JULY 28, 2016
Tokorozawa Citizen Gym – Saitama, Japan

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Togi Makabe [6] def. Hiroyoshi Tenzan [4]

In recent years I would have negative interest in this match. I would’ve avoided it. Mr. G1, Tenzan, is a shell of his former self and Makabe, for every great match that he has, seems to have two dreadful brawls. Luckily, with this being Tenzan’s last G1, both he and his opponents seem to be working really hard when they tangle and this was no different. It wasn’t great by any stretch of the imagination and it felt very much like a typical G1-style Makabe match, but the crowd was into it and the two did their best. Fine, but skippable if you aren’t invested in the Tenzan story. **3/4

SANADA [2] def. Hirooki Goto [4]

The series of underwhelming Goto matches in this year’s G1 continues. He and SANADA did their best, but nothing seemed to click here. This was a very run of the mill match with no heat and no actions on their part to get me truly engaged in the match. Goto is so clearly missing something, and for awhile that was diverted as he joined CHAOS and found himself in multi-man tags where he wasn’t the center of attention, but now that he’s back in the spotlight of singles matches, he continues to be a bore. Disappointing match. **1/4

Tomohiro Ishii [2] def. Naomichi Marufuji [4]

Marufuji’s trend of outstanding G1 matches continued here in his first ever singles match with Tomohiro Ishii. Ishii has made a career out of delivering in the G1 and Marufuji seems to be revitalizing himself in this year’s tournament. This was shockingly stiff, which might sound silly seeing as how Ishii is in the match, but Marufuji was the one delivering a majority of the pain. By the end of this match, Ishii’s chest was grossly discolored after repeated chops from one half of the NOAH GHC Tag Team Champion. Marufuji’s onslaught of vicious chops and destructive kicks was all for not, however, as Ishii was one step ahead of him and put the ace of NOAH away with a brutal Brainbuster. Do not skip this one. ****1/4

Kazuchika Okada [4] def. Tama Tonga [2]

This was shockingly excited, certainly aided by the fact that in his prior outing, Tonga defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, proving that anything and everything can happen come G1 season. Okada was clearly positioned as the better man here. Tonga held on for so long because he was crafty,  not because he matched Okada in skill or technique. This is one of the better performances Tonga has had in the G1 and he appears to have found his groove. Hopefully he continues to impress. For Okada, this was just another night. The right man won as Okada destroyed the former tag champ with a Rainmaker. ***1/4

Hiroshi Tanahashi [0] def. Bad Luck Fale [2]

Tanahashi finally turned his fortunes around with a win over the big man in this battle to close out Night 7 of this year’s G1 Climax. I have never been a huge fan of the work that he and Fale have done together, so perhaps I’ll be the low man on this, but even I found some enjoyment in it. If anything, it was a great reminder that Hiroshi Tanahashi knows how to get a crowd behind him. He seemed stunted at times in this match, unable to outmaneuver the big man, but he kept the audience engaged and at just the right times, would slip a hope spot into the mix. In the end, Tanahashi won with a rollup, gaining his first win of what I’m sure will be many in the G1 this year. A fine match, easily the second best on the show, but not a great match. ***1/2

Final Thoughts: 

The only thing you really need to see is Ishii vs. Marufuji. Tanahashi vs. Fale is worth the watch if you aren’t pressed for time and Tenzan is worth watching if you’re invested in his story. A weak night all around with one great match — shockingly, I feel like that’s been every night of this G1 so far.

Current Standings:

Block ABlock B
Togi Makabe  8Yuji Nagata  6
Kazuchika Okada6Katsuhiko Nakajima4
Tomohiro Ishii4Tetsuya Naito4
Hirooki Goto4Kenny Omega4
Naomichi Marufuji4Tomoaki Honma4
Hiroyoshi Tenzan4Katsuyori Shibata2
Bad Luck Fale2Yoshi-Hashi2
Tama Tonga2Michael Elgin2
Hiroshi Tanahashi2Toru Yano0