The G1 Climax is upon us once again as wrestling fans should take this opportunity to get introduced to New Japan.
It is that time of the year again when wrestling fans are blessed with one of the best tournaments in the industry: the G1. Just like the rest of the industry, COVID-19 has hit the tournament and limited the number of outside stars that can be featured. But that does not mean this is not going to be a special event. With action kicking off over the weekend, the G1 stands as the best way to introduce new fans to New Japan.
It may be difficult for North American wrestling fans to expand their viewing beyond WWE, All Elite Wrestling, Ring of Honor, and other promotions that run within their viewing window. When debates spring up about who is the best in the industry, those in the know will throw around names like Kota Ibushi, Kazuchika Okada and others that compete across the ocean. Through New Japan World, the NJPW streaming service, anyone can jump into the G1 Climax to catch all the action in what is sure to be an exciting tournament.
New Japan has done a stellar job putting together two blocks that feature established names from their promotion and others that can potentially bring fans in to watch. Ibushi, Okada, Naito, Evil, SANADA and many of the stalwarts are there once again. Then there’s individuals like Juice Robinson and Jeff Cobb, both of whom have G1 experience and time in organizations like WWE, PWG, Lucha Underground and others. It would have been interesting to see if AEW would have allowed some of their names to participate, like IWGP United States and AEW champion, Jon Moxley, but the global pandemic shut down those thoughts before they could even begin.
Still, the first two nights of action give viewers a lot to look forward to in weeks to come. There were great matches across both cards, boasting action that is well worth a return viewing, setting the stage for the rest of the G1. One of the most enjoyable parts of the event is trying to guess who is going to make it out of the blocks and to the finals. It may seem easy to predict who is going to come out on top, but the hope for some type of swerve at the end is just as much fun. Even still, many of those that do not win still come out looking strong, with pushes set up immediately after.
It might be hard to catch the late-night New Japan action live but do yourself a favor and avoid spoilers. Sitting down and watching these matches midday is an excellent way to spend some upcoming weekends if your area is still going through a lockdown and you have the time. Throughout the tournament wrestling fans will get introduced to some new faces, styles, and an exceptional promotion in professional wrestling.