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NJPW G1 CLIMAX 30: NIGHT 4 SPOILER FREE VIEWERS GUIDE
I will provide a list of matches for people to watch after each show at the top of my review.
(4) Evil vs. Yoshi-Hashi (***¾)
(5) Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (****½)
RADICAN’S G1 CLIMAX 30: NIGHT 3 REPORT
SEPT. 24, 2020
AIRED LIVE ON NJPW WORLD
English commentary provided by Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero.
(a) YUYA UEMURA vs. YOTA TSUJI
Uemura went after Tsuji’s leg during the early stages of the match. Tsuji got the upper hand and they built to a big strike exchange that saw Uemura take Tsuji down with a big running forearm. Uemura hit a big dropkick and sent for the Boston Crab. Tsuji fought it, so he transitioned to a leg lock. Tsuji got to the ropes quickly. Tsuji got the upper hand and got a on a roll. He hit a running powerslam for a nearfall. Tsuji got a Boston Crab, which is the same hold Uemura beat Tsuji with earlier in the tournament. Tsuji eventually sat down on the hold and got the tap out win.
WINNER: Yota Tsuji via submission at 8:13. (**½)
(Radican’s Analysis: Nothing really stood out here. The action was solid, but it dragged leading into the finish.)
(1) SANADA (0) vs. HIROOKI GOTO (0) – B Block match
They had a fast paced exchange and the action spilled to the floor. Goto went for a clothesline, but missed and hit the exposed ringpost with his injured arm. Sanada controlled the action. Goto made a brief comeback, but Sanada caught him with the dropkick off the ropes/slingshot dive to the floor combination and the fans fired up. They went back and forth off the ropes and Sanada locked in the Skull End very early in the match. The announcers said Goto was lacking aggression and in pain due to the shoulder injury. Goto escaped and ducked a kick before nailing Sanada with a lariat and both men were down.
Goto went for the GTR, but Sanada countered it into the Skull End. Goto slipped out and they went back and forth. Goto then quickly applied a pinning combination of the mat for a near fall. Sanada returned the favor and got a pinning combination of his own. Goto went for the GTR, but Sanada countered it. They went back and forth trading counters and Sanada caught Goto with the Ushigoroshi and the fans applauded. Goto managed to duck a moonsault and both men were down. Sanada had a Skull End, but Goto countered it into a reverse GTR. A short time later Goto hit the GTR for the win.
WINNER: Hirooki Goto (2 pts) at 11:03. (**¾)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was very one sided in Sanada’s favor. I thought for sure Sanada was winning and Goto was going to go on to have a lousy G1 tournament, but Goto pulled a swerve with the quick comeback and the win.)
(2) IWGP KOPW PROVISIONAL CHAMPION TORU YANO (2) vs. HIROSHI TANAHASHI (0) – B Block match
Yano tried to get a countout win by brawling up the entrance ramp and then raking Tanahashi’s eyes, but Tanahashi managed to make it back into the ring. Tanahashi put tape around Yano’s eyes on the floor. Yano, despite being “blind,” managed to shift the ref around and hit a low blow on Tanahashi. He then rolled him up for the win.
WINNER: Toru Yano (4 pts) at 7:15. (**)
(Radican’s Analysis: A rough start to the tournament for Tanahashi, especially after he had a losing record in the tournament last year.)
The show went to intermission to sanitize the ring.
(3) IWGP US HVT. CHAMPIONSHIP CHALLENGER KENTA (2) vs. JUICE ROBINSON (2) – B Block match
Kenta dominated the first five minutes of the match or so until Robinson connected with a suplex. Kenta fired back quickly and caught Robinson with a powerslam off the ropes. Kenta mocked the fans clapping for Robinson. Kenta connected with the draping DDT/top rope clothesline combination for a two count. Robinson suddenly caught Kenta with a flapjack and a kick and both men were down as the fans fired up.
The announcers pointed out the tape on Kenta’s surgically repaired shoulder. They got up and went back and forth. Robinson finally grounded Kenta and hit a cannonball in the corner. Robinson got the fans to clap to the tune of We Will Rock You. They battled up top a short time later.
KENTA got the upper hand and hit the signature Shibata dropkick in the corner on Robinson. He then came off the top with a double stomp for a two count. Robinson fought out of GTS, but Kenta connected with a draping DDT off the ropes a short time later. Robinson ducked a charge from Kenta and hit a full nelson bomb and both men were down.
Both men got up and began trading blows in the middle of the ring. Robinson hit several big forearms and told Kenta to bring it. Kenta returned fire, but Robinson cut off a spinning backfist with a big clothesline. WOW! Robinson hit the Juice Box a short time later for a two count. Kenta countered a Pulp Friction attempt into a rollup for a nearfall. He then decked Robinson with a series of big palm strikes.
Kenta tried to pick Robinson up for the GTS, but he stumbled. Robinson slid out of another GTS attempt. Robinson blocked the kick from GTS and hit two Left Hand of God strikes. Robinson then finished Kenta off with Pulp Friction for the win.
WINNER: Juice Robinson (4 pts) at 17:01. (***½)
(Radican’s Analysis: Kenta’s slow and methodical pace was working for him once again, as he dominated most of the match, but Robinson had an answer for the GTS down the stretch and got the win.)
Robinson pointed at his hand after the match indicating it was his time soon to go after the U.S. title.
(4) EVIL (W/THE SPOILER DICK TOGO) (0) vs. YOSHI-HASHI – B Block match
Hashi went right after Evil when he got into the ring with his walking stick. Evil had a chair in his hands. Hashi dropped the stick and took down Evil with a running shoulder tackle a short time later. Evil fired back and ran wild on Hashi on the floor. Hashi tried to fire back, but Evil tossed him into the exposed corner that Togo had taken down.
Hashi mounted a comeback and hit a Headhunter. Hashi knocked down Togo and the fans fired up. He laid in some big chops on Evil before hanging him over the ropes and landing a running dropkick. He then hit a dropkick on a seated Evil for a two count. Hashi went up top, but Evil ran into the ropes to crotch him. They battled up top a short time later.
Evil suddenly raked Hashi’s eyes and hit a superplex for a two count. Evil sent Hashi into the exposed turnbuckle twice and hit Darkness Falls for a good nearfall. Hashi fought off EIE multiple times. He sent Evil head first into the corner multiple times. He then hit a thrust kick, but couldn’t capitalize and both men were down.
Evil went for a misdirection attack, but Hashi turned him inside out with a clothesline. He then hit a side buster for a nearfall. Hashi locked in the Butterfly Lock. Togo got up on the apron. Hashi knocked him down. Evil attacked Hashi from behind, but Hashi countered and sent him into Togo. He hit a big back cracker and locked in the Butterfly Lock. Hashi cranked on the hold and Evil looked like he was fading, but then he began to rise. Evil tried to get to the ropes, but Hashi dragged him back to the middle of the ring.
Evil went for the ropes and Hashi transitioned the hold and got a double wrist lock. Evil finally surged to the rope to break the submission.. The fans fired up behind Hashi as he went back on the attack. Evil shoved the ref and went for a low blow, but Hashi blocked it. Evil wiped out Hashi a short time later with a big clothesline and both men were down.
Evil went for EIE, but Hashi slipped out. Hashi eventually hit a snap dragon suplex and a running double knee strike for a near fall. Hashi went up top and hit a big swanton for a nearfall. Hashi grabbed Evil, but Evil grabbed the ref. Togo hit Hashi from the floor with a chair across the back. He then got the garrett out and choked Hashi, but Hashi blocked it and fought off Togo. Hashi wiped out Evil with a HUGE lariat, but it was only good for a two count.
Evil slid out of Karma. Hashi was about to go into the ref and he stopped short. Evil hit a low blow and EIE for the win.
WINNER: Evil (2 pts) at 17:21. (***¾)
(Radican’s Analysis: Great match for Hashi here. He was clearly going to win if it wasn’t for all of the interference and ref shenanigans that Evil pulled out to beat him. This was a really fun match to watch, as I badly wanted to see Hashi win.)
(5) IWGP IC & IWGP HVT. CHAMPION TETSUYA NAITO (2) vs. IWGP HVT. TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS ZACK SABRE JR. (2) – B Block match
Sabre knocked Naito out of the tournament on the final night of block action two years ago. Sabre kicked Naito’s belts before the match began. Sabre controlled the match and Naito fired back and teased a dive before hitting his pose. Sabre got several pinning combinations for two counts, but the last one he executed got him a super close nearfall. Naito fired back and worked a neck crank with his leg a short time later, but Sabre got to the ropes. Sabre fired back and used his feet to crank on Naito’s neck multiple times to regain the upper hand.
Sabre pushed Naito to the floor and he went into the barricade. He then began working over Naito’s neck back inside the ring. Naito went for his signature corner dropkick, but Sabre tripped him and he fell from the apron to the floor. Sabre was working Naito’s neck over in the ring when Naito suddenly fired back and hit a neck breaker. Naito got on a roll after recovering and went on the attack hitting his signature corner dropkick in the corner to cap a big sequence.
Naito was in control, but Sabre fired back and hit a spinning DDT out of the corner, which is something he doesn’t do often. Sabre got a flying triangle, but Tanahashi managed to escape. Tanahshi blocked a kick and swept his leg out from under him. He took Sabre and hung him by the feet from the apron. He then hit a hangman’s neckbreaker off the apron to the floor. The fans fired up as both men tried to recover well past the 15 minute mark of the match.
Naito went after Sabre’s neck and hit several elbows. Naito continued to hold onto Sabre’s hand and he used the hold to draw Sabre into elbow after elbow. The 20 minute came and went and Naito hit a rana off the top. Sabre blocked several Gloria attempts. He then countered a flying forearm attempt into the Octopus Hold. Naito went down to the mat and Sabre got a seated version of the hold. The fans tried to fire up behind Naito. Red Shoes seemed to be on the verge of stopping the match, but Naito showed signs of movement. Naito eventually got his foot on the rope to break the hold. The 25 minute mark came and went and Sabre and NAito began trading blows.
Naito countered the Zack Driver multiple times and eventually landed a quick Destino. Sabre blocked another Destino attempt and hit the Zack Driver, but he couldn’t make the cover! Sabre went for another Zack Driver, but Naito blocked it. Sabre got the Zack Clutch for a nearfall. Sabre got another pinning combination for a nearfall. He nailed Naito with a PK with a shade under three minutes remaining, but Naito kicked out at the last second.
Sabre went for a Zack Driver, but Naito countered it into a Destino for a nearfall. The fans fired up and Naito hit a full Destino for the win. What a war!
WINNER: Tetsuya Naito (4 pts) at 28:28. (****½)
(Radican’s Analysis: Just an excellent match with Sabre working the ground game and Naito going after Sabre’s neck throughout the match. Naito really kept up with Sabre on the mat during the match, which was impressive. The question going forward is when will the fatigue factor set in for Naito, as he’s gone close to 30 minutes in his first two matches. The action down the stretch was amazing. These two have great chemistry together in the ring.)
Naito cut a promo after the match that the crowd seemed to enjoy.
G1 CLIMAX 30 STANDINGS THROUGH NIGHT 4
Jay White (4)
Will Ospreay (4)
Kota Ibushi (2)
Minoru Suzuki (2)
Jeff Cobb (2)
Kazuchika Okada (2)
Shingo Takagi (0)
Tomohiro Ishii (0)
Yujiro Takahashi (0)
Tetsuya Naito (4)
Juice Robinson (4)
Toru Yano (4)
Zack Sabre Jr. (2)
Hirooki Goto (2)
Hiroshi Tanahashi (0)
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