Wrestling Review: NJPW G1 Climax 30 (Day 8) (2020)

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

New Japan Pro Wrestling’s (NJPW) annual tournament, the G1 Climax 30, continues. After a very hard hitting day seven, day eight is time for the B Block to shine, where the only two undefeated wresters will put their streaks on the line: in the main event, Tetsuya Naito battles in an intra-Los Ingobernables de Japon civil War against SANADA, while Toru Yano will face Juice Robinson in the opening match. Hirooki Goto will face Zack Sabre Jr., Hiroshi Tanahashi will face YOSHI-HASHI and two Bullet Club members will fight when EVIL faces KENTA.

+ KENTA vs EVIL (G1 Climax 30 B Block Match): there were a lot of ways this match could go, a the two Bullet Club members fought for just the second time, but the first as (allegedly) allies. KENTA looked good, EVIL looked… evil, and overall it was fine, but not a blow-away match
+ Hirooki Goto vs Zack Sabre Jr. (G1 Climax 30 B Block Match): I’m undecided on this, but I think I liked it. Sabre’s kicks were brutal, and Goto had that under dog fire. Just don’t blink, or you’ll miss it
+ Juice Robinson vs Toru Yano (G1 Climax 30 B Block Match): Juice called for no bullshit, but we all know it wasn’t going to go that way. This was pretty much what you’d expect, but Juice is just as good as this comedy stuff as Omega was (or is?) that it made it better than you’d expect
+ Gabriel Kidd vs Yota Tsuji: this was fantastic, and definitely the best match either of these two have had. The ending was super interesting, outside of the obvious. Tsuji once again looked like a beast, and Kidd is one of the best young lions I’ve seen in many moons

The hometown boy returns… winless, and facing the top champion.

Tetsuya Naito vs SANADA (G1 Climax 30 B Block Match): gosh SANADA is boring right now. This whole match could be a single episode of Botchamania, as the two slipped, slopped and slid into a finish that was more a mercy killing by the time it happened
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs YOSHI-HASHI (G1 Climax 30 B Block Match): this match did nothing for me, and I felt myself zoning out many times. I cant even necessarily say why, but it just felt very by the numbers and nothing happened to draw me back in (whether it be a stiff strike, a big dive, an intense submission spot etc.)

Should you watch this event: The best young lions match so far started this on a very high note, but it literally only got worse as it went. Yano/Juice was all comedy, Goto/Sabre was something a bit different, and KENTA/EVIL was fine, but nothing outside of that first young lions match stood out. What a disappointing show.


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