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Kevin’s NJPW G1 Climax 30 Night Fifteen Review

October 13, 2020 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
NJPW G1 CLimax 30 Night 15
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Kevin’s NJPW G1 Climax 30 Night Fifteen Review  

NJPW G1 Climax 30 Night Fifteen
October 13th, 2020 | Hamamatsu Arena in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka | Attendance: N/A

It’s the penultimate A Block show as we near the end of the tournament. We’ll see if Gedo can book something intriguing.

A Block: Jeff Cobb [6] vs. Will Ospreay [10]
Their only prior meeting was at the G1 Supercard show last year (***¾) where Cobb won. I haven’t liked it (and I’ve seen others complain about it) but Ospreay kept doing a lot of his old junior heavyweight flippy stuff. I get that he shouldn’t totally change his style but there has been minimal effort from him. That didn’t click against Cobb the way you would probably hope. Willy, scum of the earth, came across as rather clunky. There were good exchanges but missed opportunities. For example, his counter of Tour of the Islands started smoothly but then became a mess as he turned it into a Code Red. Cobb won out by hitting Tour of the Islands at the 12:21 mark. A solid match but nowhere near the level of the MSG bout. [***]

A Block: Kota Ibushi [10] vs. Yujiro Takahashi [0]
Kota won their solo meeting in the G1 23 (***). I’ll just get this out of the way here. There was no drama. Nobody believed Yujiro would pull off the upset, even if Gedo likes to book random G1 upsets. It feels like it’ll happen for Yujiro on the final night or not at all. Still, Ibushi managed to get something solid out of him here. They had pretty decent back and forth exchanges but nothing more. Kamigoye put Yujiro down after 12:28, which was too long for this. [**½]

A Block: Shingo Takagi [6] vs. IWGP Tag Team Champion Taichi [6]
In the G1 29, Shingo beat Taichi (***¾) in a strong match. I miss 3-0 Taichi. Similar to their meeting from last year, this was a nice barnburner. It’s surprising to hear about because I came in not expecting to care. Ibushi’s win eliminated both from contention, regardless of this outcome. However, these are two good characters and they got me invested. I wanted to see who would get the upper hand. Taichi has continued to shed the shenanigans from his past matches and gave another strong effort against a hard-hitting opponent. I dug Shingo just murdering Taichi after he ripped off his pants. It was the perfect way to show that Shingo wasn’t playing any games. Taichi was able to survive several Pumping Bombers and scored something of an upset with Black Memphisto in 16:21. A hell of a fun match here. I enjoyed that a lot. [***½]

A Block: Jay White [10] vs. NEVER Openweight Champion Minoru Suzuki [6]
Suzuki came out on top of their only prior match, coming in the G1 28 (***). Right off the bat, you knew this would be different. Jay’s attempt to stall outside saw a pissed off Suzuki follow him for a fight. The man was in a foul mood. He snapped at Jay’s fingers, chopped him up, and even scared off Gedo by simply looking at him. Intimidation. Normally, White’s game plan is solid. However, everything he did just seemed to anger Suzuki more and lead to him getting his ass kicked harder. Even when he brought in a chair, Suzuki just battered him with it. Nothing he did could give him the clear upper hand he had mostly enjoyed in the tournament. He finally got something going when he went after Suzuki’s knee. Still, Jay ended up tapping out, only for Gedo to distract the referee. Another distraction allowed him to use a low blow and Blade Runner to sneak out with a win after a brilliant 20:30. Suzuki and White are both on spectacular runs right now. This was masterful character work. Suzuki beat the hell out of him, giving Jay what was coming to him. He tried it all and was finally able to barely eke out a win. [****½]

A Block: Kazuchika Okada [10] vs. Tomohiro Ishii [6]
There’s a 3-1 edge in their history for Okada. Those wins came in the G1 23 (***¾), G1 25 (***¾), and last year’s New Japan Cup (****¼). Ishii won their best match in the G1 26 (****½). I mentioned that Okada formula was back against Shingo. It was kind of here too. The match opened with a feeling out process as you got the sense that they might go long. They did but it never really seemed to get out of second gear. Okada was a jerk, slapping and kicking away at times. He also kept going for the Money Clip, which is a strategy I just haven’t been able to get into yet. I did like Ishii scattering to the ropes t o avoid it since it beat Shingo but that wasn’t enough for me. This dragged on and was kind of just there until Okada won with the Money Clip in 26:13. A good match but a lackluster main event and another lesser Okada outing. [***¼]

Kota Ibushi 12 (6-2) EVIL 10 (5-2)
Jay White 12 (6-2) Tetsuya Naito 10 (5-2)
Kazuchika Okada 12 (6-2) SANADA 8 (4-3)
Will Ospreay 10 (5-3) Zack Sabre Jr. 8 (4-3)
Taichi 8 (4-4) Hirooki Goto 8 (4-3)
Jeff Cobb 8 (4-4) HIroshi Tanahashi 6 (3-4)
Shingo Takagi 6 (3-5) Juice Robinson 6 (3-4)
Tomohiro Ishii 6 (3-5) KENTA 6 (3-4)
Minoru Suzuki 6 (3-5) Toru Yano 6 (3-4)
Yujiro Takahashi 0 (0-8) YOSHI-HASHI 2 (1-6)
The final score: review Good
The 411
A show with everything hitting three stars is always good. Taichi/Shingo was a blast but this was all about White/Suzuki. It might only be behind Tanahashi/Naito for my favorite of the tournament. It was different, brilliant, and worth watching this show for.

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G1 Climax 30, NJPW, Kevin Pantoja