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Pantoja’s NJPW G1 Climax 32 Night 16 Review

August 13, 2022 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
NJPW G1 Climax 32 Night 16 Image Credit: NJPW
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Pantoja’s NJPW G1 Climax 32 Night 16 Review  

NJPW G1 Climax 32 Night 16

August 13th, 2022 | Machida Gymnasium in Machida-shi, Tokyo | Attendance: 2,212

G1 Climax action is back over the weekend with some cards that, uh, aren’t so great.

C Block: Aaron Henare [2] vs. KENTA [2]

First time meeting here and an intriguing one paper. Despite being the smaller guy, KENTA was the one who kind of acted like the bully here. He used strikes and kicks to send Henare reeling and then worked on his previously injured heel. He got two on a double stomp off the top and was in complete control. Henare did a small comeback where he nailed the Blue Thunder Bomb, Streets of Rage attempt, and a powerbomb out of a triangle choke. However, KENTA pulled him into Game Over and won via submission in 12:35. I don’t know, that just felt kind of one-sided and never really got going into something I’d really like. I’ll call this one a disappointment. [**¾]

A Block: Jeff Cobb [4] vs. Toru Yano [2]

Cobb won their only prior meeting in the G1 29 (**¼). Yano took forever to come out only to sneak in from behind and try for a rollup that got two. He also managed to tie Jeff Cobb up in his singlet and wrap him in a banner like a burrito. He got help from a Young Lion to beat the count though. Yano played around too much, including surfing on Cobb’s back, allowing the big man to get back into it. He got Yano’s shirt over his head and won with the Tour of the Islands in 4:28. A pretty fun short match. [**¾]

D Block: Shingo Takagi [4] vs. Yujiro Takahashi [6]

Shingo won in the G1 30 (**) and at Summer Struggle last year (**½), but they went to a double countout in last year’s G1 (***¼). Shingo likely wants revenge as that double countout helped cost him the tournament last year. I’ll admit, a lot of this kind of bored me. Yujiro isn’t the guy to work 10+ minutes let alone 15. Shingo should’ve basically run through him. Instead, we got this overly long, drawn out match that never really was interesting. Yujiro had help from SHO throughout. Man, remember when SHO was having BANGERS with Shingo before Gedo ruined him? They teased a countout finish like last year but Shingo got in just before the count and then SHO sent Yujiro in to keep this going. Shingo eventually won with Last of the Dragon after an absurd 15:24. What are we doing? [**]

D Block: Will Ospreay [4] vs. YOSHI-HASHI [4]

Interestingly, this is their first match. Damn, they announced Willy and Aussie Open for the AEW show I’m going to. Really tempted to sell my ticket. Anyway, this match worked because of the roles these guys play. As always, YOSHI-HASHI is a fine underdog babyface and Will has been working as a vicious asshole lately and that makes for an easy but effective story. They played that throughout and it worked. HASHI would get some hope spots that the crowd liked but there was Will to cut him off with a heavy strike or a big offensive move. HASHI did manage to avoid the biggest shots like the Oscutter and Hidden Blade. He nailed Karma but waited too long to cover, giving Ospreay the opening to kick out. He also survived the Oscutter near the end only for Will to win a series of counters and hit a flurry of moves capped with Hidden Blade to win in 18:46. That was on the verge of being really good but I’m so over the counter sequence that ends so many New Japan matches. They all feel so same-y. [***¼]

B Block: Jay White [8] vs. Taichi [4]

Jay looks to remain unbeaten. He beat Taichi in the G1 29 (**) and G1 20 (****¼). The only match today I’m looking forward to though I am cautious. I loved their G1 20 match because they were heeling up on each other but Taichi is more of a face than ever now. Ja was all in on being a heel, talking trash while on offense, getting help from Gedo, and even having Miho Abe dragged by her hair outside. Taichi resorted to the kicks he threw against Kota Ibushi in their G1 classic to slow down White, lighting up his inner thigh. Still, Taichi was getting hit with German suplexes, Blade Busters, and more major offense, putting him on the defensive. The Miho Abe hair spot came right after Taichi removed his pants as he was gearing up on offense. I appreciated Yoshinobu Kanemaru getting up from commentary to help his buddy out. More stables need to do that against the Bullet Club. Taichi nearly won a few times after that, including on the Last Ride and Gedo Clutch. Funny that he did in front of Gedo. White avoided Black Mephisto a couple of times and won with the Blade Runner in 23:20. That was good and both guys played their roles well. I didn’t love the ending but Jay is endlessly entertaining while on offense and Taichi brought babyface energy here. [***½]

The final score: review Average
The 411
Another middle of the road G1 32 show. This tournament is so blah. Stuff goes longer than it needs to, next to nothing has wowed me, and that was the case again here. A show that wasn’t bad but totally felt lifeless.

article topics :

G1 Climax 32, NJPW, Kevin Pantoja