New Japan Pro Wrestling put on three absolutely amazing matches last weekend as a part of the G-1 Climax semi finals and finals. Tetsuya Naito defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi to win the block A and Kenny Omega defeated Kazuchika Okada to win block B, setting up a Naito/Omega final.
Naito/Tanahashi was a great match that was overshadowed by a stellar third Okada/Omega encounter. Omega was in a must win situation and had to do it in less than thirty minutes. Okada, however, could advance to the finals with a win or a draw due to a one point differential in his favor.
Okada went into the match with an injured neck he suffered in previous tournament bouts. Omega targeted the injury right from the onset and was relentless in his attack. Okada fought him off with everything he had but with a little over three minutes left in the match, Omega hit the One Winged Angel for the pin.
New Japan Pro Wrestling announced the brackets for this year’s New Japan Cup tournament. This will mark the 13th annual Cup where the winner of this single elimination tournament will earn a title shot at any singles championship they wish to challenge for at Sakura Genesis (formerly Invasion Attack) on April 9th at Sumo Hall.
The first round matches will begin on March 11th (The right side of the brackets) and March 12th (The left side of brackets) the quarterfinal matches will occur on March 13th and March 17. Semifinal action will take place on March 19 and the finals on March 20th. The Wrestling Observer has confirmed that the last two days will air live on New Japan World while the rest of the shows will air on a delay.
These matchups make for some interesting possibilities. I’d expect Hiroshi Tanahashi to at least make it to the finals of his bracket. Besides Toru Yano, who he’ll face in the finals is anyone’s guess.
Katsuyori Shibata vs. Minoru Suzuki in the first round is just all sorts of awesome. Booking their match in this position is the right call because placing them anywhere else in the same bracket makes the outcome too predictable.
O Kenny! My Kenny! What do we do with Kenny Omega? “The Cleaner’s” white-hot popularity makes him the easy pick to win the whole enchilada, however, does New Japan plan on having the Okada/Omega II on April 9th?
The strong style of Japanese wrestling isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. However, if you prefer your squared circle theater to fiercely resemble the combative variety, New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom 11 was topped off with a quadruple crescendo that will be impossible for any promotion to top or duplicate.
Hiromu Takahashi vs. KUSHIDA, Hirooki Goto vs. Katsuyori Shibata, and Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi would all be match of the year candidates if it weren’t for the main event.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer newsletter gave Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega his first six star rating. Many are calling the 46 minute classic the greatest match in the history of professional wrestling.
Adam Kohn and I ring in the New Year with our review of NJPW’s annual January 4th spectacular, which emanated from the Tokyo Dome. Every title in New Japan was on the line as the 11 match card was streamed live on New Japan World.
Often times, I find myself being let down when I expect a wrestling match to be great. Then, I’m reminded that the big events of New Japan Pro Wrestling delivers the goods on a consistent basis. That tradition continued on Sunday as Hiroshi Tanahashi squared off against Shinsuke Nakamura in the finals of the G1 Climax tournament. Continue reading →
The 2015 G-1 Climax tournament is winding down as Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan will host the remaining shows. Earlier today, Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated AJ Styles in a thrilling match to win the A Block championship. Tanahashi’s run in his block ended with him earning a total of 14 points.
B Block championship will be determined tomorrow evening as IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada is currently in the lead with 14 points.
Shinsuke Nakamura, Karl Anderson, and IWGP Intercontinental Champion Hirooki Goto are all tied for second place with 12 points each. The winner will face Tanahashi in the tournament finals, which will be held on Sunday, August 16.
Sunday’s finale will also see two title matches. 2015 BOSJ winner KUSHIDA defends the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight title against last year’s BOSJ winner Ricochet. The Young Bucks defend the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight titles against reDRagon.
G-1 Climax Finale will air live on New Japan World at 2:00 am Eastern and 11:00 pm Pacific. If you’re looking to sign up the their streaming service, click here for an English language version of their sign up page.
Any wrestling fan worth his salt knows what January 4th represents. It is the biggest day of the year for Japanese pro wrestling as New Japan Pro Wrestling puts on their annual Wrestle Kingdom event otherwise known as the Tokyo Dome show. The perspective magnitude of this event is equal to WrestleMania and boasts an impressive resume of spectacle and sport.