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    Tuesday, October 13, 2020

    #CafePuro: Predicting the G1 Climax 30 Home Stretch

    EVIL and Tetsuya Naito in G1 Climax 30

    We're just a week away from the G1 Climax 30 final, which means we are days away from the block finals. The dust is beginning to settle and wrestling fans now have a better idea of who we could see on top of the A Block and the B Block. In order to avoid mental gymnastics, I'll just be giving my prediction of who I think will be the final four in each block and who I think will be in the final two respectively:

    A Block:

    1. Kazuchika Okada (10 Points)
    2. Jay White (10 Points)
    3. Will Ospreay (10 Points)
    4. Kota Ibushi (10 Points)

    B Block:

    1. Tetsuya Naito (10 Points)
    2. SANADA (8 Points)
    3. EVIL (10 Points)
    4. Zack Sabre Jr. and Hirooki Goto (8 Points)
    Among the competitors I just listed I think the A Block is more predictable than the B Block. Everyone knows that Okada still hasn't brought back the Rainmaker, but we've gotten hints of the move returning very soon. Jay White is going through Bullet Club drama so I'm beginning to doubt whether or not he'll make it to the final. Kota Ibushi is still trying to become God so I think we'll see him as part of the A Block Final. Will Ospreay, as much as I hate to say it, is being built to become the next big superstar. If you want to raise your concerns about Ospreay's actions, send your letter to New Japan Pro-Wrestling via their contact form.

    When it comes to Kota Ibushi, I don't see him making the final this year because I have a good feeling we're getting Tanahashi vs. Ibushi before he can become God.

    The direction of the A Block is a little predictable. B Block, on the other hand, is going to be a mad dash. Tetsuya Naito and EVIL are tied at 10 points but Goto and ZSJ still have a chance to spoil the party. I don't see ZSJ or Goto making it to the final though; I have a different idea. This theory might sound crazy but I think we'll get two storylines converging during an EVIL-SANADA B Block Final. 

    Here's how I think it will go. Jay and Okada will face each other in the A Block final and EVIL will sneak in to interfere and ruin's Jay's chances of reaching the G1 Final for the second straight year. As for SANADA, I have a feeling we'll see Jay interrupt the match to ignite the second Bullet Club Civil War. 

    A-Block Final Prediction: Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White

    Jay White and Kazuchika Okada
    Jay White hits Kazuchika Okada with a German Suplex during their match last Sep. 27.
    (Photo from NJPW 1972)

    As much as people in Japan love Ospreay I think Jay vs. Okada will meet each other for the second time in the tournament. Here's why I think Okada vs. White will happen again:
    • Will Ospreay isn't ready to be part of the core of NJPW. This is only his first serious run as a heavyweight. 
    • It's too early to have an Okada and Ibushi rematch. We already had it twice this year. Let's have Jay vs. Okada for the second time instead.
    • Switchblade brought the Rainmaker back in Wrestle Kingdom 13 after the "Cokeada" era. Another match with Jay White can wake up the Rainmaker.

    B-Block Final Prediction: EVIL vs SANADA

    SANADA and Juice Robinson
    SANADA applies the Milano Special to a prone Juice Robinson. (Photo from NJPW 1972)

    SANADA has had an unbelievable tournament up to this point. Everyone thought he was the favorite to win the entire thing, but Gedo planted a seed of doubt by making SANADA lose his first three matches. SANADA needed a trigger to take the tournament seriously after losing to the likes of YOSHI-HASHI and Yano. The first three losses were a wake-up call for SANADA and his match with Naito triggered a chain of events that will lead us to a block final encounter with EVIL.

    • The newest Bullet Club member is going to do everything it takes to make sure his former LIJ brethren won't make it. 
    • EVIL and SANADA have yet to face each other in singles action since EVIL joined Bullet Club.
    • SANADA was always the darling of LIJ being primed for a push. EVIL was always second fiddle and he will do everything to ensure his former tag team partner won't make it to the last day of the tournament.
    • SANADA needs to encounter everyone important to him from the last few years. He's already beaten Naito. It's time for SANADA to triumph over EVIL and defeat Okada when it matters the most.

    G1 Climax Final Prediction

    I originally mentioned that Jay and SANADA would face each other in the final day of the G1. Bullet Club's brewing civil war could be a sign that we won't see Jay making the final. We'll get a bigger match to main event Ryogoku Sumo Hall in the form of Kazuchika Okada vs SANADA. Regardless of who wins the A Block, SANADA is still my favorite wrestler to win the entire G1 Climax 30.

    SANADA's biggest opponents in the tournament have some form of personal connection with him. Naito and SANADA auditioned for NJPW in 2005 but SANADA failed while Naito would become part of the main roster a few years after that event. SANADA would later join wrestling legend Keiji Mutoh's wrestling school in 2007 and properly begin his career from there. SANADA would become part of NJPW when he interfered on Naito's behalf to help El Ingobernable win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in April 2016's Invasion Attack Show.

    EVIL was SANADA's former tag team partner. They have won the IWGP heavyweight tag belts multiple times. Whenever the World Tag League would commence, EVIL and SANADA were always paired together. I don't know if it was COVID-19 that caused EVIL to leave LIJ or not but the former tag partners have yet to face each other in singles competition since the betrayal. I have a feeling we'll see these two clash in the block final before SANADA finally wins the G1.

    Kazuchika Okada and SANADA
    Okada throws up a thumbs up sign as a form of respect towards SANADA. 
    (Screenshot from NJPW World)

    Okada has been one of the biggest thorns on SANADA's side. Every time SANADA thinks he's going to make it to the next level, Okada finds a way to defeat him. His buzzer-beater G1 match with Okada last year would show the world that he can beat the Rainmaker after several attempts. SANADA's win against Okada in the 2019 G1 Climax led to a championship opportunity in Ryogoku last October where, despite a valiant effort, Okada would triumph over the Cold Skull when it mattered most in an IWGP title match. Okada would however give SANADA a thumbs up to show the LIJ star that he has earned the Rainmaker's respect.

    I have a good feeling that the Cold Skull will stand tall in a sea of lights covering Ryogoku at the end of the G1 Climax 30.

    G1 Final Winner Prediction: SANADA

    Who do you think will win the G1 Climax 30? Share your thoughts below!

    Steven Maxwell Tan is an e-commerce employee by day and a podcaster/blogger by night. He is co-founder of The Geeky Juans and its weekly podcast. When he's not chatting it up with artists and fellow wrestling fans, Steven likes to read his favorite DC Comics and cheer for the Anaheim Ducks hockey team. You can follow more of his geeky thoughts on Twitter at @steviesaidyup.

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    Item Reviewed: #CafePuro: Predicting the G1 Climax 30 Home Stretch Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Steven Maxwell Tan
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