Recommended matches --
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. YOSHI-HASHI
- Tetsuya Naito vs. SANADA
Ao-re Nagaoka in Niigata was the venue.
Yota Tsuji drew with Gabriel Kidd (15:00)
The emphasis here was on selling. The work was technically sound but there was not much in the way of action.
Kidd dominated the early part of the match, grounding Tsuji with holds. Tsuji sold damage to his neck and lower back. Tsuji came back with two slams and used a leg lace. Kidd sold his left leg.
Kidd won a striking battle and tried to fire up the crowd. Kidd got double underhooks and tried for a suplex. Tsuji blocked and hit a powerslam.
Tsuji hit a running forearm and used a dropkick for a two count. Kidd hit a hip toss and used a crab. Tsuji fought for the ropes and finally got there to force a break.
Kidd again worked for a butterfly suplex. Tsuji blocked. Kidd used a sunset flip for a near fall. Tsuji hit a backdrop. Kidd fought out of a Boston crab and hit a dropkick.
Tsuji hit a spear and used a cradle for a two count. Kidd used a small package for a near fall as the time limit expired.
They fired off a few strikes after the bell before both guys collapsed, selling exhaustion.
G1 Climax 30 B Block: Juice Robinson defeated Toru Yano (6:42)
I usually like Yano's comedy as a change of pace on these G1 shows but it wasn't clicking today.
Yano offered Juice a Yano t-shirt. Juice went to put it on and Yano used a schoolboy for a near fall. Yano sprayed hand sanitizer in Juice's eyes and rolled him up for two.
They rolled outside where Juice poured a bottle of sanitizer in Yano's eyes. They teased a countout but Yano made it back in at 19.
Yano exposed a buckle. Juice avoided a slingshot into the exposed buckle. Yano bailed and tried to bait Juice to the floor. Juice tore up the t-shirt.
Yano hit an inverted atomic drop in the aisle and taped Juice's feet together. Juice beat the count back in at 17. Juice hit a full nelson slam and freed his feet.
Yano ducked a Left Hand of God and tried to backslide the ref. Juice hit a Left Hand of God. Yano blocked Pulp Friction and tried a schoolboy. Juice blocked and cradled Yano for the pin.
G1 Climax 30 B Block: Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Hirooki Goto (4:00)
This was different. A total sprint. Goto's right arm and shoulder were heavily taped.
Sabre used a cross armbreaker. Sabre used a misdirection spot to set up an octopus. Goto reversed into an ushigoroshi attempt but Sabre blocked. Sabre hit a PK. Goto hit a running mid kick.
Goto hit an ushigoroshi and a mid kick. He went for a GTR but Sabre blocked and used a clutch hold for the pin.
***** Intermission *****
G1 Climax 30 B Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated YOSHI-HASHI (18:41)
I think we need to start asking ourselves a question -- is YOSHI-HASHI good now?
In this case, he was in there with one of the greates wrestlers ever, but he's had a series of very good matches this year.
Tanahashi used a trip takedown and a Fujiwara armbar. YH countered with a dragon screw to the right leg. Tanahashi answered with his own dragon screw. Tana fired up and hit a somersault senton off the second buckle for a two count.
They had a chop battle. YH got the best of it and hit a series of kicks. YH hit a sit-out powerbomb for a two count. Tana blocked a fisherman buster. YH blocked a dragon suplex. Tanahashi hit a straightjacket German for a near fall.
YH blocked a slingblade with a chop. Tanahashi hit slingblade on his second attempt. Sensing victory, Tanahashi went for High Fly Flow. YH got his knees up. They had a lengthy striking battle in the center of the ring. YH dropped Tanahashi with a forearm shot.
YH avoided a slingblade and hit a lariat for a two count. YH used a butterfly lock. Tanahashi tried like hell to sell this as a potential finish. YH eventually gave up the hold and hit a backstabber. Tanahashi blocked Kharma and hit twist and shout.
Tanahashi hit a dragon screw. They traded quick cradles. Tanahashi hit another dragon screw. YH avoided slingblade and hit a dragon suplex. YH hit a meteora for a two count and a sidewalk slam for another two count.
Tanahashi blocked Kharma. YH went for a lariat but Tanahashi ducked and hit a slingblade. Tanahashi hit a standing High Fly Flow.
Tanahashi then hit another High Fly Flow and picked up the pinfall victory.
Tanahashi's post-match celebration was great.
G1 Climax 30 B Block: EVIL (w/Dick Togo) defeated KENTA (15:40)
This was about what you would expect with two heels from the same faction. KENTA played underdog to make the match work. The finished product was okay.
KENTA offered a too sweet before the bell. EVIL declined and gave Togo a too sweet instead.
KENTA went for a walk at the opening bell. He grabbed Togo in a threatening manner. Back inside, they traded kicks. They rolled to the floor where KENTA established the advantage, slamming EVIL into the barricade and posting him.
KENTA continued to hold the advantage and hit some short kicks. Togo tripped KENTA from the floor. They went back to the outside. EVIL Pillmanized KENTA's left arm against the post.
EVIL went to work on the left arm. He used a hammerlock and sent KENTA shoulder-first into an exposed buckle. EVIL used a slam and a Fujiwara armbar.
KENTA cameback with a lariat and a vertical suplex. After a standing switch, KENTA hit a swing DDT and a top rope clothesline for a two count at the 10 minute mark.
Togo jumped on the apron. KENTA was distracted and EVIL jammed the left arm over the top rope. EVIL again used a hammerlock into the exposed buckle. EVIL used a suplex for a near fall.
EVIL pulled Red Shoes into KENTA's path and the ref took a bump to the floor. KENTA grabbed his briefcase. Togo tried to take it away from him but KENTA nailed him with it.
KENTA used a briefcase shot on EVIL. KENTA hit a top rope double stomp as the ref was revived. KENTA hit a busaiku knee for a near fall.
EVIL fought out of a GTS attemptand sent KENTA into the buckle. EVIL hit Darkness Falls for a two count. EVIL hit a lariat for another near fall. KENTA fought off Everything is EVIL and hit a series of palm strikes at 15 minutes.
Togo jumped on the apron. KENTA pulled him in the ring. KENTA tried for a GTS on Togo. EVIL shielded the ref and hit a low blow, then used Everything is EVIL for the pin.
G1 Climax 30 B Block: SANADA defeated Tetsuya Naito (27:08)
This was a great main event. There were some scary moments towards the end when both guys were slick with sweat and there were nearly some inadvertent head drops. SANADA got his first win of the tournament and this set up a potential challenger for Naito later in the year.
They started with some mat work. SANADA fought for a cross armbreaker but couldn't get it. Naito used a headlock but SANADA used a headscissors escape.
SANADA used a hammerlock to set up a side headlock. SANADA broke cleanly against the ropes but Naito did not. Naito hit a kick and SANADA rolled outside. Naito went for his tranquilo pose but SANADA pulled him to the floor. SANADA hit a pose back in the ring instead.
They teased locking up but Naito wanted to brawl instead. Naito hit some strikes and a one-legged dropkick. On the floor, Naito sent SANADA into the barricade. SANADA beat the count back in at 17.
Naito hit a neckbreaker and used a crucifix. SANADA forced a rope break. Naito hit a slingshot dropkick in the corner before taunting SANADA by stepping on his face. SANADA fought out of a neckbreaker attempt and hit a dropkick, taking out Naito's left leg.
SANADA hit a leapfrog dropkick and a follow-up plancha before firing up the crowd. SANADA avoided a flying forearm. He fought for a suplex but Naito hit an arm drag out of it. Naito hit a swing DDT and SANADA sold his neck.
SANADA avoided a top rope frankensteiner and hit a dropkick while Naito was seated on the top rope. SANADA drove Naito off the top rope into his knee, then used a tiger suplex with a bridge for a near fall at the 15 minute call.
Naito blocked a Skull End attempt and hit a spinebuster. Naito hit some short elbows to the neck, setting up for a later Destino attempt. Naito hit a top rope frankensteiner for a near fall. Naito tried Gloria but SANADA blocked. Naito hit Esperanza.
Naito went for a Destino but SANADA blocked and hit a TKO into a double down at 20 minutes.
They traded strikes from their knees. They climbed to their feet and continued to trade. The crowd really got into this striking battle.
SANADA used a moonsault press to set up Skull End. He used a spinning Skull End before dropping to the mat and adding a bodyscissors to the Skull End. Naito popped his head out of the hold twice, but SANADA went right back to it both times.
SANADA gave up the hold and went up top. SANADA missed a moonsault. Both men were still down selling at the 25 minute call.
Naito slipped on a Destino attempt. He escaped the Skull End coounter attempt and hit Destino. SANADA kicked out.
SANADA blocked another Destino attempt. Naito tried Gloria but stumbled and almost dropped SANADA on his head.
SANADA hit a Destino for a near fall, then hit two moonsaults for the win.
Post-match, SANADA offered an LIJ fist bump. Naito accepted the gesture, then left the ring and the mic to SANADA. SANADA closed the show with a promo. They turned the house lights down and the crowd lit up the arena with their phones.
G1 Climax 30 Standings
- Tetsuya Naito -- 6 (3-1)
- Juice Robinson -- 6 (3-1)
- Toru Yano -- 6 (3-1)
- Zack Sabre Jr. -- 4 (2-2)
- EVIL -- 4 (2-2)
- KENTA -- 4 (2-2)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi -- 4 (2-2)
- Hirooki Goto -- 2 (1-3)
- YOSHI-HASHI -- 2 (1-3)
- SANADA -- 2 (1-3)
- Jay White -- 6 (3-1)
- Will Ospreay -- 6 (3-1)
- Taichi -- 6 (3-1)
- Kota Ibushi -- 6 (3-1)
- Minoru Suzuki -- 6 (3-1)
- Kazuchika Okada -- 4 (2-2)
- Shingo Takagi -- 2 (1-3)
- Tomohiro Ishii -- 2 (1-3)
- Jeff Cobb -- 2 (1-3)
- Yujiro Takahashi -- 0 (0-4)