G1 Climax 30: Night 1 Preview
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G1 Climax 30, Night 1 Preview

September 13, 2020
By: Lou Pickney

Here is a preview of the first night of G1 Climax 30, the annual two-block round-robin heavyweight tournament in New Japan Pro-Wrestling. In recent years, the G1 has featured a flurry of ultra high-end matches.

The star ratings are from highly respected journalist Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (WON). The number next to it is the cagematch.net (CM) score for the match as of last check before publication.

IMPORTANT: A subscription to the New Japan World streaming service (¥999/month) is required to watch the linked videos.

G1 Climax 30, Night 1 (A Block)
September 19, 2020 — Osaka, Japan

1) Kazuchika Okada vs. Kota Ibushi

Okada officially leads the series 3-1, including a 2013 win in the Japanese promotion DDT. In addition, Okada also holds a win over Ibushi when Ibushi was wrestling as Tiger Mask W.

However, Ibushi is 1-0 against Okada in the G1. This will be their first one-on-one match outside of Tokyo. Their most recent match this past January at Wrestle Kingdom 14 is a strong contender to win the Wrestling Observer Newsletter award for match of the year, up there with Young Bucks vs. Omega & Hangman in AEW.

Previous singles matches, with the winner listed in bold

1. Okada: August 18, 2013 — Tokyo (Ryogoku Sumo Hall)
DDT Ryogoku Peter Pan 2013
WON: N/A & CM: 7.27
Match held in the Japanese promotion DDT; not available on New Japan World

2. Okada: March 6, 2014 — Tokyo (Ota City Gym)
NJPW 42nd Anniversary show
WON: ****3/4 & CM: 9.04

3. Okada: March 6, 2017 — Tokyo (Ota City Gym)
NJPW 45th Anniversary show (Ibushi as Tiger Mask W)
WON: ****1/2 & CM: 8.63

4. Ibushi: August 10, 2019 — Tokyo (Budakon Hall)
2019 G1 Climax
WON: ***** & CM: 9.32

5. Okada: January 4, 2020 — Tokyo Dome
Wrestle Kingdom 14
WON: *****1/2 & CM: 9.60

2) Jay White vs. Shingo Takagi

White leads the series 1-0, with a victory over Shingo in the 2019 G1.

Previous singles match

1. White: July 28, 2019 — Nagoya, Aichi, Japan
2019 G1 Climax
WON: ****1/2 & CM: 7.78

3) Minoru Suzuki vs. Tomohiro Ishii

Series is tied 2-2. They've never had a match in the G1 against one another. They've had one match in Osaka, a victory by Ishii in November 2018.

Previous singles matches

1. Minoru: July 20, 2013 — Akita, Japan
Kizuna Road 2013
WON: ****1/4 & CM: 7.77

2. Minoru: July 1, 2018 — Manchester, England, United Kingdom
RevPro Strong Style Evolved UK
WON: ****1/2 & CM: 8.58

3. Ishii: October 14, 2018 — London, England, United Kingdom
RevPro/NJPW Global Wars 2018
WON: N/A & CM: 7.60

4. Ishii: November 3, 2018 — Osaka, Japan
Power Struggle 2018
WON: ****1/2 & CM: 8.41

4) Jeff Cobb vs. Taichi

Series is tied 1-1, with Taichi beating Cobb for the NEVER Openweight Title at Wrestling Dontaku 2019 and Cobb getting revenge by beating Taichi in the 2019 G1.

Previous singles matches

1. Taichi: May 3, 2019 — Fukuoka, Japan
Wrestling Dontaku
WON: ***3/4 & CM: 5.88

2. Cobb: July 28, 2019 — Nagoya, Aichi, Japan
Wrestling Dontaku
WON: ***3/4 & CM: 5.47

5) Will Ospreay vs. Yujiro Takahashi

First-ever singles match between Ospreay and Yujiro. They've been on opposite sides in six-man or eight-man tag matches primarily. The one time they were in a two vs. two tag match, it was Ospreay and Yoshi-Hashi (Dennis the Menace hair version) teaming up against Yujiro and Chase Owens more than three years ago at Wrestling Dontaku.

Will Ospreay & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens
May 3, 2017

I hope we get a callback to Ospreay's shotgun dropkick on Yujiro from that match in their G1 battle. Ospreay had a remarkable 2019 run. Best of the Super Juniors into Dominion into G1 Climax 29 into the U.S. Super J Cup. He's been sorely missed by New Japan, and I'm sure he's thrilled to finally be back for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

To that end, Ospreay will present an interesting challenge: fans who feel it's their duty to follow the rules versus the almost involuntary reactions to spectacular things Ospreay does in the ring.

Last year, Ospreay and Rocky Romero fired up a spot show crowd in Aomori that seemed entirely disinclined to cheer in a match with two gaijin (non-Japanese wrestlers). But there's cheering when you're otherwise apathetic and cheering when you know it's against the rules to cheer/boo/yell.


G1 Climax 30, Night 2 Preview
G1 Climax 30, Night 3 Preview
G1 Climax 30, Night 4 Preview
G1 Climax 30, Night 5 Preview
G1 Climax 30, Night 6 Preview
G1 Climax 30, Night 7 Preview
G1 Climax 30, Night 8 Preview

See any mistakes, omissions, or needed corrections? Please let me know: @LouPickney

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