New Japan Pro Wrestling
G1 Climax 2020 Night 3
September 23, 2020
Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center
Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan

Watch: NJPW World
Daily Audio Reviews: patreon.com/voicesofwrestling & patreon.com/wrestlingomakase
VOW G1 Climax 30 Standings & Scores: voicesofwrestling.com/g130pickem/

G1 Climax 30 A Block
Jeff Cobb (2) def. Shingo Takagi (0)

Overall an ok match but I couldn’t help feel being a bit let down. Cobb has always been a little underwhelming in singles matches and its a trend that continued here. Given that he was up against someone the caliber of Shingo Takagi that is worrying. Though this match more than any other on the card was hurt by the clapping crowd.

In theory, this had everything you could want from a match between these two as they went pretty hard and kept the pace fairly fast for most of the match. On the downside, this meant that both were getting fairly gassed towards the end despite the match only being slightly above ten minutes. There also wasn’t much to sink your teeth into as far as emotional investment goes as it felt like a fairly disconnected parade of spots. Cobb will have a couple more chances to prove himself in this tournament but this was one of his matchups that I was looking forward to the most.

Powered by RedCircle

G1 Climax 30 A Block
Kazuchika Okada (2) def. Yujiro Takahashi (0)

Yet another horrendous Yujiro/Okada match. These two have some of the worst chemistry of any major league wrestlers right now. Yujiro had an ok match on the first night but this was right back to his bad form. Hopefully, with this win, Okada has finally left this atrocious feud behind him and he can start taking this tournament seriously.

After his good but slightly disappointing match with Ibushi and his sloppy performances since New Japan has returned from the shutdown he now has the chance to re-establish himself as a top guy in New Japan. If he does not or can not start turning things up soon he is in danger of getting bypassed by the guys that are on the rungs below him on the ladder. Also, he needs to stop doing that stupid Cobra Clutch move as it never looks good.

G1 Climax 30 A Block
Taichi (4) def. Minoru Suzuki (2)

If you didn’t know that these two are in the same faction you would have assumed that they have been feuding for years. This was an intensely physical match and neither of them held anything back. Right from the get-go they just brawling the moment Suzuki enters the ring and they don’t let up until Taichi gets the win.

Taichi has been Suzuki’s number 2 since he moved up the heavyweight and this match was a clear indicator that he will replace him as the leader of their faction before long. Suzuki is still the NEVER champion so Taichi is unlikely to take over this year but I do expect this to turn into an actual feud around Wrestle Kingdom time. Either with these two facing off for the NEVER belt or Taichi turning on Suzuki at New Years Dash.

G1 Climax A Block
Will Ospreay (4) def. Tomohiro Ishii (0)

A great performance by Ishii that nevertheless still did not live up to admittedly lofty expectations. Ishii sold his ass off in the match and took some very big bomb. It’s still amazing that is able to keep up this incredibly physical style at 44 years old. This match was also worked at a hellish pace with no downtime for all of its nearly 20 minutes.

But with that said I did go into the match expecting a match of the year contender and it never got to that level. That certainly wasn’t on Ishii though who put in yet another tremendous performance and is well on his way to becoming the MVP of the G1 yet again. He has a ton more enticing matchups coming up and I’m sure that at least one of them will be in contention for my top 5 by the end of the year. It just won’t be this match




G1 Climax A Block
Jay White (4) def. Kota Ibushi (2)

A great performance by both men and performance almost worthy of the match of the night. Jay White is really starting to put it all together now. He has been a blue-chip prospect for a long time but the one thing missing from his game was that his control periods used to be very dull. He has now eliminated that weakness and has transformed into a complete performer. He is legitimately one of the best in the world right now and given that he is only 27 now will be counted among the elite for a long time.

He tore apart Ibushi’s leg here who did a good job selling it for the most part aside from the finishing stretch. The interference from Gedo has also become a lot more toned down now, which makes sense given that that is now more EVIL’s shtick. It has definitely helped the quality of Jay’s matches and I hope that they keep it that way. While I do think that he will remain a heel for a little bit longer New Japan will make a ton of money with him as a babyface once he turns.

Final Thoughts

A solid night of G1 Climax 30 action. The first two matches were underwhelming but everything from the third match on is good to great. Taichi vs Suzuki was the match of the night for me but Jay White vs Ibushi was close behind.