Who’s ready for more A Block action? I know I am and that’s exactly what we’re going to get. We have a lot to unpack in this episode as three people are currently undefeated, a rematch from a MOTYC, and history of the main event that is about to happen right here.
Looks like this will be a more promising show and let’s see how things change as we…dive right in.
Star Rating System:
- 0 Stars: Dave Meltzer
- 1 Star: Vince Russo
- 2 Stars: Tony Schiavone
- 3 Stars: Eric Bischoff
- 4 Stars: Bruce Prichard
- 5 Stars: Jim Cornette
G1 Climax A Block Match
Taichi vs. Yujiro Takahashi
Review: Time for our first block match as we kick it off with Yujiro Takahashi taking on your Holy Emperor, Taichi. Taichi is currently one of the three people who are undefeated as he won against both Jeff Cobb and Minoru Suzuki. Yujiro lost two matches in a row and a loss here will only make his chances smaller. Will Taichi remain undefeated or does the pimp get his first win?
Soon as Taichi was done singing, Yujiro attacked him with his pimp cane and would try to choke him as the bell rang to start the match, how rude. Yujiro is continuing to show that he’s been having the worst performance of this block as he really does not do well compared to everyone else in the block, and it just lowers the quality of the match. This is also just basic with one getting offense while the opponent gets some offense in and the two would just try to cheat at the same time, which makes sense since they’re both heels. Taichi would try to choke him with a cord a couple of times while the referee would call for the count to make him let go or he’d disqualify him.
Taichi missed a spin kick when Yujiro ducked but he was able to land the kicks after but Yujiro kicked out at two. Taichi went for a Powerbomb but Yujiro would bite his hand to make him let go of the hold but Taichi forces him to let go after raking his eyes. Taichi attempts the Ax Bomber but Yujiro ducked to hit him with a Lariat of his own. Taichi attempted his jumping kick again but Yujiro ducked again and hits him with the Incolle Slam as Taichi kicked out. Yujiro would attempt the Pimp Juice but Taichi stood up and catches him for the Backdrop and the two are down. The pants are finally off as Taichi ripped them off and would go for a kick but Yujiro caught his leg and slammed him down for a two count. Yujiro went for the Pimp Juice again but Taichi pushed the referee out of the way to kick Yujiro below the belt and rolls him up for the Gedo Clutch as Taichi gets the win, remaining undefeated!
Rating: Tony Schiavone and three quarters
G1 Climax A Block Match
Minoru Suzuki vs. Jeff Cobb
Review: Our next match is our NEVER Openweight Champion, Minoru Suzuki taking on Jeff Cobb. Both of them have an even record of one win and loss each as a win here for either of these men will help them get back into the swing of things. The last time these two fought one on one was two years ago at Rev Pro where Suzuki came out the winner. Will Suzuki be able to beat him again or does Jeff show he’s not the same wrestler from two years ago?
A rather different start than you would expect out of these two as it looked like they were gonna try to grapple each other instead of going in for punches. Cobb tripped his leg to make him fall on the ground and Suzuki would try to get that grapple in. Cobb threw him into the corner and would charge at him to hit his back elbow but Suzuki moved to the apron and kicked his head in. The two would go outside with Suzuki having the control out there. Not gonna lie, did expect more out of this but there were times where it felt like it did drag on despite the match being short, just more on the underwhelming side of things. Shame too because this would’ve turned out better if it was more like a hoss fight like how Suzuki and Ishii were, Cobb could do it but they decided not to for this one.
Suzuki hits him with a big boot and would go towards him again with another one but Cobb pushed his foot out of the way and runs the ropes to hit a shoulder tackle, which it looked like he missed. He hits one more and connects this time before getting him into the corner and hits his back elbow this time around. Cobb missed a few forearms during his blow for blow with Suzuki and Suzuki responded by hitting him as hard as he could, leaving Cobb dazed. Cobb goes for his Gutwrench Suplexes and when he attempts to hit the third one, Suzuki grabbed his arm and tried to damage it but Cobb would lift him onto his shoulders as he almost dropped him when he lost his balance. Once he finally got control, he slams him into the corner and hits the Running Powerslam, topping it off with a Moonsault as Suzuki kicked out. Cobb attempts the Tour of the Islands but Suzuki caught his neck to choke him out with the Guillotine to make Cobb let go and would hit the Gotch Style Piledriver to get the victory, leaving the king with another victory.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
G1 Climax A Block Match
Kota Ibushi vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Review: We’re at the halfway point as we have Kota Ibushi taking on Tomohiro Ishii. Ishii lost two matches in a row and if he loses one more here, things will not be looking good for him. Ibushi has a win over Kazuchika Okada but a loss against Jay White, so he would need to win here if he wants to try and catch up to Jay White. Will Ishii get a win or will he be at three losses in a row?
The two locked up as Ibushi held his own for a while and when Ishii ran the ropes, Ibushi attempted to kick him a few times but Ishii would block them all until the last one, Ibushi would go for a Moonsault after but lands on his feet when Ishii rolled out of the way and the two stared at each other. Now, this was a much better contest, these two hitting each other as hard as they could, and even getting up right away after hitting certain moves. Ibushi catches him for a Powerslam and jumps to the top to hit a Moonsault as Ishii moved out of the way and Ibushi gets to the apron, hitting a Springboard Dropkick. Ibushi chopped Ishii while he responds with chops, making each shot so stiff that you would hear it.
After a series of German Suplexes done to each other, they would now slap the face of each other until Ibushi would eventually win the slap off. The strikes continued again until Ibushi hits his throat and a kick to the head, getting the Stone Pitbull down again. Ibushi hits the Last Ride Powerbomb and Ishii kicked out at two! Ibushi goes for the Kamigoye but Ishii headbutts his stomach and Ibushi would hit a headbutt of his own, making Ishii hit the Enziguri. Ibushi went for a kick as Ishii caught his legs for a Powerbomb but Ibushi kicked out. Ishii went for the Vertical Drop but Ibushi hits his head with a knee and would attempt the Kamigoye but Ishii headbutts him again! Ishii attempts the spike again but Ibushi fought out of it and attempts a kick, making Ishii forearm his leg and when he goes for the Vertical one more time, Ibushi reversed it into a Brainbuster of his own! Ibushi goes for the Boma Ye but Ishii catches him with a Lariat. Ishii attempts the German Suplex but Ibushi landed on his feet and hits the Boma Ye as Ishii kicked out at two again! Ibushi hits Ishii with a Lariat, a V-Trigger, and finally, the Kamigoye as Ibushi gets the win, leaving Ishii with three losses. Fantastic match!
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half
G1 Climax A Block Match
Will Ospreay vs. Shingo Takagi
Review: It’s time for one of our main events as we have a rematch from last year’s Best of the Super Juniors Final with Will Ospreay taking on Shingo Takagi. Will is the second person on the block that is undefeated while Shingo has two losses and zero wins. Their match last year was many people’s match of the year and was known as one of the best junior matches of all time but now, they go at it in the heavyweight division now. Will Shingo get payback against Ospreay or does Will beat him again?
After a lock-up and some small teasing to each other, they would finally kick it into high gear as the two of them were going back and forth at a rapid pace, reversing and dodging their moves, similar to their last year encounter. Shingo even did a Hurricanrana during one of them and when Ospreay attempted the Marufuji Kick, Shingo ducked it and went into the corner as they called that part a draw. The two were outside of the ring and after Will taunting the crowd, Shingo catches him for a Pop-up Death Valley Driver and slammed him down. I loved that they didn’t overdo it in this one to give us a different match instead of doing nearly the same stuff in their first encounter.
Shingo caught Ospreay midair and would toss him into the ropes before attempting the Pump Bomber, which Ospreay flipped over him and catches him with a Powerbomb as Shingo kicked out. Ospreay would call for the Oscutter and hits it as Shingo kicked out at two! Ospreay goes for the Strombreaker but Shingo fought out of it and when Ospreay attempted a kick, Shingo caught him and hits the MADE IN JAPAN and kickout by Will! Shingo hits the Pumping Bomber this time and Ospreay backflipped with it but still kicked out. Shingo went for the Last of the Dragon but Will fought off him and hits the Hook Kick before delivering a Reverserana. The two exchange blows to each other and Will gets him to down to taught him but Shingo delivers a couple of forearms before meeting another kick. Will tries to run the ropes but Shingo catches him with a Lariat before attempting another Pumping bomber but Ospreay catches him with the Spanish Fly for a kickout when Shingo attempted to roll him up, and Ospreay kicked out as well. Ospreay called for the Oscutter from the top rope but Shingo pushed his legs out to stop him and as he attempted a German. Ospreay held on and made Shingo go to the outside to hit a Pumping Bomber before climbing up to have him on his shoulders for a Death Valley Driver. Shingo hits the Pumping Bomber and then the Last of the Dragon, giving Shingo his first victory and revenge over Will. Their first encounter was better but this was still a great match, can’t wait for the third encounter!
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter
G1 Climax A Block Match
Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White
Review: It’s now time for our main event as Kazuchika Okada takes on one of the biggest thorns on his side, Jay White. These two share history here as this is also the two year anniversary of when Gedo betrayed Okada to pair up with Jay White in this building, so a lot of tension here. Jay is undefeated but if he can be Okada here, he could potentially get him eliminated in the long run. Okada only defeated Jay once and that was during their last encounter and he could be tied with him and the others if he could beat him here. Will Jay stay undefeated or will Okada beat him again?
I still claim Jay as the best heel New Japan has right now and I know people say Suzuki, but he’s just more of a killer grandpa rather than a heel these days. Gedo getting involved felt more important here, especially with the history of all three of them and the significance of the two years since Gedo betrayed Okada, all of that in the story works here and it’s done well. Okada’s back is slightly taped up, so of course Jay would use it to his advantage when he slammed him against the guardrail a couple of times. Gedo would attempt to distract Okada again by grabbing his leg and Okada chased him to the entrance ramp, having Jay follow but Okada hits them both with a DDT.
Jay attempts the Uranagi but Okada fought off him to make him let go as Jay responds with a forearm to his bad back, causing him to go to the corner. Jay rushes towards him but Okada would catch him for the Reverse Neckbreaker. The two got up and exchanges some strikes to each other but Okada was the one to get him down while Jay crawls to the corner to get up but Okada knocked him down again. Jay almost hits Gedo but stops himself as Okda Dropkicks the back of her head to make him bump into Gedo, and tosses him for a Dropkick but Jay catches himself, and delivers a German Suplex. Jay taunts Okada by doing his taunt and went for the Rainmaker on top of that but Okada fought him off and hits a forearm to make him go on his knees. Okada hits the Tombstone and instead of going for the Rainmaker, he applies his awful 10k Cobra Clutch. I guess this will be Okada’s new story with him not doing the Rainmaker to get his Cobra Clutch over and I’ll tell you what, it’s not working. Jay goes for the Blade Runner but Okada rolls behind him to attempt the Rolling Lariat but Jay catches him for a Uranagi. Gedo gets in to try and distract Okada but gets Dropkicked instead and he applies the Clutch one more time to try and make him tap out but hits him below the belt it looked like. Jay goes for the Blade Runner but Okada turned around him to get the Cobra Clutch but Jay reversed it into the Sleeper Suplex, and quickly gets him for the Blade Runner to defeat Okada! Jay is now 3-1 against the Rainmaker.
／#G1CLIMAX30 神戸大会(9/27)を公開‼️— njpwworld (@njpwworld) September 27, 2020
🆚 @rainmakerXokada × @JayWhiteNZ
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Rating: Eric Bischoff the three quarters
Overall: Once again, the first two matches were dull and the final three were all great matches. Surprising outcome with the main event and giving us quality while a story progressed. Okada, do a different submission instead of the Cobra Clutch. Getting excited for the next round of matches!
Favorite Match: Kota Ibushi vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Least Favorite Match: Taichi vs. Yujiro Takahashi
A Block Standings:
- Jay White: (3-0) (6 Points)
- Taichi: (3-0) (6 Points)
- Will Ospreay: (2-1) (4 Points)
- Kota Ibushi: (2-1) (4 Points)
- Minoru Suzuki: (2-1) (4 Points)
- Jeff Cobb: (1-2) (2 Points)
- Kazuchika Okada: (1-2) (2 Points)
- Shingo Takagi: (1-2) (2 Points)
- Tomohiro Ishii: (0-3) (0 Points)
- Yujiro Takahashi: (0-3) (0 Points)