NJPW G1 Climax 26 2016 (Night 13) – Results and Review

We’re back with another review of the G1 Climax tournament, we’re getting closer and closer to finding out the finalists with 3 more days for each block.  In the main event of this show we’ll see The Ace of NJPW (The WK10 match doesn’t mean anything anymore) Hiroshi Tanahashi [6] face off against The Ace of NOAH Naomichi Marufuji [8], if Tanahashi loses that match he will be eliminated. In the co-main event Tomohiro Ishii [4] faces CHAOS stablemate and IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada [10], Ishii and Goto are eliminated if he loses.

SANADA [Eliminated/4] vs Tama Tonga [Eliminated/4]

This was a good match, but there wasn’t any reason for me to care about it, as I don’t think the winner is gonna get into a three-way tie with Okada and Tanahashi at 10 points. This was Tama’s best performance in the G1 so far, SANADA continued to be one of the best in the G1. The match had a hot finishing sequence, which ended with Tama kicking out of a backslide and then catching SANADA with the Gun Stun for 2 more points. I’m not sure why Tama won this instead of SANADA though, maybe they’re doing the three-way tie and Tama’s winning the A Block.

WINNER: Tama Tonga [Not technically eliminated but he may as well be/6]

Togi Makabe [8] vs Bad Luck Fale [6]

Before the match, Fale ripped the ring announcer’s sleeve off. Fale and Makabe have a history in NJPW, as they faced off in a “King of Destroyer” match (Last Man Standing) at Wrestle Kingdom 8, which Makabe won. Fale had yet another good match and performance in this G1. Makabe started off the G1 4-0, but he’s starting to choke as he lost for the 3rd time in a row after Fale hit him with a spear and then a Grenade for the 3 count.

WINNER: Bad Luck Fale [8]

Hirooki Goto [6] vs Hiroyoshi Tenzan [Eliminated/4]

I didn’t get into this match until the finish, I’m not sure why, it just didn’t click with me. I don’t remember too much from this match besides the finish and Goto not rolling out of the way of Tenzan’s moonsault fast enough and getting hit with a headbutt to the back. The finish was Tenzan hitting multiple headbutts to Goto, running the ropes, getting caught in a sleeper, then hit with the GTR for the 3 count. Goto winning made sense, considering Tenzan is already eliminated, and a loss for would’ve eliminated him.

WINNER: Hirooki Goto [8]

Kazuchika Okada [10] vs Tomohiro Ishii [4]

This match was quite something. Okada was his usual self, but Ishii took him to a really good match. About 2 minutes into the match Ishii hit a lariat and then a Sliding D, after Okada kicked out, he went for a brainbuster, which Okada countered and went for a Rainmaker, Ishii ducked, and shortly after Okada hit a reverse neckbreaker.  I popped for Ishii getting up and chopping Okada right in the throat and proceeding to do it again. Ishii also took a page out of Shuji Ishikawa’s book and ducked a Rainmaker, and hit Okada with a “Rainmaker Headbutt,” and then took him down with another headbutt. The finishing sequence of the match was Ishii reversing a Tombstone into his own sit-out Tombstone which looked like it broke Okada’s neck, he then hit a lariat, which Okada kicked out of, Ishii proceeded to finish him off with a brainbuster. I assume Ishii will be getting a title shot at one of the Destruction shows, or at Power Struggle. Recommended 

WINNER: Tomohiro Ishii [6]

Hiroshi Tanahashi [6] vs Naomichi Marufuji [8]

Unlike the other 2 G1 main events I’ve reviewed, this was superb, better than the co-main, too. The two actually faced off four years ago in 2012’s G1 Climax and Marufuji won, Marufuji got a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, but Tanahashi bested him there. The first big spot of the match was Marufuji hitting an apron piledriver on Tanahashi! My favorite part of the match was Marufuji and Tanahashi chopping the hell out of each other, Tanahashi’s chest turned purple by the end of the match. Marufuji did his usual kicks and knees and even reversed a High Fly Flow into a Ko-oh. Unfortunately for Marufuji, Tanahashi was able to predict he was going for a Ko-oh after a superkick, and hit a Slingblade, Tanahashi then hit a High Fly Flow to a standing Marufuji, then finished him with a second. Tanahashi survives to Day 15 of the G1 Climax where he faces Hiroyoshi Tenzan, if he loses there, he isn’t technically eliminated, but would require Okada and Makabe to lose the rest of their matches. Highly Recommended

WINNER: Hiroshi Tanahashi [8]

OVERALL THOUGHTS: There were two good matches and two great matches, which made this one of the better A Block shows so far in the G1. I recommend watching Okada/Ishii and Marufuji/Tanahashi.

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