8/18 NJPW G1 Climax Tournament Night 20 results: Vetter’s review of Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay in the tournament final

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

New Japan Pro Wrestling “G1 Climax Tournament Night 20”
August 18, 2022 in Tokyo, Japan at Budokan hall
Streamed live on New Japan World

The finals feature Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay. We are in the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, and this is a large venue.

Kevin Kelly and Chris Charlton are back on commentary. “This is the night for big surprises,” Charlton said during the first match. He promised there would be big announcements about future New Japan shows for the rest of this year and into 2023. Charlton said they had huge walk-up sales for this show; he would later say there are 7,000 people here.

1. Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto, Yoshi-Hoshi, and Yoh defeated EVIL, Sho, Yujiro Takahashi, and Dick Togo at 7:47. All eight brawled at the bell and they did the pile-on spot with heels on the bottom. The babyfaces really worked over Togo, with Yoh hitting his double-arm suplex on Togo for the win. “Can you say blowout?” Kelly said of the one-sided match.

2. Jonah and Bad Dude Tito vs. Tom Lawlor and Royce Isaacs at 10:09. Disappointing this is the matchup, because this tag match played out far too often during this tournament. (I wanted to see more of that Jonah-Shingo action!) Jonah nailed the Torpedo frogsplash to pin Isaacs. Solid match.

3. Jeff Cobb, Aaron Henare, and Great-O-Khan vs. Juice Robinson, Bad Luck Fale, and Chase Owens at 6:07. All six brawled at the bell. Late in the match, GOK slammed Chase onto Fale. Juice dove off the top rope at Cobb, but Cobb caught him, hit the Tour of the Islands swinging powerslam, and scored the pin. Best of the three matches so far.

4. Lance Archer, Zack Sabre Jr., and Taichi beat Sanada, Tetsuya Naito, and Bushi at 8:00. Sanada nearly pinned Taichi in the first minute. They all brawled to the floor, with Sabre and Naito fighting against a guardrail; Sabre is still upset about that quick loss to Naito. In the ring, Archer nailed the Pounce at 4:00 on Naito. Bushi hit his dive through the ropes on Taichi. Archer hit a chokeslam on Bushi, and Taichi followed that up with a running forearm on Bushi as Archer held Bushi in place, allowing Taichi to score the pin.

5. Kenta and El Phantasmo defeated Shingo Takagi and Hiromu Takahashi at 8:58. All four brawled at the bell. Kenta and Hiromu traded some really good mid-ring offense. Kenta grabbed his book and gave Hiromu a papercut between his fingers. (Why isn’t that illegal??) Hiromu got the book and he struck Kenta with it. Shingo and El Phantasmo fought; keep in mind, ELP pinning Shingo on the final night of Block action caused Shingo to lose the Block. Shingo nailed a decapitating clothesline on ELP for a nearfall at 7:30. Hiromu hit a shotgun dropkick from the apron to the floor on Kenta. Shingo and ELP traded rollups. Behind the ref’s back, Phantasmo hit a straight punch right to the groin on Shingo, rolled him up and pinned him. I doubt this feud is over!

6. Hiroshi Tanahashi and David Finlay defeated Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows at 10:02. Karl and Finlay started. Luke entered and he grounded Tanahashi. Tanahashi hit a dragon screw leg whip on Karl at 6:00. Finlay re-entered and hit a flying forearm on Gallows for a nearfall. Tanahashi hit a second-rope summersault senton for a nearfall on Anderson. Karl fired back with a spinebuster at 8:30.

The heels hit the Magic Killer on Tanahashi for a believable nearfall. They set up for another one when Toru Yano distracted Gallows and drew him to the back. This allowed Finlay to hit a stunner on Karl, and Tanahashi hit a High Fly Flow frogsplash on Karl for the pin. Worth noting that a day ago, Yano hit a low blow on Gallows to pin him, so I guess that will be a new feud, too. What did Gallows do to deserve this???

7. Tama Tonga (w/Jado) and Kushida defeated Jay White and Taiji Ishimori at 9:29. Again, White had won his first five tournament matches before losing to Tama Tonga, with Tama winning the block. Tama and White immediately brawled. Ishimori hit a Flatliner on Kushida, sending him crashing into a turnbuckle at 2:30. The heels began working over Kushida in and out of the ring. Kushida fired back with a handspring-back-elbow on Ishimori, and Tama made the hot tag at 5:00 to brawl with Jay White. Tama nailed a Stinger Splash and a high belly-to-back suplex.

Ishimori tied up Tama in a Crippler Crossface. Tama fired back with a spinning faceplant on Ishimori. Kushida entered and hit a Pele Kick on Ishimori. Ishimori nailed a Lungblower to Kushida’s chest at 9:00. However, Kushida got an inside cradle rollup to pin Ishimori. Ishimori and Kushida continued to fight after the bell. Tama held White’s world title belt above his head and the crowd popped. He slid it on the mat to allow White to reclaim the belt and scamper away. This was a really good undercard match. Tama seems particularly inspired and motivated right now; he has been given the football and he’s carrying it.

8. Kazuchika Okada defeated Will Ospreay to win the G1 Climax 32 tournament at 33:48. Charlton said this is Ospreay’s 25th singles match of 2022 across all promotions, more than anyone else in the tournament. Ospreay wore both his New Japan U.S. Title and his Rev Pro title. They reiterated that Okada has won five of six prior meetings. They traded mat reversals early on. Ospreay hit a huracarana. Okada hit a DDT on the floor, then a second DDT at 5:00. Okada tied him up in the ring and was in charge. Ospreay hit a springboard forearm shot for a nearfall at 9:00. This isn’t boring, but they are definitely going at a pace that suggests they plan to top 30 minutes.

Ospreay hit a dropkick that sent Okada to the floor. Ospreay immediately hit a top-rope corkscrew splash onto Okada on the floor. Ospreay leapt off the guardrail and hit an Oscutter on the floor, dropping Okada face-first onto the thin mat. Ospreay got him in the ring and was in charge. Okada hit a high backbody drop, and they were both down at 14:00. Okada applied the Money Clip sleeperhold. (A 15:00 time announcement is right on with my clock.) Okada nailed a top-rope elbow drop, and he made the Rainmaker pose. He hit some forearm shots in the corner, and Ospreay looked dazed. Ospreay fired up and hit some Kawada kicks and chops. Okada hit a shotgun dropkick; Ospreay followed with a clothesline, and they were both down at 18:30.

They fought to the ring apron, where Okada hit a backbody drop. Ospreay hit an Oscutter on the apron, with them both crashing to the floor. Ospreay hit a springboard missile dropkick, then a top-rope Hidden Blade to the back of the head, then a springboard Oscutter for a believable nearfall at 21:30. Great sequence. Okada fired back with a short-arm clothesline, and they were both down. Ospreay went for an Oscutter, but Okada caught him with a dropkick, then a tombstone piledriver. Ospreay hit his hook kick to the face, then a forearm to the base of the neck. He set up for a Hidden Blade, but Okada hit a dropkick. Ospreay hit a piledriver, then a Hidden Blade for a believable nearfall at 25:00.

Ospreay hit a (Tanahashi) High Fly Flow frogsplash, then (an AJ Styles) Styles Clash for a nearfall; a day ago, he said he was studying how other greats had beaten Okada, so those moves were quite intentional. Ospreay then hit a (Kenny Omega) V-Trigger kneestrike, and he tried to get the One-Winged Angel. However, Okada hit a Rainmaker clothesline for a believable nearfall, and the building exploded for the kickout at 28:00. Okada hit a German Suplex, then a standing Spanish Fly, and they were both down as we hit 30:00.

They traded forearm shots from on their knees, then from a standing position. Ospreay caught him with his hook kick to the face. Okada nailed a neckbreaker over his knee, then an enzuigiri. Ospreay fired back with a pop-up forearm shot. Ospreay went for a Hidden Blade, but Okada caught him and hit a swinging sideslam. Okada then immediately hit the Rainmaker clothesline for the pin. Okada has now won the G1 Climax four times, including two consecutive years. Kelly wondered how this might have been different if Ospreay had been able to hit the One-Winged Angel.

* Okada got on the mic and thanked everyone for coming along on this month-long journey. He talked about how everyone is getting through the pandemic and how important it was they came out to support wrestling. He said he would elevate the status of the G1 Climax. He vowed that the main event of Wrestle Kingdom on Jan. 4, 2023, will be for the title, and he’ll carry on all these thoughts going to the tournament. He issued a challenge to Naito. He said he would keep pushing hard through the last quarter of the year. (This was a very long-winded promo, but thankfully we had Charlton here to translate.)

Final Thoughts: What an epic main event, and worth reiterating that both Okada and Ospreay were competing in huge singles matches for the third consecutive night. I fully expected Okada to win but was pulling for Ospreay. This was just a blast, and I loved how Ospreay promised Wednesday that he had studied how others had beaten Okada, and he tried to use their finishers to do the same.

So, as expected entering this tournament a month ago, Okada is now on track for a rematch with Jay White for the world title. I presume Will Ospreay moves on to defend his title against David Finlay, who scored that huge pinfall against Ospreay during this tournament.



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