NJPW G1 Climax 30 Day Fifteen: Ratings & Results (Kazuchika Okada vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Minoru Suzuki vs. Jay White)
The G1 Climax 30 is coming to an end soon, with just a few nights of action left before the finals. There are a few men who can still win this block, those being Kazuchika Okada, Kota Ibushi, Jay White and Will Ospreay. Everyone else has little chance, with Jeff Cobb & Tomohiro Ishii on the borderline of elimination, Shingo Takagi & Taichi eliminated, and did Yujiro Takahashi ever really have a chance? After tonight, there is only one man left for each, and it can be boiled down to a simple phrase for those still in the running: win, and you could be in.
G1 Climax 2020 Block A Match: Jeff Cobb vs. Will Ospreay
With only one prior meeting, Jeff Cobb has the historical advantage over Will Ospreay, beating him in Madison Square Garden for the NEVER Openweight Championship. Cobb recently beat Ishii to score his third win of the tournament, and a win tonight might not get him to the finals, but it would potentially shut Ospreay down. Ospreay has only suffered two losses in this tournament, the relevant loss being to Kota Ibushi, who would beat him in a tie, though Ospreay would beat White in a tie after beating him. Needless to say, he needs to beat Cobb, and can’t afford to slow down.
This one started off fast, and only got faster. Cobb had set out to show Ospreay that while he might call himself a heavyweight, he can be easily thrown around like a small child. He had Ospreay scouted, and maximized every chance he had to throw Ospreay across the ring. Ospreay used some speed and well placed strikes to fight back, but his signature moves were countered, like when Cobb stopped the Oscutter and nailed an F5. Determination let Ospreay hit the cutter, he fired up, only to have Stormbreaker countered into an Electric Chair Drop into a German Suplex, and Cobb nailed Tour Of The Islands to beat Ospreay again.
This stalls Ospreay at 10 points, which is all that might have needed to happen to keep him out of the finals. Another great performance from Cobb, and a shocking result to get things started. Cobb isn’t likely to make the finals, but he could reach 10 points with another win, which is big in it’s own right.
Match Rating: 3/5 (***)
G1 Climax 2020 Block A Match: Yujiro Takahashi vs. Kota Ibushi
Unlike Will Ospreay who failed to stay afloat with Jeff Cobb, Ibushi got the best name you can draw at this point. He has a man who has gone 0-7 in this tournament, Yujiro Takahashi. On paper, this is a clear win for Ibushi, but after going into business for himself and not laying down for Jay White, the Bullet Club status of Takahashi could be shaky, and he might need to fight for self preservation, and exploit the battle scars incurred by Ibushi after an insane fight with Suzuki to sneak out a massive win.
After having one of the best matches of the tournament with Suzuki, Ibushi was forced to wrestle at half speed against Takahashi. There wasn’t a good story to tell, with them relying on the drama of Takahashi maybe breaking his 7 match losing streak against Ibushi. However this was hard to buy into aside from one near fall after an avalanche fisherman buster. Before we knew it, Ibushi had fired up and taken out Takahashi with a Kamigoye knee strike. The only chance this match had at being good was being ten minutes shorter, and entirely dominated by Ibushi. Takahashi has had good matches in this tournament, this was not one of them. Ibushi moves up to 12 points, and his final chances rely on Jay White losing to Suzuki.
Match Rating: DUD
G1 Climax 2020 Block A Match: Taichi vs. Shingo Takagi
Despite early promise for both Taichi & Shingo Takagi, they can’t win this tournament. There are no more big matches for them with block leaders, and as such are mathematically eliminated. However, that doesn’t mean they’re done, as ten points is still within reach, and a strong showing in the G1 can bring some great momentum. They first met in last year’s G1, when Taichi got the upperhand, so Shingo is keen to even their records.
The first half of this match was a dull affair, with little to write home about until Taichi pulled off the pants and became Dangerous T. At that point, it became a hard hitting affair from two of NJPW’s best strikers, with some finisher stealing involved as well. In the end however, it would be the superkick followed by Black Mephisto that would get Taichi the win, letting him move to 8 points. This one was just for bragging rights, something dangerous to give Taichi.
Match Rating: 3/5 (***)
G1 Climax 2020 Block A Match: Minoru Suzuki vs. Jay White
Two years ago, then CHAOS member Jay White was but a prototype of what he is today, and he was ravaged by Minoru Suzuki. Now, he’s a completely different beast, and one of the key names in the block. He beats Okada & Ibushi in a tie, but Ospreay beats him in a tie. This makes this match with Suzuki important, as Ospreay is still breathing down his neck, and every single match matters at this point.
After some early mind games, sneak attacks, and being rammed into the guardrail by White, Suzuki would be pissed off. That’s something you never want Suzuki to be, and he’d become laser focused on taking White down. White would take some of the hardest strikes he’s ever been dealt, and it was becoming a textbook mauling from Suzuki. There was only one thing White had that worked, which was a low blow. Following this, he’d go after a lingering G1 injury on the left knee of Suzuki, and finally look like he had a chance.
Even when wounded, Suzuki was dangerous, but White steadily cut him down with precise strikes and well timed moves, while taking heavy blows and dodging the Gotch Style Piledriver. Things got dire when Suzuki countered a Blade Runner attempt into a cross armbreaker, but Gedo had the referee miss the tap out. Suzuki would throat punch Gedo for this. White would be choked out, the Gotch Style Piledriver set up, but Gedo came back to life, grabbed the referees foot, and allowed White to hit a low blow & Blade Runner. He narrowly moves to 12 points, and Suzuki won’t forget this one.
Match Rating: 4.25/5 (**** ¼)
G1 Climax 2020 Block A Match: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Kazuchika Okada
This tournament has been a major test for Kazuchika Okada, trying to prove he’s more than just The Rainmaker. He limited himself and focused on a new finisher, and dropped two crucial matches in the process, against Jay White & Kota Ibushi. Now, he must win both his matches in this tournament to keep up. Additionally, White & Ibushi need to lose or tie in their final matches. Step one comes tonight, but fellow CHAOS member Tomohiro Ishii is not going to make this easy, liking to keep Okada humble, always fighting tooth & nail, and has broken Okada’s chances at the finals in the past, doing so in 2016. Okada needs to do whatever he can to prevent that from happening once again.
If you’ve seen their previous matches, you would have known right from the start this was going to be an incredible match. Their chemistry is impeccable, and this match showed that once again. It was a back and forth brawl full of memorable moments, like Ishii no-selling Okadas signature dropkick while perched on the top rope, only to come down hard with a single leg knee drop. The finishing sequence was a flurry of fast paced counters until Okada locked in the Money Clip, hit a backbreaker, and made Ishii pace out. These past two matches have legitimized this submission as a major part of Okadas arsenal, but it doesn’t make for as nice a finisher as The Rainmaker.
With this win, Okada is neck and neck with Ibushi and White, going into the final day of A-Block with 12 points.
Match Rating: 4.5/5 (**** 1/2)
The path to the finals is now somewhat clear. Ibushi, White & Okada are the only players on the board at 12 points each. Ospreays loss to Cobb took him out in theory, but he has a way back in. Okada has lost to both White & Ibushi, so they would beat him in a tie. If they both lose and he wins his next match, Okada makes the finals. Ibushi beats Okada in a tie, but not White, meaning he needs to win his next match, and have White either lose or get a time limit draw. Finally, if White wins his final match, he will move to the finals, beating both Ibushi & Okada in a tie.
On Night 17, Ibushi faces Taichi, White faces Ishii, and Okada faces Ospreay, giving no one an easy pass to the finals. If Ospreay can beat Okada, and both Ibushi & White lose their matches, he will make it to the finals, giving him a slim chance at best, but he’s got a glimmer of hope left. Who do you think will win A-Block? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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