G1 hits Korakuen Hall
G1 Climax 32 heads to Korakuen Hall for the first of two nights on July 26. After five nights are already in the books, many are heading into their second block matches, while three entrants are wrestling in the tournament for the first time.
Main event- D Block: Juice Robinson (1-0) vs David Finlay (0-1)
Singles record: 3-0 Robinson
On April 16, Juice Robinson and David Finlay took on TMDK in a Chicago Streetfight at Windy City Riot. Interviews given to the media before the event indicated that it would be Robinson’s last steps in a pro-wrestling ring. After the bout, goodbyes were said between two best friends who had supported one another from the tortuous Noge Dojo regime through to the IWGP Tag Team Championships.
Two weeks later, and Juice struck down Hiroshi Tanahashi in the Fukuoka Dome, joining BULLET CLUB in the process, and openly stating that he had ‘lied his ass off’. In the process, a six year friendship was undone, and this main event will be much more personal than a simple two point league battle as a result. After Finlay struggled out of the blocks, he will have to not let his need for closure get in the way of victory tonight.
8th Match: A Block- Tom Lawlor (0-0) vs Lance Archer (0-1)
Tom Lawlor finally gets his G1 campaign underway in Korakuen as his first singles match in japan is the tall order that is Lance Archer. Lawlor has pledged to make a ‘Giant Silva’ of the imposing Archer and to cut him down to size with his considerable grappling expertise. Indeed, Archer comes into the Hall having lost his last two Korakuen matches to a roll-up from Hiroshi Tanahashi and the Game Over from KENTA back in 2019. The Murderhawk Monster is also smarting from a countout loss against bad Luck Fale to kick off his campaign in Sendai, but this will make him all the more dangerous and bloodthirsty. Can Lawlor find a way past Suzuki-Gun’s AEW representative?
7th Match: C Block- KENTA (0-1) vs EVIL (0-0)
Singles record: 1-1
A BULLET CLUB derby will see EVIL wrestle his first G1 block match with KENTA tonight in Korakuen. One win apiece in their careers, KENTA battled the king of Darkness in the 2019 and 2020 G1s, both either side of their transitions into BULLET CLUB. With a somewhat shared experience, KENTA was rather philosophical when EVIL cheated his way to victory in G1 Climax 30. No doubt he will be expecting similar tactics tonight in the Hall, but will he have a gameplan to combat them, or will he be slipping to 0-2?
6th Match: B Block- Great-O-Khan (0-0) vs Chase Owens (0-1)
Singles record: 1-0 Owens
If there is some honour among thieves when it comes to KENTA and EVIL, Great-O-Khan finds no honour with in Chase Owens after the Crown Jewel has stolen away victory from the Dominator in recent encounters. The Fukuoka Dome on May 1 saw Owens and Bad Luck Fale take the IWGP Tag Team Championships away from the United Empire, not via direct pinfall, but by capitalizing on the three way rule set in the Fukuoka PayPay Dome. Fair enough, but Owens’ singles win over O-Khan in Washington DC was anything but. With all of DC cheering on his excellency O-Khan, Owens pinned his foe with both feet on the ropes before running well clear of the vengeful exalted one. Now, O-Khan wants a chance to dispense justice, and come away from his first G1 Climax 32 match with a win.
5th Match: Los Ingobernables De Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, SANADA & BUSHI) vs BULLET CLUB (Jay White, El Phantasmo, Bad Luck Fale & Gedo)
Eight man action will see SANADA and Jay White back opposite one another after meeting on night one, and El Phantasmo squaring off with Shingo Takagi before they meet on the last night of league action on August 16. LIJ and BULLET CLUB will make for a wild tag affair that could headline in Korakuen Hall on a normal night, but Tuesday will see the two teams in a prelude to our heated tournament bouts. With Tetsuya Naito’s back pressed even further against the wall in his G1 campaign, will he be cutting loose, or letting his frustrations loose this evening?
4th Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI vs Suzuki-Gun (Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi & TAKA Michinoku)
Six man action will see a preview for Hiroshi Tanahashi and Zack Sabre Jr.’s weekend clash in Aichi. Already one win clear of the rest of his block, ZSJ will be looking to extend his lead, while the Ace, resuming his rivalry with the Submission Master, badly wants another two points on the board. Meanwhile, with Taichi still in a strong 1-1 position, the potential exists for a Taichi vs Kazuchika Okada semifinal, making for some intriguing exchanges in Korakuen Hall.
3rd Match: Tama Tonga, Hirooki Goto & Jado vs United Empire (Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb & Aaron Henare)
With Aaron Henare set to face Hirooki Goto Wednesday, six man preview action sees Goto join the Guerrillas of Destiny for the evening against the United Empire. Henare made a direct appeal to Goto to ‘stand and bang’ in what’s sure to be a hard hitting battle in the Hall, as Goto seeks to win two straight and Henare wants to reach the half way point of his campaign with a positive win:loss record. United Empire have been unstoppable in multi man matches during the series so far; will they pick up another win tonight?
2nd Match: CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano) vs TMDK (JONAH & Bad Dude Tito)
Former IWGP Tag Team Champions Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano combine in straight tag action for the first time since the 2020 World Tag League as they face JONAH and Bad Dude Tito. Tito has impressed in his preliminary tags all the way through the series, and he and JONAH have a bone to pick with Yano in particular after a sneaky countout win for the CHAOS member started the G1. JONAH also remembers a win for Ishii over him in IMPACT Wrestling back in the spring; can they pick up some revenge tonight?
1st Match: Yuto Nakashima & Kosei Fujita vs HOUSE OF TORTURE (Yujiro Takahashi & SHO)
Starting out the evening, Yuto Nakashima makes his return from elbow injury to team with Kosei Fujita opposite Yujiro Takahashi and SHO. Normally trained in the scientific fundamentals, the Young Lions may struggle in the face of their devious opposition; Yujiro Takahashi is certainly expected to be in a foul mood after El Phantasmo walked out of their league match in Ota with two points and with Pieter in tow to boot. What happens as we get started in Korakuen tonight?