Recommended matches --
- Gabriel Kidd vs. Yota Tsuji
- Juice Robinson vs. YOSHI-HASHI
- KENTA vs. Hirooki Goto
- Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Yota Tsuji defeated Gabriel Kidd (9:15)
Excellent opener. Well worth checking out.
They started with a very solid grappling battle. There was some MMA influence in the grappling. There was some lucha influence. It was awesome.
Things broke down into a striking battle. Tsuji got the upper hand at first and hit a splash for a two count. Kidd fired back and gained the upper hand with some stiff strikes.
Tsuji hit a backdrop out of a powerbomb attempt from Kidd. They traded strikes. Kidd hit a picture-perfect dropkick and locked in a single-leg crab. Tsuji forced a rope break.
Tsuji hit a brainbuster. Kidd came back with two quick cradles for a pair of near falls. Tsuji fired up and hit a spear and a powerslam for a near fall.
Tsuji locked on a Boston crab. Kidd fought the hold but eventually tapped out in the center of the ring.
G1 Climax 30 B Block: Juice Robinson defeated YOSHI-HASHI (15:57)
We still haven't seen a bad match in this tournament as these two had a really good one.
Juice has a new Blues Brothers look, new hair, new gear. It works for him.
Juice got the crowd into it right away and they were with him for the whole match, it was some of the best crowd work by anyone in a really long time.
This was all Juice for the first several minutes. He went after YH's bad knee which caused him to miss some shows this summer. YH fried back but got cut off again. Juice hit a cannonball in the corner for a two count.
Juice teased a superplex. YH hit a running powerbomb out of the corner for a two count. YH hit a lariat for a two count. YH used a butterfly lock but Juice forced a break.
Juice hit a Juice Box for a near fall. YH used a cradle for a quick near fall before Juice hit two left hands of God and a Pulp Friction for the pin.
G1 Climax 30 B Block: Toru Yano defeated SANADA by countout (6:16)
Yano comedy matches are a nice change of pace in G1. Not every match can have super intensity.
The ref took two rolls of tape out of Yano's knee pads before the match started.
There were the usual Yano shenanigans with turnbuckle pads and such. SANADA used a rolling cradle for a near fall.
Yano grabbed a chair and sat in the aisle. SANADA refused to go out after him. They dueled with turnbuckle pads. SANADA missed a moonsault but landed on his feet. Yano rolled him up for a two count before hitting a slingshot into an exposed buckle.
SANADA sent Yano into an exposed buckle and cradled him for a two count. SANADA hit a plancha. SANADA put Yano in the paradise lock in the aisle. Uemura freed Yano.
SANADA tried to put Uemura in the paradise lock. Yano taped SANADA and Uemura together and beat the count back in for the win.
***** Intermission ****
G1 Climax 30 B Block: KENTA defeated Hirooki Goto (17:15)
Very good match. Much more of a storytelling match with an emphasis on selling than a collection of flashy moves.
KENTA stalled early, then tricked Goto into chasing him outside. KENTA took over and tried to get the crowd to boo, but booing is not allowed.
Goto tried to come back with a back suplex but KENTA cut him right back off. KENTA hit a series of short kicks, taunting Goto. Goto lost his temper and KENTA slapped in a triangle before transitioning to a Game OVer attempt before Goto reached the ropes to force a break.
Goto hit a back suplex for a two count. KENTA connected with a high kick and double stomp off the top rope for a near fall.
KENTA hit a busaiku knee for a two count. He used a throat slash gesture before trying a G2S. Goto blocked and hit an ushigoroshi.
Goto used Shoryu Kekkai but KENTA forced a break. Goto used an ushigoroshi position to st up a GTR attempt but KENTA blocked.
KENTA got Game Over applied. Goto fought for the ropes but KENTA managed to roll through and keep the hold applied. Goto tapped.
G1 Climax 30 B Block: Zack Sabre Jr. defeated EVIL (w/Dick Togo) (14:54)
The finish was excellent here. I'm as tired of ref bumps as the next person but I liked the finish enough to overlook the ref bump.
Togo taunted Sabre before the match. Sabre attacked Togo which allowed EVIL to attack Sabre.
Red Shoes rang the bell and they brawled to the floor with Sabre still in his ring jacket. EVIL sent Sabre into the barricade and worked on his lower back.
EVIL exposed a buckle. They traded cobra twists. EVIL used a single-leg crab. Sabre avoided a whip into the exposed buckle and twisted various parts of EVIL's anatomy with his legs. Sabre focused his attack on EVIL's left arm.
EVIL hit a mid kick into a double down. EVIL sold his arm while Sabre sold his back. Sabre avoided a misdirection lariat out of the corner and used an octopus hold. EVIL escaped by grabbing Sabre's ear. EVIL hit a fisherman buster into another double down.
EVIL hit a superplex for a near fall. He went for Everything is EVIL but Sabre blocked. EVIL blocked a Zack Driver. Sabre used a cradle for a two count.
Togo jumped on the apron. Sabre knocked him off and gave up the hold he had applied. EVIL sent Sabre into Red Shoes and the ref took a bump to the floor. Togo jumped in and attacked Sabre.
Togo and EVIL hit Sabre with running sentons. Sabre fired up and tried to use a cross armbreaker on Togo but EVIL saved and stomped on Sabre's arm.
Sabre blocked a low blow and used an ankle lock. EVIL threw Sabre off into the exposed buckle. The ref was revived. EVIL hit Darkness Falls for a two count.
EVIL went for Everything is EVIL. Sabre blocked and rolled into a European Clutch and got the pin.
G1 Climax 30 B Block: Tetsuya Naito defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi (27:17)
This was the best version of Tanahashi that we have seen since at least the Wrestle Kingdom match with Kenny Omega in January 2019. This was the match of the tournament so far.
They started with some grappling with neither gaining the clear upper hand. Tana played some air guitar. Naito teased locking up but hit some strikes instead.
Tana made it clear that this was not the same Tana we've been seeing sell match after match all year. Instead, he was aggressive and went on the offense in response to Naito's attack.
Tanahashi kicked out Naito's left leg with a low dropkick and followed with a leg lock on the mat. Naito rolled to the floor to collect himself. They played cat and mouse. Naito hit his tranquilo pose. Tana tried a senton but Naito avoided it and continued posing.
Naito sent Tanahashi into the barricade and choked him. Tana sent Naito into the barricade. Naito popped off the rail with a one-legged dropkick and maintained the advantage. Back in the ring, Naito used a crucifix. Tana forced a rope break.
Tanahashi fired back with strikes. He blocked the combinacion cabron in the corner and hit a uranage into a double down. Tanahashi firmly established control of the match after a flying forearm and a somersault senton off the second rope.
Tana sent Naito to the floor after a dragon screw. Tana hit an awesome High Fly Flow to a standing Naito on the floor.
They teased a countout but Naito made it back in. Tana hit a dragon screw in the ropes as Naito climbed back inside. Tana went for a cloverleaf. Naito reversed into a cradle for a two count. Naito hit a spinebuster as the momentum shifted again.
The following sequence is where this thing found a new gear.
Naito hit a top rope frankensteiner but Tana rolled through into a cradle for a great near fall. Tana hit two dragon screws before trying the cloverleaf again and this time he got it. Naito was in the hold for over a minute before he reached the ropes. Tana blocked a flying forearm. Naito blocked a dragon suplex. Tanahashi hit a straight jacket German into a bridge for a two count.
Naito hit a swing DDT. Naito went for Gloria but Tana blocked and hit a slingblade. Naito countered a Michinoku Driver attempt into an inverted DDT. They did a lengthy double down.
Both guys fired up and they traded strikes. Naito blocked an Irish whip and hit a series of back elbows as it looked like Tana might be fading. Naito maintained wrist control through all of these elbows. Naito hit Gloria for a near fall.
Naito went for Destino. Tana blocked and hit three twist and shouts. Naito blocked a slingblade and hit an enzuigiri. Tanahashi hit a slingblade at the 25 minute call.
Tanahashi hit another slingblade. He went up top for High Fly Flow. He hit a standing High Fly Flow and went back up for another but Naito slid out of the way and Tana crashed to the mat.
Naito hit Destino but Tana kicked out at two.
Naito went for another Destino. Tana blocked. Naito blocked a palm strike and hit Valentia. Naito then hit another Destino for the pin.
Naito closed the show with a promo.
G1 standings --
- Tetsuya Naito 2 points (1-0)
- Zack Sabre Jr. 2 points (1-0)
- KENTA 2 points (1-0)
- Toru Yano 2 points (1-0)
- Juice Robinson 2 points (1-0)
- YOSHI-HASHI 0 points (0-1)
- SANADA 0 points (0-1)
- Hirooki Goto 0 points (0-1)
- EVIL 0 points (0-1)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi 0 points (0-1)
- Kota Ibushi 2 points (1-0)
- Jay White 2 points (1-0)
- Minoru Suzuki 2 points (1-0)
- Taichi 2 points (1-0)
- Will Ospreay 2 points (1-0)
- Yujiro Takahashi 0 points (0-1)
- Jeff Cobb 0 points (0-1)
- Tomohiro Ishii 0 points (0-1)
- Shingo Takagi 0 points (0-1)
- Kazuchika Okada 0 points (0-1)