wrestling / TV Reports

Kevin’s NJPW G1 Climax 30 Night Fourteen Review

October 11, 2020 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
NJPW G1 Climax Hiroshi Tanahashi Hirooki Goto
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Kevin’s NJPW G1 Climax 30 Night Fourteen Review  

NJPW G1 Climax 30 Night Fourteen
October 11th, 2020 | Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium in Nagoya, Aichi | Attendance: 2,550

The tournament continues to be a mixed bag. Some great nights, a few lame ones, and mostly solid but unspectacular ones. On paper, this one doesn’t stand out but I’m hoping they surprise me.

B Block: YOSHI-HASHI [2] vs. IWGP Tag Team Champion Zack Sabre Jr. [6]
ZSJ holds a 2-0 record over YOSHI-HASHI, winning in the G1 27 and at Kizuna Road last year (both ***¼). Zack Sabre Jr. has been good in this G1 but hasn’t really wowed for the most part, while YOSHI-HASHI has arguably been at his best. Together, they delivered a solid match but nothing more. It had some slow bits early and while I’ve enjoyed HASHI in this G1, I still don’t love him as the sympathetic babyface. I’ll always get a kick out of Sabre twisting people into knots and enjoying it. That sadism is why he was a great choice for Suzuki-Gun. YOSHI-HASHI gave a spirited effort but was trapped in a submission apparently called the Clarky Cat and submitted after 13:34. Like I said, this was some good wrestling. [***]

B Block: KENTA [4] vs. Toru Yano [6]
KENTA beat Yano in NOAH way back in 2013. Gedo has totally botched the chance to have Toru Yano run the table and get the G1 Climax win he deserves. Yano had a chair and KENTA had his briefcase, leading to an argument about getting rid of each weapon. From there it was a lot of the usual Yano shenanigans and antics. They battled up to the aisle where Yano got hit with the briefcase, which exploded to reveal a bunch of tape rolls. KENTA used one to tie Yano to the entrance and he beat the count to win in 8:56. At times, this felt like it dragged and wasn’t one of the better Yano comedy gimmicks. [**]

B Block: Juice Robinson [6] vs. SANADA [6]
They split their G1 meetings in 2017 (***¼) and 2018 (***½). SANADA has been positioned as the next top star but a guy like Juice has outperformed him on an almost nightly basis. This was a match that felt like almost every other one SANADA has had in this G1. It featured quality back and forth and some smooth offense throughout but it lacked any sort of real energy or sense of urgency. It came across like a solid exhibition. The final few minutes were just a series of counters centered around Skull End and Pulp Friction and it didn’t really click with me. SANADA hit the moonsault to win after 15:06. The old 6/10 special, which is basically SANADA’s wheelhouse. [***]

B Block: Hirooki Goto [6] vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi [6]
There’s a long history here, with 12 prior meetings. Tanahashi is 10-1-1 against him. Here’s what I’ve seen: Dominion 2011 (****¼), G1 23 (***½), G1 26 (**½), and G1 27 (***). Something about this matchup hasn’t always worked for me and I think it’s mainly because it’s next to impossible to care about Goto these days. Here, it was more of the same. They had a match that was really fine from a technical standpoint but didn’t feature the fire you want in a late G1 bout. Goto targeted the arm, while Tanahashi went after the leg. The latter was a weird choice since Goto’s arm has been on the verge of falling off all tournament. Goto hit an avalanche Ushigiroshi, which looked painful, and won with the GTR soon after in 13:38, scoring a surprising upset. Call this the quintessential “middle of the G1 tour” match. [***]

B Block: EVIL [8] vs. IWGP Heavyweight and Tag Team Champion Tetsuya Naito [10]
Naito holds a 2-1 edge over EVIL, beating him in the G1 26 (***¾) and as Summer Struggle in Jingu this year (***¼), while EVIL beat him at Dominion this year (**). Lots of history here given EVIL being Naito’s first LIJ member and EVIL’s turn on him this year. Admittedly, I’d put this match about on par with the one where Naito won back the title. It still had major issues like the constant Bullet Club interference but the biggest problem was predictability. That’s almost unavoidable in the G1. Naito winning her would’ve effectively handed him the block, so EVIL had to win to make sure the next B Block shows weren’t pointless. That took away any of the drama. Still, it had strong suits in terms of how it was worked and the efforts of both men. It was just bogged down by those two big things. Destino wasn’t enough (is it ever?) and Everything is EVIL put the champ down after 23:57. Like I said, this was good but it didn’t really standout. [***¼]

Kota Ibushi 10 (5-2) EVIL 10 (5-2)
Jay White 10 (5-2) Tetsuya Naito 10 (5-2)
Kazuchika Okada 10 (5-2) SANADA 8 (4-3)
Will Ospreay 10 (5-2) Zack Sabre Jr. 8 (4-3)
Minoru Suzuki 6 (3-4) Hirooki Goto 8 (4-3)
Tomohiro Ishii 6 (3-4) HIroshi Tanahashi 6 (3-4)
Taichi 6 (3-4) Juice Robinson 6 (3-4)
Shingo Takagi 6 (3-4) KENTA 6 (3-4)
Jeff Cobb 6 (3-4) Toru Yano 6 (3-4)
Yujiro Takahashi 0 (0-7) YOSHI-HASHI 2 (1-6)
The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
The epitome of what you would typically get from the middle of the G1. Three matches at ***, one that barely went over, and one that was under. Wildly average from start to finish.