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G1 Climax 30 – Week 4 In Review

Heading into the final week of G1 Climax 30, most competitors were still in contention to come out on top. The top of A Block was a 4-way tie, with Kota Ibushi, Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay, and Jay White all on 8 points. It was a different story for B Block where the IWGP Intercontinental and Heavyweight Champion Tetsuya Naito had pulled away from the pack to take the top spot with 10 points, while EVIL was just behind him on 8. However, most wrestlers could still win that block too, depending on the results of the following few days of competition.

Night 13 – October 10th

Tomohiro Ishii vs. Jeff Cobb

The night started off with two of the blocks more powerful entrants, Tomohiro Ishii and Jeff Cobb. This was another in a string of great big man matches in A Block, they aren’t technical masterpieces but show the insane toughness of the guys taking part.

They went out to show who was toughest and it seems they’re fairly evenly matched. Ishii has stronger strikes, and laid them into Cobb. Cobb got in a few stiff shots of his own, but even when they were trading forearms, Ishii was the one who came out on top. Saying that, Cobb did hit a hard running headbutt to take Ishii down mid-way through, and survived a clash of headbutts on the mat.

Cobb showed he was the stronger of the two, throwing Ishii around with ease throughout the match. He picked Ishii up to deliver a a running backdrop that made the Stone Pitbull look like weighed nothing at all. Ishii, on the other hand, struggled to lift Cobb for a vertical suplex, but he got there eventually.

Cobb won through his strength in the end, catching Ishii with a pop up powerbomb and Tour of the Islands to put him away. Ishii had helped Cobb to one of his best matches of the G1. After this brutal encounter, Cobb had brought himself up to 6 points, equal to Ishii’s total.

Winner: Jeff Cobb

Yujiro Takahashi vs. Jay White

White came out in training clothes, clearly not taking Yujiro seriously. Once the bell rang, he told Yujiro to lay down for him, which he did. They played about for a while with White breaking the count a few times.

However, Yujiro suddenly got serious, kicking out of the pin and trying to roll up the Bullet Club leader for 2, and hitting him with a low blow and Miami Shine for another 2. White finally put him away after a Gedo distraction let him hit a low blow himself followed by Bladerunner for the pin. This brought White up to 10 points.

Winner: Jay White

After the match, Gedo had to stop White attacking Yujiro with a chair for daring to try to beat him. White stormed to the back. EVIL could also be on his mind, since he had hinted that Yujiro might not be behind White’s leadership a few nights ago. It’ll be interesting to see how this EVIL/White rivalry plays out.

Will Ospreay vs. Taichi

This was the first time Taichi and Ospreay had met in singles competition since both officially became heavyweights. Taichi started out with his usual dirty tricks, choking Ospreay with the bell hammer, then a cable, and once back in the ring, using his hands.

Ospreay, tried to take control his high-flying moveset. Taichi, however, had answers for much of this, able to catch him from a handspring into a dangerous back drop and attacking his leg to try to keep him grounded. There was a great moment when Ospreay went for an Oscutter, so Taichi just turned around and kicked him out of the air.

Ospreay won with the Oscutter, Hidden Blade, and Stormbreaker. I didn’t thing I was going to like this match at the start, but as it progressed I got far more into it. The two seemed very evenly matched throughout, and it wasn’t obvious at all who was going to come out on top. Taichi dropping the choke attempts and taking things seriously really helped, his style was a good foil to Ospreay. Ospreay was now on 10 points, but Taichi was stuck on 6.

Milano heaped praise on Ospreay after the match in hilarious fashion, shouting, “I love you! I want you! I need you!”. I’m glad he’s found someone to replace EVIL in his heart.

Winner: Will Ospreay

NEVER Openweight Champion Minoru Suzuki vs. Kota Ibushi

Coming into this match, Ibushi had shown throughout the G1 that he can adapt to tough opponents, and Suzuki’s one of the toughest you could ask for.

They started off with some mat wrestling, Suzuki’s done this a few times in the G1 now, reminding us that he can wrestle as well as brawl. They both managed to ground each other, and there was a good spot where they both both hooked in leg locks, then started kicking at each other. It ended when Suzuki rolled out to the apron and Ibushi kicked him to the floor.

The match changed gear at this point, with the two getting into a striking contest on the outside before making it back before the 20-count. In the ring they continued to go at it with hard kicks and strikes. Suzuki was having the time of his life, laughing at Ibushi when he was hitting him, Ibushi joined in the laughter during a long stretch of trading stiff forearms.

Ibsuhi eventually won with a standing Kamigoye followed by a regular Kamigoye for the pin, Suzuki was still smiling on the mat!

This was one of the top matches of the G1 this year. It built constantly and both men were giving it their all for every shot up to the end. I recommend going out of your way to watch this if you haven’t been able to yet.

Ibushi left a bit the worse for wear, but with 10 points, while Suzuki stayed on 6.

Winner: Kota Ibushi

Kazuchika Okada vs. Shingo Takagi

This was the first time Okada and Takagi had met in singles action. Okada’s back seems to be bothering him less with every match now. However, Takagi did spend time in the match focussing on it, using body-scissors, strikes, and a backdrop. At one point he even hit a pop up Death Valley Driver on the Rainmaker.

The match built up well, while Takagi was in control at the beginning, Okada slowly took over to put Takagi on the back foot. He built to a point where he could get Takagi with a dropkick followed by a Tombstone. However, he followed up with the Money Clip which wasn’t enough to put Takagi away.

The match continued at a great pace. For this being their first match together, their chemistry in the ring is amazing. There was a sequence of fast counters towards the end that was fantastic to watch. The end, like the rest of the match, built up well, with Takagi catching Okada attempting a spinning Rainmaker and turning it into Made in Japan for 2. Okada finally hit the spinning Rainmaker after this and locked in the Money Clip, Takagi tried to puch his way out but couldn’t do it and the referee called for the bell as he passed out.

This was an amazing main event, on a par with if not even better than Ibushi vs. Suzuki in the previous match. It was easily both men’s best of the tournament, possibly even just the best match of the G1 so far. I wrote earlier that Ibushi vs. Suzuki was must-see, but I think the entire night is worth watching. Every match on the card was great in it’s own way and worth your time to see.

Night 14 – October 11th

YOSHI-HASHI vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

ZSJ quickly started to focus on YOSHI-HASHI’s left arm with an armbreaker and kicks as well as multiple submission holds throughout the match. YOSHI-HASHI was able to get some offence in, with solid strikes and a dropkick to ZSJ when he was hanging over the top rope. He also tied ZSJ up in the Butterfly Lock for some time but ZSJ reached the ropes. After several Karma attempts, YOSHI-HASHI settled for a roll-up for a long 2. After this ZSJ went straight back to YOSHI-HASHI’s arm, then wrenched back both of his arms into the Clarky Cat submission for a referee stoppage.

It was a good match to start the night. ZSJ dominated with his submissions, relentlessly going back to YOSHI-HASHI’s left arm at every opportunity. YOSHI-HASHI put up a good fight too, and I was biting for the roll-up near the end. The win took ZSJ to 8 points while YOSHI-HASHI stayed on 2, I’m still hopeful YOSHI-HASHI will pick up another win.

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr.

Toru Yano vs. KENTA

This was a lot of fun, with KENTA going along with Yano’s usual antics. They argued over using foreign objects, with KENTA faking putting down his briefcase a few times. On the outside, Yano sprayed KENTA with disinfectant. Back inside, KENTA threw Yano into a now-exposed turnbuckle and poured disinfectant over him and rolled him up for 2. Outside the ring, after the referee had been distracted by being covered in disinfectant himself, KENTA hit Yano with the briefcase which was revealed to be full of tape. KENTA used the tape to tie Yano to the entrance structure and got back in the ring while Yano was counted out. On the way back up the ramp, KENTA had to avoid kicks from a shocked Yano.

There’s not much to say about the match, but it was more good comedy wrestling from Yano. I thought I would be tired of it by now, but his matches always make me laugh. KENTA now had three wins and 6 points, while Yano stayed on the same 6 points.

Winner: KENTA

SANADA vs. Juice Robinson

Juice led the start of the match and had the crowd behind him for a lot of that time. SANADA tried to gain the momentum after a Paradise Lock, but Juice came right back with a great superplex followed by a jackhammer. I like that the combination is a regular part of Juice’s moveset now. Juice continued to stop SANADA’s offence, at one point catching him when he attempted a rana and turning it into a jacknife powerbomb for 2. In the second half of the match, Juice turned Skull End into a Pulp Friction attempt and the two reversed those moves several times until Juice surprised SANADA with an inside cradle for a long 2. SANADA finally locked in Skull End, then hit the Muto moonsault for the pinfall victory.

Juice had a great showing again, delivering most of the offence for the match. The sequence of reversing pulp friction and Skull End was great. It was good to see SANADA actually hit the Muto moonsault after letting go of Skull End, it’s often his downfall. This was SANADA’s fourth win in a row, taking him up to 8 points, Juice stayed on 6.

Winner: SANADA

Hirooki Goto vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi

Tanahashi went after Goto’s left knee from the start utilising submissions, strikes, and a dragon screw through the ropes. Goto made a bit of a comeback with an Ushigoroshi, but he hit it on the bad knee and damaged himself further. From there, every time Goto started to build up some steam, Tanahashi was there to take him down, whether it be with a Slingblade, or a hard palmstrike to the jaw, a move he broke Goto’s jaw with a few years ago.

Goto got desperate and ended up hitting another Ushigoroshi, this time from the top turnbuckle, hurting his knee again in the process. From there, he was able to hit a reverse GTR, and finished with a regular GTR for the pinfall.

This was a shorter match than I might have expected, but it was all the better for it. It allowed Goto to sell the bad knee but still get a convincing win, if it had carried on too long, it would have risked becoming unbelievable that he could continue on it to victory. However, he got a great win and it brought him up to 8 points, while Tanahashi stayed on 6.

Winner: Hirooki Goto

IWGP Intercontinental and Heavyweight Champion Tetsuya Naito vs. EVIL

This was EVIL and Naito’s third singles match since EVIL betrayed Naito to join Bullet Club at the New Japan Cup final. I haven’t loved EVIL’s run in the G1 so far, mainly because of the constant interference from Dick Togo, but I was still looking forward to this one as the two were tied at one win each since the betrayal.

The match started off slow, with Naito taking control early and locking in a leg lace Nelson. It wasn’t long after that Togo got involved, tripping Naito and letting EVIL take charge. On the outside he hit his familiar moves, dropping Naito on a pile of chairs and hitting the baseball swing with one wrapped around Naito’s neck.

EVIL seemed to have Naito’s number throughout the match, countering several of his big moves, including pulling him away from the ropes when he attempted a tornado DDT off them. Naito got in some offence of his own, getting a 2-count with Gloria out of desperation. Naito had some counters of his own, stopping Darkness Falls more than once. He couldn’t overcome Togo though, whose interference allowed EVIL to hit his now-signature low blow. Naito managed to come back with a running Destino, but EVIL countered the regular version with Darkness Falls for the win.

I was disappointed with the result here, but it does keep the Block open with EVIL equalling Naito’s 10 points at the top of the table. It was a decent main event for the show, and the last few minutes were great, but the interference does spoil it a bit for me.

Winner: EVIL

Night 15 – October 13th

Will Ospreay vs. Jeff Cobb

I wasn’t sure what to expect for this opener, but Ospreay’s been consistently good in the tournament and Cobb has been improving with every match, so I was optimistic. It started off with a nice sequence, Ospreay took Cobb down went for Sasuke Special but Cobb caught him. He tried to powerbomb Ospreay off the apron to the floor, but Ospreay was able to counter and hit the Sasuke Special after all. That set some of the tone for the match, as both were able to counter each other throughout. Unfortunately, it led to the match being a bit stop/start for me and never quite clicked. As standalone spots, Cobb turning an Oscutter into an F5000 and Ospreay being able to hit a Spanish fly on Cobb were impressive, but it didn’t really flow. The match ended when Cobb countered a Stormbreaker with Croyt’s Wrath, then hit Tour of the Islands for the pin.

This was a big win for Cobb that felt like an upset. It’s a shame the match wasn’t better, I think the two can do it, but it got Cobb up to 8 and Ospreay was still near the top of the table with 10.

Winner: Jeff Cobb

Yujiro Takahashi v Kota Ibushi

This was another match where Yujiro was able to get in a lot of offence on an opponent who is on another level to him talent-wise. I did enjoy a few moves, Yujiro was able to hit a fisherman buster off the top turnbuckle and another on the mat for a 2-count. There was also a nice moment where he though he was avoiding a dropkick from Ibushi by sliding underneath but Ibushi caught him with a double foot stomp. However, overall it was a bit flat. It ended after Yujiro escaped a Kamigoye attempt, and Ibushi hit it the second time for the pin. Ibushi moved to 12 points, and Yujiro was still at the bottom with none.

Taichi vs. Shingo Takagi

Takagi had the strength advantage in this one, so Taichi resorted to his usual tactics, choking Takagi with the bell hammer and a cable on the outside, then choking him on the mat. After this, the two were surprisingly well matched, Taichi was able to hold his own using kicks to respond to Takagi’s blows. They traded the Ax and Pumping Bombers with the Pumping Bomber proving to be superior. The best sequences were saved for near the end, when the referee was distracted, Taichi tried a low blow, but Takagi avoided it and caught Taichi in a Gedo clutch for 2. Later, Taichi escaped Last of the Dragon with an eye gouge, but hit one of his own on Takagi. After this, Taichi took Takagi down with a hard kick, then hit Black Mephisto for the win.

I really enjoyed this one, it was a great match with a brilliant finishing sequence and could have gone either way. As it was, Taichi got the points to move to 8, while Takagi stayed on 6.

Winner: Taichi

Jay White vs. NEVER Openweight Champion Minoru Suzuki

White was near the top of the table with 5 wins under his belt at this point, and hoping to join the top of the table with 12. Suzuki, although he’s had some great performances in this G1, only had 6 points for his efforts and was no doubt hoping to spoil White’s tournament.

The match started slow with the two trying to wear each other down. It picked up when White made the mistake of bringing a chair into the ring while Gedo distracted the referee, Suzuki grabbed it off him and hit White with it repeatedly. White made a comeback with a suplex into the corner, but Suzuki came back again. It didn’t matter what White did, he couldn’t keep Suzuki down, at one point Suzuki was chasing him on his knees demanding more chops. Gedo was able to keep the match alive for White, distracting the referee when Suzuki was making him tap to an armbar, and then played a role in the finish, letting White hit a low blow to escape the Gotch-style piledriver. He followed up with the Bladerunner for the win.

It was a great match with White trying to outsmart Suzuki to start and then just survive as it progressed. Suzuki looked like he was out to do as much damage as he could and succeeded for the most part. HE looked white hot with rage as he was being dragged to the back by young lions. White got to join the top with 12 points, Suzuki stayed at 6.

Winner: Jay White

Kazuchika Okada vs. Tomohiro Ishii

Much like White and Suzuki, this match had Okada 10 points trying to join the top of A Block with 12, but Ishii just wanted to stay in the game as he sat on 6.

Okada started off in control, even knocking Ishii down with a shoulder tackle, but the Stone Pitbull started attacking with stiff forearms. Okada showed his own toughness, walking into the strikes, but Ishii took him down. The two weren’t holding back, where Ishii was using strikes and a hard headbutt to Okada’s gut, Okada was back with a flapjack and a great Air Raid Crash neckbreaker. Ishii took control for a time, using a suplex in the corner and a big superplex to target his back. Ishii made good use of his head, headbutting Okada to escape the Money Clip. Ishii got out of the move a few more times, even using a Codebreaker near the end. Okada kept going back to it, until eventually Ishii passed out, giving Okada the win. Okada joined the top of the table with 12 points, Ishii was still on 6.

This was a Great match from the two, with both giving as good as they got. The Money Clip made for a flat ending unfortunately, but getting closer and closer to Okada using the Rainmaker once again.

Winner: Kazuchika Okada

Night 16- October 14th

YOSHI-HASHI vs. KENTA

KENTA made the mistake so many have in this year’s G1, not taking YOSHI-HASHI seriously. He spent some time staring at YOSHI-HASHI’s staff on his way to the ring. YOSHI-HASHI was aggressive from the outset with chops and a swinging neckbreaker. KENTA took charge, though, concentrating on YOSHI-HASHI’s arm with submissions and strikes, likely setting up for Game Over. YOSHI-HASHI got some offence in, with a great brainbuster to KENTA and overcoming more attacks on his arm to hit a running powerbomb and use the Butterfly Lock. KENTA escaped though, going back on the attack. After a few attempts and another YOSHI-HASHI comeback, KENTA finally locked in Game Over for the tap out win.

This was a good way to open the show, it was a solid match, with YOSHI-HASHI once again giving a great performance although he got less offence than in previous matches. KENTA never really looked to be in trouble, and it felt like a matter of time for him to get the win. He went to 8 points, YOSHI-HASHI still at 2.

Winner: KENTA

Juice Robinson v Zack Sabre Jr.

This was another solid match. Juice won an opening back and forth, so ZSJ changed his game plan and started a vicious attack on Juice’s left arm, twisting it around and stomping on it. Every time Juice started to build up to something, ZSJ was straight back to the arm. Juice struggled to hit big moves because of the damage, but eventually got a Juicebox for a 2-count. He hit a Right Hand of God rather than left, but it wasn’t enough. When they were back on the mat, there were some roll-up attempts, and ZSJ used a European clutch pin for the win.

The quick pin at the end was a surprise after the limb work, but it was a good way to go. Both guys put on a good match, with Juice in particular selling the arm brilliantly. ZSJ ended up on 10 points, Juice still on 6.

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr.

IWGP Intercontinental and Heavyweight Champion Tetsuya Naito vs. Toru Yano

This was a fun match, Naito went for comedy antics to mock Yano. At one point he was running at a turnbuckle pad with his arms flailing and attempted to take it off. He was too slow though, Yano had taken another off and hit him with it. The best part came when Yano taped Naito to young lion Tsuji on the outside when they were on opposite sides of a barrier. Tsuji managed to squeexe through the bars and he and Naito got in the ring together, dropping Yano with a double clothesline. Once they were seperated, Naito slammed Tsuji on top of Yano. Yano managed a low blow, but Naito did the same and rolled Yano up for the win. Naito went to the top of the table on 12 points, Yano’s winning streak is now a distant memory as he stayed on 6.

If you like comedy matches, this is for you, not Yano’s best but Naito joining in the fun made it all the better.

Winner: Tetsuya Naito

EVIL vs. Hirooki Goto

EVIL was looking to join Naito on 12 points here, while Goto was just hoping to get into double digits. Goto was in an agreesive mood in this match, taking EVIL down and stomping on him. They sped up while running the ropes and after a few feints, Goto hit an Ushigoroshi. Later, he landed a pescado on both EVIL and Togo on the outside. EVIL held his own, though, with huge lariats and Darkness Falls getting him a 2-count. Togo tried to get involved, but Goto was able to overcome his interference. The last few minutes featured a great sequence of reversals, ending with EVIL getting the win with Everything is EVIL.

Apart from the finishing sequence and seeing Togo get some comeuppance, I wasn’t really into this match. It was better than I expected, but not one to go out of your way to see. EVIL achieved his goal of 12 points, Goto couldn’t get past 8.

Winner: EVIL

SANADA vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi

This one could also be seen as Glam vs. Classic Rock with SANADA’s new ring gear. The match started slow with a series of counters which neither came out on top of. Tanahashi decided to go for SANADA’s knee, and kept going back to it throughout the match with submissions, strikes, and dragon screws. Tanahashi showed he was going all out when he hit Aces High from the top turnbuckle to SANADA on the outside later in the match.

SANADA got in a lot of offence of his own, including a Paradise Lock around the ropes which he left Tanahashi locked in while he hyped up the crowd. After taking several assaults to his knee, SANADA was able to hit the Magic Killer using the ropes for leverage. He finally locked in Skull End but made the mistake of going for the Muto moonsault too soon and Tanahashi got his knees up. After a nice sequence of Skull End/dragon sleeper reversals, Tanahashi went back to the top, he tried a High Fly Flow but was caught by a Randy Orton-style TKO out of nowhere. That was enough, SANADA hit the Muto moonsault twice and took the win.

I loved that main event, the first Muto moonsault counter made me think Tanahashi was going to take the match, but I was glad to see SANADA get the victory. This took him to 10 points and left Tanahashi on a disappointing 6.

Winner: SANADA

Heading into the final weekend, A Block is led by White, Ibushi and Okada on 12 points. There are paths to victory in the block for all three, and an outside chance for Ospreay to tie if all three lose on Friday.

For B Block, EVIL’s and Naito are both on 12 points, but EVIL has the edge as he beat Naito earlier in the G1. SANADA is also in contention if he beats EVIL, and Naito loses to KENTA on Saturday.

The full line-up for the rest of the tournament can be found on NJPW’s G1 Climax 30 minisite and we have the full schedule and key matches listed in our article from September 25th.

We will be posting full results for G1 Climax 30 every day throughout the tournament, so make sure to check back regularly for news, results and analysis.