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Kevin’s NJPW G1 Climax 30 Night Seventeen Review

October 16, 2020 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
NJPW G1 Climax 30 Kazuchika Okada Will Ospreay Great O-Kharn
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Kevin’s NJPW G1 Climax 30 Night Seventeen Review  

NJPW G1 Climax 30 Night Seventeen
October 16th, 2020 | Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Hall in Tokyo, Japan | Attendance: N/A

It’s the final A Block show! Does Okada get back to the finals for the first time since 2014? Does piece of trash Willy the Ospreay make his first? Can Kota Ibushi reach it for the THIRD straight year? Does Jay White go for the second time in a row? Will Yujiro ever win? Let’s find out.

A Block: Jeff Cobb [8] vs. Yujiro Takahashi [0]
There are strange and convoluted tiebreaker implications here. Yujiro winning would help Will Ospreay. He hasn’t beaten a non-Young Lion in a singles match in about five years but he apparently has a strong record in Sumo Hall in the G1. I liked that you got the sense here that Yujiro was doing whatever he could to avoid the donut. He did things like a fisherman buster and even hit a reverse DDT outside. I appreciate that. Even if you can’t win the G1, you should at least have pride. He still couldn’t get it done, so for the first time in the tournament, Yujiro used his stick as a weapon. It set up an Olympic Slam, Miami Shine, and Pimp Juice to get the two points after 10:30. Pretty good. [**¾]

A Block: NEVER Openweight Champion Minoru Suzuki [6] vs. Shingo Takagi [6]
Their only previous outing came earlier this year when Suzuki won the title from him at Summer Struggle in Jingu (****). They mostly picked up where they left off, going right to war. Minoru has only gotten angrier with each loss since the Taichi one. He has destroyed the likes of Will Ospreay only to keep losing. They were just beating the tar out of each other, which is what you want from them. Suzuki was like a man possessed, rearing back on his arm and wrenching at various limbs in any possible way. Still, Suzuki again couldn’t put his opponent fully away. Shingo bested him with Last of the Dragon after 12:29. Very good fight, though I think I slightly preferred their title match. It seems like we have a third match lined up between them. Shingo’s G1 booking was wildly lackluster. [***¾]

A Block: Kazuchika Okada [12] vs. Will Ospreay [10]
Trash bag human being Will Ospreay is 0-4 against Okada. They happened at Global Wars UK 2015 (***½), Anniversary Event 2018 (***), 2019 New Japan Cup (***¼), and G1 29 (***½). Both men need to win to stay alive. Ospreay came out aggressively, looking to take down Okada and avoid the usual Okada formula. I appreciated that but then Okada weathered the storm and went into his stuff. Ospreay changed his game up a bit, doing things a Hidden Blade off the top, though it didn’t look very good. Eventually, they went into a strike exchange but that’s really neither man’s strong suit so I didn’t love that. Their Stormbreaker/Rainmaker counter sequence had good ideas but looks clunkier than you would expect from these two. Then, Bea Priestley showed up to add another despicable person to the show. NJPW is tone-deaf as hell. She distracted the referee while Okada locked in the Money Clip. The Great O-Kharn, formerly Tomoyuki Oka, showed up with goofy fake teeth and dressed in a suit as he hit Okada with a chokeslam. Ospreay then hit Stormbreaker to win in 17:04. A bit too clunky and convoluted at points. Also, WWE has been pushing some terrible humans as well lately and NJPW is just as awful as they are for it. This company is legitimately doubling down, giving Ospreay 12 points, a win over Okada, bringing in his trash girlfriend, and possibly his own faction. Fuck off. [***¼]

Ospreay attacked Okada more about the bell and shouted that he held him back. Joy.

A Block: Kota Ibushi [12] vs. IWGP Tag Team Champion Taichi [8]
They’ve met twice, splitting them. Ibushi won in the 2009 BOSJ, while Taichi won in this year’s NJC (***½). Ibushi needs to win to stay alive. Okay, let’s get back to good wrestlers. Taichi went after Ibushi and tried trading kicks with him. You could see that it was hurting him more than Ibushi but he still went after it. Honestly, this went on forever but I actually really enjoyed it. As it went on, Taichi started delivering stronger kicks and he seemed to be really into the idea of proving his toughness. There was a stubbornness to this that I loved. After 15 minutes of kicks, they were stuck holding each other up due to the damage and pain. Finally, after only throwing kicks the entire time, Ibushi won with Kamigoye in 17:12. Outstanding. I’ve watched thousands of matches in my lifetime so it’s rare to give me something that I’ve never seen before and this was that. I loved it. [****¼]

Ibushi’s win means only he and Jay White are alive. Ibushi limped off, giving us a story if he makes the finals.

A Block: Jay White [12] vs. Tomohiro Ishii [6]
Ishii won their only match in the G1 29 (***¾). If White wins, he takes the block. He’s immediately the prick you expect him to be, which is a great foil for Ishii always bringing heart to his matches. Similar to the Finals against Ibushi last year, Jay tried trading shots with Ishii only o find himself severely outmatched. His sadness as Ishii leaned into his shots was fantastic. I dug the desperation in his attacks on Ishii’s taped legs or having Gedo help him prevent a superplex. White busted out the TTO, which he dubbed ITO (Ishii Tap Out) for this one as the focus on the leg continued. This was going splendidly until they went into the late overbooking. A ref bump and Gedo interference saw Ishii still manage to overcome it. ISHII HIT A GODDAMN STUNDOG MILLIONAIRE. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? English commentary didn’t sell it well enough. Gedo got involved again but Ishii weathered it and put down White with the Brainbuster after an outstanding 24:35. That was a hell of a main event and I loved it. Jay White has quickly become my favorite heavyweight in NJPW. [****¼]

Kota Ibushi *WINNER* 14 (7-2) EVIL 12 (6-2)
Will Ospreay 12 (6-3) Tetsuya Naito 12 (6-2)
Jay White 12 (6-3) SANADA 10 (5-3)
Kazuchika Okada 12 (6-3) Zack Sabre Jr. 10 (5-3)
Taichi 8 (4-5) Hirooki Goto 8 (4-4)
Jeff Cobb 8 (4-5) KENTA 8 (4-4)
Shingo Takagi 8 (4-5) Hiroshi Tanahashi 6 (3-5)
Tomohiro Ishii 8 (4-5) Juice Robinson 6 (3-5)
Minoru Suzuki 6 (3-6) Toru Yano 6 (3-5)
Yujiro Takahashi 2 (1-8) YOSHI-HASHI 2 (1-7)
The final score: review Very Good
The 411
A great end to the A Block. The G1 ending is SO MUCH better when it’s not just coming down to the main event. Everything on this show mattered, even Yujiro/Cobb just a bit. Shingo/Suzuki was a war, Taichi/Ibushi was a unique and incredible match, and that main event ruled. Hell yeah.

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NJPW G1 Climax, Kevin Pantoja