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Thread: NJPW G1 Climax 32

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    NJPW G1 Climax 32



    A BLOCK - Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano, Filthy Tom Lawlor, JONAH, Jeff Cobb, Lance Archer and Bad Luck Fale

    B BLOCK - Tomohiro Ishii, Tama Tonga, SANADA, Taichi, Great O-Kharn, Jay White, Chase Owens

    C BLOCK - Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto, Tetsuyta Naito, Zack Sabre Jr, Aaron Henare, KENTA, EVIL

    D BLOCK - Yoshi-Hashi, David Finlay, Shingo Takagi, Will Ospreay, Juice Robinson, El Phantasmo, Yujiro Takahashi

    Tournament starts on July 16th

    ---

    My overall thoughts are that the G1 continues to be downgraded. If it wasn't enough that the G1 winner doesn't even matter anymore in a world with multiple Wrestle Kingdom shows, now they've made it into 4 blocks, which means there's less matchups between top stars or top workers. Given there's a huge Bullet Club civil storyline going on and there's 9 Bullet Club associated wrestlers in the tournament, I expect a lot of interference bullshit to be rampant in this tournament.

    A Block I'm probably most interested to see how Tom Lawlor gets on because I don't see a lot of appeal in these hoss vs hoss matches, and Okada's gonna be Okada and be bang average as he wins the most predictable block, so I think Lawlor's the one to bring something different to the table. There's also no point in Yano being in this tournament anymore now to give everyone a rest day when the schedule has gone from 9 block matches to 6 block matches. This needs to be his final year.

    B Block looks absolutely dire, full of some of my least favourite guys, poor Ishii given nothing to work with here. He did have a great match with White a few years ago so maybe that'll happen again. I don't think White as champion will win the block, so I'll say Sanada to give us Okada Vs Sanada #27 as one of the semis.

    C Block brings the stars and I think Henare is going to be one of the better lowest rung guys in the tournament so everything outside of the EVIL matches should be good in this block. Literally anyone other than Henare could go into the Semi finals from here, but given his recent outings in AEW i'll go with the ace Tanahashi.

    D Block has Ospreay and Shingo who are pretty consistent in what they bring to the table, and I'm pleased to see Finlay in the G1 after all these years. Big tournament for Juice who hopefully will deliver in the ring after changing up his gimmick. Someone from BC is probably gonna have to go through so I'll say Juice will win this block.

    Okada to win the whole damn thing because he's Okada.
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    Re: NJPW G1 Climax 32

    I think the 4 Block setup is a massive improvement. Those "big" matches have been massively watered down over the years worth the 2 Block system and with every year we can just skip to the last night to predict the final which is a bit more interesting this year with the semis. The sad part is that with the BC crap it sets a massive roadblock to any sort of match quality up and down.

    A Block is almost comically boring with Okada being such an overwhelming favorite.

    If Ishii can have another great run in this B Block then he's the wrestler of the year. Period. And he would almost certainly cement himself as one of the 5 greatest in ring performers who ever lived. I could see both SANADA or O-Khan as winners. Jay could win but Tonga eliminating him on the last night feels too obvious.

    C Block is the best one and the one with the most possible winners. Sadly I think EVIL will be the Bullet Club guy who takes it. Both KENTA and Naito have legitimate chances as well and Tana and Goto are both sleeper picks.

    D Block looks tough. 3 Bullet Club guys leads me to believe a lot of terrible garbage is coming our way. I think it's not unthinkable Phantasmo doesn't get this but ultimately I'll go with Ospreay. Feels like a guy that's been on a tough run lately.

    C Block is going to be the key. If Naito makes it through I could see him winning. I also think EVIL is a sleeper and who knows what shenanigans we may see to set up Okada also getting a title shot after on January 5th. But Okada has to be the odds on favorite at this point.

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    Re: NJPW G1 Climax 32

    Night One started off strong. Four really good matches with one (no-so) surprising result as there usually is on the opening day of the G1.

    G1 Climax 2022 Block C Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Aaron Henare
    Henare started off strong, beating Tanahashi with punches to the gut, then hitting a springboard kick to the face before destroying the air guitar. The ultimate heel move. Tanahashi spent a lot of the match on the mat, selling for Henare who looked good. He wrestled a kick ass style that screams that he's a heel but in a different way to the Bullet Club members, meaning no cheating or interference. Henare's Full Nelson seemed like a good move that they tried to get over with how desperate Tanahashi was to escape it and then failed to escape later when Henare applied it. But Henare won with a Fisherman's Brainbuster for the not so surprising upset win. It was bound to happen. Good match. ***1/4

    G1 Climax 2022 Block D Match: El Phantasmo vs. Will Ospreay
    This wasted no time in going in the air. Ospreay hit a Sasuke Special almost immediately and Phantasmo soon followed with a dive of his own. The match is in a tricky place being heel v heel but I thought they played it like face v face. It was simple, competitive and didn't fall into the trap of their other faux epic matches. It seems that Phantasmo has finally matured into being a good wrestler. Even the closing stretch wasn't heavy with the counter heavy dancing style that New Japan can do. Phantasmo countered the Oscutter with the Back slide, which was a cool near fall but then he got caught with a Hidden Blade for the three. Good match. ***1/2

    G1 Climax 2022 Block B Match: SANADA vs. Jay White
    This reminded me of a really good house show match with the tone of it. It was really playful. That's the only way I can describe it. There was light comedy in the beginning of the match with Jay White stalling and SANADA offering to open the ropes for him. Then later, White kicked the ropes while SANADA was entering, leading to SANADA getting his revenge with a low blow of his own. Jay White went nuts at the referee who played up the ignorance of what went on. Plus there was heavy emphasis on crowd interaction. There was some traditional wrestling to tie it all together, such as White working on SANADA's ribs early on in the match and SANADA's knack for flash finishes, making this a fulfilling match, overall. ***1/2

    G1 Climax 2022 Block A Match: Kazuchika Okada vs. Jeff Cobb
    Very good main event. The match was a little too one sided with far too much of Cobb. No offence to him but the suplexes can get old after a while. Okada sold them all like a champ though, taking some wild bumps and the crowd was into the drama of the match. The closing stretch was good as well, aside from the Money Clip which always stops the crowd dead. I can't wait for the crowds to come back and still react with silence to it so Okada can get rid of the move. ***1/2

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    Re: NJPW G1 Climax 32

    I skipped Sanada/White and I wasn’t too impressed with Tanahashi/Henare or Cobb/Okada, bang average matches, but Ospreay/ELP was good and surprisingly restrained for what i expect out of those two. The backslide pin catch from the Oscutter into the Hidden Blade (not so hidden as it was face first) was one of the best finishes of the year. Nice not to see a counter-counter-counter closing stretch like we get in this company.
    Last edited by Ed; 07-17-2022 at 03:56 AM.
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    Re: NJPW G1 Climax 32

    Day 2

    Thought Sabre Jr Vs KENTA was great, such a good performance from KENTA as the surly, grumpy, pissed of vet slapping the taste out of Zack’s mouth, and Zack trying to get submissions on his bad shoulder. I think that’s my favourite match so far.

    Ishii/Taichi was good, those two always have decent chemistry with one another. Ishii continues his G1 MVP legacy in possibly his last tournament.

    Juice/Shingo was fine but not as good as the other two matches and what an odd, flat finish.

    Of course I didn’t watch the Yano match.
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    Re: NJPW G1 Climax 32

    Zack/KENTA was sensational. Felt like he brought a bit of the old KENTA back into play. Really hyped for his tournament if we get more of this.

    Ishii could be the hero of wrestling one more time with his biggest challenge ever with the horrible B Block. Taichi is probably the second best guy in the block.

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    Re: NJPW G1 Climax 32

    G1 Climax 2022 Block B Match: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Taichi (w/Miho Abe)
    It'll be harsh to say this is one of the feuds that I don't really get. I get their matches - Ishii tries to bring Taichi's toughness out of him - but they rarely resonate with me on any meaningful level. Taichi did seemingly rock Ishii a few times. The first time happened immediately and then a few minutes later after Taichi kicked him in the face and once more for the finish where Taichi caught Ishii with a nasty forearm to the face. If they went up with that type of match, I probably would've liked this more. But they opted for their usual match, and I've already said my feelings on that. I'm just jaded about Ishii in general I think. His matches are still good but I don't care much or get excited for them. ***

    G1 Climax 2022 Block A Match: Toru Yano vs. JONAH (w/Bad Dude Tito)
    This wasn’t nearly as bad as people said it was. I got a great kick out of Yano’s camp horror movie scream when he was trapped between JONAH and Tito. JONAH wasn’t any good though. He sort of lumbered around while Yano did things. Yano did suplex JONAH, which I thought was cool as well. The finish got a smile out of me also. But this didn’t really belong in this G1 with the break between matches being so big. Plus it made for an odd debut for JONAH. **1/4

    G1 Climax 2022 Block C Match: KENTA vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
    This was really good. Perhaps it lacked one that one thing that would’ve turned it into a MOTYC but it was the strongest match of the G1 thus far. Loved the trash talking. And KENTA can actually do it back unlike the other Japanese wrestlers, whose English is much less developed than KENTA’s, adding a little spice to the exchanges. Plus it made reference to ZSJ’s past as a NOAH Dojo trainee. Zack was immense offensively. His submission work was on point and KENTA’s injuries and flexible joints made the submission visually more effective as well. ***3/4

    G1 Climax 2022 Block D Match: Shingo Takagi vs. Juice Robinson
    This was certainly interesting. I definitely prefer punches to elbow strikes but the same thing I dislike about those applies to this match. The punches weren’t exactly Jerry Lawler and Bill Dundee scrapping it out in the Mid-South Coliseum and they made no effort to hide that they were letting each other through them. Perhaps that was the point but that’s just stupid and would make it worse. This was supposed to be Juice’s big push and it felt too cold and unusual coming out of it. The awful finish certainly hurt but the match wasn’t up-to any standard that I expect from Shingo Takagi. **1/2

    Varied show. Two of the matches weren't good but one was at least a comedy match. The main event just didn't deliver. KENTA vs Zack Sabre Jr is the match of the tournament though. That makes up for the other matches that didn’t really measure up to it.

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    Re: NJPW G1 Climax 32

    Been catching up:

    Didn't watch anything on Night 3, but doesn't sound like I missed anything.

    Thought Night 4 rocked and was the best show so far with 3 good matches. Zack/Henare was a better showing for Henare than in the Tanahashi upset win, and Zack is having a great tournament so far. Tacos yet again puts in full effort for the G1 with a very good match with Shingo which got better with every passing minute. Then the main event delivered too as Jay White finally got his revenge on Ishii for spoiling him in the 2020 G1. Not the usual Ishii formula match as we got a rib selling match, and I loved the flying shoulder tackle he did to launch White into the corner. Take a hike Okada, Tanahashi etc, Ishii is White's career best opponent.

    Only watched Naito/Tanahashi from Night 5. It was....fine? Naito looks as sloppy as ever, and even though he's now gonna have to win 4 straight matches to stand any chance of winning the block, his performance level here doesn't feel like someone who is heading to a semi final.

    Night 6 the headlines belong to Finlay/Juice which I think I'm a bit lower on than others. While they brought the hate, I found it dull and slow in places, particularly the first half. They had a good closing stretch and it's a big win for Finlay. I also checked out Tom Lawlor's first match with Lance Archer and wasn't wowed. I think this is a really tough block for Tom Lawlor to stand out and impress in.

    Night 7 and Henare is looking better with every passing match. Very, very good match with Goto I thought in the semi-main spot on the card which gave them the added time for Henare's match to reach the next level. Thought these two showed awesome chemistry with each other and Goto was selfless in allowing Henare to shine. I've seen enough with Henare to tell me he deserves to be in next years G1, really solid guy to have good matches but finish bottom of a block. Ishii/Tama didn't quite live up to the level of the last two Ishii matches, but it was still a good main event. Tama is just too repetitive a wrestler to be in main events because everything has to be based around gunstun counters.

    7 nights in and while I'm finding it's fairly easy to catch up and cherry pick matches because it's only 2 matches a show to check out, I hate how un-G1 it feels because the standings are all over the place and won't make any sense until the final few shows. It's ridiculous to have some guys on 3 matches and other guys only on 1 match. Next year they gotta put even numbers in the blocks so they can start running things in a more even fashion.