New Japan Pro Wrestling
G1 Climax 30 – Night 7
September 30, 2020
Korakuen Hall
Tokyo, Japan

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

I could get really used to having the G1 Climax in the fall. Instead of staying inside during the really nice days of summer, it’s a lot easier to justify that during the fall when the weather starts to change. Anyway, let’s get to Night 7!

Yota Tsuji def. Yuya Uemura

These Young Lion openers—being dubbed by many as their own mini-tournament or G1 Climax Block (C Block)—have been a lot of fun. What is really surprising is the lack of slotting during these matches. Going into this tour, it felt like Uemura was above Tsuji and both were above Kidd, but this has been ultra-competitive and a breeze to watch. Today’s match was no different. A standard Young Lion match but Tsuji busted out an airplane spin out of nowhere that got the crowd to gasp as Tsuji immediately transitioned that into a traditional Boston Crab for the submission.

Here are the updated C Block standings:

  • Yota Tsuji: 3-2 / 6 Points
  • Gabriel Kidd: 2-2 / 4 Points
  • Yuya Uemura: 2-3 / 4 Points

G1 Climax 30 A Block
Minoru Suzuki (6) def. Yujiro Takahashi (0)

I have to admit that I was very skeptical of Yujiro in G1 Climax 30. After the last few years—where the blocks were loaded with talent—the inclusion of Yujiro felt very weird. I will give Yujiro credit, for all of his limitations, he hasn’t been offensive. In fact, he’s been good. All of his matches so far in the tournament have been in the 3-star range and this one is no different. They started brawling outside and took it back into the ring. Yujiro went for the Pimp Juice and Suzuki countered it into a chokehold and got the Gotch Style Piledriver for the win. Nothing to go out of your way to see but it was fine. ***

G1 Climax 30 A Block
Kota Ibushi (6) def. Jeff Cobb (2)

Jeff Cobb is a very interesting wrestler in New Japan. His look and physicality are very impressive, but it feels like there is something missing with him. I’m not sure if it’s more charisma or connective tissue in his matches, but that’s about all that is keeping him from becoming a player in New Japan. Now that he is a contracted wrestler, maybe things will improve for him as he works a true New Japan schedule. As for this match, it rocked. Both guys hit hard and showed off their athletic ability in trading standing moonsaults. The move of the match was Cobb hitting an amplified F5 on Ibushi which looked like a million bucks. Ibushi got a high kick, running knee, and finished him off with the Kamigoye. ***1/2

G1 Climax 30 A Block
Kazuchika Okada (4) def. Taichi (6)

The story of Okada has become more and more prevalent as the tournament has gone on. Okada has become more and more determined to win with the money clip and has in turn sacrificed two key victories in the process. In the losses to Ibushi and White, he could have won with the Rainmaker but his story is not that. His injured lower back also plays into it, as Okada has been struggling to get his opponent into the Tombstone. As expected, Taichi goes right after the lower back and doesn’t stop throughout. Multiple times, Okada tries locking on the money clip and finally gets it on the third attempt. Taichi then starts choking Okada leading to our first rainmaker of the tournament. Afterward, we get a series of moves followed with Taichi distracting Marty Asami, kicking Okada in the balls, and getting a 2.99 with a Gedo Clutch. A few minutes later, Okada gets the money clip one more time and gets Taichi to submit. Look, I know this is the story with Okada during this tournament but I don’t like it. It stinks. Okada is like Gretchen Wieners in Mean Girls trying to make fetch happen. It’s just not going to so stop trying. It’s incredible that I am upset with a 3.5-star match, but this is Okada. The floor for a match with Taichi should be 4 stars. ***1/2

G1 Climax 30 A Block
Will Ospreay (6) defeated Jay White (6)

This is a match that was circled on the calendar for me and I am a big fan of both wrestlers in the ring. Will Ospreay has vastly improved his physical move set over the last year and Jay White has put more focus on the in-ring during his matches while still incorporating the character interference schtick that he is so well known for. I really enjoyed how they started the match with just a chop fest. Later on in the match, Ospreay is going for an avalanche Saito suplex when Jay knocks him off.

Eventually, Will does a springboard dropkick to Jay’s back and he falls into the tree of woe. Will tries to go coast to coast and Gedo knocks Jay out of the predicament. This is where the interference is improving. Very effective and not technically cheating. Shortly after, Ospreay counters an attempt at the Blade Runner into a liger bomb which was incredible. Gedo comes in with brass knuckles and tries to interfere but Ospreay thwarts it. Right after that, they go into an awesome closing stretch with Ospreay getting the storm breaker for the win. The second the 3 count hit, Ospreay popped up and gave Jay two middle fingers in the middle of the ring. They have a better match in them but this was great.

If you aren’t sold that Jay White is a top five wrestler in the world, I don’t know what you’ve been watching. His in-ring has always been good, but the quality isn’t being corrupted by the gimmick. With Ospreay destined to turn heel, maybe we get a Jay White babyface run a little earlier than expected. ****1/4



G1 Climax 30 A Block
Tomohiro Ishii (2) defeated Shingo Takagi (2)

Now this is a Korakuen main event! Two beefy wrestlers who just want to beat the living shit out of you. The tough part about a match like this is that, after a while, they start to blend together because the connective tissue is the same even if the moves are different. They don’t vary enough in style and that hurts a match like this. As awesome as these matches are, I already know what I’m going to get so it isn’t as exciting as it once was. Shingo rules. Ishii rules, but against each other its diminishing returns. I just wish they would try something different. The least enjoyable 4-star match I’ve ever seen. Even though I didn’t care for it, the work was great and it was 26 minutes of intense physicality. Shingo going after Ishii a minute after the bell was a great touch. ****

Final Thoughts

This was an overall very solid show that peaked at the semi-main event with White and Ospreay. As we look ahead for the A block, Will Ospreay, Ibushi, Taichi and Jay White all have 6 points with Okada seemingly ready to go on a run having 4 himself. That final night with Ospreay and Okada facing each other is looking more and more like a block deciding match than one or the other playing spoiler. While this didn’t peak as high as night five, NJPW G1 Climax 30 night seven was really solid throughout and did a great job advancing storylines. Night 9 has Okada/Suzuki and Ospreay/Ibushi