With the G1 Final underway, it all comes down to two men to find our G1 Winner. The winner will win a contract to challenge the IWGP Heavyweight Champion at Wrestle Kingdom, while the other will go home empty handed. We go into the G1 Final with many questions as to the futures of many wrestlers, as the Road to Power Struggle is just around the corner.
The first match would have Suzuki-gun represented by El Desperado, Doki, Taichi, and Zack Sabre Jr., face off against Chaos, who had Hirooki Goto, Toru Yano, YOSHI-HASHI, and Tomohiro Ishii. With belts on both teams with Taichi and Zack as the IWGP heavyweight tag champs, and YOSHI, Goto, and Ishii as the Never Open 6-man tag champs, getting a win on one of the champions would allow for a challenge for the titles. Suzuki-gun also held a slight advantage, as El Desperado and Doki have not had to wrestle in the past month. Meanwhile the whole Chaos team has just finished going through the G1. Ishii and Taichi started for their respective teams, and the two went straight for strikes to start. Taichi stood his ground, rather than run away, which is a fantastic attitude change that is hopefully a permanent thing. El Deperado and Goto would be the next in with tags. Doki was able to open up the advantage for Suzuki-gun as they attacked the Chaos team, and utilized quick tags. Yoshi would get the tag and found himself isolated in a 3 vs 1 situation. He’d fight off the Suzuki-gun members, as he and his fellow teammates turned the tables, teaming up on Doki. Another brawl would ensue, allowing Zack and Taichi hit an assisted Black Mephisto on Yoshi, allowing Doki to get the pin. Doki would gather and hold up the trios titles, perhaps looking for a challenge. Suzuki-gun would then beat down the Chaos team, taking their leave after the fight. With the departure of Will Ospreay, is Chaos all on the same page?
The second match had LIJ members Hiromu Takahashi and Shingo Takagi face off against Suzuki-gun leader Minoru Suzuki and Yoshinobu Kanemaru. Hiromu ran to the ring, obviously missing in ring action. Shingo and Suzuki went right for each other, no doubt Shingo’s win weighed heavily on Suzuki’s mind. The bell would sound as Shingo and Suzuki brawled outside the ring (The New Japan rules are much looser than its American companies), letting Hiromu start hot against Kanemaru. Suzuki would crash Shingo into the barricade, and Suzuki-gun would take over the match, teaming up on Hiromu. A dragon screw variant would allow Hiromu to get away, tagging in Shingo, who would pick up where he left off with Suzuki. Powering through a Death Valley Driver, Suzuki would land a PK Kick. Both teams would tag out to their Jr weight counterparts. Hiromu would fall victim to a double team, but Shingo would jump in to turn the tides. Hiromu and Kanemaru would battle it out, with Hiromu hitting the Timebomb for the win. Suzuki and Shingo would continue to try and battle it out after the bell, with Suzuki laying waste to the Young Lions at ringside as they dragged him away. Hiromu would also make a challenge to Kanemaru, looking at his IWGP Jr Tag belt. With the Best of the Super Jr tournament around the corner, Hiromu may be on the path to trying to collect Jr Heavyweight gold.
The third match would have Master Wato, Jeff Cobb, Juice Robinson, and Hiroshi Tanahashi of Taguchi
would start the match at the ring of the bell, Jay tagged out before locking up, letting Ishimori take over. Jay would then also tag out, allowing Wato to take over, and the two Jr weights would up the pace to start the match. The young Wato, who had just returned from excursion earlier this year, was not able to stay on the offense long against his more experienced opponent, and Bullet Club utilized multiple tags to keep Wato down. When Jay got back in the ring, he’d mock Hiroyoshi Tenzan at ringside, who had taken Wato under his wing. Wato would manage to hit Jay with a dropkick, and a distracted ref would allow Tenzan to get some revenge with a well-placed Mongolian chop. Getting the tag from Wato, Cobb would enter the ring and fight off almost all of Bullet Club, using his size and strength. Jay would be able to catch Cobb off guard, but a tag to Gedo would be Bullet Club’s downfall. Cobb would get the take to Tanahashi, who orchestrated Taguchi Japan to pick apart Bullet Club, fighting off the latter’s attacks. While the teams fought on the outside, Tanahashi was able to catch Gedo in the Texas Cloverleaf for the win.
During a brief intermission, we were privy to a huge update for the future on New Japan. They will be running a two night special for Wrestle Kingdom! January 4th and 5th will both be dedicated to the biggest event for New Japan!
The next match was Chaos team members SHO and Kazuchika Okada vs ex Chaos Member Will Ospreay and the returning Great-O-Khan. Okada would attack Will before the bell, vengeance for leaving Chaos and attacking him after their match hot on his mind. This left SHO and O-Khan in the ring to start the match. While SHO started well with kicks to the chest, O-Khan’s power dominated SHO. SHO was left to try and take on a beating from O-Khan and Will, with even Bea Preistley getting involved on the action at times. SHO would manage to get a tag to Okada after leveling O-Khan with a spear. Okada hit the ring and kept on top of O-Khan, but needed to keep an eye on Will the entire time. This allowed O-Khan to gain the upperhand, using his power to keep Okada off balance. While Okada was down, Will got the tag and immediately brought the fight to Okada. Okada was just able to fight back, getting in a much needed dropkick, and tagged in SHO. SHO was able to start fresh, catch Will in a triple german suplexs. Will managed to turn the tides by going after SHO’s knee, even letting Bea do some damage while he had the ref distracted. A figure four leg lock on SHO would give Will the tap out victory, as Okada got slammed to the mat by O-Khan when trying to make the save. Will is off to start his own faction, and it leaves many questions as to what/ who he is looking for, and trying to achieve.
The fifth match would have Bullet Club’s EVIL and Yujiro Takahashi take on LIJ’s Tetsuya Naito and Bushi. It was an interesting choice for EVIL and Yujiro to tag together, as Jay seems to think that the two were not representing Bullet Club well in the G1. With Naito’s loss to Evil in the G1, EVIL has the ability to challenge Naito for the double IWGP belts. Naito also has a long history with Yujiro, having been part of a tag team “No Limit” with him. The two had been the first to win the IWGP Jr and Heavyweight tag titles. Yujiro had kicked Naito out of the team, which was part of Chaos at the time, back in 2010. Yujiro and Naito would start the match, but EVIL would charge the ring, attacking Naito from behind. While Naito would fight through the attack and tag Bushi, the fight would devolve to a brawl on the outside. The ref would have a lot on his plate, with two fights on opposite ends of the ring, as well as Dick Togo at ringside. That allowed Evil to attack Naito with a chair and Yujiro to choke Bushi with his cane. Togo would also send Bushi into the barricade, for good measure. Once the ref got things back together in the ring, Bushi would be able to get the tag to Naito, who bypassed Yujiro twice to attack EVIL. Naito would get the better of Yujiro for the most part, and it was Yujiro’s kicks that got him enough time to get the tag to EVIL. Attacking the downed Naito, EVIL would catch a DDT to allow Bushi back into the match. Yujiro and EVIL would use double team tactics to take Bushi down, as well as Naitowhen he tried to make the save. EVIL would hit Darkness Falls and take the match via tapout with the Scorpion Deathlock. EVIL kept the hold locked in long after the bell had rung, tempting Naito to enter the ring to break it up. Naito and EVIL would stare down in the center of the ring, which allowed Togo to enter and start choking Naito out from behind. This allowed EVIL to plant Naito with Everything is Evil before finally heading to the back, leaving the Double Champion down in the ring.
Then came the Main Event. The culmination of the past thirty days, twenty wrestlers, and countless matches, all boiled down to this final match. With no time limit on the clock, it all boiled down to this final singles match to crown our G1 Climax 30 Winner. Kota Ibushi, winner of Block A, was making his third G1 final is as many years, marking history as the first wrestler to make the finals in three consecutive years. He was also the winner of last years G1, and would look to win two years in a row, something that hadn’t been done since 2004 by Hiroyoshi Tenzan. Block B winner SANADA has made the finals for the first time in his career, and looked to overthrow the defending G1 winner. SANADA would be the first to enter, looking alright, despite having just won his block 21 hours previously. Ibushi entered second, wearing some thick tape around his left thigh. His last match saw the exchange of 158 kicks in total, leaving him quite worse for wear. When the bell rang, the audience began clapping loudly, the excitement thick in the air as the two finalists stared at each other across the ring. The two finally locked up, exchanging clean breaks on the ropes, showing that this would be a clean and fair wrestling match. It would be slow going in the opening wrestling, both very cautious with one another. Ibushi would start pounding on SANADA’s arm, leading to both men exchanging overhead chops, followed by forearms. SANADA would catch Ibushi with a forearm, rocking him, but Ibushi would fire up, swapping to kicks to face off against SANADA’s uppercuts. It was SANADA who took over then, going after Ibushi’s injured leg. SANADA would send Ibushi off the ropes and throw a drop kick, but Ibushi ducked underneath it, with SANADA ‘s arm coming down on top of Ibushi’s head. That would prompt Ibushi to retreat out of the ring to recover, allowing SANADA time to gain his wits inside the ring. Once Ibushi made it back into the ring, he and SANADA would exchange submissions, SANADA grabbing a leg lock, and Ibushi reversing into an STF. The two would gain their footing and throw strikes again, this time with Ibushi taking over with his standing moonsault and following it up with a palanche. Back in the ring, SANADA would hit his double leapfrog dropkick and hit a palanche of his own, drawing appreciated clapping from the crowd. These two were not only trying to win, they were trying to one up the other, fighting their match the best they could. The two would continue fighting, with Ibushi dodging out of the way of Sanad’s flip for a powerslam. Ibushi would go to the top turnbuckle for a corkscrew senton, but SANADA would roll out of the way. SANADA would go to the top for his moonsault, but Ibushi would roll out of the way as well. The fighting spilled to the outside once more, with Ibushi hitting a double stomp on the apron and SANADA catching Ibushi with an apron assisted Magic Killer to the floor. Back in the ring, Ibushi would invite SANADA to hit him with his best shots, allowing SANADA to attack the leg once more and hit a rope assisted Magic Killer. While SANADA couldn’t hit the TKO, he was able to lock Ibushi into the Skull End. Ibushi escaped the submission, and countered SANADA’s missile dropkick into a sitout powerbomb. The leg seemed to really be bothering Ibushi, who hit his striking combo, but was barely able to get SNADA up into another sitout powerbomb. Ibushi would follow up with a lariat, that SANADA would duck into a tiger suplex. The TKO was escaped again, but SANADA was able to lock in the Skull End waiting for Ibushi to fade before trying another moonsault. SANADA would land heavy on the mat, as Ibushi escaped by rolling away. A high kick and flying knee set up Ibushi to try the Kamigoye, which resulted into a pop up TKO from SANADA. Finally, SANADA would land a flush moonsault onto Ibushi’s back, then rolled him over for the regular moonsault. Ibushi was able to get his knees up, staying alive in the match for a but longer. SANADA worked to his feet, surprising Ibushi with the Skull End once more, but Ibushi fought out, reversing it into a package piledriver. Now having to fight devensively, SANADA desperately tried to avoid the Kamigoye, almost getting a quick roll up victory on Ibushi. But it was Ibushi who would see it through, escaping the Skull end to hit two Kamigoyes and take the victory!
Kota Ibushi leaves G1 Climax 30 as the winner, winning himself a contract to Wrestle Kingdom’s Main Event and a IWGP Heavyweight title challenge. He goes down in history as the third man to win consecutive G1’s and has proven that he is a worthy challenger to go into Wrestle Kingdom. Even with that, he will have to defend his contract to keep that challenge, and Jay White seems to be open to taking that contract away from Ibushi. Until the two face off, Kota Ibushi should be proud of his accomplishment. G1 Climax 30 finally comes to a close, and we look ahead to what NJPW has next!
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