Welcome back to New Japan’s G1 Climax as we are now on A Block’s 4th day, meaning we’re close to the halfway point of the tournament. A Block has been producing quality so far and we still have two people that are undefeated but that could change here tonight or it might now.
Will we see some be considered eliminated, will someone still be undefeated? All of this and more 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
Minoru Suzuki vs. Yujiro Takahashi
Review: Time for our first match as we have Minoru Suzuki taking on Yujiro Takahashi. Yujiro is in a bad spot as one more loss here could get him eliminated from the tournament. Suzuki currently has two wins with one loss and a win here would move him up in the rankings. Does Yujiro stop the king or will he be the first to go?
Yujiro not being smart with shoving Suzuki once he gets in the ring and the bell is rung to start the match, Suzuki giving Yujiro a boot to get him down. Yujiro after that would start to get a little advantage with some dirty tactics to slow Suzuki down a bit, that is until they get outside of the ring. This is where Suzuki gets rather crazy and attacks him with a chair, even shoving the referee away for trying to stop him. Suzuki grabbed another chair to hit Yujiro’s back and would choke him out with a cord. Suzuki is not here to play any games with someone like Yujiro and wants to go for that easy victory to stay in the game.
Suzuki would eventually get Yujiro back in the ring and applies the Sleeper Hold to try and make him pass out but he lets go of the hold to pin him as Yujiro kicked out at two. Suzuki goes for the Penalty Kick but Yujiro caught his leg and pushed it out to make him fall face first before Baseball Sliding his face. The two trade blows for a moment but Yujiro would get him up for a Fisherman Buster and pins him as Suzuki kicked out. Suzuki was playing around with Yujiro like he was nothing by kicking his head around to taunt him but Yujiro quickly got fired up and traded forearms with Yujiro getting the upper hand until Suzuki hits him with a stiff shot to send the pimp down. Suzuki ran the ropes but Yujiro hits him with a Lariat and looks like he’s gonna get him up but Suzuki applies the sleeper again, Yujiro raking the referee’s eyes to stop him. Yujiro hits him with a Superkick and would go for the Pimp Juice but Suzuki stops him to lock in the sleeper one more time before turning him around, hitting the Gotch Style Piledriver and gets the victory, leaving Yujiro to be mathematically eliminated.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half
G1 Climax A Block Match
Kota Ibushi vs. Jeff Cobb
Review: Time for our next match as we have Kota Ibushi taking on Jeff Cobb. Ibushi is in a good position with two wins and one loss but a loss here would make his chances slightly lowered. Cobb only has one win under his belt and he would need to win here to stay alive a little longer. Does the Golden Star become 3-1 or will Cobb beat him to make them 2-2?
Cobb starts this match off like last time with some ground wrestling work and would even get Ibushi to the ropes not once, but twice and would deliver a chop to Ibushi when he was able to get up from that second rope break. The two would then exchange strikes for a moment until Ibushi gets him down with a kick and does a Standing Moonsault for a two count. Cobb shows off some athletic ability by hitting a high Dropkick after jumping over him when Ibushi ran the ropes. The two styles mesh up well with both being athletic but Cobb has more power with Ibushi just having more agility, and they seem to make it work in the match. Ibushi would hurt Cobb’s back when jumping over him to hit the Double Stomp after being tossed around by the big guy.
Cobb throws Ibushi into the ropes to hit his back elbow and reels him in, catching him like a baby before tossing him over, rather impressive but Ibushi would kick out at two. Soon as Ibushi kicked out, Cobb immediately stands up to hit a Standing Moonsault and pins Ibushi again but kicks out again. The two exchange strikes again with Ibushi hitting a stiff kick to Cobb’s head but Cobb turns him inside out with a Lariat. Cobb hits two Gutwrench Suplexes in a row and instead of hitting the third one, he attempts to do a Powerbomb instead-but Ibushi attempts to do a Hurricanrana as Cobb lifted him up on his shoulders and tosses him in the air like a propeller. Cobb would get Ibushi upon his shoulders again but Ibushi fights off him to for a Buzzsaw Kick. Ibushi calls for the Kamigoye but Jeff catches him to attempt the Tour of the Islands as Ibushi jumped off him to hit the V-Trigger! Ibushi would then hit the Kamigoye to get a third victory while Cobb loses another match.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
G1 Climax A Block Match
Kazuchika Okada vs. Taichi
Review: We’re now at the halfway point as we have Kazuchika Okada taking on Taichi. The two have crossed paths during the New Beginning Tour where Okada was able to defeat him. Taichi is currently at the top of the rankings with three wins and zero losses, so a win here would keep him at the top of the game and another big name he’s defeated this year. Okada only has one win so far and needs to snap out of it if he has any chances of winning. Does Taichi remain undefeated and get revenge or does Okada start picking up wins again?
It seems as though that Okada has his back taped up more and Taichi would attack him from behind while Okada was taking off his entrance robe as the match officially starts. Taichi would take him outside the ring and would attack his back, slamming it into the rails, stomping on it, whatever he can to hurt the Rainmaker. Okada does well with selling his back more this time around since it’s in pain from all these G1 matches and you could see it taking a toll on him here. Okada does get small glimmers of hope at the beginning of the match and even hits a Dropkick with Taichi sitting on the top turnbuckle but Taichi still takes advantage of his back as a good heel should. Despite how the match quality is, their performances in this match are something to witness. Okada does a great job with his selling and making Taichi look more like a threat than he could be while Taichi just gives his energy in this match to make the viewers more invested in it.
Time for Taichi to strip as he rips his pants off and attempts a Superkick but Okada catches him for a Dropkick. Okada picks him up to attempt the Tombstone by Taichi goes behind him to attempt the Backdrop but Okada holds his ground and tried to apply the 10k Cobra Clutch as Taichi grabs him to hit the Backdrop. Taichi goes for the Powerbomb but Okada would reverse it into the Tombstone Piledriver and the two go down again, Okada’s back giving out. Okada applies the Cobra Clutch again and Taichi is fighting out of it as Okada turns it into a Backslide with Taichi kicking out, and Okada pulling his arm for a Lariat but not the Rainmaker. Okada still holds onto his arm while the crop claps, thinking he’s gonna go for the Rainmaker but tries to do another Lariat as Taichi pulls the referee between them and once he’s shoved, Taichi kicks him below the belt before rolling him up with the Gedo Clutch but Okada kicked out at two. It looked like Okada was gonna go for the Rainmaker but does a Rolling Lariat instead while Taichi ducked and hits Okada with the Rainmaker but Okada kicked out at two! Taichi does the Rainmaker taunt and would go for the Black Mephisto but Okada turns it into his Cobra Clutch until Taichi throws him over before attempting the Black Mephisto again, causing Okada to reverse it again to apply the Cobra Clutch one more time. Taichi was fading and tries to go to the ropes but Okada does the Orton Backbreaker before reapplying it as Taichi is knocked out, causing the ref to call for the bell to end Taichi’s winning streak. Great performances to a solid match.
Highlights from “#G1CLIMAX30 Night7” (Sep 30th)— njpwworld (@njpwworld) September 30, 2020
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.@rainmakerXokada (1-2) faces @taichi0319 (3-0) in a rematch from New Beginning in Sapporo! Will the result be different with two points at stake?
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Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
G1 Climax A Block Match
Jay White vs. Will Ospreay
Review: Time for our semi-main event with Jay White taking on Will Ospreay. Will suffered his first defeat at the previous show against Shingo Takagi but he has a chance to bounce back to the top if he can defeat Jay White. Jay was the only person that remains undefeated and if he can win here, he stays at the top. Will Jay stay undefeated or does Will bounce back?
Jay rolled out of the ring once the match starts as he taunts the crowd a bit, playing them like a fiddle as he usually does. Jay shows more of his heel work by taking advantage of the rope breaks every chance he gets whenever they lock up to the ropes but Ospreay has had enough of his shenanigans and pulls his hair in for a headlock. I really am digging the heel work Jay is providing throughout the match here whether he’s clapping to force the crowd to clap with him, raking Will’s eyes during a submission, or just not giving him a chance to breathe as he also hurts his arsenal by hitting the Dragon Screw, hurting his knee in the process. Will also does well in holding his ground against Jay as he hits his handspring roundhouse and tops it off with a Shooting Star Press as Jay kicked out.
Ospreay’s leg is slowly giving out but moves it around to bring some life into it before hitting the Pip Pip Cheerio onto Jay, causing him to roll out the ring. Before Will could dive to the outside, Gedo pulls Jay away to save him from harm. Gedo almost got caught with his attack on Will but stops himself as Jay hits a DDT before Ospreay fully gets into the ring. Jay quickly hits a Reverse STO before turning it into a German Suplex as Will kicked out of it. Will has Jay sitting on the top turnbuckle as he jumped the top rope to hit a Dropkick to the back of his head. Jay is outside while Gedo argues with the ref as Will does his Cartwheel and dive to the outside of the ring, hitting both of them. Will gets him back in the ring with a Springboard 450 Splash and he calls for the Oscutter but Jay held onto his foot to stop him from going. Jay laughed at him while slapping Will across the face but is met with a Superkick by Will to get him down and as he goes for the Oscutter, Jay catches him with the Uranagi! Jay hits the Kiwi Crush before attempting the Blade Runner as Will reversed it into a Sitout Powerbomb as Jay kicked out. Will goes for the Oscutter as Jay catches him to attempt the Blade Runner again but Will kicks him and would hit the Oscutter this time. The referee accidentally gets knocked out when Will was trying to get Jay up as Gedo rushes in to try and punch Will with brass knuckles but he saw it and caught his arm, hitting him with a Rolling Elbow. Will goes for the Hidden Blade as Jay ducked to hit the Sleeper Suplex and goes for the Blade Runner but Will hits him with the Marufuji kick and then a Rolling Elbow. Will hits the Blade Runner this time around and picks him up for the Stormbreaker, pinning Jay to end his winning streak as well!
Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters
G1 Climax A Block Match
Shingo Takagi vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Review: It’s now time for our main event as we have Shingo Takagi taking on Tomohiro Ishii. Both of them are not in good standings but if Ishii loses here, then a good chance that he’ll be eliminated here with four losses in a row. Shingo only has one win with two losses, so a win here will keep him in the gain a little longer but if he loses, his chances start to simmer. Both of them have a MOTYC match at last year’s G1 and they have a chance to do it again in the main event. Does Ishii stay in the race or is it time for the Dragon to rise?
The match starts off exactly how you’d expect it to go, by beating the shit out of each other with forearms along with some shoulder tackles with neither of them getting the upper hand on each other till Ishii gets Shingo down finally. The two would eventually get outside the ring where the two would fight more but Shingo gets the upper hand with a Lariat to the outside and gets him back in for some control. I love a good hoss fight when done right and they usually do in the NEVER Openweight fights before it was treated as a mid-card belt and this did feel like that Openweight type fight. The main issue with this one was that this felt more like a re-run compared to their other classic bouts. The match is still great but it’s mostly you’ve seen from them against each other without any new flavor or seasoning to make it flesh out on its own to really enjoy it more than you should. Shingo is a star in the making in New Japan and I really hope he gets a better record in this G1 compared to last year since it would help showcase himself more saying he is ready for the top, he can be in main events for championship matches outside of NEVER. We know Ishii is more of a gatekeeper for people like Shingo and others who wanna rise to the top and he just fits that role perfectly.
Ishii gets Shingo in the corner to deliver some stiff chops and Shingo tries to elbow him away but the Stone Pitbull isn’t budging and goes back to delivering chops and forearms. After a Backdrop from Shingo, Ishii slowly gets up with Shingo taunting him a bit and kicking his head slightly until Ishii reacts with chops once again, getting Shingo into the corner once more with more chops delivered. Shingo finally gets some revenge with some chops to the corner of his own, looking like some of them were hitting his throat. Shingo gets him to the middle of the ring to hit the Blood Fall and instead of pinning him, he gets him in a Wheel Barrel position to toss him over German Suplex style. The two Lariat each other into the ropes while running until Shingo hits the Pumping Bomber, causing Ishii to stand right away to hit a Lariat of his own, having Shingo do the same as they yell at each other before hitting each other with Lariats as they go down! Ishii gets Shingo up to the top ropes and hits a Brainbuster off the second rope but Shingo kicked out at two. Shingo fails to go for the MADE IN JAPAN, so he would lift him for the Gutbuster instead and would get him for the MADE IN JAPAN one more time and it connects as Ishii kicked out! Shingo goes for the Pumping Bomber once again as Ishii ducked to catch him with the Backdrop. Ishii hits a Lariat of his own and attempts the Vertical Spike as Shingo is fighting out of it and hits him with the Death Valley Driver. Ishii attempts the Vertical Spike one more time as Shingo fought off him, ducking the Enziguri, and hits him in the face with a forearm. The two are on their knees fighting each other as they headbutt each other when they got up as Shingo catches him by the ropes, leaving him hanging with Shingo hitting the GTR! Ishii hits a Lariat, flipping him over and pins him as he kicked out but he quickly picks him up for the Vertical Spike and it connects, giving him the victory!
Rating: Bruce Prichard
Overall: Not gonna lie, this was probably the weakest A Block round for me so far but still had some solid matches out of it but nothing to brag about. You can’t win them all as they say and we got plenty more in a few days.
Favorite Match: Shingo Takagi vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Least Favorite Match: Minoru Suzuki vs. Yujiro Takahashi
A Block Standings:
- Jay White: (3-1) (6 Points)
- Taichi: (3-1) (6 Points)
- Will Ospreay: (3-1) (6 Points)
- Kota Ibushi: (3-1) (6 Points)
- Minoru Suzuki: (3-1) (6 Points)
- Kazuchika Okada: (2-2) (4 Points)
- Jeff Cobb: (1-3) (2 Points
- Shingo Takagi: (1-3) (2 Points)
- Tomohiro Ishii: (1-3) (2 Points)
- Yujiro Takahashi: (0-4) (0 Points) (Eliminated)