G1 Climax 30 Night 17 saw current NEVER Openweight Champion and Suzuki-Gun leader Minoru Suzuki take on the man he defeated for the title the former NEVER Openweight Champion and Los Ingobernables de Japon (LIJ) member Shingo Takagi.
Suzuki was coming into the match with 6 points during his G1 Climax 30 campaign and a loss to former IWGP Heavyweight, IWGP Intercontinental, and IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion “Switchblade” Jay White after dominating the decorated young champion for the vast majority of the match.
While Shingo was coming into the match with 6 points and coming off a tough loss to another Suzuki-Gun member the former two-time NEVER Openweight Champion Taichi.
The match was as physical as expected with Shingo and Suzuki refusing to back down from one another. Shingo knew he needed a victory to keep himself in singles championship contention in the near future, while Suzuki wanted to push Shingo further away from a possible title match for the NEVER Openweight Championship.
As throughout the tournament, Suzuki was able to control his opponent, smashing Shingo with strikes and using timely locks to change the pace when necessary. However, Shingo press forward looking for the proper opportunity to unleash against Suzuki.
Shingo would gain the fall at the 12 minutes and 29 seconds mark with his Last of the Dragon technique to move his G1 Climax 30 campaign total to 8. The victory puts him back in NEVER Openweight Championship title contention along with Taichi if he chooses to challenge the leader of his faction.
The loss will frustrate Suzuki, but he put forth another great performance and could hold onto the NEVER Openweight Championship for several defenses if he retains his current form over the next several months.
While neither will be satisfied with their G1 Climax 30 records, both showed why they are capable of defeating anyone who steps inside of a New Japan Pro Wrestling ring.