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NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING G1 CLIMAX 32 – DAY 11 – ALL BLOCKS
AUGUST 2, 2022
SHIZUOKA, JAPAN AT HAMAMATSU ARENA
AIRED LIVE ON NJPWWORLD.COM
NJPW G1 Announcers: Kevin Kelly
(1) UNITED EMPIRE (JEFF COBB & HENARE) vs. TMDK (BAD DUDE TITO & JONAH)
WINNER: HENARE by pinfall (Streets of Rage) in 7:30
(2) SUZUKI-GUN (LANCE ARCHER, TAKA MICHINOKU, ZSJ & TAICHI) vs. HOUSE OF TORTURE (EVIL, YUJIRO TAKAHASHI, SHO & DICK TOGO)
This tag match was the all shenanigans special, featuring Dick Togo, Taka, & of course Evil.
WINNER: SHO by pinfall (Roll up) in 9:06
(3) BULLET CLUB (CHASE OWENS, EL-P & BAD LUCK FALE) VS. LIJ (TETSUYA NAITO, BUSHI & SHINGO TAKAGI)
WINNER: CHASE OWENS by pinfall (Package Piledriver) in 6:53
(4) KAZUCHIKA OKADA, HIROSHI TANAHASHI & YOSHI-HASHI vs. BULLET CLUB (GEDO, JAY WHITE & JUICE ROBINSON)
WINNER: YOSHI-HASHI by submission (Butterfly Lock) in 7:53
(5) TOMOHIRO ISHII vs. GREAT O-KHAN – BLOCK B MATCH
While a hoss fight arrived on the menu, a chain wrestling exhibition to open was not foreseen. After Ishii took advantage, O-Khan went into survival mode against his smaller, but still mighty opponent. O-Khan’s combination of the TTD and a scramble of counters that culminated in an Eliminator got the naughty boy of United Empire the W.
WINNER: GREAT-O-KHAN by pinfall (Eliminator) in 12:59 (***)
(Fann’s Analysis: I didn’t see a chain wrestling clinic opening the match, but I really enjoyed the chemistry of the two. O-Khan’s development the last months has been fun to see, and at 2 points O-Khan is a struggle to get close to final spot. This year is about a continuation of establishing where he is in the NJPW food chain. Ishii, as always, can take a loss and keep it moving.)
(6) TOM LAWLOR vs. TORU YANO – Block A Match
I must warn readers unaware of my interests and predilections pro-wrestling wise, as this hit the spot as one of my most fun matches of the night. Lawlor and Yano open with a back of the parking lot style exchange of dvds, until Yano transitioned the match to the outside.
Yano, in an attempt to show up the traditional Filthy Tom intro, showed the crowd that for this match, the sublime thief had another pair of trunks under his outside trunks. Lawlor then took the match control back with knees to the body. As Yano went into the bag of tricks, Lawlor (as he mentioned pre-G-1) was ready for them. A low blow attempted failed outright by Yano, which Lawlor then responded with a Kamigoye and NKOTB for the win.
WINNER: Filthy Tom Lawlor by pinfall (NKTOB) in 10:13 (***)
(Fann’s Analysis: The power went out in my cabin as this match was going on and I yelled like I lost the Powerball. Hours later, I was able to re-watch in full in all its glory and I kid you not, the amount of energy Tom Lawlor put into this match was apparent. Going into the G-1, Tom had mentioned that he wanted Yano and had counters to his counters – including having a cup. Watch, laugh and enjoy.)
(7) TAMA TONGA vs. SANADA – Block B Match
WINNER: Sanada by pinfall (O’Connor Roll) in 16:28 (***1/2)
(8) HIROOKI GOTO vs. KENTA – Block C Match
Goto began the match with the advantage, and as Kenta (and most of Bullet Club) does in such situations, it was time to take a powder outside. Once out of the ring, Kenta continued his fascination with Goto’s stick, which drew the warrior monk’s ire. While Goto was attending to his stick, Kenta walloped him with the ring bell and a DDT on the outside.
Back in the ring, Kenta was in control and slapped on an STF, but Goto broke it up via the ropes. Goto moved out of the way of Kenta’s stomp and instead hit a reverse GTR. At this point, both men fired up and exchanged forearms and yells. Goto slipped the ever-effective headbutt and Ushi-goroshi for a close two count, and an attempt to end the match with the GTR, but Kenta slipped out and down went the ref.
With the ref down, the men fought over Goto’s stick, until Goto snatched it away. As the ref came to and tried to make heads or tails of the situation, Kenta crotched Goto and bumped the ref (again) to use the stick on Goto. After Goto tried to fight back with a GTW, Kenta countered with a knee, the busaiku knee and then G2S for the win.
WINNER: Kenta by pinfall (Go 2 Sleep) in 18:52 (****)
(Fann’s Analysis: If Tom – Yano was my most fun match, this was my favorite of the evening by far. Folks sleep on Kenta post injuries at times because he has to use a bit of smoke and mirrors given his body’s state, but Goto was the perfect dance partner in this match. Not to be outdone, Goto was phenomenal in this match constantly trying to undo the evils wrought on him by Kenta. The clunkiness of the ref bumps and the Go 2 Sleep not looking 100% were the only negatives.)
(9) DAVID FINLAY vs. WILL OSPREAY – Block D Match
Main event time.
Ospreay and Finlay both came to the ring with their United States Heavyweight championships. When the match started, the first five to seven minutes were a blitz of moves and counter-moves in and out of the ring.
Finlay eventually hit an Irish Curse on Ospreay, but Will Ospreay countered with an enziguri and a dive. Ospreay hit a Pip Pip Cheerio for a two, but Finlay went back to the Irish Curse well and this time nailed it. Finlay then started to lose it, and wrecked Ospreay with violence of the highest order- kicks, punches and just absolutely hell-bent on destroying the United Empire leader. After another exchange, Ospreay hit an Oscutter that led to both men eating it outside.
After the traditional New Japan near miss countout, Ospreay got back into control and the pair again traded counters from the Acid Drop to the Oscutter to the Prima Nocta. Finally, Finlay reversed a Hidden Blade into a backslide, which then transitioned into the Trash Panda for the win. The fans were quite excited/shocked after the result.
WINNER: David Finlay by pinfall (Trash Panda) in 15:28 (****1/2)
(Fann’s Analysis: Wow. Big win for Finlay and another notch in his belt this tournament in terms of belonging in the field. This was a magnificent match and he and Ospreay definitely determined a 15+ sprint was going to be on the agenda for tonight. While I liked the prior match personally more, this was the superior wrestling match. Ospreay is now set for a re-match in the “who’s the real U.S. champion” series now between these two and Juice Robinson.)
Overall Thoughts (7.0): This G-1 has been a bit of a march, but this evening’s card was energizing, the fun being the Yano-Lawlor match, and the traditional great match of a G-1 night being either Finlay / Ospreay or Kenta / Goto depending on your taste.