positioned higher so we can see the entire ring.
Here’s what we have in store for tomorrow morning:
Tomohiro Ishii (2) vs. Yujiro Takahashi (0)
- All-Time Record (Head-to-Head): 3-1 Tomohiro Ishii
- Last Singles Match: NJPW King of Pro-Wrestling 2014 (October 13, 2014) Tomohiro Ishii def. Yujiro Takahashi
- Favorite: Tomohiro Ishii (82%)
- What to Watch For: Yujiro is good for nothing (female accompanyment and theme music aside) but arguably his best matches in New Japan have come against Tomohiro Ishii. Their last match up at New Japan’s King of Pro-Wrestling 2014 was a legitimately great match receving ****¼ from Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer and ****½ from our very own Joe Lanza. Am I saying you should expect a borderline MOTY contender out of these two? Of course not but history shows Yujiro/Ishii have great chemistry. This could be better than you think.
Satoshi Kojima (0) vs. Michael Elgin (0)
- All-Time Record (Head-to-Head): N/A
- Last Singles Match: N/A
- Favorite: Michael Elgin (58%)
- What to Watch For: Both men impressed on Night 2, have been focal points and looked good in pre-G1 multi-man tags. I’m looking forward to this being an above-average, maybe borderline great match between two guys who can step up in big situations. A lot of the fears of Michael Elgin in New Japan were extinguished by his strong showings thus far and few people step up when put into a singles role like Kojima. Expect another solid match.
Hirooki Goto (2) vs. Karl Anderson (2)
- All-Time Record (Head-to-Head): 4-1 Hirooki Goto
- Last Singles Match: NJPW G1 Climax 24 – Night 6 (July 31, 2014) Karl Anderson def. Hirooki Goto
- Favorite: Hirooki Goto (61%)
- What to Watch For: 61% of our G1 Climax pick’em participants have Goto winning this match. I think if asked for a recount that number would look a lot different. Almost everyone was completely taken aback and surprised by Anderson’s Night 1 victory over Nakamura and maybe that was all of us being naive. Gedo loves booking Anderson strong and he’s always been an excellent G1 performer. Could he jump out to any early lead and be the “Shelton Benjamin” of 2015? Stranger things have happened.
Yuji Nagata (2) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (0)
- All-Time Record (Head-to-Head): 7-6 Shinsuke Nakamura
- Last Singles Match: NJPW The New Beginning In Sendai (February 14, 2015) Shinsuke Nakamura def. Yuji Nagata
- Favorite: Shinsuke Nakamura (86%)
- What to Watch For: A rematch of the largely disappointing New Beginning in Sendai main event, Nagata/Nakamura lost a lot of it’s luster after Nak’s Night 2 loss to Karl Anderson. Now there’s almost no way Nakamura loses sucking any of the intrigue this match had out of the window. Or, hey, Nakamura could’ve slept with someone’s wife and he’s getting buried throughout this tournament. It’s possible but I’m going to go with the former here. I expect a solid match but this will be a clear and decisive win for Nakamura with his back against the wall.
Tomoaki Honma (0) vs. Kazuchika Okada (2)
- All-Time Record (Head-to-Head): 2-1 Tomoaki Honma
- Last Singles Match: NJPW Road to Tokyo Dome – Night 5 (December 21, 2013) Kazuchika Okada def. Tomoaki Honma
- Favorite: Kazuchika Okada (99%)
- What to Watch For: Yes, you read that correctly, Honma owns the 2-1 series advantage over Kazuchika Okada. What a world.
The series will be tied up after tomorrow morning and that’s fine. Honma will get his nearfalls, the crowd will go insane and Kazuchika Okada, who’s quietly (somehow) putting together a nice 2015 resume, will be in rare form. There’s literally no chance this match isn’t at least good, bordering on great. Okada’s had a great year, Honma is Honma… I can’t wait, this is a great choice for the main event.
Rest of the Card:
- Captain New Japan, Tiger Mask, & Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Cody Hall, Tama Tonga & Doc Gallows
- David Finlay Jr., Mascara Dorada & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Gedo, YOSHI-HASHI & Toru Yano
- Jay White & Kota Ibushi vs. Bad Luck Fale & AJ Styles
- Ryusuke Taguchi, Katsuyori Shibata & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Yohei Komatsu, Togi Makabe & Tetsuya Naito