NJPW G1 Climax 26 2016 B Block Finals Preview
August 13, 2016
We Write Wrestling – @WeWriteWrestlin
Hello New Japan fans and welcome to our preview for the final night of the B Block for the New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax 26! The final’s for the A Block happened last night…well this morning for those of us here in the West, and while I have not yet had a chance to watch the show, you can head here https://wewritewrestling.wordpress.com/2016/08/11/njpw-g1-climax-26-2016-a-block-finals-preview-august-12-2016/ to read the preview of that show. Now, let’s get onto the finals of the B Block! This show takes place 8/13 and airs live starting at 5:30 AM EST on NJPWWorld.com (only 999¥ ! which works out to around 8-10 bucks.. trust me, it’s worth far more!)
The final B Block show should be a pretty great show starting with the normal multi-man tags underneath.
Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi, Jushin Thunder Liger, & Tiger Mask IV vs Yoshitatsu, Captain New Japan, Ryusuke Taguchi, & David Finlay
Not much to this match, other than the comedy that comes with perennial loser Captain New Japan trying to get tagged in and his team refusing to do so. Tenzan is all but done, this is his last G1 and many are saying he will be retiring before the end of the year which is good, he did really good in this last G1 but due to the injuries that will build up during the grueling G1 schedule he is pretty banged up. Nakanishi is almost immobile as well, but thankfully both Liger and Tiger Mask can still do despite their ages. Yoshitatsu is a waste of a spot on the NJPW roster, useless, Taguchi is nothing but comedy these days but at least they have David Finlay, King of Uppercuts, to carrying the work on their team. I am hoping that it’s the good Captain taking the fall here and not Finlay.
Togi Makabe & Juice Robinson vs Tomohiro Ishii & Naomichi Marufuji
Marufuji has been working as a default member of the CHAOS stable this tour leading to speculation he could be coming back to New Japan from NOAH sooner rather than later. He is still one half of the Global Honored Crown tag team champions (with partner and current CHAOS member Toru Yano) but that shouldn’t stand in the way. NOAH is basically owned by New Japan, kind of like how WWE bought WCW. The big exception here is that NJ is smarter than WWE and left NOAH as its own company, difference is now New Japan helps by sending talent there. Makabe and Juice have teamed together before and have worked well, and a Makabe Ishii match is always a violent spectacle! I look to see Marufuji pin Juice here
Hiroshi Tanahashi, Satoshi Kojima, & KUSHIDA vs SANADA, BUSHI, & Jay Lethal
Ring of Honor world champion is basically a member of Los Ingobernables de Japón, which is still a heel stable in NJ even though he has become a babyface here in North America. Doesn’t matter, as I am pretty sure by end of the year LIJ will all be huge faces anyways. I am very excited to watch the Ace Tanahashi work with the ROH champ as Tana has gone on record saying he wants to win the ROH title at some point soon. KUSHIDA is one of the best wrestlers in the world right now and the current JR’s Ace as he is the IWGP JR Heavyweight Champion so matches with him in it are always elevated. Kojima is another of the so called 3rd generation, one of the New Japan Dads who despite his age can still give and take a beating. No way Lethal gets pinned in this match so I am going to go with the easy pick and have Tanahashi pin SANADA to get his G1 win back.
Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, Gedo, & The Briscoe Brothers vs Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, Tanga Roa, Yujiro Takahashi, and Hangman Page
An old standby of the last few years, we get CHAOS vs Bullet Club in this match. Well, sort of. The Briscoe’s are not in that stable at all but seem like a good fit and they will be defending the IWGP Tag Team Titles against Bullet Club members Takahashi and Page in a match that has zero build and zero heat. We also get Gedo, the booker of New Japan in this match. While his best days in the ring are beside him he is still fun to watch, plus all his swearing in English cracks me up. The Briscoe’s are pretty over with the crowds, although still basically unknowns, and their opponents…what can I say… not much to be honest. Takahashi is the oddball as the only Japanese member of BC, and the least talented one at that. Page has only worked in NJ a couple of times and the crowds have no idea who he is. Page works as a BC member in ROH but not in NJ. This whole match is basically an attempt to give the rub to both of the teams in that title match, to try to build some heat. So expect a lot of BC shenanigans and while we won’t get the same level of bullshit finish that WWE will give us (IE a count out or DQ) expect this match to end with cheating followed by a big BC beat down of the Briscoes
Okay, now on to the actual G1 matches. This is the final night of the B Block and the current standings are: Tetsuya Naito 6-2 (12 points); Michael Elgin, Katsuyori Shibata and Kenny Omega 5-3 (10 points); Toru Yano and Katsuhiko Nakajima 4-4 (8 points); Yoshi-Hashi, Evil and Yuji Nagata 3-5 ( 6 points); Tomoaki Honma 2-6 (4 points).
This Block is Naito’s to lose. As long as he either wins, or goes to a draw with Kenny Omega, Naito is in the finals. For the rest of the block there is more of that crazy Gedo math involved.
Toru Yano vs YOSHI-HASHI
Both of these guys are mathematically out and will have no effect on the outcome at all, but should be a fun match, it is teammate vs teammate as both are members of CHAOS. This is YOSHI-HASHI first time being in the G1 and he has impressed quite a few people with how well he has worked, picking up wins against EVIL, Nakajima, and Omega, I expect big things from him going forward. Yano is… well, Yano… lots of comedy and nut shots. Yano does have wins over Elgin, Honma, Nagata and surprisingly Shibata. Of course his wins come via low blow and roll up, except for the match against Nagata which he won via countdown after taping poor Yuji’s legs together. Yana is half of the GHC tag champs so I expect a similar win.. low blow, roll up.
Yuji Nagata vs Tomoaki Honma
I will be honest; when I started watching New Japan a year ago I scoffed at most of the 3rd generation guys as being just old guys hanging around past their prime. I was right with a few of the New Japan Dad’s but Nagata has had an incredible year, even taking the NEVER Openweight title from Shibata for a while. He hits hard and can take a lot of punishment so he and the beloved Tomoaki Honma is a great opponent for him. These two have had many matches and I don’t see a lot different out of this one. It really is a toss-up, but I will go with Nagata taking this one.
Michael Elgin vs Katsuhiko Nakajima
Elgin needs to win; he also needs Naito to lose. If Nakajima wins, Elgin is out. If Elgin is able to win, he also needs Kenny Omega to win his match, if that happens Elgin goes to the finals. I really don’t see that happening, but it did lead to a fun little spot with Elgin during his post-match interview after his last match begging Omega to win, it was something along the lines of “I never thought I would say this be Kenny, please be serious and just win”. I would really love to see Elgin win this match, and I do see that happening to build heat for the final match.
Katsuyori Shibata vs EVIL
Simply put, Shibata is hurting. He comes to the ring with his shoulder taped up (as well as a few other areas) and it is clear by the way he moves and grabs it after moves that the shoulder is in bad shape; he clearly needs some time off. An EVIL win here knocks Shibata out of the running for the finals, and just like with Elgin Shibata needs The Cleaner to win to advance. I know there a lot of fans out there saying this is Shibata’s year and that is time to pull the trigger on him. I think he is good where he is, he is still the NEVER champ and that should hold him. Plus as I said, he needs some time off. This is also the first G1 for Los Ingobernables de Japón member EVIL and he is winning over the crowds in a big way, the crowd even changed EVIL EVIL EVIL during his match against partner Naitio earlier in the tourney. Since Shibata is hurting, and this win would do so much for EVIL, I am picking EVIL for this win.
Kenny Omega vs Tetsuya Naito
This match is the key match for the finals of the B Block (funny how that works, same thing with the main event of the finals of the A Block, Gedo is a genius). I am very excited for this match as both these guys are outstanding Professional Wrestlers. Full disclose however on Omega. I had hoped that with his elevation from the JR ranks to Heavyweight, and being made the new leader of The Bullet Club he would tone down some of the comedy out of his act…not all, but some. This hasn’t really happened, in fact, he seems to have turned it on more during this G1 (which is also his first). This could actually make for a great match as his opponent Tetsuya Naito is the most over person on the entire New Japan roster and will feed off the energy. Look for lots of cheating and shenanigans, all as top NJ ref Red Shoes looks on and wags his finger disappointingly. I went over all that is riding on this match for the others at the top of the block but again, all Naito has to do is draw or win and he will take the block and move to the finals. I don’t see anything other than that as a result for this match.
The final night of the B Block takes place live on New Japan World ( njpwWorld.com ), if you have not subbed to this site due to the language barrier well I have the fix for you. There are a number of active accounts on twitter that contain not only a guide on how to subscribe to NJPW World ( find that guide here https://www.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/2nxb1q/how_to_sign_up_for_njpw_world_compliments_of/) as well as fans that speak Japanese that will do live translations of promo’s as well as key comments from the commentary team. I recommend following these guys: https://twitter.com/e_key_oide , https://twitter.com/enuhito_eng , https://twitter.com/reasonjp , and https://twitter.com/SenorLARIATO to enhance your New Japan experience.
The finals of the B Block as well as the finals of the G1 will also have English commentary from ROH’s Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino, they are joined by Roppongi Vice member Rocky Romero who does indeed speak a small amount of Japanese. The B block final is 08/13 starting at 5:30 AM EST. I will be back with a preview of the G1 Finals after the B Block show is in the books, that show takes place 08/14 with an earlier start time of 2 AM EST.
In the meantime, and in between time that’s it from me! Feedback always welcome here and at twitter.com/derickjthompson (psst, give me a follow would ya!)