Photography via New Japan Pro-Wrestling
Hiroshi Tanahashi found himself in a familiar position on the tenth night of G1 Climax 30: closing the show with an air guitar solo. The ongoing round robin tournament continued on Tuesday from Sun Plaza Hall in Hiroshima, where Tanahashi beat KENTA in the main event.
Hours before news broke on the passing of legendary rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen, the NJPW show concluded with Tanahashi playing air guitar in a fitting tribute. “The Ace” once again proved he is still deserving of that nickname with a stellar match against KENTA.
Hirooki Goto won the shortest match in G1 history when he pinned Toru Yano. The record-setting win brings Goto closer to the middle of the pack in the tournament standings.
Tetsuya Naito leads the B Block standings after a win over YOSHI-HASHI in the semi-main event. With four wins and only one loss so far in the tournament, Naito is now atop the standings having earned more points than anyone else in B Block.
SANADA, picking up his second win in a row, beat Zack Sabre Jr. in another B Block bout. Other tournament matches include EVIL, with help from Dick Togo, using underhanded tactics to defeat Juice Robinson.
“The Ace” Rises To The Occasion
Tanahashi fought from underneath, and he went on to submit KENTA in a great match that closed the show. KENTA targeted a leg, and he worked over Tanahashi with holds like the figure four leglock. Tanahashi answered back late in the match by also targeting a leg. Ultimately, Tanahashi applied a Texas Cloverleaf to win via submission.
Referee Red Shoes Unno went down in the match taking a bump. KENTA then grabbed his US title contender briefcase, and he nailed Tanahashi with the foreign object. Tanahashi still managed to recover as he countered a GTS. Twist and Shout gave way to a sling blade, and Tanahashi followed with a flying crossbody. Trapped in the cloverleaf leglock, KENTA had to tap out.
Tanahashi after the match gave a heartfelt speech. The air guitar came out, and Tanahashi played a solo. An emotional Tanahashi seemed genuinely moved to once again close out a show playing air guitar. With the win and the closing scene, “The Ace” proves he is not done yet.
The win improves Tanahashi’s record to three wins and two losses, giving him a total of six points. KENTA drops to two wins and three losses, putting him at four points.
Double Champ Tops B Block
Tetsuya Naito became the front runner in B Block as the points leader. Naito pulled ahead of the field after pinning YOSHI-HASHI in the semi-main event. Despite losing, YOSHI-HASHI continues his renaissance as he delivered another great performance.
YOSHI-HASHI started off strong, but Naito displayed tranquilo. Naito fought back, but so did YOSHI-HASHI. Flying over the top rope with a tope con giro, YOSHI-HASHI looked in control. However, Naito regained the momentum, and they traded some dramatic near falls.
Late in the match, the near fall drama continued with YOSHI-HASHI getting a close two count. Eventually, Naito was able to execute a Destino to score the pinfall.
Naito leads B Block with a 4-1 record for a total of eight points. In something that does not reflect his outstanding performances in the tournament, YOSHI-HASHI is at the bottom of the block at 1-4 with two points.
EVIL Cheats “The Flamboyant”
Outnumbered due to outside interference, Juice Robinson dropped a fall to EVIL. Dick Togo played an important role in EVIL gaining a tainted victory. Togo attacked Robinson at ringside early in the match. EVIL then proceeded to suplex Robinson on a pile of folding chairs.
Selling his back, Robinson was in peril. EVIL targeted the back, and he removed a turnbuckle pad. He used the exposed metal to further punish Robinson’s back. Although Robinson fired up, he dropped down selling his back.
Robinson still rallied, only for Togo to hit him in the back with a chair shot. Again making a comeback, Robinson pulled his singlet straps down as he fired up on EVIL.
A distraction by Togo backfired when EVIL collided into him. Another distraction allowed EVIL to give Robinson a low blow, and Everything is Evil led to a tainted three count.
The outcome ties their records at 3-2, giving each six points.
SANADA Moonsaults To Victory
After losing his first three matches in the tournament, SANADA won his second straight bout. SANADA, looking for a turnaround in the points race, beat Zack Sabre Jr. to earn another win. Sabre remains in the middle of the pack despite his loss to SANADA.
The match began with chain wrestling, and Sabre locked in an octopus. Sabre would go back to that hold throughout the match, evening applying the octopus on the floor at one point. SANADA kept managing to escape.
Sabre used a European Clutch for a near fall, and SANADA answered back with a Clutch of his own for a two count. They also traded holds in the closing moments with each applying a Dragon Sleeper. Sabre tried to flip out of the hold, only to become draped on the top rope. SANADA dropped him into a Diamond Cutter, and SANADA followed with a moonsault press to cover Sabre for a pinfall.
Both SANADA and Sabre now move to a 2-3 record, giving each four points apiece.
Goto Sets Record In Seconds
Hirooki Goto defeated Toru Yano in the quickest match in G1 history. Goto came into the match with his shoulder taped up, much like it was in his previous tournament bout. That mattered little, as he won handily won.
Yano with a ploy at the outset offered Goto a free t-shirt. Goto declined the offer, and Yano turned his back to him as he looked to discard the shirt. Goto moved in to hit Yano with a lariat from behind. Goto tied up Yano’s leg, and rolled him offer to cover him for a quick pinfall.
Goto moves to a 2-3 record, netting him four points so far. Yano now falls to a 3-2 record with six points.
Young Lion Broadway
The card itself opened with a non-tournament match where Young Lions went the distance. Yota Tsuji and Yuya Uemura wrestled to a 15-minute time limit draw in a great opener. They traded Boston crabs, but neither could submit the other. Drama mounted as time expired, and they kept grappling after the bell.
The tournament continues on Wednesday with a second night in Hiroshima.
G1 Standings After Night 10:
- Kota Ibushi — 8 points (4-1)
- Jay White — 6 points (3-2)
- Kazuchika Okada — 6 points (3-2)
- Will Ospreay — 6 points (3-2)
- Taichi — 6 points (3-2)
- Minoru Suzuki — 6 points (3-2)
- Tomohiro Ishii — 4 points (2-3)
- Shingo Takagi — 4 points (2-3)
- Jeff Cobb — 4 points (2-3)
- Yujiro Takahashi — 0 points (0-5)
- Tetsuya Naito — 8 points (4-1)
- Toru Yano — 6 points (3-2)
- EVIL — 6 points (3-2)
- Juice Robinson — 6 points (3-2)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi — 6 points (3-2)
- Zack Sabre Jr. — 4 points (2-3)
- KENTA — 4 points (2-3)
- Hirooki Goto — 4 points (2-3)
- SANADA — 4 points (2-3)
- YOSHI-HASHI — 2 points (1-4)
Night 10 Results:
- Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated KENTA
- Tetsuya Naito defeated YOSHI-HASHI
- EVIL defeated Juice Robinson
- SANADA defeated Zack Sabre Jr.
- Hirooki Goto defeated Toru Yano
- Yota Tsuji vs. Yuya Uemura went to a 15-minute time limit draw (non-tournament)
Next show: Wednesday from Hiroshima at Sun Plaza Hall starting at 2:30 AM PDT/5:30 AM EDT/10:30 BST
October 7th Lineup:
- Kota Ibushi vs. Shingo Takagi
- Taichi vs. Jay White
- Will Ospreay vs. Minoru Suzuki
- Kazuchika Okada vs. Jeff Cobb
- Tomohiro Ishii vs. Yujiro Takahashi
- Yota Tsuji vs. Gabriel Kidd (non-tournament)