NJPW G1 Climax 25
August 2, 2015 (Night 9)
Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium
Nagoya, Aichi, Japan
Watch: NJPWWorld.com

On paper, the ninth night of this G1 looked like it had a chance to be the weakest overall show of the tour. A hot crowd combined with matches that over delivered up and down the card ended up leading to what was not only a really fun show, but arguably the second best top to bottom show of the entire tournament so far, trailing only the Osaka offering from one night earlier.

Ryusuke Taguchi & KUSHIDA & Satoshi Kojima vs David Finlay & Mascara Dorada & Tomoaki Honma

New Japan announced before the show that Tiger Mask had suffered a neck injury in Osaka, so he was pulled from this match along with Yohei Komatsu. Really fun opener, built around Kojima & Honma setting up their singles match on Day 10 (which should be a fantastic bout), but with everybody getting a chance to shine. At one point, lost in a sea of babyfaces, Kojima forgot what team he was on. KUSHIDA tapped out Finlay with the hoverboard lock. Kojima & Honma had a pull apart brawl post match. ***

Jay White & Michael Elgin vs Cody Hall & Yujiro Takahashi

This ended up as a very pleasant surprise, with Yujiro beating White with the Tokyo Pimps to cap off a hot little tag bout. The highlight was Elgin doing a double Samoan drop on both opponents, which looked super impressive since Cody Hall is a big boy. Hall looked as good as he ever has here, and Elgin’s power moves were super over with the fans, as they’ve been the entire tour. Elgin directing traffic and doing little things to control the bout (slapping the apron when the crowd went quiet, switching seamlessly to a single leg instead of sloppily trying to recover to a full when Hall’s leg was lost turning over on a crab hold) continued to raise his stock on what has been a very strong tour for him. Elgin looks motivated & determined, and his style fits like a glove in this promotion. I’ve been particularly impressed with his pacing, as he does tend to work too fast at times on the indie scene. This was a way better match than it looked like it would be on paper. ***

Captain New Japan & Yuji Nagata & Hirooki Goto vs YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii & Shinsuke Nakamura

The highlights of this were Ishii spitting on Nagata to build heat for their upcoming singles bout, and YOSHI-HASHI working his ass off. Seriously, Y-H worked very hard here, and won it with the Loose Explosion (one of you pranksters either read my last review or listened to me on Twitter, as we’ve turned this swanton name change into an actual thing) on the Captain. This was short, and the stars largely took the night off. **3/4

Gedo & Kazuchika Okada vs Tama Tonga & Karl Anderson

This was the Gedo & Tama Tonga show, as much like the previous bout, the G1 dudes took it easy. Gedo & Tonga had some pretty awesome chemistry together, making me pine to see a singles match that is likely never going to happen. Tonga scored the pin on Gedo with a double underhook DDT, continuing the trend of guys like YOSHI-HASHI & Tonga being given some rub in these undercard tags, which was even brought up by Milano Collection AT on commentary. Fun undercard. **3/4

G1 Climax 25

Hiroyoshi Tenzan (2) vs Kota Ibushi (4)

Ibushi missed his Golden Triangle moonsault very early on, a move he almost never misses, leading to a long and methodical Tenzan beat down, with Tenzan cutting off all of Ibushi’s brief comebacks. Ibushi finally managed to reverse momentum when he used a creative flip to escape the Anaconda Vice, and capped off a short comeback with a Phoenix Splash for the win. A basic, simple story that made for a pretty good match, in a situation where a severe styles clash could have ended up being a disaster. ***1/4

https://twitter.com/SenorLARIATO/status/627760750459752448

https://twitter.com/SenorLARIATO/status/627762649573535744

Katsuyori Shibata (6) vs Bad Luck Fale (6)

Another simple story which led to another match that over delivered, with Fale beating down Shibata for nearly the entire bout until a great spot where Shibata reversed the Bad Luck Fall into a choke in mid air leading to the PK and the win. Early in the bout they did a great call back spot, teasing a Fale count out win, which was the same finish of the same match in the same building during last year’s tournament. Pretty cool touch. By the end of the night, Shibata was all alone at the top of the block with 8 points. ***1/2

https://twitter.com/SenorLARIATO/status/627766008682577920

AJ Styles (4) vs Doc Gallows (2)

The lack of commentary led to several instances of both men very audibly calling out spots, but other than that this was a good bout that would easily qualify as the best Gallows match of the entire tournament. AJ was pretty great here, with his unique bumping and usual crisp offensive execution, but Doc held up his end just fine too. Had Doc not been able to produce something decent with AJ, it might have been time to just send him home. Not exactly breaking news, but AJ is on a serious roll and might just be the best wrestler in the world. ***1/4

https://twitter.com/SenorLARIATO/status/627770180194729984

Togi Makabe (4) vs Tetsuya Naito (6)

Makabe won this with the King King Knee Drop, but the story here was yet another broken forehead victim in this G1 (Naito, courtesy of Makabe slamming his head into the ring post), and Naito continuing the best run of overall performances of his career. I never bought into Naito’s reputation of being a “wrestling genius”, as he never came off to me as some sort of savant in the area of wrestling psychology (and often was quite the opposite), but this new heel persona is exactly what was needed to shake up his stale act and provide him the impetus to improve his overall game. This was probably the best Makabe match of the tournament. He’s been disappointing so far. ***3/4

https://twitter.com/SenorLARIATO/status/627776947683229696

Hiroshi Tanahashi (4) vs Toru Yano (2)

Yano opened up the entire bag of tricks, including some new wrinkles like evading the High Fly Flow to the floor by crawling under the ring. Plenty of ref grabbing, DVD throwing, and low blow wackiness here, in a match very similar to the last singles bout between the two, with Tanahashi scoring a definitive win with the HFF. As was the theme on this entire show, this was a pleasant surprise and a ton of fun, capping off a really fun show that top to bottom may have only been topped by Osaka from the night before, even without the benefit of a truly great match. Also, with Tanahashi more than half way through his block, we can officially stop worrying about whether he’s finished as an elite worker, as he’s looked as good as ever throughout the entire tour. ***3/4

https://twitter.com/SenorLARIATO/status/627778627942412288

https://twitter.com/SenorLARIATO/status/627778866661224449

G1 Climax 25 Official Standings

Block A Block B
Katsuyori Shibata 8 Kazuchika Okada 6
Tetsuya Naito 6 Tomohiro Ishii 6
Bad Luck Fale 6 Karl Anderson 6
Kota Ibushi 6 Hirooki Goto 6
AJ Styles 6 Shinsuke Nakamura 4
Hiroshi Tanahashi 6 Michael Elgin 4
Togi Makabe 6 Yujiro Takahashi 4
Doc Gallows 2 Satoshi Kojima 2
Toru Yano 2 Yuji Nagata 2
Hiroyoshi Tenzan 2 Tomoaki Honma 0

Voices of Wrestling G1 Climax Pick’Em Standings

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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
SenorLARIATO7113345433234444332223
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
Scott675444533233534452422
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
Vic666444334334435432430
Antonio Garza657443433143435433313
Benjamin Good6510344113254444332422
Brian Brennan6510543222234424142434
Chris Burnett655444443134233423534
Christopher Griger658434243124324532434
CRVX655345332233444443522
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
Mogel635543333235543332412
ntaf635343552334334242314
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
SASira623434332344434432513
Thomas Green625243233254424352432
Andrew Bates615444332423435232323
Andy Doran615235512234444442412
Antonio Edwards613343333134544232524
Charles Humphreys615244333224544232423
EddieAlCapone615545332223324252333
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joe mills613543432135534433213
Lucas Zamarín615353333223535242224
manny kang615234443244525223313
Mary Robinson615224452224345233522
Matthew Nielson610533444334435442411
Mike Fuller613334422134333453533
Phil OConnor616233423443433433331
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Thomas Jayroe615435422143224424433
Alfred Arriola605545333343423332212
Brian Stafford605234432234243441415
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Christian Renoe6010423223234434322421
Collin Miller603434332344534352311
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Jason Ryan603444324233424342423
Jesse B603344333254434332313
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Jonathan Parsons605332422334434432432
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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
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Rancho King592335422244435243412
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cal hodges587233323213435241433
Chris Steffensen585334323234435332402
Joseph Roche580444413342433253432
Karl Grant585334422224434352402
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Alexander Kaiser575235413134345332312
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The Jonathon Hunt Experience560335222334434252441
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Thumbster535235212232532341422
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No One Nation504234441124222113523
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Tingle420043313212433132232