8/13 NJPW G1 Climax Tournament Night 16 results: Vetter’s review of  Jay White vs. Taichi, Will Ospreay vs. Yoshi-Hashi, Shingo Takagi vs. Yujjiro Takahashi, Jeff Cobb vs. Toru Yano, and Aaron Henare vs. Kenta in tournament matches

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

New Japan Pro Wrestling “G1 Climax Tournament Night 16”
August 13, 2022 in Tokyo, Japan at Machida Gymnasium
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 we have five Block matches.

Kevin Kelly and Chris Charlton provided commentary from ringside. Welcome to night 16! In baseball terminology, we are in the eighth inning, as some wrestlers have already finished their six-match tournament, and others will wrap up here. Of the 10 wrestlers in singles competition tonight… if you had told me at the start of the tournament that Yujiro Takahashi (6 points) would be ahead of Jeff Cobb, Will Ospreay and Shingo Takagi (4 points each) and Kenta (2 points) at this point in the tournament, I wouldn’t have believed you. Thus, I think the winners of tonight’s matches are fairly straight-forward; we’ll see if I’m right.

1. Juice Robinson, El Phantasmo, Chase Owens, and Bad Luck Fale defeated Jado, Tama Tonga, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and David Finlay at 7:33. All eight brawled at the bell. Tanahashi and Juice traded good offense early. The heels began working over Hiroshi, with Fale standing on Tanahashi’s back at 4:00. Tama finally made the hot tag, and he hit a Stinger Splash on Owens for a nearfall at 6:00. Tanahashi hit a swinging neckbreaker on Juice. Gedo got a rollup for a nearfall on Owens. However, Owens hit a running kneestrike on Jado for the pin. Decent opener.

2. Jonah and Bad Dude Tito vs. Tom Lawlor and Royce Isaacs at 10:11. Jonah and Royce started, then Lawlor entered to combat Tito, and the announcers talked about how hot it is, both outside and in the building. On the floor, Jonah hit his running body slam on Lawlor at 5:00, and he worked over Lawlor in the ring. Royce finally made the hot tag at 8:00 and traded blows with Tito. Isaacs hit a nice pop-up rising knee strike. Jonah hit a standing release powerbomb to pin Isaacs. Jonah’s tag matches continue to be the highlight of the undercards.

3) Tetsuya Naito & Bushi & Sanada defeated Lance Archer & Zack Sabre Jr. & Taka Michinoku at 8:42. Sabre and Naito started, and by all indications, these two will meet and determine the winner of the block. They avoided each other’s big offensive moves with neither man really gaining an advantage. Archer entered at 3:00 and beat up Bushi. The heels began working over Bushi. Sabre re-entered and applied a cravat. Archer nailed his running elbow in the corner. Sanada made the hot tag and hit a pair of dropkicks on Archer at 6:30, then a snap suplex. Taka applied his STF on Sanada and cranked on his neck. Sabre and Naito traded forearm shots, before rolling to the floor. Sanada applied the Skull End submission hold, and Taka tapped out. Taka’s winning streak ends at one. Solid action. Sabre and Naito continued to jaw at each other.

4. Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, and Hirooki Goto defeated EVIL, Sho, and Dick Togo at 7:24. The House of Torture attacked at the bell. Okada hit a DDT on EVIL. The heels began working over Goto’s left arm. Ishii entered at 4:00 and he tossed Togo into Sho, then he hit a Saito Suplex on Sho. Sho nailed a spear on Ishii at 6:00. Togo entered and he choked Ishii with his wire. However. Ishii nailed a brainbuster to pin Togo. All four undercard matches were solid tonight.

5. Kenta (4) defeated Aaron Henare (2) in a C Block tournament match at 12:35. A disappointing tournament for both men in terms of wins. Kenta quickly bailed to the floor to stall. They brawled on the floor, with Kenta slamming Aaron’s shoulder into the ring post at 2:30. In the ring, Kenta targeted the damaged left arm. Henare hit a running knee strike in the corner at 6:00, then a senton for a nearfall. He tried to apply the Full Nelson, but Kenta avoided it. Kenta hit his DDT as Aaron’s feet were on the ropes, then a running boot in the corner at 8:00.

Kenta nailed his top-rope double stomp to the chest for a nearfall. Henare hit an awkward swinging powerbomb. Henare applied the Full Nelson, but Kenta used his legs and wrapped them around the referee to escape. Kenta hit a powerslam at 10:00, and he got Aaron up for the Go To Sleep, but Henare escaped. They traded forearm shots. Kenta applied a modified Triangle Choke, but Henare powered out and hit a powerbomb. Kenta applied a modified STF, and Henare tapped out. Good match.

6. Jeff Cobb (6) defeated Toru Yano (2) in an A Block tournament match at 4:29. Cobb came out first; Yano’s music played but he didn’t come out, so the referee eventually rang the bell and started counting. Yano snuck in the ring and got a rollup for a nearfall. They brawled to the floor with Cobb whipping Yano into the guardrail. Yano rolled up Cobb in the plastic sheet along the ring apron, and Cobb struggled to free himself, but he got in the ring. Yano stood on Cobb’s back and “surfed.” That’s gonna anger Cobb.

Cobb’s arms are somehow trapped inside his singlet, but he still hit a dropkick, and they were both down at 3:30. Finally, Cobb freed his arms. Cobb hit a belly-to-belly overhead release suplex. Yano went for a low blow, but Cobb blocked it. Cobb pulled Yano’s shirt up to cover his head and blind Yano, then he nailed the Tour of the Islands swinging powerslam for the pin. The usual Yano comedy but Cobb needed this win. Yano finishes his tournament at 1-5 with his only victory coming via count-out.

7. Shingo Takagi (6) defeated Yujiro Takahashi (w/Sho) (6) in a D Block tournament match at 15:27. Last year, these two went to a double-countout, with each getting one point. Yujiro tried to attack Shingo before the bell, but Shingo blocked it. They immediately brawled to the floor, with Shingo sending Yujiro into the guardrails. Yujiro hit a Slop Drop inverted DDT on the floor at 3:00. In the ring, Yujiro took control, hitting a Helluva Kick at 5:00. Shingo hit a bodyslam and senton, then a snap suplex for a nearfall at 7:30.

Sho grabbed Shingo’s ankle, allowing Yujiro to hit an Angle Slam for a nearfall. Yujiro tried to hit Pimp Juice DDT, but Shingo blocked it. Shingo hit the Made In Japan pump-handle slam for a nearfall at 11:30. They again fought to the floor, with Shingo slamming into the guardrail. Yujiro hit a snap suplex on the floor. Shingo hit a Death Valley Driver on the floor and rolled into the ring. (I really like how they played up the finish of their match a year ago!) Sho grabbed Yujiro and whipped him in the ring to avoid the count-out. The ref was bumped, and Yujiro hit another inverted DDT. However, Shingo nailed the Pumping Bomber clothesline, then the Made in Japan slam for the pin.

* David Finlay joined commentary. He talked a lot about the grueling nature of the tournament, and how he avoids going to see the trainer.

8. Will Ospreay (6) defeated Yoshi-Hashi (4) in a D Block tournament match at 18:38. Yoshi-Hashi has his shoulder taped again. Ospreay immediately targeted the damaged left shoulder. They rolled to the floor, with Ospreay slamming Yoshi-Hashi shoulder-first into the ring post. In the ring, Ospreay tied the arms behind Yoshi-Hashi’s back and leaned on them. Yoshi-Hashi hit a standing neckbreaker, and they were both down at 6:30. He hit a running neckbreaker and fired up, but was selling the arm injury.

Ospreay hit a plancha to the floor at 9:00. In the ring, Ospreay hit a springboard flying forearm for a nearfall. They fought on the ropes in the corner; Ospreay shoved Yoshi-Hashi to the mat, then hit a flying forearm to the back of the neck, then a Michinoku Driver for a believable nearfall at 12:00. Yoshi-Hashi hit a Dragon Suplex, and they were both down.

They traded mid-ring forearm shots. Yoshi-Hashi hit Karma/pump-handle sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall at 15:00. He hit a decapitating clothesline. Ospreay hit a stunner, then his Cloud Cutter for a believable nearfall. Yoshi-Hashi avoided the Hidden Blade. Ospreay leapt off the ropes, but Yoshi-Hashi caught him with a superkick. Yoshi-Hashi hit a Canadian Destroyer for a believable nearfall at 17:00. Yoshi-Hashi hit a fisherman’s suplex for a believable nearfall. Ospreay nailed a mid-ring Spanish Fly for a nearfall, then the Hidden Blade/running forearm to the back of the head for the pin. I never doubted Ospreay was winning here, but the last 10 minutes were really good. Yoshi-Hashi had a heck of a tournament with some memorable matches, and I’m generally not a big fan of his work.

9. Jay White (w/Gedo) (10) defeated Taichi (w/Miho Abe) (4) in a B Block tournament match at 23:15. White has missed the last two shows due to heat-related illness; however, he didn’t miss any tournament matches. A surprising choice for the main event, as this is heel-heel with Taichi the de facto babyface, so I am thinking maybe some shenanigans coming here. Lots of stalling early. White snapped Taichi throat-first over the top rope at 3:30, and he took control. White choked him with a towel, as this match remained in first gear. Taichi finally hit a spin kick to the head in the corner at 8:30, and they were both down.

Taichi hit a spin kick to the back as White was seated on the mat. White hit a Death Valley Driver at 11:30 and they were both down. White hit a Flatliner, then a German Suplex, then a uranage for a nearfall at 13:30. Taichi caught him with an enzuigiri, and they were both down. On the floor, Gedo was dragging Abe by her hair. White hit a series of chops but Taichi no-sold them. Taichi went to the floor to confront Gedo. Gedo rolled in the ring, so Taichi hit a double clothesline. Taichi hit a standing powerbomb with a jackknife cover for a nearfall at 17:30.

White hit a head-capture suplex but Taichi popped to his feet. White set up for his Killswitch spinning headplant, but Taichi blocked it. Taichi caught him with a roaring forearm for a nearfall, and they were both down at 21:00, and the crowd was rallying behind Taichi. Taichi hit a belly-to-back suplex for a nearfall. White nailed the Killswitch swinging faceplant but was too exhausted to make the cover. White hit another Killswitch for the clean pin, and White remains undefeated

* White got on the mic and taunted Yoshi-Hashi to come back to the ring, then he demanded the young boys bring him more ice. “Don’t you know I have heat stroke?” he said. “I need ice to cool down.” He mockingly thanked the fans for their well-wishes and prayers and support as he recovered from heat stroke this week.

Final Thoughts: New Japan usually picks the best match for last, but that definitely wasn’t the case here. Yoshi-Hashi and Ospreay deserved to close out this show. I love Jay White, but that may be my least favorite main event of the tournament; it wasn’t a bad match, but I have to question going heel-heel for the main event, as Taichi is just not a great babyface. So, White (5-0) will face Tama Tonga (4-1) with the victor winning the block.

I think this is the first night of the entire tournament where I correctly picked the winners of all the tournament matches. That said, I had every reason to believe Shingo, Cobb and Ospreay were going to win their matches, as none of them should finish 3-3 or 2-4.

The show lasted about three hours. The tournament resumes on Sunday, as we have just nights left of Block matches, before we have the semi-finals (Block A vs. Block B winner and Block C vs. Block D winner.)

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