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Kevin’s NJPW G1 Climax 30 Night Eight Review

October 1, 2020 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
NJPW G1 Climax 30
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Kevin’s NJPW G1 Climax 30 Night Eight Review  

NJPW G1 Climax 30 Night Eight
October 1st, 2020 | Aore Nagaoka Arena in Nagaoka, Niigata | Attendance: 1,685

Man, how is it October already? We’re coming off of two middle of the road G1 shows and it’ll be interesting to see how this one pans out, even if most of the results seem blatantly obvious.

B Block: Juice Robinson [4] vs. Toru Yano [6]
It’s the fourth straight year with a Juice/Yano G1 outing. They’ve gone, in order, **¼, ***, and **¾, with Juice winning each. Juice made Yano promise no bullshit tonight. Yano offered Juice one of his shirts but still rolled him up and sprayed him in the eyes. Oh, that Yano. He tied up Juice and looked on the verge of stealing another win but Juice hopped back into the ring to beat the countout. Juice avoided a low blow, hit the left hand and countered a rollup into a pin of his own to win in 6:42. Imagine not loving Yano. This was a ton of fun and a great way to start the show. Yano and Taichi may not be unbeaten anymore, but if Gedo knows where the money is, that’s the finals baby. [***]

B Block: Hirooki Goto [2] vs. IWGP Tag Team Champion Zack Sabre Jr. [2]
There’s some history here. Goto beat ZSJ in a NEVER Title match at Sakura Genesis 2017 (***½) and in the G1 27 (***¼). Zack returned the favor in the G1 28 (***¼) and in a RevPro outing I never saw. The story here should be obvious. Goto is nursing a bad shoulder and Sabre Jr. eats that kind of shit up. Indeed he viciously attacked it by pulling back on it and kicking away at it. A lariat and GTR hurt Goto too much to capitalize on. So, Sabre Jr. trapped him in the European Clutch win to take this in 3:59. That is so up my alley. More G1 matches need to end quickly because it makes you buy into close calls in the early stages. This was smart. [**½]

B Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi [2] vs. YOSHI-HASHI [2]
Tanahashi is 2-0 over HASHI that I’ve seen, with the wins coming in the G1 27 (**½) and 28 (**¾). It’s not a combo I like but HASHI has been really good so far in the tourney. This was their best outing so far, which is no surprise given how well HASHI has performed lately. Tanahashi did a great job of making sure he looked good. HASHI would get in just the right amount of hope spots, making you believe that he might pull off the upset. After all, Tanahashi is coming off of a poor showing in the G1 last year and barely won his lone match so far in 2020. You believed in a lot of YOSHI-HASHI’s near falls, which was an accomplishment. The fact that it took Tanahashi 18:41 to beat someone he used to dispatch of in about 12 minutes is telling. He won with High Fly Flow but it wasn’t easy. Another spirited HASHI effort. [***¼]

B Block: EVIL [2] vs. KENTA [4]
KENTA won their G1 29 match (***¾) although they’re both in Bullet Club now. Plus, KENTA failed where EVIL didn’t in dethroning Tetsuya Naito. Bullet Club vs. Bullet Club matches in the G1 don’t have a great track record. Remember Tama Tonga vs. Kenny Omega? Yikes. EVIL denied the “too sweet” and KENTA took on the Jay White role of taking a powder outside. It was interesting to see each guy trying to outheel the other. EVIL targeted the bad arm of KENTA and would attack it whenever there was an opening for KENTA. I dug KENTA trying to get Togo to interfere on his behalf, only to lay him out with the US Title shot briefcase, which he then used on EVIL. However, EVIL survived that and use da cheap low blow to escape Go to Sleep before winning with Everything is Evil in 15:40. Another very good match that helped plant the seeds for possible dissension in the Bullet Club. As if we haven’t heard that story before. [***¼]

B Block: SANADA [0] vs. IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito [6]
Naito won their only prior meeting, coming in the G1 28 (****). The outcome here feels obvious. Consider their standings and the fact that SANADA was the only LIJ member to not leave the Tokyo Dome this year with a title. It’s only fitting that he wins here over his leader. Also, SANADA is the new Hirooki Goto, as he is like 0-7 in major title matches. This had a slow build to it, as you got the sense they’d be going long. That’s usually not a good sign for a SANADA match. A lot of this featured the smooth stuff that you’ve come to expect from a SANADA match, with Naito delivering in terms of character work. All of the action was fine but my gripe came with the fact that it didn’t feel like a big deal. I wanted SANADA to seem desperate. He’s 0-3 and never wins big matches. Instead, this just felt like the same SANADA we get each time out. Naito did well on his side to seem surprised that SANADA was nearly taking him to the 30 minute limit. SANADA used two moonsaults to win in 27:08. Like I said, this was very good but was missing something to make it feel great. [***¾]

Taichi 6 (3-1) Tetsuya Naito 6 (3-1)
Minoru Suzuki 6 (3-1) Juice Robinson 6 (3-1)
Will Ospreay 6 (3-1) Toru Yano 6 (3-1)
Jay White 6 (3-1) Hiroshi Tanahashi 4 (2-2)
Kota Ibushi 6 (3-1) EVIL 4 (2-2)
Kazuchika Okada 4 (2-2) KENTA 4 (2-2)
Jeff Cobb 2 (1-3) Zac Sabre Jr. 4 (2-2)
Tomohiro Ishii 2 (1-3) Hirooki Goto 2 (1-3)
Shingo Takagi 2 (1-3) YOSHI-HASHI 2 (1-3)
Yujiro Takahashi 0 (0-4) SANADA 2 (1-3)
The final score: review Average
The 411
There was no great match like a lot of the other G1 shows so far. However, it was consistently solid with some fun short matches, good contests that followed, and a strong main event.

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G1 Climax 30, NJPW, Kevin Pantoja