Originally published at G1 Climax 32 Day 10 Report: David Finlay vs. Will Ospreay, KENTA vs. Hirooki Goto
G1 Climax 32 Day 10 Report: David Finlay vs. Will Ospreay, KENTA vs. Hirooki Goto
This is the tenth installment of POST’s coverage of the 32nd G1 Climax Tournament. We have now reached the halfway mark. It is the second of two shows at Hamamatsu Arena in Shizuoka. The attendance was 1128 fans, the lowest attendance so far in this year’s G1 Climax.
- Undercard – As with most shows so far, there was nothing worth going out of your way to watch.
- G1 Climax 2022 Block B Match: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Great O-Khan – Some good elements near the start but a lack of chemistry and fluidity dragged this down.
- G1 Climax 2022 Block A Match: Toru Yano vs. Tom Lawlor – Some good comedy ideas and antics but this one was a little too long.
- G1 Climax 2022 Block B Match: SANADA vs. Tama Tonga – A good fast paced, technically proficient match, although it failed to grab me.
- G1 Climax 2022 Block C Match: KENTA vs. Hirooki Goto – Some good action but it was hurt by ref bumps and a clunky finish.
- G1 Climax 2022 Block D Match: David Finlay vs. Will Ospreay – A great aggressive, fast paced match where the bad blood and fire matches the memorable high spots. – RECOMMENDED.
TMDK (Bad Dude Tito & JONAH) vs. United Empire (Aaron Henare & Jeff Cobb)
Aaron Henare pinned Bad Dude Tito in 7:30.
Suzuki-Gun (TAKA Michinoku, Taichi, Lance Archer & Zack Sabre Jr.) vs. House of Torture (SHO, Dick Togo, Yujiro Takahashi & EVIL)
SHO pinned TAKA Michinoku in 9:06.
BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens & El Phantasmo) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito)
Chase Owens pinned BUSHI in 6:53.
YOSHI-HASHI, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kazuchika Okada vs. BULLET CLUB (Juice Robinson, Gedo & Jay White)
YOSHI-HASHI submitted Gedo in 7:53.
G1 Climax 2022 Block B Match: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Great O-Khan
O-Khan had Ishii off balance, forcing a rope break with an early Jujigatame. Ishii tried to chain wrestle with O-Khan until O-Khan used a Fujiwara armbar to force another rope break. Ishii eventually got back into the match using his power and striking before surprising everyone by applying a knee bar, although O-Khan soon got out of that situation.
O-Khan’s Mongolian chops did not phase Ishii, so they engaged in a long forearm exchange, with O-Khan coming out on top. Ishii and O-Khan traded suplexes and Lariats, with O-Khan using another Lariat to knock down Ishii. O-Khan locked in the Sheep Killer, but Ishii came back with a German suplex and a Lariat of his own.
After a series of transitions, Ishii dumped O-Khan with a release Dragon Suplex, nearly winning the match with another Lariat. O-Khan went for a Brainbuster, but Ishii fired back with an Enziguri and a Sliding Lariat for another nearfall. After a series of counters, O-Khan surprised Ishii with the TTD before pinning Ishii with the Eliminator.
Great O-Khan defeated Tomohiro Ishii via pinfall in 12:59.
This was a decent match. I liked the fresh start with the early submission attempts and Ishii’s submission attempt. This had a lot of the good stuff that you expect from a Tomohiro Ishii match, but Ishii and O-Khan lacked chemistry at times, which made the match feel disjointed and lacking in flow. Honestly, this was my least favorite Ishii match in the tournament so far and I was disappointed by this.
G1 Climax 2022 Block A Match: Toru Yano vs. Tom Lawlor
Tom Lawlor tried to trade a copy of Sister Act for Yano’s new DVD. When that did not work, he added Sister Act 2 to the bargain. That worked until Lawlor realized that Yano’s DVD case was empty. Yano and Lawlor got the crowd clapping along but Yano’s hair pull-based ambush was foiled because Lawlor was wearing a wig.
Yano mocked Lawlor for wearing two pairs of denim shorts when he revealed that he was wearing two pairs of tights. Lawlor one-upped him by revealing that he was wearing a third pair of Denim shorts. Yano repeatedly pulled Lawlor’s hair. Isaacs saved Lawlor from being whipped into an exposed turnbuckle by using a discarded turnbuckle pad. Yano then hit a belly-to-belly suplex and removed another turnbuckle pad, since Isaacs could not be in two places at once.
After a Yano schoolboy attempt, Lawlor used a Bionic Jab before Yano caught him with a slingshot into an exposed turnbuckle for a nearfall. Yano nearly pinned Lawlor with a fireman’s carry and a backslide. Lawlor appeared immune to low blows before hitting Yano with the Kami-Go-Ye and the NKOTB to defeat Yano. Lawlor then revealed that he was wearing a cup, which proved to be Yano’s kryptonite.
Tom Lawlor defeated Toru Yano via pinfall in 10:13.
This was a good comedy match that played off of Lawlor’s familiarity with Yano. Some of the spots were great but the match felt a little too long and dragged out at times. So, this was a decent Yano match, although this was not close to something like Yano vs Moxley.
G1 Climax 2022 Block B Match: SANADA vs. Tama Tonga
SANADA and Tonga jockeyed for position with chain wrestling. SANADA managed to trap Tonga in the Paradise lock. They were evenly matched, although Tonga gained some momentum after a clothesline. A backdrop suplex earned Tonga a two count. Tonga wore SANADA down with headbutts, but SANADA came back with his double leapfrog dropkick and a Plancha.
SANADA went for a TKO, but Tonga countered it using the Tongan Twist. Tonga hit a DVD (the move, not the actual Sister Act DVD) and earned a two-count with a top rope splash. When Tonga went for the Gun Stun, he nearly got caught in the Skull End before SANADA hit the TKO. Tonga got the knees up to counter SANADA’s Moonsault before SANADA countered the Gun Stun into the Skull End by using Tonga’s momentum against him.
SANADA and Tonga traded forearms before Tonga got a nearfall with the Headshrinker DDT. SANADA avoided multiple Gun Stuns and nearly won the match with an O’Connor roll, only to finally fall victim to Tonga’s Gun Stun. SANADA learned the hard way that people do not kick out of the Gun Stun.
Tama Tonga defeated SANADA via pinfall at 16:28.
This was a good, fast-paced match with lightning-quick counters. The athleticism and ideas were good, and this match had one of the best Gun Stun counters in years. Both wrestlers were technically very good but, in the end, my lack of connection to either wrestler meant that this was a good match that failed to engage me. I expect that a lot of people will enjoy this more than I did.
G1 Climax 2022 Block C Match: KENTA vs. Hirooki Goto
When Goto started to gain some momentum, KENTA left the ring and started playing with Goto’s stick. Goto took exception to this, and KENTA used this as an opportunity to hit Goto with the ring bell. After a DDT on the ramp, KENTA was firmly in control until Goto finally fought back with a rolling Lariat. KENTA regained control with a powerslam and earned a two count with a diving clothesline. Goto escaped an STF by reaching the ropes, but he was unable to overturn an onslaught of trademark moves from KENTA.
Eventually, Goto avoided a diving double foot stomp and hit the reverse GTR and a Lariat. They traded forearms and KENTA looked to have Goto in trouble until Goto hit a desperate headbutt. Goto followed that with the Ushi-Goroshi for a two count, but KENTA avoided the GTR, and the referee went down.
KENTA grabbed Goto’s stick and there was a fight over the wooden object. The stick, not the injured referee. When Goto gained control KENTA hid behind the referee, low-blowed Goto, pushed Goto into the referee and hit Goto with the stick. KENTA then hit the diving double stomp for a nearfall. When KENTA went for a Go to Sleep, Goto escaped and went for the GTW. KENTA escaped by hitting Goto with a knee to the head. KENTA then hit the Busaiku Knee and Go to Sleep (at the second time of asking) to win the match.
KENTA defeated Hirooki Goto via pinfall in 18:52.
This was a good match that fell apart near the end. They worked well together but the match was dragged down by the botched Go to Sleep near the end and the very clunky sequence involving Goto’s stick and the multiple lackluster ref bumps. There were definitely good parts, and I would have been much higher on the match if it cut out the stick-based shenanigans.
G1 Climax 2022 Block D Match: David Finlay vs. Will Ospreay
Ospreay was all business during his entrance, as the IWGP US Heavyweight Champion was utterly focused on the IWGP US Heavyweight title belt that David Finlay has been carrying around. The match started with both wrestlers hammering away with forearms before Finlay clotheslined Ospreay out of the ring. There was a refreshing amount of energy and aggression here, something lacking from the rest of the show.
Finlay got a one-count with a snap suplex as he started to try and build momentum. Ospreay struggled until he chopped Finlay off the top rope. This was followed by Ospreay suplexing Finlay onto the ring apron. Ospreay was aggressive as he punished Finlay. Ospreay used an old Nigel McGuinness submission to injure Finlay’s shoulder before stomping away on Finlay. Ospreay had an answer to everything that Finlay tried until Finlay took Ospreay down with a back body drop.
Finlay used a flying forearm, a modified backbreaker, and a pair of diving elbow smashes to chip away at Ospreay. When Finlay went for the Irish Curse backbreaker, Ospreay replied with a handspring Enziguri and a magnificent Plancha. The Pip Pip Cheerio earned Ospreay a two count, but Finlay fought back with the Irish Curse backbreaker. Finlay was fired up, stomping, and slapping away at Ospreay. Ospreay blocked a superplex and signaled for the top rope Hidden Blade, only for Finlay to stop it and finally hit the Superplex for a nearfall. Ospreay avoided the Acid Drop and hit an Oscutter on the Apron that left both wrestlers wiped out on the outside.
Finlay avoided the count-out but got hit by a missile dropkick from Ospreay. Finlay kicked out and avoided an Oscutter before Ospreay finally hit the Oscutter for a nearfall. Ospreay went for the Forbidden Blade, but Finlay ducked, and he then countered an Oscutter into the Prima Nocta for a huge nearfall. Finlay then hit the Acid Drop for another big nearfall and the crowd was firmly behind him. Finlay hit a Lariat but nearly got caught with a roll up from Ospreay. When Ospreay went for the (not so) Hidden Blade, Finlay reversed it into a Backslide and hit Ospreay with the Trash Panda to defeat Ospreay. This got a big vocal reaction, for what was a big upset win for Finlay and one of the biggest wins of his career.
David Finlay defeated Will Ospreay via pinfall in 15:28.
This was easily the match of the night. While the match contained some fantastic-looking high spots, I was equally impressed with the aggression. The match felt like it had personal stakes. The pace was quick, the action was intense, and they downplayed the melodrama while dialing up the aggression. Ospreay did an excellent job of bumping hard for Finlay, while Finlay was great as a fiery underdog. I much preferred this to Finlay’s match with Takagi and this is going to be one of the matches that I remember most fondly at the end of this G1 Climax. A great match, and one of the better matches of Finlay’s career.
The takeaway: Final Thoughts
As we reach the halfway mark, I have found a lot of this G1 Climax to be a slog. The bloated roster and the card structure have combined to make it a struggle for me at times. On paper, this was not a bad show, but it struggled to suck me in until the main event. That said, there were some clever ideas on display throughout the singles matches and I highly recommend that you watch Finlay vs Ospreay. There are a lot of lessons to learn from this year’s G1 Climax, and I hope that New Japan is taking notes for next year.