G1 Climax 32 Day 14 Report: KENTA vs. Tetsuya Naito, Lance Archer vs. JONAH

Mark Buckeldee recaps highlights and results from NJPW G1 Climax 32 Day 14 featuring KENTA vs. Tetsuya Naito and Lance Archer vs. JONAH.

G1 Climax 32 Day 1 Report: Okada vs. Cobb, White vs. SANADA

G1 Climax 32 Day 14 Report: KENTA vs. Tetsuya Naito, Lance Archer vs. JONAH

This is the fourteenth installment of POST’s coverage of the 32nd G1 Climax Tournament. The journey west has now reached Hiroshima for the first of two shows at the Hiroshima Sun Plaza. The attendance was 1,525 fans, the second highest attendance in the venue since COVID. The highest was for an IWGP World Heavyweight title match between Kota Ibushi and SANADA.

  1. Undercard – The Sabre Jr. vs Lawlor interactions from the second match were a highlight of the show and I hope that this leads to a singles match between these two at some point.
  2. G1 Climax 2022 Block D Match: Yujiro Takahashi vs. YOSHI-HASHI – A poor match, with Takahashi’s flaws and the HoT tropes dragging this down.
  3. G1 Climax 2022 Block B Match: SANADA vs. Chase Owens – A dull match where Owens decided to try and beat SANADA at his own game.
  4. G1 Climax 2022 Block B Match: Taichi vs. Tama Tonga – A unique match that goes in an unexpected direction. Probably the most polarizing match in this year’s G1 Climax. – RECOMMENDED
  5. G1 Climax 2022 Block A Match: Lance Archer vs. JONAH – A good super heavyweight clash with some big feats of strength and big man athleticism. – BORDERLINE RECOMMENDED
  6. G1 Climax 2022 Block C Match: KENTA vs. Tetsuya Naito – A good match with good action, but often slow and lackluster.

Kosei Fujita & Tomohiro Ishii vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI & Shingo Takagi)

BUSHI submitted Kosei Fujita in 6:40.

Suzuki-gun (TAKA Michinoku & Zack Sabre Jr.) vs Team Filthy (Royce Isaacs & Tom Lawlor)

Tom Lawlor pinned TAKA Michinoku in 6:53.

BULLET CLUB (Dick Togo, El Phantasmo, EVIL & SHO) vs. United Empire (Aaron Henare, Great O-Khan, Jeff Cobb & Will Ospreay) 

Aaron Henare submitted Dick Togo in 6:45.

Hirooki Goto, Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale, Gedo, Jay White & Juice Robinson)

Hirooki Goto pinned Gedo in 8:42.

G1 Climax 2022 Block D Match: Yujiro Takahashi vs. YOSHI-HASHI

Takahashi ambushed YOSHI-HASHI before the match started but YOSHI-HASHI fired back with shoulder tackles. YOSHI-HASHI was ambushed again, this time with a steel chair. Takahashi controlled the match until YOSHI-HASHI countered a Fisherman’s Buster with a vertical suplex. YOSHI-HASHI used his chops to keep Takahashi off balance, earning a two-count with a low dropkick. Takahashi caught YOSHI-HASHI with a hot shot and earned a two-count with a Fisherman’s Buster. YOSHI-HASHI locked in the Butterfly lock, which drew SHO to the ring like a moth to the flame. YOSHI-HASHI dealt with SHO and got a nearfall with a Blockbuster.

Takahashi and YOSHI-HASHI played catch with the referee, ending with YOSHI-HASHI hitting a Dragon Suplex. Takahashi messed up a spot, so they repeated it, letting SHO hit YOSHI-HASHI with a chair. That let Takahashi hit the Pimp Juice DDT for a nearfall. YOSHI-HASHI fought back with a back cracker, and a running knee to the back. YOSHI-HASHI and Takahashi escaped each other’s signature moves and Takahashi grabbed his cane. This was a distraction that let SHO hit YOSHI-HASHI with a wrench, which allowed Takahashi to pin YOSHI-HASHI with the Pimp Juice DDT.

Yujiro Takahashi defeated YOSHI-HASHI via pinfall in 13:12.

The takeaway:

I like YOSHI-HASHI, and he has had a good tournament, but this was a bad match. Takahashi appeared to be in worse form than usual, messing up spots and having the charisma of a damp sponge. YOSHI-HASHI’s execution for some spots was not great. While I liked YOSHI-HASHI’s offense, this was a match dragged down by YOSHI-HASHI. Honestly, he should not be anywhere near next year’s G1 Climax.

G1 Climax 2022 Block B Match: SANADA vs. Chase Owens

Owens and SANADA chain wrestled before both tried to use the Paradise lock, with SANADA succeeding. Owens used a neckbreaker in the ropes to turn the tide in his favor. SANADA fought back with a dropkick to the knee, his double leapfrog dropkick, and a Plancha. Owens used a Schoolboy into the ropes to set up a crossface into the Rings of Saturn. A C Trigger earned Owens a nearfall. Owens went for the Package Piledriver, but SANADA escaped. SANADA’s corner Moonsault into the Skull End was reversed into a Sleeper by Owens, only for SANADA to us the Hart vs Piper finish for a nearfall.

Owens reversed an O’Connor Roll into his own Skull End, but he missed a rounding body press that was reminiscent of Terry Funk’s Moonsault. Owens got the knees up when SANADA went for a Moonsault of his own and then used a pair of knees to down SANADA. The Package Piledriver was reversed into a Hurracanrana and a TKO, with SANADA hitting a Moonsault for a close nearfall. SANADA then applied the Skull End. Owens briefly escaped but SANADA reapplied the hold and Owens was knocked out by the Skull End.

SANADA defeated Chase Owens via referee stoppage in 12:45

The takeaway:

This was pretty dull before a rough, energetic closing stretch. Owens did not overcome SANADA’s lackadaisical, aimless tendencies and instead decided to wrestle like SANADA. It was an interesting choice, but I found this dull and uninteresting for the most part. Then again, I am not a fan of Owens so some people may enjoy this more than I. Not a bad match, just dull.

G1 Climax 2022 Block B Match: Taichi vs. Tama Tonga 

Taichi offered Tama Tonga the Iron Fingers from Hell and Tonga acted like it was cursed. The first five minutes were Taichi trying to get Tonga to return to his cheating ways. I did not expect this match to be some kind of morality play.

Tonga refused to give in to temptation and he fired up through Taichi’s kicks. Eventually, Tonga took Taichi down with a Lariat, a scoop slam, and a backdrop suplex. Taichi’s attempts to choke his way out of trouble were thwarted, so Taichi used an Enziguri instead. Another Enziguri gave Taichi enough time to take his trousers off, but Taichi got distracted by the Iron fingers. Taichi fought against the temptation of the Iron Fingers, allowing Tonga to hit the DVD and the top rope splash for a nearfall.

Tonga removed his vest and called for the Gun Stun, only for Tonga to fall under the allure of the Iron Fingers. Jado tried to be the angel on Tonga’s shoulder, with Taichi acting as the devil. Tonga fought off temptation and went for the Gun Stun, but Taichi reversed it into the Gedo Clutch for a nearfall. Taichi reversed another Gun Stun into a backdrop suplex for a big nearfall. Tonga escaped the Black Mephisto, and they traded big moves and elbow height enziguri’s. A superkick by Taichi sent Tonga to his knees but Tonga came back with the Tonga Twist.

They traded Lariats and strikes, with Taichi coming out on top with the Axe Bomber. Tonga avoided the Black Mephisto but fell to Taichi’s Sumo throw, only to reverse Taichi’s Sumo Charge into a Gun Stun to win the match.

Tama Tonga defeated Taichi via pinfall in 16:53.

The takeaway:

What on earth was that? I did not expect this to be a morality play about the temptation of a tin foil oven glove. Some people will love this, and others will absolutely hate it. I found it weird, especially as the finishing stretch was very good. Tonga is not a bad wrestler, and Taichi has shown that he is capable of great matches. This felt like another case where Taichi decided to stand out by doing something different. While this was different, I much preferred Taichi’s kicks-only match against Kota Ibushi. I am recommending this not because I think it is great, but because I think that everyone is entitled to make their own mind up about this one. 

G1 Climax 2022 Block A Match: Lance Archer vs. JONAH

This started with both wrestlers trading forearms and big chops. They eventually ran out of steam. Both wrestlers ran through Clotheslines before JONAH hit a DDT. JONAH kept smashing away at Archer, with Archer refusing to stay down. Archer was in trouble until he finally found an opportunity and he used his speed to deal damage to JONAH. Archer used a modified Vader Bomb to get a two count. JONAH slammed Archer before both wrestlers missed standing sentons.

They traded forearms on their knees, which evolved to them trading all kinds of strikes before Archer got a nearfall with a Black Hole Slam. Archer went for the claw, but JONAH broke the hold and used his Avalanche body attack to knock down Archer. JONAH went for a top rope Moonsault but Archer crotched JONAH.

Archer teased a top rope German Suplex before going for the Blackout. Somehow Archer managed to handle JONAH’s weight, but the Australian slipped out and hit a Lariat followed by a huge Black Forest Bomb. JONAH went for Death from Above, but Archer stopped it. JONAH hit a running shoulder tackle off the apron. Archer went for a cannonball onto JONAH, but Bad Dude Tito took the bullet for his TMDK teammate. Archer went for a Chokeslam on the outside but got caught with a spear. ARCHER Got clotheslined into the ring, but he had enough left to shove JONAH off the apron and win by count-out.

Lance Archer defeated JONAH via count out in 12:43.

The takeaway:

This was a good battle of the monsters. A big heavyweight clash, and while the pace dragged at times, they knew how to use big spots to keep people interested. This was a big-man spectacle with some really good feats of strength before a clever and memorable finish. Not a great match due to the packing but much better than many of the “Super Heavyweight vs Super Heavyweight” matches from previous G1s.

G1 Climax 2022 Block C Match: KENTA vs. Tetsuya Naito

This started with mind games with KENTA and Naito repeatedly asking for rope breaks. KENTA was unafraid to bend the rules and mock Naito’s Tranquilo pose. Naito was a step ahead of KENTA’s tricks until he walked into KENTA hitting him with the timekeeper’s bell.

KENTA was firmly in control, getting a two count with a second rope knee drop to the neck. KENTA then removed a turnbuckle pad and whipped Naito into the exposed turnbuckle. He moved between hard strikes and rest holds, with Naito eventually fighting back with a neckbreaker.

It was Naito’s turn to ground KENTA, only to get caught by KENTA’s Powerslam. KENTA used the diving clothesline before locking in an STF that forced Naito to reach the ropes. A DDT earned KENTA a two count, but Naito fought back with a Tornado DDT. Naito uses his trademark elbows to the neck to control KENTA before getting a two-count with Gloria. KENTA runs into a Spinebuster, but he fights back with a top rope Green Killer.

KENTA unleashes his corner basement dropkick and hits a top rope double stomp for a near fall. Naito hit the Esperanza, only for KENTA to hit the Busaiku knee. When KENTA went for the Go to Sleep, KENTA reversed it using the Destino. Both wrestlers were drained as they traded forearms. Naito went for Destino, but KENTA used a small package and then nearly won with a schoolboy. KENTA got a nearfall with the Busaiku Knee, but Naito countered the Go to Sleep with Valentina and hit Destino to win the match.

Tetsuya Naito defeated KENTA via pinfall in 23:30.

The takeaway: This was a good match, but it struggled because it was what it was: Two broken-down wrestlers, a shadow of their former selves, relying on smoke and mirrors to have a twenty-minute main event. I find most New Japan-era KENTA to be dull and formulaic, although this was better than most matches from him. I appreciate Naito but he loses something in clap crowds. In terms of execution, what they did, and their personality then this was a good match, but I cannot recommend this as it just did not click for me.

The takeaway: Final Thoughts

This was an odd show. The match that I expected to over-deliver, Tonga vs Taichi, turned into a weird match based on morality and melodrama. JONAH vs Archer was a good big man match despite JONAH’s limitations, and the main event felt like two broken down wrestlers having a main event now they are one year older.

G1 Climax 32 was New Japan’s opportunity to freshen things up. While the likes of Lawlor, JONAH, and Archer add something, ultimately this tournament has felt like it had the weaknesses of last year’s G1 Climax (Lower quality talent, clap crowds) and they added a new weakness with the way that they have dealt with the four blocks. This is a tournament that will be seen as a low point for New Japan, and yet again I can only hope that New Japan learns its lessons. 

About Mark Buckeldee 61 Articles
Hailing from Oxfordshire in the UK, Mark Buckeldee writes show reports for POST Wrestling.