After a month of gruelling competition the G1 Climax 30 came to a head in Ryogoku Sumo Hall. Not only were Kota Ibushi and SANADA set to go head-to-head for the biggest tournament in professional wrestling we were also set to see some of the stories that have littered the G1 continue as well as new rivalries begin.
Here are the results in short:
*Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr, El Desperado & DOUKI (SUzuki-gun) defeated Toru Yano, YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto (Chaos) by pinfall
*Hiromu Takahashi & Shingo Takagi (LIJ) defeated Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (Suzuki-gun) by pinfall
*Master Wato, Jeff Cobb, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Juice Robinson defeated Jay White, Taiji Ishimori, KENTA & Gedo (Bullet Club) by pinfall
*Great-O-Khan & Will Ospreay defeated Kazuchika Okada & SHO (Chaos) by submission
*EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi (Bullet Club) defeated BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito (LIJ) by submission
*Kota Ibushi defeated SANADA (LIJ) by pinfall
Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr., El Desperado & DOUKI (Suzuki-gun) v Toru Yano, YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto (Chaos)
Taichi came into the match still nursing the wounds of his kicking war with Kota Ibushi a couple of days prior. He soldiered on in our return to tag team action in NJPW to help give his Suzuki-gun side the win thanks to a double team Zack Mephisto (with his Dangerous Tekkers partner of course) on Yoshi-Hashi. In a shock move they allowed Douki to get the pinfall giving him an incredibly rare moment of victory. You can probably count on 1 hand the amount of wins Douki has in NJPW since he debuted at last year’s Best of the Super Juniors. This is a huge win and Douki made his intentions known by grabbing the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championships (currently held by YH, Ishii and Goto) while Suzuki-gun continued the beating on Chaos. New challengers then? But who will be Douki’s partners? Could Dangerous Tekkers step up in an attempt to win more gold to go alongside their IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships? To add insult to injury, Suzuki-gun would attack Ishii’s already injured knee with a steel chair backstage.
Hiromu Takahashi & Shingo Takagi (LIJ) v Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (Suzuki-gun)
In a turn of events that shocked absolutely no one we got plenty of brawling on the outside. Eventually, as the match evened out, Hiromu would find his back the target of Suzuki and Kanemaru. The LIJ pair would gain the upper hand eventually with Hiromu getting a statement win over Kanemaru with the Time Bomb. He then grabbed the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship belt carried by Kanemaru and signified his intent. Kanemaru and El Desperado beat Hiromu alongside Bushi in a tournament final at the New Japan Road just before the G1 to win the vacant championships. There’s been no confirmation of a Super Junior Tag League this year for Power Struggle so perhaps we’ll just get the rematch for the titles instead in Osaka?
Master Wato, Jeff Cobb, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Juice Robinson v Jay White, Taiji Ishimori, KENTA & Gedo (Bullet Club)
After an abs showdown between the Ace and King Switch we would see the most inexperienced man in the match, Master Wato, isolated by BC. After much goading we would see Tenzan (Wato’s mentor) get involved on the outside hitting his famous Mongolian Chops on Jay White. Eventually Tanahashi would get control with Gedo the legal man and turn him into a Texas Cloverleaf to finish the G1 tour on a high.
Great-O-Khan & Will Ospreay v Kazuchika Okada & SHO (Chaos)
On Friday night we saw Will Ospreay drive a stake through Okada and Chaos. Tonight he drove it further. Both he and O-Khan were accompanied by Bea Priestley again who made sure to get involved in the match. An unusually uncompossed Okada started the match hot doing a Suzuki-gun style jump start. But Ospreay and O-Khan would turn the match in their favour with Sho isolated. Priestley got involved hitting a Dragon Screw with Will Ospreay tying up Sho for the tap out win. Ospreay’s new faction doesn’t have a name yet but they’re already proving dangerous.
EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi (Bullet Club) v BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito (LIJ)
In a great, fast paced tag match we would see the rivalry between Naito and Evil rekindled. Bushi would be the target for Bullet Club and Evil would make him tap out to a Scorpion Deathlock. After the match we would see Dick Togo use the garrotte on Naito and he would then take an Everything is Evil. With Evil being one of the guys to hold a victory over Naito in the G1 (along with Sanada and Kenta) he is staking his claim for a shot, again, at the Double Championships. Perhaps at Power Struggle?
SANADA v Kota Ibushi
And here we are! 2 men with contrasting tournaments end up in the final. Ibushi has been in the mix from night one whereas Sanada had to scrap from 0-3 to make the finals. Despite the differences in how they got here they are very similar in terms of styles. Both are ridiculous athletes who can do jaw dropping things in, out and over the ropes as well as incredible technical wrestlers.
Unsurprisingly, we got a fast paced and classical wrestling match to begin with. There was a moment of miscommunication when Sanada went for the dropkick and Ibushi was meant to slide under him but Sanada just landed awkwardly on top of Ibushi, He brushed it off though and carried on. The match slowed down before building back up to a crescendo in the last 10 minutes. It looked like Sanada had the win on a couple of occasions. First he was about to hit a second Moonsault but Ibushi got his knees up. On the second occasion Sanada used the same O’Connor Roll on Ibushi that he beat Evil with yesterday only for Ibushi to kick out at 2 and 9/10. I’ve never seen a closer near fall in my life. Eventually Ibushi would hit a V-Trigger and Kamigoye only for shade of last year’s final to hit when Sanada kicked out. Down came the knee pad and a second Kamigoye and Ibushi won the G1 for the second year in a row.
A great match but maybe a little below the high expectations. Either way, Ibushi will have the opportunity to erase the ghosts of his 2 defeats at Tokyo Dome at the beginning of the year. A roadblock would appear at the post match press conference however as Jay White showed up to remind Ibushi those title opportunities need defending and White had beaten Ibushi in the G1.
As for Sanada, it’s difficult to see where Cold Skull goes from here. Every big opportunity he has in a single main event he loses. Multiple shots at the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, a New Japan Cup Final and now a G1 Climax Final. How many more chances is he going to get before he wins or people give up on him as a big singles star?
And that’s the G1 done for another year. Despite the Covid-19 restrictions NJPW have delivered as always. We’ll be back on Friday as the Road to Power Struggle begins. See you then!
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