#3 Hiroshi Tanahashi (vs. SANADA - G1 Climax 30 Day 16; vs. Naito - G1 Climax 30 Day 2)
Although he was one of the top stars of the B Block, Hiroshi Tanahashi was more or less a gatekeeper of sorts with his booking of a 4-5 record throughout the G1 Climax 30. Despite that record, Tanahashi pulled out remarkable performances at age 43, proving to be an all-time great once again.
His ability to sell via his facial expressions and body language is why he has to be considered a legend in our business and it stood out among everyone in the B Block. This G1 Climax 30 featured so many classic Tanahashi performances against the likes of EVIL, Juice Robinson and Zack Sabre Jr. His mix of technical mastery and fiery babyface comebacks has only seemed to have grown immensely with age.
His standout matches against SANADA on Day 16 and his Match of the Year candidate against Tetsuya Naito on Day 2 were both incredible efforts that showed that he may be positioned as the gatekeeper, but he still has what it takes to be among the top of the card in NJPW. This G1 Climax 30 did not have Tanahashi in the running at the end, but without question he proved why he is still The Ace of the universe.