Photography via New Japan Pro-Wrestling
The final is set for G1 Climax 30 with SANADA facing Kota Ibushi on Sunday. SANADA advances from B Block after defeating EVIL on Saturday in the main event during night 18 of the round robin tournament.
SANADA over EVIL headlined the final round of B Block matches from Ryogoku Sumo Hall in Tokyo. Tetsuya Naito in the semi-main lost in his quest to advance from B Block. While SANADA would likely still have advanced because of a tie-breaker, KENTA nonetheless played spoiler by defeating Naito.
Hiroshi Tanahashi beat Zack Sabre Jr. in a wrestling clinic third from the top of the card. Juice Robinson defeated Hirooki Goto on the undercard. Also, YOSHI-HASHI got at least another win in the tournament with a victory over Toru Yano. Opening the show was another great outing by Young Lions.
SANADA Overcomes EVIL
SANADA defeated EVIL in a great main event. About the only negative was the outside interference by Dick Togo, on behalf of EVIL. The win by SANADA was not only an accomplish for him, but a measure of revenge for his faction, Los Ingobernables de Japon.
EVIL not only turned on his former group, he also for a brief time took the double championship from Naito, who is the leader of LIJ. EVIL also beat Naito in the tournament this year. LIJ was still able to triumph, and SANADA moves on to represent his faction in the tournament final.
In the proverbial driver’s seat, B Block was in EVIL’s hands. SANADA had to defeat EVIL. A loss by SANADA, or even a draw, and EVIL would have advanced from B Block. Togo at ringside tried to help EVIL, but to no avail. Hiromu Takahashi, who was ringside for guest commentary, got involved in the match to counteract Togo.
SANADA opened the tournament with a three-match losing streak, but he came back to win the rest of his matches. He now faces Ibushi in the final on Sunday.
EVIL in the early stages blocked a Paradise Lock. The fight spilled out on the floor, and SANADA was sent crashing into a guardrail. EVIL also suplexed SANADA onto a pile of folding chairs. EVIL threw SANADA back outside the ring moments later, and Togo attacked SANADA at ringside.
SANADA rallied to fight back, and the crowd was behind him. SANADA put both EVIL and SANADA side-by-side in a Paradise Lock. EVIL soon cut him for the first near fall of the match. More would follow.
SANADA came back with a springboard missile dropkick. EVIL countered a Dragon Sleeper, but SANADA planted him with a draping neckbreaker. SANADA followed with a Tiger Suplex for a close near fall.
SANADA locked in the Dragon Sleeper, and added a giant swing. He then missed a moonsault press, and EVIL whipped him into an exposed turnbuckle. That led into a superplex by EVIL.
EVIL applied the Scorpion Deathlock, and SANADA got a rope break. Darkness Falls netted EVIL another two count. SANADA blocked Everything Is Evil, and SANADA used a TKO cutter. After a double down, SANADA flipped into a Dragon Sleeper, but EVIL countered Cold Skull.
More counters and reversals, until SANADA locked in Cold Skull. SANADA landed a moonsault press to the back, and then followed up with another moonsault. Togo pulled referee Red Shoes Unno out of the ring as SANADA was covering EVIL.
Togo hit SANADA with a chair shot, and he assisted EVIL in delivering a Magic Killer. Hiromu left the broadcast booth, and he rushed into the ring to make a save. Togo hit Hiromu with a low blow, and then Hiromu takes the Magic Killer. SANADA with a roll-up for a two count.
EVIL leveled SANADA with an ax bomber, but SANADA countered Everything Is Evil. The ref was tied up with EVIL when SANADA had applied a Dragon Sleeper. Togo tried to strangle SANADA, but Hiromu made a save. SANADA then used an O’Connor Roll, and bridged into a cradle to pin EVIL.
SANADA and EVIL both finish the block tournament with a record of six wins and three loses. SANADA advances to the final due to the tie-breaking win head-to-head over EVIL.
KENTA Spoils Naito’s Quest
KENTA played spoiler in defeating Tetsuya Naito on Saturday in Tokyo. They both started the match trying to bait and lure the other. KENTA hit Naito in the head with his briefcase. Naito was also posted, and KENTA began with strikes to start working him over.
Naito would soon rally, and the tide turned with Naito working over KENTA. Natio with a submission hold forced KENTA to seek shelter in the ropes. KENTA cut him and delivered a flying clothesline for a two count. He then spiked Naito with a DDT for another two. KENTA with his signature running dropkick into a corner, and he leapt off the top rope to deliver a double foot stomp for a near fall.
KENTA kept getting near falls, including one after a Falcon Arrow. He gave Naito a poison rana, but Naito fought back with several back elbows. Naito off the top with a Super Frankensteiner, and Gloria for a two count. KENTA answered back with a draping DDT, yet Naito kicked out.
KENTA connected on a running knee strike, but Naito again kicked out. Naito then countered a GTS, and KENTA hit him with a series of open-hand palm strikes. A reeling Naito still managed to counter GTS with a Destino.
In the closing moments, KENTA struck with spinning back fists. Naito came back with Valentia, and he attempted a Destino. KENTA with a counter hooked Naito’s leg to cradle him for a pinfall.
KENTA ends his run in G1 with a 5-4 record, giving him a total of 10 points. Naito finished with a 6-3 record for a total of 12 points, and Naito also wrestled more minutes in the tournament than anyone else in either block.
“The Ace” Outwrestled The Technician
Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Zack Sabre Jr. in a clinic. They grappled at the start, slowly building to a quicker pace. Tanahashi worked a head lock, and then Sabre caught “Ace” in a headscissors.
Sabre targeted the neck, and he went for a triangle. Sabre transitioned into an octopus. Tanahashi escaped, but Sabre caught him in the hold again. Sabre countered a dragon screw into a European Clutch, and Tanahashi reversed in his own version of the Clutch.
“Ace” targeted a leg, and he also used Twist & Shout. Sabre with a reversal for another European Clutch. Tanahashi came back to land a sling blade. Going to the top rope, Tanahashi jumped into a High Fly Flow. Sabre rolled through looking for a pinning combination. Tanahashi reversed to catch Sabre for a three count.
Tanahashi finished his run in G1 with a 5-4 record for 10 points. Sabre ends with a 4-5 record for eight points.
“The Flamboyant” Over “The Warrior”
Juice Robinson defeated Hirooki Goto on the undercard in Sumo Hall. Goto came into the match with an injured shoulder he suffered earlier in the tournament. That played into the match as Robinson went after the shoulder. Goto during a rally used a running bulldog, but Robinson cut him by going back to the arm.
Robinson landed a senton, and then followed with a cannonball. He executed a superplex, and typically he would transition into a jackhammer. Goto blocked that, which led into a double down.
They collided with dueling lariats, and both staggered. Goto delivered an ushigoroshi, but Robinson countered an attempted GTR. Gote went on to block Pulp Friction. A right hand dropped Goto, yet he still able to again counter Pulp Friction. He to caught Robinson in a sleeper. Robinson with cradles got a few near falls. He twice hit Goto with the Left Hand of God. Next came Pulp Friction, and Robinson pinned Goto.
YOSHI-HASHI Outwits Yano
YOSHI-HASHI defeated Toru Yano in a battle of CHAOS stablemates. Ready for Yano’s trick, YOSHI-HASHI was quick to point where Yano had hidden tape. Later in the match, YOSHI-HASHI revealed he himself had hidden tape. He used the tape to tied Yano to YOSHI-HASHI’s own staff that he carries to the ring. That led to comedy where Yano teased a countout.
YOSHI-HASHI blocked getting sprayed with disinfectant, and he retaliated by spraying Yano in the eyes. They traded near falls with roll-ups and cradles. YOSHI-HASHI blocked a low blow, and he rolled up Yano to score a pinfall.
YOSHI-HASHI finishes with a 2-7 record for four points. Yano ends the tournament with a 3-6 record for six points.
The card in Sumo Hall opened with another great opener involving the Young Lions. Gabriel Kidd pinned Yuya Uemura after a Billy Robinson double underhook suplex. They used basic holds and moves, but the match had much larger complexity.
Uemura worked an arm, and he applied a key lock. He used a scissors roll for added effect, but Kidd reached the bottom rope. Kidd went to work with a toe hold, and worked in some British-style modifications. Uemura with an inside cradle, but Kidd kicked out. They traded strikes until Kidd connected with a dropkick. He then used the Billy Robinson suplex to score a pinfall.
The tournament wraps up tomorrow with the final from Ryogoku Sumo Hall in Tokyo.
G1 Climax 30 Standings:
- Kota Ibushi — 14 points (7-2 record) — A Block winner
- Jay White — 12 pts. (6-3)
- Will Ospreay — 12 pts. (6-3)
- Kazuchika Okada — 12 pts. (6-3)
- Tomohiro Ishii — 8 pts. (4-5)
- Taichi — 8 pts. (4-5)
- Jeff Cobb — 8 pts. (4-5)
- Shingo Takagi — 8 pts. (4-5)
- Minoru Suzuki — 6 pts. (3-6)
- Yujiro Takahashi — 2 pts. (1-8)
- SANADA — 12 pts. (6-3) — B Block winner
- EVIL — 12 pts. (6-3)
- Tetsuya Naito — 12 pts. (6-3)
- KENTA — 10 pts. (5-4)
- Zack Sabre Jr. — 10 pts. (5-4)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi — 8 pts. (4-5)
- Juice Robinson — 8 pts. (4-5)
- Hirooki Goto — 8 pts. (4-5)
- Toru Yano — 6 pts. (3-6)
- YOSHI-HASHI — 4 pts. (2-7)
Next show: G1 final on Sunday from Ryogoku Sumo Hall in Tokyo starting at 11:00 PM PDT/2:00 AM EDT/7:00 AM BST