As we enter the middle of summer, it’s once again time for the greatest wrestling tournament in the world: The G1 Climax. Every year from July to August, wrestlers of New Japan Pro Wrestling and other invitees participate in a grueling, month-long tournament.
Every year there are 20 competitors divided into two blocks: A Block and B Block. Participants of a block face each other in a single, round-robin format. The winner of their respective blocks will face each other on the last day of the tournament.
Wrestlers can earn points in the following manner:
- Win=2 Points
- Draw=1 Point
- Loss=0 Points
This year’s G1 Climax is unique because we saw the departures of some familiar faces in the tournament such as Kenny Omega who went to AEW and the arrival of new faces in Jon Moxley (formerly WWE’s Dean Ambrose), IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay, Los Ingobernables de Japon’s Shingo Takagi and KENTA (the former Hideo Itami).
The announcement of Moxley was a surprise. He had departed WWE a few months back when a cryptic video on NJPWWorld announcing the Death Rider. Many people assumed that this would be another addition to the Bullet Club, NJPW’s popular foreign stable.
Everyone was proven dead wrong when the former Dean Ambrose was announced to face Juice Robinson at the 2019 Best of Super Juniors tournament. That item will take another whole article, so stay tuned!
During the period between the BOSJ and the G1, Moxley declared his intentions to enter the G1 Climax. Boy, were we in for a surprise when he was announced as an official entry into the tournament along with…KENTA.
The former Hideo Itami, who is also a friend of Katsuyori Shibata, declared for the tournament in June’s Dominion event.
We even got the inclusion of Junior Heavyweights Will Ospreay and Shingo Takagi. Yes. Shingo Takagi is considered a “Junior.” Let’s just go with the flow. Suspension of Disbelief is fun.
However, the injection of new blood meant that a few familiar faces had to be removed such as Minoru Suzuki and YOSHIHASHI. Fans were disappointed with their removal but, I trust NJPW with what they’re doing. #TrustinGedo
The 2019 G1 tournament was up for grabs and NJPW wasn’t holding back on the talent. Day one was even held in Dallas’ American Airlines Center to showcase NJPW to the world and they didn’t disappoint!
Now that the big launch in Dallas is over, we move to Japan where the action gets hotter as we inch closer and closer to the finals in Tokyo’s famous Budokan.
We’ve already seen several high-quality matches in Lance Archer vs Will Ospreay and KENTA vs pretty much everyone. He is bringing his A-Game. We can’t overlook last year’s finalists in Kota Ibushi and Hiroshi Tanahashi in the A Block. The two delivered an excellent final match last year which was won by Tanahashi in what may be his last hurrah as G1 Champion.
We have so many storylines that can generate from this one tournament. There’s also Tetsuya Naito (Los Ingobernables de Japon) and Jay White (Bullet Club) in the B Block with Jon Moxley. The faction leaders are competing to see how far they can go in the most grueling wrestling tournament in the world. Jon Moxley is out to prove that he can handle the pressures of a month-long tournament unlike anything he has seen in WWE as Dean Ambrose.
There are so many matches to choose from and we’re not even halfway through the tournament. If there’s any kind of person you want to introduce to wrestling then, the G1 is a good starter pack. You get an equal blend of action and drama all in one package.
As the tournament continues, we’d like to share our predictions for the tournament and see if we got anything right.
Check out our 20th episode below:
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