7/17 NJPW G1 Climax Tournament Night 2 results: Vetter’s review of Shingo Takagi vs. Juice Robinson, Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Kenta, Jonah vs. Toru Yano, and Tomohiro Ishii vs. Taichi in tournament matches

By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

New Japan Pro Wrestling “G1 Climax Tournament Night 2”
July 17, 2022 in Hokkaido, Japan at Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center
Streamed live on New Japan World

This is a 28-man round-robin tournament, which is spread out over 20 shows held in a 33-day span. There are four blocks, each comprised of seven wrestlers. Thus, each competitor has six tournament matches. Most of the 20 events have between four and six tournament matches. This is the first year there have been four blocks since 2000.

Kevin Kelly and Chris Charlton provided live commentary from ringside.

1. Yoshi-Hoshi and David Finlay defeated Tom Lawlor and Royce Isaacs at 7:29. Kelly talked about how Lawlor is the smallest man in the A Block, also dubbed “the monster block” because it has several super-heavyweights. Finlay pinned Isaacs to win the match.

2. Bad Luck Fale and El Phantasmo defeated Taka Michinoku and Lance Archer at 8:20. Phantasmo kept grabbing his sore jaw on the way to the ring, selling the effects of a Hidden Blade forearm to his jaw a day ago. Archer and Fale teased running at each other, but they stopped at the center of the ring, and decided to have a test of strength instead. Fale gave Taka the Tongan Massage Parlor, standing on his back, with Taka screaming in pain. The big men brawled on the floor, allowing Phantasmo to nail a superkick on Taka for the pin. Fale and Archer continued to jaw at each other, leading toward their G1 match.

3. Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb, Aaron Henare, and Great-O-Khan defeated EVIL, Sho, Yujiro Takahashi, and Dick Togo at 10:26. Lots of comedy stuff early as they tried to out-cheat each other, with Togo accidentally injuring his partners. Henare got EVIL in the Full Nelson, which the announcers are really push as a legit finisher for Henare. In more comedy spots, Cobb had Sho and Togo alone in the ring and they were terrified. Cobb slammed them both. Henare applied the Full Nelson on Togo, who tapped out.

4. Jay White and Chase Owens defeated Tama Tonga and Jado at 7:32. Owens hit a pair of V-Trigger knee strikes to Jado’s chest for the clean pin.

5. Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, and Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Sanada, Bushi, and Tetsuya Naito at 6:51. Tanahashi hit the High Fly Flow frogsplash on Bushi for the pin.

6.) Taichi (2) defeated Tomohiro Ishii (0) in a B Block tournament match at 15:24. They opened with an intense lockup, and Taichi kicked him, causing Ishii to go down and sell being disoriented. Ishii unloaded a series of forearms and chops in the corner at 2:30. Taichi caught him with an enzuigiri in the corner, and they were both down. Ishii hit chops; Taichi came back with spin kicks. Ishii hit a high belly-to-back suplex at 6:30. Ishii hit a second-rope superplex for a nearfall.

They hit simultaneous clotheslines. Taichi hit another enzuigiri and a standing powerbomb for a believable nearfall at 10:00. Taichi hit a Saito Suplex for another believable nearfall. Ishii caught him with a dropkick. Taichi countered with his own dropkick at 12:30. Ishii hit a German Suplex and a hard clothesline for a one-count. Taichi hit a belly-to-back suplex for a believable nearfall. Ishii hit an enziguri and a basement clothesline for a nearfall. Taichi escaped a brainbuster attempt and hit an enzuigiri. Taichi hit Black Mephisto/Air Raid Crash for the clean pin.

7. Toru Yano (2) defeated Jonah (0) (w/Bad Dude Tito) via count-out in an A Block tournament match at 8:57. Yano threw a shirt over Jonah’s head and got a schoolboy rollup for a nearfall. Jonah confiscated some rolls of tape he found on Yano. Yano bailed to the floor, but Jonah and Tito threw him back in. Jonah applied a bearhug on the mat, but Yano reached the ropes at 4:00.

Jonah missed a senton, and Yano immediately removed a corner pad. However, Jonah splashed him into that corner. Yano got another schoolboy rollup for a nearfall. Jonah hit a bodyslam and a rolling shoulder tackle at 6:30. Yano nailed a belly-to-belly suplex, and they were both down. Jonah hit a senton for a nearfall. Jonah went for the frogsplash, but Yano wisely rolled to the floor. Jonah whipped him into the guardrails. However, Yano hit a double low blow on Jonah and Tito, then he ran into the ring; Jonah tried to get in the ring but was counted out.

8. Zack Sabre Jr. (2) defeated Kenta (0) in a C Block tournament match at 21:34. They argued at the bell and traded Mafia Kicks. They brawled to the floor, and Kenta whipped Zack into the guardrail, then he hit a DDT on the concrete floor at 3:00. Back in the ring, Kenta was in charge. However, Sabre went to work on the left leg, twisting it first in the ring ropes, then in the guardrails on the floor. Sabre applied a bow-and-arrow submission hold at 7:30 in the ring.

They took turns allowing each other to hit kicks to their back. Sabre began working on the left arm, and he twisted at Kenta’s fingers. Kenta applied a crossface at 13:00. Sabre applied a Dragon Sleeper on the mat. They began trading European Uppercuts and hard strikes, before simultaneous kicks that knocked them both down at 15:00. Kenta hit a DDT as Sabre’s feet were in the ropes, and they were both down again. Kenta hit a running kick in the corner, then a dropkick in the corner, and a top-rope double stomp to the chest for a nearfall at 17:30.

Kenta began hitting a series of palm strikes to the cheek and neck. Sabre applied a sleeper hold on the mat, then he switched to an ankle lock. Sabre ran toward Kenta, but Kenta caught him with a knee strike to the jaw or chest. Kenta then hit a shining wizard running knee for a believable nearfall at 20:00. Kenta hit a second one, but he pulled up Sabre at the two-count! Kenta unloaded several more palm strikes. Suddenly, Sabre grabbed him and applied another ankle lock, cranked on the leg, and Kenta tapped out! A really good heel-heel matchup.

9. Juice Robinson (2) defeated Shingo Takagi (0) in a D Block tournament match at 21:46. Juice Robinson still has the U.S. title that he was stripped of due to missing a month with appendecitis. Robinson attacked him from behind before Shingo even took off his robe. They brawled to the floor, with Juice whipping Shingo into the guardrails. In the ring, Shingo hit a suplex for a nearfall, and he grounded Juice on the mat. Juice peppered Shingo with a series of punches and chops in the corner and he was dominating the action. He hit a senton for a nearfall at 6:30.

Shingo nailed a belly-to-back suplex, and they were both down at 8:30. Shingo hit a series of punches and a DDT. Shingo hit some Moxley-style elbow strikes to the head. Juice fired back with a shotgun drdopkick and a rolling cannonball in the corner for a nearfall at 11:30. THey fought on the ropes in the corner with Juice hitting a second-rope superplex. Juice nailed a Lungblower over his knees. Shingo came back with a Gory Bomb, and they were both down at 14:30.

Shingo nailed a wheelbarrow overhead suplex and he hit the basement clothesline for a nearfall. Shingo nailed the Pumping Bomber clothesline for a believable nearfall at 17:30. The traded clotheslines and headbutts; it is definitely hot in the building and the sweat is flying off them. Juice hit the Pulp Friction/double-arm faceplant for a believable nearfall. They hit simultaneous clotheslines and were both stunned. Juice nailed the Left Hand of God punch, but Shingo countered with his own punch at 21:00. Shingo went for Last of the Dragon, but Juice escaped and hit two more left-handed punches to the jaw. Juice hit Pulp Friction to score the pin. That was a shocker.

* Juice got on the mic and ran through the names of the other men in his block. He declared he is still the U.S. Champion. “One down, five to go. Nobody touches me!” he declared, then ended with a simple “F— you,” dropped the mic, and left the ring.

Final Thoughts: The main event was really good, and I truly never expected Shingo to lose. Really good match that will help Juice moving forward, and it puts Shingo in the chase position the rest of the tournament.

Most heel-heel matches don’t work because either the crowd sits quietly, indifferent of the winner, or even worse, one becomes a babyface just for this one match. Sabre and Kenta continue to have great heel-heel matchups without losing the crowd.

I am huge fans of Ishii and Jonah, and it really hurt to see them lose consecutive matches. If I was booker, Toru Yano would win as much as his WWE counterpart, R-Truth.

The show clocked in at just over three hours. The tournament takes two days off before resuming on Wednesday.

SPECIAL EPISODE

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