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By Matthew Macklin on 2020-10-18 10:24:00

G1 Climax Finals, Ryogoku Sumo Hall, October 18th:

DOUKI, El Desperado, Zack Sabre Jr & Taichi defeated YOSHI-HASHI, Hirooki Goto, Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii.  This was a good opened with the G1 competitors selling fatigue and injury as the fresher juniors stepped up. The finish came down to YOSHI & DOUKI. Taichi & ZSJ hit YOSHI with Zack Mephisto and DOUKI stoke the pin. After the match the Suzuki-Gun team continued the beat down, particularly on Ishii’s knee. DOUKI lifted the NEVER six man belts, looking like he will lead a team to challenge for them.

Hiromu Takahashi & Shingo Takagi defeated Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Minoru Suzuki.  This was great. Suzuki & Shingo went straight back to war. Suzuki was screaming like a lunatic as he challenged Shingo to hit him. Hiromu & Kanemaru did some great stuff together too, with Kanemaru hitting the Deep Impact DDT, only for the pin to be broken up. The LIJ side used some good double team. Kanemaru almost caught Hiromu with a roll up before Hiromu hit a lariat and Time Bomb to finish the match.  After the match, Shingo & Hiromu continued to brawl, and they will likely meet for the NEVER title at Power Struggle. 

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson, Jeff Cobb & Master Wato defeated Gedo, Jay White, Taiji Ishimori & KENTA.  This was another enjoyable tag. Nothing ground breaking, but everyone got their stuff in and it didn’t over stay it’s welcome. Cobb was throwing the juniors around with gorilla press slams.  Wato took out Ishimori with a corkscrew dive, which left Tanahashi alone in the ring with Gedo, making him submit to the Texas Cloverleaf. After the match, Tanahashi looked like he was making a challenge to KENTA’s IWGP US title number one contenders briefcase. 

Will Ospreay & The Great O’Khan defeated SHO & Kazuchika Okada.  This was the in ring debut of The Great O’Khan after his emergence last Friday to start this new faction with Ospreay. Okada went straight for Ospreay right before the bell.  O’Khan was largely a slow, plodding heel during his time at Rev Pro, but here he thankfully showed a bit more fire. He used lots of Mongolian chops. SHO showed lots of fire off a hot tag and hit Ospreay with a series of German suplexes.  Ospreay then targeted the knee of SHO. O’Khan dropped Okada with the claw slam, allowing Ospreay to make SHO submit to a figure four leg lock. 

EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi defeated BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito.  This was a pretty good, standard formula NJPW tag match. It looks like we’re building to another Naito vs EVIL match. BUSHI looked very good here, and had a good closing stretch with EVIL. In the end, EVIL hit Darkness Falls and locked on a Scorpion Deathlock to get the submission win. After the match, Dick Togo choked out Naito from behind, and EVIL laid his two championships over him.

G1 Climax Final - Kota Ibushi defeated SANADA.  Kota Ibushi is the 2020 G1 Climax winner, and becomes only the third man to win back to back tournaments.  This was an excellent final, but not a classic, with the missing crowd atmosphere really making it impossible to reach the heights of previous finals.    The match started very slow, as they felt each other out. SANADA targeted the injured left leg, and used a figure four leg lock. Ibushi came back when he picked up the pace of the match. They traded strikes. The kicks of Ibushi and the uppercuts of SANADA. They traded forearms, but SANADA would always go back to the leg.  Ibushi tried to use the Skull End, and SANADA went for the move time and time again, but Ibushi always found a way out.  Ibushi hit a Boma Ye and caught SANADA coming in off the top rope with a powerbomb.  SANADA hit his beautiful tiger suplex and a pop up TKO. SANADA hit a moonsault to the back, and went for another, but Ibushi got his knees up, obviously injuring him even more. The near fall of the match saw SANADA use the bridging pin he beat EVIL with, for the longest two count you will ever see. Ibushi finally struck the Kamagoye, but SANADA kicked out, for another great false finish. He loaded up again and struck for a second time, this time keeping SANADA down, to secure himself a place in history. Kota Ibushi said the G in G1 stand for God, and after the match said he will achieve his goal of becoming God. 

Kota Ibushi will one again challenge for the IWGP Championship at Wrestle Kingdom at the Tokyo Dome on January 4th or 5th.

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