Shizuoka sees Night 10 of G1 32
As the league phase of G1 Climax 32 enters its second half, Hamamatsu will see five more critical league matches on Tuesday night.
Main event: D Block- Will Ospreay (2-0) vs David Finlay (2-1)
Singles record: 2-0 Ospreay
For all his warnings, nobody did expect David Finlay to be in the position he is currently in, halfway through his campaign of six matches, with a positive 2-1 record, the IWGP United States Championship in his possession, if not rightly to his name, and with wins over both Juice Robinson and Shingo Takagi. That is exactly where Finlay sits however. Going into his second main event of the tour, it’s time to look at the fourth generation fighter a smore than the severe underdog against former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay; after all, he’s beaten one former world champ already, what’s another?
Yet Finlay does still reel from his most recent loss to Ospreay, in the New Japan Cup 2021 semifinals where a relentless assault on his shoulder would see Ospreay to through, eventually to win both the trophy and the world title. The Commonwealth Kingpin has earned a position of confidence and arrogance against Finlay, which has led him to rent some space in Ospreay’s head; with the IWGP US title belt liberated from Juice as collateral. Finlay has acknowledged that Will is the rightful holder of the title and will gladly hand it over- if Ospreay beats him in Hamamatsu, which may not be an entirely straightforward task.
8th Match: C Block- Hirooki Goto (2-0) vs KENTA (0-2)
Singles record: 1-1
Contrasting fortunes collide in C Block tonight, as top of the table Hirooki Goto meets bottom of the pack KENTA. At one time, KENTA and Goto shared a mutual close friendship with Katsuyori Shibata, Shibata and Goto being high school classmates, and KENTA striking a friendship with The Wrestler after he departed from NJPW in the mid 2000s. In 2019, Shibata and the LA Dojo helped Goto get ready for G1 Climax 29, the same G1 where KENTA made his official NJPW debut at Shibata’s invitation.
That made KENTA’s subsequent betrayal of Shibata as he joined BULLET CLUB a betrayal in Goto’s eyes as well, an issue that led to both battling over the NEVER Openweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 14. Goto won that night, but KENTA would have the last laugh on the evening as he attacked Tetsuya Naito after the main event, and he would pick up a win back over Goto in the 2020 G1 later that year. Now the two men are tied at a win apiece in their career, but their G1 campaigns couldn’t be going anymore different; KENTA must win tonight or be all but eliminated from the final four.
7th Match: B Block- Tama Tonga (1-1) vs SANADA (2-1)
Singles record: 2-2
Two more men tied in their record against one another, Tama Tonga and SANADA do battle in B Block tonight. After a loss to Tomohiro Ishii in Korakuen, Tama wants to get back on track. Meanwhile SANADA is on the right track for him having won his last two in the G1, and his last two against Tama to boot. Another win will keep SANADA firmly in the hunt, but going even after four matches is something Cold Skull doesn’t want; conversely Tama can’t afford to reach his midway point on a negative record.
6th Match: A Block- Toru Yano (1-2) vs Tom Lawlor (0-2)
Tom lawlor made the pre-tournament threat that he will dominate the monster block, but he hasn’t been able to live up to that promise as of time of writing. 0-2 after tough losses to both Lance Archer and JONAH, Lawlor needs to put together results and fast if he’s to keep hopes alive. In the competitive block, Yano can’t afford to drop another result either; whose smarts and technique will win out?
5th Match: B Block- Tomohiro Ishii (1-2) vs Great-O-Khan (0-2)
Singles record: 1-0 Ishii
Tomohiro Ishii and Great-O-Khan are two more competitors who can’t afford to take another loss. Heading into the night at two and zero points respectively, this match is a de facto must win bout for both men. Last year’s G1 saw a vicious battle that ended in an Ishii win; will the Stone Pitbull end the Dominaotr’s advance tonight, or can O-Khan tame the Stone Pitbull?
4th Match: YOSHI-HASHI, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kazuchika Okada vs BULLET CLUB (Jay White, Gedo & Juice Robinson)
After nine events, only two men can claim a perfect record three matches into their respective campaigns, and they’re in opposite corners tonight. Kazuchika Okada was expecting an uphill climb to defeat Bad Luck Fale Sunday in Aichi, but Jay White had to work more than a little harder than he had predicted when Chase Owens pushed him incredibly hard in B Block. YOSHI-HASHI also pushed hard Sunday and overcame Juice Robinson in a thriller; some fallout tonight in six man action.
3rd Match: Los Ingobernables De Japon (Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI) vs BULLET CLUB (El Phantasmo, Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens)
Tetsuya Naito finally has his summer on track after his first win Sunday, but still sits at 1-2, as does partner Shingo Takagi tonight. On the opposite side of the ring, Chase Owens and Bad Luck Fale are coming off weekend losses and want to get back on form, while El Phantasmo needs a tune up, with a condensed schedule to come in the final nights of the league.
2nd Match: Suzuki-Gun (Lance Archer, Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi & TAKA Michinoku) vs HOUSE OF TORTURE (EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi, Dick Togo & SHO)
Eight man action will see Suzuki-Gun meet HOUSE OF TORTURE in Hamamatsu. It was a weekend for Suzuki-Gun to forget after Zack Sabre Jr was defeated by Hiroshi Tanahashi despite his hand breaking the plane of the ropes on Saturday. Lance Archer made the team 0-2 Sunday after a war with Jeff Cobb; still things weren’t any better for HOUSE OF TORTURE, as EVIL’s plans to ruin Tetsuya Naito’s summer were themselves ruined by El Ingobernable. Before EVIL meets ZSJ on August 10 in Hiroshima, an eight man tag sees both sides looking to get back on track.
1st Match: TMDK (Bad Dude Tito & JONAH) vs United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Aaron Henare)
Big heavyweight tag action starts off proceedings this evening as TMDK face the United Empire. Both Jeff Cobb and JONAH picked up big wins over the weekend in Aichi, and are feeling good heading into their collision this Friday in Matsuyama. Perhaps the biggest collision of the tour is forthcoming; who will set the pace tonight?