Wrestling Review: NJPW G1 Climax 30 (Day 4) (2020)

[Please note: there may be spoilers for any and all previous days of this tournament.]

The B Block takes centre stage as New Japan Pro Wrestling’s (NJPW) annual tournament, the G1 Climax 30, head into Day 4. In the main event, reigning and defending double champion, Tetsuya Naito, faces the submission master Zack Sabre Jr., whilst the former champion, EVIL, will battle YOSHI-HASHI in the penultimate match. Not to be outdone, Juice Robinson and KENTA face off in a match nearly five years in the making, since both were wasting away in underappreciation hell down in Florida. Rounding out the card, SANADA will face Hirooki Goto, and Toru Yano looks to weasel past Hiroshi Tanahashi.

+ Tetsuya Naito vs Zack Sabre Jr. (G1 Climax B Block Match): Sabre is on some sort of roll at the moment, isn’t he. It’s a real shame this match had fans that could gasp and cheer, because I think the sound would have been something special. Naito was back at his best, and Sabre was doing his common-but-great ‘counter everything into a submission’, and it made for a really good match. Sabre looks like a million bucks right now
+ EVIL vs YOSHI-HASHI (G1 Climax 30 B Block Match): holy cow, if you ever wanted to see YOSHI-HASHI in a real NJPW style match, this was it. I don’t know if EVIL’s stock has fallen, or if I’m just not feeling him without the gold adoring his shoulders, but something about him is not doing it for me like it used to. YOSHI-HASHI looked incredible in this match, and I’m surprised to even write these words, but you should watch this match for that aspect alone
+ Juice Robinson vs KENTA (G1 Climax 30 B Block Match): Juice is a really underrated striker in the NJPW style, and this was great. KENTA is a super douche and the fans absolute adore Juice. This reminded me a lot of Juice/Ishii from the last few years’ G1 Climax events, and that’s a good thing
+ Toru Yano vs Hiroshi Tanahashi (G1 Climax 30 B Block Match): another Yano match, another match that will be divisive. I thought this was better than the Yano/SANADA match

Does the G in G1 stand for Goto?

SANADA vs Hirooki Goto (G1 Climax 30 B Block Match): two underachievers, each fresh off a loss in round 1, this had the potential to be a sleeper hit, but unfortunately that was not the case. This never clicked for me
Yota Tsuji vs Yuya Uemura: truthfully, this was the weakest of the opening matches so far. Tsuji looked good, but maybe a step slower than usual. And Uemura was slightly off, too

> In April 2015, Hideo Itami defeated CJ Parker in 4:06 in Parker’s final match in NXT. Compare that match to this KENTA vs Juice Robinson match, and weep for WWE’s lack of foresight

Should you watch this event: Give Juice/KENTA and the Naito/Sabre main event a watch, and if you like those Yano shenanigans you might find something fun in his match with Tanahashi. Ignore the rest.


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