Ibushi wins second straight G1 as Jay White waits in the wings
After the longest match in G1 Climax history, Kota Ibushi held the trophy and flag as the winner of G1 Climax 30, repeating his oft stated promise that he will not ‘run away, not give up and not betray,’ the fans in Ryogoku and watching around the world.
Masahiro Chono was present for the final match, greeting the fans in attendance and stating that the ability of NJPW to stage the G1 so successfully is a perfect example of how New Japan is a shining model of life and hops in the post Corona age. Chono also sat at ringside for Japanese commentary and to present the famous flag and trophy to the winner.
That win did not come easily to Kota Ibushi. Both men evenly matched, SANADA and Ibushi each showed their athletic prowess in the early stages of the match until disaster almost struck for Ibushi; as SANADA launched himself high for a dropkick, Ibushi sought to keep low and slide underneath, only to take a good deal of SANADA’s weight onto his head.
This unintentional blow created a path of offense for SANADA going forward. Ibushi seemed a beat slower than we had seen him in striking battles earlier in the tournament, and SANADA inarguably had the more powerful blows, rattling Ibushi with elbows. When Ibushi was able to get a string of offense on SANADA< the leg that had been badly damaged during the A Block finals came into play, leaving him a weaker base on kicks, and a lower angle of attack on a plancha than SANADA, a move Cold Skull quickly out did to the delight of the crowd.
The heavily taped hamstring almost cost Ibushi the match when the momentum began to swing his side, as a Golden Triangle attempt saw him easily scouted by SANADA. As Cold Skull created distance however, Ibushi was able to leap to the air once more with a double stomp to the first time finalist, a move that put Ibushi in control.
As the match approached the previous record of 35 minutes in length, Ibushi was unable to convert with a Sit Out Last Ride, the hurt leg compromising the impact. That led to SANADA’s own attempts at victory, Skull End followed by a missed Moonsault attempt, and although another connected to Ibushi’s back, a final deciding blow only met Ibushi’s knees.
In a flashback from the prior night’s B Block final, SANADA locked in an O’Connor Roll for an agonizing count of 2.98 seconds, but still Ibushi survived. SANADA too, incredibly kicked out of Kamigoye, but a second followed, and Ibushi secured victory in a record 35 minutes and 12 seconds.
After the match Ibushi repeated his credo of not running away, not quitting, not losing and not betraying anyone. Before he could finish a rousing message of thanks to NJPW and the fans however, Jay White intervened in the backstage press conference, and instantly made it known that he wanted to face Ibushi for his freshly won right to challenge the IWGP Heavyweight Champion at Wrestle Kingdom 15. There are more than a few bumps in the road to expect, it seems, before January 4 & 5 2021.