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Sunday, August 3, 2014

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New Japan G1 Climax Review Part 1 by Medley Mike

Here we are, the G1 Climax is here in its 24th year, and what a stacked line up of wrestlers.  
A block consisting of: Tomohiro Ishii, Bad Luck Fale, Shelton Benjamin, Doc Gallows, Satoshi Kojima, Yuji Nagata, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Katsuyori Shibata, Shinsuke Nakamura, Davey Boy Smith Jr, and Honma stepping in for the injured Kota Ibushi. 
B block: Togi Makabe, Hirooki Goto, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Karl Anderson, Toru Yano, Minoru Suzuki, Tetsuya Naito, Yujiro Takahashi, Lance Archer, AJ Styles and Kazuchika Okada.  
I figured I would do a recount of my favorite matches and performers from the first 5 days. Going to try and stick to 3 matches per day, but hell... I'll do what I want! 
Day One 
First match on my list was the first match of the night. Ishii and Fale put on a blistering pace right out the gate. Ishii might have looked diminutive to Fale, but once Ishii started swinging you knew this was going to be a close one. 
4 Fale eyebrow raises out of 4 
Makabe vs Goto was a great contest, these to hard hitting stars went all out. It is good to see a classic strong style, hard hitting bout in a tournament format. This really shot some fire into the opening day. 
16 Makabe FAWK YOU out of 7 
Tie for my last spot here, I think most people probably enjoyed AJ Style vs Okada more, but I love catch wrestling, and strong style, so Shibata vs Nakamura was a dream match for me. Both these matches were exciting, all top level guys, a real toss up on who was going to get the win. The pace in both of these were very high, nice to have a opening on fire like this. 
34 out of a possible 36 Shibata chest hairs 
Day Two 
Nakamura vs Davey Boy Jr. was another match that I was looking forward to when the blocks were announced. Every time these two meet, it is a potential match of the year for me. The style these two display when against each other is exactly what got me into NJPW in the first place. 
7 YEOH out of 7 Davey Boy middle fingers 
Doc Gallows vs Tanahashi was awesome, it was great to see Gallows in a singles bout to close the card, against Mr. 1/100 himself Tanahashi. Gallows stepped up his game, and this was a fantastic match, Tanahashi always brings it, so it was great to see Gallows work his game with the talented NJPW ACE. 
69 Sex Ferguson Tshirts out of a possible 69. 
Lance Archer vs Naito was a surprise for me, I was not sure how well their styles would mesh, but Archer worked very well with Naito's flashy style. Archer is probably one of the best wrestlers in NJPW in terms of having an understanding about who he is. This match delivered exactly what I wanted, and then some more. 
0.20 cents in recycling out of 2 empty Archer water bottles. 
Day Three 
Archer vs Anderson was a battle between two top tag competitors in singles action. Both these guys are so established in what they are doing, it really makes their matches must watch in my opinion. The energy in the match was perfect, and nothing beats two heels beating the hell out of each other. 
100 Too Sweets out of 100-ski. 
Benjamin vs Ishii was dynamite. Ishii has had an amazing run since last years G1, and Shelton has been on fire this whole tournament. The agility and athleticism displayed by Shelton, vs the tenacity and raw power of Ishii was spot on. 
89 Ishii weight lifting belts out of 100 
Shibata vs Davey Boy Smith Jr. was the most anticipated match for me of the tournament. Both these guys are the definition of what a wrestler is, and what strong style is all about. This was a treat, both guys are so technical and powerful you know you are in for a good show. 
5 broken bones out of 5 just from watching 
Day Four 
Nagata has found the fountain of youth again. After holding the GHC Heavyweight Championship belt for a long period of time over in NOAH, it was not far fetch to expect something big from him in this tournament. Enter the King of Strong Style Nakamura, and you got one hell of a match. 
2 Nagata Daemon eyes out of 2 
Anderson vs Okada in a rematch from G1 2012 final. Both of these men are at the top, you would be hard pressed to find a bad singles match between them. Put them in the ring together, and you better be ready for a match of the year candidate. 
2 Anderson Rainmaker poses out of 1 Okada Rainmaker pose 
Tanahashi vs Shibata - this match was more evidence that personal matters make any match more exciting. Tanahashi has been critical of Shibata in the past, so it was great to see some fire out of the two in this match. This was great, another strong match by both competitors. 
1 Shibata mouth guard out of 1 
Day Five 
Ishii vs Gallows was another David vs Goliath style match up, but again, once Ishii starts to show his power, you realize its Goliath vs Goliath. I love good old fashion slug fests, and this delivered. 
1 Gigantic Brainbusta Out of 1 
Shibata vs Benjamin was a great match up. Shelton has been having an amazing tournament, along with Shibata. Did not have a clue who was going to walk away from this one, such a great match, lots of close calls. 
4 kick shields out of 4 
AJ Styles vs Goto was a classic example of two super talented guys knowing how to deliver a great match. Both these guys are established, and it was great to really not have a clue who was going to walk out with the points. AJ is so dynamic and fast, where Goto is just as face but hits like a Mac Truck. 
5 lariats and flying forearms out of 5 
So far Shelton Benjamin, Davey Boy Smith JR, Karl Anderson, AJ Styles, Shibata, Nakamura are all having amazing matches. Honma just brings so much energy to his match as the substitute. The audience is behind Honma in every bout, and it brings some suspense to the cards. That's all for Days 1-5, stay tuned for one last wrap up.



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