New Japan G1 Climax 2011, Day 2
Review by Kevin Wilson

The Date:  August 2nd, 2011
Location:  Fukuoka, Japan
Announced Attendance:  4,500

Continuing right along with Day 2 of our full 2011 G1 Climax coverage. Way too early to call anything or say who has the advantage at this point, as not all fighters have even had a match yet. Here are the current standings: (names are links so you can go straight to their profiles):

Block A

Giant Bernard [2]
Lance Archer [2]
Yoshihiro Takayama [2]
Yuji Nagata [2]
Yujiro Takahashi [2]
Hideo Saito
Hiroshi Tanahashi
Tetsuya Naito
Togi Makabe
Toru Yano

Block B

Hirooki Goto [2]
La Sombra [2]
MVP [2]
Satoshi Kojima [2]
Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Karl Anderson
Minoru Suzuki
Shinsuke Nakamura
Strong Man
Wataru Inoue

Since this is really all about the G1 Climax, I will only review the G1 Climax matches unless there is a title match like there was on Day 1. Here are the tournament matches tonight:

- Karl Anderson vs. La Sombra
- Hideo Saito vs. Lance Archer
- Strong Man vs. Wataru Inoue
- Giant Bernard vs. Yujiro Takahashi
- Tetsuya Naito vs. Yuji Nagata
- Minoru Suzuki vs. MVP
- Togi Makabe vs. Toru Yano
- Satoshi Kojima vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Yoshihiro Takayama

For the second straight night La Sombra kicks things off, let's get it started.

Karl Anderson vs. La Sombra
They circle each other to start, tie-up, La Sombra gets Anderson into the ropes but he gives a clean break. Kick to the stomach by Anderson and he punches La Sombra in the head. Elbow by Anderson, Irish whip, but La Sombra rolls off his back and hits a hurricanrana off the second rope. Anderson falls out of the ring and La Sombra flies out after him with a corkscrew pescado. La Sombra slides Anderson back in the ring but Anderson recovers and boots La Sombra off the apron into the guard rail. Anderson kicks La Sombra as he gets back in the ring, snapmare, and he rakes his face with his boot. Anderson stomps on La Sombra's arm and hits a bodyslam followed by a knee drop. Cover, but it gets a two count. Another cover and a third, all with the same result. Anderson picks up La Sombra and starts ripping at his mask, he then kicks him in the head. Anderson knees La Sombra in the head a few more times, cover, but it gets two. Anderson applies a reverse chinlock but La Sombra gets a foot on the bottom rope. Uppercut by Anderson in the corner and a second one, he then puts La Sombra on the top turnbuckle but La Sombra elbows him off. Diving crossbody by La Sombra, but Anderson kicks out. La Sombra waits for Anderson to get up and the pair trade chops, uppercut by Anderson but La Sombra hits a powerslam for another two count cover. Dropkick by La Sombra while Anderson is still on the mat and he goes for a quebrada, Anderson rolls out of the way but La Sombra lands on his feet and hits a standing moonsault for a two count. Knee by La Sombra in the corner, Irish whip, but Anderson avoids his charge and boots La Sombra in the head. Anderson goes for a powerbomb but La Sombra punches his way out of it and hits a hurricanrana. Anderson falls out of the ring, La Sombra goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a moonsault down onto Anderson. La Sombra rolls Anderson back into the ring and hits a swandive corkscrew crossbody but Anderson kicks out at two. Lariat by La Sombra in the corner, he puts Anderson onto the top turnbuckle but Anderson pushes him to the apron when La Sombra charges in. From the apron with Anderson still sitting on the top turnbuckle, La Sombra goes for a springboard move but Anderson catches him and hits an Avalanche Gun Stun. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Karl Anderson

Match Thoughts: I was a little surprised at how much offense La Sombra got in, pleasantly so. My fear was it would be squash-ish but it wasn't, La Sombra was doing well before getting caught by that Gun Stun. Sombra looked good with his high flying, one could argue random corkscrews don't do any good but they look pretty. The ending was a little overly contrived, but other then that I have no complaints, it was a perfectly acceptable and entertaining opening match. Score: 6.0

Hideo Saito vs. Lance Archer
Saito is sitting in the ring as the match starts, Archer pushes him trying to get him up, Saito does stand up then and Archer elbows Saito into the corner. Saito ducks a lariat attempt however and starts choking Archer. Saito slams Archer into the turnbuckle and chokes him some more before biting him in the head. Archer goes out of the ring but Saito follows him out. Saito chokes Archer some more until the referee pulls him off. Saito grabs the ring bell and bops Archer in the face with it. Saito smacks Archer's head into the apron before rolling him back into the ring. Saito gets back in as well and chokes Archer before pushing him to the mat. Archer is back up but Saito kicks him in the corner. Irish whip by Saito and he hits a butt bump on Archer. Saito punches Archer down to a seated position and knees him repeatedly in the head. Saito picks up Archer and chops Archer in the chest, cover, but it gets a two count. Saito calls for the Caribbean Death Grip and applies it, but Archer is too close to the ropes and barely gets his foot on the bottom one. Saito chases around the referee, he calls for the move again on Archer but this time Archer blocks it. He grabs Saito's throat as Saito goes for the move again but Archer hits a side slam into a seated position. Running boot by Archer to Saito, Saito throws Archer into the corner but Archer connects with another boot. Rebound lariat out of the corner by Archer, cover, but it gets a two count. Archer goes for a chokeslam but Saito lands on his feet. Archer catches him with the Final Days however and picks up the three count! Your winner: Lance Archer

Match Thoughts: Only two matches in and Saito is already becoming a poster child to the theory of being a "one trick pony." This match is a carbon copy of his match with Bernard, almost move for move, except for inserting Archer's moves in for Bernard's moves. As much as I liked his match on Day 1, on Day 2 I was hoping for a bit of variety or something to show he is more then chokes. I still enjoy the gimmick, it is entertaining, but if I am watching so many of his singles matches in a row hopefully he can mix it up a bit. Anyway, still decent, just too similar to the match the night before, hopefully in his next match I will see a bit more substance to go with the style. Score: 4.5

Strong Man vs. Wataru Inoue
Strong Man and Inoue circle each other, tie-up, and Strong Man pushes Inoue down to the mat. They tie-up again, wristlock by Inoue into an armbar, but Strong Man pushes him off and Inoue flies to the mat again. Tie-up a third time, Strong Man pushes Inoue into the corner and chops him in the chest. Another chop by Strong Man, but Inoue ducks the third and gives Strong Man a chop of his own. Strong Man absorbs Inoue's puny chops and pushes him hard to the mat. Delayed vertical suplex by Strong Man, he picks up Inoue and delivers an uppercut. Strong Man picks up Inoue and sends him down again, this time with an elbow. Back up, chop by Strong Man and Inoue takes a seat. Cranium Crush by Strong Man, he picks up Inoue and punches him in the head. Irish whip by Strong Man from the corner but Inoue kicks him as he charges in. Dropkick by Inoue, but Strong Man stays up and levels Inoue with a lariat. Inoue falls out of the ring, but Strong Man goes out after him. Powerslam by Strong Man and he poses at ringside. Strong Man picks up Inoue and Irish whips him into the guard rail. Strong Man charges Inoue but Inoue moves and Strong Man goes ribs-first into the railing. Inoue gets back in thing ring as does Strong Man, Strong Man charges Inoue but Inoue moves out of the way and kicks him in the ribs. Inoue goes off the ropes but Strong Man kicks him in the leg. Strong Man goes for a powerbomb but Inoue hits a back bodydrop to get out of it. Cover but Inoue but it gets a two count. Back on their feet, elbows by Inoue but Strong Man chops him back. More elbows by Inoue but again Strong Man returns with a chop. Kicks to the ribs by Inoue, Irish whip, reversed, and Inoue collapses to the mat. Strong Man goes for a reverse splash out of the corner but Inoue moves out of the way. Kick to the midsection by Inoue and a few elbows, he goes off the ropes but Strong Man shoulderblocks him down. Strong Man picks up Inoue and goes for the Torture Rack, but he can't keep him up due to his ribs. He tries again and this time gets him all the way up, but Inoue goes down his back and nails the Spear of Justice. Cover, and he picks up the three count! Your winner: Wataru Inoue

Match Thoughts: You know what? Going into the tournament I was dreading watching so many Strong Man singles matches. And I still may by the end of the tournament, but this match was shockingly good. It told a good story with Inoue targeting the ribs since his finishing move attacks the ribs. Both wrestlers sold well for each other, Strong Man in particular never forgot about his ribs once he ran into the guard rail and held them through the rest of the match. The spear looked surprisingly solid considering Strong Man's size. Besides some of Strong Man's offense looking goofy since he is massive, I can't think of anything bad to say about this match, it was surprisingly entertaining. Score: 6.5

Giant Bernard vs. Yujiro Takahashi
Bernard and Takahashi circle each other to start, tie-up, Bernard pushes Takahashi into the corner and gives a clean break. Takahashi tries to punch Bernard so Bernard pushes him against the ropes again. Kick by Takahashi, and Bernard doesn't look amused. Headbutts by Bernard, Irish whip, but Takahashi hits an elbow. Takahashi goes off the ropes but Bernard levels him with a shoulderblock. Senton by Bernard, cover, but it gets a two count. Takahashi rolls out of the ring to re-group, but Bernard brings him back up to the apron. Elbows by Takahashi and he hits a neckbreaker onto the top rope. Takahashi then pulls Bernard throat-first onto the top rope, Takahashi goes up to the second turnbuckle and drops a leg while Bernard's head is hanging over the second rope. Takahashi gets back in the ring, cover, but Bernard kicks out at one. Takahashi punches Bernard in the back of the head repeatedly, cover, but it only gets two. Slaps by Takahashi and he clubs Bernard in the back of the head. Elbow drop by Takahashi and he applies a chinlock while Bernard is in the ropes. Back in the ring, punches and headbutts by Bernard and he goes off the ropes, but Takahashi hits a drop toehold followed by a leg drop. Cover, but it gets two. Takahashi applies a headscissors and drops a few elbows onto Bernard. Leg drop by Takahashi, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Bernard hits the ropes to knock him off. Kick by Takahashi, he goes off the ropes but is caught with a spinning side slam. Punches by Bernard, Irish whip from the corner and he throws Takahashi into the corner again. Takahashi avoids Bernard's charge but is knocked down by a shoulderblock, body press by Bernard but it gets a two count. Bernard crushes Takahashi in the corner and hits the reverse splash, cover, but Takahashi gets a foot on the bottom rope. Bernard picks up Takahashi, Takahashi pushes him off and hits a few elbows, he goes off the ropes but the lariat has no effect on Bernard. More elbows by Takahashi, but Bernard returns fire with slaps. Intercollegiate Slam by Takahashi, cover, but it gets a two count. Takahashi picks up Bernard and applies a waistlock, but Bernard pushes him off. Takahashi goes for a suplex, reversed by Bernard but Takahashi lands on his feet and nails a German suplex hold for a two count. Takahashi goes for a DDT but Bernard scoops him up and plants him with the Bernard Driver. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Giant Bernard

Match Thoughts: Takahashi was feisty but even though he put up a fight I never saw him as winning. It seemed like he was more being annoying then really hurting the big man, and my theory was confirmed when Bernard suddenly killed him with the Bernard Driver. Since I wasn't buying Takahashi's offense it hurt the match a bit, but they tried to make it look competitive and the German suplex was pretty beast. Bernard didn't need as much to put away Takahashi as he did Saito yesterday, which is surprising. Since Takahashi is a heel it was hard to get behind him as the young underdog, but it wasn't a bad match, just lacking much suspense. Score: 5.5

Tetsuya Naito vs. Yuji Nagata
They face off to start, tie-up, waistlock by Naito into a wristlock but Nagata kicks him off. Full nelson by Nagata into a waistlock, reversed by Naito and Naito applies a headscissors on the mat. Nagata gets out of it and applies a side headlock, Naito gets back to his feet and Irish whips out of it, but Nagata shoulderblocks him down. Nagata goes off the ropes but Naito catches him with a dropkick. Big boot by Nagata and both wrestlers are on their feet again. Kicks to the leg by Nagata but Naito slaps him back. Knees by Nagata and he goes for a kick but Naito catches his leg and hits a kneebreaker. Naito dropkicks Nagata in the knee and Nagata rolls out of the ring. Naito goes out after him, he puts Nagata's leg over the guard rail and then connects with a running dropkick. Naito rolls back in the ring with Nagata slowly following, Naito picks up Nagata, snapmare, and he hits a somersault senton. Cover, but it gets two. Naito applies a stretch hold into the Indian Deathlock, after a moment he releases the hold and kicks Nagata in the knee. More kicks by Naito and he applies a modified figure four leglock. Nagata gets a hand on the ropes to break it up, Naito picks up Nagata and the two trade blows. Kicks to the leg by Naito but Nagata knocks him back with an enzigieri. Irish whip by Nagata to the corner, Naito avoids his charge but Nagata drops him with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Knee by Nagata and he hits a suplex for a two count. Nagata kicks Naito in the chest a few times, knocking Naito to the mat. Nagata picks up Naito, Irish whip, but Naito delivers a diving elbow. Naito quickly goes out to the apron and hits a swandive dropkick to Nagata's knee. Naito applies a leg submission hold but Nagata gets a hand on the bottom rope. Naito puts Nagata onto the top turnbuckle, he joins him but Nagata slips down back into the ring. Now it is Nagata that joins Naito up top and he delivers the avalanche exploder. Cover, but Naito kicks out at two. Enzigieri by Nagata and he goes for a German suplex, but Naito lands on his feet. Snapmare by Naito and he rolls up Nagata for a two count, he rolls him up again with a jacknife but he gets another two. Enzigieri by Naito and he delivers a German suplex hold for a two count. Naito goes up to the top turnbuckle but Nagata is up and clubs Naito in the back, sending Naito falling to the apron. Naito stands up while still on the apron, Nagata grabs him from in the ring and brings him back in with a dragon screw neck whip. Nagata picks up Naito and goes for a suplex but Naito lands on his feet, elbows by Nagata and he goes for a backdrop suplex but Naito gets out of it. Waistlock by Naito but Nagata pushes his arms away, slap by Naito but Nagata comes back with a kick and jumping knee in the corner. Backdrop suplex hold by Nagata, and he picks up the three count! Your winner: Yuji Nagata

Match Thoughts: Very solid match all the way around. Naito is probably my favorite current heavyweight in New Japan, he has really grown a lot in the last year (in-ring wise) and his matches tend to keep me stuck to the screen. Nagata is still the gatekeeper, so he won't go down easy, but Naito gave him a good fight and it won't be long until their positions change. The action stayed fast pace and Nagata sold the leg about as long as seemed necessary so no complaints there. It wasn't a classic or one that will probably resonate later since G1 Climax block matches tend to be a little too cookie cutter to last the test of time, but a really fun little match. Score: 7.0

Minoru Suzuki vs. MVP
Suzuki ducks MVP to start the match but MVP gets Suzuki into the corner and gives a clean break. Kick by MVP, Irish whip to the corner and he hits a lariat. Multiple lariats by MVP and he delivers an overhead suplex. Cover by MVP but it gets a two count. MVP picks up Suzuki and clubs him in the back of the head, Irish whip by MVP but Suzuki grabs his leg and applies a kneelock. MVP quickly gets to the ropes to force a break, and Suzuki stomps him in the knee. Suzuki picks up MVP, knees by Suzuki but MVP punches him back. Suzuki gets on the apron, MVP tries to boot him but Suzuki catches his leg and applies a kneelock between the ropes. Suzuki releases the hold after a moment and throws MVP into the guard rail outside the ring. Kick to the leg by Suzuki, he puts MVP's leg on the guard rail and twists it around. Suzuki argues with the referee for a bit while Taichi attacks MVP's leg. The referee figures out what happened and fusses at Taichi, while Suzuki applies a kneelock to MVP outside the ring. Suzuki gets back in the ring and does exercises while MVP slowly rolls back in. Kick to the knee by Suzuki and he twists back on MVP's leg. Suzuki applies a submission hold but MVP grabs the bottom rope to break it up. Suzuki picks up MVP and kicks him in the leg. More kicks to the leg by Suzuki and he chokes MVP with his boot. MVP gets up and punches Suzuki, but Suzuki knees MVP into the corner. Irish whip by Suzuki and he slaps MVP in the face. MVP punches him back, Suzuki goes off the ropes but MVP tosses him over his head. Lariat by MVP and he hits an elbow strike. Another elbow by MVP, he waits for Suzuki to get up and hits a scoop slam. MVP goes off the ropes but Suzuki is up and slaps MVP. Front facelock by Suzuki but MVP puts him on his shoulders and drops him in front of the ropes. Elbow drop by MVP and Suzuki rolls out of the ring. MVP approaches the ropes and jumps down onto Suzuki with a pescado. Taichi comes over and MVP punches him to the floor. MVP picks up Suzuki and slides him back into the ring, MVP picks up Suzuki and hits the Fisherman Suplex for a two count. MVP picks up Suzuki again and goes for a suplex but Suzuki lands on his feet and applies the sleeperhold. MVP gets out of it, elbows by MVP, slap by Suzuki but MVP hits a lariat for the two count cover. Slap by MVP to Suzuki and he applies the Irreversible Crisis, but Suzuki is too close to the ropes and gets a foot on it to force a break. MVP is up first, he picks up Suzuki and hits the rolling German suplexes. MVP picks up Suzuki and goes for the Playmaker but Suzuki gets out of it and applies the sleeper hold. Suzuki goes for the Gotch-style piledriver but MVP back bodydrops out of it, MVP goes off the ropes but Suzuki catches him with the sleeper hold again. MVP tries to roll out of it but Suzuki keeps the hold applied, this time locking it in fully. MVP starts to slump and the referee rules that he is out. Your winner: Minoru Suzuki

Match Thoughts: Interesting match, don't think I year ago I'd have expected to see a Suzuki vs. MVP singles match. Obviously the bulk of the match was the leg work, which was done well. My issue is that the leg work didn't come into play... MVP didn't have a leg issue that prevented him from hitting a big move, and Suzuki didn't win with a move focused on it. Taking out the leg is always a sound strategy, but since Suzuki has plenty of moves he can win with involving the leg since he is a submission wrestler it seemed odd to not end the match with one. So the meat and potatoes of the match was good, Suzuki knows how to destroy a limb like few others, but the end was just a little flat for me. Score: 5.5

Togi Makabe vs. Toru Yano
Yano won't get in the ring to start the match, Makabe gets tired of waiting and goes out after him, but Yano throws him into the ring post and then into the guard rail. Yano tries to throw Makabe into the rail, Makabe reverses it but Yano jumps over the rail and lands on the other side Yano gets back on the right side before punching Makabe and rolling him back in the ring. Yano joins him, Irish whip by Yano, but Makabe ducks the lariat attempt and hits a shoulderblock. Yano backs up against the ropes and Makabe lariats him out of the ring to the floor. Makabe goes out after him, he takes Yano up the ramp and goes for a suplex, but Yano reverses it into a vertical suplex of his own. Yano picks up Makabe and throws him into the guard rail. Yano gets a chair and hits Makabe in the back with it. Yano takes off one of the turnbuckle pads, he gets back in the ring and waits for Makabe, and Yano stomps Makabe when he finally returns. Yano Irish whips Makabe into the exposed corner and stomps him on the back. Yano stomps Makabe some more, Yano picks up Makabe and hits a vertical suplex. Cover by Yano but it gets two. Yano picks up Makabe and Irish whips him into the exposed corner again. Stomp to the back by Yano and he punches Makabe while he is on the mat. Yano picks up Makabe, Irish whip to the exposed corner attempt but Makabe reverses it. Makabe charges in but Yano moves out of the way, Yano goes off the ropes but Makabe catches him with a powerslam. Back up, Yano goes for punches but Makabe blocks them and hits punches of his own. Lariat by Makabe in the corner and he hits a second one followed by mounted punches. Northern Lights Suplex by Makabe but Yano kicks out at two. Makabe picks up Yano and goes for a German suplex, but Yano elbows out of it. Kick by Makabe but Yano yanks him down by his hair. Yano goes off the ropes but Makabe catches him with a lariat, cover, but it only gets a two count. Waistlock by Makabe but Yano grabs the ropes to block the suplex. Makabe finally gets him away and hits the German suplex hold but Yano barely kicks out at two. Makabe goes off the ropes but Yano ducks the lariat and rolls him up for a quick two count. Yano kicks Makabe low and rolls him up again, but again he can't pick up the three. Yano picks up Makabe and hits a swinging side slam, cover, but it gets two. Yano drags Makabe to his feet, he picks him up for the powerbomb but Makabe punches his way out of it. Irish whip by Makabe to the exposed corner, he goes off the ropes but Yano catches him with an atomic drop. Yano catapults Makabe into the exposed corner and nails the powerbomb, cover, but Makabe gets a shoulder up. Yano picks up Makabe and goes for a slam, but Makabe lands on his feet and hits a lariat. Lariat to the back of the head by Makabe, he picks up Yano and puts him onto the top turnbuckle. Spider German suplex by Makabe, he stays up top and nails the King Kong Kneedrop. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Togi Makabe

Match Thoughts: I don't think this match was unwatchable but I really wasn't feeling Yano dominating 90% of the match. His offense is just really not varied enough to carry a match that long, even a ten minute one, so he had to repeat a lot of the same tactics. He works better in a tag team situation (or not at all) then being the dominate wrestler against someone who is much higher then him on the pecking order. I didn't mind his style too much in Day 1 but like Saito I need him to be a little bit different sometimes and not literally have the same match every single night. Makabe was too beaten up to come out of this match looking good, even though he did survive Yano's finisher which I guess is a plus in his book. But this match lacked substance, it wasn't as I would say "actively bad" since they did stick to their story and it was a logical one even if it wasn't interesting, but overall below average. Score: 4.0

Satoshi Kojima vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Kojima and Nakamura circle each other until they tie-up, Kojima pushes Nakamura into the ropes but Nakamura switches positions with him but Nakamura gives a clean break. Waistlock by Nakamura as they jockey for position, Nakamura gets the dominate position but Kojima applies a front facelock. Kojima pushes Nakamura into the ropes and he gives a clean break. Kicks by Nakamura and he gets Kojima to the mat, but Kojima applies a headscissors. Nakamura gets out of it and grabs Kojima's leg, but Kojima gets into the ropes. Back up, chop by Kojima but Nakamura comes back with elbows. They trade strikes, knees by Nakamura and he kicks Kojima in the arm. Knees by Nakamura again and Kojima collapses to the mat. Kicks to the arm by Nakamura and he applies an armbar. Kneedrop to the arm by Nakamura and he applies a waistlock, but Kojima gets out of it with a DDT. Kojima kicks Nakamura back into the corner and hits rapid fire chops, Irish whip, jumping elbow strike, snapmare and he goes up top but Nakamura kicks him. Nakamura then drapes Kojima over the top turnbuckle and hits a running knee to the ribs. Knees by Nakamura to the ribs, cover, but it gets a two. Nakamura picks up Kojima and applies a front facelock, Nakamura goes for an inverted powerslam but Kojima elbows out of it and hits a neckbreaker onto his knee. Out on the apron Kojima picks up Nakamura and hits a DDT. Kojima gets back in the ring with Nakamura eventually following, punches and elbows by Kojima and he hits a roaring elbow which sends Nakamura to the mat. Kojima goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving elbow drop, cover, but it gets a two count. Kojima picks up Nakamura and goes for a suplex but Nakamura lands on his feet and hits the lung blower. Inverted powerslam by Nakamura, he goes for the Boma Ye but Kojima blocks it. Koji Cutter by Kojima, he puts Nakamura up on the top turnbuckle and hits the Avalanche Koji Cutter. Brainbuster by Kojima, cover, but Nakamura gets a shoulder up. Kojima calls for the lariat, he goes off the ropes but Nakamura kicks his arm and hits a spinning heel kick. Boma Ye to the back of the head by Nakamura but he is too hurt to take advantage. Irish whip by Kojima but Nakamura ducks the lariat and hits a jumping knee to Nakamura's arm. Both wrestlers get up and Kojima levels Nakamura with a lariat. Cover, but it only gets a two count. Kojima calls for another lariat, he goes off the ropes but Nakamura hits the cross armbreaker takedown. Nakamura keeps the cross armbreaker applied in the middle of the ring but Kojima manages to get to the ropes to force a break. Nakamura charges Kojima but Kojima moves out of the way, but Nakamura goes up to the second turnbuckle and hits the Boma Ye. Cover, but Kojima barely gets a shoulder up. Nakamura waits for Kojima to get to one knee, nails one final Boma Ye and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

Match Thoughts: Overall this was a really solid and entertaining match. Kojima seemed motivated which doesn't always happen, and Nakamura luckily gave up on the arm since Kojima doesn't really sell it properly anyway. The match had a good pace to it as it never seemed rush and felt like it ended right when it should have. The Boma Ye is an interesting finisher as he is starting to get into the habit of using it too much during a match, but it still looks deadly so it comes across as a very solid finisher. Really good match, best of the night so far. Score: 7.5

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Yoshihiro Takayama
Tie-up to start, wristlock by Takayama but Tanahashi applies a hammerlock. Takayama does a drop toehold to get out of it, side headlock by Takayama, Tanahashi muscles out of it but Takayama throws him to the mat. They go into a Test of Strength which Takayama gets the better of it, they trade elbows which Takayama gets the better of as well. Irish whip by Takayama but Tanahashi kicks Takayama and delivers a dropkick to his knee. Irish whip by Tanahashi, reversed, but Tanahashi kicks Takayama back. Tanahashi goes for a rebound crossbody but Takayama avoids it and boots Tanahashi out of the ring. Takayama goes out after him, he picks up Tanahashi and throws him into the guard rail. Knee to the ribs by Takayama and he slides Tanahashi back into the ring with his head hanging off the apron. Knee to the head by Takayama and he gets back into the ring. Kicks to the chest by Takayama, one foot cover but Tanahashi kicks out. Takayama throws Tanahashi into the corner, he then picks him up and puts him into the Tree of Woe. Knees by Takayama, he gets a running start and delivers a dropkick. Takayama chokes Tanahashi on the mat, and back up he knees him again in the ribs. Big boot by Takayama and he kicks Tanahashi in the chest. Takayama gets a running start and hits a sliding dropkick, which sends Tanahashi rolling out of the ring. Tanahashi gets back in the ring, Takayama picks him up and the pair trade elbows. Irish whip by Tanahashi, reversed, but Tanahashi delivers a jumping elbow strike. Tanahashi picks up Takayama and goes for a scoop slam, but he can't get the big man up. Club to the back by Takayama, snapmare, and he goes for a kick to the chest but Tanahashi catches his leg and hits a dragon screw leg whip. Tanahashi goes off the ropes but Takayama catches him with a knee to the midsection. Takayama charges at Tanahashi but Tanahashi catches him with the Sling Blade. Elbow by Tanahashi but Takayama returns the blow and they go back and forth. A knee by Takayama sends Tanahashi to the mat, the referee does a 10 Count but Tanahashi gets up, Takayama grabs him and hits a backdrop suplex for a two count cover. Takayama waits for Tanahashi to get to one knee and connects with a running knee to the chest, cover, but again it gets two. Takayama goes for a suplex but Tanahashi quickly grabs the top rope. Tanahashi rolls up Takayama, but it only gets a two count. Tanahashi goes off the ropes and hits a second Sling Blade, cover, but it gets a two count. Tanahashi picks up Takayama and applies a full nelson, Takayama elbows out of it but Tanahashi ducks a kick and hits a trapped German suplex hold for a two count. Tanahashi quickly goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits the High Fly Flow to Takayama's back. He then rolls Takayama over, hits a second High Fly Flow and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi

Match Thoughts: I think the last two matches should have been switched on the card. Unlike on Day 1, this match did not have a real main event feel. You had Takayama basically kicking Tanahashi's ass most of the match, then Tanahashi hits a Sling Blade, a German suplex, and two High Fly Flows to suddenly pick up the win. I just didn't buy it, Takayama is too tough to fall so easily, and it was just too disjointed for my personal liking. This would have been more acceptable as a midcard match just for fun, but I expect a bit more from my main events and it just wasn't a well set up match. Score: 4.0

Final Thoughts:

The main event left a bad taste in my mouth, but there was some quality wrestling on the card. Kojima/Nakamura was very entertaining and the Strong Man match was shockingly good. Throw in Naito/Nagata and there is definitely wrestling worth watching on this card. There were some stinkers like the main event and Makabe/Yano, but for the good matches I'd still give this event a small recommendation.

Mildly Recommended

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review completed on 9/13/11