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Pantoja’s NJPW G1 Climax 32 Night Ten Review

August 2, 2022 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
NJPW G1 Climax 32 Night Ten - Toru Yano vs. Tom Lawlor Image Credit: NJPW
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Pantoja’s NJPW G1 Climax 32 Night Ten Review  

NJPW G1 Climax 32 Night Ten Review

August 2nd, 2022 | Hamamatsu Arena in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka | Attendance: 1,128

This show is kind of an outlier as it’s the only one again until Friday instead of the back-to-backs we have been getting. It’s another lackluster card on paper, which is in line with an underwhelming tournament in the eyes of pretty much everyone I’ve talked to, including 411mania’s own Ian Hamilton.

B Block: The Great-O-Khan [0] vs. Tomohiro Ishii [2]

Their only meeting came in last year’s G1 (***¼), which Ishii won. Both guys are basically in a “win or go home” situation. GOK pulled Ishii down to the mat for an opening armbar, showing that he was taking a more technical approach to this than the kind of hard-hitting affair you’d expect from them. It was interesting to see Ishii have something of a mat-based match. GOK was able to have the advantage because it was more in line with his style, stopping Ishii’s momentum with things like a heel hook or Fujiwara armbar. Basically, when it was technical, GOK held serve and when it got physical, Ishii was in control. The closing stretch saw GOK slip free of the Brainbuster a few times and fire off things like headbutts. He hit the Sheep Killer and though Ishii avoided the Eliminator once, he lost to it soon after at the 12:59 mark. A good blend of hard-hitting action and technical stuff. [***¼]

A Block: Tom Lawlor [0] vs. Toru Yano [2]

First time meeting here. FORGET WHAT I SAID ABOUT THE CARD, THIS IS A MOTY CONTENDER BABY. This started with Yano looking away from Lawlor stripping out of his shorts and Lawlor offering him copies of Sister Act and Sister Act II on DVD. This match >>>. They did goofy shit regarding Lawlor’s facial hair, tying up Royce Isaacs at ringside, and more. It was just what I wanted from these two. The wrestling itself was also solid but the shenanigans were the highlight and they all worked. Even the tired stuff like the turnbuckle pads were well done. The finish saw Yano go for the low blow only for Lawlor to no sell it and win with Nasty Knee on the Brain in 10:12. That was so much fun. Lawlor revealed a cup which is why he could no sell the low blow. Give him the A Block, dammit. [***¼]

B Block: SANADA [2] vs. Tama Tonga [2]

Please, no, not this match. They’ve split their four meetings in the G1 26 (***¼), G1 27 (***), G1 28 (*½), and G1 31 (**½). Though to be fair, Tonga has been better lately. I just can’t get into SANADA doing his stupid Paradise Lock. It never looks good and feels so awkward and dumb. One of the main things about SANADA is that he’s not really a guy who leads a match and is instead someone who goes to the level of his opponent. Against Tanahashi, he’s usually great but against a midcard dude like Tama, he’s about as good as Tama. They have a pretty even match with neither guy really standing out. I thought a few of the spots were kind of creative and some of their counters were impressively smooth. Like the TKO being turned into the Tongan Twist was cool. It never really got into next gear though. Tama won with a sweet finish, kicking out of the O’Connor Roll and going right into the Gun Stun at the 16:28 mark. It dragged a bit, though I liked the ending. [**¾]

Alright, so work has piled up and I’m pressed for time so these last two matches won’t get as much written.

C Block: Hirooki Goto [4] vs. KENTA [0]

They’re 1-1 against each other with Goto winning at Wrestle Kingdom 14 (***) and KENTA winning in the G1 30 (***¼). In a lot of ways, I found this to be kind of different from the last match in that it was more interesting throughout but I didn’t really like the ending. I was worried that they were building this around Goto’s staff with KENTA wanted for some reason. Thankfully, they didn’t overdo that and it allowed them to focus more on trading strikes and delivering the hard-hitting match each guy is capable of. Well, at least on some level. Goto blocked the GTS but ate some palm strikes and a knee for his troubles. Goto sold kind of late, we got a ref bump, and then KENTA won with the GTS after a long 18:08. Like I said, it was better overall than the last match but not by much. [***]

D Block: David Finlay [4] vs. Will Ospreay [4]

Willy the Ospreay holds a 2-0 advantage winning at Road to Power Struggle 2016 (***¼) and the 2021 New Japan Cup (****). There’s also the added intrigue of Will being the US Champ and Finlay holding the physical belt. That gave this a more intense feel than other matches, especially since they charged at each other and brawled in the aisle. I love a good fight like that. I liked the character stuff that came with the aggression including Finlay spitting back at Ospreay. He’s not usually a jerk like that but Will brought it out of him. Finlay’s shoulder got targeted and it wasn’t brilliant work but it was good. My favorite thing about this match was that it was kept compact. I have said over and over again and it keeps getting proven but Will Ospreay is at his best when working 15-20 minutes. His style is high impact and that’s best in that situation. This went 15:28 and never felt long. They hit their shit, told a story, and got out. I thought the closing stretch was strong with Will surviving Prima Nocta and the Acid Drop. Will went for Hidden Blade but got pulled into a backslide that was turned into Trash Panda and Finlay scored the upset. That was really good though I preferred their meeting last year. [***¾]

Finlay has three straight huge wins and has been the tourney MVP so far. But Gedo’s booking so he won’t make the finals and he’ll lose out or something the rest of the way.

The final score: review Good
The 411
The definition of this G1 Climax. A show with several good matches but nothing that wows you. A good show but you want more from the G1.

article topics :

G1 Climax 32, NJPW, Kevin Pantoja