G1 heads to Sendai
After opening weekend in Sapporo, the G1 travels further south to Sendai on July 20, with the Xebio Arena playing host to the four blocks and a busy undercard of action.
Main event: C Block Hirooki Goto (0-0) vs Tetsuya Naito (0-0)
Singles record: 5-4 Naito G1 record: 4-2 Naito
After a four year stretch of Hirooki Goto and Tetsuya Naito appearing in the same G1 block, a gap in 2021 sees them reunite in combat to start their G1 Climax 32 campaigns. An evenly matches 5-4 career record for Naito against Goto belies the fact that CHAOS’ fierce warrior hasn’t gotten a win over El Ingobernable since Wrestle Kingdom in 2016, with Naito’s five wins coming from their last five encounters.
En route to that January 4 2016 encounter, Naito had only recently formed Los Ingobernables De Japon as a going concern, and with a new persona, constantly humiliated and derided Goto. Naito’s defeat of Goto in the New Japan Cup that year would cement his transition into CHAOS hatched one month earlier; El Ingobernable would take credit for the change, while mocking that his preferred gimmick of Kuwana city mascot Captain Kuwana for Goto was rejected. Now, will Naito by credited with Goto’s first two points? Or with back against the wall in his bid to make the Tokyo Dome main event in 2023, will Naito start his campaign with an important win?
8th Match: A Block Lance Archer (0-0) vs Bad Luck Fale (0-0)
Singles record 1-1 G1 record 1-0 Archer
After Kazuchika Okada faces Jeff Cobb, and Toru Yano takes on JONAH in Sapporo, A Block gets its first real clash of the titans when Lance Archer meets Bad Luck Fale. Tied at one win apiece in their careers, and with Archer picking up the most recent win in the 2019 G1, this is going to be a wildly unpredictable and very violent affair in Sendai.
7th Match: B Block Tama Tonga (0-0) vs Chase Owens (0-0)
Singles record: 1-0 Tonga
Tama Tonga’s first league match will be against a former BULLET CLUB ally in Chase Owens. Tonga is on a road to revenge in G1 Climax 32 and is driven to take all his former partners down. While Owens isn’t as attractive a revenge prospect as Jay White at the end of the tournament, the Good Bad Guy will be looking to start strong. For Owens’ part, the opportunity to earn considerable respect from BULLET CLUB and Jay White in particular make this a match he’s especially keen to win.
6th Match: D Block- David Finlay (0-0) vs Yujiro Takahashi (0-0)
David Finlay finally makes his official G1 Climax 32 debut opposite Yujiro Takahashi. The Rebel Finlay is fighting with much to prove in this tournament, making his G1 debut after seven long years in the NJPW system. Moreover, he is wrestling as a dedicated singles competitor after his tag team with Juice Robinson collapsed in the spring. Redefining himself as his own man, he has to take on Yujiro and the HOUSE OF TORTURE tactics that implies; yet just as Yujiro will be willing to go to his pimp stick, so Finlay has the family heirloom shillelagh to fire back in equal measure with.
5th Match: Los Ingobernables De Japon (Shingo Takagi, BUSHI & SANADA) vs Suzuki-Gun (Zack Sabre Jr., TAKA Michinoku & Taichi)
Los Ingobernables De Japon were dealt harsh results in Sapporo as SANADA dropped his first match to Jay White, and Shingo Takagi lost the day two main event to Juice Robinson. Meanwhile, opening weekend treated Suzuki-Gun and Dangerous Tekkers very well indeed, as Zack Sabre Jr. submitted KENTA and Taichi was able to pin Tomohiro Ishii to get their campaigns off to a good start. The conversing fortunes will meet in six man action tonight, and with Taichi scheduled to wrestle SANADA in their respective second block matches coming up on July 24, this will be a competitive reunion.
4th Match: Kosei Fujita, Tomohiro Ishii & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs BULLET CLUB (Jay White, Juice Robinson & KENTA)
As G1 continues, in an ultra competitive B Block it will be Tomohiro Ishii meeting his nemesis Jay White next in Ota. Ishii’s campaign started with another man he has long standing issues with in Taichi, and the result was not a favorable one for the Stone Pitbull. Jay White would take great delight in effectively shutting down the Stone Pitbull in B Block contention in one go Saturday, but the CHAOS member will be eager to get on the board and remind the Switchblade of his superior form against him. Meanwhile, long before KENTA and Hiroshi Tanahashi meet on August 14, bad blood will continue to boil, KENTA even more sour after being forced to submit by Zack Sabre Jr. Sunday.
3rd Match: CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI & Kazuchika Okada) vs Toru Yano & Ryohei Oiwa
A successful weekend for the CHAOS members in Sapporo would see Kazuchika Okada defeat a monster test in Jeff Cobb in the opening main event, while Toru Yano somehow survived JONAH. Yet the two teammates will face of next, on July 23 in Ota, creating an intriguing tag preview tonight in Sendai. With YOSHI-HASHI set to face Shingo Takagi Saturday, the Rainmaker and the Headhunter will take no mercy on Yano, nor his Young Lion partner Oiwa.
2nd Match: United Empire (Aaron Henare, Jeff Cobb, Great-O-Khan & Will Ospreay) vs BULLET CLUB (El Phantasmo, EVIL, SHO & Dick Togo)
After United Empire took on HOUSE OF TORTURE in Sapporo in a wash for the much disliked group, El Phantasmo joins EVIL SHO and Dick Togo tonight to face the group again, and Will Ospreay in the process. On opening night, a momentary lapse in attention would see ELP dropped with the Hidden Blade; tonight while Phantasmo may be more focused on his opposition, he may have more issues with his partners. After pre tournament interviews and the press conference seeing some less than charitable comments toward H.O.T, and fellow D Block entrant Yujiro Takahashi, might they be uncomfortable bedfellows tonight?
1st Match: TMDK (Bad Dude Tito & JONAH) vs Team Filthy (Tom Lawlor & Royce Isaacs)
For the third night, Team Filthy will start the action as Tom Lawlor and Royce Isaacs will take on JONAH and Bad Dude Tito. These four are familiar with one another on NJPW STRONG, including this week’s matches seeing Tito come close to defeating the former STRONG Openweight Champion in singles action. In tag warfare, it may be a different story, especially after JONAH was humiliated in defeat by Toru Yano Sunday.