First of two nights in Hiroshima sees competition heat up
August 9 saw the first of two nights for G1 Climax 32 in Hiroshima’s Sun Plaza Hall, with five block matches at a critical phase in the tournament.
A Block action saw JONAH look to follow up on his victory over Kazuchika Okada at the weekend, taking on Lance Archer. The two traded blows off the bat, and it was JONAH with the upper hand, dropping the Murderhawk Monster with a DDT before launching his body into a series of violent collisions until Archer fired back with a lariat to the Australian.
After both men missed crushing sentons, Archer managed to drop JONAH before fighting to hit the EBD claw; when the Top Dog fought Archer off, he went for the pounce but was met with a massive body attack. Caught on the top rope, the TMDK leader almost got rocked with Blackout, but escaped to hit the Black Forest Bomb. It seemed as if the Torpedo would easily end the bout, but Archer found his feet to continue the war as it spilled outside.
Archer sent JONAH into the ringside guardrail, and cannonballed into both the Top Dog and Bad Dude Tito. As the two battled outside, JONAH connected with a spear, but as he lost track of the referee’s count, was sent flying off the apron with a shoulder tackle from Archer, who moved to six points.
It was double duty for B Block this evening, the absent Jay White watching from the sidelines as first Chase Owens sought to end his campaign by putting SANADA out of contention. A technical open saw neither man take an advantage until SANADA managed to find the Paradise Lock. It was an advantage that didn’t last long though, Chase gaining control of the match as he targeted the injured eye socket of his foe.
Flurries from SANADA were brief; Chase absorbing a plancha but denying top rope follow ups and dropping SANADA over the top corner. A sleeper from Chase would see SANADA walk up the corner to escape, but Owens used his own Skull End before a badly missed moonsault. Getting knees up on a SANADA original, Chase got C Trigger, but Cold Skull was able to pop Chase up into a TKO, and eventually landed the moonsault to set up the Skull End win.
The second straight B Block bout saw Tama Tonga and Taichi resume a rivalry from 2021, and Taichi reunited with Iron Fingers that had been a deeply cursed museum exhibit since last May. Tama wanted no part of the cursed item, and kept within the rules even as Taichi tried to bring out the worst in him. His efforts frustrated, Taichi would instead land a gamengiri and an enzuigiri to put Tama to the mat.
Taichi threw his tearaway trousers to the wind, and went for the kill, but was too attracted to the Iron Fingers. As he was caught up in their aura, Tama landed the SRC and Supreme Flow, before he too was caught up in the iron finger’s power, eventually overcoming its dark secrets but being dropped by the Holy Emperor. Now without the demented distraction, Tama and Taichi turned up the pace, and after a series of tense counters, Tama landed the Gunstun for the win.
C Block had the main event spot in the evening as Tetsuya Naito walked out in front of his adopted home town crowd in Hiroshima to face KENTA. Typical gamesmanship from both men meant some time taken before they finally engaged, but when they did it was Naito in charge, pulling his foe to the outside and hurling him into the ringside steel. KENTA would respond in kind, and sent Naito into an exposed corner as El Ingobernable struggld to get back into the match.
With a neckbreaker, Naito was eventually able to do just that, before following with his corner combination and locking in his leg Nelson to torque on KENTA’s neck and shoulder. KENTA was just as adept at targeting those areas though, and a tornado Gunstun over the ropes was followed with an STF and a brutal DDT, Naito responding with a swinging version in kind.
After Gloria, and a stiff spinebuster, Naito set for Destino but was drilled with a top rope Green Killer instead. Two soaring boots saw KENTA head for home, and a double stomp went right through the gut of Naito, getting a very near two. Go2Sleep was denied though, and Esperanza crushed the BULLET CLUB member; KENTA landed a Busaiku Knee as Naito charged in for Destino, but El Ingobernable countered another Go2Sleep with a short Destino.
As both reset, Naito threw forearms at KENTA who responded with ugly overhand rights; when an inside cradle counter to Destino only got two, KENTA charged in with another Busaiku before busting Naito open on the exposed buckle. With victory in his sights, KENTA was suddenly caught with Valentia and then Destino for three.
D Block started the night’s league action with YOSHI-HASHI at 2-1 and Yujiro Takahashi at 2-2 wanting to get to six points. Takahashi jumped the gun with a hot start, but was quickly shut down with YOSHI-HASHI to the outside. There though, Yujiro would hit the Headhunter with a chair, and followed with a shot to the exposed turnbuckle to keep control. YOSHI-HASHI responded with a suplex and the Headhunter to find his way back into the match, but a mouthful of hand and a hotshot would put the Tokyo Pimp back in the driver’s seat.
Rolling out of the Intercollegiate Slam, and put in the Butterfly Lock, but SHO would hop onto the apron; YOSHI-HASHI took care of SHO before landing a Blockbuster off the top for two, but there was vengeance from the Murder Machine in the form of a steel chair from the floor. Yujiro couldn’t hit Big Juice to follow though, and a running knee to the back of the head was followed with a tight rollup for a near two. Still YOSHI-HASHI couldn’t get Karma though; Yujiro shoved the Headhunter hard into the exposed turnbuckle, bringing SHO inside with a wrench and a low blow and Big Juice followed for three.
G1 continues in Hiroshima on Wednesday August 10, with A Block seeing Kazuchika Okada facing Tom Lawlor, B Block hosting Great-O-Khan vs Tama Tonga, C Block in double duty with Zack Sabre Jr. vs EVIL and Hirooki Goto vs Hiroshi Tanahashi in the main event, and D Block with El Phantasmo vs David Finlay.