Cubed Circle Newsletter 197 – G1 Climax 2015 Continues & Heyman Money Promos
In this week’s issue, Ben Carass returns with a look at RAW from ,Monday with a money promo from Heyman and a four-star match, plus nights six and seven of the G1, with what may very well be the match of the year, NXT, and more!
-Ryan Clingman, Cubed Circle Newsletter, Editor
NJPW G1 Climax Nights Six & Seven: Ibushi and Shibata Tear the House Down
As is discussed later, I didn’t make as much progress into my G1 backlog as I would have liked, with that said, there does exist a solution to this problem, which is elaborated upon later. More importantly, last week’s seventh night of the 25th annual G1 Climax tournament produced one of the better matches of the entire year, and perhaps, arguably, the very best.
Kota Ibushi and Katsuyori Shibata demonstrated on July 29th in Fukuoka that, as they have shown for the last couple of years, they can modify their styles to complement those of others as well as anyone else in the promotion. Ibushi, much like in his match with Nakamura, employed mimicry to take Shibata to his limit. Kota pulled off Shibata’s forearms in the corner, and even laid it in with a super stiff flying dropkick. Perhaps the match’s most memorable sequence, was a series of one-counts and no selling. When planning the spot both men clearly knew when exactly to stop, as had the series continued any longer, it may have very well descended into the realm of parody, and unintentional comedy. Thankfully, not only did they end the exchange at the right moment, but they continued on, not in the way of the stereotypical mid-2000s indie match, but rather to a peak in match intensity of far greater magnitude than even the nearfall sequence. An additional testament to the match’s quality is also the fact that despite taking place in a lesser Fukuoka arena, a region that has become notorious for sub-par reactions over recent years, even in larger arenas, Fukuoka Convention Centre was almost rumbling for two of the most talented performers in the world at present.
Elsewhere on the night six and seven cards were very good matches featuring the likes of Karl Anderson and Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooko Goto and Tomoaki Honma, and Tetsuya Naito versus AJ Styles. The latter match is of particular note-worthy, as Tetsuya Naito upset AJ Styles pushing himself into one of the top A Block positions as of night seven. Unfortunately, Shinsuke Nakamura, as noted last week, suffered an elbow injury, and was therefore unable to work Michael Elgin in Oita. He didn’t work the undercard on the seventh night either, but luckily returned on the eighth evening. He is expected to progress as expected, although booking may very well have been adjusted to compensate for his forfeit loss to Michael Elgin, unless, of course, Elgin was originally booked to win, a notion I find near unfathomable.
I wasn’t all too optimistic on the fate of this year’s G1 last week, at least in comparison to other years, but they feel, at least in my view, to have accumulated momentum heading into the eighth night, and will hopefully capitalize on that leading into the all important final ambitious stretch in Tokyo.
NJPW G1 Climax 25 July 28th 2015 Night 6
Beppu B-Con Plaza, Beppu, Oita
We are doing the reports a little differently this week, as I have noticed that I haven’t been able to stay as up to date as I would like. We have thus decided to skip the undercard on most of the B-shows in order to concentrate and make steadier progress on the main tournament. There was one fewer G1 match on this card, as Nakamura was out due to injury, and as a consequence lost via forfeit to Elgin.
Yujiro Takahashi (0-2) started the G1 portion of the show off with Yujiro Nagata (1-1). Yujiro didn’t have a special entrance of any sort, such was the nature of this show. However, there were at least multiple cameras at ringside, even if there was no commentary feed.. Cody Hall beat Nagata on the outside, leading to work over Nagata’s arm, and the heat. Nagata fired up, although his comeback was dull, as was the rest of the match, and most of Yujiro’s G1 thus far. Nagata caught on from Elgin to scream Takahashi’s name. There was a tried ref bump, and a low-blow from Yujiro for a count of two. Takahashi won with his spinning side slam, as one could discern from about the match’s mid-way point. ( ** ¼)
Hirooki Goto (1-1) versus Tomoaki Honma (0-2). Match-ups such as these are great, but it is unfortunate that they couldn’t take place in Tokyo or Osaka, where they would go from great to legendary. Still, they worked hard here, as most everyone would have expected. They traded some big forearms early,. Honma, later on, kicked out of a giant lariat at one, before being dropped with a neck breaker. Goto went for the Shouten, but was rolled up for two. A headbutt exchange of death followed before Honma was pinned with the Shouten Kai. This was as good a match as these two probably could have had in this building; they should probably be rematched in Osaka or Tokyo at some point. (*** ¾)
Karl Anderson (2-0) versus Tomohiro Ishii (2-0). Anderson, like Yujiro earlier, was accompanied to the ring by Cody Hall. One of the better Anderson exchanges of the last year followed. The match then slowed down to a calm, steady pace, with Anderson working Ishii over. Ishii sold his knee like death. He then sold his shoulder to the degree that his arm was quivering. Ishii kicked out of the neck breaker gun stun for one of the bigger reactions of the night, a lariat, and a double down. Anderson attempted a headbutt, but crumbled at Ishii’s feet. Ishii then brought Anderson’s win streak to an end, and kept his alive with a brain buster, in the best match of the night up until this point. (*** ¾)
Kazuchika Okada (3-0) stood opposite a super over Satoshi Kojima (1-1) in the next B-Block bout. Kojima was even angrier in this match than in his Ishii match from the second night, taking Okada to the outside and laying it in with lariats and forearms. Regardless, Kojima was beloved by this Oita crowd. Kojima conquered Okada fairly easily in a forearm battle and landed his lariat in the corner. Kojima set up for a lariat, but Okada collapsed selling his shoulder before he could land it. Like Anderson and Nagata before him, Kojima yelled Okada’s name. Kojima dodged a Rainmaker and collapsed at Okada’s feet, throwing chest slaps. They sold exhaustion, but Okada popped up with a Rainmaker after dodging a Kojima lariat for the win. (*** ½)
NJPW G1 Climax 25 July 29th 2015 Night 7
Fukuoka Convention Centre, Fukuoka, Fukuoka
Night seven was another show featuring multiple camera and no commentary. A big note from the undercard was that Honma pinned YOSHI-HASHI with the Kokeshi, and in the post-match, Honma, Elgin, and Ishii got in a three-way forearm battle of death! Gedo once again took Nakamura’s place in a tag teaming with Okada opposite Goto and Liger.
Kicking off night seven in the realm of the G1 was Toru Yano (1-2) versus Doc Gallows (1-2). Yano looked like a mess with a black eye and bandage on his head, His antics filled the match’s early minutes with Yano complaining to the referee and Gallows yelling “this is bulls*** buddy”. Anderson, Tonga, and Hall put the boots to Yano on the floor, which this crowd did not at all approve of. Tremendous comedy ensued with Yano backing off from Gallows, apologizing, before grabbing Doc’s ears. Anderson held Yano in the ring, they landed their double team, and the referee counted the pin. ** ¼
Hiroyoshi Tenzan (1-2) vs. Togi Makabe (1-2) was next. Makabe clobbered at Tenzan’s plastered head, seemingly determined to bust him open. Makabe pinned Tenzan with the King Kong Knee drop. ** ¾
In what should have been a main event at Korakuen, Sumo Hall, Sendai, Hiroshima, or the Body Maker, Shibata and Ibushi went at it in what will likely finish as my second favourite match of the year. These two have magical chemistry, with Shibata catching Ibushi with an uppercut of doom to the floor. Ibushi avoided a flying boot from Shibata and intercepted with a boot of his own. Ibushi stole Shibata’s corner forearm flurry, which fired Shibata up.. Ibushi stood up to a Shibata mauling, but was face washed to death. Ibushi landed a big dropkick and moonsault to the floor. Ibushi landed kicks to the chest, Shibata called for more, and Ibushi kicked him as hard as possible and landed a Phoenix splash. Shibata connected with a giant forearm, and then caught one of Ibushi’s peles and locked in an STF. There was an insane flurry of non-selling and one counts.. Ibushi killed Shibata with a lariat for two. A war of forearms ensued. Ibushi then took the PK for the win in what was far and away the best G1 match thus far, and a strong match of the year contender (**** ¾)
Bad Luck Fale (2-1) took on Hiroshima Tanahashi (2-1) in the next match. They showed the Captain on commentary, so clearly it is just the New Japan World feed that doesn’t get the commentary feed for these smaller shows. Fale out-powered Tanahashi early. We had ref bumps and general shenanigans, which got some good heat. Fale nearly slipped when landing his big splash from the top that put Tanahashi away. (***)
Tetsuya Naito (2-1) and AJ Styles (2-1) was our main event. Styles mocked Naito for getting undressed in the ring and was the babyface tonight. Naito stood over Styles hand raised to the ceiling and eye pulled open, for some good heat. Styles escaped the Koji Clutch with a foot on the rope, but Naito only broke at three. Naito in another upset put Styles away with his standing sliced bread! This was nowhere close to as good as their G1 outing last year, but still a very fun main event – *** ½. Naito attacked Red Shoes in the post match. Landing a basement dropkick for good measure!
Next Week’s Issue
In next week’s issue we hope to progress to, at the very least, the 10th night of the G1 Climax, plus coverage of RAW on the Road to SummerSlam, NXT, Mid-South with the return of Ernie Ladd, RAW ratings, and more!
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