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NJPW Beginner’s Guide to Enjoying the G1 Climax

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Ask longtime fans of New Japan Pro-Wrestling where’s the best place to begin your fandom and most will tell you the G1 Climax. The tournament consists of ninety singles matches between twenty wrestlers over a four-week period and each competitor scheduled to wrestle a minimum of nine times. Starting your fandom with the G1 Climax is like being pushed into the deep end but if you make it out alive, it’s a rewarding experience you’re bound to recommend to any and all passersby. If this year will be your first G1 experience, use these tips to help you enjoy the tournament as best as possible.

Watch Your Favorite Wrestler(s)
Is Kenny Omega the reason you’re now watching New Japan? That’s awesome! You should watch all his matches and see how he interacts with each of his opponents. This will help you understand his character more as well as provide you with a taste of what other wrestlers on the roster bring to the table.

Watch All Main Events
New Japan pride themselves on big main events. These are almost guaranteed to be the best match each night.

Skip All Tag Matches
Maybe you’ve blown off my first two tips and have decided you want to watch every match. That’s great and I hope for the best. Do not watch the tag matches. You’ve already locked yourself in for ninety-one singles matches and now you want to add fifty-six tags? That’s sadistic even for the most veteran fans. I applaud you for watching all the singles and pray for your life if you go any further.

Keep Up With Points
The G1 Climax has a point system; win = 2 points, draw = 1 point, loss = 0 points. As the tournament progresses, the drama intensifies as wrestlers find themselves in must-win situations. Even after elimination, the wrestler must still continue on with their matches and who wants to wrestle knowing that they have no shot at winning? This creates great intensity as everyone struggles to maintain their positioning.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up
So you promised yourself that you’d watch everything and you missed a day. That’s fine. No one is perfect and no one expects perfection out of you on your first go-around. This is a grueling tournament, don’t let anyone convince you that you’re less of a fan for missing a day.

Have Fun
Don’t forget that wrestling is entertainment. If you’re not having fun, what’s the point? This can easily become overwhelming to even the most experienced fan. As long as you’re having fun, who cares how you’re keeping up with the tournament? Enjoy yourself however you see fit.

This is the most rewarding time to be a fan of New Japan but don’t forget that everyone struggles at this time of year. I’m happy that you’ve decided to join in on the fun of the G1 Climax and wish you the best.

Robert McCauley hasn't missed an NJPW show since the launch of NJPW World. Always be on the look out for his reviews where he shares results and gives his honest opinions on the goings-on of New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

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