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G1 Climax 30 Performative Power Rankings

Updated: Oct 24, 2020

This is a Power Ranking of all twenty G1 Climax 30 participants. It attempts to find a numerical expression of a wrestler’s effect on the tournament coupled with the success of their matches based on critical consensus. We have done this using a performance-based triad of stats. And by that, we mean stats that view wrestling as a literal performance. Like every performance, there are three aspects: the production, the talent/performer, and the audience. From that delineation, we get these three stat metrics, within which all wrestlers are ranked:

Card Placement Average (The effect of the production)

  • Every G1 Climax night has five G1 climax matches. The opening G1 Climax match is assigned a “1.” The main event is assigned a “5.” All nine matches for a performer are added up and averaged out. This basic computation basically tells us where the booker has slotted the performer, and, in this case, their influence on a tournament and the weight of their obligations.

Total Ring Time (The output of the performer)

  • This is the simplest stat: it is literally the total amount time the performer spends performing, the sum of all their match times. This is not meant to indicate quality, but to suggest exertion.

GRAPPL Rating Average (The evaluation by the audience)

  • This is produced by averaging the GRAPPL rating of each of the wrestler’s nine matches. This provides the qualitative element; it is the measure of how the audience received the wrestler’s performance. GRAPPL is used because of the volume of ratings, though we acknowledge that even with such a large amount of ratings from such an array of people, bias is inherent and cannot be avoided.

To this, we would like to add one more measure: the O/U Indicator. O/U stands for Over/Under, and is calculated to determine how far above or below their booking wrestler performs. O/U Indicator works this way:

Take the CP Ranking number and subtract the GRAPPL Ranking number. This will give us a positive or negative number, indicating overperformance or underperformance.

  • For instance, if YOSHI-HASHI was 18th in CP Ranking and 13th in GRAPPL Ranking, he would have a +5 indicator. He outperformed his booking by +5. That is, the booker slotted him at the 18th competitor out of 20, but the audience perceived their performance to be the 13th best.

This would tend to favor wrestlers with a lower CP ranking, so we did an adjustment measure. For example:

  • YOSHI-HASHI was shown to have a +5 Indicator. Shingo Takagi, going from 8 to 3, also had a +5 indicator. Equal in distance covered, but YOSHI-HASHI had way more room to grow (he could have jumped 17 spots). Shingo had a higher percentage of his potential growth (5 spots jumped out of a potential 7).

Here’s how the adjustment works for Shingo and YOSHI-HASHI:

  • Shingo: Total growth = 5. Potential growth = 7. We divide 5 by 7, then multiple back by 5. Total = 3.571

  • YSH-HSH: Total growth = 5. Potential growth = 17. We divide 5 by 17, then multiple back by 5. Total = 1.471.

  • The adjustment cannot erase the inherent disadvantage a higher CP ranked wrestler faces. They generally always end up with a negative O/U indicator. Those in the top 3 of CP generally only move backwards, and even a mere -1 is enough to garner a low O/U Indicator Ranking. Such are the pains of the aristocracy. We feel only meagre sympathies. If you want to stay #1, you have to outperform Ishii… ok, we feel a bit more sympathy now.

We still feel that the raw O/U Indictor is a real measure of growth or decay. Thus, we took the average of the Raw O/U Indicator Ranking and the O/U Adjusted Indicator Ranking. This is the fourth measure to determine the Power Rankings.

The Power Rankings are an average of each wrestler's ranking in these four measures. The substance of the matches themselves certainly have an influence on these metrics, but, ultimately, the metrics are disconnected from the particular contents of a match. The final rankings are presented with commentary, but the numbers or rankings are not changed. The results are challenged but not modified. They are what they are: a raw expression of a wrestler's performance, awaiting human contextual nuance. This is what they look like as a table:

And, even better, as a chart! Now you're fully spoiled!

And now, the G1 Climax 30 Power Rankings:

20. Toru Yano

  • Time Rank – 20

  • CP Rank – 17

  • GRAPPL Rank – 20

  • O/U Average – 16.5

Some things numbers simply cannot reflect, and that is why even though we live in a mathematical universe, there is still beauty in this world. With all of Ibushi’s God prattlings, Yano is the one that has already transcended our logic and computations. Yes, his GRAPPL ranking is abysmal. Without question, he always ends up with a ring-time so far below the average that it is mind-boggling. But Yano is, no doubt, the most successful wrestler in the G1, year to year. No one delivers on expectations like him.

19. Yujiro Takahashi

  • Time Rank – 19

  • CP Rank – 20

  • GRAPPL Rank - 19

  • O/U Average - 9

Yujiro did well. 19 is obviously incredibly low, but when the expectation is that you will undoubtedly end up 20th, not even worthy of being in the tournament to begin with, 19th is a great success. This is shown in the O/U Indicator. Yujiro was booked 20th and performed 19th. Again, only +1, but when the field ended up being roughly half in the positive and half in the negative, which side would you have expected Yujiro Takahashi to be on? When everyone had expected nothing but negatives, Yujiro produced a positive and should hold his head high.

18. Hirooki Goto

  • Time Rank – 17

  • CP Rank – 14

  • GRAPPL Rank - 17

  • O/U Average – 14.5

Goto was hurt by an unfavorable GRAPPL reception, replete with several mediocre ratings and without a big number match to balance it out. Removing the shackles of numbers from our analysis, Goto had excellent matches with Tanahashi, KENTA, and Naito. He had a worthy tournament, and he rules. Goto rules. But, quite simply, his numbers just did not match up against the rest. And unfortunately these results are fairly consistent with the rankings Goto has put out in each category year-to-year, save for a few high CP Rankings. If we go backwards and apply these ratings to previous years, Goto is near the bottom every year. Including the year where he Goto'd his way into the final. This is Goto.

17. Juice Robinson

  • Time Rank – 14

  • CP Rank – 16

  • GRAPPL Rank - 16

  • O/U Average – 11

Unfortunately, the biggest highlights of Juice’s G1 were his phenomenal backstage comments. And the most memorable one was not even his: it was the one where KENTA, taking a break from his side-story cameraman romcom, cut an oddly contented and equanimous promo about the tortured path he and Juice share. Juice worked incredibly hard and he stands as the only person in G1 Climax 30 with an O/U Indicator of 0. His starting point was 16th, though; treading water at this low ranking is more accurately a reflection of the deflation many felt as Juice tried his best to adjust to the clap crowds. To his credit, he did; things really picked things up in the latter half of his campaign.

16. Jeff Cobb

  • Time Rank – 18

  • CP Rank – 19

  • GRAPPL Rank - 12

  • O/U Average – 2.5

Jeff Cobb was impressive and seemed to be a performer truly figuring out the contextual nuances of a new role. The sequencing of his matches just seemed more adroit, more conducive to producing the type of spontaneous audience reaction you are not supposed to hear right now. Those reactions sneaked out anyway, like when thoroughly wrenched Taichi’s gut, or when he sent Ishii in the tropopause. He started from a lower position, so his impact was minimized, but that O/U average says it all. By simple differential, no one outperformed their card position more.


  • Time Rank – 10

  • CP Rank – 10

  • GRAPPL Rank - 14

  • O/U Average – 16

KENTA’s backstage comments for this G1 was a month long courtship of one of the cameramen, alternating with true tsundere bullying and fat shaming of the other. Inexplicably, KENTA apparently won every match when the cameraman with whom he was smitten produced the backstage comments, and lost every match when the one to meet him in the back was the cameraman that he abhorred. Well, I say inexplicable, but I suppose the explanation is simply that this is all fake. Anyway, the reason I chose to focus on the promos is twofold: KENTA's promos were tour de force and unlike anything else in wrestling, and KENTA was thoroughly adequate during this G1: he was booked in the middle, wrestled a middle amount of minutes, and had a evenly middle GRAPPL showing. In Power Rankings, being so consistently in the middle actually drops you closer to the bottom.


  • Time Rank – 6

  • CP Rank – 10

  • GRAPPL Rank - 15

  • O/U Average – 17

This is the lowest Power Ranking, by these metrics, of any of his G1’s. Until this year, he was consistently in the lower end of the top ten; he was nowhere close to that in 2020. The reason is self-evident: his overall card placement. SANADA goes down as the lowest booked wrestler to make a final since Karl Anderson in 2012. He was demonstrably booked as a mid-carder until the waning stages of the tournament; as a result, he spent most of his G1 as an afterthought. Not that GRAPPL did him many favours, either. SANADA's highest GRAPPL numbers were against his highest rated opponents; draw your own conclusions there. Things you cannot take away from SANADA: his popularity, his searing beauty, his cool lights out closing gimmick, and his exertion. His time rank should make it noticeably clear that even though he makes things look effortless, the effort is very much robust.

13. EVIL

  • Time Rank – 7

  • CP Rank – 2

  • GRAPPL Rank - 18

  • O/U Average – 20

EVIL is booked to add an element of overwhelming frustration, dissatisfaction, and deflation to every show that he is on. His main event level CP ranking only amplifies the antipathy. EVIL is the reason we use multiple metrics, and allow a subjective measure to infiltrate the set. By measures that do not take evaluation or audience receptiveness into account, EVIL’s G1 was easily in the top 3. But this charade is fundamentally meant for an audience, that audience judges the value of this enterprise, and GRAPPL did not find EVIL refreshing; his -16 O/U Indicator is, quite comfortably, the worst on record. His CP rank, of course, makes it self-evident that this is all very deliberate. What is unfortunate is that EVIL had been trending upward leading into 2020; his O/U Rank in 2019 was 8th, up ten spots from his disheartening 2018. His 2020 will go down as one of the more infamous G1’s, but he was placed in high positions, successfully accomplished his ghastly role there, and put in a healthy amount of minutes (the one holdover from his admirable 2019).

12. Zack Sabre, Jr.

  • Time Rank – 15

  • CP Rank – 14

  • GRAPPL Rank - 11

  • O/U Average – 7

Zack Sabre Jr provided a very welcome element of diversity to G1 Climax 30. His idiosyncratic style and boisterously frenetic movements provide a unique energy profile to his match slate. ZSJ had a terrific tournament with a curiously low match time output. Sabre’s matches tend to run shorter than expected of a submission-based wrestler; his unruly disposition leads to quicker endgames. GRAPPL somewhat rewarded him, resulting in another positive O/U Indicator; Zack Sabre Jr has, in fact, outperformed his card position every year he has been in the G1, but that initial low position means that there is a numerically inherent ceiling to his G1 Power Ranking.


  • Time Rank – 11

  • CP Rank – 18

  • GRAPPL Rank - 13

  • O/U Average – 4.5

I should probably take this opportunity to acknowledge the criticisms of GRAPPL that need to be recognized if one uses them for data analysis. One is that it represents a small portion of the fanbase. The second is that it heavily overrepresents one type of taste profile. The third is that this overrepresented taste profile is excessively myopic. There's certainly some truth to all three, but consider the case of the YSH-HSH. GRAPPL seems to under-rate his matches, yet he has generally rated YOSHI-HASHI somewhere close to 10th , and by doing so this year they provided him with one of the higher O/U Indicators. Because of the low CP ranking, most of his matches had little pertinent impact, but this Power Ranking continues a brilliant 2020 for the YOSHI-HASHI. Who, of course, is a NJPW title holder (at the time of this writing, at least. MY GOD if he loses the strap between writing and publication…).

10. Minoru Suzuki

  • Time Rank – 16

  • CP Rank – 13

  • GRAPPL Rank - 8

  • O/U Average – 4

Suzuki is a legitimate contender to be NJPW’s candidate for the WON Most Outstanding Wrestler Award. He might be the best gimmick, honestly. His character work is nonpareil; we know he is a fashionable and charitable quinquagenarian, and this enhances this maniacal persona. We have no choice but to suspend disbelief; he does not allow us any other option. Suzuki might have flirted with the top 5 in these rankings, but his ring time is surprisingly low. This is a time-related shift; his ring time numbers in the early 2010’s were amongst the highest, but post-NOAH Suzuki has trended downwards in that area. That means zilch to GRAPPL users; they gave him a healthy rating, save for a few misfires. As the numbers suggest, Suzuki imposed his will on this tournament.

9. Taichi

  • Time Rank – 13

  • CP Rank – 10

  • GRAPPL Rank - 9

  • O/U Average – 8.5

Taichi rules. It seems like GRAPPL is being a bit fastidious about some of his matches, but considering that he was 18th in GRAPPL ranking last year, his 9th place rank this year is a great leap forward for our Holy Emperor. The fact that Taichi has crept his way to the brink of Tanahashi and Okada’s rankings is a testament to Taichi’s program of matches, which exhibited an array of match types and a crispness of work. Taichi was booked equally, over the course of the tournament, as SANADA. It was the quality of the work that separated them in the Power Rankings. If for some reason you still talk about “ceilings” with Taichi, or some such nonsense, you probably should save yourself some broken tibia’s and stop digging your heels in. It's past the point of absurdity and you look foolish and blasphemous.

8. Hiroshi Tanahashi

  • Time Rank – 5

  • CP Rank – 3

  • GRAPPL Rank - 10

  • O/U Average – 18.5

The ACE can still go, the ACE knows better than ever how to work a match as a man entering his mid-40’s, the ACE might be one of the greatest wrestlers of his age ever to take breath, and the ACE is incredibly horny in merchandise commercials. All of these statements are true. Tanahashi is still beloved by fans and relied upon heavily by New Japan, as his time and CP ranks indicate, but he has to sensibly pick and choose his spots these days. Most are carefully worked and rely on his selling, as was the case in the Dangerous Tekkers program over the summer, with the instantly legendary leg screw sequence at Dominion. Tanahashi underperformed by quite a bit, which hurts him in rankings such as this, but as shown in the Naito match he still delivers an exquisiteness unlike anyone else.

7. Jay White

  • Time Rank – 8

  • CP Rank – 3

  • GRAPPL Rank - 5

  • O/U Average – 13

By this set of criteria, Jay White is steadily rising toward the exalted position envisioned by Gedo when the call was made to bring Kiwi Babyface Jay White back to Japan. The reason? Jay White’s O/U Indicator rose dramatically this year. Now, that may seem bizarre, considering that he is 13th this year, the result of a very slightly negative O/U Indicator. But 13th is a massive improvement; White O/U Indicator has been dead last in both of his G1’s previous to this, 20th in both 2018 and 2020. GRAPPL has turned the corner on King Switch, shifting him from bottom to top; the evaluation of White’s output is slowly starting to match his card placement, and one would anticipate his power ranking to rise as well.

6. Kazuchika Okada

  • Time Rank – 4

  • CP Rank – 6

  • GRAPPL Rank - 7

  • O/U Average – 12

As stated before, these rankings are purposely disconnected from the contents of a match. Thus, the Money Clip cannot be taken into account. If so, Okada would surely be near the bottom of the list. If the Money Clip discourse could be taken into effect, Okada would be DQ’d outright without hesitation. Verbal communication was a mistake, this article included. Basically, Okada’s numbers are remarkable in relative terms. His Time, CP, and GRAPPL ranks are significantly down, mainly because he has been top 3 in all of them for so long. For Okada, falling to 7th place in anything is enough of a peculiar development to, as noted, inspire a torrent of insufferable palaver. For Kazu-chan, 7th place might as well be last place. Even if it is by design… it is by design, right? DISCUSS!

5. Will Ospreay

  • Time Rank – 12

  • CP Rank – 9

  • GRAPPL Rank - 4

  • O/U Average – 3

Ospreay threw all historical trends into potential disarray, because when the schedule was announced, his match with Okada was presumed to be the Block Final. His low CP ranking would have been the lowest to participate in a Block Final in years. As it turns out, SANADA inherited that dubious honour, and Ospreay dragged simply Okada down to the mid card. What happened there on Night 17 assured that this is probably the last year a CP ranking will diminish Ospreay’s power ranking. GRAPPL users love his matches, and unless Emperor Will and his Problematic Asian Hodgepodge sidekick take the EVIL route, they will continue to rate Ospreay amongst the top of the company. With a rise in future G1 CP will assuredly come a rise in ring-time, another metric that weakened his Power Ranking this year. It’s very likely that Ospreay will challenge Shingo and Ishii for the top level of this medal stand.

4. Tetsuya Naito

  • Time Rank – 1

  • CP Rank – 1

  • GRAPPL Rank - 6

  • O/U Average – 15.5

No one shouldered more than Naito this year, continuing the tradition of IWGP Heavyweight Champions treating their match slate as a series of insulated title defenses. Naito annihilated the ring-time record that Okada set in 2019 and was the clear-cut leader in CP with the most main events in the tournament. He carried his block, and not just structurally. He was the highest ranked GRAPPL participant in B Block. The only thing keeping Naito out of the top 3 might have been largely out of his control; B Block was not favored by GRAPPL users, so several of his matches hovered in the 3.5-3.75 range, a worthwhile accomplishment but one that simply could not stack up against the top A Block competitors. For what it is worth, the incredible amount of ring time did not affect this; Naito’s highest rated matches were his longest ones.

**Editor’s note: Out of curiosity, we ran a set of numbers that ranked each competitor in a way that took their block’s GRAPPL performance into account. Basically, you take the GRAPPL average for wrestler and subtract the GRAPPL average for the block. The result is their differential. So, if Naito averaged a 4 and his block averaged a 3.2, his differential would be +0.8.

There was very little change. Naito and Ibushi would switch spots and EVIL and SANADA would switch spots. Everyone else’s ranking was unchanged.**

3. Kota Ibushi

  • Time Rank – 9

  • CP Rank – 3

  • GRAPPL Rank - 2

  • O/U Average – 8

Ibushi’s CP went up this year, a hint from the beginning that he was the chosen one. Gone were the opening spots that peppered his CP in year's past; this year, he mostly inhabited main events and semi-mains. He responded to this increased significance by pulling off a positive O/U number from a top 3 starting position, a somewhat improbable feat. Keep in mind, though… Ibushi is the only person to ever outperform Tomohiro Ishii in a G1, and he was in the same block (2018)! No odds are too long for the Golden Star. The one thing that kept Ibushi from the top spot in these rankings was his ring time metric. After being in the top three for time rank in 2018 and 2019, his number dropped considerably. This is a bit paradoxical in a year where match times skyrocketed. It does make sense, though; Ibushi played an eclectic game this year, matching the style game of his opponents. In several cases that meant shorter, concentrated matches. He dropped over a minute per match than last year, and thus fell behind the rest, even as the quality of his minutes was immaculate.

2. Shingo Takagi

  • Time Rank – 3

  • CP Rank – 8

  • GRAPPL Rank - 3

  • O/U Average – 2.5

In his second year as a G1 participant, Shingo established himself as a legitimate marvel. The countless hours talking to himself, disorienting and bemusing to those around him (according to recent interviews with Naito, Hiromu, and Ibushi), must have some intricate value; Shingo was once again near the top of the raw O/U performance rankings, after a 1st place showing last year. This hints at the dilemma expressed by many during this G1: Shingo is booked solidly in the mid card, 8th overall in this year’s G1, and yet he continues to provide vigorous and voluminous evidence that he is amongst the elite-of-the-elite in-ring performers of his generation, with astounding reliability. The one thing limiting Shingo is, sadly, out of his control.

1. Tomohiro Ishii

  • Time Rank – 2

  • CP Rank – 7

  • GRAPPL Rank - 1

  • O/U Average – 1.5

Take everything said about Shingo and double it, because yet again everyone is looking toward the back of the inimical, phenomenal, preternatural Tomohiro Ishii. Ishii’s CP ranking actually went down a bit this year; somehow, for yet another year, this has absolutely no relevance to any other metrics. He continues to average over 4.0 in GRAPPL average, and that’s not just for this G1. He averages over 4.0 per match when you average out every G1 match GRAPPL tracks, which goes back to 2016. That’s five whole years. He will always outperform his card positioning, because his performance rank will always be #1 (save for Ibushi, the only being capable of exceeding him), and he will never be positioned #1. What’s unusual this year is the time ranking; 2nd place is Ishii’s highest ever ranking in that category, boosted by some epic main events, including the Block Final of A Block where, having thrown the tournament into complete disarray, Ishii simply grabbed the post-match ice bag, poured it out over his head, and limped to the back, not once attempting to look back.


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