G 1 CLIMAX 30 – A BLOCK REPORT SEPTEMBER 23
By: Mike Murray
Night 3 of NJPW G1 Climax 30 from Hokkai Kitayell in Sapporo. The last major show for NJPW in this arena was The New Beginning in Sapporo back on February 2, 2020, and the attendance was 5,690.
The announced attendance for Wednesday’s show by New Japan was 1,961.
Mike’s Match Ratings out of 5
Gabriel Kidd vs Yuya Uemura – 2.75*Shingo Takagi vs – Jeff Cobb – 4*
Yujiro Takahashi vs Kazuchika Okada – 2.5*
TAICHI vs Minoru Suzuki – 3.5*
Will Ospreay vs Tomohiro Ishii – 4.25*
Kota Ibushi vs Jay White – 3.75*
YOUNG LIONS SHOWCASE – GABRIEL KIDD VS YUYA UEMURA
This was another decent, solid Young Lions match. Kidd works a more aggressive style and that makes for a natural heel in the match. His intense strikes are expressive vocals that are very effective. Uemura tried to use a more technical style with a good half Boston crab and also attempted a belly to belly suplex – both of which Kidd escaped from.
Kidd hit a butterfly suplex for the win. Afterward, he wiped the sweat from his chest and flicked it at Uemura still lying in the middle of the ring.
WINNER – Gabriel Kidd in 7:21 minutes
MATCH 1 – SHINGO TAKAGI (0-1) VS JEFF COBB (0-1)
In A Block this year, there are four bully wrestlers. Guys who use stiff strikes and power moves to dominate a match: Tomohiro Ishii, Minoru Suzuki, Jeff Cobb, and Shingo Takagi. Give me any combination of these four – Suzuki vs Ishii was the best match on Day 1 in my opinion.
Takagi vs Cobb did not disappoint. Starting with a very good collar elbow tie-up, these guys told a great story of each of them trying to impose their will on the other. Cobb got a chance to unleash a variety of suplexes on Takagi including an early belly to belly overhead suplex. Throughout the match, Cobb was able to overpower Takagi and hit some big power moves while Takagi focused more on strikes with stiff lariats and chops to try and soften up his more powerful opponent.
The crowd was clearly behind Takagi who was still selling the effects of his match against Jay White had on his back. There were a few spots that I really enjoyed: Takagi tried for an Irish whip but first looked behind him and almost measured how much effort he would need to whip his larger opponent into the corner, but Cobb blocked the attempt anyway. Later in the match, Takagi grabbed Cobb by the waist and bounced off the ropes to hit a Saito suplex, adding the momentum to help him deliver the suplex.
Cobb hit two rolling gut wrench suplexes and then a powerbomb and followed that with a standing moonsault for a two count. After failing to get his larger opponent up for Last of the Dragon, Takagi hit a sliding lariat and got Cobb up for Made In Japan for a two count. But in the end, after an exchange of lariats and head butts, Cobb grabs Takagi, hits a big german suplex, and follows that with Tour of the Islands for the three-count.
WINNER: Jeff Cobb – Tour of the Islands in 11:44
With a little more time, these guys probably would have probably taken this to an even higher level, but this match was a very good and strong start to today’s Block matches. Cobb really got a chance to shine with Takagi and they both looked very good. I really liked how the match stayed in the ring the entire time.
MATCH 2 – YUJIRO TAKAHASHI (0-1) VS KAZUCHIKA OKADA (0-1)
The seemingly never-ending Okada Yujiro feud continues with another underwhelming chapter. The crowd was more engaged than I would have expected, so I will give them that. After he takes off his entrance robe, we can see Okada’s back is taped up, not that Yujiro focused his attack on the back though.
Yujiro begins to take advantage of the match when they are both outside the ring and hits Okada with a neck breaker on the floor. He follows that up with a kick and leaves Okada outside for a count of 14 until Okada makes it back into the ring. Back inside the ring, Yujiro continues to beat on Okada for several minutes. Okada wakes up, hits a plancha over the top rope to Yujiro who is on the floor. Yujiro escapes from two Air Raid Crash attempts. Yujiro hits a fisherman’s suplex. Okada hits a tombstone piledriver and applies a Cobra Clutch but Yujiro bites his hand and escapes. Yujiro hits an Angle Slam and ducks a Rainmaker. Okada blocks a Pimp Juice attempt but Yujiro does hit a Miami Shine. The finish comes when Okada hits a lariat and applies another Cobra Clutch and Yujiro taps out.
WINNER: Kazuchika Okada – Cobra Clutch in 12:03
Nothing new in this match, I don’t know how many times I have seen Yujiro bite Okada’s hand while in the Cobra Clutch these past three months. Okada’s matches since NJPW’s return in June have been nothing short of disappointing. It would be easy to say that some of his opponents are not at his level, but even his match against Ibushi on Day 1 was below my expectation.
MATCH 3 – TAICHI (1-0) VS MINORU SUZUKI (1-0)
Suzuki carries his NEVER Openweight belt today. Right off the bat, these SUZUKI-GUN members start out as TAICHI stares down Suzuki as he walks to the ring. Suzuki takes off his towel and grabs TAICHI by the throat before the bell rings. Suzuki mounts TAICHI and pounds on him but TAICHI gets mount position and wraps his hands around Suzuki’s throat.
Both guys grab chairs and TAICHI knocks the chair out of Suzuki’s hand. As TAICHI raises the chair to hit his mentor/leader of SUZUKI-GUN, Suzuki hits him in the midsection. Outside the ring, Suzuki throws TAICHi into the barricades and attacks him with a chair. Suzuki puts TAICHI’s head through the barricade and wraps the chair around his neck. Back on their feet, Suzuki drops TAICHI with some forearm strikes. Suzuki throws TAICHI back in the ring and grabs another chair. The referee stops Suzuki from using the chair and is thrown aside for is troubles. With the referee down, TAICHI hits Suzuki with his microphone stand and both guys are back outside this time with TAICHI on the attack. He throws Suzuki into the barricades and chokes him with a camera cable. TAICHI gets a chair and attacks the dad of SUZUKI-GUN.
Back in the ring, TAICHI has taken off his pants with no fanfare and the referee again stops Suzuki from using a chair, this time by lying on top of it. TAICHI delivers some Kawada style kicks to Suzuki’s head. Suzuki takes a huge chest kick from TAICHI but answers with a huge forearm that drops TAICHI. There were big head kicks from TAICHI and both guys are down on the mat. Suzuki gets a sleeper but TAICHI turns it into a Saito suplex. Another sleeper by Suzuki and he almost gets a Gotch Style Piledriver but TAICHI backdrops out of it. Suzuki quickly gets up and tries for another sleeper and into the Gotch style piledriver but TAICHI escapes and hits Black Memphisto for the three-count.
WINNER: TAICHI – Black Memphisto in 12:12 minutes
This match seemed to be all about TAICHI gaining Suzuki’s respect. TAICHI took some of Suzuki’s best shots and in the end, beat the leader of his faction clean. After the match, TAICHi stared at the iron glove and packed it away. The announcers were shocked at TAICHI’s win.
MATCH 4 – WILL OSPREAY (1-0) VS TOMOHIRO ISHII (0-1)
Two members of CHAOS square off here in a fantastic match. Ospreay offers Ishii a handshake and Ishii tries to clothesline him but Ospreay ducks. Ospreay’s speed and flashy, fancy maneuvers versus Ishii’s smash-mouth no-nonsense style is the story of the match. When Ospreay tries to go toe to toe with Ishii, he pays the price. Ishii continually gets in Ospreay’s face and dares him to hit him. And overtime Ospreay would, Ishhi would absorb the shots and answer back, usually dropping Ospreay in the process. At one point in the first half of the match, Ospreay has Ishii in the corner and calls him “a little bitch”. Ospreay throws forearms at him, but Ishii keeps coming and with one forearm, drops Ospreay.
One of Ospreay’s flashy moves that looked awesome was a springboard dropkick as Ishii was on the apron that causes Ishii to fall to the floor. Ospreay misses a Sasuke Special over the top rope. He throws Ishii into the barricade and follows that with an OsCutter from the barricade. Ospreay gets back in the ring but it takes Ishii to a 19 count make it back in. Immediately after Ishii gets back in, Ospreay hits him with Pip Pip Cheerio.About 10 minutes into the match, Ospreay is sitting on the top rope in the corner trying to get a hold of Ishii who jumps up and head butts him. Ishii climbs up and hits a Superplex. Ishii tries for a running lariat but Ospreay turns it into a Spanish Fly. That is followed up any another OsCutter for a two count. A Stormbreaker attempt by Ospreay is fought off by Ishii. Ospreay tries for a top rope OsCutter but Ishii catches him. Ishii tries for a lariat but Ospreay catches that and turns it into a Liger bomb. Ishii avoids another Stormbreaker and both guys trade head kicks. Ishii hits a big lariat and gets a two count.
Ishii gets Ospreay up for a Brainbuster but Ospreay hits Ishii with a knee while he is up in the air and gets out. Ishii drops Ospreay with a headbutt. Ishii tries for another Brainbuster but Ospreay counters with a Stun Gun Millionaire. Ospreay gets Ishii up for another Stormbreaker attempt but Ishii drops elbow strikes and Ospreay turns it into a piledriver that looked amazing. Ospreay hits a Hidden Blade that looked vicious and hits Stormbreaker for the win.
WINNER: Will Ospreay – Stormbreaker in 18:20 minutesThis was really good and I would say the second-best match of the G1 so far (after Naito vs Tanahashi). Definitely worth going out of your way to watch.
MATCH 5- JAY WHITE (1-0) VS KOTA IBUSHI (1-0)
White and Ibushi have tied 1-1 in singles matches. White taunts the crowd grabs the microphone and asks them to chant Ibushi’s name, not just clap, knowing they have been instructed to refrain from booing and cheering. When White gets back in the ring, Ibushi kicks him and White is back outside the ring. Ibushi hits a plancha onto White and leads the crowd in some clapping. Both guys are back in the ring and Ibushi stomps on White in the corner. White hits a fireman’s carry into a top rope stun gun and both guys are back outside the ring. White drives Ibushi into the barricades several times and then elbows Ibushi’s knee on the apron. White throws Ibushi back in the ring and continues to target the knee.
Ibushi tries to hit a moonsault from the second rope that White avoids but Ibushi further injures his knee in the attempt. White is just one step ahead of the Isbushi after the effects of the attacks on the knees. White hits a huge German suplex that looked awesome.
Ibushi tries to get White up for a Bastard Driver but White fights out and punches Ibushi in the knee. With White outside on the apron, Ibushi is inside on the second rope and grabs White with a waist lock to German suplex him over the ropes and into the ring. Gedo quickly holds onto White and Red Shoes admonishes Gedo. White again attacks Ibushi’s knee in the confusion. White tries for a Kiwi Krusher but Isbushi escapes and gets White back up for a Bastard Driver that he hits even though White was trying to fight his way out of by attacking the knee again. White rains shot down on the knee again but Ibushi hits him with a forearm that knocks White out of the ring.
Ibushi hits a half and half suplex and sets up for a Bom A Ye. White blocks it, tries for a Blade Runner but Ibushi kicks him in the head. Innate tries for a Kamigoye but White dodges and applies a reverse Figure Four continuing the attack on Ibushi’s knee. Ibushi gets to the ropes for a rope break. White hits a snap sleeper suplex but Ibushi bounces right back and hits a Bomaye and follows that with a Golden Star Bomb for a two count. Ibushi grabs White by the wrist and White grabs Red Shoes who falls down. White hits some elbow strikes and Ibushi drops him with one strike. After a huge buzzsaw kick, Ibushi seems ready to hit Kamigoye but Gedo gets on the apron and looks like he will throw in the towel. As Red Shoes is distracted by Gedo, White low blows Ibushi. White hits a leg hook suplex for a two count. Ibushi gets back up, White shoots him into the ropes and Ibushi hits a knee strike and White is down. Gedo gets back up on the apron and Ibushi kicks him in the head. Ibushi takes down his knee pad, grabs wrist control, and is just about to hit Kamigoye when White escapes and hits Blade Runner for the win.
WINNER: Jay White – Blade Runner in 20:30 minutes
I liked this match. White’s focused attack on Ibushi’s knee and Gedo being less of a focus added up to a better match. And no real ref bump?!? I was shocked.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Another strong and easy show to watch put on by NJPW with only one weak match. Ishii vs Ospreay was the standout match for sure and is a must-see. But, if you have the time, check out Cobb vs Takagi and Ibushi vs White. Early into the A Block tournament and Jay White, Will Ospreay and TAICHI are atop the Block with 2 wins each.