The summer is officially here folks, and with it brings the annual G1 Climax; the premiere round-robin tournament of New Japan Pro Wrestling that has established some of the greatest talent in the world for nearly three decades.
This year’s tournament kicks off on Saturday, July 14th with a total of nineteen events spread across across four weeks, taking place all around Japan. For those unfamiliar with the concept, twenty Heavyweight wrestlers from New Japan and their partner promotions will be divided into two blocks, and by the end of the tournament each competitor will have faced off against every member of their respective block. A win is worth TWO points, a draw is worth ONE point and a loss is for course worth nothing.
At the end of four weeks, the men with the most points from each block will face off in the G1 Finals to crown the 2018 G1 Climax Champion. As has become tradition in recent years, the winner of the tournament earns the right to challenge for the Heavyweight title of their choosing in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom on January 4th.
To make things a bit easier to keep track of this year, NJPW has launched an English website for the G1 which you check out at this link. Right now the website basically functions as a portal with the dates and locations of each show, but you can also buy tickets if you’re planning on being in Japan and attending any of the events in person.
The official list of competitors for this year’s tournament will be announced early Sunday morning in the United States, during the NJPW Kizuna Road event at Korakuen Hall. That show will actually be headlined by Michael Elgin defending the NEVER Openweight Championship against Hirooki Goto. The actual blocks will be announced on Monday at the second of three live Kizuna Road events, headlined by Hiromu Takahashi defending the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship against El Desperado.