NJPW G1 Climax 30 Night 13: Results & Ratings (Kazuchika Okada vs. Shingo Takagi, Kota Ibushi vs. Minoru Suzuki)
The G1 Climax rolls back into town after a brief break, with more A-Block action up first. We have some more first time matches, and another solid card from the dominant block. We still don’t know who will reach the finals, except that it is not Yujiro Takahashi.
G1 Climax 2020 Block A Match: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Jeff Cobb
The opening match tonight’s tournament matches is another encounter of Tomohiro Ishii & Jeff Cobb, which is historically a bad match for Cobb. He’s lost all three previous matches to Ishii, including in last year’s G1 Climax. Add in that Cobb will be out of the running with a loss tonight, and it’s must win for him, but Ishii is on a three match win streak, and that is not easy to stop.
Cobb came into this one ready to suplex Ishii into oblivion and walk away with two points. He had the power to do it, but he forgot just how hard Ishii could hit. This match was as hard hitting as an Ishii match gets, and Cobb gave as good as he got, and launched his best suplexes. All that still wasn’t enough, as Ishii just kept getting up and throwing more hard strikes, forearms, chops, lariats, headbutts and more. Finally, Cobb would hit a superkick, get Ishii grabbed for Tour Of The Islands and followed through for the win.
This keeps Cobb just barely in the running, and finally gives him a much needed win for morale, toppling Ishii wasn’t easy but he did it. If he can do that, maybe he could just make it all the way after all. If he can keep having matches like this after the G1 Climax, fan opinion surrounding him should keep picking up. This was another fantastic one from Cobb in this tournament, but that’s easy when you face Ishii. Cobb moved up to 6 points, where Ishii was coming in.
Match Rating: 4.5/5 (**** 1/2)
G1 Climax 2020 Block A Match: Yujiro Takahashi vs. Jay White
Unless the rest of the block mysteriously falls to injury, Yujiro Takahashi can not make the finals. He’s lost six matches in a row, and now needs to face his Bullet Club leader, Jay White. EVIL & KENTA clashed in B-Block and cheated the entire time, but White has planned to go all out and test his skills against Takahashi. A strong showing for Takahashi can at least impress his leader. They’d all hit the too-sweet before the bell rang, and you couldn’t help but notice White decided to wrestle this one in sweatpants & sneakers, instead of tights & boots.
Yujiro would walk to the middle of the ring, lay down, and White covered him. White played games with the referee, and Yujiro was getting a bit annoyed at being degraded like this. He kicked out at two twice, and then rolled up White for two quick near falls. White was getting angry, but Takahashi wasn’t down with this plan. He would start to hit White with some signature offense, the Olympic Slam, a low blow into a rollup, Miami Shine and more, getting some very close falls on White. Gedo would distract the referee, and White hit a low blow into a Blade Runner, getting a harder win than he expected.
This was better than if they had a full match, and afterwards White would take a chair into the ring and want to beat Takahashi with it, while Gedo told him to calm down. Cooler heads prevailed, but Takahashi showed tonight that he’s not into being pushed around in this one. It still ended with a loss, but at least he didn’t lay down for White. White moves up to 10 points, Takahashi remains at 0, which is very well where he might end this tournament.
Match Rating 2/5 (**)
G1 Climax 2020 Block A Match: Taichi vs. Will Ospreay
A rare G1 match, in that it previously happened in Best of Super Juniors, when both Will Ospreay & Taichi called that division home. Since then, they’ve both evolved and become proper heavyweights. Taichi has a 2-1 record over Ospreay, and has only gotten better with his strikes. This will be one that can truly go either way, and a win pushes both closer to the finals, which is still very much in reach for both, as Ospreay comes in with 8 points, and Taichi with 6.
After a slow start dominated by Taichi trying to choke the life out of Ospreay with the ring hammer, cords and more, Ospreay would pick up the pace in a way that only he could, moving like he’s still a Junior Heavyweight. This pace would stick, and the match became an absolute flurry of strikes from Taichi and high speed offense from Ospreay. It played to both mens strengths, and they showed incredible chemistry.
Oscutters would be countered into backdrop drivers, Avalanche Black Mephistos would be set up, and this was all before Taichi pulled off his pants! Taichi controlled this match by being able to consistently counter his offense, and in such simple ways. Eventually, Ospreay would flip out of a Black Mephisto attempt, nail an Oscutter, Hidden Blade, and Stormbreaker in a frantic finishing stretch. This win put Ospreay up to 10 points, and stalled Taichi at 6.
Match Rating: 4.25/5 (**** ¼)
G1 Climax 2020 Block A Match: Minoru Suzuki vs. Kota Ibushi
This isn’t a first time match, but it might as well be. Minoru Suzuki & Kota Ibushi have only had one match, back in the 2013 G1 Climax, seven years ago. Suzuki won that encounter, and even Ibushi admits he was ‘totally destroyed’, but Ibushi has completely reinvented himself since then. Ibushi came into this one with 8 points and Suzuki with 6.
Ibushi decided to have an MMA style fight against one of the men who started the sport, and held his own despite an obvious disadvantage. It was a slow match to start, submission focused, but in a way we rarely see in modern wrestling, captivating all the same. Ibushi tried to pick up the pace though refused to brawl on the outside, until Suzuki sat on the stage and called him out for being a coward. Suzuki pummeled him when Ibushi answered the call, nailing several stiff forearms.
The difference between 2013 & 2020 Ibushi became clear, as he kept on going and went strike for strike with Suzuki. Suzuki would just absorb his blows and laugh about it, not showing pain, and just coming back with one of the hardest forearms he ever launched. A fast paced exchange of open hand strikes would be followed by Suzuki looking for his finisher, Ibushi rolling away from the Gotch Style Piledriver and trying for Kamigoye, only to end up in the Boston Crab. Ibushi broke free, hit a standing Kamigoye, and another one on the mat for good measure, putting Suzuki down.
This match was the best match either man has had in months, perhaps Suzuki’s best in years. It was totally different then anything else we’ve seen in the tournament. Ibushi moves up to 10 points, keeping pace as we near the finals.
Match Rating: 5/5 (*****)
G1 Climax 2020 Block A Match: Shingo Takagi vs. Kazuchika Okada
In a first time matchup, the deck is stacked against Kazuchika Okada. He’s been having a rough time since NJPW restarted, due to him refusing to use The Rainmaker, and he’s managed narrow victories over a few men, ending up with an injured lower back along the way. Now he needs to face Shingo Takagi, who’s one the strongest and hardest hitting men in the block, and points are more important than ever for both men.
This one had all the ingredients for a classic Okada match, and that’s exactly what we got. A slow build, Shingo grinding the ace down and toying with him in the early going. Okada nailing his crisp counter offense with his dropkicks and flapjacks, and slowly taking control, but Shingo never being far from retaking. Everything felt familiar to Okada in his best reign as IWGP Heavyweight Champion, just missing one crucial move. The last ten minutes were a chaotic and fast paced sprint, this match truly coming alive.
Shingo absolutely pummeling Okada, dodging his flash pin that ended his last two matches, and being subsequently dropped with a tombstone piledriver and being locked in the Money Clip. Shingo broke out and nailed Okada with a Rainmaker, did the pose, and went for the Pumping Bomber. Okada blocked and went for the rolling lariat, instead taking Made In Japan and the fastest Pumping Bomber we’ve seen in awhile. Last Of Dragon would be countered into a Money Clip, it lasted all of two seconds, and Okada instead hit a rolling lariat, applied the Money Clip and Shingo started to fade, fighting until he lost consciousness. Okada moves to 10 points, Shingo lags behind at 6.
Match Rating: 4.75/5 (**** ¾)
All around, this was perhaps the best night yet from this tournament. It’s been getting great reviews across the entire internet, and had two of the best matches of the tournament in Suzuki vs. Ibushi & Shingo vs. Okada, both of which have arguments for being a full on 5 star match.
What was your favorite match from Night 13 of the 2020 G1 Climax? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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