New Japan World Pro Wrestling on AXS (06.26.15)

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New Japan World Pro Wrestling on AXS
June 26, 2015

Tonight we look at the final three matches to close out the first night of the G1 Climax 24 round-robin tournament.

Your hosts are Mauro Ranallo and Josh Barnett.

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  • G1 Climax 24 Block A: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tomoaki Honma (Night One – 7/21/14)

Since he’s the goofy underdog, the crowd is totally behind Honma here. Lots of clipping in this one as we get a little over half the match. After they play around with some headlockage, we skip ahead to Honma catching Tanahashi with the Diving Headbutt. DDT and a sliding blockbuster gets two. Honma proves to be quite a challenge for Tanahashi here as he has that never say die attitude. NASTY brainbuster on Tanahashi gets two. KOKESHI naturally misses. Tanahashi ends an exchange of elbow strikes with a Capture German Suplex for two. Nice rolling leg cradle by Honma scores another nearfall. He even catches Tanahashi with a dragon screw leg whip. Tanahashi fires back with a Release Dragon Suplex, but Honma NO-SELLS only to get taken down with the Sling Blade. HIGH FLY FLOW takes care of Honma as Tanahashi picks up two points. (6:10 shown) Pretty fun little encounter here as Honma looked game to give Tanahashi a little more than he had expected. **½

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  • G1 Climax 24 Block B: Kazuchika Okada (w/Gedo) vs. AJ Styles (Night One – 7/21/14)

Non-title match obvs, as AJ Styles is still the IWGP heavyweight champion. This was the actual last match of the night, but we’ve already seen these two compete on a recent show. Another match with more clipping than the last. This match goes close to twenty minutes while Tanahashi/Honma went 11 minutes. After the introductory collar and elbow tie-up, we forge ahead to see Okada dropkick AJ off the top turnbuckle to the floor. AJ leapfrogs over the guardrail only to turn around and met with a crossbody block by Okada. Crazy! Moving forward, AJ lands an enziguri kick to stop an exchange of elbows. The ref gets knocked down as Okada connects with the Reverse Neckbreaker. Okada delivers the Flying Elbow and calls for the RAINMAKER, but in comes Yujiro Takahashi from the Bullet Club. He runs down Okada and tries for TOKYO PIMPS, but Okada fights him off and levels him with the Best Dropkick in the Business. That’s enough distraction for AJ to regroup and land the springboard forearm smash. Styles can’t hit the Bloody Sunday and connects with the Pele Kick instead. It could be time for the STYLES CLASH, but Okada counters and positions Styles into the Tombstone Piledriver. Awesome. Nice Bridging German Suplex gets two, but stuns AJ enough to easily hit the RAINMAKER for the three-count. (6:20 shown) Looked awesome, but not enough here for me to rate. Afterwards, Okada and Gedo tell us how Okada plans to win all of his matches in the G1 Climax.

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  • G1 Climax 24 Block A: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Katsuyori Shibata (Night One – 7/21/14)

It’s been ten years since their last encounter. Shibata left New Japan to do some MMA when New Japan had a real depleted roster while Nakamura stayed loyal to New Japan, so there’s some story there. I’m guessing there will be a TON of strikes in this one. Couple stalemates to start. When Shibata begins throwing elbows though, it gets physical. He hammers Nakamura back into a corner, but then gets caught with a single leg dropkick. Nakamura misses the knee strike up in the corner and gets flipped out to the floor by his neck. We get some ringside violence here. Back inside, Shibata punishes Nakamura with a figure-four. When he can’t get relief, he grabs the ropes. Nakamura wins an exchange of elbows and does the shaky boot choke. He finally does manage to connect with the knee strike in the corner for two. To the apron, Nakamura catches Shibata with a knee lift and grabs a front facelock inside the ring. He transitions to a sleeperhold, but Shibata fights out and lands a running knee. He kicks Nakamura down into the corner and hits the hesitation dropkick. They trade German suplexes, but Nakamura puts him down with a backcracker. Sleeperholds are traded, but Nakamura levels him with the Inverted Powerslam. Boma Ye is cut off and we get more elbow strikes. Another sleeperhold puts Nakamura down, but Shibata misses the PK. Nakamura takes a couple back elbows into the corner and comes out flying with a BOMA YE. How about one more. Cover, 1-2-NO! Of course he wants a third one, but Shibata knows it’s coming and catches him with a dropkick. Nakamura goes to grab Shibata, but he’s hit with a spinning back fist of sorts. Shibata delivers the Go 2 Sleep and then the PK! He covers for the 1-2-3! (15:27) Such a stiff contest. Two points for Shibata. ***½

NEXT WEEK: We’ll see action from Night Four of G1 Climax 24!

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Posted on June 28, 2015, in NJPW and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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