A Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: August 11th, 2015
Location: Tokyo Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 1,742 (Super No Vacancy Full House)
And now we are at Day 15, where things have slowed down a bit before they reach the crescendo in a couple days. Results here are still mostly about getting the points right as these matches will probably be quickly forgotten in the grand scheme of things in regards to who wins and who loses. Here are the G1 matches on the card:
- Block A: Doc Gallows vs. Tetsuya Naito
- Block A: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Katsuyori Shibata
- Block A: Kota Ibushi vs. Toru Yano
- Block A: AJ Styles vs. Bad Luck Fale
- Block A: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Togi Makabe
Let’s get rolling.
Doc Gallows vs. Tetsuya Naito
Gallows attacks Naito while he is still disrobing, which is understandable since Naito takes forever. Naito gets Gallows in the ropes but Gallows hits a shoulderblock. Naito rolls out of the ring but Gallows goes out after him and attacks Naito around the ring, but Naito regains the advantage before they return to the ring. Naito applies a chinlock but Gallows gets out of it and punches Naito before headbutting him to the mat. Irish whip by Gallows but Naito avoids his charge and Gallows crashes out of the ring. Naito poses as Gallows slowly makes it back in, Naito dropkicks Gallows in the ring and he hits a sliding kick. Naito applies a headscissors, they return to their feet and Gallows throws Naito into the corner. Punches by Gallows but Naito moves when Gallows charges him in the corner. Slingshot dropkick by Naito, he goes up top and he hits a missile dropkick. Gallows doesn’t go down but Naito hits a reverse STO into the Pluma Blanca but Gallows gets to the ropes. Punches by Gallows and he hits a body avalanche in the corner, Gallows slams Naito to the mat and covers him for two. Jackhammer by Gallows, he goes for the Gallows Pole but Naito gets out of it. Superkick by Gallows but again Naito reverses the Gallows Pole, rolling up Gallows for a two count. Gallows goes for it again but Naito reverses it into a DDT, Naito charges Gallows but Gallows hits a big boot. Gallows gets on the second turnbuckle but Naito joins him, Naito goes for the Frankensteiner but Gallows reverses it into an avalanche Gallows Pole for the three count! I really couldn’t get into this one, it felt really A-B-A-B, just taking turns without a real purpose behind it. I liked Naito constantly finding ways out of the regular Gallows Pole, that was fine, but otherwise it was just too disjointed for me. Fundamentally sound but not overly interesting.
Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Katsuyori Shibata
They trade elbows until Tenzan Mongolian Chops Shibata to the mat before knocking Shibata out of the ring. Tenzan stomps Shibata on the floor, headbutt by Tenzan and he stomps Shibata some more. Tenzan returns to the ring with Shibata slowly following, Shibata hulks back up and he elbows Tenzan into the corner. Shibata starts on Tenzan’s leg and applies a figure four, but Tenzan eventually makes it to the ropes. Elbows by Shibata in the corner and he rakes at Tenzan’s face before hitting a running boot. Dropkick by Shibata and he goes for a suplex, but Tenzan reverses it into a suplex of his own. Tenzan stomps on Shibata and dropkicks him right in the face, he goes for a vertical suplex but Shibata reverses it. Tenzan knocks Shibata to the mat and goes up top but Shibata kicks him before he can jump off. Shibata joins Tenzan up top, Tenzan headbutts Shibata off but Shibata hits another jumping kick and throws Tenzan to the mat. Shibata goes off the ropes but Tenzan headbutts him in the stomach and delivers a heel kick for a two count. Anaconda Vice by Tenzan, he goes for the Anaconda Buster by Shibata blocks it. Sleeper by Shibata and he hits a pair of enzuigiris, but Tenzan fights back with headbutts. Mongolian Chops by Tenzan but Shibata ducks one and re-applies the sleeper. Tenzan rolls out of it and hits the Anaconda Buster, he applies the Anaconda Max and he gets the submission victory! This was a perfectly fine match but unspectacular. Tenzan is slowing down a bit which is understandable but it was well worked with generally smart transitions and a solid story. The leg work by Shibata was random (and meaningless) but besides that a pretty easy watch. Mildly Recommended
Kota Ibushi vs. Toru Yano
Yano immediately goes for the turnbuckle pad but Ibushi kicks him and unties it himself. Yano runs into the exposed corner, Ibushi hits a standing moonsault but Yano kicks out. Ibushi goes for a kick but Yano ducks it and hits a low blow. Yano throws the referee at Ibushi and hits another low blow, Uragasumi by Yano and he gets the three count! For Yano’s gimmick to work he has to occasionally win a match like this, and since it is a tournament setting there is really no harm done. Still disappointing since I enjoy watching Ibushi and this was basically a non-match, but understandable and not totally out of left field.
AJ Styles vs. Bad Luck Fale
Styles pushes Fale from behind to start but Fale pushes him back as the Bullet Club watches from ringside. Styles pokes Fale in the eyes but Fale picks up Styles and throws him over the top rope down onto his Bullet Club co-members. Styles and Fale jaw with Bullet Club as everyone seems confused (other Bullet Club vs. Bullet Club matches went without a hitch), Styles and Fale both end up on the floor and Fale throws Styles over the railing into the chairs. Styles fights back with a jumping elbow smash off the platform, but Yujiro stops him from using the chair. Bullet Club seems to be pro-Fale, even though Styles is in theory the leader. They battle up into the stands, Styles goes for the Bad Luck Fall but Styles gets out of it. Now it is Gallows protecting Styles as they go back to the ring, and Styles stomps on Fale. Fale picks up Styles and goes for the Bad Luck Fall but Styles slides out to the apron and snaps Fale’s neck over the top rope. Swandive elbow strike by Styles and he covers Fale for two. Fale gets out of the Styles Clash by throwing Styles to the mat, but Styles quickly applies the Calf Killer. Pele Kick by Styles but Fale hits the Grenade for a two count. Fale goes for the Bad Luck Fall, Styles blocks it but then Fale goes for the Styles Clash. Styles gets out of that too, he covers Fale with his feet on the second rope and he gets the count! They hug afterwards so all is well in Bullet Club. This wasn’t incredibly fun to watch, it was a lot more storyline than match which makes two straight matches that fit that description. The crowd enjoyed it, I will give them that, but nothing really happened. The Bullet Club seemed confused for this particular match (but not other Bullet Club matches) and suddenly Styles acted like he was a weakling when he beats larger opponents all the time. Maybe your thing, not my thing, just lots of outside the ring randomness with very little substance.
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Togi Makabe
After spending a few minutes feeling each other out and trading blows, Tanahashi pulls Makabe’s leg around the ring post and slams his leg into it. Back in the ring, Tanahashi works over Makabe’s leg but Makabe eventually hulks up and elbows Tanahashi. Big lariat by Makabe and he hits another one in the corner before hitting mounted punches. Northern Lights Suplex by Makabe, and he gets a two count. Lariat by Makabe, they go outside the ring and Makabe hits a powerslam on the floor. Makabe slides Tanahashi back in, he goes to return in the ring but Tanahashi hits dragon screws as Makabe is in the ropes. Texas Cloverleaf by Tanahashi, he picks up Makabe and hits the Twelve Six for a two count. Tanahashi goes up top but Makabe returns to his feet and elbows Tanahashi before he can jump off. Lariat by Makabe and they trade elbows while on their knees until Tanahashi dropkicks Makabe in the knee. Lariat by Makabe but Tanahashi hits a cyclone neckbreaker, Tanahashi gets on the top turnbuckle but Makabe avoids the High Fly Flow. German suplex hold by Makabe, but it gets a two count. Powerbomb by Makabe, he goes up top but Tanahashi avoids the King Kong Kneedrop. Dragon screw leg whip by Tanahashi, he goes off the ropes and he hits the Sling Blade. Diving crossbody by Tanahashi, he goes back up top and delivers the High Fly Flow for the three count! This was good but not much more than that. It was pretty by the numbers but it was done well, I liked Tanahashi’s leg work on Makabe, I just wish Makabe had sold it a bit when he was on offense as he was generally still running around as usual. Solid but I would hope for more from a Tanahashi main event, this could have just as easily been anywhere else on the card. Mildly Recommended
As I mentioned above, this is one of the slower periods typically in big long tournaments. They tend to start exciting, and end exciting, but the few days leading up to the ending it is mostly sore and slightly injured wrestlers just doing what they can to make it to the end. This show also lacked any big fresh pairings which have helped the last couple events. There was definitely some solid action spread throughout this show but there was nothing that popped out at me as must see and probably nothing that would make the G1 Climax 2015 Top 10. Really only for diehards, and people like me that watch the entire tournament regardless.
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event reviewed on 9/28/15