wrestling / TV Reports

Pantoja’s NJPW G1 Climax 32 Night Four Review

July 23, 2022 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
NJPW G1 Climax 32 Night Four - Tomohiro Ishii vs. Jay White Image Credit: NJPW / Samurai TV
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Pantoja’s NJPW G1 Climax 32 Night Four Review  

NJPW G1 Climax 32 Night Four

July 23rd, 2022 | Ota City Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan

After an almost comically bad night three, the G1 is back with a show that looks pretty good on paper. I’m hoping it bumps up the tournament because it hasn’t wowed me so far.

C Block: Aaron Henare [2] vs. Zack Sabre Jr. [2]

We’ve got a first time meeting here. This is my kind of matchup as Henare brings the power and ZSJ can neutralize it with his technical acumen. I appreciated Henare switching up to something a bit out of his wheelhouse when he got in trouble, connecting on a springboard kick. That gave Henare the upper hand for a while, including using the Curb Stomp, a favorite move of mine. Despite Henare holding serve, ZSJ would find ways to slap on a submission here or there and stop his momentum before it got too great. ZSJ took a suplex outside and his ribs were damaged, which was a storyline during his New Japan Cup run. Henare took advantage with the Rampage and other big moves but ZSJ kept surviving. Henare applied his Full Nelson but of course, ZSJ found a way to slip free. He fought out a second time and trapped him in an Achilles lock that he turned into a half crab to win in 14:15. A very good back and forth encounter, and I actually liked the abrupt ending because it shows ZSJ can win at any moment. [***½]

D Block: Shingo Takagi [2] vs. YOSHI-HASHI [0]

Surprisingly, these guys haven’t met before. Commentary noted that YOSHI-HASHI has one of the worst records in G1 history. That’s not surprising. Despite that, he’s usually okay to watch because he tends to bring energy to his matches rather than sleepwalk through them like other guys. Here, he did that again, trying to hit Shingo as hard as he was getting hit. The crowd seemed into him as he got offense going including a near fall on a neckbreaker. The two kept trading stuff down the stretch, with HASHI never wanting to give up. He’d eat lariats and kick out or duck one and hit a move of his own. I know Shingo has a lot of finishers but HASHI kicking out of Made in Japan felt odd. Like, he shouldn’t kick out of any big moves. The final few minutes dragged a bit as this peaked only to keep going with close calls and such. Shingo eventually pulled out the win with the Cobra Twist in 17:28. Should’ve wrapped up around 13-14 minutes but still good. [***¼]

A Block: Kazuchika Okada [2] vs. Toru Yano [2]

Okada is unbeaten against his CHAOS buddy, winning in the 2013 New Japan Cup (**½), G1 24 (***¼), and G1 27 (**). Yano was out with a bottle of sake and a shirt that represented how he’d be serious in this match. Kevin Kelly explained that a win for Okada would give him sole possession of the second most G1 wins ever over Hiroyoshi Tenzan with 66 (Okada has 24 losses, while Tenzan has 67). Although he wrestled a more vicious and serious style, Yano wasn’t above looking for a countout win. Of course, Okada was never in real danger but man, every single time he applies the Money Clip, it’s like things just screech to a halt. We actually got some Rainmaker counters here which I wasn’t expecting. Okada won with the Money Clip in 10:10. It was largely fine. Yano changing the tone was interesting but not enough to make this anything special. [**½]

B Block: Jay White [2] vs. Tomohiro Ishii [0]

I like this pairing. Ishii beat White in the G1 29 (***¾), G1 30 (****¼), and Battle in the Valley 2021 (which I didn’t see), while White beat him at Castle Attack 2021 (****). Jay’s only pinfall loss in a singles match in the past year came at the hands of Ishii. Jay moved Gedo to sit away from the ring as a show of good faith but of course, Gedo got involved soon after, tossing a chair at Ishii. However, Red Shoes knew he was cheating so he refused to count a pin for Jay on multiple occasions, frustrating the champion. White was still willing to go the extra mile to stop Ishii’s momentum like raking the eyes. His deadlift German was pretty impressive too. Of course, Ishii wasn’t going to stay down and fired up with forearms and chops before going into his bigger offensive moves. It’s weird to see Jay hit a Brainbuster when that’s Ishii’s finisher. Eventually, both guys were down after around 20 minutes, meaning the finish was rapidly approaching. They went into the expected series of counters that seemingly HAS to happen in every New Japan singles match. Jay slipped out of the Brainbuster and won with Blade Runner after 22:03. A really good match though that counter sequence gimmick is beyond tiring in New Japan. Not on the level of their best stuff either. [***¾]

The final score: review Average
The 411
An above average tournament night and a step up from the problematic night three. There are no must-see matches but there are two really good ones, a solid one, and a middling Yano/Okada match. It’s a 6.5 but it’s much closer to a 7 than a 6.

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G1 Climax 32, NJPW, Kevin Pantoja