NJPW G1 Climax 25 (Discussion)

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TCMitchell
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Re: NJPW G1 Climax 25 (Discussion)

Post by TCMitchell » Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:28 pm

I know this is old news by now since Night 7 is over, but work got in the way of me finishing up Night 6 until now.

G1 Climax 25: Night 6

Captain New Japan/ Jushin Liger/ Tiger Mask def. David Finlay/ Jay White/ Ryusuke Taguchi - 8:00- **3/4
-This was a fun juniors trios match (except of "junior" being CNJ, but he wrestled for approx. 10 seconds). Finlay and White are continuing to not only improve in the ring, but also show some personality. Both of the young lions are mimicking Taguchi throughout the match as if Taguchi was their mentor.

Toru Yano & YOSHI-HASHI def. Doc Gallows & Cody Hall - 7:10 - ***
-This was a fun match to watch. Yano's antics continue to entertain me. Cody Hall is easily my favorite of the young lions. Hall may not be the most talented of the group, but I love watching him improve the way he has. Hall was initially trained by Jake Roberts, Scott Hall, and Diamond Dallas Page and then moved to Japan to train in the NJPW dojo. I don't know that there is a better way to break into the pro wrestling business than with that path. Hall is showing signs that he can be a really good pro wrestler and if his improvement continues on this trajectory then by the time he inevitably makes it to WWE he could be a star.

Kota Ibushi/ Mascara Dorada/ Togi Makabe def. Katsuyori Shibata/ Hiroyoshi Tenzan/ Yohei Komatsu - 9:54 - ***1/4
-Shibata has been the best guy on this entire tour at utilizing these undercard tag matches. Every time we have seen Shibata in one of these matches he gives you just enough to build to his next G1 match and makes you circle that match as a priority to watch.

Tetsuya Naito/ Michael Elgin/ Hiroshi Tanahashi def. AJ Styles/ Tama Tonga/ Bad Luck Fale - 10:40 - **3/4
-A slightly above average affair. The best part of this match was Tanahashi forcefully tagging Naito in by slapping him on the should, and then Naito proceeded to sell this shoulder better than he ever sold his legitimately injured knee in 2013.

G1 Climax 25 Tournament Matches: Block B

Yujiro Takahashi def. Yuji Nagata - 12:04 - ***1/4
-Nagata continues to be the most underrated performer in this tournament as he carried Yujiro the best Yujiro match I have ever see here. Nagata's selling is top notch.

Hirooki Goto def. Tomoaki Honma - 12:20 - ***3/4
-Honma was at his best here. Honma sold his butt off in this match and Goto had another above "good" showing on this tour.

Tomohiro Ishii def. Karl Anderson - 16:31 - ***3/4
-This was Anderson's best performance of the tour and it had to come with his first loss. Ishii was fantastic at selling the beatdown from Anderson before finally being able to work himself back up for the win.

Kazuchika Okada def. Satoshi Kojima - 18:24 - ****1/4
-By comparison this match told the "Old grizzled vet trying to defeat the younger guy in his prime to prove he's still got it" story WAY better than Tenzan/Tanahashi from earlier in the tournament. Kojima was putting his all in this match by selling fatigue the whole time he was putting his relentless attack on Okada. It appears Okada finally woke up and is the guy I know and love. Okada was great playing the cocky heel throughout this match who obviously wasn't taking Kojima seriously until he just couldn't take it anyone. Okada screaming in the Rain Maker pose and then reversing the reversal into nailing the Rain Maker for the win is the vicious side of Okada that makes him so good.

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JB Gremlin
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Re: NJPW G1 Climax 25 (Discussion)

Post by JB Gremlin » Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:48 pm

mvh6 wrote:One thing that has been bothered me, is that they've done no job building Elgins finisher. He hasn't even hit it yet. I don't understand why he hasn't gotten the win in a tag match at least once, so the crowd is somewhat familiar with the finisher, when Elgin hits it at some point.

Unless he's never going to hit it. All this makes me think, they planned for Elgin to go zero points
Well, he's surely got to beat Honma on Saturday and I had that down as his only win, and the crowd will probably be into the near falls irrespective of recognising something as a finish simply because it's Honma's chance to finally get a G1 win!

Anyway, also loved Shibata/ Ibushi from today although I think I'd have it third on my G1 list at the moment (Ibushi/ AJ and Ibushi/ Tana both ahead). I really enjoyed Naito/ AJ too actually, and would say it was better than Naito/ Tana. My only question over Naito possibly winning block A is that he has Tenzan on their closing night, so if he is making it the plan must be for them to go on second last Naito to go level with AJ or Tana then the one who is behind plays spoiler letting Naito into the final on H2H, which would also mean (I think) Naito would have to drop falls to two of: Makabe, Ibushi, Yano and Gallows (I suppose Makabe and Ibushi are possibilities)

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Re: NJPW G1 Climax 25 (Discussion)

Post by Tigerkinney » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:17 pm

Day 7- Fukuoka (Block A)

Well this venue brings back personal holiday memories for me, having attended last year's Dontaku show.

Gallows vs Yano: Gallows is up and running and finally has a win on the board. But what we basically learned from this match is that Gallows is so pathetically shit, that he needs help from his regular tag partner (Anderson) and several other Bullet Club members to score a win, against Yano of all people- making him look like an even bigger douchebag than before. They worked in a lot of Yano comedy here, which made it mildly entertaining, which I suppose is better than them attempting to have a straight up 'work -rate' based match- that would have been terrible.

Tenzan vs Makabe: Battle of the grizzled veteran midcard champs (well the NWA belt is basically being used as another midcard title in New Japan right now), with the loser here joining the bottom feeders from the previous match at 1-3 (2 Pts). This wasn't terrible, it just wasn't particularly great either- it was the sort of just about passable brawling match you'd hope these two would be able to put on, and by and large they managed to do that. Had to laugh at a previous poster comparing this match to 'two drunken dads brawling'. :lol:

Shibata vs Ibushi: If you like ultra intense superstiff, fighting spirit matches- you should love this match (and I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm rather partial to these kind of contests). The story here was executed perfectly, as Ibushi buoyed from his victory over A.J Styles - attempted to try and beat Shibata at his own game and ultimately ended up coming up short. Nothing really more to say than that, other than I agree with the consensus opinion, that this match was 'Awesome Sauce'.

Bad Suck Fale vs Tanahashi: Oh fuck off right now Douchebag Club- Fale got the win here, but basically needed help from his fellow Douchebags to get the win. I can buy Yujiro needing the pathetic and desperate help, but isn't Fale supposed to be the group's monster enforcer? This is one of those matches, I would have liked had Tanahashi overcame the odds stacked against him but as Fale basically cheated to the win, I ended up hating this and hate Douchebag Club even more- but then again perhaps that was the desired effect.

Naito vs Styles: This was a very different beast from their previous encounters, as Naito has now turned into a sleazy heel- giving this a heel vs heel dynamic- that the crowd struggled with at first. I have to slightly disagree with Bryan Rose's review here, as a minority aside much of the crowd were becoming disgusted by Naito's antics, even if they weren't all entirely getting fully behind A.J (but he is a heel after all, and the Douchebag Club's antics from earlier on, probably didn't help his causing in taking on the role of the de-facto babyface). Not a MOTYC by any means, and I enjoyed their previous encounters more but Naito is doing mightily effective work as a heel, if he can basically out-heel the Douchebag Club.

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TCMitchell
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Re: NJPW G1 Climax 25 (Discussion)

Post by TCMitchell » Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:59 am

DETROIT_KEJB wrote:Shibata is my favorite wrestler to watch in the whole world. That 1-Count string was masterful. The lariat he hit was one of the best I have seen in a while. There is nobody in this tournament who is selling as well as him. Lanza may throw shade at the Shibata bandwagon, but he is showing that he can run with the top spot in NJPW. That crowd loved him as much as anyone else.i just really hope that at some point Gedo puts some damn faith into him.
Its funny that you say that, because that exact sequence has been picked apart by the naysayers on Twitter.



(for the record, I agree with your assessment of it)

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Max Traction
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Re: NJPW G1 Climax 25 (Discussion)

Post by Max Traction » Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:58 am

Couple of random thoughts:

- Ibushi's been the star of the tournament so far, right? For my money, the best two matches have been him against Styles, and against Shibata.

- Ibushi might be the star of the tournament but AJ's great performances have got me thinking he's in the lead for WOTY.

- I'm not so down on Bullet Club as other people seem to be. Work-wise, they're a mixed batch, but I think as characters, and the one cohesive stable 'unit' (since Suzuki-gun got shipped off), they're still a valuable part of the NJPW roster. Case in point, the off-the-cuff adlibs during matches. Obviously going over the heads of Japanese audience, but it's natural, attention-to-detail character work that makes them a proper 'gang'. AJ talking trash to Naito before their match had me in stitches. It's such a little thing, but it makes such a big difference (Kevin Owens does it a lot in WWE too).

- Naito could really win this thing, huh?

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Re: NJPW G1 Climax 25 (Discussion)

Post by cherrylimeaid » Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:18 am

Just noticed the new Japanese young lion with Jay White outside the ring during the last G1 show. This guy have a name, estimated debut date yet. Outside of Hall, these young lions could be solid workers anywhere right now.

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sivapc
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Re: NJPW G1 Climax 25 (Discussion)

Post by sivapc » Thu Jul 30, 2015 12:07 pm

--WON
We had heard when tickets were put on sale that with the noted exception of the final six shows in Tokyo, most of the advances were disappointing. And thus far, that has been the case, with only two sellouts in seven days, most notable with the 7/29 show in Fukuoka at the 7,000-seat International Center only drawing 2,460 paid for an A block show headlined by A.J. Styles vs. Tetsuya Naito. Even the big show of the week on 7/26 in Hiroshima with a Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Naito and Styles vs. Kota Ibushi double headliner failed to sell out, doing 3,360 fans.

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Morten VH
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Re: NJPW G1 Climax 25 (Discussion)

Post by Morten VH » Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:01 pm

My theory is that the shows were so stacked last year, that people got used to that. If the block splitted shows were the tradition, they'd do much better in ticket sales. Sometimes you have to make something seem less important, for you to be able to promote something as more important in the future. You can't always just make things bigger and bigger, or the balloon will explode at some point.

With that said, i have no idea how a show with a G1 rematch and a recent IWGP championship match rematch only could draw 3360. Those two matches should sell out buildings by themselves.

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Re: NJPW G1 Climax 25 (Discussion)

Post by Chismo » Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:13 pm

That's what happens when your only fresh guy for the big 25th edition is Michael Elgan, and that's what happens when keeping it real with MiSu invading NOAH goes too far. They didn't sell out Korakuen for the last 6 shows, and it's beginning to spread around.

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Re: NJPW G1 Climax 25 (Discussion)

Post by Sticky Dreamboat » Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:44 pm

Finally caught up after a weekend out of town, damn these shows add up fast if you don't stay on top of them! A few thoughts:

- I've never been that big a fan of Naito as a character, but I'm loving everything he does in the G1. It's such a solid character for other guys to bounce off of (see AJ getting all worked up at long it was taking him to get his suit off, and Shibata jumping him because he wasn't having any of his shit). Curious what his program will be coming out of the tournament.

- Ibushi is great, and between his match with AJ, his match with Shibata and his match with Tanahashi he's totally the tournament MVP in my eyes.

- Is Tenzan gonna make it? He seemed like he was pretty messed up in his match with Makabe, I kind of felt bad for him. Props for hanging in there, but we aren't even at the halfway point and he looks half-dead.

- I'm not as heartbroken as I thought I would be by the idea of Shins leaving the tournament. I love the guy, but he's been dogging it in the early parts of his matches lately, maybe some time off will get him reenergized.

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Re: NJPW G1 Climax 25 (Discussion)

Post by Guigle » Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:20 pm

Amazing year for Shibata.
This Shibata/Ibushi was really special, loved every second of it.
The main event was very good too and Naito heel work is tremendous? when Aj is cheered in fukuoka you know that the heel is good!

The booking of this Block is phenomenal

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Re: NJPW G1 Climax 25 (Discussion)

Post by Statoke » Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:26 pm

Chismo wrote:That's what happens when your only fresh guy for the big 25th edition is Michael Elgan, and that's what happens when keeping it real with MiSu invading NOAH goes too far. They didn't sell out Korakuen for the last 6 shows, and it's beginning to spread around.
And when half the matches aren't anything important.
HEAT UP SUPERFAN! BEST OF HEAT UP

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Re: NJPW G1 Climax 25 (Discussion)

Post by Tigerkinney » Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:51 pm

Max Traction wrote:I'm not so down on Bullet Club as other people seem to be. Work-wise, they're a mixed batch, but I think as characters, and the one cohesive stable 'unit' (since Suzuki-gun got shipped off), they're still a valuable part of the NJPW roster. Case in point, the off-the-cuff adlibs during matches. Obviously going over the heads of Japanese audience, but it's natural, attention-to-detail character work that makes them a proper 'gang'. AJ talking trash to Naito before their match had me in stitches. It's such a little thing, but it makes such a big difference (Kevin Owens does it a lot in WWE too).
Here's my issue's with the Bullet Club or the 'Douchebag Club' as I personally like to call them.....

I've got nothing against the concept of the group, but their sports entertainment B.S, can't be seen as anything other than detrimental. It doesn't make them look like a menacing threat, it just makes them look pathetic and irritating. I get that their heels, and they are going to take shortcuts but both the Doc Gallows and Bad Luck Fale matches from the event in Fukuoka, were needlessly decided by Bullet Club interference.

Case Point 1- Gallows vs Yano: : I get that Gallows is desperate to get on the board, but he's up against Toru Yano- not Kazuchika Okada- did he really need the help of his tag partner Karl Anderson to help him secure the victory? In the end it just made him look even lamer, than if he actually lost the match and went to 0 and 4.

Case Point 2- Bad Luck Fale vs Tanahashi: I get that they want Tanahashi to remain looking strong in defeat, but would a 'clean' loss to Bad Luck Fale, who is supposed to be this hard to beat monster, really hurt Tanahashi that much?- At this point it would take a huge losing streak to the likes of Captain New Japan, Cody Hall and Sho Tanaka for the audience to start thinking Tanahashi had suddenly turned into a ham and egger. Instead what we get is a ton of BS interference, including the lame as hell ref pullout at the 2.5 count.

Besides Tetsuya Naito is showing right now, that you can get a tonne of heel heat without actually having to resort to cheap finishes in his matches. Bullet Club can still act like jerks, and I can even put up with stuff like the ringside beat downs when the ref is distracted (as that is stuff that characterizes them as a gang of dirty heels and is there to draw heat), but I draw the line at crappy finishes that involve ref bumps and the ref being pulled from the ring. I just don't want to see that in NJPW, especially not during the G-1.

I will admit that A.J's trash talking to Naito, before their match got underway was rather amusing. And there are actually workers in the Bullet Club I enjoy to watch, those being A.J, Kenny Omega (as long as he keeps the wackiness in check) , The Young Bucks and even Karl Anderson (when he's not being dragged down to working crappy sports entertainment style tag matches along side Gallows). Tama Tonga's OK as well. In all honesty it's Tonga's jobber booking that hurts him the most- perhaps if he was given more of an opportunity he could shine a little more.

Don't care for- Bad Luck Fale (anytime he's had a good match, it's been down to his opponent- they say that you can't polish a turd but the likes of Nakamura and Tanahashi have given it a good go, when having to wrestle Fale), Doc Gallows (too sports entertainment- a bad fit for New Japan), Yujiro Takahashi (Boring and sloppy- coming to the ring with a hot scanitly clad chick on his arm, can't hide the fact that he sucks) and Cody Hall (might improve at some point but limited and as green as grass right now) .

Also speaking of Cody Hall- At the beginning of the year, during the New Year's Dash show when he was introduced- I thought they said he was the Bullet Club's 'Young Boy' and that he had to earn the right to wear the Bullet Club colours. Well that idea appears to have been aborted, because Hall has been wearing full BC gear for months, despite the fact that he's a liability that always ends up jobbing in matches. Must have really low standards when it come's to their membership.

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Re: NJPW G1 Climax 25 (Discussion)

Post by DylanWaco » Fri Jul 31, 2015 5:32 am

Ibushi v. Shibata pop-up no sell sequence might be my least favorite sequence of all time. I honestly can't think of anything worse. Completely unnecessary for the story they were telling and another one of those cases where I have no clue how anyone who values selling on any level could be fine with it, at least if you define that term the way I do.

I thought Tanahashi looked great v. Fale and loved that match. Also thought Yano v. Gallows was legitimately good especially for it's place on the card. Naito v. Styles might have been slightly less good than I was hoping for, but still a good match for that style.

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Re: NJPW G1 Climax 25 (Discussion)

Post by DylanWaco » Fri Jul 31, 2015 5:44 am

Also I think at this point we have to start thinking about this tournament as a possible failure. Yes it is too early to brand the tournament with that term authoritatively and there are positive developments that could pan out (Naito heel turn going well, Shibata seeming to have some heat behind him yet again), but in terms of the business end and goals for the tournament this could be a nightmare:

- If the decision to spread things out was made to keep guys from getting banged up it hasn't worked - Ibushi has broken appendages, Nakamura might be out of the tournament, and Yano almost had his brain fall out of his head. And we aren't even half way through with this thing.

- If the plan to run more shows was just a hope to make a huge cash grab, the failure to sellout houses, and in some cases do really embarrassing numbers, has almost assuredly put them well below expectations.

- If the plan was from Nakamura to win the tournament, or even go to the final, his injury has the potential to be a major disaster for the promotions long term booking plans. I have Tanahashi winning, but this Nakamura injury could be really bad. I hope he's okay and this is not the case obviously.

- The shows are clearly below the level of the last few years as they were obviously going to be, but this hit in quality feels harder when the reasons for the format change aren't panning out the way they had hoped.

They really should have done something to add depth and meaning to a lot of these shows, and pretty clearly should have shaken up the entrants more.

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