Wrestling Review: NJPW G1 Climax 32 (2022) (Night 20 – The Final)

[Please note: there are full spoilers for the entire G1 Climax 32. Please read about all of the previous nights of action here.]

It all comes down to this, as Kazuchika Okada and Will Ospreay go head to head in the main event, where the victor will be crowned the winner of the G1 Climax 32. Kazuchika Okada has previously won the tournament three times, including the shocking but ultimately unsatisfying victory last year over Kota Ibushi via injury, and will be looking to join two incredibly exclusive clubs if he can defeat Will Ospreay: become a four time overall winner, and a G1 Climax winner in back to back years. Though yet to win a G1 Climax, Will Ospreay has been a former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and is the reigning IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion and RevPro Undisputed British Heavyweight Champion at the same time. One match will decide the outcome of the G1 Climax 32, and the event will be stacked with tag team matches presenting all competitors a chance to upset a champion and earn a title match of their own, or for the reigning champs to solidify their dominance. Of special note, the Good Brothers, Karl Anderson and DOC Gallows will compete in their first two-on-two tag team match in New Japan Pro Wrestling since February of 2016 when they battle David Finlay and Hiroshi Tanahashi, and two of the NJPW Strong mainstays collide as TMDK battle Team Filthy.

+ Kazuchika Okada (A Block Winner) vs Will Ospreay (D Block Winner) (G1 Climax 32 Final): it is no surprise that this was great. Ospreay looked incredible and very easily hung with Okada, who is clearly one of the best in the world, if not one of the best of all time. I still love that hook kick that Ospreay can seemingly hit from any angle at any time, and Okada’s offence is always so crisp and perfectly timed. There is not a huge amount to say other than this was really good and well worth watching
+ Tama Tonga & KUSHIDA vs BULLET CLUB (Jay White & Taiji Ishimori): this was another match that I think would be great in any singles combination as well, and that is what makes a tag match good. Jay White is still on fire, and Tama has improved so much that their interactions were great, and of course KUSHIDA is getting back into his groove with Ishimori as a perfect opponent. This was good
+ Los Ingobernables de Japon (Shingo Takagi & Hiromu Takahashi) vs BULLET CLUB (El Phantasmo & KENTA): I don’t think there’s a combo of these four that wouldn’t be a fantastic singles match, so this was destined to be great from the moment it was announced. Great comedy, great action, and a great aftermath, this was perfect in what it was trying to do
+ Suzuki-gun (Lance Archer, Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.) vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI & SANADA): this was really good, thanks in no small part to how much I enjoy an unhinged ZSJ. Sabre’s interactions with Naito were great, and the way Lance Archer seemed to fit immediately back into the heavyweight division has been impressive. This wasn’t a match of the year contender, but I really enjoyed it for what it was
+ TMDK (JONAH & Bad Dude Tito) vs Team Filthy (Tom Lawlor & Royce Isaacs): I cannot get over how much the NJPW crowd loves JONAH. Everything he does gets a verbal reaction from the crowd, and it gives me goosebumps every time. Isaacs and Tito got a long time to do their own thing, and Tito is starting to remind me of a young Scott Steiner. I hope to see more of all four of these guys in future NJPW events

David Finlay & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs The Good Brothers (Karl Anderson & DOC Gallows): I wanted to like this, but frankly I just don’t care for the Good Brothers back in NJPW. Finlay had a great G1 tournament, and Tanahashi is on the way down, so this seemed like a good match to get Finlay that big win outside of a tournament ‘upset’. I dunno, but the GBs need to do something to get my interest
United Empire (Great-O-Khan, Jeff Cobb & Aaron Henare) vs BULLET CLUB (Bad Lucke Fale, Juice Robinson & Chase Owens): this was fine but nothing special. I think I’ve seen this same match a million times now, and Juice is already starting to feel like he’s falling down the card too much for my liking
CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii, YOH, YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto) vs HOUSE OF TORTURE (Dick Togo, SHO, Yujiro Takahashi & EVIL): absolutely nothing happening tag match. I don’t think Ishii or EVIL did anything of note at all, the majority of offence was Dick Togo getting beaten up

Should you watch this event: This was not strictly a one match show, but just the idea of the G1 Final could sell out a show by itself. As above, most of the undercard tag matches were well worth watching if you just want to see this event in full, but go out of your way to see the Okada/Ospreay final.

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