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Pantoja’s NJPW G1 Climax 32 Night 11 Review

August 5, 2022 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
NJPW G1 Climax 32 Night Eleven - Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. EVIL Image Credit: NJPW
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Pantoja’s NJPW G1 Climax 32 Night 11 Review  

NJPW G1 Climax 32 Night 11

August 5th, 2022 | Item Ehime in Matsuyama-shi, Ehime | Attendance: 1,132

The mediocrity of this G1 Climax is unheard of. Ten nights into the tournament and I have two matches at ****+. That is easily the lowest total of any G1 I’ve covered, which goes back to 2013. Can they turn it around as we near the end?

Tom Lawlor was on commentary here.

D Block: Juice Robinson [2] vs. Yujiro Takahashi [2]

These Bullet Club buddies met in the 2017 (**¾) and 2018 New Japan Cup (***¼), with Juice winning both. PIETER is here though. We got the “too sweet” tease but when SHO tried to help Yujiro, Juice sent him outside and we got a more aggressive match than you’d expect. They did a lot of the expected Bullet Club shenanigans with brawling outside but not a ton of interference and cheating, which was welcome. Of course, Yujiro isn’t going to light things up with his offense otherwise so this never really got going. Down the stretch, both guys survived big offense from their opponent, including Juice kicking out of Pimp Juice. Alas, there were two ref bumps as you’d expect and Yujiro hit Juice with his cane, followed by Big Juice to win in 11:36. That was average at best. [**¼]

B Block: Chase Owens [2] vs. Taichi [2]

Chase won the only prior meeting, coming in last year’s G1 (***). Owens decided to mock some sumo stuff as apparently Taichi is a big fan. He just used it to lure Taichi in with a cheap shot that gave him control. He made the crucial mistake of wasting time though. He’d stop to talk smack to Miho Abe and demand a kiss from her, giving Taichi the opening he needed to turn the tide. That led to some Taichi offense, complete with him ripping off the pants. Honestly, highlight of the night. They traded some late stuff that included Chase throwing C-Triggers. In the end, he took a Hakuto elbow and Black Mephisto, falling after 13:25. Chase going after Miho so much was gross. Otherwise, this was a solid match. [***]

C Block: Aaron Henare [2] vs. Tetsuya Naito [2]

Hey, an intriguing first time matchup here! Naito’s dad was apparently in the front row. I kind of wish Naito was a bit more desperate here. He’s 1-2 and on the verge of being eliminated but he was still playing around with Henare early, taunting and doing his usual BS. I’m okay with it most of the time but he’s in a really tough spot after starting 0-2 and losing two title matches this year. After 10 or so minutes of solid back and forth, we moved into the back half of this which saw the aggression get ramped up. For example, Naito slapped the SHIT out of Henare and laughed only for Henare to lay him out with a roundhouse kick. Henare kept going to Ultima, which nearly resulted in a ref stoppage as Naito was out of it. Naito was kind of playing some possum though as once they got back into it, he exploded by countering Streets of Rage into Destino and added another one to win in 17:31. As expected, the best match so far though like the rest of this G1, it still wasn’t anything I’d consider legitimately great. [***½]

A Block: Jeff Cobb [4] vs. JONAH [2]

They’ve met three times before but I haven’t seen any. YA’LL KNO WHAT THIS IS? BIG MEATY MEN BUMPING MEAT. They basically threw their bodies at one another, trying to overpower the other in the early stages. Even when things moved to the outside, they kept up the shoulder blocks. JONAH held serve which is surprising given how Cobb has been booked against everyone not named Kazuchika Okada. As Cobb fought back, they went into trading shots and Cobb swung the momentum and did things like go for Tour of the Islands, which was impressive in its own right. He tried a slam but JONAH rolled into a pin for two and followed with a loud superkick. The big spot came from a superplex that didn’t destroy the ring like Big Show and Mark Henry or Brock Lesnar. The big splash off the top then finished this for JONAH in 14:50. Hell yeah, that was a really fun hoss fight. [***½]

C Block: EVIL [2] vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi [4]

Interestingly, these two are 3-3 against each other. Those matches came in the 2017 New Japan Cup (***¾), Wrestling Toyonokuni 2017 (***¼), the G1 28 (***), G1 29 (***), G1 30 (**¾), and G1 31 (**½). This got off toa solid start. They didn’t overdo the House of Torture stuff and even when EVIL did cheat with the exposed turnbuckle, Red Shoes refused to count. This worked because Tanahashi is such a good babyface and he knows how to structure this kind of stuff. Both guys put a target on the leg, with EVIL trying his Darkness Scorpion gimmick and Tanahashi doing his classic dragon screws. Dick Togo got involved, ringing the bell on a Texas Cloverleaf, causing Tanahashi to break it. That led to him getting ejected. EVIL thew a chair at Tanahashi but he still came back with High Fly Flow and had this won only for SHO to run down and pull out the referee. That led to some late drama with EVIL hitting a low blow and Tanahashi getting other near falls. Tanahashi pulled EVIL into a pinning combination to steal this after 19:01. The first half of this was good but the back half got bogged down with too much overbooking. [***]

The final score: review Average
The 411
Another day of this tournament and more stuff that was just average. JONAH/Cobb and Henare/Naito were very good but not great and everything else was either pretty good or average. This G1 isn’t offensively bad but it is wildly dull and uninspired.

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G1 Climax 32, NJPW, Kevin Pantoja