The G1 Climax 30 had to end eventually, and the finals have been set. It will be SANADA taking on Kota Ibushi, but that’s just one part of a stacked last night of action. After weeks of exclusively singles matches, some tag team action will be nice, and there are some stories from the G1 to be unpacked along the way in this show, which will be capped off by the final match of the G1 Climax.
Eight Man Tag Team Match: CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Suzuki-gun (DOUKI, El Desperado, Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.)
Kicking off the night is a wild eight man tag team scramble, pitting CHAOS against Suzuki-Gun. With Dangerous Tekkers both in this match, a pinfall or submission on either could have big implications for Power Struggle.
If Taichi hobbling around the ring in this match after the 150+ low kicks in his match with Ibushi two nights ago, tonight’s main event won’t be as fast paced as fans expect from him. This was a fun eight man tag team match, a beautiful change of pace, though the damage of a long tournament was clear on everyone but Yano, Douki & El Desperado. Two weren’t in the tournament, and one spent it playing pranks during matches and left as fresh as possible. You can’t call Yano a block winner, but he wrestled in a smart tournament.
YOSHI-HASHI would be pinned after a Zack Maphisto from Dangerous Tekkers put him down, and Douki was pulled over him for a pinfall. Suzuki-Gun would continue to punish CHAOS after the match, and DOUKI, Zack Sabre Jr, and Taichi might have eyes on NEVER Openweight Six Man Gold. A fun opener with championship implications, exactly the way to start this show.
2.75/5 (** ¾)
Tag Team Match: Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japón (Hiromu Takahashi & Shingo Takagi)
After a month waiting, it’s time for the Junior Heavyweights to get moving again, starting with Hiromu Takahashi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru. They will clash alongside Minoru Suzuki & Shingo Takagi, so this one is going to be as hard hitting as an opening tag can get. Takahashi & Kanemaru need to get moving with Best of Super Juniors just around the corner. If Shingo can pin Suzuki again, he’ll have his chance to regain his NEVER Openweight Championship.
This one broke down into a brawl before the bell could even ring, Suzuki & Shingo not waiting to pick up where they left off. Suzuki finished at the bottom of the block, and that just has the living legend all the more pissed off. Hard fought back and forth match, lots of brawling from Suzuki & Shingo. Kanemaru took the fall after a Time Bomb from Takahashi, giving L.I.J the win. Even though Shingo didn’t pin Suzuki, this match proved they’re not oever, Suzuki challenging his rival after the match.
Eight Man Tag Team Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Jeff Cobb, Juice Robinson & Master Wato vs. BULLET CLUB (Gedo, Jay White, KENTA & Taiji Ishimori)
On NJPW Strong, KENTA & Jay White have become an effective tag team for Bullet Club, and they reunite alongside IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Ishimori & Gedo, to face a team with a very strong babyface presence from the NJPW home team! Are there any lingering issues after tensions in Bullet Club over the G1?
All eight men, and even Hiroyoshi Tenzan at ringside got some shine in this match, even Master Wato looking impressive as he looks forward to Best of Super Juniors. Cobb threw people around, and eventually Tanahashi got Gedo in the Cloverleaf, getting a big win for the mind of the aging ace.
2.75/5 (** ¾)
Tag Team Match: The Empire (Great O-Khan & Will Ospreay) vs. CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & SHO)
On the final night of A-Block, Will Ospreay did something that often felt impossible. He beat Kazuchika Okada, but he needed help to do it. Back from excursion is Great O-Khan, who spent his time in Revolution Pro Wrestling, and is the first recruit of The Empire. This will be his return match, as Okada teams with SHO to get some revenge. Okada was more upset over this than he was when betrayed by Gedo, as Ospreay was basically his protege, a hand picked signing for NJPW and CHAOS.
SHO would take some abuse early on from Great O-Khan, showing that during his time in the UK he became more than just a standout amateur wrestler, becoming an absolute monster, being undefeated in the promotion. Add in the heavyweight Ospreay, it was a bad corner to be isolated in, and an emotional Okada had to make the save, but a cowardly Ospreay avoided him.
O-Khan proved to be even a threat to Okada with his unique and savage heavyweight style style. With Okada down, Ospreay would tag in to face his battered mentor, only to meet another scorned friend in SHO, and do everything to demolish the knee. A figure four was applied, Okada was dropped with a claw slam, and SHO gave up. This is the first of many wins for The Empire, and a promising tag team between O-Khan & Ospreay should bloom and improve in the World Tag League, perhaps an early favorite to win.
Tag Team Match: BULLET CLUB (EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japón (BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito)
EVIL might have another shot at the IWGP Double Gold in his future, after pinning Naito during the G1 Climax. Now on the final night, he has a chance to do this again, as he teams with Yujiro Takahashi to face Naito & BUSHI in tag team action. Another pin on Naito and we would have our Power Struggle main event. It’s interesting that EVIL chose to instead team with Takahashi & not Dick Togo, especially after White had his doubts about Takahashi following their G1 match, and Takahashi being Naitos former No-Limit tag team partner!
Naito wrestled the longest G1 Climax in history, and his fatigue was so clear on this night, lacking his usual bursts of energy, having to rely on BUSHI for those. This made this match 90% Bullet Club, with short glimmers of hope for L.I.J, BUSHI being dropped with Darkness Falls and tapped out with a Scorpion Deathlock. EVIL & Naito had a stand off following this, Naito being choked by Dick Togo from behind and then dropped by the STO, setting up perhaps a fourth match this year for Power Struggle.
G1 Climax 2020 Final Match: Kota Ibushi vs. SANADA
This whole tournament was building up to this match. They’ve met in two previous G1, but it’s SANADA’s first time in the finals. Ibushi is here for the third year in a row, and after earning 14 points in the A-Block, he won’t be easy to drop. His final match with Taichi has left him battered 158 kicks thrown and landed, but SANADA didn’t get off easy with facing EVIL in his final match either.
It was always going to be an epic match, but early on during the feeling out process, a missed dropkick saw SANADA land on the head of Ibushi, rattling Ibushi and changing the complexion of this match in the process. This was just another issue for Ibushi to work past, and he fought on. The pace would slowly pick up, neither man wanting to make the first major mistake but knowing this one couldn’t stay in first gear forever. Ibushi should have abandoned some of his high flying, and focus on his hard strikes instead, but knew he needed that high risk offense.
Meanwhile, SANADA remained cool as a cucumber, stayed focused, and picked his spots perfectly in this match, forcing Ibushi to pull out big counters constantly and exert the injured limbs. The last ten minutes was a brutal dance of submissions, strikes and signature moves, Ibushi barely dodging a moonsault after enduring Skull End as the thirty minute mark came. Ibushi pulled out those deadly strikes, channeled Nakamura, only to be hit with a pop-up TKO.
He’d counter a moonsault with his left leg, injuring it further, but still he fought on and nailed the Bastard Driver. SANADA would have to do everything to block the Kamigoye, getting one of the closest pinfalls in history with the European Clutch. Ibushi would hit his kill shot, the Kamigoye, and SANADA was the first man to ever kick out. A second one, and Ibushi wins back to back G1 Climaxes.
Kota Ibushi has won his second G1 Climax in a row. He will head to Wrestle Kingdom to face one of his greatest rivals, Tetsuya Naito… if the belt is held that long. This match is going to be insane in the Tokyo Dome. That might just be Ibushi’s time to finally win the big one. The IWGP Heavyweight Championship has always alluded his grasp.
Backstage, Jay White challenged Kota Ibushi for that Wrestle Kingdom 15 main event. A win over Ibushi in the tournament giving him that right. Will Kota Ibushi win double gold in the Tokyo Dome? Could Jay White take his moment? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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