Tuesday, September 22, 2020

NJPW: G1 Climax 30 Night Two Review - September 20th, 2020

 NJPW: G1 Climax 30 Night Two

September 20th, 2020

Block A kicked off the tournament last night in great fashion with Suzuki & Ishii undoubtedly stealing the show. Tonight, Block B takes center stage! Pardon there only being gif's for a couple of the matches. I watched half of this on my computer and the other half on my TV sooooo... yeah. 

1) Gabriel Kidd vs. Yota Tsuji - Young Lions Match

BUT FIRST. Young Lions action. Tsuji lost to Uemura last night via tap out despite a valiant effort. He has another tough opponent here in Kidd. They chain wrestle for a bit before they start laying into each other with strikes. They do a nice call back to how Tsuji lost last night with a lion tamer, but Tsuji gets the ropes this time and ends up catching Kidd in a crab and wrenching down it on deep, forcing him to tap.

Match rating - **1/2

2) Juice Robinson vs. YOSHI-HASHI - Block B Match

WOW. Juice looks great. He's changed his look so many times, but always pulls it off. This was about what you'd expect. They went pretty hard and gave us some good action. It's not anything to write home about, though. Juice hits pulp friction for the win. I'm looking forward to what he can do in his bigger matches in the tournament.

Match rating - ***

3) SANADA vs. Toru Yano - Block B Match

This was... somethin. Yano is coming off a victory over OKADA not too long ago to win the KOPW 2020 thing. Well. He gets a big win here in a pretty funny match. He gets checked for tape pre-match and it's found on him. But the bell rings and the match unfolds. Sanada ends up tying Yano in a paradise lock along the entrance way after some back & forth in the ring. Yano escapes thanks to YOUNG LION Yuya Uemura untying him. Yano uses this distraction to tie he & SANADA's legs together and get the.. countout.. victory over SANADA. 

Match rating - **

4) KENTA vs. Hirooki Goto - Block B Match

Switched over to English commentary since it popped up when I tuned back into this show and wow. Kevin Kelly’s call at the end of this talking about how big of a set KENTA has for his game plan in this is hilarious. Yeah, KENTA’s proclamation was to tap out Goto with the game over here. This match is centered around that with KENTA targeting the arm and in vicious fashion like he’s known for. Goto fires back with some heavy strikes and limb work of his own but it’s not enough as he ends up tapping to the game over just as KENTA said he would. Real good match of struggle between two vicious workers. It never really got into high gear but I don’t think that was the point, it was a struggle from start to finish. 

Match rating - ***1/4 

5) Zack Sabre Jr vs. EVIL (w/ Dick Togo) - Block B Match

These two have had killer matches in the past so I was riled up on this one. However I did have my doubts considering I haven't been wild at all about EVIL's title win and stuff. None the less, this turned out to be my favorite match on the show so far. Sabre grabs Dick Togo’s arm before the bell and EVIL charges him which leads to an awesome brawl outside the ring to start. The middle portion of the match was smooth and didn't drag at all. Lots of good wrestling and counters and everything made sense. I was worried when Togo came into the ring after a ref bump, but it wasn't overdone and Zack locking him into the cross arm bar popped me hard. The finish with Zack's quickness giving him the edge as he kicks out of darkness falls and manages to trap EVIL in a bridiging pin combination out of nowhere for the victory. Loved this, not their best match together but very fun and with a surprising outcome to boot. 

Match rating - ***1/2 

6) Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi - Block B Match

WHAt. THE. FUCK. This is the Grade One Climax baby. Tanahashi wants to prove he's still the ace. Naito wants to prove he's here to stay and is every bit as good as Tana is and ever was. This match had me hooked from the jump. Tana looked amazing in entrance and as the match went on, you could tell his head was in the right spot as he was the first take aim at a body part in Naito's knees and he didn't hesitate to nail him with whatever it took to keep the advantage. He was focused and determined. Naito though, despite from fighting from underneath for most of the match, never seemed to lose his confidence and felt like a true champion and leader of the company. This was a classic performance from both guys in their first meeting in three years. This was the match both guys needed. For me, I wasn't hype on Naito heading into this coming out of the disappointing matches with EVIL and Tanahashi is just coming off being primarily a tag team wrestler - so, to see both of them come in here and shatter any doubts was just fucking amazing. I had minimal interest in the B Block on paper partially for reasons previously stated, but this turned that around because holy hell, if these two keep going at this level I'm gonna have a heart attack. Naito with a huge win and Tana with a huge loss, but that sets the table for some great stories to be told as this tournament goes on I'm sure. 

Match rating - ****1/2

Post-match, Naito cuts a promo and roll calls the entire LIJ crew and I fuckin LOVE it. NAITO, BUSHI, HIROMU, SHINGO, SANADA WE ARE LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON!!!!

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