- Kota Ibushi vs. Jeff Cobb
- Kazuchika Okada vs. Taichi
- Jay White vs. Will Ospreay
- Tomohiro Ishii vs. Shingo Takagi
Korakuen Hall got its first look at G1 Climax Block A tonight, headlined by Tomohiro Ishii vs. Shingo Takagi in the main event.
Yota Tsuji defeated Yuya Uemura (7:53)
Korakuen famously loves its Young Lion matches. This was the third meeting between these two on the tour, and I felt it was their best yet.
Tsuji won a test of strength with a Greco-Roman knuckle lock, but Uemura's bridge was too strong to break. After more chain wrestling, Tsuji landed the first move of the match with a running shoulder tackle.
A jumping body press got an early two for Tsuji, but Uemura had too much left in the tank for him to lock on the Boston crab. A dropkick allowed Uemura to make his comeback, followed by a running forearm for two.
Uemura laid in strikes in the corner. After being whipped into the opposite corner, Tsuji exploded back with a spear, which finally allowed him to apply the crab.
Uemura nearly reached the ropes to escape the crab, but Tsuji pulled back with a giant swing. After a longer-than-usual submission fight, Uemura was forced to tap.
El Desperado joined the commentary team.
G1 Climax Block A: Minoru Suzuki defeated Yujiro Takahashi (7:58)
This was nice and compact action, but nothing special.
They shoved each other around before the bell, and Suzuki quickly downed his opponent with a big boot. On the outside, Yujiro took the advantage by striking and choking with his staff.
After more strikes in the ring, Suzuki snapped, sending Yujiro back outside. He smashed Yujiro with chair strikes and shoved down the official, then choked Yujiro with an electrical cord.
Back inside, Suzuki applied a sleeper hold. Yujiro caught a soccer kick and hit a running dropkick, followed by a fisherman's buster for two.
They traded forearms, but Suzuki's super-stiff forearm sent Yujiro to the mat. After firing back up with a lariat, Yujiro attempted his swinging fireman's carry slam, but Suzuki escaped.
Suzuki turned Pimp Juice into the rear naked choke, followed by the Gotch piledriver for a quick win.
G1 Climax Block A: Kota Ibushi defeated Jeff Cobb (10:44)
I thought this was Cobb's best performance yet, but the match ended just as it was getting great.
They performed chain wrestling to start. After a big chop from Cobb, they went right into a striking battle. Ibushi hit his striking sequence, finishing with a moonsault for two.
Ibushi ran the ropes but Cobb hit an impressive standing dropkick to take control. Ibushi fought back with a jumping hurricanrana and a plancha to the outside. He missed a springboard but avoided a spear and hit a double stomp.
Cobb caught a mid kick and hit a back suplex. He ran in with his jumping uppercut in the corner, followed by his catching back suplex and a standing moonsault for two.
Cobb set up for a running lariat, but Ibushi turned it into another stiff striking battle, which Cobb won with a standing lariat. He then hit his series of gutwrenches, but Ibushi fought out of the powerbomb, so he turned it into an F5 for a near fall.
Ibushi fought out of Tour of the Islands and hit a high kick and a V-Trigger, followed by the Kamigoye for the win.
***** Intermission *****
G1 Climax 30 Block A: Kazuchika Okada defeated Taichi (17:30)
This started slowly with too much brawling, but it built to a really exciting finish. I thought this was better than their overlong New Beginning main even from earlier in the year. Okada's back was heavily taped, and he just didn't move as effortlessly as we're used to seeing from him.
Taichi attacked before the bell, and sent Okada into the barricade outside. El Desperado, who had been on commentary, distracted the referee while Taichi hit chair shots. I'm not sure why that was necessary considering Suzuki hit chair shots right in front of the exact same official earlier in the show.
Back inside, Taichi beat Okada down with kicks. Okada rolled outside again, and Taichi shoved him into the ring apron. Back in, Okada was beaten down for a while before fighting back with a running forearm.
Okada hit his running back elbow and his corner DDT sequence for two, but Taichi fought out of the Money Clip cobra clutch. Taichi rolled outside once again, driving Okada's back into the ring barricade. Okada finally got the best of the exchange with a DDT to the floor.
Okada missed a missile dropkick which sent him crashing to the mat. Taichi hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and locked on a single-leg crab, but Okada reached the ropes.
Okada fought out of the Last Ride, so Taichi was forced to hit Kawada kicks. Another Last Ride attempt was countered into the Air Raid Crash neckbreaker. Taichi avoided a corner lariat and hit an enzuigiri.
Taichi ran the ropes but had the Okada dropkick scouted. He hit a buzzsaw kick, and the pants were off, but Okada hit his dropkick. Okada tried to apply the Money Clip but Taichi turned into a backdrop suplex.
Okada fought out of the Last Ride once again and hit a spinning tombstone piledriver, which allowed him to lock on the Money Clip. Taichi fought out with an illegal choke, but Okada hit a short Rainmaker and maintained wrist control.
Taichi pulled the official in front of a second Rainmaker attempt and used the Gedo Clutch for a great near fall.
Another jumping enzuigiri led to a striking battle. Taichi finished it off with a Rainmaker of his own.
Okada fought out of Black Mephisto and locked on the Money Clip, but Taichi forced his way out. He tried for Black Mephisto one more time, but Okada hit a backbreaker with the Money Clip applied, leading to a referee stoppage.
G1 Climax 30 Block A: Will Ospreay defeated Jay White (18:49)
This was fantastic, maybe White's best match all year. They kept the Gedo interference to a minimum, and White's timing in avoiding big moves is so perfect that it makes them all the more satisfying when they hit.
Gedo joined Switchblade as always. His gimmick on this tour has been taunting the fans for being unable to chant. He powdered to the outside at the bell, and continued to do so for a few minutes.
Once inside, White beat Ospreay down in the corner. Ospreay fired back out with a huge chop, reminiscent of his massive chop against Okada during last year's G1 Korakuen stop.
A lariat sent White to the outside, but Ospreay feinted on his space flying tiger drop attempt. Back in, White dispatched Ospreay with an overhead suplex from inside the ring to the apron, sending him crashing to the floor.
White maintained control during a long heat segment. Ospreay finally made a comeback with a handspring kick followed by a standing shooting star press for two. Pip Pip Cheerio followed, but White moved out of the way of the space flying tiger drop.
Gedo grabbed Ospreay's leg as they made their way back inside the ring, allowing White to take advantage once again. The Bladebuster got two for White. Ospreay tried to hit his backflip into an enzuigiri, but his leg gave out. Another distraction from Gedo gave White enough time to counter Pip Pip Cheerio into a German suplex.
The two fought on the top rope, but Ospreay hit a springboard dropkick, forcing White into the tree of woe. White moved out of the way of the Coast to Coast and rolled outside, which allowed Ospreay to hit the space flying tiger drop.
Back in, a springboard 450 splash from Ospreay got two. White avoided the Oscutter and hit a uranage for a double down. The Kiwi Krusher got two, but Ospreay fought out of the Blade Runner and hit a Liger bomb.
Ospreay fought out of another Blade Runner and hit the Oscutter for two. He set up for the Hidden Blade, but White collapsed out of the way. Ospreay laid in ground and pound to the back of White's head, which forced the official to break it up.
Ospreay continued his beatdown with Kawada kicks, but White tripped up the official on as he set up for the Stormbreaker. Gedo tried to use his brass knuckles, but Ospreay easily downed him with a forearm and foiled White's attempt at a low blow.
The Hidden Blade followed and Ospreay hit the Stormbreaker for the upset victory.
G1 Climax 30 Block A: Tomohiro Ishii defeated Shingo Takagi (26:02)
This was a rematch of many people's match of the tournament from last year, and I'd say it mostly lived up to that expectation. I'd put it on the level of their match from earlier this year. These two absolutely killed each other, even more than you'd imagine. It didn't truly pick up until the closing sequence, but these two have such a high floor when they're in the ring together that even with a more muted crowd reaction, the match is still excellent.
They had a striking exchange right at the bell. Ishii gained the upper hand at the start with a shoulder tackle and a couple big chops. Outside, Shingo was sent into the barricade, but he fired up with a shoulder tackle and a lariat.
Back in, Shingo hit elbow drops and a leaping senton. The two hit big chops on each other, concluding with a massive two-hand chop from Shingo. Ishii regained the upper hand with a suplex.
Ishii beat Shingo down in the corner with forearms and chops. He whipped Shingo into the other corner, but Shingo hit his signature strike combination followed by a lariat.
They continued to battle with strikes. Shingo hit a wheelbarrow German suplex for two. He hit the Pumping Bomber, but Ishii popped up and the two hit lariats for a double down.
They fought up top and Ishii hit a superplex. Ishii fought out of Made in Japan, but Shingo improvised and hit a gutbuster. Made in Japan and a Pumping Bomber each followed for two.
A short lariat downed Ishii. Shingo went for another Pumping Bomber but Ishii turned it into a backdrop suplex and hit a second for good measure. They traded strikes once more, and Ishii hit a powerbomb for two.
Ishii attempted the Vertical Drop Brainbuster but Shingo popped him up into a DVD. Ishii fired back up and hit a lariat but Shingo kicked out at one, followed by a sliding lariat for two.
Shingo fought out of the brainbuster again and hit a sliding forearm smash. They domed each other with clunking headbutts which garnered audible groans from the crowd. That was brutal.
They each hit a series of forearms, but Shingo trapped Ishii in the ropes and hit a GTR. A picture-perfect Pumping Bomber landed for a great near fall. Ishii fought out of Last of the Dragon and hit a DDT at the 25-minute mark.
They traded lariats and Ishii hit a jumping enzuigiri and another big lariat, allowing him to hit the Vertical Drop Brainbuster for his first win.
Post-match, they both sold like they didn't realize the fight was over and continued to go after each other.
G1 Climax 30 Standings
- 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)
- Tetsuya Naito – 6 (3-0)
- Toru Yano – 6 (3-0)
- KENTA – 4 (2-1)
- Juice Robinson – 4 (2-1)
- EVIL – 2 (1-2)
- Zack Sabre Jr. – 2 (1-2)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi – 2 (1-2)
- Hirooki Goto – 2 (1-2)
- YOSHI-HASHI – 2 (1-2)
- SANADA – 0 (0-3)