NJPW G1 Climax 30 Night Four: Ratings & Results [Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr., Hirooki Goto vs. SANADA]
After a hot start to B-Block with a five star match between Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tetsuya Naito in the main event, tonight is a quieter card. Not every night of the G1 can be packed from top to bottom, and there are only so many must see matches you can produce in a round robin tournament. It’s these weaker days where hidden gem matches form, that can get lost in the shuffle.
The top two matches tonight stand out, as Naito faces Zack Sabre Jr, and YOSHI-HASHI gets revenge on EVIL for the mauling he received in the New Japan Cup. Juice Robinson, Toru Yano, KENTA, Zack Sabre Jr, and Tetsuya Naito are the ones with points after night one, but tonight some will break away from the pack.
G1 Climax 2020 Block B Match: Hirooki Goto vs. SANADA
This match on paper, isn’t too exciting, but is never going to be a bad match in function. Hirooki Goto & SANADA are two of the best wrestlers in NJPW, and both are at zero points going into 9this one after a bad first night. They’d come in fired up, and ready to gain some crucial momentum.
And as expected, this was a perfectly serviceable match from both men. They have good chemistry, the match had a good pace, but there simply nothing too notable about it, aside from SANADA stealing Goto’s Ushiguroshi for a near fall around the end of the match, which was a cool moment. In the end, Goto would nail the GTR to nab his first two points of the tournament.
Match Rating: ⅗ (***)
G1 Climax 2020 Block B Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Toru Yano
Hiroshi Tanahashi a few nights ago gave a show stealing performance, turning back the clock and showing why he was once the ace. By the end of that 27 minute match though, he was crumbling. Tonight, he gets the treat of facing Toru Yano, meaning while it won’t be a physically taxing match? It can drain you mentally and emotionally.
Yano would get right to his usual antics, and try to goad Tanahashi to the outside and while he succeeded, he didn’t get the count out. Tanahashi tried to wrestle an actual match, but failed miserably. Instead, he would use tape to blind Yano on the outside, but against all odds Yano made it back into the ring and actually managed to roll up a shocked Tanahashi for the win. Tanahashi remains at zero while the true ace of NJPW is up to four points. A fun comedy match, and lets Tanahashi rest up before his next serious match.
Match Rating: ⅖ (**)
G1 Climax 2020 Block B Match: KENTA vs. Juice Robinson
A potential show stealer on this night, simply due to how invested the fans get when Juice Robinson is in the ring. Add in KENTA being an all around bastard, and you have a recipe for a classic face/heel clash, sometimes wrestling can be simple. KENTA also has that briefcase ensuring a shot at Jon Moxley, something that Juice Robinson absolutely wants. A win here might allow Juice to challenge KENTA for just that down the line.
This one had the typical slow start of a modern KENTA match, but once it going it was an absolute treat. Both men threw heavy strikes and kept the pace rising until the very end. Robinson showed KENTA he’s not to be taken lightly, giving back just as much punishment as he absorbed throughout. In the end, Robinson was able to counter the Go To Sleep, and hit Pulp Friction for another two points, and potentially the start to another match with Jon Moxley.
Match Rating: 3.25/5 (*** ¼)
G1 Climax 2020 Block B Match: YOSHI-HASHI vs. EVIL
Much like KENTA vs. Robinson, this one brings the classic face/heel dynamic. However, add in the fact that EVIL took Yoshi-Hashi out of action earlier this year in the New Japan Cup, and you have something potentially special. Yoshi-Hashi is a natural underdog, and that dynamic would make this one of the best matches of the night.
This one was red hot from the very start, as Yoshi-Hashi came for a fight and would get the jump on EVIL, and proceed to give us one of his best matches ever. He had answer for just about everything EVIL could throw at him, even warding off Dick Togo on numerous occassions. There was many moments where it looked like Yoshi-Hashi would win, and the crowd was behind him. However, a low blow into the EVIL STO ended this one, and gave EVIL his first two points of the tournament.
Match Rating: 4.25/5 (**** 1/4)
G1 Climax 2020 Block B Match: Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
In the main event of the evening, you have the double champion, and the best technical wrestler in the company. It’s not hard to see why it was chosen as the main event, and ZSJ can beat anyone on a good night, and his win over EVIL has him on a roll. Naito is also coming off a win in a five star match with Tanahashi, so you can say he’s on a roll as well, but would be wise to not try to coast past ZSJ.
This was as big a test of Naito as his match with Tanahashi was, as ZSJ truly took Naito to his limits. ZSJ tends to dictate the style of match one has to wrestle, and this one was a flurry of submissions and hard strikes. By the end, big moves started to fly as the clock ticked down, this one nearly ending in a time limit draw. The drama was high, the action was crisp, and it showed that someday, ZSJ will be IWGP Heavyweight Champion. But on this day, Naito would hit the Destino and nab another two points. Both his matches so far have been long, with nearly 56 minutes between them both.
Match Rating: 4.5/5 (**** ½)
What was your favorite match of Night Four? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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