[Please note: there may be spoilers for any and all previous days of this tournament. Because real life doesn’t stop when daylight savings changes, I am also one day behind for the foreseeable future.]
It’s a return to action for the A Block competitors of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s (NJPW) annual tournament, the G1 Climax 30. In the main event it’s precision versus power when Kota Ibushi and Shingo Takagi meet for the first time ever. Jay White and Taichi will also face off in Suzuki-gun versus Bullet Club action, and Will Ospreay will face a true test against the dangerous veteran, Minoru Suzuki (alsoa first time ever match up). Both Kazuchika Okada and Jeff Cobb are on hot streaks, and neither will want the other to get a win at their expense, and in the opening match for the A Block, Tomohiro Ishii will face Yujiro Takahashi. Kicking off the show, young lions Gabriel Kidd and Yota Tsuji rematch from their wild draw a few nights ago.
+ Kota Ibushi vs Shingo Takagi (G1 Climax 30 A Block Match): holy guacamole, this was fantastic. Ibushi’s willingness to take everything Shingo had and (attempt to) remain stone-faced, and Shingo’s invitation to lay in every strike as hard as he wanted made this an absolute slobberknocker of the main event. Ibushi’s ‘Ultra Instinct’ mode is just a joy to watch, especially when against someone with the striking and power reputation of Shingo
+ Taichi vs Jay White (G1 Climax 30 A Block Match): Jay White’s constant shit-talking the crowd has made him the most popular babyface in the G1 right now. I love everything about this gimmick. Taichi looked really comfortable as the de facto good guy, and that Dangerous T suplex he does always get a rise out of me, as does White’s massive uranage. This was really good
+ Will Ospreay vs Minoru Suzuki (G1 Climax 30 A Block Match): the way this match went was going to say a lot about what Gedo thought of Ospreay taking over the role Kenny Omega left behind. Off the top of my head this was their first ever meeting, and this was a lot of fun Ospreay works best when he is being grounded and has to fight through that, and Suzuki works best when he can just bully his opponent, which meant these two really worked well together. Win, lose, or draw, I do have to say Ospreay never looked like a threat to Suzuki, which was a bit disappointing, but the match was good so I’m not complaining too much
– Kazuchika Okada vs Jeff Cobb (G1 Climax 30 A Block Match): Cobb strong, Okada cruising through this tournament. This was so bland and boring I can’t even be bothered pretending it was interesting
– Tomohiro Ishii vs Yujiro Takahashi (G1 Climax 30 A Block Match): much like the Shingo/Yujiro match from Day 9, this was just not what match I’d expect if someone told me the Stone Pitbull, Tomohiro Ishii was facing… the pimp. Yujiro is just not the right goy for these Shingo/Ishii/Suzuki matches
– Yota Tsuji vs Gabriel Kidd: I think this is my favourite young lion pairing, but this was by no means my favourite young lions match. It was perfectly fine as a prelim young lions match, but after some of the bangers lately, that is exactly what this felt like
> on AEW Dynamite this week, Hiroshi Tanahashi made a video appearance, Excalibur mentioned Gedo directly, Archer/Moxley both mentioned their Tokyo Dome match, and Kenny Omega sarcastically mentioned winning the G1 was easy. I really hope it’s HAPPENING
Should you watch this event: Basically, just watch the second half of the show. Ospreay/Suzuki, Taichi/White and especially Ibushi/Shingo are just great, and each better than the last. IT’s a shame the first half of the show was so lame, because this could have been one of the best nights so far.