Wrestling Review: NJPW G1 Climax 32 (2022) (Night 6)

New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) presents the G1 Climax 32, this year featuring 28 competitors across four blocks of seven. Each competitor in the four blocks will face all the others in their block once, with points being determined in the following ways: any win is worth 2 points; any loss is worth 0 points; a tie with no clear winner (such as a 30 minute time limit draw) is worth 1 point each. The overall point leaders at the end of the the tournament enter a 4-way elimination play off, with the final winner earning the main event championship match at Wrestle Kingdom.

[Please note: to save myself some time, I will only review the tournament matches themselves. If there is a particularly interesting preliminary match up, I’ll tell you about it. You can catch up with all previous days of action here.]

We are half a dozen nights into the G1 Climax 32, as competitors being to take control of, or flounder in, their respective blocks. In the main event of this sixth night of action, former friends turned bitter enemies, and former tag team champions together, go head to head in the D Block as the fourth generation David Finlay battles “Rock Hard” Juice Robinson. In the A Block, the much anticipated NJPW debut of “Filthy” Tom Lawlor will happened against an especially pissed off Lance Archer, following Archer’s shock loss to Bad Luck Fale just a few nights ago. The Bullet Club continues to face some inner-tensions, as KENTA of the main group battles EVIL, the leader of the House of Torture offshoot, and Great-O-Khan looks to halt the momentum of Chase Owens in the same building where Owens shocked the world last year, defeating Hiroshi Tanahashi.

+ David Finlay vs Juice Robinson (G1 Climax D Block Match): one of my pet peeves with big grudge matches is how they too quickly devolve back into a regular wrestling match. Such was not the case here, as these two went at it for the entire match length, making it really feel like a true grudge match. I’ve always had a soft spot for Juice, and Finlay has been a bit up and down across his career, but it is matches like this that show he could be something really special if given the chance, and considering his in-built ties to Juice and Jay White from when they were young lions, things might be looking up for Finlay
+ Tom Lawlor vs Lance Archer (G1 Climax 32 A Block Match): I have been really looking forward to Tom Lawlor’s debut, and to see how the crowd might take to his more unsavoury antics, and I was not disappointed. This was lots of fun, albeit with some too highly choreographed moments, but the power and aggression of Archer was a great foil to the MMA striking and submission background of Lawlor
+ Great-O-Khan vs Chase Owens (G1 Climax 32 B Block Match): overall this was perfectly fine, but the action starting at 100 per cent and never quite stopped to let the moments breathe. I don’t know if I’d necessary call it “a bit too busy” but in some ways that’s what it was. Off the top of my head these two have no rivalry to speak out, outside of a few World Tag League encounters, so I was surprised at the way this started, and the way it finished

KENTA vs EVIL (G1 Climax 32 C Block Match): this was disappointing. Commentary put over the fantastic battle they had in 2019, before EVIL joined the Bullet Club, and I was kind of hoping it would be that stiff, dangerous style of match. Unfortunately, as is the case with most EVIL matches these days, that was not the case, and this floundered as a result

Should you watch this event: With Filthy Tom’s debut and that Juice/Finlay main event, this was a fun show. I was disappointed with EVIL/KENTA but I guess it wasn’t a super negative match overall, which puts this was a quick and easy quartet of matches to watch.

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