8/14 NJPW G1 Climax Tournament Night 17 results: Vetter’s review of Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kenta, Tom Lawlor vs. Jeff Cobb, Taichi vs. Great O Khan, and Yoshi-Hashi vs. David Finlay in tournament matches

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

New Japan Pro Wrestling “G1 Climax Tournament Night 17”
August 14, 2022 in Nagano, Japan at White Ring
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 four Block matches.

Kevin Kelly provided commentary from ringside. He tells us this venue was used to host the Olympics.

1.) EVIL, Sho, Yujiro Takahashi, and Dick Togo defeated Hirooki Goto, Ryohei Oiwa, Kosei Fujita, and Yuto Nakashima at 8:04. The only question here is which Young Lion is going to take the loss. Togo and Yuto started. Yujiro worked over Oiwa. Oiwa hit a dropkick on EVIL at 4:30. EVIL and Goto traded offense. Fujita entered at 6:00 and battled Sho. All three Young Lions worked over Sho, and the three all applied Boston Crabs on different opponents. However, Sho applied a cross-armbreaker, and Fujita tapped out. Decent action.

2. Will Ospreay and Aaron Henare defeated Jonah and Bad Dude Tito at 4:58. All four brawled at the bell. On the floor, Jonah hit his running body splash on Ospreay. In the ring, Jonah hit a Stinger Splash on Henare. Ospreay made the hot tag and hit a handspring-back-spin kick on Tito at 3:30. Will hit a mid-ring Spanish Fly on Tito. Ospreay hit some forearm shots on Jonah, who no-sold them. Ospreay hit a superkick on Jonah, then he hit a Hidden Blade/running forearm to Tito’s jaw to pin him. That was fun but ended way too quick.

3. Juice Robinson, El Phantasmo, Bad Luck Fale, and Chase Owens defeated Bushi, Sanada, Tetsuya Naito, and Shingo Takagi at 7:39. All eight brawled at the bell. Naito hit his slingshot dropkick in the corner on Juice. Sanada tied Juice in the Paradise Lock, but his teammates freed him. The Bullet Club began working over Sanada. Sanada and Phantasmo  simultaneously twisted each other’s nipples; I never wrote that sentence before. Shingo entered at 4:30 and beat up Juice and ELP. Phantasmo hit an enzuigiri on Shingo. Shingo hit a DDT on Chase. Bushi entered for the first time at 6:00 and hit a huracanrana on Chase. Fale entered and hit a shoulder tackle on Sanada. ELP dove through the ropes. Chase nailed a running knee to Bushi’s face for the pin. That was a really good match; they got a lot in here.

4. Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano, and Tomohiro Ishii defeated Lance Archer, Zack Sabre Jr., and Taka Michinoku at 6:35. Archer stood in the ring and just glared at Okada; these two will meet and decide the winner of the A Block. Taka attacked Okada to start the action. Archer entered and hit a shoulder tackle on Ishii, but then he walked to the babyface corner and jawed some more with Okada.

Sabre entered and tied up Ishii’s left arm. Yano entered at 4:30 and faced off with Sabre, and Zack tied him in a mid-ring Octopus. Zack avoided a low blow by catching the leg and applying an anklelock. Archer tried to bodyslam (teammate) Taka onto Yano, but Yano moved. Archer walked over to glare at Okada some more. Yano jumped on Taka for the quick pin. This match did what it needed to — it established Archer is focused on his huge winner-take-all match with Okada.

5. Tama Tonga and Jado vs. Jay White and Gedo at 7:10. Just like the prior match, this is all about establishing that Tama vs. Jay White on Tuesday is a winner-take-all for their Block. White and Tama brawled on the floor while Jado and Gedo brawled in the ring. The Bullet Club worked over Jado in the ring. Tama and White squared off at 5:00 and traded punches, and Tama nailed a dropkick. Tama nailed a high belly-to-back suplex, but he couldn’t hit the Gun Stun. White hit a DDT and they were both down. Gedo entered, but Tama caught him with the Gun Stun for the pin. White grabbed a chair and repeatedly slammed it across Tama’s back, then he nailed the Killswitch spinning faceplant.

* Jonah joined commentary. He and Kevin Kelly talked about all the different scenarios of tie-breakers, particularly in the A Block.

6. Yoshi-Hashi (6) defeated David Finlay (6) in a D Block match at 11:09. Face-face matchup, and both of these two have had standout singles matches in this tournament. Standing reversals early on. Yoshi-Hashi’s shoulder is again taped up. Finlay nailed a Divorce Court armbreaker on that damaged left arm at 2:30. Finlay hit a plancha to the floor. Back in the ring, Finlay tied him up in a sleeperhold on the mat. Yoshi nailed a kick on Finlay’s left knee, and he hit a swinging neckbreaker. They began trading forearm shots at 7:30.

Finlay hit a pair of backbreakers over his knee for a nearfall and he was fired up. Finlay snapped Yoshi-Hashi’s  damaged arm over the top rope. Finlay hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for a nearfall at 10:00. Yoshi-Hashi caught him with a superkick. Yoshi-Hashi hooked Finlay’s arm, got a forward roll and the pin out of nowhere. Good match. Both men finish their tournament at 3-3.

7. Great-O-Khan (4) defeated Taichi (4) in a B Block match at 7:02. GOK is a mere 1-4, so I’m fully expecting a win here. Lots of stalling at the bell, with O-Khan lying on his back and challenging Taichi to come at him. They locked up with O-Khan applying a bear hug. They began trading shoulder tackles at 5:00. O-Khan applied a Claw to the face as they fought on the mat. This has been really slow and methodical. All of a sudden, Great-O-Khan got a rollup for the win. That was just not all that energetic; it is going in my five least-favorite matches of the tournament.

8. Tom Lawlor (6) defeated Jeff Cobb (6) in an A Block match at 14:02. An intense lockup to start, with Lawlor trying to tie him up on the mat. They brawled to the floor, and Cobb slammed Lawlor’s back across the ring apron at 3:30. In the ring, Cobb nailed a flying forearm in the corner for a nearfall. Lawlor began to kick at the back of the left leg, and he went for a cross-armbreaker. Cobb powered out and hit an overhead release suplex at 7:00. Lawlor hit a Divorce Court armbreaker and went back to the left leg. Lawlor hit an impressive uranage and they were both down.

Cobb hit a vertical suplex at 9:00. They traded forearm shots from their knees, then from the standing position, and Lawlor hit an enziguri for a nearfall. Lawlor hit an open slap that dropped Cobb. Cobb hit two German Suplexes, but Lawlor avoided a third and applied a keylock. Lawlor hit the hand-capture kneestrike to the collarbone for a believable nearfall at 13:00. Lawlor then nailed the kneestrike to the back of the head for the pin. Good match, and this officially eliminated Cobb.

9. Kenta (6) defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi (6) in a C Block match at 23:45. These two have been feuding going back to their brawl at Wrestle Kingdom. Kenta rolled to the floor to stall. Tanahashi grounded him with a headlock early on. On the floor, Kenta threw Hiroshi into the guardrail at 5:30, then he nailed a DDT on the gym floor. Kenta was now in control in the ring, and he wrapped a leglock around Hiroshi’s waist, working over the ribs/abdomen. Kenta hit a standing neckbreaker for a nearfall at 8:30. Kenta hit a running double kneedrop to the chest for a nearfall, and Kelly wondered if Tanahashi would do a High Fly Flow frogsplash with his injured ribs.

Kenta went for a Helluva Kick, but Tanahashi caught him and hit a dragon screw legw hip at 11:00. Hiroshi hit a second-rope summersault senton for a nearfall. Kenta nailed a powerslam. Kenta hit a second-rope clothesline for a nearfall. They began trading mid-ring forearm shots. Kenta ducked, and Hiroshi accidentally slapped the ref, knocking Red Shoes out at 15:00. Kenta immediately went under the ring and got a crutch, which he hit repeatedly against Hiroshi’s back and stomach. They went to the floor, where Kenta hit another DDT. Kenta got a table from the other side of the guardrail. Jonah noted the crowd was quiet; Kelly said they don’t want to see Kenta injure Hiroshi.

They fought on the ropes in the corner. Kenta hit a DDT as Hiroshi was tied in the ropes at 18:30. Kenta hit his flying dropkick to the face in the corner, then the top-rope double stomp to the chest for a believable nearfall at 20:00. Kenta rolled to the floor, picked it up and threw it at Tanahashi’s head. In the ring, Kenta tried to hit the Go To Sleep, but Tanahashi hit a swinging neckbreaker, then a sling blade. Hiroshi hit a top-rope crossbody block; he went for High Fly Flow, but Kenta got his knees up to block it. Kenta nailed the Shining Wizard kneestrike for a believable nearfall. Tanahashi again avoided Go To Sleep and got a rollup for a nearfall. Kenta dropped Tanahashi with another open-hand slap. “This has been an absolute war,” Jonah said. Kenta finally nailed the Go To Sleep for the clean pin. Really good match.

Final Thoughts: Kenta-Hiroshi was really good and built off their feud from the beginning of the year, where Kenta got injured and missed most of 2022.  It also means that Naito vs. Sabre will decide that block, so we’ll see if Naito can win four straight after dropping his first two. Great-O-Khan vs. Taichi was just weird and not really good.

The undercard did a good job establishing the matches for the final night of Block action on Tuesday, with the final eight tournament matches. Of course night 19 will have the semi-finals and night 20 will have the finale.

SPECIAL EPISODE

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