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Monster upset caps off G1 Climax 32’s best weekend

There’s been good wrestling in G1 Climax 32, but heading into last weekend New Japan’s signature tournament hadn’t generated a ton of buzz. There hadn’t been must-see match, and none of the newcomers to the field were delivering or being pushed in a way that felt like a NJPW was even teasing a new main eventer.

All of those things may have changed on Sun., Aug. 7 in Osaka.

Before we get to yesterday’s main event, however, it was a strong weekend of action all around. Four of the five Block matches on Saturday are worth recommending, especially Aug. 6’s main event between former IWGP World Heavyweight champ’s Will Ospreay & Shingo Takagi. After his second loss to someone tied with or above him on the leader board, the Aerial Assassin is probably going to need some help to reach the semi-finals...

Elsewhere, the reigning IWGP champ kept his undefeated streak alive, and looks to be coasting to victory in his Block. Breathe with the Switchblade.

YOSHI-HASHI def. El Phantasmo via pinfall after Karma

• Lance Archer def. Toru Yano via pinfall after Blackout

Zack Sabre, Jr. def. Hirooki Goto via submission with an armbar

Jay White def. Great O-Khan via pinfall after Bladerunner

Shingo Takagi def. EVIL via pinfall after Last of the Dragon

Sunday’s action wasn’t as strong top-to-bottom, but the banger that closed the show got fans excited for lots of reasons. Among them was that JONAH pinning Kazuchika Okada not only ended the Rainmaker’s own hopes for running the table — it upended people’s expectations about the entire tournament.

With two matches to go for each man, fka Bronson Reed sits atop A Block holding a tiebreaker over New Japan’s current Ace! JONAH’s running buddy Bad Dude Tito did get involved at one point, but didn’t factor in the finish... which is more than can be said for the Bullet Club and House of Torture matches on Sunday’s show.

EVIL def. Aaron Henare via pinfall after Everything is EVIL

• Tom Lawlor def. Bad Luck Fale via pinfall after NKOTB

Juice Robinson def. El Phantasmo via disqualification

Chase Owens def. Tomohiro Ishii via pinfall after C-Trigger

JONAH def. Kazuchika Okada via pinfall after Torpedo

Here’s the updated standings. Asterisks indicate people who are mathematically eliminated, a group that includes my beloved Stone Pitbull:

A Block

JONAH (3-1-0): 6
Kazuchika Okada (3-1-0): 6
Bad Luck Fale (2-2-0): 4
Jeff Cobb (2-2-0): 4
Lance Archer (2-2-0): 4
Tom Lawlor (1-2-0): 2
Toru Yano (1-4-0): 2*

B Block

Jay White (4-0-0): 8
Tama Tonga (2-1-0): 4
Taichi (2-1-0): 4
SANADA (2-2-0): 4
Chase Owens (2-3-0): 4*
Great-O-Khan (1-3-0): 2*
Tomohiro Ishii (1-4-0): 2*

C Block

Hiroshi Tanahashi (3-1-0): 6
Zack Sabre Jr. (3-2-0): 6
Hirooki Goto (2-2-0): 4
Tetsuya Naito (2-2-0): 4
EVIL (2-2-0): 4
KENTA (1-2-0): 2
Aaron Henare (1-4-0): 2*

D Block

David Finlay (3-1-0): 6
YOSHI-HASHI (2-1-0): 4
Shingo Takagi (2-2-0): 4
Will Ospreay (2-2-0): 4
Yujiro Takahashi (2-2-0): 4
Juice Robinson (2-3-0): 4
El Phantasmo (1-3-0): 2

Just a small break before two more weekday card Tuesday and Wednesday. Both our surprising leaders will be action, as JONAH looks to out-hoss Lance Archer, and David Finlay will try to extend his lead and eliminate ELP in the process.

You can check out all the remaining matches on the full schedule here, and watch every show with a subscription to the NJPWWorld streaming service here. Key matches from this year’s G1 are also airing Thursday nights on New Japan’s English-language AXS series.

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