What The Hell Is The G1 Climax? An Intro To The Most Prestigious Pro Wrestling Tournament

Jabroni Journal

July 5, 2019

This Saturday night on the AXS Network and the New Japan World subscription streaming channel New Japan Pro Wrestling will be kicking off the most prestigious wrestling tournament of the year – the G1 Climax. This is the first year that the tournament will be taking place anywhere outside the company’s home country of Japan. It will instead be kicking off right here in the United States’ own city of Dallas, Texas. 

Since 1974, New Japan Pro Wrestling has featured a yearly round robin wrestling tournament, with the newest incarnation being dubbed the “G1 Climax” in 1991. It has historically been known as a brutal and downright rigorous tournament for the wrestlers, as they compete night in and night out in some of the most hard hitting matches you can imagine. 
Here’s the way it works: There are two blocks the “A” block and the “B” block. Each block has 10 wrestlers (20 total) and over the next month, there will be 18 events where each wrestler will face the rest of their competitors in their respective blocks. The winner of each block is decided by who has the most wins. The finals will take place on Monday August 12th at Nippon Budokan where the winner of the A Block will go head to head with the winner of the B Block. 
For an in-depth history of the G1 Climax, check out this brief history. 

Here are all the wrestlers in the A Block 
Kazuchika Okada
Zack Sabre Jr. 
Hiroshi Tanahashi
Kota Ibushi
Bad Luck Fale
Lance Archer
Will Ospreay

And here are all the wrestlers in the B Block 
Tetsuya Naito
Tomohiro Ishii
Juice Robinson
Toru Yano
Hirooki Goto
Jay White
Jeff Cobb
Shingo Takagi
Jon Moxley

In this week’s episode of the Jabroni Journal podcast I chose my personal pick to win the entire tournament – Kota Ibushi. Since he has finally signed a full-time contract with NJPW, Kota has been on an entirely different level wrestling-wise, pushing himself and his competition to the limit every time he enters the ring. There is no doubt in my mind that he is one of the top 5 wrestlers in the world today. 

Buuuuuuut he’s going to have some pretty stiff competition. 

The wrestler with the most experience in this tournament is Hiroshi Tanahashi by far, as this will be his 18th G1 Tournament. And even as his body was seemingly breaking down before our very eyes, he proved that he’s still a threat last year and won the tournament. 

Of course, there’s also Jon Moxley – the man many know as Dean Ambrose – who is new on the scene in New Japan and has a lot to prove. 

You can’t count out Kazuchika Okada either, as he is the current IWGP Heavyweight Champion and has a dropkick that will damn near decapitate even the fiercest of opponents. 

No matter who wins this tournament is going to be AWESOME. 
For a long in-depth primer on this year’s entire G1 Tournament, check out the video I posted below courtesy of POST Wrestling.