wrestling / TV Reports

Hamilton’s New Japan G1 Climax 30 – Night Eight 10.01.2020 Review

October 1, 2020 | Posted by Ian Hamilton
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Hamilton’s New Japan G1 Climax 30 – Night Eight 10.01.2020 Review  

Quick Results

Gabriel Kidd and Yota Tsuji fought to a 15:00 time limit draw (***)
G1 Climax 30, Block B: Juice Robinson pinned Toru Yano in 6:42 (**¾)
G1 Climax 30, Block B: Zack Sabre Jr. pinned Hirooki Goto in 4:00 (**)
G1 Climax 30, Block B: Hiroshi Tanahashi pinned YOSHI-HASHI in 18:40 (***¼)
G1 Climax 30, Block B: EVIL pinned KENTA in 15:40 (***¼)
G1 Climax 30, Block B: SANADA pinned Tetsuya Naito in 27:08 (***½)

We’re inside the Ao-re Nagaoka in Niigata for the final day on this stretch of the G1…

Gabriel Kidd vs. Yota Tsuji

Tsuji pulled ahead in the unofficial block with his win over Uemura yesterday, and looking for the upper hand early, going in for a waistlock, only for Kidd to counter out with a wristlock.

Tsuji returns the favour, taking Kidd down to a knee, before Kidd yanked the arm and pulled Tsuji into a chinbar. Another escape sees Tsuji head to the mat, before he backed Kidd into the corner for a stand-off. Some headscissors on the mat give Kidd something to think about, but he handstands out and into a side headlock, rolling with Tsuji as he tried to escape.

Eventually Tsuji got up and into the ropes for a break, before he tripped Kidd to the mat in search of a grapevine. Kidd picks the ankle to get himself free, coming back with a toe hold, which almost morphed into a Scorpion Deathlock as Tsuji tried to push his way free. They end up in the ropes as Tsuji tried to return the favour, but his toe hold quickly ends in the ropes also.

Kidd’s back with elbows, before chopping away on Tsuji in the corner, as another side headlock ended in the ropes. A missed charge into the corner opens Kidd up for a slam, before a second took Tsuji back in with a toe hold as he looked to force out a submission. A legdrop to the knee’s next as a leg-spreader follows, which Tsuji turned into a half crab… but that too ends in the ropes.

This time it’s Kidd who returns with a slam, before he took Tsuji into the corner ahead of a suplex attempt… instead Kidd has to deck Tsuji with an elbow for a near-fall, before he went for the double underhook suplex… but Tsuji counters out with another slam! A whip takes Kidd into the corner for a leaping forearm, with a dropkick from Tsuji following for a two-count, but Kidd gets to the ropes to block a Boston crab attempt.

Kidd responds with a hiptoss as he went for a Boston crab, dragging Tsuji away from the ropes as we entered the final three minutes of the time limit… but Tsuji stays persistent and gets to the ropes. You get the feeling they’re going for the draws now, as Kidd goes back to the double underhook suplex, but goes for a sunset flip to counter Tsuji’s counter.

A back body drop from Tsuji gets Kidd back to the ground for another Boston crab, with Kidd this time clawing his way towards the ropes… but Tsuji sits down on him as we hit the final minute. Tsuji lets go and tries to Lion Tame it, but Kidd counters it and almost grabs the win, before he came back in with a big dropkick off the ropes!

Tsuji smashes in with a spear as we hit the final 20 seconds, but they go to shoulder tackles and elbows instead as Tsuji and Kidd’s last gasps of roll-ups end with time running out, before they slapped each other silly. The natural progression in the game of “can you top this”, and it’s the first Young Lions’ draw in Japan since March 2019 for those of you keeping track. I loved the intensity here, as they found a new way out of everyone just trading wins. ***

G1 Climax 30 – Block B: Toru Yano vs. Juice Robinson

It’s the fourth year in a row these guys have met in the G1… and Juice has won all of the prior meetings. Yano’s proudly displaying his QR code tee on the ropes, in feint hope that someone scans it.

Yano’s again aggrieved that the referee’s checking his gear, and after yelling at Juice for taking time to disrobe, he offers Juice a t-shirt to start. Of course, he bullies Juice into putting it on, so he could try and get the win with a roll-up… then again after he sprayed him in the eyes with disinfectant. Oh Yano.

Juice rolls outside to flush his eyes with some water, but Yano follows him and gets blinded as Juice emptied the spray bottle onto his eyes. A familiar lack of sight for Yano-san. Back in the ring, Yano’s taken into the corner for some kicks to the gut, and then it’s time for the shtick. Off comes the turnbuckle pad… but Juice stops him and re-ties it.

Yano goes for the other pad, but gets rolled up by Juice, who then tried to swat him with the pad. Juice gets so riled up he tears up Yano’s shirt as Yano tried to bait him into the aisle… and it worked as Yano caught Juice with a Manhattan drop before hog-tying him with some tape that the ref missed. Problem was, Yano’s timing was off, and Juice had plenty of time to stand up and hop his way back into the ring.

Juice yells at Yano, who runs rings around him as Juice could only hop… but somehow Juice nails the full nelson slam, before getting rid of that tape. Now with both legs free, Juice goes for the Dusty punches, but Yano rolls him up for a near-fall before grabbing the ref to try and mask a low blow. It backfires, as Juice hits the Left Hand of God before Pulp Friction was countered… Juice countered the counter, sitting down on the roll-up, and there’s the pin. Yano’s perfect record, gone. Sniff. Fantastic comic relief though, so I’ll give them that. “You can’t bullshit a bullshitter,” uttered Juice, as he maintained his 100% record over Yano. **¾

G1 Climax 30 – Block B: Hirooki Goto vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

These two have met in singles action on four prior occasions – with Goto winning a NEVER title defence in 2017 along with a G1 Climax match later that year. 2018 was ZSJ’s year though, winning in the G1 there along with a match in Brixton, England for Rev Pro’s Global Wars.

It’s a little scrappy in the early going as Sabre eventually managed to roll Goto down in a cross armbar… albeit right by the ropes as Sabre smartly targeted the taped-up shoulder. Kick keep Goto by the ropes with Zack pushing the referee away as he tried to force a break.

Goto’s back with chops, but Sabre goes back in with a waistlock as he looked for an Octopus stretch to really wrench that arm. Goto got free and came back in with a lariat (using the bad arm), before getting back up for an ushigoroshi. Kicks from Goto knock Sabre down as he then went for a GTR, but Sabre dropped down and snatched the win with a Japanese leg clutch at the four minute mark. That’s the quickest match in this G1 – even including the Yano outings. A fun sprint of a match, which is always welcome, but you do have to wonder just how shot Goto’s right arm is at this point. **

G1 Climax 30 – Block B: YOSHI-HASHI vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Tanahashi has a 100% record over YOSHI-HASHI, with two G1 victories in their three previous outings.

Tanahashi looks for an early waistlock, but he’s able to trip YOSHI-HASHI instead as he went to ground in search of an armbar. The pair trade arm-wringers ahead of a stand-off, before YOSHI-HASHI hit back with some right hands, ahead of an Irish whip into the corner. Tanahashi stops him with a back elbow and a springboard crossbody, before YOSHI-HASHI came back in, working over the Ace’s knee.

A modified toe-hold torques Tanahashi’s knee some more, but Tanahashi gets free to land some uppercuts, only for YOSHI-HASHI to fire back with chops. Tanahashi misses a low dropkick but manages to come back with some elbows that YOSHI-HASHI returns, before a leaping forearm knocked YOSHI-HASHI down.

Tanahashi catches a kick and counters into a Dragon screw, before a flip senton off the middle rope earned him a near-fall. A chop battle ensues, with YOSHI-HASHI pulling ahead before he went for a Bunker Buster… but Tanahashi gets free, only to get caught with a rear spin kick and a thrust kick. A powerbomb’s next for a near-fall, but Tanahashi returns with a strait-jacket German suplex before countering a YOSHI-HASHI lariat with a Slingblade.

Heading up top, Tanahashi goes for a High Fly Flow, but YOSHI-HASHI gets the knees up, buying him enough time to get back to his feet as the pair started going back-and-forth with more elbows. Uppercuts and chops mix it up a little, before a palm strike from YOSHI-HASHI dropped Tanahashi. An attempted comeback with a Slingblade misses as YOSHI-HASHI manages to return with a Western Lariat, before trapping Tanahashi in the middle of the ring with a Butterfly Lock.

Tanahashi tries to escape, but YOSHI-HASHI changes the grip… before switching into a rear naked choke and a back cracker as Tanahashi looked to get to the ropes. From there, YOSHI-HASHI pulls him up for Karma, but Tanahashi countered free with almost a desperate Twist and Shout neckbreaker. Tanahashi gets back up to Dragon screw YOSHI-HASHI’s knee into the mat, but a Cloverleaf attempt’s countered into a roll-up as YOSHI-HASHI tried to snatch it. Another go at the Butterfly lock is countered with a Tanahashi roll-up for a near-fall, which is followed up with another Dragon screw, before YOSHI-HASHI caught Tanahashi off the ropes with a half-and-half suplex.

YOSHI-HASHI keeps pushing for the unlikeliest of wins with a running Meteora for a near-fall, before a kumagaroshi dumped Tanahashi in the middle of the ring for a near-fall. A second go at Karma’s elbowed away as Tanahashi ends up getting pulled up into a chop, but Tanahashi retaliates with a Slingblade for a near-fall.

Up Tanahashi goes for another High Fly Flow, but he has to go for the Ace’s High crossbody as YOSHI-HASHI got to his feet. The High Fly Flow followed, and that’s all folks. At almost 19 minutes, this served two masters – one, establishing that YOSHI-HASHI isn’t the pushover he was, but also underscoring how Tanahashi wasn’t what he once was. On another day, YOSHI-HASHI would have gotten the W here, and perhaps had a bit more drama to this. ***¼

G1 Climax 30 – Block B: EVIL vs. KENTA

Only a second-time meeting here, with KENTA beating EVIL at almost the same stage of last year’s G1. Of course, this time out, both men are part of the same group, although EVIL has struggled badly for form lately.

EVIL shunned KENTA’s offer of a too-sweet before the match, and we start with KENTA rolling outside as he played Jay White to start with. Returning to the ring, EVIL worked over KENTA’s arm, before a whip into the ropes saw KENTA come back with a big boot, taking EVIL outside as the obligatory trips to the guard rails ensued. KENTA throws EVIL into the ring post as he tried to bait Dick Togo into doing something, before they just returned to the ring. A kick to the back has EVIL down as KENTA kept giving Togo the thumbs up, before a series of knee drops kept EVIL on the mat ahead of the disdainful back heel.

EVIL’s back up to swing for KENTA, but he just eats a DDT before Dick Togo got involved, dragging KENTA to the outside. EVIL follows, throwing KENTA into the guard rails, before he sandwiched KENTA’s notoriously-injured arm into a chair, throwing it into the ring post. Back inside, EVIL wrings the arm to take down KENTA for a one-count, before throwing KENTA shoulder-first into the conveniently-exposed ring post.

EVIL follows that up with a Fujiwara-ish armbar, torquing away at KENTA’s digits too… and that arm proved to be KENTA’s Achille’s heel, as every time he got free, EVIL would just go back to it. A powerslam off the ropes gets KENTA a breather, following up with a release Fisherman suplex for a two-count, before a tornado hot shot and a flying clothesline left EVIL down for a two-count.

KENTA tries to follow that up with a Green Killer draping DDT, but Togo pops up on the apron to distract as EVIL instead dropped KENTA across the top rope, arm-first. It’s back to the corner, shoulder-first, after that, as another release Fisherman suplex gets EVIL a two-count. KENTA shoves EVIL into the corner, leading to a ref bump as KENTA lands a DDT… then called for some help from Togo. It wasn’t to be though, as KENTA went outside to grab his briefcase… and proceeded to lay out Togo with it. Back inside, KENTA kicks away at EVIL again, then laid him out with the briefcase before crushing him with a double stomp off the top.

A Busaiku knee’s next for a near-fall, before EVIL slipped out of a Go 2 Sleep as he sidestepped KENTA’s charge into the corner. EVIL followed that up with Darkness Falls for a two-count, before a lariat off the ropes led to another near-fall. KENTA escapes Everything is EVIL, slipping free for some palm strikes before Dick Togo popped up again for a distraction. He’s pulled into the ring, and is pulled up for a Go 2 Sleep, but grabs the referee to mask a low blow from EVIL, who proceeds to get the win with Everything is EVIL. This was aggressively fine – KENTA tried to bait EVIL into “his style” of a match, but instead we got something that at most sowed the seeds for future dissension as EVIL did anything but play nice with his Bullet Club compadre. ***¼

G1 Climax 30 – Block B: SANADA vs. Tetsuya Naito

Surprisingly, this is only their second ever singles meeting, as they’ve mostly been kept apart from each other in G1 outings. It was 2018’s G1 where these two last met, with Naito taking the win.

We open with a lock-up, as Naito looked to work the arm of SANADA, but instead went to ground as he grabbed a leg lock instead. Headlocks and headscissors follow as the pair get free, before Naito rolled in with an overhead wristlock on SANADA, leading to more back-and-forth switching into the ropes… where Naito snapped, throwing out SANADA, before he got tripped… with SANADA instead faking him out on a dive.

Back in the ring, a single-leg dropkick from Naito caught SANADA out as the pair went outside, with trips into the guard rails and ring apron following thereafter. Naito keeps the upper hand as he dropped SANADA into a neckbreaker, leading into some headscissors on the mat. It led to a rope break, but Naito needed help to separate… and is quickly back on his feet to take SANADA into the corner for Combinacion Cabron.

Naito’s beginning to lord it over SANADA, as he comes back in with a cravat… but SANADA escapes a neckbreaker and caught Naito off the ropes with a low dropkick. SANADA keeps going with a double leapfrog/dropkick combo, before sailing outside into Naito with a plancha. Returning to the ring, SANADA looks for a TKO, but Naito elbows away, before ducking a moonsault out of the corner as he returned with a back elbow and a low dropkick of his own.

Repeatedly taking SANADA into the corner, Naito tries to wear down his stable-mate head of a neckbreaker for a two-count. Gloria looks to be next, but SANADA puts on the brakes, before he caught a leaping forearm and, after trying to backflip into a Skull End, took down Naito with a rope-assisted neckbreaker. Naito’s back with a swinging DDT… and my feed drops out. It’s back with SANADA having dropkicked Naito on the turnbuckles. SANADA brings him down off the top rope with a wacky neckbreaker, as a Tiger suplex landed for a near-fall, before Naito rolled out of a Skull End attempt and returned fire with a spinebuster.

SANADA runs into some more elbows as he tried to curtail Naito’s latest offence, but more elbows to the side of the head and neck left SANADA in a heap. Naito heads up top with him for a top rope ‘rana that gets a near-fall, before SANADA floated out of Gloria… only for Naito to come right back with the first time that Esperanza flip-over-stunner hasn’t looked wonky.

SANADA tries for a TKO, but Naito quickly counters into Destino… then the tables turn as a Destino’s countered into a TKO. Both men fight back to their feet, trading elbow strikes on the way as things broke down again, leading to SANADA hitting the corner as he backflipped in with a Skull End… eventually swinging Naito around before dragging him to the mat.

Just like YOSHI-HASHI earlier in the tournament, Naito manages to slip out… but SANADA reapplies the hold and drags him back to the mat, leading to the tease of a referee stoppage. But of course, SANADA lets go and whiffs on the moonsault – something he seemingly never, ever learns from. We’re into the final five minutes as Naito ran in for a Destino, but SANADA countered out, only to get caught with it at the second time of asking.

SANADA blocks a third one, countering into Skull End, but Naito counters out with almost a Snow Plow that could have gone south in a hurry. SANADA’s back with a Destino of his own as they seemed to be countering for the hell of it now, and gets a near-fall before he hit a moonsault off the top rope. It lands on Naito’s back so up he goes for a second, which lands flush… and there’s the win for SANADA. Like a lot of the G1 main events this tour, this felt needlessly long, as it seems “teasing the draw” is part of the fabric here. With SANADA having lost his first three, this win didn’t seem like something that’d get him on track for a late run, but more something to disrupt Naito’s run more than anything else. ***½

SANADA gets his first win then, and closes the night in the spotlight…

Everyone’s had four matches now, and it took until the eighth night for all of the perfect runs to go.

Block A

Kota Ibushi, Will Ospreay, Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, Jay White (3-1; 6pts)
Kazuchika Okada (2-2; 4pts)
Jeff Cobb, Tomohiro Ishii, Shingo Takagi (1-3; 2pts)
Yujiro Takahashi (0-4; 0pts)

Block B

Tetsuya Naito, Juice Robinson, Toru Yano (3-1; 6pts)
EVIL, KENTA, Zack Sabre Jr., Hiroshi Tanahashi (2-2; 4pts)
Hirooki Goto, SANADA, YOSHI-HASHI (1-3; 2pts)

(Unofficial) Block C

Yota Tsuji (3-2-1)
Gabriel Kidd (2-2-1)
Yuya Uemura (2-3)

Rest up – we’ve had three days in a row, and now there’s no new shows until after the weekend, where New Japan hits the road HARD. Monday in Kagawa, Tuesday and Wednesday in Hiroshima, then Thursday in Okayama – with Monday’s block A matches featuring Will Ospreay vs. Kota Ibushi and a rematch from last year’s classic in London between Minoru Suzuki and Kazuchika Okada.

The final score: review Average
The 411
To me, this felt like the first “low” night of the tour - at least as far as the in-ring went. Goto/ZSJ was understandably short, but for me it felt like the YOSHI-HASHI/Tanahashi match went longer than it ought to to compensate. Your mileage will vary - and if you loved that match, you’ll probably have gotten more of a kick out of today’s show.

article topics :

G1 Climax 30, NJPW, Ian Hamilton