New Japan Pro Wrestling
G1 Climax 30 Night 15
October 13, 2020
Hamamatsu Arena

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We are just two nights away from the finish line here on Night 15 of the G1 Climax 30. This show is very critical in getting a better outlook of the final night since we have a four-way tie: Kazuchika Okada, Kota Ibushi, Will Ospreay, and Jay White. We’ll see if either Tomohiro Ishii, Minoru Suzuki, Yujiro Takahashi, or Jeff Cobb will bring one of those men down. Also on this night, we’ll see if Yujiro finally gets his first G1 win of this year and Taichi vs Shingo in an exciting match up. Last Sunday A Block show was one of the best NJPW shows of the year, so we’ll see if the quality continues tonight.

Let’s go!

Yuya Uemura def. Gabriel Kidd 

This match starts with a lock up and Uemura successfully escaping Kidd’s hold. After Kidd worked Uemura’s leg, he escaped and started working Kidd’s arm. After competitive action and Uemura still on Kidd’s arm, a well-placed chop from Kidd let him escape, which proceeded with both Young Lions hitting the crap out of each other with elbows. Kidd went for a double underhook suplex, but Uemura escaped with a suplex of his own for the win. Once again, solid action by the Young Lions in a great less than 10 minutes match. Honestly, I don’t know how the scoring is with the unofficial Young Lion C block, but it’s been more enjoyable than the opening tag matches of the previous G1. Good stuff as always. ***

G1 Climax 30 A Block
Jeff Cobb (8) Def. Will Ospreay (10)

We had here Ospreay, one of the ties at the top, trying to stay on top against Cobb, and failing at it. Cobb so far has the upset of the tournament. 

Ospreay starts with a fast-paced offense that gets Cobb mad at him immediately. How mad? He stopped him mid handspring. Cobb dominated the match after cutting Ospreay off, with Ospreay trying to escape his punishment. One thing I appreciated again is that Ospreay looks great being manhandled. When the match became more competitive, Cobb was going at Ospreay’s pace. By the way, I loved how the Japanese announcers went “450!” at the same time when Ospreay did it. There was an amazing reversal to Tour of the Islands that turned into an amazing reversal of the Axecutter, which then Ospreay once again reversed and was able to hit the Axecutter from the top rope. All was for naught, since Cobb did a Tour of the Islands to finish it. I was surprised at Cobb’s victory. I’ll even admit that I wrote: “Ospreay Def. Cobb” at the heather of this review. This makes the other matches even more interesting. Outside of the result, a decent back and forth match that started hot tonight’s section of the G1. ***½

G1 Climax 30 A Block
Kota Ibushi (12) Def. Yujiro Takahashi (0)

Here we go with the loser of the G1 trying to at least stump Ibushi on his way to staying on top. So far the only positive thing I can say about Yujiro is that I don’t know if he’s a better addition to Fale in the G1 and I enjoyed his short G1 match on the last A block show. 

Here we had Yujiro trying to take the advantage with the usual tricks of hair pulling, going to the outside, eye pokes, throwing to the rail. Yujiro took so much advantage in the ring that even Ibushi failed to suplex him. Meanwhile, I’m sitting here just waiting for Ibushi’s comeback to save me from a long Yujiro match. Alas, the comeback came, but Yujiro even cut off Ibushi’s powerbomb. When I started to worry that Ibushi was actually going to lose to Yujiro when he moved away from Kamigoye, a well-placed knee to Yujiro’s face and a Kamigoye gave him the lead in the tournament. Not a big fan of this match, but it was inoffensive. The best thing I can say is that it had a cool finishing sequence and after Ospreay’s loss, I was thinking if they were going to give it to Yujiro to even things out. Just for making me think that and this being an inoffensive match, I’ll go for ***.  

G1 Climax 30 A Block
Taichi (8) Def. Shingo Takagi (6)

This match sounded interesting on paper since Shingo and Taichi are having amazing tournaments, and their respective matches were amazing in the last show. The match starts with Shingo beating Taichi’s ass, but he turned the tides using the ring bell hammer and choking him with the camera cables. They go to the ring to start again with Taichi choking the hell out of Shingo, which has been part of his repertoire. He made the mistake of trying to knock Shingo out with kicks and elbows, but Shingo fought back with hits of his own. What followed was a hard hitting affair, like the ones that Taichi has with Ishii. One sequence I did love was Taichi knocking down Shingo, turning around to take off his pants, and immediately after they are off Shingo kills him with a nasty clothesline. Taichi blocked Made in America, Shingo blocked a kick to the balls, and Shingo did Taichi’s pop up pin for a two. A Pumping Bomber gave Shingo another two count. Taichi was able to block a Made in Japan, and Taichi tried his pop up pin for a two count once again. Finally, Taichi did a running superkick to Shingo, and after a Black Mephisto, it was over.

This was amazing. Started like it usually does with Taichi but it picked up into high gear immediately. Shingo is simply amazing and Taichi has been impressing me a lot this year overall, and I started my NJPW watching hating Taichi. The energy of the show picked up with this match and I definitely recommend it. This was hard-hitting and a lot of fun. ****

G1 Climax 30 A Block
Jay White (12) Def. Minoru Suzuki (6)

After Suzuki had a banger of a match trying to kill Ibushi last Saturday, he came here to try to spoil White’s chances of staying on top. So how did it go with the man that loves to hurt against one of NJPW main assholes? I knew things were going to be interesting since Suzuki was following Jay around the ring instead of letting him go outside and milk the crowd’s hate. Suzuki kicked a hesitant White’s leg and then tried to break his fingers. When Suzuki started chopping White, it started to look like a different night for White, the beginning of a torture session. There was a sequence where Gedo tried to break up a Suzuki hold, but Suzuki’s glare was enough to stop him. White took advantage of this distraction to choke his opponent, because how the hell else do you calm down Suzuki? Well, this was not the way since what he did was make him angrier. White got Suzuki angrier as the match went by, and Suzuki attacked White’s hand to stop him. Finally, White brought a chair in since he was tired of being beat up, but it did not work for him since Suzuki started battering him with said chair. 

The match then became White trying to survive Suzuki’s wrath by going toe to toe with him and trying his best to cheat and it not working. He got beat up. Not even trying to leave the arena worked. Suzuki’s weakness was the knee that White worked. At one moment White tapped, but the referee did not see it since Gedo distracted him. Suzuki went for the pilverdriver to finally end White’s torture, but another Gedo distraction and a kick to Suzuki’s ball and a Blade Runner gave White the win.

This was amazing! If you hate Jay White, you probably need to watch this to get some satisfaction. Both wrestlers did great character work. It was the resident torturer beating the shit out of a cheating cocky wrestler. Even Gedo’s interference did not feel over the top since his client and gold ticket was getting tortured, it made sense. It was easy to understand and it’s one of those matches that a casual wrestling fan would like. Watch this match, it’s good stuff. ****1/2

G1 Climax 30 A Block
Kazuchika Okada (12) Def. Tomohiro Ishii (6)

This is the last of the guys on top trying to stay there. Okada is having his RPG-like tournament recovering his mojo, and he finally woke up with an amazing match against Shingo on Night 13. 

Match started with a feeling out sequence until Okada took control. Ishii turned it around and started chopping the hell out of Okada, who tried to return the favor but Ishii’s power was too much. Ishii mocked him, which made Okada mad, which made Ishii mad too, and chopped his throat. A flapjack from Okada evened the match out. Okada was trying his best to outhit Ishii throughout the match, even doing mock kicks and slapping him when he planted him on the floor. Just like in the Shingo match, Okada did his dropkick and piledriver perfectly, but went to the Money Clip instead of Rainmaker. The Money Clip is even more dangerous now since he knocked down Shingo with it, so when he applied it on Ishii, he ran to the rope break. It’s a move so lethal that Okada even applies it when Ishii throws a lariat at him. Ishii tried his hand at an arm submission himself, but it did not do the trick. One of my favorite moments in the match is Okada putting Ishii on the top rope, dropkicking him, Ishii does not let it affect him, and jumps from the top rope on top of Okada with his knee for a two count. We got the almost Rainmaker with the lariat on Ishii, and when he went for the wrist he did the Money Clip instead. Okada won when Ishii submitted. 

It was a great main event and Okada is once again back in form. Ishii was awesome, as he always is. While I’m not a fan of the Money Clip and we don’t know how over it really is with the live crowd, it is what it is and it is established as a killer move. I’m hoping for Okada to just kill Ospreay on the last A block night with the Rainmaker. Not a bad match, it is enjoyable even if it’s not one of the must-watch ones of the tournament. ****

Final Thoughts

The A Block has been killing it each night, and this was no exception, even if this was not one of its best shows. Suzuki vs White was amazing, and Okada vs Ishii and Taichi vs Shingo were great too. The first two G1 matches were nothing to write home about, with Cobb vs Ospreay having a decent opener and Yujiro vs Ibushi was just me dreading Ibushi losing to him. The main drama of the show was which of the wrestlers tied up on top were still going to be there, and the answer was Jay White, Okada, and Ibushi. If you are short on time and you are late, just watch the final three matches. Each one is different and fun enough and none of the matches drag. Just one more night till the ending.