New Japan Pro-Wrestling
G1 Climax 30: Night 12
October 8, 2020
Zip Arena Okayama
Okayama, Okayama Prefecture, Japan

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On night 12 of the G1 Climax 2020 we have B Block action. Last time we had Naito adding more points in a match with one of the standouts of the B block YOSHI-HASHI, Tanahashi and Sanada getting out of their slumps, and EVIL trying to catch up to the champ. Goto probably had something in the microwave and beat Yano in 18 seconds for the shortest match in G1 history. We’ll see what happens tonight with EVIL vs Tanahashi in the main event and the match I’m personally looking forward to, Tetsuya Naito vs Juice Robinson. Here we go!

Gabriel Kidd Def. Yuya Uemura

We start with Young Lion action from a really lit up Zip Arena in Okayama. It even looks more socially distanced than the other arenas. This was a submission oriented match, with both wrestlers just holding the opponent in different holds and changing it when the opponent reversed it. While it was this way, it was very dynamic and had a lot of fire. Then Uemura hit Kidd with his shoulder, he countered with a dropkick, and it ended with Kidd hitting a double underhook suplex. If you’ve watched the past 11 Young Lions matches in the tournament, watch this one too. If you skip them, try this one out. The opening match is always a great three stars match. Curious enough, my score for this match is ***.

G1 Climax 30 B Block

Hirooki Goto (4) Def. YOSHI-HASHI (2)

We have here YOSHI-HASHI which has been a favorite of mine here in the block and Goto, who is always solid and his story throughout the tournament has been the problems with his right shoulder. We have a cocky YOSHI-HASHI taking advantage of Goto’s shoulder and him wanting to kill this man for daring to take advantage of his weakness. After Goto tried to take him down with power moves, YOSHI applied the butterfly lock, which might look lame, but at least it makes sense with Goto’s shoulder being the target. Goto got out of it, and after a strike exchange and YOSHI firing up and almost winning, Goto hit the GTO to end this. This was a great action filled match and another great performance by both wrestlers. Cocky YOSHI-HASHI and mad Goto filled my heart with glee and this match a perfect way to start the G1 portion of the show. I would go **** easily.

G1 Climax 30 B Block

Zack Sabre Jr. (4) Def. Toru Yano (6)

Again, I like Toru Yano and I think he brings balance to the G1 proceedings. After he lost in 18 seconds against Goto, I was waiting to see what happened on this night against Zack Sabre, who has a great sense of humor. I knew I was in for fun when Sabre got Yano’s KOPW trophy and threw it away and just kept pointing at Yano since he does not trust him. Yano proved his trustworthiness by throwing all of his roll of tapes away. He wanted to straight wrestle Sabre, and they tried to have an amateur wrestling match at first, where Yano always luckily landed on the rope break when Sabre applied anything. Obviously this is a Yano match, so it ended up on the outside, where Yano found a roll of tape and a chair and tied Sabre to it through the rail. A mad Sabre escaped, tried a Yano-like shenanigan by applying the submission on the outside so he could win by countout, but Yano made it to the ring back in time. After more Yano shenanigans with the turnbuckle, Sabre won by submitting him. At first the match was fun, but I think that it went a little long. Still, a fun match to watch, even though it’s nothing special. ***

G1 Climax 30 B Block

SANADA (4) Def. KENTA (4)

This started with KENTA attacking SANADA before the bell rang. This was a KENTA dominated match with the usual flourish from SANADA to escape from his holds. SANADA does all of his signature moves, and with the exception of the Paradise Lock, KENTA escapes from SANADA’s offence. Then there was the ref bump, but at least it did not diminish from the match since it did not work for KENTA’s favor and the officer came back fast. SANADA won with a rollup on a surprised KENTA. I enjoyed this match and it is one of SANADA’s better efforts in the tournament. KENTA killed it here, I have been loving his output in this G1. Today was no different from any other day. SANADA is being built as one of the main points guy for the last night, so the result is not surprising. Great wrestling action and performances by both wrestlers. ***3/4

G1 Climax 30 B Block

Tetsuya Naito (8) Def. Juice Robinson (6)

Don’t know why, but I have fresh memories from their Intercontinental title match in 2017, especially the spinebuster on the apron spot, so I was excited for this match. The crowd was very excited for the match too, which is strange since we are in clap crowd mode, but you just felt it. It is also confirmed when you see the crowd when the bell rings. Juice is one of the best wrestlers in pumping the crowd up in the clap NJPW era.

Juice started with the advantage here, but Naito turned it around fast, just attacking him and even sending him to the rail outside. He was straight up mocking Juice’s taunt while attacking him, which is awesome funny cocky Naito action. A spinebuster got the advantage back to Juice. It was back and forth from them on, with the crowd clearly behind Juice, clapping “We Will Rock You” to pump him up. A poisonrana and top rope hurricanrana to Juice was not enough to stop him, and when he tried to suplex Naito, he reversed it into a surprise Destino for a two count. After a strike exchange where they made fun of each other, they had a back and forth battle to see who finished this. Naito won with a Destino. Holy crap, this match was amazing. It is Juice’s best tournament match and reminded me why I liked him. Naito killed it with an awesome performance and keeps showing me why I like him in this G1. The crowd made this even better, like a hot crowd always does. This was a back and forth war that needs to be seen. ****½

G1 Climax 30 B Block

EVIL (6) Def. Hiroshi Tanahashi (4)

This is Tanahashi’s third main event here in the B block on his quest for more wins. EVIL has been so-so in the G1, so we’ll see if this ends up on the good side. Spoilers: it does not.

Match started with a lock up and then proceeded with the usual EVIL-Togo bullshit. EVIL did the chair on the throat spot on Tanahashi and Tsuji on the outside ate a suplex on a pile of chairs. Tanahashi was able to creatively counter the “EVIL throwing his foot to the referee” and took control of the match, even though Togo kept up the distraction. Honestly, the distraction was over the top. Tsuji even neutralized Togo, but he came back immediately throwing a chair to Tanahashi and then came back to hit him in the legs while on the top rope. Togo even tried to choke Tanahashi, but it did not work. The match ended with a Everything is Evil after a million distractions.

Your feelings on this match depends on how you feel about EVIL and the Bullet Club shenanigans. Me? Not a big fan, which made this match a disappointing main event, especially after two great matches before it. EVIL will probably be in contention to win the B block alongside Naito and SANADA, so this is why he won. So yeah, you probably know how to feel about this match even if you have not seen it. This match had too much shenanigans for my liking, especially for a main event. ***

Final Thoughts

Maybe it’s because I’m in a good mood, but today has been one of my favorite B block nights. You have a great match in Naito vs Juice that even the clap crowd was having fun with. KENTA/SANADA and YOSHI-HASHI/Goto were really good. Yano had a really funny match and even though I did not like the main event, it had solid work, but way too much shenanigans for me, and I say that as a man that likes Yano matches. If you don’t have much time, go for Naito vs Juice, but the show flies by and it’s one of the B block’s best efforts.