8/2 NJPW G1 Climax Tournament Night 10 results: Vetter’s review of Will Ospreay vs. David Finlay, Hirooki Goto vs. Kenta, Tama Tonga vs. Sanada, Toru Yano vs. Tom Lawlor, and Tomohiro Ishii vs. Great O Khan in tournament matches

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

New Japan Pro Wrestling “G1 Climax Tournament Night 10”
August 2, 2022 in Shizouka, Japan at Hamamatsu Arena
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. On this show — the halfway point of the tournament — we have five Block matches. For four wrestlers here — Tomohiro Ishii, Sanada, David Finlay and Toru Yano — this will already be their fourth tournament match.

Kevin Kelly provided commentary from ringside. After having El Phantasmo, then Tom Lawlor, in the booth the past two shows, Lance Archer will join Kelly to call the five tournament matches. Worth noting that Kelly said it is nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit there, and that will impact wrestlers.

1. Jeff Cobb and Aaron Henare defeated Jonah and Bad Dude Tito at 7:28. Jonah and Cobb opened against each other; they recently wrestled two consecutive nights in the U.S., with each winning once, and they’ll meet soon in A Block action. They had a basic tie-up before tagging in Henare and Tito. Jonah hit a Stinger Splash on Henare at 3:00. Cobb ‘surfed’ on Tito’s back. Cobb and Jonah re-entered at 6:00 and traded clotheslines, then headbutts, with both stumbling backward and falling to the mat. Henare hit a brainbuster on Tito for the pin.

2. Sho, Dick Togo, EVIL, and Yujiro Takahashi defeated Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi, Lance Archer, and Taka Michinoku at 9:14. Two heel teams, and the crowd was quiet. All eight brawled at the bell, but suddenly it was just Togo and Archer in the ring. They do the big man/little man spot where Archer just has his hand out, resting on Togo’s head, and Togo is swinging at Archer but can’t reach him. EVIL choked Sabre on the floor. The Bullet Club was working over Taichi. EVIL and Sabre traded some good mid-ring offense. Taka tagged in at 8:00 and traded offense with Sho. Taka tied up Sho with a Crossface move on the mat. Sho hit Taka with his wrench to score the pin. Poor Taka can’t get a win on this tour; this was his best shot, with Togo on the other side.

3. Chase Owens, Bad Luck Fale, and El Phantasmo defeated Tetsuya Naito, Bushi, and Shingo Takagi at 6:53. Shingo and ELP opened, and the LIJ team all took turns working over Phantasmo. Fale entered at 3:00 and beat on Naito. Bushi hit a lungblower to Owens’ chest for a nearfall at 6:00. However, Owens hit the package piledriver to pin Bushi. A fairly basic match.

4. Yoshi-Hoshi, Kazuchika Okada, and Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Jay White, Juice Robinson, and Gedo at 7:54. Okada and White, both 3-0 and leading their respective blocks, opened the match, but White ducked a hook-up, allowing Juice to attack Okada from behind. All six brawled on the floor. In the ring, Juice worked over Tanahashi’s knee. On the floor, White slammed Tanahashi repeatedly into the guardrail at 3:30. Yoshi-Hoshi finally made the hot tag at 5:30 and traded blows with Juice. Juice nailed a Spinebuster. Yoshi-Hoshi locked in a double-arm submission hold, similar to a Rings of Saturn, and Gedo tapped out.

* Intermission, with Lance Archer joining Kelly on commentary. Archer talked about how Great-O-Khan was still a Young Lion when Archer was last competing in New Japan.

5. Great-O-Khan (2) defeated Tomohiro Ishii (2) in a B Block match at 12:57. GOK immediately applied a cross-armbreaker. Good standing switches and this is intense. Ishii hit a shoulder tackle at 3:00 that dropped O-Khan, and he applied an anklelock. O-Khan unloaded his Mongolian Chops on Ishii at 5:30, and they traded forearm shots, and Ishii collapsed. They traded suplexes. and O-Khan hit a clothesline at 7:30. GOK hit a Mafia Kick. Ishii fired back with a Tiger Suplex at 10:00, then an enziguri. GOK avoided the brainbuster. They traded stiff, sickening headbutts. Great-O-Khan hit the Eliminator, a Claw-to-the-face chokeslam, for the pin. Really good match. At 1-3, Ishii is eliminated.

6. Tom Lawlor (w/Royce Isaacs) (2) defeated Toru Yano (2) in an A Block match at 10:19. They opened with silliness, with Lawlor having DVDs of “Sister Act” and “Sister Act 2”, and he traded the cases for the DVDs that Yano is always peddling. It was nearly three minutes in before they finally touched. Lawlor hit a series of knee strikes to the head at 4:30, then he applied a cross-armbreaker on the mat, and Yano bailed to the floor. Yano taped Isaacs to the guardrail.

In the ring, Yano crashed into a corner where the ring pad had been removed. Yano hit a belly-to-belly suplex, and they were both down at 8:00. Yano catapulted Lawlor into an exposed corner and got a rollup for a nearfall. Yano hit a low blow and got a nearfall. Yano tried another low blow but Lawlor no-sold it. Lawlor hit a kneestrike to the back of Yano’s head and got the pin. Lawlor reached into his shorts and pulled out a cup that protected him from the low blow. The expected outcome. Meh.

7. Tama Tonga (w/Jado) (4) defeated Sanada (4) in a B Block match at 16:26. Good reversals. Archer talked about having recently faced Tama’s younger brother, Hikuleo, in AEW. Tama avoided the Paradise Lock. Sanada took a breather, then he got the Paradise Lock in at 3:30. Sanada hit a snap suplex and was in charge. Tonga hit a high belly-to-back suplex for a nearfall at 7:00. Sanada nailed a dropkick, then a plancha to the floor. Tama hit the Tongan Twist/swinging faceplant, and they were both down at 10:00.

Tama hit the rolling Death Valley Driver, then a top-rope frogsplash for a nearfall; he was fired up and ripped off his jacket. Sanada hit a springboard missile dropkick, then a TKO stunner for a nearfall at 12:30. Sanada went for a moonsault, but Tama got his knees up. Tama went for a Gun Stun, but in a nice spot, Sanada caught him and applied the Skull End chokehold. Tama reached the ropes. They traded mid-ring forearm shots at 15:00. Tama hit a DDT for a believable nearfall.

Tama again went for Gun Stun, but Sanada avoided it again. Sanada got the O’Connor roll for a believable nearfall. Tama hopped up, hit the Gun Stun/stunner and scored the pin. That was really good and among my favorite non-main event tournament matches over 10 shows.

8. Kenta (2) defeated Hirooki Goto (4) in a C Block match at 18:07. An intense lockup to start. Kenta is 0-2 and Goto is 2-0, so I fully expect Kenta to win. They brawled to the floor, and Kenta clocked him with the ring bell. Kenta was in charge, applying a sleeper on the mat at 5:00. Kenta hit a running boot in the corner at 7:30. Goto hit a clothesline, and they were both down. Archer said he was going to steal the U.S. Title and take it back to AEW. “That is just what that company needs, another belt,” Kelly replied.

Kenta hit a top-rope clothesline for a nearfall at 10:00. He hit a DDT as Goto’s feet were in the ropes, then a running shotgun dropkick in the corner. They traded stiff forearm shots, and Goto dropped him with a headbutt at 13:30. Goto hit his neckbreaker over his knee for a nearfall. The referee got bumped. Kenta grabbed Goto’s staff, and they fought for control of it. Kenta hit a low blow and shoved Goto into the ref at 15:30. Kenta hit Goto with the staff, then a top-rope double stomp to the chest for a believable nearfall. Kenta hit a Shining Wizard knee strike for a believable nearfall, then the Go To Sleep knee strike for the pin.

9. David Finlay (6) defeated Will Ospreay (4) in a D Block match at 15:34. Finlay came to ringside with Ospreay’s U.S. title. They traded mid-ring forearms at the bell, then they brawled on the floor. Ospreay tied him up in the ring. Finaly hit a backbreaker over his knee at 6:00, then a flying forearm for a nearfall. Finlay nailed a top-rope superplex for a nearfall at 10:30. Ospreay nailed the springboard Oscutter for a nearfall at 13:00. Ospreay set up for a Hidden Blade, but Finlay ducked it. Ospreay went for another Oscutter, but Finlay caught him and hit a stunner.

Finlay hit a Sliced Bread #2 out of the corner for a believable nearfall at 14:30. The crowd is really hot. Ospreay again missed a Hidden Blade, and Finlay nailed The Trash Panda, a Snow Plow move over his knee, for the clean pin. I truly didn’t see that coming. At 3-1, Finlay is now leading the D Block.

* Finlay said the next time Ospreay defends that U.S. title, it should be against him. He told Ospreay that every time he looks at the belt, he should think of David Finlay. “This is my time. Do you believe me when I say I am winning the G1 Climax?”

Final Thoughts: A good main event with a pleasant surprise in one of the biggest upsets of the tournament. With both Ospreay and Goto losing, it leaves just Okada and Jay White as undefeated in the tournament.  As good as that was, I’ll still give Sanada-Tama Tonga best match of the night, while Kenta-Goto came in a little below expectations.

Archer was a nice addition on commentary, and he provided some good insights, but he clearly hasn’t been following New Japan in the past two years. He didn’t know some of the storylines; he wasn’t up-to-date on Sanada’s eye injury or O-Khan having “exclusive rights” to the Mongolian Chops.

Yes, Jonah is one of my favorites, but he is consistently having the best non-tournament matches. Maybe it’s because he’s always in tag matches with Tito and getting more ring time than the guys in six- and eight-man tags, but it’s been great watching him interact with all the top New Japan talent in fresh matchups.

The show clocked in at about three hours. The tournament takes two days off before returning on Friday.

SPECIAL EPISODE

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