A global pandemic cannot stop the 30-year anniversary of New Japan Pro-Wrestling‘s biggest annual tournament, the G1 Climax.
The famed and grueling round robin tournament returns this weekend streaming live on NJPW World, featuring some of the biggest names in wrestling.
That list includes the double IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito, as well as the highly anticipated domestic returns of “Switchblade” Jay White, Jeff Cobb, Juice Robinson, KENTA and Will Ospreay.
Saturday’s G1 kickoff at Edion Arena in Osaka has a bell time of 4:00 AM ET and will feature exclusively A Block tournament matches. The B Block debuts on Sunday, with a bell time of 1:00 AM ET.
Traditionally, each night of the G1 has featured five tag team matches promoting the following night’s block matches, followed by five tournament matches from the opposite block.
That is changing this year in response to COVID-19. Instead, the 2020 tournament will feature a single Young Lion performance, followed by five block matches. There will effectively be two completely separate touring rosters until the finals on Sunday, October 18 at Ryogoku Sumo Hall.
Below is a look at this weekend’s stacked match cards.
Saturday, September 19
A Block Tournament Matches
- Will Ospreay vs. Yujiro Takahashi
- Jeff Cobb vs. Taichi
- Tomohiro Ishii vs. Minoru Suzuki
- Shingo Takagi vs. Jay White
- Kazuchika Okada vs. Kota Ibushi
Sunday, September 20
B Block Tournament Matches
- Juice Robinson vs. YOSHI-HASHI
- Toru Yano vs. SANADA
- Hirooki Goto vs. KENTA
- Zack Sabre Jr. vs. EVIL
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito