[Please note: this is the final for the G1 Climax 30, with full spoilers for the entire rest of the tournament.]
The winner of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s (NJPW) annual tournament, the G1 Climax 30, will finally be crowned. The winner of the A Block, Kota Ibushi, will face the B Block winner, SANADA, with the overall winner earning the main event match at Wrestle Kingdom on January 4th. With Ibushi coming in injured following his match with Taichi, and SANADA relatively fresh following his slow-paced match with EVIL, this final match be over quickly. Also on the card, Tetsuya Naito and BUSHI will team for the first time in several weeks to face the team of EVIL and Yujiro Takahashi, And, following his betrayal of Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay will team with the returning Great-O-Khan against Okada and SHO, where the official relationship status between Ospreay and his heavy may finally be revealed. These three huge matches and the return of preliminary tag team contests at the final of the G1 Climax 30.
+ Los Ingobernables De Japon (Hiromu Takahashi & Shingo Takagi) vs Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru): this was really, really good. Shingo and Suzuki are great against each other, and both Hiromu and Yoshinobu can make their stuff work with anyone. The few Hiromu/Suzuki moments made me really want a heavyweight Hiromu in the next year or so
+ CHAOS (Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto) vs Suzuki-Gun (Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr., DOUKI & El Desperado): I’ve missed Despy so much. This was a good match to start back on, with Ishii and Goto able to go head to head with Taichi and Sabre, while DOUKI also got his return match against some good opponents. I liked this, for as much of a preliminary tag match as it was
– Kota Ibushi vs SANADA (G1 Climax 30 Final): I absolutely loved the deliberate pace this started with, but as the botches continued to mount my interest waned. The final stretch of this was slow and clumsy and really dampened what was a would-have-been sure-fire good match
– Los Ingobernables De Japon (BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito) vs Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi & EVIL): truthfully I didn’t like this as much as I thought I would, and I think that’s mostly down to just how much we’ve seen EVIL/Naito lately. I’ve missed BUSHI, and it was really interesting in-story for EVIL to team with Yujiro, but the match was simply not very exciting
– CHAOS (SHO & Kazuchika Okada) vs Will Ospreay & Great-O-Khan (w/ Bea Priestly): truthfully, this really fell flat to me. I expected Ospreay/Khan to be monster heels, but Ospreay was barely any different to his cocky dickhead persona through the tournament, O-Khan wasn’t given much of anything exciting to do and Okada was still on auto pilot. The only guy that looked good was SHO, and that’s because SHO is fantastic, but the rest of the match was not good
– Master Wato, Jeff Cobb, Juice Robinson & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Bullet Club (Jay White, KENTA, Gedo & Taiji Ishimori): this was the weakest of the opening matches, with Gedo and Wato dragging down the average skill level. Wato did look better than other recent matches, but this was mostly a thrown together match just to get the names on the card
Should you watch this event: Can you believe, the only three matches I was interested in were three of the weakest on the show. Even if I were to look past the things I wasn’t fond of in the tags, that main event was a really disappointing way to finish the tournament.