By Big Red Machine
From July 22, 2016
NJPW G1 Climax 26: Night 2 (7/22/2016)- Tokyo, Japan
HIROYOSHI TENZAN, MANABU NAKANISHI, & SATOSHI KOJIMA vs. DAVID FINLAY JR., JUICE ROBINSON, & CAPTAIN NEW JAPAN- 4.25/10
NAOMICHI MARUFUJI & CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii) vs. BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi, & Tama Tonga)- 6.75/10
HIROSHI TANAHASHI, RYUSUKE TAGUCHI, & KUSHIDA vs. TOGI MAKABE, JUSHIN “THUNDER” LIGER, & TIGER MASK IV- 6/10
Tanahashi vs. Liger to start off. That’s cool. Now we’ve got Taguchi vs. Makabe and Makabe will not sell Taguchi’s comedy stuff. The match was fun and pushed tomorrow night’s Tanahashi vs. Makabe main event, but after watching this match, the match-up I want to see the most is Tiger Mask vs. KUSHIDA.
CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Gedo) vs. LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON (Sanada & BUSHI)- 6.5/10
BLOCK B MATCH: Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Toru Yano- 2.75/10
Yano threw his water at Nakajima, so Nakajima charged him and just beat the sh*t out of him. I cackled with glee the entire time. Yano avoided a running strike in the corner, then used his shirt to choke Nakajima… and rather than call for a DQ, the ref actually COUNTED A PIN while Nakajima was being choked. He then untied the turnbuckle pad despite the referee telling him not to the whole time.
Yano whipped Nakajima into the barricade a few times, and then, in the one clever spot of the match, he used his shirt to tie Nakajima to the barricade to try to get him counted out. Obviously this didn’t succeed, but they (well… really just Nakajima) managed to make it look really good.
Yano got a bit more heat, continuing to work the back. Nakajima made a comeback, then we got a clever comedy spot, the one scary Yano roll-up false finish, and then finally Nakajima putting Yano away. As far as Yano matches go, this could have been much worse.
BLOCK B MATCH: Kenny Omega vs. YOSHI-HASHI- 6.75/10
The crowd was really into YOSHI-HASHI, and these two used that to take them on a great ride, giving YOSHI-HASHI lots of good false finishes, but Omega kicked out of all of his big moves… until YOSHI-HASHI busted a new move out for the HUGE upset win and the crowd went bonkers.
BLOCK B MATCH: Michael Elgin vs. EVIL- 6.25/10
The ref tells EVIL not to use a chair on Elgin, but EVIL shoves the referee and then uses the chair anyway… and there was no DQ. Other than that, this was kind of a strong-style hoss fight. EVIL picks up the upset win, but nowhere near as big of an upset as the previous match.
BLOCK B MATCH: Yuji Nagata vs. Tetsuya Naito- 8.5/10
Awesome match, with one hell of a surprising finish. Naito worked the knees like he did last night while Nagata worked the arm before eventually picking up the win with the Backdrop Hold.
BLOCK B MATCH: Tomoaki Honma vs. Katsuyori Shibata- 5.75/10
They hit each other hard in the head and sometimes didn’t sell it. Shibata did a spot where he asked the other guy chop him a bunch of times. Tonma went for headbutts and missed them. One guy got forearmed in the head in the corner until he slumped down. They kicked out of stuff at one. We’ve seen this all a million times by now. It is what it is, but it’s certainly not interesting or exciting.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- justifies previous match.
Honma offers a post-match handshake, but Shibata is salty after his loss and instead of shaking hands he slaps Honma in the face. Honma then tosses Shibata out of the ring. It’s nice that they’re building up a feud, but it seems weird to do so right after Shibata cleanly defeated Honma to retain the belt earlier this month. Also, I hope the lack of anything interesting in tonight’s match was because they were holding back to save some interesting new stuff for the feud, because if that isn’t the case, this feud will be quite bad.
Pretty much a one-match show from New Japan that took last night’s theme of upsets and doubled down on it, with four of the five matches being upsets. Unfortunately, I think this will take the focus away from last night’s upset losses for the ultra-protected Tanahashi and Okada.