Current Standings as of Day 4
Day 5 Card, Miyagi
- Tomohiro Ishii vs. Doc Gallows
- Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Lance Archer
- Satoshi Kojima vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
- Minoru Suzuki vs. Yujiro Takahashi
- Toru Yano vs. Karl Anderson
- Katsuyori Shibata vs. Shelton Benjamin
- A.J. Styles vs. Hirooki Goto
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Bad Luck Fale
- Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Tomoaki Honma
- Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito
Pre-Show Thoughts and Predictions
Coming off the absolutely incredible Day 4 of the G-1, Day 5 in Miyagi will have its work cut out for it if it wants to impress. Day for set almost impossible standards for the rest of the tournament, and we’re not even halfway through yet. After the incredible matches we’ve seen so far, I have all the faith in the world that this year’s G-1 will only get better. (Please no jaws get broken after I said that).
As you can see from the standings above, Tomoaki Honma, the standout star of this year’s G-1, in my opinion, is the only participant still on 0 points. And facing Shinsukue Nakamura probably isn’t going to help matters. But as we saw in the match between Goto and Yano from Day 4, anything can happen in the G-1. As much as I love Nakamura, I’m rooting for Honma tonight. He’s the forever underdog, how can you not? Don’t stop missing those headbutts, Honma!
Okada vs. Naito ought to be another fantastic match up. They had a really good feud for the IWGP Heavyweight championship and excellent matches together (despite being overshadowed by Nakamura/Tanahashi) going into Wrestle Kingdom 8. Okada came out on top then, but after Naito’s recent win over current IWGP champ A.J. Styles, I think tonight’s the night he’ll finally best Okada.
Tanahashi has the task of overcoming resident New Japan monster, Bad Luck Fale. After his epic battle, which he lost, with Shibata on Day 4, I think Tanahashi will step his game up even more and defeat Fale. Unless of course, he’s still battle worn fro his previous match. In that case, Fale has a good chance of topping the New Japan’s #1 guy.
Got and Styles in a match up I’m really excited about, as I believe it’s a first time encounter between these two guys in singles action. Both coming off losses, Goto’s loss to Yano more embarrassing than Styles loss to Naito, I think Goto’s bad luck will continue tonight. I can’t imagine the current IWGP taking too man losses in this tournament.
Speaking of losses, and not having any. Tonight is the night Benjamin’s uncanny winning streak ends. There’s no stopping Shibata after his win over Tanahashi in Akita. I expect Benjamin’s hot streak to cool off after tonight. And Shibata to only get hotter.
As for the lower card. Take your pick! Ishii should go over Gallows, just because he’s my guy and he should go ever everyone and win the tournament and the IWGP championship at Wrestle Kingdom 9 and high five me after the match. But we’ll see.
Suzuki has looked pretty great in his matches so far. I liked his use of Saka Otoshi to finish off Tenzan on Day 4. It’s a brutal looking submission. I hope he puts it on Takahashi and never lets go (I’m not a Yujiro fan).
Anderson is going to Gun Stun Yano’s smile off, Kojima will lariat the Honky Tonk out of Davey Boy Smith Jr. (he so looks like the Honky Tonk Man), and Archer is going to…do what Archer does to defeat Tenzan.
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1. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Doc Gallows
Gallows playing the monster role, no selling Ishii’s offense. Gallows hit a big powerslam followed with elbow drops. Ishii tried a forearm/chop fight but lost. Gallows went for a big spin kick, Ishii ducked and nailed him with a big slap. Ishii got Gallows up for a nice vertical suplex. Gallows came back with a throat thrust. Splash by Gallows for a two count. Big running splash in the corner by Gallows. Gallows went for Swagger Bomb but Ishii got his legs up. Spin kick from Gallows followed by an inverted full nelson slam for two. Ishii came back with a German. Lariats by Ishii. It took three to take Gallows down. Gallows came back with a spin kick, bicycle kick and a choke bomb for a nearfall. Ishii then hit a quick sliding lariat for two. There was a battle to get the other guy up for a suplex, or a brainbuster in Ishii’s case, but neither could do it, so Ishii kicked Gallows in the head and finally got him up for the brainbuster and the win. Very good opening match. One of Gallows’ best so far.
2. Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Lance Archer
Tenzan got the early advantage over Archer. Archer took control on the outside. Big shoulder block from Archer back in the ring followed by a short arm clothesline for two. Archer told the ref to count to three. He didn’t. Tenzan hit a big lariat out of the corner. TAKA got onto the apron but Tenzan knocked him down. Tenzan did his knee from the top rope, Calf Branding. Flying lariat from Tenzan off the top rope for two. Anaconda Vice on Archer but he powered out of the hold, which shocked the crowd. Archer hit a sidewalk slam and then put Tenzan in a Boston Crab. Tenzan made it to the ropes to break the hold. Tenzan hit a wheel kick on Archer and went up top for a moonsault, but Archer moved. Chokeslam by Archer for a nearfall. Archer got Tenzan onto the turnbuckles and into position for Blackout. Tenzan tried to get out of it, but Archer hit the move and got the win. Good match. Tenzan looks to be slowing down a bit as the tournament continues.
3. Satoshi Kojima vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
Davey Boy Smith Jr. looks more like the Honky Tonk Man than the Honky Tonk Man.
Very even start to the match. An exchange of shoulder blocks, with Davey Boy eventually getting the advantage. But Kojima came back with one of his own. On the outside, Davey Boy rammed Kojima into the guard rails. Kojima rammed Davey into the apron and hit an apron DDT. In the ring, Davey gouged Kojima’s eyes/face and hit a sidewalk slam. Vertical suplex from Davey. Davey Boy missed a running knee in the corner, leading to Kojima hitting his rapid corner chops. Kojima went up top for an elbow drop. TAKA tried to distract him but failed. Kojima hit the elbow for two. Davey hit a double underhook throw for two. After an exchange of strikes, Davey hit a running high knee and a back drop a nearfall. Sharpshooter on Kojima but he made it to the ropes. Lariat attempt from Davey, but Kojima blocked his arm with a lariat and then sent Davey over the ropes. Cozy Cutter from Kojima back in the ring. Davey blocked one lariat but got hit from a second. Powerbomb attempt from Davey, but Kojima punched his way out and hit a DDT. Off goes the elbow pad. Davey hit a tiger suplex with bridge for two. One lariat from Kojima that rocks Davey, Kojima went for a second but Davey countered with a powerslam and followed it up with a sit-out powerbomb for the three count. Good back and forth battle between two really evenly matched big men.
4. Minoru Suzuki vs. Yujiro Takahashi
Yujiro attacked Suzuki as soon as he entered the ring. Yujiro threw Suzuki in to the rails on the outside. TAKA distracted the ref while Suzuki hit Yujiro with a chair. Suzuki sent Yujiro into the rails and then choked him with them. Suzuki got into a brief shoving contest with the ref. Forearms and a headbutt from Suzuki. Yujiro came back with slaps that rocked Suzuki, but Suzuki took him down and got him in a leg lock. Yujiro eventually got to the ropes. Suzuki got Yujiro in a facelock, but Yujiro turned it into a fisherman buster. Big exchange of chops and elbows in the corner. Yujiro hit a running boot in the corner. Yujiro taunt slapped Suzuki, so Suzuki laid him out with a big slap. Boot by Suzuki. Suzuki went for a soccer kick but missed. Sleeper by Suzuki, but Yujiro turned it into a slam. Lariat from Yujiro for two. Yujiro went for Miami Shine but Suzuki escaped and hit a low running boot, followed by Saka Otoshi for the win. My only complaint is that he didn’t keep the choke in for longer. Like forever.
5. Toru Yano vs. Karl Anderson
Anderson attacked Yano as soon as he entered the ring. Long time since I’ve seen that. Anderson put on Yano’s top and mocked him by doing a machine gun version of Yano’s catchphrase. Anderson is basically wrestling like Yano. He does a really good Yano impression. Both guys sent each other into the exposed turnbuckle. Yano drop toed Anderson into the middle turnbuckle and rolled him up for two. Anderson came back with a big spinebuster and a firman carry Gun Stun for two. Yano reversed a Gun Stun into a slingshot into the exposed turnbuckle. Powerbomb attempt from Yano but Anderson got out. The final sequence involved Yano trying to go for the low blow, but Anderson kept avoiding it using the ref. Eventually Yano hit the low blow and the Akakiri cradle for the win. Yano’s outside cradle is one of the most successful moves of the G-1. I can’t believe how much I’m enjoying Yano in this tournament. Not working with Suzuki is doing him wonders, and vice versa.
6. Katsuyori Shibata vs. Shelton Benjamin
Big Shibata chants from the crowd. He’s got to be the crowd/tournament favourite after his win over Tanahashi on Day 4.
Mat wrestling early on, with neither guy gaining the advantage. Both guys sportsmanly break holds in the ropes. Early ankle lock from Benjamin, but Shibata made the ropes. Benjamin caught a Shibata kick and turned it into a spinebuster. On the outside, Benjamin whipped Shibata back and forth into the guard rails by his legs. Very Cesaro-esque. Huge Irish whip into the corner from Benjamin. Snap suplex from Benjamin followed by a sleeper. Exchange of elbows with Shibata coming out on top. Repeated forearms on Benjamin in the corner followed by a corner dropkick. Benjamin came back with a wheel kick, followed by a delayed double underhook suplex. Benjamin missed a superkick, leading to another exchange of strikes. Huge spinning backhand chop from Shibata. Benjamin turned a Go2Sleep into an ankle lock. Big Shibata chants from the crowd. Shibata finally made it to the ropes to break the hold. Shibata with a sleeper and a German. He missed a Penalty Kick, opening himself up for a superkick from Benjamin. Then a second superkick, but Shibata stayed up! Shibata avoided Paydirt and put Benjamin into a sleeper. With Benjamin all but out, Shibata nailed him with a Penalty Kick to end the streak. Great match. Shibata staying up after that second superkick one was of those special wrestling moments. At least it will be.
7. A.J. Styles vs. Hirooki Goto
Some good old fashioned mat wrestling to start things off. Goto hasn’t lost yet, so he’s already doing better against AJ than he did with Yano. Goto with a big shoulder tackle for the first impact move of the match. AJ flipped out of a German, but missed a splash in the corner. Goto nailed AJ with an elbow, AJ rolled out the ring to regather. Goto tried to get AJ back in the ring, but got his neck snapped over the top rope. Big forearm in the corner from AJ. Muta Lock by AJ but Goto made the ropes. Great dropkick from AJ, even getting an applause from the crowd. Big chasing lariat from Goto, followed by Muramasa (wheel kick) in the corner and a back drop for two. Some kind of slam from AJ for two. I missed something because I lost my feed. Goto hit Kaiten, an awesome leg trap sunset flip bomb off the top turnbuckle for two. AJ came back with the Pele kick. Strong flurry of strikes from AJ, but Goto caught him with Ushikoroshi. Before Goto could finish him off, AJ hit Bloody Sunday and then the Styles Clash to defeat Goto. Another very good match.
8. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Bad Luck Fale
Fale pulls the hair early and rudely tells the crowd to shut up when they boo. Tanahashi tried a test of strength with Fale, Fale was winning, but Tanahashi managed to turn it into a headlock. Tanahashi kicked Fale out of the ring, but Fale pulled Tanahashi out and sent him into the guard rails. Big lariat by Fale on the floor. Back in the ring, Fale stood on Tanahashi’s back, and then on his front. Scoop slam by Fale for two. Fale is targeting Tanahashi’s back, drilling his knee into it and wrenching his face back. Repeated elbows by Fale to the back, and then a camel clutch. If Fale were Rusev, he would’ve won by now. Tanahashi fought back with strikes, but Fale dropped him with a big forearm. Clubbing blows from Fale in the corner. Fale missed a running splash in the corner. Tanahashi hit a low dropkick and a dragon screw. Tanahashi tried to pick up Fale but couldn’t. Tanahashi turned a scoop slam into a Final Cut for two. Big running splash in the corner from Fale, followed by a splash for a nearfall. Fale went for a Grenade but Tanahashi got out and slapped him in the face. Fale sent Tanahashi over the ropes but Tanahashi held on, skinned the cat and headscissored Fale to the floor. Tanahashi with a big High Fly Flow crossbody on Fale on the outside. Slingblade from Tanahashi back in the ring. Fale caught Tanahashi’s High Fly Flow and turned it into a Grenade for two. Really cool moment. Tanahashi escaped a Bad Luck Fall, but Fale caught him with a Samoan drop and then the Bad Luck Fall on his second attempt for the upset win.
Huge win for Fale. They don’t get much bigger than that. Also one of his better matches.
9. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Tomoaki Honma
Speaking of upsets, it’s about time Honma got one.
Big Honma chants from the crowd. Seems like they’d too like an upset. Nakamura did his face rest on Honma in the ropes. Honma just pulled him up by the hair. Good offense from Honma, until he missed his headbutt, of course. Nakamura hit big knees on Honma as he was draped over the apron. Taunting kicks from Nakamura in the ring. Honma fought back with slaps but Nakamura cut him off with a kick. Honma like falling knee from Nakamura, except he landed the move. Shaky leg in the corner from Nakamura, but Honma powered out with a big lariat on a running Nakamura. Flying forearm and bulldog by Honma followed by the falling headbutt for two. Nakamura caught Honma with a spin kick, then more kicks. DDT by Honma, followed by a piledriver for two. Nakamura got out of a slam and put Honma in a sleeper and then hit a Backstabber. Overhead throw from Nakamura, but Honma hit a surprise shoulder tackle and a brainbuster for two. Honma went up top for the diving headbutt and…missed. An exchange of strikes, with Honma winning out with a headbutt. Nakamura then hit a jumping kick off the ropes and went for a Boma Ye but Honma rolled him up for two. Honma tried another quick roll up but they ended up falling over each other. Nakamura hit a kick and a Boma Ye but Honma kicked out. After a second Boma Ye, Honma stayed down. Another loss for Honma. But yet again, despite the one botched pin attempt near the end, Honma had another great match. Huge Honma chants after the match despite the loss. When o’ when will Honma win?
10. Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito
Nice running of the ropes, ending with a big Naito dropkick. Big forearms by both guys in the corner. Naito won out, but Okada got him on the ropes and dropkicked him to the outside. Okada used the rails to attack Naito. Slingshot senton onto Naito back in the ring (Senton Atomico). Very quick low running dropkick by Okada. I missed something again because my feed dropped. Big rolling senton from Naito. Naito hit the corner legsweep from the apron, but Okada caught him on the way back into the ring with a reverse neckbreaker and an elbow from the top. Rainmaker attempt, but Naito escaped and hit a tornado DDT using the top rope. Naito hit the Corner legsweep from the apron and the slingshot rope-aided corner dropkick. Frankensteiner from the top from Naito and a bridging German for two. Okada came back with a big dropkick to the back of Naito’s head. Okada then hit the tombstone piledriver and went for a Rainmaker. Naito turned the Rainmaker into a crucifix pin attempt, but Okada manoeuvred him into a tombstone position. Naito escaped and hit a dragon suplex. An exchange of strikes. Naito with a big flying forearm off the ropes. Okada returned the favour with a dropkick. Rainmaker attempt turned into a Ura-nage by Naito. Stardust Press from Naito connected to put away Okada. Two massive wins in a row for Naito.
One streak ends, another continues. Shibata put a stop to Shelton Benjamin’s inexplicable winning streak, while Nakamura broke our (my) hearts by keeping Honma at zero points.
I was worried that after the incredible Day 4, Day 5 was doomed to be let down by comparison. I’m happy to say that was not the case at all. It didn’t surpass the unsurpassable Day 4, but it was still another fantastic show in what has been a simply amazing tournament.
Naito defeated Okada in a really great main event, giving him two huge win in two shows. Benjamin’s hot streak looks like it’s been transferred to Naito.
Nakamura vs. Honma was excellent. Almost everything you could’ve hoped for. An upset win would’ve made it perfect. I really hope they’re saving Honma’s first win for something special, and not just a throw away, sympathy win over whoever. After all these losses, his first win has to be huge. Despite the loss, the crowd was cheering for Honma all the way until, and after the end. It’s amazing how the guy who hasn’t won a single match is, in my opinion, the standout star of the tournament.
Shibata ended Benjamin’s streak in very Shibata fashion, taking him down with the sleeper and then kicking his chest in with the Penalty Kick. The moment when Shibata stayed on his feet after the superkick from Benjamin felt like one of those special moments in wrestling that you’ll remember fondly for a long time.
Fale’s win over Tanahashi felt like a big upset. Hopefully it gives Fale some of the credibility he sorely needs.
Styles and Goto had a really good match together. Goto’s leg trap sunset flip off the tope rope was pretty amazing. A lot of crisp, back and forth action by these guys.
Ishii and Gallow’s opener was very good. It was probably Gallows’ best match of the tournament so far. And it’s always good to see Ishii get some points.
Tenzan/Archer and Davey Boy/Kojima were both fine. I enjoyed the big man battle between Davey Boy and Kojima.
Seeing Suzuki put Takahashi into that choke was a moment of pure bliss. I wish he didn’t have to let go.
Another great show in a great tournament. The G-1 is like Christmas every other day. It’s the tournament that keeps on giving.