The G1 Climax 30 tournament has begun. The premier tournament in NJPW always promises plenty of standout encounters, and Night One delivered on that promise. We had returning stars, hard hitting contests and a truly fantastic main event to close things out.
Tonight's main event of Kota Ibushi against Kazuchika Okada had lofty expectations after their Match of the Year candidate earlier this year in the Tokyo Dome at WrestleKingdom 14. Those expectations were lived up to and then some.
The first night of A Block competition for the G1 Climax 30 featured the reignition of one of New Japan's most hard-hitting rivalries in Tomohiro Ishii vs. Minoru Suzuki.
We also saw the continuation of the ongoing war between Bullet Club and Los Ingobernables de Japon. On top of that, wrestlers set the tone for the rest of the 19-night round robin tournament.
The opening night of the G1 Climax 30 had just a brisk two hours and 25-minute runtime, which made watching it a breeze. There was also a small capacity crowd in Osaka, which made it feel like a more organic experience than we have seen from wrestling during the pandemic.
This year's tournament would be different from previous years, with NJPW deciding to not do any prelim tag team matches with B Block competitors of the G1 Climax 30. Instead, we saw a prelim battle of NJ dojo Young Lions to kick off the night.
G1 Climax 30: Yuya Uemura vs. Yota Tsuji
The ongoing series of matches between these two standout dojo trainees continued here in the opener to the G1 Climax 30 Night One. This was an all-action sprint of a match.
Uemura and Tsuji have traded wins over the past two years, so it was anyone's match going in. In the end, Uemura gained a victory in just under seven minutes with the Young Lions' special, Boston Crab.
Result: Yuya Uemura defeats Yota Tsuji via submission