Budokan crowns a G1 Climax 32 winner tonight
Tonight sees the long G1 Climax journey come to an end, as Kazuchika Okada and Will Ospreay collide in what will be a classic tournament final. It’s all atop what is traditionally one of the most unpredictable cards of the year, and one you’ll want to watch every moment of.
Main event: G1 Climax final- Kazuchika Okada vs Will Ospreay
Singles record: 6-1 Okada
After 33 days, 20 events and 86 tournament matches, it all comes down to Kazuchika Okada and Will Ospreay. On January 5, the Tokyo Dome saw the two collide over the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, and on August 18, they do battle in the Nippon Budokan for what is another standard by which to measure the best wrestler on the planet.
While Switchblade Jay White would protest that designation as he awaits who will emerge with a main event at Wrestle Kingdom 17, there can be little to no doubt that Okada and Ospreay currently occupy spots 1b and 1c in global competition right now. Ospreay has proof of his ability around his neck and waist in the Rev Pro British heavyweight and IWGP United States Heavyweight Championships, while Okada, last year’s G1 winner and inarguably the greatest former champion in all of IWGP history has his still growing legacy to do the talking.
Time and again, the perfect game has been wrestled by Okada’s opponents, and time and again they have been turned away, nobody with more perfect and frustrating precision than Ospreay. From their first meeting in RevPro in 2015, to three friendly CHAOS exhibitions and twice as feuding foes, Ospreay has wrestled near perfect games, and been defeated by Okada each and every time. The one win that Ospreay can lay claim to, his career lede buried under the headline of Great-O-Khan’s assistance and the formation of the United Empire, only serves to stick in the craw of the Commonwealth Kingpin, an even more vexing reminder that as great as he is, he isn’t quite great enough.
Is this the day that changes? Hunting for G1 Climax win number four, will the leader of the 50th year in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, carrying the legacy of Inoki on his ring gear, in his moveset and in his heart, write more history as only the fourth man to win back to back G1s, and inch himself closer to the Mr. August achievement of five summer trophies? Or, with his own historical achievement of being the first British G1 winner looming, is this the day that Ospreay finally bests Okada with lights on bright?
7th Match: KUSHIDA & Tama Tonga vs BULLET CLUB (Jay White & Taiji Ishimori)
Tama Tonga’s G1 Climax 32 came to an end last night at the hands of Kazuchika Okada, but sweetening the frustration at coming close to victory is the fact that the Good Bad Guy defeated the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion to get as far as he did. There is no doubt that Jay White will want to right that perceived wring in the ear future, and there is no doubt that Tama Tonga wants to exploit his claim to a world title shot. There’s no questions as to why Tama and Jay are opposite one another in this tag team contest then, and with IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Taiji Ishimori’s ‘assessment’ of KUSHIDA ongoing , there’s a chance for the Timesplitter to get his passing grade tonight.
6th Match: David Finlay & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Good Brothers (Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson)
Last night, the Budokan saw Hiroshi Tanahashi and David Finlay reunited against familiar foes in the Good Brothers. Thanks to expert Be-Bop Tag Team combining with Toru Yano, Doc Gallows was pinned and embarrassed last night, and he and Anderson are out for revenge this evening. With Anderson heading into the bout as NEVER Openweight Champion, and he and Gallows holding the IMPACT Tag titles, there is plenty of incentive for The Rebel and the Ace to pick up the win tonight.
5th Match: Los Ingobernables De Japon (Shingo Takagi & Hiromu Takahashi) vs BULLET CLUB (El Phantasmo & KENTA)
With the crowning achievement of his debut G1 being an emphatic victory over Shingo Takagi, El Phantasmo has been asserting early and often that he is “Shingo’s Daddy”, much to the fury of Takagi who is eager to make ELP eat his words. Tonight he teams with a Hiromy Takahashi disappointed in Phantasmo’s move up to the heavyweight ranks, as they take on ELP and KENTA.
4th Match: Los Ingobernables De Japon (BUSHI, SANADA & Tetsuya Naito) vs Suzuki-Gun (Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. & Lance Archer)
Tetsuya Naito will be coming into tonight’s final G1 card disappointed at another chance of main eventing in the Tokyo Dome having slipped through his fingers, and likely already scheming out how he can reach that spot in the next four months. He might take solace though in having eliminated Zack Sabre Jr. to get there, and this should be a match full of ill natured trolling as a result.
3rd Match: United Empire (Aaron Henare, Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) vs BULLET CLUB (Chase Owens, Bad Luck Fale & Juice Robinson)
For the second consecutive night, the United Empire collide with the trio of Chase Owens, Bad Luck Fale and Juice Robinson. With a backstage confrontation in the Budokan yesterday compounding the point, both Cobb and O-Khan, and Fale and Owens have a dispute over who should be next to face FTR for the IWGP Tag Team Championships. With competition queueing up from NJPW in Japan and individuals and teams on NJPW STRONG, who can make a stronger claim tonight?
2nd Match: TMDK (Bad Dude Tito & JONAH) vs Team Filthy (Tom Lawlor & Royce Isaacs)
With both sides making very impressive Japanese NJPW debuts through this tour, both TMDK and Team Filthy have been competing fiercely throughout G1 Climax 32 undercards. While their last tag meeting in Machida saw TMDK pull ahead, Tom lawlor and Royce Isaacs could close the gap once more before the series is done.
1st Match: CHAOS (YOH, YOSHI-HASHI, Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii) vs HOUSE OF TORTURE (EVIL, SHO, Yujiro Takahashi & Dick Togo)
Starting the night, CHAOS’ NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Chamopions are joined by Tomohiro Ishii to take on HOUSE OF TORTURE. When EVIL and Dick Togo forced Hirooki Goto out of the tournament running Tuesday, it seemed like a feud between the H.O.T and CHAOS houses, burning all the way through 2022 to now, was doomed to continue. Can tonight finally see the HOUSE OF TORTURE leave with tails between their collective legs?