Match Point is an on-going series at Last Word on Pro Wrestling, where we look at intriguing matchups in indie wrestling and beyond. They may be dream matches, first-time matchups, or hotly anticipated rematches. In this edition, we take a look at the finals of the G1 Climax 30 between SANADA and Kota Ibushi
The G1 Climax Tournament started on September 19th and after brutal 18 events we have the conclusion of the tournament with SANADA facing off against Kota Ibushi in the finals. In a tournament that had a theme of upsets. This is a final not many expected to happen.
Going into this tournament, Kota Ibushi was going in as a heavy favorite due to the fact that he was in the final of both 2018 and 2019’s G1 Climax Tournament. In the 2018 Final, he would lose to Hiroshi Tanahashi, while winning the 2019 Final against Jay White. After dealing with a tag rivalry for almost half of 2020 Kota Ibushi went into this tournament with a major victory against Kazcuchika Okada to start it off. After losing to Jay White on Day 3, Kota Ibushi would continue to dominate. Defeating the likes of Tomohiro Ishii, Jeff Cobb, and Will Ospreay. Kota Ibushi would go the distance in A Block in the tournament. Last defeating Minoru Suzuki to go into the finals of the tournament for the third time in a row thanks to Jay White losing in the main event.
SANADA was a person not many expected to go long within this tournament. SANADA for the past few months has been an afterthought in a very stacked B-Block. While every other member of LIJ would win some time of gold at Wrestle Kingdom 14, Sanada was one wrestler who didn’t hold any individual gold. But Sanada went into this tournament with brand new gear, hair, and brand new attitude. Things didn’t start well for SANADA, at the beginning of the tournament, SANADA would receive 3 straight losses, one humiliating loss to Toru Yano, a decisive loss to Hirooki Goto, and a major upset from YOSHI-HASHI. It was after that loss that SANADA woke up. In his next match against his teammate and double champion Tetsuya Naito. SANADA would go put on a brutal war against him and win that match, possibly leading to a title shot down the line if Ibushi wins the tournament. After this major victory, Sanada would continue to achieve more victories. Defeating Zack Sabre Jr., KENTA, Juice Robinson, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and eventually EVIL in the block final. SANADA managed to get tied for the most points with Tetsuya Naito.
This is the third consecutive G1 Climax these two have wrestled each other in with both men tied at one win apiece, we will have a conclusive third bout in this year’s G1 Climax Final. SANADA has been waiting for his moment for years now, he’s never even held singles gold in NJPW, but he knows that winning this tournament would provide him the opportunity of a lifetime at Wrestle Kingdom. Ibushi meanwhile, continues his quest to be the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, and would rekindle his feud with Naito. Of course, whoever wins must defend their right to challenge and this may be the year we see the briefcase change hands.
Stay tuned to Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. Make sure to watch New Japan Pro Wrestling on NJPW WORLD.
Looking to talk wrestling, pro football, or any number of sports? Head on over to the LWOS Boards to engage in conversation with fellow fans!