Every summer, the G1 Climax showcases some of the best talent the professional wrestling world has to offer. Over the course of four weeks, the entire roster of New Japan Pro Wrestling has its eyes set on the twenty men that will go to war over a potential IWGP Heavyweight Championship match at Wrestle Kingdom. The month long round robin style tournament dates all the way back to 1974 albeit under a slightly different structure. But as time progressed, the G1 Climax has evolved into its current structure that we see now. Agony and anguish is the name of the game for those involved as there is no time for rest. In a twenty-nine-day span, there are nineteen nights of competition. This is the tournament where legends are made and the weak falter. Now in its 28th edition under the current name, the G1 Climax continues to gain worldwide acclaim each year and shows no signs of stopping.
90 matches. 20 men. 2 blocks. 1 winner.
Here are 5 reasons why the G1 Climax is the best wrestling tournament.
Round Robin Style
The G1 Climax is a tournament staged by New Japan Pro Wrestling every July and August. It has traditionally featured 20 competitors divided evenly into two blocks of 10. Prior editions have seen the number of participants fluctuate with some featuring greater than 20 while some featured less than 20.
The unique block structure allows for stars to shine even if they don’t win or make it to the finals. I believe this is extremely smart as a single-elimination tournament is often limited to either a four, eight, sixteen, thirty-two, or sixty-four-man affair. This allows for some flexibility in the limit of competitors as its not tied down to an even number that works nicely in a bracket structure. The round-robin style of the G1 Climax forces each participant in each block to compete with one another to determine who the best of the block truly is. In a single elimination bracket, individuals can advance based on defeating competitors of differing degrees of difficulty. The round robin takes the luck of the draw out of the equation and is a fair and even way of determining a winner.