A Hitchhiker’s Guide to New Japan Pro Wrestling’s G1 Climax 28


A Quick Look at New Japan’s upcoming G1 Climax event, breaking it down from the basics and the Blocks to the eventual crowning of a winner:

What is the G1 Climax?

The G1 (Grade One) Climax is New Japan Pro Wrestling’s biggest tournament of the year.  Once again, 19 of the world’s best wrestlers and Toru Yano have been divided into two blocks of 10 where they will compete, round-robin style, in singles matches with a 30 minute time limit to be the one who earns the most points in their block. A win gets you two points, a tie means one, and a loss receives nothing. On August 13th the winners of each block will meet in the final a no time limit match for a chance to face the IWGP Heavyweight Champion at Wrestle Kingdom, New Japan’s biggest event of the year (It’s like Wrestlemania, but it clocks in at well under six hours).

Where can I watch it and will I be able to understand the commentary?

You can watch the entire thing streamed or on VOD on New Japan World. A subscription costs 999 Yen per month which at the time of this writing is just over 9 US Dollars. As New Japan is really pushing their English language content this year, every show will have English commentary. The shows are generally uploaded very quickly after the livestream. In addition to letting you watch shows live, your New Japan World subscription will grant you access to much of New Japan’s back catalog including the recommended matches included for this year’s competitors.

Okay, but why should I care?:

Because New Japan has some of the best wrestlers in the world. and over the past few years they have regularly produced some of the best matches on the planet. However, unlike the WWE, which also has some of the best wrestlers in the world in part because they’ve taken on a lot of former G1 participants they don’t typically just have their stars randomly wrestle 1 on 1 matches (see Jeff Hardy vs The Miz on Smackdown). Instead the big names typically face off in multi-man tag matches leading up to singles confrontations (often over titles) on big shows. However, tournaments are an exception and for heavyweights the only other singles tournament on the New Japan calendar is the 16-man, single elimination, no champions allowed New Japan Cup which between all four rounds means only 15 singles matches. Since 2011, The G1 has typically had 20 participants (excepting 2012 which had 18 and 2014 which had 22) which has meant 91 singles matches over the course of 4 weeks. Not only does this mean a lot of fresh match-ups, but the wrestlers are able to tell individual stories that develop tournament unfolds. As a result, over the past few years the G1 Climax has reliably produced some of the year’s best wrestling.

Read the Full Breakdown of the G1 Climax HERE


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