Wrestling Review: NJPW G1 Climax 30 (Day 12) (2020)

[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 has been a quick dozen days for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) as they enter day 12 of the G1 Climax 30. The main event of this night of B Block action will see former double champion, EVIL, face off with former record breaking IWGP Champion and G1 Climax winner, Hiroshi Tanahashi. In the penultimate affair, Juice Robinson has his first ever match against the double champion, Tetsuya Naito, while KENTA and SANADA will face off. Also in tournament action, Zack Sabre Jr will face Toru Yano, and Hirooki Goto will do battle with YOSHI-HASHI.

+ Juice Robinson vs Tetsuya Naito (G1 Climax 30 B Block Match): I’d argue this was this biggest match of Juice’s career and it did not disappoint. Juice looked like a star against the reigning double champion, and the crowd felt evenly split. Juice’s high spots got a huge applause, and all of Naito’s dickish offence got him loving applause as well. This wasn’t a match of the year contender or anything, but I really liked it
+ Hirooki Goto vs YOSHI-HASHI (G1 Climax 30 B Block Match): I’m happy to say this was surprisingly good, considering I thought Goto was injured and YOSHI-HASHI is still YOSHI-HASHI. This went longer than I thought it would, and made both guys looks really strong
+ Yuya Uemura vs Gabriel Kidd: another perfectly fine match in the series. The dropkicks are high and fast, the suplexes are smooth, and the strikes sound great

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs EVIL (G1 Climax 30 B Block Match): I tried, but I just couldn’t get into this. Win, lose, or draw, EVIL has such a formulaic match that even when someone looks like they are breaking the mould, like Tanahashi did here, it all just comes back to the same thing. Togo will interfere, the good guy will over come, then we go to the finish. I really thought they learned their lesson with early Jay White
SANADA vs KENTA (G1 Climax 30 B Block Match): this bored me to tears, and I’m about ready to give up on SANADA. Even KENTA being a huge jerk was not enough to keep my attention, and I think the limited live crowd felt the same way
Toru Yano vs Zack Sabre Jr. (G1 Climax 30 B Block Match): this really didn’t do it for me. When it tried to be funny, it fell flat, and when it tried to be ‘wrestling’ it just looked bad

Should you watch this event: Give the positives listed above a chance, but don’t bother with the negatives. It must be fatigue, on the part of the wrestlers or myself, because these last few days have been rough.

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