Gabriel Kidd defeated Yota Tsuji
Following a collar-and-elbow tie-up and a trading of strikes, Kidd dropped Tsuji with an arm drag and knife-edge chop. Soon after Tsuji used a dropkick, which he followed with two standing dive variations.
Tsuji then turned his attention to the leg of Kidd, placing him in a unique submission that he converted into a pin attempt. Kidd was able to survive the dual-pronged finish and reassert his position with an uppercut.
Kidd prevailed in a fight for a brainbuster. That left him a favorable position that he fumbled almost immediately. Tsuji was able to milk this opportunity with a slam, but Kidd popped up and responded with a dropkick.
Kidd then secured the underhooks and landed his finishing suplex.
This was a weaker Young Lion outing. Instead of the typical application of a simple story, this felt like an exhibition of moves.
G1 Climax B Block: Zack Sabre Jr. defeated YOSHI-HASHI
Sabre’s ground game was at work from the opening bell. He immediately took YOSHI-HASHI to the mat and kept him there.
YH, once standing, was able to connect with some high impact strikes but soon after found himself back on the mat. Sabre toyed with YH and even allowed him to show signs of defiance but Sabre was clearly on a different level. Even still, YH was holding on.
YH was able to interrupt Sabre’s offense with a kick to the head. This opening allowed YH to land multiple dropkicks and attempt a powerbomb. Sabre slipped free of the more setup intensive maneuver but was dropped with a chop. YH landed the powerbomb and locked in the butterfly lock. Sabre, after a long stint in the hold, fought to the bottom rope.
Sabre scored a takedown which he followed with a double foot stomp to YH’s arm. Sabre tried for a pin following a kick to the chest but YH kicked free and immediately returned to his feet; a strike exchange followed. YH won out and connected with a double knee and a superkick, both landing a near fall.
Sabre was able to take YH back to the mat, arm in hand. YH, try as he might, was unable to fight free and eventually submitted to Sabre.
This match was a tip-top YH performance. The volatile energy he exuded made a finish feel imminent at all times.
G1 Climax B Block: KENTA defeated Toru Yano
Prior to the start, Yano was searched by the referee. Multiple rolls of tape were found in his tights.
Following the bell, KENTA grabbed his briefcase and Yano grabbed a chair. Yano was tricked into ditching the chair, so he grabbed a turnbuckle pad to be on equal footing. Yano was again tricked into dropping his weapon and tried grabbing another pad. KENTA this time actually disarmed before leaving the ring. Yano also exited.
Both men stayed outside in a game of chicken, only returning at the referee’s count of 19. KENTA left the ring again immediately after. Yano pursued KENTA and succeeded in whipping KENTA into the barricade. KENTA began to fight back but was distracted by a roll of tape the referee failed to confiscate from Yano. Yano sprayed KENTA with a bottle of sanitizer and pummeled him with a turnbuckle pad.
KENTA made his way back in and whipped Yano into an exposed turnbuckle. KENTA then tried using the bottle for himself but was blocked by Yano. Yano avoided the liquid but was whipped back into the exposed corner. KENTA was then free to use the bottle. KENTA splashed Yano with the sanitizer and tried pinning him to no avail.
Both men returned outside, fighting over the bottle. A spill left the referee blind. KENTA then led Yano up the ramp while brandishing his briefcase. KENTA hit Yano with the briefcase and tape flew from within. KENTA then used the tape to secure Yano to the entranceway. Late in the referee’s count, KENTA entered a sprint leaving Yano trapped.
Yano was unable to escape leaving KENTA with a count-out victory.
This was a Yano match and not a particularly good one.
G1 Climax B Block: SANADA defeated Juice Robinson
In the early going, Robinson tried to take SANADA to the mat but was stopped by a SANADA dropkick. SANADA tried something similar but Robinson’s elbow found SANADA’s face.
Robinson connected with a spinebuster that sent SANADA rolling to the outside. Robinson whipped SANADA into the barricade and landed a backbreaker and a senton once back in the ring. Robinson was able to further his advantage by avoiding SANADA’s counter attempts and landing a back body drop.
SANADA rolled out of the way of a Robinson cannonball to temporarily extinguish Robinson’s flame. Robinson found himself on the receiving end of another dropkick and a plancha. As the two’s short stay on the outside ended SANADA was caught by Robinson in a fireman’s carry. SANADA was able to slip free, secure a takedown, and lock in the paradise lock all in a matter of seconds.
SANADA broke the lock with a dropkick and worked Robinson into the corner. Robinson was able to fight free and land a quick uranage. SANADA crawled to the corner to catch his breath. Robinson pounced at the positioning of his opponent and landed a cannonball. SANADA was then lifted to the top rope and hit with a superplex, which fed into a jackhammer.
Robinson connected with a powerbomb and began to strike. SANADA ducked the Left Hand of God and locked in the dragon sleeper. Robinson fought free and nearly connected with Pulp Friction.
This same sequence played out again in a similar fashion before a set of grappling nearly allowed Robinson to steal a win via a cradle.
Instead, SANADA locked in the Skull End. Once Robinson’s body was limp SANADA scaled to the top, landed a moonsault, and pinned Robinson.
Something felt off here. Maybe it was the gray SANADA clashing with Robinson’s glow. Either way, it resulted in a lackluster dynamic and a fine-at-best match of moves.
G1 Climax B Block: Hirooki Goto defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi
Both fought for dominance in the early going with light moves and chain wrestling. A knee breaker allowed Tanahashi to transition to the mat.
After returning to their feet it was Goto who won out in a strike battle and landed a backdrop and a bulldog. Tanahashi fought free of a fireman’s carry and a dragon screw took the leg out from under Goto. Goto was then hit with another leg whip, this time into a rope. Tanahashi began a continued wearing down on Goto’s leg.
Goto caught Tanahashi with a quick ushigoroshi and initiated a passionate strike exchange. Goto landed a clothesline but was unable to follow up. Tanahashi whipped the neck of Goto before landing a slingblade.
An open palm strike then dropped Goto long enough for Tanahashi to climb to the top but not long enough to land a move. Goto triggered a top rope fight and after a headbutt landed a ushigoroshi from the top rope.
Tanahashi tried falling out of the way but Goto was able to pull through and connect with GTR. Goto then hooked the leg and pinned Tanahashi for the first time inside of the G1 format.
Strong execution from both men in a to the point, all business match.
G1 Climax B Block: EVIL defeated Tetsuya Naito
EVIL clubbed Naito immediately following the bell, but failed to follow up. Naito instead connected with an arm drag and rana that sent EVIL to the outside providing Naito with a perfect opportunity to taunt the defector.
EVIL was stretched out on the mat once returning to the ring. Naito hit the ropes but was grabbed by Dick Togo. Togo struck and whipped Naito into the barricade before EVIL took over.
Naito then was sent crashing into chairs on the outside. EVIL followed up by hitting his signature double-chair baseball swing on Naito. EVIL continued his illegally gained dominance inside the ring.
Naito stuffed a suplex attempt and avoided a senton, reopening a window of opportunity. An elbow and dropkick placed Naito back in the driver’s seat. A dropkick to Togo only prolonged his chance of staying there.
EVIL tried using further underhanded tactics and was able to stifle Naito’s lead with the unwilling aid of the referee with his leg catch spot. Naito stuffed a suplex attempt once more and took EVIL back to the mat just in time for Togo’s reemergence.
While Naito was seemingly distracted by Togo, EVIL ran for a tackle of sorts that Naito was able to sidestep, sending EVIL crashing into Togo. Naito then landed a spinebuster and continued his ground work on EVIL.
EVIL powered free of Naito’s control with a fisherman’s buster. EVIL hoisted Naito onto the top rope and connected with a superplex. Naito just barely kicked from the pin attempt that followed.
EVIL then locked in a scorpion deathlock on his prone opponent but Naito crawled into the ropes. EVIL set up for a lariat but was caught by a well-placed kick which was followed by Gloria.
Naito gained wrist and waist control shortly but EVIL freed himself with a simple shove and a senton. Naito then was pushed into turnbuckles that became exposed at some point, hit with a tiger suplex, and a giant lariat. Naito kicked out from the pin attempt.
EVIL lifted Naito onto his shoulders but Naito wiggled into Destino. Naito was unable to follow up. EVIL hit Darkness Falls following a brief struggle. Naito stuffed two attempts at Everything is Evil.
Togo distracted Naito and the referee long enough for EVIL to land a low blow. Togo threw a chair into EVIL. While the referee was paying attention to the armed EVIL, Togo began chocking EVIL with a band.
Naito, now on his last legs, landed a shoulder tackle after shoving off Togo. EVIL stuffed a suplex and Naito stuffed Everything is Evil. Naito then landed Destino and scored a near fall.
Naito tried for another Destino, but EVIL reversed into Everything is Evil and pinned the double champion.
This match was long, boring, and another EVIL win over Naito means we will likely see it again.
That said, any other result would leave a lot of A Block without any conceivable means of victory, so the finish makes sense regardless of how frustrating it is.
G1 Climax 30 Standings --
- Kazuchika Okada -- 10 points (5-2)
- Kota Ibushi -- 10 points (5-2)
- Jay White -- 10 points (5-2)
- Will Ospreay -- 10 points (5-2)
- Tomohiro Ishii -- 6 points (3-4)
- Shingo Takagi -- 6 points (3-4)
- Minoru Suzuki -- 6 points (3-4)
- Taichi -- 6 points (3-4)
- Jeff Cobb -- 6 points (3-4)
- Yujiro Takahashi -- 0 points (0-7) *eliminated*
- Tetsuya Naito -- 10 points (5-2)
- EVIL -- 10 points (5-2)
- Zack Sabre Jr. -- 8 points (4-3)
- Hirooki Goto -- 8 points (4-3)
- SANADA -- 8 points (4-3)
- Toru Yano -- 6 points (3-4)
- KENTA -- 6 points (3-4)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi -- 6 points (3-4)
- Juice Robinson -- 6 points (3-4)
- YOSHI-HASHI -- 2 points (1-6) *eliminated*