G1 Climax 30 POST Show: Day 1 – Kazuchika Okada vs. Kota Ibushi

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/09/19/g1-climax-30-post-show-day-1-kazuchika-okada-vs-kota-ibushi/

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John Pollock & Wai Ting review every tournament match from NJPW’s G1 Climax 30. Day 1 (September 19) is headlined by Kazuchika Okada vs. Kota Ibushi.

September 19, 2020
Osaka, Japan
Osaka Prefectural Gym

  • Kazuchika Okada vs. Kota Ibushi (Recommended)
  • Shingo Takagi vs. Jay White (Recommended)
  • Tomohiro Ishii vs. Minoru Suzuki (Recommended)
  • Jeff Cobb vs. Taichi
  • Yujiro Takahashi vs. Will Ospreay

Plus a full breakdown of the returning COFFEE RATINGS SCALE and a discussion of Will Ospreay’s involvement in this year’s tournament.

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Click here for previous episodes and more G1 coverage
Click here for the complete G1 Climax 30 schedule
Click here for a full list of the participants in each block
Click here for updated G1 Climax 30 Contest Scores and Tournament Results

Music by James Ting: ebiasmusic.com

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Thanks again for the daily reviews. Gonna be trying to watch these live (the 1am start tonight is clutch) or within 24 hours so it’s always great to have the companion listen.

I’m not sure if everyone is feeling this way, but I’m starting to get used to the nuances in the crowd’s clapping and it’s making the lack of cheering and booing a little less awkward. Certainly helped this morning with a really strong (and short) card.

The Okada-Ibushi match may have been the best of the night, but the Ishii-Suzuki match was the most fun. It’s such a unique, hard-hitting style they both have that fits perfect in the middle of the card. Loved the punching exchange that ended with Ishii just head-butting Suzuki…and the selling after it was over by Ishii that really put over the battle.

It was a welcome return for Jay White, but I don’t really miss the amount of interference. White feels important on his return and it did make for an interesting comparison to where EVIL is at this point and where White is. I was, and am still for what they did with EVIL because I think it got him to a new level they need more guys at, but this was a stark contrast in gravitas…and barring another big angle, he feels slotted quite below White (and probably KENTA) in the Bullet Club’s rankings. He’s gonna need a strong G1 to change that.

Felt like Okada got out of his pandemic slump, but that’s kind of what going from Yujiro and Gedo to Ibushi will do for you. Outside of moment Ibushi almost crippled himself on the springboard hurricanrana (and gave us that funny wink afterwards) it was a really solid match. Outside of my picks, I would love to see Ibushi get a real Dome main event against Naito and his post-match speech felt like them getting him ready for a run.

I found the Okada-Ibushi match really boring. It was just two wrestlers taking turns hitting each other with moves. I felt it had very little to no story throughout the entire match. I was very surprised and disappointed. Suzuki-Ishii was definitely match of the night.

Thanks for getting back in the saddle and doing these G1 Post-shows.

Regarding rating matches, I prefer to not be limited to making a scale that is a one-to-one mapping with the traditional (a la Meltzer) star scale. It’s much more freeing to let oneself emotionally respond to a match and not try to force one’s reactions into a linear (and scalar) straight-jacket.

My responses to the five matches on night one:

  • Ospreay-Takahashi : a slice of a double-layer white cake with butter-cream frosting;
  • Cobb-Taichi : a plain cake donut, dressed with a few sprinkles;
  • Ishii-Suzuki : a warm fudge brownie with a glass of half-and-half;
  • White-Takagi : a package of Hostess HoHos which has sat in the vending machine for a month too long;
  • Okada-Ibushi : a blueberry muffin, still slightly warm from the oven.

I predict that my highlight of this year’s G1 tournament will be reading picjapan’s ratings!

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