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Kevin’s NJPW G1 Climax 30 Night Sixteen Review

October 14, 2020 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Kevin’s NJPW G1 Climax 30 Night Sixteen Review  

NJPW G1 Climax 30 Night Sixteen
October 14th, 2020 | Yokohama Budokan in Yokohama, Kagawa | Attendance: N/A

After a solid penultimate A Block show, it’s time to set up the final B Block outing. This will determine who is alive on the final show before the finals.

B Block: KENTA [6] vs. YOSHI-HASHI [2]
Their only past meeting was a bad NEVER Title match at Fighting Spirit Unleashed in the Hammerstein Ballroom (¾*). Thankfully, this wasn’t overly long and boring like that one. There’s nothing on the line here except pride as both men were already eliminated (Technically KENTA is alive with a win but it’s like a 1000 to 1 shot). That’s what HASHI has been fighting for since the beginning and he put in another spirited effort here. There were no real shenanigans and just a case of HASHI bringing energy while KENTA was a total dick to him. Once again, that’s KENTA at his best. The cocky prick you want to hate. Sadly, I still can’t buy the Butterfly Lock as a finish. It’s as ineffective as Kokeshi these days. Come to think of it, this YOSHI-HASHI run is like a lesser Honma through the G1 24-25. KENTA won with the LeBelle Lock in 17:40. That went a bit long but was really good. I’m reading that KENTA remained alive here but the best he could finish with would be 10 points. EVIL beat him, so even if EVIL loses out, he’d hold the tiebreaker over him, right? Anyway, good stuff. [***¼]

B Block: Juice Robinson [6] vs. IWGP Tag Team Champion Zack Sabre Jr. [6]
Sabre Jr. holds a 2-0 record over Juice, beating him in the inaugural IWGP US Title tournament (***½) and twisting him into a pretzel in the G1 28 (***¾). As you would expect from these guys, this featured some quality pro wrestling. They’re both very good at what they do. It works as a concept because Sabre Jr. has proven himself to be a strong villain and Juice is the ultimate underdog face. He draws sympathy whenever Sabre is picking apart a limb. They had good back and forth throughout but it never really felt like it got going into being anything out of the ordinary. Sabre Jr. won with the European Clutch in 14:28. Nothing to see here but solid nonetheless. [***]

B Block: IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito [10] vs. Toru Yano [6]
Long history here. Naito is 6-3 all-time against Yano. Here’s what I’ve seen: Yano’s wins in the G1 23 (**¾) and G1 29 (**½); Naito’s wins in the G1 24 (***), G1 25 (**½), New Japan Cup 2016 (**), G1 26 (**¼), and G1 28 (***). I miss undefeated Yano. Gedo is a bad booker. I chuckled at Naito starting this by automatically wanting Yano to be “tranquilo.” He irked Yano with his lengthy process of getting ready. Other than that, this was traditional Yano stuff, including him taping Naito to Yota Tsuji outside. Naito hit a low blow and rollup of his own to win in 8:04. That eliminates Yano, KENTA, and Tanahashi. [**½]

B Block: EVIL [10] vs. Hirooki Goto [8]
Goto leads this series 3-2. There was Power Struggle 2015 (**¾), Wrestling Dontaku 2016 (***¾), Dominion 2016 (***½), New Beginning in Osaka 2018 (**½), and this year’s New Japan Cup (***½). When they get together, it needs to be a hoss fight or bust. They went at it mostly like the two guys they should be and not the neutered version of EVIL who relies of shenanigans every night. EVIL still took shortcuts but they weren’t as bad and he went after the shoulder, which made sense given Goto’s issues this tournament. Goto fought from beneath but as usual, it’s hard for me to get invested in someone who was booked into oblivion. Everything is EVIL put him down after a strong 15:33. Maybe if it wasn’t Goto I would’ve liked it more. Regardless, it’s still a good match that helps set the tone for the final night. [***¼]

B Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi [6] vs. SANADA [8]
I’ve always said that Tanahashi was the guy who first made SANADA look like a star. They’re 2-2 against each other. SANADA won at the G1 26 (****) and New Japan Cup 2019 (****¼), while Tanahashi won at Power Struggle 2016 (****¼) and the G1 29 (***). It feels like SANADA has regressed in recent years, hasn’t it? He must win to remain alive. Tanahashi came in and targeted the legs, looking to setup his Texas Cloverleaf. He did so at a nuanced pace, as NJPW continues to think that booking SANADA in long matches is a good idea. I watched his dreadful 36 minute Okada marathon. Tanahashi found himself in trouble but would go back to the leg to cut off SANADA’s rallies. He sold well, staying down after getting his knees up on High Fly Flow and even having it attacked when he put on Skull End, which broke the hold. As the time limit neared, SANADA hit back-to-back moonsaults to win at the 28:25 mark. A very good match though it went on a bit too long. I miss my Ace racking up 10 points as a minimum. [***½]

Kota Ibushi 12 (6-2) EVIL 12 (6-2)
Jay White 12 (6-2) Tetsuya Naito 12 (6-2)
Kazuchika Okada 12 (6-2) SANADA 10 (5-3)
Will Ospreay 10 (5-3) Zack Sabre Jr. 10 (5-3)
Taichi 8 (4-4) Hirooki Goto 8 (4-4)
Jeff Cobb 8 (4-4) KENTA 8 (4-4)
Shingo Takagi 6 (3-5) Hiroshi Tanahashi 6 (3-5)
Tomohiro Ishii 6 (3-5) Juice Robinson 6 (3-5)
Minoru Suzuki 6 (3-5) Toru Yano 6 (3-5)
Yujiro Takahashi 0 (0-8) YOSHI-HASHI 2 (1-7)
The final score: review Average
The 411
They’ve set up an interesting final day with SANADA, Naito, and EVIL all alive. Technically, ZSJ is but not really. The matches themselves here were fine and consistent, though none felt like you have to go out and watch them.

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G1 Climax 30, NJPW, Kevin Pantoja