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G1 Climax 30

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In spite of everything, New Japan have somehow managed to put together a G1 line-up that's as stacked as ever. I'm trying not to have too lofty expectations because Covid era wrestling has struggled to live up to normal times but the Jingu show was fun enough to make me excited about the company again after the Summer of EVIL.

 

Here are the blocks:

A Block

Kazuchika Okada

Kota Ibushi

Jay White

Tomohiro Ishii

Shingo Takagi

Minoru Suzuki

Taichi

Jeff Cobb

Will Ospreay

Yujiro Takahashi

 

B Block

Tetsuya Naito

EVIL

Hiroshi Tanahashi

SANADA

Zack Sabre Jr.

KENTA

Hirooki Goto

Juice Robinson

Toru Yano

YOSHI-HASHI

 

I'll not give away the match orders because a lot of times that can spoil the direction of the booking but really, the block finals cards make things seem more unpredictable than they've ever been. You could make the case for like six different winners, which is about four more than usual really. Voices of Wrestling and Post Wrestling are both running pickem competitions that seem like good fun if you want to make more interesting or just give yourself a headache from trying to be Gedo for 15 minutes.

 

The tournament kicks of on Saturday 19th September and runs until Sunday 18th.

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I feel like Kota Ibushi is winning this one. I particularly loved Kota's match with Juice Robinson from the G1 a few years back and even though it's pretty unlikely, I wouldn't mind another showdown between the two in the finals!

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I'd go for Ibushi too.

My one issue with these blocks is that Block A final really looks like the final. There's absolutely no one this year on Block B that should win this (Sabre would be cool, be he ain't winning). Hopefully Gedo works his magic and we don't get too much Bullet Club Bullshit matches...

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I think it's going to be Jay as well. I can see him beating Tanahashi in the final because he's a star who's able to take a loss and they'd want to hold off on a Jay vs EVIL match until they pull the trigger on a Bullet Club split. That's how I've gone in the competition I entered anyway.

I think Sanada is an outside bet to at least reach the final. He was feuding with White earlier in the year and has a long history with Okada so he could easily face either of them.

 

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It feels like Okada's to win.  He's been treading water since WK and I just can't see that being the case for a full year.  Sanada is just about the only name I've seen mentioned that looks like a disaster.  

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The good news is that the shows will only have one pre-G1 match and then the 5 G1 bouts. Much easier to digest. That being said, still a crazy time to not get behind, not get spoiled and not burn yourself out with pro-wrestling. 

Anyone got a cool grid like last year ? 

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I know it's unlikely, but what my heart most wants to see and what I am pulling for is for Naito to tear through B Block,  get past Okada (or Ibushi, or Jay, or MiSu, or Ospreay...) in the finals, and then choose as his opponent...

...Hiromu!

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One day they're going to have the champion win the G1, and of all the people on the roster, I would love it to be Naito.

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A Block not only is insane in terms of cool matchups but the final day is one of the most interesting there's been in a long ass time.

 

It also seems Ospray is either gonna get a really big push so he can enter the last show with chances of getting to the Finals, or he's gonna get a HUGE W by beating Okada and spoiling him from reaching the last match of the tourney.

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Okada-EVIL seems like the most predictable final, but I think Ibushi-Tanahashi would be a much better story. Not to mention I doubt they would run Okada-Naito in the Dome again if there's no telling what kind of restrictions will still be in place.

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7 hours ago, cheapshot said:

My head says Jay White but my heart says Hiroshi Tanahashi.

I have those two meeting in the final with White going over.

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10 hours ago, kas said:

One day they're going to have the champion win the G1, and of all the people on the roster, I would love it to be Naito.

Mutoh did it in '95 and Kensuke did it in 2000. I'd love for Naito to be the third champ to pull off a tournament win. Presumably for the same reason that you would: Naito's managed to pull of the feat of seeming like he's a bit of a hard-luck underdog even when he's holding the top two singles belts in the company. New Beginning in Osaka was the last show I went to before the plague times, and the reaction and support for Naito were out of this world. 

As I said, I know it's unlikely, but I think it would go over like Grover and I can't be the only one still hoping for a huge Naito v Hiromu showdown. 

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Mutoh and Kensuke also caught massive Ls to end their reigns (after winning the G1). I don't think there's anyone close for Naito to lose to that is on Takada or Kawada's level/status (well, Kawada didn't get the belt but he did effectively end Sasaki's reign).

 

Then again, there's no need to repeat those same "formulas". But if or when an IWGP champ wins the G-1 again, I think there's no question that it would have to lead to an even bigger title match down the line for when that person finally loses. And to be honest I don't see anyone on New Japan or an invader/outsider that fits that role at the moment.

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Possible outcomes as I see it- Ibushi over Tanahashi in the finals, Jay White over EVIL in the finals, or Naito over Okada in the finals which would set up either Naito vs Hiromu or Naito vs Moxley at the Dome. 

As I see it the big money matches they have yet to run are Hiromu moving up to challenge for the title or Moxley facing Naito or Okada for the belt. Every other possible match up is something we've already seen or something that isn't quite big enough for the Dome. 

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Regardless of outcomes, I'm pretty damned excited for tonight. Okada v Ibushi! Shingo v Jay! MISU v ISHII!!!!!

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2 minutes ago, cheapshot said:

Ishii vs. Suzuki was wonderful. 

 

yeah, that was stiff enough to make Shinobu Kandori puke. 

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I'm all for Minoru Suzuki winning the G1. Naito/Suzuki is the only matchup they have that feels big enough to headline Wrestle Kingdom while also being relatively fresh (their last singles match was in 2018). And if they want to give Suzuki a run as IWGP champion as a kind of lifetime achievement award, the COVID era would be the time to do it.

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The last three matches were all great today. Suzuki has to be WOTY right? The only people I can think of that are close are Bryan and Shingo. And yeah I agree with you, Suzuki winning the G1 would be sweet.

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Very very good first night of action. 

Spoiler-free thoughts:

Young Boys match was perfectly cromulent. I'm looking forward to seeing more out o these guys as the tournament goes on.

Ospreay has obviously added a LOT of muscle to his frame, but he can still fly.

Jeff Cobb has a very weird-looking body, like he's made of stuck-together parts of different action figures. He hit some very impressive-looking power moves in his match with Taichi. 

MiSu v Ishii was everything i hoped it wold be. They just beat the living shit out of each other. It was glorious. Easily MOTN

I am one of the very last people to jump on the Jay White hype train and I have been disappointed by his performance fairly often in the past, but I really liked his match v Shingo. It suffered a little by going for "hard-hitting" in the wake of Suzuki v Ishii, but they both looked pretty damned good in there anyway.

I was sure that Okada v Ibushi was going to be a "NJPW Epic Match Spectacular" and I literally made some (microwave) popcorn and settled in to watch it. To my surprise, the match felt succinct (and suitably violent) to me. Looking at the clock I'd say they went about 20 minutes but it felt shorter than that to me. The finish felt abrupt, in a good way. I was really pleased that they didn't go in for finisher overkill. Not a big fan of Okada going for the Cobra Clutch so often, but I still enjoyed this match a lot and it didn't overstay its welcome. 

Great start to the tournament.

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Take my opinion with a grain of salt as I have fallen out of love with NJPW's style of wrestling over the last year or so, but I wasn't too into today's show. Every match was at least decent and there's a few match I'd comfortable call good (MiSu/Ishii being the main one, with Ospreay/Takahashi being a pleasant start to the tournament). I enjoy Taichi's heel work, but he loses me when he goes all workrate. He looks out of place and it doesn't suit his character. Jay White is another brilliant heel character and I thought interference was well placed in his match with Shingo. It never felt like it detracted from the match and added drama to the finishing stretch. Okada vs Ibushi was fine, I guess. I never thought it got going, it was lacking heat and the finish came out of nowhere. I also think the lack of crowd chants hurt the atmosphere greatly, but I completely understand why they are banned. 

Ospreay vs Takahashi ★★★

Taichi vs Cobb ★★¼

Ishii vs MiSu ★★★¼

White vs Shingo ★★★

Okada vs Ibushi ★★¾

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