New Japan Pro Wrestling
G1 Climax 32: Night 5
July 24th, 2022
Ota City General Gymnasium
Tokyo, Japan

Watch: NJPWWorld

It’s the second straight night in the Ota City Gym for New Japan (and the second of four straight events in Tokyo) as the G1 Climax continues! As always, here are the results from the five undercard tags:

  • CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Toru Yano, & YOSHI-HASH) def. House Of Torture (EVIL, SHO, & Dick Togo)
  • Bullet Club (Chase Owens & KENTA) def. Team Filthy (Tom Lawlor & Royce Isaacs)
  • TMDK (JONAH & Bad Dude Tito) def. LIJ (Shingo Takagi & BUSHI)
  • United Empire (Aaron Henare, Great O-Khan, & Will Ospreay) def. Suzuki-gun (Lance Archer, Zack Sabre Jr., & Taka Michinoku)
  • David Finlay, Kazuchika Okada, & Tama Tonga (with Jado) def. Bullet Club (IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Jay White, Juice Robinson, & Gedo)

G1 Climax 32 – D Block
El Phantasmo (2) def. Yujiro Takahashi (2)

The first tournament bout of the night sees the first Bullet Club vs. House Of Torture clash of the G1 Climax. As the bout is about to begin, Yujiro makes an offer to Phantasmo….he’ll lend him the services of Pieter if he lies down for him. Phantasmo thought about it and seemed down with the offer, but when Yujiro went to pin him, Phantasmo nearly caught him with a crucifix. From there, the match was on, and we ended up getting a decent bout between these two. Did it go about five minutes longer than it needed to? I would say so, as I have no desire to watch Yujiro Takahashi in a singles match for fifteen minutes (and I don’t even have the same hatred for him that other people have). Still, Yujiro did a relatively fine job, and Phantasmo was his usual solid self. The last third or so of the bout actually featured some good action, though we eventually got some House Of Torture interference. SHO distracted Phantasmo (along with the referee), allowing him to pass his wrench to Yujiro. Phantasmo caught Yujiro and did the Eddie Guerrero spot before delivering two different low blows to him (nice King Of The Hill references by Kevin Kelly during this). He followed up with a superkick, connected with a big dive onto SHO, and then hit Thunderkiss 86 for the win. Nice to see Phantasmo pick up a victory with that move. The big story, however, occurred after the match, as Pieter left with Phantasmo! Should be interesting to see if that plays any role in some Bullet Club/House Of Torture dissension. ***

G1 Climax 32 – B Block
SANADA (2) def. Taichi (2)

This is the second straight year that these two have met in the B Block. Taichi was able to beat SANADA last year, but he wasn’t able to repeat that feat this year, as SANADA caught him with a flash pin to get his first two points of the tournament. This was a really good match, though I would stop short of calling it great. We got a pec popping contest early (which always seems to happen whenever these two wrestle each other) before Taichi went after him with the always dangerous Greco-Roman Throat Hold. From there, the match featured some good back-and-forth action. One particular moment saw SANADA connect with a Tiger Suplex, only for Taichi to follow up with a Backdrop Driver. A little later on, SANADA was able to flip out of an attempt by Taichi to chokeslam him off the second rope. The final moments saw Taichi go on a bit of a flurry before SANADA caught him in the aforementioned flash pin. Again, I largely enjoyed this match, though it didn’t reach notebook territory. ***3/4

G1 Climax 32 – A Block
Jeff Cobb (2) def. Bad Luck Fale (2)

Even though we’re only up to Night 5, Jeff Cobb is already in a precarious spot. With his loss to Kazuchika Okada on Night 1, he’s been put in a position where, until Okada suffers his first loss, he’ll be in a constant state of catch-up. He needs to keep winning and hope that, at some point, Okada loses so that they’ll be back on level ground. In order to get back on the winning track, Cobb had to overcome the monstrous Bad Luck Fale, who was coming off a count-out victory over Lance Archer in Night 3. While Fale managed to dominate most of the match, Cobb was able to come away with a much-needed win after hitting Tour Of The Islands. An impressive display of Cobb’s strength for sure. The match itself wasn’t very good, though that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The only real positive is that it didn’t last very long (a shade over seven minutes). It’s a match that had significance because of Cobb’s situation coming in, but that’s really it. **

G1 Climax 32 – C Block
Hiroshi Tanahashi (2) def. Tetsuya Naito (0)

Speaking of precarious situations, the main event of Night 5 featured two of New Japan’s top stars, who were both looking to get their first points and stave off an 0-2 start. Hiroshi Tanahashi and Tetsuya Naito have faced off numerous times in the past in some absolutely incredible bouts, and before the bell even rang to kick this one off, it already had a big fight feel. Ultimately, after a main event that lasted over twenty-two minutes, Tanahashi was able to secure his first points when he managed to counter a Destino attempt into a small package, which was a very cool finish. The match got off to a slow start (which wasn’t totally unexpected) with Naito working over Tanahashi’s neck. Once things really got going, it turned into a great match, with some strong back and forth between the two. Naito would continue to work over the neck, though Tanahashi would fight back with everything he had. Tanahashi seemed to be on the verge of winning with three straight Twist and Shouts and three straight Sling Blades, but Naito was able to avoid the ensuing High Fly Flow attempt. Naito appeared to gain the upper hand himself right after this when he hit Valentia, though unfortunately for Naito, that led to the aforementioned Destino attempt that resulted in the small package that got Tanahashi the win. This was far from the best Natio vs. Tanahashi match, but even their weakest matches are still great. Just goes to show how awesome both guys are. Should be interesting to see how Naito’s tournament plays out from here, as he needs to win out (and have a lot of help) if he has any hope of winning the block. ****

Final Thoughts

Night 5 wasn’t nearly as strong as Night 4, though there were still some good tournament bouts on this particular show. If you’re pressed for time, Naito vs. Tanahashi is really the only match I would recommend. Taichi vs. SANADA was very solid, though I can’t say it was as great. Bad Luck Fale vs. Jeff Cobb is only significant because of the result, and El Phantasmo had a fun little match with Yujiro Takahashi that potentially has some Bullet Club implications. A fine show as a whole, though it only has one bout that is truly worth watching.

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