[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.]
The A Block once against takes the spotlight on lucky number Day 13 of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s (NJPW) annual heavyweight tournament, the G1 Climax 30. Another first time ever match up will headline the show, as the Dragon, Shingo Takagi faces off against the Rainmaker, Kazuchika Okada. In the semi-main event, Kota Ibushi and Minoru Suzuki will do battle, while Will Ospreay and Taichi square off as well. Also on the card, the Bullet Club will fight, as Jay White looks to overcome Yujiro Takahashi, the latter of whom has already been statistically eliminated from the tournament, while the opening contest will see big bois collide as Tomohiro Ishii and Jeff Cobb slap their meat.
+ Kazuchika Okada vs Shingo Takagi (G1 Climax 30 A Block Match): I loved everything about this until the ending, which I felt was really flat after the banger of a match these two had put on. It felt like even the live crowd felt that was, as the clapping slowed to a crawl as the finish stretch began. That said, everything up to that point was main event material, with strikes, submissions, throws and crowd engagement at its absolute best
+ Kota Ibushi vs Minoru Suzuki (G1 Climax 30 A Block Match): I didn’t think anything would top Ishii/Cobb in the opener, but this did. This was almost a UWFI Rules match in the opening, before becoming the monstrous strike exchange I think we were all expecting. Ibushi’s ‘Ultra Instinct’ stare is perhaps matched only by Suzuki’s laughing at you with his tongue out and by god we got both of those in this match. This was my match of the night
+ Will Ospreay vs Taichi (G1 Climax 30 A Block Match): this was good, and I certainly can’t say it was a negative, but I admit it felt very by the numbers. Both guys did the stuff they usually do and there were no real surprises. It was a very good version of an average match
+ Jay White vs Yujiro Takahashi (G1 Climax 30 A Block Match): Yujiro has already been mathematically eliminated, so there were a lot of ways this could have gone. Frankly, I liked this and the implications it has
+ Tomohiro Ishii vs Jeff Cobb (G1 Climax 30 A Block Match): I was critical of these two’s match last year in the G1, but holy guacamole this completely made me eat my words. I loved this match as much as their meeting the WrestleCon event from 2018. It was everything you’d expect, and it was absolutely incredible
+ Yota Tsuji vs Yuya Uemura: this was another of these matches that didn’t quite seem to click the way they wanted it to. A few sloppy throws and some miscommunication stood out, only because of how smooth the rest of the matches have been. The end of this match was really exciting, and redeemed the few awkward moments in the middle
Should you watch this event: Ishii/Cobb and Ibushi/Suzuki may be two of the best matches of the tournament so far, and Shingo/Okada was so, so close to joining them. This was a really good show from start to finish and probably the best overall day of the tournament so far.