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NJPW G1 Climax Explained

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For wrestling fans around the world, the G1 Climax is thought of as the premier time to be an NJPW fan. A grueling month long tournament consisting of ninety singles matches where the best wrestlers in the world compete with the goal of proving they are the best in the world. On the surface, this may have already hooked you but for analytical minds like mine, figuring out who will win the G1 Climax is like that itch you can never scratch. With very few trends to follow, trying to pick out the winner is nearly impossible yet every year thousands of people are confident that they have broken the code.

What is the Goal?
Until 2012, the goal was strictly supremacy but things have since changed. Now the rules state that if you win the tournament, you are guaranteed an opportunity to challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom under the conditions that you avenge any losses you sustained during the tournament.

What Are the Rules?
1 Fall
30 Minute Time Limit
Win = 2 Points
Draw = 1 Point
Loss = 0 Points

The Setup
Ten wrestlers are separated into two sections (blocks) and must wrestle all nine of their block mates in singles matches. The winners of each block meet in the finals where there is no time limit. The tournament must have a winner. The concept is easy enough to understand but one can get lost in the late stages when it comes to tiebreakers. If Wrestler X and Y are in the same block and end the tournament on top with the same amount of points, a tiebreaker must be enforced. Due to the blocks, they must have wrestled each other during the tournament so whoever won that match wins the block. A more complicated situation can arise where Wrestler X, Y and Z finished with the same points and each beat one and lost to the other. Thankfully, New Japan doesn’t torture their fans with those types of situations.

This Year’s Competitors

A Block
Hiroshi Tanahashi
– 5x Finalist
– 2007 & 2015 Winner
– Appearances: 2002-
– Record (71-45-7)
Kazuchika Okada
– 2x Finalist
– 2012 & 2014 Winner
– Appearances: 2012-
– Record (37-16-3)
Togi Makabe
– 2x Finalist
– 2009 Winner
– Appearances: 2004-
– Record (49-58-2)
Minoru Suzuki
– Appearances: 2004-2005, 2011-2014, 2017-
– Record (30-26-3)
Bad Luck Fale
– Appearances: 2014-
– Record (22-15)
Michael Elgin
– Appearances: 2015-
– Record (13-14)
EVIL
– Appearances: 2016-
– Record (10-8)
YOSHI-HASHI
– Appearances: 2016-
– Record (5-13)
Jay White
– Debut
Hangman Page
-Debut

B Block
Tetsuya Naito
– 3x Finalist
– 2013 & 2017 Winner
– Appearances: 2010-
– Record (43-29-1)
Hirooki Goto
– 2x Finalist
– 2008 Winner
– Appearances: 2008-
– Record (47-37)
Kenny Omega
– 2x Finalist
– 2016 Winner
– Appearances: 2016-
– Record (14-6)
Toru Yano
– Appearances: 2005, 2007-
– Record (41-50-3)
Tomohiro Ishii
– Appearances: 2013-
– Record (21-25)
Kota Ibushi
– Appearances: 2013, 2015, 2017-
– Record (13-14)
SANADA
– Appearances: 2016-
– Record (8-10)
Tama Tonga
– Appearances: 2016-
– Record (8-10)
Zack Sabre Jr.
– Appearances: 2017-
– Record (5-4)
Juice Robinson
– Appearances: 2017-
– Record (4-5)

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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