EVIL looks to knock Tetsuya Naito out of the G1 in the pick of today’s block matches.
G1 Climax 32 – Block A: Jeff Cobb pinned Lance Archer in 11:37 (***¼)
G1 Climax 32 – Block D: YOSHI-HASHI pinned Juice Robinson in 12:16 (***½)
G1 Climax 32 – Block B: Jay White pinned Chase Owens in 13:12 (**½)
G1 Climax 32 – Block A: Kazuchika Okada submitted Bad Luck Fale in 11:52 (**¼)
G1 Climax 32 – Block C: Tetsuya Naito pinned EVIL in 24:54 (***¼)
We’re back in Aichi’s Dolphin’s Arena as we’re getting five G1 matches from here on in. Kevin Kelly is on commentary alongside Tom Lawlor for these G1 matches.
G1 Climax 32 – Block A: Jeff Cobb vs. Lance Archer
Just the one prior singles meeting according to Cagematch here, with Cobb beatring Archer during the New Beginning in USA tour in February 2020.
Both Cobb and Archer go in 1-1 in their block, while Archer was promising some lucha. I’ve a feeling that’s to troll someone… much like lowering a fask mask to throw a slap. We start with the big lads shoulder tackles, then leapfrogs and armdrags, before Archer floated over Cobb… only to get charged down. Cobb tries to Cena it, but ends up getting hit with elbows and a dropkick to end the lucha stuff. WAIT… Archer teases a dive, but heads into the apron before he cannonballed into Cobb and Yuto Nakashima on the floor. Poor sod. The pair jockey for a suplex on the floor before Archer just popped up Cobb into the ropes on the apron side of the ring, before a chokeslam onto the edge of the ring left the Olympian laying.
Back inside, Archer throws some rights before he went for a rope-walk… only for Cobb to pull him off the top rope into a Spin Cycle. Cobb followed that with a whip back into the corner, then a running suplex for good measure. Standing on Archer’s chest and balls, Cobb goes surfing, before he threw some clotheslines… Archer leaps for a crossbody, but got caught, only to counter back into a DDT. Archer adds another crossbody, taking Cobb down for a two-count, but Cobb’s back with a throat thrust and a dropkick as Archer teased a POUNCE. Archer kicks out at one, then at two from a standing moonsault, before Archer countered out of a Tour of the Islands and launched in with a POUNCE. Or a Derailer, your call!
A Hellacoaster/Black Hole Slam followed from Archer for a near-fall, before Cobb got planted with a chokeslam for another near-fall. Archer’s swinging for the fences here, only to miss a charge as Cobb rolled him up out of the corner. Lance is right back up for a big boot, then a running elbow to Cobb in the corner, before he got lifted up top as Archer teased a superplex. Cobb counters out though, headbutting Archer to the mat… only to get caught with a step-up knee as Archer then went for the Blackout. Again, Cobb escaped, but his German suplex is shrugged off by Archer who went for another chokeslam… he takes another German though, then another, before Archer was given a Tour of the Islands for the win. Going ten minutes, this one was a pretty good big lads’ match, and one that I’m pretty sure I’d have loved live. ***¼
Next up for Lance Archer is Toru Yano on August 6, while Cobb has JONAH on August 5.
G1 Climax 32 – Block D: Juice Robinson vs. YOSHI-HASHI
There’s been one prior singles meeting, with Juice getting the win in the G1 two years ago…
Juice attacked YOSHI-HASHI from behind to start the match, throwing left hands before he chucked YOSHI-HASHI to the outside. YOSHI-HASHI gets chucked repeatedly into the guard rails as I clocked how Lawlor was rocking (at least) double denim on commentary. Triple, if the shorts were being rocked. Commitment to the cause. Back inside, Juice pulls up YOSHI-HASHI for a piledriver for a near-fall, which led to Juice berating the referee and then chucking YOSHI-HASHI back to the floor. Up comes some of the padding on the outside, as a piledriver on the wooden floor was blocked… so YOSHI-HASHI ends up ‘rana’ing Juice into the ring post.
Both men manage to beat the 20-count back in, as YOSHI-HASHI targeted Juice with chops in the corner. Juice tries to swing back, but YOSHI-HASHI keeps chopping him, stopping only at the five minute time call. A kick to the leg of Juice sets up for a suplex into the ropes ahead of the dropkick to the back of a hanging Juice, then a low one for just a one-count. YOSHI-HASHI gets cut off with an elbow in the ropes though, but manages to duck a clothesline and return with a Head Hunter. More chops chip away at Juice, ahead of a Head Hunter off the top for another near-fall. Juice blocks Karma, but yep…. More chops ahead of a Kumagoroshi for a near-fall as Juice reached out to grab the bottom rope.
Juice leaps out of Karma, then charged YOSHI-HASHI into the referee… a roll-up would have won, but the ref spots the handful of tights. There’s a shoving fight as Marty Asami knocks Juice on his arse, with YOSHI-HASHI nearly capitalising… only to get a Left Hand of God in return. YOSHI-HASHI counters Pulp Friction into a back cracker, then dove in with a knee to the back for another near-fall. YOSHI-HASHI tries again for Karma, but again Juice blocks it and earned more chops and clotheslines. A superkick stings Juice, whose Western Lariat was countered into another Left Hand of God, before a Pulp Friction was countered into a snap Dragon suplex. Another Western lariat followed, before Juice ate Karma… and that’s the win for YOSHI-HASHI! Juice’s G1 is threatening to crumble after that opening win, as YOSHI-HASHI got on the board. ***½
Juice is back in action on August 5 against Yujiro Takahashi, while YOSHI-HASHI is back on August 6 against El Phantasmo.
G1 Climax 32 – Block B: Chase Owens vs. Jay White
A first-time meeting, and one that some expect shenanigans in… although I’d be stunned if they Fingerpoke of Doom’d this.
After some playful shoves, White gave Chase a heavy envelope… but wouldn’t let him count whatever was in it. Instead, White gave the envelope to Makoto Abe to keep care of, as we ended up having Chase refusing to do anything until he saw what was in it. Except it turned out the envelope was mostly full of blank pieces of paper. Smoothing things over, White gives the Fingerpoke, but is reluctant to go for the cover as he then tried to land a Blade Runner. A blindside attack on Owens was broken up by Gedo, and now Chase isn’t playing ball as he rushed in with a C-Trigger for a near-fall. Things head outside as Chase threw White into the barriers, like a less violent Stewie Griffin chasing Brian looking for his money.
Chase teases a package piledriver on the floor, but Gedo stops it as the pair head back inside. Another Blade Runner’s blunted, before Chase nearly nicked it with an inside cradle. White’s pissed off and hits a clothesline for two-counts, then a DDT for some more, before a Blade Buster nearly won it. White eats a neckbreaker as Chase began to fight back, leading up to a PK that White escaped… only to get met with a superkick as he came out of the corner. A Shining Wizard’s next for another near-fall, before Gedo began to plead with Chase as he went for a package piledriver. White throws free, only to eat a Judas Effect-ish elbow as he went for chops.
A Complete Shot keeps Jay in it, as did a Saito suplex as Chase tried to elbow free… the uranage followed for another near-fall. Chase nearly sneaks it with a roll-up, then with a C-Trigger as Gedo just watched Chase turn a package piledriver into a Styles Clash for a near-fall. One more C-Trigger’s countered as White threw Chase into the corner… but Chase adds more of those C-Trigger knees before White snapped out of a package piledriver and into a Blade Runner for the win. When this actually became a match, it was alright, but they probably could have compressed the shenanigans… **½
Chase’s next match is on August 5 against Taichi, as White takes on Great O-Khan on the 6th…
G1 Climax 32 – Block A: Bad Luck Fale vs. Kazuchika Okada
We’ve had eight prior singles meetings, and they’re not all gone Okada’s way as Fale’s won three – including two in G1s of old.
Okada charged at Fale at the bell, going for shoulder tackles, then a dropkick to the knee as he tried to take Fale down. A shoulder tackle eventually does the trick, before Okada got a two-count from a roll-up… only to get launched with a back body drop. Back inside, Okada’s caught in a bear hug, before an attempt to fight back ended with a throat thrust from Fale. Okada sidesteps a charge into the corner, returning with a DDT then with a trip into the ropes ahead of a low dropkick. Fale takes a back elbow and a bodyslam as Okada had him down once more, before a Money Clip ended with Fale powering up and charging into the corner.
Fale followed Okada outside for a whip into the rails, before a Bad Luck Fall into the crowd was countered as Okada returned with a DDT. Returning to the ring, Okada hauls up Fale for the neckbreaker slam, adding a top rope elbow drop before a Samoan drop countered the Rainmaker. A spear from Fale nearly wins it, while a lateral press from an elbow drop got Fale another two-count, before Okada dropkicked away a Grenade. Another dropkick has Fale down, but he countered the Rainmaker with a Grenade thumb strike, before the Grenade almost won it. A Bad Luck Fall looks to follow, but Okada wriggled out and hit a neckbreaker, then tied up Fale in a Money Clip, rolling him to the mat for almost a crossface variant of it for the submission. **¼
Okada’s next outing is on August 7 against JONAH, while Fale takes on Tom Lawlor on the same night.
G1 Climax 32 – Block C: EVIL vs. Tetsuya Naito
There’s been five prior singles matches here, but the bulk of them came in 2020 after EVIL left for Bullet Club. Naito’s edging ahead 3-2 here, with not a single one of those matches going under 20-minutes.
EVIL swung for Naito before the bell, going for Everything is EVIL as the match started on the outside, before Naito’d had a chance to undress. Chucking EVIL into the rails buys him time to unbutton his shirt and remove the rest, while EVIL went under the ring and slid a chair in. The referee takes it, as Naito feigned a dive before he pulled EVIL into the ropes by his hair. An early attempt at Combinacion Cabron’s kicked away as Dick Togo removed a corner pad… with Naito running into that exposed corner seconds later. Heading outside, Naito hits the railings, then again as EVIL targeted Makoto Abe and his timekeeper’s table. With everyone distracted, EVIL pulls out some more chairs, then hurtled Naito chest-first into and over the barriers.
EVIL grabs a chair and plays baseball with Naito, who couldn’t get the chair off his head as we eventually started the count-out. Naito rolls in on 18, and after my feed dropped a little, he’s able to hit back with a low dropkick to EVIL. A snap armdrag and a low dropkick has Naito pushing further ahead, leading to Combinacion Cabron in the corner before EVIL powdered to escape a tease of Destino. EVIL tries to capitalise with a chair shot, but Naito ducks and hits one of his own as Red Shoes Unno played hear no evil as Naito returned the favour on the earlier home run with the chairs. Back inside, EVIL’s lifted up top, but he slips out and tripped Naito into the ropes to escape the top rope ‘rana, before we go back outside as EVIL chucked Naito back into the timekeeper’s table.
Naito’s taken back inside for stomps, then a backbreaker, ahead of a Darkness Scorpion as Naito got to the ropes to eventually force the break. Darkness Falls is next for a two-count, before Naito hit back with a diving kick. Heading up top, Naito’s just lariat’d to the floor as EVIL signalled for Dick Togo to pull out and set up a table. Naito blocks a Darkness Falls into the table, before he sent Dick Togo into the rails… EVIL’s sent into them too, as he’s sent back first flipping over them into the crowd. That had to suck. We return to the ring again as Naito sized up EVIL for some elbows to the side of the neck. More elbows stop Everything is EVIL as Naito then ran in for a Destino, which only gets a near-fall.
An enziguiri staggers EVIL, but he shoved Naito into the referee as a low blow behind the referee’s back equalised things. EVIL and Dick Togo take Naito onto the apron as they called for a Magic Killer through the table, but Naito escaped, then hot shotted Dick to the floor, kicked the rope repeatedly into EVIL before Naito leapt off the apron and piledrove EVIL through the table. Both men were rocked by that fall through the table, with Tom Lawlor noting how dense those Japanese tables can be. Naito’s back is bloodied from it, but he’s able to head back inside to dump EVIL with Esperanza… before EVIL charged Naito into the corner to block a Destino.
A lariat from EVIL caught Naito out of the corner for a near-fall, before Naito countered out of Everything is EVIL with a Koppo kick. Naito pushed on with a forearm and a Destino… but EVIL blocked it, only for Naito to push off of Dick Togo on the apron for a tornado DDT. Valentia spikes EVIL next, before Destino finally put him away. This dragged a little at times, but I’ll take that over a match filled with lights going out, run-ins and weaponry. ***¼
EVIL has Hiroshi Tanahashi on August 5, as Naito takes on Aaron Henare on the same night.
Your standings then…
Block A: Okada (3-0 / 6pts); Cobb (2-1 / 4pts); Fale (2-2 / 4pts); JONAH (1-1 / 2pts); Archer, Yano (1-2 / 2pts); Lawlor (0-2 / 0pts)
Block B: White (3-0 / 6pts); SANADA (2-1 / 4pts); Taichi, Tonga (1-1 / 2pts); Ishii, Owens (1-2 / 2pts); O-Khan (0-2 / 0pts)
Block C: Goto (2-0 / 4pts); Tanahashi, Zack Sabre Jr. (2-1 / 4pts); EVIL, Henare, Naito (1-2 / 2pts); KENTA (0-2 / 0pts)
Block D: Ospreay (2-0 / 4pts); Finlay (2-1 / 4pts); Phantasmo, YOSHI-HASHI (1-1 / 2pts); Robinson, Takagi, Yujiro (1-2 / 2pts)
There’s just one day off as the G1 returns in Shizuoka on Tuesday, with David Finlay and Will Ospreay main eventing there.
I’m not going to say the line, as this night of the G1 felt like the crowd in Aichi were a little flatter than yesterday at times. Okada/Fale was played to almost silence (even for a clap crowd), which was a little disappointing.