RADICAN’S 9/20 NJPW G1 Climax 30 night 2 report: Kenta vs. Goto, Sabre vs. Evil, Tanahashi vs. Naito main event (w/spoiler free viewing guide)

By Sean Radican, PWTorch Columnist (Twitter: @SR_Torch)



I will provide a list of matches for people to watch after each show at the top of my review.


(6) Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (****¾)

SEPT. 20, 2020

English commentary: Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero


Tsuji worked over Kidd and hit a big running splash for a two count. Kidd fired back and hit a dropkick and both men were down. The action was really good. Tsuji hit a big spear and a running powerslam for a nearfall. He then locked in a Boston Crab in the middle of the ring. Kidd went to the ropes, but Tsuji dragged him back to the middle of the ring and he tapped.

WINNER: Yota Tsuji at 9:15. (***¼)

(Radican’s Analysis: These Young Lions are really good. I can’t wait to see their careers progress.)

(1) Yoshi-Hashi (0) vs. Juice Robinson (0) – B Block match

Robinson came out dressed like a member of The Blues Brothers. Robinson has a new haircut and is clean shaven. Hashi got the upper hand and the announcers talked him up as being more of a threat in G1 than he has been in the past. Hashi hung Robinson over the ropes and hit a big dropkick. Robinson had blocked a Bunker Buster previously, but Hashi went for it again and was successful this time. They went back and forth and Robinson hit a full nelson bomb and the fans fired up.

Robinson had the crowd clapping the We Will Rock you beat by Queen while he set up Hashi up top. Hashi eventually countered Juice and hit a running powerbomb for a two count. Robinson fought out of Karma, but Hashi ducked the Left Hand of God. Hashi got the Butterfly Lock a short time later. Robinson fought to his feet and was almost free, but Hashi hit a back cracker. Hashi then hit a big swanton, but Robinson kicked out at the last second. After some fantastic back and forth action, Robinson hit a big right hand, the LHOG, and Pulp Friction for the win.

WINNER: Juice Robinson (2 pts) at 15:57. (***½)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was a really good way to kick off tournament action. This took a little while to get going, but it was very good down the stretch and even though Hashi lost, he certainly seems more credible than he has in the past.)


Yano now comes out with hand sanitizer instead of a water bottle. The ref checked Yano before the match and discovered several rolls of tape, which he confiscated from Yano. Sanada got a waist lock and pointed out another roll of tape in Yano’s tights. Yano got a quick nearfall with a nice pinning combination. Yano took off the turnbuckle pad in the corner, but Sanada got a rolling cradle for a 2 count. Sanada went for the Paradise Lock and Yano hit him with the turnbuckle pad.

Sanada got the upper hand and put Yano in the Paradise Lock near the top of the entrance ramp. One of the Young LIons freed Yano. Sanada went after the Young Lion and tried to put him in the Paradise lock. Yano taped Sanada to the Young Lion and he tried to hop to the ring, but was unable to and Yano got the countout win.

WINNER: Toru Yano (2 pts) at 6:16 via countout. (**)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was all comedy for the most part. It was certainly fun for what it was.)

They went to a short intermission.

(3) NJPW CUP USA 2020 WINNER KENTA (0) vs. HIROOKI GOTO (0) – B Block match

Kenta has changed his look from his appearances on NJPW Strong. He’s got shorter hair. Kenta got the upper hand and tossed Goto into the ringpost. He then threw Goto shoulder first into the ring barrier. Kenta set up his Game Over submission by going after Goto’s arm over and over. Goto tried to fire back, but Kenta grabbed a leg submission on the mat. Goto finally blocked a kick and shoved Kenta down to the mat.

Goto went on the attack, but sold his injured arm. Kenta slipped out of his grasp and hit a powerslam after raking Goto’s eyes. Kenta hit several HUGE kicks, but Goto shrugged each of them off. Kenta eventually countered Goto and went for Game Over, but Goto got to the ropes. Goto countered Kenta on the apron and snapped his arm over the top rope. Goto then worked an arm bar on the mat.

Kenta blocked a GTR attempt and hit a DDT and both men were down. Kenta got on track and hit his signature stalling dropkick in the corner. He then hit a Busaiku Knee for a near fall. Goto blocked a GTS attempt. They went back and forth and Goto hit Ushigoroshi. Kenta then locked in a seated arm bar on the mat. They went through and Kenta countered a GTR attempt into a Game Over. Goto struggled, but eventually had to tap out.

WINNER: Kenta (2 pts) at 17:15. (***½)

(Radican’s Analysis: Kenta called his shot on Twitter ahead of the match saying he would win with Game Over and he delivered on his promise. This was a really good match that established Kenta as a credible threat in the tournament. He looked dominant at times and took Goto out of his game.)


Dick Togo tried to distract Sabre who immediately went after his arm. Evil cut him off right away and they brawled to the floor. Togo kept interfering, but Sabre eventually mounted a comeback and went to work on Evil on the mat. Sanre went after Evil’s arm. They traded counters and Evil eventually hit a kick to Sabre’s midsection and both men were down. They battled up top and Evil hit a superplex. Both men went for their finish. Sabre ducked a rolling elbow and got a nice pinning combination for a nearfall.

Sabre had Evil in trouble, but Togo got up on the apron with his garrett. Sabre booted Togo to the floor, but Evil tossed him into the ref. Evil then wiped Sabre out with a big clothesline. Togo got into the ring and put the boots to Sabre. The announcers pointed out that there were no other Suzuki Gun members in the B block, so Sabre was all by himself.

Sabre fought out of the Magic Killer and got an arm bar on Togo, but Evil cut him off. Sabre blocked a low blow and went for an ankle lock, but Evil used his momentum to send Sabre into the exposed turnbuckles in the corner. Evil hit Darkness falls and went for EIE, but Sabre countered it into the Zack Clutch pinning combination for the win.

WINNER: Zack Sabre Jr. (2 pts) at 14:54. (***½)

(Radican’s Analysis: Sabre overcame loads of interference and got babyfaced in the process, which is unusual for him behind such a heel in a NJPW ring. This was really good, although the interference from Togo in every Evil match is going to get tiresome.)


Tanahashi went after Naito’s knee after some nice back and forth action during the early going. Tanahashi tried to get the Cloverleaf, but Naito managed to get to the ropes. Tanahashi missed a senton and rolled to the floor. Naito waved him out of the ring and hit his pose. Tanahashi used his legs to apply a full nelson on Tanahashi inside the ring. Tanahashi fired back and hit a spinning Uranagi and both men were down.

Tanahashi went on the attack and hit a flying forearm out of the corner. Tanahashi then hit his signature corner senton after missing it earlier in the match. Tanahashi blocked a kick a short time later and hit a dragon screw. Tanahashi went up top and hit a standing High Fly Flow to the floor and the fans fired up. Tanahashi really went after Naito’s leg as he tried to get back inside the ring. Tanahashi went for the Cloverleaf, but Naito turned it into a rollup for a two count. Naito eventually caught Tanahashi with a spinebuster and both men were down. Naito went for a top rope rana, but Tanahashi rolled through for a two count. Tanahashi went right after Naito’s injured leg with a pair of inverted dragon screws. He then locked in the Cloverleaf Hold. Naito tried to get to the ropes, but Tanahashi really sat down on the hold. Naito finally got to the ropes and both men were down.

The fans fired up as Tanahashi got to his feet. They went back and forth and Tanahashi hit a straightjacket German with a bridge for a nearfall. Naito blocked a Slingblade and hit a tornado DDT. The fans fired up with both men down on the mat. Naito lifted Tanahashi, but he countered him into a Slingblade. Tanahashi went to lift Naito, but he countered it into a modified Destino and both men were down. WOW!

Both men went to a strike exchange and the fans fired up. Naito eventually held onto Tanahashi’s wrist and hit several elbows. Natio lifted Tanahashi and hit several more elbows. Tanahashi went down and when he got up, Naito hit him with more elbows to the neck and head area. Naito hit Gloria, but it was only good for a two count. Tanahashi countered Destino and hit Twist and Shout three times. WOW!

They went back and forth and Tanahashi finally hit the Slingblade at the 25 minute mark! The fans fired up big time with claps. Tanahashi hit another Slingblade. Tanahshi went up top for High Fly Flow. Naito got to his feet and ate a standing HFF. Tanahshi went right back up top, but missed the traditional HFF when Naito rolled out of the way at the last second.

The fans fired up and Naito got up and hit Destino, but Tanahashi kicked out! Naito lifted Tanahashi, but he blocked the Destino attempt. Tanahsahi hit a Snow Plow variation and then Destino for the win. WOW!

WINNER: Tetsuya Naito (2 pts) at 27:16. (****¾)

(Radican’s Analysis: Tanahashi was outstanding turning back the clock and giving Naito all he could handle before coming up short. Tanahashi started to be phased down the G1 card last year, so it will be interesting to see how NJPW handles his record this year. This was incredible.)

Kelly mentioned that Tanahashi had Yano next and a couple of days of rest. Naito faces ZSJ next.

Naito got on the mic and cut a promo to close the show.



Kota Ibushi (2)
Will Ospreay (2)
Jay White (2)
Taichi (2)
Minoru Suzuki (2)
Kazuchika Okada (0)
Shingo Takagi (0)
Tomohiro Ishii (0)
Jeff Cobb (0)
Yujiro Takahashi (0)


Tetsuya Naito (2)
Zack Sabre Jr. (2)
Juice Robinson (2)
Kenta (2)
Toru Yano (2)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (0)
Evil (0)
Hirooki Goto (0)
Sanada (0)
Yoshi-Hashi (0)

Contact Sean at radicansean@pwtorch.com. Follow Sean on Twitter @SR_Torch.

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