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8/14 NEW JAPAN G-1 CLIMAX FINALS REPORT

By Matthew Macklin on 2016-08-14 08:31:00

G1 Climax 26 Finals, Ryogoku Sumo Hall, August 14:

Tiger Mask IV & Jushin Thunder Liger defeated David Finlay & Ryusuke Taguchi.  This was a fine fast paced junior opener.  They all worked hard to start the show hot. Taguchi came to the ring miming a weird song, which must be a shot at Taichi. Tiger pinned Finlay after a Butterfly suplex from the top.

Jado & Gedo defeated Captain New Japan & Yoshitatsu.  This was the first time Jado & Gedo have teamed in NJPW in quite some time, so it was cool for nostalgia purposes. Other than that, it wasn't good. The highlight was Steve Corino's sarcasm on commentary and him laughing at Gedo swearing. Jado made Captain submit to a crossface.

YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii defeated Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe.  This was a hell of a hard hitting, intense tag match. Ishii & Makabe went to war again. Honma sold his broken rib. YOSHI was an incredible ball of energy when he was tagged in. Honma hit several Kokeshi's, but missed the one from the top.  YOSHI got the win when he pinned Honma after the Made in Japan. This was a big win for YOSHI & Ishii over the former tag champions. Ishii & YOSHI vs The Briscoes would be something.

Katsuhiko Nakajima, Go Shiozaki, Masa Kitamiya & Maybach Taniguchi defeated Manabu Nakanishi, Yuji Nagata, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Katsuyori Shibata.  This was NOAH vs NJPW and it was awesome.  The NOAH guys were boo'd when they got in the ring, especially Shiozaki, who was boo'd extremely heavily.  Shibata got a monster pop when he was tagged in. He faced off with Shiozaki and they absolutely went to war. The crowd heat for this was off the charts.  The NOAH guys were out to prove a point here and all looked very good.  Shibata hit Nakajima with a headbutt so hard that he split himself opened. It was sick. The finish saw Nakajima pin Nakanishi after a Brainbuster.  After the bell we had an insane brawl between all 8 guys with Shibata going crazy on everyone and had to be dragged off by anyone that could get a hold of him. This was nuts.  This looks to be the start of a NOAH vs NJPW feud.  If we get a Shibata vs Shiozaki match, that will be something special.

IWGP Tag Team Championship: The Briscoes defeated Hangman Page & Yujiro Takahashi.  This was a really good, physical tag title match with a lack of crowd heat, which wasn't surprising given that the Bullet Club team was thrown together. Early in the match Jay was cut opened by a belt shot from Page.  The growled at ringside and Page hit his slingshot clothesline over the guardrail. This was another excellent showing from Page.  He was the star of his team and put in a huge showing in the biggest match of his career.  The Briscoes are so believable as scrappy fighters in matches like this. Mark was throwing himself around without caution. Mark was cut opened late in the match too. The finish saw Page fall to a Doomsday Device.

After intermission a "Time Bomb" video aired with a countdown clock. The countdown ends on November 5th at Power Struggle.

ROH World Championship: Jay Lethal defeated Satoshi Kojima.  This was a really good match. The commentators did a great job of talking about how a Kojima win would play into Death Before Dishonor. This was a really hard fought match. Lethal looked like a big deal and a credible champion right up until the finish. Kojima hit some hard elbows and missed a couple of lariats. Lethal hit a few suicide dives and had a Lethal Injection cut off by a lariat to the back. Lethal got the win after a low blow and the Lethal Injection. This was a shitty finish that made Lethal look second rate, especially since he has been turning babyface in ROH.  It's not like they needed to protect Kojima.

EVIL, Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI & SANADA defeated Juice Robinson, KUSHIDA, Michael Elgin & Hiroshi Tanahashi.  This was a great match. Naito got an amazing pop when he came out, as did Tanahashi when he got tagged in.  KUSHIDA went after the arm of BUSHI.  EVIL looked excellent here again. Elgin was a beast. He slammed Naito & EVIL at once, then went and did the same thing to SANADA & BUSHI. Robinson was full of intensity when he was tagged in. There was some great action between the teams before it boiled down to EVIL pinning Juice after an STO. After the match Naito taunted Elgin, so it looks like an IC title match between them will be in the near future.

Kazuchika Okada, Naomichi Marufuji & Toru Yano defeated Tanga Loa, Tama Tonga & Bad Luck Fale.  This was really good. GOD had a good battle with the GHC tag champions, Yano and Marufuji. Tonga was awesome as he used his speed against Marufuji. Okada went after Fale here in revenge for his loss to him in the G1. The finish saw Okada take out Fale before pinning Loa with a Rainmaker. After the match Okada got on the mic and offered Marufuji an IWGP title shot, which of course Marufuji said yes to.  Before that he said that Fale can't escape him. So we will see Okada have two title defences pretty soon against two guys he lost to in the G1.

G1 Climax Final: Kenny Omega defeated Hirooki Goto.   Omega wins the G1 Climax and makes history by becoming the first ever westerner to win the tournament.  This was another absolute classic.  This had a huge fight feel and Omega had the crowd on his side before the match began. Goto was boo'd when he went after the knee of Omega, but the crowd went back and forth throughout the match.  This had more incredible story telling and drama. Omega picked up exactly where he left off the night before. Goto was great here, but this was all about Omega. He was out to make an impact and prove a point.  Omega hit Goto with everything he had.  He hit a big dive, he hit several knees, dragon suplexes. Goto used his brute force and his brutal offence. He hit Ushigoroshi and went for the sleeper on many occasions. One attempt saw Omega climb to the top, with Omega on his back and throw himself backwards off the top onto Goto in a scary looking fall.

The last few minutes were spectacular.  The near fall of the match came when Goto hit Shoten Kai, a move he hasn't used in months, but Omega kicked out. Omega paid tribute to Kota Ibushi by hitting a last ride and attempting a Phoenix Splash, but Goto moved. Omega got the win after more knees, a Bloody Sunday, a Styles Clash and a One Winged Angel.

After the match Omega celebrated with Bullet Club and told the crowd that NJPW is his home. He also told Okada to watch out. Just imagine that match for a second.

There is clearly more to the Omega/Ibushi thing than meets the eye. Omega refused to comment on him after the match. Omega has long said that he wants to face Ibushi in NJPW.

NJPW made Kenny Omega a star tonight. Hell, Omega made himself a star by having two classic matches on back to back nights. NJPW and Omega shut up anyone that has doubted Omega as a top star and anyone that has called NJPW's booking predictable. No one called this and it has made the next few months extremely unpredictable. The great NJPW exodus in January was the best thing that ever happened them.

This show is available now at NJPWWorld.com.  The commentary from Kevin Kelly, Steve Corino & Rocky Romero was excellent all weekend, especially from Romero.

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