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JAVIER’S G1 CLIMAX 30: NIGHT 4 REPORT
SEPTEMBER 24, 2020
AIRED LIVE ON NJPW WORLD
(a) YOTA TSUJI vs. YUYA UEMURA
Yota Tsuji and Yuya Uemura began with some light grappling with Uemura gaining the early advantage when he got a hold of Tsuji’s leg, working it over. Tsuji got the ropebreak. Resetting, Tsuji took over with strikes using his power advantage over Uemura. Uemura took advantage of Tsuji running the ropes, following him with a European uppercut to get the advantage. Uemura went for the Boston Crab but transitioned into another leglock. Tsuji got to the ropes again and cut off any further offense from Uemura with a dropkick. Tsuji went for a suplex but Uemura broke free. Before Uemura could counter, Tsuji speared him and applied the Boston Crab, sitting down on it for the win.
WINNER: Yota Tsuji at 8:13. (**)
(Javier’s Analysis: Solid work from the Young Lions. Yota Tsuji is slowly building his own in-ring identity emphasizing his power.)
(1) HIROOKI GOTO (0) vs. SANADA (0) – B Block match
Hirooki Goto and Sanada began with some back and forth wrestling, but it wasn’t long before they began running the ropes. Sanada pulled the top rope down sending Goto to the outside floor. Sanada went for a dive but stopped himself when Goto moved out of the way. On the outside, Goto tried to strike Sanada but wrapped his taped-up arm around the ringpost instead. Sanada started working over the arm. Sanada returned to the ring but Goto rolled back in with plenty of time. Sanada continued working the arm.
Eventually Goto regained control when while cornered, dodged out of the way of a rushing Sanada and hit Sanada with a side suplex. Goto delivered a running bulldog for a two-count. Sanada regained control with a dropkick that sent Goto back to the outside and followed up with a flying plancha. Sanada walked around the ring, playing to the crowd before returning Goto to the ring.
Goto caught Sanada on his shoulders off of a springboard attempt but Sanada fought of the ushigoroshi attempt. Running the ropes Sanada rolled up Goto into a deep Skull End but Goto was too close to the ropes and got the ropebreak. Sanada tried pressing the offence by getting Goto onto his shoulders but Goto fought free and hit Sanada with a spinning clothesline and immediately began selling his bad arm. The two struggled back and forth to apply the GTR and Skull End respectively but Goto did a side roll-up pinning combination for a long two-count. Sanada responded in kind. Another attempt from Goto for a GTR was countered by a roll-up from Sanada who then hit Goto with his own ushigoroshi. Goto countered Sanada’s Skull End with an attempt at a supplex that Sanada resisted. Sanada was able force Goto to the ropes for a rope-assisted Magic Killer. Sanada missed the follow-up moonsault. Sanada went for another moonsault that he transitioned into a Skull End but Goto countered with an elevated GTR using the ropes. Goto then hits the GTW and follows it up with a chest kick and GTR for the win.
WINNER: Hirooki Goto (2 pts) at 11:03. (**½)
(Javier’s Analysis: This was a good match with good final series of spots. I just wish all that time spent working on Goto’s arm earlier on had a bigger bearing on the match. Sanada who a lot of people expected to go far finds himself with zero points after two rounds.)
(2) TORU YANO (2) vs. HIROSHI TANAHASHI (0) – B Block match
Toru Yano seemed very upset that the referee was patting him down for contraband. As soon as the match started Yano rolled to the outside and tried to goad Hiroshi Tanahashi to join him outside of the ring. A contest of wills ensued broken by the referee’s count.
Once returned to the ring, Yano and Tanahashi engaged in a bit of back-and-forth grappling until upon reaching a stalemate, Yano went off to unleash the turnbuckle. Tanahashi tried the same unsuccessfully. Yano tossed Tanahashi the pad and Tanahashi played it like a guitar. He tossed it back to Yano and encouraged him to play it himself. Upset at being upstaged by Tanahashi, Yano attacked Tanahashi with the pad instead but Tanahashi countered with a devastating dragon screw on the pad instead, sending Yano to the outside. Tanahashi unwisely followed him.
Yano took control on the outside and escorted Tanahashi to the entranceway where they traded strikes until late in the referee’s count. Ready for this, Yano raked Tanahashi’s eyes buying himself a head start to the ring. Tanahashi followed breaking the count with only moments to spare.
Inside the ring, Tanahashi took over, delivering a summersault senton and a dragon screw leg-whip that drove Yano to the outside. Tanahashi followed up with a plancha but missed. Yano took the advantage and fished out a roll of athletic tape he had hidden at ringside. Tanahashi was able to counter him though and wrapped the tape around Yano’s eyes, blinding him. Yano was able to find the ring in time to avoid a count out. Tanahashi ran the ropes and sensing himself in danger and that the referee was nearby, Yano used the referee as a shield and, in the distraction, hit Tanahashi with a low blow followed by a roll up for the win.
WINNER: Toru Yano (4 pts) at 7:15 (**)
(Javier’s Analysis: Not the best Yano match I’ve ever seen. I was hoping Tana and Yano would have better chemistry together, but still a fun enough comedy match.)
They went to a short intermission to sanitize the ring.
(3) KENTA (2) vs. JUICE ROBINSON (2) – B Block match
The match started with the requisite Kenta stall as he used the corner ropebreak and “taking a powder at ringside” moves in his repertoire. It worked since he got the upper hand on a chasing Juice Robinson. They went back and forth a bit until Kenta hit a knee drop from the top rope onto the back of Juice’s head who was hanging on the second rope. Kenta then settled into head and chinlocks punctuated by some moments of striking. A high sideslam bought Juice some breathing room. Juice hit Kenta with his right jabs but faked the LHFG and caught a flinching Kenta with a DDT instead. Kenta regained control with a rake to the eyes. Kenta delivered a stun gun via a DDT from the top rope that led to a nearfall. Juice curtailed any further offence from Kenta with a flapjack and a high roundhouse leg lariat. Juice then hit the cannonball in the corner.
Juice was able to get the crowd to clap and stop their feet as he set up Kenta in the corner, but he wasted too much time. Kenta countered with another eye rake and a series of headbutts to drop Juice to the mat and followed up with a shotgun dropkick from the top, followed by running kick and Shibata hesitation dropkick to the corner. Kenta followed up with a doublestomp from the top for a two-count. Juice fought out of the GTS but got hit with an elevated DDT instead for another two. Juice was able to stifle Kenta’s momentum and the two began an exchange of strikes with Juice taking control.
Juice went for Pulp Friction, but Kenta wiggled out and took control with some strikes. He went for the GTS but botched and dropped Juice. He went for it again immediately, but Juice fought it off and went for Pulp Friction again. Kenta countered it into another GTS only Juice caught the knee and delivered a close range LHFG. Juice hit the full LHFG and delivered Pulp Friction for the win.
WINNER: Juice Robinson (2 pts) at 17:01. (*½)
(Javier’s Analysis: I was utterly bored by this match. With only a few strike sequences to grab my attention, the rest match felt monotonous and the botched attempt at the go-to-sleep did not help.)
(4) EVIL (w/Dick Togo) (0) vs. YOSHI-HASHI (0)
I am not sure of the wisdom behind going after someone with a chair who is wielding a staff but that’s what Evil did before the match even started. Yoshi used his Nyoi-Bo to defend himself and take advantage of Evil. Yoshi pressed this advantage laying into Evil in the corner. Yoshi continued pressing his momentum until Dick Togo tripped him up and worked him over ringside while Evil had the referee’s attention. Evil grabbed a bunch of chairs outside and suplexed Yoshi onto them. The referee refused to count. Evil bullied Yoshi until Yoshi fired back. Evil cut him off by tossing Yoshi into a turnbuckle Evil exposed earlier. Evil began working on Yoshi’s back.
Yoshi swung things by countering Evil’s suplex with his own. Yoshi followed up with strikes and a dropkick to Evil’s knees. Yoshi pressed his advantage until he was caught on the top rope where Evil delivered a superplex. Evil whipped Yoshi into the exposed turnbuckles a few times and hit Darkness Falls for a two-count. Evil went for his finisher “Evil”, but Yoshi countered and rammed Evil’s head into the exposed turnbuckle twice. They exchanged strikes with Yoshi coming out on top and hitting a brainbuster for a two-count. Yoshi then applied the butterfly lock but broke it off when Dick Togo jumped onto the apron. Evil tried to set something up with Togo, but Yoshi whipped Evil into Togo and hit Evil with a back-cracker and followed up by reapplying the butterfly lock
Evil was in the butterfly lock for an extended period before he finally got to the ropes for the break. Evil grabbed the referee and led Yoshi to get hit by a Togo chair shot. While Evil distracted the referee, Togo used the garrote on Yoshi, but Yoshi powered out of it and took Togo out. The commentary team was going nuts at this point. Evil then pushed the referee aside, low-blowed Yoshi and hit Evil for the win.
WINNER: Evil (2 pts) at 17:21. (***)
(Javier’s Analysis: I liked this match a lot. Yoshi-Hashi came in with something to prove and had the crowd and the Japanese commentary team losing their minds. Unfortunately, Yoshi-Hashi is Yoshi-Hashi and Yoshi-Hashi will disappoint. Fun match though.)
(5) TETSUYA NAITO (2) vs. ZACK SABRE JR. (2)
Zack Sabre Jr. and Naito began with some tentative grappling with neither getting the upper hand before they separated. A second round of grappling ending with Zack getting control of Naito’s leg, but Naito was quickly at the ropes. The third round also went Zack’s way, this time working the arm. The fourth round ended with Zack working Naito to the ropes and mocking Naito’s pose showing off his control of Naito. A fifth round had Zack work over Naito’s arm more viciously. This ended in a ropebreak when things sped up with Naito hitting an armdrag takeover and hurricanrana with Zack rolling to the outside. Naito hit his tranquilo pose but Zack took immediate advantage by rolling up Naito for three quick nearfalls.
Now more awake, Naito took down Zack and applied a head vice with his legs. Zack attempted the same but ended up in the ropes for the break. Zack goes for the octopus but gets hiptossed by Naito. Zack quickly snapmares Naito and delivers two neck twists. Zack wraps up Naito in the ropes. He gets Naito’s head in his own leg vice and attempted to turn Naito into a pretzel. Naito got to the ropes for the break. Naito tried fighting back with strikes to the body but Zack cuts him off by sweeping Naito in the corner sending him to the floor.
Back inside the ring the two exchanged strikes but Zack takes over with a krawatte. Naito bridged into a neckbreaker and a series of strikes led to the combinacion cabron for a two count. Naito applied a full nelson on Zack using his legs, but Zack got to the ropes. Naito applied his own krawatte to the delight of the commentary team. Zack eventually was able to counter with surprise tornado DDT. Zack then tried to turn Naito into a pretzel again. Eventually Zack moved on to strikes. Naito regained control by hitting an elevated neckbreaker from the apron to the floor. Naito went on sustained offence including hitting a top rope Frankensteiner. Zack blocked attempts at Destino but Naito hit a rope assisted tornado DDT for a two count. Zack blocked Gloria and applied the octopus on Naito. Taking Naito down, Zack yanked on Naito’s arm. Naito broke on the ropes. Both exhausted and at the twenty-five-minute mark, Zack invited Naito to strike him and they exchange blows. Zack and Naito go for the Zack Driver and Destino respectively with Naito eventually hitting it. He goes for another Destino, but Zack countered into the Zack Driver. Spent, he can’t make the pin. Zack picks up Naito for another ZD, but Naito blocked it. Zack nearly got the three with the European Clutch and followed it with a Japanese leg clutch for another nearfall. Naito went for a rolling kick, but Zack countered with a PK for another nearfall. Zack went for another ZD, but Naito countered into Destino for a two. With time ticking down Naito hits the full Destino for the win.
WINNER: Tetsuya Naito (4 pts) at 28:28. (***½)
(Javier’s Analysis: This was a really good match and what I expect from a ZSJ match. The whole match had the feeling of a chess match as both opponents tried to out manuever each other.)
Naito got on the mic and cut a promo to close the show.
G1 CLIMAX 30 STANDINGS
Will Ospreay (4)
Jay White (4)
Kota Ibushi (2)
Minoru Suzuki (2)
Kazuchika Okada (2)
Jeff Cobb (2)
Tomohiro Ishii (0)
Shingo Takagi (0)
Yujiro Takahashi (0)
Tetsuya Naito (4)
Juice Robinson (4)
Toru Yano (4)
Zack Sabre Jr. (2)
Hirooki Goto (2)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (0)