New Japan Pro-Wrestling
G1 Climax 30: Night 13
October 10, 2020
Osaka Prefectural Gym
Osaka, Japan

Watch: NJPW World

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VOW G1 Climax 30 Standings & Scores: http://voicesofwrestling.com/g130pickem/

We’ll keep this intro brief. There are tw0-and-a-half hours of A Block, I’ve got a half-pot of coffee, half a pack of strawberry Pop-Tarts, it’s 4 a.m. and I’m wearing sunglasses. HIT IT!

Yuya Uemura def. Yota Tsuji

Young Lions have been fun this Climax, so going in I expected this to be no different. As per usual this was a good solid Young Lions opener that was a nice showcase of both talents, which isn’t me ho-humming just how it’s been and how I like it. The one added thing is that as we go on, we’ve had a bit of a rivalry and tale of each of them trying to be the better competitor with Tsuji holding a win advantage and Yuya wanting to even things up. Watching rivalries grow and talent improve and expand are two of the big reasons watching Young Lions is an absolute must, especially when that rivalry could potentially carry on to bigger and more important things in the future.

I said this was a nice solid match, but truth be told that I undersold that by a margin. They just work really well together, and Uemura’s double underhook suplex finish was a thing of beauty. I absolutely loved watching him pull that off. This was a very good start to the show, which the Young Lions have been succeeding at pulling off the majority of this tournament. So when it’s all said and done I have zero complaints with what was presented here. Never skip. ***1/2

Jeff Cobb (6) def. Tomohiro Ishii (6)

When I saw this on the schedule I smelled the possibility this could be Cobb’s best match of the tournament. Beef slapping against beef is something I always enjoy, and they both brought the beef. Early in the match Cobb just launches Ishii with a released suplex, and despite being only half past 4 I found myself going “OH SHIT” at the risk of a noise complaint. This match was just two big beefy men trying to out beef each other and I was all here for it. The kind of match that pairs well with early mornings and my second cup of coffee. It wakes me up, gets me going, and I just feel so amped watching it.

Cobb just being able to throw Ishii around with certain moves proves he’s no slouch and is just something to watch. Cobb is having a much better G1 than his first. I gave another “OH SHIT” noise complaint risk with a particular headbutt he delivers to Ishii. Of course, Ishii is rocking this G1 (as he does) and I sincerely think he got the best out of Cobb and perhaps helped along to give us Cobb’s best G1 match in this tournament yet. In fact, I thought this was great. I loved this. I absolutely loved this. It was hard-hitting, they were some gnarly suplexes, the crowd was into it, both men went at it, and this just isn’t the best match for Cobb, it was a high-end top-notch match for Ishii as well. Damn, looks like I’m having some bangers to go with my coffee. Watch this. ****1/2

Jay White (10) def. Yujiro Takahashi (0)

Poor winless Yujiro. I never expected I would end up wanting to see when and if he gets that one victory, but due to effort and not being completely awful as expected I am interested in seeing if he does. Who knew? They teased Yujro taking the fall on purpose to give Jay White the victory but it ended up being a trick so Yujiro could attempt some quick pins to get his first victory. The match started properly there with Yujiro getting offense and pin attempts in to tease getting that first victory over and over again. I’ll admit, at least once I thought he was going to get a quick one. Then Gedo interfered, Jay White low blowed Yujiro, hit the Blade Runner, and it was all over from there.

At least it didn’t go overly long, they gave Yujiro some near falls in an attempt to win, and I did enjoy Jay White getting upset at the end of the match for Yujiro daring to try and go for the victory. It kind of plays to me that Yujiro really wants that victory, even if it’s over his leader. Also, did EVIL convince him to do that? Hmmmm. All that is fine, but in the end, there’s not much more to say about this. I’m going to be neutral and give this a non-rating because while it wasn’t much, it accomplished what it needed to do. N/R

NJPW Intermission/Merchandise Music: ******

NJPW Will Ospreay Commercial: -*****

Will Ospreay (10) def. Taichi (6)

There’s been an issue with some when it comes to Ospreay’s selling this tournament. If you’ve seen my ratings for his matches you’ll know that hasn’t been an issue with me, but I get it and respect it. The first bit of this match didn’t do much for me, but once we got past the Taichi choking Ospreay offense, things picked up and I started to enjoy the going on. I can forgive the first bit of the match though because it started to build well from there and this turned into quite the contest between the two to add another G1 notch to their belts. I thought there was good counters, some good cutoffs of each other’s usual offense, and I think Ospreay’s cockiness and ego additions to his personality throughout this G1 adds to things quite nicely.

At one point Ospreay goes for the OsCutter (A move I’m not a fan of) and Taichi just kicks him out of the air which is just delightful. I particularly loved a sequence of attempting to hit each other’s finisher’s near the end that I thought was pulled off quite well, and overall I thought this was a really good match. Maybe not the top match for either man in this competition, but still good effort and good wrestling. I personally don’t have any major complaints about the Ospreay selling, but that’s my view of things. I was worried I wasn’t going to get into this match, but at the end of it I realize how silly those worries were. This was enjoyable. ****

Kota Ibushi (10) def. Minoru Suzuki (6)

This match! This was the match I was highly looking forward to going in. When they went to the ground in the open moments and grappled I leaned forward and began to observe and watch and never left that state. Something fascinates me about watching two wrestlers grapple and try to get a key position/one-up the other. Don’t worry, there are hard strikes aplenty and we got our share of hard hits and grumpy/stubborn attitudes no doubt! I love Suzuki’s facial expressions so much, they always add to the matches and put over how non-verbal body language can add to a match up.

This isn’t a match you watch waiting for it to speed up or hit high gear, it’s a match you enjoy at the pace it goes, taking in every move, every strike, every exchange as it happens and enjoying the hell out of it. I think it goes without saying I was into this, I loved this. This was in my wheelhouse (although sometimes I’m not sure what my wheelhouse is). At one point they just start throwing rapid-fire forearms at each other, start tiring out, and then transition to a palm strike battle and I was there for it. By the end of the match, snapped out of my observing stage, I just leaned back and smiled because I had watched a great wrestling match between two great wrestlers, and really, how can I complain about that? And Suzuki grinning as he’s pinned? Yeah, even in defeat he enjoyed the shit out of that just as I did. ****1/2

Kazuchika Okada (10) def. Shingo Takagi (6)

I’ll call myself out. I’ve been particularly harsh on Okada for someone who calls themselves a fangirl of his. Especially in that Suzuki match. Maybe it’s my expectations are too high, or maybe I’m just enjoying other performers this G1 far more. Maybe I was disappointed in the Ibushi match and been influenced by that since. I don’t like ragging on him, I want to watch a G1 Okada match and at the end of it go, “fuck me, that was great”. That intro over and done with, Shingo is one of my highlights of 2020 NJPW so much, so going in I thought “if anything can finally get that reaction out of an Okada match this tournament, it’ll be this”.

The first bit of this match was well worked, with the beginning of the match spots you would expect, which isn’t a thing. When they said ten minutes had passed I was caught off guard, it hadn’t felt like ten minutes at all. Things were just breezing by at a good pace. It was also at the ten-minute mark the appetizers were done and it was time for some main course dining. There’s no doubt for a first-time match-up, both men gelled. Shingo hits a nasty superplex at some point I absolutely loved and I think at that moment “this is a good match” started to creep into my system. Things continue to build, the pace continued to increase and I found myself drawn in more and more. Twenty minutes passed but it didn’t feel like twenty. Okada would go for the Money Clip but it wasn’t a cringe-inducing as normal. Shingo got cocky and did the rainmaker pose and I loved it.

Fuck, I know I’m in paragraph three but I’m just enjoying myself. Shingo starts hitting all his match enders trying to put away Okada and just can’t. We hit the twenty-five-minute mark, both men are exhausted, the crowd is clapping. SPINNING RAIN MAKER HITS AND I’M ALL HERE IN THS MATCH. Shingo is fading to the Money Clip, refusing to give, refusing to let that end him, but it’s no avail. Shingo falls and Okada wins. I lean back in my chair with a smile. “Fuck me, that was great.” ****3/4

A Block Standings

Kota Ibushi [10]
Jay White [10]
Will Ospreay [10]
Kazuchika Okada [10]
Taichi [6] – Eliminated
Shingo Takagi [6] – Eliminated
Minoru Suzuki [6] – Eliminated
Tomohiro Ishii [6] – Eliminated
Jeff Cobb [6] – Eliminated
Yujiro Takahashi [0] – Eliminated

Final Thoughts

What a show. I loved this show. I love the G1 Climax. I love pro wrestling. Just go watch this show and have a blast.