NJPW G1 Climax 30 Day Sixteen: Results & Ratings (Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. SANADA, Hirooki Goto vs. EVIL)
We have a pretty clear picture of who can win A-Block in this year’s G1 Climax, so let’s get that figured out with B-Block tonight. Tetsuya Naito & EVIL are tied at the top, with EVIL beating Naito in a tie, but it is not that simple. Hirooki Goto, SANADA, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Zack Sabre Jr, Toru Yano and KENTA all still have a chance, with only Juice Robinson and YOSHI-HASHI eliminated. The picture will be clear as a foggy after these next five matches.
G1 Climax 2020 Block B Match: KENTA vs. YOSHI-HASHI
KENTA broke a losing streak just in time to have a chance to make it to the finals. He comes into this night with 6 points, but has YOSHI-HASHI across the ring . They’ve met once before, with KENTA winning, and given YOSHI-HASHI having a 1-6 record in the tournament? It shouldn’t be too hard for KENTA to inch closer to a potential block win.
YOSHI-HASHI has been having some of the best matches of his career in this tournament, and this one can be added right to the top of that list. It started off slow, but evolved into a hard hitting back and forth match dripping in drama. The crowd was fully behind YOSHI-HASHI, as he took everything KENTA had to throw at him but refused to quit. It ended with KENTA countered the Karma driver into his Game Over submission, forcing YOSHI-HASHI to submit.
KENTA moves to 8 points, and his fate is the hands of Toru Yano to beat Naito tonight, so that he can beat Naito on the final day of B-Block to win with a tie. The chance is alive, but the path isn’t easy.
Match Rating: 4/5 (****)
G1 Climax 2020 Block B Match: Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Juice Robinson
The last time Juice Robinson met ZSJ in the G1, he was practically turned into a pretzel, but this year will hopefully be different. His goal is to simply reach 10 points, but ZSJ isn’t going to make that easy, especially as ZSJ has a win over EVIL in his back pocket, and 8 points on the board, making block victory still possible for the loud mouthed brit.
As expected from these two, it was a silky-smooth technique focused wrestling match. ZSJ smartly attacked the left arm of his southpaw opponent, taking away his hard punch and some of his power as well. This match almost ended horribly for ZSJ, being dropped on his head during Robinson lifting him out of a triangle choke, thankfully ZSJ has a hard neck. Robinson would evade submission attempts, only to fall to the European Clutch pinfall after a series of pinfall attempts and counters.
This moves ZSJ to ten points, meaning should Naito lose to Yano, and EVIL fails to beat Goto, and ZSJ wins his next match against Tanahashi? There is a chance he makes the finals. Robinson however can no longer get 10 points, failing his personal goal for the tournament.
Match Rating: 3.75/5 (*** ¾)
G1 Climax 2020 Block B Match: Toru Yano vs. Tetsuya Naito
Tetsuya Naito has been nearly untouchable in this tournament, only dropping two matches. Meanwhile, against all odds, Toru Yano is still in the running, despite a four match losing streak. If he can pull out enough tricks to overcome Naito, and Goto is able to beat EVIL, he has a chance of reaching the finals for his first time ever. He’s beaten Naito three times in the G1, and you can never count Yano out this year.
Naito took his sweet time getting to the ring and getting his entrance gear off, driving an impatient Yano insane. When the bell rang? Yano suddenly wanted none of the champion, and almost got rolled up for a loss before trying to goad Naito to the outside, only to nearly get counted out! Things were not going Yanos way, to say the least, especially when he lost Naito at one point. Eventually, Yano would tape Naito to Yota Tsuji, trap them in the barricade, and Naito only got in at 19, still tied to Tsuji. Tsuji would be weaponized briefly, after the referee freed Naito. Both men would hit low blows, Naito got the upperhand and moved to 12 points.
These two are perfect foils for each other, and after all his epic matches, it’s nice to see Naito just be able to go have a fun time with Yano. Lots of people relied on this loss, Yano failing here effectively eliminates himself, Hirooki Goto, KENTA & ZSJ.
Match Rating: 3/5 (***)
G1 Climax 2020 Block B Match: Hirooki Goto vs. EVIL
Goto & EVIL have butted heads plenty of times over their career, but this is their first time meeting in the G1 Climax, and it comes at a crucial point of the tournament. Both were still in the running, with EVIL having a win well in grasp, and Goto needing Naito to lose earlier in the night, being potentially eliminated. With Dick Togo lurking at ringside, EVIL might be able to walk his way to 12 points, and all Goto can do is play spoiler and survive EVIL.
While Goto has looked rough in this tournament, he showed up for this match, throwing heavy strikes and taking EVIL’s right back. They hit all their signature beats, and the crowd being firmly behind Goto helped a lot in boosting this match, helping him rally back after being done dirty by Dick Togo. He showed his warriors spirit in this match, fighting through pain to hit a GTR, but EVIL kicked out at two. EVIL would then counter a rolling lariat into a lightning fast STO, getting the win. This puts EVIL to 12 points, Goto is eliminated, and if SANADA wins tonight? Their match this Saturday is going to be very interesting, potentially deciding the block.
Match Rating: 3.75/5 (*** ¾)
G1 Climax 2020 Block B Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. SANADA
This main event might as well be a single elimination tournament match. Whoever wins still has a chance to make the finals, but whoever loses? They’re dead in the water. Victory & elimination are both within grasp, and Tanahashi & SANADA are evenly matched historically. It can go either way, as these two students of Keiji Muto bring us another classic battle. SANADA has the edge in reaching the finals, having beaten Naito in the tournament, and being able to win in a tie situation.
This was an excellent wrestling match, simply put. The story of two fan favorites fighting with all their heart for the chance to maybe reach the finals, combined with a wealth of pure talent is enough to make a match great alone. But they also went ahead and put together an incredible match as well! It started slow with some smooth submission based wrestling, and then the pace rose to both men busting out their signature moves. The slow start might have lasted too long for some, but once they got going, it was great. In the end, SANADA powered through the Texas Cloverleaf, caught Tanahashi in midair with a cutter, and nailed two moonsaults to win this very important match.
Match Rating: 4.25/5 (**** ¼)
After this night, SANADA, EVIL, and Tetsuya Naito all have a chance to win the B-Block. On Saturday, EVIL & SANADA face each other, and Naito has a rematch with KENTA. Who do you think will win B-Block? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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