Wrestling Review: NJPW G1 Climax 30 (Day 16) (2020)

[Please note: there may be spoilers for any and all previous days of this tournament. I’m back to watching live!]

It’s crunch time for the contenders of the B Block of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s (NJPW) annual heavyweight tournament, the G1 Climax 30. In the main event of Day 16, Hiroshi Tanahashi (eliminated, if you can believe it) will face off with SANADA, who has come back from the brink after a slow start, while Hirooki Goto and current block leader EVIL will face off in a match that Goto must win if he is to stay in the runnings to win. Just behind those men in the brackets, Toru Yano will also look to keep himself in winner’s contention when he battles the reigning double champion, Tetsuya Naito. Meanwhile, Zack Sabre Jr. must over come Juice Robinson (eliminated) to keep his own tournament alive, while YOSHI-HASHI and KENTA face off in a battle with only pride on the line, as both men have already been eliminated.

+ Juice Robinson vs Zack Sabre Jr. (G1 Climax 30 B Block Match): this was really good. The crowd seemed less thrilled than I was, but Juice has had a good showing in this tournament despite not winning enough, and Sabre was only barely alive coming into the match so it made for a match that both guys were wanting to come out of strong. Juice has such a bright future in the NJPW division, and while Sabre is kind of still an outside to NJPW he should continue to have strong runnings in the G1 and New Japan Cups going forward

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs SANADA (G1 Climax 30 B Block Match): I dunno, man. I tried to get into this, but SANADA has been such a boring challenger this whole tournament, and Tanahashi is hit and miss for me personally. No matter how close these two kicked out or how long it took them to escape a submission, I just couldn’t find myself invested in this at all
EVIL vs Hirooki Goto (G1 Climax 30 B Block Match): I really liked the ending of this, but the rest of the match was an uninspired drag. Goto looked good in parts, but it wasn’t until the final few moments that these two really clicked. It’s a shame I was just getting into it when it ended
Toru Yano vs Tetsuya Naito (G1 Climax 30 B Block Match): you’ll either love this or hate it, more than most other Yano matches, and I hated it. Better than Yano/KENTA at least
YOSHI-HASHI vs KENTA (G1 Climax 30 B Block Match): I’d love to say this was good, but with almost nothing on the line — YOSHI-HASHI winning would give him a shot at KENTA’s US Title briefcase, I suppose — it was hard to muster up any excitement
Yota Tsuji vs Yuya Uemura: I was not into this one at all. It’s a shame, because Big Tsuj looked like a monster as Uemura looked like a technical master but it just felt rushed, even for Young Lion standards

> the B Block is a bit harder to keep track of for who is eliminated, so I apologise if what I have in the opening spiel is incorrect

Should you watch this event: This was not a strong day for me personally, as the Naito/SANADA/EVIL love triangle continues albeit with a few twists and turns thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately, those twists and turns just make the last night for the B Block even more predictable, and I don’t think I care for it very much.

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