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G1 Climax 2015 Results: Day 19 (Tanahashi VS Nakamura)



4 weeks, 18 shows, and a plethora of matches later, everything came to this. 

Generational rivals, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Shinsuke Nakamura, continue their long standing rivalry, this time around, it is to become the winner of this year's G1 Climax Tournament. Tanahashi had to beat AJ Styles to definitely win his block, while Nakamura had to avenge his loss against Okada at last year's finals to proceed to the Finals.

Who will leave Sumo Hall with the right to be known as the 25th winner of the G1 Climax Tournament, and gain the right to compete at the main event of Wrestle Kingdom X?


G1 Climax Day 19 Results: August 16, 2015

An announcement was made that Ring of Honor will be having a tour of Japan in 2016 with NJPW! Whether this would be similar to CMLL's Fantasticamania events or not remain to be seen. So yeah, that clears out the ROH/NXT/NJPW rumors.

BUSHI is unable to compete due to a fractured orbital bone, and an announcement will be made on his status in the future.
  • The team of David Finlay, Mascara Dorada, and Ryusuke Taguchi def. Yohei Komatsu, Sho Tanaka, and Jushin Thunder Liger
Your standard multi-tag opener starts off the Finals of the G1 Climax this year, with Taguchi leading his team to victory against Liger's team. Not sure with you guys, but this Taguchi feels tremendously odd as compared to Apollo 55 Taguchi, who is serious as he is entertaining. Now, Taguchi dialed up his "Funky Weapon" persona way too much. Still, for an opener, it is fun for what it is meant to be.

Also, this is the last time we would see Liger before NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn, where he will be taking on Tyler Breeze. Expect streamers to be thrown the night before SummerSlam.

Rating: 2/5

  • Captain New Japan and TenKoji (Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima) def. the team of Jay White, Manabu Nakanishi, and Yuji Nagata
Another standard multi-tag match featuring the third generation competitors of the G1 as well as Nagata's best friend, the returning Manabu Nakanishi, who spent some time with Pro Wrestling NOAH during the Jr. League. Like the first match, it was a satisfactory appetizer before the main course with Team TenKoji securing the win.  Kojima's as imposing as ever, continuing to defy age with outstanding fitness. Good to know the third generation is being represented well even at this point in their careers.

Rating: 2.5/5
  • Michael Elgin def. YOSHI-HASHI
This match only served two purposes: to once again show why Elgin deserved his spot in this year's G1, and to demonstrate to everyone why YOSHI-HASHI deserves to be in next year's G1. It was a simple match between the two, which saw #BigMike secure the win via the Elgin Bomb. The G1 proved that Elgin is as much as a big player as he believes he is, and may very well be ROH's version of Tomohiro Ishii. There's no denying it anymore: Elgin is a revelation that he is destined to be a success not just in America, but moreso in Japan. YOSHI-HASHI has done very well to make a name for himself in the G1 with some big tag wins. Don't be surprised if #Tacos ends up in next year's tournament.

Rating: 3/5

  • CHAOS (Kazushi Sakuraba, Tomohiro Ishii, and Toru Yano) def. Bullet Club (Tama Tonga, Yujiro Takahashi, and Bad Luck Fale)
This multi-tag match was off, especially when you consider the cast of characters involved. This match could have been better, or at least somewhere like the previous two multi-tag matches. But it is what it is. The only positive to come from this is that Tama Tonga looks ready to jump into the spotlight, as indicated by his performances during the tour and him getting wins. Tonga, like YOSHI-HASHI, is ready for the G1 next year.

Rating: 1.5/5
  • Meiyu Tag (Katsuyori Shibata and IWGP Intercontinental Champion Hirooki Goto) and Kota Ibushi def. Great Bash Heel (NEVER Openweight Champion Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma) and Tetsuya Naito
While the previous tag matches have nothing much to offer in the long term, this one has major implications in the road to Destruction 2015. Naito's disrespectful attitude led to him getting the ire of a pissed off Shibata, while Ibushi, in his road to prove himself even further as a Heavyweight, wants Makabe and his NEVER Openweight Championship. It was a fun tag match all around, with Honma taking the fall (unfortunately). One thing is for sure: expect Naito/Shibata and Ibushi/Makabe somewhere along the line, likely during Destruction next month.

Rating: 3.5/5
  • Wrestle Kingdom X Announcement and Genichiro Tenryu's Last Stop in Retirement Tour
The hype for next year's Wrestle Kingdom starts after the G1, and New Japan is reminding everyone that it will once again take place in the Tokyo Dome on January 4, 2016. That's the announcement everyone knew and expected. But there was another announcement that no one saw coming.

The pro wrestling legend himself, Genichiro Tenryu, made a surprising appearance and followed up with New Japan management on his request for his retirement match to be with the reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kazuchika Okada, in a singles match in November. Okada accepted the match, and it's on for November in a match no one could ever have expected: Tenryu VS Okada!

This retirement match is in a league of its own for many reasons. Usually, retirement matches are multi-tag matches involving important people in a wrestler's career, or a singles match against someone important in his or her life. In this case, Tenryu has already been involved in a retirement tour throughout different Japanese promotions (one of which will be happening in DDT Pro Wrestling's biggest event later this month). To fight the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, with a significant age difference, in a singles match is unheard of. Whether Tenryu's last stand will be shown on NJPW World or not remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, it's a dream match that people will be watching.

Rating: 5/5 because Tenryu
  • reDRagon (Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish) def. The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) to become the new IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions
In the continuation to the ongoing rivalry between the two international tag teams, reDRagon and The Young Bucks once again fought for the IWGP Jr. Tag Team Titles. As one can expect, it was a masterclass between two of the best tag teams around, to the point that they are showing why Jr. tag competition is much better than its heavyweight counterparts. Cody Hall also got to make an impact during the match as the Bucks' heavy, but not even Hall could turn the tide in the Bucks' favor as the ROH team continued to find ways to overcome the 3-on-2 advantage. A Chasing the Dragon spelled the end of the Superkick Party, which made O'Reilly and Fish two time champions in another outstanding match. Was there any surprise that this match would be really good?

Rating: 4/5
  • KUSHIDA def. Ricochet to retain the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship
In last year's BoSJ Finals, Ricochet not only defeated KUSHIDA to become the youngest winner of the tournament ever, but he also had the entire crowd behind him. My, how a year changes a lot of things.

Now, KUSHIDA is in the prime of his career as the new beacon of hope for the Jr. Heavyweight Division. Most importantly, he has the crowd firmly behind him, a complete opposite of last year's situation.

As expected, this match was intense from beginning to end, with Ricochet demonstrating why he is one of the best performers in the world, as seen in Lucha Underground. KUSHIDA has become the most complete performer in the Jr. Heavyweight Division, showing his aerial acrobatics and MMA savvy in many situations, evident with the use of the Hoverboard Lock. KUSHIDA managed to avenge his loss via Ricochet with the submission, solidifying his spot as the new Ace of the Jr. Division.

Seriously, if New Japan can actually sign Ricochet to a contract without any issues from Lucha Underground, they should. Immediately.

Rating: 4/5
  • Bullet Club (IWGP Tag Team Champions Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson, and AJ Styles def. The Kingdom (Michael Bennett and Matt Taven) and IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada
Just when you thought the multi-tag matches were over, you now have a match that involve two different rivalries: Gallows & Gun and The Kingdom, and Styles and Okada. The star power involved made for a very good showing between the two teams. Even Maria got to shine during her moments with Anderson.

The biggest story of course is Styles pinning Okada to get the win for the #BizCliz, which means that Styles will be getting a shot at the title between now and WK X. Another Match of the Year contender, anyone?

Rating: 3.5/5
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi def. Shinsuke Nakamura to win the 25th G1 Climax Tournament
You know it's a big deal when Masahiro Chono and Wrestle-1 founder Keiji Mutoh, two of the guys who are instrumental in making the G1 Climax the phenomenon that it is today, are watching the match on commentary. And with all eyes on the big one, Nakamura and Tanahashi would create another classic in a rivalry that spanned virtually their entire careers.

Tanahashi and Nakamura provided the fans with an excellent match that told such an intricate story befitting the Finals. Tanahashi's strategy to weaken Nakamura's leg in order to reduce the effectiveness of the Boma Ye, and Nakamura's amazing selling are proof that for how good Tanahashi and Nakamura have been over the years, they know how to make seemingly old matches feel new again. In fact, it felt like you really want to cheer for Nakamura instead of the establishment that is Tanahashi. Likewise, Nakamura was able to adapt to the situation by making use of his cross armbreaker, usually designated as a signature move but has lately found itself as a coup de grace, to put the match in his favor. No one wanted to give up and lose especially during the final stretch when it was all instinct and guts that kept them going.

Despite best efforts, it was a succession of High Fly Flows that eventually led to the second consecutive loss of Nakamura in the G1 Finals, and the second and, perhaps, most important G1 Climax victory of Tanahashi's career. People may not necessarily like Nakamura losing his second consecutive finals, but if there's a consolation to this, at least the right man won in Tanahashi. In fact, it felt like it had to be Tanahashi who would beat Nakamura as payback from their encounter last year for the IWGP Intercontinental Title. One can suspect that it's the shoulder injury that might be a factor in Nakamura not taking the G1 crown this year. If that's the case, then Nakamura needs to heal up, as health is more important than anything.

So for now, the main event of Wrestle Kingdom X is Tanahashi VS Okada in the rematch from the last Wrestle Kingdom. granted both of them can successfully defend their respective prizes (Okada's title, Tanahashi's right to compete contract).

Rating: 5/5

Today was supposedly the Week 4 recap, but considering the immense developments that took place during the entire tour, we will instead have a massive G1 tour recap and post-G1 updates leading to Destruction 2015 later this week. Remember, you can still check out all of the matches via NJPW World for 999 yen. That's like 2 cups of coffee from Starbucks, in case you're keeping count.

Loved or hated that Tanahashi won? Sound off in the comments!



*****


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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