Recommended Matches --
- Kazuchika Okada vs. Jeff Cobb
- Minoru Suzuki vs. Will Ospreay
- Jay White vs. Taichi
- Kota Ibushi vs. Shingo Takagi
Yota Tsuji defeated Gabriel Kidd (7:13)
The Young Lions wrestled a little differently this time. There was almost no technical wrestling, as this was a battle of strikes and power moves.
Both men exploded out with strikes at the bell. Kidd took control and nailed some loud chops in the corner. More strikes led to some quick covers, but it was too early to pin Tsuji.
Tsuji took control with a corner lariat and a running splash, but Kidd hit a body slam. They fought each other, both trying to hit a suplex, but Kidd won the strength battle. Kidd went for the underhook suplex, but Tsuji fought out with forearms.
They traded forearms, a battle which Tsuji won. Kidd turned a shoulder tackle attempt into a standing dropkick. Tsuji fought back with an open-hand strike, a powerslam, and a spear for a near fall.
Tsuji applied the Boston crab. Kidd nearly reached the ropes, but Tsuji pulled him back to the center of the ring and deepened the hold, forcing Kidd to tap out.
G1 Climax A Block: Tomohiro Ishii defeated Yujiro Takahashi (15:28)
This was probably the best Yujiro match of this year's G1, but if Ishii can't get better than a decent match out of somebody, they probably don't really belong in the tournament. I have no idea why this went as long as the Ibushi/Ospreay main event from a couple nights ago.
Yujiro attacked before the bell with a lariat. He brought Ishii to the ramp, went for Pimp Juice, but settled for a standard DDT. Back in, Ishii attempted to come back with a lariat but Yujiro turned it into a tilt-a-whirl slam.
Yujiro tried for the fisherman's buster, but Ishii turned it into a vertical suplex. They exchanged strikes before Ishii leveled him with a headbutt. Yujiro escaped a suplex attempt with his bite spot and hit a seated dropkick.
Ishii went for a running move but Yujiro flapjacked him into the top rope. He no-sold some Yujiro firearms and hit a Saito suplex. Ishii attempted a suplex but Yujiro turned it into a fisherman's buster.
A strange moment happened then as Ishii sold his wrist and neck like he'd been legitimately injured, and the official stopped letting Yujiro wrestle momentarily. It must have been selling because Ishii immediately hit a German suplex into the corner pad followed by a superplex for two.
Yujiro fought out of a powerbomb attempt and hit a spinebuster, a lariat, and what looked like an Olympic slam for two. He hit his twisting fireman's carry slam for another near fall. Ishii escaped a Pimp Juice attempt and hit another German.
Ishii hit an enzuigiri and a lariat for two. He went for the vertical drop brainbuster, but Yujiro fought back multiple times and turned it into a brainbuster of his own. Ishii went for it again, but Yujiro turned it into an inside cradle for a good near fall.
Ishii exploded with a jumping headbutt and a sliding lariat for two, followed by the vertical drop brainbuster for three.
G1 Climax A Block: Kazuchika Okada defeated Jeff Cobb (11:01)
This was a very enjoyable first-time meeting, if a bit short as NJPW are clearly sacrificing some of Okada's great match quality to tell the story of not wanting to win with the Rainmaker. Cobb has looked quite impressive in these 10-12 minute sprints.
Okada showed off with his rope break spot right away. Cobb caught an Okada dropkick attempt out of midair and turned it into a vertical suplex in a great power spot. Okada avoided a corner elbow and hit a DDT.
Okada worked over Cobb's head and neck. He went for a corner elbow of his own but Cobb moved out of the way and hit shoulder tackles followed by an overhead throw and a running back suplex.
They traded forearms before Cobb downed Okada with a lariat. We then got a ridiculous display of power as Cobb transitioned a gutwrench to both sides of his body, attempted a powerbomb, caught Okada's escape attempt in midair, then hit a twisting back suplex.
Cobb went for a lariat but ran straight into a dropkick followed by a tombstone. Okada locked on the Money Clip cobra clutch and turned Cobb's attempt to reach the ropes into a backslide for two. He went for another running move but Cobb hit a dropkick of his own. Cobb followed by stealing Okada's Rainmaker pose.
Cobb attempted Tour of the Islands, but Okada turned it into a roll-up for two. A thrust kick sent Okada to the mat, but he locked on the same seated cradle as his win over Suzuki for the flash pinfall.
***** Intermission *****
G1 Climax A Block: Will Ospreay defeated Minoru Suzuki via pinfall (14:34)
This was another very good first-time matchup. Suzuki was effective in picking apart Ospreay's arm, and Ospreay's selling was solid. The finish did seem a bit abrupt.
Ospreay hit a dropkick that sent Suzuki to the outside, followed by a plancha. He attempted Pip Pip Cheerio over the barricade but Suzuki turned it into a Fujiwara armbar.
Suzuki continued to work over Ospreay's arm on the outside. Back in, he continued the attack. Suzuki bullied and taunted Ospreay in the corner, daring Ospreay to fight back. Ospreay sold his arm every time he attempted a strike. Suzuki returned fire with chops and forearms.
One of the chops made Ospreay's chest bleed, which was evident as Suzuki applied an octopus hold. Ospreay attempted a comeback but Suzuki turned Pip Pip Cheerio into another armbar.
Ospreay reached the ropes, but Suzuki leveled him with more forearms. Ospreay eventually fought his way back and finally hit Pip Pip Cheerio. They made their way to the top rope which led to a cool sequence where Ospreay attempted a 450, missed, rolled through, hit a high kick, then Suzuki hit a slap, and Ospreay hit a hook kick to win the battle.
Ospreay adjusted to his arm injury by switching arms for a forearm battle, which wasn't enough to stop Suzuki's strikes. Ospreay went for the handspring enzuigiri but Suzuki turned it into a sleeper, which Ospreay himself turned into a vertical suplex.
Suzuki avoided the Hidden Blade and turned a tilt-a-whirl into a sleeper. Ospreay hit an enzuigiri when Suzuki attempted the Gotch piledriver, then hit Stormbreaker for the win.
G1 Climax A Block: Jay White defeated Taichi (15:32)
While not a technical classic, this was about as fundamentally entertaining as a G1 match can get. Taichi had his second straight fantastic performance while White has just had a really great tournament overall.
Switchblade and Taichi had a genuinely hilarious interplay at the start, which the crowd just loved. Taichi's a heel but he was definitely playing babyface here. He would copy White every time he powdered and got back in the ring.
They both attempted a strike but Taichi escaped to the outside and drove White into the barricade. He choked White with an electrical cord, but Gedo provided a distraction by driving Taichi into the ring post and the barricade.
Back in, White hit a neckbreaker for two. White continued his beatdown, but Taichi eventually came back with an enzuigiri. He went for another enzuigiri, but White chop blocked his leg and hit a DDT. The Bladebuster followed for two.
White went for a backdrop driver, but Taichi hit an Axe Bomber to the back of his head. Taichi set up for the Last Ride, but White pancaked out of it, which led to Kawada kicks. Another attempt at the Last Ride was turned into a dragon screw.
Taichi missed another enzuigiri and White hit a German suplex, but Taichi popped right up and was met with a uranage. Taichi fired up again and hit a backdrop suplex for the double down.
They had a fighting spirit striking battle, with the catch being that when one would signal for the other to hit their chin, they'd hit something completely different. Taichi won the exchange with yet another enzuigiri. He locked on the Gedo clutch, but Gedo himself distracted the referee.
White went for a low blow, but Taichi stopped him before being shoved into the referee, who took a bump. Taichi dispatched Gedo with a low blow and hit a second on White, leading to the Gedo clutch for a super close near fall.
Taichi stacked White up with the Last Ride for two. The pants were off, but White moved the official in between him and Taichi before the buzzsaw kick. Taichi went for Black Mephisto, but White hit the Blade Runner out of nowhere for the pin.
G1 Climax A Block: Shingo Takagi defeated Kota Ibushi (22:11)
These two men beat the hell out of each other, resulting in a fantastic main event which capped off a show in which each match was better than the last. They left enough on the table to leave people excited about the prospect of a rematch down the line.
This was our third first-time matchup of the night. Both men teased signature moves. A forearm exchange looked to give Shingo the advantage, but he ran into a dropkick and was sent outside.
Back in, Shingo regained the advantage by catching a springboard. He dropped Ibushi into the top rope before clotheslining him outside. Shingo beat Ibushi down using the barricade and ring and concluded the attack with a DDT.
Ibushi attempted a comeback but was leveled with a forearm. Multiple further Ibushi comebacks were easily foiled by Shingo. Eventually, a jumping hurricanrana bought Ibushi some time. His signature strike sequence and a moonsault got two.
Shingo rolled to the outside, leading to Ibushi hitting a plancha. Back in, Shingo fought his way out of a powerbomb and the two exchanged strikes before Shingo hit his own signature strike sequence.
Ibushi fought out of the Noshigami and turned into a Kamigoye attempt. Ibushi missed and Shingo finally hit the Noshigami for two. Shingo hit a backdrop suplex but Ibushi fired up and hit a half-and-half suplex for the double down.
They traded stiff slaps before Shingo transitioned into chops and Ibushi hit kicks. Ibushi flipped his way out of a German suplex and hit a great-looking buzzsaw kick. The Last Ride followed for two.
Shingo popped Ibushi up onto his shoulders and hit a DVD. He set up for Last of the Dragon, but Ibushi fought out and hit a jumping knee. Shingo countered the Kamigoye with a headbutt and hit Made in Japan for a good near fall.
Shingo hit two Pumping Bombers for another near fall. He set up for Last of the Dragon, but Ibushi fought out. Shingo leveled Ibushi with a lariat. Ibushi hit a huge lariat of his own followed by the Bomaye, but Shingo countered the Kamigoye into Last of the Dragon for the win.
Post-match, Shingo cut a promo addressing the Hiroshima crowd.
G1 Climax 30 Standings --
- Kazuchika Okada -- 8 points (4-2)
- Kota Ibushi -- 8 points (4-2)
- Jay White -- 8 points (4-2)
- Will Ospreay -- 8 points (4-2)
- Tomohiro Ishii -- 6 points (3-3)
- Shingo Takagi -- 6 points (3-3)
- Minoru Suzuki -- 6 points (3-3
- Taichi -- 6 points (3-3)
- Jeff Cobb -- 4 points (2-4)
- Yujiro Takahashi -- 0 points (0-6)
- Tetsuya Naito -- 8 points (4-1)
- Juice Robinson -- 6 points (3-2)
- Toru Yano -- 6 points (3-2)
- EVIL -- 6 points (3-2)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi -- 6 points (3-2)
- Zack Sabre Jr. -- 4 points (2-3)
- Hirooki Goto -- 4 points (2-3)
- KENTA -- 4 points (2-3)
- SANADA -- 4 points (2-3)
- YOSHI-HASHI -- 2 points (1-4)