The G1 Climax 30 is in the books, and it was a fantastic edition of the iconic tournament. It was a hard task for NJPW, using reduced crowd sizes and those crowds not being able to make noise. The hot crowd is one of the things that makes a match a classic, but these 5 matches deserve to go down in history. These are five of the best matches from this year’s tournament!
5. Kazuchika Okada vs. Shingo Takagi
This was not a great tournament for Okada, as he looked to prove he’s more than just The Rainmaker, using the tournament to legitimize his new finisher, The Money Clip. His matches were still good, but only two went into great territory, but while we’ve seen him match with Ishii in the past; Shingo was a fresh opponent, and it was truly an epic match. Shingo’s selling made the Money Clip finally look like a deadly submission.
4. Kota Ibushi vs. Taichi
150+ kicks thrown, every single one connecting. This was the offense in this matchup between Ibushi & Taichi, beyond the finishing blow. They just kicked and kicked, channeling legends like Kawada & Hashimoto and it was awesome. Matches don’t need to be full of wild high spots, and at this point, keeping things simple help you stand out. It was the best Taichi match we’ve ever seen, and showed he really was a late bloomer.
3. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito
Incredible chemistry was proved in 2017, when Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tetsuya Naito had a trilogy of matches over the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, matches overshadowed by Kazuchika Okada & Kenny Omega always following them. This time, they had the spotlight, and it got a crowd as hot as we’ve heard in this tournament. It kicked off Naitos incredible tournament with a bang, and was a genuine NJPW classic.
2. Jay White vs. Tomohiro Ishii
The A-Block came down to this match, with the fate of the finals in the capable hands of Ishii. He wasn’t able to win, but him losing would put Jay White through to the finals, while winning would put Kota Ibushi through. This alone gave some serious drama for the match, and that combined with the natural skill of both men involved? It was the best match in the NJPW style you’d find this tournament.
1. Minoru Suzuki vs. Kota Ibushi
We saw plenty of typical NJPW classics in this tournament, but this match was something entirely different. It was more akin to a UWF fight, a shoot style match with hard strikes, great mat wrestling, and a unique pace. Nothing else in the tournament will be as memorable as this gem of a match, and if Ibushi didn’t win the G1? Another match between Suzuki & Ibushi would have been welcomed on either night of Wrestle Kingdom.
What’s your favorite match from the G1 Climax 30? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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