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G1 Climax 2015 Results: Day 8 / Week 2 Roundup





This is a sad time for professional wrestling with the unexpected passing of the legendary Rowdy Roddy Piper. And while the entire world continues to mourn for one of the greatest wrestlers and personalities who ever lived, the show must go on. And for today's coverage, we look at Day 8 of the G1 Climax tournament, featuring Block B. And since it's the weekend, we will also be having our Week 2 Roundup, looking at how the tournament is shaping up at this juncture. We will also be naming our MVP and Match of the Week, which was actually hard to come up this week.




G1 Climax Day 8 Results: August 1, 2015


  • Bullet Club (Cody Hall and Doc Gallows) def. the team of Jay White and David Finlay

  • The team of Mascara Dorada, Tetsuya Naito, and Kota Ibushi def. the team of Yohei Komatsu, Togi Makabe, and Hiroyoshi Tenzan

  • Bullet Club (Tama Tonga, Bad Luck Fale, and AJ Styles) def. the team of Tiger Mask, Captain New Japan, and Katsuyori Shibata


  • The team of Ryusuke Taguchi, KUSHIDA, and Hiroshi Tanahashi def. CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI, Gedo, and Toru Yano)


G1 Climax Block B Matches:



  • Yujiro Takahashi (2) def. Satoshi Kojima (2)

  • Karl Anderson (4) def. Yuji Nagata (2)

  • Michael Elgin (2) def. Tomoaki Honma (0)

  • Shinsuke Nakamura (2) def. Tomohiro Ishii (6)

  • Hirooki Goto (4) def. Kazuchika Okada (6)



Current Standings:



Block A:


Tetsuya Naito – 6 points

Katsuyori Shibata – 6 points
Bad Luck Fale – 6 points

Hiroshi Tanahashi – 4 points

AJ Styles – 4 points
Kota Ibushi – 4 points
Togi Makabe  4 points

Hiroyoshi Tenzan – 2 points

Toru Yano – 2 points
Doc Gallows – 2 points



Block B:


Kazuchika Okada – 6 points

Tomohiro Ishii – 6 points
Karl Anderson – 6 points
Hirooki Goto – 6 points

Shinsuke Nakamura – 4 points

Michael Elgin – 4 points
Yujiro Takahashi – 4 points

Yuji Nagata – 2 points

Satoshi Kojima – 2 points

Tomoaki Honma – 0 points


Current Situation on Block A:


If last week, we had a clear lead with Tanahashi and Styles for Block A, then this week is quite the opposite. Shibata, Naito, and Fale are currently leading the pack with 6 points, with Makabe, Ibushi, Tanahashi, and Styles following them with 4 points. Tenzan, Yano and Gallows complete the pack with 2 points so far.


Naito in particular had quite a memorable week, securing huge wins against Tanahashi and Styles, the latter he lost against at Wrestle Kingdom 9, using his new finishing maneuver, the Destino. It will be very interesting to see where this new attitude will take him as we start the second half of the tournament. By the end of the third week, we will have a clearer idea on who will very likely get the chance to win their respective block, though in the case of Yano, Gallows, and Tenzan, they will need all the luck they can get.


If you are looking for some good Match of the Year contenders, seriously, look no further than in Block A. Just ask Ibushi, who should be very happy right now after securing a huge revenge win against Styles in a Match of the Year contender. And despite losing to Shibata in another runner for Match of the Year, Ibushi looked strong in defeat.


Current Situation on Block B:


If there is anything that rings true in as far as round robin-style tournaments go, it's that you should never expect your favorites to win ALL the time. And in this case, if you are expecting Okada to pull off a perfect G1 this year, then those hopes are pretty much out of the window following Goto's win in an IWGP Heavy VS IWGP IC showdown. Same goes for Ishii's G1 run, which was tainted by a loss of friend and fellow CHAOS member, Shinsuke Nakamura, in another Match of the Year contender (probably won't be the last time I'll be typing that statement). Overall, like Block A, the lead to Block B is still vague as it is still anyone's game, with the exception of Honma. At this point, Honma has no chance to go to the finals based on points alone, but now we have to ask: will Honma even get at least one win in this year's tournament? #GiveHonmaAChance


Speaking of Nakamura, the biggest story coming out of Block B is his elbow injury, which resulted in him forfeiting his match against Michael Elgin. The good news is that based on his performance with Ishii, Nakamura seems alright enough to continue with his run and not drop out of the tournament altogether. The bad news: in order to have a better chance of reaching the finals, he has to come up with a winning streak and hope his performance will be better than the rest of Block B. It is certainly not impossible if history was to be our guide. In the 2009 G1 Climax, Shinsuke had an amazing G1 run coming off the creation of CHAOS, with not even one loss. He was close to perfecting that G1 run had it not been for a loss against Makabe in the finals. So if anyone can rebound from this, it's Shinsuke. But still, you'll never know.


G1 Match of the Week: AJ Styles VS Kota Ibushi, Day 5






It is inevitable that we are going to end up in a situation where deciding for G1 Match of the Week will be extremely difficult. In a week's time, we had quite a number of MotY candidates. Ibushi VS Shibata, Tanahashi VS Naito, Styles, VS Naito, Makabe VS Shibata, and even the recently concluded Nakamura VS Ishii comes to mind. But if we are going to look at one match that is both a physical spectacle and one with a sense of history and a dash of continuity, it has to be Styles VS Ibushi II during Day 5.


If you've seen their match at Invasion Attack back in April, then you already know what to expect when these two familiar foes faced each other again. Ibushi is on a mission to prove that he belongs in the Heavyweight Division, and who better to prove that than against the guy who beat him when the IWGP Heavyweight Championship was on the line (save for outside interference from his former friend, Kenny Omega).


One can argue whether this match is just as good or even better than their first meeting (I'm personally for the latter), but one thing is for sure: New Japan knows how to keep up with continuity (which is something you cannot really say with another reputable wrestling company). New Japan respects continuity, and under the watchful eye of Jado and Gedo, we have seen stories unravel the right way, to the point where they respect continuity between rivals, and even between organizations (NJPW-NOAH comes to mind). With Styles and Ibushi, the history is there, and the win is significant for Ibushi on his road to prove that he belongs with the best. Only three targets remain for Ibushi: Tanahashi, Nakamura, and Okada, all three he has never beaten... yet.


G1 MVP of the Week: Tetsuya Naito





The G1 Climax is not only the greatest tournament in the professional wrestling world, and a spectacle in its own right with numerous bouts and MotY candidates, but it is also a tournament that becomes a medium to progress New Japan storylines. Nakamura's 2009 undefeated run after his sudden transformation comes to mind. The rise of Kazuchika Okada in 2012 and Tomohiro Ishii in 2013 are also good examples. Heck, even the early G1's had a grand purpose: to establish the future stars of NJPW at the time, aka the Three Musketeers (Keiji Mutoh, Shinya Hashimoto, and Masahiro Chono).

When Tetsuya Naito entered this year's G1, he already had a very serious mean streak going ever since his return from his latest excursion to CMLL. He was a man who found friends in Mexico in the form of Los Ingobernables ("The Ungovernables"), via his regular partner, La Sombra. Even before then, when Naito returned from injury in 2013, fans felt that he did not deserve a chance at the top spot, when it's already been occupied by the likes of Tanahashi, Nakamura, and Okada. He was being booed (especially in the wrestling-minded Osaka area, though Naito asked for it), and felt like his meteoric rise after the split from NO LIMIT went nowhere. Even a G1 win in 2013 and a NEVER Openweight Championhip reign did not help matters.


So what does Naito do? He comes back from Mexico and distances himself from his NJPW mates, fed up with everything that has happened. He emphatically defeated the top ace, Hiroshi Tanahashi, with his new maneuver, the Destino; as well as AJ Styles, the guy who beat him at Wrestle Kingdom 9. And during those matches, he began acting like he had not a care in the world, continuing to represent Los Ingobernables with malice in his actions. Post-match, he said on record that he no longer belongs to NJPW, rather, he now belongs to Los Ingobernables.


In essence, not counting his association with the CMLL-based faction, he became the most hated man within the New Japan system and not associated with CHAOS, Suzuki-gun, and Bullet Club. Even tagging with Naito these days has its risks.


Naito has told an amazing story of the culmination of his transformation in two G1 Climax block matches. In effect, he became the most interesting man in all of New Japan, and that is saying something when it comes to the diverse and talented roster today. He made use of all these negatives, turned them into positives, and shoved them in the faces of the fans who doubted him. In a way, it feels like Chris Jericho's supreme 2008 heel run.

The big question now is when will Los Ingobernables make their presence felt? Will it be during the G1 Finals? Or later down the road? This whole scenario works both ways for NJPW and CMLL, who already have an amazing working agreement, and this storyline will only lead to more opportunities down the line. So yes, in a creative and business standpoint, Naito is money.


*****


Lance Tan Ong has been a banking guy for the past few years but a wrestling guy for most of his life. And after checking out matches of Mitsuharu Misawa and Shinya Hashimoto at an early age, he's also pretty much a puro guy as well. Currently checking out WWE (mostly NXT), NJPW, DDT, and other promotions that catch and demand attention. He currently handles NJPW news and coverage for Smark Henry.

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