Photography via New Japan Pro-Wrestling
G1 Climax 30 rolled out with the 12th night of the round robin tournament on Thursday at ZIP Arena in Okayama. The points race in B Block becomes more clear as some wrestlers gain more wins, while at least one other is essentially eliminated from having any chance at winning the tournament.
Tetsuya Naito stands atop B Block as the points leader as others look to close in on his total. In contrast, YOSHI-HASHI suffered a loss that mathematically eliminates him from contention.
EVIL, once again using underhanded tactics with the help of Dick Togo, beat Hiroshi Tanahashi in the main event from Okayama. EVIL is now only two points behind Naito in the standings.
Naito defeated Juice Robinson on Thursday in the semi-main event. In other tournament action, SANADA beat KENTA. Also, Zack Sabre Jr. withstood Toru Yano’s comedic onslaught to pick up another win. In addition, Hirooki Goto defeated a tag team partner when he won against YOSHI-HASHI.
An EVIL Win Over “The Ace”
Thanks to interference from Dick Togo, EVIL was able to beat Hiroshi Tanahashi in a match that closed the show in Okayama. “The Ace” continues to defy his age and body by putting on another great performance, despite the Bullet Club tactics.
Not only did EVIL utilize Togo’s meddling in the match, he also used folding chairs as he cheated his way to a victory over Tanahashi. Togo interfered throughout the match, and early on he pulled Tanahashi outside the ring to attack him.
EVIL put a folding chair over Tanahashi’s head, and then hit him with another chair. Yota Tsuji was ringside as an attendant, and EVIL suplexed him onto a pile of chairs. Not done cheating, EVIL removed a turnbuckle cover to expose the metal hooks. Tanahashi was whipped into the exposed turnbuckles.
Tanahashi made a comeback as he landed a somersault senton for a two count. Togo interfered again trying to trip Tanahashi, but Tanahashi thwarted him for the time being. Nonetheless, EVIL was able to regain the advantage.
A dragon screw turned the tide, and Tanahashi targeted a leg. He applied the Texas cloverleaf, but EVIL escaped his grasp. Though Tanahashi blocked a low blow, EVIL proceeded to again whip Tanahashi into the exposed buckle. Moments later, Tanahashi countered EVIL to rally. With Tanahashi on the tope rope, Togo tried to interfere. Tsuji made a save to counteract Togo.
Togo escaped Tsuji, and Togo bumped referee Red Shoes Unno. That led to more cheating when Togo choked Tanahashi with a cable. Tanahashi fought free, and moments later he to the top rope. He leapt onto EVIL’s back with a High Fly Flow, and Tanahashi went back up the ropes seemingly for one more. Togo hurled a chair at him, but Tanahashi caught it.
Togo went on to trip Tanahashi, crotching him on the turnbuckles. That set up a superplex by EVIL for a two count. EVIL delivered Darkness Falls, but Tanahashi kicked out again. Everything Is Evil came next, and EVIL covered Tanahashi for a three count.
EVIL with the tainted win improves his record to four wins and two loses, giving him a total of eights points so far. Tanahashi with the loss moves to an even record or three wins and three losses, which nets him a total of six points in the tournament.
Naito Leads B Block
Tetsuya Naito defeated Juice Robinson in the semi-main event, and Naito continues a mostly dominate run in the B Block. He and Robinson had an outstanding match that was arguably the best of the match. That also continues a run of great matches involving Naito.
Naito gained an early advantage after he whipped Robinson into guardrails several times. Taunting Robinson, Naito mocked him. Robinson went on to fire up on Naito. The pace quickened as they traded moves. Naito had Robinson tied up in a submission hold, but Robinson was able to escape his clutches.
Robinson landed a cannonball in a corner, and he delivered his superplex/jackhammer combination for a near fall. Naito countered attempted finishers, but Robinson rocked him with a Left Hand of God. Naito with a counter for the Juice Box gave Robinson a reverse ‘rana, and Naito followed with a Super Frankensteiner. Robinson answered back with drop Naito with a leg lariat.
Robinson blocked a tornado DDT, but Naito turned it into a Destino for a near fall. Naito countered Pulp Friction, and he delivered another Destino. Robinson kicked out again. Naito used a third Destino to finally score the pinfall.
Naito improves his record to 5-1, giving him 10 points to lead the block in the standings. Robinson falls to an even 3-3 record with six points, putting him in the middle of the pack.
SANADA Bests KENTA
In a match pitting Los Ingobernables against Bullet Club, SANADA defeated KENTA in a good match with a great ending. KENTA used trickery in attacking SANADA at the bell, and KENTA began working him over.
SANADA soon fired up, and he tried tying up KENTA in the Paradise Lock. KENTA at first escaped, but SANADA was eventually to tie him up in the Lock. KENTA came back to regain the advantage. KENTA with a flying clothesline got a two count. A draping DDT netted KENTA another near fall. KENTA jumped off the top rope to deliver a double foot stomp, but SANADA kicked out.
Blocking a GTS, SANADA momentarily applied a Dragon Sleeper. KENTA went for Game Over, but SANADA was able to escape to give him a TKO cutter. KENTA bumped the referee, and he grabbed his briefcase. SANADA ducked a shot from the briefcase, and he dropkicked the case into KENTA.
SANADA attempted a moonsault press, but KENTA got his knees up to block it. He then caught SANADA in a small package for a two count. SANADA countered GTS, and went for a Dragon Sleeper. KENTA escaped to catch him in an inside cradle for another two count. SANADA with an O’Connor Roll, and then he bridged into a cradle to pin KENTA.
SANADA joins others with a even 3-3 record for six points. KENTA drops to 2-4 for four points.
ZSJ Outwrestles Yano
Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Toru Yano in a match with some comedy. At the outset, they each got the better of the other in grappling exchanges. When the fight went outside the ring, Yano taped Sabre’s wrist to a folding chair through a guardrail. Teasing a countout, Sabre struggled to free himself before breaking the count at the last second.
Sabre got in the ring with the chair still taped to his wrist. The referee assisted in freeing him, which led to a funny moment with Sabre pitching a fit trying to get free. Yano apologized to him, and he bowed. He offered a handshake, but that was ploy to poke Sabre in the eyes.
The fought on the outside where Sabre applied an ankle lock. He dragged Yano down the aisle, and they had a foot race trying to beat the count. A limping Yano broke the count at the last second.
Back in the ring, Sabre applied an ankle lock. Yano maneuvered his way to a corner where he took off a turnbuckle cover. He hit Sabre with the pad to break the hold. They traded near falls in the closing moments. Sabre tasted exposed metal when Yano sent him into a corner.
Sabre countered Yano to trap him in a guillotine. Yano with counter cradled Sabre for a two count, and Sabre went back to the ankle lock. Sabre transitioned into a leglock, and Yano tapped out.
With the outcome they both have an even record at 3-3, and each has six points.
Tag Partners Collide
Hirooki Goto beat YOSHI-HASHI, which effectively eliminates YOSHI-HASHI from being able to win B Block. They are co-holders of the NEVER Six-Man Tag Team Championship, so that played into the story of the match.
Despite not faring well in the standings, YOSHI-HASHI continues his run of impressive performances. He targeted Goto’s injured shoulder during the match. They went back-and-forth throughout the bout, and they traded near falls.
In closing minutes, Goto blocked an attempt at Kharma. He hit YOSHI-HASHI with the GTW, but Goto was reeling so was able to go for a pin. A striking exchange led to them trading lariats. They went on to trade headbutts, and slapped the heck out of each other. After rocking YOSHI-HASHI with a hard slap, Goto executed GTR to score a pinfall.
Goto moves to an even 3-3 for six points, while YOSHI-HASHI falls to 1-5 with only two points.
The card in Okayama opened with Young Lions in a non-tournament bout. An aggressive Gabriel Kidd pinned Yuya Uemura in the opener. This continued the trend of good opening matches between Young Lions. Kidd used a brainbuster near the end, but Uemura kicked out. Kidd followed with a Billy Robinson double underhook suplex, and he covered Uemura for the pin.
The tournament continues on Saturday when the tour returns to EDION Arena in Osaka.
G1 Standings After Night 12:
- Kota Ibushi — 8 points (4-2 record)
- Kazuchika Okada — 8 pts. (4-2)
- Will Ospreay — 8 pts. (4-2)
- Jay White — 8 pts. (4-2)
- Tomohiro Ishii — 6 pts. (3-3)
- Shingo Takagi — 6 pts. (3-3)
- Taichi — 6 pts. (3-3)
- Minoru Suzuki — 6 pts. (3-3)
- Jeff Cobb — 4 pts. (2-4)
- Yujiro Takahashi — 0 pts. (0-6)
- Tetsuya Naito — 10 pts.(5-1)
- EVIL — 8 pts. (4-2)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi — 6 pts. (3-3)
- Juice Robinson — 6 pts. (3-3)
- Zack Sabre Jr. — 6 pts. (3-3)
- Toru Yano — 6 pts. (3-3)
- Hirooki Goto — 6 pts. (3-3)
- SANADA — 6 pts. (3-3)
- KENTA — 4 pts. (2-4)
- YOSHI-HASHI — 2 pts. (1-5)
Night 12 Results:
- EVIL defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi
- Tetsuya Naito defeated Juice Robinson
- SANADA defeated KENTA
- Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Toru Yano
- Hirooki Goto defeated YOSHI-HASHI
- Gabriel Kidd defeated Yuya Uemura (non-tournament)
Next show: Saturday from Osaka at EDION Arena starting at 1:00 AM PDT/4:00 AM EDT/9:00 AM BST
October 10th Lineup:
- Kazuchika Okada vs. Shingo Takagi
- Kota Ibushi vs. Minoru Suzuki
- Will Ospreay vs. Taichi
- Jay White vs. Yujiro Takahashi
- Tomohiro Ishii vs. Jeff Cobb
- Yota Tsuji vs. Yuya Uemura (non-tournament)