Saturday, October 17, 2020

NJPW: G1 Climax 30 Night Eleven Review - October 7th, 2020



1) Tomohiro Ishii (2-3) (4 pts) vs. Yujiro Takahashi (0-5) (0 pts) - Block A Match 

Ok what da fuck. Yujiro has an opener that doesn’t put me to sleep. Ishii can make a match with just about anyone good even if it’s against an 0-5 Yujiro Takahashi in a Grade One Climax opener. Lots of sick action down the stretch. Ishii wins and gets a much needed two points! Poor Yujiro is 0-6. 

Match rating - ***1/4 

2) Kazuchika Okada (3-2) (6 pts) vs. Jeff Cobb (2-3) (4 pts) - Block A Match 

First time ever match here. And I swear man, even if Okada has been kinda off this year he’s still that dude. The vibe is just always off the charts. None the less, yeah, this was what it was. Starts slow then has a hot final few minutes and Okada wins with the same cradle/pinning combo thing he caught Suzuki in on Night 9. Cobb was real cocky here even throwing up the rainmaker pose at one point. 

Match rating - ***

3) Minoru Suzuki (3-2) (6 pts) vs. Will Ospreay (3-2) (6 pts) - Block A Match 

IM SO READY FOR THIS. I want to see our lord and savior Suzuki pummel this man. They start with a strike battle right at the bell. Kevin Kelly says when you face Suzuki “you know you’re gonna get beat half to death” lmao. Hot start, middle portion slows down for a minute or two then they go into insanity. Suzuki threw stiff shots and Ospreay returned in kind which was wild to see in both regards. This felt like it was just heating up as it ended. Ospreay wins with storm breaker. 

Match rating - ***1/2

4) Jay White (3-2) (6 pts) vs. Taichi (3-2) (6 pts) - Block A Match 

Never on paper would I expect these two to have such a banger but then again, maybe I would considering that hot run Taichi has been on. Jay taunted Taichi by sitting in a chair in the corner of the ring as Taichi made his entrance which really set the tone for this match of two men with some similar personality traits as far as doing whatever it takes to win. Things really heat up down the stretch after Jay kinda controlled things early. Taichi targets the leg and Jay tries to thwart him from it asking for a forearm which Taichi obliges later and it’s a STIFF ONE. So yeah Taichi mounts his comeback, they do some ref bump/overbooking shit but it is actually fun here. Anyways, they both go for finishers but Jay nails the blade runner for the win. 

Match rating - ***1/2

5) Kota Ibushi (4-1) (8 pts) vs. Shingo Takagi (3-2) (6 pts) - Block A Match 

This is the match I was most excited about when the blocks and cards were announced. My two favorite Japanese wrestlers. Two men I've followed for a decade clashing on a grand stage for the first time ever. Kota is fighting for a second G1 Climax tournament victory and Shingo is battling for his first in a tournament of ups and downs thus far. This match was exactly what you’d expect from the two - bombs. They didn’t go into epic territory but they definitely threw the fuck down and made me gasp on a couple occasions. Plus, seeing them in this setting was special on its own. It’s felt like some matches in this year’s G1 have been missing something or not on the level of normal and I can’t help but wonder if some of our expectations are just too high. I wanted a five star match here and I didn’t get that, but I got a great fucking fight and to see two of my favorites clash so I’m not gonna complain one bit. 

Match rating - ****1/4

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