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NJPW G1 CLIMAX 32: NIGHT 19 REPORT
AUG. 17, 2022
NIPPON BUDOKAN, TOKYO JAPAN
AIRED LIVE ON NJPW WORLD
NJPW Announcers: Kevin Kelly and Chris Charlton
(1) CHAOS (HIROOKI GOTO, YOSHI-HASHI, TOMOHIRO ISHII & YOH) vs. SUZUKI-GUN (LANCE ARCHER, DOUKI, TAKA MICHINOKU & YOSHINOBU KANEMARU)
WINNER: YOH by pinfall (Perfect Drive) in 6:23
(2) TEAM FILTHY (ROYCE ISAACS & “FILTHY” TOM LAWLOR) vs. DANGEROUS TEKKERS (TAICHI & ZSJ)
WINNER: ZSJ by submission (Armbar) in 8:54
(3) GBH (TOMOAKI HONMA & TOGI MAKABE) vs. TMDK (BAD DUDE TITO & JONAH)
WINNER: Jonah by pinfall (Lariat) in 8:31
(4) UNITED EMPIRE (HENARE, GREAT-O-KHAN & JEFF COBB) vs. BULLET CLUB (CHASE OWENS, BAD LUCK FALE & JUICE ROBINSON)
WINNER: Chase Owens by pinfall (Package Piledriver) in 6:47
(5) LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON (BUSHI, HIROMU TAKAHASHI, SANADA & SHINGO TAKAGI) vs. HOUSE OF TORTURE (EL PHANTASMO, YUJIRO TAKAHASHI, KENTA & EVIL)
This match is worth it if only to see how Kenta uses his memoir in the finish.
WINNER: Kenta by submission (Game Over) in 9:50 (**)
(6) KUSHIDA, DAVID FINLAY, TORU YANO & HIROSHI TANAHASHI vs. BULLET CLUB (TAIJI ISHIMORI, DOC GALLOWS, “THE MACHINE GUN” KARL ANDERSON & JAY WHITE)
WINNER: Yano by pinfall (Roll up) in 9:08
(7) TAMA TONGA vs. KAZUCHIKA OKADA – G-1 Semi-Final Match
As much as this match screamed “fait accompli” the pair did well to give a little more than that – and Tama Tonga in particular came out with questions on the finishing moments, and what could have been. Given they had the semi-main spot, the slower spot was thought to lead to a more methodical match; however, the pair got into gear quickly and the story became how much did Okada have left post the Archer match. With that as the stage, Tonga maintained a more uptempo pace and level of violence to keep Okada on his toes. Okada to his credit played the role well of fighting at times from underneath, and tried to use the Money Clip as a way to slow down and submit Tama. Tama then went for several Gun Stuns, and finally hits a Gun Stun that gives a visual seven to eight count prior to Tonga getting over to Okada for a two count. That proved to be “the” chance for the former Guerrilla of Destiny, as Okada soon hit a Rainmaker for the win.
WINNER: Kazuchika Okada by pinfall (Rainmaker) in 19:08 (****)
(Fann’s Analysis: The Gun Stun “what if”. Tama Tonga just needed to get there a few seconds sooner and maybe he’s going to the final. That is a great place for Tonga to be, rather than having to deal with the Yujiros and houses of torture and the like. I’m looking forward to seeing another United States run, or some way to build off of this for him. In Okada’s case, color me wrong – going into this G-1, I figured with the impending child on the way he’d take a back seat and perhaps bow out prior to the semis. Instead, the Rainmaker is back in the final and ready to continue his run as one of the most decorated New Japan main eventers in the company’s history.)
(8) TETSUYA NAITO vs. IWGP UNITED STATES CHAMPION WILL OSPREAY (w/GREAT-O-KHAN) – G-1 Semi-Final Match
This match from start to finish was a measured sprint. To kick off, both men hit moves as counters, but as the first few minutes played out, Ospreay looked to end the match ASAP. Ospreay stopped Naito off the ropes with a Spanish Fly, which elicited oohs from the crowd. Ospreay stopped a tornado DDT dead, then hit a brainbuster as a counter for another crowd response.
It was then Naito’s panic that he’d potentially not make the final kicked in and the LIJ leader hit a frankensteiner and a DDT for near falls. That was followed by an amazing poison rana from the top by Naito that Ospreay sold (landed?) like it was all over. Naito then attempted a Destino, but Ospreay countered into a piledriver. Ospreay then hit his Hidden Blade, and went for Stormbreaker, but Naito countered into a Destino, for another close call. On this one, Red Shoes even had to demonstratively point out it was two. Naito ducked another Hidden Blade, hit a Destino, and when attempting his final Destino, Ospreay hit a Hidden Blade / Stormbreaker combo back to back for the sudden win. The air went out of the building, as the realization set in Naito would not make the final.
WINNER: Will Ospreay by pinfall (Stormbreaker) in 20:23 (****1/2)
-Post match, Ospreay talked about nearly dying because of his illness, and that people doubted him beating Okada. Ospreay responded he’s seen AJ Styles, Tanahashi, Naito, and “even Jay White” beat Okada. Ospreay said he knows he’s better than all of them and that he’s the best wrestler today. Ospreay then listed all of his accolades, and cited the G-1 as “one more” he needs to win, and declared he will beat Okada and lead New Japan “out of the dark ages and into the light.” Ospreay then got on commentary to tell Jay White to sit front row with Kevin Kelly and Chris Charlton to
(Fann’s Analysis: Ospreay and Naito went with a spectacular, yet not hands-over-eyes danger man fest of a match and it was clearly worthy of its spot. Naito looked the part of a man en route to accomplishing his mission, until that front-sided Hidden Blade / Stormbreaker combo. The way forward in terms of what happens at Wrestle Kingdom for Naito is interesting – does Gedo go with the G-1 winner vs. the champ night one and Naito night two? And on the Ospreay side of things, this is a great opportunity to not only win the G-1, but also do so against his bogey man Okada. If mission is accomplished, Ospreay – White would be the main event for Wrestle Kingdom.)
Overall rating: 8.5/10. These semi-final matches more than lived up to their hype. In shades of Karl Anderson in the final, Tama Tonga’s Gun Stun “what if?” is a great story, and greater reward for a man that’s really done the work as a single the last few months. In the G-1 particularly, I found Tama’s matches to be quite fun and enjoyable. Ospreay beating Naito and declaring that 0-6 against Okada will end, because if folks like the aforementioned could beat Okada, Ospreay knows that he can certainly is a valid final storyline – but Naito, as the saying goes, was right there. New Japan’s Susan Lucci continues the path of most resistance to get what he wants, and sometimes that isn’t necessarily a good thing. Going into tomorrow however, having Naito free potentially opens yet another two day IWGP title round robin?
Contact Rich at PWTDive@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/rich_fann.