wrestling / Columns

Csonka’s Final G1 Climax 25 Breakdown

August 19, 2015 | Posted by Larry Csonka

WELCOME
The 25th G1 Climax tournament is finally over, and now it is time for me to take my look back. Last year I did more of a blog style where I would look back on a group of shows, but thanks to the glory of New Japan World this year I looked at every match and reviewed them in their sets of five. Skipping the tag matches was the right call, as I was able to avoid the G1 burn out and just focus on the matches that matter. Below there will be a listing of all of the matches, from worst to best. If you click the match rating, you will be able to go and read the review of that particular show. From there we will look at the average star ratings of the performer (for just their tournament matches) and then I will wrap things up with my final thoughts. Consider this a quick guide to see what the very best was, and if you want to catch up, what you absolutely need to see. This is becoming a tradition now, and I thank you for joining me.

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THE MATCHES


Night Seventeen: Toru Yano defeated Bad Luck Fale [DUD]

Night Fifteen: Toru Yano defeated Kota Ibushi [NR]

Night Twelve: Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Yujiro Takahashi [*]

Night One: Hirotoshi Tenzan defeated Doc Gallows [*½]
Night One: Tetsuya Naito defeated Bad Luck Fale [*½]
Night Five: Bad Luck Fale defeated Doc Gallows [*½]
Night Eleven: Bad Luck Fale defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan [*½]

Night One: Togi Makabe defeated Toru Yano [**]
Night Two: Hirooki Goto defeated Yujiro Takahashi [**]
Night Three: Bad Luck Fale defeated Togi Makabe [**]
Night Six: Yujiro Takahashi defeated Yuji Nagata [**]
Night Seven: Doc Gallows defeated Toru Yano [**]
Night Eleven: Toru Yano defeated Katsuyori Shibata [**]
Night Thirteen: Tetsuya Naito defeated Toru Yano [**]
Night Fifteen: Doc Gallows defeated Tetsuya Naito [**]
Night Sixteen: Karl Anderson defeated Yujiro Takahashi [**]

Night Four: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Yujiro Takahashi [**¼]
Night Eight: Yujiro Takahashi defeated Satoshi Kojima [**¼]
Night Thirteen: Bad Luck Fale defeated Kota Ibushi [**¼]

Night Five: Toru Yano defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan [**½]
Night Seven: Togi Makabe defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan [**½]
Night Thirteen: Togi Makabe defeated Doc Gallows [**½]

Night Three: Kota Ibushi defeated Doc Gallows [**¾]
Night Twelve: Michael Elgin defeated Yuji Nagata [**¾]
Night Fifteen: Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Katsuyori Shibata [**¾]
Night Eighteen: Yujiro Takahashi defeated Tomoaki Honma [**¾]

Night Two: Karl Anderson defeated Shinsuke Nakamura [***]
Night Four: Karl Anderson defeated Hirooki Goto [***]
Night Four: Satoshi Kojima defeated Michael Elgin [***]
Night Four: Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Yuji Nagata [***]
Night Eight: Karl Anderson defeated Yuji Nagata [***]
Night Eight: Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Tomohiro Ishii [***]
Night Nine: Kota Ibushi defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan [***]
Night Nine: AJ Styles defeated Doc Gallows [***]
Night Ten: Michael Elgin defeated Yujiro Takahashi [***]
Night Eleven: Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Doc Gallows [***]
Night Twelve: Karl Anderson defeated Tomoaki Honma [***]
Night Fourteen: Yugi Nagata defeated Satoshi Kojima [***]
Night Fifteen: AJ Styles defeated Bad Luck Fale [***]
Night Seventeen: Doc Gallows defeated Katsuyori Shibata [***]
Night Seventeen: Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Tetsuya Naito [***]
Night Seventeen: Kota Ibushi defeated Togi Makabe [***]
Night Eighteen: Satoshi Kojima defeated Karl Anderson [***]

Night Seven: Bad Luck Fale defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi [***¼]
Night Sixteen: Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Satoshi Kojima [***¼]

Night Two: Tomohiro Ishii defeated Satoshi Kojima [***½]
Night Two: Yuji Nagata defeated Tomoaki Honma [***½]
Night Three: AJ Styles defeated Toru Yano [***½]
Night Six: Tomohiro Ishii defeated Karl Anderson [***½]
Night Six: Kazuchika Okada defeated Satoshi Kojima [***½]
Night Seven: Tetsuya Naito defeated AJ Styles [***½]
Night Nine: Togi Makabe defeated Tetsuya Naito [***½]
Night Nine: Katsuyori Shibata defeated Bad Luck Fale [***½]
Night Nine: Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Toru Yano [***½]
Night Ten: Satoshi Kojima defeated Tomoaki Honma [***½]
Night Ten: Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Hirooki Goto [***½]
Night Twelve: Hirooki Goto defeated Satoshi Kojima [***½]
Night Thirteen: AJ Styles defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan [***½]
Night Fourteen: Kazuchika Okada defeated Yujiro Takahashi [***½]
Night Fifteen: Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Togi Makabe [***½]

Night Two: Kazuchika Okada defeated Michael Elgin [***¾]
Night Ten: Kazuchika Okada defeated Karl Anderson [***¾]
Night Eleven: Tetsuya Naito defeated Kota Ibushi [***¾]
Night Fourteen: Karl Anderson defeated Michael Elgin [***¾]

Night One: AJ Styles defeated Katsuyori Shibata [****]
Night Three: Katsuyori Shibata defeated Tetsuya Naito [****]
Night Three: Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan [****]
Night Four: Kazuchika Okada defeated Tomoaki Honma [****]
Night Five: Katsuyori Shibata defeated Togi Makabe [****]
Night Five: Tetsuya Naito defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi [****]
Night Six: Hirooki Goto defeated Tomoaki Honma [****]
Night Eight: Michael Elgin defeated Tomoaki Honma [****]
Night Ten: Tomohiro Ishii defeated Yuji Nagata [****]
Night Eleven: AJ Styles defeated Togi Makabe [****]
Night Twelve: Kazuchika Okada defeated Tomohiro Ishii [****]
Night Fourteen: Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Tomoaki Honma [****]
Night Sixteen: Hirooki Goto defeated Michael Elgin [****]
Night Eighteen: Yuji Nagata defeated Hirooki Goto [****]

Night Sixteen: Kazuchika Okada defeated Yuji Nagata [****¼]

Night Five: Kota Ibushi defeated AJ Styles [****½]
Night Eight: Hirooki Goto defeated Kazuchika Okada [****½]
Night Sixteen: Tomoaki Honma defeated Tomohiro Ishii [****½]

Night One: Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Kota Ibushi [****¾]
Night Seven: Katsuyori Shibata defeated Kota Ibushi [****¾]
Night Thirteen: Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Katsuyori Shibata [****¾]
Night Fourteen: Hirooki Goto defeated Tomohiro Ishii [****¾]
Night Seventeen: Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated AJ Styles [****¾]
Night Eighteen: Tomohiro Ishii defeated Michael Elgin [****¾]
Night Eighteen: Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Kazuchika Okada [****¾]

G1 Climax Finals Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Shinsuke Nakamura [*****]

 photo G1 B BLock Final_zpsxuvy9g6w.png

THE PERFORMERS BY STAR RATING


Like last year, I like to break down who the best and worst was by providing the average star ratings for the performers, based on their tournament matches and of course my match ratings. It’s not rocket science or anything new, just an easy guide for you to see who the best performers were over the course of the G1 this year.

* Hiroshi Tanahashi – 4.08 (10 Matches)
* Kazuchika Okada – 4 (9 Matches)
* Katsuyori Shibata – 3.94 (9 Matches)
* Tomohiro Ishii – 3.8 (9 Matches)
* AJ Styles – 3.75 (9 Matches)
* Hirooki Goto – 3.69 (9 Matches)
* Tomoaki Honma – 3.69 (9 Matches)
* Michael Elgin – 3.62 (8 Matches, due to forfeit win over Nakamura)
* Yuji Nagata – 3.61 (9 Matches)
* Shinsuke Nakamura – 3.39 (9 Matches, due to forfeit loss to Elgin)
* Kota Ibushi – 3.2 (9 Matches)
* Karl Anderson – 3.11 (9 Matches)
* Satoshi Kojima – 3.16 (9 Matches)
* Togi Makabe – 3.03 (9 Matches)
* Tetsuya Naito – 3.03 (9 Matches)
* Hiroyoshi Tenzan – 2.67 (9 Matches)
* Doc Gallows – 2.36 (9 Matches)
* Yujiro Takahashi – 2.31 (9 Matches)
* Bad Luck Fale – 2.06 (9 Matches)
* Toru Yano – 1.94 (9 Matches)

* Overall Block A Average: 3.01
* Overall Block B Average: 3.44

Despite being treated like the bastard stepchild with several single camera, no commentary events, Block B had the higher quality action throughout the tournament.

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FINAL THOUGHTS


To close out my look at the 2015 G1 Climax Tournament, I will discuss some of my personal awards and thoughts from the overall event. My sincere thanks again for reading, and especially if you followed all the reviews…

Tournament MVP – Hiroshi Tanahashi: There were several men who had some great showings in the tournament, but for me, the award has to go with Hiroshi Tanahashi. Reports of Tanahashi’s demise have been greatly exaggerated, as things seemed to go exactly to plan. After dropping the title, he was downgraded and kept to an easier schedule, allowing him to rest up and be ready for the G1. When it came time for the big event, Tanahashi turned back the clock and was performing like he was still at his peak. Tanahashi consistently delivered, especially in the main event settings and while I can understand the disappointment in him winning, I do not think that anyone can disagree with the quality performances that he delivered.

Who Made The Best of Their Tournament Run? – Michael Elgin: Let me say this right off, I was wrong. I was wrong about Michael Elgin’s inclusion in this tournament. When he was announced, I wasn’t all that happy. I felt that Roderick Strong was having such a good year and I wanted to see him get the chance. Add into the fact that I have been bored with Elgin for a long time and I was not excited by his addition. Again, I was wrong because Michael Elgin went to Japan, he kicked ass and he proved that he was not only worth the spot in the tournament, but the man did enough in my eyes to earn himself a regular spot with New Japan. Part of it was the fact that the G1 formula of matches (8-16 minutes) with the quicker pace and less downtime played perfectly into his strengths. Elgin got over with the crowds, put on great performances and I am glad to say that he proved me completely wrong with his strong performances. There were a lot of guys with great performances, but no single person upper their stock and took advantage of his opportunity like Elgin did.

Best Moment –HONMANIA RUNS WILD BROTHERS: The single best moment of the tournament took place on Day 16, as Tomoaki Honma defeated Tomohiro Ishii in an outstanding match to earn his first, and only, G1 victory. Last year Honma was a last minute replacement, and had a great tournament but went winless. People wanted to see the guy win in the worst way, but it was never meant to be. Since then, he’s continued to have great performances and kept the crowd supports as the ultimate underdog, even picking up some tag match wins, but never getting his big singles win. But finally, this year, he got the win in a main event match and it was a magical moment for the HonManiacs. His journey of pain, showing his frustration at not winning and finally overcoming was a fun ride and the guy deserved to get the big win in a main event match. After his series of failures, it all came together. It was a magical moment as the air smelled cleaner, food tasted better and it was morning in Japan again; the long national nightmare is over and everything is right in the world because Tomoaki Honma won. If you didn’t love this moment, I am not sure what you could enjoy, this is the stuff that makes wrestling fun for me and I absolutely loved it.

Comparisons to Last Year: One of the big things I saw throughout the G1 was people comparing this year’s tournament to last year’s. Last year’s tournament I can safely say was the greatest tournament I have ever watched and covered. This year was a different vibe due to spreading out the show, which I liked in terms of coverage at times, but also felt as if it made it last forever and that it hurt the momentum. While there were a lot of great matches this year, there were also a lot more lower quality matches overall. So when looking back, last year I had 39 **** + star matches for the tournament. This year, again according to my ratings, I had 26 **** + star matches for the tournament. Obviously a big swing in quality, but then again we’re discussing the greatest tournament ever and then an attempt to follow it up. Last year you had Minoru Suzuki having some outstanding efforts, and guys like Harry Smith and Lance Archer over achieving in the singles setting. You eliminate those three men, and there is obviously a big change. Overall I still found the tournament enjoyable, but I also knew not to expect what we got last year. Last year was a perfect storm in many ways.

Goodbye For Now
And that’s it. Make sure to come back tomorrow when I review and rank every G1 Finals match. Thanks again for reading.

Larry Csonka is a Pisces and reviews way too much wrestling. He has two beautiful daughters that he plans to put through college, which is why he reviews so much wrestling and doesn’t sleep. It also helps that he loves wrestling and would watch most of it anyway. He has been with 411 since May 26th, 2004 and has contributed over 4,000 reviews, reports and or columns throughout the various 411 zones.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

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