AUGUST 5, 2022

Watch: NJPWWorld

Welcome to Night 11 of the G1 Climax! Only a few more nights to go, but today we have a monster battle, we’ll see if Naito can continue racking up points after a rocky start, and we’ll probably get some EVIL bullshit in the main event. Spoilers: yes we will. 

Before getting to the G1 matches, of course, the undercard:

– Jado & Tama Tonga def. David Finlay & Kosei Fujita

– United Empire (Great-O-Khan & Will Ospreay) def. Team Filthy (Royce Isaacs & Tom Lawlor)

– Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, SANADA & Shingo Takagi) def. Suzuki-gun (Lance Archer, TAKA Michinoku & Zack Sabre Jr.)

– CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & YOSHI-HASHI) def. BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale, El Phantasmo, Gedo, Jay White & KENTA)

G1 Climax 32 D Block – Yujiro Takahashi (4) def. Juice Robinson (2)

Right off the bat I can tell you something positive about this match: this is a Yujiro match that did not feel like it lasted one hour. 

Juice was not having any of House of Torture crap since he refused to Too Sweet his fellow stablemates. When Juice was making us happy by beating up Yujiro on the outside, and when he was about to piledrive him to the floor to make us even happier, SHO helped turn things around and Yujiro backdropped Juice into the floor to get the advantage. 

Back in the ring, Juice got really frustrated with the ref after a two count, which was the tell for me that things weren’t going to end well for him. Yujiro took advantage of Juice’s distraction to hit the Pimp Juice for a long two count. SHO tried distracting our “hero,” but Juice was able to ignore it, was able to evade the wrench attack, and even avoided nutshots from Yujiro, but alas, there was way too much bullshit in the end for him to ignore and he was hit with the pimp stick and Big Juice for yet another loss. Poor Juice loses once again, relegating his role in the tourney as a spoiler. 

This match is not much to see, but it was better than the usual Yujiro match at least. **½ 

G1 Climax 32 B Block – Taichi (4) def. Chase Owens (2)

This was a decent match that just has that weird story in the middle of it of Owens trying to get a kiss from Miho Abe while she clearly and loudly yelled no. Good for her. Still, the match itself, it was Owens being an asshole to Taichi with the C-Trigger and trying to take any advantage. Eventually Owens went to the C-Trigger well too often and Taichi countered to get some revenge. The final sequence was exciting, with both men countering each other respective finishers, to the point that I really did not know who was going to hit it, but Taichi got it in the end and was able to defeat the dastardly heel. If you like Taichi or Chase Owens, you’ll probably like this match. A decent *** match. 

G1 Climax 32 C Block – Tetsuya Naito (4) def. Aaron Henare (2)

I really enjoyed this. This started with Henare being punked out by Naito, until he was able to start landing body blows on Naito to prepare him for the Full Nelson. Eventually Naito got control of the match back by dropkicking Henare in the corner and starting to work on his neck for the eventual Destino. A hot moment in the match was when Naito hand slapped Henare loudly, which was answered with a kick and a Senton. Henare took advantage of this and applied the Full Nelson until Naito almost passed out, but he got to the ropes just in time. While Henare fought with the referee for not stopping the match, Naito recovered enough to avoid the Streets of Rage and hit a Destino to finish the match and stay in the tournament. 

A really great match from beginning to end, and one I would recommend. Henare was on fire and Naito was great as he always is. I have been enjoying Henare in this G1, so I hope to keep seeing him in the tournament. ****

G1 Climax 32 A Block – JONAH (4) def. Jeff Cobb (4)

When I was a child, I used to have my toys wrestle, and sometimes I would just have them smash into each other. Maybe other kids had toy trucks that they used to crash into each other. This match is the equivalent of that, where you see these two monsters literally crash into each other time and time again until they go down. They did it in the ring, they did it outside, just smashed the shit out of each other. There were feats on strength, where Cobb lifted this huge human being the same way you lift your 15 pound dog. These are men that know each other so well, that when Cobb went for the Tour of the Island, JONAH easily countered it with a Spear. There was a sequence where JONAH jumped for a Cross Body from the second rope, Cobb caught him, and then JONAH countered it into a pin for the two count, which looked as nuts as it sounds. Was there a Superplex? Of course there was. JONAH did a Superplex and then jumped on Cobb from the third rope for the three count.

A pure spectacle. My favorite match of the night. Don’t miss this, especially if you love big men beating each other up. ****

G1 Climax 32 C Block – Hiroshi Tanahashi (6) def. EVIL (2)

Short review: You already know what to expect of EVIL, and it is exactly that. You already know if you want to watch this match. You already know all of the tricks and machinations at work. It’s your standard EVIL main event which I give *** because at least it was entertaining.

Longer review: There was a time where I thought that EVIL was pretty cool. Those were the days, huh? Not anymore, especially since all of his matches follow this pattern of doing all of the tricks in the world and I just don’t care anymore. 

This started with Tanahashi having the upper hand until EVIL threw him into the ring announcer, which is a spot that still makes me chuckle. Tanahashi was able to knock out Togo and EVIL for a while…but not for long. Tanahashi had EVIL on the Texas Cloverleaf, almost making him tap, until the bell rang….but it was Dick Togo who did it, shockingly. What I appreciate about this is that they actually started playing Tanahashi’s music and the production took out the graphics on the screen until they explained what happened. Togo was ejected but EVIL landed a chair on Tana’s head.

When Tanahashi almost had EVIL down, on the two count SHO took out the referee. Togo came out with another referee, was knocked down too, Tanahashi was choked by Togo, but eventually took care of both Togo and SHO. Yeah, it was a clusterfuck. Tanahashi won with a pinning combination after countering EVIL’s finisher. *** for not being boring, the usual EVIL clusterfuck. 

Final Thoughts

A decent show with two great matches, one decent match, one meh match, and a clusterfuck main event. You already know if you care about the main event. But definitely check out Henare vs Naito and Cobb vs JONAH since those two matches are well worth your time. You can easily ignore the rest.