NJPW G1 Climax 30 continues with a second night from Hokkaido as the B Block takes to the ring on September 24 with a card headlined by IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion, Tetsuya Naito and Zack Sabre Jr., facing off to remain undefeated. The undercard will feature EVIL and YOSHI-HASHI in the semi-main event, each attempting to right their course in this year’s G1 after losing their first matches b. The rest of the tournament card is filled out with Juice Robinson vs. KENTA for the first time identifying by those names, Hirooki Goto vs. SANADA, and the 21st career meeting of Hiroshi Tanahashi and Toru Yano.

Of course, you can find my complete statistical preview for every competitor in this year’s G1 Climax here, I have interactive, sortable tables for NJPW’s 2020, detailed results and statistics of all 1475 G1 Climax matches to date, and This Year’s Tournament at SportOfProWrestling.com, and you can let me know what you find when you drill down by dropping me a line on Twitter @TheChrisSamsa.

If you need a full primer for the detailed rules of the tournament or the recent stories of the competitors, I continue to recommend John Carroll’s two-part preview. (A BlockB Block).


September 24, 2020
Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center Hokkai Kitayell, Hokkaido
6:30pm JST

Local Time Conversions:

Watch Live or OnDemand On NJPWWorld


G1 CLIMAX 30
B BLOCK RESULTS TO DATE

SPORT OF PRO WRESTLING BOX SCORE

B BLOCK TABLE

CURRENT DETAILED RESULTS AND STATISTICS CAN BE FOUND AT SPORTOFPROWRESTLING.COM

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G1 CLIMAX B BLOCK MATCH
TETSUYA NAITO [2] VS. ZACK SABRE JR [2]

In the main event, IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito will face off against one half of the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, Zack Sabre Jr.

Tetsuya Naito and ZSJ don’t necessarily have a heated rivalry, but they are certainly familiar with each other. They have met four times in singles matches, first in G1 Climax 27, a Naito victory. The year, in 2018, ZSJ played the role of spoiler to Naito twice. O    nce in the New Japan Cup, bouncing Naito from the first round of a tournament that he’d eventually win. Later in the year, ZSJ and Naito met again on the last night of B block action where Zack Sabre Jr defeated Naito in 18:17, eliminating Naito, landing them both at 12 points, and the best they could both do was tie with final match competitors, Kota Ibushi and Kenny Omega who both held tiebreakers over both Naito and Sabre.

Naito was able to avenge his losses by defeating ZSJ at Power Struggle that year, but Sabre has proven he can step up and defeat Naito when it matters most. This year, with Naito competing in the G1 as the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion for the first time, every match is high stakes, as a loss will almost certainly lead to a championship match regardless of how the tournament standings end up.

G1 CLIMAX HISTORY

  • Zack Sabre Jr has finished 7 of his 16 G1 victories by getting his opponent to submit, that is tied for the highest in this year’s field with Minoru Suzuki, with the highest percentage of winning falls by submission (43%) in this year’s field.

2020 RESULTS

  • Both Naito and Zack Sabre Jr. enter their match with only one singles loss in NJPW in calendar 2020. Naito, in his Dominion title defense against EVIL, and ZSJ in his first round New Japan Cup match against Kota Ibushi.
  • All three of Tetsuya Naito’s average time metrics (overall, wins, losses) are the highest in NJPW in 2020.
  • Naito’s ability to succeed in long matches doesn’t necessarily bode well for him against ZSJ, Sabre’s 27:04 victory over Will Ospreay earlier this year at New Beginning is his longest singles victory on record. His longest before that was his Rev Pro Heavyweight Championship title defense against Hiroshi Tanahashi last September in Beppu.

HEAD TO HEAD HISTORY

  • Naito and Zack Sabre Jr are tied 2-2 overall in their all time series, with a 1-1 G1 record.
  • In their last series through 2018, Sabre played spoiler to Naito twice, once in the New Japan Cup, bouncing Naito from the tournament in the first round of a tournament that he’d eventually win and later in the year, ZSJ and Naito met again on the last night of B block action where Zack Sabre Jr defeated Tetsuya Naito in 18:17, eliminating Naito, landing them both at 12 points, a tie with final match competitors, Kota Ibushi and Kenny Omega who both held tiebreakers over both Naito and Sabre.
  • Naito has bookended their four match series with victories and will look to go two in a row by defeating the submission expert, ZSJ to move to 4 points in this year’s G1.

G1 CLIMAX B BLOCK MATCH
YOSHI-HASHI [0] VS. EVIL [0]

YOSHI-HASHI and EVIL meet in a rematch of this year’s New Japan Cup Quarter Finals where EVIL defeated YOSHI-HASHI in the shortest NJPW singles match to date in 2020, a two minute bludgeoning that ended in a referee stoppage while EVIL held YOSHI-HASHI in a sharpshooter.

G1 CLIMAX HISTORY

  • EVIL looks to stay above .500 in his G1 career with a victory over the fledgling YOSHI-HASHI, who owns the lowest G1 winning percentage of this year’s field.

2020 RESULTS

  • Recent two match losing streak aside, EVIL has had one of the strongest 2020’s in NJPW. His 7 victories, 10 matches, and 3:47:02 total match length are all only second to Kazuchika Okada.

HEAD TO HEAD HISTORY

  • YOSHI-HASHI very technically leads the career series with EVIL 3-2, with two of his victories over EVIL coming before Takaaki Watanabe returned from excursion and took on the persona of EVIL.
  • EVIL is the only wrestler in the B Block field who YOSHI-HASHI has defeated. He is 0-16 in his career against the rest of the field.

G1 CLIMAX B BLOCK MATCH
JUICE ROBINSON [2] VS. KENTA [2]

If you do a quick search of “Juice Robinson vs. KENTA” you won’t find a record of any matches between these two wrestlers. B ut if you know a little bit about the paths that their careers have taken, you’d know to also search CJ Parker vs. Hideo Itami, and you’d find a five match series throughout Florida armories that KENTA dominated.

KENTA and Juice Robinson crossed paths in WWE’s Developmental brand, NXT like ships in the night throughout the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015. KENTA (Hideo Itami), clearly motivated by the beginning of his WWE career, defeated Juice Robinson (CJ Parker) in less than 5 minutes in Robinson’s last televised match with the brand.

Times have changed as both wrestlers enter their match with each other in the second B Block card of this year’s G1  on even footing, both with two points after clean victories over YOSHI-HASHI and Hirooki Goto respectively.

G1 CLIMAX HISTORY

2020 RESULTS

  • Juice Robinson’s limited activity in 2020 leaves him at just 1-1 in singles matches this year after his victory over YOSHI-HASHI in his first match of G1 Climax 30.
  • KENTA continued his five match winning streak with a victory over Hirooki Goto in his first G1 match of the year.
  • KENTA’s only losses over the course of the last 365 days came at the beginning of 2020, a loss to Hirooki Goto at Wrestle Kingdom in a defense of his NEVER Openweight championship, and a loss to Tetsuya Naito, as KENTA challenged for the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships.

HEAD TO HEAD HISTORY

  • KENTA and Juice Robinson have never faced each other in a singles match, but Hideo Itami (now KENTA) and CJ Parker (now Juice Robinson) squared off five times, four of which took place in Florida Armories, while they both wrestled under the NXT brand. Their one televised match, a 4:06 KENTA victory on February 18th, 2015 was the last time Juice Robinson appeared on NXT television.

G1 CLIMAX B BLOCK MATCH
HIROSHI TANAHASHI [0] VS. TORU YANO [2]

Given the disparity in stature and history between Hiroshi Tanahashi and Toru Yano, it is a surprise that we enter this matchup with Yano at 2 points and Tanahashi at 0 in their second G1 match of 2020. Newer watchers of NJPW may not recognize Tanahashi and Yano as a long standing rivalry, but no singles match in this year’s tournament has as much history (20 matches) as Hiroshi Tanahashi and Toru Yano. Their rivalry began early in their career, as they battled for the now defunct U-30 Openweight championship throughout 2004 and 2005. Since then, Yano has mostly been a thorn in the side of Tanahashi, rarely victorious, but always a nuisance, as they met in tournaments throughout the NJPW calendar across their first 12 years off the roster.

It has been a while since these two have squared off, over five years to be exact, with their last meeting happening during the 2015 G1 tournament. Prior to that, these two had averaged almost two singles matches per year against each other.

G1 CLIMAX HISTORY

  • Hiroshi Tanahashi has averaged 12 points per tournament over the course of the last five G1s, Yano has averaged just 8, finishing with exactly eight points in three of the last five tournaments.
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi continues to add to his record number of G1 Climax matches, this being his 143rd.
  • Toru Yano, of course, holds the top spot for shortest average match length among competitors with 20+ G1 matches, landing at 7:56. It’s likely that Yano is regretful of his 2005 30-minute draw with Tanahashi at this point, as it goes entirely against his ideals. Removing that match from Yano’s history drops an incredible 13 seconds from his G1 average match length.

2020 RESULTS

HEAD TO HEAD HISTORY

  • Tanahashi leads the career series with Toru Yano 15-3-2. Their series includes one time limit draw, their first G1 Climax match in 2005, and one double count out, their second G1 Climax match in 2007.
  • Tanahashi leads the career G1 series 4-1-2.
  • Toru Yano began his career series with Hiroshi Tanahashi on a 10 match winless streak before finally overcoming The Ace at Wrestling Dontaku 2010.
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi’s 15 victories over Toru Yano represent 1/3 of his 45 career victories over this year’s B Block field.
  • No matchup in this year’s G1 has happened as many times (20) as Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Toru Yano.


G1 CLIMAX B BLOCK MATCH
HIROOKI GOTO [0] VS. SANADA [0]

Perennial mid-tier G1 competitors Hirooki Goto and SANADA look to get on the board in their third G1 Climax match against each other in five years.

G1 CLIMAX HISTORY

  • The stature and attention given to of some of SANADA’s G1 victories and the typical anonymity of Hirooki Goto’s recent G1 performance would lead some to believe that SANADA is the more successful G1 wrestler as of late. SANADA has ended each of his four G1 tournaments at 4-5, landing with exactly 8 points in each tournament. Goto has averaged 10 points per tournament over the last 5 years, finishing above the .500 mark 4 of the last 5 years.

2020 RESULTS

HEAD TO HEAD HISTORY

  • SANADA and Goto have traded wins during their three match series, including two in G1 competition. Most recently, SANADA bounced Goto from the 2019 New Japan Cup in the first round.