Yuya Uemura defeated Gabriel Kidd
Kidd scored a takedown in the early going and began working over the entirety of Uemura. Uemura was able to scramble free and secure Kidd’s left arm in the process. Kidd was forced to resort to the ropes and sneak in some strikes to free his arm.
Once free, Kidd landed a suplex and tried securing the arms for his new finish. Uemura recaptured arm control as Kidd let his guard down. Uemura’s arm work was cut short by a stomp to the chest and an echoing slap nearly left him unconscious.
A strike exchange ended with a Kidd dropkick. Kidd tried again for his double-arm suplex and Uemura slipped free. Uemura used a quick arm drag to take the match briefly to the ground.
Uemura then hoisted Kidd up in double overhooks and landed a suplex with the hooks still in. Uemura used the leverage to pin Kidd.
A very easy watch with strong performances from both men.
G1 Climax A Block: Jeff Cobb defeated Will Ospreay
Ospreay burst from the corner immediately with a dropkick to set the pace of the match. A frustrated Cobb tried striking Ospreay but instead was ejected to the outside by a rana.
Ospreay entered a sprint for the Ospreay special but was caught by Cobb mid-flip. Cobb, still on the apron, lifted Ospreay, teasing both a driver to the ring corner and a powerbomb to the outside. Ospreay freed himself and landed a knee to send Cobb back to the mat. Ospreay then landed the Ospreay special completing the dangerous dance on the outside.
Cobb and Ospreay had a short exchange of strikes, slightly favored Ospreay. Ospreay tried diving onto a standing Cobb but was caught mid-flight and hit with a giant suplex. Cobb followed up with a backdrop, headbutt, and a pseudo-slam from standing suplex position.
A kick to the midsection was caught by Cobb, who then converted with a chop and a senton. Cobb then tried for Tour of the Islands but was blocked by a clever grabbing of the arms. Ospreay flipped into a powerbomb while still attached to Cobb.
Ospreay tried for Storm Breaker but Cobb escaped the underhooks. A quick sequence ended by Ospreay landing a Spanish fly followed. Ospreay landed a 450 and was shocked as Cobb kicked from the pin attempt.
Ospreay tried for the Oscutter but was blocked by Cobb. Cobb then lifted Ospreay onto his shoulders and launched him with a ridiculous F5.
Ospreay and Cobb both tried and failed to land their finish before Ospreay finally connected with his cutter. After Cobb kicked out, Ospreay tried and failed to land Storm Breaker.
It was instead Cobb who landed a German suplex which he followed with Tour of the Islands. Cobb pinned Ospreay after landing the move.
What a match. Spectacular pacing and impactful wrestling.
G1 Climax A Block: Kota Ibushi defeated Yujiro Takahashi
Takahashi broke free of Ibushi-favored collar-and-elbows by sending Ibushi to the outside. Takahashi tried striking Ibushi, but failed in landing anything significant. Takahashi instead gained some momentum by blocking an Ibushi dive and landing a DDT on the outside.
Once inside the ring, Takahashi landed a few strikes that caused Ibushi’s face of rage to grow. Takahashi still held onto his lead, even landing a suplex and a big boot prior to Ibushi gaining any type of foothold.
Ibushi landed a kick to the midsection before kicking a hole into Takahashi’s chest.
Takahashi threw Ibushi onto the ropes and landed a lariat in his next show of offense. This time it was an impressively-timed double foot stomp that broke Takahashi’s momentum.
Takahashi didn’t give up, however, as a bite on Ibushi placed him back into front. Miami Shine left both men winded. Takahashi lifted Ibushi to the top rope and landed a super fisherman buster.
Ibushi freed himself from Pimp Juice but missed the rebound Kamigoye. A short sequence allowed Ibushi to land the Kamigoye and pin Takahashi.
It will never not be strange to see Takahashi scoring near falls over top stars. Anyway, this match was fine.
G1 Climax A Block: Taichi defeated Shingo Takagi
Takagi landed a lariat to the corner followed by a shoulder tackle sending Taichi to the outside. On the floor, Taichi elected to use a hammer to inflict punishment. The referee freed Takagi from a Taichi choke and forced the match to return to the ring.
Back inside, it was Taichi who continued choking Takagi. Any sign of Takagi defiance was blocked prior to a dangerous backdrop attempt. Takagi landed a suplex after being given the least bit of space. A brainbuster and sliding lariat followed.
Takagi whipped Taichi into the corner but was kicked before he could follow up. Taichi was dropped moments later to a Takagi lariat.
Takagi followed the lariat with a noshigami and a failed attempt at Last of the Dragon. A striking contest broke out that featured both men landing larger and larger moves. Taichi landed the dangerous backdrop to end the one-upmanship.
A pumping bomber from Taichi resulted in a two count and the removal of Taichi’s breakaway pants. Takagi immediately flattened Taichi with a lariat.
Takagi landed some strong strikes before an awkward roll-up nearly left him with a win. In following up, Takagi used Made in Japan and a pumping bomber, both of which yielded a near fall.
A Taichi-favored sequence followed. Taichi ended the sequence with Black Mephisto and pinned Takagi.
This was good enough. With both men already mathematically eliminated prior to the match itself, a dramatic masterclass shouldn’t be expected.
G1 Climax A Block: Jay White defeated Minoru Suzuki
White left the ring immediately following the bell. Once Suzuki succeeded in baiting White into a match, he manipulated the fingers, nullifying the effectiveness of one of White’s hands. Suzuki then chopped White in the corner before returning his attention to the digits.
Gedo then interfered in the match on White’s behalf by just gaining the focus of Suzuki.
White chopped Suzuki on the outside which awoke a monster on the face of Suzuki. White temporarily stopped the monstrous Suzuki from encroaching with a chinlock. White threw Suzuki into the ropes, where Gedo threatened to strike Suzuki with a chair. With the referee occupied with Gedo, White tried for a chair shot of his own but Suzuki countered, grabbing the chair and landing multiple shots across the back of White.
Gedo stole enough of Suzuki’s attention for White to reenter the fold and a sadistic attack on the leg of Suzuki emerged from the opening. Suzuki rose in defiance to his knees as fully standing was now an impossibility. Suzuki was chopped and chopped, never fell, but instead rose. Suzuki was dropped by a DDT once regaining footing.
Suzuki gained an opening by apprehending the arm of White. Though nothing followed directly from gaining the arm, Suzuki was able to land a strike that sent White to the floor. Suzuki followed White to make sure he returned to the ring.
White started back at the leg of Suzuki but was caught in a leglock after daring to challenge Suzuki on the mat. White was forced to grab the bottom rope. A pair Suzuki forearms left White limp. Before the third could be delivered, Gedo peculated the awareness of Suzuki once again.
White dropped Suzuki with a chop block. The Blade Runner attempt that followed was transformed into a Suzuki armbar. Gedo hopped onto the apron just in time for the referee to miss White submitting. Suzuki then clubbed Gedo, sending him crashing back to the outside.
A Suzuki striking sequence almost ended in disaster as a ducked strike left White in position for a Blade Runner. Suzuki avoided the move twice in quick succession.
Suzuki locked in a sleeper to weaken White and positioned for the Gotch piledriver before Gedo reasserted his presence. A distracted referee led to a White low blow and a Blade Runner. White pinned Suzuki to further his great standing.
Sadly, the incessant Gedo interference reduced what would have an incredible match to a very good match.
G1 Climax A Block: Kazuchika Okada defeated Tomohiro Ishii
An early standoff combined with their immeasurable reputation built to an intense air around the match. Small moves, an Okada shoulder block, for example, felt huge.
Okada landed a few elbows, a single leg dropkick, and secured a chinlock to lay an offensive foundation. A standing suplex from Ishii did the same for him.
Okada’s chest was chopped, causing him to fall to the corner. A chop to the throat yielded a more devastating result as Okada was forced to gasp for air. Ishii tried to follow up with an Irish whip but was caught by a flapjack.
An Okada DDT allowed him to toy with Ishii, triggering a strike exchange. A solid elbow dropped Okada.
Under the lead of Ishii, they climbed to the top rope. Ishii met resistance but nothing came from the ascent. Instead, on the safety of the mat, Okada landed an Air Raid Crash, initiating Ishii's survival instincts. Ishii landed a quick suplex on Okada.
A struggle for footing left Ishii in perfect position for a German suplex into the corner. Ishii then lifted Okada to the top rope and suplexed him back to the mat, completing the prior tease.
Okada landed his dropkick to transition into the match’s next phase. A tombstone piledriver followed and the Money Clip forced Ishii into the ropes. Okada slowed after this, a fact that Ishii took full advantage of.
A German suplex allowed Ishii to temporarily gain a lead, but a triad of quick pins left the match back in Okada’s favor. A big boot, elbow, and shotgun dropkick left Okada back in position for the Money Clip. Ishii freed himself from the hold with a DDT.
A failed suplex from Ishii allowed Okada to reset the match with a tombstone. Okada established wrist control but was blocked by a barrage of Ishii headbutts. A Rainmaker failed to make Ishii move.
Ishii landed an enzuigiri and Okada a dropkick. Okada locked in the Money Clip again and allowed Ishii to fade. A last-ditch headbutt reopened the match for Ishii. Ishii landed a lariat and nearly scored the fall.
Ishii lifted Okada for a brainbuster but Okada freed himself. Okada set up for the Money Clip while standing, but Ishii used his knees to break the hold.
A sequence of near-hits played out and was punctuated by Okada’s dropkick. Okada locked the Money Clip in once again and allowed Ishii to slowly fade from consciousness. The bell was called for leaving Okada the victor.
The match’s early feeling of intensity was somewhat drained as the match failed to pick up. While at times sluggish, these men still delivered a strong performance heading into the last stretch of the tournament.
G1 Climax 30 standings --
- Kazuchika Okada -- 12 points (6-2)
- Kota Ibushi -- 12 points (6-2)
- Jay White -- 12 points (6-2)
- Will Ospreay -- 10 points (5-3)
- Taichi -- 8 points (4-4) *eliminated*
- Jeff Cobb -- 8 points (4-4) *eliminated*
- Tomohiro Ishii -- 6 points (3-4) *eliminated*
- Shingo Takagi -- 6 points (3-5) *eliminated*
- Minoru Suzuki -- 6 points (3-5) *eliminated*
- Yujiro Takahashi -- 0 points (0-8) *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*