We open with the usual talking segment with a NJPW star, this week it is Tetsuya Naito.
We are welcomed in by Mauro Ranallo with Josh Barnett. The three matches this week take place August 11, 2013 from Ryogoku Kokugikan. Ranallo says this has been one of the deepest G1 Climax tournaments ever. Tetsuya Naito makes his way to the ring for the finals of the G1 Climax tournament. Hiroshi Tanahashi is his opponent as he makes his way out to the ring. Barnett mentions how the tournament has been grueling and neither competitor is fresh.
Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
They start with a lock up in the ring they spend the first few minutes with some back and forth mat wrestling just feeling each other out. Naito hits a deep arm drag then a drop kick he followed by a snap mare and a chin lock. He then puts a leaf lock submission onto the head of Tanahashi. Tanahashi tries to escape but Naito holds on. Naito tries a quick pin but only gets a one count. Both men get back to their feet as Tanahashi catches Naito with an elbow then a cross body. Tanahashi hits a chop block on the knee of Naito and gets the upper hand. Tanahashi continues to work on the knee with multiple moves. Tanahashi uses a variation of the figure four on the knee of Naito. Naito gets to the ropes and Tanahashi breaks the hold as we go to a break.
Back from the break Tanahashi is working on the knee once again, this goes on for several minutes. They exchange slaps in the corner as Naito fights back but falls to the mat due to his knee. Tanahashi runs in and misses a splash that Naito follows with a “Tornado DDT”. Naito hits a neck breaker then a hip toss followed by a drop kick and a standing senton. Naito hits a dropping drop kick to the back of the head of Tanahashi. Naito hits another kick then applies a leg nelson submission. Tanahashi gets to the ropes and Naito breaks the hold. Both men are back to their feet as Tanahashi hits a drop kick on the injured knee of Naito. Naito falls to the outside as Tanahashi hits the high fly flow to the outside onto Naito as we go to a break.
Back from the break Tanahashi is working on the right knee of Naito once again. Tanahashi goes for the “Texas Cloverleaf” but Naito rolls him up for the two count, Naito rolls him up again for another two count. Naito hits a kick to the back of the head of Tanahashi. They exchange blows in the center of the ring that end with both men colliding and collapsing. The spot appears to have been botched and Ranallo covers it by saying how exhausted both men are and the action won’t be smooth. They exchange blows again and Naito gets the upper hand with Tanahashi collapsing on the ropes. Tanahashi hits the German suplex for a two count. Tanahashi hits the “Sling blade” but misses the “High Fly Flow”. Naito goes to the top rope and hits a drop kick to the head of Tanahashi and follows it by a German suplex he gets a two count with. Naito hits an enziguri kick and a jumping elbow. Naito hits a move called “Gloria” and then misses the “Stardust Press”.
Back from the break Tanahashi hits a “Dragon Screw” leg whip on Naito. Tanahashi locks in the “Texas Cloverleaf” once again. Naito fights to the rope and breaks the hold. Tanahashi hits another “Dragon Screw” leg whip continuing to work on the knee. Naito reverses a move and gets a submission hold on Tanahashi that Ranallo called the “Puma Blanca”. Tanahashi gets to the ropes to break the hold as both men are exhausted. Naito places Tanahashi on the top turnbuckle and hits the “Frankensteiner” but Tanahashi rolls though into a cradle but only gets a one count. Tanahashi then hits the “Styles Clash” followed by the “High Fly Flow” then he attempts another but Naito gets his knees up as we go to a break.
Back from the break Tanahashi hits a drop kick to the knee of Naito. Naito hits a “Sling Blade” followed by a “Dragon” suplex. Naito hits “Gloria” then goes to the top rope and hits the “Stardust Press” and gets the three count for the win.
Winner: Tetsuya Naito
After the match both men spend a lot of time on the mat. They go to the back where we see Tanahashi talking about the match. We then see Naito getting presented with the G1 Climax Trophy. Naito is interviewed in the ring he talks about his injury and how he had to fight back Naito shows great emotion in the ring as he talks about his worries of the fans forgetting him. He talks about now facing Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. This goes on for several minutes with Naito thanking everyone. We close with interview segments of Naito in the back after the match and the closing of the interview showed at the beginning of the show.
My View: This was the first time we have seen Tetsuya Naito on NJPW on AXS TV. What an amazing competitor. The announcing by Ranallo and Barnett continues to be a positive for the show not a negative like other professional wrestling programs. Both men were clearly exhausted and not 100% which actually made the match that much more impressive from a fan standpoint. Thank you for following along see you next week.