NJPW G1 CLIMAX 30 [Nights 1 & 2 Review]: Destino Awaits.

NIGHT 1

A Block

Will Ospreay vs. Yujiro Takahashi – Nice comeback for Will (yes, it’s widely apparent that New Japan doesn’t care about the #SpeakingOut movement; don’t shoot the messenger). He looked powerful and strong, but still quick and agile. Yujiro took most of the match and cut off Will at his every momentum, just enough to look like a solid competitor without spoiling the comeback. – 3-3.25/5

Jeff Cobb vs. Taichi – Very, very solid match thanks to a motivated Taichi who relied on very little gaga and went toe-to-toe with the big Hawaiian. Cobb was a monster but still ate the pin. They both looked good so it def did the trick. Black Mephisto for the win. – 3.5/5

Minoru Suzuki vs. Tomohiro Ishii – This was definitely an early treat for fans (and by the way, the fans were amazing tonight; lots of noise for being masked and not saying a think. Clap like you mean it!). If you’re a fan of New Japan Pro Wrestling then you already know what to expect from this pair. The NEVER Openweight Champ eventually put away a ferocious Ishii with a Gotch, after they pummeled each other for a good 13 minutes. Watch this. – 4/5

Jay White vs. Shingo Takagi – A lot of people hate Jay White, but he looked terrific here, if you can stand some of the usual Bullet Club bullshit. Thankfully, Shingo fended off much of the Gedo apron crap so it didn’t get real silly til the ref bump at the end. So long as there is only one or two ref bumps all night, I’m not terribly mad at it. White with the Blade Runner following a lowblow. It was a much better match than I’m explaining. – 3.5/5

Kazuchika Okada vs. Kota Ibushi – Two of the best pro wrestlers in the world, likely in anyone’s Top 5, but this was not the Dome. This was not the match I witnessed live earlier this year with a capacity crowd. It was a solidly worked match, but you don’t say that when it comes to Okada and Ibushi. Usually it’s just.. great, amazing, fantastic, best of the year level. Ironically, maybe Okada read or heard about pundits criticizing his recent matches for being too formulaic or long for the sake of being long — which we noticed in recent events, hasn’t worked with a huge crowd. So what do Okada and Ibushi do? They only go 21 minutes in a definitive finish. Okada losing to Yano was bad (even in a comedy match), and Okada losing to Kota isn’t, but he still lost 2 in a row and wasn’t actually a worldbeater before these two either. Even The Rainmaker can’t beat 2020. – 3.5-3.75/5

Night 1 Overall = 3.5/5 Bibles



NIGHT 2

B Block

Juice Robinson vs. YOSHI-HASHI – Why does Juice look like a ECW jobber/lost member of The Flock? And, man, I dunno what’s worse: watching 3 hours of WWE Raw or a YOSHI-HASHI match. Thankfully, both guys gave us something solid in the ring besides both guys looking absolutely ridiculous in and outside of it. (And thank godhatesgeeks that Juice won via Pulp Friction; I’m just biting at the bit to see a G1 with YOSHI!) – 3.25/5

SANADA vs. Toru Yano – A count-out in New Japan. In the G1. Yano is god level status, and a given break for guys in the grueling G1… but… I never know whether to love or hate this shit. *cue IDK emoji* – 2.25/5

KENTA vs. Hirooki Goto – KENTA is another hated guy in New Japan, and beyond his music and matches with Shingo I’m not a huge fan of Goto (he needs a change of scenery, me thinks), but this was solid. KENTA is a great heel– regardless of how toned down his work-rate has been since the ol’ days of ROH and what not. He still makes an impact and has that precious briefcase, so don’t expect a G1 win here when he already has his shot. – 3.25/5

Zack Sabre Jr. vs. EVIL – ‘Memba when I w as bitching but OK with a ref bump in last night’s Jay White match but not with too many of these? Well, it’s Bullet Club, so this iw what we’re getting. Surely it has been one per night, so not terrible, but these guys can both work — and EVIL established himself as NJPW’s top heel. But, he needed Dick Togo to help him.. lose? To a skinny heel? Strange stuff here. – 3-3.25/5

Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi – This was the match we’ve wanted out of New Japan in, oh, the past 2 months since they’ve come back (has it been that long? just guessing). Either way, NJPW appeared on a downward spiral without their foreigners and without the truly epic matches of old, but here we are. I could sit here and pen a long paragraph with all of the hot spots; you know, the Emerald Flowsions, the High Fly Flows (especially a real stiff one to the outside!), the transitions into finishers, and a pair of realistic Destinos. I say realistic.. because they weren’t perfectly clean. Tana didn’t take any bad bumps on them (thankfully) but def appeared to be crunched by the maneuver, which felt as if it were to happen in a true wrestling bout/match. I loved it, the crowd was hot for it, I watched it twice and I’m about to make it three times. Even with a so-so night leading up to this main event, I gotta say “Okaeri nasai, New Japan!” – 4.25-4.5/5

Night 2 Overall = 3.25/5 Bibles

-Travis Moody

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