Night one of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s G1 Climax 30 Tournament took place at the Osaka Perfectual Gymansium in Osaka, Japan on September 19. It was the opening night of a tourney that will stretch for 19 total events throughout the month of September, concluding on October 18.

Pro wrestling fans from all over the globe tuned in to the first night on New Japan World with big expectations. The September 19 event featured Block A, which showcased some of the company’s heavy hitters.

Of the six matches on the card, five were G1 bouts and the opening match was a Young Lion exhibition, which saw Yuya Uemura get the win over Yota Tsuji. When the final bell sounded on that match, the G1 Climax 30 was officially underway.


-Will Ospreay defeated Yujiro Takahashi


This was Will Ospreay’s return to New Japan Pro Wrestling. The current RevPro British Heavyweight champion was scheduled to compete in the New Japan Cup, but that event was postponed earlier in 2020 due to the pandemic. Travel restrictions kept Ospreay out of NJPW, but now he’s back and he looked better than ever in this match.

Ospreay entered to a very warm reception from the Japanese crowd. He admitted after the match that he was nervous coming in, but those nerves did not show during the match. Ospreay delivered his usual top performance against Takahashi, who was unassisted by The Bullet Club.


-Taichi def Jeff Cobb

Jeff Cobb continues to compete in both New Japan and Ring of Honor, where he is usually booked very strongly. Though he had the opportunity to compete full time in either WWE or AEW, Cobb instead chose to go full-time with NJPW, where he faced Suzuki-gun’s Taichi on night one.

The match was a bit clunky in spots, a stark contrast to the Ospreay/Takahashi bout that came before it. But Cobb was nicely showcased during the match and Taichi stepped up his game in a winning effort.


-Minoru Suzuki def Tomohiro Ishii

Anytime Minoru Suzuki steps into the ring, fans know what they’re getting. The King always brings the big fight feel to the arena and he also brings the pain, both of which he did on September 19.

Tomohiro Ishii was ready for the war and when it began, he was on his game as always. The match did spill outside the ring thanks to Suzuki of course, but it did not get completely out hand as it usually does when he’s involved. Ishii lost the match, but it was evenly fought from start to finish.


-Jay White def Shingo Takagi

Like Will Ospreay, Jay White has been a non-factor in New Japan thanks to the pandemic. The Switchblade was highly regarded as one of the most capable workers in the company and true main event stars before COVID-19 struck. He once again proved who he is on September 19.

Jay was extremely well matched with Shingo Takagi, who is also a top attraction in New Japan. Though Jay was accompanied to the ring by Gedo, Shingo was not joined by any of his Los Ingobernables teammates and that factored into the match. The Bullet Club duo attempted to steal a win from Shingo and in the end, that’s exactly what they did.


-Kota Ibushi def Kazuchika Okada

The effect of the pandemic era on New Japan was substantial. Many of the company’s top stars were unable to compete, which resulted in cards filled with lower tier talents. Even The Rainmaker himself wasn’t booked like the megastar that he is, due to the level of competition he was facing.

That was not the case on September 19 when he stepped into the ring against Kota Ibushi. Okada came out strong in the beginning and dominated the match like the top guy that he is. But Ibushi fought back and proved once again why he is one of the best in the business. Ibushi kept his game clean this time, with virtually no viciousness that he’s shown in the past. He and Okada had a very good match and it was a great way to wrap up the first night of the tournament.

The second night of the G1 Climax 30 will take place on September 20 from the Osaka Perfectual Gymnasium in Osaka, Japan. The show will air on New Japan World. 


Tom Clark is a Senior Pro Wrestling Analyst and Featured Columnist for Wrestling Rumors. His podcast, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify, YouTube and live every Friday at 12pm EST on Wrestling Rumors Facebook Live


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